\ SAMVAD संवाद

श्री  विश्व निकेतन SHRI VISHWA NIKETAN

Shravana Shukla 12, Vik. Samvat 2077, Yugabda 5122:1 August 2020: SM 2009 (For Private Circulation Only)
























1. FESTIVALS: RAMAYANA MONTH: Hindus in Kerala observe ‘Karkidakam’, the last month in Malayalam calendar as Ramayana month ( July 16 – August 16 this year), chanting verses from Adhyatma Ramayana, Malayalam translation of Valmiki Ramayana by medieval poet Thunchath Ramanujan Ezhuthachan. The idea of the observance of Ramayana month at Hindu houses and temples was mooted by late P. Parameswaranji at Vishala Hindu Sammelanam held in Kochi in the late 1970s. This year various Hindu organisations and fraternities are conducting a month-long Ramayana chanting and discourse on various digital and social media platforms. -GoTop

2. SHRI RAM TEMPLE WILL BE UNIQUE HUB OF SOCIAL HARMONY: Shri Milind Parande, Secreatry General of Vishwa Hindu Parishad has said that Shri Ram Janmabhoomi temple at Ayodhya will showcase togetherness of the whole of Bharat and stand to enthuse, motivate and orient the people to always uphold and celebrate uncompromising cultural nationalism, national unity, territorial integrity of the nation. While addressing a press conference at Nagpur on 30th July, he informed that sacred waters from holy rivers and sacred earth from thousands of pilgrimage centres all over the country viz first RSS shakha at Nagpur, birthplace of Sant Ravidas ji in Kashi, Tantya Bheel’s holy land in Madhya Pradesh, Shri Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple) of Amritsar, the birthplace of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar at Mahu and Jain Lal Mandir in Delhi; are being sent for consecration ceremony at Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Ayodhya.
He also called upon all Ram Bhaktas to sit collectively, as far as possible, from 10.30 a.m. on August 5 in their respective homes, ashrams, temples, etc. to offer worship-Bhajan-Keertan-Smaran-Flowers-Aarti and distribute Prasad. They should decorate the houses and light Diya (lamps) in the evening and pledge to donate for the temple. -GoTop

3. BHARAT'S DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION DOES NOT COME WITH 'ANY CONDITIONS': PM MODI: Pradhan Mantri Narendra Modi and his Mauritian counterpart Pravind Jugnauth jointly inaugurated new Supreme Court building in Port Louis via video conference on 30th July and stressed that the new building is a ‘symbol of Bharat -Mauritius cooperation and shared values’.
Noting that the most fundamental principle in development cooperation for Bharat is respecting its partner, Pradhan Mantri also said that "history taught the world that in name of development partnerships, nations were forced into dependence partnerships".
PM Modi also spoke about Bharat's vision of 'SAGAR – Security and Growth for All in the Region' and said that Mauritius is at the ‘heart of Bharat's approach to the Bharatiya Ocean region’. -GoTop

4. 5 RAFALES LAND IN AMBALA, GREETED WITH SPECIAL SALUTE: A batch of five Rafale fighter jets touched down to a special water cannon salute at the Ambala air base on 29th July, the first western combat aircraft to join the Indian Air Force 23 years after Sukhoi aircrafts were imported. The French-manufactured Rafale multi-role combat jets covered a distance of nearly 7,000 km and were escorted by two Sukhoi 30 MKIs after they entered Bharatiya air space.
The fleet, comprising three single-seater and two twin-seater aircraft, will be part of No. 17 Squadron of the Air Force, also known as the ''Golden Arrows'.
The aircraft is capable of carrying a range of potent weapons;. European missile maker MBDA's Meteor beyond visual range air-to-air missile, Scalp cruise missile and MICA weapons system will be the mainstay of the weapons package of the Rafale jets.
This is the first batch from a contingent of 36 Rafale jets from French aerospace major Dassault Aviation. The planes are expected to give a mega-boost to Bharat's air power amid tensions with China and Pakistan. -GoTop

