Greening of Jamnagar – Progress Report 2 July 2003
Our Sincere Gratitude to the Oshwals of United Kingdom and North America.Those of you who donated for the above project must have donated with a deep conviction to help the land of your forefathers, since your prayers have been heard. I am pleased to announce that the results are extremely satisfying. Those of you who have kept in close touch with the weather in Gujarat during this Monsoon Season must be aware that Parmatma has blessed Saurashtra with good rainfall. The good news is that TALAAVS in all our 52 villages were ready to receive this gift of rain.
All the Talaavs are full and the water is percolating to the soil to replenish all the wells and keep the water table high. There is an immense degree of gratitude expressed by the villagers. They are happy that the joint efforts by them, Anarde Foundation and the Oshwal well wishers in United Kingdom and North America have borne good fruits.
In the past during shortage of rainfall, the govenment used to supply the water by tankers. The retention of water and replenishing of wells has avaoided the need to supply water by tankers, thus saving money for the govenment and villagers.
I am personally going to Jamnagar and will be there in the third week of July 2003. I will try to visit as many villages as possible and bring back more good news. I am also looking into furthering the project by making sure that the plantation of trees and shrubs in these villages is given due importance.
We still need your help. Although all the 52 villages have benefited, we have not yet completely paid our share to ANARDE. North American Oshwals have contributed well, having donated for more than 20 villages. There are over 5000 Oshwal families in United Kingdom and even if less than 1% of these family donate we will fulfil our committment. Therefore I am appealing that all Oshwals consider donating, even if it is a small amount. You may consider sponsoring a village or contribute a smaller amount, but please do help.
Sponsoring a village- $500 Canadian, $350 U.S. or 225 British Pounds
Donations should be sent to the following adresses:
Donations from Canadian donors- cheque made in name of: SRI JAIN MANDIR and sent to:
Mr. Piyush Parikh
401 – 2 LANSING Square
CANADA M2J 4P8
(A Canadian Charitable Tax Receipt will be issued)
Donations from British donors- cheque made in name of: BHAGVATINANDJI EDUCATION AND HEALTH TRUST and sent to:
Ajay S Gudka
25 Parkview, Hatchend, Pinner
(A British Charitable Tax receipt will be issued)
Donations from United States of America Donors should be made in name of: SRI JAIN MANDIR and sent to:
Mr. Piyush Parikh
401 – 2 LANSING Square
CANADA M2J 4P8
(A receipt by Sri JAin Mandir (Canada) will be issued)
Thank you for all your help
Greening of Jamnagar Project
Update: Apr 2003You are probably aware that the Oshwals in Gujarat are concentrated in and around Jamnagar. The Jamnagar district has had problem of water shortage for many years and Greening of Jamnagar District is one solution that will go a long way in solving the problem and uplifting the economic status of inhabitants of the District. In May 2002 a project was conceived to build artificial lakes (TALAAVS) in the 52 Oshwal Villages to partially solve the water shortage problem. A deal was made with ANARDE FOUNDATION to construct these TALAAVS. The approximate cost of constructing a TALAAV was set at 500 Canadian Dollars (equivalent to $325 US$ and 225 British Pounds)
It was proposed that the funds required for constructing the 52 TALAAVS would be raised from Oshwals who have settled in U.K., Canada, U.S.A and East Africa as a gesture giving back something to land of their origin. The prosperity of the 52 villages would also mean prosperity of the city of JAMNAGAR as it obtains most of its food requirements from these villages. A campaign was launched in June 2002 concurrently with the construction of the TALAAVS. All the 52 TALAAVS have been constructed and the villagers are extremely happy with the project. Unfortunately during the Monsoon season of 2002 there was not enough rain to fill up the TALAAVS. We are hoping that the forth coming Monsoon season will provide sufficient rains to fill up the TALAAVS and relieve the ever present problem of water shortage in the Jamnagar District. During the up coming Monsoon season it is also hoped that trees and shrubs will be planted in the TALAAV areas to improve the situation.
So far we have received donations for 26 villages from Oshwals living in UNITED KINDOM (12 villages sponsored), CANADA (12 villages sponsored) and UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (2 villages sponsored). We are very grateful to the DONORS. A complete list of DONORS will be published with the final report. The final report will include testimony from the village authorities (SARPANCH), report by our own independent inspector and photographs of the TALAAVS. A close contact has been kept with ANARDE FOUNDATION through out the implementation of the project.
