Project Information from Dr. Ashok Patel, Our Founder

On behalf of Richard Condorelli Memorial Foundation (USA) and KJP Charitable Trust (India), it is my pleasure to inform you all that a world class healthcare facility is being built for the benefit of poor, undeserved tribal people of the Dang district and surrounding areas. I am Dr. Ashok K. Patel and I am the founding trustee of both organizations. I have been practicing general and implant dentistry in Waltham, Massachusetts since 1989 and in Nashua, New Hampshire since 2001. This project is a wonderful way for all of us collectively to give something back to India in general and poor tribal people of Dang in particular.

Dang district is a circular area of less accessible terrain that includes hilly jungles and dense forest wedged between Gujarat and Maharashtra. It has a population of about 4 lakhs including 50,000 school-aged children, with practically no or very limited health care services. We have identified very high incidence of sickle cell anemia, oral cancer, and severe eye related problems. The lack of coordinated healthcare has resulted in a high rate of infant deaths and poor health of pregnant women.

Government establishments in the area are often nonfunctional or provide very limited services. The lack of proper preventive healthcare has tremendous social bearing for this already very poor community. Honorable Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shree Narendra Modiji has taken keen interest in improving conditions of tribal people of Gujarat in general, and Dang in particular, through different schemes. However, there is a lot that needs to be done to develop better healthcare services for these neglected and poor tribal people. I feel it is our personal, moral and professional obligation to be of some help to thousands of these ‘Children of Lesser God’ and many other unfortunate individuals in the region. I believe one of my patients, Mr. Richard Condorelli, understood it well. He had a soft corner in his heart for India in general and Hinduism in particular. cost any government tremendous financial, moral and political burden. KJP Charitable Trust, created to ameliorate some of this burden, was registered with all necessary formalities to carry out the project smoothly.

The seed money for the project was donated by Mr. Condorelli upon his death. He died in April, 2008 from acute kidney failure. I had taken good care of his Dental needs for more than 14 years. He became like a fatherly figure to me and we had several interesting conversations over the period of our acquaintance. He had one prosthetic eye and hearing loss in one ear. Since he didn’t have any immediate family, I had taken care of his funeral and cremation services. His remains were honorably disposed of at Panchvati in Nasik, Maharashtra. It was during the road trip from Surat to Nasik that the serenity and beauty of Dang attracted me to do something for the region’s inhabitants. On our way back from Nasik, a chance meeting with a government officer in Ahwa enlightened me with the urgency of some sort of healthcare system in the area. A few months later when I received a letter from Mr. Condorelli’s attorney informing me that he had left me with about $100,000, the project was conceived.

After a long battle with different local and state officers and with firm encouragement and support from Shree Narendrabhai Modi, an adequate piece of land was purchased from the government to build a permanent healthcare facility with world class amenities—a place where we all can be very comfortable treating patients and serving the community in different ways. Several of my good physician and dentist friends in India provided moral support and guidance during early phase of planning and construction. With my own funds and generous contributions from family members, relatives, personal friends, other patients, and my training programs participants in the USA and India, the construction has been going on at a steady pace. However, a generous contribution from AAPI members will speed up the completion of construction and make the project functional sooner. Any contribution will be Tax Exempt Donation. Richard Condorelli Memorial Foundation is a tax exempt charity under 501(C) 3 with tax ID number 26-2917177.  

When completed, the facility will provide complete healthcare through its various establishments, to include:

  • A well-equipped Primary Healthcare Center (PHC) for routine physical and screening
  • An emergency treatment center
  • A well-equipped pathology and microbiology laboratory
  • A blood storage facility
  • A well-equipped eye care center
  • Major and minor operation theatres
  • International standard equipments
  • A hospital-grade sterilization and isolation facility
  • A well-equipped nursing station
  • Doctors’ offices
  • A well equipped dental clinic
  • An oral cancer research center for early detection and management with emphasis on prevention
  • Male and female wards
  • Consultation and counseling rooms
  • Furnished quarters for residential doctors and other staff
  • A well-equipped and furnished residential facility (bungalow) for all foreign/NRI doctors
  • A hostel for 25 to 30 tribal girls (for training as dental assistants, x-ray technicians, etc.)
  • A pharmacy and medical store
  • A cafeteria
  • A hospital maintenance equipment room
  • An ambulance and a mini-bus to bring 25 students to the facility everyday
  • A mobile medical van

It is our desire to provide very well coordinated and documented preventive, corrective, and long term healthcare to 50,000 school going children and other needy adults. The task is vast, demanding, and expensive, but sustainable through compensation from various government initiatives and programs for the betterment of the tribal population, as well as private donations from industrialists in India and from healthcare professionals in India and the United States alike.

The project will provide a tremendous opportunity to young, aspiring American students entering the healthcare field to do community work, retiring physicians/dentists to do unlimited amount of research activity, and active physicians and AAPI members to provide their services and expertise when visiting India. Dang is a very scenic region with unparalleled natural beauty. The only hill station of Gujarat is Saputara, which is some 35 kms from the project site and located at the southern tip of Dang.

