Margshirsha Shukla 5, Vik. Samvat 2072. Yugabda 5117: 16 December 2015






1.  FESTIVALS:  Makar Sankramana usually falling on 14th of January is an auspicious Hindu festival. Swami Vivekanand was born on this day in 1863. The Sun starts moving north, Uttaraayana patha, from this holy day. This turn in the Sun's course takes place at the point of time when it enters the sign of Makar or Capricorn. As the day-duration starts increasing from this day, it is considered the harbinger of more light and sunshine in life and lessening of its darker aspects. The day is termed as Pongal in Tamilnadu and as Khichadi in northern Bharat. In many areas of Bharat, the distribution of til-gul - the til seed and jiggery - are distributed on this day. Sankraanti also gives the message of intellectual illumination. It is the capacity to discriminate between the right and the wrong, the just and the unjust, truth and falsehood, virtue and vice. It is this wisdom -- Viveka - which leads the individual on the path of human evolution and happiness. A great fare takes place at Prayag on the confluence of Ganges, Yamuna and Saraswati this day. -goTop


2.  AMBEDKAR, HEDGEWAR SIMILAR, PUT COUNTRY BEFORE SELF in the face of extreme adversity, said RSS Sarasanghachalak Mohan Bhagwat on December 6 speaking at the inauguration of the newly-built premises of the K.B. Hedgewar School at Bambolim, on the outskirts of Panaji, in Goa. Bhimrao Ambedkar studied in adversity and put in Herculean efforts. But he used his talents not for himself, but for the country, for society. Like Ambedkar, Hedgewar too worked selflessly towards putting India on the right path from his childhood, Bhagwat said. In his speech, he called upon youths of the country to draw inspiration from prominent leaders like Ambedkar, Swami Vivekananda and K B Hedgewar who contributed to the nation's growth. -goTop


3.  ABE PERFORMS GANGA PUJA: Amidst a unique spiritual atmosphere, echoes of ghantas and ghariyals and chanting of Vedic mantras at the Dashashwamedh Ghat, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe along with his Bharatiya counterpart Narendra Modi not only enthusiastically watched the internationally-famous Ganga aarti but also offered Ganga puja and Dugdhabhishek at holy river Ganga on December 12. Abe was so impressed by the rare visual treat at the flower-decked ghat that sparkled with attractive lighting arrangements, that he captured it in his mobile. Both leaders spent nearly an hour at the ghat. Abe's Varanasi visit, which marks a new chapter in traditional cultural ties between the two countries, also assumes significance as it came against the backdrop of Partner City Agreement between Kyoto and Varanasi, signed by the two leaders during the Prime Minister's visit to Japan in August last year. Buddhist monks, Kathak dancers, and drum-beating artistes accorded a warm welcome to the two Prime Ministers.  -goTop


4.  BUILDING RAM TEMPLE OUR GRAND AIM: Describing Bhagwan Ram as the symbol of Bharat's culture, the essence of which was unity in diversity, RSS Sarasanghachalak Shri Mohan Bhagwat on December 3 called upon the people to honour him by building the temple at Ram Janambhoomi in Ayodhya at an event in Kolkata.

Even as he described building the Ram temple was a grand and pious objective, Bhagwat asserted that "the aim is not to oppose anyone". "To honour that culture is our aim. Our grand aim is to build the temple there. But it is not a question of just a temple, it is his birthplace, the birthplace of the one who is symbol of our intrinsic moral values," he said. Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Praveen Togadia on December 6 said in Bhopal, "In the national executive meet of the BJP, a promise was made to build Ram temple on the lines of Gujarat's Somnath temple by passing a law in parliament. I trust Narendra Modi. I trust that fulfilling the promise made in the party's resolution and promised during elections, he would realise the dream of millions of Hindus for building a temple dedicated to Lord Ram."  -goTop


5. BHARAT IS THE BEST EXAMPLE OF RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE: DALAI LAMA: Reacting to the increasing dialogue on "intolerance" in the country, the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama said the Bharatiya Constitution stressed on secularism and religious freedom. Speaking at the launch of Tawazun India, a city-based think tank that focuses on "counter extremism", in Bengaluru on December 6, he said Bharat was the best example of religious tolerance, where non-violence and religious harmony was propagated as early as 3,000 years ago. Stressing on the need to educate the young in secularism and teach them the "goodness of being peaceful", he said secular ethics should be part of modern education. He said the attack on people in Paris was a setback to people in France, but a strong will among the multi-religious population in Europe should prevail and the elders should tell the young about peaceful existence.

