A storm that changed Irinder Ahluwalia’s flight, marking the inception of Hemkunt Foundation.
In the words of Harmeet Bajaj
The Hemkunt Foundation has been at the forefront of India's COVID Relief.
Here’s how it all began in words of Harmeet Singh. A note from the heart to her friend Robby, whose dedication serves as a true inspiration.
This is the story of the man behind the Hemkunt Foundation - Irinder Singh Ahluwalia. We call him ‘Robby’. Robby and I met almost 2 decades ago on one of my annual trips to Hemkunt Sahib. Hemkunt Sahib is a very revered gurdwara for us Sikhs located in Uttarakhand at a height of 16000 ft. Open only for 4 months of the year, the shrine stays inaccessible during the rest of the year covered in about 10-20ft of snow. A devout Sikh, Robby would organise trips for pilgrims every year and even pay for them.
In 2013 when the cloudburst in Uttarakhand, Robby along with his entire family were trapped near the base gurdwara Gobind Ghat. I was to meet him there. As soon as we heard the news on national television, we tried reaching out to him. Phones were dead, the gurdwara had been washed away and all roads and bridges had collapsed. There was no way to contact him.
When I did manage to connect with him for a few seconds, I vividly remember him saying “DONT COME”.
I tried reaching out to him after his return to Delhi but he was incommunicado. The shock of the incident was too colossal. Finally, 2 months later he called and came to visit. Overwhelmed he said, Guru Gobind Singhji had given him and his family a second life. The purpose for his existence had changed. And Hemkunt Foundation was born.
Ever since, he has dedicated his life helping the needy, providing succour to the poor and supporting the underprivileged. His faith in the almighty, his resolve, his dedication, his commitment and perseverance despite all odds is truly inspirational. A selfless attitude driven only by the desire to help is the guiding force in his life.
"Today locked up in our homes when materials mean little, a lot of us are seeking purpose. Robby defines that purpose".
Eagles In The Storm: About the Series
India’s Resilience amidst adversity. We know that while all the other birds fly away from a storm, eagle is the only one that actually flies into the storm. In these testing times, there is a large community full of samaritans, businesses, frontline workers and more who have inspired us and taught us different ways in combatting this storm. This series invites the stories, journeys and lessons from these very eagles in the storm. Everyone is welcome to contribute!