In servicsince 1992 Probuzz… Monthly News Letter from Probus Club of Chennai



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In servicsince 1992

Probuzz…

Monthly News Letter from
Probus Club of Chennai
(Sponsored by Rotary Club of Madras )

Registered under T N Registration of Societies Act 1975 (148 of 2004)
An Association of Retired Professionals, Businessmen, Govt Servants and Others.
13, Rameswaram road, T Nagar, Chennai-17, Ph: 24341334

Vol 20 No 8 Nov 2009



1.0 The First Column

From the President

Dear Probians,

Every year, we are celebrating in the month of November Children’s Day (14th November), in memory of our (Late) Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. All the children in the country celebrate the event with great joy. They take part in various competitions, held in schools to encourage their talents. Prizes are given to those who are successful in those competitions.

We too wish to celebrate the Children’s Day this year on the 18th November 2009 (Wednesday), at the Russian Centre of Science and Culture, with great eclect. We have invited children of various schools to participate in the various events like the essay writing, extempore speaking, painting and fancy dress competitions. To widen the field of competitions, we have invited our club members’ grand children also for their participation to award more prizes on the said occasion.

On the 6th November 2009, the City Police Commissioner, Thiru T. Rajendran, I.P.S., invited Senior Citizens for an interactive session, inviting suggestions from them as to how to alleviate their grievances in general. The main one was the unhelpful attitude of the Auto-rickshaw drivers, demanding excessive Auto fares to various distances, ignoring the meter installed in the Auto. Your President participated in the interactive session along with the past president Probn
Dr. (Mrs.) V. Balambal. We suggested to the Police Commissioner to establish a platform for senor citizens to air their grievances for taking prompt action. Revival of committees for a regular interaction with various Deputy Police Commissioners was also suggested. The Police Commissioner, in his reply to the various suggestions put forward by the senior citizens, said that a Police official would be nominated as a nodal officer to work with voluntary organizations serving the needs of senior citizens.

He added that he would depute a Police man at the Probus Club Meetings to receive complaints from the senior citizens, if necessary.

For the ensuing Children’s Day programme, an Invitation has been already sent to all the members for their active participation, making the event a grand success.

“Probus Guide for Seniors” our annual publication, has been sent to all the Probians by courier. Those who have not yet received it may kindly collect the same at the venue of the Children’s Day celebrations on 18th November 2009.

Yours Sincerely,

S. Krishnaram Davey

President

12-9-2009

THE LIFE OF VIRTUES

Tolerance is the Crown of all virtues.

Courage is the Heart of all virtues.

Truth is the Foundation of all virtues.

Love is the Queen of all virtues.

Peace is the king of all virtues.

Determination brings all virtues.

Honesty is the Guru of all virtues.

Cheerfulness is the Evidence of all virtues.

Simplicity is the Beauty of all virtues.

Respect is the Demonstration of all virtues.

Contentment is the Embodiment of all virtues.

Introvertness is the Key of all virtues.

Purity is the Mother of all virtues.

Patience is the Fortress of all virtues.

Sweetness is the flavour of all virtues.

Humility is the Protector of all virtues.

Courtesy:

Prajapita Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidhyalaya, Flat 32 (4th Floor) ‘Dev’ Apartments

No. 15, 1st Main Road, Kasturba Nagar

Adyar, Chennai-600 020.

Phone No.: (044) 2442 6660

web site: www.brahmakumaris.com

EDUCATE A CHILD —

ENRICH A LIFE



Open your purse strings

till it pinches you

Once you donate Rs. 10,000/-, its interest will to educate a deserving poor child from Std VI to Plus two class. Your name will be associated with full details of the child you are educating.

Donations in respect of our club are deductions in the hands of our donors under section 80(G) (vi) of the IT Act 1961 and admissible for a period of three years from 1-4-2008 to 31-3-2011 vide letter No. DIT(E) No. 2 (47) / 06-07 dt. 25-7-2008.

