Wealth is quantifiable but in various terms. For some, it is a matter of amassing as much as one can, for others it is health and happiness and for a few, wealth is the amount and effort spent for a cause to bring about a change, by helping them who cannot afford.
The word “Afford” itself has a vast application which can be concerned with luxury, healthcare facilities or even food, merely 3 times a day. Wealth is not to feed our egos, but to feed the hungry and to help people help themselves.
Yet deciding to part with it and spend it all for a cause can be the toughest decision a man can make. After all, we generally spend our whole life in making a fortune, be it small or big. But those who do, they are generally placed above the rest and sometimes revered to a Messiahs.
Dr S P Singh Oberoi, the chairman of Sarbat Da Bhala Charitable Trust is one such philanthropist who has dedicated 98% of his earnings to charity.
Just this year, on the occasion of 550th Birth Anniversary of Gurunanak Dev, Sarbat Da Bhala Charitable Trust has opened a chain of diagnostic centers, 3 of them in last week; has donated 1 crore for the construction of Gurunanak Mission Hospital, has made donations to special schools, gifted dialysis machines to hospitals in Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and other states, has brought dead bodies home from Dubai and donated 2-5 lakhs to the family of the deceased in the form of fixed deposits. His diagnostic chain, Sunny Oberoi clinical and diagnostic provides 25% of healthcare tests free of cost and rest on cost price.
These are the few activities that are known about. He runs 25 such welfare projects overall concerned with education, healthcare, employment and even day to day sustenance of the poor.
Under SARBAT DA BHALA AWAAS his trust gives homes to the poor and homeless and he even adopts patients who are terminally ill. He sponsors the education of thousands of students, supports the poor with a monthly pension, invests in sports facilities, runs free computer, stitching, and other skill development centres too.
But the fortune he spends generously, it took him a lifetime to make. In 1975 he started his carrier as an Engine Mechanic in Himachal Pradesh. Two years later he went to Dubai and returned to India in 1981 to start his material supply & construction Company in Punjab.
He shifted back to Dubai in 1993 and started General Trading Company Apex Emirates General Trading L.L.C, in 1996 Apex International Construction, in 1998 Dubai Grand Hotel & in 2004 Oberoi Properties & Investments LLC.
It was in Dubai that he read the news of 15 Indian awarded with the death penalty for a group fighting that lead to the death of a Pakistani man. He fought that case and paid 2.2 million dollars from his personal savings.
Since then he has never looked back and he helps people to afford, be it medicines, education, food, house, skill or surgery and sometimes even life. Today he stands amongst very few who are defining wealth by the way of giving.