When students turn teachers

Many primary students studying in the schools in Sayla Taluka lag behind their classmates in reading, writing and mathematics.  70 girl students studying in schools run by Raj Saubhag Ashram Sayla offered to tutor extra classes to help these students cope, taking the load off from the State Government.  Over 2000 students from 65 schools in 35 villages are receiving extra coaching in this novel initiative where students have turned teachers.  This is their way of giving back to the society – a valuable lesson they were taught in school.

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The primary students that will receive extra coaching hail from Kashipara, Naliya, 4 schools in Sudamada,  9 primary schools from Sayla, Navaniya, Khitala among others.

The girl students who have benefitted from a hugely subsidised education in L M Vora College, have volunteered to take extra classes on the weekends. Along with the coaching classes, they are making progress and report cards to monitor the progress of each child.

Tejal Aal and Payal Katosana say: “It is our goal and earnest desire that every student reaches 100% of their potential, and they are able to read, write and calculate effortlessly.”

Applauding their initiative, Principal and Director of Prem ni Parab project, C K Vyas said: “This Prem ni Parab project has been instrumental in imparting quality education to over 25,000 students in the region. And now these college students are using their spare time to coach underperforming students and nurture their growth right from the beginning.”

Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri Vijay Rupani visits Raj Saubhag on 72nd Independence Day

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Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri Vijay Rupani  visits Raj Saubhag on 72nd Independence Day

15th August 2018

The Honourable Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri Vijaybhai Rupani visited Shree Raj Saubhag Ashram on 15th August, India’s 72nd Independence Day.

The purpose of the visit was to witness the Ashram’s achievements in the fields of education, social welfare, medical and ophthalmic services which are provided to the local community; as well as to honour and motivate the staff members who provide these services. Due to the quality of equipment used, the commitment of doctors and educationists, complete dedication of care givers and the services provided, these institutions have often been described as ‘centres of excellence’ and ‘unique, especially in India’.

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The Chief Minister and first lady were warmly welcomed by the spiritual head of Shree Raj Saubhag Ashram, Param Pujya Bhaishree (Shri Nalinbhai Kothari), along with Brahmanishts Minalben and Vikrambhai on the steps of Raj Mandir (the new hall which is nearing completion).

The column-less, brilliantly lit auditorium with its intricately carved marble and stonework has seating capacity for almost 2000 people, is an architectural masterpiece, which resonates divinity.

Raj Saubhag Ashram follows the teachings of Bhagwan Mahavir as explained by Shrimad Rajchandra. Outside the Jain community, Shrimad Rajchandra is better known as the spiritual guide and mentor of Mahatma Gandhi. Disciples of Raj Saubhag Ashram living in India and abroad spend days, weeks and even months in its hallowed premises pursuing their spiritual growth.

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Smt Minalben formally welcomed the Honourable Chief Minister and other invited dignitaries, as Pujya Bhaishree presented him with a crystal engraving of Shrimad Rajchandra as a momento.

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Compering the event, Minalben and Vikrambhai described the various humanitarian activities undertaken by the Ashram, and introduced the people in charge. Each head was called on the dais and honoured.   

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 Shri Chandrakant Vyas – Director of Prem Ni Parab Education Program

Shri Chandrakant Vyas – Director of Prem Ni Parab Education Program

 Dr Kamal Shah - ophthalmic surgeon at the Eye Hospital

Dr Kamal Shah - ophthalmic surgeon at the Eye Hospital

 Dr Vidhyut Shah - Opthalmic Surgeon at the Eye Hospital

Dr Vidhyut Shah - Opthalmic Surgeon at the Eye Hospital

 Shri Rambhai Jadav – director, Ashirvad Trust for the Disabled Children

Shri Rambhai Jadav – director, Ashirvad Trust for the Disabled Children

 Dr Dharmendra Sharma - Dental Surgeon

Dr Dharmendra Sharma - Dental Surgeon

 Dr Ambalal Raval - Community Health Centre  

Dr Ambalal Raval - Community Health Centre
 

Pujya Bhaishree then delivered his address. First, he expressed his extreme pleasure with the visit by the Chief Minister on the country’s Independence Day. He went on to explain that the Ashram was located at Sayla primarily because it was the hometown of Shrimad’s soulmate, Saubhagbhai and that the founder of the ashram, Late Shri Ladakchand Manekchand Vora (Param Pujya Bapuji) was also from Sayla.

