A single gift of Rs 100 crore for TRF!

When a Rotarian donates a whopping sum of ₹100 crore or $14.7 million to The Rotary Foundation, the first question you ask him is how and when the idea was planted in his head. D Ravishankar, President, Rotary Club of Bangalore Orchards, D 3190, travels back over five decades to answer it. An important takeaway from his days as a young boy in a government school — a private school was beyond his reach — was the refrain by a senior teacher who’d say: “You should give till it hurts, because till then you are sharing your comfort, not everything that you have.”

Rtn D Ravishankar and his spouse Paola.

While relating this, Ravishankar pauses, and says softly: “I think 90 per cent of the people didn’t like what I did, because I pricked their conscience. Anyway, I believe that beyond a point what you keep turns into poison… poison not for yourself, but your kids and their future.”

With a chuckle he adds that when a friend, who is an income tax commissioner asked him “why I gave away so much money, I asked him how much money a prominent politician took after passing away. If you can tell me, I’d like to store my money in that place.” His philosophy is simple: if you leave more than necessary money for your children, you’ll spoil them. “Whereas on the other side, it is required so badly; people are dying of hunger and are deprived of so many things. I believe whatever money I have belongs to society. I am just a custodian for a short while; I didn’t bring it with me nor can take it with me.”

I am only a co-worker; every Rotary club member is a leader. I can’t lead leaders, I can only work with them.

On this magnanimous gesture which was announced by Ravishankar at the installation of Suresh Hari as District Governor, the DG says, “Ravi is a wonderful soul and over the last two years specially he has evolved into a different kind of person.”

He adds that discussions with him had started about a year ago, while meeting the Presidents-elect of his district. In further meetings Ravishankar discussed his plans for a microcredit programme, building a Peace Tower at the Wagah border, an old-age home and a Rotary Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution in this part of the world. “And then he threw a shocker at me by saying he wanted to allocate ₹100 crore for his chosen projects during 2018–19. I convinced him to give to our Foundation which could initiate work on his pet projects.”

Congratulating Ravishankar for his generosity and setting a great example, RI Director C Basker quoted a verse from the Gita, which says, “A gift is pure when it is given from the heart to the right person at the right time and at the right place, and when we expect nothing in return.” The reality of our world was that while “in many countries there are masses who don’t even have access to basic day-to-day requirements, others have so much in excess, that if their wealth is shared, it would solve many problems related to health, hunger and conflicts in most communities all over the world.”

 

Early childhood

To understand Ravishankar’s philosophy of giving, stated simply, starkly and without much fuss, let’s travel back to his early childhood. His father Kamesh was a freedom fighter and influenced by Vinoba Bhave’s Bhoodan movement, gifted away all the land he had — some 7–8 acres. “He was in the final year of engineering and burnt all his books which were British and went to prison for about four years. He was given the Tamrapatra to recognise him as a freedom fighter.”

President of RC Bangalore Orchards D Ravishankar and wife Paola being felicitated at the installation of District 3190 DG Suresh Hari (extreme left). PDG Asha Prasannakumar is seen at right.
President of RC Bangalore Orchards D Ravishankar and wife Paola being felicitated at the installation of District 3190 DG Suresh Hari (extreme left). PDG Asha Prasannakumar is seen at right.

After Independence he got a job as an engineer and Ravishankar and his six siblings led a comfortable life during their early childhood. But when he was in Class 4, his father suddenly passed away, leaving his mother with seven children and barely ₹100 in the bank. “She really had to struggle to bring us up; a very proud woman, she refused to beg. But thanks to the goodwill my father had as the general manager of a company, both my brothers got jobs.”

 

Society, his father

From thenceforth, adds Ravishankar poignantly, “society took the place of my father, so giving back this money (₹100 crore) to my father was not a big thing for me.” On the face of it, this might sound hyperbolic but as you listen to his story, the depth of feeling with which it is stated sinks in. Though he ended up with a BA degree and a diploma in business administration and marketing management, it wasn’t a smooth ride. Never “a good student”, he failed in Class 10 not once but twice. “After losing my father, I fell into bad company, stealing things, black marketing cinema tickets, and so on.” But after failing in his high school exam a second time, “because I couldn’t see my mother crying, I studied enough to pass with the bare minimum pass marks!”

