Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Sewa Sandesh
May 2016
Education plays a central role in an individual’s development and has a cross cutting impact on all the aspects of human lives. With right to education reaching far and wide in India, the dropout rate cuts the effectiveness of the program. India has a school dropout rate of 40% and it’s a precarious situation.
Sewa International has opened 3 education centres in Ramnagar, Varanasi under its “Read India-Read Kashi” program. These centres are opened up with a view to help children in their studies, provide them additional guidance in their problem areas and in turn arresting the dropout rate of these kids. They are evening centres run with the support of Seva Kirana. Initially centres were opened to support the school going kids of the weavers of Varanasi, but other kids from the area have also started dropping in to the centres.
Currently, more than 100 children are taking benefit of these centres. All the children come to centre regularly and their favourite part are the recreational activities planned by the mentors. Personality development activities are also organised at the centres. In the centres:
  • - They are being assisted in the problem areas of their studies
  • - Kids who are lagging behind in class are provided with special guidance
  • - They are given assistance in completing their daily home works and projects etc.
These kids are mentored by the local youths who have completed their graduation and want to contribute to their community.
 – Dr Mukund Karmalkar 
A medical camp—fixed in Chindanaar Village of Naxalite dominated Abujmarh region of south Bastar—was threatened to be cancelled for certain intra-village rivalry. It was December 12, 2015. A space was requested in a nearby goverment school. I could feel a tensed up Dr Ram Godbole. In a staff room temporarily cleared up for patients’ checkup and testing, a dusty lady walked in with her little son saying that her son takes frequent breaks, while playing and had a frail health. As fear rose in my mind, I nervously put my hand on his chest, and felt the blood rushing through causing chest movement. I called in Dr Ram Godbole and he could also hear the murmur of blood flow. We decided to investigate further. But, it was difficult to explain the parents. The suspicion was that the child had a Congenital Heart Disease but it required to confirm the diagnosis. For that imaging studies were required to be done. We took the address of the child and the Arogya Mitra, Jitu went with parents to his home so that he could be followed up.
Next was the challenge before us about how to image his heart. We requested for a meeting with Dantewada Collector and asked him for permission to use the ultrasound machine at the district hospital of Dantewada. He immediately accepted the proposal but said that I need to conduct a medical camp at the hospital open for all in Dantewada. We decided to accept it as otherwise the patients have to be shifted to a very distant place just to come to a diagnosis.
Dr Ram Godbole worked hard in explaining to the parents the need to take the child to district hospital and which was at last accepted when Jitu told that he will pickup and also drop back the child after the test. …All this took a couple of months to achieve, which indicates the challenge required to be faced to advance each small step in this area, sometimes making you feel why at all we need to struggle? And for whom? 
On an evening of February when I was scanning after a hectic medical camp schedule, Jitu walked in with the child into the echo room. Dr. Ram Godbole was there. As I put the probe on his chest it clearly showed that there was defect in the wall dividing upper part of his heart called ASD (Atrial Septal Defect) so the pure and impure blood got mixed up before it was pumped into circulation. It meant that there was no pure blood in his circulation so obviously his capacity to exert was less and development was stunted. ...Dr Ram Godbole was worried as I told him this needs to be corrected as early as possible as the life of child was at stake.
It was a impossible for the family to afford an ICR (Intracardiac Repair) at a distant place. But, fortunately Koparkarji of Pune had told us about an institution in Raipur, about 500 miles off this village–Sai Sanjeevani—which undertook such surgeries.
We took the cue and Koparkar helped us in getting an appointment with the paediatric cardiologist Dr Yogesh Sathe. We travelled to Raipur in April and met him and had a very warm yet robust interaction. As, everything was set and all threads woven the child was shifted with his sister to Raipur by Jitu. Dr Godbole stayed put at Raipur as the diagnosis was confirmed at Sai Sanjeevani. Doctors decided to immediately conduct the surgery on the child and Raju Nag was successfully operated on April 26, 2016. He had got a new life. With a quick and good postoperative recovery.
Raju Nag has been discharged and is normal child now. Koparkarji's Krudatnyata Trust, Pune; Vanvasi Vikas Samiti, Chhattisgarh and Sai Sanjeevani Hospital, Raipur, bore all the expenses. It is a success story of organised effort to which Dr Godbole played a central role.
It is a success story of an Arogya Mitra called Jitu Bek. It is a story of weaving a garland for our motherland called Bharat and an experience in national integration. There are many such Raju Nags waiting for us to locate and touch. 
Sewa International
Heavy rains produced by the deadly cyclone in Sri Lanka displaced more than 3,00,000 people and resulted in massive landslides causing at least 40 confirmed deaths and hundreds more feared buried.

Sewa International engaged with its partner Seva International Foundation, Sri Lanka to provide immediate assistance to the affected people. Following relief activities wereplanned-
  • Distributing Relief‐Kits composing of clothes, lantern, umbrella, blankets, mosquito repellent, sanitation kit etc.
  • Food supplies consisting of ready‐to‐eat packs, flour, drinking water, milk, pulses, biscuits etc.
  • Medical camps across country in the shelters for displaced people.
  • Free day‐long kitchens for the affected people.
Your support in this hour of need will be greatly appreciated!!
Sewa International 49, Deendayal Upadhyaya Marg,
New Delhi -110002, India
Tel:+91 11 43007650, 23517373
 Sewa International is registered under FCRA and also has Income Tax exemption under IT Act 80G for domestic donors.
For Foreign Donations-
 Sewa International
 Account No.-   10080533326 
Jhandewala Extn Branch (Delhi) 
State Bank of India
 Branch Code-       9371     
Swift Code-     SBININBB550      
IFS Code - SBIN0009371                      
For Local Donations-        
 Sewa International        
Account No.-   10080533304       
Jhandewala Extn Branch (Delhi)      
State Bank of India       
Branch Code  -         9371       
IFS Code - SBIN0009371