Pujya Bapuji firmly believed that one should always give back to society and that spirituality cannot flourish in the absence of compassion. Inspiring kindness in the hearts of disciples who came to the ashram, welfare activities in the region bloomed.  Starting from a small scale, the humanitarian projects have grown exponentially, with women’s education getting a tremendous boost. Until some years ago, Sayla taluka was regarded as having an extremely low female literacy rate, now has over 1000 girls attending Raj Saubhag High School. Similarly medical and social welfare has grown tremendously, said Pujya Bhaishree while thanking the Chief Minister once again for his visit.

Responding with equal warmth, the Chief Minister said that it was his earnest desire to visit the ashram since he had heard so much about it. He conveyed greetings of the national Independence Day and spoke about a number of patriotic Indians right from 1857 to 1947, who had advanced the cause of India’s independence. He singled out Mahatma Gandhi for his courage, perseverance and above all, his moral ethics including ahimsa and aparigrah (living with less). These characteristics were inspired in Gandhiji by Shrimad Rajchandra.  He also spoke about Jain philosophy and illusory happiness, while giving an indication that there would be a 150th anniversary celebration for Mahatma Gandhi in a similar style to that of Shrimad Rajchandra.

The Chief Minister sincerely congratulated Raj Saubhag Ashram for its selfless service to the poor in the region, adding that in reality this was the duty of the government.  He added that the state government has been increasing its allocation for welfare activities, especially in the field of education and gave details about his government’s current education project ‘Mission Vidhya’, while highlighting the major contribution being made by the teachers in developing the education.  

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 Chief Minister having lunch with Bhaishree

Chief Minister having lunch with Bhaishree

The auditorium was live with the cheerful voices of over one thousand girls from Raj Saubhag School and college and over 900 teachers from schools in Sayla taluka. Leading members from various communities in Sayla were also present.

Link: Chief Minister’s facebook post on his visit to Raj Saubhag

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2062749413777968&id=320511514668442

News Coverage:

 Gujarat Samachar, dated 17 August 2018

Gujarat Samachar, dated 17 August 2018

 Fulchhab Newspaper, dated 17 August 2018

Fulchhab Newspaper, dated 17 August 2018

 Divya Bhaskar newspaper, dated 17 August 2018

Divya Bhaskar newspaper, dated 17 August 2018

Summer Camp in Science Center, Sayla 2018

A 4-day summer camp was organized in the Science Center in Sayla, between 18th and 21stApril.  Forty-five students from 7 schools participated in the program which consisted of over 60 different activities including science experiments, paper models, activities to demystify maths and mathematical equations, audio-visual presentation about the planets and solar system. 

In an informative and inspiring speech, project director of Prem Ni Parab project, Shri Chandrakantbhai Vyas encouraged the students to weave science into their daily lives, supporting his speech by giving many examples.  Principals and teachers  from many other schools were also present to encourage and teach the students, who were given certificates of participation at the end of the course

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Buttermilk and Ready-made Garments distribution in Sayla

Since the last 25 years buttermilk distribution has been organized by Raj Saubhag Ashram, Sayla during the blistering summer months.  This year too many free buttermilk-distribution camps in 18 villages including Sayla, Sudamana, Chotila, Dhandhalpur, Dhajara, Chorvira were set up and have distributed over 3,000 liters of buttermilk.  This year ready-made garments were also distributed in a joint initiative with Arpana Foundation.

Each day over 200 poor villagers queued up to receive their share of the nourishing drink and garments. These camps start their distribution activities from mid-April, going on until mid or end of June, with volunteers distributing the buttermilk every single day for 3 months.  About 8,600 families have been benefiting from this noble initiative. 

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Young women tested for Thalassemia free-of-cost

Over 200 young women were screened for Thalassaemia in a community health fair organised by Raj Saubhag Ashram Sayla and Indian Red Cross Society, Ahmedabad.  It is important for individuals to be aware of their thalassemia trait status, particularly individuals of reproductive age. Depending on the haemoglobin type of a current or future partner, future children may be at risk for thalassaemia disease or other related haemoglobin diseases. It has been often debated about how the time was right to have a national Thalassemia policy in India. The first case of thalassaemia in India was reported in 1938 and every year about 10,000 children with thalassemia major are born in India, according to a report published in the Hindu.

The Thalasseamia and Sickle Cell Prevention health fair was organised for young women of marriageable age as part of a Control and Research Programme in the premises of L M Vora College of Arts and Commerce, Sayla.

