Man with a Mission

Ashok Sharma
Kewal Krishan Wadhera, a famous social activist is an epitome of dedication and selfless service. He has devoted himself fully for the cause of cleanliness and sanitation. He is the member of Bharat Vikas Parishad,Vichar Kranti Manch and life member of Red Cross Society but is not associated with any NGO. His life is a saga of bitter struggle and selfless social service. Born on February 10,1941, to Lala Hans Raj Wadhera and Smt Sumitra Devi, K K Wadhera had four brothers and a sister.His great grandfather served with Maharaja Gulab Singh while his father was a transporter.But as ill luck would have it, the family fell to bad days.After passing the 8th class examination, he had to abandon his studies owing to domestic and financial constraints. He went to Delhi with a dream that his well placed blood and financially sound relatives would help him in pursuing his education. Instead, he was sent to an auto garage for picking up the job of a motor mechanic without any remuneration. But he felt disgusted with this job and took up the job of cleaning every day the three cars of a car owner for which he would get Rs 15 as monthly remuneration.
Then he worked with M/S Bhasin Motor Works, New Delhi and got trained in the elementary knowledge of motor repair. He worked there for three years and then returned to his native town, Jammu. At Jammu, he got employment with M/S J& K Motor Corporation on a monthly remuneration of Rs 75.Satisfied with his interest and sharpness in picking up techniques, the concern sponsored his candidature for undergoing further training with M/S Automobile Products of India Ltd. Bombay. He completed this training successfully in 1961.At that time he was the famous trained mechanic to repair Fiat Cars and people would wait for as long as a week for their car to be repaired by him.But he had an inner urge to do something of his own and be self reliant. With firm determination, he appeared as a private candidate in the trade test of Motor Mechanic of ITI, Jammu in 1962 and passed the test for which he was awarded certificates. Side by side he continued to pursue studies and passed Bhushana, Prabhakar and Matric ( English) in 1962 and 1963 respectively. He has also done graduation from the University of Jammu. He collaborated with his fellow worker Ram Lal Prahan to set up their own auto garage.But the owner of M/S J& K Motor Corporation was not willing to relieve them in view of their hard work and devotion to duty. However, on their persistent demand, they were relieved of their duties with no arrear .They got a vacant plot of land at Exchange Road, Jammu for a monthly rent of Rs 100 in early 1963 but got little response from the customers. Finally, they set up a full fledged auto garage by the name of M/S R K Auto Garage at New Secretariat Road, Jammu providing employment to about ten persons. He was so skilled that ITIs used to send their students to him for internship.
As ill luck would have it,his wife left for her heavenly abode in 2007. He felt sad and forlorn and didnot know how to pass time. Time passed and he was motivated by PM Modi’s call to all countrymen to keep their surroundings clean to realise the dream of Clean India.It was at this juncture that he met I.D.Soni (who is himself a well known educationist and social worker). I D Soni asked him to visit schools and colleges to aware the students about the need of cleanliness and sanitation as students,he said, are the future custodians of our country. Moreover, he was also inspired by Gandhi Ji’s views on cleanliness.So he devoted himself completely to promote awareness among people pertaining to sanitation and cleanliness from 2017.Now he promotes this cause at his own cost without any help from the Government or any NGO. He visits Government/Private Schools, Factories, Business Houses and exhorts people to take an active part in Clean India Movement. He also promotes this cause in Matadors, buses, trains, parks and oldage homes. He delivers lectures to the people to aware them about the need for safe and proper disposal of waste and keep their surroundings clean and green.
He distributes eye catching and informative pamphlets,posters etc printed at his own cost pertaining to cleanliness, wastage of paper, electric waste, polythene waste and the need to plant more and more trees. In this way, MrWadhera has got planted thousands of plants in schools, offices and homes. He advises students to plant at least a tree on their birthdays and other occasions such as Republic Day, Independence Day etc and also ask their parents to follow the same principle.He also collects polythene bags from parks, takes them home and hands over to the officials of Municipal Corporation for their safe disposal. In view of his exceptional dedication to this cause, he was allowed to visit schools across Jammu Division and deliver lectures in the Morning Assembly by the Directorate of School Education Jammu in 2019. He has so far visited more than two hundred schools/colleges across India, especially in J&K, Haryana, Rajasthan, New Delhi, Uttranchal and NCR region and delivered lectures on the need of sanitation, segregation of waste, use of cloth/ jute bags instead of polythene bags, plantation of more and more trees to keep our environment clean and green.
He also distributes cloth bags to the students to encourage them to avoid plastic bags and use cloth bags. Not only this,he prepares and distributes posters advising people to avoid spitting on the road and to obey traffic rules,change self before others,respect parents,plant trees,give way to ambulance etc.His exceptional work for the society has not gone unrecognised.
He has been honoured among other institutions and organisations, by Jammu Municipal Corporation, Anti Corruption, Human Rights and Crime Prevention Foundation, State Bank of India, District Legal Service Authority, Jammu and a large number of educational institutions. In addition to all this, he also makes people aware of the need of saving water and electricity. His hobbies include interaction with the inmates at the Oldage homes, travelling and Diary writing. He had to undergo an operation for tongue cancer as a result of which his voice got affected but he is as agile and passionate as ever. He vows to pursue his mission till the last breath of his life. Kewal Krishan Wadhera now lives happily with his son, daughter in law and grand children at 174/P, Sector 3, Housing Colony, Upper Roop Nagar Jammu.He may be weak in body but his indomitable will power and strong passion for work is an inspiration for one and all to keep our home, offices and surroundings neat and clean and thus, realise the cherished dream of Clean India, healthy India.Such unsung heroes are the real warriors of our society. We need to join hands with them to make this world a better and healthier place to live in.