Ahimsa International:- New Delhi

Ahimsa International In Retrospect

Mr. Sarish Kumar Jain, Secretary General

A band off enthusiasts had the missionary zeal to establish an institution which in course of time may develop into an organisation to propagate Ahimsa, Peace, Understanding, Animal Welfare and Vegetarianism and also promote Jaina literature on national and international levels. Thus, with these main objectives, among others, came into being the organisation "Ahimsa International" on January 26, 1973 with the blessings of eminent scientist and educationist late Dr. D. S. Kothari, former Chairman of the University Grants Commission, and with late Smt. Om Prabha Jain, Ex. Finance Minister of Haryana State as the first President and Shri. Satish Kumar Jain as the founder Secretary General.

Late Dr. D. S. Kothari, eminent industrialist and social figure of high repute late Sahu Shreyans Prasad Jain (Mumbai) were our Patrons. The present Patrons are eminent jurist, Dr. L. M. Singhvi, Ex. High Commissioner of India to U. K., Sahu Ashok Kumar Jain, Chairman of Times of India Group of publications, Shri Dal Chand Jain (Sagar) Ex. M. P. and a devoted social figure and industrialist of national repute, Shri Shrenik Kasturbhai (Ahemdabad), a leading industrialist and revered social figure of India, Dharmadhikari Veerendra Heggade (Dharmasthala-Karnataka), head of the famous religious local organizations and a known humanitarian and philanthropist of the south, Shri S. S. Backliwal, a leading jeweler and Rotarian and Shri Mulkh Raj Jain, an industrialist and social figure of repute.

Among the objectives which Ahimsa International aims at mainly are fostering of international brotherhood, peace, mutual understanding and love among the people of the world, to propagate the theory and practice of Ahimsa (Non-Violence) and Vegetarianism, to promote culture, literature and art; to help the sick, destitute and needy, to establish chapters, foundations, charitable trusts and educational institutions, to take delegations foreign countries and to invite delegations from there for exchange of ideas.

Service to suffering humanity is the field to which Ahimsa International attaches considerable importance. On several occasions medicines, aid equipments and other articles have been provided to sick and disabled persons and children; food, sweets, woolen jersies etc. have been provided to lepers; sewing machines to the needy women; monthly scholarships to the needy families and children for education and building material for village schools etc.

Ahimsa International is dedicated to further the cause of vegetarianism, animal welfare and protection. It regularly persues with the Prime Minister, concerned Union Ministers, State governments and departments to stop export of meat and establishment of mechanized slaughter houses, to stop its polices and schemes of promoting killing of animals and infliction of cruelties upon animals and birds. At several occasions positive results have been achieved. It creates public awareness about vegetarianism and animal protection through holding seminars and conventions at which eminent subject matter specialists, activists and medical and nutrition experts invited to express their views. They apprise the audience with the correct position about the harms of consuming flesharian food including meat, fish and eggs, animal proteins the present deteriorating status of cattle wealth and environment and ecology due to excessive killing of animals and birds, use of chemical fertilizers, deforestation and unplanned establishment of industries which emit smoke and divulge chemical wastes in the populous areas and create health hazard.

To encourage the activities in the field of vegetarianism and animal protection, Ahimsa International has instituted two Annual Awards of Rs. 11,000/- each (1) "Ahimsa International Bhagwan Dass Shobhalall Jain Award for Vegetarianism", and (2) "Ahimsa International Raghbeer Sing Jain Award for Animal Welfare and Protection" which are given to activists for outstanding work in these fields. The award for promoting Vegetarianism has been instituted with the courtsey of Shri Dal Chand Jain, Sagar, Ex-Member of Lok Sabha and the award for Animal Welfare and Protection with the courtesy of late Shri Prem Chand Jain, a greatly religious minded person, founder of Ahimsa Sthal at Mahrauli, New Delhi and Chairman of Jaina Time Industries.

Ahimsa International Bhagwan Dass Shobhalall Jain Award for Vegetarianism has so far been presented to devoted activists Pranimitra Shri Peela Ramakrishna, Dr. S. S. Jhaveri, Shri Shreechand Mehta and Shri Dharma Raj Ranka. The Award for 1997 is being presented the well known dedicated activist Shri D. K. Jain (Delhi).

