Family trips with kids to India, and what was the kids’ reaction?
India Development and Relief Fund was established by Dr. Prakash in 1988. He took early retirement from his prestigious job at World Bank at the age of 55 years intending to serve his motherland. His wife, Sarla provides her full support to him in all ups & and downs of the IDRF journey.
We are presenting some interesting and inspiring incidents of IDRF's journey when he visited India along with his family.
Dr. Prakash said that he and his wife visited India about 25 times. When working with the World Bank, as a part of his work assignments, he visited many countries like the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, etc. It becomes convenient for him to visit these countries via a stop over in India. As an employee of the World Bank, Dr. Prakash got a home leave benefit for him and his family to visit India every alternate year.
During one of his India trips, he visited Delhi with his wife and two sons Sanjay and Gautam. In Delhi, they visited Sewa Bharti School as IDRF provides funds to the NGO that supports it. During their visit to the school, Dr. Prakash's kids were shocked to learn about the condition of the students. The students were very poor and could not afford to buy textbooks for themselves. They shared textbooks for 3 hours and read them whenever their turn came. Many times, they read books at night and exchanged books with other students after 3 hours. It was unbelievable for Sanjay and Gautam as they were brought up in the USA and had never seen such poverty in their lives. Hence, they realized by their India visit that they had to study hard to be successful in their lives.
After some years, during their another visit to India, they went to a slum with Dr. Prakash's daughter-in- law. It became unbearable to visit those areas as there was no cleanliness and sanitization. Thus, such visits created empathy in their minds and increased their respect for their parents' work.
As a result, when Sanjay was getting married, he and his wife decided to donate all their wedding gift money to IDRF. They received cash gifts totalling $9,000, which they donated to IDRF. Their relatives and friends did not believe how a new couple starting life together could donate all their wedding gifts to a charity.
Similarly, six years later, during his younger son Gautam’s marriage, Gautam and his wife also followed the same tradition. They also donated all their wedding gift cash, of around $35,000 to IDRF. This act of both sons of Dr. Vinod Prakash was a great inspiration for other young couples. After their marriage, about half a dozen other young couples also donated their wedding gift cash to IDRF. They even requested guests to give cash instead of presents, so that they could donate the amount to IDRF for charity work.
IDRF started utilizing this money by providing grants to NGOs in India to purchase medical vans. Each medical van was given the name of a young couple who had contributed. Thus, IDRF financed more than 30 medical vans, which were very useful for many rural areas in India lacking transportation and medical facilities.
Dr. Prakash gives full credit to his wife Sarla for supporting his charity work. He firmly believes that it’s only through God's grace that he and his family get inspiration to serve their motherland most dedicatedly and responsibly.
Today, at the age of 91, Dr. Prakash has the same feeling and enthusiasm for serving his motherland as he had when he founded IDRF. Even though he has been visually impaired since 2010 and cannot personally visit India, he actively guides his proficient team, which also works with complete dedication and honesty in serving the marginalized people in India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.
Please reach out to us if you wish to donate to IDRF or to know more about its programs to serve the less fortunate.