Indo—Canadian paramedic Rahul Singh has joined US president Barack Obama, talk show queen Oprah Winfrey and Apple boss Steve Job in Time magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people in 2010.
The Toronto—based paramedic, who founded GlobalMedic in 1998 to help disaster—hit people, has been the face of Canadian relief efforts around the world, including the quake—hit Haiti, in the past 10 years. Calling his on—going relief work in Haiti “a shining example” of “selfless effort”, the magazine said, “Singh and his group of volunteers wasted no time in arriving in Port—au—Prince and setting about providing clean drinking water and medical aid wherever it was needed.
“Over an eight—week period, his team distributed 2.4 million gallons of clean water, while GlobalMedic’s two inflatable field hospitals brought medical assistance to more than 7,000 people. They also trained a local team of Haitians to take over the work, and right now that is just what they are doing.”
Speaking to IANS, Montreal—born Rahul Singh said, “I am excited to get on Time’s list. But this recognition is not about me, it is about our volunteers.”
Singh, whose parents migrated to Canada from Delhi’s Maharani Bagh, said he founded GlobalMedic after seeing the ravage caused by mudslides in Nepal in 1998.
“Travelling around the world, I was in Nepal when the mudslide disaster happened. There were inefficient relief efforts. I decided to do something to ensure efficient and immediate relief to disaster—struck people. After returning here, I founded GlobalMedic,” said the burly Mr. Singh.
In the last five years, he said, he and his hundreds of volunteers, including paramedics, police officers and firefighters, have mounted more than 50 relief operations around the world.
“We have been in Sri Lanka after the war ended, Iraq, Gaza, Lebanon, etc, etc. We are in Haiti since the quake struck. We help people recover from the disasters. We train them for rehabilitation,” he said.
GlobalMedic raises money by public donations, gala nights, dinners and fund—raisers, he said.
“We would have loved to help India when the Gujarat quake struck in 2001, but we were just setting up at that time,” said Mr. Singh.
Keywords: Most influential people,