14 Apr 2021
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Antwerp mourns the loss of diamantaire Prabodh Kirtilal Mehta
Noted businessman, philanthropist, and pioneer of the diamond community in Belgium Prabodh Kirtilal Mehta passed away on November 3rd, 2020, in Antwerp, Belgium
By: Diamond World News Service
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Dec 1 2020 10:33AM
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Reference: 25290  

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He is survived by his children Chetan and Neena, his daughter-in-law Seema, son-in-law Sonu Parikh, and grandchildren Esha, Ayush, Naman-Devika, and Umang.

Shri Prabodh Mehta (21st August 1936) was born to Lilavati and Kirtilal Mehta, as one of seven, three brothers and three sisters. At 17, he moved to Belgium and with his father, and founded the diamond company Gembel together in 1953. At the age of 18 he was left alone in Belgium, and became the backbone of the business, nurturing it to become one of the largest in the world, with offices in 10 cities. He was a pioneer not only in the diamond business, but in venturing out of India. He was one of the first to set up shop in Belgium and paved the way for the community of 1,500 members we have here today. Countless families and diamond businesses owe their beginnings in Belgium to Prabodhbhai Mehta. He has been bestowed the two highest civilian awards by his Majesty the King of Belgium, the “ORDE VAN LEOPOLD II” in 1993 the “Albert II Koning Der Belgen” in 1994 for his economical and social contributions to the Belgian society. He later moved to Dubai in 2008, where he founded Pace Gems, as well as continued his charitable endeavors.

In 1963, he married the love of his life, Usha Mehta, and raised their children, Chetan and Neena. In 1987, the family lost Usha, but he stood strong, acting as a rock for his children. His son Chetan remains active in the diamond community, as well as continues the philanthropic work his father started. Prabodhbhai was an active traveler, and sportsman who enjoyed swimming and exploring the world into his 80’s.

He was passionate about giving back throughout his life, and towards the later years focused solely on philanthropic work. Prabodhbhai, his siblings and their father founded the Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai in honor of their beloved mother and wife. Today, Lilavati is one of the top 10 hospitals in India. The hospital remains a charity, providing healthcare at no cost to those who cannot afford treatment. The Lilavati diagnostic center in Palanpur was set up shortly after by Prabobhbhai and his family. Additionally, he has donated to medical causes such as the medical equipment he provided to Shrimad Rajchandra Mission. There remain many scholarships in Belgium and India that have been started by him such as the Ayush and Esha Chetan Mehta Scholarship at Menaben Manilal Mehta English School. As a strict follower of the principles of Jainism, he was a strong backer of the many Jain institutions around the world such as the Gurudev Namramuni’s Parasdham Ashram.

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