Giving Back Is A Family Affair

You can say that giving back runs in the family and I want to share something my Dad built for his little village in India.

My father passed away when I was young so I really didn’t understand what he had done for his village until years later and it still gives me great pride for what he left behind.

The Desai Family bus stop in front of the Shree Digeshwari Ambaji Mandir (Temple).

I remember visiting my Dads village when I was younger long after he had passed. And when I say village, let me describe for you where my Dad grew up. Dirt roads, semi-concrete and mud houses. You could stand at the front door and look all way through to the back where the cows were kept. He and his family grew up in poverty but he worked hard to create a better life for himself and his entire family.

Once he had found some success, he knew he had to help others. And so he built a bus stop at the center of the village with restrooms and a drinking fountain with clean water. Now I’m sure you’re thinking the same thing I did when I first heard this but why a bus shelter?

Access to clean water for drinking and hand washing at the bus stop.

I learned from my mother that people in the village would have to stand in the blistering heat or torrential rain while waiting for the bus to go work, school, or the city to see a doctor or get groceries. Sometimes the bus would run late and families with children would have to wait for hours, without the comfort of a bathroom or drinking water and shade from the heat or rain.

Can you imagine having to go through this?

My dad realized early on through his own experience of having to wait for the bus and standing alongside others that this was no way for any human to have to go through life.

His effort to build this bus stop and provide very basic human needs of shade, a place to sit, bathrooms and clean drinking water proved to be an inspiring act of bringing dignity to each and every member of his community. Young students who were going to the city to get an education didn’t have to arrive drenched in sweat or rain. Men and women who had to travel for work could arrive fresh and clean. And clean drinking water helped make their wait more comfortable.

This simple effort transformed the village. It led to paved roads, a regular bus schedule and increased opportunities for the community. Today, the bus shelter is still regarded as one of the centerpieces of the village. An entire community has built around this shelter and every single day, it gives people in the village opportunities that may not have been available to them before.

Locals enjoy the shade while waiting for the bus.

Today, the bus stop continues to play an important role in this little community. It provides routes to bigger cities, more opportunities for young people, and access to more resources to the families. At HDX, we are dedicated to helping with the upkeep and maintenance of this hub and every year we’re working with members of the community to ensure that the bus stop continues to provide the same, if not more, value to our friends in this village.

About Vipe

Vipe is the founder and CEO of HDX Mix, an environmentally friendly sports drink mix. In addition to being a serial entrepreneur and philanthropist, he has applied his more than 3 decades of experience in launching disruptive brands, brand building and cause-marketing strategies for both for-profit and non-profits. Currently, Vipe is serving as a Board Member for Ocean Champions, Lonely Whale Foundation, AltaSea and RichUncles.com, an SEC reporting company managing more than $450 million in assets.

Today, Vipe’s focus is on ensuring that future generations are met with a healthy and thriving ocean. He’s involved with several ventures focused around innovations and solutions that will reduce plastic waste and minimize the impact on the planet.

Twitter: @VipeDesai

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vipedesai/

Company: HDX Hydration Mix

Vipe Desai

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Vipe Desai

Look for me at the intersection of business and philanthropy. CEO & Founder @HDXmix and #RisingTideSummit