In 1994, a group of enterprising people driven by a selfless determination to establish a cultural centre for wider dissemination of Human Values, decided to form a Charitable Trust. The Trust was aptly given the name Dharma Nilayam Spiritual and Charitable Trust (DNSCT). The pioneers envisaged multidimensional programs in keeping with the objectives of the Trust, and endeavored to establish the centre to be named SAI Dharma Nilayam , a Centre for development of Human Excellence, inspired by the message and philosophy of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
In the ensuing years, the Trust undertook various community development initiatives such as organizing values classes, youth discussion forums on pragmatic and current issues, yoga camps, classes in music and devotional singing, music concerts and cultural variety shows aimed at inspiring young people to realize the higher purpose of life. The Trust pioneered a vermi-compost and bio-manure program in Lingchom in west Sikkim to encourage environmental conservation and Organic farming. The Trust also undertook a state-wide research on Violence against Women and Domestic Violence. All these were done to ensure a robust social environment in the state.
In the year 2000, the executive members unanimously decided to change the nomenclature of the Trust to make it more pragmatic and expansive. The new name adopted was Society for Promotion of Art, Culture, Education and Environmental Excellence, known by its ellipsis SPACE. We retained the registration of 1995 in retrospect only changing the nomenclature of the trust to its new title. The objectives and philosophy of the Trust were summed up in it's Mission and Vision statements (mentioned in the home page). The Trust vigorously supported the Prashanti Vidya Mandir School located in Gangtok. SPACE acquired a patch of verdant land measuring approximately 20 acres (click to view the registration document) in village Majhitar, Kitam Block in South Sikkim for the sole purpose of establishing SAI Dharma Nilayam. In the summer of 2002 Bhoomi Puja or Corner stone laying was initiated. Thereafter the project got mired in bureaucratic wrangles which considerably hindered its progress. The project got delayed by more than a decade. Meanwhile SPACE took complete responsibility of the Prashanti Vidya Mandir School and also continued with its other developmental activities.
The year 2013 began on a positive resolve to approach the government for intervention and help. The members also interacted with the local residents of Majhitar and met the Government District authorities. A Local Core Team was formed headed by Mr. Vishal Mukhia, an alumnus of the Sri Sathya Sai University serving as a gazette officer in the state government. Mr. Narendra Pradhan, a renowned architect from Nepal undertook to design the project plan and in the ensuing year came up with an overall Master Plan of the project.
Efforts were made to enthuse the members on the objectives of the Trust through consultations and meetings like SAMAAGAM and EK BHET. These initiatives brought together people from varied walks of life on one platform pledging their interest and financial support to the cause.
On 6 June 2016, Mr. Vishal Mukhia, composed, sang and arranged a beautiful song which became the Dharma Nilayam Theme song. On 15 September, the Central Income Tax considered and approved our application for registration in Article 12 AA (1) (b) of the Income Tax Act 1961. This was a huge boon to SPACE SIKKIM. In the same year Vidya Vahini, a program meant to mainstream fundamental values in education and learning pedagogy was introduced in the school.
The following year 2017, the Central Income Tax Department (Exemptions) granted SPACE SIKKIM registration in Article 80G of the Income Tax Act of 1961. A music concert entitled "Aarohan - Scaling New Heights" was presented by a renowned music band called Rhythmic Energy on 1 May 2017 under the aegis of the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organization in collaboration with SPACE SIKKIM. The entire concert was in support of the Dharma Nilayam project.
A group of young musicians from the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation of Sikkim, presented a devotional Music Concert entitled SAI to SAI at Prashanti Nilayam on 8th January 2018 with technical and financial support provided by SPACE SIKKIM . An extent of 3 acres of land was donated by Mrs. Sangeetha Kharel Thapa in Parbing Block East Sikkim for the construction of Prashanti Vidya Mandir School. The following year SPACE acquired another 5 acres of land in the vicinity to enhance the school area. The registration of the land and other allied activities such as survey and demarcation took nearly a year to complete.
Although the pandemic wave slowed down the progress of the Dharma Nilayam project two young architects Lanchenba Ningthoujam and Tanuj Soni braved the prevailing situation and made it to Gangtok in 2021 to undertake the designing of the school and other components of the Dharma Nilayam project.
We are now set to launch the project. The site has been cleared and prepared for laying the approach road connecting the different architectural segments of the project. We have also been receiving positive pledges of Human and Material support from various quarters.