Friday, March 20, 2015


(pancha is five in samskritam; amritam is nectar)
Amavaasya / Kali Yugabda 5116 / Jaya Panguni 6 (March 20, 2015)


An NGO, My Home India (MHI), has successfully reunited 170 lost children who were abandoned in the city, with their families over the last one year. The NGO is now planning to expand its activities across the country. MHI was founded by Sunil Deodhar, who was  formerly a full time RSS worker in North-East states. According to Deodhar, the NGO had searches for abandoned children in and around the city. We found that many children were willing to return to their families but could not do so because (they were unable to contact them). Most children were from Karnataka, UP and Bihar.(We have helped to reunite them with thier families). (So now) they are happily living with their families,” he said. The NGO has focused on children who either run away from their homes or are forcibly pushed into child labour in big cities. Deodhar, a former president of the BJP’s North-East cell, said that MHI has sought permission from Centre to spread their search for abandoned children to other states too. “Our duty does not end after a child is handed over to his parents. We also continuously monitor whether he is happy with the reunion,” he said. MHI also tackles issues of security, law and order, social, economical and emotionalalienation faced by the people of North-East states in other parts of the country. THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS, March 5, 2015.

Punsari village, barely 100 km from Ahmedabad (Gujarat, Bharat), could be a textbook case of development. Closed-circuit cameras, water purifying plants, air-conditioned schools, Wi-Fi, biometric machines - the village has it all. And all of it was done in a matter of eight years, at a cost of a mere Rs. 16 crore. The man behind the transformation is its young sarpanch: 31-year-old Himanshu Patel. A graduate from North Gujarat University, Patel had won the panchayat polls in 2006 at the age of 23. Back then, the village didn't even have proper roads, power or water. The panchayat funds were in deficit. Punsari’s turnaround happened when the village sold part of its land for plotted schemes. The money, deposited in government coffers, is used to fund the village’s welfare schemes. The results are obvious. Recently, a team from the Central ministries of rural and urban development had come to study the "Punsari model". But the young sarpanch is already onto his next projects - a unit producing electricity out of plastic waste and e-rickshaws for garbage collection. At the village school, the number has doubled from 300 students in 2006 to over 600. The classrooms are not just air-conditioned but also have computers and projectors."We have managed to attract more children," said teacher Narendra Jhala.  Sarpanch Himanshu Patel says, “The main intention was that we should have an atmosphere of a village, but facilities like those in the city”. It’s just that the village has managed its accounts well and has made optimal use of government schemes. NDTV, November 18, 2014.
At over 30 spots in Salem (Tamilnadu, Bharat), wall writings conveying gripping messages have become crowd pullers. These messages evoke social awareness so effectively that quite often they are compiled into booklets and distributed among guests at weddings in the town. Some of the messages are known to have helped casual readers overcome their depression. Pasupathinathan , a professional wall writing artist of film advertisements, has been at it for the past 22 years, in deference to the advice of his late father freedom fighter Ardhanari to do something useful for the society. A new message appears on Wednesday mornings on Salem walls. It is not automatic. On Tuesday nights, Pasupathinathan moves around the town whitewashing  the walls earmarked for message display till 1 AM, rests for a couple of hours and at 3 AM, sets out armed with brush and black paint, to adorn walls with the message of the week. He returns home well after sun rise. Over the years, not a single message was ever repeated, say locals. He culls quotes from books he reads and stores them. It is his wife Smt Alamelu who nudges him on to his wall writing service, if he feels reluctant during rains and winter. More and more residents keep inviting him to display messages on the walls of their houses but he has to say sorry, as his hands are full. Based on a report by Shri L. Murugaraj in DINAMALAR, February 8, 2015.

Born in 1979 in Tumkur district of Karnataka, D K Ravi began his career in civil services as Assistant Commissioner in Gulbarga. He lived a simple life and gained people’s trust. He would go meet them at their homes, sit with them and have food with them irrespective of their status or caste. He worked extensively for marginalized communities and was accessible 24×7. He was transferred 28 times in his career span and collected Rs. 138 crore tax dues in just two weeks. Though he flawlessly performed his duties as an IAS officer, he was a much bigger a person who was doing everything possible to help the poor. He was running free coaching classes on Sundays for poor UPSC aspirants and had resolved to eat at one Dalit family’s home every week. It is said that he was under pressure from his department to slow down on investigations as a lot of big names were involved. It is also claimed that he had received many threat calls from the underworld. Recently he was found dead in his residence under mysterious circumstances. The country will surely miss such an outstanding officer but we hope to see many more Ravis coming up and taking on all the corruption is this country like he did. Based on a post by Smt.  Shreya Pareek in , March 18, 2015.


Indian ministers are considering whether to launch a frontal assault on one of the best-defended official privileges in the emerging economic power: the use of red lights on government cars. Known locally as lal bhatti, the lights are theoretically restricted to the top ranks of the list of precedence and only then when officials are on business to help them accomplish their public service. Yet as Indian cities become more and more congested, the lights are increasingly coveted as the only way to clear a path through the jammed cars, trucks, rickshaws, carts and cows. Now the minister for roads, Nitin Gadkari, has suggested a drastic cut in the number of officials eligible for the lal bhatti. If his proposal is agreed by other ministers and by the prime minister, Narendra Modi, only a few dozen people will get the red lights on their cars, rather than the hundreds who currently have them.“Only after the key ministers give their views, a formal proposal will be put before the government. It will take some time. But one thing is clear, that the number of such dignitaries would be limited,” the local Times of India newspaper quoted a government source as saying.If approved, the measure will be a popular one. The sight of official cars forcing ordinary traffic aside enrages ordinary citizens in the capital, already resentful of the constant closure of main roads to ease what are known as “VIP movements”. From a report by Shri Jason Burke in THE GUARDIAN (UK), March 19, 2015.
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