Leading Jain philanthropist and head of Anandji Kalyanji Pedhi Shri Shrenik Kasturbhai passed away on 19th June 2014 morning at 7.35 IST in Ahmedabad. He was son of Shri Kasturbhai Lalbhai and father of CMD of Arvind Ltd, Sanjay Lalbhai.
Shrenikbhai was final decision maker and head of Anandji Kalyanji Trust which is the largest and the oldest Jain trust. The original charitable trust is said to have been founded somewhere in decades of 1630-40 AD by Shantidas Zaveri to manage the Shatrunjaya Palitana temples and is running under name & style of Anandji Kalyanji ni Pedhi of Ananadji Kalyanji Trust since decade of 1720. The available documentation takes the history of the trust to samvat 1777(1720 AD.The name ‘Anandji Kalyanji’ refer to the role of the trust bringing pleasure and bliss to the Jain pilgrims.
A sister organization, Seth Kalyanji Parmanandji Pedhi of Sirohi manages temples at Mt. Abu at Delwada, Bamanvad and Mundalstha. The trust spends more than Rs 15 crore every year in repair works of various Jain temples. Kasturbhai Lalbhai headed the trust for 50 years, followed by Shrenik Lalbhai for 30 years. Shrenikbhai was instrumental in the reconstruction and restoration of over 1,200 Jain temples across the country. The trust manages the following tirthas or temples.
-Muchhal Mahavir Temple
-Chittorgarh Sattavis Dehra Temple
Gandhian values, simplicity and service to society was his main motive. Throughout his life Shrenikbhai followed the Jain philosophy of simple living with minimum resources. He worked a lot for Jain community. He is known as prominent leader of Jain community. He was actively involved in contributing to education, religion, art and museums, charitable institutions.
Known as a Jain philanthropist, educationist and businessman, Shrenik Lalbhai made considerable contribution to the fields of education, business and Jain pilgrimage places.
Shrenik saw his father Kasturbhai Lalbhai start all the current companies of Lalbhai Group – Arvind, Atul, and Anil Starch while the former carried the baton along with other Lalbhai family members. Offering his condolence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi not only tweeted from his personal Twitter account stating ‘Shri Shrenik Lalbhai left a distinguished mark through his service to society. May his soul rest in peace. Offered condolences to his family’, but also spoke to his son Sanjay Lalbhai, CMD of Arvind Ltd on phone. A widower, Shrenik Lalbhai had lost his wife Pannaben a few years ago. The couple is survived by son Sanjay Lalbhai and his family, and daughter Kalpanaben (married).
Having graduated from MIT and Harvard University, Shrenik Lalbhai went on head Lalbhai Group’s textile business, apart from being actively associated with several education institutes. Shrenik Kasturbhai Lalbhai served as the Chairman of Deepak Nitrite Ltd. until 1998, apart from serving at Lalbhai Group companies for several years.