Wednesday, December 30, 2009

PANCHAAMRITAM 141 - 150

PANCHAAMRITAM 141

POORNIMA, Kali Yugaabda 5110, Sarvadhari Aadi 2 (JULY 17, 2008)

Posted on July 22, 2008; Sorry for the delay: Moderator

ONE

A.. Founder of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Dr. Hedgewar was poor but never sought a job as his full time was engaged in RSS work. However, he functioned as an LIC doctor, issuing certificates to policy holders, for a monthly salary of Rs. 30 (in 1920’s) for 4 months, unable to decline the request of Swayamsevaks, but offered all his earnings of Rs 120 before the sacred saffron flag on Guru Pooja day. 2. A poor Vanavasi boy was working as a help at Rs. 60 a month in a vanavasi hostel run by Swayamsevaks. He had studied only upto 4th standard. Once an RSS Pracharak visited the hostel. The boy found out that though an M.Sc , LL.B., the Pracharak worked for RSS expecting nothing in return. It inspired the boy. Then on, he worked at the hostel for 15 years without accepting any money. (Both anecdotes were narrated by Shri Mohanji Bhagwat, RSS Sarkaryawah, at the South Chennai Guru Pooja function on July 20, 2008).

TWO

Valayappatti near Srivilliputtur, Virudunagar district (Tamilnadu, Bharat) has a few habits more than a 100 years old No one smokes bidi or cigarette nor uses tobacco. The villagers have never approached police help to solve problems. Village elders do it. The Village Panchayat chief is elected by unanimous decision. To cap it all, the youth in the village say they want to take all this to the next generation. There are 200 families, all agriculturists.

Based on a report in DINAMALAR, July 12, 2008.

THREE

The Indian women team withdrew on July 17, 2008, from the beach volleyball championship in the four-day event being held at the Elliots beach, Chennai (Bharat), after it refused to adhere to the international volleyball federation dress code, stipulating wearing just top and under-garment. "The Indian players expressed reservations on wearing just a top and under-garment as stipulated by the international beach volleyball federation," Martin Sudhakar, tournament director said. The tournament offers 6,400 US dollars (Rs. 2,88,000) for the winning team. (Based on a PTI report on July 17, 2008). IMPORTANT: The Indian women players were firm on their stand. Later in the day, they were allowed to play, wearing the dress befitting Indian ambience. Reported THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS, Chennai, on July 18, 2008: "The organizers of the tournament `softened their stand and permitted Indian women players to compete in their traditional jersey and knee-length shots, taking into consideration the social and religious sentiments,' Martin said."

FOUR

N Anand, fondly called "Bussy" Anand, is a busy man. A first-time MLA, he was elected from the Bussy assembly constituency in the Union territory of Puducherry in 2006 and hence the prefix. And when the 44-year-old legislator of Puducherry Munnetra Congress is not pushing for schemes, meeting voters or discussing local politics over a cuppa, he's clearing garbage, cleaning clogged drains and spraying mosquito repellent across the town. And he does this with his own money, spending Rs 75,000 to Rs 85,000 every month from his earnings. Anand's dual role began nine years ago when, disappointed with the government's slack conservancy work, he started a garbage collection unit of his own. Since then, he has been going to the 'field' himself, undertaking door-to-door collection of garbage from all households in his constituency. Anand's unit, which started with a single tricycle and two men in 1999, has 14 members today, equipped with four tricycles and gadgets "to carry out our mission". So much so that residents refuse to hand over garbage to the government conservancy staff and wait for Anand's unit every morning. Based on a report in THE TIMES OF INDIA, Chennai, June 16, 2008

FIVE

Belying the Tamil saying to the effect, 'even a soldier shivers at the sight of a snake', Dhanalakshmi Raja (30) in Nagaiputhur village, 240 km from Madurai, treated a wounded cobra lying in bushes near her home, on April 27, 2008. The snake was wriggling in pain. As a devotee of 'naga devatha' or god of snakes, she took the reptile to the nearby Muneeeswara temple. "My intuition suggested I should feed it with milk. But the snake was not in a position to drink since it had sustained injury on its head. It was then that the idea of feeding it with the help of a syringe struck me," she said. Soon she started nursing the wounds by applying antiseptic creams. However, it attracted opposition from the locals who wanted her to leave the snake back into the grove. "It did not allow anybody except Dhanalakshmi to come near. Devotees visiting the temple were scared," said Bhoopathy, a villager. Unperturbed, the woman stuck to her syringe. She wanted to 'discharge' her patient only after it got cured completely. PTI, May 5, 2008.

OOOOOOOOO

PANCHAAMRITAM 142

AMAVAASYA, Kali Yugaabda 5110, Sarvadhari Aadi 17 (AUGUST 1, 2008)

ONE

For the past 22 years since his retirement from the Food Corporation of India, Shri. K Masilamani, 80, resident of Madipakkam, a Chennai suburb, has been going all out to lend a helping hand especially to the elderly retirees like him, besides working for social causes. Starting from getting the retirement benefits, to meeting unexpected family expenditure to sudden hospitalisation, it is a continuous fight. At this juncture, one needs help. Interestingly, the elderly gentleman has a database of about 200 retirees in and around Madipakkam and has supported them whenever they have had problems. “Leave alone the financial support, the physical presence during crisis situations is a big morale booster”, Masilamani says. Curiously, the man always keeps a plain paper and pen with him ready to shoot off letters to the authorities if need arose. Notably, the octogenarian partnered with late K Kandaswami of Ullagaram, a retired BSNL engineer, to redeem the Draupadi Amman Temple tank from being converted into a garbage dump, thus augmenting subsoil water. And, when the tsunami struck, he arranged loads of clothes and food for the affected people. He actively takes part in local welfare activities and his sheer work inspires people in his neighbourhood. He is also the president of the Mudiyor Sevai Sangam (MSS). From helping destitute women and children, planting saplings to supporting the educational expenditure of orphans, the group of elderly men and women have so far helped close to a thousand persons. “It is not me. It is the courage of (all elderly) people like MG Subramaniam (foun der of MSS), A Chidamba ram, KG Janakiraman, and N Swaminathan which runs this Sangam,” says Masilamani in all humility.