Contact:

Probn R. Subbaraj, Secretary

Phone No. 2442 2839

Probn V. Hariharan, Treasurer

Phone No. 2844 2748

2.0 Editor’s space



ABOUT AN INCREDIBLE

BRIDGE IN CHENNAI !

This is not about the “Sydney Bridge” we are going to replicate in Chennai soon.

Our club has a proud tradition of honouring personalities who have excelled in public service. This year, on the International Womens Day we presented PROBUS AWARD OF EXCELLENCE to Dr. (Miss) Kousalya Devi of Gandhigram Trust, near Dindigul, a Medical Doctor-Gandhian moulded in the cast of Mother Teresa.

Now again, last month; on International Day of the Elderly, we were previleged to present PROBUS AWARD OF EXCELLENCE to ‘Paalam’ (a bridge), a sobriquet of Shri Paalvannan Kalyanasundaram, the rarest among the rare creations of God who descended to this planet. Believe me and read on now.

On going through a bunch of papers given to me for writing his citation, in Tamil, I really wondered whether a middle-class man could live with a princely asset of — Seven kurthas made of ‘shop-soiled’ coarse cloth, bought at a discounted price of 90%, four veshtis (white sarongs) and a pair of cheap footwear, costing around Rs. 10/- a pair!

On the D Day, as he entered the main gate of the venue, I could recognise him (as I had seen his photograph) from yards away. We were face-to-face — but I remained tongue-tied with my mouth wide open, as if he was an apparition! A bearded man of 70 plus before me in white kurtha, sleeves folded upto his elbows, wearing a simple ‘Naalumuzham’ (dress not particularly-ironed but snow-white clean, wearing a pair of ‘HAVAI chappels’!! He walked past me with a broad smile on his face. What is special about him?

No doubt, there cannot be any other person like him, in India, may be in the world at present! Shri P. Kalyana-sundaram is a shining example of selfless service; an example of a Government servant making enormous donations, with a matchless service to the poor and the needy for the past five decades and more.

Now hold your breath — he gave away all his earnings (not his savings only), he made during the course of thirty five years of his service, as a librarian, for charitable purposes. Over and above this, his entire terminal benefits too to the tune of Rs. 35 Lakhs were donated. He continues to donate his monthly pension, save around Rs. 600/- for his livelihood! He continues to give away the arrears of increments in pensions, accrued from time to time. He is provided a free shelter by a close friend. No wonder, this noble gesture set a world record and he is acclaimed as the “Best donor amongst the salaried class”. However, this distinction sits lightly on this man, an epitome of simplicity, at a time when records are created more for self-projection and for garnering public acclaim! It is a painstakingly-cultivated habit of GIVING EVERYTHING — KEEPING NOTHING FOR SELF; right from his childhood, imbibed from his grand parents and his mother (his father died when he was a baby).

Shri P. Kalyanasundaram was born in a sleepy village, Mela Karuvelan Kulam, in Tirunelveli District, in a middle class family. As a young lad, he practised charity by parting with his own meagre pocket money to the needy poor children in the village! At the age of fourteen, he started an organisation to ‘mop up’ pocket moneys from its members to help those children who had none!! This is the seed of a tree (of sacrifices) which grew as a banyan tree to serve people worldwide.

In Chennai, he established a charitable organisation — symbolically named PAALAM (a bridge in vernacular), a bridge between the haves and the have-nots. The sobriquet ‘Paalam’ is in recognition of his selfless service to the poor and the needy for five decades or more; eventhough he founded Paalam only about a decade ago. Before knowing more about the institution he founded, in Chennai, it would be of interest to know more about the person behind it, whom we honoured on 1st October 2009.

Shri P. Kalyanasundaram is an erudite person with a string of thirty six alphabet, tagged on to his name, indicating his academic excellence which comprises of three Post graduate degrees, a Degree in Library Science and three Diplomas! The academic excellence perse would have made him eminently eligible for a post of a lecturer in any arts college. Realising his own ‘Perceived’ handicap (a thin voice), he opted for the post of a librarian, in an arts College in Srivaikuntam, in Tirunelveli District. Later, he bagged a national award of “Best Librarian in India”. At the international level, he earned a distinction as “One of the ten top librarians in the world”.

