Namaste! a Warm Welcome to the Global Website of the Mandhata Patel’s of the Navsari District of Gujarat, India, a place for the Mandhata community to get together and collaborate.

*** Featured Sites:
Shodh Ganga – Reservoir of Indian Thesis
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In Focus – Swaniti Initiative – delivers development solutions to over 90 Parliamentarians across states and party lines on issues of health, education, gender and livelihood.

“There are so many MPs who are wanting to pursue constituency development programs and no entity supporting them. Thus, It seemed only natural to match supply with demand, connecting youth to leadership with a focus on development in grassroots India.” – Rwitwika Bhattacharya, Founder

Website: Swaniti Initiative

Download eBook – Model Village Brief: pdf Adarsh Gram Model Village

Website: Swaniti Initiative Photo Gallery

Adarsh Gram (Model Village): a Concept Note

1. The Idea of a model village

68.9% of our population lives in rural areas (Census 2011). Though number is expected to fall in the coming years, it is still estimated that more than half of our population would be rural even in 2050. Despite there being several past initiatives by governments at all levels – Central, State and Local – in the past, the level of improvement has not kept pace with the rising aspirations among Indians. On most development parameters, there is still a significant gap between rural and urban India

The proposed “Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana” of the Central Government aims to involve MPs more directly in the development of model villages. By adopting a village(s) under this initiative, an MP has the opportunity to directly benefit all sections of a village community in an integrated, efficient and participatory fashion.

2. Objectives
A model village project has the following important objectives:
– Prevent distress migration from rural to urban areas, which is a common phenomenon in India’s villages due to lack of opportunities and facilities that guarantee a decent standard of living.
– Make the model village a “hub” that could attract resources for the development of other villages in its vicinity.
– Provide easier, faster and cheaper access to urban markets for agricultural produce or other marketable commodities produced in such villages
– Contribute towards social empowerment by engaging all sections of the community in the task of village development.
– Create and sustain a culture of cooperative living for inclusive and rapid development.

3. Key elements of a model village
A 21st century model village in India needs to incorporate certain key themes which would be essential for its success.
The figure below highlights these broad thematic focus areas, and also mentions the important elements under each such

An intervention under one of these areas could have an effect across other areas as well. For example, technology could
be used to improve the quality and delivery of other services such as health and education, which in turn contributes to
sustainable development. Similarly, the use of renewable energy, apart from meeting energy needs, also contributes towards environmental sustainability. Village tree plantation drives could encourage a community participation, benefit the
environment, prevent soil erosion and benefit agriculture, conserve water, and finally contribute to the aesthetics of the
village. A number of these initiatives have already been taken in different parts of the country, but most of them have been attempted in isolation. The urgent need is to bring about a convergence of all such initiatives, for which 2 things would be essential – a) grassroots level planning; and b) mobilization of resources.

4. Resources

For an MP, there are several primary resource streams which can be utilized for this purpose:

– Funds under existing schemes across different sectors such as health, education, skill development, livelihood etc
– MPLAD funds (Rs 5 crore per year) could be utilized for the construction of high quality, sustainable assets such as
school buildings, hospitals, Anganwadi Centres and school kitchens for Mid-Day meals. Funds could also be
channelized into road construction, and the construction of toilets in schools and homes, particularly for girls.
– CSR funds, of which a much larger corpus is available after the latest amendment to the Companies Act, could also
be used for the purpose of infrastructure development in the constituency.
– Self-help groups, who are eligible for subsidized loans under various Central and State government initiatives
– Gram Panchayats could also raise loans, if legally permitted to do so under the State Panchayati Raj Acts like in the
case of Kerala.

5. Choosing a village for adoption

As per the latest Census, there are more than 640,000 villages in India, and more than 2.5 lakh Gram Panchayats (GPs).
In other words, every Lok Sabha constituency has more than 450 such Panchayats on an average. Among these,
choosing one (or 2-3) GP for the purpose of adoption is also an important decision to be made. According to the latest
guidelines, the MP may choose any Gram Panchayat with a population of 3000-5000 people in plain areas, and 1000-
3000 in hilly, tribal and difficult areas. However, as the PM has observed,

1. Strong Panchayats in terms of finances, functions and functionaries – The village Panchayat will have a
pivotal role to play in any village development project. The financial and functional strength of a Panchayat will be extremely useful in preparing village plans, mobilizing community opinion in favour of a particular initiative, and implementing the initiative in a transparent and time-bound manner.

