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Ashwin Morarjibhai Soni (Ghaghada)

 

 

Ashwinbhai Soni’s Interview by Keith Vaz. MP (Leicester)

Ashwinbhai Soni, a prominent member of our community was interviewed by the Leicester (UK)  MP Keith Vaz.

His interview and Ashwinbhai’s profile are posted on the website.

https://www.asian-voice.com/Opinion/Columnists/Keith-Vaz/Shree-Ashwinbhai-Soni



Shree Ashwinbhai (also known as Ash in short) was born in Kampala, Uganda. His mother, Devkuvarben, unfortunately passed away, when he was four. However he was fortunate to be brought up by his father Morarjibhai, Kaka (Haribhai), Masa (Bhagwanjibhai) and Masi (Kantaben). Kantamasi was really like a mother and gave the children all the motherly love, training and all the motherly advice. Ashwinbhai has four sisters, Ansuya (living in Gravesend, UK), Usha (Leicester), Aruna (Gravesend) and Indu (US) who passed away in 1989.

He also has adopted sisters in S. Africa and cousins in London, Leicester and India

 

He married Elaben, daughter of Smt Lilaben and late Shree Girdharbhai Ratanshibhai of Leicester and has two sons Brijesh (27 years) and Sunil (23) and daughter Kajal (18).

 

 

He did his �O� levels and �A� levels in Kampala (Uganda) and then immigrated to UK for further studies completing Chemical Engineering at Bath University and obtained BSc (Hons) in 1974.  He is now settled in Crawley, West Sussex. UK.

He speaks fluent English, Gujarati and some Kiswahili (African Language)

 

Work experience: He joined Kimberly Clark (KC) in 1974 as a Graduate Trainee and has remained with the same company for the past 31 years.


Currently (since 2004) working as Engineering Technical Manager, Ashwinbhai is responsible for improving and advancing production and efficiency in the European Plants.

 

From 1996 to 2004 he was the Energy and Environment Services Manager serving 37 plants in Europe, Middle East and South Africa.


In 1989 Ashwinbhai and the family moved to Barrow-in-Furnace (Cumbria) where he worked in the plant first as a Process Engineer (in charge of the largest tissue machine producing Andrex toilet tissue) and then the Site Technical Manager. Prior to Barrow, from 1974 to 1989 he worked in process and project engineering functions at Central Engineering at Northfleet in Kent. 

 

Ashwinbhai is a fellow of the Institute of Chemical Engineering and a Chartered Engineer and he looks after the career development of young engineers joining KC.

Objectives in life: To work hard, be honest, fair and caring.

 

Details of Community activities: He had lived in Kent for 15 years. There he was the Secretary of Medway Hindu Centre and the International Club. Ashwinbhai was also the Vice-Chairman of the Community Relations Council and also started a table tennis club and played badminton regularly.

 

The family then moved to Barrow and lived there for eight years. There with other 10 families he started a Hindu Centre and organised many social and cultural activities. They were the only Hindu family living in the small village called Ulverston. Elaben took active part in the local school and Ashwinbhai became the school Governor.  Together they organised a Hindu Cultural Week, trained children to do Ras, Garba and modern dancing routine. He was also the Manager of the under 10 Football Club and member of the Scouts Group.

 

The family moved to Crawley in 1996 and for first two years Ashwinbhia took a break from the community work. Then he joined Gurjar Hindu Union (GHU) and first helped to improve the management of the organisation and then led a project to renovate a derelict warehouse into a modern Mandir. After that he became Assistant Secretary and then a year later the Secretary of the Union. In 2003 Ashwinbhai became the Trustee and has been actively helping to build a brand new Sanatan Mandir and Community Centre. He also run Gujarati School for 50 children and teaches on Saturday mornings. Elaben looks after changing Bhawgwan�s vastras (dress) at the Mandir. He is a founder member and Board of Governor of Crawley Ethnic Minority Partnership, an organisation representing 27 different nationalities and communities in Crawley.    
In his regular work and in the charity work he attends conferences and makes presentations at least once a week. For past few years he has taken close interest to explain Hindu religion (Dharma) to children in a simple and understandable manner.       

 

His interests and activities is mainly music, dancing and eating good food and drinking good wine. Elaben and him have joined the local Prabhu Bhajan Mandal and go out and sing locally and out of town (London, Brighton).

 

Their local community is building a purpose build Sanatan Mandir and Community Centre in Crawley. Ashwinbhai is working hard on this project to ensure our future generation has the opportunity to follow our Dharma and culture in a modern and purpose built centre.


Following are Ashwinbhai�s answers to our questionnaire:-

 

Recommendations or improvements that he would like to see in our Pattni Community (PC) Website
PC needs to change and seriously plan to serve the cross section of the members to the best of its ability. We should seek help and support from others and not feel shy to swipe ideas from other successful communities. We should seek to have balanced PC Committee involving all age groups, gender and families. PC should have the very strong aim and desire to maintain and enhance in our work, community and externally. My major concern is that if PC does not do something fast and radical to bring us together then we shall soon be completely disintegrated and forgotten as a community.           


Pattni Connection website is really and genuinely the best website I know of anywhere. It has all the information about Pattnis and is very useful single source of reference. 

 

What improvements would you recommend improving the website?

Keep up the good work and do not give up come hell high water � lots of people in the Community appreciate your efforts. You should update it (as you do it now) regularly representing wide and varied interest and portfolio. Hope this is not being unkind, but a time will come when you will become tired, so do please plan to train someone else to take up the mantle. You have started something great and important for future generation, it must never stop!  

 

Attendance of Conferences & Presentation (if any): In my regular work and in the charity work I attend conferences and make presentations at least once a week. For past few years I have taken close interest to explain our religion (Dharma) to children in a simple and understandable manner.       

 

Interests and activities: Music, dancing and eating good food and drinking good wine. Ela and I have joined the local Prabhu Bhajan Mandal and go out and sing locally and out of town (London, Brighton).

 

 Any other information: We are building a purpose build Sanatan Mandir and Community Centre in Crawley. I am working hard on this project to ensure our future generation has the opportunity to follow our Dharma and culture in a modern and purpose built centre. Please come and see what we are doing. If you like what we do then spread the word, give us blessings so the project is completed and also help in what ever way you can so we may realise the dream of our elders.    

 

Your wishes to Pattni community members: I wish you the very best and pray to Mataji that we Parajiya Pattni Sonis becomes a thriving and successful community.

Sanatan Mandir and Community Centre - Model

 

Finally, please come and see the Sanatan Mandir and Community Centre in Crawley. And see what we are doing. If you like what we do then spread the word, give us blessings so the project is completed and also help in what ever way you can so we may realise the dream of our elders.