While in service, he gave away around Rs. 20,000/- every month, his entire pay-packet for charities. To meet his personal needs he worked as a waiter in Hotel Aryas, in Tirunelveli, after his working-hours in the Arts College in Srivaikuntam.

This septuagenarian gave away his entire ancestral property, worth around Rs. 5 Lakhs, for building a school for poor children in 1969! Annoyed at this, his relatives cursed him saying “At this rate, you will end your life as a pavement-dweller! Then, none of us will cremate your dead body even!!” Touched to the quick he immediately ‘donated’ his body as well to Tirunelveli Medical College for the benefit of the medical education after his death — saving trouble for his relatives on this score. He lived for seven years on the pavement near Tirunelveli Railway junction and Bus terminal, working as a part-time waiter at the nearby “Hotel Aryas”, commuting


to Srivaikuntam for his regular work daily. This was to personally experience the distress of the pavement-dwellers! All these could be possible only because he had taken a conscious decision to remain a bachelor, for an unhindered pursuit to achieve his mission in life of MAANAVA SAVA.

Bill Clinton, then President of America, was keen to meet two persons, when he visited India — one was Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam and the other Shri P. Kalyanasundaram! At his meeting with Bill Clinton, Paalam gifted a Nickel coin to him. This was one of the eight coins, minted to commemorate American Independence, released by the then President George Washington, on 4th January 1776. (This coin was worth Rs. 30 Crores — Thirty crores); as a token of Indo-American friendship at citizens level, Notably, this coin was presented to him by his best friend, Mohamed Isha of Erwady, in Tirunelveli District.

Shri P. Kalyanasundaram, in the year 1998, founded a charitable institution, in Chennai, symbolically named PAALAM, a bridge between haves and the have-nots, offering opportunities for everyone to serve the community; irrespective to their caste, religion, language, region and creed. Its, main objectives are:

1. Promotion of education among the poor.

2. Assistance to the physically-disabled persons.

3. Health-care for the poor.

4. Blood donations (Voluntary).

5. Employment opportunities for the poor and the needy.

6. Help for the elderly-destitutes.

7. Conduct of free marriages among the poor.

8. Free legal aid for the poor and the needy.

9. Rehabilitation of those affected by natural calamities, like cyclone, anywhere.



It propagates three cardinal virtues:

1. Eschew undue attachment to wealth always.

2. Donate one tenth of one’s earning for charities, regularly.

3. Do good to one living being atleast (not necessarily humans) every day.

Very often, there are certain ‘turning points’, in one’s life which lead to changes for the good or bad. Shri Paalam’s is not an exception to this. In his interview to a scribe, he gave a few anecdotes which are very interesting to read. Here are a few I read.

During the Chinese war, in 1962, Jawaharlal Nehru, then Prime Minister of India, appealed for donations in cash and jewellery for National defence fund. Paalam who was studying for library science, in Chennai, donated his gold chain (8½ sovereigns) at a public function, presided by Shri Kamaraj, then Chief Minister of Madras state. The Chief Minister highly commended the patriotic gesture of Paalam. On seeing the press report, Shri Balasubramanian, then sub-editor of Anandavikatan, asked Paalam Could you have done this, had you bought the gold chain with your hard-earned money? Was it fair on your part to donate the chain which was bought by your parents with their hard-earned money; without even getting their consent — however noble may be
the cause? On introspection, he vowed to donate all his “own-earnings” for charities and the like, keeping virtually nil for himself.

Another is a real-life story with a touch of super-natural element.

