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Activities for Kutch
ACTIVITIES for KACHCHH
Navin S. Dedhia
The following is a summary of my key activities during Oct, 2006 – Feb, 2007, visit to India. Various organizations and individuals are actively involved in enhancing educational opportunities, humanitarian and cultural activities as well as in activities to uplift our community members in Mumbai and Kutch. The organizations were visited to know more about the activities they were engaged in, exchange information, and receive firsthand information about utilization of KOJAIN funds. Events organized by them were attended to get glimpses of their activities. At the outset, I would like to say that I was impressed by their selfless humanitarian activities.
Those of you, who may be interested in obtaining additional information about the activities of individual organization identified below are encouraged to obtain such information by contacting the organizations and visiting them during your next visit
1. Pragati Foundation’s Hira Mongi Navneet Hospital, Mulund, Mumbai,
(Heera Monghi Navneet Hospital, Junction of Valji Laddha Road & Ganesh
Gavde Road, Mulund - West, Mumbai 400 080, Tel: 2591-5577, 2560-0550)
Date visited and toured the facility: Oct 30, 2006 and Jan 23, 2007
In Attendance: India (Lax Jain, KVOSS President, Tel: 2402-1389, 98210-72960;
Shanti Rambhia, Mavji Nandu, Navin Chhdeda, Bipin Shah), USA (Navin Dedhia,
120 bed hospital is housed in a three story building. Hospital has state-of-the-art
infrastructure with consulting rooms, casualty/day care, imaging, ICU, artificial
kidney Dialysis unit, operation theaters, general wards, special rooms and
It is one of the reputable hospitals providing commendable health services at
2. 4th Annual Shrimati Taramati Visanji Gala Sahitya - Kala Award – 2006,
Event Date: Nov 26, 2006 (Zaverben Auditorium)
Persons Met: India (Visanji Harshi Gala, Thane, Mumbai, Tel: 2533-6512; Lax
Jain, Lalbhai Rambhia)
Shri Visanji Harshi Gala sponsored the whole event. The objective of the Annual
Sahitya Kala Award is to promote Kutchi language, art and culture through
books, write-ups and documentaries. Over 500 attendees, including dignitaries,
prominent writers, admirers, and other interested persons, attended the event.
Awardees included Jayant Joshi (‘Shabab’) for Kutchi language, Dr. Girish
Vichchhivora for other than Kutchi language, Vinod Ganatra for film
documentary, Manju Savla for art/culture/external activities and Kavi Nensi
Bhanushali for best Kutchi song books.
Visanji Harshi Gala is a past President of KVO Seva Samaj
3. Shishuvan School & Matunga Boarding, King’s Circle, Mumbai
Date visited and toured the facility: Nov 29, 2006
Persons Met: India (Premji Rambhiya, Matunga, Mumbai, Tel: 2413-1443)
Matunga Boarding and Shishuvan English Medium School, located in the same
premises are providing a unique services in Mumbai. The Shishuvan
school uses all modern tools and techniques to impart knowledge and skills to the
students. The school has earned an enviable reputation in the area and admission
to the school is highly competitive and much sought after.
There are about 175 boarders from 78 villages in Matunga Boarding. All Gujarati
medium students attend Savla school located in the same premises. While the
students in English medium attend Amulakh Amichand High school. All the
boarders are now housed in the newly constructed building. There are full facilities
for all round development of the boarders. Indoor games, outdoor games, extra
coaching in all the subjects are provided. The band is a signature item for the
boarding. They have won several prizes. For the last two years, they are FIRST
among 32 schools in The Band Excel World. The boarders also have represented
the region in intra state competition in Volleyball.
4. Shree Kutchhi Visha Oshwal Seva Samaj –KVOSS (3rd Floor, Shree KVO
Deravasi Jain Mahajanwadi, 99/101 Keshavji Nayak Road, Mumbai 400 009,
Tel: 2371-4674, 2377-3032, firstname.lastname@example.org)
A) Date visited and toured the KVO Seva Samaj Facility: Dec 1, 2006
Persons Met: India (Lax Jain; Education Committee Chair Lax Kenia,
Tel: 2414-3341. 98690-36900; Hemchand K. Gada and V. K. Vora)
Seva Samaj is undertaking a number of activities all throughout the year.