When Bill Gates contributes to TRF, we say it’s fine; but when someone like Ravishankar, literally a nobody, decides to give 70 per cent of his earnings to TRF, we have to say ‘Wow’.
– Paola Ravishankar

In 1972, he joined the Bangalore National College for a BA in Economics, with Sociology and Psychology. Here he was inspired by Dr Narasimhaiah, a freedom fighter, and an eminent educationist who went on to become the VC of Bangalore University.

But it wasn’t an easy ride: he recalls growing up on just rice and vegetables such as cucumber. “For proteins I’d buy groundnuts for 50 paise. If I felt hungry, I’d go to a friend’s house, ring the bell, and when his mother or grandmother opened the door, ask straightaway: Amma, I am hungry, can you give me something to eat? Not one person refused. Everybody would call me inside, make rotis or dhal and feed me. Society fed me… people whose hearts were so pure fed me. Were they fools? No, they had pure hearts; they are all dead and gone, but I have to give back.”

I have below average intelligence. You need intelligence to be a liar, thief or a crook.

When I comment he is philosophic in his thinking, he quips: “I’d describe myself as below average intelligent. If you are intelligent, you will complicate things. But if you are below average, you’ll think simple. If someone asks me to walk, I’ll walk straight and not do somersaults. You need intelligence to be a liar, thief or a crook. I am a simple man.”

In 1980, he began working in a small company at a salary of ₹105. “I had to change three buses to reach office, leaving home at 5 am to reach at 8.30 am. I carried for lunch leftover rice or kanji.” And while changing buses he would buy a banana “for nutrition. It cost 5 or 6 paise, but the vendor would give it to me for 2 paise knowing that was all I could afford.” Another kind act by Society!

He worked in printing and designing and stayed here for a couple of years but “got fed up after some time… and mulled the idea of even joining politics where I could change lives or touch more people, but ended up in real estate.”

 

Success in Business

Ravishankar recalls the excessive red tape that dominated all sections of business in those days. “But when you grow up on the street you become street-smart. I knew how to talk and get things done… and go around government red tapism. When the supply is less, prices go up and red tapism reduced land supply. But I learnt how to circumvent this; even bad people would be nice to me.”

D Ravishankar and Paola with their daughters Ektaa (left) and Samta.
D Ravishankar and Paola with their daughters Ektaa (left) and Samta.

He got around the massive corruption in getting permits; “I’d simply stand before the people in charge, scratch my head and say if I pay so much, I can’t pay salary to my workers. My body language conveyed my sincerity as it was true, and my work got done.”

His confidence in himself soared after his marriage with Paola, a Goan Catholic. “In the early 1980s, I saw this really gorgeous girl in an evening college; she was beyond my reach as I was neither a Shahrukh Khan nor an Ambani! But when I could convince her to marry an idiot and a mad fellow like me, I knew I could fool anybody!” They got married in 1988 after a courtship of four years.

Slowly his business grew; “because my father was a freedom fighter, Ramakrishna Hegde (then Chief Minister of Karnataka) took a liking for me and helped me.” The builder then met BHN Hari, who worked for Mysore Paper Mills and later became his partner. “The name of my company Hara Housing comes from Hari and Ravi. I wanted somebody honest and straightforward and not a smart and intelligent partner who would one day cheat me because he would soon realise I’m a simple man!”

 

A buffet called Rotary

So why did he join Rotary?

“Well, around 1988, when I was already in my business, I found everybody around me obsessed about the (realty) market and I felt suffocated… with the kind of people I was mixing with. Everywhere, even in a toilet, people would ask: ‘Sir, how is the market?’ Whether it was a doctor, barber or a dentist, they’d talk only about business.”

My daughter said, “‘Nana, follow your heart, give whatever you want, don’t worry about us.”

When he met a senior Rotarian, Ramesh Chari, “I told him I am fed up and am scared I’ll end up with a habit like drinking. I want to connect with society. He said why don’t you try Rotary, and brought me into Rotary.”

Asked what Rotary has given him, Ravishankar says: “For me Rotary has been a learning experience. Rotary is like a buffet; it is up to you what you want to take from it. If you want to eat healthy, that is there, if not; the opposite is also there. For a recluse… and one who loves to chill out, it was a platform to connect with people and change lives. Rotary gives you the opportunity to do things.”

And the kind of “things” he has done from the Rotary platform are impressive indeed and range from building an old-age home in Karnataka to schools in the Northeast. He has also offered to build schools in rural areas in Lahore and Islamabad and has connected with the DGs in Pakistan, telling them he wished to do this “as we were all brothers before the Partition and share the same blood. When people connect, governments cannot separate or stop us. Even if I have to do it on my death bed, I’ll do it…because in the name of religion, we are complicating our lives.”

