VSSM INTERNATIONAL FORUM (i-Forum)
Log saath aate gaye aur Caravan banta gaya!
If we had to describe VSSM’s journey over the years, this is the verse that would sum it all up. The well-wishing friends and donors have been our strength from day one. Trust put in us and the support we kept receiving from our well-wishers have been wind under our wings. They have powered our flight and helped thousands of poor and destitute families earn and live better. Now our wings have expanded not only in Gujarat or India but also in the United States of America.
VSSM has enjoyed the warm and encouraging support of numerous individuals at the international level as well, they are friends we look up-to, to spread our voice and gather support to power our activities.
We are happy to announce the international chapter of VSSM named “VSSM International Forum(iForum)” Chaired by Kiritbhai Shah(USA). It is our representation in the USA. It is a forum of like-minded and generous volunteers willing to represent VSSM on international platforms. The forum will engage in activities to take our voice to the Indian Diaspora in the USA and garner support to help VSSM forward its mission and enable millions of under-privileged nomadic, de-notified and poor families to lead a dignified life.
MISSION AND OBJECTIVE: To augment and enhance VSSM initiatives among international communities especially Indian diaspora with a view to expand the wings of VSSM.
VSSM INTERNATIONAL FORUM will support in all the initiatives mentioned below,
- Human rights – help the communities access documents of their identity to enable access to numerous government policies
- Hostel and Education for the first generation school-goers of nomadic and denotified communities
- Maavjat initiative provides support and care to destitute elderly
- Swavlamban program to provide interest-free microfinance to support livelihood ventures of the nomadic and poor individuals
- Environmental needs of Banaskantha, one of the most water-starved regions of Gujarat by water management and tree plantation drives
Shri. Kiritbhai Shah
Kiritbhai Shah is from Ahmedabad, settled in the USA for the last 4 decades. He acquired his education in Science and Management. He spent 42 successful years in pharmaceuticals wearing different hats in Sales and Marketing Management. He was Chartered Entertainment Secretary for Rajpath Club and successfully managed the inaugural function. In addition, he served as President of Lions Club of Sarkhej before migrating to the USA. He has been actively involved in social and community services in the USA for a long time. He helped establish Indo-American Chamber of Commerce as VP, Business Development, and managed a large-scale Indo-American Trade Fair as convenor at San Jose Convention Center.
His background of Healthcare attracted him towards Health and Care Foundation, Ahmedabad (former Polio Foundation). He is supporting them as President of the International Resource Committee. In addition, he is heavily involved with Indians For Collective Action (ICA) as a member of the Executive Board for the last several years. In 2018 he managed a day long Golden Jubilee function for ICA as Chair, Golden Jubilee Committee. For the last several years, he has also helped the Sukarma Foundation, USA as a member of their advisory Board.
His interest in VSSM was developed reading the book “Sarnama Vinana Manvio” and subsequent discussion with Dipal Patel and Mittal Patel. He spontaneously started supporting VSSM activities. He suggested us to create the VSSM International Form (iForum).
VSSM is proud to have Shri Kiritbhai Shah as VSSM iForum Chair.
Mardaviben Patel was born and raised in India and moved to the United States in 1985. She always had a deep passion working for non-profit organizations. Mittal Patel’s amazing work has inspired her to join VSSM. Since She grew up in Ahmedabad, she has a special affection towards her organization which specifically does tremendous work aiding smaller Indian tribes and the untouchable community.
She is a retired federal employee of the United States Postal Service, living in the USA since 1985. She spends her time doing charitable work and volunteering for Share and Care Foundation and the Federation of Indian Association NY, NJ, CT (Joint Secretary from 2019 to 2020).
VSSM is proud to have Mardaviben Patel as VSSM iForum Executive Director, Operations.
We came in contact with Dipal when the Book Sarnama Vinana Maanvio was released. Since then, we developed a familial association with her. Dipal keeps suggesting us ways to connect to people and she herself also has been introducing VSSM to the people in her circles. She is always ready to help us in whichever way she can. Dipal is from Mehsana. She studied Computer Engineering and was working as a Lecturer in the Engineering Institute for 2.5 years after that she moved to California, USA with her husband. She lived there for 5 years where she did Masters in computer Science and worked as Software developer in eBay Inc. Dipal moved back to India in March, 2020. She has been working in many organizations working in Gujarat for cultural and literature activities. And She has given her best to introduce VSSM to USA communities as well and due to which we have VSSM International Forum now.
We are grateful to Dipal for being with us and supporting us continuously. VSSM is proud to have Dipal Patel as VSSM iForum Executive Director, Management.
Bhupen is a Chemical Engineer from UDCT, Bombay and did his graduate degree at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada. He has over 25 years of industrial and commercial energy efficiency and technology development experience in the electric power and energy industries. He is an active member of the energy committee of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group (SVLG) and outreach coordinator for the Sustainable Silicon Valley (SSV) group. Prior to PG&E, he was a Project Manager for the Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program at the California Energy Commission (CEC). He has managed several projects at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) for developing clean fuel cell power, compressed air energy storage and cogeneration plants.
Bhupen has volunteered for Indians for Collective Action (ICA) since 1998 and was ICA President for four years during 2006-09. Bhupen is a founder of Charitable Care Foundation (CCF) in the Bay area in 1991. He is also an active volunteer with the Service Space group. He is on the board of his college foundation (UDCT Foundation). He is also a founder of the National Hydrogen Association.
His interest in VSSM was developed with subsequent discussion with Kirit Shah and Dipal Patel. He will be a great asset to VSSM international forum and we are proud to have him as a Director, Fundraising for the VSSM International Form (iForum).
How to participate and support through VSSM International Forum ?
VSSM has collaborated with Arpan Foundation to transfer the funds from USD to INR. Arpan foundation is a registered charitable organization in the USA under section 501(C)3. Federal Tax ID# 20-5593243.
What is Arpan ?
Arpans mission is to serve humanity by supporting institutions that work at the grassroots level and to distribute 100% of the collected funds. Arpan allows you to select the cause that is dear to your heart and the institution of your choice. Arpan ensures that every dollar that we collect reaches that institution without any deduction for overheads.
More details on Arpan Foundation website: https://www.arpanfoundation.org/index.asp
How to donate to VSSM through Arpan Foundation:
- Watch the video on how to donate.
Step 1 : Open Arpan foundation donation page (https://www.arpanfoundation.org/donate.asp)
Step 2 : select VSSM (vicharta Samuday Samarthan Manch) from the list of institutions
Step 3 : Select the amount of money that you want to donate and proceed.
Step 4 : It redirects to a paypal account which is a safe and secure way to transfer the funds
Step 5 : Login to your paypal account and donate using your credit card/debit card/bank account.