New Delhi – Lupin Human Welfare & Research Foundation (LHWRF) on Wednesday (26 Jun) held the first Dr. Desh Bandhu Gupta Memorial Lecture at the India International Centre, in New Delhi.
Former Union Minister for Agriculture Sompal Shastri, Special Secretary in National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog) Yaduvendra Mathur, former journalist and social worker Uma Suresh Prabhu and foundation’s Executive Director Sita Ram Gupta were among the keynote speakers during the event.
Desh Bandhu Gupta, colloquially known as DBG, was an Indian philanthropist, entrepreneur and founder and chairman of Lupin Ltd– a multinational pharmaceutical company. He passed away in April, 2018.
Having passion for passion on Rural Development, DBG founded Lupin in 1968 with a start-up capital of INR 5,000.
Bharatpur-based Lupin Foundation was established on 2 October, 1988. Among other things the foundation works in rural areas on several social initiatives to create sustainable livelihood for the people.
Speaking at the occasion, Shastri called Lupin’s welfare schemes as a “model” for others to follow. Lauding the beekeeping efforts of DBG, former union minister said that Bharatpur was on the national map as India’s largest honey producer because of the efforts of the Lupin founder.
Shastri added that the region produced 600 tons of honey in 1995 which has now gone up to 2,200 tons.
Lupin’s welfare schemes are a great example of how efficiently public-private-partnerships could work, Mathur said reminiscing his days as a bureaucrat during his posting in Bharatpur and working with the LHWRF founder.
Mathur recalled DBG’s words encouraging people to be aspirational and think big without thinking too much about the funds to implement the welfare schemes.
“There cannot be a better tribute to him (DBG) than organizing a lecture on a subject which is very close to his heart and which is rural development,” Uma Suresh Prabhu said.
As an example, Prabhu said that she has worked with the Lupin Foundation to skill between 60,000 and 70,000 people in various employment generating activities in 2,000 villages in Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts.
She also said that she has worked with the foundation on several other issues like women empowerment, education, environment and promotion of self-help-groups.
Foundation’s ED – Sita Ram Gupta said that the rural India was a part of DBG’s being and he dedicated his entire life for the welfare of the marginalised and needy.
The foundation is working on six development parameters in 9 states in India viz Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Sikkim, Gupta said.
Lupin is the only corporate house who has worked in the region (Bharatpur) where it does not have a manufacturing plant, Gupta said.
Gupta also said that the legacy of DBG would always remain with the foundation. As the founder of a pharmaceutical company DBG emphasised on 4 -‘H’s – Health, Happiness, Hope and Harmony (between the urban and the rural class), he added.
DBG’s notable initiatives
- Bharatpur’s honey processing plant, accounting for 8,000 ton honey, is the largest exporter in India. The plant is a bread-and-butter for over 3,000 farmers.
- Pulling the entire Bharatpur district almost out of poverty with only over 9,000 households out of over 300,000 households not having pucca houses.
- Out of 132,000 households, the foundation has been able to pull over 110,000 people out of poverty in Dhule district in Maharashtra through its ‘Change India Programme’.
- Under the rural development initiatives, the foundation has helped over 3,000 women in 9 states to become self-sufficient through ‘tulsi maala’ manufacturing programme.
- The foundation is working in the most difficult terrains in Uttarakhand through its center at Rishikesh. The center is carrying out CSR work with the holistic development approach in areas like Doiwala and Sahaspur blocks in Dehradun district.
- The foundation worked closely with the government to rehabilitate 2013 flood disaster victims. It reached out to the remotest of places to serve and help people
- Foundation’s various schemes have benefited over 2.8 million people.
The foundation also felicitated over a dozen achievers from the rural parts of India. The people from all the 9 states where the foundation is working were present during the event.