About 20 years ago, politician and philanthropist Kamal Morarka, former MP and a minister in the Chandra Shekhar cabinet, set up the MR Morarka-GDC Rural research Foundation in memory of his late father. It was founded with the mission of generating wealth and knowledge through innovations in resource management, application of new technology and upgrading the skills and talent of rural people.

The foundation, which was started in Nawalgarh, a small town located on the edge of the Thar desert in Rajasthan, now covers the entire Shekhawati region which comprises four rural districts, and has branched out its IT-enabled services to change the lives of people across the country. Every year, it keeps venturing into new areas and launching new initiatives with its key focus on areas like organic farming, IT-enabled education, farm tourism, waste management, biotechnology, women’s self-help groups, solar power, heritage conservation, e-libraries and environmental preservation.

With Morarka’s interests in other cultural and media-related enterprises, the foundations activities have grown manifold, and is one of the most exciting philanthropic initiatives in the country today. The annual Shekhawati Festival is a celebration of this initiative. The foundation has worked closely with Rajasthan State Tourism, the Art and Culture Department and the district authorities of Sikar, Churu and Jhunjhunu to make this annual event a prime tourist attraction.

Though professionals run the foundation and its many activities, Morarka visits the foundation once a year to see the progress of the different projects. Many local events were held last month to celebrate the progress made on different projects. These events and the projects are collectively contributing towards transforming the entire Shekhawati region and making it the nucleus of a new Rajasthan in the making.

Kamal Morarka says, “This is just another small effort we are making to contribute towards the new India story. I believe we should start with the smallest village and the poorest people if we want to really change the country. This is a task each one of us must undertake in our own way. Hopefully, you will see a lot of changes in the Shekhawati region in the coming years and thousands of locals will be better equipped to shape their future through better education, new technology and a better understanding of our own strengths as a nation, and as a people.”

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Source: TOI-MUM