By Vaishali Shah
As you may be aware, Kenya is a beautiful country and I am sure the very name evokes images of lion safaris and the Masaimaara. Situated on the east coast of Africa, it is a vibrant place with a unique culture of its own.
The Indian population in Kenya is estimated to be over 100,000. The Indian identity can be seen near the temples and gurudwaras. We love to connect with our fellow Indians and make use of every opportunity to do so. Ethnic Indians have come from the interior parts of Gujarat and other states and it is always a pleasure to meet and catch up with our friends and relatives. There are many second and third generation Indians in Kenya, yet they have not forgotten their roots. We have many programs through our Temples and organizations which ensure we are in touch with our culture and traditions. I guess it is so in all parts of the world wherever Indians have made it their home.
I have always been interested in studying in depth the scriptural texts of Bharat. This ancient land has been showing the way to the rest of the world from time immemorial and its texts have given solace to many souls irrespective of the country or culture they may belong to. It is this deep fascination of all that is Indian, that motivated me to set up the Shrivedant Foundation. Based in Kenya, this non-profit Foundation is engaged in many charitable activities. Developing educational material that will help Hindus and others who are interested in knowing about Hinduism is one of the main thrust areas of our Foundation. I also want to make our scriptures and ancient texts easily available to any one genuinely interested in reading them. This idea germinated as the portal www.indianscriptures.com which is hosted by our Foundation. It has been a fascinating journey for me right from the time I began to harbor thoughts of doing something for our ancient Scriptures. I remember reading in Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist that, ‘When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.’ I can vouch for it as I have seen my dream take a concrete shape in the past few years. Lord Dwarkadish’s grace has been on me throughout as I have set up the Foundation and hosted the portal starting from the scratch.I am happy that our Foundation is not just helping fellow Indians to become aware about the good things in our culture but also locals. It has been a pleasure meeting people, enriching myself. Kenya has definitely given me a lot and I want to give it back to this society.
Through the Kenya Vegetarian Club, which is another project which I started in 2011, we are making lot of inroads by helping Africans set up vegetable farms by teaching them the latest techniques and by donating seeds.
But more about the activities of our Foundation in my next. So, until we meet again let me say Kwaheri, that is goodbye in Swahili.