2. Proximity to an urban centre – Choosing a village close to an urban centre might facilitate access to physical and financial resources, and also help in establishing better connectivity between the village and the urban town. Such a village could also become an extension of the urban centre, and have facilities which could virtually be at par with the urban centre. This would be very similar to the “Rurban” approach announced in the latest Union Budget, which aims to provide city-like facilities in rural areas close to existing cities.

3. Potential for piloting new technologies – Since technology would be at the core of the model village concept, the village must offer avenues for experimenting with such technology. Some examples of such technologies could be the use of solar power for irrigation and domestic lighting, and agricultural innovations based on soil suitability and climate.

4. Diverse population groups – The real success of such an initiative can be demonstrated if the lives of large and diverse sections of the population can be positively impacted by it. Rather than focusing on any particular religious or caste group, the model village must aim towards the uplift of all sections of the population in the village. However, it is important that special attention is paid to vulnerable groups such as young children, women and the BPL population.

Website: Swaniti Initiative

Download eBook – Model Village Brief: pdf Adarsh Gram Model Village

Download eBook – Punsari 1: pdf Punsari Benchmark Village

Download eBook – Punsari 2: pdf Punsari Gam Success Story

Website: Photo Gallery


pdf 1. Download Gam Development Report – English

pdf 2. Download Gam Development Report – Gujarati

pdf 3. Link to Kantha Vibhag Friendship Trust Report

pdf 1. Download Essence of Hinduism by Gandhi

pdf 2. Download 11 Vows of Gandhi

pdf 3. Download The Gita According to Gandhi (The Gospel of Selfless Action)

pdf 4. Download Gandhi’s book – From Yeravda Mandir


Old Banyan Tree – Matwad



Purpose of the Website:

    1. First and foremost, is to recognize our roots and rich culture and heritage and social and community practices which is prevalent in all our communities around the world..
    2. Valuing and drawing up existing knowledge, skills and talents of the members of the Mandhata Community Globally.
    3.  Networking with each other, helping and guiding members and affiliated associations to optimise their abilities in order to fulfil set objectives.
    4. Addressing specific issues on their own merits and proven experiences.
    5. Develop and enhance the quality of life in our village areas in India by promoting education and development in all spheres of life.
    6. Record and Archive our roots and heritage and make it available globally.
    7. Promote Hindu Religious, Spiritual, Cultural and Social Practices
    8. Recognize and acknowledge achievements by our people around the world.
    9. Network and share Best Practices to ensure a peaceful and sustainable future for our communities around the world by living in harmony with people and nature and to protect the environment.
    10. Make positive contributions to society in general and to all the people and countries that we live in, around the world

[n.b. If you would like to contribute material for the site (photos or documents) or to become an Editor, please send a message to the email account mandhataglobal@gmail.com.]


Mandhata Community – Who are they ???

Mandhata Community refers to all the Koli Patel Community people who originate from the Navsari District of South Gujarat in India who migrated to various overseas countries.

The first Koli Patel immigrants from Navsari District are recorded to have sailed for South Africa in 1860. Over the years since then many more joined them. Others traveled to Fiji and then to New Zealand as early as 1902. During the War years and later large numbers traveled to East Africa.

Initially they came to work on the plantations and to build roads and railways. As years passed the vast majority of them settled in the countries where that worked. The first immigrants were all young men who went back to their local villages to get married and return to be followed by their wives a little later.

It is these immigrants who identified themselves as Mandhata Community. It is estimated that they number over a hundred thousand. UK has over 40,000 settled mainly in large cities and are now involved in almost all professions and in every industry, as in other countries too.

A vast number of us settled overseas are now sixth and seventh generation. Even the later arrivals boast third and forth generation. Yet we have continued close relationship with our extended families in India. Most of us visit regularly and many have built homes on their ancestral land.

This site highlights the history and life of the Mandhata Patel Community.

Site Specifics

This site has been built using a web content management framework, this will enable many people around the world to contribute content without any programming skills, all that is required is basic computer skills, this will ensure that content is contibuted by our communities around the world and also will ensure independance, so that no one person is tasked with the responsibility of maintaining the site. If you’d like to become a contributor, simply send an eMail message to our group email address, mandhataglobal.com. (exclude the period).

