– Dipta Joshi (Mumbai)
Mumbai-based social worker and medical student Meera Mehta (21) was among 150 global citizens conferred the prestigious Diana Award 2020 of the British government on July 1, at a specially organised virtual felicitation ceremony. The Diana Award was initiated in 1999 in memory of the late Princess of Wales (1961-1997), to recognise outstanding young leaders worldwide for initiating and sustaining positive social change in their communities.
Meera has also been an active volunteer and fundraiser for the global non-profit Shrimad Rajchandra Love and Care (SRLC) for the past 15 years and has raised over Rs.1.5 crore for its slew of charitable activities to aid and enable tribal and underprivileged communities of Dharampur and Kaprada talukas, in south Gujarat’s Valsad district. She has inspired a large number of youth for voluntary services towards fund raising for socially beneficial projects.
The only child of Dr. Bijal, an ophthalmologist, and software engineer Kabir Mehta, Meera is a third year student of MGM Medical College, Navi Mumbai, who took to community service at age six, inspired by the teachings of her family’s spiritual guru Pujya Gurudevshri Rakeshbhai, founder of SRLC. “Over the years, I have realised that transparent reporting of project objectives and targets transforms enlightened people into willing donors,” says Meera, who has raised funds to build tertiary healthcare centres, a science college for tribal students, and a skill development centre for empowering rural women, among other institutions. During the Covid-19 national lockdown, Meera raised Rs.45 lakh to provide free-of-charge meals for the city’s stranded migrant population, PPE kits/masks for frontline workers and sponsored the return journey of two busloads of migrants back to their hometowns in Bihar.
Looking into the future, this indefatigable compassionate social activist aspires to qualify as a surgeon after completing her MBBS degree. “My dream is to serve at the free-of-charge multi-specialty Shrimad Rajchandra Hospital at Dharampur for which I have raised funds,” she says, modestly.