I’d knock on a friend’s door and ask: Amma, I am hungry, give me something to eat. Not one person refused. They’d make rotis or dhal and feed me.

A project he has on hand right now is planting one crore (10 million) saplings in Kolar and Chikkaballapur districts with help from Amar Narayan, a retired IAS officer passionate about trees and saving the environment. “I asked him can we work together; I always see myself as a co-worker, and not the president of my club. Every Rotarian is a leader: I cannot lead leaders, I can only work with them. He has agreed and we’re trying to rope in the State government. It’s a five-year project where we want to involve schools, donate plants and make the headmasters responsible for ensuring the trees survive.”

 

Society mantra

Ravishankar, who calls himself “a freaked out human being” says that when his daughters Ektaa and Samta were very young — 9 and 5 or so — “I’d always tell them I have taken so much from society, I need to give back. They said “Nana (father in Telugu), you do that. Don’t worry about us; we’ll study and stand on our own feet. Today they are 27 and 23.”

All my clothes are from Reliance. My friends wear Armani but I am not bothered.

So, are both married? He laughs and says, “No, they want to get married only when they can stand on their own feet.” The elder one, who has just left for her Masters course in Melbourne worked for a few years to save some money for her education and wanted to take a student loan. But on the counsellor’s advice didn’t do so and “wants to return the money she has ‘borrowed’ from her father by working part time there,” says her mother Paola.

Whether it is higher education or trekking in the Himalayas for which the younger daughter Samta recently needed to buy some trekking gear, they’re careful about the money they spend. “We’ve brought them up that way,” says Ravishankar, adding, “we follow a simple lifestyle and are middle class by choice. In life, you have to balance… wanting is not bad, greed is bad. I have come from such a bottom that I wanted to give something nice to my wife and daughters. But all my clothes are from Reliance. My friends wear Armani but I am not bothered. I had always lived in a rented house till my mother told me one day: ‘Ravi, your father didn’t own a house. I think I will die in a rented house.’ So I bought a house in 1997 to make her happy.”

IMG-20180731-WA0026_

Also, to express his love for his family he bought a luxury car. “Yes, it is a Benz, which I don’t want to buy ever again. From now on it will be secondhand cars, because it is just not worth it. With the car money I could have built three schools in the Northeastern States.”

He has already built a few; one for 350 students in Manipur near the Myanmar border investing ₹27 lakh in two acres of land and a retired army colonel running an NGO is managing it. “The tagline of this Trust is ‘Peace through Education’; he wants to stop the children in the Northeast from being influenced by insurgents.”

Another school Ravishankar has built is for children of drug addicts who are infected with HIV.

So philanthropy is inbuilt in his genes, I comment. “No, no, please don’t use big words like philanthropy… it is just simple giving away,” he smiles.

 

The 100-crore figure

Next, I ask him how he zeroed in on the ₹100 crore ($14.7 million) figure and what was Paola’s reaction. He chuckles and says: “I am an emotional human being who is not getting younger. From childhood I have this trait; either I think big, stupid or impossible. My wife, being the mother of two daughters understandably had some insecurities, but my daughter convinced her saying, ‘Mama, he has taken good care of us all these years. And this is Nana’s yolo (you only live once) moment, so please let him do whatever he wants.’ And she told me: Nana, follow your heart, give whatever you want, don’t worry about us.” With those words, she brought her mama on board!

family_1

His younger daughter, who will also shortly leave for higher education in Australia, for which she also has been saving money, “doesn’t even want to inherit our house. She says if you leave it for me, I will sell it and build a school in Kashmir with the money,” smiles Ravishankar, and adds, “I was so touched and felt so blessed to have such a fine family.”

“Finally, the majority won, and my wife was on board. She is a wonderful girl; no jealousy, no greed, and has never asked for jewellery. Even when she wears artificial jewellery, she looks like a princess. Her smile is the best jewellery she has.”

When I say his is the second single largest contribution to TRF after the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Ravishankar says, “I didn’t think of any statistic, nor had a strategy in my mind. I simply decided to give.”

Quips Paola, “When someone like Bill Gates contributes to TRF, we say it’s fine; but when someone like Dakoju Ravishankar, who is literally a nobody, decides to give almost 70 per cent of his earnings to the Foundation, I guess we all have to sit up and say ‘Wow!’ I am still getting over the shock myself!”

