Saturday, May 7, 2016


(pancha is five in samskritam; amritam is nectar)
Amavaasya / Kali Yugabda 5118 / Durmuki Chithirai 23 (May 6, 2016)


On April 24, 2016, a train from Yashwanpura to Puri broke down at Rajamundhry (Telengana, Bharat) due to an engine fault and the passengers were stranded in the scorching heat 42 0 C that is becoming common in Telengana this summer. A railway mechanic Ravindra Srinivas went under the engine (which was hot after running for few hundred kms) and repaired it in 18 minutes and rectified the fault. Salute this karma yogi, a real hero who placed his life at risk for duty. Rather than running behind tinsel town guys, appreciate people like Ravindra Srinivas and their sense of duty. (Based on a Facebook post).

An IAS officer. Let us call him Durairaj. He heads a state government – supported cooperative bank with branches all over the state (Tamilnadu, Bharat). On a particular occasion, nearly 100 vacancies in the organisation were filled up. But how? Durairaj brushed aside the transfer threat that is common on such occasions. That is how a ‘pliable’ officer is brought in, to handle the recruitments “benefitting” vested interests. Durairaj went ahead with the scrutiny of the applications and conducted the interviews. Addressing the selected candidates he said, “Look here, you are all here by virtue of your merit and nothing else. Take heart”. It goes without saying that not a single rupee changed hands by way of bribe in the entire process. I asked Durairaj later, “Did you have to suffer for the honest stand that you took?” He laughed heartily. Said, “Only others had to”. (It is late Shivaramji Joglekar (1917 - 1999), a veteran RSS pracharak, who recorded this anecdote. ‘Durairaj’ is one among the 1,000 honest persons in Chennai metropolitan city whom Shivaramji could spot in an informal survey during mid 1990s). (His birth centenary year began on May 5, 2016).

At the turn of the millennium, Gandhian K Neelakantan (87), a retired Hindi teacher of Kendriya Vidyalaya in Kochi (Kerala Bharat), asked his son Sunil N, a retina surgeon, to do something for the villages. Dr Sunil was one of the top doctors at the Retina Department in Aravind Eye Hospitals, Coimbatore. He grew up in Kochi and did his Masters in Ahmedabad. With the decision taken, the father-son duo started looking for a place to set up an eye hospital. They zeroed in on Bela, home to the Koragas, a particularly vulnerable tribal group in Kerala. On June 9, 2001, Dr Sunil set up Koumudi Grameena Netralaya, in his mother’s name. The first year saw just five to six patients per week.When the going got tough, Neelakantan sold his 14 cents of land in Kochi to keep their dream afloat. When his brother Umesh Neelakantan, an MBA in hospital management, joined him, things started to turn around. They organised medical and awareness camps and community outreach programmes. Every week, 80 to 100 patients come from far away places like Kozhikode, Malappuram and Mangalore, too. Yet, the going is not yet smooth. Power fluctuation is so frequent that the hospital uses a generator for surgeries. The 500m road to the hospital is still kachha. Drinking water is not easily available. “Activating government agencies is a tough task,” he says. But he will not have it any other way. “Since earlier detection is the key to many diseases, hospitals should be in villages,” says Dr Sunil. (Based on a report by Shri George Poikayil  in EDEX supplement of The New Indian Express,  April 25, 2016).

Guldasta, a school for the underprivileged, began in a village chaupal, travelled through parks and finally reached a four-room flat. And in the two decade long journey, its founder 81-year-old Vimla Kaul has brought a change in the lives of many young ones. “Education has the ability to give a new turn to life,” smiles Kaul. Kaul thought of equipping the young ones with the requisite skills to make them self-sufficient and strong. With permission from the village elders, Kaul began to teach tailoring to the women. And a girl from the village helped in getting together five children for the school. This school lasted for two years till the girl got married. Then, Kaul moved to a park in her immediate neighboruhood, where she taught. But she faced many problems with the neighbours complaining of the disturbance. And the school moved from park to park, until she found a MCD park where no one complained anymore, not even the authorities. Here education continued for a decade and more. Initially, the school was funded with the couple’s own savings but then she formed a NGO Vasundhari and started getting some help. She got the children uniforms, books, even meals at times. Two years back, she got funding from Malaviya Mission, a trust which promotes education, and then moved to its current location. Now the school is equipped with a library, computers and has regular activities such as health camps, dance workshops and even a 15-day electrician training course was held.  ( Idea: Smt. Ramadevi Prasad.

Meet Shri. S Moorthy (mobile: 94426 42437) of Pudhkkottai, who lives in joint family comprising his brothers. Backed by the five desi cows that he rears, he has taken to organic farming. He does not sell the produce, but uses the organic rice he produces in his Karthik restaurant. Says he wants to care for the health of his customers. Thus he has turned his profession into service. He promotes blood donation through the ‘Sivakami Ammal Blood Donation Association that he founded in 2005. Touched by the plight of the relatives of patients running from pillar to post for blood he began donating blood. His brothers too joined him in this. “We conduct six blood donation camps in a year. Now there are 25 voluntary donors who respond to calls requesting blood, in addition to the 15 members of the association. We could donate so far 1,600 units of blood through 164 benevolent donors. The heartfelt thanks uttered by beneficiaries moves us and inspires us to go ahead with the life-saving service activity” says Moorthy. (As told to RSS worker Shri Chandrasekar of Pudhukkottai and carried by VIJAYABHARATHAM, April 29 2016).  

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