IN DEPTH

An Epit­ome of Self­less­ness

Society - - CONTENTS - By RAHUL PAUL

Early Be­gin­nings

In spite of be­ing a busi­ness ty­coon, he is hum­ble to core, a trait ap­par­ent by a sin­gle glance at him. He en­ters with an aura of po­lite­ness and hu­mil­ity within him, and shakes my hand tak­ing a slight bow. “It was as nor­mal as yours was,” Dr Mu­rarka starts of dif­fi­dently, when I ask about his child­hood. He con­tin­ues, “No re­ally. I had a very mod­est up­bring­ing, as my grand­fa­ther was an army man who had rubbed shoul­ders with the brave free­dom fight­ers of In­dia. My fa­ther was the first one to bring busi­ness into the fam­ily, but it

hadn’t flour­ished then. I went to a very small school in Bom­bay, it is some­thing that is very close to my heart, be­cause those are my roots. In fact, we had a small gath­er­ing at the 50th Year cel­e­bra­tion of the school two days back, where I be­came the first per­son to be awarded and fe­lic­i­tated in the his­tory of this mod­est school.” Judg­ing from his cur­rent suc­cess, one would as­sume that he must have been a bright stu­dent from the in­cep­tion to re­ceive this ac­co­lade from his alma mater. The nat­u­ral as­sump­tion, how­ever, would be a mis­take. Aneel laughs and nar­rates, “Back­bencher, spoiled brat, and hooli­gan, what­ever ad­jec­tive you can find along the same lines, you can add on. Those days, my teach­ers thought that Aneel Mu­rarka prob­a­bly would not even clear his 10th ex­am­i­na­tion. When you keep thrust­ing it upon a child that ‘you are use­less’ and ‘noth­ing will hap­pen of you’, then some­where, it hits you. But you would be sur­prised; I got a first class in my board ex­am­i­na­tion.” Laugh­ing and jok­ing mat­ters aside, he has ab­sorbed his ex­pe­ri­ence as a se­ri­ous mat­ter and given it a philo­soph­i­cal spin. “To­day, I talk about it ev­ery­where I go. I say, ‘Let’s not de­mor­alise the child.’ I am not say­ing that only to teach­ers, but also to the par­ents, who push their wards hard to be in the race. It be­comes a men­tal block over time. Ev­ery child has a spark some­where, and one needs to un­der­stand what that spark is about.” Dr Mu­rarka con­sid­ers the event a turn­ing point in his life, which made him be­lieve in him­self and in turn be­come suc­cess­ful in life.

Work­ing Through Col­lege

At a very early stage of his life, when he was barely 14, Dr Aneel’s fa­ther, Shri Kashi Mu­rarka asked him to join the fam­ily busi­ness. For the love and re­spect that he had for his fa­ther, he couldn’t refuse. “See, my equa­tion with my fa­ther is still only

Your birth is a bless­ing in dis­guise. We have had great dreams for you, and we were ec­static when you achieved those heights in your life. And I am very proud when peo­ple ac­knowl­edge me as ‘Aneel’s fa­ther’. − Kashi C Mu­rarka (fa­ther)

re­spect based, and not friend­ship based, which I have with my son. I still lis­ten to him with my head down and fol­low his guide­lines,” he ex­plains. He in­volved him­self in his fa­ther’s busi­ness and started learn­ing the ropes from his 9th stan­dard, join­ing it com­pletely by the 11th. Not an aver­age boy’s ideal teenage years by any stretch of imag­i­na­tion. He, nat­u­rally, did share some re­bel­lious sen­ti­ments. “At that time, I must have cursed my life, be­cause col­lege life is sup­posed to be fun and friv­o­lous, but I was dragged to busi­ness. No re­grets to­day, be­cause that’s how I was groomed by my fa­ther and I stand here to­day,” he humbly says. Dr Aneel then jokes about how he could hardly at­tend any lec­tures in col­lege, but man­aged to re­tain the po­si­tion of Gen­eral Sec­re­tary of the stu­dent body of the col­lege for three years. He clearly learnt early on how to mul­ti­task like a pro.

