“There is no higher deed than devoting oneself to the service of mankind.”
– Vijay Darda
Vijay Darda’s commitment to philanthropic endeavours has been an integral part of his public life. He considers a literate, healthy, happy and enlightened society as an asset for the overall development of the nation. He has set up numerous Trusts and Foundations to promote a variety of noble causes for the disaster-prone and financially backward people.
During Darda’s stint as a Parliamentarian, he had facilitated the government’s economic package for farmers in the Vidarbha region. Under his guidance, Lokmat Krushi Manch organised a Shetkari Atmanirbharata Rath Yatra in 400 villages to motivate the distressed farmers. He also convinced Congress President Sonia Gandhi to visit and get a first-hand assessment of the situation there.
He also organised a mega agriculture exhibition ‘State Krushi Pradashani’ in 2008 at Amravati. The aim was to acquaint the farmers with advanced agrarian technology and various government schemes beneficial to them. More than 3.5 lakh farmers attended the exhibition, with participation of major agri-businesses from Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
Darda has worked to strengthen the indigenous industrial base in the underdeveloped areas of Vidarbha region by facilitating many large, medium and small industries. He is committed to help provide infrastructural facilities like power supply, road connectivity, tele-communication and water-shed management to accelerate economic development.
Darda has spontaneously come forward to help the affected people with relief and rehabilitation measures during calamities like the devastating floods in Mowad, as well as earthquakes in Latur, Beed, Jabalpur, Bhuj and Munger. He also handed over a cheque of Rs 40 lakhs to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the Nepal earthquake relief.
Under his chairmanship, Lokmat Media Group constructed hostels for the children of Kargil war martyrs in Nagpur, Aurangabad and Solapur. It extended financial help of ₹ 1 lakh each to 40 families of martyrs and ₹ 10,000 each to 39 disabled jawans. It also donated ₹ 32,49,000 to the families of policemen who sacrificed their lives during the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.
Darda organised a food-aid programme for the malnourished children of 36 most-affected villages in the Melghat area of Amravati district. He also adopted the Bhari village of Yavatmal district under the Parliamentary Ideal Village Development Programme. At an estimated cost of ₹ 1 crore, it was transformed into a model village that gave it national recognition.
Darda, deeply concerned over the plight of Vinayakrao Tope, descendants of freedom fighter Tatya Tope, offered him with ₹ 5 lakh assistance and also ensured that his sons get jobs. He similarly offered financial assistance of Rs 5 lakhs to Jeet Singh, grandson of Shaheed-e-Azam Udham Singh, during the release of the book ‘Forgotten Indian Heroes and their Neglected Descendants’ in New Delhi.
Darda also helped Sultana Begum, great grand daughter-in-law of India’s last Mughal Emperor Bahadurshah Zafar, in arranging the marriage of her youngest daughter by donating a sum of ₹ 2 lakhs.