Wednesday, June 29, 2016

PANCHAAMRITAM 300

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PANCHAAMRITAM 300
(pancha is five in samskritam; amritam is nectar)
Poornima / Kali Yugabda 5118 / Durmuki Aani 6 (June 20, 2016)

Posted on June 21, 2016
A great International YOGA Day!


 

ONE



A few days back, I got a chance to attend a function organised by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Delhi state (Bharat). The event was organised in an open ground, a part of which was covered with tents for the event. The swayamsewaks performed activities which they learnt in their 20 days long training Camp. It was to be followed by a speech by Shri Rameshwar, a Senior official of the RSS. When Shri Rameshwar stood to speak, a strong wind started blowing. The stage from which the main speaker was speaking was shaking like anything due to strong winds. I was pretty sure that the speaker will abort his speech and move from the venue. Who would want to stake his life for an event? When the wind became strong, 20-25 swayamsewaks ran towards the stage and grabbed each pole strongly to ensure that the stage doesn’t shake anymore. 6-7 swayamsewaks were holding each pole attached to the stage and made sure the events runs smoothly. Everything happened within a couple of minutes. But I must admit that the most astonishing thing that amazed me was the behavior of the speaker. He spoke for full 40 minutes as he was scheduled to, that too without even once mentioning the strong storm blowing there.  While there was lots of turbulence, the main speaker stated that Sangh is an organisation which builds humans. I had heard this line many times but that day I actually realized what type of individuals Sangh creates. May be this is the character-building that I have heard many RSS guys talking about. My best wishes to the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh. (From a first person account by Shri By Jainankit posted on www.opindia.com, June 18, 2016). Idea: Smt Ramadevi Prasad.

 

TWO



India's largest cow hospital provides care for 1,600 cows, bulls, oxen, that are sick, diseased, injured or deformed. With wards for cows with breast cancer, cows that have lost their legs in road accidents, cows that have been operated upon to remove plastic from their bellies, the hospice is a tourist attraction in Nagaur (Rajasthan, Bharat). The animals are kept under giant tents, each called a ward where the cattle are segregated according to the disease or injury. There is also an ICU, says Mukesh. Twenty one ambulances transport cows to the facility from a 300 km radius. "Those who bring their sick cows, we give them two healthy cows in return," says Mukesh, adding that the hospital is run on donations from gau bhakts and well wishers. The daily cost of running the hospital amounts to Rs 4.5 lakh (Rs 450,000). Eight tons of broken wheat (dalia/lapsi) is cooked every day. Gau bhakts donate green vegetables, says Mukesh. A board on the premises says that water sourced from the Himalayas is provided to the cattle and brought in tankers. There are cradles for calves and blankets stocked for each cow for the winter months. Established by Swami Kushagiriji Maharaj who lives down a door which reads 'gufa ka marg' (path to the cave). Mukesh says the hospice was started in 2008 with one cow.  The first cow is called Nanda Kamdhenu and occupies pride of place in the hospital's precincts. Worshipped as a deity, she sits under a shed and wears a velvet cloak. Devotees perform a parikrama and apply tilak on its forehead. (http://www.rediff.com/news/special/a-cow-hospital-with-a-cancer-ward-and-icu-/20160608.htm June 08, 2016). Idea: Shri Vasuvaj


 

THREE


In a noble gesture, diamond merchants of Surat and Mumbai donated 10,000 goggles, RO water purifiers besides ECG machines and a host of other items for use by BSF jawans guarding the Indo-Pak border in scorching heat. The items were handed over to the BSF at a special function organised NADABET BOP (Gujarat, Bharat), which was also attended by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. Appreciating the gesture, the Home Minister said diamond merchants across the country should join hands with the security agencies for the welfare of jawans who lay down their lives protecting the nation. Among the articles which were donated include 10,000 sunglasses worth Rs 650 each, ECG and X-Ray machines, medical laboratory equipment, an ambulance, 10 oxygen concentrators, 10 RO water plants of 500 litre capacity each and 7,000 mattresses. Besides, it was decided to upgrade three BSF hospitals with contribution from the diamond traders at a cost of Rs 15 lakh each and develop three shooting ranges at an investment of Rs 25 lakh. Residential units will also be constructed for children of martyrs studying in Gandhinagar. India shares 3,323 km border (including Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir) with Pakistan, of which 826 km falls in Gujarat (PTI, June 19, 2016).