Ahimsa International Raghbeer Singh Jain Award for Animal Protection has so far been presented to the activists Shri Nirmal Jain, Shri Raghunath Mall, Shri Shreepal Jain 'Diwa' and Shri Hasmukh Shantilal Shah. The recipient of the Award for 1997 is devoted activist Dr. Chiranjee Lal Bagra (Calcutta).

Ahimsa International is planning to institute one more Award of Rs. 31,000/- to be given to a medical doctor or nutrition expert who is promoting vegetarianism through doing medical research, writing books and articles and by appearance on television and radio.

Ahimsa International aims promote vegetarianism through expert opinion of medical and nutrition specialists, for which it has planned various schemes of printing recommendations of such experts given at various conferences.

Honouring and extending recognition to the scholars and bringing together persons of the various fields have been the endeavour of Ahimsa International. Various large and small functions have been organized to honour the distinguished scientists, scholars and those persons who have established large hospitals in the country and those doctors who are providing medical and social service of a high caliber.

To promote literature on Jaina subjects, Ahimsa International has instituted and annual Rs. 21,000/- Award 'Ahimsa International Deputy Mal Adishwar Lal Jain Award' which is presented to the author/scholar taking into consideration the quality of a single work on Jain religion, philosophy, culture, literature, journalism, archaeology and art, and various sciences including mathematics. It has been instituted with the courtsey of the zealous social figure, businessman and past President of Ahimsa International late Shri Adishwar Lal Jain in memory of his father Shri Deputy Mal Jain, who was a dedicated freedom fighter and a social figure of great zeal and respect. The recipients of this award so far have been eminent authors of Jain philosophy, religion, literature and history late Dr. Jyoti Prasad Jain, Dr. Dalsukh Malvania, Dr. Pannalan Jain, Dr. Jagdish Chandra Jain, Dr. Vilas Adinath Sangve, Dr. Sagar Mal Jain and Dr. Raja Ram Jain. The Award for 1997 for being presented to well-know Gujarati, Hindi & English writer and speaker Dr. Kumarpal Desai (Ahmedabad) at the Silver Jubilee celebration.

Ahimsa International at its Silver Jubilee celebrations on February 22, 1998 is presenting a Special Award of Rs. 11,000/- to Dr. G. Jawaharlal, M.A., Ph.D on his published Ph.D., thesis " Jainism in Andhra" - As depicted in inscriptions. He is Chief Epigraphical Officer in the State Government of Andhra Pradesh at Hyderabad. This work gives a comprehensive picture of Jainism in Andra, chiefly based on epigraphical data. It is intended to present such an award annually or at special occasions to promote research work on Jainism, Art and Archaelogy in various States.

World Jain Conferences : Ahimsa International is doing yeomen work in fostering brotherhood and understanding among the Jains of the world by itself organising or assisting World Jain Conferences in foreign countries and in India. The pioneer personality in mooting out the idea of organising the World Jain Conferences was great visionary late Jain saint Acharya Shri Sushil Kumarji. He orgainised the Ist World Jain Conference in U. N. Plaza, Manhattan, New York, U.S.A. in 1981. The 2nd World Jain Conference was held in London (U.K.) in 1983 by Jain Samaj there. Ahimsa International actively coorperted and participated in the Conference and received international recognition.

Ahimsa International organised itself the 3rd and 4th World Jain Conferences in New Delhi on a large scale in 1985 and 1987. Large number of eminent scholars addressed the conferences on various subjects. These conferences, which were attended by over 2000 persons, were held in prestigious Vigyan Bhawan and Siri Fort Auditorium of New Delhi. These included participants from many countries particularly from U.S.A and Canada. Several world leaders of the Jain community expressed their views on strengthening brotherhood and understanding , publication of suitable literature, involvement of women and youth in constructive religious, social welfare and education work. The zeal of the participants was encouraging.

The 5th World Jain Conference was orgainised by Ahimsa International in Siddhachalam, Blairstown, New Jersey State, U.S.A. in the large 120 acre Ashram established by late Acharya Shri Sushil Kumarji in August 1991. Since it was organised at the time consecretion of the large Jain temple in the Ashram built by Acharya Shri Ji, there was a large gathering of over 5000 participants, mainly from U.S.A. and Canada and also from India, U.K., Bangkok, Singapore, Malaysia, Germany etc.. The leading social figures from these countries addressed the Conference besides the political leaders and administrators of American government.