Paalam’s grand parents had to migrate from their native village Sivakamipuram to Mela Karuvelamkulam village, in the same district, for their living during a severe draught condition. They were employed as farm-labour by a land lord. They were hard-working people. On a full-moon night, with sleep evading, his grand father started to plough the field, harnessing the bullock. Incidentally, the plough hit a hard thing in the clayey soil. On digging further, he found that it was an earthen pot! Thinking that he had hit a ‘Jack Pot’, he carried the heavy pot to his house, full of hopes! There were seven mud pots one-inside the other. The seventh pot (the smallest one) had in it a palm leaf with the following written on it neatly in Tamil.

1. “Etharkaakavum peraashai kollaathe”.

2. “Kidaikkum varumaanathil pathil oru pangu matravarkku dhaanamaaka kodu”.

3. “Dhinamum ethaavathu oru vuyirukku nallathu chai”.

“Intha moonru cheyalkaleyum evanoruvan thavaraamal chaithu varukeeraano, avan intha mannulakil mannar pole vaazhuvan” anyone who, unfailingly, puts these precepts (virtues) into practice will live like a king on this earth). (Item 1, 2, 3 have been already translated into English earlier). Believe it, his grand parents, the scrupulous sticklers to these virtues became the owners
of the lands and the house when their employer, later, sold to them, his entire possessions and moved to a town.

Shri Paalam inheritrd these sterling qualities from his grand parents and parents, in letter and spirit.

Shri Kalyanasundaram, a practitioner of the above is a more than a king on this earth, thanks to the international recognitions he got. Some of them are:

Outstanding people of the Twentieth century” by the United Nations Organisation.

One of the noblest of the world” by International Biographical Center Cambridge, USA.

Man of the millennium” by American Government with a cash award of
Rs. 30 Crores, which he donated to a hospital for children.

If your grand child swallows a coin, do call Shri Paalam immediately. He will gently coax the child to caugh it out! But the coin will vanish before you have a good look at it!! Of course, it would go to help another child in distress, in a different way!!! Please donate generously to Paalam’s organisation.



His address:

ANBU PAALAM

No. 1, 4th Main Road, Kasturba Nagar

Adyar, Chennai-600 020

Phone: (044) 2440 2524

Mobile: 98402 18847

“In charity there is no excess”

— Francis Bacon

Shri Paalam Kalyanasundaram is the quintessence of the above dictum. An incredible living example too.

MAY HIS TRIBE PROSPER.

3.0 Events and Activities

3.1 International Day of the Elderly celebrated jointly with Russian Centre of Science and Culture at Russian Cultural Centre Auditorium at 3 p.m. on 1st October 2009, Thursday.

Celebrations commenced at 3 p.m. after light refreshments.

Probn S. Krishnaram Davey, the President called the meeting to order. Prof. (Mrs.) Radhika Vidhyasagar, the compere invited the Chief Guest, Arutchelvan N. Mahalingam to the
dais escorted by Probn R. Subbaraj, Secretary. Shri Pooram Sathyamurthy, Sri Paalam Kalyanasundaram and Probn K. Venkatachari, P.P. (Probus awardees) were escorted to the dais. The compere invited Sri K. T. Srinivasa Raja, Rtn G. Olivanan, Rtn George B. Cherian, Mr. Stanislav I. Simakov and other dignitaries to the dais.

Probn S. Krishnaram Davey, the President in his welcome address expressed his pleasure to see for the first time such a galaxy of great personalities attending with three eminent scholars, social activists being honoured. He also thanked the probians, their spouses, guests and representatives of pensioners association, gathered in large number filling the full capacity of the auditorium. The Chief Guest and others in the dais were honoured with shawl and mementos fruit baskets.

Mr. Stanislav I. Simakov, Director, Russian Centre of Science and Culture delivered the special address. He wished the awardees Godspeed in their mission of service to the community and the nation. He thanked and assured the Probus Club of his continued cooperation in celebrating of other International functions.

Then the Book titled ‘Probus Guide for Seniors’ was released by Sri K. T. Srinivasa Raja, Managing Director, Adyar Ananda Bhawan Sweets. Rtn George B. Cherian received the first copy of it.

