Thursday, April 28, 2016


(pancha is five in samskritam; amritam is nectar)
Poornima / Kali Yugabda 5118 / Durmuki Chithirai 8 (April 21, 2016)

*Posted on April 25, 2016*


I had mentioned in the passing that if you could bear the load of Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,000 per year, then why don’t you give up gas subsidy, so that the poor families could benefit.   I am happy to tell you that one crore families have voluntarily given up subsidy on gas cylinder. There are several modes to do that – through the mobile phone app, online or give a missed call. But I find that 80 percent of the one crore families went to the distributor, stood in queue and gave in writing that they were surrendering the subsidy. They were not rich. They mostly belonged to the lower middle class section – consisting of retired school teachers, retired clerks, farmers or small time traders. I am proud of all of them. By this move they have sent out a message to the political class and economists that the common man should be taken into confidence. Once it is done, unprecedented results ensue. (Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in his monthly radio talk ‘Mann Ki baat’ aired on April 24, 2016).


Shri Somnath Giram, a 30-year-old tea-seller of Pune, is set to turn into the symbol of education in Maharashtra. His struggle has impressed Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis who finds him the most appropriate aam aadmi to boost the state’s education campaign. He has been roped in by the BJP-led state government to motivate students across universities in the state by narrating his inspiring story. Son of a farmer in Solapur, Giram migrated to Pune (Maharashtra, Bharat) in 2006, after his family was unable to bear his education cost. He was a BCom dropout who came to the city, hoping to complete his education and find an alternative job as well. Giram had to work as a tea-seller in the city. Throughout the day, he used to sell tea at his stall, earning roughly Rs 10,000-12,000. After a tiring day, he used to study in the nights. This process continued for nearly 10 years during which he pursued BCom, MCom and finally cleared Chartered Accountancy (CA). Completing the CA course was an unprecedented achievement, especially for a person who was working hard to earn his daily bread. The course has a success rate of merely 5 per cent. Maharashtra government chose him as their first layman ambassador. Giram is currently employed by an accountancy firm based in Pune. He has rented his tea-stall to migrants from his village. The CA is all set to lecture college students on behalf of the Maharashtra government and inspire them to adopt his ‘earn and learn’ module of studying. (From a report by Shri Mohammed Uzair Shaikh in on April 22, 2016).

A woman two wheeler rider – Sivagayathri, 36 - was killed in a road accident in Velachery, Chennai, when a blue metal laden truck ran over her. Two girl students who were nearby swung into action. They covered the body properly. Informed the relatives and police. Aiswarya, an MBA student and Jesi, a journalism student stood guard over the body till police reached. Aiswarya tried to reach the relatives of the deceased using Sivagayathri’s mobile. But, as it was in locked mode she spoke to her office number found on the ID card. When colleagues from Sivagayathri’s office arrived, she spoke to Sivagayathri’s father with their help. Both the students struggled for an hour to locate Sivagayathri’s father and broke the news without alarming him. The police personnel lauded the efforts of the girls. Just recently the Supreme Court had accepted the government of India’s announcement that those who help road accident victims would be protected from police and legal harassment. The two girls put that to test by their action. Aiswarya and Jesy said they learnt that contact numbers of relatives should be kept in a written form so that it would help matters in an emergency (Based on a report in DINAMALAR, April 20, 2016).


A young man in his thirties used to stand on the footpath opposite the famous Tata Cancer Hospital at Mumbai (Maharashtra, Bharat) and stare at the crowd in front- fear plainly written upon the faces of the patients standing at death’s door; their relatives with equally grim faces running around. These sights disturbed him greatly. Most of the patients were poor people from distant towns. They had no idea whom to meet, or what to do. They had no money for medicines, not even food. At last he found a way- He rented out his own hotel that was doing good business and raised some money. From these funds he started a charitable activity right opposite Tata Cancer Hospital, on the pavement. The activity consisted of providing free meals for cancer patients and their relatives. Beginning with fifty, the numbers of patients increased, so did the number of helping hands. The number soon reached 700. Shri  Harakhchand Sawla, for that was the name of the pioneer, did not stop here. He started supplying free medicines for the needy. A toy banks was opened for kids suffering from cancer. The ‘Jeevan Jyot’ trust founded by Sawla now runs more than 60 humanitarian projects. Sawla, now 57 years old, works with the same vigour. (From THE INDIAN EXPRESS, FEBRUARY 10, 2015). Idea: Shri S. Nagarajan.


Shri Chandrakumar, an MBA from Tiruchy (Tamilnadu, Bharat), felt restless over the shifting fortunes at work place. In order to put an end to all this, he toyed with the idea of a start up. Shri Kamaraj and Shri Sathish Kumar, also MBAs who had similar aspirations, joined him. Chandra Kumar as a boy had worked as a newspaper delivery hand. His customers used to ask him whether he needed old paper. He had no use for it then. Now he decided to go door to door, buy old newpapers and sell them using technology. They launched a site in 2012, wherein Tiruchy residents could convey to the team the time and date for paper collection. The trio confirmed the same and began procuring old paper. They did smooth business in this manner.  At the outset, families dismissed them as lads dealing in old paper, but once they learnt of the background of the trio, they invited them inside to occasional refreshments and coffee. Gradually they diversified the business – procuring any used domestic article from electrical gadgets to empty milk sachets to old furniture. They visit 10 to 15 families in a locality in a day and shift locality the day next. Clad in blue uniform the trio move about in a mini lorry, collect articles, pay the estimated amount and dump them in a rented warehouse. The articles are segregated and resold to those who need them. As  a service activity they place saplings in plastic containers that come their way and donate them to the families they do business with.  (Based on a report by Shri L. Murugaraj in DINAMALAR, September 15, 2015).

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