People who make a difference in your life

Mr Watwani has sent the following.

The following is the philosophy of Charles Schultz, the creator of the “Peanuts” comic strip. You don’t have to actually answer the questions. Just read straight through, and you’ll get the point.

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.

2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.

3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America Contest.

4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.

5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.

6. Name the last decade’s worth of World Series winners.

How did you do?

The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. They are not second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Here’s another quiz. See how you do on this one:

1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.

2.. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.

3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.

4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.

5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.


The lesson: The people who make a difference in your life are NOT the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones who care.

“Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today.
It’s already tomorrow in Australia .”
(Charles Schultz)

Chittur Thekkegramam: Maharudra Yagnam 11-13 Jan 2009

Om Shri Ganeshaya Namaha
Om Nama Sivaya


Chittur Thekkegramam: Maharudra Yagnam

A Maharudra Yganam is proposed to be conducted in the village

11Jan to 13th Jan 2009.



It has been decided by the learned pundits to conduct the Maharudra Yajna, at Thekkegramam, Chittur, for the benefit and  welfare of all mankind, creatures and nature. The Yajna will specially benefit the village and all participants in the Yajna.

Members of the Maha Rudra Yajna Committee, Thekkegramam will oversee the arrangements necessary for the conduct of this most auspicious function.

Expenses are likely to be around Rs 500,000/-.

All families belonging to Thekkegramam are requested to participate and derive full benefits of the Yajna. All devotees and their families in India and abroad are also requested to participate in the function and derive full benefits of the Yajna.

The Organisers will be grateful for any financial contributions, advice suggestions and physical help in conducting the Yajna.

Donations in cash or kind are welcome.

Cheques/DD may please be drawn in favour of

Maha Rudra Yajna Committee

Thekkegramam, Chittur.





PIN 678103

From 11 -01 -09 to 13 -01-09



Sasthapreethi falls on 14 Jan 2009

For further details please contact

President Dr CS Venkatraman

04923 222895

Shri NG Krishnan,


Maha Rudra Yajna Committee

Ananda Sadanam




678 103.

PH: 04923 222566

Jt Secretary : V Sivaramakrishnan

04923 221106

CSL Narayanan

04923 224340

Indian Heenal Raichura is UK’s youngest doc, at 22 years

At 22 years, Indian is UK’s youngest doc

London: At the age of 22, India-origin Heenal Raichura has qualified to become Britain’s youngest doctor and is all set to practise medicine.

Daughter of Nalin and Shobhna Raichura, Heenal was accepted into university to study medicine in 2002 when she was 16.

Six years later she has passed her degree and is all set to start work at University College London Hospital where she hopes to become a surgeon.

Heenal said: “It’s quite a surreal feeling to actually, finally, become a doctor after six years of a degree. To finally come out at the end and say, ‘I’m a doctor’, my childhood dream, is an indescribable feeling. PTI

Extracts from Daily Telegraph

Heenal Raichura was accepted into university to study medicine in 2002 when she was 16, after a school career which had seen her several years ahead of classmates.

Six years later she has passed her degree and is to start work at University College London Hospital where she hopes to become a surgeon.

Dr Raichura said: “It’s quite a surreal feeling to actually, finally, become a doctor after six years of a degree. To finally come out at the end and say, ‘I’m a doctor’, my childhood dream, is an indescribable feeling.

“All I remember from when I was younger is wanting to be a doctor.

“My parents tell stories about how I would come over and put my head against their chest because I didn’t have a stethoscope to play with.

“I was always interested in trying to figure out what was going wrong with the body.”

At just nine-years-old, Heenal joined MENSA with an IQ of 170 and became the youngster person to start secondary school.

She took her GCSEs examinations early at the age of 14 at the France Bardsley School for Girls in Romford, Essex, and got 7A*, 3As and a B – the best results in her school that year.

In 2002 she notched up four grade As and one B at A-Levels at the Coopers’ Company and Coborn School in Upminster.

Her proud father Nalin from Rainham, Essex, 65, said: “She encountered immense difficulty in finding universities that would accept her at the age of 16 because the minimum age at entry is 17 years 6 months.”

She was offered a place to study medicine at St George’s University in London where she six years later she has graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degree.

She received her degree at a presentation ceremony at The Barbican Centre in London in June this year (2008) and is believed to be Britain’s youngest doctor.