NOTE: It is mandatory for every donor to inform his/her identity like name address, contact number & mail id, PAN Number and the cause towards which this is being donated like “Sri Lanka Flood Relief”.
Widespread devastation was caused in Chakma villages of Arunachal in the cyclone and floods that hit the State on April 28 rendering thousands of people homeless and killing two teenagers. Property worth crores of rupees including orchards, standing crops and livestokes were destroyed. Even though the local administration and voluntray organisations have provided some relief to the victims, much needs to be done.
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh workers distributed nearly 65 tonnes of cattle fodder at different drought hit villages of Northern Karnataka on May 6 as a part of the drought relief campaign. Prant Sahkaryavah Sridhar Nadgir distributed the fodder to farmers at Kundagola. Karnataka Uttar Prant Sah Sanghachalak Shri Aravinda Rao Deshapande and Karnataka Uttara Prant Sah Karyavah Sridhar Nadgir visited few villages along with other local functionaries and joined the RSS teams distributing fodder. “So far we have distributed nearly 65 tonnes of fodder in six districts of northern Karnataka. It will serve nearly 2,500 cows. Through RSS relief campaign we could reach almost 1/3rd of farmers of these 6 districts” said Sridhar Nadgir. Hadalagi  Village of Alanda Taluk of Gulbarga District, Bharamakhodi Village of Athani Taluk of Belagavi District, Kodliwada Village of Kundagola Taluk in Dharwad District, Chikli, Matkhed, Dabka and Ganeshpur villages of Aurad Taluk, few villages of Bhalki and Basavakalyana Taluk of Bidar District were among the villages where fodder was distributed.       
A CD highlighting the sewa activities carried out by Sangh swayamsevaks during Uttarakhand floods was released on May 10. The CD, Badhate Jana Re highlights the sewa rendered by the swayamsevaks during the natural calamities. The 47 minutes CD has been produced by Uttaranchal Daiviya Apada Peedit Sahayat Samiti and Vishwa Samvad Kendra Dehradun. Releasing the CD BJP Rajya Sabha MP Shri RK Sinha said the work rendered by the swayamsevaks was very challenging and they did that with perfection. “Only the Sangh swayamsevaks can do such a work without government help. I salute the courage of the swaymsevaks,” he said. Dr Virendra Singh Negi, associate professor in Delhi University, Smt Gita Bhata, associate professor, Shri Madan Singh Chauhan, general secretary of Uttaranchal Daiviya Apada Peedit Sahayat Samiti were also present on the occasion. 
 Latur is in the news for stories on water scarcity. An initiative by various organisations and political leaders cutting across party lines along with RSS workers to desilt 18-km long Manjara River is a story of turnaround with collective efforts
At the time when about 10 states of the country are reeling under severe drought and the government agencies are struggling hard to ensure drinking water, the people in Latur city of Maharasthra have collectively initiated to resolve the water crisis permanently. By collecting funds they have started desilting Manjara River, the lifeline of the city. They have collected Rs five crore for the project, which is estimated to cost around Rs 7.58 lakh. Interestingly, the government agencies had estimated Rs 80 crore, about ten times more, for this work. One more interesting fact is that majority of the social, cultural, religious, educational, market organisations as well as the political leaders belonging to different political parties including the Congress and Samajwadis have joined hands with the RSS swayamsevaks. Veteran RSS leader and founder of Latur Vivekanand Hospital Dr Ashok Rao Kukade was unanimously appointed chairman of the Samiti to execute the desilting project. Shri  Makarand  Jadhav of Art of Living Foundation is secretary of the Samiti.
A total of 12 districts of Maharashtra are facing the severest kind of drought. 20,000 villages have been declared drought affected. 10,000 of them are in Marathwada region alone. Apart from it, one district of Vidarbha and four districts of Western  Maharashtra are also severely affected. The Southern Marathwada region records very low rain i.e. below 50% of the average rainfall. But for the last three years, it has been recording the lowest rainfall i.e. below 40% of the usual rainfall. Injudicious use of water by local people and also the farmers made the problem more complex. “Now the people are worried about the crop pattern that they have been following for a long time. They will have to rethink whether to grow sugarcane or not as it requires more water. The Kharif crop recorded hardly 40 per cent yield. The condition of Rabi crop too is highly pathetic as it could not be even sowed in majority of the areas due to no rainfall. Even in the areas where it was somehow sowed, the yield is hardly 30 per cent this time. As a result there is no fodder for the cattle,” says Shri Arun Danke, Sah Karyavah of RSS Jankalyan Samiti Maharashtra, which is actively involved in the fight against drought in Latur and Marathwada region.
Check Dam Wado Bhai
According to reports, Latur, Beed and Usmanabad districts in Southern Marathwada are severely affected. Both the barrages and the only dam have totally dried becoming play ground for children. All water bodies including the rivers and ponds have dried. Drinking water is somehow being arranged from other areas. It is sure that nobody will die in want of water, but it is also equally sure that nobody gets it easily. Not only the government, but the people too are struggling hard for every drop of water.
The population of Latur is about five lakh. Out of it, about one lakh —around 50,000 labourers and 50,000 students--have migrated due to water scarcity. Latur is an education hub. The Collector has declared that no class or exam will be conducted between March 15 and June 15. The municipal corporation is somehow struggling to ensure 200 liters of water to every family per week. One can imagine what a family will do in 200 liters water in a week. Apart from drinking, they also need water for bathing and washing clothes. “There is huge publicity that water is being transported through trains. But the fact is that those efforts are not going to resolve the problem. Though, we sincerely thank the Railways Minister for this help. It needs some other efforts also,” adds Shri Danke.
Fighting drought with tree plantation
Keeping in view all these facts, the RSS Jankalyan Samiti, the Sewa Wing of RSS in Maharashtra, has started work in all the drought affected districts. They have planned to start at least two projects for water conservation in each district. “The cost of each project has been estimated to be between Rs 15 to 30 lakh. There are also efforts to  arrange fodder for the cattle. Now six fodder banks have already been started in Latur, Beed and Usmanabad districts. Six more are to be started as the funds are arranged,” says Shri Danke.
The biggest project in the form of Public Initiative, which has caught the attention of people all over the country is desilting of the Manjara River in Latur. It is about 10 km away from the city. There are two barrages on it—Nagjheri and Sai—to store water. Separate pipelines have been laid to supply water to Latur. There is a major irrigation dam on the same river about 40 km away from Latur. A pipeline also comes from that dam for drinking water. Unfortunately, now all these three sources have fully dried.
