What distinguishes extraordinary men from ordinary men? Unlike what so many believe, it is not success or fame or wealth or fortune. All these material achievements are transient. One may be rich and affluent one moment, a pauper the next. Besides, what is the point in accumulating wealth if it’s hoarded or selfishly consumed? Of course, the rich and the famous may be remembered or thought of after they are gone, but if their acts have been driven by self-interest, will anyone care to remember them with love, respect or kindness? Ultimately, what distinguishes extraordinary people from the ordinary is their contribution to society, the difference they make, the transformation they initiate. History is a witness to such legacies.
One such extraordinary man is Ravi Melwani. What defines him? While his success as a brilliant entrepreneur is laudable, there is more to him than his fame or fortune. His kindness is what makes people who know him look up to him. Whether it’s distributing food, clothes or blankets to the poor or spending time with the homeless, his kindness has transformed the lives of thousands of people.
Realizing that the poor need much more than food and clothes, he has opened homes for the homeless and the underprivileged in Bangalore, not simply to provide them with basic necessities and amenities of life, but to make them feel at home, to assure them that they too have a family – to make them feel loved and cared for. Aside from this, Ravi Melwani inspires others to actively engage and help the poor. He has actually made it easier for Bangaloreans to help the destitute. How? What do most of us do when we see the homeless? We look away. Why? Because we don’t know what to do. Some of us may hand out some money or food to them, which is a thoughtful gesture, but it only brings momentary respite. What Ravi Melwani has done is unique – he has set up a 24/7 emergency helpline number, 9739544444, dedicated to the service of the poor. Anyone can call this number if they see someone abandoned or in distress on the streets. Ravi Melwani’s dedicated service team, under his guidance, reaches out to the reported person, provides medical assistance and takes care of such individuals till they recover and heal. Subsequently, they are placed in the homes or reunited with their family.
That’s it – a phone call is enough to transform someone’s life. Can helping someone be easier than this? Besides making a difference himself, Ravi Melwani has tried to ensure that others are empowered to do so too. An extraordinary humanitarian achievement.