Monday, October 26, 2009

JITO Lanuches New Delhi Chapter

By Anubhav Goyal

New Delhi : The Jain community is reputed for their entrepreneurial skills and they have a prominent trade body called the Jain International Trade Organization (JITO). Jain International Trade Organisation (JITO) is a worldwide body of Jain Businessmen, Industrialists, Knowledge workers and Professionals in various fields reflecting their glory of flawless business acumen. In order to expand its network and scale new heights JITO has today launched its Delhi Chapter. In Delhi, the body has prominent Jain Industrialists and Businessmen like Pradeep Jain, Chairman of Parsvnath Developers Limited as President of JITO Delhi and Mr. D K Jain, CMD of Luxor Writing Instruments Ltd as Vice President.

Commenting on the occasion, Pradeep Jain, President JITO Delhi, said “Delhi being the national capital is home to lot of prominent Jain industrialists. The Delhi chapter of JITO will act a platform to bring them together and explore new opportunities of trade. It will act as a stepping stone to unite and enhance integrity of Jains in Delhi.”

Commenting on the occasion, D. K. Jain, Vice-President JITO Delhi, said “I am confident that this development will do a world of good to the economy in general. This will bring the prominent Jain businessmen in one platform and collectively innovative ideas and business concept will be brewed. This I believe will be a major thrust in India’s growth trajectory in coming years.”

Commenting on the occasion, Hemant Jain, CMD, KCJ Polymers & Chemicals Limited said “I am sure that the Delhi Chapter of JITO will take forward the vision and mission of JITO main chapter and will be a harbinger of prosperity and success of Jain community”.

Commenting on the occasion, Lalit Nahata, CMD, Nahata Limited said, “All the Jain industrialists are extremely happy with this development. Due to busy work schedule it is impossible to meet in one platform in one given time. However, post this development, Jain businessmen in Delhi will be able meet and have meaningful dialogues to further enhance their businesses”.

Commenting on the occasion, Mahesh Jain of JG Group said, “Across the world it is observed that such communities help to grow business tremendously. I strongly believe that the Delhi chapter will be extremely beneficial to all Jain industrialists in Delhi and the main chapter of JITO will create many milestones in times to come.”

Commenting on the occasion, G. H. Singhvi, CMD, Hindustan Fibres Limited said, “Inauguration of Delhi chapter is a significant milestone for JITO. Delhi is the next business hub after Mumbai. Being the national capital, it is also the hub of bureaucracy. The launch of Delhi chapter will not only benefit the Jain businessmen residing in Delhi but also the JITO in general.”

The prestigious occasion was graced by Kamal Nath, Union Minister for Surface Transport, Smt. Sheila Dikshit, Honorable Chief Minister, Delhi. The ceremony was presided over by Shri Pradeep Jain “Aditya”, Honorable Minister of State for Rural Development.

The launch of Delhi chapter of JITO, witnessed a social gathering of elite dignitaries from India and abroad along with some eminent personalities in social service to discuss the course of activities to be taken forward through the Delhi Chapter.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Preserving Jain Manuscripts

By Mansi Choksi

More than 4,000 Jain manuscripts, some dating back to the ninth century BC, are being immortalised in a digitised encyclopaedia that will be thrown
open to the public early next year.

‘Jainpedia’ is the brainchild of the Institute of Jainology (IoJ), formed in 1983 mainly by the Jain diaspora in Britain. The collection of manuscripts include scriptures from British institutions like the Victoria and Albert Museum, British Library, Bodleian Library and Wellcome Trust.

“Many have beautifully illustrated folios on paper, cloth and palm leaves with a diverse range of subjects related to Jain beliefs, tradition and practices,’’ said Mehool Sanghrajka, IoJ’s director of education.

The manuscripts cover areas like hymns and prayers, accounts of the lives of the founders of Jainism, didactic literature, lexicography, poetics, philosophy, astrology, karma literature, texts on pilgrimage places and on daily rituals.

Most manuscripts have travelled with British officers posted in India who returned after Independence.

“While compiling these catalogues, the Institute realised that the collections were being used only by scholars and learned monks and nuns,’’ said Sanghrajka.

That’s when the institute decided to make the collection accessible to a wider audience. “This question of access was multi-faceted — physical contact with these manuscripts can be difficult as some are rare, many centuries old and fragile. Even if one could get to them, many are in languages that have not been spoken for a millennia and more. And, if one could perchance read the script, the contents are themselves difficult without an understanding of Jain philosophy, history and culture,’’ he says.

To make them more intelligible, the digitised images will be contextualized with commentaries from modern scholars, audio and video material and translations of the original texts apart from material for schools and young people.

Even Jain elders and members of Jain trusts in Mumbai have given ‘Jainpedia’ the thumbs-up. “The effort taken by the Jain community in Britain will reinforce our own efforts of reaching out to youngsters,’’ says Puspasen Panachand Zaveri, who is a trustee of many Jain trusts including Chadraprabhu Derasar.
Sanghrajka adds that independent research had shown that over 3 lakh people would benefit from the project.

“In particular, school children in England, where the institute has brought Jainism into the English National Curriculum will benefit.” A series of lectures is being planned by the institute to create awareness about the website in Mumbai.

7 Jain MLAs in Maharashtra Assembly

In the elections of Maharashtra Legislative assembly, 7 MLAs from Jain community were elected. Here is the list of the elected MLAs.

1. Chainsukh Sancheti from Malkapur constituency (BJP)
2. Rajendra Darda from Aurangabad East (Congress)
3. Prashant Bumb from Gangapur (Independent)
4. Omprakash Pokarna from Nanded South (Congress)
5. Mangal Prabhat Lodha from Malbar Hill (BJP)
6. Suresh Dada Jain from Jalgaon City (Shivsena)
7. Prakash Mehta from Ghatkopar (BJP)

There are 288 seats in Maharashtra assembly. So the percentage of Jain MLAs stands 2%+. This is much more than the percentage of Jains according to census in population of Maharashtra, which is 1.3%

Following Jain candidates failed to win the elections:

1. Prakash Awade from Ichalkaranji (Congress)
2. Rajesh Patni from Karanja (Shivsena)
3. Rajendra Pipada from Shirdi (Shivsena)
4. Rahul Pugliya from Ballarpur (Congress)
5. Rajkumar Bafna from Malbar Hill (Congress)
6. Bharat Parekh from Charkop (Congress)

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