On top of the normal five years of medical study Heenal also spend an extra year to get a degree in Anatomy and Developmental Biology from the University College of London.

Parsis: Hope at last to increase numbers

UN project gives Parsis hope of swelling numbers

Ketan Tanna | TNN

Mumbai: It was a casual request from Bombay Parsi Punchayat chief Minoo Shroff that resulted in gynaecologist Anahita Pandole taking on the assignment of helping Parsi couples battling infertility.

Three years down the line, she has handled 200 cases of whom 80 women have conceived. One woman had triplets while 10 others bore twins.

Thirty-four-year-old Anahita Hakim is one such mother of twin girls — Katrina and Karina. ‘‘For the last five years, I wanted children. I had even thought of adopting children before I came to Dr Pandole who helped me have Katrina and Karina,’’ says Hakim, 34.

The fertility treatment did not come cheap and Hakim had to spend between Rs 6 and 7 lakh. The initial consultation was free and the treatment tab was picked by the Bombay Parsi Punchayet. For those who cannot pay, donors within the community pay for the fertility treatment.

Pandole’s project is part of United Nations-backed project called Parzor, which is headquartered in New Delhi. The Parzor project, since 1999, has undertaken research in various fields, working towards the promotion and preservation of the Parsi Zoroastrian heritage.

The demography project, under the larger aspect of Parzor, has thrown up interesting facts about the declining Parsi population. According to the 2001 census, India’s Parsi population had fallen to 69,601 from 76,382 a decade earlier. According to the 2001 census, the child-woman ratio, which is a key indicator of fertility, is 578 per 1,000 in India. Among the Parsis, it is 85 per 1,000.

Meanwhile, in Delhi, a study on Delhi Parsis concentrated on Parsis married to Parsis, intermarriages, unmarried and the youth. The demographic profile of the Parsis in Delhi tends to appear more in favour of the 30-50-year working group rather than the ageing picture seen elsewhere. In view of the fairly unique position held by the Delhi Parsis, a study was proposed to inquire into their migratory history, their current situation, and record their views and attitudes pertaining to various issues and problems facing the community.

According to Shernaz Cama, honorary director at Parzor, it was a qualitative study based on interviews.

An interesting aspect of the study revealed that the demographic profile of the Parsis of Delhi tends to appear more in favour of the working group of 30-50 years rather than the ageing picture seen elsewhere.

All those interviewed realized that the community is in flux and that someone must do something. However, very few were willing to be that someone, the study rued.

The study’s findings include:
— 40% of those interviewed had intermarried.
— Since 25 years, there has been an attempt at inclusiveness in the Delhi Parsi Anjuman.
— Youth of mixed marriages are predominantly closer to customs and lifestyle of the father’s faith.
— Among children of mixed marriages, the study found cultural differences caused confusion and led to contradictory religious identities.
— The exclusion of the non-Parsi parent from the Agiary has led to a decline in the zeal about their Parsi roots.

Jesus with beer and cigarettes in church journal sparks row

It is obvious that there has been a slip up.

The church has apologised and that should end the matter.

But will it?


Jesus with beer and cigarettes in church journal sparks row


Thiruvananthapuram: In what seems like a big faux pas that may snowball into a controversy, the official journal of a Catholic diocese in Kerala carried a picture of Jesus Christ with a beer mug in one hand and a cigarette in the other on the cover page of its June issue.

The picture, which has invited strong reactions from the Christian community in the state, appeared in the June 5 edition of ‘‘Vachana Jyotis’’ — the magazine published by diocese of Neyyattinkara, on the outskirts of the state capital.

Pushed on the back foot, the church has withdrawn the issue and stopped publication till further notice. Vincent Samuel, secretary to the local bishop, said ‘‘the mistake’’ had crept into the magazine as an oversight. ‘‘It happened without the knowledge of the clergy.

Both priests and laymen constitute the editorial board of the journal, but the former are concerned only with the content. Design and layout are done by laymen,’’ said Samuel. He added that no such error had ever occurred in the past 12 years of its existence.

‘‘The picture in question seems to have been downloaded from the internet and blown up,’’ he said, adding that ‘‘the publication of the journal has been suspended indefinitely’’. Asked if any action had been taken against any employee, he said since the magazine has stopped publishing, the employees are naturally out of job.

