Family Matters

The family has been the most fundamental unit of society; especially in the Indian context. BJS has acknowledged this fact ever since it was first formed and has worked ceaselessly to ensure that the family is at the nucleus of all its efforts to bring about social change.

An individual, be it a boy or a girl forms an integral part of the family. An individual goes through varied roles and situations through life and requires inputs at various critical junctures of this cycle. BJS has recognized this need for the individual to be empowered at these stages and has designed appropriate empowerment programs to fulfill it.

For students BJS has designed the Students Assessment Programs for classes IV and VIII to help them (and their parents) gauge their emotional, social, physical and intellectual well being. BJS offers the "Empowerment of Girls" and "Empowerment of Boys" programs that are aimed to equip the youth to face the challenges of their changing world. Career Guidance programs are also conducted to help students to identify their strengths and weaknesses and help them plan their future professional life accordingly. For those with and aptitude for business, BJS has well designed Entrepreneurial Development programs.

On the marital front, BJS is the pioneering organization to establish the concept of "Parichay Sammelans" a forum where aspiring brides and grooms along with their respective families can gather, share thoughts, contemplate and form matrimonial alliances. Started initially with the Jain community as the focus, this concept has now gained strong acceptance in all communities. In fact BJS also conducts such Sammelans for niche groups such as widows, divorcees and the differently abled.

For the married, BJS has the "Empowerment of Couples" program that aims at strengthening the relationship between the husband and the wife through empathetic communication. For the family as a unit BJS offers "Holistic Development of Family" and "Basic Family Counseling" programs.

A special mention needs to be made of the "Mass Marriages" movement that BJS championed in its early years to fight against the then prevalent social evils of dowry and excessive spending during marriages. What started off as sporadic events slowly gained momentum, culminating into a nation-wide movement, thanks to the strategic networking efforts of BJS.

Apart from the focus on family related issues, BJS has also been working actively on other related social issues like the skewed female gender ratio in India. Its volunteer force has been creating awareness within various communities across the country in a systematic manner with a definite impact.

Another example of BJS's commitment to social causes is the free Plastic Surgery Camps it has been conducting since 1991. These camps offer free surgical corrections of facial deformities like cleft lip, cleft palate and squints to children from the economically weak sections of the society. As a result of these surgeries conducted by the US based noted surgeon Dr. Sharadkumar Dicksheet more than 400,000 children have been given a hope of a more confident and bright future.

What began as an emotional crusade against the various social ills plaguing the society has now evolved into a fine tuned scientific system to channelize holistic development within the society. BJS works with individuals, families and communities and identifies the root causes of the various social problems through in-depth research. Issues at all socio-economic levels of the society are carefully analyzed and specific intervention programs are developed to resolve these. These programs do not merely concentrate on welfare but also have strong developmental components embedded in them. BJS firmly believes that the "family" is the pivotal institution around which the society revolves and all the programs of this basket aim at catalyzing the transformation in society through the "empowerment of the family".

The family has been the most fundamental unit of society; especially in the Indian context. BJS has acknowledged this fact ever since it was first formed and has worked ceaselessly to ensure that the family is at the nucleus of all its efforts to bring about social change.

An individual, be it a boy or a girl forms an integral part of the family. An individual goes through varied roles and situations through life and requires inputs at various critical junctures of this cycle. BJS has recognized this need for the individual to be empowered at these stages and has designed appropriate empowerment programs to fulfill it.

For students BJS has designed the Students Assessment Programs for classes IVth and VIIIth to help them (and their parents) gauge their emotional, social, physical and intellectual well being. BJS offers the "Empowerment of Girls" and "Empowerment of Boys" programs that are aimed to equip the youth to face the challenges of their changing world. Career Guidance programs are also conducted to help students to identify their strengths and weaknesses and help them plan their future professional life accordingly. For those with and aptitude for business, BJS has well designed Entrepreneurial Development programs.

On the marital front, BJS is the pioneering organization to establish the concept of "Parichay Sammelans" a forum where aspiring brides and grooms along with their respective families can gather, share thoughts, contemplate and form matrimonial alliances. Started initially with the Jain community as the focus, this concept has now gained strong acceptance in all communities. In fact BJS also conducts such Sammelans for niche groups such as widows, divorcees and the differently abled.

