“A number of social organizations operating in India owe their origin and allegiance to alien lands, yet the InternationalPioneers is the only social and charitable club that has originated in India. This organization is ingrained with the lofty ideal to serve selflessly not only India, but the entire humanity.” said His Holiness Swami Avadeshanand Giri praising International Pioneers adding, “This club’s mind and heart both are steep in Indian values, culture, ethos and ideals, unlike the other clubs like the Lions Club, International Rotary Club, Rotract Club etc. those mimic the pop western culture, that is why these fail to strike a right chord in the Indian heart. Whereas the International Pioneers is able to express the Indian intellect, Indian mind, ethos, its very best philosophy and the quintessential ideals. This organization deserves praises for its great pioneering works in the service of the mankind. I pray to the Lord God, may this organization succeed more and more in its glorious task of serving the entire mankind!”
The club members, instead of wasting their money on wining and dining in five-star hotels, render help to the weaker section of society, the masses of helpless people, downtrodden sick and handicapped. Its members try their best to foster the feelings fraternity and socialism with no discrimination of caste, creed or religion. The International Pioneers has been holding successfully blood donation camps, running blood banks, oxygen banks, and homeopathic dispensaries in various Indian cities, rural libraries, various literary programs, seminar and cultural activities. This club has also provided help to the flood, drought and quake-stricken people.
The club was started in Aug. 1969 at Ramnagar in district Nainital, Uttaranchal by a college teacher Santosh Mehrotra with a few other teachers and students as its members with the inspiration from the Indian motto vasudhaiva kutumbakam. However, the main inspiration behind this organization was Lakhan Lal Mehrotra, the then Indian envoy to Yugoslavia who became the club’s international patron. It was Lakhan Lal Mehrotra who bestowed the club’s office-bearers with his great wisdom, vision and guidance. After about 35 years of service, the club’s branches have spread to many cities in India rendering the yeoman’s service to the society.
However, the club’s founder Santosh Mehrotra has now handed over its reins to other persons elected democratically by the club members. Still he acts as the main torchbearer and the leading light to the organization. Besides founding this club, Mr. Mehrotra, a versatile genius brimming with his vast energy, has also founded a number of other organizations including, Senior Citizen’s Welfare Committee, Seva Samiti, Blindness Eradication Committee, an environmental society etc. During his long and tortuous career he also contested from graduate constituency for the UP Legislative Council against Nityananda Swami who later became chief minister of state of Uttaranchal. Being a senior office-bearer of teachers’ organization Madhyamik Shikshak Sangh, and a Congress Party leader he is also a political stalwart in his own right.
After retiring from the service, Mr. Mehrotra now devotes most of his time and energy to help build the club, to publish its monthly publication, and to inspire college students and other youths to do good to society, build their own character so that the nation become proud of them. When asked about the organization’s ideals, Mr. Mehrotra said, “The International Pioneers is not mere a club, it’s a movement to serve the nation, society and humanity. It’s also a movement to bring the Indian ideals, its culture, and its philosophy to spotlight at the international level. I’ll keep on working on this till fulfilling of its lofty object.”