Shri. Amrishbhai Patel – Chancellor, SVKM’s NMIMS Deemed to-be University

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), global goals to tackle the issues of poverty, education, employment, hunger, healthcare, clean water, and sustainable cities, among others, to protect the planet, have been trending since 2015 when the United Nations embraced them.

However, for Educationist, Statesman, Visionary, and Social entrepreneur Shri. Amrishbhai Patel, these have been an intrinsic part of his vision much before he even set foot in the public domain. Little surprise, considering he has an imposing legacy to emulate - he is a descendant of the tall leader and staunch freedom fighter, Shri. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

Having spent his growing up years in Shirpur, a drought-prone and rather underdeveloped taluka in the Dhule district, Maharashtra, where his father ran a business, Shri. Amrishbhai Patel was well acquainted with the problems of his hometown. Always inclined towards environment conservation and social work, even as a young boy, he began by informally educating his fellow citizens of Shirpur about the importance of water preservation and hygiene. His passion towards the community and popular demand led him to become the co-opted member of the Shirpur Nagarpalika in the early 70s - a post he continued in for an uninterrupted 18 years. He also served as the Cabinet Education Minister from 2002 to 2004.

Shri. Amrishbhai always knew that he had to give back to the people of his village now that he had the power to bring about a change. This staunch determination to transform his village helped him devise a multipronged approach to bring about the changes - to tackle the water scarcity in the village, provide quality education and employment to the people in the village, provide the best healthcare, setting up avenues for entertainment, besides making it a green and clean destination.

Education: Democratising learning opportunities for all

The Shirpur Education Society: Ensuring that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development. Also, implementing equal access for women and men to affordable technical & vocational education.

SVKM: Implementing world-class best practices and quality in education to get India its rightful place in the global education landscape 

Another vital agenda in Shri. Amrishbhai Patel’s long-term vision was to generate education opportunities for the villages' children. He firmly believes that quality education that creates employment prospects for students is the best kind of training. Mere rote learning and a meaningless certificate is of no use. He was keen on bringing in the sense of accountability amongst teachers and school administrators. So, he borrowed money from his father and, in 1990, set up the Shirpur Education Society. He aimed to instil an environment that would encourage the students to learn. With the money he received, Shri. Amrishbhai Patel introduced seventeen pre-primary schools, eight K-12 schools, seven ashram schools, and four colleges in Shirpur, immediately creating an academic environment.

“In a city with a population of 75,000 people, today 35,000 are studying in schools and colleges in Shirpur. So, 50% of the population is studying and we have not witnessed a single dropout. Only good education can empower people. Human resource is one of the biggest strengths of our country and they need to be educated - they should get employment opportunities anywhere in India. This is the only way to eradicate poverty.

The same vision is reflected in SVKM’s NMIMS, of which Shri. Amrishbhai Patel is the Chancellor. His keen foresight has helped in the unparalleled success of the now Deemed-to-be-University. Innovative and ever-evolving pedagogy and curriculum, world-class faculty and infrastructure and unique teaching and learning methods as its core philosophy, it has schools offering programs in Business Management, Entrepreneurship, Design, Hospitality Management, Liberal Arts, Performing Arts and Agricultural Science, to name a few.

SVKM’s NMIMS has also spread its wings with several state-of-the-art campuses in Shirpur, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Indore, Navi Mumbai, Chandigarh, and Dhule. Here too, the emphasis is on the employability of all its students, and the impeccable placement records of NMIMS is a vindication of its approach. This vision has now been globally recognised, and NMIMS Mumbai,

School of Business Management has joined the prestigious Financial Times MiM Top 100 B-Schools Ranking in 2022.

Creating Employment: Opportunities by vocational skilling

Sustained per capita economic growth higher than the national average

Providing jobs is a crucial sustainable goal that empowers people, giving them security and improving the overall quality of their life. Being the thought leader that he is, Shri. Amrishbhai Patel recognised the importance of generating employment opportunities for the inhabitants of Shirpur. Now without any water shortage, it was easier to set up factories. He set up a spinning mill - the largest in Maharashtra - to leverage the cotton that grows on 1,50,000 acres of land in the village. A textile mill followed, plus a co-operative yarn factory, a dyeing, and a garment factory. Six thousand local people have found jobs because of this initiative. The workforce at the garment factory primarily includes destitute, widowed, abandoned, and needy women. They are trained to work at the factory at a local training centre.

Healthcare: Access to medical infrastructure and bridging the divide

Ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being

No village can be self-sustained without proper medical infrastructure. To this end, Shri. Amrishbhai Patel facilitated the building of a super speciality hospital in the village. The 700-bed advanced and modern hospital with world-class amenities is a saviour for the locals for being reasonably priced.

A vision ready to be implemented for creating sustainable villages, towns, and cities across the globe

If Shirpur, once a derelict village, is a haven and a symbol of prosperity today, all the credit must go to the perseverance, determination and keen perceptiveness and insight of Shri. Amrishbhai Patel. He is a philanthropist with a difference. He is not only a leader but is involved at the grassroots level - readily approachable, communicating with the people first hand and being personally involved in their real problems. A true solution seeker, a mover and shaker who walks the talk.

Presently, Shirpur, a thriving centre of commerce and education, boasts of 24-hour water supply in every household, immaculate concrete streets, a full-fledged gym, parks for recreation and entertainment, greenery (the neem trees planted in the village amount to 1,50,000 in number) - an idyllic village, straight out of a picture postcard, with happy and content people. It is not just a job completed for Shri. Amrishbhai Patel - he works from his heart and believes that community is the extension of the self.

The famous lines by Robert Frost - The woods are lovely, dark, and deep, But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep - summarises perfectly the mission that Shri. Amrishbhai Patel has assigned himself: To make the world a better place.

Shri. Amrishbhai Patel

President SVKM and Chancellor SVKM’s NMIMS

Phone: 91-22-26613177
Fax: 91-22-26614196

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