The only permanent solution is revival of the Manjara River so that both the barrages and the dam can store sufficient water. “Now we are desilting the River bad 3 meter deep, 80 meter wide and 18 km long. If this happens, the river will be able to store sufficient water. The people of the city have decided to do it collectively. Good thing is that people cutting across political lines have come forward to resolve this problem. An 11 member Samiti, Sarvajanik Jalyukta Latur Vyavasthapan Samiti, has been formed involving people from all sections,” says Shri Danke.
Prominent among those who are part of the Samiti include Shri Tryambakdas Zanvar, who has been very close to former CM Vilasrao Deshmukh and is former Congress district president, veteran Samajwadi leader Shri Manohar Gomare, private sugar factory owner and renowned personality of cooperative sector Shri BB Thombre, etc.
The work began on Varsh Pratipada day i.e. April 8. Following call from the Samiti for contribution, on first day itself Rs two crore were announced by various people as contribution. “Till now the contribution of more than Rs five crore has been declared. About 50 per cent of that amount has been received by the Samiti,” points out Shri Danke.
Seeing the active public initiative the local Collector and also the State government have extended full support. They have deputed three officers and some pokland machines. “We have come to know that some amount has been approved by Chief Minister Shri Devendra Fadanvis, but the Samiti has decided not to take any government help for this project. All educational institutions, market associations, medical association, Bar Council, etc have come forward with generous support. Many people come to our office with financial help everyday,” Shri Danke adds.
At the moment 27 pokland machines and 40 Hyvas are working on the site. “We need more Hyva machines to transport the silt. Normally, there should be at least five Hyvas with a Pokland machine, but we have only 1.5 Hyva per pokland. For it, we have requested the Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, who has assured full support,” adds Shri Danke.
Till now Chief Secretary of Maharasthra Swadhin Kshatriya, Minister Pankaja Munde, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Devgiri Prant Sanghachalak Dada Pawar, Paschim Kshetra Sah Kshetra Pracharak Shri Vijayrao Puranik, RSS Akhil Bharatiya Sewa Pramukh Shri Suhasrao Hiremath, RSS Jankalyan Samiti Maharashtra organising secretary Shri Sharad Khadilkar and Jalpurush Rajendra Singh have visited the site and appreciated the efforts of the people. Till now about five km long river has been desilted. The entire work has to be finished within next 40 to 50 days i.e. before the start of the monsoon. Film star Shri Reteish Deshmukh, son of former Maharashtra CM Vilasrao Deshmukh who belongs to Latur, has contributed Rs 25 lakh for the project. He also agreed to be the brand ambassador of the initiative. His elder brother Shri Amit Deshmukh, who is also a MLA, also announced Rs 75 lakh for it. Despite being a Congress leader he praised the RSS leader Dr Ashokrao Kukade for his honesty, dedication and commitment to the task despite growing age.
The collective endeavour by the people of Latur for resolving their water problem has set a good precedent, which may act as a trendsetter for the entire country.
As part of the drought relief campaign, RSS swayamsevaks started a temporary Goushala at Gudihala Village in SindhanoorTaluk of Raichur District in Karnataka in last week of April. Prant Sah Karyavah Sridhar Nadgir inaugurated the Gaushala. Tirumala Rao Deshpande, noted farmer of Gudihala Village, temporarily donated his farmland for the Goushala.
Due to severe drought, hundreds of farmers of North Karnataka districts are facing severe problems while taking care of their cattle. Farmers have been urged to bring their cattle at the goushala, where they will be taken care of with fodder and shelter till the rainy season begins. “It is free service; any farmer can make use of this facility at the Goushala,” said RSS Prant Karyavah Shri Raghavendra Kagavad. The swayamsevaks have also initiated free-drinking water supply at several drought hit places of Raichur District. They also initiated free cattle feed distribution centre at Ankalagi Village of Kalaburagi District. 
Veteran cooperative thinker and national convener of Sahakar Bharati Shri Satish Marathe said strengthening the cooperative sector is the need of the hour for balanced economic development of the country. Inaugurating Chittorgarh Urban Cooperative Bank Ltd in Chittorgarh on May 14 he said after the failure of Capitalism and Marketism the Cooperative Sector has emerged as an alternative model for economic development. He pointed out that many power and water distribution projects are successfully being run through cooperatives in the world. He said the cooperative banks  are very helpful  to the urban people and such banks should be granted licences on a large scale. He said the nationalised banks are today afflicted with the problem of huge Non Performing Assets (NPA) whereas the cooperative banks NPA is comparatively less. Local MP Shri CP Joshi said the technological support has strengthened the cooperative sector. Local MLA Shri Chandrabhan Singh Akya also spoke on the occasion.
On 25 May 2016 2nd Batch of Sewa Path Knitting centre, Chandrapuri, completed its 4 months training. 20 women were awarded with certificate at the completion of the training. Sewa Path Knitting centre is an Skill Development initiative of Sewa International in non-farming sector. In Sewa Path Knitting Centres women are trained to knit on the machine and teach them various patterns, colour combinations etc, in order to be able to earn a livelihood based on these skills. A little income generation would add hugely to the self esteem of these women and bring prosperity to not only their household but to the whole region. So far, 47 women have taken the training in Sewa Path Knitting Centre, Chandrapuri.
National Council Meeting of Swadeshi Jagran Manch, organised from May 21 to 22 in Bhopal, stressed the need of access to cheaper medicines and medical facilities to all. In a resolution adopted at the meeting, the Manch said as the diseases are increasing due to change in lifestyle and India sharing 21 per cent of global disease burden, the people do not have access to health facilities or medicines at affordable prices. The resolution said the medicines are getting costlier due to changes in the 2005 Patent Act, which needs to be amended again according to the changing needs. The SJM said the generic medicines should be promoted. The Manch also said that apart from increasing health budget health facilities should be expanded to the remote areas.
In another resolution the Manch urged the general public to cooperate fully with the public and private initiatives for water conservation, rain water harvesting, prevention of water wastage and water misuse, forest conservation, tree planting and such other measures, which are urgently required for our very survival. Forest conservation and water conservation should be treated by one and all as developmental activities. In another resolution the Manch demanded the Government of India to withdraw its decision allowing 100 per cent FDI in e-commerce, food processing and marketing to protect the interest of the small traders, industries and the farmers. 
Jaipur unit of Sewa Bharati organised mass marriage of all communities on May 14. A total of 51 pairs belonging to 19 castes tied the knot. During the last six years, the Sewa Bharati has performed many such ceremonies where a total of 992 pairs tied the knot. Similar functions were organised in Bhawani Mandi on May 15 and Lakheri (Bundi) on May 20. Many people from Jaipur City were present at the function to bless the newly wedded couples.    

