Surat is today the New York of Gujarat thanks to its diamond polishing industry its textiles and its commerce. Surat has grown at an impressive rate and in Gujarat is second to none except Ahmedabad. Employment opportunities have drawn thousands of workers from the rural areas and remote states like Orissa. They came out of sheer need and ready to stay on a footpath. This migration has given rise to Surat's hundreds of slums.
In 1984 Father Vincent came to Surat and started visiting the slums. What he saw shook him and moved him to do something for the slum dwellers. He soon felt the need to set up a legal structure: on the 12th of May 1986 he established the Navsarjan Trust.
In 1995 Father Vincent was transferred and Father Amalraj took his place. After a short interval, Father Vincent returned to Surat and from 1997 to 2008 he continued the work he himself had started. From 2009 onwards, it has been my privilege to take over the direction of Navsarjan.
The aim of Navsarjan is to empower marginalized people. This we do by providing educational facilities, bringing about social awareness and helping slum dwellers to organize themselves. This Report explains how Navsarjan has tried to achieve this aim during the year 2013- 2014: its various activities, difficulties faced, problems encountered and our response to them.
We are happy to see that during this year 2013-2014 we have kept up our activities and we have managed to expand them. Navsarjan started working in two slums; today we are working in 27 slums. Much has been done; much remains to be done. Navsarjan will try to live up to its ideals.