5. AT 103, BHARAT’S FIRST FEMALE CARDIOLOGIST STILL ACTIVE: Now 103 and retired from active practice, Dr Padmavati was working 12 hours a day, five days a week till late 2015 at the National Heart Institute in Delhi that she founded in 1981. She still comes to the institute once or twice a week to see some of her older patients. So, what’s the secret to her longevity? Dr Padmavati credits it to her genes and disciplined lifestyle.
Born in 1917 in Rangoon and MBBS from there, Dr Padmavati further studied at Royal College of Physicians at London and Edinburgh, in Sweden and then USA. She started her career as a lecturer at Lady Harding Medical College, New Delhi in 1953. In 1967 she became the Director of GB Pant Hospital, New Delhi and set up a cardiology department and started DM cardiology course for the first time in Bharat. She also set up Maulana Azad Medical College’s cardiology department. In her career, Dr. Padmavati published over 300 research articles on preventive cardiovascular medicine. -GoTop

6. INDIGENOUS ATOMIC POWER STATION ACHIEVES CRITICALITY: The indigenously built Kakrapar atomic power station or KAPS –3 has achieved criticality on 22nd July, thus giving a boost to the `Make in Bharat’ initiative in the reactors sector. This means that it reached normal operating conditions of a reactor and is ready to generate power. Situated near the city of Vyara in Gujarat, the atomic power plant consists of two 220 MW pressurised water reactors with heavy water as moderator (PHWR). -GoTop

7. SEWA UK: NATIONWIDE CYCLE4SEWA AUGUST 20—SEPTEMBER 6: Since its inauguration in 2012, Cycle 4 Sewa has become one of the most anticipated Sewa events of the year. Held in East London, Cycle 4 Sewa brings together people of all ages from across the country to enjoy a day of cycling whilst participating in the act of Sewa.
Since the event began, the participants come together to raise in excess of £100,000, an immense achievement by those involved. But it is not just about the money raised, every year young budding cyclists get fitter, stronger and faster; challenging themselves to do better. That grit and determination is a testament to the effort that each individual puts in and also a surprise to most of the parents! The day is packed with a variety of cycling challenges starting with the individual event where participants complete as many laps of the track as possible in a 2-hour time frame. This is then followed by the team event, consisting of 5 cyclists per team, collectively completing laps of the track in 1 hour to battle it out for the coveted Cycle 4 Sewa shield. -GoTop

8. TILAK JAYANTI CELEBRATED IN NETHERLANDS: The Gandhi Centre, the cultural wing of Bharatiya embassy in The Hague aims to encourage and promote Bharatiya knowledge and culture within Netherlands. In such an event, the centre celebrated Bal Gangadhar Tilak’s Jayanti on 22nd July by organizing speeches for kids by following a dress code of Tilak under supervision of Dr. Nirmala Sharma, Director Gandhi Center. The great leader of Bharatiya freedom movement Lokmanya Tilak was born on 23rd July, 1856 and died on 1st August, 1920. He was famous for his quote “Self rule is my birthright and I shall have it”. -GoTop

9. BHARATIYA-ORIGIN NURSE AWARDED HIGHEST NURSING ACCOLADE IN SINGAPORE: Kala Narayanaswamy is among five nurses who have been honoured with the President’s Award for Nurses 2020. The 59-year-old has been conferred with this, the highest accolade in Singapore’s nursing profession, for serving on the frontline during the COVID-19 pandemic. Each recipient was awarded a trophy, a certificate signed by Singapore’s President Halimah Yacob and SGD 10,000 (USD 7,228). Deputy Director of Nursing, Ms Kala has been contributing to Nursing Service in Singapore for the past 40 years.  -GoTop

10. IN A FIRST A MLC NOMINATED FROM SIDDI COMMUNITY: Shantaram Siddi, a social activist, an eloquent speaker, an environmentalist has been nominated to the Karnataka Legislative Council. He is the first from the Siddi community, one of the most backward tribes of the state to be getting this new responsibility. Siddis are said to hail from East Africa and came to Bharat as soldiers to various kingdoms in the Deccan plateau after the Muslim invasion. Shantaram has done remarkable work for the welfare of many vanvasi communities all over Bharat. Coming from a family with a poor economic and social background, Shantaram became the first-ever graduate of the entire Siddi Community. He has been associated with Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram since 1989, working for the welfare of Janjati people. -GoTop

