Indian NGO Project ‘Life’ Expanding Reach In North America

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Project ‘Life’, an Indian NGO based in Rajkot, Gujarat, began as a blood bank in 1978 and has expanded its work to several other areas of healthcare, children’s education, the environment, and women’s empowerment. (Photo: website life4life.org)

An established non-governmental organization from Gujarat is extending its reach in North America to further its humanitarian work with the help of Indian-Americans and Indian-Canadians.

Project ‘Life’, which has its headquarters in Rajkot, Gujarat, was started in 1978 as a blood-bank and expanded its work with marginalized populations in healthcare and other fields. Its Chief Development Officer Rushikesh Pandya is visiting the U.S. and Canada in a bid to communicate the vision and mission of Project Life to Indians in these countries.

The foundation’s bedrock vision is “to support, sustain and enrich the lives of people with particular focus on the marginalized, deprived and underprivileged sections of the society,” its website says. Activities of Project ‘Life’ include operating a large, NABH (National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers) & AABB (American Association of Blood Banks, USA) accredited blood bank, improving the education ecosystem, driving women empowerment programs, nurturing a better environment for the planet, bridging the gap between the resident and the global Gujaratis and helping people stay fit and healthy with Yoga training and research, according to its website. It’s work has helped thousands of people, a press release from the organization said.

“My purpose in this visit is to invite NRIs (non-resident Indians) and NRGs (non-resident Gujaratis) to come and visit Project Life and its activities. Seeing is believing,” Pandya told Desi Talk in a phone interview from Paramus, N.J., where the U.S. branch of the organization has been registered under the title ‘Life Global USA’. There is also a Chicago chapter of the organization, and Pandya will be going to Chicago July 13.

Among the achievements of the organization listed on its website, Project ‘Life’ says its Life Blood Centre has saved some 282,350 lives; supplied 588,350 unites of blood and is the first blood bank in India accredited by the American Association of Blood Banks.

Its Life Greenfield Centre has distributed 255,027 trees; set up an innovative plantation technique and hosted thousands of visitors including school children.

The Life Education Centre has provided provided complete infrastructure to 71 schools till date benefiting some 21,000 students every year.

Project ‘Life’ based in Gujarat, helps underprivileged children get an education (Photo: life4life.org)

The Life Health and Wellness Centre of Project ‘Life, has held 336 Yoga training Shibirs; conducted 223 talks on preventive health care and stress management and benefited an estimated 570,705 people; it has screened more than 645,247 people for Thalassemia in Saurashtra and counseled more than 700 couples on the dreaded disease.

Its Life Women Empowerment Centre has trained more than 6,238 women to become independent; it has a target to positively change the lives of a total of 12,000 women by 2020.

The organization was felicitated by the Government of Gujarat for creating jobs for women in the year 2010-2011. It has sr

“We are going to promote Project ‘Life’ at the upcoming AAPI Annual Convention and at the JAINA convention after that,” Pandya said. The AAPI convention is from June 21-25, and the JAINA convention is from June 30-July 4 in Edison, N.J. “We will have booths there I encourage everyone to please come and visit,” he added.

Two charity institutions, Saurashtra Medical & Educational Charitable Trust and Indian Medical Scientific Research Foundation are supporting the visit. Project ‘Life’ is also recognized by the Government of Gujarat as one of the six Non-Resident Gujarati (NRG) Centers, serving NRGs/NRIs by providing NRG card. Pandya’s visit to North America began June 16 and ends July 18, during which he will be joined by Joint Executive Trustee Meetal Koticha Shah. The two will visit different cities.

Pandya also met with Dr. Sudhir Parikh, publisher of Desi Talk and recipient of India’s Padma Shri award, and Project ‘Life’ has named him an advisor to the organization.  Pandya and Shah are contacting other community leaders and office-bearers of different associations and social organizations to acquaint them with the activities of Project ‘Life’.

Pandya will visit Calgary, Alberta, Canada from July 5-8, where he will meet Prabhusas and  Vijayagauri Ruparell, Jaymal Ruande and his wife, Ashid Bahal and others, who have supported Project ‘Life’ in the construction of 4 schools, devastated during the earthquake, in the interior rural region of Gujarat State, India has benefitting hundreds of the students. During the Toronto visit, starting from July 8-13, Pandya is scheduled to meet Deepak and Avani Ruparell, Ramesh Chotai, Raju and Misha Tanna, Ashok Shah and Pankaj Dave, and Neeta Koticha (An ambassador of Project ‘Life’), among others.

For more information, contact Rushikesh Pandya at 1-856-780-7502