Project ‘Life’ which was founded in 1978 as a blood-bank in Gujarat, has today grown to cover a range of activities operating on a vision to support, sustain and enrich the lives of the poor and underprivileged in India. It is one of several Indian non-governmental organizations that non-resident Indians and Indian- Americans believe to be doing good work to bring people out of poverty and ill-health.
‘Life’ was established by two brothers, successful businessmen from Rajkot, Shashikant and Chandrakant Koticha, in 1978, in an effort to give back to society. Brought up by a strong mother after they lost their father at an early age, the brothers have expanded from a state-of-the- NABH (National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers) & AABB (American Association of Blood Banks, USA) blood bank, to implementing women’s empowerment projects, tree-planting initiatives, yoga health and wellness centers including in more than 20 jails, etc., and generally bridging the gap between the resident and the global Gujaratis and helping people stay fit, Chandrakant Koticha told News India Times.
“We are Project ‘Life’ one of the largest and oldest NGOs in the region,” they say in the literature about the organization provided to News India Times.
“Our programs positively impact the lives of the beneficiaries of our interventions and help them rediscover their self-dignity. Our reach engages the civic society to better participate in the noble endeavor of reducing the gap between the fortunate and the not-so-fortunate.”
Numerous celebrities and humanitarians including Mother Teresa, have praised the organization over the years and visited its various branches. Mother Teresa visited the center in 1982 (See photo with her message); spiritual leader Pramukh Swamimaharajshri in 1991; renowned cricketer Sachin Tendulkar with the team in 1993; Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan and his wife, Bollywood actress Jaya Bachchan visited as well as performed puja at the center in 1994; then Chief Minister of Gujarat Narendra Modi in 2010; and Indian-American physician and Padma Shri Dr. Sudhir Parikh, publisher of News India Times, in 2017.
Describing itself as a “responsible charity organization,” Project ‘Life’ says “Most of our efforts, energy and resources are directed towards breaking the vicious circle of poverty and preventing avoidable pain,” using innovative strategies to drive change and bring about life-long solutions.
In the process of helping people, Project ‘Life’ says, they have set up demanding standards as a charitable NGO. “Our activities must be most productive, our goals must be most noble and our working should be fully transparent,” they say, goals achieved by continually upgrading and improving the systems. “We try and squeeze out the last mile out of every penny in our fund. We don’t wait for the unfortunate to approach us; our outreach programs constantly help us identify the individual, many of which are so poor they have even given up hope,” Chandrakant Koticha said.
The humanitarian works of Project ‘Life’ include distributing some 600,000 units of blood to date.
Life Blood Centre: Issued 5,92,567 units of Blood components and more than 3,00,000 lives served.
Life Thalassaemia Prevention Centre: 656,518 persons for Thalassemia (Trait) and reached over 1,442,152 people through Thalassemia awareness drive.
Life Health & Wellness Centre: More than 579,403 persons benefited through Yoga Shibirs and Universal Healing Programme. More than 6,500 prisoners from 23 jails of Gujarat benefitted from Preksha Dhyan Shibir (Meditation Camp)
Life Women Empowernment Centre: More than 7,158 widows and below poverty women have been trained in various trades to start their own micro enterprises or to gain employment to live with dignity.
Life Education Centre: Constructed 78 Primary Schools in rural areas of Gujarat State where more than 23,300 students have been receiving education; Awarded scholarships to the bright & needy students for higher education.
Life Greenfield Centre: More than 257,813 plants 6 feet to 8 feet for replantation after nurturing it for 3-4 years. 100% survival rate after re-plantation following scientific methodology.
Non Resident Gujarati (NRG) Centre: Rajkot: Reached out to over 2,850 NRGs/NRIs; one of the six Non Resident Gujarati (NRG) Centre’s identified by the Government of Gujarat, to serve as an information hub in Saurashtra and Kutch region of Gujarat to facilitate connectivity of the NRGs/NRIs with their native land.