Friday, May 20, 2016

With the Global Warming, natural disasters are becoming more and more common and severe at the same time. Recent Cyclone has caused our brethren in Sri Lanka tremendous agony and pain.
Sewa International plans to work on the Relief and Rehab of the affected people in Sri Lanka and request your kind support for the same.
Together we can make a difference to the lives in pain!!!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Sewa Sandesh
April 2016

During the early morning hours of April 10 a massive explosion took place in Puttingal temple during a fireworks display . It claimed more than 114 lives and caused injuries to about 1,100 persons. The accident happened in Puttingal temple ground in Paravoor, a coastal town in Kollam district of Kerala. The impact of the explosion was felt in a radius of one kilometre. There was total darkness as the power supply went off under the impact of the explosion. Sewa volunteers were among the first responders to the site of the accident. When Sewa volunteers reached the spot, they could see burnt body parts scattered all around, seriously injured pleading for help and large number of dead bodies lying on the ground. Sewa volunteers swung into rescue operations. They mobilized several vehicles, including their own ten ambulances, to shift the injured to various hospitals. They collected the scattered body parts from the temple ground, roof of the houses and wells in the nearby places. They helped in sending the bodies for postmortem working in tandem with the Police in the rescue and relief operations. On many occasions, police men sought the help of Sewa volunteers to collect the body parts from the nearby places for sending it for the DNA test.
About 1,000 Sewa volunteers took part in the rescue operations. They helped extracting dead bodies and injured victims from debris of buildings. Within hours, hundreds of Sewa volunteers thronged hospitals to donate blood, medical kits and food materials. About 1,500 volunteers registered for blood donation at Trivandrum Medical College itself. The pictures of the Sewa volunteers queuing in front of the Medical hospital have gone viral in the social media. Due to scarcity of beds and other facilities at Kollam District Hospital, the volunteers arranged additional beds and clothes with the help of sponsors. Soon after the tragedy, help desks were set up by the Sewa volunteers at the accident site,Kollam District Hospital, Kollam Medicity, Kottiyam Hollycross, NS Hospital and Trivandrum Medical College to help the relatives of the victims and the contact numbers were informed to the public through the media and social platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook.  Volunteers helped the bereaved family members to identify bodies of their beloved ones in the hospitals. Proper arrangements have also been done for helping the relatives to cremate the bodies in their respective places. The next challenge was to provide water and food materials to the patients admitted at 18 hospitals and also to the affected families residing around the temple. About 1,100 people including patients and their relatives are being given breakfast, lunch and dinner during the entire length of relief operation. This daunting task was carried out by the effective and prompt involvement of the Sewa volunteers.
 The wells surrounding the temple were badly contaminated; with body parts being dispersed into the wells. So high was the contamination level that water has turned black due to burnt body parts, ash and burnt explosives. The Sewa volunteer also made immediate arrangements for bringing drinking water from nearby places in auto rickshaws and other vehicles. Daily 5,000 liters of water was distributed to the houses near the temple. Later, they launched a massive drive to clean all the wells in the area.
Around 300 houses in the immediate vicinity of the temple were damaged in the impact of the explosion. Locals feel that it may take months for the place to recover from the ghastly tragedy. Destroyed houses, contaminated wells, chemicals and concrete chunks left suspended in the aftermath of the massive fire tragedy, are now a cause of concern for people living in the locality. Many families in the area have either moved to houses of relatives or are busy repairing damaged portions of their residences. They also demanded compensation from the Government to repair it.
 Hindu Help Line (HHL), the 24 x 7 nationwide Emergency Service, on its fifth anniversary launched a special service for senior citizens on March 5. Launching the service, VHP working president Dr Pravin Togadia said the senior citizens in emergency can call at 020-6689330 and 07588682181 to get urgent help within 15-20 minutes depending on the type of emergency. The Help Line covers the emergencies like medical, travel, legal, administrative and cultural. Since beginning, the HHL has received over 2,00,000 calls and the emergency help rate has been over 98 per cent. Today, due to nuclear families and various social aspects, the elderly face genuine problems that are not only loneliness, but also practical problems like day care, medical reports collection, utility bill payments, caring company for a daily walk and so on.
SEWA INTERNATIONAL Uttarakhand completed its Seed kit distribution drive in the Narayankoti Mandal of Rudraprayag district, under its SEWA KRISHI programme. To consolidate and strengthen the agriculture and its local practices keeping in view of the ecological balance of the region Sewa International launched its program Sewa Krishi with the same objective. An integral component of the programme is the Seed kit distribution drive before the Kharif and Rabi sowing season,the two major crop season in the country, with a view that the farmer doesn’t have to purchase seeds from the market and hence cutting down on the cost of farming, the ultimate aim of the project is to diminish the farmer’s dependence on the market for purchasing seeds and other ingredients of farming and promote organic farming in the State. Starting from 2014 the Seed Kit Distribution has picked up pace in the Rudraprayag and Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. This year the seeds were distributed in the Narayankoti Mandal of Rudraprayag district among the women Farmers of the region. Seeds distribution for the current Kharif Crop included seeds of Ginger, Turmeric, Beans, Ladyfinger and Kidney Beans.
With a view to provide maximum benefit to be derived from the initiative and for the farmers, Sewa International Uttarakhand formed a taskforce which did an extensive survey among the farmers about their exigency and expectations and considering this the seed kits were prepared this year by due ratiocination of the local demand .
Seed Kit distribution was done by Kailash Goswamiji, A Local Farmer of Narayankoti who has been a state awardee among other honours, for his innovative farming and work in the field. 
 A part of under construction Vivekananda Road Flyover suddenly collapsed on March 31 injuring many and killing 27 people.  Rescue operation began immediately to clear and remove the dead bodies buried under the debris. As the news spread, more than 200 RSS swayamsevaks immediately rushed to help the victims along with the NDRF team and defence personnel. The swayamsevaks also arranged blood for the victims and rescued and controlled the crowd. Police Commissioner who was present at the site appreciated the work done by the RSS workers and requested them to remain there.
- Nirmala Sitharam
 Union Minister of State for Commerce & Industry (Independent Charge) Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman exhorted the women to utilise their entrepreneurial skills. She said women entrepreneurship is a reality, as many women entreprenuers can be found in the society. She was addressing a gathering of women at 4th Annual Day celebration of Chetana Conscience of Women on April 3. She referred to many Start Ups by women in different fields like engineering, medicine, information technology, agriculture and urged the women to also master the other areas apart from professional ones like social sciences. She praised ‘Chetana’ for helping women become self-reliant. President of Chetana. Advocate Jyotika Kalra highlighted the importance of women empowerment and also underlined the activities being taken up in this regard by ‘Chetna’. The event left the audience spell bound by the dance events specially choreographed by Padma Bhushan Dr Saroja Vaidyanathan portraying the theme through four different forms of classical and contemporary dance. 
 Akhil Bharatiya Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram will organise National Archery Competition in the last week of December in Mumbai. Vanvasi Archers from different parts of the country will participate in the competition. The decision was taken at the Pratinidhi Mandal meeting of Kalyan Ashram. Kalyan Ashram president Shri Jagdev Ram Oraon, vice presidents Shri Kripa Prasad Singh and Neelima Patte, general secretary Shri Chandrakant Dev, and other office bearers were also present. Shri Chandra Kant Deo presented general secretary’s report, while Shri Atul Jog and Shri Somayajulu presented reports on various programmes. Shri Shatipad Thakur presented a report on 7th National Vanvasi Sports meet held in Ranchi. A report on birth centenary celebration of Naga freedom fighter Rani Gaidinliu was also presented. Today a total of 1,25,490 students are getting education in various educational projects of the Kalyan Ashram. A total of 9,94,367 patients were treated by health workers. A total of 329 daily and 3,322 weekly sports centres are being run in Vanvasi areas. There are 90 Agriculture Development Projects, 68 vocational trainning centres, 2,560 Self-Help Groups, and village development activities in 108 villages.

