Paris of Asia
|Elevation||25.60 m (83.99 ft)|
|• Official||Gujarati, Hindi|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
Dharmaj is a town in Gujarat.
The history regarding the settlement of Dharmaj is very ancient. Some[who?] say it was settled by Dharma Rabari in 1130 AD. Dharma Rabari found Shiva Ling, while digging in the remote area of the jungle. He used to take his cows there for grazing. The name of the town Dharmaj refers to Dharma. In 1155 AD. Narsinhbhai Patel, originally from Jargal[disambiguation needed], came to Dharmaj to settle down. The house in which he used to live is now called Juni Khadki Rangaji Patel from Virol (near Sojitra) came to Dharmaj to settle in 1675. Rangaji Patel’s descendents are the Patidars of the five Khadki’s:
- Athamani Khadki - formed Sundardas Rangadas.
- Vachali Khadki - Tadjandas Surdas.
- Kaduchini Khadki - Kaduchi Nathji Tadshidas.
- Kakani Khadki - Ratandas Surdas.
- Solamagjini Khadki - Solidas Bhavandas.
The Patidars of Dharmaj have very thorough knowledge of agriculture. Even while the maximum crop was extracted, the land had remained fertile. Tobacco is the main crop of the town. Nicotine was processed from tobacco by Urvakunji Nicotine Industries in Dharmaj. The town is not only agricultural, but industrial too.
The Patidars of Dharmaj took on a leading role in the Independence Movement. They provided shelter to the freedom fighters. A young man named Ramanbhai Purshttambhai was shot during firing at ADAS.
The town had a dedicated social worker, Chimanbhai Kishorbhai Patel, who was elected surpunch for number of years. Shri Hirabhai Muljibhai Patel was a special pride to Dharmaj. Shri [H. M. Patel|H.M. Patel], an I.C.S. officer was appointed as the [Finance Secretary] of the Indian republic. He was the first finance minister of India and Home and Deputy Prime Minister during the Janta Rule. He was also awarded the world famous Albert Sweitzer Medal for his work on the preservation of the Natural Wealth and Wildlife Foundation. he was appointed as the President of the Indian Board for Wildlife. Shri H.M. Patel was also the chairman of different educational institutions of Charotar Vidyamandal at [Vallabh Vidhyanagar].
The town has various institutions in the fields of education, social, and religion. These institutions were established by generous donations from the Patidars of Dharmaj, both from the homeland and abroad.
Today,The great dollar dream has created a stir in the land of White Revolution, and turned Dharmaj into a village with world class facilities, rubbing shoulders with any top city, totally on NRI money. Now, this little village wants the country to adopt the Dharmaj model.
Where can one see a village, with a population of 5,000, running a vibrant English medium school for children and a college, ultra-modern medical facilities, water park, recreation zone and state-of-the-art civic infrastructure?
The medical facilities include a kidney center, a cancer research facility, a maternity hospital, a polio and orthopedic hospital, an eye hospital that has operated on 1.47 lakh patients, a glaucoma research center, a dental hospital and a mineral water plant provides 20 liter treated water at just Rs 2 to the economically backward.
It is a silent revolution that has seen NRGs from the village, which are now spread across the globe, pitching in just to assure that their relatives get all the facilities that any city can boast of.
This tiny city has Rs 1000 crores in NRI deposits in mostly state-run banks. The over 3,000 Patidar families live life king-size and zip past in swanky cars and almost every family in the village has a member sending in the money for several decades.
There as many as 1,700 families hailing from this village settled in Britain, around 300 families in the U.S., 160 in New Zealand, 200 in Canada, and 60 in Australia, among others, taking the total number of families staying abroad to around 3,120.