For the married, BJS has the "Empowerment of Couples" program that aims at strengthening the relationship between the husband and the wife through empathetic communication. For the family as a unit BJS offers "Holistic Development of Family" and "Basic Family Counseling" programs.

A special mention needs to be made of the "Mass Marriages" movement that BJS championed in its early years to fight against the then prevalent social evils of dowry and excessive spending during marriages. What started off as sporadic events slowly gained momentum, culminating into a nation-wide movement, thanks to the strategic networking efforts of BJS.

Apart from the focus on family related issues, BJS has also been working actively on other related social issues like the skewed female gender ratio in India. Its volunteer force has been creating awareness within various communities across the country in a systematic manner with a definite impact.

Another example of BJS's commitment to social causes is the free Plastic Surgery Camps it has been conducting since 1991. These camps offer free surgical corrections of facial deformities like cleft lip, cleft palate and squints to children from the economically weak sections of the society. As a result of these surgeries conducted by the US based noted surgeon Dr. Sharadkumar Dicksheet more than 400,000 children have been given a hope of a more confident and bright future.

What began as an emotional crusade against the various social ills plaguing the society has now evolved into a fine tuned scientific system to channelize holistic development within the society. BJS works with individuals, families and communities and identifies the root causes of the various social problems through in-depth research. Issues at all socio-economic levels of the society are carefully analyzed and specific intervention programs are developed to resolve these. These programs do not merely concentrate on welfare but also have strong developmental components embedded in them. BJS firmly believes that the "family" is the pivotal institution around which the society revolves and all the programs of this basket aim at catalyzing the transformation in society through the "empowerment of the family".

national concern

  • in the early 80s the practice of dowry was a major concern
  • declining sex ratio of the female gender is a cause of concern
  • increasing divorce rates
  • breakdown of the concept of "Family"
    • no structured mechanism available to arrest this breakdown
    • rapidly widening gap between generations
    • resultant slowdown in the holistic development of the nation

social sensitivity

  • anticipating the breakdown of family from the prevailing trends and conceptualizing solutions to arrest and reverse the same
  • anticipating the catastrophic impact of declining sex ratio on society in the days to come
  • configuring solutions to meet the varying cultural orientation across the nation
  • providing solutions for those born with congenital defects

developmental innovation

  • elevating personal issues family problems from the individual domain to a social platform
  • pioneering community activities to address social issues; these activities are now mass movements
  • designing interventions for individuals of all age groups as well as for the family as a unit
  • providing vital social, educational and career inputs at critical milestones in life

participatory process

  • entire family covered by all programs
  • participants express their sense of identification with the program design and content
  • programs are upgraded/revamped based on participants' experience
  • decentralized network of volunteers possessing a strong sense of ownership

sustainable solutions

  • capacity building of all stakeholders ensured in design
  • judicious mix of "professionalism" and "activism" as applicable in all approaches
  • beneficiary feedback has positive impact within the community
  • programs are simple, transparent, practical and well structured

meaningful impact

  • mass marriages and 'parichay sammelans' are now widespread social movements
  • changes the mindsets and perspectives of the participants
  • "ripple effect" touches the lives of peers and family
  • BJS looked upon as a "social arbitrator" in resolving family matters

SAP IV

Introduction:

The SAP IV Test is a multi-dimensional test specifically designed and developed for the students of standard IV. This test measures emotional, social, physical and intellectual growth of the student.

Need for the Test:

Today's children have to face the challenges of the rapid pace of technology, information explosion, media and general environment. Therefore, their intelligence and abilities are being tested to the utmost. It has become increasingly difficult for parents to gauge the emotional, social, physical and intellectual growth of their children at this juncture. Acknowledging the potential talents and aptitude of a child are imperative at this stage and age. If not done at the right time, it could hamper the future of the child and prove detrimental to the child's progress and development.

Salient features of the Test:

  • The test is built on the solid foundation of BJS's 25 years of experience of working with children from different backgrounds
  • The test is designed after in-depth research by a highly professional in-house team in consultation with an expert committee
  • It is a simple and achievable test of three hours, for which the student requires no preparation.
  • The format is multiple-choice; in other words, simply worded questions are followed by four choices, from which the child has to select one right answer according to his/her understanding.
  • The results are computer generated, hence accurate and reliable.