Busi­ness Buzz

When I ask him how he con­structed his busi­ness em­pire into its cur­rent im­pres­sive

Bhaiya, your joy­ful sto­ries are the most en­ter­tain­ing things I have ever heard. Your mis­chiefs and wit­ti­ness is known to ev­ery­one. So now let’s look down at the mem­ory lane. — Sheena Mu­rarka (Brother’s Wife)

stature, Dr Aneel says mod­estly, “I wouldn’t say that I have made the busi­ness big, but my brother Man­ish and I have tried to take it to a dif­fer­ent level, in terms of tak­ing a fam­ily-ori­ented ap­proach to a cor­po­rate ap­proach. We were lim­ited to a do­mes­tic mar­ket in those days, so we took it global, though, un­for­tu­nately, the tex­tile busi­ness in only re­stricted to Asian coun­tries. The globe looks at Asian coun­tries like In­dia, China and Bangladesh, amongst oth­ers to pro­cure their fab­rics. So I can’t think of ex­port­ing to US or UK, be­cause there are no tex­tile pro­duc­ers there. But nev­er­the­less, we are try­ing to di­ver­sify into dif­fer­ent fields and not re­strict­ing it only to chem­i­cals.” To­day, Mirachem In­dus­tri­ies, of which Dr Mu­rarka is the Man­ag­ing Director, ranks high amongst the tex­tile pro­duc­ing com­pa­nies in the coun­try. The com­pany boasts a 40,000 sq. ft. plant, built in the M.I.D.C In­dus­trial Area, near Pune, about 150 kms from Mum­bai. Dr Aneel Mu­rarka as­serts that he works very hard to grow his com­pany, which pro­vides the bread and but­ter, to help fund his phil­an­thropic ac­tiv­i­ties. “Busi­ness is tough, no doubt about that. I am fully in­volved in the busi­ness from 9.30 in the morn­ing to 10.30 in the night, and af­ter that I give my­self the time to in­dulge in

I was beam­ing with joy the day you were born. And all I wish for you is that God blesses you with hap­pi­ness and I hope you never have a sad day in your life.” — Meena Mu­rarka (mother)

my pas­sion - help­ing mankind. My son and my brother are also there to as­sist me in do­ing the same.”

A Call­ing For Ser­vice

Dr Aneel Mu­rarka has given his pas­sion a name - Am­ple Mis­si­ion. It is un­der this com­pany’s um­brella that all phil­an­thropic projects are taken care of and fully funded. He out­lines his ef­forts, “The youth pro­grammes across all the col­leges are one. Then there are short films that we make on so­cial aware­ness, to spread the right mes­sages on YouTube. Third, we have our award shows – the ‘Shoor Veer Awards’ for brave com­mon cit­i­zens, who have shown ex­tra­or­di­nary courage; ‘Awards Zindagi Ke’ for per­son­nel of the Army, Navy, Po­lice and Fire de­part­ments; ‘Bharat Pr­erna Awards’ for dif­fer­ently-abled peo­ple; and fi­nally the ‘Global Peace Awards’ for per­son­al­i­ties from all over the world, who are mak­ing the world a bet­ter place. Also, we are very soon com­ing up with this year’s ‘In­ter­na­tional In­dian Achiev­ers Awards’, which rec­og­nizes the NRIs who have made In­dia proud by do­ing ex­cep­tional work in their re­spec­tive fields in other coun­tries. When­ever we have had these shows, you should see their re­ac­tions, it’s price­less.” Dur­ing his col­lege years, it was Dr Mu­rarka’s ob­ser­va­tion that there was

no gov­ern­ment sup­port in terms of fi­nance and groom­ing ta­lented peo­ple for their ex­tra-cur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties. “That was the first time that I had this thought in my mind, that if some­day I am ca­pa­ble enough, I’ll try to up­lift the youth in ex­tra-cur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties in Ma­ha­rash­tra or pan- In­dia,” re­mem­bers Dr Mu­rarka. And he has in­deed gone on to ful­fil his youth­ful am­bi­tion. God does grant the wishes of those peo­ple who have other’s in­ter­ests in their mind. To­day, Dr Aneel, through his Am­ple Mis­si­ion or­gan­i­sa­tion, is as­so­ci­ated with around 50 col­leges and con­ducts in­ter-col­lege fes­ti­vals and com­pe­ti­tions. “Through var­i­ous com­pe­ti­tions that are held, we try pick­ing up stu­dents with ex­cep­tional tal­ents and give them a suit­able plat­form to show­case their tal­ent. I think dig­i­tal pro­mo­tion is the best from of pro­mo­tion, so we try mak­ing YouTube videos for them. Also, we have our own