Paola-speak

It has been a roller coaster three weeks to say the least; I woke up on June 30 feeling very content knowing we were a simple happy family. We have two daughters — Ektaa and Samta — who are pursuing their Masters and we are a very close-knit family with simple pleasures and middle class values. What followed that evening (the meet where the couple were felicitated) was a real shocker; my husband Dakoju Ravishankar had donated ₹100 crore to The Rotary Foundation!

At-the-Carriben-cruise-last-year-District-conf-last-year

I had to pinch myself to realise it wasn’t a dream or hallucination when they called us to the stage to felicitate us. Ravi has always been a philanthropist in his own humble way; when I married him 30 years ago all he had was a Suvega (two-wheeler) and a rented house, but he had a heart of gold. In 30 years, he has built up his reserves by working hard. He has built an old-age home in Bengaluru in memory of his late parents who mean the world to him, which is run free of cost for people who are less fortunate. The quality of the home is unparalleled and the food and services fantastic.

He has also built schools with hostels in the Northeast where children don’t get an education due to lack of interest and rivalry between the tribes and families. Here too education is provided free or at a nominal cost with free boarding. These are only some of the avenues he has ventured into. But I know he has big dreams. Sometimes we wonder if he has worked all these years, and is still working, just to support these causes!

He is a workaholic and works almost 18 hours a day; he left last morning at 4 am for Malwan in Maharashtra via Goa. Came back this morning at 9 am and went straight to KGF (Kolar Gold Fields) where he is doing a massive tree plantation project on the Cyanide Dumps — to make the place liveable for the locals as the chemicals used in the gold fields have been detrimental to the health of the people there. He is trying to convert it into a green zone, facing health hazards himself going there as he was a chronic asthmatic. But his priority is to improve the lives of others.


Why he chose Rotary

On why he chose TRF to part with such a huge chunk of his money, D Ravishankar says, “I’ve grown up among cheats and frauds… I’ve seen society naked and can differentiate between a pure and an evil person. Rotary is a transparent and honest NGO. People don’t like to donate because most money is hard earned and we find every other NGO is a fraud and misuses funds. But Rotary I know is a genuine organisation.”

headgear-sridhar

He touches on another sterling quality of Rotary when he stresses that he is an areligious person who doesn’t “believe in the artificial barriers that religion and caste create — I go to mass on important occasions. I have three sisters, two are Muslim and one Gujarati, and “all of them tie raakhi on me!”

He adds, “I’ve given this money blindly with my eyes closed because the DG, Suresh Hari, is an honest man and I trust him completely.” He has stipulated the core areas on which his money should be spent, and these are education, health, hygiene and sanitation, tribal improvement, microfinance and inter-religious harmony. “Basically, all the components of Happy Schools.”

On whether he would monitor how his money is used, he says emphatically: “Of course. I will keenly follow how that money is used because every paise has been earned through hard work; I have slogged, my father was not a minister. I am very particular about it and wouldn’t even mind leaving Rotary if it goes into wrong hands.”

72 comments on “A single gift of Rs 100 crore for TRF!

  • Jul 30 2018 at 5:05 pm
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    I like reading Rotary News.

    • Rotary Club : RC Indore Uptown
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  • Jul 30 2018 at 6:42 pm
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    D Ravi Shankar. Simply unbelievable. Example of what one can be and what one can do.

    • Rotary Club : Bangalore North
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  • Jul 30 2018 at 6:59 pm
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    You are the best example what every Rotarian should do without hesitation. I liked your gesture and contribution to the needy projects. God bless you and bring forth more such people to contribute to TRF.

    • Rotary Club : Rotary Club of Thane Garden City
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  • Jul 30 2018 at 7:19 pm
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    Simply superb.

    • Rotary Club : Great Personality in this corrupt world. MAY GOD BLESD YOU AND YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS FOREVER
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  • Jul 30 2018 at 7:23 pm
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    Last line of article: “wouldn’t even mind leaving Rotary if it goes into wrong hands.” Why such thoughts come in mind? District Rotarians must ensure the trust of such noble donors and not lose a worthy Rotary member.

    • Rotary Club : Rotary club of Bombay Airport-Mumbai
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  • Jul 30 2018 at 8:27 pm
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    No words can testify this great gift to the community through Rotary. A very realistic person, Ravishankar is blessed with Paolo and their children. Many motivating personalities he has passed through in his life starting from his father, mother, teacher, partner, and finally the District Governor. Humanity still survives because of people like Ravi Shankar. Long live Ravi and his values.