The event was featured in the local newspapers.

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Three aid and equipment Support Camps for the disabled in Verawal, Thara and Dhanera

Support Camp 1

Location: Veraval

On 23rd of December 2017, Mumbai-based donors Varjivandas Shah family and Raj Saubhag Ashram organized an aid and equipment support camp for the disabled in Verawal.

A total of 405, disabled people were provided wheelchairs, tricycles, artificial limbs, hearing aids, calipers and educational kit for the mentally challenged pupils, and other equipment to help them cope with on-going or recurring physical disabilities.  All equipment was given free of cost.

In the first week of November 2017, 9 volunteers from Ashirwad Trust for the Disabled, Sayla surveyed 40 villages, distributed pamphlets, encouraged people to have their disabilities assessed during two diagnostic camp held in Shri Shantinath Jain Derasar on the 16th-17th of November and Navdurga Mataji Mandir in the last week of November.  The volunteers required 9 days to reach most of the families in these 40 villages.

Doctors then arrived a fortnight after the survey team finished the initial task.  During the diagnostic camp, the patients were assessed and their requirements noted.

On the 23rd of December, the entire support staff, doctors, volunteers and donors arrived to ensure that the equipment was handed over to the patient and he/she was advised about usage of the equipment.  Among the equipment distributed were tricycles, wheelchairs, prosthetic limbs, crutches, C P walkers, hearing aids, surgical shoes and educational kits.

Support camps for the disabled have been known to provide immense relief to patients twice-cursed – by disease and by poverty.

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Support Camp 2

Location: Thara 

A total of 127 villages like Kankarej, Radhanpur, Harij, and Disa from Patan Zilla were surveyed and 400 people were shortlisted at the diagnostic camp and 322 disabled poor people were given aids and appliances according to their needs.

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Support Camp 3

Location – Dhanera, Banakantha, Palanpur

Several Indian families living in the UK chose to sponsor a support camp for the disabled in Banakantha. Heavy floods, where 10-feet deep water collected in residential areas, causing heavy monetary loss and damage to property and equipment, had struck this region earlier.

Volunteers from Ashirwad Trust for the Disabled, Sayla surveyed Disa, Dantiwada, Lakhani and Tharad talukas.  Diagnostic camps were held in Shri Ramchandra Savrajbhai Shah Hospital

Over 404 disabled people were provided wheelchairs, tricycles, artificial limbs, hearing aids among others.  A month before the actual camp was to be held; about 55-60 villages were surveyed by 7 volunteers, who camped in the region for a week. Following a standard operating procedure, the diagnostic camp was held about a fortnight after the survey team completed their assignment.  The doctors shortlisted the patients and their requirements, and the final support camp is organized in the presence of donors.

Raj Saubhag Ashram thanks donors – Dr. Bhupenbhai and Neetaben Mehta, Nanalal Katariya, Kantaben Katariya, Bhanumati Kataria, Satishbhai Katariya, and Laxmiben and Manjuben Popat family for supporting such a noble cause.

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Ashirvad Banaskantha Mobility Camp

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Distribution of Mobility Appliances to Flood Victims in Banaskantha & Patan Districts

29th August 2017

The late monsoon rainfalls in India have been very heavy and have taken their toll in several states of India. North Gujarat and particularly, Banas Kantha has suffered from severe flooding.

Blind People’s Association along with with Shree Raj Saubhag Satsang Mandal and support from the social workers from Palanpur had surveyed 127 villages from the Patan and Banaskantha districts’ (talukas of Kankrej, Radhanpur, Haarij and Disa). They examined the appliances distributed previously by Raj Saubhag to about 400 disabled persons, 315 of them were deemed to require replacement appliances which included tricycles, wheel chairs, crutches callipers, mobility sticks etc.

The mobility appliance distribution took place at Thara, in Kankrej Taluka of Banaskantha District on Tuesday 29th August.  Param Pujya Bhaishree and Pujya Vikrambhai had graced the occasion. Smt Nandiniben Raval, Executive Director BPA, had hosted the distribution program.   

The total cost of the 315 appliances and 7 education kits was almost Rs 14 lacs. Raj Saubhag India had contributed Rs 5 lacs and Raj Saubhag UK Rs 2 lacs towards the total cost.

Shree Raj Saubhag is planning another mobility appliance distribution camp in Banakantha district in January 2018.

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