The Kendra was founded in 1993 by representatives from all the established Gujarati Organisations in the Greater Durban area to build a much needed temple and community centre at 5 Sydenham Road, Durban, to serve the religious and cultural needs of the community. The whole community was actively involved in fundraising and cultural activities for 8 years and this culminated in the grand and memorable official opening of the Ekta Mandir and the Community Centre in April 2001 under the spiritual guidance of Shree Rameshbhai Oza and Shree Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji (Pujya Munili).
The Kendra’s primary objective is the promotion of the Hindu religion and culture and enriching the lives of all in the community through it’s social, cultural and educational activities. With this objective in mind, the Kendra has organised, with great success, over 300 events since it’s formation. The activities extend over religious events and festivals, Aarties and Bhajans, youth events, Cultural shows and Bridal fairs, Community Service Projects and Social Responsibility programs over the past 3 years. Whilst continuing with it’s numerous regular activities, the Kendra embarked on a special program organising activities for the wonderful senior members of the community. These included indoor picnics, film shows, indoor get-togethers for Bhajans, Chopaat or Card games at the Kendra and, more recently, a most successful trip, along the Garden Route to Cape Town. This group now numbers 200 and is growing.
Only after considerable soul-searching, discussion and study, the Kendra made the bold decision that the need exists for the provision of a home for our beloved senior citizens. This is not because they are not loved or cherished. The retirement home must be seen as the collective wish of the community to meaningfully enhance and enrich their lives in it’s resolution to embark on this most exciting and ambitious project. There is the added determination to provide them with love, companionship, respect, comfort, religious, cultural and recreational activities, all meals, basic medical care, entertainment and freedom from chores like laundry and cleaning.
The facility which will initially accommodate 96 people ail be located at the current Kendra site and will adjoin the Botanical Gardens. It needs to be pointed out that various projects of this nature are very successful in India and the UK.
We pray that with the blessings of Parmatma and the continued help and support of the entire community, this dream will also come to fruition.