Trustee Oswal dedicates life to serving from the heart

More than 30 years ago, Trustee Aruna Abhey Oswal joined her local Lions club in Mumbai, India. As a humanitarian and changemaker, she wanted to expand her service globally to help create a better world and empower others.

Early on, Trustee Oswal established herself as a trailblazer within the Lions Clubs by becoming the first woman president of the Lions Club of Juhu and the first woman district governor of District 323A in India. She also served as multiple district coordinator for LCIF’s Campaign SightFirst II, LCIF multiple district coordinator, international director, and trustee of Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF).

Oswal House New Delhi WEBNow in 2022, Trustee Oswal reflects on helping thousands of families by supporting global projects including vision, Special Olympics, childhood cancer, and women’s empowerment. With every project, she hopes to bring tears of joy to families and create a better life for others.

To magnify her impact, Trustee Oswal created a foundation, the Aruna Abhey Oswal Trust, with her late husband, Shri Abhey Oswal. In partnership with her foundation and LCIF, recent projects include a pediatric care center in Paraguay, an all-inclusive playground at the childhood cancer ward in Malawi, and a new ophthalmology wing in India, to name a few.

In celebration of the end of the Campaign 100 and International Women’s Day last month, Trustee Oswal reflected with LCIF on her commitment to the organization, the importance of Campaign 100, and how she empowers women throughout the world.

Q: In 1989, you decided to join the Lions Club. Why did you start volunteering as a Lion?

Trustee Oswal: We are all human beings, and we wanted to do something good for society, not only in India, but Mr. Oswal wanted to serve globally. In my service journey, Mr. Oswal played a very important role to help provide the resources and platform where I can go and serve the community at large. We chose LCIF because we wanted to reach our fellow man and expand our global impact.

Q: Why is Campaign 100 so important for the future of the organization? Why do you think it is important to inspire gifts to LCIF and the campaign, no matter the size?

Trustee Oswal: Campaign 100 will give us the ability to support service for years to come, and this is so important for LCIF. Success in reaching our campaign goal is going to happen with the involvement of our Lions. Our Lions should feel like they are part of the campaign, and part of this success story. I never tell Lions to donate thousands and thousands of dollars. I always tell them to start with small amounts because every drop fills the ocean.

Q: As a trailblazer, why do you think it is important to inspire women members to participate and give to the Lions Club?

Trustee Oswal: I always tell women at the Lions Club that we have great examples in front of us from Past International President Gudrun Yngvadottir and International Second Vice President Dr. Patti Hill. The time is now for women.

I assure women that they can do wonders, and we can do something different. Women have special qualities as multi-taskers, and we can be changemakers if given the opportunity. If a woman is capable, positive, inspiring, motivating, service-oriented, and humble, please consider her for the Lions. We need women as leaders, and they can change the world.

Q: Last month, the world celebrated International Women’s Day on March 8 to recognize the social, political, and economic achievements of women. Why is women’s empowerment important to you, and how do you inspire other women?

Trustee Oswal: In my life, I was empowered by my family and my husband. I decided, if I can be empowered by my family, I should empower other women.

I’m empowering so many women in my office, in my family, and wherever I go. Women can do anything if they are given the confidence, power, and the respect. Women are in every field from police officers to astronauts to corporate business professionals; we are everywhere.

Right now, I’m leading a women’s empowerment committee in India and helping women upgrade their lives and their businesses. In the past as a Lion, one of my favorite projects was helping secure 1,000 sewing machines and certifications for women in India to help women provide for their families.

Q: Throughout the last 30 years, what accomplishments as a Lion are you most proud of?

Trustee Oswal:  I love the projects for women’s empowerment, any project supporting children, and Special Olympics. All the projects are very close to my heart.  If service is needed, I am for it.  Whatever the need is, we are there.

Q: On your foundation’s website, you said, “One’s true happiness can be achieved by the happiness of others.” Why is the quote important to you? How do you try to live by this quote in your life?

Trustee Oswal:  I always remember Mother Teresa’s quote, “the world is full of good people if you can’t find one, be one.” You can be the one. You can bring a smile to one person. If you can help one person a day, in a year, you will help 365 people. If you give food to a hungry man, you can feel how he is feeling fulfilled and see the tears of joy, which I have seen so many times throughout my 45 years of service to the world.

My late husband said, “if you do something for humanity, the whole world will salute you. This is what I want in my life. If you die, die with some respect.” These were his last words. I preserved them in my heart and soul, and I want to die with these words. I want to leave this earth with his words and those feelings, which he had for the people, for the community, and for everyone.

Today, Lions call me Didi in India, which means elder sister. They honor me so much like an older sister, and I want to help them as an older sister. I am thankful for all the Lions in the world. They have given me the opportunity to serve globally and fulfill our dreams together. Not only my dreams, but all of the Lions’ dreams.

For Trustee Oswal, service is never ending and her journey to help others will continue as she supports global causes for LCIF.

“It is not important to go to heaven after we leave,” she said. “It is important to create heaven on this Earth before we leave.”

Join Trustee Oswal and make your gift to LCIF’s Campaign 100 today to help make a difference. Visit