Updated: March 24, 2021 12:25:37 am
While birthdays and anniversaries are among days that many look forward to celebrate, Yashwant Kolekar, a professor of Civil Engineering, decided 2020 warranted a different approach — donating the money he would otherwise spend on a celebration towards Covid-19 relief efforts.
Soon after the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak last year, several working professionals across sectors lost their jobs and faced financial strains for several following months.
With cases rising and the pandemic situation only getting worse, Kolekar realised that the government was in dire need of support, and he decided to make small personal contributions towards the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
On every occasion in his family, be it his father’s birth anniversary, mother’s 75th birthday or his son’s birthday — all of which fell between March and November 2020 — Kolekar, a professor from College of Engineering, Pune (CoEP), made multiple monetary contributions to the Maharashtra Chief Minister’s Relief Fund, Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences, Bhubaneshwar, and to the Mother Global Foundation founded by social worker Sindhutai Sapkal. In all, Kolekar contributed Rs 4.50 lakh.
“We all witnessed how people were struggling due to the pandemic. Despite the economy coming to a standstill, governments were expected to spend on providing healthcare facilities to a large number of sick people. Since government machinery and corporates cannot reach out to everyone everywhere, I decided to make my humble contributions towards the collective fight against the pandemic,” Kolekar said.
Additionally, in July last year, Kolekar organised a unique international webinar that used crowd funding for the same cause. All registration fees collected from the participants, amounting to over Rs 1 lakh, were donated towards the Chief Minister’s and Prime Minister’s Relief Funds.
For his selfless efforts, Kolekar received a letter of appreciation from Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s Office.
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