Dr.Lal Chand Gupta
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A philanthropist par excellence
This is the tale of a towering personality who worked selflessly for the cause of the people. A personality who shared weal woes of 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 deepend 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 as their God-feather and his name is being taken with great love, respect and honour. 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.
In 1926 Gupta Ji married to Beera Devi daughter of Beli Ram of Sialkot. 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 2 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 and solemn 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-speakers 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’’ to fight against the social evils. Thereafter its name was put as J&K Social Sudhar Sabha of which he became the President. He remained Dy Chairman 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.
The other adjoining ponds in Sanasar were given the name of his family members viz Shanker Chesma, Beera Chesma. Besides, he remained associated with khadi movement in the State and worked tirelessly to emphasize Khadi for individual use for the self reliance of mother India. He even presented khadi suits to his daughter on her marriage.
In 1948, he started a weekly paper under the name “Gupta’’, and in 1952, he started the newspaper “Inqulab’’ through the medium of which he raised the voice of masses before the Administrative Authorities. He was committed to solve the problems and sufferings of poor and down trodden masses. In 3 May 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, where 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.