Report to CAC/EKTA Donors on the Rehabilitation of the Victims of
the Gujarat Carnage in Juhapura, Ahmedabad and Kalol Taluka, Panchmahal
you recall, CAC and EKTA organized two events in the Bay Area last
July to raise funds for the victims of the Gujarat carnage. Your
generous contribution on the occasion was later matched by the American
India Foundation (AIF), making our combined contribution $50,000.
At the time, through consultations with AIF, we had made a decision
to send the entire amount to SAATH,
a reputable NGO in Ahmedabad, with years of experience in working
with low-income slum areas in the city. SAATH had submitted a detailed
proposal to rehabilitate hundreds of riot affected families
(mostly Muslims and some Hindus) in the Juhapura area.
I have made several trips to Gujarat in the
last eight months, along with other NRIs from a Sadbhavna Mission,
and I have had the occasion to review SAATH's work in Juhapura.
SAATH is working with a local community based organization and,
together, they seem to be doing a great job of identifying and meeting
the needs of specific families. Contrary to our initial expectations,
however, the need for new housing construction was a lot less than
the need for rehabilitating families (livelihood, education and
healthcare.) Accordingly, our funds are being utilized in these
areas--e.g. help towards deposits for new housing rentals, purchase
of sewing machines, auto rickshaws, tools for mechanics, running
Based on an assessment of SAATH's work, we recommended
to AIF and SAATH in January that they allocate a portion of our
funds to assist another housing project in Kalol, where the human
needs were much more acute (especially for Muslim families expelled
from villages such as Delol, which are still refusing to let them
in). All the parties agreed with that proposal, and nearly $23,000
was earmarked for this project, jointly undertaken by a local community
cooperative, Action-Aid, Jan Vikas, AIF /CAC/EKTA, and Jamiat-Ulema-I-Hind.
The referenced note on our web
site details the nature of this project, which is now reported to
be about 50% complete.
In summary, your contributions were extremely
helpful in meeting the needs of the worst affected families in Juhapura
and Kalol. And, on behalf of CAC and EKTA, I would like to take
this opportunity to convey our gratitude for your timely help.
We hear from people on the ground that the communal
environment in major cities of Gujarat is slowly coming back to
normal. On the other hand, we understand that the social and economic
boycott of Muslims in the rural areas is continuing to take a toll.
We also hear that beneath the calmer veneer, the environment of
hate has still not dissipated, underscoring the urgent need for
initiatives to promote communal harmony, especially among the young.
If you wish to know more about such initiatives, please do drop
us a line.
Report on the Kalol Project from Jan Vikas