Shree Lohana Mahaparishad, the umbrella body representing Lohana institutions in the world, has appointed Elgon Kenya Managing Director and Agriculture Sector Network chairman Bimal Kantaria as the Zonal President of Kenya and chairman of Lohana Mahajan of Nairobi.
With a membership estimated at 2.5million, Shree Lohana Mahaparishad advocates for acts of altruism that contribute to the wellbeing of humanity. The institution has invested in various community-based projects world over from education, health, skills development centers and support for small businesses.
“In appreciation of the various social welfare as well as community service activities being undertaken by you, we take pride in appointing you as the Zonal president-Kenya of Shree Lohana Mahaparishad. May the Almighty give you immense strength to serve the mother body and the members of the community in all respects,” said Satish Vithalani, the President of Shree Lohana Mahaparishad in a statement.
As the Zonal President of Kenya, Dr Kantaria will be responsible for growing the network and uniting members in supporting and advancing the philosophy of the organization through various acts of charity. Dr Kantaria is the first third generation chairman of the organization after his granduncle, Mr. G.D. Kantaria, and his father, Rajnikant Kantaria.
“This is a great honour and privilege for me,” said Dr Kantaria in his acceptance speech. “At a time when the world is facing unprecedented crises, service to humanity matters now more than ever. I plan to work with members of the Lohana community and people of good will in making Kenya and the world a better home for all of us.”
Dr Kantaria has been a stalwart of social good as the Managing Director of Elgon Kenya, guided by the philosophy of the company that has been consistent in its philanthropy since it first set up shop over 120 years ago.
From building the Nyanjenga Primary School in Limuru in the 1980s for poor children whose parents worked in neighbouring tea plantations in the 1980s, Elgon Kenya has, under the leadership of Dr Kantaria, invested in social causes across the education, health and agriculture sectors.
The company has been involved in the construction of an ultra-modern health facility based in Parklands Nairobi that seeks to make healthcare affordable by stemming the rising trend of patients seeking medical services abroad due to lack of facilities locally that can match the emerging health threats.
The 30-bed Kantaria ward at MP Shah Hospital that consists of private self-contained and duplex rooms in addition to general ward beds that was part of the investment by the Elgon Kenya directors, has been hailed as crucial in providing quality treatment at affordable cost.
In the education sector the company has invested in construction and expansion of learning blocks, books, paying school fees and contributing to school feeding programes, guided by the principle of its fore fathers; that of empowering the young ones who hold the key to the prosperity of the country. The focus is on children from humble backgrounds and in schools located in remote areas from Ngelani Ranch Primary School in Athi River to education centers in Mwingi.
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At the post-secondary school level, Elgon Kenya has tapped in the skill of young people by encouraging them to embrace vocational training and encouraging young people to embrace education. The company has been working with St Joseph Vocational Institute for the poor in Mlolongo, that aims to equip the youth with skills on latest technology and development of micro and small enterprises, one of the pillars of the country’s economy. The institute has gone ahead to produce top notch automotive engineers and mechanics in the country.
Elgon Kenya has also been working with the elderly to alleviate their suffering by investing in homes for the aged. In one such home, Bethsaida Home for the Aged in Kitengela, the company has assisted the home in installing a three phase electricity line which has meant cutting cost of power. With the installation of power, the home has invested in boreholes that are now watering the horticultural produces grown at the 1.8 hectares land that is owned by the home.
Dr Kantaria was recognized by President Uhuru Kenyatta for his role in motivating farmers.
Dr Kantaria has also been the Governor of the Rotary club District 9212, a position that saw him promote the membership growth, increase the number of clubs within the district and contribution of funds to the Rotary. This, with the ultimate goal of assisting Rotary club advance its cause of alleviating human suffering and being a brother’s keeper.
The club was able to raise $1,200,000 for the Rotary Foundation Trust, the highest per capita raising in Africa. This was channeled to various charities in Kenya including scholarships for children, water and sanitation projects, maternal and childcare services, disaster relief and several other charities.
Dr Kantaria is the patron of the annual National Farmers Awards that seeks to reward the country’s best food producers while bringing the industry under one roof. The scheme has since its pioneer edition ran a youth category that has inspired a new generation of young farmers who are mentored by the winners.
The young soil celebrities, majority who have dumped suits for boots have turned their farms into demonstration and training plots leading to a farming revolution while creating numerous jobs in a country whose youth continue to grapple with unemployment.
Dr Kantaria has previously been recognized by Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta for the role he and his company have played through the awards to motivate farmers.