Stories

Meena and Jayendra: Making A Difference for Children in Gujarat


Drs. Meena and Jayendra Patel attended their first Pratham gala in Houston over twelve years ago and since then have been continuously involved with our cause. Most recently, they made a generous donation to support Pratham’s Hamara Gaon initiative in the Asarwa ward near Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Their gift comes at a crucial moment for Pratham and will sustain our education programs for three years across 50 communities, collectively impacting 7,000 children.

Launched in 2018, the Hamara Gaon (our village) campaign aims to establish a long-term presence in communities directly served by Pratham. In addition to supporting children’s education at various stages, the program equips and empowers local stakeholders to take ownership of children’s learning needs by engaging families and creating awareness around the importance of education.

The retired physicians joined the Pratham Austin board in August 2019 after relocating from Texarkana. In December of the same year, they visited a Pratham center in Mumbai. The trip made a lasting impression and inspired them to do more. “In today’s world, foundational skills are needed for survival,” Meena explained. “Education prepares those in need and is a powerful tool. It helps to expand the mind, promote hope and confidence, cultivate intellect and reasoning and raise the standard of living besides meeting basic needs of families.”

The Patels are especially appreciative of the transparency in reporting and consistent communication by Pratham regarding how their donation will be utilized. Despite COVID-19 restrictions, our team organized a special video call allowing the Patels to learn firsthand the impact their contribution is making in communities.

“It is good to know that we can be of some help sitting here in the US by contributing financially to uplift communities by increasing literacy and giving them vocational guidance,” Jayendra remarked. “We believe that it is important to give back to society for all that it has given us, is the most satisfying aspect of life.”

The remarkable gift was greatly apprciately by Pratham Austin Chapter Presidents Vandana Kumar and Ashish Gupta: “With the support and generosity of people like the Patels and other Hamara Gaon supporters, we feel motivated and encouraged that we have been able to bring together people who believe in the cause and can contribute to the sustainable and long-term betterment in the lives of children in India.”


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