An inspiring story of love and care from Mother Teresa
Venkat Raman –
New Zealanders will have a unique opportunity of listening to one of the most interesting personalities who has won the hearts of people all over the world despite a difficult and challenging childhood.
Gautam Lewis, Chief Executive of ‘Freedom in Air,’ a not-for-profit organisation that helps physically challenged people become qualified pilots in the United Kingdom, will be the Guest Speaker at the Seventh Annual Mother Teresa Interfaith Meeting and the Ninth Annual Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards to be held in November.
While the Interfaith Meeting will be held at St Paul’s College, 183 Richmond Road, Ponsonby, Auckland at 230 pm on Sunday, November 27, 2016, the Business Awards Ceremony will begin at 5 pm on Monday, November 28, 2016 at Sky City Convention Centre.
Mother Teresa Interfaith Committee Chairman Wenceslaus Anthony said that the Interfaith Meeting this year acquires a special status since Mother Teresa would be canonised by Pope Francis on September 4, 2016.
“Mother Teresa stood for peace, love and harmony and worked hard throughout her life for the poor and the needy. Those with special needs received her special attention and it is appropriate that Mr Lewis is with us this year,” he said.
Born in Kolkata in 1977, Mr Lewis contracted polio when he was three years old and was abandoned. He was raised at Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata for two years and thereafter at the Rehabilitation Centre outside the City for another two years. It was here that his life changed.
Dr Patricia Lewis, a nuclear physicist adopted him and they moved permanently to England, where he attended the prestigious Bedales School.
After obtaining a business degree, Mr Lewis entered the music industry and worked for renowned management agencies including Ricochet Artist Management, Creation Management and Poptones Records.
While working with Alan McGee (the driving force behind Oasis) at Creation Management, he co-managed groups such as ‘The Beta Band’ and the Libertines.
In 2007, Mr Lewis fulfilled his childhood dream and became a qualified pilot, passing all his ground and air examinations in just six months.
Still dependent on crutches from his childhood battle with polio, he founded ‘Freedom in the Air,’ a flying school for people with a range of disabilities.
The not-for-profit organisation is committed to empowering disabled people through the freedom that flight offers, benefitting at emotional, physical and professional levels.
“It is impossible for me to forget Mother Teresa, soon to be Saint Teresa of Kolkata. Mother gave me a chance to escape poverty and to a different destiny in London, England,” Mr Lewis said.
Mother Teresa would have been pleased to see the rise in stature of an abandoned boy who is today a source of inspiration to hundreds of people.
Throughout her life, Mother believed in the human effort to lift the downtrodden.
“Let us not be satisfied with just giving money. Money is not enough, money can be got, but they need your hearts to love them. So, spread your love everywhere you go,” were among the words that she spoke at meetings and interviews.
She always believed that love should be ‘extraordinary’ in order to be genuine. “What we need is to love without getting tired,” was her favourite line.
Indian Newslink will carry more details about Mother Teresa, Mr Lewis, Mother Teresa Interfaith Meeting and the Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards in its ensuing editions.