CITTA: The Triangle of Education, Health and Economic Development

By auther pic. Shilpa Tiwari

March 26, 2021

CITTA: The Triangle of Education, Health and Economic Development


A single man’s will power can bring about an immense change in the environment. This wonderfully resonates with our changemaker, Michael Daube who discovered that the changes first happen in the mind or Citta. This realization worked his mental maps to work for greater good and manifested into making the right causes for those who were marginalized and could only dream of a better education; also, for those who were ill and on the brink of death due to devastation around them, and finally, for those who were poorest of the poor and awaited economic development since ages, perhaps centuries. Michael’s innumerable beneficiaries can be found across continents – so expansive is his reach.



The cyclone near Paradeep port in the Indian state of Orissa in the year 1999 left an indelible mark on Michael when he saw kids crawling out of the mud after the cyclone hit the area. “It was heartbreaking,” says Michael, who started immediately to think hard on alleviating the immediate condition of the place in terms of basic health-care, monetary help and medication. Once he found out this basic need was fulfilled, he built a school for children as the next step to their social security. Serendipity was his way into his philanthropic journey, but after experiencing Orissa cyclones, Michael also discovered that he could follow his instinct by heightening his senses towards the immediate developmental requirements that is a burning priority of the hour. This is how the HEED model came into play which translated his passion for Healthcare, Education, Economic Development– as he moved forward on his philanthropic journey via his organization, CITTA.



Nepal holds a special place in his heart. This is where he was exposed to the concepts of Buddhism and also realized how religion translates into the cultures and traditions of societies. However, the turning point in his life happened when an earthquake hit Nepal in the year 2015. He was up and ready to provide food on priority to the villages that were hit hardest however, his relief work did not just stop at that. He decided to construct school and hospital too.



Mexico was not just a trip for Michael to explore ancient archeology in one of the country’s remotest parts but turned out to be Michael’s passion to improve the livelihood of hard-working Mexican women who spent 85% of their lives simply around growing and processing corn. The main issue of their lives was to get access to tortilla machines as this could simplify their processes and save them from not getting time enough to spend outside corn fields and corn processing. When the stated requirement is enhanced with the actual need of the land, it works towards the betterment of the marginalized or remotely placed communities – an important realization by Michael after connecting with Mexican women.



Sustainability is always the prime factor that concerns most of the social development organizations and so it was for Michael Daube. At the outset of his philanthropic journey, Michael was advised by the lama, “Make sure you have the capacity to do it”, thereby getting an insight that he will “make sure that it’s sustainable.” He also realized very soon that his organization CITTA will be his journey that should be interesting, “you have to enjoy the ride otherwise it’s a nightmare.”


CITTA is constantly working to achieve economic development in this otherwise economically deprived region of Rajasthan through Gyaan Centre. Women’s education suffers immensely in the remotest parts of the Jaisalmer region, popular amongst tourists for its shifting sand dunes and houses close-knit orthodox societies. The region also faces poverty, high female infanticide rates and also traditional norms that deter the overall growth of women. 



Jaisalmer Gyaan Centre, designed by the renowned architect, Diana Kellog sports a women’s centre cum co-operative, a textile museum, a performance space, a marketplace, and most importantly, Rajkumari Ratnavati Girls School in the state of Rajasthan – as per the vision of Michael Daube and his organization – CITTA who is doing his best to bring in economic development with utmost sincerity in order to uplift the economic conditions of the women of this region.



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Impact-Story is a series on development and CSR interventions leading to some impacts on the ground. If you have a project, innovation or intervention that has changed the lives of a few people or a community, please share a brief note at shilpi@csrbox.org. Our Team will get back to you after validating the information for a detailed coverage.

Also Read: Bhibhu Starts Speaking Again After Intensive Counselling and Speech Therapy


Shilpa Tiwari is a New Delhi based Content Specialist with three decades of experience. She has worked extensively on a variety of researches and curricula across K12, Higher Education, Corporate and Social Development sectors. A Master’s degree in English Literature and a degree in French from Delhi University, alongwith International Business Programme from IIFT, most certainly provides Shilpa an added expertise to work as a Consultant on various research and consulting projects with Corporates, Educational Institutions, Publications, CSR Foundations and NGOs.


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