ABOUT VEERAYATAN VIDYAPEETH, KUTCH

Background

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.

earthquake

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 families.

kutch

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.

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kutchFor more information or to find out how you can help Veerayatan’s efforts in Kutch, please contact us at

VEERAYATAN VIDYAPEETH
Bhuj-Mandvi Road
Jakhania, Mandvi
District Kutch 370460
Gujarat, India
Tel: 02834 275483
shilapiji@hotmail.com