Based on a ‘The Real Heroes’ report by Shri. V. Gangadharan in THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS, August 4, 2008.

TWO

Sushree Saumya. She is a class 9 student of DAV Centenary Public School, Haridwar, (Uttaraakhand State, Bharat). There was no place for Samskrit as a subject in her class. Her efforts bore fruit and Samskrit is now being taught in her class. Says Saumya: “I had a great desire to learn Samskrit. I requested our Headmistress. But she said ‘Not possible’. I talked to other students. Then on, along with them I sang Samskrit songs and made them recite slokas during the midday lunch interval. They were all happy. Then I wrote out request letters for over 60 students, got signature of their parents on them and submitted them to my Headmistress Smt. Renuka Arora. She appreciated my strong desire. At once she called the Samskrit teacher Smt Kiran and discussed the matter with her. Soon Samskrit began to be taught in my class”. A total of 42 students opted for Samskritam; over 10 secured more than 90 marks in Samskritam in the annual exam. In July, a ten-day spoken Samskrit Shibiram was held and that paved the way for more students opting for Samskritam, according to Saumya.

Based on a report in July 2008 issue of SAMBHASHANA SANSDESHAH, Samskrit monthly, Giri Nagar, Bangalore – 85.

THREE

A team of 30 computer professionals based in South Chennai’s Alwarpet, many in it Swayamsevaks, receive PANCHAAMRITAM and read it regularly. Over the months, the good news anecdotes, it seems, had left an impression on their minds and in their hearts. On July 5, together they gifted a tidy sum of Rs. 8,000 to Sree Arunodayam, an orphanage that is home to 79 kids in North Chennai’s Kolathur. (Heard latest, the group is in for lending a hand in the rehabilitation of those affected by a recent Vyasarpadi fire accident).

As told to TEAM PANCHAAMRITAM by Shri. Kumar

FOUR

Prof K Ramasubramanian of IIT-Bombay has news for us that we´d all love to hear. His recently released two-volume translation of the Ganita-Yukti-Bhasa by Jyestha Deva points to the fact that some subsets of calculus existed in Indian manuscripts almost two centuries before Isaac Newton (1642-1727) published his work. And that an Indian mathematician and astronomer Nilakantha Somayaji spoke, in parts, about a planetary model, credited to Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) almost a century later. Chak de India? "Let´s not get over-excited," laughs Ramasubramanian. "Let´s present the facts instead." He is a physicist and Sanskrit scholar, who has been working on the history of science for years now. Well, the Ganita-Yukti-Bhasa attributes its mathematical models work to Madhava, who lived from 1340 to 1420. That´s way ahead of Newton. The value of the pi, for instance - expressing quantity in the form of an infinite series, came two centuries before calculus was formally developed by Newton and Leibniz (1646-1716). In a different context, perhaps, and expressed in a different way. But it did exist. It´s not to show the superiority of Indian mathematicians. I´m only interested in presenting the correct history of the evolution of mathematics, says the professor.

Based on a July 29, 2008 report in www.mumbaimirror.com

(Idea: Shri.M. Jayaraman)

FIVE

Shri. P.S. Sethuraman is looking forward to this August, not only for his 60th birthday but also for donating blood for the 125th time. " In 1977 I was a trainee police officer and donated blood at the Government Royapettah Hospital," he recalls. Ever since, he has been donating blood once in three months at government hospitals. He declined any formal recognition for his services. That way he is amodel donor, say doctors. To this, Sethuraman says he does not do it for winning awards or entering his name in the record books. "Once you start donating blood you simply get addicted." He has used his experience to motivate others as well. "Usually people have apprehensions, but I tell them these would go away after they donate once." In his career as a police officer, he has received awards such as the President's Medal for meritorious services. But nothing could beat the satisfaction of saving someone's life, he says. He recalls an incident in 1982, when he narrowly escaped being hit by a speeding truck by avoiding a right turn. Sethuraman still believes the goodwill he generated by donating blood saved him.

Based on a report by Smt. Vidya Venkat in THE HINDU June 15, 2008.

OOOOOOOOO

PANCHAAMRITAM 143

Poornima, Kali Yugaabda 5110, Sarvadhari Aavani 1 (AUGUST 17, 2008)

ONE

Naga Naresh Karuturi has just passed out of IIT Madras in Computer Science and has joined Google in Bangalore. You may ask, what's so special about this 21-year-old when there are hundreds of students passing out from various IITs and joining big companies like Google? Naresh is special. He has no legs and moves around in his powered wheel chair. In 1993, he lost his legs in a road accident. Ever smiling, optimistic and full of spirit; that is Naresh. He says, "God has always been planning things for me. That is why I feel I am lucky." He was born in Teeparru, a small village in Andhra Pradesh, on the banks of the river Godavari. His father Prasad was a lorry driver and hismother Kumari, a house wife. His parents are illiterate. His sister also was put in the same class though she was two years older - just to take care of him. She never complained. She would be there for everything. After school, he became the state topper in the IIT-JEE exam. He joined IIT- Madras to study Computer Science. He was sent to Boston along with four others for internship. He never suffered from self-pity. He was cheerful all through.