Attributes of the Test:

  • The test is divided in four groups: Emotional & Social Ability, Mental Ability, Health Awareness and Co-curricular Ability. These four groups are further subdivided into four sub-parameters each.
A B C D
Emotional & Social Ability Mental Ability Health Awareness Co-curricular Ability
Emotional Intelligence Speed & Accuracy Attitude to fitness Listening
Social Intelligence Observation Personal Hygiene Reading
Habits & Behaviour Similarity Height Speaking
General Awareness Non Verbal Reasoning Weight Word Sequencing

Benefits of the Test:

The current world of technological advancement is fast paced and places heavy demands on the intellectual ability and emotional stability of human beings. Children being our only and true assets, it is imperative to gauge their strengths and weaknesses at an early age to enable us to guide them towards improving and enhancing their skills at all levels. This is what the SAP IV Test enables parents and teachers to gauge and then help the child to improve so that children from any background can compete at the global level in the future.

A) For students

  • To become aware of his/her potential abilities.
  • To take steps towards holistic development.

B) For parents

  • To become aware of the child's overall growth.
  • To take suitable remedial measures for the holistic development of the child.

C) For schools and teachers

  • To highlight the strengths and weaknesses of all students.
  • To better plan the nurturing of students' skills and abilities and to minimise the weaknesses.

SAP VIII

Rationale:

Exploiting to the maximum inherent potential of your child is the need of the hour and every parents dream. The Jain community being traditionally a business community, generally bring up their children expecting them to inherit the family business.

It is essential that we carry out a scientific assessment of the potential and aptitude of children to know their interests, likings and their weaknesses in order to groom them to utilise their full potential for the benefit of the family business and the community, as well for the action.

Aim:

Making an in-depth assessment of the potential of the child.

Making the parents and the teachers aware of their wards strengths and weaknesses.

Facilitating the parents to help and guide the child to exploit their own full potential.

Salient Features of the program:

Three levels of assessment so that the career decision made is most appropriate and for the benifit of the child.

These test results give the details of the student's aptitude, areas of interest, lacunae in the aspired field and facilitating to enhance the abilities and skills in the potentials and by giving guidance to select the career.

Program Benefits:

For the students :

  • Increasing self awareness.
  • Correct assessment of aptitude.
  • Areas of interest and liking.
  • Valuable insights into one's personality traits.
  • Awareness of strengths and areas for improvement.
  • Generates inquisitiveness to know details of various careers.

For Parents:

  • Awareness of child's potential.
  • Guide the child in building aptitude and potential.
  • Plan child's future career.

Career Guidance

The Jain students like other students, are at a crossroad when they complete their school level studies. The reason being, that today, students have far too many options before them, but lack professional guidance, and hence are unsure about their career plans. It has been observed that the Jain students are already blessed with a high IQ, and with the right guidance will be able to steer their career towards the right path.

The career guidance process helps the students to identify their strengths and needs and builds a plan based on their personal profiles. It gives the students an access to information and empowers them to achieve their potential, and experience success and gratification from whatever they choose.

The programme is aimed at

  • To create awareness for the Jain students of the various career options available.
  • To provide information regarding the requirements and eligibility for the various careers.
  • To provide information regarding the standard techniques required to achieve desired career goals.

Some Salient Features of the Program

To develop positive attitudes towards lifelong learning and skills, which meet their personal, social, career and educational needs.

To provide students with basic economic understanding, skills in understanding themselves and educational/occupational opportunities and skills.

A site that can give additional information-Knowledge Kafe, a site created to cater to students, teachers, parents and trustees. One can log on to our web site: www.fjei.org and then click to Knowledge Kafe and register themselves. They will have access to a great amount of information on various colleges in India, Study Abroad information for US and Australia, Entrance Exam guidance, Scholarship for Study Abroad and Study in India and list of FJEI affiliated colleges, simple search news and events regarding educational fairs, external links to educational sites and much more.

Programme Benefits:

  • Students learn a career planning process that involves decision-making skills that can be used throughout their lifetime.
  • It helps the students to achieve an improved preparation and participation in post secondary education.
  • The students become focused as they see the connection between what they are learning and their future education/work goals.
  • It helps students to be motivated, generate confidence and adaptability to be gainfully employed in the future.