11. BHARAT LIFTED 273 MILLION OUT OF POVERTY IN 10 YEARS: About 273 million Bharatiyas moved out of multidimensional poverty between 2005-6 and 2015-16, according to a UN report, which noted that Bharat has recorded the largest reduction in the number of people living in this category. The data, released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), shows that 65 out of 75 countries studied, significantly reduced their multidimensional poverty levels between 2000 and 2019. -GoTop

12. RAKTA-DHARA: RSS MANIPUR DONATES BLOOD IN MEMORY OF SIPAHI VIDROH: In commemoration of the 163rd year of Sipahi Vidroh of 1857, RSS Manipur Prant, Seva Bharati, Manipur and National Medicos Organisation (NMO), Manipur jointly organized Rakta-Dhara, a Blood Donation Camp at Imphal. Seva Bharati, Manipur has been organizing blood donations across the state of Manipur every year in remembering the contributions and sacrifices of Bharatiya freedom fighters. Along with the commemoration of 163rd year of ‘Siphai Vidroh’, and in view of the shortage of blood at this time of crisis due to COVID-19 pandemic, the blood donation was conducted under the theme of Rakta Dhara on five Sundays beginning from 10th May and concluded on 12th July. A total of 119 units of blood were collected during the donation camp. -GoTop

13. A BALAKRISHNAN- VIVEKANANDA KENDRA’S NEW PRESIDENT: A. Balakrishnan, Vice-President of Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari, has taken over as 6th President of the service organization dedicated to the ideals and ideology of Swami Vivekananda. A jeevanvrati of the first batch of Vivekananda Kendra, Balakrishnan succeeds P. Parameswaran who passed away some months ago due to old age.
After his retirement from the Indian Air Force, Balakrishnan came in contact with Eknath Ranade, founder of the Kendra, and was trained as a life-worker in the first batch of 1973. After the training, he was posted in the North-Eastern region as Zonal Organizer. From 1981 to 2001, he held the responsibility as General Secretary. It was under his leadership that the Vivekananda Kendra started the residential Vivekananda Kendra Vidyalayas in Arunachal Pradesh in 1979. -GoTop

14. BHARAT BUILDS WORLD’S FIRST ELECTRIFIED RAIL TUNNEL: Bharatiya Railways and L&T engineers have completed the world's first double-stack electrified tunnel section. It is capable of running double-stack container trains through its passage under the Aravli mountain range near Sohna, Haryana. Engineers had to blast through 2,500 to 500 million-years-old proterozoic rocks to build the tunnel. The entire corridor will be free of level crossings and the freight train operation would be on an advanced automatic signaling system. A double-stack container goods train will be able to run at a speed of more than 100 km from within this tunnel. One end of the tunnel is near Rewari while the other end of the tunnel is at Dadri. -GoTop

15. OVER 7.88 LAKH BHARATIYAS RETURN UNDER VANDE BHARAT MISSION: Over 7.88 lakh Bharatiyas have returned from abroad after the government launched ‘Vande Bharat’ evacuation mission on May 7 in view of the coronavirus pandemic as per the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
As on 22nd July, 7, 88,217 Bharatiya nationals have returned. 1,03,976 Bharatiyas have returned from Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh by land borders. Under the Phase 4 of the Vande Bharat mission, a total of 1,197 flights have been scheduled including 945 international flights and 252 feeder flights. These flights are operated by the Air India group, IndiGo, SpiceJet and GoAir. They cover 29 countries. They will be reaching 34 airports in Bharat. -GoTop

16. NATIONAL EDUCATION POLICY 2020 ANNOUNCED: Union Cabinet of Bharat gave a nod to the new National Education Policy 2020 on 29th July, which provides for major reforms in higher education, increased focus on non-academic skills and increased inclusion through language diversity and course fluidity.
Making the announcement, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said, "Cabinet under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given approval to new education policy for the 21st century. It is important, as for 34 years there were no changes in the education policy." The Cabinet has also approved a proposal to rename the Ministry of Human Resource Development as the Ministry of Education.
The new policy aims to achieve 100 per cent youth and adult literacy in Bharat. The government aims to increase the public investment in the education sector from the current 4.3 per cent to reach 6 per cent of GDP at the earliest.
The 10+2 structure of school curricula is to be replaced by a 5+3+3+4 curricular structure corresponding to ages 3-8, 8-11, 11-14, and 14-18 years respectively. The new system will have 12 years of schooling with three years of Anganwadi/pre-schooling.
The NEP 2020 advocates for mother tongue/local language/regional language as the medium of instruction at least till Grade 5, but preferably till Grade 8 and beyond. Sanskrit will be offered at all levels of school and higher education as an option for students, including in the three-language formula. The National Research Foundation will be created as an apex body for fostering a strong research culture and building research capacity across higher education. -GoTop