Based on a report by Smt. Shobha Warrier in rediff.com July 28, 2008

TWO

Meet Smt. B.Jyoti Nirmala, Kanyakumari District Collector. She was awarded the ‘Kalpana Chawla Award For Bravery’ by Chief Minister M.Karunanidhi on Independence Day yesterday. She is credited with putting an end to the rampant river sand smuggling by criminal gangs in the district through her daring pre dawn raids on the riverside. She has also prevented destruction of forest by illegal tree – felling through her stern action. Nirmala has served as Tehsildar in the same district and she had won the hearts of villagers by preventing or solving caste conflicts by her immediate intervention and effective counseling. On receiving the award, she thanked not only the state government but also those numerous village women whose valuable tip-offs had helped her in curtailing sand smuggling. Media Reports, August 16, 2008

THREE

A group of youngsters in Mambalam in South Chennai came together to celebrate the 62nd Independence Day today. They hoisted the tricolour national flag in all reverence, sang the national anthem but did not disperse. On Arya Gowda Road, a busy thoroughfare, they had arranged the pictures of national leaders including freedom fighters in kolu style and kept a picture of Bharatmata on top of it all. A basket of flowers placed close to the patriotic kolu attracted the passers by. They stopped and had darshan of all great men and women of Bharatmata at one go. Many of them offered floral tribute to the great ones by showering flowers kept there, and removed their footware as they did so.. When volunteers requested them to record their opinion about the event in a note-book arranged there, many happily wrote down their impressions. The word thyaga (sacrifice) of the great men was invariably found in every one’s expression. V.Ganesh, a young marketing professional and his associates of the Mambalam shakha of RSS who conceived and executed this thoughtful dawn-to-dusk celebration of Independence Day, were all in for wholesome praise by the residents of Mambalam as they gladly got the rakhi tied on their wrists by swayamsevaks, the following day (August 16) being raksha bandhan utsav. (Kolu is unique to Tamilnadu. It is an arrangement of dolls of deities on specially built steps during Navaratri in houses when neighbours are invited and honoured.)

‘T.NAGAR TALK’, a neighbourhood magazine, Chennai, Aug 16, 2008

FOUR

Pointing to the fact that Dr M. M. Alex is the state president of Samskrita Bharati, Shri. Bhagawan Singh, Consulting Editor, Deccan Chronicle, said Samskritam has become the language of all and no more the language of a certain community. The occasion was the joint valedictory function on Sunday, of the over 60 Spoken Samskrit Shibirams (10-day classes) conducted simultaneously in Chennai city during the previous fortnight. Bhagawan Singh wanted each one teach Samskrit to 5 persons. He was the chief guest on the occasion. Over 50,000 people from all walks of life in Tamilnadu (Bharat) have learnt Samskrit over the last decade and many of them can even converse fluently in the language, said Shri. M. M. Alex speaking on the occasion. He said there had been several instances of young software professionals reporting elevated alertness and mental peace after learning Samskrit We have over 500 Shikshaks in Tamilnadu and 5,000 across Bharat, he said. Shri. K.N.Padmakumar, all India coordinator of volunteers in Samskrta Bharati, in his keynote address, said that Samskritam contributes to the blossoming of all languages like the sun causing lotus to bloom. Presiding over the function, former high court judge K Sampath said Samskrit was a “computer-friendly, science-friendly” language. (Shravana poonima every year is celebrated as ‘Samskrit Day’. This year it fell on August 17-18 and the valedictory coincided with the Samskrit Day. Children from Vivekananda Vidyalayas in Chennai enacted a grand Samskrit dance drama portraying the Dasavataram of Vishnu at the start of the function). As told to Team PANCHAAMRITAM

FIVE

There's a stainless steel tap outside NC Santhakumar’s house on Mundakanniamman Koil Street in Mylapore (Chennai, Bharat) connected to a can of drinking water inside, and a stainless steel tumbler chained to the tap marked "kudi neer" (drinking water). It's a makeshift drinking water fountain open to everyone 24 hours a day. "I know what it feels like to be thirsty and have no one give you water. I do not want anyone who comes to my street to be thirsty," says Santhakumar, 53, a diamond setter. "After all, water is God's gift to us. Why shouldn't we share it with everyone?" Santhakumar's wife S Shanta is responsible for making sure that the can is refilled as well as cleaned along with the tumbler every night. "On an average , we refill the can three times a day. In the summer, it's usually four," says Shanta. Santhakumar says he got the tap fixed because people who visited the Mundakanniamman Temple near his house used to knock at his door asking for water. "We never turned them away," he says. "And then, one day, my wife and I thought, why not keep a can outside so people can drink water anytime of day or night. We realised there must be people who are thirsty but too embarrassed to knock at a stranger's door." It's been five years since he started giving away "kudi neer" . Everyone on the street knows that this is the place to stop if you are thirsty.”It is the same water that my family drinks," informs Santha. The couple is now working on improving their 'kudi neer' by giving people cold water in the summer and warm water during the rainy season.

Based on a report by Smt. Kamini Mathai in

THE TIMES OF INDIA, August 3, 2008. Idea: Shri Raghuraman

PANCHAAMRITAM 144

Amavaasya, Kali Yugaabda 5110, Sarvadhari Aavani 14 (AUGUST 30, 2008)

ONE

An MBBS doctor once reported that she was running a school in a village. A doctor running a school? Yes! In a small village off Solapur in Maharashtra (Bharat), Dr. Sanjeevani Kelkar found children of poor workers whiling away all day long by the roadside. She decided to serve them. She collected the parents of all those children and took their permission to teach useful things to the children. Bathed the kids, taught them songs; told them stories. By and by, she began a pre school for them. Over the years, it grew into a primary and later a high school, with a student strength of 400. No child in the village without schooling. Alongside, the kind doctor organised the women of the village and helped them avail bank loans that could help them earn additional income. About 60 villages in the vicinity sought the doctor’s services to change for better. Dr.Sanjeevani Kelkar was honoured by Savitribai Dhule Puraskar (Maharashtra Govt.) in 1996.

– An anecdote narrated by Shri K. Suryanarayana Rao, a senior RSS Pracharak, in a talk to elderly Swayamsevaks in Chennai on Sunday August 31, 2008.

TWO

The wedding of Shri. Dinakar, an RSS worker of Chengalpattu (Tamilnadu, Bharat) took place in Madurantakam on August 29, 2008. Each of the about 2,000 guests was pleasantly surprised when he / she received a gift of a lemon tree sapling along with the traditional wedding thamboolam bag, after the dinner. The green idea emerged when Dinakar’s co-workers in RSS desired to do something of long lasting use to the neighbourhood, using the wedding as a fitting occasion.

