COME, JOIN ME IN SOLIDARITY!
In An Important Social Cause
For Rationality, Science, Harmony…For Empowering the Unempowered.
Against Hate, Discord, Communalism, Superstition, Ignorance, and impoverishment
I am embarking upon a major social service initiative – at considerable personal risks – that can potentially make a useful contribution, in this region in the present times, when irrationality and communalism reign.
We have signed to purchase a 4-bigha plot of green land to build a FarmOffice, and a residential academy. While the Farm Office – SPRAT’s extended back office – would undertake many diverse activities explained below, the CARAVANAcademy will mentor merit-selected deserving poor youth – 50 to 100 every year –in public administration and contemporary journalism. More importantly, they will be groomed into rational ways of thinking and doing, and a responsible andjust way of living. Along the way, they would have gathered good bit of Englishlanguage, computer power usage, quantitative techniques, general studies and communication skills, so that they may pursue any career thereafter.
The land is located half a kilometer from the Vatrakriver in quieter environs, some 40 KMs from Ahmedabad, in the district of Kheda.
To fund this purchase I am selling my house – located in an affluent Muslim area of Ahmedabad. I shall lease the land, free of cost, to SPRAT so that it can construct the required facilities and use them for organizational purposes.
The Farm Office will launch and maintain:
– a full-fledged IT division for digitally supported social services including web portals, digital hub for smaller NGOs and for individual social activists.
– a dedicated wing to promote, support and sustain social networking platforms in a professional manner
– a graphic division to prepare posters and brochures in many languages to deliver pungent social and rational messages pictorially
– a films division to dub and sub-title global films on rationality, to make and edit short videos, including biopics of unsung heroes of the region
– a content division that would produce creative quality literature including e-Zines, pamphlets, researched reports, manifestos, memoranda etc on public policy and contemporary social issues, and translate great works on rationality in Hindi, Urdu, Gujarati.
– a unique science lab for the curious students from neighbouring cities to come, experiment and learn howscience and life work, join science-and-nature appreciation camps, including astronomy
We may also perhaps launch an outreach to provide literacy and support for hygiene and cooperative livelihood to neighbouring villages.
There would be a greenhouse with vegetables, floriculture, pisciculture in the portion legally earmarked for agricultural purposes. And plenty of indoor and outdoor recreation.
So, a variety of talents will be required, including subject expertsin administration, journalism, English language, power use of PCs; mentors in power learning; dedicated counseling, creative content generation, DotNetand PHP programming, IT hardware, system admin, graphics, popular science educators, filming, editing etc.
Also required will be those that may innovatively manage the digital library, kitchen, and canteen, hostel, gardening, sports and recreation. And, yes, those that can market this facility and help raise funding and other resources! And some accounting, admin and secretarial staff. And quite a few support people – from gardeners and cooks.. to wiremen and drivers.
It is my long cherished dream to groom the young – girls and boys from diverse faiths and backgrounds – to become responsible, fair-minded, staunchly committed rationalists, using personal examples, mentoring, great films/videos/TV, books, talks, and interactions.
We also hope to build a couple of guest cottages where thinkers, scientists, writers, active members for FB Groups, and other achievers would come to spend a short, serene vacation. We will then engage them in structured conversation and host these videos on the ourYouTube channel under the Samvad series. They will also interact with Academy students as distinguished guests.
All of this can only happen if you support me. So, come, join me in love, as comrades, colleagues or partners, as professionals or trainees, interns or as students. Or as supporters, funders, empathizers! Come, give me some years or months of your time and talents. I need you and your solidarity. I promise to use them for the good of humanity as best I can, as professionallyas my training has equipped me.
Let us together build a beautiful, environmentally sustainable nook oflove and harmony, of reason and good sense, of service and empowerment – generatingand spreading sensible and enduring happiness.
For the records, I have been a smalltime bank CEO turned management and IT consultant who took the full-time plunge into social work in the wake of Gujarat2002, and launched SPRAT.
With the guidance of distinguished men like Dr I G Patel, Lord BhikhuParekh, Dr Y K Alagh, Dr Sebastian Morris, Sri ChunibhaiVaidya, DrRakeshBasant, Dr Dinesh Awasthi, DrAbusalehShareef, MaulanaWaheeduddin Khan, Dr Mallika Sarabhai etc at different times – and patronized by the likes of theFord Foundation, the US State Dept, the Gujarat Vidyapith, ONGC, BSNL, Shree cement, Tata Chemicals, and many common folks – this NGO has:
– helped empower over 1.5lakh youth in remedial education and everyday business skills through itsCARAVANCentres
– educated over 13,000 unlettered women through its TALEEM basic literacy programme
– provided livelihood to a few hundred poor under its AZMAT campaign
– offered recreation to over a million poor Muslims and Hindus through its MUSKAAN Park located at a communally sensitive ‘border’
– produced and distributed pamphlets in their lakhs, e-Zines, research reports, books and CDs, and a large number of banners and posters through its JAREEDA division
– hosted dozens of public seminars, workshops and educational exhibitions under MAJLIS
– organized public rallies and protests on critical public issues under the auspices of MAHAAZ
Along the way, SPRAT was adjudged one of India’s 13 best NGOs. Early on, this registered public charitable Trust and Society was granted Sn 80G IT exemption, FCRA Registration, prestigious memberships, and affiliations..