    • Rotary Club : COURTALLAM central RID 3212
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  • Jul 30 2018 at 8:33 pm
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    A great man with a greater heart, very rare to come across, say one in a 100 crore people, which means he is the only one-of-his-kind in our great country India.

      Reply
    • Jul 30 2018 at 8:39 pm
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      I usually wondered who is a Rotarian in true sense. Lo and behold, here is the answer.

      • Rotary Club : Jamshedpur west
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    • Jul 30 2018 at 8:57 pm
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      “They only live who live for others”
      Only persons who have courage and strong belief that whatever they give will come back to them, will give unconditionally and without any restraints. They believe in a world of abundance. Ravi has high emotional intelligence which is more precious. He and his family have added a great value to Rotary in India. He is a gift to the world. We all should ever be grateful to Ravi and his family.

      • Rotary Club : Rotary Club of Salem Midtown
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    • Jul 30 2018 at 9:09 pm
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      I am very happy and thrilled to read the news.

      • Rotary Club : Rotary club of Bandar Sunway
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    • Jul 30 2018 at 9:11 pm
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      Dear Rtn Ravishankar and Poala,
      Your magnanimity to the society is admirable. Hope others learn from you, and realise that ‘we came with nothing and we go with nothing’. Service to humanity is service to God. Me and my family wish you and your family all the health and happiness in the world.

      • Rotary Club : Shankara park Bangalire
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    • Jul 30 2018 at 9:13 pm
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      Dear Ravishankar – You are the inspiration for the future generations, you had seen many ups and downs in your life. But you have let us understand that being a good human being is important. Your contribution to Rotary will give rise to many more Ravi Shankars, blessed family🙏🙏🙏

      • Rotary Club : Bengaluru Orion gateway
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    • Jul 30 2018 at 9:45 pm
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      No words from my heart, Sir.

      • Rotary Club : President Rotary Club of Cochin Viypin island , ERNAKULAM, Cochin , Kerala
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      • Jul 31 2018 at 5:37 pm
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        Hats off Sir, for your daughters and wife who made it possible to avail such a great opportunity to serve humanity. May God return it in other ways in your life.

        • Rotary Club : Hadapsar Pune
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    • Jul 30 2018 at 10:09 pm
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      I wish to become a Rotarian. What are the formalities?

      • Rotary Club : No
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    • Jul 30 2018 at 10:09 pm
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      Kudos to Ravi Shankar. It needs tremendous conviction and courage to part with such an amount of money. I will be failing in my duty if I don’t recognise the encouragement and support of Ann Paola to her husband. May Rotary be blessed with more and more Rotarians like you.

      • Rotary Club : Rotary Club Of Mumbai Mulund Hills
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    • Jul 30 2018 at 10:13 pm
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      Kudos to Ravi Shankar who exhibited a rare courage and conviction. Ann Paola has very ably supported him and Rotary. May Rotary be blessed with more donors like Ravi Shankar

        Reply
      • Jul 30 2018 at 10:37 pm
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        It is amazing to see that not only Ravi Shankar, but his wife and the daughters are so good with hearts of gold.
        May God bless them all. Proud to be among such wonderful Rotarians.

        • Rotary Club : Rotary Club of Madras East
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      • Jul 30 2018 at 10:45 pm
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        Ravi Shankar is a truly humble and caring Rotarian who has brought fame to the deeds of Rotary all over the world. Not everybody can think and act the way he did. Posterity will remember him as a man who lived with divine thoughts and action. Rotary should be extremely proud of him.

        • Rotary Club : Wadakkanchery Cochin
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      • Jul 30 2018 at 10:46 pm
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        My mobile number is 9820212609. I would like to e-mail some thoughts about some projects which are possible only through collective effort.

        • Rotary Club : Rotary Club of Mumbai Khar
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      • Jul 30 2018 at 10:48 pm
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        Simply extraordinary thinking of a simple man.

        • Rotary Club : RC DOMBIVLI EAST
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      • Jul 30 2018 at 10:54 pm
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        Live long Ravi Shankar and his family. A wholehearted life with kindness will definitely make you live long.
        Have a happy meaningful life.

          Reply
        • Jul 30 2018 at 11:20 pm
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          Ravi Shankar, hats off to you. Simply superb! You are a true Rotarian at heart and we are proud of you. Like your down-to-earth attitude.

