Mitraniketan is a charitable organisation established in the year 1956, registered under the Travancore Cochin Literary Scientific and Charitable Societies Registration ACT XII of 1955 in 1967 at Vellanad in Trivandrum district. The organisation is engaged in Science & Technology and education based development activities of the state focused on rural development. There are special programs focusing on the development of tribal children, rural youth, farmers and women in Kerala since its inception.
Padmasree K. Viswanathan founded Mitraniketan after his studies in Santiniketan and work experiences in Sevagram. Educational and community development ideas of Tagore and Gandhi have influenced Viswanathan to initiate Mitraniketan in 1956. Over the last 55 years Mitraniketan has developed in the form of a rural institute with facilities for education, training and other development activities.
Mitraniketan functions based on the Gandhian principles focusing on community based education and development leading to individual empowerment, self-sufficiency at the household level agriculture production, utilization of local resources for income generation, and development & transfer of appropriate technology. Mitraniketan promoted traditional crafts in the field of pottery, silk weaving, coir, bamboo & reed craft, and khadi. The organisation contributed to the total literacy achievement of the state through its literacy programs in the Vellanad Block and many tribal villages in Trivandrum district.
Mitraniketan pioneered in promoting village cooperatives (farmers cooperatives, khadi cooperatives and bamboo cooperatives), and appropriate technologies like bio-gas, low cost sanitation, farming technologies, water harvesting. Similarly the organisation has contributed its might in creating rural employment in farm and non-farm sector on a large scale.
An average of 5000 people including children, youth, women and farmers benefit from various activities of Mitraniketan every year. In addition, a large number of visitors from India and abroad utilize the facilities of Mitraniketan for exposure visits, voluntary work experiences, studies and research.