Thursday, November 12, 2015


(pancha is five in samskritam; amritam is nectar)
Amavaasya / Kali Yugabda 5117 / Manmatha Purattaasi 25 (October 12, 2015)


His name is Kanappan. A two wheeler mechanic of Thiruchirappalli (Tamilnadu, Bharat). A great Saivaite saint, one of the 63 nayanmars, of the same name, is renowned for having offered his eyes to Lord Shiva. But Tiruchi Kannappan, born in a poor family, lost vision in both eyes in an unidentified affliction when he was four. Having lost his father, he grew under his mother’s care. All his ‘schooling’ was in a bike mechanic’s shop nearby. Over the years, he became an adept in sizing up the fault in a bike, just by listening to the engine’s noise and opened a shop in a small way. Today he is the owner of a famous mechanic shop of the town located in Ramalinga Nagar South Extension of Tiruchi, employing many assistants.  The sheer quality of his service brought in more and more customers and Kannappan plans to enhance his venture to provide employment to more hands. When a journalist wanted to know whether Kannappan had availed of any government assistance for differently-abled, his reply was, “only those who think they cannot do without it, go in for all that”. (Based on a report BY Shri L. Murugaraj in  DINAMALAR, September 21, 2015).

Kokrebellur, a small village in Maddur taluk of Karnataka, offers you an unusual and mesmerizing sight as you’ll find some of India’s rarest species of birds chirping in the backyards of these village homes. The village is named after the “Painted Storks” which are called “Kokkare” in Kannada. Apart from Painted Storks, spot-billed Pelicans are also found here. Both of them are included in “near threatened category”. It is fascinating to see that these birds have nested in the village in very close proximity to the villagers. Every tree holds many nests. The villagers treat these birds as a part of their family and have also created a small area for wounded birds to rest. Birds are so friendly here that they even allow you to go very close to them. The uniqueness of this place is that in spite of some loss of crops that these villagers face due to the birds, they have happily adopted the birds and do everything possible to make them feel at home. That is why, gradually, this place has become a hub of rare migratory birds. Women of the village say, “For us, these birds are like daughters coming home for delivery.” (


Ajay Vishal, a student of class 11 in Saudambika Metric School, Aruppukottai (Tamilnadu Bharat) has designed an automatic charging electric bicycle run on lithium-ion battery.( A lithium-ion battery (sometimes Li-ion battery or LIB) is a member of a family of rechargeable battery types in which lithium ions move from the negative electrode to the positive electrode during discharge and back when charging). It is therefore eco friendly, noiseless. As it can be pedal-driven, health of the rider is also taken care of. The that is fitted on to the carrier lasts for 4 years. The electric bike picks up a speed of up to battery 30 kms per hour. Says Ajay: “ Shri Ponraj, an associate  of Abdul Kalam, has appreciated my effort. Now I am trying to generate electricity using bagasse  (Bagasse is sugar cane fiber waste left after juice extraction. Bagassse Sugarcane products are 100% biodegradable and compostable).  The principal and teachers of my school guide me and encourage me”. (Based on a report in DINAMALAR, September 12, 2015). Idea:Shri Sivarama krishnan M B


Madhya Pradesh Harda’s ‘Brother Number One’ campaign launched against open defecation has impressed a collector from Odisha so much so he has decided to gift a toilet to a poor woman Kusumbai who belongs to Harda. (Recently the campaign – between between July 15 and August 15 - had hit national limelight as PM Modi had lauded the endeavors in Harda district against open defection in his radio address –Mann Ki Baat).  Angul (Odisha) collector Sachin Ramchandra Jadhav has decided to consider 47-year-old Kusumbai from Harda his Dharma Bahan   (Rakhi sister) so that he could gift her a toilet on Rakshabandhan. A native of Kaldhar village in Harda, Kusumbai is a mother of two and earns her living by working as a daily wage labourer. Known for his endeavors under State and national level Swachhta Abhiyan, Jadhav was so impressed with the Operation Mallyuddh (operation against open defection), he decided to be part of the 'Brother No One'. Under the operation Malyuddh, the government agencies have organized the contest ‘Brother No One’ in which the men who would build the most clean and beautiful toilet for their sisters will be felicitated. In other event, all the brothers taking part in the contest would be felicitated. The man whose toilet would be adjudged the best, would be conferred with the title 'Brother No One’ (Based on a report by Shri Vivek Trivedi in NEWS 18, August 14, 2015).  


In a narrow, ordinary lane, running by the side of a railway track in Patna (Bihar, Bharat), lives an extraordinary man, Anand Kumar. His Super 30 has attained legendary status. In the 12 years since it began, 333 poor students have passed the IIT entrance exam. When he began in 2003, 18 students had been successful; since then, most among the entire batch of 30 students have made it to the IITs year on year. A few sample success stories: The last batch had one girl, Nidhi Jha, who stayed with Anand Kumar's family while the boys reside in a rented hostel nearby. She was the daughter of an autorickshaw driver and featured in a French documentary for her wonderful achievement. Nidhi is now studying at the Indian School of Mines. Another girl, Pragya Verma, went to IIT-Bombay and is now at the University of Minnesota. Abhishek Raj -- whose mother laboured to supplement the household income to pay for the notebooks, pencils of her children at the government school -- went to IIT-Kharagpur, then to the US and is now in England. Shashi Narayan, the son of a hospital worker in a government hospital, who won the Erasmus Mundus scholarship for research in France, has recently taken up a teaching position in England. (From, October 23, 2015).
Note: This was how PANCHAAMRITAM 75 (in 2005) recorded Anand Kumar’s service to society. “There are totally air - conditioned coaching centers for IIT entrance exam, that charge fees up to Rs. 50,000 from each candidate. A coaching center in Patna, Bihar’s capital, provides free tuition in chemistry, physics and maths. Not only that. The students here are given free food and free accommodation as well. they stay in huts with thatched roof rented by the center. They eat frugal vegetarian meal provided by the center. They work along with the teachers. Results are heartening. In the first year of the center, 18 out of 30 students got through the toughest engineering entrance exam in the country. It was 22 and 26 in the subsequent years. Every year, 30 engineering aspirants from poor families are selected through an entrance test by the coaching center. It was through the coaching at this center that 17 year old Anuman, son of Shrikrishna Jaisawal, an auto driver, could pass the ITT entrance exam. Two persons continue to help the dreams of the poor families including that of auto driver Prakash Jaisawal come true. They are 32 year old mathematician Shri. Anand Kumar and 50 year old police officer Shri. Abhayanand. Anand had an invitation from Cambridge for further studies in 1994. He had no money and none came to his help then. He had to miss the opportunity. That made him resolve that poor students must be helped to come up. He met Abhayanand in this connection and the duo launched this modern Gurukul. They spend up to Rs. 3.5 lakhs per year in this endeavour. Even if 30-40 youths could achieve something, the very picture of Bihar could be changed, they hope”.
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