          • Rotary Club : RC Polo City Imphal
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        • Jul 30 2018 at 11:40 pm
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          A great person with great thinking.

          • Rotary Club : Rotary club of midtown Latur
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        • Jul 30 2018 at 11:48 pm
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          Hats off to D Ravishankar. His amazing journey in life is beautiful and he has earned respect with his hard work and determination. And even his children are brought up so well. God bless his family and it’s an honour saying I am a Rotarian. Thank you so much for your contribution to Rotary.

          • Rotary Club : RC Gadag Betgeri,Gadag Ri dist 3170
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        • Jul 31 2018 at 12:02 am
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          Tears rolled down as I read his story. Ravi Shankar is humane, humble and generous which are traits of the noble hearts. I hope his story inspires many of us to donate for noble causes and do more service to the society. God bless.

            Reply
          • Jul 31 2018 at 12:05 am
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            Ravi, you have created a new path in Rotary by donating Rs 100 crore to TRF. Hearty congratulations and all the best.

            • Rotary Club : Rotary Club Of Kurduwadi-74762
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          • Jul 31 2018 at 12:10 am
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            Unbelievable. Ravi Shankar stands tall and humble in front of Bill Gates. What a great human being. He has understood what life is all about. He is a living example for all. A bug salute to him and his family. May God bless them.

            • Rotary Club : Ottapalam
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          • Jul 31 2018 at 12:13 am
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            Wow! you are picture perfect. God’s own miracle man in disguise.🍗😘🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏

            • Rotary Club : Rotary club of Thane Suburban
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          • Jul 31 2018 at 12:29 am
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            Karam karo faal ki icha math karo.

            • Rotary Club : Ex gangavathi
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          • Jul 31 2018 at 1:28 am
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            He is the true example of the Rotary theme: Be the inspiration. His act shall not remain confined to our subcontinent but shall travel throughout the world. We have to honour his trust and every Rotarian should be an example for the unique act of generosity and philanthropy. Our salute to the great soul.

            • Rotary Club : RC Ambala
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          • Jul 31 2018 at 6:16 am
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            I am happy to know that there are such people who can give such a large amount for charity. And it’s rare to see such a personality in this part of the world. May God bless him and give strength for him and his family so that they can have a long life. Thanks a lot

            • Rotary Club : Hiriyur 3160
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          • Jul 31 2018 at 7:02 am
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            When you give, you get back. I wish Ravi Shankar to get back many times of what he contributed to TRF. Great courage. Hats off.

            • Rotary Club : Rotary club of Tirupur
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          • Jul 31 2018 at 7:24 am
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            Wow! This is unbelievable. We hail from Bengaluru and we are truly proud of you that a Rotarian from our city has such a noble soul. It is awesome to know that you lead such a simple life. God bless You.

            • Rotary Club : Rotary Club of Mumbai North Island
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          • Jul 31 2018 at 7:27 am
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            Exellent Ravi Shankar. You are a gift to Rotary. Tamil saint Vallalar said, “whenever I see a withered plant, I become depressed (வாடிய பயிரை கண்டபோதெல்லாம் வாடினேன்).” You have become the toast of Rotarians. Best wishes from RC Idappadi, D 2982.

            • Rotary Club : ROTARY CLUB OF IDAPPADI
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          • Jul 31 2018 at 7:35 am
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            Wow, what a human being he is! Reading the article brought tears in my eyes out of sheer joy.

            • Rotary Club : Odayanchal (Dist 3202)
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          • Jul 31 2018 at 7:49 am
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            Read every word of the article and mesmerised by the act of Ravi Shankar, his love for society and his approach to helping others. This is an eye-opener for those who take so much from society but do nothing in return. Wish to meet this great person and touch him to see for myself that this type of persons are still living on earth.
            My salute to you, sir and DG to motivate this person for his noble gesture.

            • Rotary Club : Rotary club of Durgapur steel city D3240
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          • Jul 31 2018 at 7:56 am
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            D Ravishankar’s gesture is great for giving Rs 100 crore (70 per cent of own wealth) needs a lot of collective courage and self-confidence of the entire family. Kudos to both daughters for supporting their father. He has inspired all Rotarians in India to do more. A true example of ‘Be the Inspiration’.

            • Rotary Club : Mulund Hills - Dist 3141
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          • Jul 31 2018 at 8:11 am
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            Ravi Shankar’s story is an inspiration to me to do something for society. A big salute to him. God bless him.