17. BHARAT SENDS 10 DIESEL LOCOMOTIVES TO BANGLADESH: Bharatiya Government handed over 10 diesel locomotives to Bangladesh Railways on 27th July. They were flagged off through video conference to bolster economic ties and connectivity within the region. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal, and MoS for Railways Suresh Angadi were present during the handover ceremony. The physical location of the handover was the Gede station of the Eastern Railways in West Bengal's Nadia district and the receiving station was Darshana in Bangladesh. These locomotives would provide improved train operations within the Bangladesh Railways and also for interchange with the Bharatiya Railways, and strengthen the partnership between both the transporters. -GoTop

18. JAGDEVRAM URAON OF KALYAN ASHRAM PASSES AWAY: Jagdevram Uraon, President, Akhil Bharatiya Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram passed away on 15th July due to massive cardiac arrest at Kalyan Ashram head Quarters in Jashpur Nagar, Chhattisgarh. He was 72 years old. He hailed from Uraon village named Komado, 3 km away from Ashram’s headquarters.
Jagdevramji was heading the organization since 1995 following the demise of its founder President Vanyogi Balasahab Deshpande. He joined Kalyan Ashram in 1968 as a teacher in the school run by Ashram at Jashpur. He accompanied Deshpande ji during his nationwide tour in the eighties when Kalyan Ashram extended its network all over Bharat.
He led the Kalyan Ashram from the front to carry out various activities. It was under his leadership that the vision document on Janjatis was brought out. Kalyan Ashram has undertaken many service activities and relief works for the needy under his leadership.
RSS Sarsanghachalak Dr Mohan Bhagwat and Sarkaryavaha Bhayya ji Joshi offered condolences at the sad demise of Jagdevram ji and said that Jagdevram ji devoted his entire life with a mission to serve the society. Due to his soft-spoken demeanour and mature intellect, he commanded the respect of all karyakartas and emerged as their leader. He became the voice of Vanvasis through his steering of Kalyan Ashram.-GoTop

19. SHRI VISHWA NIKETAN: Pravas: Visitors:
The real change must happen within us. For only when conflict and negativity are removed from within, we can play a truly constructive role in establishing peace.
-- Mata Amritanandamayi Ma (Amma) -GoTop



