Integrated Rural Development Model
On September 20 1974, Padmabhushan Shri Karamshibhai J. Somaiya established the Girivanavasi Pragati Mandal (GVPM), a Public Charitable Trust to provide an integrated rural development model of education, health, agricultural development and economic self-reliance for the tribal communities of Dahanu and Talasari Talukas in Thane District. GVPM began work in Village Pardhi in the Dundhalwadi Group Gram Panchayat of Dahanu Taluka about 130 kms from Mumbai. The campus was named Nareshwadi.
Over the years, a 48-bed eye and general hospital, an experimental farm based on organic agricultural practices and a goshala (a home for cows rescued from slaughter) were established to provide services and learning opportunities to the tribal communities of the vicinity, reaching more than 10,000 persons.
In 1986, the Leelaben Kotak Primary School and the K.J. Somaiya Secondary School were set up along with residential facilities to provide education to children from migrant labor families.
In 1991 Karamshibhai set up the Girivanvasi Educational Trust (GVET) to manage the educational programmes at the Nareshwadi Learning Centre. The first batch of 4 students, all male, graduated grade 10 in 1994. Up until 2005-06, the passing percentage in the matriculation board exams did not go beyond 13 per cent. With teacher training and improved teaching-learning methodologies, NLC has achieved a 100 % passing with more girls completing 10 years of schooling.