At the NIAS (National Institute of Advanced Studies) Distinguished Fellow Lecture at the institute later in the evening, the Dalai Lama said the Tibetan Buddhists had preserved "ancient Bharatiya knowledge" while the modern society here had reduced it to "rituals and prayers" or harboured negativity to ways of the old. "It is now time for us to give back the knowledge as many young Bharatiyas are interested in reconnecting with 1,000-year-old knowledge. We (Tibetans) were chelas (disciples) of Bharatiya philosophy in the 8th century" he said.  -goTop


6.   ACCEPTANCE OF PLURALISM CORE OF OUR UNITY IN DIVERSITY: RASHTRAPATI: Averring that acceptance and belief in pluralism underlines the inherent chemistry of Bharat's unity amidst diversity, Rashtrapati Pranab Mukherjee on December 13 said the mosaic of being multi-religious makes the nation an oasis of peaceful co-existence and communal harmony. "Bharat prides itself in is pluralistic ideas. In Bharat several major religions have thrived due to its assimilative capacity that has come to define our civilization over the centuries," Mukherjee said addressing the concluding ceremony of the bicentenary celebration of the Diocese of Calcutta. Rashtrapatiji said every religion preaches the fundamental value of humanity. "Forbearance, respect and acceptance of different view form some of the core principles of every faith, belief and religion of the world." Elaborating on the ethnological variety, the Rashtrapati said three major ethnic groups - Mongolites, Caucasians and Dravidians - have substantial presence in the country, with all of them living under one system; one flag; one constitution; one administration; and one jurisprudence. -goTop


7. BHARAT UNVEILS GLOBAL SOLAR ALLIANCE: To boost solar energy in developing countries, Pradhan Mantri Modi launched an International Solar Alliance of over 120 countries with the French president, François Hollande, at the Paris COP21 climate summit and said that as fossil fuels put the planet in peril, hopes for future prosperity in the developing world now rest on bold initiatives.

UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, placed the initiative in the context of the body's sustainable development goals, particularly a related target, set in 2011, of achieving universal access to sustainable energy by 2030. "To my long cherished dream of an international alliance of solar-rich countries, President Hollande responded with keen interest and immediate and full offer of support", PM Modi expressed his gratitude.

Pradhan Mantri Modi during his address at the launch of the International Solar Alliance COP 21 in Paris said that since ancient times, different civilizations have given a special place to Sun. In the Bharatiya tradition, Sun is the source of all forms of energy.  He mentioned that as Rig Veda says, Sun God is the Soul of all beings, moving and non-moving. Many in Bharat begin their day with a prayer to the Sun.

Modi said, "We want to bring solar energy into our lives and homes, by making it cheaper, more reliable and easier to connect to grid.  We will collaborate on research and innovation. We will share knowledge and exchange best practices.  We will cooperate on training and building institutions. We will discuss regulatory issues and promote common standards. We will attract investments in the solar sector, encourage joint ventures and develop innovative financing mechanisms.  We will partner with other international initiatives on renewable energy". -goTop


8. COMPILING DISTRICT HISTORY: Bharatiya Itihas Sankalan Samiti (BISS) has started district-based initiative to compile the history of the country. The initiative began from Meerut Prant where the committees for it have been formed in all the 14 districts. 'Itihas Divas' was celebrated in all the districts. It is first of its kind effort in the country.

It was the late Baba Sahab Apte who stressed way back in 1960's that history of Bharat should be written from Bharatiya perspective. He passed away in 1972. His mantle was taken over by Moropant Pingle, another RSS stalwart. The aim was to write history of all the districts and pilgrim centres scattered in Bharat. Today, the Samiti covers 272 of 650 administrative districts all over the country. But unlike 29 administrative states, the Samiti has divided Bharat into 42 Prants.