The Chief Guest, Arutchelvar (Dr.) N. Mahalingam presented the Probus Award of Excellence. Probn (Mrs.) Janaki Krishnan read the citation of Paalam Kalyana Sundaram a social activist and Probn V. Hariharan read the citation of Pooram S. Sathiya-murthy, a Tamil Scholar and Vedic Teacher. The citation of Probn K. Venkatachari, P.P. was read by Probn V. Audimoolam, V. P., Mr. Simakov presented the “Probus recognition award” to Probn K. Venkatachari for his services to pensioners.

The Chief Guest delivered his address. He appreciated the services of the club and wished that Government to take all effective steps to ensure security and dignity to senior citizens. He added that elders should use their experience and wisdom to improve the values in life of the younger generation who are the potential rulers, administrators of future India. He promised to extend necessary guidance and help whenever the club office bearers approach him. As the Chief Guest had to attend another function, at AVM Rajeswari Hall the Secretary delivered the vote of thanks to the Chief Guest. The Rotaracts (Girls College Students) performed a cultural item for 10 minutes.

Probians who are 75 years and above were presented with Platinum Award and the Probians who completed 50 years of married life were presented with Golden Jubilee Award. Rtn G. Olivannan, Governor Elect, RI, Dist. 3230, honoured and presen- ted the mementoes (The list of Probians honoured is published in Para 11.0 of this issue – Ed.). The Governor Elect Rtn G. Olivannan, honoured the Probn T. S. K. Rama Rao, our eldest member aged Ninety plus now. Probn R. Subramaniam (A 197) and Probn K. Rengarajan (L 145) delivered the acceptance speech on behalf Golden Jubilee and Platinum awardees respectively.

Shri Paalam Kalyana Sundaram, recipient of “Probus Award of Excellence” delivered his speech. He narrated the background of his mission of social service, particularly, towards promotion of education. With his vision, the donation of One Rupee or 1% of the income of salaried class could raise funds for establishing a University.

He gave sufficient hints to donate Rs. 10,000/- to the Scholarship Fund
of the Club. Sri Pooram S. Sathiya-moorthy recipient of “Probus Award of Excellence”, thanked the Probus Club of Chennai and the Chief Guest for presenting the award and the honour. Probn K. Venkatachari thanked the club for honouring him with the “Probus Recognition Award”.

Prof. (Mrs.) Radhika Vidya Sagar was honoured by the President, Probn S. Krishnaram Davey with a memento, shawl and a fruit basket. The entire programme was compered excellently by Prof (Mrs.) Radhika Vidya Sagar, in Tamil and English with equal ease.

The celebrations ended with a Vote of Thanks by Probn R. Subbaraj, Secretary. He thanked the donors and advertisers for their generosity and honoured them with shawl. He also requested Paalam Kalyana Sundaram to join hands with Probus club for enabling better service to community, especially, in the field of school education.

The participants sang the National Anthem. All those present were presented with a book kvAlybfb vazfkfAk vazfvT ±pfpF? donated by PF. Rtn C. R. Vaitheeswaran. The entire gathering left the auditorium with a feeling that the evening was a wholesome experience.

(Based on the report prepared by Probn R. Subbaraj, Secretary. – Ed.).

3.2 The E.C. Meeting held on 10th Oct 2009 at AASI Meeting Hall at 10.30 a.m. Saturday.

After the customary prayer Probn S. Krishna Ram Davey, President, welcomed.

In his address, he appreciated the dedicated, fruitful contributions of Probn R. Subbaraj, Secretary, to the success of every event.

He also thanked the Editor and the Secretary for their efforts in bringing out the publication “Probus Guide for Seniors” in an attractive and tidy way. He commended the activities of our club which are focused more on all-round development of the club.

He took up the subjects on the agenda. The minutes of the E.C. Meeting held on 12th September 2009 was approved and recorded with a suggestion that the names of the absentees be mentioned in the minutes. It was also suggested that the E.C. Members and special invitees would inform the reasons for their absence to the Secretary.

