The seed for BEHT was planted in 1995 when Ajay met Pujya Muktanandji (Bapu) in his ashram in Chaparda, which is in the Junagadh district of Gujarat.
It was under the 150 years old Pipal tree that casual meetings frequently took place between Bapu, Shree Gijubhai Bharad, a renowned educationalist in Gujarat who used to come to Chaparda to spend time with Bapu and write his books, and Ajay, who was visiting the ashram annually with his family to spend some spiritual time with Bapu.
All three shared a strong feeling that they wanted to do something to alleviate poverty from this area, and they all came to the conclusion that education was the best way to achieve this.
With Bapu’s vision and dynamic leadership, Gijubhai’s vast expertise in education in Gujarat, and Ajay’s contacts with possible NRI donors, a long term vision to transform the rural communities was drawn up with the following objectives:
- To provide education
- To provide relief to the poor, the handicapped, the disabled, the sick and the elderly.
- To provide relief to victims of disaster
It was agreed that the first task would be to build a school complex based on traditional values and setting. Then the plan was to add one building at a time as more funding became available.
Soon a donor for the school was found and construction began in 2000 and finished in 2001. After that, construction continued as donors were sought and found and soon there were just under 2000 children studying in Brahmanand Vidya Mandir Campus.
What started off as a small project grew organically due to the demand for good education. BET can rightfully claim that it has initiated a cultural shift towards education in Visavadar Taluka which will benefit its people for many generations.