Founder and President of For the Love of Children Society. Mr. Ashid Kumar Bahl – Born in Kenya, East Africa.
The Dalai Lama calls him Tenzin Sendup (anything he asks for shall be granted-as the Dalai Lama said he only asks for others in need) the Masai tribe call him Sanare (accepted by all the different people of the world) – Many people in India call him “son of India”.
Mr. Bahl was only 11 years old when he used to give his toys and lunch away to poor children at his school in Kenya, East Africa and the giving process to help the less fortunate never stopped. Mr. Bahl’s story is really a miracle; in many cases the children and their families were praying to God for help and he came to answer their prayers. In the words of Ashid Bahl, “In a world that has everything, enough food, medicine or technology to cater for the needs of everyone, it is sad to see children still living in poverty, abuse and neglect”. It is for this reason; he started this Society, to show people that even one person can make a difference and that life is not about us, it is about making life happen for someone else who is less fortunate. He believes that here lies the true purpose as to why we are here. “There is no dream, passion or goal to be reached that is richer than being of service to others in their hour of need.”
For the past 39 years Mr. Bahl provided a wide variety of services like food, shelter, clothing, medical aid, water-wells, educational supplies, electricity and other essentials to the poorer regions of the world. Doing all the charity work while working for a living and looking after his own family. The medical aid has saved the lives of many sick children with life threatening illnesses.
He built and supports 90 schools and orphanages around the world and helps countries hit with natural disasters or those that are war-torn. He helped people in all the major natural disasters in countries like Mexico, Nepal, Haiti, Sri Lanka, Peru, India (Gujarat), Japan, Honduras, Costa Rica, Kashmir, Canada and Philippines. War-torn countries like Afghanistan, Lebanon, Cambodia and Sudan have received aid and continue to do so. Children who live in poverty, abuse, neglect and those who are homeless have been helped, which has resulted in over five hundred thousand children being helped. He has raised over 15 million dollars worth of aid, not counting the in-kind services provided by his members and the over 2,000 volunteers around the world. Mr. Bahl never paid himself for doing the charity work, as he believes that it should come from the heart. He took the initiative to try to abolish child labor, human trafficking of children & fight against the spread of Aids in countries that are known to have this problem. His overseas projects, which have taken the society to countries like Africa, Honduras, Mexico, India, Myanmar, Tibet, Philippines, Nepal, Egypt, Peru, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Cambodia, Sudan, Haiti & Sri Lanka have proven to be very successful. He helped the Dalai Lama and his people for 30 years in Orissa and Dharamsala (India) by providing medical aid, water projects, electricity, school supplies, starting mango farm to mention a few. Build a big community center to foster Tibetan arts and culture in Orissa, which was inaugurated by the Dalai Lama. Built one of the first orphanages in the Kathmandu Valley to shelter children that escaped from Tibet, apart from local homeless children.
First aid worker to go into Nepal during the earthquake to provide medical aid, food, shelter and water to about 900 children and their families who were left homeless, apart from helping many that lived in the remote hillsides. While in Nepal Mr.Bahl was struck with a 6.8 magnitude earthquake and several aftershocks but continued delivering his aid. He rebuilt the first homes for 50 people two month after the earthquake when very little effort was made to reconstruct homes. Two of his schools and an orphanage received extensive damage and 10 of his children were killed.
First one to bring his non-governmental organization to the aid of the earthquake victims in Kashmir, amidst dangers from terrorists attacks. He took a truck full of supplies through damaged and dangerous roads to the state of Uri. Aided the Indian army to help the victims as well.
First one to help the remote Moreso village of the Masai tribe in the Great Rift-Valley of East Africa by building the first ever school. Saved the whole village against starvation due to the East African drought of 2016-2017- by providing water-wells, food, shelter and cows.
One the first to take his NGO to help the war stricken areas of Afghanistan amidst the war. Supported three schools, one being a girl’s school for 1,911 girls attending (Rawnaq Middle School). Started a security program to prevent the Taliban from throwing acid on the faces of the girls to deter them from going to school. Saved and helped his own agent escape from Afghanistan when the members of the Taliban threatened his life. Currently building water-wells in Kabul and surrounding areas.
One of the first aid workers to arrive and aid the victims of the natural disasters in Sri-Lanka and going into Japan to help the school children near the Fukushima Nuclear disaster site amidst the radiation leak.
