Godrej “Billy” Billimoria, Rotary Club of Wilmette

Godrej Billimoria grew up in a small town in India. He and his wife, Avan, have lived on the North Shore since 1970.

However, they continue to travel extensively, including trips to India to oversee a $2.5 million project to build a water filtration plant for Billimoria’s hometown, where people have had scarce access to clean drinking water until now.

Godrej Billimoria grew up in small town in India, about 150 miles from Mumbai. He witnessed firsthand the destruction and pain that’s caused by poverty. Billimoria went on to study in the U.S. and build a successful CPA practice on the North Shore—but he never forgot about the people in India living without even the most basic necessities, like clean drinking water.

In 1982, Billimoria joined the Rotary Club of Wilmette, and he quickly realized that the organization would enable him to help people in need more than he ever imagined he might do on his own. He took a $12,500 contribution from the Rotary Club of Wilmette, and leveraged it to secure additional funding from other Rotary clubs, Rotary International and the Indian government.

Over the course of a decade, Billimoria turned that initial $12,500 into $2.5 million to build a water filtration plant for his hometown of Bilimora, India. Largely as a result of Billimoria’s efforts, 100,000 people finally have access to clean drinking water.

Billimoria has also dedicated significant efforts to helping blind people. He connected 61 different Rotary clubs and the Blind Foundation for India to provide assistance to more than 20,000 people with vision problems.

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