Fighting hard to hide the embarrassment, church officials refused to reveal the name of the magazine’s editor. As protests intensified, the diocese issued an apology and promised to look into the issue.

Child sold by a desperate mother

Boy sold for dad’s last rites

Woman sells infant to childless couple for Rs 10,000 to pay for ‘shraadh’

By Giridhar Jha in Patna

IT WAS a classic tale of poverty, ritualism and desperation. The tragedy was it was areal- life story. Awoman in Bihar sold off her son to a childless couple so that she could perform her husband’s last rites and take care of her remaining two children.

But police intervened and arrested all three, as well as a middleman, before the shraadh (obsequies) could be performed to bring peace to his soul. A resident of Chhotki Nawada in Gaya, Sudha Devi lost her husband Raj Kumar Shah in a train accident a few days ago. Sudha, who works as a domestic help, found it difficult to feed her two sons and a daughter. Extreme poverty forced her to borrow money for Shah’s cremation.

She was approached by Noormani Surdas, avisually- challenged man from a neighbouring locality. Surdas and his wife offered to pay Sudha Rs 10,000 for her youngest son —who is one- and- a- half months old. Sudha initially hesitated, but agreed when the couple promised to take good care of the child and bring him up as their own.

She thought the deal would help her clear the debt, conduct her husband’s shraadh, and bring up her eight- year- old son and three- year- old daughter. All three reached the local court to legally adopt the child on Monday.

But before they could formalise the procedure, officials from the Civil Lines police station in Gaya took them into custody. Officer- in- charge Chandrashekhar Prasad Sinha said child trafficking was illegal and arrested Sudha, the couple and amiddleman, Mithilesh Prasad. Sinha said all of them were produced before the court of the chief judicial magistrate from where they were taken to alocal jail on Tuesday. Sudha confessed to having sold her child.

“Ineeded money to clear the debt and observe my husband’s shraadh ,” she said. Sudha said she had been finding it difficult to feed her children after her husband’s death. “Iagreed to give away my child because Ithought he would lead abetter life in his new home,” she said.

Surdas and his wife said they decided to adopt the child as they had none to turn to in their old age. “We thought it would help both families,” Surdas said.

Though the police action evoked asharp reaction from local residents, the officials lauded themselves for performing their duty.
giridhar. jha@ mailtoday. in

DDA to cut 1000 trees in Chitaranjan Park in Delhi

Locals say DDA sports facility to cost 1,000 trees

By Mausam Sharma in New Delhi

THE RESIDENTS of NRI Complex colony near Jahanpannah Club are locking horns with the Delhi Development Authority, which is constructing a sports complex in DDA- owned Chittaranjan Park.

The park, say the residents, will be built at the cost of at least 1,000 trees. The ambitious DDA project involves a sports complex with world- class swimming pools, a cricket ground, squash and badminton courts, restaurants and other facilities.

The construction work for the Rs 753- crore project started one week ago. But the agitation of the residents had started when the foundation stone for the sports complex was laid in January last year. The residents of nearby colonies such as NRI Complex and CR Park are so attached to the park that they are not ready to swallow the idea of it being turned into asports complex.

“The park provides an essential green cover. We don’t want that green cover to be eaten up,” said Nanita Sharma, an advocate in the Supreme Court who stays in NRI Complex. She added that the residents will soon file aPIL in this regard in the high court. “We will file the PIL because this is aserious environmental issue and must be taken care of,” Sharma said.

“We are not against the sports complex. But that doesn’t mean we want our green cover to be taken away. And if the project is as ambitious as they say it is, trees are bound to be felled,” she said. Sharma added that they have asked the DDA officials time and again to try and construct the sports complex somewhere else.

The residents said the greenery in the area was the main reason they chose to settle down there. “We used to live in Shalimar Bagh, but shifted here last year. It was the peaceful and green environment that pushed us to buy ahome here. But what are we going to do now?” said Usha Sharma, a 60- year- old resident of NRI Complex.

he residents further feel there is another problem apart from the green cover –the ground gives children an opportunity to be close to nature when they play there in the evenings. “If a sports complex is built, it will cater only to elite children. And the children from middle class families who play there now will lose their .place,” said Jyoti Jain, who stays in NRI Complex.

The residents also point out that recreational centres such as the Siri Fort complex and other sports clubs are there nearby, so the felling of trees is uncalled for.

