Social Entrepreneurship – The KSS way
Kashmiri Sewak Samaj,
Faridabad represents the Social, Cultural and religious aspirations of the 1000 families of Kashmiris, 90% of who have settled in this township after the displacement from the Valley in the early 90’s. Kashmiri Sewak Samaj was founded in the early 80’s and the founding fathers created and inculcated a spirit of brotherhood, discipline and service among the team members of the Executive of the Samaj.
Shri D N Kaul, a teacher by profession, founded the Samaj in Faridabad. As the story goes, a Punjabi Transporter in Faridabad had a KP employee, who had a sudden death. The Punjabi gentleman went around the town to locate a KP family so that the deceased KP could have his last rites as per Kashmiri tradition. The responsibility of collecting KPs in Faridabad for the last rites of the deceased fell on late D N Kaul Sahib. After the event, Shri D N Kaul tirelessly worked to keep the community well knit and socially together.
In the mid eighties, Shri Shibanji Raina as the President and Shri K L Bakshi gave KSS a simple and workable Constitution, which created the foundation of the KSS body as a cohesive and disciplined team. Shri M N Pandita, an entrepreneur by profession, led KSS as the President till 1993. His tenure was marked by spirit of selfless service and immediate help to the needy in a silent and obedient way.
The Faridabad Biradari approached Shri J N Kaul in 1993 to lead the Community keeping in view the turbulence that the Community was undergoing due to trauma of loss of home and their homeland. The first couple of years were very challenging as our Boys and Girls in the camps were facing a future without hope. Given the abysmal living conditions in one-room tenements, the boys and girls were growing into unemployable adults. Here Shri J N Kaul conceived the first bold step of Social Entrepreneurship. All India Kashmiri Samaj, Kashmiri Sewak Samaj and the SOS Children’s Villages of India forged an alliance to recruit boys and girls from the camps and impart one years training to them in Computer Applications. Specials Hostels were created for these boys and girls in Faridabad and well-equipped Computer Lab was built in the Hermann Gmeiner Institute of Vocational Studies in Faridabad. Undertaking an effort like this was not easy as the skeptics were at each stage offering counsel to follow the easy way out and “cut corners for the sake of Practicability”! They wanted this education to be imparted to these boys and girls close to their homes in Nagrota and similar camps, in and around Jammu. But Shri J N Kaul would have none of this. He wanted the boys and girls to be far from a life of virtual hell in these one-room tenements. When the program came to close nearly 300 boys and girls became breadwinners for their families. The boys and girls would undergo a metamorphosis in their personalities after a first class boarding fitted with colour TVs, Refrigerators and more. Most of these boys and girls are employed today in Companies of repute. “Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime”. Our Social organizations may use their energies, resources and the thought to emulate the example given here. The last decade has been a decade of great accomplishment for the Samaj. The decade has given the Community two great Institutions: Sharika Bhawan and Hari Parbat in the Village Anangpur.
Sharika Bhawan is situated in the Institutional area, Sector 17,Faridabad adjacent to the famed Rose Garden. Kashmiri Sewak Samaj, under the visionary leadership of Padamshri Shri J N Kaul has achieved some thing unseen before. The Project initiated in 1995 has been a major achievement for the KP community, in working towards collective self-reliance. In the 90’s the community was faced with innumerable challenges of daily survival, education of children, employment and other socio-economic crises. The call of building an Institution with an outlay of Rs 1.5 crore was received, then, with some disbelief in many quarters. However, to the common KP, such a call brought renewed hope and the work on Sharika Bhawan brought a dedicated team of Social activists together to achieve this gigantic task.The Success of building the SHARIKA BHAWAN Institution is a story of dedication, single-minded devotion and the “will to follow the leader” that has marked the attitude of the executive of the Kashmiri Sewak Samaj. When the first call to contribute was made to the members of the Community far and wide, the response was enthusiastic and overwhelming. The response showed emotions of individual attachment to the “cause” and also revealed the spirit of generosity that lay possibly “latent” till the opportunity came to help & do something very meaningful for the generations ahead. While it was donors that made the largest single donations and helped KSS spur the activity, the large number of small donors, some of them just fresh in their jobs, some of them having limited resources of their own, and many of them donating small sums over a large period provided the major fuel to motivate the team. KSS plans to document each donor large and small, so that posterity knows how generously and emotionally each one of us acted in the hour of need.
