Thursday, September 23, 2010


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Pancha is five in Samskritam, Amritam is nectar
Poornima / Kali Yugaabda 5112 / Vikruti Purattasi 7 (September 23, 2010)


In the backdrop of the Allahabad High Court verdict on Ram Janmabhoomi
title suit due to be out on September 28, 2010, just read this anecdote and
mull over it; this formed part of PANCHAAMRITAM 13, that is, 192
PANCHAAMRITAMs ago. Here it is: "This happened in late 1980's. As part of a
nation-wide campaign, Swayamsevaks of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh
accompanied by workers of other Hindu organizations were busy in a
labuorers' colony in north Chennai, going door to door, collecting
signatures of the residents in a petition. The petition called upon the
Government of India to permit construction of Ram Mandir precisely at the
Ram Jamnasthan in Ayodhya. The response was naturally overwhelming. This
seemed to have irked a few toughs entrenched in the colony. They kicked up
a quarrel with the volunteers. Peaceful campaign became impossible. The
volunteers withdrew. Shri. Shivaramji (1917-1999), the veteran RSS
Pracharak coordinating service activities of the Sangh in Chennai, came to
know of all this. The younger volunteers, a few among them college
students, were seething with anger. They wanted to avenge the setback.
Shivaramji hinted at a novel kind of retort. Everyone instantly liked it.
Accordingly, the colony witnessed, the very next week, the inauguration of
a free tuition class for students of standard X. The swayamsevaks were the
tuitors. The service was offered through the entire academic year. The
result was telling. Parents (many of them daily wage earners) of quite a
few of the beneficiaries were in tears at the felicitation function (to pat
the students who were successful in the public examination). Thus
Swayamsevaks could endear themselves to the people, neatly rendering the
toughs totally irrelevant in the scene. That is the way Shivaramji went
about bonding the Hindu society for over six decades in many parts of
Tamilnadu (From a report in VIJAYABHARATAM, Tamil weekly)".


Flood fury has rendered over 20 lakh people homeless in the Northern and
North Eastern states of Bharat this month. NGOs, prominent among them the
Seva Bharati, have begun relief and rehabilitation work. At this juncture,
info on a sort of packaged help offered by a thoughtful youth attracts the
attention: (Courtesy, an email from Shri Vasuvaj, a globe-trotting reader
of PANCHAAMRITAM). Here it is: "Rustam Sengupta's tours to his native
village in West Bengal and other remote corners of India brought him face
to face with a stark reality: People in these villages have no access to
electricity or clean drinking water. After one such trip in August 2009 he
decided to call it quits at an MNC bank in Singapore, where he was earning
a fat salary of US $ 1,20,000 (Rs 54.6 lakhs) per annum. The very next
month Rustam came to India and started `Boond', a not-for-profit
organisation to provide solar light, clean drinking water and pest control
to one million people by the end of 2012. To this end Boond sells something
called the 'Boond Development Kit'. It consists of a solar lamp, water
filter (a 22-litre double candle ceramic water filter with two chambers
separated by a ceramic membrane; advantages: roots out 90 per cent bacteria
and very much suited to pond water) and mosquito net -- at a
highly-subsidised cost. This is how Boond works: You buy the kits online by
making a payment for the needy in some remote Indian village and Boond
delivers it to them with the help of their channel partners, mostly
unemployed village youth, who in turn get a three per cent commission. Just
recently, Boond succeeded in sending 90 kits to families in Ladakh (Jammu &
Kashmir, Bharat) that was devastated by a landslide. "Because of our kits,
90 families that were completely devastated have been able to jumpstart
their lives," he says proudly about his team. 29-year-old Sengupta was born
and brought up in Delhi and did his masters in electrical engineering from
University of California, Irvine, besides an MBA from INSEAD, Singapore".
(Rustam Sengupta's contact details: Mobile: +91 9717 349 377 E-mail: / Website: Based
on a write up by Shri Prasanna D Zore in; September 16, 2010.


An asylum for leprosy patients in Machuvaadi, off Pudhukottai (Tamilnadu,
Bharat). It was the scene of something unique on September 6, 2010. Inmates
queued up and received clothes gifted to them by the kind-hearted members
of the Akhilandeswari Women's Association, Thiruvanaikka, near Tiruchy. A
little after the queue melted away, the volunteers saw an inmate,
accompanied by the asylum official, approaching them. The inmate handed
them a bunch of currency notes and informed them that it was found inside
the pocket of a pair of trousers that he had received just then. The
clothes were the ones that the volunteers collected from the 285 families
living in 25 blocks of the CKVI Flats in Thiruvanaikka. So, they took the
money – Rs 11,000 – back and displayed boards inviting the family that had
inadvertently kept the money in the clothing it had donated. Weeks rolled
by. None responded. Now, volunteers plan to add this amount to the Rs
16,000 that retired employees of Tiruchy BHEL annually offer as Deepavali
gift to two leprosy asylums – one in Machuvaadi and the other at
Panaiyerippattu, nearby. The role of a retired Tamil teacher couple of
Thiruvanaikka deserves special mention. The duo take the trouble of washing
the collected clothings; they mend them if need be and make them normally

As told to Team PANCHAAMRITAM by Shri A. Sridharan of Thiruvanaikka


Do you live in Bhopal or near-about? Is the gomata (cow) that you are
rearing is sick? Is she too old to yield milk for your family? Don't worry.
Take her to the Obayadullaganj goshala in the forest lands on the outskirts
of the capital of Madhya Pradesh. It is run by Gayatri Parivar volunteers.
They will take care of your gomata for the rest of her life. Important:
they will happily hand over to you a healthy, mulch cow in exchange for
your gomata. They are performing this unique holy service for more than ten
years now. They train willing agriculturists in cow – based farming; that
is, using only organic manure (cow dung), avoiding the use of pesticides
and managing insects with organic preparations, etc.

A report in the Hindi magazine SANGH MARG, Rohtak, August 28, 2010.


On the first anniversary of her 17-year-old son's death in a road accident,
Naga Pushpa in Salem cooked an elaborate spread of what Sabarish liked the
most — such as idli-sambar and vendakkai kuzhambu — so that she could
hand-feed Abhinaya, with tears in her eyes. For, Abhinaya, the 23-year-old
guest at the solemn ceremony, was carrying Sabarish's heart, transplanted
at the government general hospital in Chennai in the first-of-its-kind
transplants of multiple organs harvested out of the brain-dead boy. "I came
to visit Sabarish's parents as I am alive today only because of his heart
donated by his generous parents even amid such terrible tragedy of losing
their only son," said Abhinaya, who had come all the way from her
Vennavasal village in Tiruvarur district to be with the parents of the boy
"who gave me the heart to live". "Abhinaya called me amma. I have been
longing for the last one year to hear the word that went missing when
Sabarish died," sobbed Naga Pushpa. A speeding car hit her son, pursuing an
IT diploma, on September 17 last year. When the Salem hospital declared him
as brain dead, the grieving parents took him to the Chennai general
hospital for harvesting his organs, including his heart, kidneys, eyes and
liver. "We wanted to save as many lives as possible even from the death of
our son," recalled Sabarish's father Nandish Kumar, a textile merchant at

A report in DECCAN CHRONICLE, Chennai, September 23, 2010