BSMUK ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 9TH SEPTEMBER 2012 SECRETARY’S REPORT.
Namaste All and “Thank you very much” for coming to the Meeting today.
Since our Samelaan last September we have had three Committee meetings and have discussed many topics that concern our Gam: such as the soil excavation from the River, the use of the Computer Room and facilities at the School, ways of renewing the funds in our Endowment Fund, increasing our membership and most recently the supply and quality of the water in our Gam.
The soil petition was delivered on the 28th Dec 2011 by Randhirbhai, our new Sarpanch and five others to the District Collector’s office in Navsari and a copy was also sent by courier to the Chief Minister for Gujarat in Gandhinagar. We have not had any replies to any of our correspondence and furthermore, new developments have occurred of which Hasmukhbhai will talk about later.
We sent £1512 to fund volleyball equipment and musical instruments for 5 Mandals in Gam. These are being used well; with the Bhajan Mandalis also visiting other villages.
BSMUK also spent 36,800Rs on 13 chairs with castors for the Computer Room to make it easier for the children to share the Computers at the School.
In March of this year (2012) we sent 80,000Rs to the Gam as a deposit to secure the Government funding for a new 650m pipeline.
Some of you may already have read the newsletter which we sent with the invite for this meeting today and are therefore aware of some of the issues that affect our Gam.
Hasmukhbhai, our President, will further expand on some of these in his address, but the main item that I need to address to you today is really a plea about donating for the Endowment Fund.
We sent you a slip for donations for the Endowment Fund and for membership of the Mandal together with the invite and some of you are probably wondering what this is all about.
The EF was first set up in 1992 by our Mandal to help fund projects in Gam, and over the years it has helped finance various projects in Gam; such as repairs to the Gam’s Mandir ,the School playground and the cricket ground, the provision of rubbish bins, crafts lessons, help for widows, the Bhajan Mandalis and most recently, securing funding for the new water pipeline.
We tried to finance these projects by using the interest only earned from the EF thus safeguarding the fund for future use, if the need arose. But, as we all know, with very low interest rates, the returns have been very little in the last couple of years and it has meant that we now have no other option but to use the fund itself.
We therefore decided to raise money again this year for the Endowment Fund as it has been over 18 yrs since it was originally set up. Some of you were probably just youngsters then and still at School or University. Please can we therefore humbly request all of you who are now working to consider donating £100 per person to our EF? I know it sounds like a lot of money but I would like to emphasize that this IS a once- only donation, we will not ask the same person to donate again and it works out at approximately ONLY £5 per year. What can we buy for £5 in this country? Very little .But it CAN be life-changing for many of our Gamvasis in Bodali. Also, as a Charitable organisation , we benefit further by claiming Gift Aid of £25 for every £100 donated.
So, if you have already given, we thank you most sincerely for your generosity and if not, PLEASE do not take too much time to think about it….. It is simple…..£5 a year goes a long way in Bodali.
So I am sure you will visit our desk today, at the front, if you have not already done so and thank you for doing so.
On a completely different note, I am sure most of us really enjoyed the London 2012 Olympics this summer and there was much talk about the Olympic motto “inspire a generation” with the aim of leaving a “legacy” for the next generation.
So what has the Olympics got to do with Bodali Seva Mandal, you may ask? To me, it is perhaps an example from which we can all learn something.
Our Mandal first started in 1971- that is over 40 years ago, and the most important asset any organisation can have to survive this long is the support of its members. I feel OUR generation has supported the Mandal for the last 41yrs, but what about our children, the next generation?
At the first Commitee meeting I attended as Secretary two years ago, we had discussions on what we can do for our youngsters here in the UK. But other more pressing issues; such as the sand excavation and recently the Water Problem in Gam itself also needed to be addressed and formed a large part of the topics we discussed. And, YES, they are important topics too and we ought to do as much as we can to help and improve the quality of life for our Bodalivasis in Gam also.
However, on a personal level, I also feel that it is important NOT to lose sight of the needs of our youngsters in the UK too.
So what IS Bodali Seva Mandal going to do to “INSPIRE” our next generation here into taking an interest in our Mandal?
HOW do we encourage them to give a thought about the lifestyle of their counterparts in Bodali and help those in need, if necessary?
And what “LEGACY”, as with the Olympics, will WE leave behind so that our Mandal can grow and continue for another 41 years? With Laxmiben organising the children this morning to welcome us by singing the Gayatri Mantra so beautifully gives us plenty of hope. But we must not just give our children every opportunity to take part but also make it interesting and fruitful for them so they continue to do so. This is where, I believe, the future of our Mandal lies.
As this is my last term of office as Secretary of BSMUK I would like to take the opportunity to thank all those who have helped me in the last two years and enlightened me considerably about our Gam.
Apart from the Committee members, there are many of our Bodalivasis in the UK who are not on the Committee and some of them are here today, but who nevertheless work tirelessly for our Gam; be it contributing financially or otherwise.
Our sincere thanks go to them and also to all of you here today for the enormous support you give us, not just today, but I am sure will continue to do so in the future.
Thank you and Namaste.
Chandrikaben.N.Patel (Secretary BSMUK 2010-2012