CHENNAI: Whenever Morarji Desai calls his younger brother working at a major IT firm, the latter’s colleagues let out a hearty laugh. After all, it’s not often you hear Vajpayee speaking to Morarji Desai.
“It is a running joke among all our friends whenever our brothers talk to each other,” says 33-year-old social worker Morarji Desai. His younger brother is named Vajpayee and the names of two of his elder brothers are Gopalkrishna Gokhale and Balagangadhar Tilak.
“My father, a retired policeman, wanted his sons to be like leaders and named his four sons after them,” Desai says. A sociology graduate from Loyola college, Desai has been working for the welfare of children, especially from the city slums.
For the past six years, he has also adopted and is managing the Royapettah Police Boys and Girls Club, which functions from the Rotary Nagar slum. Institutionalised in 1956 and becoming defunct shortly after, it was revived again in 2003.
“The kids are at risk of engaging in anti-social activities as their surroundings favour it,” Desai says.
Has he been successful in bringing about a change? “Definitely,” he says. “One of the boys from our club recently managed to graduate in marine studies and is now sailing around the world. The boys here look up to him.”
The motivation for this pursuit began when he was volunteering during his college days at Thomas Road slum near T Nagar. “That’s when I decided that I would be doing this for the rest of my life,” he smiles.
His commitment has also earned him several admirers, notable among them was senior police officer Sylendra Babu, who was recently appointed Additional Director General of Police for Law and Order in the State.
His family, he says, has been a great pillar of support all the years. “Last year, with the help of police officers, the kids from the slum watched a ISL football match live in the stadium for the first time in their lives,” Desai recalls. “The happiness on the faces of those underprivileged children at that moment...That’s what I strive for.”