 

FOUR


A couple of years ago, Kerala reportedly managed the lowest dropout rate in the country — 0.53 per cent. One determined young woman, who has brought hundreds of tribal children back to school, has certainly helped decrease the number. Meet Dhanya Raman, who has been working with children who are victims of sexual abuse, child labour and have undergone teen pregnancy, desperately trying to get them back to school. Born in a place called Kallar in Kasargode district Dhanya’s father is a dalit activist. She has travelled across the dark and ignored tribal belts in Kerala for the past seven years, creating awareness among the people there about how education can catapult them to a better life. The daughter of a construction worker, she had to work hard to get to where she is and she believes that helping this at-risk group to get back to school is more important than any other kind of outreach. She gets set to settle about 1,000 dropouts back in school this month (June 2016). (Based on a report by Smt Parvathi Benu in EDEX – THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS, June 20, 2016).


 

FIVE


Shri L. Murugaraj, senior journalist with the leading Tamil daily DINAMALAR, reports, as a rule, on real life heroes. So every report of his turns out to be a good news. He sincerely acknowledges readers who provide him story ideas about honest persons, do-gooders, etc. He mentions the name of one such reader Shri Mohanraj in his recent story on Singapore Annalakshmi Restraunt (story idea by Mohanraj), an eatery where one can have his fill and pay if he wishes. For the past two years Madurai-born Singapore-based Mohanraj reads every good news story by Murugaraj and promptly sends feedbacks, writes Murugaraj. Mohanraj makes it a point to ring up and appreciate the good work of do-gooders and occasionally helps them silently. It comes to the notice of Murugaraj only when the beneficiaries inform the journalist. “My respect for the reader grew when I learnt that he serves needy persons through a service outfit named after Dr Abdul Kalam. On coming to know that Shri Mohanraj is the son of freedom fighter Danushkodi Raja I hold him in high esteem” goes on Murugaraj. For all this, both have never met in person, says the journalist. (From a report by Shri L. Murugaraj in DINAMALAR, February 5, 2016).
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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

PANCHAAMRITAM 299

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PANCHAAMRITAM 299
(pancha is five in samskritam; amritam is nectar)
Amavaasya / Kali Yugabda 5118 / Durmuki Vaikasi 22 (June 4, 2016)

Posted on June 7, 2016
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ONE



According to many religious beliefs, flowers offered during prayers are sacrosanct and cannot be dumped into the garbage once they’ve wilted. This is one of the reasons why people prefer to discard them in rivers, lakes and other water bodies. But not many of us think about the fertilizers and pesticides that might have been used to grow these flowers, which then mix with the water and pollute it. The problem really troubled Kanpur-based Ankit Agarwal and Karan Rastogi. After considerable research, they came upon a solution: the discarded flowers could be turned into incense sticks, fertilisers and soaps. The duo picks up flowers from different places of worship every day – approximately 500 kg of them. The flowers are then mixed with organic cow dung and treated with about 17 natural components like coffee residue, corn cobs, etc. These help increase the nitrogen content in the end-product. After a few days, earthworms are added to the mix. These worms consume the mixture and lead to the formation of vermicompost after 60 days. Vermicompost is a ready-to-use fertilizer. In 2014, they started their own company HelpUsGreen, a social enterprise dedicated to preserving rivers by recycling the discarded flowers. "Our enterprise is now managing five self-help groups with 10 members each," says Rastogi. “The packaging for our products are also designed in such a way that when disposed, plants will grow from them,” says Ankit. Based on a report by Shri Abhimanu Nagarajan in THE TELEGRAPH, Kolkatta, February 8, 2016 and other media reports. Idea: Shri Vasuvaj.

TWO



Hospitalised in Madurai, C Venkatesan, a 65-year-old from Vellore, the recipient of a liver harvested from a brain-dead person in Puduchery, was on cloud nine since the good news of organ donation reached him on May 26 evening. It was natural for him and his kin to be bursting with joy after a 55-day wait. But S Jegatheesan, 35, a native of Sivaganga, was  even happier. He was the man at the wheel, rushing the harvested liver from Puduchery in little over three hours on May 27. For Jegatheesan, this is the seventh such assignment ever since April 2015. He has transported organs four times from Puducherry, twice from Tiruchy and once from Nellore to Madurai. “I was nervous during my first trip. But I understood my responsibility later: I’m helping to save a life. Even though I don’t know the donors, I feel happy when I’m in the driver’s seat. I don’t feel the pressure of driving at 140 km/hr as police create a green corridor.” (Based on a report by Shri Kaushik Kannan in THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS, May 28, 2016).
THREE



