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  • Writer's pictureShila Desai

Letter from Ahmedabad - Covid stories from the ground

Using funds donated by E.Y.H.O. community, our much loved guide Niravbhai helps a young recycler find his feet

Sachin's three-wheeler recycling enterprise

During India's second wave, you generously donated nearly USD 20,000 to help our guides, drivers, and artisans. Here's the story of a young recycler helped by Niravbhai, who holds a special place in the hearts of our Gujarat textile travellers.

Dear Shilaben


We will always be very thankful to you and E.Y.H.O. community for your kind help in many ways...

I was happy and thankful to you when Sachin came to meet me from 15km. to say thanks & showed me android phone for his brother for online class.


I knew Sachin's father from the last few years. He used to collect plastics and newspaper from different areas and sell it to recycled factories with his son Sachin. Sachin started to help him to collect more waste and that's how they use to make a living.

I used to collect plastic bottles on my tours and give it to Sachin and all was going well.

With your kind help I used to provide food to this family during the last Covid 2nd wave in last March to April ( Which I informed about food & tiffin)

I met Sachin last April in a hospital, his parents were admitted in Hospital. We helped him for food and some medicine, but sadly they both died in Covid in last year.

Oh !! very bad time it was (If you remember we talked on phone about long queues for cremation I went to cremate his parents as no other people were going)

******* Oh Covid finished I went into my family problem after my mother's death. And I had no more contact with Sachin & family ****

Sachin met me about 4 months ago and he asked me for plastic bottles if I have collected from any tours...

Then we went into discussion about his family.

He has a brother 9 years & a sister 6 years and grandmother 80 years. His brother and sister started to go begging with grandmother when he couldn't find enough plastic or paper to sell. He asked me if I can help to give him a loan for buying a three wheel bicycle so he can go some distance to collect plastic and other recycled waste.....

So I used helping funds of Rs.20000 (approx .USD 250) to get him a good three wheel bicycle.

Now he is doing well!! He collects other plastics from some markets and other areas and earns enough for family. His brother & sister is going to a government school (Now again schools are closed due to omicron, but he bought android phone with money he made for online classes)

It was so good to hear from him about how he does all the work. He sounds to me like a very mature person at the age of 19. He has good hopes for his brother & sister in the future like a parents..

I promised him to help in many other ways for education for his brother & sister.

In the end it was a very good success...

With Lots Of Love ...

Nirav & Nishtha

(reprinted from original with minimal editing/formatting)

Niravbhai, his wife Urvashi, and their young daughter Nishtha continue to help others in the truest sense of community.

A bit about Niravbhai. Our textile travellers love Nirav's compassion, his concern for the welfare of rural artisans, and his dashing sense of style -every day on tour he makes a fashion statement in his own handmade clothes from natural dyed hand-loom.

A textile tour leader extraordinaire, Nirav was born in Mumbai and grew up in Ahmedabad, the textile capital and first UNESCO city in India. Nirav dropped out of school at age 14 to earn a living. From a porter at a wholesale garment market, Nirav worked his way up to tailor, master tailor, cutter, and master cutter before being promoted to master pattern-maker. He travelled throughout India to meet with both Indian and international designers. At this time, he began developing his English skills and read history. He says, "Happy time passes quickly!"

Kutch's 6.7 Richter Scale earthquake in 2001 was transformational. Alongside a Swiss team, Nirav helped in relief efforts, forever scarred that he helped rescue only 215 of 300 schoolchildren from a the ruins of a school. The following year, a British NGO hired Nirav as a guide to help compile a post-earthquake report. From this start, Nirav began guiding, helped develop Ahmedabad's Heritage Walk, and was eventually awarded Gujarat's highest travel guide accolade in 2016. He married a fellow Heritage Walk guide, Urvashi, and together they have a lovely daughter, Nishtha . . . born on World Heritage Day!

During Covid, Niravbhai insisted on using funds transferred to him to help others, such as Sachin.


In view of Omicron and India's third wave, we are contemplating another round of donations. 100% of your funds are despatched. Write if you'd like to participate.


Thanks for taking a look! I am Shila Desai, owner of E.Y.H.O. Tours. I personally handcraft itineraries, infusing them with curated activities, accommodations, and sightseeing. Together with my in-country teams, we deliver exceptional holidays every time. I invite you to leave me a comment or write

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