Somebody in Sri Lanka (country code .lk) was interested in the inspiring stories of billionaires, as I recently did a blog on Eike Batista, the 10th richest man in the world, and Mikhail Prokhorov, owner of the New Jersey Nets who contested the Russian Presidential elections recently and did a creditable third place in the polls.
Today, let me write a few words about a man named Kako Prabhidas Tolani. Kako means Uncle in our Sindhi language. Kako was a successful and wealthy businessman in Sindh in the 1930s. He was imprisoned by the Pakistanis after Independence in 1947 on trumped up charges of being a spy. All his wealth was confiscated, and he was in jail for a number of months.
While he was in prison, he was inspired by God, to have confidence that he would be free, he would be wealthy once again, and he should do something for the community at large. Sitting in the prison in a desolate state, this visionary realised that all that was missing was his freedom and his material wealth, inside his heart he was rich and hopeful and confident as ever. Once he was free, and cleared of the trumped up charges, Kako went on to organise projects of infrastructure development in the newly independent India. He built a dam, a Naval College (that was his passion) and schools for girls, who are almost always the disadvantaged sector of most communities in the developing countries.
Charitable works continue in his memory in India to this day, the supply of schools, and the eductation and welfare of the poor. His faith and generosity of spirit are celebrated, his name lives on on the different projects which he initiated and for which he helped to raise the finance and organised the construction. Kako Prabhidas Tolani, visionary, humanitarian, saint.