            • Rotary Club : No
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          • Jul 31 2018 at 8:14 am
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            A wonderful personality having a clear vision to return back to the society. Not only Ravi, but his entire family is unparalleled. May God bless them all.

            • Rotary Club : Rotary Club Ajmer
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          • Jul 31 2018 at 8:21 am
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            Ravi Shankar is the pride of our society. His thinking is very deep and lead a simple life. We must appreciate such a good person who thinks for the welfare of others.

            • Rotary Club : Not member
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          • Jul 31 2018 at 8:25 am
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            What a heart touching story of a great person with a heart of sparkling diamond. You need a lot of courage to give Rs 100 crore. All the credit goes to his family who gladly agreed to support his decision. What a great soul, so pure and kind.

            • Rotary Club : Bhubaneswar Meadows
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          • Jul 31 2018 at 8:58 am
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            May Allah shower his mercy and blessings upon us always. You are true inspiration to all of us and we are proud of you sir. A big salute to you and your lovely family. 😊👍
            👏👏👏👏👏👏👏

            • Rotary Club : Rotary cochin Milan
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          • Jul 31 2018 at 9:56 am
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            So glad to know about Ravi Shankar. Only a person who has a great heart can feel for others and donate so much. May your tribe grow.

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            • Jul 31 2018 at 10:34 am
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              Wonderful. That’s a great inspiration for all of us.

              • Rotary Club : Libreville Doyen (D9150)
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            • Jul 31 2018 at 11:06 am
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              A very big inspiration which can’t be expressed in words. We are proud of Ravi Shankarji who has a supportive family. I am sure many of us will learn a lot from you. God bless you and your family.

              • Rotary Club : Rotary Club Of Mumbai North island
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            • Jul 31 2018 at 11:08 am
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              Hats off to his magnanimous gesture.

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              • Jul 31 2018 at 11:25 am
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                Ravi Shankar is a rare Rotarian who has the guts to reveal everything from his childhood to Rs 100 crore donation. You are a pure soul. Your vision to return back to society is really exemplary. You lead the way. You are truly a Rotarian and a real hero. God bless the noble family.

                • Rotary Club : Amenity Bardhaman Dist 3240
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              • Jul 31 2018 at 11:30 am
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                A big salute to Ravi Shankar for his unparalleled, incomparable love for giving. He is a great giver and an epoch-making personality.

                • Rotary Club : Bhubaneswar Capital(RI Dist-3262
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              • Jul 31 2018 at 12:28 pm
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                When you give you get back that is universal law. Ravi Shankar, I wish you get back many times to serve more. Hats off.

                • Rotary Club : Rotary club of Tirupur
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                • Aug 02 2018 at 6:13 pm
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                  I couldn’t find words to praise Ravishankar and his family members for this gesture. By contributing ₹100 crore to TRF Ravishankar brought not only himself but also our country to a greater height. Hats off to him, Ann Paola and their daughters.

                  • Rotary Club : Rotary club of Dharapuram,R I Dist 3202Ann
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              • Jul 31 2018 at 3:34 pm
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                It’s really motivating and inspiring to read Ravishankar’s life story. I am sure there are many individuals whose eyes must have turned moist. It reinforces the belief that there are special persons who believe in Rotary’s motto of Service Above Self and its ability of doing good in the world. We all must work hard with dedication and integrity to see that this faith remains intact.

                • Rotary Club : Belgaum
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              • Jul 31 2018 at 4:18 pm
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                D Ravishankar is a role model in not only giving generously Rs 100 crore to TRF, but also by sharing his thoughts on why he is donating such a huge amount. Mind blowing.

                • Rotary Club : Rotary Club, Chitradurga
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              • Jul 31 2018 at 5:51 pm
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                Ravishankar is a true gentleman who has rendered yeoman service to society by his generous contribution. I pray to the Almighty to shower blessings on him and his family.

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                • Jul 31 2018 at 6:11 pm
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                  Everyone should take their hats off to Rtn Ravishankar and his spouse Paola. God bless you and your family.

                  • Rotary Club : Rotary Club of Pondicherry Elites
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                • Jul 31 2018 at 7:02 pm
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                  My dear Ravi,
                  I feel so honoured to call you fellow Rotarian. You are a true humanitarian and generous beyond measure. I think not only do you give to those in need physically but bring hope to their spirit. God bless you and your family.

