Profile of a philanthropist

Ravi Rohmetra
Duggar land has produced politicians, academicians, social workers and leaders of caliber and prominent among them being Dr Lal Chand Gupta. This is the tale of a towering personality who worked selflessly for the cause of the people. A personality who shared weal and woes of the needy.
He was a friend, a guide and a social worker. Born on 13th April, 1904 the main aim and objective of Dr. Lal Chand Gupta remained to help and uplift the victims, and families below poverty line. He never backed out in fighting and struggling for a social work and in helping the masses without creed and caste.
The feeling of helping and supporting the masses especially poor was so deepened in his heart and mind that he always loved to face all kind of odds or eventualities for the pleasure of others. He always believed that service to humanity is the service to God. This is the basic reason that the poor masses remember him his name is being taken with great love, respect and honour. During his life time he was counted amongst the great personalities of Jammu. In 1918, his father came to Jammu and started his business here. In Jammu, he established a firm under the name Shanker Dass, Bodh Raj which became one of the reputed firms of Jammu and dealt with wholesale business under the banner of firm. In 1926 Gupta Ji was married to Beera Devi daughter of Beli Ram of Sialkot. Smt. Beera Devi was niece of great social worker Lala Desraj Ji. In 1931 Gupta Ji established “Gupta Eye Lotion” and it brought him name and fame. He sold “Gupta Eye Lotion” at two Annas per bottle in Jammu City. He never charged any consultation fee from the patients. In 1945, he got his daughter married in a very simple manner which was highly appreciated and praised by masses in the State.
This came as news in all leading papers of the time. The total number of Baraties invited were seven who were served with “Sarson Ka Saag and Makki-di Roti”. In dowry to his daughter he gave five suits of Khadi Clothes, one suit was gifted to his daughter by Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India. During the ceremony loud speaker were used for the first time in Jammu & Kashmir State which was brought from Sialkot. For the development of masses he formed “Public Sudhar Sabha”. So that the masses are awakened to fight against the social evils. Thereafter its name was put as J&K Social Sudhar Sabha of which he became President. He remained Dy. Chariman of Gandhi Seva Sadan for 17 years besides being president, member of various social organizations. In 1947, when Pak occupied Kashmir refugee came to Nagrota, on the advice of Maharaja Hari Singh Ji, Gupta Ji established a camp and provided free Medical treatment to refugees. Due to his efforts a gate was constructed at the sacred place of Mata Sheela Devi in tehsil Samba and also an idol of Mata Sheela Devi was installed in the Temple. Dr. Lal Chand Gupta through J&K Social Sudhar Sabha installed the statue of Sher-E-Duggar Lal Hans Raj Mahajan at Hans Raj Mahajan Park. In the said park is also installed the statue of Dr. Lal Chand Gupta. Gupta Ji exerted duly for development of Sanasar, Patnitop.
In 1948 he started a weekly paper under the name “Gupta” and in 1952 he started news paper “Inqulab” through the medium of which he raised the voice of masses for their demands before the then Administrative Authorities. He was committed to solve the problems and sufferings of poor and down trodden masses. In May 3, 1980 Dr. Gupta, the great son of the soil expired and his statue was installed adjacent to the statue of Sher-E-Duggar Lala Hans Raj Mahajan Ji at Hans Raj Mahajan Park, at which place the masses pay obeisance to the great soul and take oath to follow the path of Late Gupta Ji. No doubt Gupta Ji is not with us but due to his selfless service for mankind his name will remain always alive in our hearts. He is still remembered among his friends and by those who were associated with him in his social activities for his untiring and selfless work for the cause of the people and a symbol of his social activities still marks its presence in the heart of city at city Chowk as “Gupta Eye Lotion Clinic” . He will always remain alive in the hearts of those associated with philanthropic activities as their “Guiding Star.” It was the fateful day of 3rd May 1980 that he breathed his last.