Registered in 1969, Bhansali Trust was established by seven brothers of the Bhansali family (Bhansali & Co). It was formed with the aim of working for the benefit of the downtrodden in villages of Banaskantha and Patan districts of Gujarat. Over the years it has set up and runs a number of various projects in medical, education, income generation, de-addiction and socioeconomic fields in different districts of Gujarat and Bihar. The areas selected for their various projects is one of the most socio-economically backward parts of Gujarat and Bihar.
Most of the Trust projects are carried out with family funds, while natural calamity relief projects are carried out with funds from diamond trade and friends. It has been active in relief and rehabilitation work during natural calamities struck in states like Gujarat, Bihar and Odisha.
Their social work started 65 years back by Mr Dinesh Bhansali, the eldest of the Bhansali siblings. The Trust, officially formed and registered in 1969, started working in the backward villages of north Gujarat and Bihar. Mr Dinesh’s cherished value was to help the distressed people. After completing his school as a topper from a small village in north Gujarat, he came to Mumbai in 1950 and started earning at the age of 16. From his first earning, he decided to donate a minimum of 20 per cent to the less fortunate for lifetime. This was at a time when the family was still struggling to make both ends meet. He firmly believed that ‘happiness is more in giving than keeping’. His younger brother Mr Mahesh another topper in the family, after completing his graduation in Engineering from VJTI, Mumbai, left Mumbai at the age of 25 and decided not to marry in order to devote his entire life for social work. He has been staying and working in the villages of North Gujarat for the last 55 years. Mr Dinesh, along with Mr Mahesh, pioneered the formation of the Trust and the whole family supported this cause financially. The youngest in the family, Mr Ashok and his wife Mrs Shital, travel 12 days a month to visit tribal projects in various states. He now devotes 90 per cent of his time for CSR activities and tribal projects. Mr Prakash looks after the official work from the Mumbai office.
Their field of activities include education, medical (curative and preventive), community health programmes, health education, immunization, family planning, eye operation camps, opium de-addiction centres, self-help groups (micro credit), income generation, financial support to poor and needy etc.
Organizing TB and de-addiction programmes: Most of their projects are needbased. In the areas that they started working, the mortality rate was very high due to tuberculosis (TB). Thus a TB control programme covering 1,200 villages was undertaken and +55,000 TB patients were treated free of cost in 30 years. Likewise, opium de-addiction programme was taken up for addicts from Rajasthan and Gujarat as people wanted to get free of it. Immunization camps were put up at several places to reduce epidemics and infant mortality rate. So far 35,751 opium addicts have been cured with 50% success rate.
Working for the Mushar community: Since 2015, a new Mushar project was initiated in Gaya, Bihar. Mushars are one of the most backward communities in the country and fall under the ‘Maha Dalit’ category. The project covers 525 Mushar villages for regular projects. The Trust has initiated running schools and hostels to provide good education for children of the community in the remote parts of Gaya district. 302 paramedical workers and 2 full time mobile clinics take care of their health. In Champaran district of Bihar, four schools with hostels are being funded through an NGO. This helps children of very poor families from the Mushar, Chamar and other Maha Dalit communities to get educated.
Organizing eye camps: Started in 1984, the free mega eye camp in Bodhgaya, covers 1975 villages across four districts of Bihar. At present the Trust conducts approx. 50,000 free cataract and other eye surgeries every year. In last 37 years 809,899 patients have been operated for cataract in Bodhgaya. Till 2019 the camp was in partnership with few diamond merchant friends. Now it is fully supported by the Government.
Holding other operative camps: Other than the big eye camp, Trust has been regularly holding free camps like laparoscopic TL (family planning), polio corrective surgery, cleft lip and palate surgery, plastic and general surgery etc.
Prevention of childhood blindness: The Bhansali Trust took up the cause of eradicating childhood blindness in backward villages covering a population of 10 lakh. After 2 years of hard work childhood blindness was eradicated in 700 villages.
Reducing malnourishment and IMR – infant mortality in children: The Trust took up the cause of reducing malnourishment and mortality in children covering 700 villages with a population of 10 lakh. To reduce the malnutrition, Trust is involved in activities like supplementary nutrition, growth monitoring, weaning food, immunization, deworming, providing iron syrup and vitamin A supplements, safe drinking water, controlling epidemics, child clinics, kangaroo care and family planning and spacing. Malnutrition in children has come down to 2% from 23%. The IMR has reduced come down to 3% from 15%.
The trust also provides supplementary nutrition to poor malnourished pregnant and lactating mothers, adolescent girls and poor malnourished TB patients. Each beneficiary is provided 3 kgs of protein mix every month till they recover. At any given time approx. 3,500 beneficiaries are on the list. Since last 6 months we have included poor cancer patients in this project.
Gandhi Lincoln Hospital for the needy: The Trust runs a multidisciplinary 160 bedded hospital in Deesa, Gujarat since 1982.
Hospital has special departments of paediatrics, gynaecology, orthopaedics, Pathology, Radiology, ENT, Psychiatry and ophthalmic in addition to medical and surgical departments. The hospital has its own blood bank and fully equipped laboratory.
Micro Credit – Formation of self-help groups: As many as six blocks and 739 villages have been covered where 4731 self help groups has been formed with 52,066 members from that many families. Till now they have saved Rs. 7.55 crore. Members take loan from their respective group at a low rate. So far 22,879 members borrowed money from their groups, out of which 9,050 members have started small businesses.
Helping the needy:
- Run 5 high schools with hostel facilities in remote area for needy students.
- Helping students for further studies.
- Two hospitals and a clinic provide health care at a nominal rate.
- Immunization program covers 1 million population.
- Helping widows, aged and disabled in availing widow and old age pension and other government schemes.
- Distribution of 5 lakh vegetable seed packets every year.
Amazing Moments in CSR Initiative The government has handed over 1,200 Aanganwadis under Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) to the Bhansali Trust since last twenty five years. The percentage of severely malnourished children has come down to 2% from 23%. Regular vaccination has helped to reduce the occurrence of epidemics of measles, whooping cough and diphtheria. The safe motherhood programmes started by the Trust has helped in bringing down maternal deaths from 7.5 to 1.5 per 1,000 births. 55,000 poor families under self-help group program became debt free. 8 lakh free eye surgeries carried out at Bodhgaya in last 37 years.