First to rebuild a school, which was destroyed by the tsunami in Kalmunai –Sri Lanka, amidst threats by the Tamil Tigers (a terrorist organization)-had to seek protection from the Sri Lanka army and using their military plane. He covered most of the Island starting from Colombo making his way along the coastline to Kalmunai. Built toilets, as in some areas there was one toilet for every 250 people after the tsunami and especially when it was making it hard for the women.
First one to cross into south Lebanon to deliver medicine for children after the conflict with Israel. Helped the neglected Christian population in Yaroun, Tyre and Ein Dibl –south Lebanon amidst the military conflict.
First Canadian to help the victims of hurricane Mitch in Chiapas, apart from helping the victims of the earthquake in Peru by providing medical aid, food and clothing. One of the first charities to help the people of Honduras and Costa Rica (October of 2017) after the Hurricane Nate hit the different regions of these countries. He is also helping to build water wells in Sudan near Darfur. The people in this region were also helped with medical supplies and educational supplies for school children. Some schools like the one in Cambodia was completed and named after him as he was an inspiration to the children and came to their aid in their hour of need. In Cambodia he helped a man (Sophal Mom) who escaped from the ruthless Khmer Rouge by making his dream come true to build a temple and a school in a very poor village.
He partnered with Project Life organization to build schools and to support their Blood Bank and their women empowerment programs in Rajkot-Gujarat –India.
He partnered with the Owen Hart Foundation to foster education for children in the poorer regions of the world. Helped raise funds for the Naragis Dutt Cancer Foundation & Ravi Ravi Shankar Foundation.
Mr. Bahl had to face many obstacles when he started the For the Love of Children Society’ from nothing to being recognized internationally. He was the first Asian to start a children’s Society from scratch in North America.
Being an immigrant himself to Canada he helped settle 20,000 refugees and immigrants in his province of Alberta.
First Asian to lead his organization to help the Peoples of the First Nation by reaching out to poor children that belonged to different bands, like the Tsuu Tina, Peigan and the Blood Reserve for the past 30 years. He organized a pilgrimage run for the youth to bring awareness against crime and drug abuse on the Piikani, Peigan & Blood reserves. Helped Tsuu Tina Nation children who were evacuees from their homes due to the outspread of asbestos by providing food, clothing, medical aid and other daily essentials.
He set up different recreational programs for special needs children to improve their quality of life by having events like Santa’s Express & the annual picnic for sick children from the Alberta children’s hospital to building playgrounds for communities & schools. He started the For the Love of Children Society Aerospace School (Calgary) so that children from a wide verity of schools across the province can gain access to the programs offered at the Aerospace Museum. There are 5 outreach programs in the city like this one that are recognized by the Calgary board of Education. Many children can now learn the history of space travel and aviation firsthand at the Museum. Every year this program also enables one bright child to go to Houston, Texas (NASA) for the summer Space program.
He single handedly accomplished many projects that helped thousands of children in Canada and other parts of the world. He still puts aside time to teach art to special needs children and seniors. Mr. Bahl has encouraged many individuals and the corporate sector to contribute to the various projects as he feels that teaching others to give is just as important.
Although he has never asked for any recognition, Mr. Bahl has received recognition from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth 11- Golden Jubilee Medal/Silver Medal/Exemplary service Medal-The Prime Minister of Canada’s Volunteer Medal, The Reader’s Digest award/Canadian Hero of 2007- inducted in the volunteer wall of fame by the Wild Rose Foundation (Alberta community development) for being an outstanding volunteer ~ Dec 5th 2003 -Immigrant of distinction award 2004, award from mayor of Santa Ana-San Salvador, Award from the People’s Republic of China, award from the Government of Maharashtra-India, Award from government of Cusco-Peru, Award from Nargis Dutt Cancer Foundation by Sunil Dutt, Award from the British Army-Suffield, 2005 The Alberta Centennial Medal from the Province of Alberta -CEUDA Merit Award-The Peace Officer Exemplary Service Medal-Governor General of Canada- First Asian to receive the Best Film award at the Monaco International Film Festival and is an accomplished artist and author of a poetry book (The Eyes of a Thousand Burning Candles- Carlton Press, New York).