Sunday, November 29, 2015


(pancha is five in samskritam; amritam is nectar)
Poorima / Kali Yugabda 5117 / Manmatha Karthigai 9 (November 25, 2015)


The heavy down pour brought down the entire Cuddalore district to its knees on November 9 and 10. P Venkatesan, an ambulance driver at the government Chidambaram hospital, received an alert from the 108 control room about a 21-year-old woman from Killai undergoing labour pain. Unmindful of the trees that kept falling on the roads under the force of wind, Venkatesan skilfully manoeuvred the vehicle for 10 km to reach the Primary Health Centre, where Selvakumari was crying out in pain.  Venkatesan helped Selvakumari along with her husband, Kavinkanth, on to the ambulance. With the rain pounding, visibility had dipped to a few metres. Even as Selvakumari kept crying out in pain, Venkatesan decided to take an alternative route. However, he soon found out that the condition on the new stretch was worse than assumed. He decided to return to Killai, but by then the roads were inundated and fallen trees were blocking his way. Returning was no longer an option. On a call from Venkatesan, his friend   Ravindran brought a jeep; he risked his and two of his friends’ — Veerasamy and Paridoss — lives to help strangers in. Ravindran asked Venkatesan to follow his jeep. With the jeep leading the way, they soon reached the Killai railway station. They encountred a level-crossing. The rain battered gate had to be lifted to make way for the ambulance. Next, the engine of the Ambulance developed a snag and the ambulance had to be towed by the jeep. In three and a half hours more they reached Chidambaram hospital where Selvakumari delivered a girl child. (Based on a report By Shri  K Ezhilarasan in THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS, November 12, 2015).


Even at the age of 84 she still fights for the rights of women, especially widows. She is like a Save-Our-Souls (S.O.S) “Amma” to the cops around Urwa area (Karnataka, Bharat), providing them coffee and food during bandhs and curfews. Cops who do not receive food packets while on patrolling duty head straight for Amma’s house with sure knowledge that they will never be turned away with an empty stomach. Even at this ‘Young” age she still actively takes part in various awareness programmes giving talks, advice, etc., on issues relevant to women. She keeps herself busy doing her daily cooking, gardening, reading, interacting with family members/relatives/friends, and making friends. For her service to the community she was presented with 2004 DK Rajyotsava Award, and also many felicitations by various organizations. She is none other than Smt Manorama M Bhat, a poet and author, residing at Ashoknagar-Mangaluru. (From a post by Smt. Alfie D'Souza in, November 18, 2015).


 As he gradually increased the speed of the Asansol-Chennai Central Express train that had just left Ongole station, loco pilot Velmurugan saw a young woman jumping in front of his train, dragging a reluctant child with her. He applied the brakes. The train stopped. The wheels had missed them just by an inch. He left the mother and daughter under the care of the passengers on the train and brought her up to Chennai Central. There, Velmurugan handed over both the mother and child to the Child Helpline counter. A week has gone by since the incident; the 28-year-old woman, a mother of three,  and her daughter, all of nine years, are now in an NGO in Porur that takes care of aged persons and destitute.  The woman from Kanigiri in Andhra Pradesh said that she decided to take the extreme step fed up due to the frequent quarrels with her drunkard husband. “I realised the mistake I committed. I will never attempt that ever again. I will do some work and send my daughters to school, I will live for my children,” she added with resolve in her voice. Velmurugan, meanwhile, is a happy man. “My heart literally melted to see the little one, who was born to live her life to the fullest,” said the proud father of a young child. (Based on a report by Smt. Sinduja Jane in THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS, November 19, 2015).


By constructing a bridge across a fetid nullah, 17-year-old Eshan Balbale helped the children of Sathe Nagar in Mumbai (Maharashtra, Bharat) gain unfettered access to school. “I felt terrible when I saw the children wade through the disgusting sludge in the nullah," he says. Other factors, such as having to walk 1.5 km to reach the school and the unavailability of autos, were contributing to a high dropout rate. In addition to this, about 15,000 residents had to cross the rancid nullah to get to the market. Balbale saw that a bridge was the need of the hour. He chose to build the bridge with bamboo, which is light yet sturdy. The bridge, which can carry up to 50 people at a time, was inaugurated on August 29. The young altruist will maintain the bridge until a more permanent solution is implemented by the authorities. Balbale is now looking to improve sanitation conditions in the area by building eight to 10 toilets. A deeply mature Balbale explains that an urge to help those who cannot avail amenities that were accessible to him keeps him motivated. "Ever since I was in Class VIII, I would see my parents help other people and I made it a point to donate my clothes, school bags and books to our domestic help and her children. I like to understand the problems people have and help them accordingly. It is a learning experience for me," he concludes. (Based on a report by Smt Arita Sarkar in MUMBAI MIRROR, September 21, 2015). Idea: Shri. M.B. Sivaramakrishnan

Mohammed Abid Qureshi, aged 25, said he found cash Rs 1.17 lakh wrapped inside a polythene bag near government hostel circle in Jaipur on August 5, 2015. He waited at the spot till 10 pm in the hope that the person who had misplaced the bag would return looking for it. It was when nobody turned up to claim the bag that Qureshi carried the bag with himself as he headed to his rented room in the walled city area. On reaching home, Qureshi narrated the entire incident to his wife Ameena and together they decided to return the money. However, they were scared that they might face problems at the police station. “But we know that ill-gotten wealth brings problems and we did not think of keeping the money even for a second,” the couple said. Next day Aabid went to the office of Janga Sriniwas Rao, commissioner of police to return the plastic bag containing Rs 1.17 lakh. Applauding Aabid’s honesty, Rao said, “This is great work done by this man who is poor in terms of his financial condition but is a rich man in terms of honesty. He has set an example for everyone.” Qureshi is illiterate while his wife studied till Class 4. But they want their daughter to get educated so she can take the family legacy of honesty much further. (Based on a report by Shri P. Srinivasan in HINDUSTAN TIMES, August 8, 2015). Idea: Shri. M.B. Sivaramakrishnan.

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