The Samiti has been endeavouring to celebrate 'Itihas Divas' in as many districts as possible in order to inculcate a sense of history among Bharateeyas. In its well considered opinion, history consciousness is necessary to tie the people to their moorings. Meerut Prant has now become the first Prant not only to form the committees in all the 14 districts, but also is able to organise 'Itihas Divas' in all of them. -goTop


9.  KIND GESTURE BY NRI COUPLE: A US couple, D Jyothi Reddy and Sammi Reddy, arranged the marriage of an orphan girl Saraswati and performed her 'Kanyadanam' at Warangal. A police officer, V Kiran Kumar found the girl abandoned at Hanamkonda bus stand in 2004 and handed over her to Mallikamba Manovikasa Kendram. Since then the orphanage is looking after the girl, who hails from Srikakulam district.

A private company employee, Ch Narender, who is also deaf and mute, came forward to marry the girl. Learning this, Jyothi Reddy volunteered to organize the marriage bearing all expenses. The grand marriage ceremony was held in as per Hindu tradition. Warangal (West) MLA D Vinay Bhasker and others blessed the newlywed couple. The parents of Narender, Ch Upender and Sushila, Kendram's B Ramaleela and others were present. -goTop


10.  TIRUPATI TEMPLE MAY MOVE STASH TO GOLD SCHEME: Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple, popularly known as the Tirupati Temple that is believed to have been the abode of Lord Venkateswara for 5,000 years, may become the biggest contributor with more than 5.5 tonnes of gold. "It’s a good scheme," said Yanamala Ramakrishnudu, the finance minister of Andhra Pradesh, where the temple is located. He added, "We have already issued a directive to go for the scheme." -goTop


11.  SEWA INTERNATIONAL OPENS FIRST SCHOOL IN U'KHAND: Sewa International inaugurated its first school in a remote village, Chhinka, in district Chamoli (Uttarakhand) on December 5, 2015. It is a co-ed school with 148 students receiving education till 8th class.

The old school was badly damaged during Uttarakhand floods in 2013 and needed to be re-built. After inspection of the damaged site in 2013-2014, its new construction was sponsored by the benevolent donors of Sewa International UK.

The occasion was graced by Harish Bhudia, Executive Director, Sewa UK, and Lalit Goswami, All India General Secretary, Vidya Bharati, along with many other dignitaries including ADM (Chamoli), District Education Officer etc., who all were full of praise and gratitude for the noble effort. About 300 people attended the function. -goTop


12.  RSS EXTENDS AID FOR DROUGHT HIT PEOPLE IN MAHARASHTRA: The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has come forward to find out ground level relief measures for drought hit people in Maharashtra. In association with some organizations which work in the field of water conservation RSS plans to build barrages as well as widening, deepening and rejuvenation of rivers in 12 districts of Maharashtra. Briefing media on steps taken to give relief for drought hit people in Maharashtra, RSS Western Region Sewa Pramukh Dr. Upendra Kulkarni told that with an estimated amount of Rs 7 crores RSS along with 23 different NGO's are about to launch relief programmes for drought affected areas & people in various districts of state.

According to the RSS Maharashtra Unit meeting which held earlier this month, the state is facing water scarcity as the monsoon this year was below 50 percent due to which the crops in Vidarbha, Marathwada and Western Maharashtra are damaged on large scale. The estimated amount for relief work would be collected from corporate houses based on CSR method and individual philanthropic donors. -goTop


13.  BHARATIYA-AMERICAN COUPLE GIFT $4.4 MN TO SET UP DHARMA STUDIES CENTRE: A Bharatiya-American couple has gifted $4.4 million to the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) of Berkeley to establish and endow the first Centre for Dharma Studies in the US. Ajay and Mira Shingal chose the GTU for their historic gift because "this is a school that incorporates both deep scholarship and interest in the practice of religion". "We understand the need for accredited scholars that can speak about Hinduism with authority in this country," said the San Jose residents.

Both have studied the sacred texts of Hinduism all of their lives and wish for others to be able to explore in depth the treasures of its sacred texts and philosophical principles. They believe the gift of education is one of the greatest gifts one generation can create for future generations, according to a media release. The Centre will focus on leading edge, multidisciplinary, graduate research and teaching in Hindu Studies and Dharma Studies. The GTU currently offers a graduate certificate in Hindu Studies, MA and PhD degree concentrations in Hindu Studies, and courses in Jain Studies.

