Balwant Bhawan, Plot No. 1496-A
Lok Sevak Mandai, Bhavnagar (Gujarat) was established in 1968 by late Shri Jadavbhai Modi, who was Life Member of the Society. After his retirement in 1984, Shri Prasannvadan Mehta has been the Chairman and Incharge of the Centre.
The Local Advisory Committee of the Centre comprising important persons of the area meet once in two months and decide about the future plans to be undertaken for the development of the Centre. The activities of the Centre are as under:
1. Allotment of Houses:
For providing minimum possible residential accommodation to the Jhugi Jhaumpari dwellers of Jawahar Maidan, whose Jhuggies were demolished by the State Government, Shri Kirtibhai Pandya alongwith other social activists approached the Department of Social Welfare, Housing Board and persuaded them to allot houses to the Jhugi-Jhaumpari dwellers. On constant persuasion, the concerned Department allotted accommodation to the 400 families costing RS.34,000/- each house. In addition to the allotment of the houses, a sum of RS.15,000/- was given to each family for carrying out repairs. The remaining (524-400) 124 families were not allotted any accommodation. For these 124 families the Society took up vigorously with the concerned authorities and ultimately persuaded them to allot houses to these 124 families. The Department of Social Welfare agreed to the request and allotted houses to them. Thus all the 524 dwellers of Jhugi-Jhaumpari were allotted residential houses. On 24.4.2009 keys of these houses were handed over to the 524 families in the presence of Shri P.M. Mehta and officials of the Housing Board, Gujarat. In addition to the allotment of houses, help to the tune of RS.2.52 crore was also given them.
2. Adult Education:
To provide minimum possible education to the adults, living in the slum area, the Bhavnagar Centre decided to start educational facilities in the nearby areas. Accodingly two adult education centres were started at Mahavir Nagar and Shivsar with 25 and 35 students respectively. The adult education programme is quite popular in the area and is functioning satisfactorily.
3. Felicitation function:
Gujarat Vidyapeeth and SOPS jointly organized the felicitation function and gave away RS.1 001- plus a blanket to ten lady workers in recognition of the services rendered by them for the development ofthe Centre.
4. Kathak Nritya Group:
Kathak Dance group is being run by Mrs. Kajal Mulle, an exponent of classical danceThe Group is recognized by Gandharv Mahavidyalaya. In addition dance students from outside also appeared in the examination conducted by Gandharv Vidyalaya.
5. Tabla Harmonium classes:
The classical instruments, like Tabla, Harmoniam classes are held on the Ground Floor of Balvant Bhawan. The training in the instrumental music is given from primary to higher level.
6. Training and painting competitions:
Training in painting/art classes are also held in the Balvant Bhawan run by Shri Bharatbhai, an eminent artist. There are about twenty students who are getting training under this programme and three students were awarded Gold Medal for their excellent performances.
12. Shri Balvantrai Mehta MahavirnagarTrust:
To eliminate consumption of drugs and liquor by men and women, the Trust has provided necessary infrastructure and facilities to the poor sisters (ladies) to learn stitching of bags, uniforms, embroidery etc. so that they could earn their livelihood. They are also provided with small interest free loans for starting their business.
13. L. Kamlaben Harilal Suryabhai Gandhi Memorial Trust:
This new Trust was established by Shri Kirtibhai Pandya with the help of Shri Harshadbhai Gandhi an NRI and got it registered. A new building was constructed on the premises which was named as ‘Mangal Vihar’ Society. Shri P.M. Mehta was appointed as its Chairman and Shri Kirtibhai Pandya as Treasurer. Its open ground has been converted into a playground for the children where necessary play items such as jhulas, slides and merri-go-round etc. have been installed.