Thursday, September 17, 2015


(pancha is five in samskritam; amritam is nectar)
Amavaasya / Kali Yugabda 5117 / Manmatha Avani 26 (September 12, 2015)

Happy Ganesh Chaturthi (September 17) !
Sorry for the delay in posting this issue: Moderator.


The Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM) felicitated 74 Muslims who own or rear cows at its first Muslim Gau Palak Sammelan in  Mewat (Haryana, Bharat) on September 13, 2015; it  asked them to take a pledge against cow slaughter. The event was attended by Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Khattar and chief of All India Imam Council Imam Umar Ahmed Ilyasi. “Mewat is known for slaughter of cows and we wanted to dispel the myth. We succeeded in bringing a large number of Muslims to the event,” Mohammad Afzal, national convenor, MRM told The Indian Express. Khattar released a booklet (Gai aur Islam) and a CD named “Gau ki Hifazat par Ulma ka Nazariya (Ulemas’ view on cow protection)”. MRM margdarshak (guide) and senior RSS leader Indresh Kumar was present at the event. The MRM will also set up 10 cow shelters — Gau Palak Kendra — to be exclusively managed by Muslims in Uttar Pradesh. A booklet, Gai aur Islam (cow and Islam), which is a compilation of articles by several Muslim clerics highlighting the importance of cow in the religion, will also be distributed in areas dominated by the minority community. Imam Umar Ahmed Ilyasi welcomed the idea of holding such functions. “It is a good idea. We also want to have good relations with Hindus. Cow is considered sacred by Hindus; so Muslims should come forward and avoid its slaughter,” Ilyasi said. (Based on a report by Shri Mohd Faisal Fareed in THE INDIAN EXPRESS, September 16, 2015).

It is a moment of rare honour for Bharatiya conservationists Sukhram Baiga, Ujiyaro Bai and Gopal Mandal, who have been invited to address the 5-day XIV World Forestry Congress in Durban beginning on September 7. They were invited by Timber Watch, a South African NGO working on forest conservation with the help of local communities. The efforts of Ujiyaro Bai and her fellow villagers from Pondi have successfully saved forests in Dindori (Madhya Pradesh, Bharat) from forest fires and illegal wood contractors. The community organisation-Rural Development Society-has about 15 hectares of community mangrove forests in about seven villages, This has developed generated various options of  traditional livelihoods like  fishing and  honey collection.  According to Gopal, nearly 350 persons have been diverted from the tiger habitat to these community mangrove forests.This has not only reduced incidents of man-tiger conflicts but also controlled human pressures in tiger habitat, thereby helping in big cat conservation. “For generations Baiga tribe has been co-existing with tigers.  Today, both Baigas and tigers are endangered. Both need the jungles to survive. Yet in this battle for survival why are only tigers allowed to flourish and Baigas left to perish as victims of displacement from their native jungles,” Ujiyaro asks. “Our age old co-existence with big cats has been endangered,” said Sukhram, adding, “Our lives, livelihood, culture and ethos are all rooted in the jungles.”Ujiyaro, who belongs to the Baiga tribe, started her fight to save forests, seven years back. (Based on a report by Smt Moushumi Basu in THE PIONEER, 8 September 2015).

Amit Vaidya, a Gujarati, was born and brought up in the US, with a Ph.D. in economics; he was diagnosed with first stage gastric cancer when he was 27. He went in for “aggressive chemo radiation” in New York. Two years later he went into remission. Doctors told Amit that his life too was just a matter of time. “I started planning my funeral”, says Amit. Soon he planned a trip to India. He lived in Delhi with a friend when he was told about alternative therapies. The treatment at a hospital in Gujarat was disciplined with yoga, meditation and he was made to drink a mix of desi cow milk, curd, ghee and gobar, go-mutra (panchagavya). Scans showed that the cancer “had not spread”. Another 40 days in the hospital, and reports showed the cancer had decreased. Wanting to continue the therapy, Amit stayed with a farmer, who opened his house to Amit. “I continued the therapy and after months was able to walk. Over time, walks became jogs, jogs became runs and I started finding joy in my mind. The villagers had time for me, which was the best gift I got, especially when I needed time to heal.” After 18 months Amit claims he is cancer free and decided on planning to live his life instead of planning a funeral. He now talks to people about his journey and that healing is possible. He  spends time with cancer patients. He started an NGO called Healing Vaidya (  He does not plan on going back to the US as “this country has given me much. I have learnt that people here don’t value what it can offer.” Amit has written a book  ‘Holy Cancer – How A Cow Saved My Life’, (Aditya Prakashan, Rs. 495) . (Based on a report by Smt Shilpa Sebastian in THE HINDU, 2015).

Shri Vijay, a resident of Hyderabad (Telengana, Bharat), posted a photograph with a traffic cop and shared his story on social media. “I was on my bike and making my way home from the office. I ran out of fuel and, fortunately, stopped in front of Merajuddin Syed, traffic cop of ASI rank, who was on duty. “When he came to know that I had run out of petrol, he yelled at a man beside him to get a bottle of petrol from his bike. Meanwhile, he told me that he has got a hike and with the raise in his salary, he wanted to help people. Now, he helps out people who have run out of petrol, gives it to them free of cost. And he simply refused to take any money from me either. I was so overwhelmed by his kind and helpful nature. Hats off to you,” he wrote. Merajuddin Syed who has become a local hero over the past few weeks keeps with him 6 bottles of petrol at all times in his scooter. He offers help to anyone that he notices needs help. He does all this out of the emotion to help people and not for money. Therefore, never accepts any money from the riders/drivers that he helps, even if the other person insists."I like when they smile after a messy day. I want people to understand that we (police) are not here just to punish offenders or to take a bribe. We can also help them," Syed was quoted telling ANI. (Based on report by Smt Mugdha Kapoor in THE TIMES OF INDIA, September 8, 2015).

The unique nine-day-old strike by over 5,000 women workers of the Kanan Devan Hill Plantations Company (KHDP) in Munnar (Kerala, Bharat) against the management yielded the desired results on September 13, 2015. Unique, as the women workers, with no single notable leader, decided to keep out both trade unions and political parties of all hues, in what they knew was a just cause. The historic decision agreed to 8.33 per cent of salary as bonus and 11.67 per cent as ex-gratia. And their demand for fixing the minimum salary at Rs 500 a day is to be taken up for consideration in a fortnight’s time. Many of the striking ladies are also shareholders in the firm. Set up in April 2005, it is the largest employee-owned tea company in the world, covering 17 plantations spanning 24,000 hectares. (When the Tata group decided to exit the plantations business in 2005, it sold 75 per cent of the shares in KHDP to 13,350 workers in a landmark deal of ‘participatory management’). (From an editorial in THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS, September 15, 2015).
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