Empowerment of Girls

Rationale

Our world is rushing through more changes during the last 15 years than it has witnessed over the past 500 years. Our country is advancing; the significance of education is changing; we are reaping the benefits of the computer and the Internet; communication facilities are growing; the mass media is growing ber. As a result, we are progressing, but we are also suffering the harmful effects of these changes. To live a happy life under such circumstances, every human being has to confront every difficult issue. Only those individuals, who can protect themselves in this adverse situation and move ahead, may truly be called educated and civilised.

The college atmosphere is polluted; TV and the media have a bad influence; people are picking undesirable things from the Internet; immorality and crime is on the rise. Therefore, not sending our girls to college or telling them not to make friends is not the solution. At the same time, it is crucial that parents interact with their daughters properly at home in the changed situation.

How do we equip our young girls to confront pollution, despite living in this polluted atmosphere and how to save oneself from undesirable things by correctly understanding them? After complete study and deep research into these issues, the Bharatiya Jain Sanghtana has prepared a 32-hour certificate course for unmarried girls, entitled, "Empowerment of Girls to face the Social Challenges of the 21 st century ".

The areas of concern that have been addressed in the certificate course are:

  • Generation Gap and lack of Communication.
  • Imbalance in Education of Boys & Girls.
  • Impact of College and environment.
  • Impact of Friend circle.
  • Impact of changing nature of Family.
  • Impact of Technology (Mobile phones & Internet).
  • Impact of Mass Media.
  • Impact of Environment - Urban & Rural.
  • No Proper Guidance for Matchmaking.
  • Girls between 18-22 years marrying outside the community without parental consent.
  • Breaking of Engagements.
  • Increase in rate of Divorces.

Empowerment of Boys

'Empowerment of Boys to Face the challenges of Today's World' is a certificate course that has been designed, developed and planned for youths in the age group of 15 to 25 years. This course covers aspects of career, skills and knowledge development, major issues related to family, friends & reduced value system that the youth of today are confronted with and enlightens them with the methodology to handle these. The boys are empowered, trained and equipped with enough skills and changes in their mindset so that they can handle these challenges in future. It also bridges the generation gap with parents and improves communication. They also know how to deal with friends and peer pressure, to adapt and adjust with the changed college atmosphere, technology and eventually, the course help them in making a deliberate and mature decision for future.

The specific areas of concern that require immediate and urgent attention that have been addressed in the course are generation gap and lack of communication with family, impact of changing nature of family, reduced value system, peer pressure, impact of Western Culture & Technology (Mobile phones & Internet), Lack of self-confidence, emphasis on business and hence negligence to education, also marriage related issues.

For more details contact BJS Head Office

Empowerment of Couples

Rationale

Marriage is a sacred union of two unknown individuals, who come together, live together and grow together. They have the blessings of Bhagwan Mahavira. Though they are made in heaven, they are solemnized on earth. Then why is it that after marriage some couples cannot live together happily, there are tensions between husband and wife, between the daughter-in-law and mother-in-law and sometimes with the father-in-law also. Our society is becoming plaqued with unhappy home. This is becoming a burning issue among young married couples, not only amongst the jain community but in all communities across the world. A survey was carried out and feelings of a large number of newly married couples were recorded, a need analysis was done and found that certain issues and areas which need to be addressed urgently for the harmony of Indian Family and Indian Society. The areas are

  • Lack of understanding
  • No acceptance of changed environment
  • High and unrealistic expectations
  • Reluctance to compromise
  • Difficulties in adjustment.
  • Unfulfilled commitments
  • Unaware and unprepared to manage pressures after marriage
  • Disrespect
  • Unwarranted interference by girls parents
  • Lack of quality time that couples get to spend with each other
  • Lack of meaningful communication
  • Comparison (before & after marriage): Freedom before marriage and responsibilities after marriage

The programmed is aimed at

This program brings happiness in the married life and helps the couple in understanding the following issues of married life.

