Monday, April 4, 2011


Vishwa Samvad Kendra, Chennai


Pancha is five in Samskritam, Amritam is nectar

Amavaasya/ Kali Yugaabda 5112 / Vikruti Panguni 20 (April 3, 2011)


Siddhagiri Museum is located at Kaneri village, about 10 kms away from Kolhapur (Maharashtra, Bharat) and 4 kms off the `Pune-Banglore' highway - the national express highway no.4. It has been built by the 1,000 year old Siddhagiri Ashram. The artificial caves contain tableaux which depict the scientific tradition of ancient Bharat including Bhgiratha, the first engineer of the world, Charaka, the ancient chemist, Aryabhatta, the astronomer par excellence, etc. All are shown immersed in their work. The creations of great Sanskrit scholars are also on display. The tableaux showing scenes of village life are real eyecatchers. "Our village was totally self reliant before the arrival of the Britishers", said Swami Siddheswar, the creator of this unique museum. The income from the museum is spent on the Siddhagiri hospital and that enables the people of the nearby villages to save money on treatment, informs the Swami.

RASHTRA DEV, Hindi fortnightly, Dehra Dun, February 15, 2011.  


There was a sense of disbelief among ministers and ambassadors from diverse nations when the chairperson of the 11th Info-Poverty World Conference held at the United Nations introduced the jeans-clad Smt Chhavi Rajawat as head (sarpanch) of Soda village, 60 km from Jaipur (Rajasthan, Bhaart). 30-year-old Chhavi, India's youngest and the only MBA to become a village head - the position mostly occupied by elders, quit her senior management position with Bharti-Tele Ventures of Airtel Group to serve her beloved villagers as sarpanch. (Chhavi participated in a panel discussion at the two-day meet at the UN on March 24 and 25, 2011 on how civil society can implement its actions and spoke on the role of civil society in fighting poverty and promoting development). It is necessary to re-think through various strategies of action that includes new technologies like e-services in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in an era where resources have become limited, she told the delegates of the international conference. "If India continues to make progress at the same pace as it has for the past 65 years since independence, it just won't be good enough. We'll be failing people who dream about having water, electricity, toilets, schools and jobs. I am convinced we can do it differently and do it faster. "In the past year alone, I and the villagers in Soda have brought about a radical change in the village purely through our own efforts. We have had no outside support - no NGO help, no public, nor private sector help," she said.


Organised effort strengthens the society. It has always been a difficult task to organise women of the society but the Self Help Group (SHG) scheme taken up by Seva Bharati, Tamilnadu, in Kanyakumari district has made this dream come true. In a remote Vanvasi ("tribal") village called Kodithuraimalai, the women members of Seva Bharati's SHG there resolved to execute a noble idea. After every weekly meet, all the members gathered to work in the farm of one member of the SHG without any payment. The owner of the land offered them lunch and evening tea. The next week the same activity happened in the farm of another member. This rotation of work is carried out in the farm of all the members in a regular turn. The resultant yield of self-reliance is promising both materialistically and socially. From a report by Shri Kesava Vinayagan (now Prant Prachark of RSS, Dakshin Tamilnadu), in ORGANISER, September 6, 2009.


An electricity company based in Bihar (Bharat) called Husk Power Systems has created a system to turn rice husks into electricity that is reliable, eco-friendly and affordable for families that can spend only Rs 90 a month for power. The company has 65 power units that serve a total of 30,000 households and is currently installing new systems at the rate of two to three per week. Husk Power was founded by four friends: Gyanesh Pandey, Manoj Sinha, Ratnesh Yadav and Charles W. Ransler, who met attending different schools in India and the United States. Pandey, the company's chief executive, grew up in a village in Bihar without electricity. He decided to study electrical engineering. He found his way to the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in Troy, New York, USA. He was soon earning a six-figure income. He bought his family a diesel-powered electric generator. He felt compelled to return home and use his knowledge to bring light to Bihar. In Bihar, when rice is milled, the outside kernel, or husk, is discarded. Because the husk contains a lot of silica, it doesn't burn well for cooking. A recent Greenpeace study reports that Bihar alone produces 180 crore (1.8 billion) kilograms of rice husk per year. Most of it ends up rotting in landfills and emitting methane, a greenhouse gas. Pandey and Yadav came up with a system that could burn 50 kilograms of rice husk per hour and produce 32 kilowatts of power, sufficient for about 500 village households. They found ways to extract value from the rice husk char — the waste product of a waste product — by setting up another side business turning the char into incense sticks. This business now operates in five locations and provides supplemental income to 500 women. Based on a report by Shri David Bornstein in NEW YORK TIMES, January 10, 2011.


Smt Mahalakshmi, a school librarian and resident of T.Nagar, Chennai (Tamilnadu, Bharat) along with her husband Shri Subramanian, a retired employee of a private company, has identified 30 temples in dire need of regular pooja daily and channelizes public contribution to that end. All the 30 temples are located in remote villages, many of them inaccessible. But the Archakas in these temples - each one of the temples is sanctified by the association of a great soul - perform their duties with devotion in spite of the meager salary they get. The devout couple has requested devotees who want to help the regular conduct of poojas in these 30 temples to personally talk to the archaka concerned. For the list of temples, devotees may contact: 044-28152533 or 98400 53289.  Based on a report in DINAMALAR, March 1, 2010.