By Yajur H Shah
NHSF (UK) President

A year with NHSF (UK) can be a difficult thing to visualise, simply because we do so much! The Annual General Meeting on 21st March 2015 allowed us to understand just how incredible the past year has been. The statistics are mind-blowing:

  • Record membership of 4,083;
  • Welcoming the 50th chapter to our family;
  • Engaging with and actively taking on projects with 33 organisations;
  • Over 170 Sewa activities during Sewa Week with 85% of all chapters participating;
    90% of chapters participating in Sewa Day;
  • Over 35 food collections and 200 Antony Nolan registrations;
  • 623 Aartis, 409 Learning workshops, 184 debates, 52 speaker visits and 542 Hanuman Chalisas nationally – 76% of all chapters doing regular Learning;
  • 5 students engaged with caucusing for the General Elections through our political campaigns initiative;
  • 2 outstanding editions of our magazine, HUM;
  • 900 participants at our National Sports Competition, with 118 teams competing across 5 sports;
  • Over 100,000 views on our recently launched new website.

On top of that, some key achievements and new initiatives have allowed us to build upon the great work done by previous office bearers. These include:

  • Launch of the Hindu Awareness Week that saw 76% of chapters participate;
  • A revamp of the National Blood Donation Day to become simply the National Donation Day where we worked to with bone marrow, blood and organ donation organisations for greater donor registration;
  • Launch of our new brand and website, readdressing our need for clarity;
  • Restatement of our national vision, mission and objectives;
  • Massive strides forward in our Human Boundaries project with the hope of more effective legislation being introduced in Pakistan around the Hindu Marriage Act in the coming weeks;
  • Setting up the foundations of the Hindu Helpline. Whilst a lot of work remains, we are making good strides forward;
  • Launch of the NHSF (UK) App;
  • Launch of the NatCom Development Programme;
  • Strengthening of our National E-Resources Centre.

Beyond statistics, it is difficult to express how far we have come in the last year – to put it simply, to experience the pace at which we are moving, you have to be a part of the movement.

Some key office bearer positions are changing hands this year, some because they are moving to new roles within the organisation and other because they are moving to continue working for the Samaj beyond NHSF (UK). These are:

  • National Vice President, Kiran Patel will be leaving the National Committee to work with NHSF Alumni and make way for Sonal Keshav. She comes on with vast experience in brand awareness and her dedication & work ethic are exactly what’s required to help move the organisation forward;
  • National Treasurer, Veeral Raichura has decided to take up more work at the grass roots level of our work within Sewa Team and Rasik Kanji will be taking on the Treasury role with the hope of strengthening our finances over the course of the next few years;
  • Bhavesh Dharni will be joining as our second General Secretary after demonstrating his incredible dedication and understanding of our work during his time on Learning Team;
  • Sewa Coordinator, Harshini Patel will be leaving us to join a newly forming Sewa Day team. In her place will come Riddhi Gorania, a dental student at Sheffield with a serious drive to see more Sewa happening across the country;
  • Campus Coordinator, Raghav Chandegra will be leaving us and Kishan Rabheru will be taking his place having achieved great results with Central Zone over the past few years. He comes on with great ideas and an understanding of where the future may lie for our chapters;
  • Events Coordinator, Pritesh Joshi will be leaving us after putting on a great National Sports Competition, with Jaimal Patel taking up the role after seeing incredible growth within London Zone;
  • Vishal Patel will be leaving us in a formal capacity whilst continuing to provide support in a more advisory position with Niraj Thakrar taking the position of the PR Team Coordinator, Ruvneeta Beeharry, as Legal Team Coordinator and Rajiv Kotecha as Schools Team Coordinator.
  • Aislinn Mae will be taking on the recently formed Income Generation team with the support of Rasik and the rest of Finance Team.
  • Mayur Shikotra, after taking on several projects this year including Income Generation and the development of our new website, will be leaving the National Committee to work on our NHSF Alumni project;
  • Continuing their roles from last year will be Priyesh Mistry as Web and Design Team Coordinator, Madhav Dave as Learning Team Coordinator, Remya Unnithan as General Secretary and Yajur Shah as National President.

We have seen a strong year of recruitment this year and with greater focus and drive for the year ahead, we are certain that 2015-16 will see us making immense strides forward toward our vision; that vision being a peaceful and harmonious world based on Dharma. We will achieve that by protecting, preserving, practising and promoting Hindu Dharma. We will remember that we exist to create a home away from home for all Hindu students, nurture eternal Hindu principles such as respect, cohesion and diversity, develop future leaders, ambassadors and role models and ensure Hindu representation in all spheres of society. We do all this because we are NHSF (UK).