As the photos (https://www.facebook.com/francoisgautierofficial/photos_stream) show, the Shivaji Maharaj Museum of Indian History is developing, and the inauguration of 2d phase with HH the Dalai Lama was a big success, thanks to the support of many of you. I cannot here thank all those who made small donations – 1000 rs, 2000 Rs, 5000 rs, 10.000 Rs – but they should know that this Museum is built with such small donations and that it makes it a Museum OF THE PEOPLE. In the last five months, we needed appr 43 LAKHS for finishing the two Tibetan history/genocide buildings, printing the exhibitions and for the expenses of the inauguration. I would like here to thank publicly our major donors:
Abhay Sapru of Delhi, who gave 6 lakhs
Dr Vaidyasubramaniam: 5 lakhs (thanks to Mr Gurumurthy)
Dhiraj Shah: 5 lakhs
Mr Chandak, who raised 2 lakhs
Dinesh Himatsingar: 2 lakhs
Bharat Welfare Trust: 1 ,5 lakhs
Vadde Srinivas: 1 lakh
Raghuvir Aiyar: 1 lakh
Brij Mohan Thapar: 1 lakh
Prafulla Goradia: 1 lakh
Arvind Sitaraman: 1 lakh
Sadashiva & Pune friends: 1 lakh
Sowmini Ramesh: 50.000
Pankaj Sharma: 75.000
Mr Habbu: 25.000 Rs
Dr Raj Gandhi who gave 3000$
Amitabh Sharma from Atlanta and his friends: 2000 $
Various US donors, via FACT USA & Utsav Chakrabarty 7000$
TOTAL/ 36 LAKHS
Thus we were left, in spite of your generosity with nearly 7 lakhs minus. My wife and I then decided to seek a 5 lakhs loan from our trust bank, HDFC. As banks do not loan to Museums (highly suspicious), they very reluctantly agreed to give it on the guarantee of my wife’s salary, as nearly my whole time is dedicated to the Museum and I have no income apart from my books. And we are still minus 2 lakhs that we need to find somewhere, as bills of inauguration have to be paid + start reimbursing the loan.
Thus we appeal once again to your generosity: this is a noble, but extremely difficult project where we encounter hurdles at every step. FACT is a registered trust and we have tax exemption. You can wire electronically your donations to : Foundation Against Continuing Terrorism (FACT)
Account No: 04071450000237. IFCS code: HDFC0000407
Bank Address: HDFC Bank Ltd., T S No.6, 100 Feet Road
Ellaipillaichavadi, Pondicherry-605 005. Telephone: 0413 2206044
Fax : 0413 2200662
PS.S. One of the difficulties of this project is raising money : as soon as the word
« Museum of Indian History » is mentioned (and that by a Frenchman), one can see the smiles of the potential donors vanishing. I have spent the last two years traveling the length and breadth of India to meet donors, who in the end politely refuse. Here are some of the big names for your info :
Swami Ramdev, whom I went to see in his Haridwar ashram. He said that he would send his Pune representative to see the project. Never happened.
Sanjay Kirloskar. Was recommended to him by Narendra Modi. Met Sanjay two times and in the end he said that his trust only gives to education and health (as if a Museum is not education)!
Subhash Chandra, owner of Z TV. Went to meet him when he was in Bangalore 1 years ago, Said he would come and see the Museum. Never came.
Avinash Bhosale, the richest man in Pune. Was recommended to him by Nitin Gadkari and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Never gave a paisa.
Nitin Gadkari, gave some BJP money when he was President, which helped us do the shrine, then came for the inauguration of 2st phase and saw the good work. Never gave anything out of his pocket after that.
Rajnath Singh. Met him in Delhi six months ago with his aide Sudhanshu Trivedi. Mr Singh pledged he would help. Nothing ever came in spite of my repeated requests.
Meenakshi Lekhi, spokesperson of the BJP, said she would help with her friends, just before I had to take a loan. Not news so far…
LK Advani, whom I have supported in the last 30 years, the only foreign journalist to dare to do so (and it has cost me, as I am often labelled as a ‘saffron’ journalist). Acted on the phone as if I was asking him a bribe (maybe because of the taps?).
Sashi Ruia of Essar. Was recommended by Narendra Modi, but never able to get through to him.
Hanuman Gaikwad, one of the richest men in Pune who came for inauguration first phase. Never gave anything
Shri Uddhav & Aditya Thackeray came for the 2d phase inauguration a week ago and in his speech, Mr Thackeray said he would do all in his power to help this ‘beautiful’ project. Let us see..
None of the politicians and their wives who came to our Museum ever raised a little finger to help…
The list is long, but I wont bore you anymore
Just to say that this does not discourage me