April 1999 Words of Wisdom
“Life is greater than all art. I would go even further and declare that the man whose life comes nearest to perfection is the greatest artist; for what is art without the sure foundation and framework of a noble life?”
Thank you very much for your overwhelming response to our appeal for the Kachchh Cyclone Relief Fund. We have raised $35,415 for the relief fund and have already sent $31,286 to the Vivekananda Research and Training Institute (VRTI). VRTI has launched a program of adopting a village. This program builds houses, schools, wells, roads, community halls and infrastructure for the villages. Together KOJAIN and JAINA have adopted two villages, namely Ragha and Shekhadia. The total cost of the project will be Rs. 28,84,000 and our contribution will be Rs. 11,00,000. This is a wonderful project undertaken by VRTI and we feel proud to be part of this project.
As we enter our second year of the term, here is a review of some of the main activities and projects:
KOJAIN membership: We have at present 156 life members and 71 regular members. Our goal is to have all the members of our society become
life members and get involved in KOJAIN activities.
Scholarship program: Dinesh Chheda, Navin Chheda and Navin Dedhia have done well with the starting up of this program. We have awarded three scholarships this year. We are looking for scholarship sponsors to expand this important program in the future.
Newsletter: We thank Dinesh Chheda for his hard work in publishing the last two newsletters. This newsletter is edited by Tejal and Vasanti Chande. Congratulation for excellent work. They have joined the editorial committee. Please contact Dinesh Chheda or Vasanti Chande if interested in helping on the editorial committee. Next newsletter will focus on articles by youth.
Matunga Boarding: Dr. Chandravadan Haria and his committee have done a great job in raising funds for the Matunga Boarding. We have pledges of $177,167, have received $111,332 and have sent $100,000 to Matunga Boarding.
Youth Committee: Mayur Chheda is our current youth director, and Vimla Chheda has accepted to become youth coordinator. We are planning a youth sammelan and would like to coordinate youth activities for this year.
Marriage Bureau: Lata Champsee has accepted the position of, Director of the Marriage Bureau and will be coordinating its activities. Interested youth and/or parents may contact Lata Champsee and send bio-data.
Cruise: A Caribbean cruise is being planned in the month of November, around Thanksgiving time. The information has been mailed out to all our members.
KOJAIN Sammelan: We are planning to have our next sammelan during the July 4th weekend next year at Chicago. An ad-hoc committee is
being formed and the details will be forthcoming in the near future.
JAINA Convention: JAINA Convention 1999 will be held at Valley Forge Convention center, in King of Prussia (a northern suburb of Philadelphia), on the July 4th weekend. Arrangements have been made for KOJAIN members to meet on the afternoon of July 2nd, during the convention. Take this opportunity to meet all our community members attending the convention.
Once again, thank you very much for your generous donations to the Kachchh cyclone relief fund. Your involvement and support in activities like these is very encouraging and we look forward to your active involvement in all of our future activities.
MOMAYA Fund - Thanks to the generous support of KOJAIN donors, NIRMALA Momaya and
family, of Bridgeport, CT have been able to pull through difficult
times. KOJAIN raised
$7,410.00 to assist their family. Their
story is unfortunate. Soon
after their daughter passed away, and left them with a two-month-old son
to care for, the Momaya family immigrated to the USA in 1996.
Then on February 26, 1997 Navinbhai passed away.
NIRMALA was left to care for her 17-year-old son and a 3-year-old
grandson whom they adopted. They suffered a further loss due to a fire
in their apartment.
The family is doing fine now with Nirmalaben working
as a teller at the bank. Sachin, age 18 now, is working part time and is
in high school and Rushabh, age 6 is going to preschool.
Thanks to Vimla Chheda who coordinated this whole
effort. Please see her
thank you letter in this newsletter.
KCRF - Shree
Vivekanand Research and Training Institute thanks KOJAIN for a
$20,000.00 contribution to the Kachchh Cyclone Relief Funds (KCRF).
A letter of acknowledgment and thanks dated 9/19/98, was sent by
Dr. M. V. Kanzaria, the Director of Agriculture and Administration at
Tulsi Gajra, the Managing Trustee, further informed us how this money will be used to revive two villages, Ragha and Shekhadia, that were demolished due to the cyclone. The villages of Ragha and Shekhadia are located near Mundra with a population of 107 and 667 people respectively. The institute will strictly help vegetarian, non-addict families by constructing new houses or repairing the damaged ones, reestablishing agricultural activities, developing horticulture, developing irrigation, supplementing income by providing buffalo/cows, building a common Mandir, creating a garden and most importantly by providing education and other welfare activities.
Center - The Yusuf Meherally
Center is a voluntary organization engaged in a wide variety of
health care and family planning, providing education and organizing
motivation and training camps for youth, women, farmers, etc. sponsoring
needy children, running village industries and generating employment,
planting trees and promoting micro-watershed development and organic
farming, taking up issues of villages, including the increasing
pollution of the Patalganga river, building houses for Advisees and
organizing group marriages.
