SSPC(UK) -> HISTORICAL BACKGROUND...
Shree Sorathia Prajapati Community (UK) is a Registered Charity (286801) formed over 30 years ago. The Charity has 11 branches and operates throughout the United Kingdom. Each branch has its own management committee and operates under the organisational constitution and reports to the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Charity. The NEC Management Committee is made up of the President and Secretary of each branch. All branches and the NEC operate under the strict guidelines and accounting procedures of the Charity Commission.
The charity is run entirely by volunteers for the benefit of all its members and wider communities.
The roots of the “SHREE SORATHIA PRAJAPATI COMMUNITY (UK)“ lie in India. We come from the part of India called SORATH or Saurashtra as it is now known, which forms part of the Gujarat State in India. On a map of Western India and Gujarat there is a peninsular protruding out into the Arabian Sea and this peninsular in Gujarat is called SORATH. People living there are called SORATHIA, as were our forefathers.
The term PRAJAPATI literally translated means “A Potter” - a person whose trade is to make earthernware. Pottery has been the trade and identity of our forefathers for the past several centuries and this identifies our community, together with the region of our origins. We are also descendants of the Great King Daksh Prajapati, the father of Ma Parvati, the eternal consort of Lord Shiva.
With the decline in the pottery trade during the 19th and 20th century, many of our community took up carpentry and other professions, however in keeping with our roots identity we have preferred to be simply known as “The Community of Potters from Sorath” - from which we have derived the name of our organisation – SHREE SORATHIA PRAJAPATI COMMUNITY.
During the early 1900’s East African countries were being developed and many of our community members emigrated from India and came to work and settle in these countries. Due to the British ruling power they gained British citizenship and when East Africa gained independence in 1960 there was a strong view on Africanisation. This led to restricted jobs and trade prospects and our community members started migrating to Britain along with other British Citizens.
Our community members first settled in and around Birmingham, working mainly in the local factories. The first S.S.P. Community was set up in Birmingham to look after the interests and welfare of our members. In the late 1960’s there was again a large scale exodus of British Citizen Asians from East Africa to the UK. This was to beat the deadline of discriminatory legislation announced by the British Parliament whereby British Citizens of Asian origin would be denied unrestricted entry to Britain.
Many of our members had started settling in London and other towns in the UK. In 1967 an effort was made to start a London wide S.S.P. Community, however without much success. Later in 1969 the first London S.S.P. Community was formed in Southall and within a few more years other S.S.P. Communities were set up in individual towns across the U.K. By the mid to late 1970’s there were eleven S.S.P. Communities spread across the UK.
In 1976 the heads of these individual S.S.P. communities got together and decided to band together and form a UK wide national body under which all the individual S.S.P Communities would function. The announcement was made at the Annual General Meetings of these individual bodies and it was unanimously accepted to form the national organisation SHREE SORATHIA PRAJAPTI COMMUNITY (UK). The public were notified of this in “Shreebai Sandesh” an independent publication in circulation at that time.
It was also decided to have an executive committee to manage the national organisation and hence the National Executive Council (NEC) was formed. The NEC is made up of President and Secretary of each Branch (Mandal) who would strategically manage and administer the objectives of the national organisation, so that the branches could tactically manage and promote these objectives in their individual branch. This would bring unity and standardisation to the community with fair management of community welfare and funds. This also meant that although the branches were autonomous and they managed their individual branches, all their funds and assets are ultimately owned by the national organisation. This brought added security and comfort to the UK wide community.
To further enhance and bring benefits to the community, a Constitution was drawn up and approved at the NEC meeting in Birmingham on 27th February 1983. Thereafter Shree Sorathia Prajapati Community (UK) was registered with the Charity Commission as an official charity (Registered Charity No. 286801) on 25th March 1983.
To date the NEC and thereon the eleven Branches of S.S.P.C (UK) have managed the affairs, funds, assets and constitutional objectives of the organisation in keeping with the requirements of the community and the guidelines of the Charity Commission.