Dr Anthony Raju and Mr. Mathurbhai Savani has launched poster for beti bacho beti padhao at Surat
Mr. Mathurbhai Savani was born in small village of Khopala, Taluka Gadhada, Saurashtra. He came to Surat and engaged himself with diamond industry. He started his own firm with few workers, which eventually turned in to one of the leading diamond producing unit in Surat named as “Savani Brothers”.
Mr. Mathurbhai Savani formed Saurashtra Jaldhara Trust which is a charitable trust in 1999-2000. Mathurbhai Savani and few others, working in diamond industry, having native villages in Saurashtra region. The trust is established as a transition from one-man show to a collective effort and a form of organization that supports single agenda, i.e. rainwater harvesting and solving problems of drinking water, irrigation and water for other uses. It has spent in all about 145 crores (14.5 billion) on about 20,000 check dams – on roadways and on rivers.
Mathurbhai organizes series of conferences in Saurashtra region and advertises these conferences through local newspapers / dailies. In all 9 such sammelan (large conference / gathering) have been organized in various parts of Gujarat. Along with this, the Trust promotes the idea of “vacation at native village, for native village”. Whosoever is interested in building check dam in the village then approaches Mathurbhai in Surat and Mathurbhai follows it up through workers of teat village; he organizes meeting in Surat with the diamond workers belonging to village and gets detailed information about village dynamics. He then holds meeting with two groups of people – the village residents of the village and the diamond workers of that village. They all jointly chalk out the plan – formation of village committee, total cost estimate, number of check dams to be built, and technical information related to check dams, contribution of village residents, and allocation of JCB machines and so on. The engineers of the trust visits village and prepare technical reports and submit the files to the government.
Saurashtra Jaldhara Trust was formulated and officially registered as a trust in February 2000. It was established to spread awareness about the vision of “prosperity through people’s participation”, under the leadership of Mathurbhai Savani, and to replicate the effort at other villages of the region following Khopala as a Model village.