As told to Team PANCHAAMRITAM by Shri. Raman of Chengalpattu

THREE

Confronting with the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, a group of war veterans has turned to Yoga, the ancient Hindu spiritual practice of India. Veterans from Iraq war, Operation Desert Storm (Afghanistan), Vietnam War and World War II are attending meditation classes led by teacher Joan Platt at the Central Massachusetts Yoga Studio, which is an hour west of Boston. During classes the Yoga teacher Joan Platt asks the veterans to lie down on their back, practicing "Shavasana", one of the Yogic exercises meant to relax body and reduce stress. "Anger is a problem that all combat veterans have," says Tom Boyle, a Vietnam veteran and a counsellor at the Worcester Massachusetts Veterans Centre. It's been two years since when Boyle started the Veterans' Yoga programme here. So far, most of the veterans have been paying for the sessions themselves, but Boyle hopes the Veterans Affairs system will start to offer Yoga nationwide.

From YAHOO NEWS, March 2, 2007

http://in.news.yahoo.com/070302/139/6cr8p.html

Idea: Shri. Ashok Chowgule

FOUR

Jascinth (46) of Palayamkottai is a science teacher at Usborne Memorial Middle School at Palayamkottai. She is nurturing 14 orphan and semi-orphan (either father or mother dead) girls for the last two years with her meager earnings. Two years ago, she met one of her students, Bala Keerthika., an eighth standard student of the school. She had been abandoned after the death of her only blood relation - her father. Jascinth took Bala to her house. “After I took Bala with me, a few orphan students in my school approached me to take care of them. “When my house became insufficient to accommodate them, I decided to rent a house for the purpose. But as rent will be an added expenditure, I converted my father’s house at Palayamkottai into an orphanage.” At present, there are 14 girls in the orphanage between the age 5 and 14 and all are doing their schooling in Palayamkottai. Initially, girls were unable to concentrate in their studies since they could not come out of the trauma of losing their loved ones, said Jascinth. “These girls get all freedom. I take them to exhibitions and outings during holidays. For each child, I need to spend at least Rs 500 every month,” she says. Jascinth’s first child at the orphanage, Bala Keerthika, says, “I feel at home. We call her (Jascinth) mother and her husband father. She teaches us, sings with us and plays with us. She has given us the chance to dream.”

From THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS (August 23, 2008) Idea: Shri Raghuramji

FIVE

Smt. Lalitha, 62, of Pirkankaranai near Chennai was hit by an autorikshaw on May 17, 2008. At the hospital, it was found out brain death had occured to her. There was no possibility of recovery. The doctors permitted organ donation. Her sons – Vivekanandan, Balaji and Ramesh – agreed to the idea. Lalitha’s two eyes, liver and both kidneys were donated. Five persons were benefitted. All heartily thanked the family of departed Lalitha.

From DAILY THANTHI, May 20, 2008

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PANCHAAMRITAM 145

POORNIMA, Kali Yugaabda 5110, Sarvadhari Aavani 30

(September 15, 2008)

Posted only on September 22, 2008; Sorry for the delay: Moderator

ONE

Shri Rayappan, an autorikshaw driver of Chennai, found a bag in his auto left behind by some passenger. He noticed that it contained 25 sovereigns of gold jewellery worth Rs 3 lakh. He informed the owner of the auto, Shri Babu. Both of them went to the Ashok Nagar police station and deposited the bag there with the police officials. The police traced the passenger(s) with the help of the address found in the bag. They were Shri Stalin of Nagerkoil and his daughter Sheeba Godfrey, who were in the city to attend a relative's marriage. They had hired Rayappan's auto to reach their destination. However, Sheeba had forgotten to take a bag which she was carrying. The city police commissioner Shri. R Sekar handed over the bag to her and appreciated the honesty of the auto driver.

A HINDUSTHAN SAMACHAR report of September 17, 2008

TWO

Residents of Chingipuram, a hamlet near Vazhappadi in Salem district (Tamilnadu, Bharat), show their concern for the welfare of honeybees in a unique way. Dozens of honeycombs on the branches of a huge century old banyan tree. that spreads across a 2,000 square metre area, are home to thousands of honeybees and the tree stands right in the middle of the village cremation ground on the banks of Periyaru flowing to the south of the village. So the kind - hearted villagers have stopped cremating their dead and started burrying them for quite a number of years now . Just to avoid the smoke and heat that may harm the honeybees.

Based on a report in DINAMALAR, September 12, 2008.

THREE

Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS), the premier organisation of farmers in Bharat started banks in 4 villages in East Andhra area to aid farmers. Each farmer deposited money at the rate of Rs. 50 per month. The banks have a membership of 303 farmers in all and the deposits totted up to Rs. 11 lakhs soon. 90 % of this was disbursed as loans to farmers. The recovery is 100%. All this goes on merely on mutual trust among the farmers.there is no employee in the banks. That way the expenditure is minimized. Last year one of the banks purchased manure and seeds on joint bargain method and it could sell them at dramatically lower prices (compared to the market level) to member – farmers as well as other farmers. This is one of the projects of social service by BKS.

From BHARATIYA KISAN SANGH VARTA quoted by SAANSKRITIK VARTAPATRA, Pune, September 1, 2008

FOUR

36-year-old Usha of Puthur had been admitted to the Elite Mission Hospital at Koorkanchery near Thrissur (Kerala, Bharat) on August 30 with multiple injuries.She passed away on September 5. But the body was released to her relatives only the next day as the family could not raise the bill amount of Rs 55,000. Though the amount was later reduced to Rs 20,000, the woman's family was unable to pay the reduced amount also. Moved by the family's plight, a woman police constable attached to the Ollur police station, Aparna Lavakumar (32) offered to pledge her three gold bangles for raising the required money. The amount was paid and the hospital authorities released the body.

Based on a report in KAUMUDI ONLINE , September 10, 2008

(When MATRIBHUMI, among many newspapers, carried this news, hundreds of readers of its online edition congratulated Aparna for her act of kindness

the same day). Idea : Shri. S. Raghuraman

FIVE

The 24-year-old Joshua McGuire is learning Kalari Payattu, often referred to as the mother of all martial arts, at CVN Kalari in Kozhikode, a northern Kerala city. He is a double Olympian in fencing, former World Under-17 champion and the gold medalist at the last Commonwealth championship; and he came to India straight after reaching the last 16 in men’s individual foil event at the Beijing Olympics. “I have been wanting to learn Kalari ever since I saw it being taught back home in Canada, by Geethanjali Wolfgramm, a former of this institute. A fencer (one who wileds a sword) could take a lot of positives out of Kalari, such as the hand-eye coordination and the agility” says McGuire. He says he would certainly recommend Kalari for fencers.