The center was started in 1961 in memory of Yusuf
Meherally, and Dr. Zakir Hussein, the then vice-president of India,
inaugurated it formally in 1965. KOJAIN has sent $8,000 to the center.
It consisted of $4,000 donation from various members for KCRF plus
another $4,000 matching by Dr. Haria.
- Mulchand Chheda, President of Kachchhi Visa Oswal Jain Chhatralaya,
commonly known as Matunga Boarding, acknowledged the receipt of $50,000
and further reported that the money was used for the construction of the
40,000 sq. ft. RCC structure out of the 120,000 sq. ft. planned.
They look forward to the further release of $100,000 from KOJAIN
for the on-going expenses of the project.
He was also very pleased by the visit of KOJAIN members, Shree
Mangal Shah, Dr. Chandravadan Haria and Navin Shah.
For further updates on the project, Mulchand can be contacted by
e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sarvodaya Trust has just successfully completed its 25th year (Silver Jubilee) of the
Eye, Dental, Medical & Surgical camps at Bidada, Kachchh held from
Jan. 3 to 23,1999. This
year's medical camp covered 23 medical specialties and treated 18,004
patients, 46 surgeries were
performed during the camp and 279 patients were referred to Bombay for
major surgeries. Volunteers and donors were gathered from around the
world including 51 members from America.
The Nargis Dutt Foundation, through the help of Peter Bheddah, donated $30,000 in the form of much needed medical equipment for cancer detection. Last year, with the help of many Kachchhi families,
we were able to sponsor twenty-five Cardiac operations. We plan to continue the same tradition this year.
Mr. Richard Celeste, an American ambassador, inaugurated this year's Cardiac camp and was very impressed with the humanitarian activities carried out by the Trust. He also was appreciative of the help received from America.
Next year's Cardiac camp will be held in January, 2000 and we look forward to seeing you all there. For further information please contact Vijay Chheda at (714) 573-1324 or e-mail at:
APPEAL FOR DONATION - KOJAIN invites donations for any/all causes undertaken. Please submit your donation check payable to KOJAIN along with the pledge slip filled out with details to Mangal Shah, 22 Beau street, Norwalk, CT 06850:
Please accept my donation towards the KOJAIN cause -
Bhalara Path. Shri Kishor J. Shah will perform “Bhalara Path” a religious ceremony, at various places in the US and Canada from mid-May to mid-July 99. He does not charge anything for his services. If interested you may contact Bhasker Lapsia for additional information.
19E Lancaster Ct
Wayne, NJ 07470
A letter, to give a thought upon
From: Vimla Chheda
Nirmalaben now works as full-time teller at a local bank in Trumbull,
CT. Her 18 year old son,
Sachin, also works part time in the morning and is preparing for his GED
- a high school equivalency certificate exam and also looks after his
six-year-old nephew, Rushabh, when he returns from the day care center.
One thing I have learned from this episode is that any member of our
community in need of assistance (financial or emotional, but mainly
financial) is generally very reluctant to come forward and seek out help
from the community because of the perceived stigma.
We need to be sensitive to this aspect and keep our eyes open for
those in need in our respective regional areas.
We may sometimes even need to seek them out.
Finally, on behalf of Nirmalaben, I want to thank you one and all for
all the help she received. It
certainly did lessen her burden in her time of need.
It gave her strength.
Honors and Achievements
Marshall Fellowship - Ushma Savla, a bioengineering student of Northwestern University, was selected as a Marshall Sherfield postdoctoral fellowship recipient. Ushma is particularly interested in micro vascular permeability and the effects of different drugs used to treat inflammatory diseases, such as asthma. She will be able to continue another year of research at the Imperial College of School of Medicine. Our congratulations to Ushma and parents, Dr. Lalit and Hema Savla!
1998 Scholarships - KOJAIN is proud to announce the following winners of the KOJAIN scholarships for the year 1998
Vimal Nemchand Chheda,
Houston, TX $1,000
Our hearty congratulations goes to Vimal, Palu, Shweta and their parents.
KOJAIN is soliciting candidates for one or more 1999 Scholarship. Last
year we have awarded three scholarship, with awards totaling $2000.
Scholarship criteria and submission requirements are:
and their dependent family members (spouse/children) are eligible. Must
be a college first-year by fall/winter 1999. All applicant must:
1. have a 3.0 Grade Point Average (G.P.A.) on a 4.0 scale. Must have a 3.0 overall, or a 3.0 for the last full year of school.
be current high school seniors. Must submit a full transcript
including Fall/Winter 1998 grades.
Photocopies are acceptable.
If mailed by school-still must be post-marked by June
provide one written recommendation and character reference from a
teacher, counselor, friend, or a KOJAIN member (not related to
must be submitted with application package.
list and briefly describe awards and/or extracurricular services
and activities on a separate page.
