Bhangar (WB), Dec 7: With the European economy still reeling from the downturn, French author and philanthropist Dominique Lapierre is now seeking donation from India Inc for his ongoing social projects.
"Besides Kolkata, I will also go to Mumbai and Delhi to meet Indian entrepreneurs and seek support for various ongoing social projects," he said here during a visit to South 24-Parganas district on Wednesday.
The 80-year-old is in India with a group of philanthropists from America, France, Italy, Spain and England to seek support for his various social initiatives running in rural West Bengal.
"Europe is still suffering from a financial crisis situation and so the flow of funds from there to India has decreased. But India is an emerging country and the entrepreneurs here should therefore give money for such causes," he said.
After receiving a hero's welcome by the locals here, the author said he is proud that he has managed to improve the lives of 20 lakh people through his social initiatives in the last three decades.
In 1981, Lapierre had founded 'City of Joy Aid' which started rescuing children suffering from leprosy from the slums of Kolkata.
Funded by half the royalties from his literary successes, he aids a network of clinics, schools, rehabilitation centres and hospital boats of local NGO Southern Health Improvement Samity.
"I always wanted to work here and bring a change in the lives of people," he said recalling that it was around 40 years ago when he visited Kolkata for the first time to research on Mahatma Gandhi.
Dominique, who was awarded Padma Bhushan in 2008, is best known in India for his book 'The City of Joy', which was also made into a movie directed by Roland Joffe and starring Patrick Swayze.