Devendra Raj Mehta
Mr. Devendra Raj Mehta is the founder of Bhagwan Mahavir Viklang Sahayata Samiti (BMVSS). This organization provides prosthetics or artificial limbs and other physical aids free of cost to disabled people. Their most renowned product is the Jaipur Foot. BMVSS under the aegis of Dr. Mehta has become the world’s largest organization for rehabilitating amputees covering over 1.55 million people spread over 27 countries and 23 states of India.
BMVSS was founded in Jaipur in the year 1975. The organization in collaboration with Stanford University created the Jaipur Foot, which was adjudged one of the world’s 50 best inventions in the year 2009 by Time Magazine. In a rare recognition, BMVSS has earned the Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. Since the organization has free for all model, its sustainability has been questioned on many accounts. But that hasn’t deterred Dr. Mehta from his philanthropical endeavors. In addition to providing artificial limbs, he also provides the needy with blankets, food, and shelter in winters.
Dr. Devendra Raj Mehta has formerly been the Chairman of SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) and also held the post of Deputy Governor in the Reserve Bank of India. BMVSS was born out of Dr. Mehta’s compassion and empathy for disabled people, which came to light when he met with a life-threatening accident severely crushing one of his limbs. Though his limbs were saved, this incident left a deep scar on Dr. Mehta leading to the creation of an organization with the objective of helping disabled people pro bono.
For their unyielding efforts to help the disabled and underprivileged and his zeal to make a difference in the world, Dr. Devendra Raj Mehta was conferred the third highest civilian award in India, the Padma Bhushan in the year 2008. Dr. Mehta also received the Rajiv Gandhi Sadhbhavana Award in 2012. BMVSS plans to expand its outreach through collaborations and government funding and hopes to reach the poorest of poor and bring about a significant change in their lives.