On a fateful day in August 2011, Nimesh Tanna, a 22-year-old photographer, boarded a crowded local train to make his way to a meeting in Mumbai. He never made it to the meeting or to his home that day. A pole, located dangerously close to the tracks, hit him hard the moment he put his head out of the train. Nimesh fell off the fast moving train and died on the spot. He was Damyanti and Pradeep’s only child. The couple’s life came to a complete halt as they would sit the entire day in front of Nimesh’s photo, remembering him. Barely able to recover from this huge loss, Pradeep faced another setback when he lost the sweet shop he owned in Mulund because his partners cheated him in the business.
The family was finally getting back on its feet and decided to honour their lost son in an extraordinary way. The Tanna couple registered the Shri Nimesh Tanna Charitable Trust (SNTCT) on January 26, 2013. NTCT was started with the goal of providing free tiffin service to the needy. The Tannas started by making food in their small kitchen for about 30 people. SNTCT now provides lunch to about 100 underprivileged families in Mumbai every day. It’s been over two years and the Tanna family has not skipped even a single day of their service. They have a new kitchen in a small space near their house in Mulund, where a staff of seven people makes healthy meals for the poor. To make sure the tiffins reach the beneficiaries on time, the couple has partnered with the famous Dabbawalas of Mumbai who do the delivery every day.
They have also started working with a tribal community near Mumbai. Since tribals are often disconnected from mainstream society and do not have the means to earn a proper livelihood, SNTCT provides them with ‘food kits.’ The kits contain necessary cooking ingredients like foodgrains, oil, sugar, flour, etc., for the entire month. The Trust distributes these rations to 50 adivasi families on the first Sunday of every month. In addition, SNTCT also runs a ‘Kids Bank’ that supplies clothes, toys, books, cycles, etc., to needy children, and has a senior citizens’ initiative to supply medicines to the elderly. SNTCT is run mainly with the money that the Tanna family earns from their sweet shop business in Mulund.
However, the family also now gets support from other donors who are impressed with the work that they are doing. Loved by all, Nimesh may not be in this world anymore, but his friends and family are keeping him alive through a great cause. Damyanti, is a true hero and inspiration for each one of us. How with little means, so many lives can be touched.
The CSR Journal Team