ABOUT VEERAYATAN VIDYAPEETH, KUTCH
Following the devastating earthquake on the 26th of
January 2001, Veerayatan entered Kutch, the remote
desert region on the Northwestern border of the state of
Gujarat. The earthquake resulted in a death toll of over
20,000 people and injuries affecting over 166,000. Many
children were orphaned or were left with only one
parent. In addition, 650,000 homes were damaged or
destroyed, as well as countless numbers of businesses.
For many, traditional means of livelihood were lost.
Veerayatan was among the first service organizations present to
provide necessary relief and to help begin the process of
redevelopment. In the first few weeks following the earthquake,
Veerayatan helped to distribute relief materials to 12,326
As a result of the earthquake, UNICEF reported that 1500
schools in area had been completely or partially
destroyed. In the ensuing chaos, children were literally
roaming the streets. Concerned with the ensuing problems
of poverty and homelessness, as well as the possible
emotional trauma resulting from intermittent schooling or
the complete abandonment of education, Veerayatan began a
series of welfare and education programs to care for
affected children, women and adults.
Veerayatan’s initial help took the form of nine stopgap schools throughout Kutch, established in February, 2001. These were temporary schools, where classes were taught in tents. More than 150 teachers were recruited and employed locally, and children were provided with midday refreshments, study materials and transportation. In addition to these primary standard classes for children, vocational training courses were also taught for adolescents and adults. In all, more than 7000 students benefited from these attempts in the months following the earthquake.
These efforts proved to be enormously successful, so much so that on April 9, 2001, the New York Times—America’s leading newspaper—published an article describing Veerayatan as “the biggest, most honest and best organized private effort to provide stopgap schools for children in the state…of earthquake-torn Gujarat.”
|Veerayatan went on to establish primary
schools and vocational training
centers throughout all of Kutch.
At that time, Veerayatan had a fully operational semi-permanent center in Bhuj, and was in the process of building permanent centers in Jakhania and Rudrani. As seven years have now passed since the
earthquake and with a certain degree of stability returned to the region, the
resources devoted to Veerayatan’s 17 vocational training centers have been
redirected towards realizing the organizations dream of creating quality
educational institutions of all levels throughout Kutch. To read more on our
currently operational campuses at Rudrani and Jakhania, and information on our
future plans at Haripar and Punadi, please click on the tabs on the left.
Veerayatan’s ultimate goal is to
standardize a modern and top rate educational system throughout Kutch, so that
all students, regardless of caste, religion, and socio-economic status, can reap
the limitless benefits of a first-class education and consequently experience
both greater inclusion and society and a higher quality of life.
For more information or to find out how you can help Veerayatan’s efforts in Kutch, please contact us at
District Kutch 370460
Tel: 02834 275483