Residents offer tribute to Dubai-based businessman Bharat Kumar Jayantilal
Dubai - He died in his hometown of Rajkot in Gujarat.
Dubai-based veteran Indian businessman Shah Bharat Kumar Jayantilal passed away on Saturday.
Bharat Kumar Jayantilal, popularly known as Bharatbhai or Dada, was awarded the coveted Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award in 2015. The community leader was awarded for his invaluable services in Yemen, Saudi Arabia and the UAE over the past six decades.
Bharat Bhai, 87, died by noon time in his residence 'Sanket' apartment in his hometown of Rajkot in Gujarat
Vipul, Consul General of India, said Shah was ailing for some time.
"Very sad to hear that our beloved social worker and Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awardee Shri Bharatbhai Shah passed away today in Rajkot. He wasn't well for some time. My heartfelt condolences to his family and friends. He will be remembered for his dedication to India and community," he said in his tweet.
Bharat Bhai's entire life was spent in community services to people. He was the only person who had a notice outside his office with his telephone numbers and could be contacted even after office hours and on holidays to seek any community help to individuals or organisations.
He ensured the Indian government allowed NRIs to take home gold ornaments worth Rs100,000 for women and Rs50,000 for men, raising it from Rs20,000 for women and Rs10,000 for men.
He started his career as a houseboy in Aden, Yemen. He never went to a English school but is known for delivering extempore speech in English. He worked along with Dhirubhai Ambani for a French company in Aden for seven years where he drew Rs225 as salary while Dhirubhai got Rs200 as he was his junior by two years.
Bharat Bhai has previously been honoured with several awards including Jewel of Gujarat, Prasastri Patra, Most Distinguished NRI of Asian Continent and Golden Elder. He has been featured in several books and TV programmes. He had been featured by the Forbes Middle East magazine in the list of top Indians in the Arab world.
Bharat Bhai was also on the list of 60 distinguished Gujaratis of the world published by Chitralekha magazine. He has given 25 lectures at prominent institutions and forums related to NRIs in the UAE and India since 1988.
He is survived by wife Induben, sons Amar and Ketan.