The 6th World Jain Conference was organised by Ahimsa International on December 25,26,27, 1995 in FICCI Auditorium, New Delhi (India). It was attended by delegates from various countries, who along with selected scholars of Jaina subjects activists of vegetarianism and animal welfare, women social reformers and social workers of repute expressed their view on chosen subjects like non-violence, peace, promotion of literature, vegetarianism, animal welfare and protection, international brotherhood and understanding and social reforms for women like eradication of dowry, women oppression etc.

Beside the World Jain Conferences various Regional International Jain Conferences have been orgainsed by Ahimsa International and World Jain Congress. The Indo-American Jain Conference was organised at Siddhachalam Ashram, New Jersey State, U.S.A. on September 26-28, 1986. The main objectives of the three day Conference were to strengthens unity and create mutual understanding among the Jains residing in various countries of the world and to adopt measures to propagate the principles of Jainism and vegetarianism and to bring out suitable literature. The Indo-American Jain Conference was big success with more than 1000 people attending Delegates participated from Jain centres, associations and societies through out the United States of America, Canada, U.K. and India.

The Asian Jain Conference of the World Jain Congress assisted by Ahimsa International was held at Bangkok (Thailand) on March 18, 19, 20, 1988 with the keen interest taken by Jains of that country. It was a successful attempt made for the first time in an Asian country, outside India. Several University Professors of Thailand evinced keen interest in deeper studies in Jainism and for that purpose availability of Jain Texts. About 300 persons attended the three day deliberations daily including the 46 member delegation from India. As a result of this Conference and the keen interest taken by its main organiser Shri Mahendra Singh Daga, an affluent jeweler of America and Bangkok, several Jain activities were initiated on permanent basis in Bangkok.

The three day Asian Jain Conference organised by the Jains at Singapore in March 1989 was equally successful. it was addressed by leaders of Singapore and other countries. It was attended by over 700 participants daily. Shri Nigindas J. Doshi, a wealthy businessman and President of Jain Sangh of Singapore, alongwith his colleagues put their heart and soul for its success. The efforts of Acharya Shri Sushil Kumarji and Shri Satish Kumar Jain Secretary General of Ahimsa International and World Jain Congress, in intiating the first ever such Jain Conferences in U.S.A., Bangkok and Singapore were highly appreciated. The large delegations to these three Regional International Jain Conferences were led by Shri Satish Kumar Jain.

The stress in all these World International Jain Conferences has been on promotion of brotherhood understanding, peace, vegetarianism, involvement of women and youth in constructive programmes, exchange of scholars, publication of literature and preparation of audio-visual material. At all these Conferences the women and younger generation participated with enthusiasm and gave evidence of their faith and active involvement in the religious, social and welfare work which was amply expressed by their public addresses and progress reporting. 

Souvenirs : Ahimsa International has brought out prestigious souvenirs at all World Jain Conferences and Regional Jain Conferences which included thought provoking and research articles from reputed writers and scholars on variety of subjects and international Jain matters. These voluminous souvenirs have been well received in the literary circles and by common readers and find a place in some international and national libraries. It is through their contribution of these articles, participation in the World Jain Conferences, Regional International Jain Conferences various national seminars and symposium organized by Ahimsa International and the literary and other awards instituted by this organisation that the scholars of India and abroad of Jaina subjects take Ahimsa International in high esteem.

Ahimsa International is maintaining active liaison with the societies and institutions which are working dedicatedly for promotion of vegetarianism and animal welfare and protection. It is promoting ethics among students by providing guidance and financial assistance for this purpose.

It maintains regular liaison with federations, associations, centers, and societies in various countries of the world for exchange of ideas and promoting brotherhood and understanding. It has acquired, during its 25 years of existence, a well established recognition in the Jain circles of India, U.S.A., Canada, U.K., Germany, Thailand, Singapore, Nepal and some other countries.

The membership of Ahimsa International includes dignitaries and elite from various fields. The successive presidents of Ahimsa International - late Smt. Om Prabha Jain, Sh S. S. Backliwal, Shri Mulkh Raj Jain and late Shri Adishwar Lal Jain the present President Shri S.S. Jain the members of Governing Council and the members have all contributed significantly to the growth and popularity of this well known organisation.

The Silver Jubilee celebrations of Ahimsa International on February 22, 1998 will be memorable to all its members for accounting well the achievements made by it during 25 years of its establishment. It is sure that the enthusiasm and zeal generated at the Silver Jubilee celebrations will inspire to take up useful plans and projects in time needed dimensions.