With regard to the resignation of Member- ship by Probn Sri. N. C. Sriram (ID A 122), the E.C. resolved to accept the resignation with effect from 10-10-09 and to waive the subscription due from 1-4-09 and also resol- ved to remove the names of following two from the membership roll with effect from the date of their death.

Probns N. Sriram (A 134) – 12-9-09

Mrs. Pankajam Sundaram (L 23) – 22-9-09

With regard to the celebration of Children’s Day, the E.C. resolved to invite any one of the three dignitaries suggested and explore their availability to attend on the date fixed.

It also authorized the sub committee to select best students (one boy and one girl) after adhering the procedures and to conduct various competitions. Interaction shall be conducted as usual (Customary practice) with the involvement of Past Presi- dents, Educationists to evaluate the attitude of the contestants towards their elderly grand parents, with focus on the dignity of the elderly.

The E.C. unanimously placed it on record the Secretary’s contribution for the successful conduct of the International Day of the Elderly inviting eminent dignitaries, ensuring full capacity of the auditorium and the highly commendable efforts of the Editor Probn S. Ranganatha Rao and the Secretary Probn R. Subbaraj for bringing out the annual publication – “Probus Guide for Seniors” in time.

Probn K. Venkatachari, P.P. requested to sanction an Almirah to keep the Library Books from out of the donation of Mrs. Gomathi Narayanan. As the amount has already been transferred, on her request to another head of account and already incorporated into Audited account, it requires clarification from the auditor. However in view of necessity, it is resolved to authorize Probn V. Balasubramaniam coordinator and Treasurer to purchase one Almirah. Probn K. Venkatachari, P.P. agreed to donate the cost of the Almirah and the members welcomed the generous donation with ovation.

It was decided to have the next E.C. mee- ting on 14th November 2009 at Kailasa -nathar Temple Mandapam, at Kovalam, by 11.00 a.m. Saturday. With a vote of thanks the meeting was adjourned. The annual publication was distributed among the Members, the members present, who paid Rs. 50/- each.

(Based on the report received from Probn R. Subbaraj, Secretary. This does not purport to be the minutes of the meeting. – Ed.).



3.3 The Breakfast Meeting, held at 9 a.m. on 24th October 2009, at Russian Centre for Science and Culture, Chennai-18.

Soon after the breakfast, sponsored by Probn K. Venkatachari, the meeting began with an invocation by Probn R. Manickam, P.P.

Probn S. Krishnaram Davey, the President, chaired the meeting.

The President welcomed the gatherings and the Guest Speaker, Dr. P. P. Ramasamy, Retired Dean of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore.

In his welcome address the President expressed his sincere thanks to the members and office bearers for their whole-hearled support in making the Elders Day Celebration a grand success. He thanked the dignitaries for attending the function and the Media, both and the Press, for the wide coverage of the celebration, especially, the reviews on Clubs Annual Publication “Probus Guide for Seniors”, released that day.

Donors of both Sun Shine Fund and Education Scholarship Fund were honoured. They were Probn P. R. Venkatachalam (ID A 347) towards Sun Shine fund Rs. 500/- Probns A. Ramji (ID L 74) and S. V. Ramani (ID A 338) were greeted with a big hand for scholarship donation of Rs. 10,000/- each.

He briefed the audience with details of competitions for Children’s Day Celebration, proposed to hold on 18th November 2009 (Wednesday) at Russian Centre of Science and Culture from 3.30 p.m. to 6.00 p.m. The Secretary detailed the arrangements made for the distribution of Annual Publication “Probus Guide for Seniors” against payment of Rs. 50/- for the Guide and Rs. 10/- towards courier charges. He appealed the Annual Members who have not paid their annual subscriptions to pay with in this month i.e. 31st October 2009.

Probn R. Seshadri was requested to introduce the Guest Speaker, Dr. P. P. Ramasami. The Speaker was honoured with a memento and books by the President. The Guest Speaker Dr.P. P. Ramasami spoke on the topic “Agricultural Development in Tamil Nadu”. He emphasised the need to focus on the Development of Agricultural Development. (Gist of the speech is published in Para 5.0 of this issue – Ed.).

