ISP Mumbai Bureau
Can someone’s suffering move you to the extent that you give up everything in life including career and work for bringing some relief in their lives? For Harakchand Sawla, the agony of the cancer patients was good enough to vow and dedicate his life for them.
He was in his thirties when he had to pass by the street of Tata Cancer Hospital in Mumbai everyday and the grim faces of patients as well as their relatives was overwhelming for him to act decisively. He had special concern for the people who came from distant places who did not know where to go and how to meet the doctor. There were also many who did not have enough money to treat their dear ones. Worse was the situation when he came across people who lacked food to eat during treatment. Sawla resolved to help them.
He made a quick decision. He rented out his hotel and raised funds to start a charitable program in front of the Tata Cancer Hospital. He started with a constant supply of fresh and nutritious meals for the patients and their attendants. He started with fifty meals and jumped to 700 within a few days as people came to know of the place. He opened up his altruistic work for other big hearted people to join in and hence it became a cooperative effort led by Sawla.
After addressing the basic need for food, Sawla and his friends focussed on procuring medicine at affordable rates and for free for those who could not afford. He started a medicine bank and supplied free medicines. He was joined by three doctors and pharmacists for voluntary service in this project. Now he expanded the idea to develop a toy bank for the kids suffering from cancer. Eventually, his humanitarian efforts were all organised under the charitable trust called Jeevan Jyot.
Jeevan Jyot has expanded from Cancer to take up the additional responsibility of the cause of the old and deprived elderly homeless people. To alleviate the sufferings and bring dignity and succour to some of these elders, the Trust has now opened a destitute home in Mumbai.
After around 25 years of consistent work in the project, Harakhchand Sawla today runs around 60 humanitarian projects as part of the Trust and at the age of around 60, he works with the same vigour and enthusiasm as he was during his young days. His work has expanded to a total of 12 different locations across the country.