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19 Jan 2012
Community Members Fund New Initiatives; Gather in Large Numbers for Vidyamandir Celebrations

Prakash Shah inaugurates new school building

Over five hundred members of the Palanpuri Jain community from Mumbai, Surat, Israel, Belgium and USA participated in the two-day Diamond Jubilee Celebrations of the Vidyamandir Trust held in Palanpur on January 14 and 15, 2012. Many of them had made large donations to fund different initiatives of the Trust which were inaugurated during the event. Apart from this, hundreds of Alumni from India and abroad joined the celebrations.

So large was the number of new projects funded by the community that the entire afternoon of January 14 had to be devoted to opening ceremonies! It began with the inauguration of the Shri Malukchand Badarmal Parikh School building by Ambassador Prakash Shah (IFS), former Under-Secretary General, United Nations, who praised the farsightedness of the founders and mentors of the Trust. The opening of Shri Bagmal Laxmichand Parikh Central Library which now houses libraries of all institutes situated at Shri A. D. Lohani Campus., followed. This was inaugurated by Dushyant Dave, a senior advocate at the Supreme Court and an alumnus of Vidyamandir. He stressed the importance of having access to good books, as knowledge was imparted through them.

Dushyant Dave opens the Central Library

Subsequently, Pranav Mistry, another school alumnus and the inventor of a radical new computer based technology called Sixth Sense, opened the Shri Vrajlal C. Mehta School of Information Technology. Mistry shared memories of his school days and focused on the importance of technology. He appreciated the state-of-the-art equipment at the centre, and said it was on par with what he had seen at leading institutions across the world.

Kirtibhai K. Doshi then inaugurated the Matushree Maniben Chandulal Maganbhai Kothari Central Office of the Trust, after which H.H. Nawab Muzaffer Khan of Palanpur declared open the Sushilaben D. Parikh Museum and Art Gallery. This is housed in the heritage building of Taleybaug, from where Vidyamandir operated from the time of its inception till recently. The Museum traces the history and important aspects of the social and cultural heritage of Palanpur, and is a significant new development for the city.

Pranav Mistry speaks at the opening of IT Centre

The final function on the central campus was the naming ceremony of the   Vividhlaxi Vidyamandir building, which will now be called Smt. Shantaben Shantilal Kothari Bhavan. Suryakant Parikh, Former Director and Mentor of Vidyamandir did the honours.

The guests then moved to the Mamtamandir Campus where Dr. Hemixa Rao, Vice Chancellor of Hemchandracharya North Gujarat University blessed Shri Pravinchandra Khemchandbhai Mehta College of Special Education. She expressed her happiness at seeing the institute which caters to development of teachers in schools for children with special needs. The Kalyan Balmandir Campus merged with Vidyamandir Trust and Shri Hathibhai Vhalubhai Mehta College of Early Childhood Education, both of which were inaugurated by Janak Dwarkadas, Senior Advocate of Mumbai High Court.

A public section in the Central Library and the Museum already testify to the Trust’s endeavor to provide services to the wider population of the city, and the last function of the day offered yet another example of this. This was the inauguration of a beautifully landscaped public garden named Shashivan, in memory of Shashiben Kanubhai Mehta. The garden was declared open by Ashwin Dani, Vice Chairman, Asian Paints Ltd. and Vice President of FICCI, who talked about his personal memories of Kanubhai and Shashiben, describing their generosity in helping fellow Palanpuris establish themselves in the diamond trade in Mumbai and their love for nature and the environment.

In a grand culmination of the day, the past and present students and music teachers of Vidyamandir presented an enjoyable Musical Nite in a large open space within the beautiful environs of the garden.

The mass participation by community members indicates that their commitment to the development of Palanpur goes beyond just providing monetary support, and reflects the personal bond that many have maintained with the city of their forefathers.


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