But when asked about the issue, the director of public relations in the DDA, Neemo Dhar, said, “There are no trees in the park. It has only shrubs.”
mausam. sharma@ mailtoday. in

Kerala Temples: Holiday Rush: Waiting for Darshan

Kerala Temples: Holiday Rush: Waiting for Darshan

Waiting for Darshan can be up to 4 hours in major temples like Guruvayoor.

Please make programs accordingly.

Holiday Season

Summer when the schools and colleges are closed.

Dusserah: when schools may close for a week or more

Chrismas and New Year: When schools may close for up to two weeks.

Waiting time for darshan at temples like Guruvayoor can last as much as 4 hours. Devotees should take note of this delay when making their program. Possibility of a second darshan is remote unless you stay over night.

In many temples like Guruvayoor there is a separate Que for ladies. Even so it can take up to an hour even for ladies.

Rush of pilgrims during the holiday season, has resulted in a massive number of devotees thronging to visit temples.

When Schools and colleges are  closed, and parents think it is an excellent time to take their children out. Movement of Keralite families especially from the north to south is at a peak during the summer holidays, when a visit to ‘native place, is a must.

Obviously a visit to Guruvayoor, Chottanikkara, Vaikom, etc are considered a must by most.


(The above is based on the personal experiences of Guruswamy SA Padmanabhan, and Shri Mohan Krishnan the Ed and their families who are regular visitors to Kerala)

Jesus ‘bleeds’ in Mumbai church or is it monsoon?

Jesus ‘bleeds’ in Mumbai church or is it monsoon?

Archnishop refuses to title it ‘miracle’ just yet, but people of all faiths turn up to have a look at Christ’s painting in Mumbai Church

Mumbai: Christians, Hindus and Muslims from across Maharashtra continue to descend on St Michael’s Church in Mahim to witness — what they believe — is a miracle.

The dark red patch around the heart on a painting of Jesus Christ has grown since it was discovered on Friday afternoon, and so has the queue around Mahim’s packed streets. Hundreds of people visited the church over the weekend.

Almost euphoric, people queued for up to six hours to spend just two seconds in front of the painting. They were allowed to touch and kiss the protective glass before being moved along.

Many broke down after seeing the ‘miracle’, some wept and several fainted.

However, the Catholic Church in India denied this miracle. “The Church is cautious about declaring something a miracle,” said Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Mumbai. “God can work miracles, but it is too early to say that this is a miracle. It’s probably due to climate conditions from the monsoon. People should not get euphoric about this, but if it brings them closer to God, it is a good thing. I’ll visit the church soon to see it for myself.”

Clearly flustered by the unprecedented attention and a sleepless night, Parish Priest Father Raphael, stated that this was no miracle. “People can interpret it as they want to, but the picture is not bleeding and this is no miracle,” he said. Despite early chaos — when a stampede entered the church after the mark was first discovered — volunteers and police controlled the crowd and 500 metres long queue was formed. Ambulance crews were also on hand.

News of the ‘miracle’ spread fast and believers from Goa, Karnataka and Gujarat have made the pilgrimage to see the 3 by 4 foot painting. Several local schools gave children the day off to visit the church.

“It is a sign from God that Jesus has returned in this time of violence, sin and evil to give the message that he is dying for us again,” said David Serrao, a pastor at St Michael’s. “The blood started as a small red drop and was discovered by children playing in the church. It has now spread as Christ’s heart bleeds.” It is not just Christians that are flocking to Mahim. Large numbers of Hindus and Muslims are also coming to witness the image.

Maryam Shah travelled with her husband and three children from Malad. “I cried when I saw the blood,” she said. “We are Muslims but that does not matter when something like this happens.

People of all faiths should appreciate the message.”

© Copyright 2008 HT Media Ltd. All rights reserved.

Good Samaritans from Mumbai & Bangaluru:Lata Mani Das

Thanks to Ketan and TOI for this information


She equips these special ‘kids’ with vocational skills

Ketan Tanna I TNN

Mumbai: The incident happened last week. Fifty-one-year-old Bhandup housewife Lata Das was travelling with 27-yearold Chetna and her mother in an autorickshaw on a pothole-riddled suburban road. It was raining and the insides of the vehicle were a little cramped. Suddenly the rickshaw lurched, and Lata, who was near the exit, almost lost her balance. Then, to everyone’s amazement, Chetna put her hand on Lata’s shoulder and held her tight so that she would not fall out.
To those who wonder at the use of the word ‘amazement’, Chetna is mentallychallenged and incapable of carrying out even normal daily functions like taking a bath and using the toilet. It is rare for such people to exhibit emotions.