  • Acceptance of changed environment both for the wife & the family members.
  • Expectations from each other
  • Adjustments to be done in married lie
  • Giving time and space to each other
  • Compromises to be made in married life
  • Importance of open communication
  • Importance of Patience, ego and tolerance in married life
  • Sacrifices in married life

Salient features of the program

  • The program is conducted as a two days workshop.
  • Attendance to all sessions is a must.
  • Couples married for 10 years or less can join.
  • All sessions are interactive with lot of activities and participation.
  • The details of each sessions are as follows laws.
No. Participants No. of Sessions
1 Introduction (All family Members) 1
2 Wife 4
3 Husband 1
4 Husband & Wife 1
5 Husband, Mother & Father in Law 1
6 Mother in Law 1
7 Closing Ceremony (All family Members) 1
Total 10

The Program benefits :

The Candidates

  • It helps to brings the couple more closer and increase their communication.
  • It helps the couples to understand that we all are different and that we need to respect each other.
  • It makes the couples to share all the responsibilities together.
  • It also makes the husband realize that it is his responsibility to make the wife comfortable in the new home.
  • This course increases the communication between all members.
  • This also emphasizes that the new bahu is now the part of our family.

The Family

  • Greater communication amongst family members.
  • Giving time and space to understand the new environment and each others.
  • Caring and sharing amongst members.
  • Willingly Sacrificing and responsibility sharing

The Society

This program helps to preserve the concept of Family in Indian Society which in the past 20 to 30 years has shown greater fragility and break ups.

Parichay Sammelan

Marriage is that relation between man and woman in which the independence is equal, the dependence is mutual, and the obligation reciprocal.

Marriage and Career are probably the two most important aspects of adulthood that a person goes through. Choosing the Right Life partner is thus an essential requirement. Selection of a suitable & appropriate marriage partner becomes one of the important decisions of adult life. To facilitate the parents and the younger generation in finding their dream match, Yuvak Yuvati Parichay Sammelans are organized by Bharatiya Jain Sanghatana, for the Jain Community.

In olden days, the aged persons of the Community used to search suitable matches for their children in all communities especially in Jain Community. They had sufficient time to serve the society. But now in the present modern scenario, even the parents do not have sufficient time for their children. The declining sex ratio, more girls getting educated as compared to boys and the preference of girls for boys settled in cities... these are factors creating an unbalanced situation in arranging marriages. Globalization, higher education and changing lifestyle has brought changes in attitude also. Families are now open to idea of youngsters choosing the partner of their choice. However, youth in their single-minded pursuit of career find it difficult to locate a partner of their choice. Though the means of communication have increased manifold, parents can connect with each other and exchange data much more easily but it has not resulted in easy decision-making, on the contrary increased expectation and choices have made the task more difficult.

Parichay Sammelan is the answer to many of these problems, it blends in it all the traditional advantages, such as authenticity and trust, larger community help line and a ready made database which is checked and authenticated. It provides a ready made platform for prospective brides and grooms to find their life partners, thus simplifying the process of the most important decision of one's life - marriage. It saves the money & time and also makes the parents least worried in the matters of marriage of their wards. Now Parichay Sammelan are held in almost all communities and it has become a most useful program.

BJS also urges all its volunteers at all levels to organize such Sammelans for socially ostracized people such as widows, handicapped individuals and divorcees. There are large number of youths in villages who are uneducated and even unemployed they also need to be helped in providing required support in their rehabilitation. The challenges faced by this section of society are much harsher and there are no easy solutions for them. Arranging remarriages for these people is also a burning need of the community. Efforts should be made by each state Head to organize one such Sammelan in a year in their area of responsibility.

These Parichay Sammelan provides enormous preferences. For the last 20 years it has been conducted as a need based program of Jain community.

Objectives of Parichay Sammelan:

  • Provide a broad platform for prospective Yuvaks & Yuvatis for choosing a life partner
  • Provide a comfortable an congenial atmosphere to meet
  • Provide an opportunity for interaction between the families
  • Provide a comprehensive database of all the candidates for information of families
  • Reduce expenditure and save valuable time
  • Easy way for communication and further follow up
  • Gives an opportunity for Boys/Girls to speak out their mind, which is not feasible in the traditional manner of family meeting

