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A million-dollar gift: Dr. Shiv Jindal, and wife Sarita, give back to the city he calls home

Dr. Jindal and wife Sharita

If you could do something today that would positively impact those around you for decades to come, would you do it? 

For Dr. Shiv Jindal and his wife, Sarita, the answer is always a resounding yes. 

Helping others is a core value for the Jindal family – one the local couple recently put into action with a $1 million donation to The Ottawa Hospital’s $500-million Campaign to Create Tomorrow.  

Dr. Jindal moved to Canada in 1967 and joined the Civic as one of the region’s original nephrologists (a medical discipline focused on the kidneys), eventually helping to establish the department of Nephrology at the Civic Hospital when the field was in its infancy. He spent over four decades serving the community at what is now known as the Civic Campus, seeing firsthand the impact quality healthcare can have on a city. 

When the opportunity arose to support the campaign that will help fund the development of TOH’s New Campus Development next to Dow’s Lake, the Jindal’s saw it as a chance to not only give back to the city they now call home, but to do something good that will have a lasting impact for generations to come.

The campaign – the largest in Ottawa’s history – will help fund the 641-bed, 2.5 million sq. ft. facility, which will feature the most advanced trauma center in Eastern Ontario, closely integrated research and clinical care, smart technology, and one of the most innovative neuroscience research programs anywhere.

Giving back, for the future

The Jindals have always prioritized philanthropy, dating back to at least the mid-1990s when they developed the concept and financed a village development project in India. Since then, they have travelled back to India every winter for 15 years to work in more than 60 villages across the country. 

Later, in 2007, the Jindals made a donation of $1M to fund a chair at TOH’s Kidney Research Centre (KRC) for research on preventing chronic kidney disease. 

Mrs. Jindal says the family made its most recent donation to The Campaign to Create Tomorrow for many reasons, one of which harkens back to a family-favourite story. 

There’s a well-known tale about an elderly man in India who was mocked by passersby for planting a mango tree in the community.

“Why are you planting this tree when you will not get to enjoy it?” they asked him. The man proudly shared that he was not planting the tree for his own pleasure but for many generations to come – a sentiment that is near-and-dear to the Jindal’s.

The donation was also for sentimental reasons: “I started at the Civic years ago,” says Dr. Jindal of his 45-year career at the hospital. “And I wanted to be part of it again.”

Dr. Jindal – who originally wanted to donate anonymously – says he hopes the gift will serve as an example and incentive for others to do the same. 

If recent events are any indication, that example has already been set: Just a few weeks after news of his family’s donation went public, he was asked by several members in the community about how they could donate to the campaign.