We would like to appeal to Oshwals to come forward and help us complete our undertaking for the 52 villages. We need the remaining 26 villages to be sponsored. It is hoped that Canadian Oshwals will donate for 6 to 10 additional villages. The largest concentration of Oshwals outside India is in London England and we are appealing them to consider sponsoring at least 14 to 20 additional villages. Fortunately both for the U.K. and Canadian donors tax receipts will be provided. The number of Oshwal families in U.S.A. is small, but we hope that they will sponsor at least 4 to 6 additional villages. Please donate and help us complete this worthwhile project. The main construction work has been carried out by ANARDE FOUNDATION; we have to now fulfill our commitment for donating the funds required.
Donations – 325 US$ – from United States of America Donors should be made in name of: ANARDE FOUNDATION and sent to:
Mr. Kumar Maldé
50 Henri Bourassa ouest
Update: Aug 2002Dear Oshwals,
Most of us are concerned about the poverty and natural disasters in Gujarat. I got involved in relief aid immediately after the January 2001 Earthquake. We collected a fair amount of monetary donations, but our main problem was to choose an organization to donate to, so that the aid would reach the needy. We considered a) the Indian Government b) Religious organizations c) Other NGO (Non government organizations) in India and d) Red Cross. We did not then have enough information about credibility of many of the organizations and finally through a consensus sent the aid to Gujarat through Red Cross. In April 2001 I visited Gujarat and personally reviewed the work done by many organizations. I was quite impressed by the integrity of Anarde Foundation and the quality of the work being done by this foundation. So, after a lot of research and investigation we have decided to channel our future aid through Anarde Foundation. Last month I met Kapoorbhai Chandaria, the Chairman of Anarde. I posed a number of questions to him and after a three hour meeting with him I was convinced that any aid channeled through Anarde Foundation would reach the intended targets.
You are probably aware that the Oshwals are concentrated in and around Jamnagar. The Jamnagar district has had problem of water shortage for many years and Greening of Jamnagar District is one solution that will go a long way in solving the problem and uplifting the economic status of inhabitants of the District. With the knowledge that Anarde is capable of building dams, digging ponds (TALAAVS) and has the personnel to supervise the work, I proposed to Kapoorbhai that we start with building ponds in the villages in the Jamnagar district. A deal was reached with him that work will begin immediately in a few villages. We would raise $500 (Canadian) for each village, the villagers will raise an equivalent amount and other smaller requirements (supervisory manpower) will be provided by Anarde. The fund raising campaign has begun in Canada and we have raised funds for ten villages. I would like to appeal to Oshwals in USA to join hands with us and sponsor 20 to 30 villages. I will be making a similar appeal to Oshwals in U.K..
Obviously I need your help to ensure that this appeal reaches all the Oshwals living in U.S.A. The donations (cheques in name of ANARDE FOUNDATION) can be transmitted directly to me at the address given below with proper return address for sending the receipts. Anarde has charitable status in India. I will be sending to all donors Anarde’s annual report with the receipt. Once the donations are made, it will be my duty to ensure that the work is done, proper certificates and attestations are obtained from the Village SARPANCH and photographic records are available for the donors. I will also make sure that anyone who is visiting Jamnagar District and wishes to visit the villages we help, has full access to these villages.
After this project is completed, we should look in to further ways of helping and economically uplifting the district of our forefathers. Kapoorbhai, chairman of Anarde Foundation, suggested to us that if we can create a fund (not for donation, but for collateral support) so that banks can use this fund as a collateral for providing loans and other help to the villagers in the Jamnagar District for economic upliftment, it will go a long way in raising the economic status of people of Jamnagar District. For us the link between the villagers and the banks will be Anarde Foundation. Here in North America I have agreed to provide all liaison between the donors and Anarde Foundation. My services will be completely on a voluntary basis without any personal compensation to me.
In summary we have undertaken two tasks presently: 1) To raise about $26000 Canadian for the ponds in the 52 villages of Jamnagar district (this may be extended to more villages as Oshwals belong to a total of 84 villages) and 2) To create a fund to act as collateral support for the Economic Development of the Jamnagar District. I am appealing for your help and I hope that as the President of the HVONA you will be able to convince many Oshwals living in U.S.A of this noble cause. In my opinion the opportunity that Anarde has provided to us is a very good one. I know there are many other organizations, but Anarde appears to have a great deal of all round experience and a much sought after ‘integrity’. If you can help, please circulate the appeal to all the members of HVONA. We hope to complete the work (that has already begun in a few villages) in all the 52 villages by June 2003, so those willing to join hands can start helping immediately.