The project has some philanthropic value as one of the goals is to use the facility to train 25-30 high school graduated tribal girls as Dental Assistants, Nursing Aides, X-ray Technicians, etc. and to find them employment opportunities at both the facility and other locations. There is a severe shortage of well trained auxiliary staff in hospitals, private clinics, and government establishments in deep tribal areas. Our efforts can bridge a gap between providing a talented tribal girl (who has otherwise no future) proper training and helping our healthcare friends/colleagues with a decent well trained auxiliary person. It may help the government reduce the financial burden and uplift the tribal area with renewed prospects of opportunities.

It is with very high hope that I am appealing each and every one of you to give a serious thought to this project. The entire project can be easily funded by few good hearted friends and well wishers from USA and India with tremendous long term international implications. Please help us help thousands of ‘Children of Lesser God’ and other less fortunate. Neglect and happenstance have contributed to the financial handicap of our fellow Indians in Dang. Let us take collective responsibility and establish a World Class Healthcare Facility in the long-suffering tribal area.

Along with all of us at KJP Charitable Trust and Richard Condorelli Memorial Foundation, the new face of the India, Shree Narendrabhai Modiji will be extremely grateful to you all for your generous support for this noble cause. His love for the betterment of the society as whole is quite evident in his speeches. It has been a true pleasure interacting with him and other members of his ministry. Thank you all in advance. Proper documentation, receipt and acknowledgment letter will be mailed to you promptly. 

Sincerely,

Dr. Ashok K. Patel

Please send tax deductible contribution to the below address.

Richard Condorelli Memorial Foundation
Dr. Ashok K. Patel
8 Myopia Lane
Nashua, NH-03063

Or contribute via Credit Card here

Any contribution in Indian/other currency can be sent to:

KJP Charitable Trust
C/O Darshana Makwana
C/47 Belgium Square
Delhi Gate, Surat – 395 003
Gujarat, India

Explore Ahwa, Dang, Gujarat, India

About

Dang is located high in the Saputara Hills, connecting the borders of Maharashtra and Gujarat States. Dang is the home of adivasis who have been long established in the forest and highlands of the Dang region. In 2006, the tribal-dominated Dangs were named among India’s 250 most backward districts. The entire district is severely lacking in healthcare resources, employment opportunities, and good education.

Demographics

According to the 2011 census, the Dang district has a population of 226,769, which is expected to surpass 350,000 by the 2021 census. The district has a population density of 129 people per square kilometer. Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 21.44%. The Dangs has a sex ratio of 1007 females for every 1000 males, and a literacy rate of 76.8%, according to government statistics.

Economy

The economy of Dang district mainly depends on agricultural crops. The larger part of the population relies on agriculture for survival. Animal farming and bamboo cutting are the other profitable undertakings in the region. Firewood accounts for fuel requirement of 91% of the households, which is by and large collected from the forests. Rice, tubers, groundnuts, ragi, mangoes, kharsani, and custard apples are among the most vital crops and fruits produced in the district. In 2006, the Ministry of Panchayati Raj named the Dang District as an economically distressed district.

Girmal Falls

Girmal waterfall is located 8 km from Nishana on Ahwa-Nawapur Road near Girmal Village of Dang District in Gujarat. This waterfall is the highest in the Gujarat area, reaching 100 feet. Due to its scenic exquisiteness, this is among one of the most popular areas that tourists and people of the region come to visit. Since the water rapidly falls from 100 feet, it creates a beautiful fog that catches the eye.

Shabari Dham

The Shabari Dham temple is known to have been where Lord Rama met Shabari while searching for his wife Sita and ate the berries she offered him. Due to this captivating legend, the temple is well-known for its mythology. There are also three stones where Lord Rama, his brother Lakshman, and Shabari allegedly sat. The stones are still worshiped.


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Rain Water Harvesting Project

Richard Condorelli Memorial Foundation is currently building Vanbandhu Arogya Dham (VAD), a healthcare facility in the underdeveloped tribal area of Ahwa, Dang, Gujarat, India. Dang district and surrounding areas has a population of around 4 lakhs, including about 50,000 school aged children with zero to limited access to health care services. The construction of our facility is underway, and our foundation director, Dr. Ashok K. Patel, is at the site this week monitoring progress. His observations have led us to identify a new need in the area: water conservation.

Although the region receives the highest rainfall in the state of Gujarat, there is a devastating water shortage, and we therefore would like to include a Rainwater Harvesting System at our project site.

The system would store 300,000 gallons of rainwater in an underground tank, providing a simple and sustainable solution to the water problem in the mountainous and rainy region. Help us raise the funds necessary to build this water collection system, and bring smiles to children and adults in the tribal region who will have access to clean, potable water! Donate Now!