Some of the key activities are Sanjivani (Health Plan), Book Bank, Educational
Assistance, Monthly Magazine ‘Pagdandi’, Residential Assistance, cultural
programs, etc. In addition, as we all know, KVOSS took a leadership role in
helping our community members in distress due to heavy rainfall of July 26/27,
2005, in Mumbai.
B) KVOSS sponsored Educational Information Workshop, Matunga, Mumbai
Event Date: Dec 3, 2006 (Matunga Boarding)
In Attendance: USA (Navin Dedhia, Vijay Chheda, Dami Rambhia, Piyush
Vora); India (KVOSS Executive Committee Members, Visanji Harshi Gala)
Morning Session concentrated on ‘Program on Career in Management Studies’
Over 400 students and parents came to listen to the various speakers at
Matunga Boarding’s premises. Students were given an informative handout.
Information on when, why, what and where of MBA program was presented
Afternoon Session was on ‘Pre-Departure Program for Foreign Going Students
A handful of advice and information was given by various speakers. Dami
Rambhia gave an outline of the KOJAIN Host Family Program. An
overview of KOJAIN’s activities was also presented.
C) KVOSS ‘Bin Das Bol’ Eloquent Competition for all ages, Matunga, Mumbai
Event Date: Jan 21, 2007 (Matunga Boarding)
In Attendance: India (KVOSS Exec Members, Visanji Harshi Gala)
Visanji Harshi Gala sponsored the event. Children, Youths and adults of all
ages participated in the eloquence competition. Winners were announced and
certificates were awarded. Over 500 persons were in attendance.
D) KVOSS Marathon Run/Walk from Byculla/Dadar to King’s Circle
Event Date: Feb 11, 2007 (Program at Matunga Boarding after the Marathon)
In Attendance: USA (Navin Dedhia, Shanti/Rajul Gala, Suresh/Jyoti Gala),
India (KVOSS Exec Members, Visanji Harshi Gala, Premji Rambhiya)
Over 1500 persons came to greet and encourage the runners/walkers.
Winners in all age-categories were recognized during the recognition
event in Matunga Boarding premises.
Sponsor of the event was Vishanji/Taramati Gala (Village: Dumra, Kachchh).
5. Shree C.V.O.D. Jain High School, Matushri Purbai Jain Kanyashala, Shree
C. V. O. D. Jain Technical Institute (84 Samuel Street, Palagaly, Mumbai
400 009, Tel: 2343-5488, email@example.com), Palagaly High School
Date visited and toured the facility: Dec 1, 2006 & Jan 31, 2007 (Meeting at
Matunga Gujarati Club, Matunga)
Persons Met: India (Lalit Haria (Chair); Lax Jain; Lax Kenia; Ilaben Dedhia,
Pannalal K. Chheda, 2352-3328, 98202-84044; and other Executive Committee
Received an overview and plan for the school as well as an effective utilization of
school’s unused space. Currently, Gujarati medium school has a total of 250
students. Management is considering expanding the facility to technical and
management related education courses. Palagaly school is in the process of
obtaining permission to start CAD/CAM, Family Business Management and
Beautician classes starting in June 2007. A brochure containing vision, mission
and curriculum is being prepared.