Rita Sharma has been named the first Director of the Centre for Dharma Studies and Associate Professor of Dharma Studies. She taught most recently at the University of Southern California as the Swami Vivekananda Visiting Faculty in Hindu Studies. Sharma is the founding Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Dharma Studies.  -goTop


14. UK WOOS BHARATIYA STUDENTS: Sajid Javid, UK secretary of state for business, innovation and skills, has said there is no cap "at all on number of foreign students" visiting Britain for studies. He has said there is misconception in Bharat about student visas given by UK and added, "I want to see more and more Bharatiya students coming to UK for world class education." He said almost 90% of Bharatiya applicants who study in UK get their visas in 15 days.

"Records speak for themselves. I also want to make it clearer to students about the variety of choices on offer. We have four of the top 10 universities of the world and 30 in the top 200," he said, adding that great opportunities exist in areas like science, engineering and humanities which have growing importance in Bharat.

Javid, who met HRD minister Smriti Irani to announce 2016 as the UK-Bharat year of research and innovation, said UK's Chevening Scholarship is worth pound 3 million, the highest anywhere in the word. He also clarified about job opportunities in UK for Bharatiya students studying there, a question repeatedly asked in Bharat. "Yes. First you can work during the holiday period between semesters. Once you graduate, you are welcome to stay in a graduate-level job and there is no limit to that either and that is good for students for building their skills. Eventually when they decide to return to UK, the practical experience helps and it is good for UK economy," he said.  -goTop


15.  FOUND: BURIED TOWERS IN ANGKOR WAT:: The Angkor Wat temple in Cambodia was much larger and more complex than previously thought, say archaeologists, who discovered buried 'towers' and remains of a huge structure near the world's largest religious monument. The team found the complex had more components than previously envisaged, and was bounded on its south side by a unique and massive structure. "This structure, which has dimensions of more than 1500m x 600m, is the most striking discovery associated with Angkor Wat," said Professor Roland Fletcher. Researchers found that Angkor Wat includes an entire ensemble of buried towers built and demolished during the construction and initial use of the main temple, remains of what is thought might be a shrine used during the construction period. "This challenges our traditional understanding of the social hierarchy of the Angkor Wat community and shows that the temple precinct, bounded by moat and wall, may not have been exclusively the preserve of wealthy or the priestly elite," said Fletcher. -goTop


16.   CAMBODIA'S FAMED ANGKOR EARNS $53.5 MN IN 11 MONTHS: Cambodia's famed Angkor Wat Temple, originally built as a Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Vishnu, posted a revenue of $53.5 million from ticket sales to foreigners during the January-November period this year, the authority managing the 12th century temple complex said on December 8. In November alone, the temple welcomed 200,085 tourists, generating a revenue of $5.87 million, the release said. Angkor Wat Temple, inscribed on the UNESCO's World Heritage List in 1992, is the kingdom's most popular tourist destination. Angkor Wat was originally built as a Hindu temple but it was gradually transformed into a Buddhist shrine in the 12th century. The Archaeological Society of India has contributed to its upkeep. -goTop


17. TSUNAMI SURVIVOR DEBORAH HEROLD IS WORLD NO. 4 CYCLIST: Deborah became the first Bharatiya female cyclist to be ranked fourth in the world. Deborah Herold is no stranger to surviving the odds. When just nine years old, she spent a whole day on a tree when the tsunami struck the Car Nicobar base where her father was employed. With her family displaced, she had to wait for the waters to recede and hope for a timely rescue. It was a horrifying experience but this tribal girl from the Andamans was made of stern stuff. She took up cycling, a sport which has few fans in this country and even fewer champions, and went on to become a role model.

On December 10, Deborah, now 20, scaled another unique peak when she became the first Bharatiya female cyclist to be ranked fourth in the world, according to the World Elite Women Ranking issued by cycling world body Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) for the 500m time trial event. -goTop


18.  INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON 'INDIA-LAOS: INTER-CULTURAL LINKAGES': Dr. Mahesh Sharma, the Minister of State (I/C) for Culture and Tourism inaugurated a two days "International Conference on 'India-Laos: Inter-Cultural Linkages" on December 11. The Conference was organized by Indira Gandhi National Centre for Art, New Delhi, in collaboration with Shri Bharatvarshiya Digambar Jain Teerth Sanrakshini Mahasabha, New Delhi.

Delivering inaugural address, Dr. Sharma said that Bharat and Laos share a common cultural heritage over the centuries. Laos is very peaceful land locked country. He said that since trade was the most important factor for the spread of Bharatiya culture, traders' community who were mostly Jains, have introduced Jainism and worshipped Tirthankars. Many renowned scholars from Bharat and Abroad participated in this International Conference on 'India-Laos: Inter-Cultural Linkages'.