The SAMAJ of Faridabad, as it stands today, has been an achievement as a result of the “effort, blood and sweat” of successive past Presidents and their respective Executive teams and KSS acknowledge their sense of devotion by inviting the past Presidents and lead the honouring ceremony. It was the solid foundation and the team building activity of the past Presidents that has helped KSS to initiate major institution building activity. Sustained work of past decades has made Faridabad known all over the world for doing constructive and socially highly relevant work. The major donors for SHARIKA BHAWAN have been:
Smt. Jaya and Dr. Maharaj Krishan RazdanSmt. Partibha & Shri Shiban Kishen BhanShri J N ParimooSmt. Jaikishori & Shri Makhan Lal BhatSmt. Ratna & Shri Kanhaya Lal RainaSmt. Leelawati And Shri Ram Chand Ganjoo Smt. Indira and Shri J N KaulSharika Bhawan today offers the KP community the following facilities: LOWER GROUND FLOOR-3,250 Square feet:Lalla Ded Heritage center for Scholastic activities Mezzanine -1000 Square feet:2 fully furnished Transit rooms for Sick and needy
Hall- 3,750 Square feet:Common Community facilities for Social and family events Hostel “Gauri Niwas”-4000 Square feet:Hostel Accommodation for needy students
First floor Prayer Hall-3, 100 Square feetMagnificent Mandir Complex of Maa Sharika What has made
Faridabad famous globally with in the KP Community, is HARI PARBAT – Chakrishwar. The tiny hamlet of Anangpur tucked in between the tourist attractions of Suraj Kund and
Badhkhal comes to life on NAVREH every year, when over 10,000 Kashmiris celebrate the Annual Nawreh at Hari Parbat Anangpur. It is always the largest gathering that the NCR of Delhi sees of the KPs. Hari Parbat at Anangpur has emerged as a center of pilgrimage for the Kashmiris and many a young here feel so emotionally charged that this is fast becoming the starting point for journeying to Hari Parbat, Chakrishwar; Zwala, Devi, Khrew; Kheer Bhawani, Tullamulla. Village Anangpur is where Shri J N Kaul set upon his journey into Child welfare over 40 years ago. Here the first
Village was set up and the Village has rocky
Mountains on its periphery. Shrimati Indira Kaul wife of Shri J N Kaul saw the image of Maa Sharika in formation while gazing at these mountains. When she shared this vision with Shri J N Kaul Sahib, he related this to the gathering of the elders present on the scene. So moved where the Village elders, that they resolved to have the Panchayat, donate the Hillock for making the temple of Maa Sharika. Hari Parbat has a Dhyan Peeth, a well furnished modern dwelling where one can go into a short sabbatical and come out refreshed and spiritually charged. At present, work is going on to complete the Lalla Ded Memorial – having marble plaques of the famous sayings of the saint-poetess of
Kashmir of the Bhakti era. It has a Devi Angan where Children come and play in fun and frolic. Devi Angan gives our children perhaps the only opportunity wherein they play and enjoy amongst a congregation they can relate to. On the Socio-economic front, the last decade for KSS has been the most challenging, rewarding and purposeful. KSS sponsored project to build 3 ultra-modern housing Societies has taken shape. These Housing projects called Lalleshwari, Sabzaar and Gayatri today are home to 200 families. These Societies have become the envy of the builder community in Faridabad given the open spaces and Architectural excellence in creating the needed facilities at the most economical price.
Having completed 3 landmark projects, what next? KSS is working on plans to build a GOLDEN AGE home for our lonely elderly and institutionalizing the concept of “Moch fole-saet Athroat” a campaign to help the needy and the meritorious children of our Community. It’s worthwhile to mention that for past many years KSS has been collaborating with SOS Children’s Villages of India to reach out to our meritorious Children in the camps by giving Scholarships. This effort needs to be strengthened many fold and here is where KSS intends to focus its energy in coming days ahead. (Puran Patwari)General Secretary