Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Humanitarian Experiences

“I shall pass through this world but once. Any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”

Navneet (Neet) Singh Narula spends time in disaster zones and dangerous areas for “Sarbat Da Bhala,” which means “welfare of all humanity” in Punjabi. Neet is pictured with children affected by the Southeast Asia tsunami in Great Nicobar Islands, India.

Navneet (Neet) Singh Narula, executive-Financial Services, has adopted French philosopher Etienne de Grellet’s words of wisdom in his daily life. In the aftermath of the tsunami in Southeast Asia, Hurricane Katrina and earthquakes in Kashmir and Pakistan, Neet has made it a personal mission to help the children and the poor who are suffering in the wake of natural disasters.

“I sincerely believe that there is a bigger reason of why I was born and if along the way of finding out that reason, I can help one person, then this life truly is well-lived,” Neet said.

Neet embarked on his first philanthropic pilgrimage with the United Sikhs, a non-profit, non-governmental civil liberties and humanitarian relief organization, by helping with tsunami relief operations in Southeast Asia. For three months in 2005, Neet helped manage the South India and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands operations by helping with rescue operations, building new homes, preparing food for survivor camps and procuring and distributing supplies.

Setting him apart from many volunteers, Neet remains committed to the community even after non-governmental organizations depart. Currently, Neet manages the operations of an orphanage in South India, ensuring all educational and personal needs of the children affected by the tsunami are met. He also runs a free computer institute to promote literacy and education to all residents of Great Nicobar Islands. Additionally, Neet has made a personal commitment to support two orphaned children by providing them both with a lifelong education.

“Just like everyone, I did my part of contributing financially and helping out with the food and clothes drives,” Neet said. “However, I felt there was more that I needed to do on a human level. I feel blessed with the life I have lived, but I feel I must help the millions who are in pain to the best of my ability.”

Soon after Hurricane Katrina struck the US Gulf Coast, Neet led a team of Red Cross and Federal Emergency Management Agency volunteers in opening relief shelters for Katrina survivors. He has vowed to visit New Orleans once a year to visit a school he helped establish for displaced children.

When an earthquake devastated the Kashmir region of Pakistan in October 2005, Neet once again was on the ground doing his part to help both Indians and Pakistanis. In Bagh, Pakistan, Neet assisted with the “Fill a School Bag Appeal,” in which children from other countries assemble schoolbags filled with books, candy, toys and stationary. He also pioneered a computer institute in Poonch, Kashmir to provide free education for children and certification training for adults.

As a result of his business leadership and corporate citizenship action in humanitarian efforts both home and abroad, Neet was recently honored by New York Senator Hillary Clinton as one of the Outstanding 50 Asian Americans in Business Award for his contributions to both the business and philanthropic communities in the United States and around the world.

For more info – Contact Karen A. Forsling or visit -