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Home > Business > Pravasi Bharatiya Divas


'The Diaspora wants to transform India'

L M Singhvi | January 09, 2003 13:54 IST

The Indian Diaspora wants to give an input in transforming India.

A man came from Canada to India. In his old age, his only mission in life was to transform his village in Punjab. Today his village has everything one could ask for.

Budhan Dhilliok's grandfather went as indentured labor from Siwan, Bihar. He educated his son and his family prospered. Dhilliok was a trained doctor who also became the Mauritian high commissioner to Britain. He is now 80 plus. He came to India to set up a hospital in his ancestors' village. He wanted to contribute a million dollars. He was anxious to know to whom he should give the money. The area collector did not reply. The state chief minister did not reply to his letters, nobody but nobody [did].

He was a man of considerable status. He was in the evening of his life who wanted to see a school and hospital in his grandfather's village. First he faced tremendous problems in stressing his roots but he somehow managed. It's a wonderful documentation. It's a complete saga of life. From landing documents to their life to progress. This man came to me and I did everything that had to be done. The hospital is now coming up in Siwan. But everybody will not and cannot come to me.

Once, I spoke on Mother's Day at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan when I was high commissioner to the UK. Raj Lumba told me his mother raised him and his siblings when his father died young. I had spoken about the mother as a nurturing force in life, which reminded him of his mother who sold all the property to educate his seven brothers and all of them are now well-settled all over the world.

I proposed he should do something for the children of Mother India. Today, his trust in India has a corpus of Rs 5 crore. His vision is an education fund for children of families who have lost their breadwinner. The trust funds thousands of them.

Two years back, Indians in Britain invited me for Diwali celebrations. I told them the concept of Diwali was to light the darkness in someone's life. I asked them to light the lives of people of Orissa who had suffered heavily due to a killer cyclone.

In London, in just an evening, we raised Rs 1 crore. A school has been built with that money and a foster mother's center is working fine.

The Persons of Indian Origin's philanthropic instincts are amazing. They are willing to do things for India.

Dr L M Singhvi, chairman of the High Level Committee on the Indian Diaspora, spoke to Senior Editor Sheela Bhatt

 



Pravasi Bharatiya Divas

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