Varsha Yogesh Patel, (New Jersey, USA),
Varsha was born in Nadiad, Gujarat. Growing up at National Rayon Colony near Kalyan, Maharashtra, where she did her schooling, she excelled in studies, athletics, and classical dances.
1970: Valedictorian at NRC Colony School
1970 -1974: Bhavans College, Bombay University, Gold Medalist (best student of the year) 1974
Degree: B.Sc. Chemistry (principal), Physics (subsidiary)
1974-1975 Science and higher math teacher for 9th and 10th grade, RSGK school, Kalyan
1976 -1984 Lived in the UK and worked as a hospital administrator and at Inland Revenue for several years while raising two boys and taking care of family.
1984 - to date, Lives in the USA. She worked as a teacher for two years and then as a research Chemist at an international chemical company for 28 years, retiring in 2015.
Having lived in three different continents and travelled worldwide, she has come across numerous cultures and has wide experience dealing with diversity.
Compassionate and giving by nature, she loves to help others at every opportunity she gets. Her philanthropic activities accelerated in 2018, especially helping underprivileged communities in India.
In the USA, she is a volunteer Yoga instructor in her community. She keeps the balance in life by being a devoted grandmother of five, very close friend to a few, and love for all!
She became an enthusiastic supporter and promoter of HEM Ashram, ever since her first visit to the school and hostel in Jagiri, in Jan 2020. She recently volunteered for two months at an NGO in Gujarat, including services as a remedial teacher at their high school. Her plans include more of such volunteering services in India.
In March 2022, Varsha registered a support organization in the USA, under the name - HEM Ashram Foundation Inc., and applied for charitable organization status for the entity under IRC Section 501(c)(3) of the US Internal Revenue Service. The idea is to raise awareness in the USA of HEM’s excellent activities and its need for support.
Yogesh Patel, FCA, CPA
Yogesh was born in Uganda, East Africa, in 1951. After high school, at the age of 18, he went to England (UK) to train as a Chartered Accountant. His studies at The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales earned him a BSc in Business Administration and a professional degree as a Fellow Chartered Accountant (FCA). He moved to the USA in 1984. The following year he sat for the CA exams to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). He has spent his entire career in finance, both in public accounting as an auditor and at private firms (Hedge Funds),as Controller and CFO in Manhattan, New York, and New Jersey. For the past 13 years he has worked for the US Treasury Department, with the IRS division. Although he works full time and takes significant time off to travel, he has lately been threatening to retire! and devote his full time to voluntary work, supporting kids’ welfare.
He credits his parents for the love for schools in rural India. As a youngster, he visited India from Africa. On such visits, his father introduced him to the plight of the rural schools around his village. He witnessed his father’s contributions of books, supplies, clothes, and financial aid to select schools in the region. The idea of sharing, no matter your own circumstances, was born.
Together with his wife Varsha, they have lived on three/four continents and traveled many regions of the world, including numerous inner parts of India. They have been devoting more of their resources and time, volunteering, especially on their annual trips to India.
Daxesh Oza, Valsad
After completing Post Graduation in Organic Chemistry, Mr. Daxesh Oza worked for a corporate house at Bombay for 15 years. Approximately 25 years ago, he started his own business, manufacturing Pigment Dispersion Products, at Vapi, Gujarat. He has been associated, as trustee, with an NGO in Valsad, in the field of rehabilitation and training of mentally challenged kids and ones with multiple challenges - having a wide spectrum of different disabilities. For the last ten years, he looked after the financial and overall administration aspects of this school.
Mr. Oza also is an active member of The Giants Group of Valsad, as Director of Finance. They are an NGO working in the field of social upliftment of tribal communities and the empowering of the weaker sections, especially women in our area, to bring them to the mainstream of the society.
Approximately 3 years ago, he visited HEM Ashram Jagiri; a school with extremely limited resources and was impressed with the work there. The dedication, sincerity and ambitions of its founders and promoters, Mr. Babal and his wife Mrs. Sheetal Gadar, has helped this tribal area school to develop into a model residential school for 272 underprivileged and some orphan children. He has been assisting Ms. Sheetal with the financial and academic aspects of the organization. Together with some dedicated friends from the USA, he has been the “foot soldier” taking care of the logistics and financial aspects of various capital Expenditure Projects at Jagiri. I wish HEM Ashram and Gadars to succeed in all their initiatives.
Prof. Dr. Asha Gohil, Valsad
Dr. Asha Gohil works as an Associate Professor since 1994 in Shri Mumbadevi Arts and Mrs. S.R. Chamariya Commerce College, Motapondha in Valsad.
Dr. Asha Gohil is also an author with two books under her belt. She is a leader with extensive experience in fields of charity and education. She is the current president of Giants International, Valsad division and an Elected member in the core committee of Gujarati Sahitya Parishad and an Executive / Administrative Member of Gujarati Adhyapak Sangh. Her prior experience also includes her dservices as a convener in women’s wing of “ Gujarati Dalit Sahitya Akadami”.and as a Departmental Secretary of South Gujarat Gujarati Adhyapak Sangh. She has travelled extensively in India and many countries in Asia, Europe and Middle East and delivered lectures and talks.
Dr. Gohil is actively involved in numerous philanthropic activities for the underprivileged, women and child welfare and farmers and students.
Hardik Patel, Dharampur
Hardik Patel is a leading advocate in Dharampur, Valsad with decades of experience in fields of advocacy and social service. He offers his guidance, resources and mastery to the underprivileged in the region.
He is actively involved with several non profits organisations.
Hemant Patel, Vadodara
After obtaining B.Tech. (ChemE) in 79 at IIT Bombay, Hemant Patel migrated to the US and obtained M.S. in (ChemE) at Syracuse University. He joined DuPont in 1981 and worked for 31 years in executive and technical positions at plants in the USA, Spain and Singapore. Once his children went to college, he felt it was time to return back to India to try to pay off his debt to the motherland. In 2012 he resigned from DuPont and relocated to India to work for an NGO called Muni Seva Ashram (MSA) near Vadodara, Gujarat where he works in various roles including HR manager. Hemant also directs an affiliated company, MSA Bio-Energy Pvt. Ltd. which specialises in generating energy from different types of organic substrates and wastes.
At MSA, they are building a 2 MW Biogas project that will make Ashram Grid Free and Carbon Neutral while providing piped gas to nearby villages in addition to building innovative, wormy-compost based toilets for neighbouring villages.
Currently he manages the Vocational training centre (VTC) to train and place the rural youth.