The Oshwal Mahila Mandal is a 62 years old ladies’ institution that binds Oshwal Families by the noble work carried out by their women. It is a mighty oak tree that grew from a tiny acorn, Its inauguration was done on 15th September 1946 under the blessings of Shri Hemchandra Maharaj.
The initial aim was to educate the Oshwal ladies with reading and writing skills as most of the women then were illiterate. Our few educated ladies took the initiative of teaching the reading and writing of Gujarati and English. As the saying goes "If you educate a woman you have educated the whole nation". Today we see the fruits - education is now a strong pillar of our community and most of the young generation are all graduates, many having more then one degree.
It is thus heart warming to note that in 62 years Oshwal Mahila Mandal has grown from strength to strength on its social, character building and leadership development activities. Over the years it has diversified its operation and today carries out a tremendous amount of social and charity work especially for local people.
The talents of Oshwal ladies have known no bounds when you note the variety of activities and projects that have been organized over the years. Some of the projects are cooking, flower, arts and crafts competitions as well as demonstrations, oratory, quiz debates, talks and seminars on Medical lectures and general awareness talks for the ladies, tours, overseas and local, picnics and many more..
Oshwal Mahila Mandal is a non-profit and charity organization. On a regular basis they donate food, clothes and other necessary items to the needy and less fortunate people. They collected KShs. 1,000,000 by having a fashion show and donated it to MP Shah Hospital for the Doctors Plaza. They held free Medical Screening Camps for local people at Muranga and Machakos. Such camps are held regularly.
Environment and the Oshwal Mahila Mandal
Before our environmentalist, Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai announced the Billion Tree Campaign, Oshwal Mahila Mandal had taken up the challenge. On 8th March 2006 on Women's International Day, they held a convention on "Preserving and Saving our Beautiful Mother Earth". They invited all the institutions under the Hindu Council of Kenya and students of Oshwal schools. The response was overwhelming, and about 500 people attended this convention. They started the function with a tree planting ceremony by the past and present committee members at the Oshwal Centre and with God's grace it started pouring after a year's drought and since then we have had rains throughout the year. It was certainly done whole-heartedly. Through skits, video shows, poems by our young students the message of protecting our mother earth was passed to all. Five resolutions were taken up ie. preserve and save water, save petrol & electricity, paper recycling and reuse, tree planting annually, and of course look after the environment. They have already planted 2000 trees in Kiraitu Forest and pledged 1000 trees in Machakos – to be planted in October.
They have carried out numerous projects. Some major ones are :
- 8th March 2006: A convention on "Our beautiful Mother Earth, Let us preserve it and save it".
- 28th April - 2nd May 2006: Tour to Mombasa
- 14th May 2006: Planted 1000 trees at Kiraitu Forest under the supervision of Mr. David Kuria
- October 13th 2006: organised a Diwali programme at Oshwal Centre. The programme was Deep Sandhya choreographed by Mrs. Kamini Thakrar. Before the main programme they had a sumptuous dinner. The Chief Guest for the programme was Mrs. Indiraben Ramesh Shah.
- 23rd Jan 2007: We made a trip to Thika at the invitation from Hindu Thika Mahila Mandal, About 80 of us went by bus, and they had organised games & talks.