If you have any questions or need any clarifications please do not hesitate to contact me any time. I am most easily reached through e-mail.
Dear members of the Oshwal Community,
Jai Jinendra, NamaskarIn addition to my letter to your President Manishaben, I would like to provide you with somebackground infonmation about how I got involved with the GREENING of JAMNAGAR DISTRICT PROJECT.
Although I am an engineer, I strongly believe that input from the donors is very valuable in making proper decisions. So if you have any questions, before making a donation please do write back to me and I will respond in as much detail as I can.Before I commence, please let me give you my background. Presently I live in Canada having emigrated from Tanzania in 1976. Prior to 1995 my knowledge of the Jamnagar district and Gujarat was negligible. I had never set foot in India until December 1995. I knew that my forefathers had owned land in the village of Dhunia (one of the 52) which was sold for a negligible sum because none of the new generation was ready to go to the villages.
I arrived in Jamnagar in December 1995 to visit my parents and visited Dhunia and surrounding villages on the very next day to pay tribute to my grandfather and forefathers. That visit changed my outlook, and I became aware of the acute problem of water shortage in the villages, especially during the periods of droughts. I did not do much then except for making some donations there, and continued donations through my parents now and then. I did want to contribute more towards upliftment of the 52 villages, but was very well aware of the fact that if the donations were not properly utilised then the help will not be provided where it was required. The good that came out of my 1995 visit was that I became immensely appreciative of my roots and locally in Montreal, plunged into community service to promote the good things of our culture.
Like most, I was shocked at the severity of the 26th January 2001 earthquake and was worried due to the fact that my own parents were in Jamnagar. We in Montreal commenced a fund drive in the evening of 26th January 2001 (the morning of 27th January in Gujarat) and we were fortunate enough to raise a large contribution from the Indian and non-Indian citizens of Montreal. Then the question arose as to where to send the donations. We considered the Indian Prime Minister’s fund, various religious organizations and finally after some in depth investigation, the community decided to donate approximately a quarter million Canadian dollars through the Canadian Red Cross Organization. At that time we still had doubts that the donations will reach the needy. We also sent two container loads of clothes through Swaminarayan Organizations in Bombay (not the Canadian branches). Since I had taken the lead in the relief fund drive, I felt it my duty to go to Gujarat and see for myself the Earthquake hit areas and to find out how our aid was being used. I decided to visit Kutch in April 2001. At that point Kapoorbhai Chandaria (of the Chandaria Foundation) found out about my visit and offered the staff of Anarde Foundation (Kapoorbhai is the Chairman of Anarde Foundation) to lead me to the Earthquake hit areas and to explain me the work done by Anarde. I had never met Kapoorbhai previously (I only met him in May 2002) so I was not unsure of what will come out of his offer. Nevertheless, I am very happy that I did assess the work of Anarde Foundation during my April 2001 visit to Kutch, along with the work done by several other organizations such as Red Cross, Swaminarayan, Dada Bhagwan, etc. I have prepared a detailed report of my visit to Gujarat in April 2001 and I will be glad to forward it to you upon your request. It will enable you to assess for yourself the situation that existed after the Earthquake and understand my appeal for the project we have undertaken. While I visited various areas in Gujarat, I was impressed and convinced of the honesty and integrity of Anarde’s staff. Of all the groups, Anarde was the only one ready to get into contractual agreement as to how any donations made by us would be used.
Finally I met Kapoorbhai Chandaria at the beginning of May 2002, while he was visiting Toronto. I personally posed several questions to him and after a long three hour business like meeting I became convinced that our donations to Anarde will be in good hands. It is not only a question of our donations being in good hands, but a question of the right philosophy of approach of “aid” to Gujarat. Anarde works mainly in Rural India and its strongest activities are in Gujarat. It works through economic upliftment of the people. The Chandaria foundation bears all the cost of administration to the tune of 12 000 000 Rs. The minutes of my meeting with Kapoorbhai are given below
Questions posed to Kapoorbhai Chandaria, the Chairman of Anarde Foundation on 4 May 2002 in Toronto.
In which areas does Anarde work in India?
Anarde started in Gujarat in the year 1979, but today it operates in all rural areas of India. In 1979 our activities were limited to 5 villages in Gujarat with a budget of Rs 50000, today our actitivities extend to more than 10000 villages in 12 Indian states with a budget of Rs 5 850 000 000.
