Wed, 09 August 2023
Dr. Arun Kumar Praharaj’s incredible journey from a successful corporate professional to a diaspora leader in Bahrain reflects his zeal to change the world through social upliftment and community welfare.
Despite a humble background and limited means, his late father had made social work an innate part of his and his siblings’ childhoods. Perhaps, unknowingly, he had also nurtured Dr Praharaj’s giving spirit and his need to make a meaningful difference.
Today, as the CEO of the Dadabhai Group of Companies and Founder of the Bahrain Odia Samaj, Dr. Praharaj has become an invaluable asset to the Kingdom’s expat community. His corporate success has not overshadowed his genuine desire to transform the lives of others. Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, he played a pivotal role in orchestrating relief efforts in close coordination with the Indian Embassy, including organising direct repatriation flights to Odisha, advocating for the rightful dues of distressed employees, and offering invaluable moral support to fellow Indian nationals facing hardships. A beacon of hope, he remains just a call or text away for any distressed Indian national in need.
Hailing from the same district as Madam President Draupadi Murmu, the first indigenous President of India, Dr. Praharaj admits he finds her journey beyond inspiring. It motivated him further on his own path of service and helping all but especially those who came from his home-state, Odisha. “Simplicity and humility are trademarks of my community. At large, Eastern India is filled with ordinary souls with extraordinary dreams. It is these dreams that I am committed to igniting and empowering,” says Dr. Praharaj, now fuelled by his own dedication to create a positive impact on the world.
His selfless efforts have earned him recognition and accolades, including being appointed as the Honorary Goodwill Ambassador for the Kingdom of Bahrain by the President of Vishva Odisha Foundation and Speaker of the Odisha Legislative Assembly, Dr. Surjya Narayan Patro. This appointment came as part of the Global Odia Awakening Campaign, an initiative to promote Brand Odisha and uplift the state. He was also awarded the prestigious Shrambandhu Samman – an honour bestowed upon him for giving his voice to the voiceless among the migrant community – by the Governor of Andhra Pradesh, Mr Biswabhusan Harichandan at the 9th Foundation Day of the Kalinga Bangalore Foundation during 2022.
Furthermore, he has been honoured by numerous credible social Institutions such as the Interview Times - Top 20 Inspirational Personalities of Odisha, Living Legends of Odisha, Kalinga Gaurav Samman and the Shree Samman from the Parichay Foundation under the patronage of the Ministry of Culture, Government of Odisha.
Apart from his humanitarian endeavours, Dr. Praharaj has focused on uniting the vibrant Odia diaspora in Bahrain. As the Vice President of the prestigious Bahrain India Art & Cultural Society, Chief Patron of Sanskriti, Bahrain and Founder Director of the Foundation of Global Odia Diaspora, he has brought together various global Odia associations under the stewardship of OSA-USA and OSUK-UK. Through vibrant exhibitions of handcrafted art from Odisha, cultural exchange programmes and celebrations like Odisha Day under the patronage of the esteemed Embassy of India, he has enabled a seamless flow of heritage and art between Bahrain and Odisha, bridging the gap between home and the host country for his community.
“I am grateful to His Majesty and the Government of this beautiful island for the support and cultural freedom given to the expatriate community, truly imbibing the spirit of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ - the world is one big family,” says Dr. Praharaj
Dr. Praharaj’s relentless pursuit of social welfare stems from his determination to change the world, one life at a time. Inspired by his own experiences and the exceptional journey of Madam President, he stands as a remarkably compassionate man of his words. With a heart that knows no boundaries and a spirit that seeks to empower and uplift, Dr. Arun Kumar Praharaj is a true inspiration for all, driving positive change and making the world a better place for everyone living by the sole principle of ‘Service to humanity is service to God.’