Palagaly School is collecting basic information on alumni. All Palagaly
alumni are requested to send the basic information (Name, address, telephone,
e-mail, last year in school and profession) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
7. Kutchi Jain Foundation – KJF ( Office Address: Ground Floor, 18/A, Krishna
Nivas, Road No. 1, Scheme No. 6, Opposite Rajeshree College, Sion (East), Mumbai
400 022, Phone: 24041831, 22936273; Fax: 24015966. email: email@example.com
Date visited /toured the Residential Flats: Dec 6, 2006 (Nala Sopara &
Dahisar), Dec 13, 2006 (Sion Office), Jan 17, 2007 (Nala Sopara)
In Attendance: USA (Navin Dedhia, Vijay Chheda, Dami Rambhia, Tansukh
Maru, Chhotalal Bheddah), India (KJF Vasant Galia, 93222-28134, 2682-7826;
Ramnik Dedhia, 98210-36240, 2805-5055; Mahendra Sangoi, 98211-51364,
2893-4878; Deepak Bheda; Rajendra D. Pasad, 2614-1811; Tokarshi U. Savla,
KJF has obtained its non-profit status from the government. The objective of KJF
is to provide on ownership basis a one-room + kitchen or a two-room + kitchen
Residential flats to the needy, poor members of our community. The basic cost
to be borne by the applicant is Rs. 1, 25, 000 for a Rs. 300,000-plus flat. The
remainder of residence cost is subsidized by the Kachchhi Jain Foundation. About
115 flats in Nala Sopara and 40 flats in Ambarnath have already been allotted to
the neediest of the needy families of our community. Foundation is now planning
a residential scheme in Dombivali for more than 300 families for which the
foundation has already paid the earnest money of Rs. 1.5 crore to the builder.
During the visits to Nala Sopara, we talked to some of the residents, who have been
allotted the subsidized residential places on an ownership basis by the Foundation.
The residents were all very much thankful to the KJF and its Trustees.
At KJF’s Sion (East) Office, reviewed some of applications. About 1500
applications have been received for the housing. Had a chance to listen to some of
the applicants on their needs.
KJF is an organization with an aim of providing residential flats on an ownership
basis at a subsidized rate to the needy and poor people of Kutchi Community. There
are hundreds of families in our community, who are currently living in a chali
system one room of 10’ x 10’. Sometimes there are three generation living together
in such a small room. Many of these families are finding it hard to even come up
with their individual share of the cost –Rs. 125,000 – and do need Kutchi
community’s help. Several of such families have been helped by the generous
donations from the Deravasi/Sthankavasi Mahajans of their own village in
Kachchh. At times, some of these families in Mumbai have been helped by some of
the families here in the U.S. It is one of the most needed help.
Vijay Chheda (714-654-6097, firstname.lastname@example.org) is one of the six trustees
of Kutchi Jain Foundation, who can provide details of the Residential scheme.
Remaining Trustees are India-based. You may also contact Dami Rambhia
( 860- 633-1392, email@example.com), who has first hand knowledge.
December 2006 ‘Muktidoot’ issue, published by Tapovan, Navsari, has highly
Commended the work of Kutchi Jain Foundation and Kutchi donors.
8) Injustice in Narmada Water Distribution for Kutch
Date of Meeting: Dec 12, 2006 (Keshavaji Dedhia’s Residence, Mulund – West)
In Attendance: India (Keshavaji Dedhia, 2561-9242, 98200-38535),
USA (Navin Dedhia, Dami Rambhia)
Keshavajii Dedhia is the convener for Kutch Water-Scarcity (Kutch Jal-Sankat
Nivaran) Committee which has filed a suit against Gujarat Government in the
Supreme Court of India for the justified distribution of water from Narmada to
Kutch. Kutch district represents 24% of land mass of Gujarat and yet Gujarat
Government has allocated only 1.6% of Narmada Water to Kutch. Ahmedabad
district is one-fifth the size of Kutch, but Gujarat Government has allocated to
Ahmedabad district ten times the water allocated to Kutch! For the past 10 years,
Keshavaji Dedhia is associated with this issue of appropriate level of water
distribution that Kutch should get from Narmada and has all the facts and figures to
support the claim about how Kutch has been subjected to injustice in getting its
proper share of water from the Gujarat Government. He represents Kachchhi
community in all discussions with Supreme Court lawyers presenting Kutch’s case in
the Supreme Court. We received a thorough overview of what Kutch’s case is and
how Gujarat Government is shortchanging Kutch in water distribution from
Narmada and the actions being taken by the Kutchi community leaders to get
justice in the matter of Narmada water sharing for Kutch. The entire leadership of
Kachchhi community is behind this issue and is in support of fighting this issue at the
Supreme Court level.