Ambassador of Lao Peoples Democratic Republic Southam Sakonhninhom narrated the elements of cultural linkages between his country and Bharat as he appreciated the organizers for holding the seminar on the subject. Prof Sachchidanand Sahay, who gave the keynote address at the seminar, highlighted the rich cultural linkages between Bharat and many other South East Asian countries, including linguistic and architectural. -goTop


19.  NATIONAL SCIENCE FAIR BY VIDYA BHARATI: The 14th National Science Fair, organised at Geeta Niketan School in Kurukshetra, Haryana, on December 1, received huge applause. The child scientists assembled from all over the country displayed their scientific projects. In 'Science Quick', the students from Madhya Kshetra stood first while the students from east kshetra were second and students from north-eastern kshetra were third. Among the young category, the students from western Uttar Pradesh stood first, while east and north kshetra stood second and third respectively. -goTop


20.  WORLD'S HORSES HAVE COMMON ANCESTOR IN GUJARAT: Just 40 km away from industrial town of Ankleshwar in south Gujarat lies the vast abandoned cavernous Vastan lignite mine spread over 1,500 hectares towards the edge of Cambay basin colloquially referred as Khambat.

It is here that a team of scientists extracted a treasure trove of over 200 teeth and bones of an animal which is the ancestor of all horse breeds including the finest -- Akhal-Teke, Appaloosa, Mushtang and even the Arab horses. Christened Cambaytherium thewissi - the ancestor is proudly a Khambati that lived 54.5 million years ago in the Eocene period of earth.

This was revealed by a nine-member team of researchers John Hopkins University, HNB Garhwal University, Rowan University, Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, Ghent University, Panjab University and the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences. -goTop


21. WOMEN PLAY CRUCIAL ROLE IN PRESERVING GLORIOUS TRADITIONS - BHAGYASHREE SATHE: Akhil Bharatiya Taruni Pramukh of Rashtriya Sevika Samiti Sushri Bhagyashree Sathe said women in Bharat have shaped the destiny of the nation. In ancient time they played a key role in preserving the glorious traditions and today also they have to take up this task. She was addressing a function organized in Meerut by Meerut Chambers of Commerce to celebrate 80 years of the Samiti on December 3.  She said the present education system provides information but not practical knowledge and samskars. The women should recognize their role and start work in eradicating evils from the society. She pointed out that the Samiti has work in 40 countries and it also runs more than 350 service activities. -goTop


22. BUILD BHARATIYA WAR MEMORIALS IN AUSTRALIA, TURKEY: Whenever a pre-1947 conflict involving Bharatiyas is commemorated in Bharat, many people insist that Bharat should have nothing to do with it as it was not a free country then and those Bharatiyas who took part in them were "traitors", "mercenaries" and "colonial dogs".

One of them is Australian military historian Professor Peter Stanley. "It doesn't matter if Bharat was free or not. The fact is Bharat and Bharatiyas had been shaping world events all throughout. Even in the First World War, over a million Bharatiyas had participated," Professor Stanley told in an exclusive interaction post the launch of his book, 'Die in Battle, Do Not Despair', at the Australian High Commission. He consulted archives in different countries to piece together a narrative of the Bharatiya contribution at Gallipoli. He says Bharatiyas and Australians shared a close and warm relationship during the campaign, which even found mention in Australian newspapers of the time.

Yet this was by no means an equal relationship. "Australians, though friendly, were patronising towards the Bharatiyas. They addressed every Bharatiya as 'Johnny'. The Bharatiyas, on the other hand, addressed all as 'sahib'. There's one incident where a Gurkha soldier returned home with all his buttons missing. The Anzacs had taken them as souvenirs. Nobody bothered to seek the poor man's permission; he couldn't object because they were sahibs," Stanley said.  -goTop


23.  SHRI VISHWA NIKETAN: Visitors: About 700 karyakartas with their families will participate in the "Vishwa Sangh Shibir - 2015" to be held at Indore from 29th December to 3rd January 2016.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: God is, in truth, the whole universe: what was, what is and what beyond shall ever be. He is the God of life immortal and of all life that lives by food. His hands and feet are everywhere. He has heads and mouths everywhere. He sees all, He hears all. He is in all, and He Is. - Upanishad  -goTop




Swadesh Katoch

Last week, I participated in a week long 43rd 'International Festival' (Festival Internacional de la Cultura) that Boyaca (a Colombian State) organises every year at Tunja, a small town. It is an important cultural event in Latin America that is celebrated with the participation of more than 35 countries. It was created to show artistic and cultural expressions of the world, which enable cultural exchange, recognition of cultural diversity and public reaffirmation for strengthening their own identities.

