US Jain body creates a million-dollar education fund

Detroit — An umbrella organization of 72 Jain associations in the U.S. and Canada plans to create a one million dollar educational fund to support needy Jain families.

The decision was announced at the 17th biennial convention of the Federation of Jain Associations in North America (JAINA) with the theme ‘Jainism: The Global Impact’ held July 4-7 in Novi, a suburb of Detroit.

Sam Pitroda, chairman of the National Innovation Council and advisor to the Indian prime minister, was the keynote speaker at the convention attended by over 3,500 delegates, including a couple of hundred from outside North America.

The vast majority of some 150,000 Jains in North America emigrated in the 1960s and ’70s, and were predominantly entrepreneurs and professionals. The programming focused on multiple ways that Jainism has impacted the world today and will continue to do so in the future, according to a media release.

Speakers addressed current global issues with inter-faith panel discussions with representatives from all major religions.

Cultural programmes were highlighted by unique entertainment combo of Bollywood music and American Symphony programmes and Jain prayer ceremonies.

Gurudev Chitrabhanuji, Muni Roop Chandraji, Acharya Chandnaji and Guruvanand Guruji were among Jain monks and scholars from around the world attending the convention.

The main sponsor (Maha Sanghpati) was Syntel’s Bharat Desai and family. Shrikant Mehta of Combine International, Detroit, was another major sponsor besides Arun Firodia of Kinetic India.