Impossible Dreams Come True: OAM Indy Singh
Maneesh Media is proud than ever to watch Mr Inderjit ‘Indy’ Singh being awarded the coveted Medal of the Order of Australia on Australia Day celebrated last month.
While getting to know him in person for Jewels of Punjab: Vol II, he shared about his charitable foundation, Vision Beyond AUS, which works dedicatedly to provide eyesight to the blind. Yes, he is a dedicated entrepreneur of the country, today the Executive Chairman of a leading financial services company in Australia, he also runs the foundation with equal passion. Vision Beyond AUS has helped as many as 38,000 people falling in love with the colours of life.
“For the poor and blind, life is not worth living,” he told a leading newsdaily. “Family members go out to work leaving them alone, with no one to help them with their most basic needs. The effects blindness can have on children in this section of society, girls in particular, is even more heartbreaking.”
However, there was a time when this man too struggled to find a job! Despite his Doon School background, one of the best schools in India, recipient of National Science Talent scholarship, IIT Kanpur degree in Chemistry, and then an MBA, life should’ve been smooth sailing. But it wasn’t so. Even after applying for 100 jobs in Australia, he was making no headway. The prospects looked bleak for Inderjit ‘Indy’ Singh and his family, a wife and two kids. But he just hung on tenaciously with courage and hope. His gut instinct told him that if he perseveres he would ultimately find his pot of gold at the end of it. If he wanted to, he could have taken the easy way out and gone back to his hometown, Lucknow, and joined his father’s business. Though he ultimately found an opportunity with none other than the ING Consultants, it wasn’t to be easy still. Nine years later, when ING wanted him to move to Hong Kong, he decided to find something else. “Once again I was on the road with just two dollars in my pocket.” But that would have meant a loss of face for him and his family, told his wife, Shrilekha, to him. She stood firm by him, encouraging to face whatever came his way.
That’s when he started thinking of launching his own company; he remembered how his mother often used to say, “Aim for the stars, at least you’ll land on a haystack, but so what; at least you’ll still be higher than other people”. Feducian was thus born in 1996, coming from the Latin word Feducia. Their logo is a lion, representing power, integrity, trust and expertise.
Yes, the lion roars!
Later on, he found a new direction to his life in close friends, Drs Shailja and Jay Chandra. Jay, an ophthalmologist, in support with Shailja’s organising and management skills, was helping many with eye care in different parts of the world. Taking inspiration from them and also from Fred Hollows, Indy started on his own path, and set up Vision Beyond AUS in 2011. Already having marked its presence in Nepal, Cambodia, India, Myanmar, hoping to enter Ethiopia soon. For school kids, they also gift them notebooks. An Indian beneficiary once quoted, “I don’t know where Australia is, but God must live there.”
For what he does today, he says, is quite a lot credited to his education in The Doon School, which showed us the value of getting in touch with remote communities and serve them. Now that he has OAM honour, he hopes to do even more by mentoring the youth in Australia, immigrants or native, “towards helping those in need.” For immigrants, he especially wants to “make a commitment to this country. Learn to love it. Put aside the ‘one foot here, one foot there’ feeling. Adopt this country as your home, without forgetting your origins.”
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