Patients undergoing treatment at the Nature Care and Accupressure camp
 Famous Jhandewala Temple organised a series of health camps in the temple premises. On March 6, the temple organised a blood donation camp in which 46 people donated blood. On March 13, an eye check-up camp was organised in association with Kailash Eye Care. Apart from eye check-up, some blood tests were also conducted. About 200 patients were checked-up at the camp. Equally, a nature care and acupressure camp is being organised in the temple on every Sunday for the last six months. A total of 82 patients availed the facility on March 13.
 Ahead of Shivaratri, a team of 142 people including 70 RSS and Sewa Bharati workers from local Tambaram unit in Tamil Nadu actively participated in the cleaning of Jambukeswarar Temple on February 21. The common public and devotees too eagerly joined hands with the swayamsevaks in the activity. Tambaram Bagh Sewa Pramukh Shri Soundarji coordinated the activity.
 RSS Akhil Bharatiya Gausewa Pramukh Shri Shankarlal appealed to the government and the society to take all possible efforts to protect the cows and her progeny as they are the backbone of the Bharat’s economy. Addressing a function in Jodhpur on February 21 he said preservation of the cow is in the interests of all and if ignored it will prove to be very costly to all. The function was organised by Go Vigyan Anusandhan Samiti. Shri Navranglal Sharma on this occasion apprised the gathering of 18 scientific facts about the cow milk. He also stressed on organic farming. Shri Otaram Devasi, Cow Minister in Rajasthan Government stressed the need to create cow ministries all over the country. He said the cows truly be preserved at the home of the farmers and not in the goushalas. Mahamandaleshwar Shri Dati Maharaj Madanji also spoke on the occasion.
Gita Manishi Mahamandaleshwar Swami Gyanananda Maharaj launched Divya Kurukshetra Mission on April 18 to make the historic city Kurukshetra as a clean city. Under the campaign, 26th day of every month will be observed as cleanliness day. Speaking at the launch function Swamiji said cleanliness drive should not be seen with political glasses. Such campaigns are must to maintain glory of the nation. He said the campaign is aimed at making Kurukshetra as a model city. He administered an oath to the people on this occasion to keep the city clean and also to join the drive. He said every citizen needs to change their habit and none should do any work, which denigrates the nation. Organising Secretary of VHP Shri Dinesh Chandra said the campaign would prove to be a success as it has the blessings of the saints. Mahamandaleshwar Swami Dharmadev Maharaj also spoke on the occasion. Himanchal Pradesh Governor Acharaya Dev Vrat expressed his best wishes for the success of the campaign.
For Further Information Please Contact:
49, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg,
New Delhi – 110 002, Bharat (India)
Telephone   +91-11-43007650, 23684445

Monday, April 11, 2016

In the worst-ever pyrotechnics tragedy to strike Kerala, 110 persons were killed and close to 400 injured, many of them critically, on Sunday (10th April,2016).

Around 3:30 am, disaster struck the crowded premises of the Puttingal Devi Temple at Paravur, south of Kollam, when an entire dump of fire crackers meant to be burst to mark the conclusion of the Meena-Bharani festival exploded, killing over 40 persons instantly, badly injuring hundreds more and causing horrible damage to nearby buildings and houses.

Sewa International has resolved to serve the fire-tragedy affected people and their grief-stricken families with the help of its on ground partner organizations in rescue and relief efforts.
Sewa International appeals to the benevolent donors to be generous in contributing towards immediate relief to the fire-tragedy affected brethren in Kerala. Your timely contribution in this hour-of-need can help provide necessary aid to the hurt and bereaving families.

We need your support to spread the word and multiply the impact. 
We really appreciate your help in this hour of need!!

Donation Info

For Cheque Payment (by Mail)

You can mail your earthquake relief contributions by Cheque to our office address below,

Sewa International
49, Deendayal Upadhyaya Marg,
New Delhi -110002, India
Tel:+91 11 43007650, 23517373
For Online Donations 

For Direct Bank Transfer (NEFT/RTGS etc)

Account details:
      For Foreign Donations-
      Sewa International
      Account No.-   10080533326
      Jhandewala Extn Branch(Delhi)             State Bank of India
      Branch Code-             9371
      Swift Code-     SBININBB550 
      IFS Code - SBIN0009371  
Account details:
        For Local Donations-
        Sewa International 
        Account No.-   10080533304
        Jhandewala Extn Branch(Delhi)             State Bank of India
        Branch Code  -         9371
        IFS Code - SBIN0009371 
NOTE: It is mandatory for every donor to inform his/her identity like name address, contact number & mail id, PAN Number and the cause towards which this is being donated like “Kerala Fire Relief”. 
Sewa International is registered under FCRA to allow for Foreign Donations.

