2006-2007: Sport, the Currency of Unity
In a cricket mad nation, no better way to get people together. We literally just cleared a piece of farm-land and decided to take cricket off the streets. Then, the erstwhile family Polo Grounds became the home for local sports like cricket, volleyball and kabaddi.
2008: Restoring Legacy
The former royal hunting lodge and Kathiwada’s last remaining architectural site of the late 19th century, Kathwada Raaj Mahal undergoes major restoration. This would be a 7-year project that nobody could predict. Renowned conservationist Prof. Vasavada was engaged for this project. See before and after pictures here.
2009: Khel Maha-Utsav is Born
Sport picks up pace and we organise the first-ever inter-village sports festival in the region with much fanfare, hooting and cheering. First signs of large scale community participation. Now in its 11th year (2023), this annual sports festival draws in crowds and participants in thousands.
2010: The Foundation
We established a foundation dedicated to sports, medical aid, educational scholarships and cultural activities for the region.
2011: Tribal Gatherings
The largest group of land users in the region are the indigenous Bhil tribe. We started to set-up frequent village meetings to understand their needs and concerns but also learnt about their strengths and desires. This would be the start of a life-long public journey or marvellous learnings.
2012: Low Hanging Fruit
We learn that mangoes are indigenous to our region and a special variety of mango known as the "Noorjahan" is gaining popularity in the local press. We use this to encourage more farmers to adopt mango cultivation and dedicate 20 acres of our land for organic mango cultivation generating employment and teaching farmers new techniques to reduce their gestation period.
2012: Amachi Labs
Our foundation ties up with Amachi Labs a division of Amrita University for tribal education and welfare at the very grassroot level.
2013: Drip Irrigation
Kathiwada gets its first drip-irrigation project and we set-up a training institute for farmers to learn modern techniques of organic farming.
2014: Raaj Mahal in all its Glory
Kathwiada Raaj Mahal is finally complete and we open our doors to a select audience as an experiment for rural heritage tourism. It worked. Our campus now employs over 30 families for tourism and farming related activities that directly impact Raaj Mahal guests.
2014-2015: Lagaan & Bat Aid
Our friends from across the seas inspire us to do more. Led by Tom Holland, author and historian, they set-up a small charity to help aid our sporting infrastructure efforts.
2015-2016: DSK Sports Club
A full-fledged and national standards cricket ground is ready and the locals establish the “DSK Sports Club” with much fanfare. This would be the first time they would play professional grade cricket with a leather cricket ball.
2016-17: Kathiwada Agri Farms LLP
Our efforts with mango and irrigation systems pick up steam and a more formal FPO (Farmer Producing Organisation) is established. We all now work collectively to produce market standard products, moving away slowly from sustenance agriculture to growth based organic farming. Yet, this is only the beginning for major sweeping changes to be seen.
2017: Kathiwada Leisures LLP
Tourism shows signs of becoming a formidable business in Kathiwada. A 4-tier tourism plan is devised with sustainability at the core of every tier. The categories: Heritage, Sports, Local Culture, Backpackers/Trekking.
2017: Regional Development Plan
We pen down a regional development plan accounting for all needs of society and identify growth sectors such as tourism.
2018: Low Cost Housing
Kathwada gets its first RERA registered low-cost housing project. This social housing colony project offered dignified and legal 1000 square feet homes for as low as $8,500 USD with home loan financing as low as Rs.4500 per month.
2019: A Prince is Born
HH Yuvraj Shauryaveer Sinh Kathiwada is welcomed by the people of Kathiwada as the future custodian of the Kathiwada dynasty. See full video here.
2020: Local Demand
Low-cost housing generates new demand for building materials. We conduct workshops with local potters and artisans to produce sustainable housing-grade brick for as low as Rs.2 rupees per brick.
We formed the Kathiwada Vikas Parishad (Kathiwada Development Society), an officially registered volunteer body that partakes in societal well-being. Everything from COVID relief, raising funds, planting trees to donating blood are covered as a part of volunteer efforts.
2021: COVID Strikes
The fury of COVID doesn’t spare anyone. We turn our focus to medical aid and food security for all. Our Foundation employs more people and adds more volunteers for societal support. We raise and distribute ration to the tune of Rs. 20 lakh rupees to support the marginalized.
One of our oldest temples and a place of staunch worship atop Ratanmaal hill goes through a transformation purely based on volunteer efforts. The power of people unity once again shows its true colours.
Master Planning architects MuseLab (Mumbai) are appointed to break-down the Regional Development Plan goals and create a zone wise and phase wise plan for development.
Afforest Foundation & Pukaar Foundation along with leading water conservationist Dr.P.Vaishakh are appointed to carry out all forestation and water preservation activities of the RDP zones in tune with best sustainable practices.
We partner with Krishi Vigyan Kendra (Agriculture Research Institute), a government body that specializes in the science of agriculture as the name suggests. This is Kathiwada’s first public-private partnership across any category. Our collective focus is on horticulture, food forest, water preservation and organic farming.
2023: Education & Literacy
MuseLab begins work on Kathiwada’s first english-medium school which will house 700 children. Expected to be completed by 2024. Budget: Rs.3.2 crore INR ($400,000 USD) which will be funded by the royal family and its foundation.
2023: Rogi Kalyan
HH Rana Digvijaysingh chairs the Healthcare Committee and expedites work on the local government CHC (Community Health Center) i.e. Hospital.
2023: Sporting Infrastructure
Architect Pratik Sheth of ArchCom is appointed to complete Zone 7 of the RDP, a $750,000 community center and sporting facility for the people of Kathiwada.
2023: Crafts Center
Architect Pronit Nath of Urban Studio joins our board to conduct pro-bono activities and will set-up our first art and crafts center for rural artisans.
2023: Heritage Tourism
Anand Sonecha of SeaLab architects (Ahmedabad) is appointed to carry out expansion of Tier 1 (Heritage) and Tier 2 (Local) tourism projects. Design and technical planning for Phase 1 is expected to be completed by July 2023.
2023: Aanganwadi Project Launched
An ‘anganwadi’ is the most preliminary public schooling unit under the RTE (Right to Education) initiative by the Government of India. Every village is deemed to have an anganwadi. Needless to say, the quality of teaching and the infrastructure across all 49 villages of Kathiwada are abysmal. Our foundation has taken the mantle to fix the hardware and software one village at a time.
2023: Top Educators Join Us
Our initiatives in education and literacy reach out to partner with the likes of Teach for India and Yuva Unstoppable for handling all programming and teacher training modules which will roll out in late 2023.