9) Shree Bidada Sarvoday Trust Maru Hospital, 286-B Ambedkar Road, Near
Bharatmata Cinema, Next to HP Petrol Pump, Parel (West), Mumbai 400 012,
Tel: 2471-7272, 2471-7474
Date visited and toured the facility: Dec 13, 2006
In Attendance: USA (Navin Dedhia, Vijay Chheda, Dami Rambhia),
India (Maru Staff members)
Maru Hospital in Parel is providing a much-needed health service and support to all
patients and in particular to those referred to by Bidada hospital for advanced
treatment in Mumbai. Patients coming from Kutch are being taken care by Maru
Hospital staff from their arrival in Mumbai until they leave Mumbai after a
successful treatment. Minor surgeries are done at the premises.
10) Shree Mahavir Jain Vidyalaya, Gowalia Tank, Mumbai
Date of Visit: Dec 27, 2006 (Staff at Mahavir Jain Vidhyalaya);
Jan 8, 2007 (Kanti Mepani’s place in Tardeo, Tel: 98925-73390,
Students from this facility have been moved to other facilities few years back.
Building is completely vacant. Plans are in place to rebuild the new structure at the
existing site, once all the existing tenants have relocated somewhere else. Students
have temporarily been placed at the Navi Mahajanwadi, New Chinch Bunder Road,
Met Kanti Mepani, an alumni of Vidyalaya, at his residence in Tardeo. He gave a
status report on recently started branches at Udaipur, Surat and Ahmedabad. He
indicated that there is an offer to provide a donation to start a Vidaylaya branch
for girls in Kutch, if any entity or an individual can take a leadership role in the
project. Pros and Cons of having a girls’ branch in Kutch were also discussed at
Date visited and toured the facility: Jan 2 – 4, 2007 (33rd Medical Camp)
In Attendance: USA (Navin Dedhia, Vijay Chheda, Chhotalal/Dorothy Bheddah,
Tansukh Maru, Mahen/Revanti Gala, Bhavi & Anju Vora, Kasturi Vira, Shaleen
Vira), India (Sarvodaya Trust Exec committee Members, prominent residents of
Bidada and other dignatories)
Witnessed the ribbon cutting and opening ceremony of the 33rd Eye, Dental,
Medical and Surgical Camp. Hospital facilities including Rehabilitation Center
have been equipped with modern instruments. Naturopathy building is under
construction. 28,510 patients at the Medical Camp were served during Jan 3 – 22,
Other medical camps took place at Palanpur, Rajkot, Surat and Ahmedabad during
1Q 2007. .
Next Medical Camp at Bidada will take place during Jan 2 – 22, 2008.
In the hospital premises, skill and craft related courses are conducted. Witnessed
a graduation ceremony of completion of Electrician and Sewing courses. Students
are thankful to the Bidada Sarvoday Trust for helping them in their career.
Contact Vijay Chheda (Tel: 714-654-6097, firstname.lastname@example.org) or
Manibhai Mehta (Tel: 714-898-3156, email@example.com), Los Angeles,
California for information.
12) Kindergarten School, Library and Panjarapole, Bidada, Kachchh, Gujarat,
Date visited and toured the facility: Jan 3, 2007
In Attendance: USA (Navin Dedhia, Chhotalal Bheddah, Tansukh Maru),
India (Jethalal Veerji, 98921-01100)
About 50 children attend the Kindergarten school. Snacks are provided to the
students. In the same building, computer classes are conducted.
Bidada Panjarapole facilities are at two places. 4000+ cattle are being taken care.
