Shekhar Parikh, 59

Rajshekhar Parikh, founder of Renaissance Diamond Corp. passed away Friday, September 18th in Englewood, New Jersey from advanced pancreatic cancer.

He is survived by wife Shaila and children Saumil, Saloni, Milauni and grandaughters, Sareena and Shanaya. Although his struggle lasted for over a year he never lost his optimism and courage. He radiated warmth and positivity to all around him and until his final days he remained a salient figure in the Indian community enthusiastically pursuing charitable endeavors.

Rajshekhar, lovingly called Shekharbhai was born in Deesa, India in 1950 to parents Sevantilal C. Parikh and Lata S. Parikh. He was brought up in Mumbai and was educated in the Modern School and KC College. He was trained in the family diamond business and was an active member of his native Palanpur community.

Rajshekhar immigrated to the USA with his wife in 1975, the same year his son was born. He quickly became a pioneer of the Diamond and Jewelry industry. A past President of the Indian Diamond Colorstone Association, Rajshekhar Parikh was as passionate about diamonds as he was about all other causes.

In 1982, he helped found the non-profit organization Share & Care. As a co-founder, Member, Trustee and Past President, Mr. Parikh aided in numerous education and medical programs for the underprivileged in India. He arranged many fund raising events and brought celebrities like Nitin Mukesh, Shekhar Sen, Jaya Bachchan, Shabana Azmi, Kiran Bedi to help support the cause along with him. He also assisted the American Indian Foundation (AIF), another charitable organization, to provide relief during the Gujarat Earthquake in which he traveled with Bill Clinton to India to spearhead the relief effort.