Based on a report in THE HINDU, September 8, 2008

THIS ISSUE IS DEDICATED

TO THE MEMORY OF

A SCHOOLBOY

PANCHAAMRITAM 146

AMAAVAASYA, Kali Yugaabda 5110, Sarvadhari Purattaasi 12

(September 28, 2008)

Posted only on October 15, 2008; Sorry for the unprecedented delay: Moderator

ONE

On October 2, the asti (ash) of Hitendran was immersed at the confluence of three seas in Kanykumari. A large number of people led by the district collector offered floral tribute to his photo. Who is Hitendran? A 15 - year old schoolboy. He died in a road accident on September 20 near Chennai. His father and mother are both doctors. They donated the heart, liver, eyes, kidneys and bone marrow of their dead son. Nine - year old girl Abhirami of Bangalore, to whom his heart was transplanted, happily survived.

HINDUSTHAN SAMACHAR (News Agency), Chennai

TWO

When Dr Ashokan, Hitendran’s father and Dr. Pushpanjali, Hitendran’s mother, decided to donate their son Hithendran’s organs after he was declared brain dead, a suitable recipient was quickly identified in Abhirami, a patient at Dr.Cherian’s Frontier Lifeline Hospital. K. M. Cherian, pediatric cardiac surgeon, appealed to Chennai Commissioner of Police R. Sekar for help to rush the organ to the hospital. Mr. Sekar, in turn, instructed the traffic police to facilitate this. Sunil Kumar, Joint Commissioner, Traffic, said: “the best way to rush the organ was to take it in our own vehicle, and by ensuring green lights at every signal. As a result, we managed to take the heart from Apollo Hospitals in Teynampet to Frontier Lifeline in Mogappair in exactly 11 minutes.” The surgery was performed by Dr.Cherian, after his team, which was headed by consultant cardiac surgeon Madhu Shankar, rushed the heart in a bag of ice to the hospital in the police vehicle. He adds that the harvested organ will have to be transplanted within four hours, and the faster it is done, better the outcome. (Based on a report by Smt. Ramya Kannan in THE HINDU, September 24, 2008)

THREE

A widespread public appreciation of the organ donation of Hitendran in the media led to many coming forward to sign pledges of organ donation. The council of the Major Panchayat of Thirukalukumdram, his hometown in Chengalpattu district, has announced that a street in the town will be named after Hitendran. It said, it would renovate a park near his house and name it after him. Several presspersons who attended a condolence meeting in Chennai Press Club resolved to donate their organs. Several towns in Tamilnadu and Puducherry arranged solemn public meetings to appreciate the organ donation by Hitendran.

Media Reports

FOUR

Swayamsevaks of Chengalpattu district, led by Chennai Sanghachalak and state president of Seva Bharati, Shri. Durai Sankarji visited the parents of Hitendran in Thirukazhukundram and consoled them. They appreciated the parents' Thyaga. The doctor couple said they were overwhelmed by the huge public awareness about organ donation following their son's organ donation. TEAM PANCHAAMRITAM

FIVE

Abhirami's parents Shri. Shekhar and her mother Smt Manjula, said they look upon Hitendran as God in human form, who had come to save the life of their daughter The couple based in Bangaluru, Karnataka, announced their intention to form a charitable Society in memory of Hitendran to help the needy. They installed a photo of Hitendran in their pooja room and are worshipping him.

Media Reports

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PANCHAAMRITAM 147

POORNIMA, Kali Yugaabda 5110, Sarvadhari Purattaasi 28

(October 14, 2008)

POSTED ONLY ON OCTOBER 25, 2008. SORRY. -- MODERATOR

ONE

The Akhil Bharatiya Karyakari Mandal (ABKM) of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) heartily congratulates Shri Amarnath Yatra Sangharsh Samiti and the patriotic people of Jammu and Kashmir for the unprecedented success of their magnificent agitation against the revocation of land allotment and Yatra management rights of Shri Amarnath Shrine Board. Shri Amarnath Shrine Board, constituted by Jammu Kashmir assembly in 2000 A.D. through a unanimous legislation, had taken several appreciable measures in the last 7 years for providing facilities to the pilgrims. The ABKM is of the opinion that this victory of Shri Amarnath Yatra Sangharsha Samiti is the victory of united strength and spirit of sacrifice and martyrdom of the society over secessionist elements and the deplorable political tendency of surrender to appease them. The ABKM pays its respectful homage to the 2 martyrs who made self-sacrifice and 10 other martyrs who were felled by the bullets of the security forces. (From a resolution passed by the ABKM at its three-day annual meeting that concluded at Gudilova in Vishakapatnam on October 19, 2008).

TWO

Eight-year old Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh, Bharat) girl Naina breezed through the Grade-X international General Certificate of Secondary education (iGCSe) exams conducted by university of Cambridge in June this year. The prodigy, making light of her achievement, has now set her eyes on the Baccalaureate, which offers high quality programmes to a worldwide community of schools. “Spotting her aptitude for studies when she was in the first standard itself, her father (Ashwani Kumar) did all he could to help her learn in a playful environment. And she took to texts like a duck to water,’’ her mother, Bhagyalakshmi says. Her special qualities do not come in the way of her mingling with other kids. Naina is good at sports too. in fact, she is State No 1 in table tennis mini-cadets and is also seeded in cadet girls. She’s quite adept on the keyboard as well, having cut an album of Ramayana slokas. To the delight of the mediapersons, she also gave an impromptu recital.

Based on a report in THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS, October 23, 2008.

