The United States-based Indian diaspora has joined hands to provide food and livelihood support to poor and elderly people in India. Anil K Monga, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Victory International (USA), LLC, which is involved in the manufacturing and distribution of fine fragrances worldwide, has taken the lead in raising money for the welfare of the poor and marginalised in India.
“We have been doing this for 26 years now. On average, we have managed to mobilise and spend 3 to 4 million dollars annually for the welfare of people in India,” said Monga. Monga runs the welfare initiatives in India under Dream & Beauty Charitable Trust. The Trust was founded in 1996. The focus of the Trust’s welfare activities has been Punjab.
“We have been working on multiple fronts in Punjab. We serve over 7,000 meals per day to the poor and destitute mostly in slums,” said Monga, who is also the chairman of Dream & Beauty Charitable Trust. During the COVID pandemic, DBCT served nearly 4.2 million meals to people who lack basic amenities and were in difficult times.
The Trust runs its hunger alleviation programme under the initiative called Brahmbhog. “During the COVID pandemic, we served approximately 4.2 million meals and saved several souls. We have been sending five ambulances with drivers, doctors, nurses and medications serving about 800 to 1,000 people daily under Karma Healthcare.
We have a livelihood programme called Margdarshan where we train the youth and place them in jobs. We have transformed more than 7,000 lives so far. Once these girls start making 7,000 to 10,000 rupees a month their next generation won’t be uneducated,” said Monga.
For the welfare of elderly people, DBCT has set up Heavenly Palace, a home for senior citizens situated at Doraha in the Ludhiana district of Punjab. DBCT has also set up Heavenly Angels, an orphanage for homeless children.
“We have been providing healthy food to over 5,000 poor people every day for the past several years. This needs to be replicated in other parts of the country,” Monga told ANI. Monga said he is keen to collaborate with industrialists and other social welfare organisations to expand and replicate the welfare initiatives in other parts of the country.
He urged the Indian industrialists to spend on social welfare. “Businesses need to spend more on social welfare. There are CSR-related laws. But there is a need to do more. They need to do it voluntarily,” he said.
“It does not matter how much money you earn. If people are forced to sleep without food and inequality rises it is alarming for businesses. Businesses must work for the social welfare and remove inequality,” he said.
Chairman of International Meditation Foundation Mahamandaleshwar Swami Advaitananda Giri said millions of people have benefited from the Brahmbhog initiative.
“During the COVID pandemic, elderly people were among the worst affected. Old people were taken very good care of at Heavenly Palace,” Advaitananda Giri said.
“If we all participate in the wider objective of lending a helping hand to those in need, we will very soon see a massive shift in the world we live in. It not only changes the lives of those in need but also the life of the person who supports them,” he added.