When Samiksha Sonare, an orphaned girl of Morshi passed matric in flying colors, her happiness was tinged with remorse. ” What was the use of scoring so well”? She thought. Her poor aunt who she lived with couldn’t support her college education. She couldn’t even afford to send her out of the village. But when word of this girl reached Mr Nemchand Shah, a prosperous businessman and philanthroph of Warud, her fate changed. Or rather, her fate was made! He financed not just her college education in Amraoti but also provided for her stay.
” Such deeds weren’t unusual for Nemchandji, he was always first to provide help for the poor, the sick and the needy. Living in Warud, he would help a patient in an Amraoti hospital get blood in an emergency. He could rush a patient to Mumbai also if necessary to save his/ her life! His generosity knew no bounds” says Dyaneshwar Bahurupi, a former journalist of Lokmat who knew Mr Shah well.
Everyone you talk to about Nemchandji vouches for this. ” I knew this of him – he would never turn away anyone who went to him for help” says Neelkanth Yawalkar, another Warud person known for his commitment to social work.
The fact that his family did not hail from Warud originally, not even from the state didn’t matter one bit. His father, Somchand Khimji of Bhonj village in Jamnagar, Gujarat had moved to Pandhurna ( M.P.) when famine hit Bhonj. He was a grain merchant. Later he moved with his family to Warud for better business prospects.
Nemchand, his only son was an adventurous and daring soul right from childhood. He was go swimming in the ‘doh’ ( deep waters) of Chudamani river which flows next to the famous Kedareshwar temple of Warud. That too late at night! The presence of snakes in the river or wild life in the deeply forested areas around never deterred him. School and education weren’t much of a priority in his mind so finally his father sent him to Gurukul in Mojri under the tutelage of Sant Tukdoji Maharaj to finish his schooling. He never finished school but probably got the inspiration from this place to dedicate his life to service of humanity.
Nemchand Shah’s case is a vibrant example though that formal education isn’t necessary for success in your professional life. Young Nemchand initially followed his father in the traditional family business but soon explored other fields like dealing in Fertilizers and later Cement. By the time he was in his mid thirties he became easily the richest self made man of the Taluka!
MOST PROSPEROUS SELF MADE MAN OF WARUD
With commercial success began his Life in the public domain. He became the APMC Chairman for one tenure helping develop Warud as a vibrant market place for agricultural produce and oranges. ( Even today Warud is one of the biggest bases sending truckloads of oranges all over India).
He was President of the Warud Vyapari Sangh for many years. He wasn’t much interested in politics but did dabble for a while in Journalism. His hold over local reporters and newspapers was so good that he was elected President of the Warud Patrakar Sangh for 5 years.
THE GOLDEN GANG
People still remember his group of friends that was active in every sphere and soon came to be known as the Golden Gang. Kalyan and Budhadev Yawalkar, Mr Vyas, Neelkanth Ande were the other members of this ‘gang’. But at age 84, Nemchand Shah was the only survivor of this gang that had helped people’s lives for the better.
Every innings has to come to an end … Nemchandji passed away on November 24th leaving behind a huge grieving village, not just family. ( He is survived by son Jeetendra and daughter Mamata).
We at Nagpur Today have briefly chronicled the life of this man from Warud to underline an important fact.
India may be divided into many states on the basis of language but often, they are migrants coming from far away cities and states who help develop and flourish their new chosen “Homes”.
Nemchandji’s family are Jains, but he was a huge devotee of Kedareshvar. He never began any important task without visiting the ancient temple behind which he swam as a little boy. He was influenced by Tukdoji Maharaj as well as RSS Sabhas that he attended in Warud. But later on he chose to follow Sharad Pawar’s party NCP. He had even got to jail while participating in the highly volatile movement to have Maharashtra’s premiere Agricultural University PKV based in Vidarbha!
Future generations have a lot to learn from such stalwarts who have made India…