THREE

M.V. Ramanujacharyar - born in Manalur near Tiruchy (Tamilnadu, Bharat) in 1866 - translated the Mahabharatam epic from Samskritam to Tamil. It took 25 years for him to complete the work that he began in 1903. For this purpose he discarded his job as a teacher in the government school. The task of publishing it left him with a debt of Rs 15,000 in those days (in 1932 to be precise). He accomplished the task against several odds – including his hard luck. He refused to read the contents of the chit in which a renowned fortune teller - Govinda Chetty - had predicted hard times ahead for him. He put it inside an envelope and sealed it. He opened it only when Mahabharatam in Tamil was published after 22 years. Recently Shri Venkataramanan of Srichakra Publications has brought out its latest edition. It is priced at Rs. 4,500. For details contact VIJAYABHARATAM, Tamil weekly, Chennai (Phone: 044- 28362271)

From a write up by Shri. Suhirdan

in VIJAYABHARATAM Deepavali Special Number 2008.

FOUR

While Bihari students were reportedly beaten up in Mumbai, this group of Maharashtrians touring Buddhist pilgrim centres in Bihar had a totally different experience. It is an experience 70-year old Smt. Kumud Pawde and many others will not forget in a hurry. She and 64 members of a group touring Buddhist places of pilgrimage were stuck in a bus near Patna (Bihar) while riots broke out on October 21. They almost did not make it back home to Nagpur. If it was not for Rajya Sabha MP Digvijay Singh from Janata Dal (United) and the Patna police, the story could have been very different. Patna station was gheraoed by a huge mob and the police did not let the bus go ahead. The 57 women, mostly senior citizens, were in the bus while the eight men travelled in a jeep. The group was tense because their return tickets were booked on the Bagmati Express which was to leave that night. “The police escorted us to the platform and made us wait in their cabins. They were so protective of us and they did not let us sit in the usual waiting rooms. One of the officers told me that no one will touch a hair on my head,” Smt. Pawde said.

Based on a report in ZEE NEWS and THE HINDU, October 23, 2008.

FIVE

Carnatic classical violinist Kunnakudi R. Vaidyanathan passed away on September 8, 2008. In his condolence message, Sarod exponent Ustad Shri Amjad Ali Khan reminisced: “It was only due to Vaidyanathan’s efforts that I was able to play at the Thyagaraja Aaradhana (music festival) in Thiruvaiyaru, the first north Indian to have done so. “There is a rule that you can only play compositions by Tyagaraja at his samadhi and nothing else. I learnt the ‘Soga Suga Mridanga Talamu’ kirtana from a local musician to play at the festival.” The maestro from Gwalior said he was touched by the late violinist’s gesture. “It was like a musical pilgrimage for me, ” he said. The eight-day ‘Thyagaraja Aradhana’ is held at Thiruvaiyaru near Thanjavur every year to honour the 18th century saint and music composer. PTI

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PANCHAAMRITAM 148

AMAAVAASYA, Kali Yugaabda 5110, Sarvadhari Ayppasi 12

(October 28, 2008)

H a p p y D e e p a v a l i !

Moderator

ONE

Twenty years after his release from the Puducherry Central Prison, Pandiyan (76) continues his association with the jail. Shri Pandiyan, a cook, saves a part of his earnings to provide free lunch to the inmates of the Central Prison on Gandhi Jayanthi day, year after year, without fail ever since he was acquitted in a murder case in 1976. His one-and-a-half-year prison life made him “human and compassionate.” Among the things prisoners crave for is homely food, he said. On this Gandhi Jayanthi, he spent a lot of money to provide lunch to 261 prisoners and jail staff. “Every year when I visit the jail, several inmates would tell me that they intend to do such a noble service. I know several ex-convicts who provide food to orphanages”, Pandiyan said.

Based on a report by Shri Rajesh. B. Nair in THE HINDU, October 6, 2008

TWO

“Our roads don’t have a few potholes”, Prime Minister Vajpayee once complained to aides in the later part of 1990s. “Our potholes have a few roads”. He announced the launch of the Golden Quadrilateral scheme of joining the four major cities of India with a unique roadways system, which according to Don Belt of the National Geographic, is exceeded in scale only by the national railway system built by the British in 1850s. “Ten years after Vajpayee’s announced (in 1998), the GQ is among the most elaborately conceived highway systems in the world, a master-piece of high-tech ingenuity that is, in many ways, a calling card for India in the 21st century.” National Geographic says that the 3633-mile expressway is part of the largest and the most ambitious public infrastructure project in the country’s history, one with a social engineering goal at its heart.

Based on a report by Shri Arabinda Ghose in ORGANISER, October 26, 2008

THREE

The name of a vegetable shop in village Paalavanatham between Virudunagar and Aruppukottai (Tamilnadu, Bharat) tells all. It is ‘Two Rupees Shop’. Yes, pay Rs 2 and what you get are a handful of any one vegetable; it may be tomato, brinjal, potato or carrot. Three brothers – Jayprakash, George Matheyan and Tamilselvan – who run the shop say that their father had been offering the same for 25 paise for 40 years. ‘Minimum profit, maximum sales’ is their objective. They earn a daily profit of upto Rs 500-600. They purchase vegetables direct from the farmers. On some days, including Sunday, about 1,000 customers throng the shop.

Based on a report in DINAMALAR, September 20, 2008

FOUR

Meet ‘Ambulance’ Ganesan, a former taxi driver of Mettur in Salem district (Tamilnadu, Bharat). He now owns 5 ambulances. He came up in life because of his honesty, say his friends. 15 years ago, he helped two Bengaluru businessmen in a road accident struggling for life, to get medical aid. They persuaded him to accept Rs 15 lakhs, because Ganesan had ensured that the cash of over Rs 2.25 crore that he found in their car that met with the accident, reached them in tact. With the money Ganesan bought an ambulance to save lives. Every time an accident occurs, Ganesan’s help is sought. He arranges decent funerals for unclaimed bodies. Above all, he keeps a tidy sum in his shirt pocket to be handy, just in case he meets someone in need.

