Moolchand Lodha, a social worker from Dungarpur, Rajasthan, has been awarded the Padma Shri award for his work in social service through his organization, Jagran Jan Seva Mandal.
JAIPUR: Dungarpur’s social worker Moolchand Lodha has been awarded the prestigious Padma Shri award 2023 in the field of social service for his exceptional work in the field. Lodha runs an organization called Jagran Jan Seva Mandal. It is dedicated to providing medical, educational, and tribal welfare services as well as general human services to the underprivileged communities in the tribal areas of Rajasthan.
The Padma Awards are one of the highest civilian honors in India, and are awarded by the Government to recognize outstanding contributions in various fields.
This year, 6 Padma Vibhushan, 9 Padma Bhushan, and 91 Padma Shri awards have been announced, with four of the Padma Shri awards being given to personalities from Rajasthan, all of whom have been recognized for their exceptional work in the field of social service and singing.
In addition to Lodha, Laxman Singh of Lapodia village and social worker, and Jaipur-based singers Ahmed Hussain and Mohammad Hussain have also been awarded Padma Shri awards. Lodha, who hails from the tribal area of Vagad in Rajasthan, has been serving the community for many years.
Lodha established Jagran Jan Seva Mandal in 2000 in the tribal village of Majhola, and the organization has since grown to include several schools and hospitals in the Dungarpur area.
The organization’s mission is to provide essential services to the tribal communities in the region, including medical care, education, and welfare services.
The journey of Lodha, who was also a long-time Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS) pracharak, began during the Emergency in the Wagdari village on the Udaipur road, 15 km from Dungarpur city.
He was a campaigner in Dungarpur and Banswara during the emergency, and it was through this work that he came to understand the suffering of the people in the area.
With the help of others, he opened an eye hospital and has since dedicated his life to social service.
In addition to his work with Jagran Jan Seva Mandal, Lodha was also the organization minister of the RSS organization Seva Bharti Rajasthan.
He migrated to various districts while working with the Sangh and, after many years of service, returned to Dungarpur to work for the betterment of his community.
He opened an ashram in the Majhole village with five orphans, and started teaching them. This was the beginning of his journey to provide education and other essential services to the underprivileged communities in the area.
Lodha’s ashram soon grew, and he opened a primary school for children, which was promoted by Gulabchand Kataria, the then education minister. In his hostel, children could stay, study and eat at the same time. He also started to receive support from the community.
He then opened a hospital in the area, with the help of the then Collector Akhil Arora and Wagdari Sarpanch Kapitalal Damor, who provided him with 15 bighas of land. Today, the Acharya Mahapragya Eye Hospital, Orphan Ashram, own school, Bhojanshala, and Yagyashala are running in this area. The hospital mainly performs cataract operations.
Lodha also worked with future Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, during the Emergency. Manful Dayal, who was a campaigner of Banswara during the days of Emergency, was jailed.
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