You were al­ways my friend and a guide. You’ve al­ways had that pas­sion in you to do some­thing dif­fer­ent and have con­sid­ered dad as your in­spi­ra­tion. You are the most lov­able per­son on this earth, and I the most thank­ful per­son for hav­ing you as my guid­ing light.” — Man­ish Mu­rarka (brother)

award shows, where we have them per­form live, and when the award show goes on air, the per­former also reaches the na­tional au­di­ence,” says the for­ward thinker, about his ef­fort in giv­ing de­serv­ing young­sters of the coun­try some na­tional ex­po­sure. Dr Mu­rarka ear­lier used to do his so­cial work anony­mously, and re­frained from pro­mot­ing his work or him­self on so­cial me­dia, but then his son Sid­haant guided him to see the con­cept with a new per­spec­tive. He says, “My son Sid­haant is my life and a bril­liant hu­man be­ing. I still re­mem­ber when he asked me why I don’t show­case my phil­an­thropic ac­tiv­i­ties on so­cial me­dia. I ar­gued that it would come across as show­ing off. Then he said some­thing that I would al­ways be im­pressed by, ‘Dad, see­ing is be­liev­ing.’ Trust me, it worked, be­cause if more peo­ple are able to look at you and your work, then they start think­ing, ‘If Aneel can do this bit then why can’t we?’” His strat­egy seems to have paid off, cre­at­ing an avalanche

I would want to be­gin with how he thinks he’s still a child, although he’s 50 and has ac­com­plished ev­ery­thing in life. Hon­estly, he’s the only per­son I’ve come across in my life who is so chilled, joy­ful, lov­ing and at the same time highly fo­cused, hard­work­ing and un­stop­pable. From what I have seen he’s the per­son who will fight the world for his loved ones. For me tau ji re­flects this one say­ing I be­lieve in, ‘That even the sky is not the limit.’ — Di­pan­jli (Niece)

ef­fect, now that he has been able to rope in more and more peo­ple into his way of think­ing, and get­ting them to con­trib­ute their time, ef­forts, fame and more in his var­i­ous so­cial ini­tia­tives. Dr Aneel be­gins his day by touch­ing his par­ents’ feet and tak­ing their bless­ings. They keep him firmly rooted to his core val­ues, and give his life mean­ing and pur­pose. His fam­ily is some­thing he holds dear above all else, and tra­di­tion­al­ist in this re­spect, he can­not fathom some of the cur­rent prac­tises of to­day. He re­cently vis­ited a home for the aged, and was in com­plete de­fi­ance with the con­cept. “Par­ents have brought us up, and if we can’t take care of them, we should be ashamed of our­selves. If the par­ents don’t have any­one to take care of them, then only the home for the aged is valid. But just be­cause you want to live a com­fort­able life, you put your par­ents in there, I can’t take that. I dis­agree

There is no doubt that I am very lucky to have you in my life. We are more friends than hus­band and wife, be­cause till to­day we have our share of sweet and sour days. Thank you for be­ing my ge­nie and ful­fill­ing my wishes. — Sangeeta Mu­rarka (wife)

with such peo­ple. Your world, if you un­der­stand, is around your par­ents,” his ag­i­ta­tion is clear to see when he vo­calised his thoughts. One of Dr Aneel Mu­rarka’s ini­tia­tives is solely ded­i­cated to the ser­vice of older cit­i­zens – ‘ EkShaamVarir­sh­tonKeNaam’ (An Evening of Trib­ute to the El­derly). The mu­si­cal evening pro­gramme saw a turnout of 8,000 se­nior cit­i­zens, who came and even shook a leg on stage. Dr Mu­rarka shares how many of them came to him af­ter the show and ap­plauded his ef­forts and blessed him. Dr Mu­rarka’s also has his own fam­ily trust called Sa­marpn, which is ded­i­cated to his grand­par­ents

Bade Papa, you are very warm and kind. — Ad­witiya (Niece)

Shri Chi­ran­jilal Mu­rarka and Smt Badamidevi Mu­rarka. And un­der that aegis, he has con­tin­ued his work for so­ci­ety. “We have con­structed a cre­ma­to­rium in Gore­gaon East, as there was no cre­ma­to­rium from Vile Parle East to Bori­vali East. On the same plat­form, we have con­structed the first air-con­di­tioned bus de­pot in Ra­jasthan. We have also con­structed many toi­lets pan-In­dia, and that’s why I am the brand am­bas­sador of ‘Swachh Bharat Ab­hiyaan’ by PM Naren­dra Modi,” he says proudly. Mr Mu­rarka nar­rates an in­ci­dent when an as­so­ciate once asked him what he gets out of all his ef­forts.

You are my in­spi­ra­tion and al­ways will be. Your work ethic, com­mit­ment to re­la­tion­ships and aura are some­thing I would want to see in me some­day. You’re my hero and I just want to be at least 10 % of what you are. I am grate­ful to have a fa­ther like you. — Sid­haant Mu­rarka (son)

“I am not do­ing this to get any­thing out of it. I am do­ing it for my own so­lace; rather, I am try­ing to give back to so­ci­ety the same thing that I have got from so­ci­ety,” Dr Aneel Mu­rarka as­serts. We could not agree with his phil­an­thropic views any more…

...with Diya Mirza

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