Raj Kumar Nigam’s father Mahashai Chitra Sen Nigam was a revered freedom fighter who fought for the country under the stirring guidance of honored Lala Lajpat Rai; was deeply immersed in service to the downtrodden and dedicated his life to the welfare of Kanpur in the selfless service to the cause of Widow’s Homes; Girls and Boys Education; and Arya Samaj. Raj Kumar Nigam’s mother Ramkali Devi was from Unnao; an entrepreneur who built an empire of real estate starting the construction of the first house with her own hands and she has been the most powerful source of continued inspiration all his life.
Born in Kanpur, Raj Kumar Nigam completed his Master’s in Geography from Allahabad University in 1958; doctorate from B.H.U. and post-doctoral fellowship from Ankara University in Turkey. At the young age of 30 years he organized the first ever International Geographical Science Congress hosted in India (Delhi, Benares and Kanpur). He has represented India in World Geographic Conferences in Montreal, Toronto, Paris, Moscow, Washington DC and many other countries. In 1979 he went to Somalia for 3 years as United Nation’s visiting Professor in the University of Mogadishu. In 1999 he retired as Head of Geography Department, D.A.V. College, Kanpur Dean, Faculty of Science, Kanpur University, UP.
In spite of his hectic academic journey, he was immersed in social activities in Kanpur – of running the local school for underprivileged; local temple that was patronized by his mother; all the services that were initiated by his father like the Hindu Orphanage. He was the President, Rotary International Kanpur, and during his tenure he instituted polio vaccinations and eye clinics for the poor. Married to Madhu Nigam, daughter of renowned civil lawyer, Sri Narain Nigam, she was the rock-solid pillar with infinite unselfish love for the family and has been the backbone of all his success. Together they have three children Anu, Ajay and Ruchira. After retiring he relocated with his wife to Toronto to be close to their three children and effortlessly learnt the Canadian way of independent living.
He is a great philanthropist with big heart and open pocket. After his open-heart surgery by Dr. Gopal Bhatnagar in 2004 he felt so indebted to the Trillium Health Partners that he made a major donation in 2006 and since then has continued to donate generously to the hospital annually. In the last decade he met Terry & Nimmi Papneja and was very much taken up with the selfless work done at AIM for Seva to educate the poor, underprivileged children of India. Hostel donation for girls in the ancestral birth place of his parents was a no-brainer for him and the decision was made in seconds. Donating a girl’s hostel for AIM for Seva in the tribal town of Kusumbhi, district of Unnao, Uttar Pradesh, is deemed a family legacy in the name of Nigam & Srivastava families; a place not only to cherish for his future generations but also a place where the girls who are being educated will uplift their families socially and economically for generations to come!