From funds raised in US, Life Global is building residential school to replace school started 125 years ago by Mahatma Gandhiji in tribal area of North Gujarat

From Left, Kamla Gurjar, Digant Sompura, Dr.Bharati Palkhiwala, Jyotsna Shah, Dr.Sudha Parikh, Dr.Tushar Chaudhary, Dr.Sudhir Parikh, Dr.Arun Palkhiwala, Shanker Kumar Sanyal, Amar Shah, Shritij Dave, Sanjay Parmar and Ajit Jadhav. Photo: Life Global

One hundred and twenty five years ago, Gandhiji started Khedbrahma school for children from tribal communities. Today, it is in disrepair.

But not for long.

Dr. Arun Palkhiwala president of Life Global, Dr. Sudhir Parikh, chairman, and Amar Shah, founder doing the bhumipuja for the Khedbrahma residential school groundbreaking. Photo: Life Global

The leaders of the philanthropic organization Life Global are intent on rebuilding and rejuvenating it as a state-of-the-art boarding school for the underserved students of the area.

Groundbreaking ceremony for Khedbrahma residential school by Jyotsna Shah as Sanker Kumar Sanyal, Dr. Arun Palkhiwala, Dr. Sudhir Parikh and Dr. Sudha Parikh look on.

“The who’s who among Gandhians used to work in this tribal school, and we feel more close to this school because of its history,” says Dr. Sudhir Parikh, chairman of Life Global. “The building has deteriorated. We wanted to build a boarding school for the tribal area. Education is the best gift one can give,” Dr. Parikh said.

Jayesh Patel, president Gujarat Harijan Sevak Sang. Who inspired and motivated Life Global to rebuild the Khedbrahma School. Photo: Life Global
Dr. Sudhir Parikh giving a motivational speech at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Khedbrahma residential school originally built 125 years ago by Gandhiji. Photo: Life Global

“Khedbrahma School-Hostel was founded as per the vision of Mahatma Gandhi by Harijan Sevak Sangh for upliftment of Dalit Families in 1958. The residential school and hostel campus consist of a kitchen, staff quarters and canteen in huge open space available for farming,” noted Amar Shah, founder of Life Global.

Proposed Khedbrahma residential school Building to be completed by 2024 and funded by Life Global. Photo: Life Global

“Life Global’s vision is to make a modern educational facility with Gandhi’s principles and our culture in mind. Our goal is to open a new school building in the beginning of 2024 and residential by the end of 2024,” Shah said.

Dr.Bharati Palkhiwala, Dr.Arun Palkhiwala, Jyotsna Shah, Amar Shah Dr. Sudha Parikh, Dr. Sudhir Parikh sprinkling holy water on proposed site for the Khedbrahma residential school. Photo: Life Global

Last September 2022, Life Global held a charity gala headlined by Bollywood star and philanthropist Asha Parekh, where $500,000 was raised. Some of that money is being used to rebuild Khedbrahma.

This February 16, representatives of Life Global as well as Share and Care Foundation, longtime supporters of the Gandhi Ashram and Gandhian institutions, visited the Khedbrahma, Sabarkantha, for the ground breaking and bhumipujan, and to approve the architectural designs aimed at building the residential school. The school is meant to serve 150 students from Grades 1 to 7, as a residential institution named Pravasi Ashram Shala.

Amar Shah, Dr. Sudhir Parikh, Dr. Arun Palkhiwala signing on proposed school building architecture drawing. Witnessed by Jayesh Patel. Photo: Life Global

Padma Shri recipient Dr. Sudhir Parikh, chairman of Life Global, Dr. Sudha Parikh, Dr. Arun Palkhiwala, President of Life Global,  Dr. Bharati Palkhiwala, Kalpana Palkhiwala, as well as Amar Shah, founder of Life Global, and Jyotsna Shah, gave speeches emphasizing the importance of philanthropy for education and the need to meet the needs of underserved populations, as it is the best path to economic and social development. Other speakers also echoed these views.

Other high-profile invitees included Shankar Kumar Sanyal, president of Harijan Sevak Sangh Delhi; Member of Rajya Sabha Ramila Bara; Member of Gujarat Assembly Tushar Chaudhari. Other supporters of the project included  Jayesh Patel, president of the Gujarat Harijan Sevak Sangh who also happens to be the son-in-law of former Chief Minister of Gujarat Anandiben Patel; Ajit Jadhav, secretary, Gujarat Harijan Sevak Sangh; and , Shritij Dave who has devoted his life to Khedbrahma Pravasi Ashram Shala.

Altogether some 200 people attended the event including community and elected leaders from surrounding areas, government representatives.

Bhumipujan was conducted by a local priest. The visitors from America took part in the ceremonial ground breaking.



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