Yuvak Yuvati Parichay Sammelan - Policy

  • Minimum One Yuvak Yuvati Parichay Sammelan per year in every state having BJS presence.
  • Minimum One Yuvak Yuvati Parichay Sammelan per year in all Regions of Maharashtra excluding Pune.
  • Minimum Four Yuvak Yuvati Parichay Sammelan by Pune Head Office mentioned as under
    • One Sammelan for Oswal/ Shwetamber Samaj
    • One Sammelan for Digambar Samaj
    • One Sammelan for Gujarati Samaj
    • One Sammelan for remarriage

Basic Family Counseling Course

Today though the world is coming closer, the 'minds' are going away from each other. This is seen even in young generation. There is a need to educate and counsel people to face the realities and create cohesiveness among society. For this it is necessary to create and train counselors who understand the nature of problems, and can help the society to maintain peace and harmony.

BJS has 25 years of experience in handling family problems, particularly, before and after marriage issues. BJS has now decided to create District wise 'BJS Family Counseling Centers' all over India. For this 'Basic Family Counseling Course' has been prepared which gives scientific knowledge and practical experience too.

In September, the 1st batch was conducted successfully at the Head Office of BJS, Pune. 17 volunteers from Jain community participated and got the benefit. Among them 5 were selected and approved as 'Counselors for Jain family counseling centers' of BJS. These counselors will provide their service free of cost for the society at large. People in need can approach them without hesitation.

This 'JainFamily Counseling Course' will be conducted at regular intervals by BJS.

Mass Marriages

Mass marriages in India have been taken place for a long time. However, mass marriages were not accepted by all members of society, especially the rich. The practice lacked the social respect and was looked down upon as a means for only those who were not well to do. Mr Shantilal Muttha and his activists understood that a mass marriage was a powerful tool to bring about a change in the Jain community and its age old practice of grand wedding ceremonies and excessive spending expected from the family of the bride. Most often the wedding of a daughter left a huge financial burden which, Mr. Muttha felt strongly about. He set about to remedy what he considered to be a social evil and his missionary efforts had far-reaching consequences that have left a permanent impact on the society.

It is very interesting to know how the idea of mass marriages emerged in Mr Muttha's sensitive mind. He was a student of a Jain boarding school in Beed district of Maharashtra for 4 years. Boys from the boarding school were called upon to serve as waiters and do other work during the marriage festivities of the rich Jain families who would donate Rs.500 to Rs.1000 to the boarding school for the services of its students.. During these occasions he got to observe the ways f those rich, their waste of food, the unnecessary and lavish expenditure and the show-off, which made him angry and upset . He could see that all this was just for maintaining the so called 'status' in the society. Yet the not so well-to-do wanted to emulate the 5-10 percent of rich people in the community and most often were compelled to meet the never ending demands of the families of the groom. When he completed his graduation, he tried to protest against this attitude of rich people but was ignored and did not get support just because he was not rich that time.

During 1980-84, he concentrated on his business and decided to use his own money for the social service work related to marriage issues. He decided to inspire people to go for mass marriages as a way of reducing expenditure, instead of just protesting against rich people. There was negative response from people for his efforts on mass marriages. An advertisement was given in the newspapers. He roamed for a year in various places out of Pune to convince people. But sadly got no response. As per the advices given by some people he first decided to get his niece married in a mass marriage. Some of his friends joined him in this activity. They started arranging marriages first and then convince them to go for mass marriage. After going through lot of pain and efforts, they could convince 25 couples to get married in a mass marriage including his own niece and her in laws.

They decided to organize this mass marriage in a very systematic and proper way so that the maximum number of people would come for the mass marriage and the idea of mass marriage would get prestige and status. The main aim of organizing a mass marriage in the Jain community in Pune was to reduce the lavish expenses of getting married and also to get poor and rich Jain couples married in the same pandal so that poor people would consider mass marriages respectable and acceptable.

Systematic and disciplined planning and organizing was done right from printing a giant invitation cards with the names of all 25 couples to the actual arrangement of wedding ceremony, food for thousands of guests and their stay in Pune. The news papers gave good coverage to the event and everyone praised the organizers for managing the event so well. Since the 25 Jain couples belonged to poor, middle-class and rich families, the idea of mass marriage got the prestige and status, which Mr Muttha wanted. And the mass marriage of 25 May 1986 was a great success.

