Dr. Kulkarni and Dr. Vatwani collaborate to produce SnehaShraddha

Dr. Kulkarni from Snehalaya

Dr. Vatwani from Shraddha Foundation

Carl Jung always said that nothing happens by accident or by chance. Every event is synchronized and preordained. And of my own, I had read somewhere that while making friends, one should reach out for matching wave-lengths, instead of focusing on mere benefits. These two philosophies have actually stood true for me in all the decades of my existence.

Something similar happened when Dr Girish Kulkarni & I accidently met on one of the most altruistic platforms in the USA, none other than the Indians for Collective Action (ICA) Annual Meet, as if channelized by a divine plan. ICA had/has always been a melting pot and amalgamation of the like-hearted & the socially-minded souls of India, be they from India itself or settled abroad.

Post this meeting, while we never truly kept in touch, our mutual respect for each other’s work remained and multiplied manifold. Our associate psychiatrist and fellow-Trustee Dr Roopa Tekchandani nee Balani was herself an Ahmednagar girl, being born there, and was a regular visitor/well-wisher of Girish Kulkarni’s Snehalaya. She would recount all the stories within Snehalaya and these exchanges warmed the cockles of our hearts. Nothing sticks to your head and heart better than a nice emotional story.

And Carl Jung working his magic, a Shraddha social worker Sulakshana Aher (who was an orphan from Nasik orphanage and who had bonded with me cathartically to the point of me becoming her surrogate father) proposed her marriage plans to Miren Gaikwad (another orphan boy born and bought up in Girish Kulkarni’s Snehalaya). An unending fairy-tale story, on 29th November 2020 Dr Girish Kulkarni as the surrogate father of the prospective groom came down to meet me in our Karjat Center, me being the surrogate father of the prospective bride (photos below). And in the meeting at our Rehabilitation Center, the marriage proposal done & dusted with, we both had an unending list of tales to share. Solution focused discussions were the substance of all our interactions, rather than mere exchange of problems floating around in the society. The interchange of words and ideas opened up the flood-gates for the setting up of Sneh-Shraddha.

And our mutual tuning and wave-length matching was so synchronized that within a span of a mere month, Sneh-Shraddha came to existence on the blessed and beautiful occasion of Christmas on December 25th 2020.

And this affirms me further to say that - ‘Meetings with the right people on right platforms are nothing but a divine plan, for a definite change, a definite positive change, in the world where we all co-exist’.

The beauty of our collaboration is that we have literally locked on, in absolute sync. People joined hands, as if they were always part of our existence. Dr Neeraj Karandikar whose father Jayant Karandikar was a renowned social worker of Ahmednagar, became our local psychiatrist. His wife Dipti was gung-ho about the project too. Neither I nor Girish have signed an MOU, and from the way we are going hand-in-glove, have no intention or need to.

And our meeting in ICA, the umbrella body under whose aegis we met, continues to be the watershed moment of our lives. The goodness within good multiplied exponentially on that ICA platform. And to one and all at ICA, Girish and I both, have this to express our gratitude… Thank you, ICA… And let the bundles of joy, hope and peace prevail and spread amongst each & every one of us, as we welcome this New Year 2021…

- Dr Bharat Vatwani & Dr Girish Kulkarni