Leicester Rajkot
Twinning Association
Click here to read the Rajkot Municipal Corporation Report
Click here to view the Picture Gallery

The City of Leicester initially began to develop links with Rajkot, Gujarat, India from the early 70s onwards \primarily due to the large number of Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Parsi, Jain and Buddhist Gujaratis who settled in Leicester primarily from East Africa.

The Indian links that started off as family visits soon transpired into much more and included economic, cultural, artistic, educational, business and commerce. To the point where the benefits of these links were becoming self-evident and beneficial to both cities. The Leicester City Council, inspired by the Gujarati community, officially twinned with Rajkot in 1996. The first such twinning agreement made by an Indian city.

Rajkot is the capital of Saurashtra, a region of western India, has a population of around 1,000,000. Rajkot is a thriving and developing city in all aspects of education, business, commerce and culture in addition to the university and technical colleges Rajkot has more than 200 nursery, primary and secondary schools.

Many people from Leicester and not just Gujaratis, make Rajkot a place to stop over and shop for weddings, visit the museums, including the Watson Museum and as a hub to visit, amongst other places, Mount Abu to see the Jain temples and visit Gir Forest, the only place in Asia now where the Asian lion still lives and thrives. Gujarat is also the birth place of Mahatama Ghandi and Mohammed Ali Jinnah the founder of Pakistan too has his roots in Gujarat.

The Leicester Rajkot Twinning Association is a voluntary organisation which aims to further the links between our two sister cities. The Association supports exchanges between the cities be they business, cultural, educational or artistic. During the winter of 2003 the Association hopes to do a young people's exchange with young people from Leicester having the opportunity to visit Rajkot and a reciprocal visit by young people from Rajkot during the summer of 2004. The Association is also developing its website.

Some two years ago a 7.6 earthquake struck Gujarat whose epicentre was Bhuj. The effects and devastation of this earthquake were felt 100s of miles away. The Leicester Rajkot Twinning Association did a fund raise appeal and were supported by many community groups, families, schools and colleges, businesses and staff at the City Council. Our heartfelt thanks go to all the staff at the Leicester City Council who supported our appeal and special thanks to Mrs Ann King at Abingdon School and Mr Charles Poole at the Council.

Four members of our Association were on an official visit, at their own expense, to Rajkot and Bhuj that coincided with the civic visit by the Lord Mayor of Leicester in January 2003. The main purpose of our visit was to further links between our two cities and disperse the funds raised for the Gujarat Earth Quake Appeal. The funds were distributed as follows : in Indian Rupees.

Shri Khodiyar Yuvak Garbi Mandal Charitable Trust
Vrajlal Durlabhji Virani Andhashram
Virani Deaf and Dumb School
Bolbala Charitable Trust
Ismail Mohamed Khatri (Jamia-Ulama-I-Hind)
Kathiyawad Nirashrit Balashram
Rajkot Diabetic Association
Shri Pujit Rupani Memorial Trust
Rajkot Municipal Corporation (school reconstruction)
Nishtha Trust
Akhil Hind Mahila Parishad Trust
Dikra Nu Ghar
Samkalin Sera Samaj Trust
Rabari Community School
Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan

The cheque to the Rajkot Municipal Corporation was presented by the Right Worshipful, the Lord Mayor of Leicester Councillor Maggie Bodell-Stagg, on behalf of all the people of Leicester.

Click here to read the Rajkot Municipal Corporation Report
Click here to view the Picture Gallery

Contact: Maganbhai P. Patel, Chair, LRTA, Room x106 Town Hall, Leicester, England.


Site updated: 3 December 2004. Please note this site is still under construction.