Bhupinder Singh Kohli
Bhupinder Singh Kohli is a Guru-panth-da-Sewadar extraordinaire. He is based in Mumbai, India and has been recognised as such several times by the local newspapers. He has a full time job like most of us, working as a banker for the State Bank of India where ke is a senior employee in the Estate Department of their Corporate Centre, New Administrative Building, CBD Belapur, in Mumbai. If you were to meet him at work, he would appear just like any ordinary executive pf the bank. However, there is something more than meets the eye at first glance. For in this unassuming, rather ordinary looking executive, beats the heart of an extraordinarily committed social worker.
Many of the local needy, including those in desperation 'bank' on Bhupinder with their hopes, aspirations, with regular requests for help. And he never disappoints them. There is never a "NO" in his dictionary when it comes to Sewa - Selfless service. He is always there for people in 'caught in the wilderness'. His mobile rings most often with requests for emergency help and he is always ready to arrange this with lightning speed; his private car is always available for the free ferrying of "his patients" for emergency hospital service. And this is just one facet of his personality.
An article about Bhupinder Singh's mother - December 20, 2008
The Times of Navi Mumbai throws some light on the achievements of Joginder Kaur Kohli and her numerous achievements towards mankind.
The day-to-day life of 83-year-old ‘Gandhian' social worker Joginder Kaur Kohli from Nerul could easily be compared to that of a honey bee. Kohli was born on April 5, 1929, at Chakwal, in Pakistan, and then migrated to Patiala in Punjab after partition in 1947 and later to Mumbai in 1954, along with her husband Jagjit Singh Kohli.
Recalling their early struggle in life, says Joginder, “As we belonged to a lower middle class family and had lost every penny during those troubled years, we had to work very hard to meet our ends. It was really tough, because we had five sons and two daughters, who had to be fed and educated.”
The determined lady worked shoulder to shoulder with her husband to run a small tea stall, worked as a labourer in a factory in Bhandup and at the same time, helped the underprivileged whenever she got the time.
“More than providing education and food, what I really wanted my children to have are good values so that they could help the needy and underprivileged in society. I am glad that till date they follow what we have taught,” she says, proudly. Incidentally, her son Bhupinder Singh Kohli is also a well-known social worker from Nerul.
Having worked for a long time, it was time for her to settle down peacefully. However, fate had other plans.
Says Bhupinder, “It was a very sad phase in my mother’s life. My father, after suffering for 10 years due to Parkinson’s disease, passed away in 2005. At the same time, it was amazing to see my mother’s will power, where she was not only looking after my father’s all needs, but also pursuing what she likes the most - the social work. As a true Gandhian at heart and action, during that time also, she was spinning the charkha and was donating the bundles of thread to the leprosy home as raw material for their khadi attire.”
Joginder’s service to humanity doesn’t end here. She has formed a kirtan sangh, where ladies, most of them, senior citizens are members. They go to various charitable institutions, like the old age home to cheer them up and have peace of mind. Besides that, they also visit gurudwaras and the residences of people who invite them to sing kirtans.
Says Joginder, “When our group gets any amount as a token of respect from the latter, we use this money to get orphan girls married, to meet the medical expenses of the needy, organise socio- religious functions at the Spastic Society of India and many other charitable institutions.”
In addition to this, Joginder does the tedious work of collecting old and unused clothes, repairs with her own hand, washes, irons and sorts them according to gender and size wise, and distributes them to the needy in the above homes and remote areas. She further collects unused and unexpired medicines, sorts them alphabetically and supplies them to charitable dispensaries.
Informs Kohli, “My mother is averse to giving publicity to her work. However, a few organisations, like the Gandhi Ashram at Ahmedabad and Duttatrey trust, Nerul, wanted to honour her and her various endeavours.”
AWARDS & EVENTS 2013
HONORED WITH "BHAI GHANAYAJI SEWA AWARD - 2013" AT AMRITSAR (INDIA) ON 31st MARCH 2013 BY BABA SUKHWINDER SINGH JI BHURIWALE (KARSEWA)
Watch on Youtube
Param - Anand Award 2011
On 31 March 2012, Bhupinder Singh received the Param-Anand Award 2011 from the M P Pancholia family at The Club, Mahogany Hall, Andheri, Mumbai in recognition of his contribution to the well being of society. The award was presented by National Film Awardee, Shri Paresh Rawal.
