Q. Sir, we at AsiaOne, really appreciate the various socially beneficial endeavors undertaken by your organization, ‘The Gautam Gambhir Foundation’ under your exemplary leadership. Please throw light on all the initiatives which your organization has undertaken especially during a pandemic, especially the recent ones.
A. See, first I want to start off with from where we started this foundation, the base of this foundation was to serve the martyrs family – children, because as you all know, I’ve always wanted to be in the army. So we started this foundation supporting 16 families of the Sukma victims, and then later on then, now we sponsor 100 children of all the paramilitary forces. So whether it is BSF, CRPF, CISF, all the paramilitary forces.
And at the same time, the second initiative which we took was to sponsor the 10 girls of the sex workers. And that is something which is very, very close to my heart, because the most important thing when you sponsor the education of a sex worker, the girl from the sex workers family is that you can’t disclose the identity. Me, myself doesn’t know the girl to be honest, I don’t even know the identity or anything. So that is something which is very, very satisfying.
And then the third thing which we did was started this community kitchen, which serves 1100 people every day at Rupee One. And the quality of food which we give is probably anyone can eat, I can eat, you can eat all of us can eat. And I go there randomly just to check the quality of food because exactly one that food should be served with respect. And that is the reason why we’ve kept one rupee. So that one, once someone enters that kitchen, or that canteen, he should feel proud of himself. Because self respect is probably the most important thing. Yes, you want to give free food you want to give free water, free electricity, but you got to give it with self respect as well. So that is the reason why we had kept one rupee for community kitchen. And at the same time during the pandemic, the foundation actually, what gave 50,000 odd kits, ration kits. So we had distributed five lakh kgs of ration, especially to people who were in desperate need of it. And then we had supplied PPP kits, we had supplied mask, sanitizers, all those things. That all happened through the foundation. So I think the base of the foundation is to Martyrs family, that we can support try to support as many children’s as we can, started with 16. Now, we have around 100-150 children, which we support from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. There are children from different places, and we look after their not only their studies until the time they want to study they can get into that education. Plus they can choose the school as well. It is not that 90% of these children’s are studying in convent schools or public school, or some of them are even studying in boarding schools. At the same time, we sponsor they’re stationary, we sponsor their uniform at the same time, we counsel their mother as well, because counseling the mother becomes equally important. So this is where this foundation started. And we are all very proud it is not, again, my individual effort, it is the team effort, which has actually taken this foundation to where it is now. But the most content thing is that when we started these two community kitchens, so that when we see nearly people come out there and eat quality food, and with respect that is something which is very, very satisfying.
Q. Sir, you are a social icon, a youth icon, in fact, the national icon. The youth of the nation, look forward to you for inspiration! As a youth icon, and a young leader dedicated to nation building, what’s your message to the youth of the nation?
A. See, my message has always been very clear. I think when people talk about good people should get into politics, I absolutely believe in it. They should get into politics. Till the time good people will not get into politics, I think this country will not change. When you get into the politics with only one mindset and intent is to give it back not taking anything from the people and that is something which is very important and get that contentment and satisfaction when you try and serve people because you can have loads and loads of money, but this effort or this belief of giving it back to your own people. This is what actual nationalism is all about when people talk about what is nationalism, nationalism is everywhere. Nationalism is serving someone food, nationalism is probably when you come, when you’re coming back from the airport at two o’clock in the morning or two o’clock at night, following the traffic rules, stopping on red light even when you know that there is actually no one looking at you. Not throwing litter on the road, respecting women, which is very important. Yes, we can make use of the CCTV cameras – all these technologies are very important. But behavioral change is far more important, I believe. We must respect women, whether it is at home. So all of us, we have to go to start respecting our mothers, grandmothers, wives, and children. So that is how behavourial change will happen. And that is when the crime against women will start going down.
So my message to all the young people is that I think nationalism is everywhere. Just follow it and be proud to be called as Indians because this country is giving you the biggest thing that’s your identity, that’s your name. And no one else can give you that you go to anywhere in the world, you’re not known by your name, you know, but by the name of your country. And you feel proud when you call yourself as Indians. Every minute of my life, I feel proud to be called as an Indian. And I’m very, I’m very, very proud!
Q. AsiaOne Magazine has also forayed into the digital media from print during the pandemic, taking a cue from PM Modi ji’s call of ‘turning adversity into opportunity.’ So what’s your message for this Greatest Brands and Leaders Series by AsiaOne magazine in which we aim to bring to fore those leaders who have not only made an impact on the economies of India and Asia but also on their societies as well.
A. First, I want to congratulate AsiaOne for this new venture at the same time, I feel that it’s a great initiative when you try and bring leaders try and interview them try and get them into the main front, when they deliver for the people of this country, when they do something really impactful. So I really want to congratulate and I hope AsiaOne grows even stronger in future. And it’s just the start hopefully, there’s a lot of success in coming years. Thank you so much!