Bhavesh Bhatia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Bhavesh Chandubhai Bhatia,(born 29 December 1970)) commonly known as Dr. Bhavesh Bhatia, is a visually challenged entrepreneur and founder of Sunrise Candles, based in Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra, India. Sunrise Candles is a candle making company run majorly by visually disabled people.[1] Bhavesh has been participating in paralympic category of games and has won 117 NAB,IBSA medals.[2]

Early life[edit]

Bhavesh was born with retina macular degeneration and had little sight while he was growing up.[2] His mother was suffering from cancer and later succumbed to her illness. His father was a caretaker at a guesthouse in Mahabaleshwar.[3] Before Bhavesh lost his sight completely, he worked as a hotel manager in Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra [2] though few say that he worked as a telephone operator in a hotel.[4] At the age of 23, Bhavesh lost his eye sight and consequently, lost his job as well.[2]

Struggle[edit]

After losing his sight completely, Bhavesh joined National Association For the Blind(NAB) and took training in candle making. He did a 4-month rehabilitation course where he was taught how to make candles for a living.[5] At NAB, Bhavesh also took training in acupressure, braille and few other things.[6]

According to Bhavesh, he wanted to start his own business for candle making but moulds were expensive that he could not afford. He started working as massage and acupressure therapist in hotels in Mahabaleshwar. This job helped him save money with which he bought a plain candle mould and 5 kg wax. He started making plain candles and worked as a street vendor in front of Holy Cross church in Mahabaleshwar. He used to set aside Rs 25 per day for next day's raw material.[2][6]

Neeta, a resident of Bhayander, Mumbai, who visited Bhavesh's shop as a customer, struck a chord with him and decided to marry him despite stiff resistance from her family.[7]

Bhavesh tried to get help from many sources but he could not get the technical and professional assistance though people helped him out of sympathy.[7] He could not get loans from banks. He failed to get help from profession candle manufacturers and institutes. He failed to get expert advice on candle making. Once, a few miscreants threw all of his candles in gutter. To get an idea about candle designs, Bhavesh used to go to shopping complexes with his wife and tried to touch and feel the different varieties of candles on display.[2]

Sunrise Candles[edit]

A special scheme by NAB for blind people helped Bhavesh get a loan of Rs 15000 from Satara Bank. With this money, Bhavesh purchased 15  kg of wax, two dyes and a hand cart.[2] One of his friend, Niraj Chandan, who helped him in the early days, says, "I met Bhavesh Bhatia five years ago. He had put up a stall to sell candles near a church in Mahabaleshwar." Niraj went to Bhavesh's house where he made the candles. "I could not believe my eyes. He was doing it so well. I took photographs with my digital camera and put up a small website - www.sunrisecandles.in. We advertised on Google and started getting lot of orders." Then things began to change. Advertisements in Google spread their reach and they started getting orders. Bhavesh got small piece of land from one of his friends, and another friend, who was a builder, built a small candle making center on that land.[8]

Sunrise candles, which employs a team of 2500 visually impaired people, in 13 states of India[9] now imports wax from UK and manufacture different kinds of candle which include pillar candles, floating candles, novelty candles, gel candles, toy shaped candles, fruit basket candle and traditional candles.[5] They have developed more than 9000 scented, plain and aromatherapy candle designs.[5] The client list of Sunrise candles includes Reliance Industries, Ranbaxy, Big Bazaar, Naroda Industries and the Rotary Club.[10]

Wax Museum[edit]

Bhavesh opened a coaching center at Moleshwar village, near Mahabaleshwar, to train physically challenged people in art of candle making. Training is provided in different aspects of candle making which largely depends on type of physical disability and personal aptitude of the person. This center is known as wax museum,Made By Blind.[8] There are mixed reviews for this museum. According to few, it may not be a wax museum in classical sense but for many it is a satisfying and inspiring visit for a social cause. The Wax Museum consists of [11]

Awards[edit]

Bhavesh has been recognized for his entrepreneurship skills. Below are the few notable awards conferred on him.[12]

  • Honorary Doctorate Degree on his contributions in Entrepreneurship on 29 May 2019 by the hands of Karnataka Higher Education Minister Hon.Shri. G.T. Deveghoda, Karnataka Higher Minister, ISRO Chairman Hon. Dr. Ranjan and Vice Chancellor Rani Channama University, at Belagavi Karnataka.
  • National award for best self-employed blind people, 2014 by Ex-President of India, Shri. Pranab Mukherjee[1]
  • National award for Best Employer of the Year, 2016 by Ex-President of India, Shri. Pranab Mukherjee
  • Best handicraft award from Shivsena, 2010
  • Piloo D Khambatta award for best blind entrepreneur from NAB India, 2009
  • Best Blind Self Employment award from Mukesh Ambani, 2008
  • Zidd Puraskar by Indumati Parikh Apang Sahay Kendra, Sangli, 2007
  • Asavadi trophy from Rotary club, 2006.

Other achievements[edit]

Bhavesh has participated in paralympic games. In his struggle phase and initial years of Sunrise Candles, he could not pursue his interest but afterwards, he started taking part in sports. Till now, he has won 114 Paralympic, NAB and IBSA medals in sports events.[2][12]

  • Shot put, discus throw and javelin throw gold medals in National Paralympic games, New Delhi, 2014
  • Gold medal in shot put and silver medal in discus throw in National Paralympic 2012
  • Gold medal in shot put, discus throw in Maharashtra state paralympics, Nasik, 2010, 2012
  • Silver medal in javelin throw in Maharashtra state paralympics, Nasik, 2010, 2012
  • Hon.Doctorate from #Rani Chennamma University Belagavi, Karnataka, 29 May-2019

TV appearance[edit]

Bhavesh was called in Satyamev Jayate (TV series).[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Sharma, Swati Goel (2 December 2014). "Visually impaired man to get national award". Hindustantimes. Hindustantimes. Retrieved 5 May 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "The blind street vendor who founded a million dollar company". rediff. 23 April 2015. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  3. ^ Pinto, Richa (29 August 2013). "Meet a blind man who heads a booming business, provides living for others". Mid Day. Retrieved 5 May 2015.
  4. ^ Raghunath, Pamela (9 October 2013). "A blind man who brings light into others' lives". gulfnews. Retrieved 5 May 2015.
  5. ^ a b c "About Us". sunrisecandles.in. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Visually Challenged Entrepreneur Brings Light Into Others Lives, Meet Bhavesh Bhatia [Doer]". nextbigwhat.com. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
  7. ^ a b Lad, Vrushali. "Love by candle light". themetrognome.in. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
  8. ^ a b Madhavan, N; Kaur, Harjot. "Lighting Up Lives". moneylife.in. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
  9. ^ Das, Juri Moni. "He couldn't afford 1 Kg of candle wax once, now his company consumes 25 tonnes of wax in a day". achhikhabre.com/. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
  10. ^ "Blind vendor now a millionaire". andhrawishesh.com/. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
  11. ^ "Wax Museum". tripadvisor.co.nz. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  12. ^ a b "Achievements". sunrisecandles.in. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  13. ^ "Lighting up lives". satyamevjayate.in. Retrieved 27 April 2015.

External links[edit]