Provide enough information so that the selection committee will
understand the nature of your activities.
provide two self-addressed number 10 business sized stamped
envelopes. The first will
be used to acknowledge the receipt of your completed application.
The second will be used to provide the result of the competition.
All applicants will be notified by August 31, 99.
submit a typed, double-spaced essay on any topic.
Essay must be at least one page and must not exceed two pages.
provide results of American College Testing (ACT) or Scholastic
Aptitude Testing (SAT), or other entrance examinations scores as
Please mail all materials and two passport size photographs (except transcript if necessary) in one package, unfolded in a 9" by 12" (or larger) envelope postmarked by June 1, 1999 to Dinesh Chheda, 9 Johnson Ave., W. Caldwell, NJ 07006.
You can now request your own current, updated copy of the KOJAIN
directory for the nominal cost of $10.
Please submit your request along with a check to Mangal Shah, 22 Beau street, Norwalk, CT 06850.
- There are 40+ KOJAIN families living in San Francisco Bay area with
many coming from India. Planned
activities for this area include a social gathering during the first
half of the year and a picnic. The
Jain Center of Northern California activities include monthly Bhavna on
the second Friday of the month, Navkar Mantra Jaap on the third
Saturday, Youth Pathshala, Swadhyaya and celebration of major events
such as Mahavir Jayanti, Paryushna and Mahavir Nirvana.
For more information contact Navin Dedhia at (408) 629-1723.
- Chicago Kachchhi Association will be hosting the KOJAIN 2000 Sammelan
in the Chicago area. The
dates are tentatively July 1-July 4, 2000.
Mark your calendars and be on the look out for further details in
Washington DC Area -
The Views, Ideas, Experience, Exchange (VIEE) group
in the Washington area was started in June 1996 with about 18 Kachchhi
families getting together. The
goal of the group is to meet once a month to socialize, exchange ideas,
learn from each other’s knowledge, expertise and experience in
different areas that affect our daily life.
Currently, there are
22 families or about 85 individuals including kids, participating
actively in the monthly get-together.
The normal format of the gathering is to
have dinner around 7:30 pm, to have a social or informational
activity for about an hour and conclusion of the gathering by 11:00pm.
cultural programs; games; antakshari coordinated by
Kanti Gangar; and finally a Christmas party.
Currently, our calendar for 1999 is almost filled up.
If you need any information about our group activities, please
contact the current coordinator Mr. Pravin Dand at 301-384-3367, or send
an email at email@example.com.
- Narendra Nandu and his group of seven people is coming to US from end
of May to 2nd week of July, 99.
He will perform Siddhachakra Poojan and Bhavna.
If you are interested in inviting Narendrabhai, then please
contact Kanti Shah President, Jain Center of Southern California at:
For any other regional activities, questions, or guidance, please
feel free to contact the Regional Directors.
They will welcome the opportunity to help.
LOGO Competition - KOJAIN announces a logo competition, open to all ages. The KOJAIN Logo award recipient will be honored and awarded $101 at the KOJAIN-2000 Sammelan. The deadline for submission is December 31, 1999.
CD-ROM. An excellent CD-ROM on Kachchh has been produced by Dr. Patel. It describes various aspects of Kachchh; its extensive history, its varied culture, monuments, temples and museums. For additional information contact:
Dr. Chandrakant Patel
THE FUN IN THE SUN
with family and friends
The VIEE group of Washington DC has reserved a non-smoking ship, The Paradise for a one week cruise and invites all KOJAIN members. The cruise begins on Sunday, November 21 at 4:00pm and returns on Sunday, November 28 at 8:00am. Special rates for the cruise are:
Cabin Location & Rates Per Person
Double Triple Quad
Cat 5 $520
Port taxes of $146 and Air Travel to Miami are charged separately.
Please check with cruise directors for special rates before sending your $100 deposit (nonrefundable and nontransferable). Make checks payable to Cruise Directors, Inc. and mail to: 300 N. Washington St., Suite 104, Alexandria, VA 22314.
For more information call:
Dates, a nutritious, high energy fruit date is an excellent source of vitamins, minerals and natural sugars, provides high dietary fiber and is low in cholesterol and sodium. The Nu Tech Farm of Kachchh now grows Dates by organic farming methods without using chemical fertilizers or pesticides.
Antioxidants are thought to interfere with the aging and disease process and prevent diseases such as arthritis, cataracts, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. They are vitamins or minerals and found in abundance in fruits, vegetables and natural grains. So a well balanced diet, rich with fruits and vegetables, with supplements of vitamins per physician advice is highly recommended. You may contact the writer, who is a certified nutritionist for more questions.
Kachchhi Oswal Jain Association
KOJAIN Membership Form
Please clip this form and send it along with a
check payable to KOJAIN to Mangal Shah, 22 Beau street, Norwalk, CT 06850.
Life - $200, Biannual
Life - $150, Biannual - $20.