Ashok Mehta, of Mumbai, India, was elected to serve as the 2005-2006 president of The International Association of Lions Clubs at the association's 88th International Convention in Hong Kong on July 1, 2005. His theme was "Passion to Excel."
Past President Mehta, chairperson and managing director of a company in India, is actively associated with more than a dozen major medical, educational, welfare, social and cultural institutions.
A Lions member since 1963, Past President Mehta organized more than 30 eye-camps all over India and Africa. He mobilized international support during major catastrophes, including earthquakes and super-cyclones in India. His peace mission to Pakistan, promoted by Lions of the two nations, added to the spirit of building bridges between the people of these countries.
Past President Mehta served on the Campaign SightFirst International Committee from 1990-95, collecting US$150 million for the project. He has also presented papers on sight conservation and other topics at Lions international forums and conventions.
Because of his outstanding leadership and contributions, Past President Mehta has received many awards including Lions clubs' coveted "President's Medallion" for the last 23 years, the Lions International Key Award and Medallion for sponsoring 250 new members and 19 extension awards for organizing new clubs. The Jaycees of Mumbai declared him "Man of the Year" in 1986. The government of Maharashtra appointed him to the Senate of Mumbai University where he served on committees for awareness and prevention, as well as Sheriff of Mumbai for a one-year term in 2001. He was awarded an honorary doctoral degree in humanities from the University of the World in Missouri, USA.
Past President Mehta has participated in 24 Lions conventions, 14 USA/Canada Forums, 25 Africa forums and five Lions conferences in far eastern countries. He has been a member of the faculty at 10 District Governors-elect Schools and chairperson of the District Governors Orientation program at the 75th International Convention in Hong Kong.
Past President Mehta and his wife, Kokila, and daughter, Sheetal, are all progressive Melvin Jones Fellows.