In time for the monsoon season, the Dholakia Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Hari Krishna Group, announced the inauguration of the UN 2023 Water Conference Lake in Dudhala Village, Lathi Taluka of Amreli District, Gujarat, India.
This momentous occasion marks the commencement of the Foundation's commitment made at the historic United Nations 2023 Water Conference in March this year to build five lakes as part of its environmental and sustainable development initiative.
Dholakia Foundation's lake rejuvenation project aligns with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation), Goal 13 (Climate Action), Goal 14 (Life Below Water), and Goal 15 (Life on Land), catalysing India and the global climate movement's efforts in achieving a water-secure and sustainable future for all.
In the heart of the Amreli District, Dudhala Village has become one of the many focal points of the Dholakia Foundation's commitment to water conservation and biodiversity. The inauguration of this lake by the Honourable Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri Bhupendrabhai Patel, and Honourable Governor of Gujarat, Shri Aacharya Devvrat Ji serves as a powerful testament to the foundation and the government of Gujarat’s strong collective support and mission to climate action and community empowerment.
The inauguration of the UN 2023 Water Conference lake marked a significant milestone for the Dholakia Foundation and Hari Krishna Group’s journey in developing 125 lakes as it currently benefits 200,000+ farmers and villagers. On this occasion, Shri Savji Dholakia, the visionary and powerhouse behind the Dholakia Foundation, warmly welcomed villagers and highlighted the lakes' significance in promoting sustainability, considering water as a symbol of life. At the event, people from 60 villages proudly raised their banners, celebrating the 'Amrit Sarovar Initiative'. The enthusiasm and support of the villagers display the power of stakeholder engagement in climate advocacy.
The inauguration ceremony commenced with a respectful air in the esteemed presence of the Honourable Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri Bhupendrabhai Patel, Honourable Governor of Gujarat, Shri Aacharya Devvrat Ji, and other distinguished guests.
Shri Ghanshyam Dholakia, Founder & Managing Director, Hari Krishna Exports Pvt Ltd., warmly welcomed esteemed guests at the inauguration ceremony, expressing deep gratitude for their presence. He acknowledged the Honourable Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri Bhupendrabhai Patel, the Honourable Governor of Gujarat, Shri Aacharya Devvrat Ji, and others. His address emphasised the event's significance in promoting sustainable development and water conservation aligned with the United Nations 2023 Water Conference's vision, resonating with a strong sense of purpose and commitment to shaping a brighter, water-secure future for all.
Padma Shri Savji Dholakia, the Founder of the Dholakia Foundation and Hari Krishna Exports Pvt. Ltd., graciously welcomed the esteemed dignitaries and conveyed his profound sentiments regarding the occasion, stating: "We are deeply grateful to our honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, for spearheading the vision of ‘Sab Ka Saath, Sab Ka Vikas,’ which has profoundly transformed the nation's perspective. As conscientious individuals and dutiful citizens of our country, we must direct our efforts solely towards contributing to the development of our villages, districts, and, consequently, the entire nation.
I committed to national development when Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the first Sarovar for the Amrutsarovar initiative. We have successfully established more than 125 lakes, with progress continuing to thrive. The Padma Shri Award has strengthened our resolve to contribute wholeheartedly to sustainable development. Our heartfelt appreciation goes to the state and central government for recognising our endeavours.
We sincerely thank the people from various villages and our community, whose unwavering dedication, commitment, and support have made all this possible.”
Honourable Chief Minister, Shri Bhupendrabhai Patel, highlighted crucial aspects and expressed, "We sincerely extend our gratitude to the Dholakia family and the Hari Krishna Group for their invaluable contributions to our nation. Under the visionary leadership of Honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi during the 'Azadi ka Amrut Mahotsav,' we actively addressed pressing challenges. We emphasised the significance of environmental preservation, green and solar energy initiatives, and water conservation in Gujarat. We express gratitude on behalf of the Government of Gujarat for Shri Savji Dholakia's proactive role in our vision to create over 75 lakes in each district. We also commend the unwavering support received from the people of 60 villages in this initiative. Together, with collaborative efforts, we are resolute in advancing our nation's development.”
In a persistent and eloquent address, the Honourable Governor of Gujarat, Shri Acharya Devvrat Ji, expressed heartfelt gratitude, stating, “I am thankful to the Almighty for bestowing immense strength and guiding us on the path of nation-building. On behalf of the Government of Gujarat, we congratulate Savjibhai for making a remarkable difference and actively contributing to the vision of the Government of India.
As we address the challenges posed by global warming, it becomes crucial to recognise the imminent struggles for water and natural resources if not conserved. I firmly believe in shifting towards organic farming and sustainable water harvesting systems, emphasising a zero-tolerance approach towards poisonous chemicals and toxins.
The conservation and implementation of various water harvesting techniques in Gujarat have significantly reduced the consumption of harmful chemicals. Padma Shri Savji Dholakia is a shining example of the principle ‘Work is Worship’, propelling the vision of creating Amrutsarovar.
We express our heartfelt gratitude to the remarkable 750,000 supporters for their invaluable contributions to organic farming. We aim to lead Gujarat as the foremost state in toxin-free, organic agriculture. I congratulate Shri Savji Dholakia and the countless supporters for their unwavering dedication to the government's visionary goals."
Shri Brijesh Dholakia, Jr. CEO of Hari Krishna Exports Pvt. Ltd., extended a heartfelt vote of thanks. He expressed profound gratitude to the esteemed dignitaries for gracing the occasion with their presence, adding immense value to the event. He thanked all the villagers, stakeholders, media and attendees for their enthusiastic participation, making the event a resounding success. Concluding with hope and inspiration, he urged everyone to carry the spirit of environmental stewardship forward, creating a sustainable and thriving world for future generations.
Dholakia Foundation and Hari Krishna Group honoured Keziah Gerosano, a Volunteer at the United Nations and the current CEO of the Dholakia Foundation, for her and her team’s outstanding contributions and advocacy towards climate action and sustainability. Their remarkable role in driving the Foundation's climate change efforts has been highly commendable and pivotal to advancing the cause.
The conclusion of the event was followed by Dholakia Foundation and Hari Krishna Exports felicitating the esteemed dignitaries, Shri Kaushik Vekariya, and Shri Janak Talaviya while expressing heartfelt gratitude to all the individuals whose support made this grand occasion an overwhelming success.
About Dholakia Foundation:
Dholakia Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Hari Krishna Exports Pvt. Ltd and assists the company in executing its CSR and Environmental initiatives. This philanthropic venture started in 1996 with Mr Savjibhai Dholakia and his three brothers, Ghanshyam Dholakia, Himmat Dholakia, and Tulsi Dholakia who established the Hari Krishna Charitable Trust. Dholakia Foundation’s mission is to preserve the environment and empower communities throughout India and beyond for a just and equitable future for all. Till date, Dholakia Foundation has successfully executed 50+ initiatives, developed 125 lakes, and planted 2.5 million trees.