Thursday, March 10, 2016


(pancha is five in samskritam; amritam is nectar)
Amavaasya / Kali Yugabda 5117 / Manmatha Maasi 25 (March 8, 2016)


Four girl students from VIVEKANANDA KENDRA VIDYALAYA of Nirjuli (Arunachal Pradesh, Bharat) have secured the 3rd position at the Taiwan International Science Fair held on January 24-29, 2016 at Taipei, the capital of Taiwan. Lishank Tasar (Class 7) and Tadar Parte (Class 8), presented a “Study on Traditional House Architecture in Itanagar Capital Complex and to improve climatic responsive contemporary house” while VKV Jirdin Aalo students, Toyir Kamgo and Zarnie Lollen, (both class 8 students), made their presentation on “Impact of firewood collection on weather & Climate of Jirdin village, Aalo”. The four were awarded medal, citations and cash prize of 3,200 dollars. 153 projects were presented in the event which saw the participation of 513 young scientists from 22 countries. The selection process involved scrutiny of projects at districts and then at the state Level by State Council for Science and Technology, Department of Science and Technology and finally at National Children Science Congress held at Bangalore and Chandigarh, sponsored by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India. (A Facebook post, February 9, 2016).

Vivek Vadke (59), a chemical engineer, has set an example for others to follow, by cutting down expenses on his daughter's wedding and donating the amount to two drought-affected villages in Marathwada (Maharashtra, Bharat). This region is the most-affected area in the state, with just 8% water stocks remaining. Vivek and his wife Vasanti have always been very active socially and connected with the Gram Vikas wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). They decided not to spend money on decorations and other unimportant things during wedding and thus saved 6 lakh, which was then donated to two villages. The money will be used to desilt and widen rivers that run along these villages so that they are ready to accommodate more water during the monsoon. Their daughter, Jaai, a bio-informatics graduate, married Tejas, a fighter pilot, on December 24, 2015 after which the sum was personally handed over to the villagers. "After visiting the villages, we realized that the best way to use the money would be to help deepen and widen the water resources in these villages to increase their capacity for the monsoon," said Vadke. (Based on a report in THE TIMES OF INDIA, February17, 2016).

When modern medical practitioners in India try to laugh away ayurveda treatment system, here is a Greek physician who integrates both systems in his practice at his clinic in Athens.In Kochi (Kerala, Bharat) as part of the Global Ayurveda Festival, Dr. N.G. Kostopoulos, greets his ayurveda mentor with ‘Hari Om’ when a phone call comes. It was his chance meeting with ayurveda physician Ashwin Barot, a clinical specialist and researcher practising at the Harley Street in London, which made Dr. Kostopoulos take up the study of ayurveda treatment system and then integrate it with the modern medicine that he was practising. In 1990, he gave up his research in modern medicine and turned to ayurveda. “It was easy for me to study ayurveda as I had studied Sanskrit when I was about 17 or 18 years old . I was drawn to the language while studying ancient Greek. So many words in Greek have come from Sanskrit,” the Greek Vaidya asserts.  After studying and taking up some research work in ayurveda, he shifted his practice to Athens in 1999. He gets patients from all over Europe as many in the region have started looking up to ayurveda as a panacea, said Dr. Kostopoulos.A patient coming with problems of hypertension and high cholesterol is provided an exposure to ayurveda system too as he introduces them to ahara, vihara and aushadi along with yoga and meditation step by step. There was a lot of similarity in the ancient Greek medicine and ayurveda, he said. (Based on a report by Smt Shyama Rajagopal in THE HINDU Kochi, February 22, 2014).    

On February 16, Harish Nanjappa (26) met with a terrible accident that severed his body in two. Minutes before dying, Harish told the ambulance driver his last wish: to have his eyes donated.  Less than a fortnight later, almost the entire village of Karegowdanahalli, Gubbi (Karnataka, Bharat) have decided to pay a fitting tribute to their hero: they have all pledged their eyes too. Inspired by their village boy’s heroic act, 180 villagers under the leadership of their gram panchayat chief Nanjundappa made the pledge on the 13th day of Harish’s death ceremony. Of the 180 villagers aged between 11 and 82, 107 are women. “A total of 102 women, 71 men and 9 children volunteered to pledge their eyes,” said Dr Somashekar, medical director, Dr Rajkumar Eye Bank, Narayana Nethralaya, who had come to the village to create awareness on eye donation. Dr Bhujang Shetty, chairman, Narayana Nethralaya, said, “We collected Harish’s eyes as he was keen on donating his organs. It’s astounding how a man who was split into two and lying on the road was able to think with such clarity. It’s unheard of. Harish’s eyes have been successfully transplanted on two different individuals. A 24-year-old person from his village and a 28-year-old woman from North Karnataka have got vision and Harish sees the world through them,” said Dr Shetty.  (Based on a report n THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS, March 2, 2016).

For Narikuravar community people, technical education is a distant dream due to their poor financial status. But a 22-year-old female BE graduate, the first from the community to get the degree in Trichy, prefers to be a noon meal organiser in a government-aided school in the area to fulfil her parents' wish. At the weekly public grievance redressal day, M Swetha, who graduated in B.E computer science from Deverayaneri in Thiruchrappalli (Tamilnadu, Bharat), submitted her plea to collector K S Palanisamy to consider her demand to appoint her in the post, for which the eligibility for her community is Class 8. Interestingly, the post of noon meal worker is lying vacant in Thiruvalluvar Gurukula Elementary School, which is run by her father Mahendran. "I want to use this opportunity to stay in touch with the children in my area where I was born and brought up. Moreover, it is my parents who want me to compete for the job because they do not want me to leave the city for safety reasons," said Swetha. "From the first day of my college, I was identified as a Narikurava girl because of the dress of my grandfather who came to drop me. Yet I didn't feel any discrimination either from my classmates or from the faculty," Swetha said. However, her mother M Seetha recalled an incident where a small boy verbally abused Swetha by calling the caste name in her first standard. "Our people have been facing such abuse in many places, including in educational institutions. We need to break all barriers to come up in life," said Seetha. (Based on report by Shri Gokul Rajendran  in THE TIMES OF INDIA February 16, 2016).
Of course, Swetha is no stranger to PANCHAAMRITAM. See what PANCHAAMRITAM 93 had to say on the kind hearted woman: S.M. Suvetha, a standard VIII student of St. Philomina's Higher Secondary School, Tiruchi, performed Bharatanatyam. That is nothing extraordinary for a 13-year-old schoolgirl. She belongs to the Narikorava community and that makes it an unusual event. It was at a function organised by Indian Bank's Tiruverumbur branch on July 29, 2006 to distribute loans to members of the community. The Narikoravas are traditionally gypsies. Daughter of Shri. S. Mahendran, a resident of the Devarayaneri Narikorava colony near Thuvakudi, Suvetha learnt Bharatanatyam from Kanmani, a dance teacher at Kalkandarkottai. The girl evinced keen interest and picked up the `bhava' and `rasa' of Bharatanatyam, surprising her teacher. Chairman and managing director of Indian Bank K.C. Chakrabarty commended Suvetha's performance and honoured her with a purse.(Based on a report in THE HINDU of August 1, 2006).
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