13) Bheda Hospital, Bhujpur, Taluka – Mundra, Kutch
Date visited and toured the facility: Jan 3, 2007
In Attendance: USA (Navin Dedhia, Chhotalal Bheddah, Tansukh Maru),
India (Bheda Hospital Staff)
Bheda Hospital is a modern health facility and the new building of the hospital was
inaugurated in 2006.
Date visited and toured the facility: Jan 3 (Abhiyan’s Office in Bhuj)
In Attendance: USA (Navin Dedhia, Chhotalal Bheddah, Tansukh Maru),
India (Liladhar Gada, Secretary of Abhiyan, 98795-06059, Abhiyan Staff)
Kutch Nav Nirman Abhiyan, known as ‘Abhiyan’, is a network of 27
non-government organizations spread across Kutch. The network emerged as a
response to the 1998 Kandla cyclone and is a forum for advocacy and policy
recommendations to the government. It has been involved predominantly in
Disaster Management in Kutch, which has seen 2 cyclones, 3 draughts and a major
earthquake since its inception.
Collectively, Abhiyan members cover approximately 644 villages out of the 951
villages in the 10 blocks of Kutch. Vivekanand Research Institute (VRTI),
Bidada Sarvodaya Trust, Bhojay Sarvodaya Trust, Kutch Yuvak Sangh, Kutch
Mahila Vikas Sangathan (KMVS), Veerayatan Bhuj, Yusuf Maherali Centre are
among the other members of the Abhiyan. Its focus is on health, education,
natural resource management, draught management, women empowerment and
Date of Meeting: Jan 4, 2007 (Bidada Sarvodaya Trust, Bidada)
In Attendance: India (Kantisen Shroff, known as ‘Kaka’; L. D. Shah; J. S
Gosalia Trustee VRTI), U. S. A. (Navin Dedhia, Vijay Chheda, Tansukh Maru,
VRTI is involved in various activities for the upliftment of the permanent residents
of Kutch. Some of the activities include training, women empowerment, water
preservation, agriculture economics, etc. ‘Vivek Gram’ is a Monthly Gujarati
publication of VRTI.
Date of Meeting: Jan 4, 2007
In Attendance: India (Sadhvi Shilapiji and Vidyapeeth Staff),
USA (Navin Dedhia, Chhotalal Bheddah, Tansukh Maru)
Veeraytan Vidyapeeth has school and hostel for high school boys and girls. Recently,
it started a pharmaceutical college. It has a modern classroom, dormitories and lab
facilities. KOJAIN’s name is prominently placed at the entrance to the Vidyappeth.
17) JITO (Jain International Trade Organization) Convention & Exhibition, 7/10
Botawala Building, 2nd Floor, Horniman Circle, Fort, Mumbai, 400 001,
Tel: 91-22-6610-2003, www.jito.org
Event Date: Jan 5 – 7, 2007 (The 2nd International Conference of Jain Businessmen
& Industrialists), NSE Grounds, Goregaon (East), Mumbai.
Persons Met: USA (JAINA Exec Members Kirit Daftary, Dilip Shah, Pravin K.
Shah), India (Mahesh Gandhi)
More than 150,000 persons viewed the Astapad, 100 Teerthankar idols made
from various precious stones, Jain sculpture photos. 700 exhibition stalls showing
trades and businesses of Jain Community Members from all over India was also
second attraction. This was the mega event showing Jain Unity. Over 5000+
people from 42 countries attended the Conference during Jan 6 – 7, 2007.
Pujay Munishri Nyapadmasagarji Maharaj Saheb guided the whole event. Eminent
dignatories included Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, Shiv Sena
President Uddhav Thakeray, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, Sheyans Shah,
Indumati Jain, Sudha Murthi (Infosys).
