Though our community is small it has a great history, making it a pleasure to write about. On the auspicious day of the 9th January 1972, the Sangh was formed. The congregation of 16 people to commemorate the formation of this Sangh was held at the business premises of Shree Shamalji Raghavji Sanghrajka on Indian Bazaar (now Biashara Street), Nairobi.

The main purpose of the formation of the Sangh was to create an independent body for our community, under the name of Shree Sthanakvasi Jain Mandal, whose first president was Shree Somchandbhai Panachand Gathani and the first Chairman was Shree Keshavlal Raghavji Sanghrajka. Mr Manilal Tribhovan Parekh was the secretary and Mr Chunilalbhai Nagji Damani was appointed assistant secretary.
In the first committee meeting held during the formation of the Sangh, it was also decided that a community building be constructed as soon as possible. Shree Samalji Raghavji Sanghrajka and Shree Ambavidas Dayabhai brought forward to the community two plots owned by Shree Ladharam Devraj’s Wilson Estate. The total size of both plots was 65’ x 40’. It was jointly decided by all members to purchase these plots for KSh 12500.00. The fund raising for the construction began by selling lottery tickets.

Our Old building which was built in the year 1930
Shree Keshavlal Raghavji Sanghrajka(L) – at whose business premises in Biashara Street our first Sangh was established.
Our first Sangh’s Chairman Shree Somchandbhai Panachand Gathani(R)
All members were excited to begin the construction of the community building, and contributed whatever they could toward the construction project. All employed members decided that 33% of their pay be donated towards the construction, whereas self-employed businessmen made lump sum donations. People residing outside Nairobi also contributed towards this cause.
In this venture, Shree Zaverchand Raghavi of Messrs Shamalji Raghavji & Company devoted his time and effort. The lottery tickets draw was held at Shree Cutchi Gujarati Hindu Union. The total proceeds from the sale of lottery tickets was Ksh 19000, of which Ksh 6600 was given towards purchase of prizes and Ksh 4500 was paid as the 1st Instalment payment against the purchase of the plots for Shree Imtiaz Ali for registration of the plots in the name of the community.
The contract for the construction was given to Messrs Jessa Ratna for Ksh 20500. At that time the community did not have sufficient funds, so it was suggested that loans from able members be taken. However, it was finally decided that fund raising through a bidding process for the laying of the foundation stone be conducted. The winner Shree Umedlal Vithalji Sheth donated Ksh 3501 towards the ceremony of laying the foundation stone.
Shree Dhirajlal Harjivan Kothari was appointed to look after the building’s progress. The bidding for the opening ceremony of the building was won by Shree Keshavlal Raghavji Sanghrajka for Ksh 1100. However, it was decided to cancel the ceremony due to the demise of Shree Umedbhai Sheth at that time and the funds were to be donated towards the Community library.
The community formally registered the Sangh as an organization in 1942. On 1st January 1943, the organization began its operations.
As the numbers of members began increasing, in 1950, it was decided to extend the size of the hall, by adding a floor to the existing building. Hence a fund-raising campaign was started. During this time, a famous mathematician, Mr T.G Shah from Jain Samaj was visiting Kenya. He offered to have a fund-raising show at the Empire theater, where the proceeds of the tickets would be donated to the Sangh in favour of the extension, Ksh 5000 were raised from this show. In 1954, a Sports Club and a Jain Sala were started for the children of our community.
As interest in the community activities increased, so did the need for an improvement in the facilities increase. On 14th May 1950 an Extra-ordinary meeting was held to extend the building but nothing transpired from this.
The current community building “Jain Bhavan” located on Forest Road
The current community building “Jain Bhavan” located on Forest Road
However, on 11th June 1959, it was decided to finally go ahead with the extension during the AGM. The Managing committee worked very hard, and new ideas for the extension were being brought forward. This led to the idea to build an entirely new building rather than to carry out an extension. A contract for the construction of this building was awarded to Shree Bhailal & Company for Ksh 254,000.
On 14th February 1960, the Chairman Shree Amratlal Kalidas Sanghrajka laid the foundation stone. He donated Ksh 1001 in memory of his mother. The buildings opening ceremony was held on 25 th September 1960. The opening was done by Mrs Dudhiben Dhirajlal Kothari who donated Ksh 12,501.
As the community needs increased and to keep in pace of the changing environment, there came a new to built yet another building away from the city centre which was now getting overcrowded and posed many disadvantages such as lack of adequate security, parking and modern facilities, with this notion, the Chairman Shree Chamanlal Kimani spearheaded the new project. It was decided that the old building be sold and a new piece of land be bought on Forest Road.