“I spent a lot of time in small villages when I was a young boy. My father was in charge of development projects in the backward and tribal regions of Gujarat (as part of the government’s five-year plans). So, I was well aware of how life was in the villages. I know the work that goes into developing these areas,” says Mr. Pradip Zumkawala, a long-time devotee of Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswati (since 1983) and donor to AIM for Seva.
“When Swamiji started this movement, we (my wife and I) were monetarily helping to support the education of children of people who were working for us, or for people we knew through personal connections, in Ranchi and some places in Uttar Pradesh,” he says. Back then, Mr. Zumkawala was living in England. When he returned to India in 2007, he was keen to do more. At this juncture, he spoke to Pujya Swamiji about being part of the AIM for Seva movement. “It was stuck in my head that I had to do something,” he says.
At around this time, he visited the Swami Dayananda AIM for Seva Tribal Girls Chatralayam in Anaikatti, Tamil Nadu. “We were very taken by the young girls there, the way they talked to us, their confidence and the way they were being taken care of… and that cemented our decision. We felt that whatever we had was to be shared.”