Instead of going to each and every house of eligible brides and bridegrooms they then decided to hold a "vadhu-var palak melava" on 17th August 1986, which was planned as a gathering of eligible brides and bridegrooms along with their parents. They received a very good response for this 'melava' and also for the next mass marriage of 51 Jain couples held on 25th January 1987. With this success they decided to hold mass marriages in district towns so that the concept of mass marriages would take roots at the grass-root level. Mass marriages were organized for the Jain community at Ahmednagar, Jalgaon, Dhule and Amravati.

An unbelievable response was received for a big challenge of arranging mass marriage of all communities. Again the same efforts, disciplined planning and management, support from the society made the mass marriage of 625 couples held on 7th January 1988 on S.P. College, Pune a great success. Of the 625 couples, nearly 300 were tribal couples, some of them sent by Mrs Anutai Wagh from Thane and Kosbad districts including nearly 47 castes and religious communities and 23 Jain couples.

Like in the Jain community, mass ,marriages began to take place in the Agrawal, Maheshwari, Teli, Tamboli, Shimpi and Koli communities and even in Sikh community at Nanded. The concept of mass marriage has spread across Maharashtra in a big way. Thus the path-breaking social reform campaigns on marriage-related issues begun by Mr Shantilal Muttha in 1984 are followed up by BJS during the next two decades

Plastic Surgery Camp

Corrective surgeries for facial deformities for the poor children

  • Cleft Lip, Cleft Palate
  • Squint
  • Scar

Why the free surgery camps?

An infant born with facial deformities like Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate, Squint, and scars of different kinds suffers from depression and inferiority complex. Such boys and girls live a life of outcasts. They suffer in their studies and their overall health remains adversely affected. Such children, as they grow into adulthood, find it difficult to get married because of the deformities.

In most cases, parents of these poor and disabled children cannot afford the expensive plastic surgeries. The situation is worse if they live in remote villages where health services are not easily available.

Plastic surgery is the only solution in these cases. Unfortunately, plastic surgeons are few in number and most of them are based in cities. Dr Sharadkumar Dicksheet, the India-born surgeon who lives in USA, noticed the plight of these destitute children and began offering his surgical skills to remove the deformities. He offered his services since 1968without charging any fee while voluntary agencies started offering him ground support at various places in the country.

Bharatiya Jain Sanghatna joins hands: The BJS, which began its social activities in 1985 under the leadership of Shri Shantilal Muttha, joined Dr Dicksheet's humanitarian work in 1991-92. In the first year of the partnership, 869 children were surgically treated at six centres of BJS. The spirit of benevolence caught on among the BJS workers in other places. Among the biggest support for the BJS in this endeavour has been Pune's Sancheti Institute for Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation. The institute, set up by Dr K H Sancheti, offered its medical and para medical staff premises for the 1991-92 camp. It became an annual activity every year later as his son, Dr Parag Sancheti, also became part of the humanitarian work. After the first camp in Pune, BJS expanded its activity elsewhere in Maharashtra and outside. Every subsequent year, the number of free camps and the number of beneficiaries have been increasing. BJS activists could help 175,452 children get their deformities corrected in a span of 18 years, by 2008-09. The BJS organised 34 camps for Dr Dicksheet and his team who treated as many as 37600 infants in a single year, 2008-09!

The Maharashtra government has contributed to the cause by offering services of medical, para-medical and administrative staff, besides making available operation theatres, equipment and medicines at the district civil hospital when this free camp is organised at that town.

Dr Sharadkumar Dicksheet: God's Servant with a scalpel
He has proved to be an angel for over 250,000 children and adolescents as he corrected their deformities at the free plastic surgery camps held in different parts of the country. Born on 13th December 1930 at Pandharpur in Solapur district, Sharadkumar went on to become a successful plastic surgeon in USA. He decided to visit India to extend benefit of his skill and experience to the needy infants. He stuck to that decision even after he suffered two heart attacks, almost lost his voice due to cancer and continues to remain wheelchair-bound after a car accident in 1978. The kind surgeon prepares a meticulous calendar for his India to visit different places during the six months every year. Till now he has completed over 2,00,000 surgeries in these camps. He spends on his own not only for travel from Brooklyn, USA, but also for medicines, instruments and other essentials required for the camps. Dr Dicksheet's humility is reflected in his actions and in the few words he manages to convey. 'This is no charity,' he often says, 'I have a job to do.' And also in Mahatma Gandhi's footsteps, he insists, I work because I consider work as worship of God. So I do not expect any returns. He has been nominated for the coveted Nobel Prize eight times, and Government of India has conferred him with Padmashree.