They had fled to India across the Western border to escape the constant nightmare that haunts Hindus living in Pakistan. Seven-year-old Raj Nandini, who crossed over along with her parents last year from Sindh, is one of them. She and 200 others are now living in a shanty town in Rohini Sector 11 , Delhi. Her desire is to escape the grim poverty and deprivation in the refugee camp and find success in the Promised Land. Her prayer was answered in the form of 19-year-old Pareedhi Bhatnagar, a student of Kasturi Ram College, and an aspiring journalist and photographer. According to a report by the Movement for Solidarity and Peace in Pakistan, up to 1,000 women—700 Christians and 300 Hindus—are forcibly converted to Islam every day in Pakistan. For Pareedhi, meeting the little refugee girl was beginning of a new endeavour. She was determined to improve the future of the refugee families by empowering their young. She now teaches pro bono around 50 refugee kids living in the camp. Most of them go to government schools nearby, but are unable to spell, count or write properly. Pareedhi, armed with her DSLR camera, a laptop and a box of candy for the children reaches the camp every day to teach. Portraits of Hanuman, Durga, Radha and Krishna look down benevolently on the children. Keeping them company is a portrait of Gobind Ballabh Pant (It is in fact a portrait of  Dr. Hedgewar, the born patriot who founded the RSS!). Once Pareedhi arrives and settles down, her little pupils gather around her. “From childhood I wanted to give something back to society”. (Based on a report by Shri Siddhanta Mishra in THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS, May 29, 2016). http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/Delhi-college-girl-sells-dreams-to-Hindu-kids-who-fled-Pakistan-for-promised
FOUR



In a gesture of goodwill extending beyond the borders, an Indian officer has saved the lives of newly-born Nepalese twins by donating blood of a rare group, along the Indo-Nepal International Border  in Bihar. Naveen Kumar Singh, a resident of Nepals Rautahat district, approached officials of border guarding Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and informed them about urgent requirement of "O-ve" blood for his twin babies who had developed some "serious health complications." They said Singh and his wife Seema, after finding no person with the rare blood group in their area, approached the SSBs border post at Bhanga, in Bihar’s Sitamarhi district for help. The company commander of the 20th battalion deployed in the area, Vijay K Isser, volunteered as he had an "O-ve" blood group. Assistant Commandant Isser, who commands the Alpha company of the SSB at the border, immediately got in touch with his Nepal counterparts on the border and crossed over to the Brajaha village to donate blood to the twins, they said. A senior SSB officer said Isser donated one unit of blood that saved the lives of the twins, born in March this year. SSBs official twitter handle too tweeted the development: "A big clap for Vinay Kr Isser, Asst Commdt ACoy, Bhanga 20Bn for his prompt selfless initiative in saving the lives of the twins from #Nepal." Paramilitary SSB is tasked with guarding the 1,751km long Indo-Nepal border and is also the lead intelligence gathering Indian agency on this open border (PTI, May 30, 2016).
FIVE



It was a heartwarming occasion. Fifty-one underprivileged and differently-abled couples got married on, May 29, at Mumbai's Bombay Convention and Exhibition Centre. Of the 51 couples, 22 were physically challenged, 7 had one physically challenged partner and 22 were from  underprivileged backgrounds. The couples came from different parts of India, including Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. The wedding, conducted by the Narayan Seva Sansthan -- an NGO established in 1985 that helps differently-abled and underprivileged people -- had been organised in a large air-conditioned hall that had a beautifully decorated stage. There were chariots to bring the couples to the venue and an excellent feast after the wedding. Baba Bankim came all the way from Rajkot came to witness the mega event. Dancer and actress Sudha Chandran -- who lost her right leg after a road accident when she was just 18 -- performed at the event. (A report by Shri Hitesh Harisinghani in Rediff.com May 31, 2016). Idea: Shri Vasuvaj.
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Friday, May 27, 2016

PANCHAAMRITAM 298

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PANCHAAMRITAM 298
(pancha is five in samskritam; amritam is nectar)
Poornima / Kali Yugabda 5118 / Durmuki Vaikasi 8 (May 21, 2016)
Posted on May 25 2016.

ONE


Hindus in Mauritius with active support from Mauritius Government have built a Ramayana Centre in the capital city Port Louis to restore human values and peace. The Government has not only provided land for the Centre by duly passing an Act in the Parliament but also bears the recurring expenses. The roots of the project lie in the beginning of a Ramayana programme at Mauritius Radio in 1982 under the title ‘Manthan’. This Hindi programme continues even today. The basic Ground floor Plan is in form of a Tortoise, which has high regards in Mauritius. The government provided 1.5 acre land near Airport and the funds were raised by people collectively. “In the Learning Complex classes are conducted on Ramayana every day. There is a big hall with the capacity of 1,000 people. On top floor of the building Sri Ram Temple has been built.  Now the construction work of the temple is at final stage and it is expected to be inaugurated by early next year. We are carrying idols from India to be installed there,” says Shri Rajendra Arun who has been associated with the project since beginning. Shri Arun’s wife Smt Vinoo Arun is working on developing a ‘Ramayana Circuit’ to connect people from world over to the places associated with Ramayana in India. (Based on  a report by Shri Pramod Kumar in ORGANISER, May 22, 2016).
TWO



