Wednesday, February 24, 2016


(pancha is five in samskritam; amritam is nectar)
Poornima / Kali Yugabda 5117 / Manmatha Maasi 10 25 (February 22, 2016)


Did you know that at least 20 Hindu deities are regularly worshipped in Japan? In fact, there are hundreds of shrines to Goddess Saraswati alone in that country, along with innumerable representations of Lakshmi, Indra, Brahma, Ganesha, Garuda and others. Even deities forgotten in India are worshipped in Japan. A unique exhibition at Indian Museum here is set to throw light on the country's long lost history that survives in a foreign land. The Japan Foundation and filmmaker and art-historian Benoy K Behl have collaborated to hold a week long exhibition (in February 2016) of rare photographs in Kolkata. The research that accompanies Behl's photographs reveals startling facts about the importance of Indian heritage in Japan. For instance, the 6th century Siddham script is preserved in Japan, though it has disappeared from India. 'Beejaksharas' (or etymology of alphabets) of Sanskrit in this script are regarded as holy and given great importance. Each deity has a 'Beejakshara' and these are venerated by the people, even though most of them cannot read it. Some Japanese tombs are adorned with the Sanskrit alphabet. At Koyasan, they still have a school where Sanskrit is taught in Siddham, Behl's research revealed. Based on a report by Shri Krishnendu Bandyopadhyay in THE TIMES OF INDIA, January 11, 2016 (Idea:Shri Ramakrishnan Sivasankaran K).


A pavement in Chennai is their home. They had nothing to give, but that didn't stop V Ashok, 14, R Arjun, 10, and M Arumugam, 8, from contributing to flood relief efforts. And now their efforts have earned them scholarships. Inspired by the story of the three boys who were honoured at the NDTV Indian of the Year Awards this year, BJP lawmaker Tarun Vijay has offered to sponsor their education in a boarding school. "After admission when they are on vacation, I will take them to the Parliament. Maybe they will become lawmakers. Despite abject poverty they've helped others during floods. They embody Tirukkural," Tarun Vijay said. As volunteers at The Hindu Group's flood relief camp, they worked 10 hours daily for 20 days, helping in relief and rehabilitation efforts. The children go to a government-aided school nearby. Their parents earn their living as street vendors and live on the payment under a bridge at Chennai's Triplicane area.  The three children received NDTV's award for Outstanding Service To The Nation. Ashok, a class eight student, has lost his father and his mother is a domestic help. The parents hope their dreams would come true. Baghavathi, Arjun's mother said, "Often the boys would sleep hungry without dinner for want of money."  "We slog all day only for them. If they do well, our life would get better too," added V Gauri, Ashok's mother. "We would be proud and happy," said Arumugam's mother M Lakshmi.       (NDTV February 05, 2016 - Idea: Sivaramakrishnan M B)


Dadarao Bilhore, a vegetable vendor had lost his son Prakash in an an accident last July who died when he lost his balance trying to negotiate a pothole which was submerged in the monsoon rains. But the change that his death brought about in everyone who knew him is the most amazing part of the story. Later last year, his cousin Ram managed to save a man who was about to come under the wheels of a truck after his bike tripped on a broken road. However,  Dadarao Bilhore is a man possessed. He collects broken pavers and debris from construction sites in a sack and every time he notices a pothole he puts all that material into it, stomps over it with his shoes to level the spot and moves on to the next pothole. In one month he has already filled up more than a dozen such pot- holes that could turn into potential killer spots, especially two wheelers, as happened with his son Prakash. His spirit and dedication has also transformed many of his neighbours to who collect debris and pavers and hand it over to him as he moves from one place to another. The front page of the tabloid Mumbai Mirror dated February 1, 2016 carries Dadarao’s  story. (By Amitabh Srivastava India Opines)


On January 16, CoBRA troops deployed in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh launched an operation following an input about the movement of ultras in the forest area around villages Korsermetta, Hidmapara and Gotpalli under Basaguda police station, officials said.  After moving in the jungles near Gotpalli village in the district for almost three days, the Naxals ambushed the CoBRA troops on January 18 and triggered an IED blast following it with heavy firing. In the exchange of fire that ensued, one Naxal was killed and another comrade identified as Linga Sodi of Itapalli village was seriously injured as a bullet pierced his thigh leading to severe blood loss, they said.  “The CoBRA troops immediately evacuated Sodi to the CRPF Field Hospital located at a distance of seven kms from the encounter site, carrying him on foot and thereafter, he was airlifted to Government hospital, Jagdalpur the next day in the IAF chopper, which was being used for anti-Naxal operations, for providing him with immediate medical aid,” said a CRPF spokesperson. When the doctors attending to the injured Naxal in Jagdalpur required blood in order to save him, three of the commandos — Constables Ratan Manjulkar, Praveender and U Mehboob Peera — volunteered to donate blood to save the life of the adversary, without a second thought. “Who says the CoBRAs can only kill?” quipped an official, adding they turn into unlikely saviours too. (Based on a report by Shri Rakesh K Singh in  THE PIONEER,  February 1, 2016).


K Ravichandran (48), an auto rickshaw driver from Old Washermanpet, was taking a passenger from Bengal in his auto. His passenger suffered a cardiac arrest midway. Ravichandran doesn’t remember the exact date. “It must be a couple of months ago. A passenger, aged about 57 years boarded my vehicle from Ramapuram to go to a mansion in Triplicane. When we were moving along Mount road, I heard and saw him wailing in pain, holding his chest. I took him to a nearby clinic. The elderly passenger was subsequently referred to the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital where doctors, after tests said the patient required immediate attention. They said that there were three blocks in the blood vessels on his heart and a pace-maker had to be placed immediately,” Ravichandran said. Though the passenger’s son arrived from Kolkatta that night by flight, Ravichandran had to ensure the patient got immediate treatment. The cost of treatment and the pace maker, which was about Rs 1 lakh was reduced to Rs 47,000 after talks with the Dean. “The passenger’s son had only Rs 15,000 after spending on the flight tickets. Plus, I learnt that they were not affluent. I decided to pledge my autorickshaw, the only property I owned and managed to pay the balance,” says Ravichandran nonchalantly. Anil Khicha, founder of the Anna Auto Trust said people who came from other states to Chennai first met autorickshaw drivers; and their behaviour towards the passengers created a general impression about the city. Ravichandran was rewarded for his good deed by the Anna Auto Welfare Trust, the organisation which works to motivate autorickshaw drivers. (Based on a report by Smt Sindhja Jane in THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS, February 8, 2016).

(The story does not end here. An RSS swayamsevak of Mylapore Shri Anand venkat read this good news. He found out that the auto driver needed Rs 10,000 to redeem his mortgaged auto. Anand spread the word. Smt Vaanathi Srinivasan, advocate and State Vice president of BJP, Tamilnadu, volunteered and handed a cheque for the amount to Ravichandran).
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