Wednesday, December 30, 2009



Meet Sudha Patel. Age 21 in 1995. It was in that year that she defeated all seven candidates pitted against her in the Panchayat polls and became the youngest village Sarpanch in the country. Her village Champa, situated 120 kilometres from Ahmedabad in Gujarat, Bharat, consists of 493 families. Sudha recognizes everyone in all the families by his or her voice. Yes, she is blind. That way, she became the first blind woman Sarpanch in the country. Her memory is extraordinary. She has managed to establish a hospital, a school with computers to boot and a rehabilitation centre for the blind and handicapped in her village.

Based on a report in the EAST & WEST, January 2002, cited by Swami Gautamananda, President, Sri Ramakrishna Math, Chennai, in his convocation address in the Vivekananda College, Chennai on February 17, 2003. Courtesy: SRI RAMAKRISHNA VIJAYAM (August, 2003), Tamil monthly of the Math.


Ever Heard Of Bone Donation? A bone bank will soon be organised in Chennai, to cater to the needs of Orthopaedic surgeons to facilitate bone transplants. Dr. Mayilvahanan Natarajan, an Ortho expert of the Government General Hospital, gave this information. He has done, for the first time in India, bone transplantation successfully last week on a labourer Shri. Sivakumar, whose knee was affected by cancer. The affected bone was removed and instead of implanting a costly metal plate as is usual, a bone bought from the bone bank in Columbo was grafted. So, after blood donation, eye donation and cadaver donation (deha daanam), now it is bone donation.

Based on a report in DINAMANI of July 9, 2003


Remada village in Orissa's Jharsuguda district having a population of about 1,000, was the scene of camaraderie among local tribals (Vanavasi Hindus) and Muslims, who have joined hands to organise Rath Yatra every year for nearly 100 years now. Located on the edge of the vast Hirakud reservoir, the village sported a colourful look on Friday July 4, 2003. 'Gond' tribals are the majority inhabitants of the village but the 15 Muslim families play a key role in the festival. In fact, the village headman (locally known as gountia), Mohammed Zamiullah, takes upon himself the task of organising the festival. Before the construction of the Hirakud dam the villagers used to visit Rampella, another village on the other side of river Mahanadi, to participate in the Rath Yatra there. But when the river was in spate it was difficult for them to cross over. This led the then Gountia of Remada, Mohammed Waras to hold the festival in the village itself. The tradition has continued for about a century now, says noted writer Kumar Hassan. Hindus also reciprocated the feelings of the minority community in ample measure by joining their festivals. Mohammed Khalil and Maulana Mustquim Khan, gountias of the village have also written many plays and prayers based on Hindu mythology, Hassan said.

Based on a report posted in on July 4, 2003.


It was a Nav Durga festival with a difference – at Barada in Ambala district of Haryana. Akhand Jaap of Maha Mantra was held. A 7-kund Havana Yajna was performed allright. The village Sarpanch Shri. Ashok Kumar Bansal, an RSS swayamsevak, made the difference. Inspired by the principles of brotherhood taught in RSS shakhas, Shri. Bansal saw to it that nine girls from Harijan families were worshipped as representing aspects of the Divine Mother during the festival. The head priest of the Yajna washed the feet of the girls and another priest applied kumkum on their foerhead. Rajput youths and Vaishya families offered worship to the anointed girls. All this took place in the village Shiva temple. Devotees belonging to all castes sat together and partook prasadam with delight. Throughout the 8-day festival all sections of Hindu society participated with great enthusiasm, mingling with one and all.

Based on a news item in the English bulletin

DESHIYA SAMACHAR (July-August 2003), Chennai.

Originally from a Hindi weekly ADHISHTANAM of Dehra Dun.


The head of the Experimental Mechanics division of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala, Bharat), Shri. T. Chelladurai, has laid claim, in January 2003, to developing a method of predicting earthquakes a number of days in advance. He says he uses the Acoustic Emission (AE) technique now being used at the VSSC for conducting structural integrity tests. According to Dr. Chelladurai, the AE method of identifying active stresses in a material could also be used to identify and measure stress waves emitted by pressure points in fault lines beneath the earth’s surface. The entire country could be covered in an AE sensor grid at acost of Rs. 1,000 crore by 2006, he added.

Based on a report by Shri. G. Mahadevan in THE HINDU of January 24, 2003.