The site has been kept as simple as possible. Anyone with a basic knowledge of computing and internet will be able to interact. We are aware that a large number of you have a fund of knowledge to contribute to this site so that it can become a comprehensive repository of our history and heritage illustrated in words and pictures. In years to come this site would develop into a resource that our coming generations would refer to learn about their roots. We invite you to volunteer yourself as an administrator.

This site will be bilingual. We shall use English and Gujarati to reach as many of our people as possible.

On this site you will be able to read shorter articles in full, and where need be a .pdf version to copy. Large articles and other printed material will be in .pdf format for copying and printing.



When in the quiet of the night the question arises in your mind as to who your forefathers were? Where did they come from? How did they live? And you desperately want to explore your roots, this website may help you..

Perhaps the obvious starting point of this inquiry could be our own first hand knowledge of the stories told by our fathers and grandfathers of their experiences in their villages and how they made it to the foreign lands all over the world.

From their own lips we have heard how a few young men from the villages found construction jobs building railways in Surat and other nearby cities. Back in village for holidays their offers of help led more youths to join them. At work they came in contact with other peoples and particularly the English who valued their construction knowledge. This broadened their horizon. When opportunities came their way to work for railways in East Africa, plantations in South Africa and New Zealand many volunteered and packed their bags.

From their own lips we have heard how a few young men from the villages found construction jobs building railways in Surat and other nearby cities. Back in village for holidays their offers of help led more youths to join them. At work they came in contact with other peoples and particularly the English who valued their construction knowledge. This broadened their horizon. When opportunities came their way to work for railways in East Africa, plantations in South Africa and New Zealand many volunteered and packed their bags.

My paternal and maternal grandfathers both came to Mombasa, in East Africa to work on the Railways in 1919/21. They were perhaps among the first there and in their own words life was terrible. They lived in tents and were always in fear of the wild animals. For the first year or two they survived on boiled lentils with some pepper and salt. Later they grew chillies and ginger. Apart from bhajan singing in the dim light of a lantern, other entertainment was zero. Life in South Africa or New Zealand was no different. This was soon after the First World War period. Political power struggle was intense among the European powers and British were digging in wherever they went.

Period prior to the Second World War was the 2nd wave of immigration for our people. Passports were easily available and hundreds of youths leaving their families behind boarded sea-going clippers and left in search of a better life. A number of them perished and for the many who made it, life was very, very hard in every respect. Homesickness gripped many.

Read further about our History in the articles below.

 1. Read/Download the story of India’s Historic People by Keshavbhai J Patel.

 2. Read/Download the Early Katha Migration in Gujarati by Maganbhai B Karadia

 3. Read/Download ‘Our Finest Patriotic Years by Maganbhai B Karadia

 4. Read/Download ‘Koli Samaj, a Historical Perspective’ by Dr. Arjun Patel

5. Read/Download ‘ History of Koli/Kori/Mandhata People’


Sultanpur – Migrating Flamingos



Coastal Area new Dandi

Coastal Area near Dandi

Jespor 2

Jalaram Bapa Mandir

Bridge near Aatgam

Bridge near Aatgam



Keshavbhai meeting school children


New Avdafalia Shiv Mandir (2017)

Karadi School

Karadi School

School Children during Assembly - Karadi School

School Children during Assembly – Karadi School

School Children - Republic Day Celebrations

School Children – Republic Day Celebrations

Scan 4

Youth Leadership and Educational Seminar


 Shree Amratbhai Jerambhai Patel (in blue Shirt) And Shreemati Taraben Amratbhai Patel of Machhad are residents in USA. Both are generous donors of our Samaj. They visit Gam almost every year and sponsor a number of project in Machhad, other Kantha Vibhag gams. They are particularly interested in educational projects which we organise year after year. Their generous sponsorship help students with scholarships and various educational seminars for the students.  This Leadership Seminar was hosted by them and was held on 12th April 2014.




Babubhai Patel UK (MBE) Residence in Avdafalia

Download Gujarat Travel Guide 1: pdf Gujarat Travel Guide


Download Gujarat Travel Guide 2: pdf Gujarat Travel Guide


Download Lonely Planet Gujarat Travel Guide 3: pdf Gujarat Travel Guide


GujTube.com GujTube.com TOP Gujarati Entertainment Site


Gujarat State Portal Gujarat State Portal


Navsari Area





Gujarat Travel Map (click on map to enlarge)




List of Villages in Jalalpore, Navsari, Gujarat