                  • Rotary Club : Maysville, USA
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                • Jul 31 2018 at 8:29 pm
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                  Great inspiring work by Ravishankar. Personalities like him can only be found in Rotary world. No words…

                  • Rotary Club : Kolhapur Central
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                • Jul 31 2018 at 8:57 pm
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                  Ravishankar is a great and noble human being. I always chant two mantras on his behalf – Mruthunjaya mantra and Gayatri mantra – praying for his and his family well-being. Let the Almighty bless them with happy, healthy and peaceful life. His contributions to nature and Mother Earth are ‘Infinite’.

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                  • Jul 31 2018 at 9:15 pm
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                    Ravi Shankarji is a big inspiration to all of us, I also admire the family for supporting him. His good amount of donation will go a long way to reach the poor and needy people. God bless him and his family.

                    • Rotary Club : Mumbai North Island
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                  • Jul 31 2018 at 10:55 pm
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                    Though I am 70 years old, I am feeling so proud of being a Rotarian. Ravishankar is a noble gentleman as well as his wife Paola and their beloved daughters. We salute you, Ravishankar. Your generous contribution to TRF is indeed a great service to humanity. Let the Almighty shower his blessings on him and his family.

                    • Rotary Club : Rotary club of Sibsagar 3240
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                  • Aug 01 2018 at 11:59 am
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                    Ravishankar has become a great model for young Indian entrepreneurs by giving back to society. I also appreciate the support extended by his family, without which it’s an impossible task. I wish he finds time to focus on creating ‘functional libraries’ in the villages for small kids that would pave the way for the generations to come.

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                    • Aug 01 2018 at 12:50 pm
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                      Thank God there are unique people like Ravishankar who bring out the good in other human beings, who emulate him, and pay it back to society by genuinely helping worthy causes. Those like him, who believe in Nishkama Karma and don’t want accolades, are the best human beings caring for us. God bless him abundantly always.

                      • Rotary Club : R C of Bombay Seaface
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                    • Aug 01 2018 at 6:03 pm
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                      A cheerful giver. Gives all he has. Dear Ravishankar, I thank the Almighty for you and your family. You are a perfect example for all. Remain blessed always. Amen

                      • Rotary Club : None
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                    • Aug 01 2018 at 6:36 pm
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                      I don’t know what Rotary is all about, but the act of giving back to society of this magnitude is simply great. God bless him and his family.

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                      • Aug 02 2018 at 12:10 pm
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                        If Ravi is reading these comments may I strongly urge him to reconsider his plan for a Peace Tower at the Wagah border. During my visit to the place, I found that it badly needs maintenance as it was unable to cope with 20,000 daily visitors. No more concrete structures are required in that border area please and definitely not a Peace Tower.

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                        • Aug 05 2018 at 8:23 am
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                          Proud to have Ravishankar in District 3190. His selfless giving is a rare commendable trait in today’s world.
                          Truly, you are an inspiration Sir.

                          • Rotary Club : Rotary Bangalore North west
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                        • Aug 05 2018 at 11:56 pm
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                          God bless you, Ravi and your family for the very big heart you are having.

                          • Rotary Club : Rotary Club Of Coimbatore
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                        • Aug 08 2018 at 10:10 pm
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                          A strong gesture of charity one may hesitate to implement. In return you will get more by way of peace and satisfaction.

                          • Rotary Club : NA
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                        • Aug 11 2018 at 11:55 am
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                          Salute to Rtn Ravishankar and his family for setting a precedent by donating $14.7 millions or Rs 100 crore, constituting more than 70 per cent of his total assets to TRF. It corresponds so well to his family tradition. His father, a freedom fighter, donated his entire assets, eight acres of farm land for the families of freedom fighters.

                          • Rotary Club : Rotary club of Lahore,the oldest in Pakistan and the second oldest in Subcontinent
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                        • Aug 18 2018 at 10:11 am
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                          Nice job, a good inspiration to others. God bless Rtn D Ravishankar and his family.

                          • Rotary Club : Roorkee
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                        • Aug 28 2018 at 7:07 am
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                          ₹100 crore from a property of ₹150 crores – incredible, but true – to The Rotary Foundation. The Centenary Celebrations of Rotary India have truly started on a right note. Rtn Ravishankar becomes an example to emulate. We wish that every Rotarian realises, sooner than later, the Yolo moment. We salute you, your wife and Annets Ekta and Samta.

                          • Rotary Club : TIRUCHIRAPALLI
                          Reply

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