“He, who has a weapon in hand is called Veer. But, he, who lives
weaponless and believes in it is called Mahavir.” -- JITO
18) Ratna Nidhi Charitable Trust (RNCT), 5th Floor, Vasant Vilas, 31 Dr. D. D. Sathye
Marg, Girgaum, Mumbai 400 004, Tel: 91-22-2389-8930, firstname.lastname@example.org,
Event Date: Jan 8, 2007, JAINA & Ratna Nidhi Charitable Trust Event at
IMC (Indian Merchants’ Chamber, Churchgate, Mumbai
In Attendance: USA (Navin Dedhia, JAINA Exec Members Kirit Daftary, Dilip
Shah, Pravin K. Shah, Dhiraj Shah), India (Mahesh Gandhi and others)
JAINA gave a donation check to the Ratna Nidhi Charitable Trust for the welfare
of children, youth and adults. Activities of RNCT include food for education,
food for savings, mobility camp, mobile orthopedic clinics, disaster relief and
rehabilitation, Mumbai flash floods of 2005, etc.
19) Shah & Anchor Engineering College, Chembur, Mumbai
Date visited and toured the facility: Feb 3, 2007
In Attendance: India (Premji Rambhiya, Exec. Committee Members, College Staff)
MBA program will be started soon. Building is under construction.
20) Kutch Yuvak Sangh, Savita Sadan, Nagardas Road, Andheri (East), Mumbai
400 069, www.kutchyuvaksangh.org
Event Date: Feb 10, 2007, ‘Hetno Melavado’ (Kutchi-Gujarati folk songs
at Mahakavi Kalidas Auditorium, Mulund-West)
Persons Met: Exec Members of Kutch Yuvak Sangh Mumbai (Viren Gada,
98201-27612; Pankaj Shah, President, 98211-52978; Pravin Velji Shah
3261-99939; Kulinkant Champsee Luthia, 98200-39469; Lakhamshi Rambhia,
Dinesh Bheda; Chimanbhai Mota), USA (Navin Chheda, Harshida Nagda)
Over 500 persons attended the cultural program at Kalidas Natyagriha,
Mulund (West). Kutch Yuvak Sangh is doing many activities to promote
Kutchi culture and other humanitarian work. Some schools in Kutch are being
managed by the Kutch Yuvak Sangh.
21) Mulund KVOSS, Ganesh Gavde Road, Mulund (West), Mumbai
Meeting Date: Feb 8, 2007
Persons Met: Chandrika K. Gala, President, 98690-74568, 2568-2052;
email@example.com); Shanti Rambhia; Jitu Khuthia, 2593-1610; Lakhamshi
Rambhia; Keshavji Gada)
Mulund KVOSS is doing number of cultural, sports, and other activities.
22) Koti Vriksh Abhiyan , Kutch Ecology Foundation, Jalaram Baugh, Bidada,
Kutch, District Mandvi, Gujarat 370 435, Tel: (02834) 278602
Meeting Date: Jan 3, 2007
Person Met: L. D. Shah
Main objective is to promote and grow more trees – one crore trees - in Kutch.
The organization is making headway in protecting environment, preserving natural
sites and improving ecology of Kutch.
23) Bhojay Sarvoday Trust, Bhojay, Mandvi Kutch, 370 450, Tel: (02834) 278602
Meeting Date: Jan 3, 2007 (in Bhuj Kutch)
In Attendance: India (Liladhar M. Gada), USA (Navin Dedhia, Tansukh Maru,
Netra Raksha Abhiyan in conjunction with Vagad Sarvoday Trust & Bhojay
Sarvoday Trust was conceived to help poor people in Kutch. Bhojay Sarvoday
Trust helps poor needy people in health care.
24) Manav Jyot Public Charitable Trust, Nityanand Apt, Behind Syndicate Bank,
Dr. R. P. Road, Mulund (West), Mumbai 400 080, Tel: 2567-3587, 2591-9755,
firstname.lastname@example.org,; OR Khurana Bhavan, Opp. Dhanvantari Hospital,
N. S. Road, Mulund (West), Mumbai
Meeting Date: Feb 10, 2007
Person Met: Kulinkant Luthia (98200-39469, 2567-3587
Activities of Manav Jyot include service to humanity, drug bank, marriage bureau,
senior citizen help, cancer health education, legal aid, etc.