Sewa International also provides Income Tax exemption under IT Act 80G for domestic donors.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Sewa Sandesh
February 2016
 – TR Zeliang, Nagaland CM

Nagaland Chief Minister TR Zeliang expressed happiness to be a part of the Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram. “I cannot express my pleasure at this moment, as some feelings can just be felt and not expressed in words. Rani Maa played a leading role during the freedom struggle. I express my sincere thanks to the government of India and the Kalyan Ashram, which observed the birth centenary of the great freedom fighter all over the country,” he said while addressing the birth centenary celebration of Rani Gaidinliu in New Delhi on January 24. Kalyan Ashram president Shri Jagevram Oraon was also present on the occasion. Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani declared to publish books in various Bharateeya languages compiling the heroic stories of Rani Maa. The books will possibly be published by National Book Trust to apprise the younger generation of the life and work of the great freedom fighter.

Tamil Nadu unit of Sewa Bharati organized a series of events across Chennai to felicitate sanitary workers who cleaned up the mess left over by the deadliest Chennai floods. On January 21, a function was organized at Manali. Vibhag Pracharak Shri MD Sankar Felicitated the workers. Shri Boopalakrishnan of Vallalar Peravai presided over the function. District Revenue Official Shri M Mohammed Badsha along with Sewa Bharati State coordinatior Smt Kanchana Mala also graced the occasion.

Jaipur unit of Sewa Bharati launched a project in Jaipur on January 30 to provide meals to the patients of mental hospital run at Sethi Colony. Apart from patients, their attendants will also be provided meals at just Rs. 10 per person. Earlier the Sewa Bharati used to provide dry rice, dal and flour to the patients, but people faced the problem of cooking that dry meal. Therefore, the decision was taken to provide cooked food at no profit no loss basis. The project was formally launched by Health Minister of Rajasthan Shri Rajendra Singh Rathore. State BJP president Shri Ashok Parnami, Principal of SMS Medical College Dr. US Agarwal, businessman Shri Mahendra Derawala and Sewa Bharati leaders were also present on the occasion. It is third of its kind project run by Sewa Bharati in Rajasthan. Two other projects are run in Bikaner and Ajmer.


Jaipur unit of Saksham, a leading organization dedicated to the cause of differently-abled people, organized a leprosy eradication campaign in Jaipur to educate people about various aspect related to the disease. Under the campaign, a function was organized in Jaipur. Dr. Gajanand Ojha apprised the people about some facts about the disease. Senior leader of Saksham Shri Kamlakant Pandey also addressed the participants. Dr. Pankaj Jain was felicitated on the occasion for conducting successful operations for cancer. Co-convener of Saksham Shri Rajesh Chedwal apprised the audience of the activities being conducted by the organization for eradication of blindness. It is to be noted that Saksham is working for making Bharat free from blindness by the year 2018.


Samartha Bharata, a voluntary organisation dedicated to promote social voluntarism, organised a 9-day residential camp from January 23 to 31, called Social Transformation Empowerment Programme (STEP) in which 67 youth participated. Eminent personalities including Dr Deviprasad Shetty, Swami Paramananda, Shri Mukul Kanitkar, Dr MK Shridhar, Shri Ravi Iyer guided the youth. STEP focuses on empowering and connecting college students and professionals to various social organisations which are already into different facets of social transforming initiatives.STEP was divided into two phases. Phase-I was a week long orientation camp to enable volunteers to understand the lifecycle of social transformation initiatives, and to interact personally with leading social activists and their activities. Phase-II was a six month long execution activity where social volunteers pursued and worked in a social project of their choice under the guidance of a social activist or NGO. Volunteers submitted a social impact report regarding their social transformation initiative by the end of Phase-II. This camp focused on topics from 8 social segments (Education, Health, Rural, Urban, Policy, Media, Environment, NGO enablement), covered 32 sessions by 28 eminent speakers. The topics covered, sector specific issues, motivational and ideological concepts.  

  • 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.
  • 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. 
  • 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. 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.” (Courtesy:Panchaamritam)
For Further Information Please Contact:
49, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg,
New Delhi – 110 002, Bharat (India)
Telephone   +91-11-43007650, 23684445

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Sewa Sandesh
January 2016


Fifth International Sewa Baithak(ISB) was held from 3rd Jan – 5th Jan 2016 in Indore,MP. 41 Delegates from various countries including Bharat, UK, USA, Kenya, Myanmar, Singapore, Australia and Sri Lanka participated in the meet. Biennial meeting is conducted with the purpose to understand the progress and issues faced by all Sewa International organisations, including Sewa International Bharat(SIB), and ways to grow the Sewa movement into other countries.

Shri Shyam Parande, Global Coordinator of Sewa International, introduced the Adhikaris and other dignitaries present while representatives of Sewa International associate countries introduced themselves.

