The creation and progressive consolidation of the Trust is the outcome of the tremendous love and deep affection of the Palanpuris for their birth-place. In 1948 ‘Shri Palanpur Shishushala, Balmandir and Education Trust’ now popularly known as ‘Vidyamandir Trust’ was formed by Shri. Kantilal Chhotalal Mehta.
This was possible because of three pioneer and principal donors at that time.
Late Smt. Kesarben Amrutlal Raichand Jhaveri donated her precious Taleybaug property, a big Bungalow with 3995 sq. yards of land, after the death of her husband, Shri. Amrutlal Raichand Jhaveri, a great philanthropist and a leading dealer in pearls and jewelry.
Late Smt. Lilavatiben Gafurchandbhai Mehta donated Rs. 30,000. Shri. Gafurchandbhai Chunilal Mehta, known as ‘Patel’ was an adventurous and travel-loving businessman. After his death, his wife Lilavatiben donated to Vidyamandir upon Shri. Kanubhai’s suggestion.
Family members of Late Shri. Surajmal Lallubhai Mehta, donated Rs.50,000/-. Shri. Surajmal Lallubhai Mehta, popularly known as ‘Allah’ was a self-made businessman in the field of diamonds and a great philanthropist. He was very religious and had been engaged with numerous social and business activities, including ‘Akhada and Vyayamshala’ activities. Many organizations have benefited greatly by his charity.
‘Vidyamandir’, the word now synonymous with quality education and pioneering ideas has its roots in the year 1921 when Late Shri. Surajmal Lallubhai Mehta first sowed the seed by starting Shri Palanpur Jain Shishushala with Std. 1 & 2 on the first floor of Sthanakvasi Lukagachchha Jain Library. Later this school was shifted to Jivan Vadi, Near Gathaman Gate. Only boys of the Jain community were given admission here. Similarly a school for the Jain girls named ‘Lukagachchha Kanyashala’ was established at Khoda Limda around the same time. The Schools followed the Indian culture and value-based education practices. The administration of these schools was handed over to the Trust. This seed grew very fast and now has become a magnanimous Banyan Tree with so many Institutes. And the result is there for everyone to see and be proud of.
Donations in the form of valuable properties, sponsorships, cash and honorary service from many well-wishers started pouring in right from the beginning.
Shri. Kantilal Chhotalal Mehta, popularly known as Shri. Kanubhai, the source of our inspiration and a great visionary had dreamt of Vidyamandir as an educational hub for Palanpur. He believed that
“To make the tomorrow of a child meaningful, his life filled with loving relationships and to see that he leads a blissful life from the beginning to the end is our responsibility today.”
“Like caring for a budding plant, we have nurtured new ideas and thought. It is necessary that we experiment with the curriculum, the technology and the method of teaching to keep pace with the changing times.”
Shri. Suryakantbhai C. Parikh, an educationist from Pune was appointed as the Principal in 1960. A visionary himself, he strived to fulfill the dreams of Shri. Kanubhai Mehta and develop this Institute. He gave a new direction to the field of education by putting into practice many innovative ideas. The Institute has been deriving guidance and inspiration from him till date.
New Institutions, Schools, Training Colleges, Special Education Schools kept on springing up year by year as Palanpuri Jains, many of them now expatriates, on realizing the good work being carried out by the Trust,- contributed by way of donations.