To be effective at our work, our organization requires the guidance and support of the best. Our patrons help us channel our efforts effectively, and design our programs in the best possible ways.While being a youth driven organization, MahaBodh Foundation has had the privilege of receiving the support of highly qualified and experienced patrons who help guide our efforts in social work and reaching out to members of our community. A few of our patrons have been included below:
A humanist to the core, and veteran social reformist, Shri Dwarko Sundarani was born in Larkana district of Sindh province (now in Pakistan) in 1922. He was influenced by Gandhian principles in his twenties, and moved to Mumbai where he met Acharya VinobaBhave, and worked in the Pavana Village there to achieve KanchanaMukti (liberation from money). In 1953, he moved to Bodh Gaya, Bihar to setup the SamanvaywasAsharam to motivate people to shun politics and religion and to embrace science and spirituality. While at Bodh Gaya, Shri Sundarani worked for the upliftment of the Musahars community and his Asharam distributed 5000 acres of land to rehabilitate 3000 Musahars who were languishing in poverty.
When Bihar suffered a severe famine in 1967, Dwarko-ji worked hard to provide relief. He did not believe in running free kitchens, as was done by many others. Instead, he devised a scheme called ‘Food for Work’ under which 540 wells and 12 water reservoirs were conducted. This work earned him a special honour at the hands of then Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi.
Doing social work, running schools, practicing Gandhian traditions and values, Dwarko-ji has led a life of compassion, dedicated to the poorest of the poor in our own Bodh Gaya. At 92 years of age, Dwarko-ji is one of the last active disciples of Gandhi. His Holiness Dalai Lama, when he met Dwarko-ji, had said to him, “Dwarko-ji, I teach compassion, and you are living it.”
MahaBodh Foundation is proud to have Hon’ble Dwarko Sundrani as a mentor and patron..
Ambassador Surinder Malik
A eminent veteran Urdu poet and known for his ghazal writing (Indian song/ Lyrics ) and a social worker to the core, Ambassador Surinder Malik is a professional diplomat with three decades experience of representing India in different parts of the world. Ambassador Malik received great accolades from the government and civil society for his efficient handling of situation post ‘Kanishka tragedy’ as Indian Consul General at Toronto. During his Ambassadorial assignments at Doha (Qatar), Budapest (Hungary) and Hanoi, (Vietnam), his foresightedness and indulgence particularly on forging mutually beneficial economic and trade issues were well appreciated. Even after retirement, from the pinnacle of Indian Foreign Service, Ambassador Malik has made significant contribution in the fields of Information technology, power and Industrial Sectors of India. Presently he is engaged in identifying resources for Indian Power Sector like thermal coal mines in Africa. He along with his team of entrepreneurs is setting up a pilot project for taking retail revolution from urban metropolises to rural India. The project will have over two hundred village Malls in the next few years and employment potential of millions of jobs and empower village youth. Another area of his interest is promoting horticulture to assist farmers and assisting in agro based industries. Ambassador Malik has kindly agreed to be our Patron and guide the team MahaBodh in international outreach and fund raising.
Dr. Sangita Sharan
As an eminent legal practitioner of Ranchi High Court, Dr. Sangita Sharan, has consistently and vigorously used her skills and abilities to provide community based social services to vulnerable groups like women and children. She is a staunch supporter of gender equality and has significantly contributed in the field of women empowerment. Dr. Sharan has been politically active and as Vice President of Bar Council, Daltonganj, she motivated several women from her area to study and practice law and work for the welfare of women.
A dedicated wife and a mother of two highly educated daughters, Dr. Sharan has also relentlessly worked for the improvement of lives of poor children afflicted with HIV.
Dr. Sharan has voluntarily agreed to be a patron of team MahaBodh which in her words has initiated a great social change in the rural areas of Bihar by granting full scholarship to girls who will be first in their family to complete high school education and will bring vital change in their life. She says ‘MahaBodh, through ‘Anantya Scholarship Program’ is not only providing quality education to poor girls but also saving them from getting married off at tender age by their parents’. In India 44.5 percent of girls are being married before 18 years of age, and maternal mortality rate is very high.
Dr. Binod Kumar Verma
A renowned medical professional, Dr. Binod Kumar Verma has a long and decorated journey of over 30 years in the field of medicine and social work. Soon after graduating from his medical school, Dr. Verma started his medical practice in the year 1984 and in 1988 was commissioned in Bihar Health Services. Later with the support of organizations like “Buddha Education and Family Welfare Trust” and “Health for All”, Dr. Verma started the clinic “Verma Health Care Centre” at BodhGaya, which has maintained a rare reputation for being the only reliable hospital in the region catering to the poor and needy people from diverse sections and ethnicity. Dr. Verma is associated with several Government and non-Governmental organizations like the Mahabodhi Society of India, Rotary Club, People First and has been the key mentor to the NGOs “Join Together Society, Korea” in their project for a Hospital and TB Centre at Dhungeshwari, BodhGaya.
Awarded with the “Best Citizen of India Award” in the year 2007, Dr. Verma was also nominated for the prestigious “Rashtriya Gaurav Award” recently. Dr. Binod Kumar Verma has been the main guiding force and chief mentor to the team MahaBodh ever since its inception and despite his challenging health conditions has actively participated and contributed to the events of MahaBodh Foundation through Health Care and Educational Events.
Mr. Sanjay Kumar Ojha
An outstanding expert in Audit, Taxation, Finance, Consultancy and Management, Mr. Sanjay Kumar Ojha is a Senior partner in OJHA & ASSOCIATES, Chartered Accountants and is also a visiting lecturer in several colleges. A Graduate with distinction in Commerce, Mr. Ojha’s educational qualifications are adorned with ‘B.Com.(Hons.), F.C.A. D.I.S.A.(ICA), D.I.R.M.(ICA), CCCAB. He has been in Practice since Feb 1991 and during last 25 years of his professional life, Mr. Ojha has gathered tremendous credibility in the field of Audit and Financial Management.
When ‘Team Mahabodh’ approached Mr. Ojha to be its patron and mentor the team in maintenance of Foundation’s books of account and compliance to the statutory Tax and Auditing rules of India, he willingly agreed and uttered ‘It will be my pleasure’.
Mahabodh Foundation is grateful to Mr. Sanjay Kumar Ojha for extending his professional support in account management, auditing and tax compliance as a patron and mentor.