Based on a report by Shri Kovai Jeeva in DINAMANI KADIR, October26, 2008

FIVE

Octogenarian author Shri Swaminatha Athreya of Manikodi Era has completed his book on Samartha Ramadas. And thereby hangs a tale and a moving one at that. About thirty years ago, Ekanatha Iyer, fondly called Ek Sir, served at the Sri Bhagavan Naama Bhodendra Saraswati Swami’s Adhishtanam in Govindapuram — the village in Thanjavur (Tamilnadu, Bharat) had not gained fame then — after his retirement as a teacher. He would clean the sannidhi, wash the cow and recite Rama naama throughout the day. In the evenings, he would conduct free classes for the slum children. Ek Sir happened to lay his hands on a copy of “Mahabhakta Vijayam,” translated into Tamizh from Marathi, written by saint Maheepathi. It contained the story of Samartha Ramadas, among others, written in twenty-five chapters. Since the text was in a style rather unfamiliar, Eknath rewrote it in his own handwriting. He submitted the manuscript at the feet of the Kanchi Seer (Sankaracharya Sri Chandrasekarendra Saraswati Swamigal), who was camping at Mayuram.. And he was moved when Ek Sir read passages choked with emotion. “Could you leave this with me?” asked Paramacharya in the end. Ek Sir was only too happy to oblige. The acharya asked Ra. Ganapathi, Tamil author, to write the story of Samarth Ramdas. Ganapathi accepted it, but felt it was too big a task for him to accomplish. Although he could gather over a span of thirty years written material that could fill thousands of pages, he was diffident to meet Paramacharya as it lacked the significant portions on Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Ganapathi confided in the members of the Mahaperiyaval Trust. Later the work landed in the hands of Swaminatha Athreya. The book “Samartha Ramadas Charitam” running into 700 pages has been completed after year-long research. This book is available free of cost from Mahaperiyaval Trust, ‘Gurukripa’, 94, ITI Lay Out, MSRIT, Bengaluru - 560 054. Those who can afford the cost of Rs.200, may get it from P. Vijaya (Ph. 2242 2622), Chennai, or Bhagavnnama Publications (Ph.2489 3736) Chennai.

Based on an article by Shri ‘Charukesi’ in

HINDU of October 24, 2008. Idea: Shri Raghuraman

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PANCHAAMRITAM 149

POORNIMA, Kali Yugaabda 5110, Sarvadhari Iyppasi 27

(November 12, 2008)

ONE

Meet Shri Ravishankar, B.Sc (Agriculture) graduate of Annamalai University (Chidambatram). He belongs to a family of agriculturists of Poondiyankuppam village near Cuddalore (Tamilnadu, Bharat). He got an employment as manager in a garden designing concern in Singapore. While employed there, he finished his MBA at Wales University, London. He visited his native village in 2006 after a long stay abroad. He found the sea change all around. Industrialization had destroyed the sylvan rural ambience; the wealth of cattle was conspicuously absent. His own ancestral farm that had over 50 cows, was barren. The scene prompted Ravishankar to stay back in his village with a view to revive the cattle wealth. As a first step, he launched a Milk Producers Cooperative. Locals joined it. He struck a deal with the state government-owned milk distribution society Aavin and ensured milk procurement. That made many, who were toying with the idea of selling their cows thinking that it was uneconomical, to change their mind. Next, he established a goshala at a cost of 17 lakh rupees. He procured high yield cows from several sources. For fodder, he cultivated grass on 3 acres of land that he bought for the purpose. His ultimate target is to improve the prosperity of his village by augmenting copious milk production.

Based on a report in the Puducherry edition of TAMIL

MURASU (evening daily), November 10. 2008. Idea: Shri Senthilkumar

TWO

Five class XII girls from Kola Perumal Chetty Vaishnav Senior Secondary School in Arumbakkam, Chennai (Tamilnadu, Bharat) left for Mumbai with ideas and came back with a Rs 7.5 lakh cash prize for their school after beating about 100 other premier schools in the country. They were among students from 19 cities in the country who participated in Green-I 2008, a national-level school competition, organized by the Confederation of Indian Industries, Yi and Carrier, to encourage students to think about conservation and instill environmental awareness among them. Prinshu, M Ranjini, G Manasa, S Prathiba and K R Archana managed to top the contest because their ideas were not only innovative and sustainable but also suited to their campus situation. Their school is in a low-lying area. So whenever it rains, the campus gets flooded and it takes days for the water to drain out. The students came up with a canal system that would drain all the stagnant water into a sump. The water could then be taken to an overhead tank and used for gardening. The school already has eight rainwater harvesting systems on campus. The other idea was the creation of a roof-garden atop the school building to reduce electricity consumption through air-conditioners and fans, thus conserving energy.

Based on a report in THE TIMES OF INDIA, September 26, 2008.

Idea Shri. Raghuraman ji

THREE

The exploratory mission of the Indian spaceship to the moon reflects the terrific scientific capabilities Indians have acquired to be able to explore the space with their science. While the Indians have proved their capabilities in manufacturing computer chips and CDs, the Arabs are still unable to produce anything beyond potato chips and Al Falafel (fast food place). In recognition of its scientific achievements, we have to change the way we think of India and Indians and start dealing with them accordingly, because they belong to a great nation that has carried its flag into the space. After India succeeded in launching Chandrayaan, we have to treat simple Indian labourers (in the Gulf countries) with greater respect because they deserve that.

From an article by Shri Ahmed Ali, General Manager of Al Wafan group of newspapers, in QATAR TRIBUNE, October 27, 2008.

FOUR

S S Srinivasa Thatham of Tiruchy has donated blood 138 times and tops the list in the state of Tamilnadu (Bharat). “Blood donation is the greatest sacrifice as a ‘relationship’ is established between the donor and the recipient,” he says. “It is medically proved that blood donors do not contract any disease including heart attack. See, I am 60 and I have never gone to any hospital except to donate blood. Still I am healthy.” He appeals to youngsters to donate blood at least on their birthdays. Thatham, winner of the Good Samaritan Award, recalls the year when he first donated blood - 1973, for a child. But it was a different experience on July 9, 1975, on the eve of his wedding. “It was a serious call from a recipient and so had I to donate.” That was the third occasion and he has not looked back. “I always slept soundly on the nights I donated blood,” the 60-year old says.

