BODALI SEVA MANDAL UK (BSMUK) NEWSLETTER AUGUST 2011
It is almost a year since the new Committee was elected at the last BSMUK AGM in September 2010. This newsletter is to keep our members informed of some of the issues and projects discussed and news from Gam which may be of interest to you.
As a Committee, we learnt that addressing some issues in Bodali from the UK is not an easy task, partly due to a general lack of response to the numerous letters we had sent to Gam. However, the President of the Bhakta Uvak Mandal, Shree Manganbhai Naranbhai has been a very supportive link between us and the Gam. With his help and suggestion we have provided Volleyball and Music equipment for the Bhajan Mandali, to the value of £710. The aim of this particular project is to improve the welfare of our village by occupying the Gam youngsters in the evenings with the hope of preventing future problems with alcohol abuse and such.
In December 2009, general much-needed repairs especially to the ceiling and roof of the Bodali Mandir were carried out at a cost of £114. Both costs were met from finances in our Endowment Fund.
Work on the second Water Tank next to the Mitha Kuva near the School has been completed but the tank has not yet been connected to the water pipes. This project which started in 2008 with a budget of 12 lakh Rs (approx £16,200) was 85% funded by the Indian Government and 15% by the New Zealand Gamvasi.
The Gam Seva Council (GSC) commissioned the building of a Public Hall near the old Vad (Banyan) tree, one of our Gam’s historic landmarks. Sadly the tree was cut down prior to the hall being built. General discontent amongst our members and others led us to writing to the GSC registering our concern; with a plea to inform and involve all NRI’s living abroad in future about planning issues that affect the environment of the Gam.
We would also like to point out that two incorrect items on Page 6 in the BSM(UK)Directory 2008 need amending-item 6: The road between Horimora and Goya Talaav is not tarmacked as stated and item 8: the extension to the library at Navgivan Mandal, Khadi Falia has not been built.
We are pleased to announce that our website www.bodaligam.com has been created. We hope to keep our members updated with news and current affairs from here and in Bodali. In future our newsletters will be available not only to our UK members but also the wider community in India, USA, NZ and Canada. This is a great opportunity for us all to work together and bring the Bodali community closer. We hope to use this network with our future projects such as completing the Water Pipes, providing funding for more computers and fees for tuition teachers from November for the school and Street Lights for the Gam.
Finally, in June 2011, we learnt that the escalating problem of soil excavation from the Poona River led to over 800 people in Bodali (population approx. 2300 ) signing a petition opposing this damaging activity from continuing. Severe land erosion has led to flooding and loss of acres of land near the river, with the prospect being worse if this activity is allowed to continue unheeded. To generate such a high number of signatures reflects the severe discontent of the people of our Gam and as Bodalivasis living in the UK, who care for our Gam, we must also support our Gamvasis decision. An official letter from BSM (UK) Committee has been sent and we urge you and your family to sign the petition accompanying this newsletter.