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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2828

Sunday Celebrity:Bhawanesh Deora - he inspires patriotism around

[caption id="attachment_4196" align="alignright" width="460" caption="Bhawanesh Deora with Prof Anita Pfaf, Prof Alphonse Manickam, Prof Martin Pfaf"]Bhawanesh Deora with Prof Anita Pfaf, Prof Alphonse Manickam, Prof Martin Pfaf[/caption]

By Gopal Ethiraj, Chennai

CHENNAI, 16, August ( Rajasthan is most popular destination for many—for its historical monuments, Dilwara temples, Thar and other deserts, Mt. Abu hills, national parks etc. For Rajasthanis nook and corner of the world is the destination, like Malayalees.

Their entrepreneurial spirit finds them all over the country, but they have always integrated themselves with the local situation and have been contributing to society wherever they have settled.

“There is a saying that ‘wherever the gaadi (vehicle) goes, the Marwari also goes’ says Mr. Bhawanesh Deora, who has a string of business establishments in Chennai. There is a sizable Rajasthani population in Chennai, “the earliest who has come to Chennai to settle was before independence,” he says.

While business has been an important reason for the migration, Rajasthani merchants have also contributed to their place of occupation through social service. Mr. Bhawanesh Deora is running one of the noted service organizations, under the name Shreyans Foundation, linked with the Lions clubs and NGOs.

[caption id="attachment_4199" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Bhawanesh Deora"]Bhawanesh Deora[/caption]

Deora’s patriotic and nationalist spirit; his euphoria and enthusiasm for national integration is inspiring. He is regularly celebrating the Independence Day since 1996, in Shreyans Hall, he owns, and serves food to the poor to about 1000s the same day. His full throat “Jai India” “Jai Bharat” fills to the blood veins. This correspondent was one of the Guests of Honour at his 63rd Independence day celebrations yesterday.

A few years back when the daughter of Nethaji Subash Chandra Bose, Mrs Anita Bose Pfaf, was in the country (she is living in Germany with her professor husband), Mr. Deora managed to bring her to Chennai to his hall, and assembled all freedom-fighters of Tamilnadu, ex Indian National Army (INA) cadres of Nathaji and honoured them, this writer was present then. Deora gave the first reception in the city, and took care of all her programmes here.

When there was tsunami, Deora with his members reaching first the Chennai beach and virtually saw the third big wave receding, carrying in its folds lots of lives. This daring service-minded person rescued the people and helped them. He remembers how he pulled three persons from the forceful current of waters; he caught hold of some bodies the returning waves was rolling on the shores and also carried few dead bodies. “If the next deadly wave had lashed, I too would have been carried away,” he says.

“This made me first person to report to the TV crews that poured in a little later. I was on all TVs the whole day telling to the world what had happened. What is more, I was taken to the Sun TV studio to narrate the incidents, participating in the eye witness live presentation,” says Mr. Deora, “ek din a reporter” (one-day reporter).

He had organized food for the tsunami affected people immediately and for several days. Later he traveled to other affected areas with relief materials, distributing from Chennai upto Velankanni and Nagapattanam., all from his own money.

In handling tsunami affecteds, Deora had some experienced touch by now, for he had served earlier two catastrophes that had hit India before—the earth quakes in Latur in Maharastra and Buj in Gujarat

Deora regrets he could not personally participate in the Latur relief camp sent by the Lions club, for there was a family grief. But he had participated in the collection of relief materials on behalf of the Lions club and sent them. When all his fellow men went, his heart of throbbing here. For the Buj earthquake, Deora joined one Jain Association, went with his group and served the people for 15 days. Seeing the conditions, he pumped out his own money to buy things and food material for distribution. Deora shows all the photographs proudly.

What has pulled him into this service mode? “It is because of my early membership with Lions club. As a boy of 16, I was inducted into the Leo club, the youth wing of Lions Club. in 1978. I was graduated into the service mode, participating into every field activity. In Leoism, I rose to the level of Council Chairman and won Wisdom award,” he says.

He joined the Lions Club in 1989 by starting his own Lion’s Club of Madras Leo City. Here too he handled service sectors with aplomb—eye donation, drug awareness, youth outreach, health camps and rain water harvesting, etc. And so service to humanity started grousing through his blood.

He is more than content serving the humanity at its worst. Every flood havoc in Tamil Nadu, Deora is up with his arms, ready with men and material, serving in the field. A couple of years back, when Chennai was in floods, he and his team of Shreyans Foundation were out of soccur.

His best service was at Zakir village, 15 kms off Arakonam, where the floods had affected the animals with foot and mouth disease, and men too. Shereyans had organized health camp for animals and human beings, cleaned the whole village and disinfected it, supplied food, cloths and bought books and notes for the children who had lost them in the floods.

Health camps are his routine, but one at the Pulicat lake island is worth mentioning, besides his Zakir village camp. There was skin infection, followed by chckenguniya. Deora went with his doctor team and rendered service.

Rain water harvesting is an habit in Rajasthan, where rain is sparsely. This was in his mind, seeing much of the rain water going down the drains waste. Speaking his mind out, he came across another person of same ideology by name Sekar of an NGO, Aakash. Deora happily remembers, the rain water demonstration given to Ms. Jayalalithaa, the then Chief Minister at Chennai. Impressed, she ordered rain-water for houses compulsory to increase the water table, which almost it did. If it is pursued vigorously, it will be good, he feels.

Deora is a tradition lover. “I am against the present-day use of more than one minute run of the National Anthem; it is pretty slow, rather it puts you to sleep.” For his function yesterday, he used the old 52-minute “jana gana mana”. He pointed out the national anthem should be that racy to arouse one.

He is a good designer and interior designer. He took me round his house showing the furniture he designed, the Rajasthani art work he had etched on the walls and floors. It was a treat.

Bhuwanesh Deora is third generation Rajasthani-Chennaiite. He is born (1962) and brought up here. He is a bachelor of commerce, but deserves to be ‘honorary doctored’. His businesses include, export-import, gift shop, convention hall which he calls Shreyans Integration Point, Reliance telecom dealership and Finance. His wife, mother and brothers are a good support to his activity. His friends’ network is enormous.

- Asian Tribune -

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