mehta r bw

Past International President Rohit C. Mehta, known as the Father of Indian Lionism, died on the morning of September 17, 2020. He was 91 years old.

The late Past International President Mehta became a Lion in 1956 and after years of dedication and service to the association, became International President in 1992-93. He was the first Lion from India to serve as International President of Lions.

PIP Mehta was the charter secretary of the first Lions Club in his state of Gujarat. He served in numerous capacities and was appointed district governor in 1959-60, elected district governor in 1960-61, and served as a member of the association's board of directors from 1970 to 1972. In 1987, Mehta was elected as the association’s third International Vice President. He served as LCIF Trustee, LCIF Steering Committee Member, Lions Quest Advisory Committee, Chairman of the Lions Quest India Foundation and CSFII PIP Campaign Ambassador.

The late Past President Mehta was also the editor of the LION Magazine in India for many years and was an acting member of Ahmedabad Host Club and Honorary Member of Lions Club of Ahmedabad Karnavati.  He was instrumental in the initiative of Sight First and Lions Quest Program. He was also one of the key members to start China Action Program for Sight Conversation, and was the pioneer of several service projects including Lions Karnavati Shantaben Vishnubhai Patel Eye Hospital, Lalji Mehrotra Lions School, Lions Blood Bank, and Lions Kidney Dialysis Center. Until recently, he served as a chairman of the School for Deaf-Mutes Society, founded by Mahatma Gandhi and visited by Helen Keller. He also served as chairman of an educational institute Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan; imparting education to more than 4,000 students.

For his dedication and service, the late Past President Mehta was recognized with the Master Key, six Extension Awards, a 50, 55 and 60-Year Charter Monarch Chevrons, Humanitarian Partner Bronze, Life Membership Award, over 20 International President Medals, and the Ambassador of Good Will, the highest honor granted to a member by the association. He was a generous donor to LCIF, including being a Major Donor to both Campaign SightFirst I and II, and he was a multi-level Progressive Melvin Jones Fellow.

After losing his parents in an air crash in 1950, 20-year-old Mehta quickly accepted the responsibilities of his family’s textile and pharmaceutical business, and continued to acquire many international businesses and collaborations. Retiring from business activities in 2001, he continued to serve society through various institutions, including serving as the president of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Indian Cotton Mill Federation, president of Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and chairman of Bet Dwarka Temple Trust. He was also the chairman of more than 20 state public sector undertakings and notable amongst them was GNFC, Ahmedabad Electricity Company, and GRUH Finance Bank.

On August 26, Lions around the world celebrated PIP Mehta’s 91st birthday by doing individual Acts of Kindness, and he was delighted to receive a scrapbook that described 100 of these selected acts.

The late Past President was devoted to his family; wife Asha, two sons Rajesh and Anuj, four grandchildren, and one great grandchild, and was proud of the worldwide Lions family. He recognized the needs of others and through determination and kindness improved countless lives.