Sunday, April 19, 2015


(pancha is five in samskritam; amritam is nectar)
Amavaasya / Kali Yugabda 5116 / Manmatha Chithirai 6 (April 18, 2015)

 India’s rescue efforts in Yemen, codenamed Operation Raahat, haven’t gone unnoticed. According to April 6 reports, 23 countries have requested Indian assistance in evacuating their citizens from Yemen. A tweet by Syed Akbaruddin, spokesperson for India’s Ministry of External Affairs, gave the list of countries comprising Bangladesh, Cuba, Czech Republic, Djibouti, Egypt, France, Germany, Hungary, Iraq, Indonesia, Ireland, Lebanon, Malaysia, Nepal, Philippines, Romania, Slovenia, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Sweden, Turkey, the United States, and Yemen. Recently, before the current crisis in Yemen, India demonstrated this with its swift naval deployment to the Maldives after a water shortage crisis. By answering calls for assistance from nearly two dozen states in Yemen, India can prove that it’s up to the task. (From, April 7, 2015).

Male, the capital of Maldives, has been facing a shortage of potable water after a fire at the water treatment plant left more than 1,00,000 people of the island without access to clean water. The government of Maldives declared a water emergency and appealed to several neighboring countries like India for help. Indian officials say External Affairs Minister Smt Sushma Swaraj worked the phones after a distress call from her Maldivian counterpart Duniya Maumoon around 10 pm on December 4, 2014. By morning, an IL-76 loaded with 20 tonnes of fresh potable water, landed in Male, that has seen restive crowds and long queues over the water crisis. Maldivian President Abdullah Yameen cut short his visit to Malaysia to deal with the problem. A Maldives government official said that restoration of proper water supply would cost about $20 million (Rs 120 crore). India dispatched also a Navy ship holding 1,000 tons of fresh water. The ship also has the capability of producing 20 tons of clean water everyday even while anchored. (Based on a report in THE HINDU, December 5, 2014 and other media reports).

It was on March 30 that during his morning walk on the banks of Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh (Punjab, Bharat), that Justice Shri M. Jeyapaul, a judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, observed a commotion with several people shouting for help. He noticed that a girl was drowning in the water. He immediately ran to her rescue and dived into the lake. Justice Jeyapaul’s security officer, Shri Yashpal, also followed him into the waters. Both of them swam towards the girl who had by now gone under the surface. Yashpal is learnt to have gone under water and pulled the girl to the surface. She was then brought to the shore by him and Justice Jeyapaul. Though the girl had been rendered unconscious, she was revived and taken to a hospital. It was later revealed that she had attempted suicide as despite her securing good marks, her father had expressed his inability to support her studies due to his poor financial condition. Upon learning this, the Judge gave the family some money towards her studies. He has also recommended his security officer for a cash reward and promotion. (From  a report by Shri Gaurav Vivek Bhatnagar in THE HINDU, April 6, 2015).


Shri N.S. Venkatraman is a successful businessman without the airs of one. He travels by Chennai’s MTC buses. He heads Nandini Consultancy Centre Private Limited, which is well known among chemical engineers and has its operations in Singapore too. He founded Nandini Voice for the Deprived in 1995, a non-governmental organisation in Besant Nagar, Chennai (Tamilnadu, Bharat) with an aim to help the poor. “My company is doing well. So it is essential that I share my income with someone who is less privileged,” says Venkatraman. “Nandini Voice for the Deprived doesn’t accept any monetary donation. If someone comes forward to donate money to any deserving student, we ask them to hand over the money directly to the beneficiary. Because, I want them to feel the happiness of sharing their money with someone who badly needs it,” he says. The NGO also conducts training programmes in the fundamentals of computer science for senior citizens. “Many of those who have enrolled for the programme are retired officials. We don’t accept any fee, even if they can afford it. The reason is that we want them also to help others in whichever way they can,” adds Venkatraman. (From a report by Smt L.Kanthimathi in THE HINDU, February 21, 2015).

Illupur, a small town panchayat in the Pudukkottai district (Tamilnadu, Bharat) has achieved cent per cent tax collection, a trend it has been maintaining in the last 17 years.  It is noteworthy the achievement has been made when all the residents in the town panchayat are in the farming activities. Of the 8 town panchayats in the disrict, Illupur is the only town panchayat to achieve 100 percent tax collection and also among one of the few town panchayats across the state that have achieved for several years consecutively. The Illupur town panchayat with a population of 13,595 in 10 wards has 4,938 property assessments and 407 profession tax assessments. During 2014-15, the panchayat collected Rs 17 lakh as property tax and Rs 3.90 lakh as profession tax. It is the first town panchayat in the district which was brought under cent percent online tax collection network. The executive officer Shri Sulaiman Sait and president Shri Guru Rajamannar felicitated the panchayat officials for the achievement recently. (Based on a report by Shri S Kumaresan in THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS, April 6, 2015).
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