"For Us, Our Attempt Has to be either Life Changing or Life Saving"

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Diverse minds can create a difference, one that has the potential to change the society. In an attempt to see that change, this power couple duo, one of India’s best lawyers and one of Asia’s most influential public relations personalities, is putting their heart and soul. Jyoti Sagar, an advocate who has spent 42 years fighting corporate and intellectual property cases, is not only an idol to thousands of aspiring lawyers, he is their hero.

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His partner for more than five decades, Prema Sagar launched a public relations company in India in 1992 at a time when none in the country knew about the industry. Impeccable experts of their field, the Sagars share a common goal – to provide critical medical assistance to children from underprivileged sections of the society and to orphans. 

For us, the test actually is that our attempt has to be either life changing or life saving,” says Jyoti Sagar. The Sagars who have led an unconventional life from the very start say each have been each other’s pillars. A college dropout, Prema Sagar ran away from home to marry Jyoti. Four decades later, they started a Foundation for the child they lost 32 years ago. 

“For the first 16-17 years, I was more deeply involved in more organized work as a lawyer’s schedules can get crazy. But Prema, let me build my practice while she managed a lot other things so I never had any pressures or issues of managing children,” says Jyoti Sagar. 

Prema says Jyoti never stopped her from anything. “Till today, anything that I have wanted to do, I did and I still do,” says Jyoti. ‘The fact that you can actually save a life is what makes it so important’ The Foundation that is backed by 12 members aims to provide intervention where lives can be saved and is largely ‘volunteer-driven’.

“Our intervention is in a way very focused and the area we are working in is the space many organizations are not working in,” tells Jyoti. This initiative has however not caught the attention of large corporations. To be honest, most of the CSR initiatives are what is it in for me. We are disappointed on that front,” they said adding, “We always sometimes wonder what can be more important than saying you know what we saved lives.”

(This article was first published in the March issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)