Monday, September 8, 2014

Panchaamritam 256

Poornima / Kali yugabda 5116 / Jaya Aavani 23 (September 8, 2014)


Charaka - This is the place where khadi clothes especially kurtas, kurtis, pyajamas, some formal shirts etc., are produced in Heggodu, near Sagara (Karnataka, Bharat). It is a cooperative that was set up 15 years ago with a purpose of providing employment to rural women. (The Society employs nearly 350 women and has a turnover of around Rs. 2 crore per annum. Each woman working at Charaka takes home more than Rs. 3,000 a month, said a blog ‘Pen Folio’ in 2011). It nearly employs 500 women across 20 villages. The colours used for dyeing are mostly natural - brown base from areca nut, blue from Indigo, reddish pink from a plant produce 'manjishta' etc. Also, only handlooms are used instead of power looms to employ more women. Barring one or two men it is entirely managed by women. It is an amazing story how a brand has been built upholding ecological, cultural and social values. The handloom garments are marketted under the brand name “Desi”. It is a self-sufficient cooperative in the sense that once raw yarn is purchased, everything else happens in-house. The workers are their own paymasters here and earn handsomely.  “We have 11 Desi retail outlets across Karnataka. The demand for the products is so high that we cannot start any new outlets” says Prasanna, a former theatre personality and a Marxist who founded Charaka. He adds, “Initially there was a lot of resistance. Groups tried to stop me from doing this because I had this Marxist tag. But it was a learning experience. I learned that, in a village, you cannot be a “red rag.” You cannot be branded. A whole lot of changes happened in me ideologically”.
(Based on a write up by Dr. Vinaychandra in the Facebook, June 2014 as well as on a report by Shri K. Pradeep in THE HINDU, April 13, 2013.)


Devi Parvati, 67, a Jew by birth who converted to Hinduism in her 20s, began the .Hindu Heritage Summer camp in 1976. In New York it uses the facilities of the India Community Center, Growing up Indian-American in Shreveport, La., was already a conflicted proposition for 11 year old Neha Dhawan. As the daughter of two immigrant doctors, she dutifully went with her parents to a Hindu temple. Classmates routinely asked where she went to church. Worst of all, a pupil at Neha’s middle school produced a “hit list” of students who were supposed to be killed, among them several of Indian descent. So the last thing that Neha wanted was to be even more identified as an Indian and a Hindu.  But her parents sent her to the camp. Now, at age 21, she says with retrospection, the camp changed her life. She loved doing morning yoga, her hair still cool and damp from the shower. She discovered a favorite bhajan, a Hindu devotional song. She spoke with her peers and their college-age counselors about dealing with stereotypes and racism. “I realized,” she said, “it’s O.K. to be proud of who you are.” Neha is now the director of the Hindu Heritage Summer Camp. Between their wake-up call and the meal, the campers assemble in a parking lot that included both a basketball court and a portrait of Lord Rama. The camp day toggles between yoga, worship, drama, cricket, arts and crafts, classes on Hindu philosophy. Such programming attracted campers to fill all 200 slots over two two-week sessions this summer. Children come from as far as Texas and Florida in the United States, and from Belgium abroad. Several were the offspring of intermarried, interfaith families with African, Irish and Italian roots. For 14-year-old Millena Sivakuma this summer was her fifth in a row. “We all become family,” said Millena, the daughter of a banker from Charlotte, N.C. “On the last day, everybody’s flowing rivers from their eyes.”

Based on a report by Shri Samuel G. Freedman in THE NEW YORK TIMES, August 22, 2014.

Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Smt Vasundhara Raje helped three accident victims while her motorcade was driving from Sriganganagar to Sangariya in Bikaner Division. Seeing three motorcyclists lying on the road, after they had reportedly been hit by a private TV van, the Chief Minister got down from her vehicle and issued instructions for the three to be taken to the hospital. She called up State Health Minister Rajendra Rathore from the spot and asked him to issue instructions to the authorities at the Ganganagar Hospital so that they were prepared to receive the three victims. At the same time, the Chief Minister sent the Central Chemicals and Fertiliser Minister Nihal Chand and the local MLA, Gurjant Singh, with the accident victims to the hospital before proceeding for her scheduled programme under ‘Sarkar Aapke Dwar’. The motorcyclists had been lying on the Lalgarh Jatan Road in the Military Area for some time after being hit by a TV van. Despite her efforts, Abdul Hameed (52) and Lala (20), died while Papu is being treated for critical injuries. “Stopped by to help accident victims’ precious life — unfortunate we have forgotten to respect human lives!” she later tweeted.
From reports in THE HINDU and INDIAN EXPRESS, June 27, 2014.

Shobana, wife of Vijayan, a resident of Housing Board colony, Thirupathur, Vellore district, travelled by the Thiruvananthapuram Express train from Coimbatore and  alighted at Jolarpet Junction on May 23. While collecting her luggage she forgot to take her handbag which was lying on a bench in the Railway platform. Shri Prahlad, who sells edibles at the Railway station, found the bag and handed it over to the Railway Protection Force personnel. The police searched the bag and found that it contained gold jewellery weighing two and a half sovereigns and two mobile phones. Shobana was informed of the bag and she, accompanied by her husband, went to the station. She got back her valuables intact. RPF Inspector Chelladurai gave away cash award to Shri Prahlad  in appreciation of his honesty.
Based on a report in DINAMANI, May 24, 2 014
Former US President Bill Clinton, with a 25 member delegation, arrived at Government Praveshika Sanskrit Vidyalaya, Sanganer, Rajasthan. For 20 minutes, Clinton and his team served food to students. Clinton and the delegates were astonished to see two students of Class 10 solving a mathematical riddle using the Nikhilam method of Vedic Maths even before some delegates could solve those with calculators. Clinton asked the students Ashish Dubey and Amrita Kumar to get in touch with the Clinton Foundation through Akshaya Patra for any assistance in the future.
Based on a report in THE TIMES OF INDIA, July 17, 2014. (Idea: Shri Raghuramji)