BY JYOTHSNA HEGDE
Atlanta, GA, March 30, 2021: Little drops of water make a mighty ocean, they say. And 350 young summer campers of Gujarati Cultural Association of North in Atlanta (GCANA) Georgia realized the true meaning of the saying when they decided to dedicate their 2019 summer vacation towards serving for greater good, through the ‘SEVA (Service) PROJECT’. Their venture raised a massive Rs 1.34 crore (approx. $186342.08) which is slated to transform the lives of thousands of differently-abled for many years to come.
The funds will be invested to modernize the Prosthetics and Orthotics Central Fabrication Center of ‘Narayan Limbs and Calipers’, a Seva by Narayan Seva Sansthan (NSS), located in Udaipur, Rajasthan. The central fabrication center will support more than 13 satellite Narayan Limbs and calipers centers across India and will also provide free prosthetics and orthotics for camps organized remotely for the benefit of marginalized differently-abled who otherwise will not be able to travel to Udaipur.
The SEVA PROJECT, through its research, identified NSS as their benefactor. The goal was to raise $40000 (Rs.30 Lakhs) for the cause.
Each year GCANA undertakes the Seva Project by inviting various charity organizations and leaders involved in charity projects. “Knowing my background in my efforts to transform the lives of differently-abled through NSS, GCANA had approached me and were given an opportunity to present the project to children who basically approved the SEVA PROJECT,” said Manoj Barot, Executive Director of NSS, USA.
Pouring their hearts and souls into the project, kids performed, reached out to their friends and families, sold sodas, tea, samosas, popcorn. Some kids set up the lemonade stands in their home garage invited their neighbors, by-passers and explained the purpose of their SEVA PROJECT, wrapping with a hug for free incentive.
The Grand finale garnered a tremendous boost with the presence of young celebrity, ‘Sparsh Shah’ who is differently abled since birth. He is diagnosed with Brittle bone disease, but is a great song writer, popular rapper, singer, and a motivational speaker. Inspired by the efforts of these kids, Sparsh Shah flew to Atlanta and performed for the kids in a grand way. And the goal of $40000 was achieved!
While the kids were thrilled that they will be able to transform lives of 350 differently abled, they were concerned and questioned about the fate of the remaining differently abled. Can this be a long-term sustainable solution? Who will sponsor and take care of these marginalized differently abled?
Also a President Nominee for 2022-23 for Rotary Club of Emory Druid Hills (RCEDH), Barot got the Rotary involved. “Being a Rotarian I knew about the Rotary’s Global Grant matching fund program, so I presented the project to our club and they accepted to apply for Global Grant,” said Barot.
RCEDH identified the local Rotary Club partner ‘Rotary Club of Udaipur Mewar’, Udaipur, India. The project was supported by respective Rotary District 6900 in USA and Rotary District 3054 in India. Finally, the project was approved and supported financially with the tremendous support of Rotary International and Rotary Foundation.
Barot commended the efforts of GCANA summer camp directors Mahesh Patel and Praksha Patel and their parents. “These two have been the strongest influence on the children and their dedication is beyond comparison when it comes to imparting social, cultural and humanitarian values in the hearts and minds of these children,” said Barot
“It was one of the best times of my life. I am especially thankful to my Rotary Club of Emory Druid Hills, including Chatur Chhabhaya, President 2020-21, Pravin Kakadia, President Elect, 2021-22, Upendra Bhatt, International Project, Chair and the members who supported the project all the way. I further felt very happy when GCANA accepted my suggestion to invite Sparsh Shah and I am equally thankful to Sparsh Shah and his family for agreeing to come to Atlanta and perform for these children to successfully end the project,” said Barot.
“We are proud of our summer campers for initiating SEVA PROJECT and grateful to Rotary Club of Emory Druid of Hills who took the project at the global level,” said Amit Shah, President, Gujarati Cultural Association of North America.
Prashant Agarwal, president,
NSS thanked Rotary International to stand in support of this campaign.
Yes. Each one of us can make a difference. Together we can make a change.