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The perfect world of Devkishan Lakhiani

This 84 year old does what he can and has no time to discuss why things are 'impossible' in India

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He runs no NGO, has built no check dams nor leads any community development. Among GoodNewsIndia's little known heroes, he is even less known, unknown even except in the neighbourhood of Mori Road, Mahim, Mumbai. He is 84.

Devkishan Lakhiani is portrayed here because he can be a role model for many of us who say we'd do something for India, soon as we have saved enough or our children are settled or our career has stabilised or we have retired or whatever else. Lakhiani -affectionately, 'Dada' to everyone- shows you can do something right now. He runs a free homeopathy clinic, and until a few years ago taught at the nearby school and offered legal counsel to the poor. He has done that 'something' throughout his life.

He is a man of few words and has no complaints or grouses or advise. He's busy the whole day. His is a perfect world.

Bomb maker's apprentice:

Dada was raised in Karachi in a large family of six boys. His father was a rice processor. He probably went through some casual schooling and worked for the family business.

When about 25, he found himself in the company of Master Jethanand, who believed in scaring the British out of India with bombs. Deeply nationalistic, young Devkishan became his acolyte. It is doubtful if they were serious arsonists. "We did not intend killing anyone; just terrorise them," says Dada. With such a fuzzy agenda in mind, the motley group flung a bomb, not at, but in front of a British building in Pinjrapara. They then ran in all directions. Dada was not as fleet as the Master and so was caught and imprisoned for three and a half years.

When he came out, the British were preparing to leave India, least of all due to any violence they feared from the Master or Dada. But the Lakhiani family faced true violence in Karachi. An extended family of 20 moved to Mumbai, then Bombay.

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Dada Lakhani fell like a ripe fruit and passed away peacefully in Aug., 2005