CELEBRATION OF SRI GURU NANAK'S BIRTHDAY 2010
Below are photo taken at the celebration ceremony of Sri Guru Nanak Devji's Birthday with Cerebral Palsy children at the Spastic Society of India, Mumbai on 16 November 2010
SAMAJ SHAKTI AWARD 2010
Bhupinder Singh Kolhi is a good Samaritan from Navi [New] Mumbai who has been working tirelessly for the poor, the downtrodden and the needy all over the country. Despite his busy schedule as an employee of State Bank of India at CBD Belapur and in between taking care of his family, social work is an important part of his priorities in life.
Kohli explains, "Way back in 1984, I had gone to Sion Hospital to see some patient. There I saw a seriously injured boy crying helplessly at the hospital gate. He was seeking help, but no one was there to lend him a hand. I immediately got him admitted in the hospital. The next day when I went to see him, he was fine and thanked me profusely. At that very moment I decided to plunge into social service". Apart from small gestures of goodwill which he undertakes on a routine basic, he has helped victims of 7/11, Mumbai train blasts and 26/11 Mumbai terror attack by taking them to hospital and by organising blood donation camps. He has also participated in relief efforts during major tragedies like Gujarat Earthquake 2000, Tsunami in January 2005, Mumbai floods in July 2005, Surat floods in August 2006. About his emergency ambulance service Kohli says, "In 2004, I happened to see an accident near Uran Phata, the victim was fatally wounded but for want of ambulance service, he could be reached to hospital only after precious time had elapsed. This incident made me think of alternative sources to help people in distress. That very night, I realised that I had one of these sources with me, I could help with my new car which I'd been using sparingly. I decided to use it in emergencies for shifting patients from or to hospitals free of cost. The very next day, I got "free hospital service within Navi Mumbai during night" inscribed on the car and was on the job'.
In the next three months, he helped seven patients reach hospital during medical emergencies. As a token of appreciation for his dedication, Vashi Gurudwara presented him with a used ambulance.
Kohli has taken seven first-aid courses in various hospitals across Mumbai and Navi Mumbai. He started collecting unused and un-expired medicines as well as free samples given by doctors. The medicines thus collected were sent to charitable dispensaries.
- He proudly displays the following sign: " FREE HOSPITAL SERVICE WITHIN NAVI MUMBAI DURING NIGHT " and his Mobile for contact, on his private Car , which he uses during emergencies to transport a patient from or to the hospitals and that too is - FREE OF COST.
In addition to this free ambulance service, he has a range of other community based social activities, a few of which are listed below:
- Collecting unused and unexpired medicines, free samples, etc. (boxes kept in different junctions and branches) which are used in charitable dispensaries and medical camps in remote areas , the Old Age Home or the Leprosy Rehabilitation Centre .
- Collecting donated or used clothes, utensils, reading materials and toys for the needy in villages. Collecting and making available, on a timely basis, equipment such as walking sticks, walkers, crutches, backrests, bedpans, urine pots, saline stands, oxygen cylinders, nebulisers, suction machines, etc.
- Maintaining a computerised Blood Group Directory, he even helps in providing the data of donors to the needy in an emergency.
- Is a member of Civil Defence, the Red Cross Society and a Traffic Warden. He is a volunteer of many other organizations involved in social work.
- Is also associated with Home for old age people and a home for Leprosy patients.
His untiring enthusiasm for social work and his organisational abilities are inspirational, today people of all ages rush to join him in his social activities. And he doesn't disappoint them as he welcomes any kind of support offered and guides such support to further serve social causes.
And thus the circle widens. As they say "Jyot Se Jyot Jalathe Chalo", the light of kindness is spreading... Carry on Mr. Kohli. you are making all of us proud.
Working for the poor, the needy and the helpless is more than just a hobby for Kohli. Apart from his busy schedule of a bank job he is immersed in social work and constantly attempts to find out solutions to the problems of the helpless, in his own unique ways. Nine years back, Kohli started his journey with collecting unused and not expired medicines as well as free samples given by doctors. The medicines collected were sent to charitable dispensaries. He also collects equipment, such as walking sticks, saline stands and oxygen cylinders. He sterilizes them and gives them to the poor or needy patients. He has put together a computerised compilation of the blood group directory, which has a list of around 4,800 donors' names and addresses that were collected individually.
