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A Tragically Premature Death leads to the Establishment of a School for the Underserved in India

By Marcy

Students working on jewelry projects

Recently I sat down with Kailash to learn more about the unique school for underprivileged youth in India that she had helped establish and continues to oversee as it expands and flourishes.  Tragedy struck in 2001 when her beloved nephew, Dewang Mehta, died of a heart attack at the age of 38 while on a business trip to Sydney, Australia.  Dewang had established himself as a promoter of the IT industry in India, envisioning a role for the country as an exporter of IT service and innovation.  His premature death challenged his family to conceive a plan both to honor his memory and to carry forward his goal of making India an IT powerhouse.  After careful consideration, his family decided to use his estate to fund the establishment of a school in Umreth, India, for young people who lack the opportunity to get an education.  The Dewang Mehta Foundation Trust was created in 2002 to manage the estate funds. In 2016 the Foundation established the sustainable livelihood center at Umreth in Central Gujarat equipped with cutting edge digital technologies including video walls, as well as augmented and virtual reality to benefit the students with the use of best in class training methods.  Training in art mural painting and jewelry making was also offered.  Eighty students of whom 60 were girls made up the first class.  Another important contribution of the foundation has been to hold competitions to challenge participants to develop innovative ideas.  IT professionals make up the jury members judging the competitions which have attracted competitors from a variety of local schools.

Kailash showing some of the printed material about the Dewang Mehta Foundation

Kailash continues to play a very active role in overseeing the development of the center including the growth of the student body as well as the addition of classroom space on site.  It is a fitting way to honor her nephew who was himself a great innovator and was committed to making India a leader in the IT industry. 

Some jewelry examples

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