Friday, March 23, 2012



Vishwa Samvad Kendra, Chennai


Pancha is five in Samskritam, Amritam is nectar

Amaavasya / Kali Yugaabda 5113 / Kara Panguni 9 (March 22, 2012)


In the last two months, the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) of Kerala, Bharat, filled up 50  out of the 100 posts for pujaris (priests) with non-brahmins, who will soon start performing rituals in shrines assigned to them among the 2,000 temples under TDB. TDB had conducted a recruitment drive six months ago and interviewed hundreds of applicants belonging to all castes and they selected 199 pujaris, out of which 40% were non- brahmins. Though caste is no bar for becoming a shanti (priest), TDB, in its latest notification has stated that the applicant must have an elementary knowledge of tantra-shastra, Sanskrit and a certificate from a Board-approved tantri (senior priest). "He also should be a Malayali Hindu who is aware of the braminical tradition.'' said Krishnan Nambudiri, general secretary of Tantra Vidya Peetam, Aluva, a member of the interview board who selected the pujaris. "Many non-brahmin candidates did equally well in terms of recitation of mantras and knowledge of tantras. They all attached tremendous aspirational value to these posts,'' he said.   March 14, 2012.


As many as 21,000 couples took part in the foundation stone-laying ceremony of a temple (Khodaldham temple shila poojan vidhi) on January 21, 2012 at Kagvad, near Virpur in Rajkot district (Gujarat, Bharat), creating a unique world record. The proposed temple is of Maa Khodiyar, the deity of the Leuva Patel community. A five-member team from the Guinness Book of World Records was present to witness the ceremony. Lakhs of community members from across the country were also present, said Naresh Patel, president of Khodal Dham Trust, which is building the temple. Naresh Patel, an industrialist from Rajkot and a patron of the project, said community unity was very important for development of society. "So far, Leuvas were not united. Thanks to Ma Khodal, we all are coming under a single umbrella," he said. By Sonali on January 21, 2012 | From


The 21st of December 2011 has etched an unforgettable memory in my mind. I (Arvind Kumar, Chief Project Manager-PDRP) was at Tiruchirapalli (Tamilnadu, Bharat) on a mission to expedite supplies of Boilers at BHEL's works for Power plant of IOCL's ongoing Paradip Refinery Project. BHEL has outsourced non-pressure parts of these boilers to certain vendors nearby Trichy. `ORBIT' is among such outsourced vendors, who make Pins & Clamps of these boilers for our project. We decided to visit ORBIT also for review and expediting balance supplies. When we reached ORBIT works, we were greeted by their President Mr. P.R. Pandi,   who himself is a blind person. To my utter surprise, the whole ORBIT workshop is run by blind persons. Though I was aware of certain special schools and institutions for blind persons but never heard about any manufacturing industry run completely by such persons. What I saw next inside the workshop is quite difficult to believe. I had never witnessed such well coordinated and coherent working by blind persons. People were segregating the raw material, feeding the raw material on cutting, shearing and punching machines with the help of their fellow blind friends, collecting the final products and bagging them after quality checks. The whole manufacturing process was efficiently done and finished product was meeting the quality standards. What came next was even more surprising. A physically handicapped welder was doing welding on the job and was assisted by a blind helper. We saw his blind helper almost running and going to store room next door to fetch the electrodes quickly. Every worker working here is fully conversant with the layout of workshop and does the job with calculated steps. At the end, ORBIT president Mr. Pandi requested me `Sir, if you come across any blind person, please direct him to me, we will make him our team member here'.


Alka Sarode, a 17-year-old ragpicker from Dombivli, Mumbai (Maharashtra, Bharat) handed over gold jewellery worth Rs 8.5 lakh to the police, which was mistakenly thrown in a bin. Alka  was felicitated for her honesty by Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and Home Minister R R Patil on March 22, 2012.. She was also rewarded Rs 10,000 by the family that owned the ornaments. Vandana Ulkande, 65, and her husband Vijay, 67, had decided to keep the gold ornaments in a tiffin box in the dustbin before they visited their village in Kolhapur. They wanted to keep the valuables hidden because of the alarming rise in break-ins in Dombivli recently. However, on returning from Kolhapur they forgot to remove the gold and the bin was given to the sweeper the next day.


In a city where people seldom stop to help accident victims, Uma Shankar did. And he is only a boy, 12 years old. The day was July 12, 2010. The boy from Delhi was on way to school in a bus. Just ahead was an overcrowded minibus. Unable to negotiate a curve, the minibus suddenly overturned. Trapped under it were mostly schoolchildren like him, bleeding. Shankar jumped out of his bus to rescue the children. Asking the passengers who escaped unhurt to lift the bus, the boy crawled underneath and pulled out the kids. Now, they had to be rushed to hospital. Shankar flagged down motorists but nobody would stop. So he lunged in front of two moving cars. The cars stopped. Six of the injured were rushed to hospital, five of whom survived. He has won the Bapu Gaidhani Award. (This year (2012), 24 children - 8 girls and 16 boys – received the National Bravery Awards on the occasion of Republic Day. Uma Shankar  is one aming them).