How is the work of Anarde carried out and can you tell of how many peope are employed by Anarde?
Anarde has 400 employees in India, they are all on payroll and the the amount of Rs 12 000 000 in salaries is paid by the Chandaria Foundation through its holding company Aegis Logistics Ltd.
Rs 12 000 000 represents less than 0.25% of your budget, so where do you get the money from?
The Rs 12 000 000 represents only the salaries of Anarde staff, the money for the activities supervised by Anarde comes from Banks(30%), Government(50%), Participants(15%), Donors(3%), Others(1%), Aegis (1%)
What are main activities of Anarde and how did you get involved in Earthquake relief and rehabilitation?
Our main goal is to eliminate poverty in India, by helping people help themselves and improving their economic activities by giving helping hand through our staff to ensure that a) Human resources are properly utilised, b) natural resources are utilised to the fullest, and c) financial resources are available and optimally utilised. We have field staff, including engineers in all states that Anarde carries out activities. The Earthquake disaster was so great and our field staff identified the people s needs. The magnitude of devastation made us plunge into relief and rehabilitation work since we had a proper field set up.
With respect to maximum utilization of natural resources, please review this alubum of photographs, and you will see how the check dams and wells have helped people retain the water for their use. Once water is available freely, the incomes jump dramatically.
More than an year has passed since the Earthquake, do you think that there is need for any relief work?
A lot of local and foreign aid has poured in to Gujarat, and had all the aid filtered through to people, a very large majority of the people would have been on their feet. But because of the problems of bureaucracy there is still an acute need for aid to put people s lives back to normal level.
How do you maintain transparency of your activities? Supposing one donates some money, what guarantees can you give to ensure that money will be properly used.
There is a lot of good work done by many organizations in Gujarat. We operate in a special manner. Our field staff identify the problems and where the aid is needed. They get the local Sarpanch involved and get their approval. Once the project gets started our staff see to it that it is fully carried out. Once the work is done we ask the Sarpanch to provide a certificate to Anarde that the work was carried out to their satisfaction. We will usually get involved in villages where the Sarpanch wants to follow through in an organized manner. If any work is specified by you, the first step on our part would be to get the approval of the Sarpanch and then we will provide you that Sarpanch s certificate and allow the donor to freely visit and inspect the work carried out.
From your experience what is the biggest problem in villages? Where do you recommend that aid should be directed when the amount being donated is relatively small.
As you are aware, Anarde identifies various needs and works in a number of areas such as Economic Upliftment, Community Development, Women Empowerment etc. In Gujarat for example the biggest problem is retention of water. We have now several JCBs for deepening check dams and it has worked wonders. If you donate in water related projects, it will automatically create economic upliftment and result in immediate improvement of people s lives. I would recommend that you go through our Progress Report for 200-2001. It will answer a lot of your questions.
As far management of funds is concerned, we have assurance from Kapoorbhai that they will be used properly. In fact if we manage to donate $26000 Canadian, almost 150% more will come from the villagers and the Chandaria foundation in form of operating costs. They are very well experienced in the digging by mechanical means so it will be done very efficiently. Moreover, I will personally visit the villages sometime next year to see the work. We will also distribute the photographs and record of the work, including certification from individual villages that they are satisfied with the work.
One of the biggest problems in the villages is that a lot of rain water runs off and is lost . Therefore it is important that check dams and Talaavs be created to catch that run off. This replenishes the earth and all existing wells can then be used efficiently. Bore holes in some areas have created problems as they have had to dig very deep and this is a costly operation. Along with the check dams and Talaavs, the project includes planting of trees around to increase the greenery. I can assure you that there is nothing more pleasant than a green oasis in the summer. Also we will encourage planting of the useful trees including Kadvo Limbdo. In the past a lot of Baval trees had been planted on the roadsides. We are now finding that these trees take out a lot of water from the soil and are in fact more harmful.
ANARDE is part of the Chandaria Charitable Trust. In my opinion Anarde is partly doing what our Gujarat Government should be doing – working for the economic upliftment of our Gujaratis. But you know that others factors come into play with respect to Government efficiency. So let us help ANARDE. This is in my opinion a pilot project for NRIs and if we do well we can give more. Below is a Talaav done by Anarde.
Please do ask any questions that come to your mind. I will be only too glad to answer them. I am here to serve the Gujaratis and make sure that the good deeds of Gujaratis will eventually benefit the donors in their journey towards MOKSH by giving them immense satisfaction that they have served humanity.