A godfather for the destitutes

A godfather for the destitutes
Highlights

German billionaire Dr Heinz-Horst Deichmann, whose heart bled for poor women, leprosy victims and millions of orphans in India, passed away on October 2.

On Deichmann’s Memorial Day today, thousands of people will remember Dr Heinz-Horst Deichmann, who was supposed to spend Christmas in India with his ‘extended family’ but passed away early on October 2 this year

German billionaire Dr Heinz-Horst Deichmann, whose heart bled for poor women, leprosy victims and millions of orphans in India, passed away on October 2. The septuagenarian shoemaker gave away billions of dollars for charity work through Chilakaluripet-based AMG India International, a noted Christian NGO founded by a visionary--late S John David.

Dr Heinz-Horst Deichmann with a leper (file photo)

Deichmann, who came to Andhra Pradesh in 1977, was moved by the plight of the poor. Deeply touched by the poverty in India he wanted to do something for the poor. He saw in John David a reliable partner through whom he reached out to the people shunned by the society. He gave his heart for India and dedicated all his resources for India’s under-privileged. Since 1977 he began visiting India, particularly Chilakaluripet in Guntur district and several coastal districts including Odisha and Tamil Nadu, where AMG has stakes in social work.

He believed that leprosy victims, children of unwedded mothers, prostitutes, physically challenged and the homeless were “children of a Big God and not born to a lesser God as is being portrayed in the media.” Both John David and Deichmann gave their all for the cause of the poor and left an indelible impression in scores of hearts and lasting impressions of how religion can be defined.

Deichmann, who was supposed to visit India for Christmas, breathed his last in Germany. Upon his death, the country lost a heart that was beating for India for more than three decades and millions of people in the southern states of India were orphaned. He cared for more than 1 lakh orphan children, thousands of sex workers “who called it quits” to flesh trade and started a new life.

He had built hospitals, homes for the disabled and residential schools. He penetrated into every dark sphere of human life and dispelled darkness out of their lives and gave them new beginnings.

Now, thousands who waited for his arrival before Christmas and viewed him as their Santa Claus to receive gifts and embrace him are feeling orphaned although all the charity works are going on under the stewardship of Dr Arun Kumar Kanti Mohanty, who is continuing the legacy of the departed souls of Deichmann and John David. Rephrasing the words of the poet Wordsworth, “Men may come and men may go but AMG goes on forever” is the sentiment shared by all who knew the trio, AMG-John David-Deichmann.

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