Shree Shantilal Muttha: Man with the Mission to transform the Indian society
He spent his childhood in a community boarding school in a non-descript village of Maharashtra's Marathwada region, but never lost his spirit to rise in life and live for others. Shree Muttha set up Bharatiya Jain Sanghatana in 1985 that grew to serve the society in a number of ways. He has built up the Sanghatana as a crusading, non-political and non-profit organisation that has been serving as a model to voluntary agencies in the country. The BJS is dedicated to nation-building through its well-planned and meticulously executed activities such as Mass Marriages, Disaster Management, Relief and Rehabilitation after natural and man-made calamities. The BJS has, under the Federation of Jain Educational Institutes (FJEI), initiated a well-researched and planned project to improve quality of education since year 2002 (BJS-EDUQUIP). Although the project was initially meant for only the 1800 institutes under the FJEI, it is being implemented in government schools with invitation from the administrations of Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and states of Goa and Gujarat.

Such a mammoth task needs back up from like-minded people at all levels. The BJS does not lack such activists at each of its centre in India. Hundreds of its workers and office-bearers such as ( Names of People as approved By SGM /PP to be put), have ensured that the activity grows every year and the poor and the need people get the benefits of the camps..

Towns and cities where BJS organised free Plastic Surgery Camps so far (arranged alphabetically) : Ahmednagar, Alibagh, Amaravati, Bangalore, Barshi, Beed. Bhilwada, Bhiwandi, Bhopal, Chandrapur, Chinchwad, Chiplun, Dhule, Erod (Tamil Nadu), Indore (Madhya Pradesh), Jalgoan, Karjat, Khopoli, Kolhapur, Kolkata, Latur, Loni. Mahad, Malegaon, Mangaon, Mumbai, Nashik, Oras, Osmanabad, Palampur. Palghar, Panaji (Goa), Pandharpur, Pipalia, Pune, Ratnagiri, Sangamner, Satara, Sawantwadi, Shegaon, Shirdi, Shreerampur, Sinnar, Solapur, Sumerpur, Surat, Talegaon, Wardha, Yavatmal.

Holistic Development of Family

RATIONALE

Jains, world over have been known for being an entrepreneurial community, rich in its culture, traditions and philanthropic activities. The Jain Samaj has built religious establishments like Sthanaks, Upashrays, and Bhavans all across India for religious, spiritual and social purpose in all sampraday's. Through deep research and community meetings, Bharatiya Jain Sanghatana analyzed that today’s Jains were looking at these establishments as a platform for networking, skill development, knowledge up gradation and a place where all members of the family connect with respective fellow Jains to create a strong Jain Community. To ensure effective knowledge and fully utilize the existing infrastructure, Bharatiya Jain Sanghatana holds a program, “Holistic Development of Family,” at these Sthanaks. It is a well-researched, technology backed, documented and scalable project which includes Lectures/Seminars/Workshops/Classes designed for all age groups of the community. Some programs have been developed in-house and for some experts are called to present their subjects.

THRUST AREAS

The program is designed to cater to all age groups of people including the ladies.

  • Little Explorers (4 to 13 yrs) : Activities are focused to enhance their brainpower, moral and value education, co/extra-curricular, physical fitness skills etc
  • Y-Jaineration (14 to 24 yrs.): Aptitude assessment, soft-skill building, career guidance, empowerment of girls, empowerment of boys and marriage is the focus.
  • Young Professionals (25 to 40 yrs Male): A turning point, exchange ideas to achieve personal and professional success.
  • Leading Ladies (25 to 40yrs Female) : Creative home management, cooking, decoration etc
  • Family Heads (40+ yrs.) : Happy family management, retirement with pride.

BENEFITS TO INDIVIDUALS

Individuals can be benefitted by means of Knowledge up gradation, Skill Improvement and better Networking amongst the community.

BENEFITS TO SOCIETY

The societal benefits include Formation of social circles, social Security, addressing family and social gaps, platform to integrate all sub-sects of society and Health informed society.