KARSEWA -The Times of India
The following article appeared in the Times of India edition on 5th August,2004. It is a grand testimony to Bhupinder Singh's great work of the community. The text of the article is produced below:
KARSEWA (The Times of India, Navi Mumbai Plus, 5th Aug,2004)
"Working for the poor, the downtrodden the needy and the helpless is more than just a hobby for Bhupinder Singh Kohli from Nerul. It is a daily ritual. Apart from his busy schedule as an employee of the State Bank of India at CBD Belapur and in between taking care of his parents, particularly his 92-year-old bed-ridden father, Kohli is immersed in social work and constantly attempts to find solutions to the problems of the helpless in his own unique ways.
Kohli's latest idea has been to convert his own Santro Car to a vehicle for people in distress. Explains Kohli, "Four months back, I happened to see an accident near Uran Phata at around 7 pm. The victim was fatally wounded but he could reach the hospital only after precious time had lapsed, for want of timely ambulance services. This incident made me think of alternative sources to help people in distress.
And that very night, I realised that I had one of these sources with me. I could help with my new car which I'd been using sparingly. I decided to use the car in emergencies for shifting patients from or to hospitals, free of cost. " The very next day, Kohli sprung into action and inscribed 'FREE HOSPITAL SERVICE WITHIN NAVI MUMBAI DURING THE NIGHT' on his car.
During the next three months, he helped seven patients to reach the hospital during medical emergencies. As appreciation for his dedication, the Vashi Gurudwara presented Kohli with a second hand ambulance. Pointing out the difference that the generous gift would make, Kohli remarked, "Though my car would serve the purpose of dropping patient to the hospital, proper medical equipment is not available inside the car. Now, with the ambulance service available, I'm sure more lives will be saved." This ambulance service too comes at no cost.
This devout Sikh has taken seven first-aid courses in various hospitals across Mumbai and Navi Mumbai. Says Kohli, "When I was studying, I happened to see many rich patients dumping expensive medicines, which were not past their expiry date, after they recovered from their illness. These medicines would have otherwise served poor patients."
From then on, Kohli started collecting unused and un-expired medicines as well as free samples given by doctors. The medicines collected thus were sent to charitable dispensaries. Kohli also collects used equipment, such as walking sticks, saline stands and oxygen cylinders, among others; he sterilises them and gives them to poor patients. He also collects old and usable clothes, utensils, reading materials and toys for needy people in villages.
The jewel in the crown of Kohli's social work is his mammoth compilation of a computerised Blood Group Directory that has a list of around 4,800 donors' names and addresses, collected individually. This social worker, who is responsible for organising many medical camps, is also a member of Civil Defence, Red Cross Society and Traffic Wardens.
Says Kohli's friend Hardeep Singh, "For the last 20 years, he has been meeting all the expenditure of his social activities from his own income. The Santro manufacturers should be proud of Kohli for using their product for a noble service."
- Name: 'BHUPINDER SINGH KOHLI' -
- email: [email protected]
- mobile : 09821421058
- SIKH AWARDS
- INTERVIEW SIKH CHANNEL, LONDON
- PARAMANAND AWARD - 2011)
- SAMAJ SHAKTI AWARD - 2010)
- KIRTAN AT LEPROSY HOME)
- HANDICAP WITH ARTIFICIAL LIMB)
- MARATHON WITH SPASTIC CHILDREN)
- KALAMBOLI SEMINAR
- SHIVAJI HOSPITAL, THANE
- KIRTAN AT OLD AGE HOME
- MARRIAGE OF DEAF & DUMB
- ENTERTAINMENT WITH ORPHANS
- GURUNANAK BIRTHDAY AT SPASTIC CHILDREN
- SBS MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA
- SBS MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA
- LANGAR SEWA AT LEPROSY HOME
Various pictures of events & letters
Newspaper cuttings and other articles in the news
Pictures of other Charitable Events
Medical College and Hospital Award Ceremony
SPEAKER AT SYMPOSIUM ORGANISED DURING 75TH PLATINUM JUBILEE CELEBRATION OF RAJIV GANDHI MEDICAL COLLEGE AND CHHTRAPATI SHIVAJI MAHARAJ HOSPITAL, THANE (MAHARASHTRA, INDIA) ON 22ND JANUARY, 2009. SHRI BHUPINDER SINGH KOHLI WAS A GUEST SPEAKER)
Seminar -cum- Training Programme June 28, 2009