The 2,700 residents of  Devagiripatnam (Telangana, Bharat), are not worried about drought. Not just that, they also raise two crops a year. Making all this possible are  250 ponds dug by the villagers in their fields that harvest rainwater. And, when not raising crops, some of these farmers use their little ponds to grow fish for sale in nearby local markets. The sarpanch is Vankudotu Chandi. She  said that the village began suffering acute water shortage some 60 years ago. With black cotton soil covering majority of area, most farmers grow cotton during the Kharif season following the monsoons and during Rabi, usually switch to growing chillies. While most farmers said there usually is not a problem for kharif, the rabi season is dependent on rains during January and February. With no groundwater reserve in the village, the farmers resorted to digging small ponds as a community initiative. In most cases, a group of farmers, usually related to one another, join hands along with sharing the costs of the digging and lining the bottom with layers of crushed stone and sand. Once the pond is filled during the monsoon, as and when needed, the farmers take turns to irrigate their land so everyone in that group gets to share the water. the neighbouring Kasimdevipeta, Three neighbouring villages are now following the Devagiripatnam model. Based on a report in THE TIMES OF INDIA, May 15, 2016.
THREE



In a year’s time, Jamshedpur (Jharkhand, Bharat) will become our country’s first city to become a zero sewerage discharge city. Jamshedpur is located at the confluence of Kharkai and Subarnarekha Rivers. Subarnarekha is the principal river of Jamshedpur. Zero water discharge, usually referred as Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD), is an innovative system for the total elimination of waste water discharging into the rivers. The ZLD System removes dissolved solids and other waste and returns distilled water to the process, basically recycling it. ‘The initiative to recycle and reuse 100 per cent waste water (sewerage water) has already begun. Work is well in progress to achieve the milestone,’  Deputy General Manager (Water Management) Shri Rabindra Kumar Singh of Jamshedpur Utilities and Services Company Limited (JUSCO), a 100 per cent subsidiary of Tata Steel, said. If things go as per plan, JUSCO could reuse the 40 million litres recycled water per day for industrial purposes in the city in the next one year's time. For all this, Jamshedpur is the only 10 lakh plus city in India without a municipal corporation. In 1980s when the state government proposed a law to end the Tatas' administration of Jamshedpur and bring the city under a municipality, the local populace rose in protest and defeated the government's proposal. Based on a report by Smt Surabhi Nijhawan  in http://www.indiatimes.com, May 19, 2016.

FOUR



Mamta Kumari (14) from Hapamuni village in Gumla (Jharkhand, Bharat), took the help of the district legal service authority (DLSA) to realize her dream of pursuing education. Police said the Class IX student of Ghaghra High School wrote a letter to the DLSA through one of her teachers and expressed her desire to study further and not get married as her parents are planning. The DLSA secretary shot it to the SP Gumla who asked Ghaghra police to take action. The police reached the village and brought the girl before the child welfare committee (CWC) Gumla on Febuary 2, 2016. Precisely at that time the groom’s family too reached Mamta’s house for the wedding. The state government sanctioned one lakh rupees to her for her resolve to pursue education. Eventually, Mamta was worried about the her father’s difficulty in repaying the loan he had taken for her wedding. Now she is admitted to Kasturba Government Residential School in Baghima, Palkote whereas she had to trudge 6 kms to school earlier. She is at class 9 now and she will get books, dress and  boarding free upto claas 12  (A report in BIRSA HUNKAR, Jagaran Patrika, Ranchi, February 28, 2016).


FIVE



Ten year old girl Kavibharathi of Balakrishnan Street, Mambalam, Chennai (Tamilnadu, Bharat) has decided to provide relief  to people from the scorching summer heat in her own way. She arranges an earthen pot full of cool drinking water at the gate of her house. As the sun ascends, she stands nearby and calls out at passersby to quench their thirst. It is the month of May and Kavibharathi spends her summer vacation in this manner for the last three summers. She is now at class 5. Mostly courier delivery boys, auto drivers, hand cart pullers, sweepers – all who toil in the sun - regularly benefit by her seva. Not simply cool water, Neer Mor  (dilute buttermilk)  too forms part of her menu. She serves over 75 littres of it on any day. Her thoughtful mother Smt Sreenithya procures organic milk at a higher price, converts it into curds, adds herbs and prepares Neer Mor for distribution by her beloved daughter. Otherwise it is just Aavin milk for domestic use by the family.  Kavibharathi quite often treats people to juicy water melon and Nungu. The funds? Kavibharathi has permission from her father Shri Kumar to empty her piggy bank every May for the purpose. Her classmates as well as her relatives pitch in with contributions. Other girls in the neighbourhood join her in distributing Neer Mor. Heartfelt blessing by the beneficiaries “nee nalla irukkanum thayee” (all the best, dear) is the constant inspiration for the family to continue the service year after year. (Based on a report by Shri L Murugaraj (murugaraj@dinamalar.in),
in DINAMALAR, May 7, 2016).
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