Based on a report by Shri S J Michael Collins in THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS of October 1, 2008. Idea Shri. Raghuraman ji

FIVE

Imagine this: You count the lions in Gir forest in Gujarat just by dragging a mouse on a computer screen. Fishermen find concentration of fish in the sea in the same manner. Space Applications Centre of ISRO has just made al that possible by an innovation called ‘Bhuvan’ – an Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) image portal. Bhuvan, meaning earth, is just like Google Earth or Wikimapia. But Bhuvan allows you to zoom far closer than the aerial view from a chopper. If Google Earth shows details upto a 200 metre-height and Wikimapia upto a 50 metre-height, Bhuvan will show images as close at a 10 metre-height. That means you can easily see details as though from atop a three floor high building. You can also add information therein. Announcing this at the Indian National Cartographic Association (INCA) International Congress at Gandhinagar, (Gujarat, Bharat), on November 4, 2008, ISRO chairman Dr G Madhavan Nair said, "Bhuvan will use the data recorded by the Indian satellites only. Information available from this mapping system will be useful in addressing very local problems like floods, famines, infrastructure development, education and much more," Nair said.

From a news clipping posted on the new website on RSS
(http://www.rssonnet.org). Also on www.zeenews.com

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PANCHAAMRITAM 150

AMAAVAASYA, Kali Yugaabda 5110, Sarvadhari Karthigai 12

(November 27, 2008)

Posted on December 8, 2008. Sorry for the delay. Moderator.

ONE

Speaking of installing statues, one finds a statue of Raja Harischandra at the gates of a cremation ground in village Aathur off Cehngalpattu near Chennai (Tamilnadu, Bharat). The legendary Raja worked as a cremation worker in Benaras on the banks of Ganga as a result of his pursuit of life-long truthfulness. It was installed by the efforts of a Swayamsevak of the village, Shri K. Bhaktavatsalu, who passed away on November 24 at the ripe old age of 79. Not only at the last post of life, Bhaktavatsalu was instrumental in reminding people of the ancient cultural identity, practically all along his retired life (He was an engineer in the Tamilnadu Electricity Board). He handed over Rs. 80,000 to the village, being the amount he saved during his two decade old tenure as the manager of the Vishnu temple in the village, thanks to his thrift. He mobilized the villagers to take a regular early morning walk through the village streets singing Thiruppaavai, the centuries old devotional hymn on Shri Krishna by Andaal, a woman saint. To instill a spirit of patriotism, he saw to it that the village celebrated the Indian Independence Day on August 15 and the Republic Day on January 26 year after year. His house in the village bears the plaque ‘Bharatamata House’. On the day of his demise, he reminded the Jilla pracharak of RSS of his pledge to donate his eyes. The eye donation was duly executed after he left his body peacefully; the donation opened new avenues in the lives of two blind persons.

Based on a report by NS in VIJAYABHARATHAM, December 13, 2008

TWO

Jose Mendoza and his wife Lata of Madhya Pradesh were proceeding to Kerala by the Bengaluru-Kochi express in the night of November 21. They alighted by mistake in Erode and left a bag containing gold jewels ansd cash in the train. They lodged a complaint with the Erode Railway Police. In a quick search on the train led by Sub Inspector Ranjit at the Coimbatore Junction, the bag was spotted and handed over to the couple at Coimbatore the next morning. There were gold ornaments weighing 4 sovereigns and Rs. 11,500 in cash in the bag. the couple thanked the police.

DINAMANI (Coimbatore), November 23, 2008; Idea: Shri. S. Prakash, Coimbatore

THREE

Smt. Pushpa is an employee at the Sims park at Coonoor in Nilgiri district (Tamilnadu, Bharat). On November 1, as she went about her work in the public park, she spotted a handbag. She found in it a gold chain weighing 3.5 sovereigns, a mobile phone and Rs.30,000 in cash. She promptly handed over the bag to the police. The police, in turn, traced the owners of the bag as Keshubhai Visvasas’s family who were on tour of Tamilnadu. DSP Dharmaraj appreciated the honest lady Pushpa.

Based on a report in DINAKARAN (Coimbatore), November 3, 2008.

Idea: Shri Guruswami, Coimbatore.

FOUR

Rani Amma is a roadside dweller on the 7th Lane in Thillai Nagar, Tiruchy (Tamilnadu, Bharat). She earns around one thousand rupees per month by doing menial jobs sprinkling water on shop fronts and sweeping. Once she found a small crowd around a dustbin in front of the Government hospital. A female infant lay there crying, It was lapping up its own tears in hunger. Rani quickly picked up the child and went around inquiring whose baby it was. She found none claiming the child. She fed the child with milk bought from a tea stall. Rani took the child under her protective wings and gave her the name Gajapriya. Six years rolled by. Today, Gajapriya goes to school. She is a class one student of Puthur Ramakrishna Middle School, thanks to the spirit of selflessness of Rani Amma, whose only expectation from Gajapriya is that she should be enabled to lead a decent life even after her (Rani Amma’s) time.

Baesd on reports in DINAMALAR, November 15, 2008 (Idea: Smt. Vasantha ) and KUMUDAM November 19, 2008 (Idea: Shri. Raghuramji)

FIVE

The following is from a letter carried by THE TIMES OF INDIA, Chennai, on October 22, 2008: “My father, a retired government pensioner, passed away recently and I had to deal with the pension pay office to arrange family pension to be paid to my mother. When I first visited the office on College Road (Chennai) and looked at the long queue, I was mentally preparing myself for a long haul. I spent some time trying to figure out the concerned department and the procedure involved. A lady employee explained the procedure clearly and gave me the various forms to be filled up. She told me that she would not like to inconvenience my mother but rules required her to come and sign the papers in the presence of a senior officer. She fixed an appointment for my mother to complete the procedure. The employee came to the office to complete the work though she had to go on leave on that day due to a domestic emergency. We were touched when she told us that she did not want to make a senior citizen come again. The lady was modest and declined to give her name when I told her that I would like to record my appreciation for completing the job efficiently”. Shri. S D Sankaralingam, Chennai, had sent in the letter. (Idea: Shri. Raghuramji)

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