Emotional visit to HEAL Paradise as ‘Mindions’ prepare for India adventure

The family of Hoshil Mehta, who are sponsoring a science laboratory at Paradise Village in his name, paid an emotional visit to HEAL’s flagship project on Christmas Eve.

They were greeted by excited children from Paradise’s primary school, who always love receiving visitors, staff and members of HEAL India and the charity’s founder Dr Satya Prasad Koneru.

The new science lab in memory of Hoshil Mehta at Paradise Village

The new science lab in memory of Hoshil Mehta at Paradise Village

Hoshil, a BPharm + MBA in Pharmtech student from Mumbai, passed away in September, leaving family members in both the UK and India devastated.

But instead of dwelling upon the tragic loss of the popular 22-year-old, the family came up with an idea to hold a major fundraising challenge in his memory.

The 'Mindions', preparing to set off on their journey across India by rickshaw

The ‘Mindions’, preparing to set off on their journey across India by rickshaw

Calling themselves ‘The Mindions’, two of Hoshil’s relatives, cousins Nishma and Nikhil, plus family friend Avel, will set off on New Year’s Day on a rickshaw run from Cochin to Jaisalmer.

The money raised will be presented to HEAL to help fund a science lab for students at Paradise Village.

Dr Prasad welcomes the family to Paradise Village

Dr Prasad welcomes the family to Paradise Village

“The fundraising effort has been rather epic,” said Nishma, as the trio from London prepared to set off on their two-week adventure. “We have exceeded our target of £23,500 when you include Gift Aid, but we are keen to smash it.

“We visited Paradise Village on 24th December to inaugurate the laboratory. It is an incredible place. My little brother would be proud to have his name associated with such a wonderful project.”

Family members receive a warm welcome at Paradise Village

And this is only the first of many adventures Hoshil’s family and friends aim to take on in his name over the coming years whilst raising funds for HEAL and the Paradise Village project.

The family decided on a science lab as Hoshil was in his final year studying for a dual science degree and they wanted to build a legacy by opening a laboratory in his name “so that thousands of children can have the opportunity to study the subjects he was so passionate about.”

Tree-planting ceremony in the Paradise grounds

Tree-planting ceremony in the Paradise grounds

HEAL founder Dr Prasad said he was moved by the family’s story and their determination to turn a tragic loss into something positive and meaningful through their fundraising challenge.

“I wanted the whole family to visit Paradise Village and see for themselves the impact their fundraising efforts will have on many hundreds of young lives,” he said.

The new science lab at Paradise

The new science lab at Paradise

“It is quite amazing how they have responded with such energy and strength to a tragic situation, throwing themselves into this fundraising in Hoshil’s memory. We are so happy to welcome them all into the HEAL family.”

Dr Prasad was delighted to join members of the family to plant trees in the Paradise grounds as well as officially opening the science lab with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The Mindions' auto-rickshaw, ready for the start of a two-week journey across India

The Mindions’ auto-rickshaw, ready for the start of a two-week journey across India

Anyone interested will be able to follow The Mindions’ progress via the HEAL Facebook (www.facebook.com/HealVillage) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/HealVillage) feeds and donations can be made on their online fundraising page at www.justgiving.com/TheMindions.

“We are funding this entire trip ourselves, so every penny donated goes directly to HEAL and their Paradise project,” says Nishma. “We would be grateful for any contributions, no matter how small.”

Anyone wishing to make a donation in Indian rupees please e-mail projecthoshil@gmail.com.