KEEN is an NGO that was started in 1995 by an American teacher called Dick Wechter. At that time it was called CLEAN (Careful Learning from the Environment and Nature). Within a span of 2 years of inception, the NGO was managing the waste of 300 houses across the Landour the Landour. In 2005 Dana Crider, a maths teacher teaching at the Woodstock School, Mussoorie and a close friend of Mr. Dick Wechter, took over the management of KEEN and formed a fresh committee and members of the board. This is when the organization was registered as an NGO by the name of KEEN (Keeping the Environment Ecologically Natural).
The Commitment of Dana Crider
Over the last 5 years, Dana Crider, with the unflinching support of Judy, his wife, has brought KEEN a long way. Inspite of acute financial shortage, he tided the organisation over for the last 5 years from his personal savings, investing almost 28 lakhs from his pocket, just for the love of Mussoorie and his commitment to get the people to understand the importance of cleanliness.
Even though his home is halfway across the globe in Pennsylvania, he insisted to stay on in India just to fulfil this dream of his. Inspite of a Neuropathy condition due to which he had to have his leg amputated, Dana continued to work relentlessly over the years to bring KEEN upto an organisation that is now managing the waste of 5000 homes and about 200 hotels. He bought a specially fitted electric vehicle to stay mobile and had a wet waste composter fitted in his home for himself and the 5 homes around his house.
Today, the board members of KEEN are determined to ensure that least pressure is put on Dana and to ensure that there is a smooth succession of responsibilities. As an eternally grateful team of 8 members, we decided that he deserved to be recognised locally and nationally for his untiring dedication to India and Swacch Bharat.