But that day Lata realised that deep within even the mentally- challenged there are latent sentiments that can surface any time. “I was touched that she cared so much for me. I still can’t get over it,’’ she says.

Chetna may not be able to articulate it, but evidently stores a deep recess of love and gratitude for Lata, a volunteer at the MBA Foundation School in Powai. For over three years, Lata has been volunteering here; she teaches vocational skills to the mentally-challenged, spastics, autistic and even the physicallychallenged.

She teaches thrice a week for three hours and has almost become a family member at the school—so much so that on the day she does not go, the inmates of the school feel incomplete, says Robert Aranha, assistant administrator of the school.

The ‘children’ that Lata cares for are not children in the strict sense. Most of them are grown up and anywhere between 18 and 45 years of age. But most appear much younger. “When I first entered the school I could not believe that some of them were my children’s age,’’ says Lata who has two grown-up sons.

Lata entered the field of voluntary work after her children grew up and she found herself with a lot of time on her hands. She wanted to teach children but with age not on her side, finding a volunteer slot for this was difficult.

She then approached SOSVA, an NGO that places various volunteers across different organisations depending on their skill-sets and the requirements of the job. SOSVA asked her if she was willing to teach the special ‘children’ of the MBA Foundation School at Powai.

Lata said yes. But on her first day, she found herself depressed. “When I saw the children, I was saddened. I wondered why God is so unfair. But then I shrugged off the feeling and got to work,’’ she says. Since then, she has been teaching the kids vocational skills like candle-making; at times she also teaches them meditation, painting and even English-language skills.

The MBA Foundation is an NGO working for integrated care services for persons with disabilities, with two care centres in Chembur and Powai. It was started by the parents and relatives of special children, and currently has 45 children, some of whom are boarders. The idea behind setting up the school was to train the mentally and physically challenged in various vocations and help them earn a living. Fourteen-year-old Krishna is one such child who has a muscular degenerative disease but a razor-sharp mind. “He is the boss of the other children and I have seen him guiding them,’’ says Lata.
Lata’s family has been very supportive of her voluntary work—she regularly chronicles her experiences at the school and emails them to her elder son who is working abroad. As for the future, Lata says she will continue teaching and taking care of the kids till they need her.

Lata can be contacted on 9322137293 and

New life for 40 kids with heart problems


Bangalore: One-year-old Gautami from Chikmagalur frequently fell ill. Her nails would turn blue and unlike kids of her age, she walked with a limp. She was diagnosed with a heart problem, but doctors refused to operate because it required a huge sum.

Gautami’s father works in a hotel and could not afford the treatment. But he saw hope for his kid after Rotary officials met him and asked him to come to Bangalore. Gautami was recently operated in Manipal Hospital and today, the one-year-old is a healthy kid.

Like Gautami, there were other children with heart problems who were cured with help from welfare bodies. Around 16 children from poor families were operated in Manipal Hospital for free.
Manipal Hospital and Rotary International have joined hands to operate on 40 children of poor families suffering from congenital heart disease. So far, 16 surgeries have been successful.

Some of the children who were operated upon are Mithun (7) from Mangalore, Jaipratap (2) from Salem; Mohammed Shahid (5), who discovered the heart condition from a check up done at school; Manjesh (10), son of a labourer from Shimoga and Hemant (10) from Mandya, who was born with a hole in his heart.

Dr Prasad Krishnan, cardiothoracic and vascular surgeon at Manipal Hospital, who operated on 16 children, said the youngest was a 25-day-old baby. “It was a complicated case of open-heart surgery. With advanced medical technology, a baby’s heart the size of a fist too can be operated upon,” he said.

“Children with heart diseases become blue, are unable to walk and do certain activities. After treatment, a drastic change is seen. All of them can now lead a normal life,” he said. The other paediatric cardiologists who operated on these children are Dr Sreekanth Raghavan and Dr Ravi Narayan.

“Around 1.5 lakh children are born with congenital heart disease in India every year, out of which around 5,000 get treatment mostly with sponsorships and government aid,” Dr Krishnan said.