Many of us are familiar with the sights of children living on the streets or living in conditions of extreme poverty. A lot of us shake our heads and think, That is just terrible as we walk on by. Some of us may stop and give a poor child a candy bar we were saving for later or maybe a jacket during the wintertime. Some of us may be so moved as to go home and make a charitable donation. And then, like most things, the event leaves our minds. One man saw extreme poverty and decided he must do want he could to help.
Tej Kohli was born in New Delhi into a family that was not wealthy. He worked hard and went into business for himself. His business became a success and he could have easily taken his money and lived a private, lavish life. But this philanthropist had other ideas in mind. Mr. Kohli said, "One of my friends has a farm in Guanacaste, a province in Costa Rica and I was visiting him when I met several children living in extreme poverty with their families. It was an experience that had a deep impact on me. I could not just walk away from their problems and, before long we set up the Tej Kohli Foundation to fund the education of the children and to provide them with other forms of assistance. We started with 12 children, and then the numbers kept growing. I was very clear about one thing: children are the future and we have to give them something to live for. As the Foundation grows, we hope to help a lot more people have a chance at a lasting, brighter future.“
The Tej Kohli Foundation began operating in 2005 and is still running strong today. And Kohli has done exactly what he said he would. As nutrition, or rather lack thereof, is a major concern for impoverished children, the foundation has joined with partners and grass roots outfits to set up several different meal programs to help poor children get balanced meals. Some of the partners include local schools and churches. Poor nutrition is a leading cause of disease and Kohli, along with his organization of volunteers, is doing what it can to alleviate this problem. Many needy children do not have the means to get the education they deserve. To help these children have a brighter future the foundation has set up a couple of different scholarship programs to either get them into the education system, or to continue their education if they so choose. Tej Kohli is a man who had a plan for a better life for needy children. He identified the problem and came up with a solution. I know I for one will think of his example the next time I come across a child in need.