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Torrent's Mehta family pledges Rs 5,000 cr to UNM Foundation

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New Delhi, Mar 31 (PTI) Pharmaceuticals-to-energy Torrent Group's Mehta family has pledged to donate Rs 5,000 crore over the next five years to the philanthropic foundation set up in name of the group's founder U N Mehta as part of his birth centenary celebrations, the group said on Sunday.

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Torrent Group celebrated the birth centenary of its founder late Uttambhai Nathalal Mehta (January 14, 1924 to March 31, 1998).

The Mehta family has committed to donate Rs 5,000 crore over the next five years to the UNM Foundation to honour the legacy of the visionary philanthropist, the group said in a statement.

The Rs 5,000 crore Mehta family committed to donate to the UNM Foundation over the next five years starting April 1, 2024 "will be over and above the statutory CSR contributions of the Torrent Group companies", the statement said.

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"U N Mehta, the founder of Torrent Group, is remembered for his strong resolve in the face of adversities, business acumen, principled life and humanitarian philanthropy. His early life was marked with multiple personal challenges, severe financial crisis, business failures and serious health complications," it said.

He was born in an extremely poor family and lost his mother when he was just two years old.

He weathered many health challenges such as being diagnosed with mental health issues when he was 39 due to the side-effects of a medicine that was prescribed to him; being diagnosed with an extremely rare form of cancer at the age of 53 and the onset of cardiac problems ultimately leading to a bypass surgery when he was 62.

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He failed in his first attempt at setting up a business and had to return to his village for many years.

"He overcame each of these challenges and finally at the advanced age of 48 years, succeeded in his second attempt at setting up a pharmaceutical business. In view of his own tryst with psychiatric and cardiac health issues, his initial efforts were focused around making medicines for psychiatric and cardiac ailments, for which medicines were not easily available in India at the time.

"His remarkable life serves as a beacon of hope for people who have lost all hope in life," it said.

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Besides being a highly successful businessman, Mehta was also a committed social citizen. Towards the later part of his life, he created the UNM Foundation and channelised his efforts towards multiple social causes.

The Torrent Group celebrated his birth centenary at a function in Ahmedabad on Saturday.

Torrent Group Chairman Samir Mehta said, "The UNM Foundation will make sincere endeavours to utilise this amount for unique social causes; without any beneficiary barriers of caste, religion, gender and economic strata." He said the UNM Foundation will focus its efforts in the areas of healthcare, education and knowledge enhancement, ecology, social well-being, art and culture, and other activities that may serve the basic premise to benefit the underprivileged. PTI ANZ TRB

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