Various committees have been constituted to make befitting arrangements for Silver Jubilee celebrations. The President of Ahimsa International and Chairman of Silver Jubilee Organisation Committee Shri S.S. Jain and the Vice - Presidents, Shri K. C. Jain, Shri Bharat B. Shah, Shri L. N. Modi, Smt. Vinod Kumari Jain and Shri Manak Chand Jain Luhadiya have provided their commendable assistance in making the various arrangements. Shri P. K. Jayna, Secretary Organisation, deserves my heart felt thanks for the earnest efforts and constant assistance in planning the programmes and making all the arrangements for the Silver Jubilee celebrations. He has fully shared the heavy strain of work smilingly, relieving me from many of the secretariat and field works. The zeal and assistance in work of Shri Dhan Raj Patel, Patron Member has always refreshed me in completing the task. The cooperation of Shri A. K. Jain, Secretary Finance and Shri Vijay Kumar Jain, Chairman, Finance Committee has been forthcoming with zeal. Shri A. K. Jain a pains taking person, has a broad vision towards further attainments of Ahimsa International. Shri R. N. Lakhotia, Chairman, Kavi Sammelan Committee, assisted by its Convenor Shri R. C. Jain and Shri Sudhir Kumar Jain, Secretary programs of Ahimsa International have admirably worked for the success of Kavi Sammelan at which poets of national repute have been invited. Shri M. P. Jain, Secretary, Publicity, Shri Sudhir Kumar Jain, Shri Satendra Kumar Jain, Shri Subash Chand Jain and Shri Hem Chand Jain the later two patron Members have shared various responsibilities of fund collection field work.

As mentioned earlier, Ahimsa International has been publishing prestigious souvenirs at all important occasions. I as Chief Editor of the Silver Jubilee Souvenir express my thanks to Shri Kali Ram Jain, Chairman, Souvenir Committee, its two editors Dr. B. S. Jain and Dr. Aruna Anand and Shri P. K. Jayna, Secretary Organisation with whose assistance the present souvenir has been planned and brought out.

My sincere thanks are also due to all donors for their financial cooperation and advertisement for the souvenir.

Shri Raj Kumar Kundoo, my Personal Secretary has provided me a lot of help in making huge correspondence both for abroad and for India for the various year round programmes and activities, World Jain Conferences, Regional International Jain Conferences, national level seminars and frequent meetings typing all letters and texts. But without his sincere assistance it would not have been possible for me to execute such huge correspondence and prepare various types of texts and papers.

There is need to enlarge scope of medical assistance to benefit the disabled, sick and needy. I am sure the efforts of Shri S. S. Jain the President, and Padmashri Bimal Prasad Jain, the Patron Member both of whom have earned a name on national level for service of the disabled and sick, will bring good results.

Promotion of vegetarianism animal welfare and protection has become the necessity of the present time not only for the welfare of the mankind but for all living beings. It is a matter of pleasure and pride that Shri L. N. Modi , Vice President and Shri D. K. Jain, Advisor of Ahimsa International are dedicatedly devoted to the cause and are well reputed for it. My regular exchange of thought and association with Dr. Nemi Chand Jain (Indore), Dr. D. C. Jain (New Delhi), Dr. S. S. Jharveri (Surat), Pranimitra Peela Ramakrishna (Guntur), Ahimsa Lover Shri Raghunath Mall (Hyderabad), Shri R. N. Lakhotia (New Delhi), Shri Hasmukh Shantilal Shah (Ahmedabad), Dr. Chiranjee Lal Bagra (Culcutta), Shri Kesree Chand Mehta (Maharashtra), who are the known dedicated promoters of the cause and with many others in Delhi and at different places in the country has always been purposeful and inspiring. It is the need of the time that with the joint sincere efforts of all like minded bodies of the country national awareness is created to compel the government to stop export of meat, establishment of mechanized slaughter housed, cow slaughter, animal killing on large scale and cruelties on animals and birds.

It would be desirable that instead of mushroom low grade publication of books quality publication of suitable literature on varied subjects, also suitable for the younger generation is brought out in the country. Ahimsa International in its modest way endeavour to achieve this objective by honoring the deserving writers and scholars in order to create awareness for creation good literature.

Involvement of women and youth in the various nation developing activities is yet another need of the day. Ahimsa International aspires that the enlightened and enthusiastic women and youth of the country come forward as torch bearers to lead the work.

In all, within 25 years of its smooth working Ahimsa International has carved a name for itself in international and national Jain community for its well conceived useful activities.



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