The Breakfast was hosted by Probn K. Venkata- chari, PP, in memory of his late Mother. PF Rtn C. R. Vaitheeswaran donated books to the participants “udlf nlmf ekdaT vazfvT ±pfpF? Probn R. Subbaraj, Secretary, proposed a vote of thanks. The meeting adjourned to 28th November 2009.

(Based on the report received from Probn R. Subbaraj, Secretary. – Ed.).



3.4 Probus group – Theosophical Society (Mylapore Lodge-TS) – Spiritual and Philosophical meeting held at 4.00 p.m. on 30-10-2009 at M. P. Aanand Matriculation School, Mylapore, Chennai-4.

After a customary prayer, Probn V. L. Aiyar, welcomed the gathering and requested Probn T. R. Jayaraman, the speaker of the evening to give a talk on ‘Equity and Equality’. There was a record gathering despite the inclement weather that day. Probn T. R. Jayaraman, in his introductory remark gave a reason for choosing this topic. In his earlier speech he said in his remark — “Equality is not a virtue but Equity is”. This drew an appreciation from a reader of PROBUZZ. At the instance of Probn K. Venkatachari, he decided to elaborate on it. (Gist of the speech published in para 14.0 in this issue – Ed.).

After a brief interaction with the speaker, Shri Venkataraman, member of Theoso- phical Society, Mylapore Lodge (TS) proposed a vote of thanks. Probn V. L. Aiyar, co-ordinator, confirmed that Probn A. Ramji, would speak on UPANISHADS, in general; at the next meeting on 21st Nov 2009, at the same time and venue.

4.0 Hail our Nobel laureate

We are doubly happy to see this year’s Nobel Prize for Chemistry has been bagged by a person of Indian origin; with deep roots in Tamil Nadu.

Dr. Venkataraman Ramakrishnan was born in Chidambaram, to Shri Ramakrishnan and Smt. Rajalakshmi. On Shri Ramakrishnan’s taking up a job in Baroda University, the family moved to Baroda when Venkataraman was around three years old. On retirement from service of Shri Ramakrishnan, as the head of Bio-chemistry Department, the family migrated to USA, for the good.

Notably, we have a close relative of the nobel laureate amongst us. She is Probn (Smt.) Janaki Krishnan, his ATHAI MAKAL, Smt. Janaki Krishnan’s mother Bhagirathi is a sister of Shri Rama-krishnan (her paternal grand father, Sri Venkatarama Iyer, had four sons and four daughters). Naturally, Probn Janaki Krishnan was in ‘cloud 9’ when she heard the news about her cousin’s achievement. We too share her pride — ‘Vasudeva kudumbakam’. Congrats, Dr. Venkataraman Ramakrishnan. You made us proud. Hopefully, we may meet this RASIKA during this music season December-January soon.

5.0 Agricultural Development in India

When India became independent, in 1947, food grain production was 45 Million tones. Now, it is around 230 Million tones, despite the ‘shrinking’ of land available for agricul -tural operations. This paucity of land is attributed to more than one reason, such as, steep rise in population, phenomenal growth of housing and commercial conglomera- tions, construction of roads, highways, railway-tracks, fast industrialisation, urbanisation of rural areas and so on.

The most dreaded ‘Bengal famine’, during the British rule, is a far away ‘bad dream’ for seniors. Now, India is not only self-sufficient in food grains, of all varieties; but is also well-placed to export to other countries. Who is responsible for this dramatic change from shortage to surplus state and other phenomenal development in the agricultural sector?

It is because of the co-ordinated efforts of three sections of the society 1. Scientists 2. Field officers and 3. Hard-working farmers, willing to adopt modern technology.

Soldiers guard the nation against its enemies — Farmers guard its citizens against hunger-deaths”.


We salute the above three sections of the society who are instrumental in the phenomenal advancement in agriculture.

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