Wednesday, February 24, 2016


(pancha is five in samskritam; amritam is nectar)
Poornima / Kali Yugabda 5117 / Manmatha Thay 25 (February 8, 2016)


In a gesture of love to people suffering from cancer, 13 students from the Providence Women’s College, Kozhikode (Kerala, Bharat) donated their hair at a programme organised on campus. Beauticians from a leading beauty parlour in the city came to help the girls to cut and pack the hair for donation. Archana Sebastian, a student from the same college who coordinated the initiative said the collected hair would be donated to some of the selected hospitals in Kerala for making quality wigs for cancer patients. “For You, a non-governmental organisation working for the welfare of children in Kerala, is currently coordinating the initiative on the campuses and more number of students from various colleges have expressed their willingness to join the initiative,” she said. Last year, around 60 students from Providence College had donated their hair expressing solidarity to the wig-making programmes. Though the participation was comparatively less on Wednesday’s programme, organisers said it was due to some new quality parameters fixed for the selection of hair for donation. The side-effect of chemotherapy is most visible on the hair. For a woman, it is really a painful experience. The programme coordinators believe that the voluntary support of young girls would be a big consolation for such struggling women. (Based on a report in THE HINDU, January 14, 2016).

 A similar news item that PANCHAAMRITAM - 2 (12 years back) had included was this : “Revathy Sankaran, a Chennai - based television artiste is also adept at a few fine arts. She is an exponant of quite a few folk art forms as well. But the mention of her hobby made Ramya, a mass communications post gratuate course senior student, sit up while the artiste was being interviewed by her: Revathy Sankaran said  she collects human hair. With a purpose. Cancer patients lose hair and go bald at a very young age. Revathy noticed it during one of her solace-giving visits as a volunteer to the Cancer Research Centre, Adayar. She also learnt that the Centre has a gadget which converts locks of loose hair fed into it into wigs for use by patients. Then on, she never forgets to insist everyone she meets to carefully collect the hair that falls while combing the head daily and send it to the Centre. (As narrated by an eyewitness)”.

Shri Pon. Radhakrishnan, Union Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways,  rescued an accident victim on January 29, 2016 and got him admitted to a hospital at Chinthamani near  Neelambur on way to Kerala. When Radhakrishnan’s convoy was near Chettipalayam (Tamilnadu, Bharat) around 11 a.m., he found M. Balakrishnan (44) lying on the road with injuries on his head and hand. He immediately stopped the car, took the victim in an escort car and had him admitted to a private hospital. Mr. Balakrishnan of SIHS Colony was riding pillion on K. Gandhirajan’s two-wheeler when the accident happened. The police said that. Gandhirajan lost control of his motorcycle and fell to the ground after hitting another two-wheeler. That two-wheeler had a few minutes earlier rammed a lorry that was parked on the road side and was lying on the ground. . Pon Radhakrishnan also visited the hospital,' said a police officer. Balakrishnan was given treatment for the injury and his condition is said to be stable. Based on a report in THE HINDU, January 30, 2016.


A child prodigy has gifted Rs 85,000 to the famous Kohilambikai-Tirukameeshwarar Temple in Villianur (Puduchery UT, Bharat). The more than 1,000-year-old Chola period temple, the biggest one in Union Territory of Puducherrry was renovated and consecrated recently after a gap of several years. A.Thirukaamesvaran, a six-year-old boy, earned the amount by singing sacred hymns written by famous Saivite saints Manikavasagar, Sundarar, Sambandar and Appar, at various temples over the last one year. Shri B. Anand, the father of child, who is an electrician said “my son used to sing since the age of three. He used to listen to the hymns played through mobile phones and would instantly pick them and recite at the temples in Puducherry and also in neighbouring Tamilnadu,” Anand added. His mother Sangeetha said, “I used to visit the temple since I conceived the child. After birth of the child, I used to take him for evening prayers at the temple where Thevaram, Thiruvasakam hymns were sung. We never compelled him to learn all these hymns.” The boy has been singing the hymns at various temples since 2014. Impressed by his talents, the devotees and philanthropists offered him money as token of love and affection for him. He gave the entire cash to the temple authorities in the presence of his parents. Mr. Anand added: “Well-wishers advised us to utilise the money for good cause and so we donated the money for the renovation works of temple.” Based on a report by Shri Sivaramanu in THE HINDU January 30, 2016.

Shri Mohammed Zahir works as a caretaker of Lord Shiva temple in Khandwa, Indore (Madhya Pradesh, Bharat). According to Dainik Bhaskar, he sweeps the temple, decorates the Shiva Linga and sticks around from dawn to dusk in the temple premises for the past six years. The temple comes under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and they employed him as the caretaker. The 40-year-old man finds the job as a privilege and has been happy to serve the temple.  He performs ‘archana’ to the Shiva Linga. Interestingly, he also serves a nearby Dargah which also comes under ASI. Zahir believes that his services to both the temple and Dargah will teach equality and harmony to his five children. He hails from Asirgarh 20 kms away from Burhanpur in MP. Based on a report in THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS, August 13, 2015.


Weaving khadi through solar charkhas has changed the life of Geeta Devi, 50, and Komal Devi, 40, of Dausa (Rajasthan, Bharat). Prime Minister Narendra Modi mentioned their names and their success stories in his `Man Ki Baat', his monthly radio broadcast over All India Radio. The Khadi Commission had started a training programme for solar charkhas which both Geeta and Komal had attended. “Tailoring and weaving is our ancestral profession. With regular use of charkha one gets a pain in the shoulder in old age. But this (solar) is easier to operate. Earlier I used to earn Rs 80 a day but now I am making Rs 150 to Rs 200,“ said Geeta. (From a report by Shri  Ashish Mehtain THE TIMES OF INDIA, February 1, 2016).  During the radio programme, the PM said, “The experiment with the solar energy based charkha has been successful. The (physical) labour has gone down, production has increased, and there has been a qualitative change. Those using a solar charkha have been sending me lots of letters. Geeta Devi and Komal Devi of Rajasthan and Sadhna Devi of Nawada in Bihar have written to me saying that their lives have changed drastically because of the solar charkha. They say their income has doubled.” (INDIAN EXPRESS, February 1, 2016).
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