KARNA Inc. Annual
Annual Report 2000-2001
2000-2001 in Review
The 2000-2001 financial year was marked by significant activity for KARNA,
considering especially that it was a start-up organization and did not have much history
behind it. KARNA was the leading organization in central Illinois region in
co-coordinating disaster relief efforts with a focus towards providing the necessary
support to victims of Gujarat Earthquake.
Incorporated went through an audit of its financials with Ginoli and Co., a public audit
and accounting firm. The auditors signed of the books as well as provided assistance in
filing of the returns with IRS.
contracted with a web-site development organization and after significant midnight work on
design developed the web site and made it operational by late December 2000.
u A relief
collection box was designed and established at the Hindu Heritage Center in Peoria,IL.
On January 26, 2001 at 8:46 am,
natures fury completely changed the lives of millions of people on the west coast of
India in a manner people in other parts of the world could never imagine. While
technological advances lead us to advances in every field, we all bow before the
destructive forces of Mother Nature and are humbled to suffer its consequences.
In the state of Gujarat, India in a localized area around Bhuj, approximately 30,000
people lost their lives and about 200-300 thousand lost their homes and all their earthly
possessions. The process of re-construction shall take a couple of years, but the trauma
people have suffered would last much longer and the loss of near and dear ones would never
be made up. A healing touch to the people of Gujarat is the need of the hour.
The vast majority of the affected
population did not have any life insurance cover. The structures and household belongings
were not insured either.
In a spirit of volunteerism, 9000 miles away in Peoria, Illinois (USA), KARNA Inc. took
the lead in gathering a network of private and caring citizens of the community. The
community was inspired by an Indian sages philosophy serving
humanity is serving God.
The Indian Association of Peoria (IAP) and the Indian Students Association (ISA) of
Bradley University assisted KARNA INC. volunteers. Jointly they mobilized the community
and local voluntary support to provide relief and financial assistance to the unfortunate
victims of the natural disaster of horrific dimensions. Hindu Heritage Center (HHC) was
kind enough to provide a drop-off facility for material donations.
Fund-raising was done through publicity
provided by local print, visual and audio media, direct mailers and door-to-door campaign.
A booth was setup in the local mall by the IAP. The ISA student volunteers went from room
to room collecting donations, every nickel and dime, going towards a charitable cause.
Direct mailers were sent to different people in the community.
A fund-raising luncheon was held at Weaver Ridge to educate people about
the impact of the event as well as generate money through a silent auction of Indian
artifacts. Mr. Greg Tiemeier, VP Client Development of Risk Management Solutions (RMS), a
catastrophe modeling company, was the guest speaker at the luncheon. Mr. Tiemeier gave an
update on the results of the study being conducted by engineers of RMS who had flown to
Gujarat to assess the damage caused by the earthquake. His
Fund Raising luncheon
|insight into the scientific details of the event was very educative and
appreciated by everyone. A video of the actual devastation was also shown, highlighting
the terrible tragedy, which had overtaken the people of Gujarat. RLI Insurance Company, a
local company specializing in earthquake insurance, was kind enough to sponsor the
luncheon as community support effort.
These endeavors led to approx. $27,000 being collected within a short span of 45 days. The
volunteers also shipped approx. 2700 pounds of relief supplies which included medicines,
sleeping bags, tents and clothing, utilizing free airlift services provided by Air India,
the national carrier of India.
Community Relief Efforts
|The relief amount was sent to Vivekananda Kendra (VK), a not-for-profit
organization whose volunteers have been in Gujarat since Jan 28 (two days after the
earthquake). Their various teams to provide necessary support in the conduct of relief
operations are utilizing the funds. Five teams, namely, SContact Team, Distribution Team
and Doctors Team are involved in this noble effort. The base camp for VK volunteers is
Anjar, a town 15 miles from Bhuj.urvey Team, Scrap Removal Team,
The VK team is concentrating on the
integrated development of five villages (Khambara, Tappar, Zaru, Gadpadar and Varshamedi)
with a combined population of approx. 20,000 people and approx. 3,000 affected families.
About 200 volunteers and 50 specialist doctors are giving their time and energy to
alleviate the misery of the unfortunate victims.
Shipment at Air India Cargo facility
|The nature of work undertaken by the various teams included removal of
material from the damaged houses, cleaning and renovation of the area, demolition of
unsafe structures, clearing of roads so as to make them motorable, removing the dead
bodies, erecting tents, running communal kitchens,treating patients, building temporary
sheds for schools, providing material and infrastructure support tothe local artisans and
craftsmen, and providing
| facilities to establish contacts with
relatives/friends. The re-building efforts shall continue for at least another 2-4 years.
KARNA Scholarship project
KARNA Inc. formulated the rules and
regulations regarding the scholarship program and built the web site with all the
necessary information. Due to the delays in the development of web site as well as timing
issues (school/college sessions) it was decided to postpone the promotion of the
scholarship program until early 2001. it was also decided to pilot the program with two
colleges only so as to further refine the process before launching it full steam in 2002.
This is a wonderful opportunity to perpetuate the memory of a loved one or repay your debt
to your Alma Mater by establishing a Memorial/Honor Scholarship at an school/college of
KARNA Inc. again followed up with its
philosophy of prudent financial management
This was made possible by minimizing contracted use of professional services, volunteers
spending far and above the expectation of people as well as absorbing the expenses. This
uniquely highlights the philosophy of the organization.
Ginoli and Co. of Peoria, our auditors signed off the books as well as provided assistance
in filing of the necessary IRS forms.
The Year ahead
The 2001-2002 year is planned as a
review year on our current operations, future plans and strategizing for the future. Two
of the major projects that will be under way are:
KARNA Scholarship Project
KARNA Inc. will pilot the
Memorial/Honor scholarships at the two selected colleges in India. Delhi College of
engineering in Delhi as well as VJTI in Mumbai has been selected as the pilot colleges.
The web site will be the information dissemination medium and contacts will be made with
the college authorities for due publicity at their end. It is hoped that the process will
be streamlined this upcoming year for a full launch in 2002-2003.
The focus this year will be on sending
the remaining material and establishing a way to cost-effectively ship material from USA
on an ongoing basis
How can you help ?
KARNA is looking for committed people
to support KARNA. If you are interested please get in touch with us.
KARNA is a federal tax-exempt organization, you are assured of effective utilization of
any financial or material assistance that you can provide. Donate generously - 1% of your
salary, 1 day of your salary or 1 hr of your salary - show the KARNA in you !!!