In his inaugural address, Dr. Shankar Tatvawadi, Patron, Vishwa Vibhag said that we all need to reach to the most downtrodden of the society and work in places where no or little help has reached. Service before Self motto needs to be incorporated firmly in our ethos.
Program Structure & Topics
The whole program was divided into approx 90 minutes sessions throughout 3 days, starting from 4 pm on 3rd Jan till 11 am on 5th Jan. The participants presented their topics via Audio-Videos/Powerpoint Presentations, Written Speeches, Reports etc. Intense discussions were held with participation from all present members resulting in useful insights into the inner workings, issues, challenges faced by all Sewa International members as well as suggested action items to work towards possible solutions.
Following were the major topics that were presented and deliberated upon during the meeting,
  • Overview of Sewa Work being conducted in each represented country.
  • Disaster Management – Past, Present and Future plans and strategies.
  • Meeting minutes for the last SIB meeting in Vrindavan in 2013.
  • Sponsor-a-Child Program – A flagship program promoted by Sewa USA for supporting education for needy kids to be scaled up in coming years and targeting almost 5,000 students/year by 2020.
  • Volunteering – Ways to encourage and promote volunteerism.
  • Sewa Day – Global or Local? Challenges and Way Forward.
  • Discussions on Sewa Logo, Vision, Mission statements.
  • Fund-Raising – Experiences shared by associates and best practices to be followed.
  • Yuva for Sewa – Current state and Future plans.
  • Pioneers and Role Models for Sewa – Sewa Activities done by Indians abroad by Shri Ravi Kumar Iyer.
  • Empowering associate countries with Sewa Concept – Sending sewa karyakartas from India to neighboring countries for providing training to locals there as well as local exposure.
  • Updates on the work done in other countries not represented in the meeting by Shyam Parande.
  • Expectations of associate countries from Sewa International Bharat for more effective engagement.
  • Sewa Yatra – Exposure cum Volunteering Concept to be expanded to all associate countries.
  • Family Services Projects – Assist our brethren abroad with various programs for outreach like SDM (Stop Diabetes Movement), Yoga for Sewa, Visa Assistance etc.
  • Evolution of Sewa International Bharat – Need to provide centralized resources for managing back-office work of various associate countries.
  • Integrated Social Media/Web Strategies – Common website linking all associates maintained by Bharat.
  • Doctors for Sewa – Challenges and Opportunities. Huge interest in Indian Diaspora to do good and contribute to society through volunteering at hospitals/camps in India.
  • Vaanprasthi – Supporting our elders abroad who need support and also willing to help in Sewa Activities.
  • Baudhik by Shri Shyam Parande and Valedictory address by Shri Saumitra Gokhale.
Action Items for Follow-up
 As part of the 3 day intense deliberations, following points came out in open which required further focussed action and need to be updated before the next meeting (proposed to be in 2018),
  • Improvements in Communications –Need to ensure that all our Sewa International donors and karyakartas are getting the updates and the email lists are updated.
  • Disaster Rapid Response Team –Evaluate and propose the feasibility of Disaster Response team. Faster response to Disasters by our AV person, Shri Shashidhar.
  • Sewa Yatra- Need to promote this concept in other countries also. Need to build Online Digital Portal for active engagement, Social Media promotion etc. Need to identify Sewa Projects in Gujarat (Ahmedabad) also for Sewa Yatra due to high number of donors there.
  • Mangal Nidhi- Need to promote Community Celebration like donating for Cataract Operations, Community Marriages, Planting trees etc, for personal events like anniversary, birthday etc.
  • Sewa Call CenterExplore possibility of establishing Sewa Call Center in India for donation calls, donor management and act as back-office.
  • Reports/Proposals/Marketing- Need to evolve an effective strategy for Reporting, Proposal Writing and Marketing for Sewa International for better quality documents for approaching  CSR, Foundations, Corporates, Govt for grants.
  • Websites Support/CiviCRMNeed for better integration among Sewa Websites as well as Donor database management using CiviCRM.
  • Doctors for Seva (DFS)- Easing the process to get the doctors in India for initiatives like Cleft Surgery. Need to formalize process and work with Ministry of Health in India to see how to streamline the permission process which takes few months now.
  • Brand Ambassador- For better promotion of Sewa Events/Campaigns, there is need for a Brand Ambassador to vouch for us.
  • New Sewa International Associations- There is a need for a formalized process to be defined for incorporating new Sewa International associations. This will help get other Sewa associations started.
  • YFS Training- Need to explore ways to find volunteers and empower them to do sewa work effectively.
  • Common funds for Big Projects – Evolve a Mechanism to allow for maintaining a Common Pool of funds designated for supporting Large Sewa projects like Schools, Colleges, Multi-Year Support Projects.
  • Impact Reports – Need to generate more analytical reports with numbers showing the visible impact created by Sewa work. It is required now when approaching corporates for CSR and bigger donors.
  • Empanelment with United Nations(UN)- Sewa should try to get empanelled with UN for Disaster Relief as well as Rehab activities. This will help in our expanding its reach to millions more people and resources which can be put for better use.
  • Sewa Delhi Expenses- With increased work demands for faster outputs, it’s required to increase the staff strength in Delhi. Presently, only Sewa USA supports Delhi office which is insufficient and needs to be supported by other members also. To better serve the needs, 2 more offices are being planned, one each in Mumbai and Hyderabad.