Meeting virtually for their annual conference this year, in the context of COVID-19, and with the highest attendance of nearly 300 people, Sewa International reported a record fundraising effort – raising $8.3 million in 2019, as per initial estimates. It spent $128,032 in general and administrative expenses, and $168,354 in fundraising expenses. The general and administrative expenses amount to 1.5 percent of the total funds raised by Sewa International. “A charity of our size would, at a minimum, have 12 to 18 percent of such expenses. We are unique in that regard in the US, may be internationally,” said outgoing president, Prof. Sree Sreenath.
Prof. Sree Sreenath, who served as President of Sewa International for eleven years, from 2009 to 2020, announced that Sewa’s Board of Directors had accepted his resignation and he was handing over the role and responsibilities to Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President, Arun Kankani, whom the Board had selected as the organization’s new president. “It is a bittersweet moment that I share with you all my resignation from the responsibility of President of Sewa International. The relationship with you all has been a long, fruitful, and intimate. Together we solved many problems, fought many battles, took up many intimidating challenges, and in the end, we came out victorious,” he said as he presented the 2019 Annual Report. “…..Arun Kankani will take my place effective immediately. He is a terrific organizer and a fabulous leader. His discipline and steadfastness are legendary. I am proud to pass the baton over to him,” he said as the nearly 300 attendees expressed their admiration of his leadership, and their love and support for him. “It has been a great eleven years serving Sewa working and working alongside with you. Our hard work paid off for Sewa. I feel fortunate for having journeyed together on this quest to serve humanity. I have learned many important lessons from all of you,” he told the Sewa volunteers, executive leadership, advisory board, and staff -- virtual attendees spread across the US, India, Colombia, and other parts of the world. “I am accepting the position of President of Vivekananda Yoga University, VaYU, Los Angeles, CA, but Sewa will still be my first love,” he said.
Arun Kankani who will now take charge as the new President of Sewa International is no stranger to leading large teams and innovative ventures. Accepting his new role as President of Sewa International, he said, “We shall certainly miss the energy and enthusiasm of Prof. Sree Sreenath. He will continue to be part of the executive team as Ex-President and will continue the great tradition of Sewa International where former presidents will continue as members of the Board of Advisors”. Arun Kankani is also the Director of Inventory Management at Star Pipe Products in Houston, TX.
Arun Kankani is one of the founding members of Sewa International, which was formed in 2004. He has been involved in Sewa’s nationwide expansion as a prominent charitable organization involved in disaster relief and rehabilitation; family services; child, tribal, and refugee welfare; women’s empowerment; health and education; and promoting volunteerism. In 2012, Kankani discussed with a multitude of experts the problems faced by families, and the different support models that were available to them in times of crises and trouble. He was involved in formulating and implementing the Family Services program at Sewa that now supports and responds to various unexpected family situations such as death, hospitalization, mental health issues, and relationship issues. In 2013, he helped build the foundation for the ASPIRE program in Houston, where he resides. The ASPIRE program provides after-school educational support in collaboration with the local school system in underprivileged neighborhoods to help children learn well and the schools and school districts improve their success rates. Kankani was chosen to be the head of operations for the largest community reception in Houston for a visiting foreign dignitary – the “Howdy Modi” event in 2019. The event was attended by both Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump. As the Head of Operations for the “Howdy Modi” event, he led a team of over 1,200 volunteers who worked together to organize the event that attracted 50,000 people from around the country. He and his team had to get the work done in three months, and for his successful effort he received a letter of gratitude from the Ambassador of India to the United States.
In his report to the attendees at the national conference, Prof. Sree Sreenath said that during his eleven-year tenure Sewa had seen annual revenues increase from $325,000 in 2009 to $8.3 million in 2019; the number of chapters increase from five to 43; the number of national team members increase from two to 62; the number of volunteers increase from less than a hundred to 3,000; and the number of volunteer hours recorded per year rise from 100s to 180,000. He said that he and his team were able to show that an untested brand such as a “Hindu faith-based nonprofit organization” can be successful and thrive, and not just survive. “We have also shown that the entire middle and upper management can be volunteers – from Chapter Coordinators, Chapter Presidents, National Directors, Vice Presidents, Executive-VP to the President. We have no designated headquarters. We have made a name for Sewa in ‘Disaster Recovery’, and we helped start Sewa Nepal, Sewa Pakistan & Sewa Bangladesh,” he recounted with pride. “We know we have worked hard and dedicated ourselves to service in the true spirit of volunteerism, and as per our guiding principles of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, and Sarve Bhavantu Sukinah. But it also gives us satisfaction that our work is recognized by agencies that rate and rank nonprofits. We have earned the maximum four-star rating by Charity Navigator; we have earned perfect 100 scores in ‘Accountability & Transparency’ and ‘Financial Health’ categories; we have been ranked in the ‘10 Highly Rated Charities Relying on Private Contributions’; we have been awarded the Platinum rank by Great Nonprofits; earned the Seal of Transparency by GuideStar; and the Better Business Bureau has rated us as an Accredited Charity”.
The day’s events started with traditional prayers and lighting of the lamp. Prof. Subhash Kak, Regents Professor at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, OK, the chief guest, in his address to the attendees spoke about India’s traditions of giving and sharing, and how in these challenging times Sewa is showcasing the best in serving humanity without any discrimination or prejudice. In his concluding remarks, Saumitra Gokhale, Global Coordinator for the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, spoke of the guiding principles of Sewa International and how the good work done is for humanity and not for selfish reasons. “While we do take pride in what we do and what we have accomplished, our true calling is serving the world selflessly,” he said. (www.sewausa.org)

SHRI VISHWA NIKETAN vishwav@bol.net.in http://shrivishwaniketan.blogspot.com