In 2001, a dire earthquake caused havoc in many regions of Gujarat. The epicentre was close to Bhuj and consequently, this city was severely affected. Many of the buildings were razed to the ground. Many thousands of people were left homeless. Most of the city’s public amenities, such as schools and hospitals were also destroyed. Years after the quake, the city is still being re-built. Acharya Swamishree has principally focussed on helping re-build the schools, so that the children of the region can resume their education and have prospects of a more prosperous future.
Besides our Shree Swaminarayan Temple, in Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa Darbar Gadh Chowk, Bhuj, is a very large girls primary school. This school was damaged in the earthquake. With the grace and benevolence of Acharya Swamishree, this school was re-built by funds provided by Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan.
On 18th November 2004, Acharya Swamishree officially inaugurated the new school premises and handed over the control of the school to the local government. Minister Shree Ashokbhai Bhatt, Shree Dhirubhai Shah and many other eminent dignitaries of Bhuj were present on this special occasion.
The highly talented sants and young devotees of Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan presented devotional dances and also performed a special dance in honour of India.
Both honourable guests were extremely delighted to be granted the divine darshan of Acharya Swamishree and commended Him for all the help He has given them for the betterment of society.
In His divine blessings, Acharya Swamishree reminded everyone about the sanctity of the place where they were sitting because Lord Shree Swaminarayan remained in Kutch for many years and visited Bhuj countless times. Acharya Swamishree described the importance placed by Lord Swaminarayan to education because acquiring knowledge is the manner that society can flourish. In particular, Acharya Swamishree talked about the dire practices that were prevalent in society 200 years ago, through which females were considered as being inferior. Lord Shree Swaminarayan forbid these customs and thereby established females as equal to males. Lord Swaminarayan encouraged women to be educated. This was completely unheard of at the time. Therefore, it is quite appropriate that Lord Swaminarayan’s spiritual successor, Acharya Swamishree presents a centre for educating girls to the government. In this manner, Acharya Swamishree has further exemplified the principles advocated by Lord Shree Swaminarayan.