The conference concluded in the morning of 5th Jan, 2016 by inspirational baudhiks and margdarshan by the adhikaris.Valedictory speech was delivered by Shri Saumitra Gokhle, International Coordinator of HSS. He said, “This sewa baithak has been much better than the earlier baithaks and we need to continually progress in making it better for years to come. Sewa International needs to grow in many more countries where Indian-origin people are resident. We should all make efforts towards that end. Bharat, due to its age-old history has the responsibility of leading the world. We already have given “Yoga”, which is now recognized world-over for its effectiveness in leading a healthy spiritually rich life. Now, we should also teach the concept of “Sewa” which is selfless service for humanity. Key thing to understand is that Sewa is not done to provide help to others but to purify our own souls and for our own betterment and in turn make the whole world a better place. Sewa International needs to recognize and grow its Thought Potential, Growth Potential and Creative Potential in order to fulfil its responsibility towards the society. We need to be rooted firmly to our values while conducting our work and also educate the world on the same. There is a need to creatively engage people and design sewa programs which could provide maximum benefit to the downtrodden.” Next Sewa Baithak is tentatively being proposed to be outside India, probably in Sri Lanka in early 2018, and would include Sewa Yatra also.International Sewa Baithak proved to be a great platform for different Sewa International members to collectively learn and contribute towards cumulative growth. The conference concluded on the positive note of building up an effectively serving network of Sewa organizations and activists across the countries, building up required resources and reaching out to newer avenues. 
Under the third phase of rehabilitation of flood victims in Chennai the Sewa Bharati on January 10 distributed livelihood material at Mathur, Manali, one of the worst flood affected areas in Chennai. Prior to distributing the material, a survey was conducted by the volunteers to assess the need of the victims. Material worth Rs 6 lakh was distributed.
In a unique way, cow along with calf were distributed to the locals who requested for the same. Items like printer, scanner, Xerox machine, tailoring tools, electrical tools etc. were also distributed. Items including Iron box, grinder, water tank, tricycle, electrical tools, and chairs for saloon shop, fish net, rickshaw, plastic table, chair etc worth 14 lakh was distributed to nearly 700 flood affected people who lost their essential tools/machines for their job surviving. Senior Pracharak Shri Sethu Madhavan, Chennai Mahanagar Sanghachalak Shri Kalyan Singh, Prant Sewa Pramukh Shri Ramarajasekar, State secretary of Sewa Bharati Shri Rajesh Vivekanandan, etc distributed the  material.
In order to sensitise the people living in cities to help their Vanvasi brethren, Shri Hari Satsangh Samiti Delhi and Shri Hari Vanvasi Raksha Parivar jointly organised a Bhajan Sandhya by noted singer Shri Anup Jalota at Civic Centre in Delhi on January 9. Union Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar and senior Pracharak Shri Shyam Gupt were also present on the occasion. Chief Guest Shri Ramesh Juneja, chairman of the Mankind Pharma, declared to adopt 2,500 Vanvasi villages. Many other people also declared their support.
Shri Manoj Arora, president of Shri Hari Vanvasi Raksha Parivar, apprised the audience of the positive changes surfacing in 223 districts of 23 states through the Ekal Vidyalayas. Shri Shyam Gupt said the soldiers provide external security while the Vanvasis provide social and cultural security. He said the day we have one lakh Ekal Vidyalayas and two lakh Satsang Kendras in the country will be no trouble to the internal security of the country. The satsang has the power to eradicate social inequalities.
In a unique drive, Sewa Bharati Tamil Nadu on January 11, distributed relief material to the transgenders affected in the floods. Shri Kumaraswamy, State vice president, Shri Duraishankar, president and Shri Sunil Ramachandran, General Manager of Mathrubhoomi and Padmini Prakash, world's first transgender news anchor, distributed the material to around 400 people. Hailing the services by Sewa Bharati activists during the flood, Padmini Prakash said the support of transgenders to Sewa Bharati would always be there. Shri Kumaraswamy said the transgenders are worshipped as Arthanareeswarar in our culture. Madhoru-bhagan deity in Tiruchengode resembles the same. Being part of the society and children of Bharat Mata, he appealed to the transgenders to participate more to bring social changes.
Tamil Nadu Governor Shri K Rosaiha felicitated Sewa Bharati for outstanding service during Chennai floods. Shri Duraisankar, president of Tamil Nadu Sewa Bharati, received the Special Achievement Award. Congratulating the awardees the Governor said it is the history of Tamil Nadu people to excel in work. The function was organised by World Tamil Chamber of Commerce at Chinmaya Heritage Centre, Nungambakkam on January 10 to celebrate World Tamil Day. It was a celebration of Tamil art, music and culture of Tamil people across Bharat and world.
Noted social activist of Kolkata and founder of 'Parivar' Shri Vinayak Lohani was selected for 30th Swami Vivekananda Sewa Samman. 'Parivar' is an organisation to import free education. The Samman, which consists of a cheque of Rs one lakh, a citation and memento, will be presented by West Bengal Governor Shri Keshari Nath Tripathi in Kolkata on January 17. Instituted by Shree Burrabazar Kumarsabha Pustakalaya inn 1987, the Samman is presented to individuals or organisations working for betterment of the society according to the ideals of Swami Vivekananda. After completing B.Tech from IIT Kharagpur shri Lohani obtained MBA degree from IIM Kolkata. Instead of opting for corporate career education to the deprived children to ensure their all round development.
The project today has its own building at Barkalikapur under 24 Paragna District, where more than 1,000 students from jharkhand and West Bengal are getting education.
  • Throat cancer patients who have lost their voice can look forward to speaking again, without having to shell out thousands on an artificial voice box. Dr Vishal Rao, Bengaluru-based (Karnataka, Bharat) oncologist, has invented a voice prosthesis priced at just Rs 50. The device weighs just about 25 grams and is seen as a boon for the poor. The prosthesis available in the market costs Rs 20,000 (to be changed once in six months). The device has been aptly named Aum voice prosthesis. "We decided to term it Aum, as that is the sound which first resonated across the universe. Regaining one's voice is so much like a rebirth," said Rao. He took the help of his friend Shashank Mahesh, an industrialist, to deal with the financial aspect of the project. Ramakrishna, 55, a watchman from Peenya suffering from throat cancer, was the first recipient of the prosthesis."He was a beedi addict. He had been smoking for years to keep awake at night. He suffers from throat cancer and we had to remove his voice box. He was given a Western voice prosthesis. Though it had a shelf life of six months, he used it for two years as he couldn't afford a new one. He came to me with tears in his eyes saying that food was leaking through the prosthesis. Our device innovation was just about ready and we offered it to him for Rs 50. He regained his speech and returned with a million dollar smile, telling me that he was doing fine. That was the biggest gift for me," said Dr Rao. At any given point of time, there are over 1.5 lakh cases of tobacco-induced cancer in the state.
  • Smt K.N. Paru in her late 70s had resigned to a life in her gutted one-room hut. For generations of the students of the Cochin University of Science and Technology (Cusat), Kochi (Kerala, Bharat) behind which stood her rundown house, she has been Paru Amma, the granny who unfailingly swept clean the campus. Moved, a few students of the School of Engineering decided to repay by refurbishing her home. And on January 15, they did as the School of Engineering Principal, G. Madhu, gave her key of the renovated house. It all started after Nitin Vasanth, a final year B.Tech student, spotted the septuagenarian sweeping the campus on a rainy evening last November. It took countless visits to local body offices to clear issues related to the 0.90 cent of plot and get the clearance. The students started with pulling down the gutted structure. They took turn to help masons. The truss work was done using welding machines at the mechanical lab. They braved cold December mornings to water the cement structures, painted the house during evenings after the classes and electrified the house. A contractor provided an earthmover for free to clean up the mess in the front yard. Finally, when a tearful Paru Amma boiled the milk to mark the house warming they were all present as if to make up for the absence of her own children.
  • Recognising his honesty, the West Bengal government today honoured a city taxi driver 42-year-old Prodyot Paul with a cash award of Rs 10,000 and urged others to emulate his example. Handing over a cheque (of that amount) at a simple function in his Writers Buildings chamber, state Transport minister Subhas Chakraborty informed that Paul had willingly returned Rs 7 lakh to its rightful owners, who had left the currencies in a bag in his taxi while travelling in the city on March 20, 2006. Paul after dropping a passenger near the Great Eastern Hotel found a bag lying on the floor of his taxi after about an hour. In order to trace the identity of its owner he opened the bag and to his surprise found that it contained several gold ornaments and bundles of cash inside. But without a second thought Paul first rushed back to the hotel and tried to identify the person he had dropped. But despite waiting for nearly an hour when he could not find him, he went to the New Market Police station and deposited the bag to the Officer-in-Charge. Later it was estimated that the cash and jewellery in the bag was valued at more than Rs 7 lakh which was returned to its owner the next day after proper verification, Chakraborty informed. Highly impressed by his act of honesty the New Market police recomended his case to the state transport department for a suitable reward. Paul refused to claim that he had done something extraordinary."I only tried to implement ‘honesty is the best policy’ - which I learnt in my childhood", he emphasied.( Courtesy: Panchaamritam)
For Further Information Please Contact:
49, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg,
New Delhi – 110 002, Bharat (India)
Telephone   +91-11-43007650, 23684445