Different Dialogues : Mr. Harshad Mehta

In conversation with Mr. Harshad R. Mehta – Chairman of Rosyblue (More than Diamonds).
Background: A visionary diamond entrepreneur, achieving true to life goals in philanthropy.

He has an instinctive skill of getting into the root cause of a problem and gallantly giving guidance to solve it. With a single-minded devotion, he will give a patient hearing to anyone who comes with a genuine cause. He listens with rapt attention to good view-points of others, but will not waste a moment on something that crops up as irrelevant. He implements his faith in individuals through his evolving intuition. Everything in his conversation shines in a simple manner. Born on 15th August 1947, Harshad R. Mehta’s success stories are what we see and read from the direct contributions he has made to various charitable organizations. To translate his own impression, Harshad Mehta naturally feels the absolute need to ‘share’ his wealth by his own acts and concepts that are reconstructing lives of so many. For a man committed to the sparkling business of diamonds, the theory of karma, is more than the weight of pure gold. Fully a voice for this doctrine, (proclaiming the total effect of a person’s action and conduct during the successive phases of existence), the philanthropist will not dismiss any deserving level to be given all such help that it may need. That is the background of Mr. Harshad R. Mehta who is also considered as the Diamond King with a huge network in over 15 countries employing around 15,000 people globally.

Since 1995, a cumulative figure of around US$ 4 million donated to The Rotary Foundation alone decides how Harshad Mehta is defining his actions. With his characteristic nature and dexterity, he is attached to other charitable bodies, also. He is the Chairman of the Governing Council of LIFE. Amongst its additional activities, LIFE manages the Rajkot Voluntary Blood Bank in India, and is affiliated to the American Association of Blood Bank. The Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation, focusing its primary education programs for the tribal and other underprivileged communities in rural India is another pet-project of Harshad Mehta. The Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation’s goal is to achieve the national standards of Minimum Level of Learning (MLL) for its pupils. The Ekal Vidyalaya movement aims to help eradicate illiteracy from rural and tribal India by 2011. To date, Ekal Vidyalaya is a movement of over 26,719 teachers, 5,000 (approximately) voluntary workers, 22 field organizations (scattered in 22 Indian states), and 8 support agencies as on January 2009. With this tremendous human force, The Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation strives to create a network of non-formal schools that will educate and empower children in rural and tribal India.

Based in Dubai now, Harshad Mehta spends substantial time traveling to India and elsewhere. He considers his spouse, Naina Mehta as an enormous support who equally pursues his causes for charity.

Q 1. What has been the turning point of your life?
A.I have always been of a philosophical bent of mind. I believe that one’s needs should be minimal. Once I became successful and I had more than I needed – I started devoting my resources for the betterment of people around me. So I would say that the turning point of my life was financial success.

Q 2. If you could go back in time, what would you want to do?
A. I have a lot of enthusiasm and wish to do many things personally, including going to places where my NGO activities are ongoing. However, I am unable to do so at times, due to my health. If I could, I would like to have led a healthier lifestyle taking care of my health better. So I could enjoy participating in all these activities today.

Q 3. What are your future dreams?
A. I have more or less retired from active business life and spend most of my time on social activities. I would love to be able to increase my activities in these areas, whether within The Rotary, LIFE (a NGO out of Rajkot) EKAL or others, and also wish that I am able to influence like-minded people to join in.

For further information, check website: www.ekalindia.org & www.999life.org

Geeta Chhabra

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