GIBV Meets in Boston for Bharat Vikas – All-round organic growth and development of villages and slums in India.

GIBV Meets in Boston for Bharat Vikas – All-round organic growth and development of villages and slums in India.

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Boston, July 31, 2016

Global Indians for Bharat Vikas (GIBV)  – a non-profit international organization headquartered in the US had its 2nd annual board meeting and a community outreach program during the weekend of July 30-31 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Newton, MA.  About a dozen board members from various states of USA attended the meeting along with another dozen from different parts of US and India via webinar. The board assessed current status and mapped out future plans during this meeting.  Gaurang Vaishnav, the Executive Vice President explained the role of the NRI volunteers in helping volunteers in India and presented a survey matrix for collecting information of a village to facilitate its adoption under Rural Empowerment program. Somanjana Chatterjee from San Jose and Achalesh Amar from Houston presented action plan for Public Relations, mainstream Media and the social media. Sonali Dave from Dallas spoke about various communications needs and methods for efficient execution of plans.  Gokul Kunnath and Sneha Mehta from Atlanta, Avanish Raj from Philadelphia, Kunal Shah and Asha Vaishnav from New Jersey, and Ashutosh Acharya from Connecticut also participated. Balaguru Teertha, an entrepreneur from New Jersey gave the concluding remarks.

GIVB is working with two sister organizations in the US – Global Indian Business Council (GIBC), headquartered in Atlanta and headed by Dhirubhai Shah and a network of science and technology experts called Forum for Global Leadership of India.

GIBV and GIBC have offices in Ahmadabad Gujarat. GIBV is currently planning to open an office in New Delhi as well.

During the meeting various members spoke from India via webinar. This included the office bearers including India head of GIBV Anjlee Pandya, GIBC India head Mr. Urvish Kantharia. GIBV mainly implements its projects via the All India Rural Empowerment Program (AIREP) lead my Hiral Mehta, a young dynamic leader who has been spearheading the work in Gujarat villages for several years. Hiral presented the details of how various projects are being implemented. Dr. Ajay Mehta, Village Development Foundation, Bhopal, Delhi, and Shobhit Mathur, Executive Director of Vision India Foundation, Delhi partnering with GIBV presented their program and projects. Manish Manjul, Lead India 2020, inspired by Late President Dr. APJ Kalam presented details of their activities and collaboration with GIBV.

On Saturday July 30 the Boston team organized a community outreach program where over 50 important community leaders attended.

The event was started by Pawan Roy one of the Executive Board members from Boston who welcomed the audience and explained the purpose of the meeting which was to make all aware about the organization.

Dr. Mahesh Mehta, Chairperson, GIBV and a very senior visionary leader who was instrumental in creating this organization spoke. He explained why the organization does not use the term development and instead uses the Sanskrit term ‘vikas’ which means more than just materialistic development.  He further explained that the word ‘vikas’ stood for both the external and internal growth, i.e., along with the material growth and prosperity unfolding of the inner Self.  He emphasized the concept of Samajik Samarasta which can be roughly translated as the social harmony.

Kanchan Banerjee, the President of GIBV presented the mission of the organization. After he introduced all the board members present in the meeting and also recognized the community members in the audience, he explained how the ‘organic development’ work is done in the villages of India using a very unique model which empowers the locals to take ownership and leadership to work on the challenges they face. GIBV volunteers help moving ‘challenged’ state to ‘opportunity’ state via this unique model. He quoted Swami Vivekananda and requested all present to think how they could do their part to help their less fortunate sisters and brothers in India. He appealed all to join hands to support GIBV’s effort.

Kunal Shah from New Jersey and Girish Gandhi from Florida presented the needs of the organization and how one could join and also donate to support the movement. This was followed by questions and answers. Many people came forward to help and support the movement.

GIBV plans to work with its volunteers globally to coordinate work with volunteers in various parts of India and working with many other like-minded organizations to expedite the work and scale up the work to reach out to thousands of villages and slums to empower several million people, especially the youth in India and make them self-reliant through proper education, character building, training, skill development and entrepreneurship.

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Somanjana Chatterjee

Somanjan Chatterjee is San Francisco based consulting editor