- Late Shree Devchand Bhai
The vivid memories that I have of him are far and few due to the fact that we hardly saw each other and we left for UK at a very young age. Although we communicated with each other via phone, his real character is only portrayed by the third parties speaking of this devotion to the society and life in general.
I shall always remember my father as a friend who was there whenever required. He never refused us anything, neither did he want us to be extraordinary kids. But true individuals of society, we live in today. He always encouraged me in my studies, which I did not during my time in Kenya, And now having attained the standard which he deserved of me, I cannot personally show him the success that I have made of my career.
I hope these short memories will enable you to see the relationship between my father and I Even today the more mature I become the more I feel of his loss.
- Late Shree Vallabhbhai (A message from Vallabh bhai)
Everyone here is so happy about news. Raichanbhai said that since I am working for child welfare I was bound to be reward the way we have been. I think he is right because I earnestly believe that everything good happens to us in due to silent blessings of the Shishukunj children.
However having a son, both of us now have added responsibilities. To cater to his upbringing and to make him a responsible, sincere and a virtuous person. We also prayed to Lord for Pankaj and asked the Lord to make him a true Patriot and also to offer him a life full of devotion for the welfare of the country.
- History of Shishukunj Nairobi Complied by Mukesh bhai Malde
Kalaniketan (abode of fine arts) was established in Nairobi on February 12th 1955, by Shree Shantilal S Raithatha, Shreemati Manjulaben S. Raithatha, Shree Kanuprasad Mehta, Shree Ramesh Bhai Pandya and Shree Prasaanbhai Acharya. The aim was to provide cultural activities such as music, dances, raas garbas etc, for the adults of the gujarati community in Nairobi.
In March 1955, Shree Indubhai Davey came to Dar-es-Salaam and establishes a Shishukunj Centre there, Vinod Bhai R. Ptel and Shree Ratibhai B. Patel of Nairobi were in Dar-es-Salaam and happened to join a Shishukunj picnic. They were amazed by the activities there for the children of Shishukunj. On their way back, they expressed their observations to Shree VallabhBhai Patel. Who was already conducting children’s activities, as a sub- activity of kalaniketan, under the banner “Fulwadi.” He was convinced to go visit the Shishukunj in Dae- es- Salem and meet Shree Indubahi. Shree Vallabhbhai Patel who was convinced that children’s welfare and development activities should take a centre stage at Kalaniketan Shishukunj.
t the time Shree Devchand Bhai S. Shah joines Kalaniketan and was soon to become a lietanant of shree Vallabhbhai. They were known as “Ram Nad Laxman” of Shishukunj.
Shishukunj started with 20 Memebers, Patel Brotherhood was its base and the public alleys were its playgrounds. However by the late 1960’s Shishukunj made a dynamic progress. Four centres were opened in nairobi nd the fifith centre was established in Thika. By 1972 Shishukunj flourishes centres running smoothly:
- Patel Brotherhood also known as town Kendra
- Brahma Sabha Kendra
- Sharda High school Kendra
- South ‘C’ Kendra
- THika Kendra
These Kendra accommodated a total of 400 children.
As time went by new ideas and plans flowed in. It was time Shishukunj carried its own identity and landmark. So a new plot was purchased in Ngara in 1972.
The darkest period in the history of Shishukunj was 2nd February 1975. Beloved Karyakars of Kunj, Shree Vallabhbhai S. Patel and Shree Devchand Bhai S. Shah passed away in a Car accident near Kericho, while returning from Kisumu where they had gone for a Shishukunj mission. The mission was to promote our first major stage program of Amar Halaji, which was directed by Dushyant Bhai Thanki, who also expired at the same time. It was a tragic loss for the Institution. Members were left in shock. Doubting people tht the end of shishukunj will be sooner rather than later.
However, with the training and knowledge imparted by these two heroes to the young karyakars, and the silent blessing of the children and special help from Shree Amarbhai Kanzaria, Shree Narendrabhai Buddhdev, Shree Rameshbhai Desai, Shree Rajnibhai Acharya and Shree Rameshbhai Joshi. Shishukunj was collectively steered out of this difficult time with hardwork and dedication. With public support, a new building was also completed in 1981. Unfortunately Late Shree Vallabhbhai and Late shree Devchand Bhai did not live to see their dream come true.
Shishukunj has come a long way since then. Although one constant problem is that Nairobi Shishukunj faces is the departure of Karyakars who either go overseas for further studies or leave for personal reasons, despite this Shishukunj has always maintained its high standards.
Currently, Nairobi Shishukunj activities are in full