Bharat was invited as a special guest this year. Programmes were performed all over the city and a 400 years old historic home of a famous local author was converted into 'India House'. There were posters of Bharat, Bharateeya culture, Bharateeya architecture and Hindu Gods and Goddesses all over the premises. Many presentations, movies, documentaries were shown on Bharat, Hinduism and spirituality throughout the week. My wife Mannu, and my three children accompanied me. International Center for Cultural Studies (ICCS) coordinated the efforts of Bharat with various participating organisations from Bharateeya side and Boyaca government of Colombia. The Bharatiya organisations that participated in the festivals were ICCS, Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS), Sewa International, Isha Yoga and National Council of Indian Culture (NCIC) from Trinidad and Tobago.

A group of four dancers of Bharateeya origin from Trinidad and Tobago won the heart of the audience by their performances on classical and Bollywood numbers. On the request of local Colombian audience, NCIC group has started training classes in 'India House' on Bharatiya classical and Bollywood movies. My daughter 'Siya' was blessed to perform her 'Shiv Tandav Satotram,' Bharat Natayam dance on the international stage. There were many sessions of Yog by Isha Yog teachers.

There were many lectures/presentations organised in various local universities on different topics such as 'Globalisation: The Impact on India's Economy, Society and Culture' and 'What is Peace and how to achieve it?' by Shri Saumitra Gokhale, international coordinator of the HSS), 'India-Colombia Business Opportunities' by Shri Digant, a HSS Pracharak from the US, 'Youth Leadership' by a young Hollywood director Aditya Patbardhan, etc. I was very lucky to be chosen by Sewa International to give a presentation on 'Intelligent Social Service' at UPTC (Universidad Pedagógicay Tecnológica de Colombia).

While in Colombia, I also got an opportunity to meet Xieguazinsa, the head of Muisca, an Indigenous community that is trying to preserve their thousands of years old culture in Colombia. 'Pueblos Indígenas' in Spain comprise 3.4% of the country's population and belong to 87 different tribes. When he talked about his culture, we found so many similarities between local indigenous cultures and Hinduism. It always amazes me how Bharateeya spirituality and Hindu Gurus are inspiring the entire world. In Bogota, we visited "El Jardin De la Alegria" (The Garden of Joy) in Cazuca.

During my 9-day trip in Colombia we met many people including university professors, teachers, students, pedestrians, Yogis and local community leaders. Each and everyone wanted to know about Bharat and Bharateeya spirituality. Colombians love Bharat and its spirituality. Everyone wanted to click pictures with us. I have never seen such a hospitality in my life. When we reached Colombia, we didn't know any Colombians but when we left Colombia, my family had tears in their eyes, as did our Colombian translators, hosts and 'India House' volunteers.   (Swadesh Katoch is associated with Sewa International - USA. Organiser weekly)  -goTop



With receding flood water and diminishing rain, the relief works entered into the next phase in Chennai’s flood devastated areas. Along with or parallel to the State machinery, the RSS swayamsevaks are  volunteering the relief and rescue activities.  As water is receding, the post-flood relief activities are gaining  momentum in many parts of Chennai such as Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur and Cuddalore which were badly submerged under the floodwater.

The RSS volunteers  are supervising the relief works at around 75 different places. RSS has been active in relief and rescue works in solidarity with the people of Tamil Nadu. As soon as the news of the incessant rains and the flash floods reached Namakkal District, around 40 volunteers from the RSS and Rasipuram Vidya Mandir School plunged to action. They collected 3 truck-loads of relief materials worth about 10 lakh rupees and distributed it to flood affected people housed in Panimalar Engineering College.

Cuddalore is  one of the worst affected districts during the recent incessant rains. About 110 Sewa Bharati volunteers immediately rushed into action after getting news about the pathetic condition at Cuddalore. Food, water, biscuit, bread, saree, dress materials, bed sheets were distributed. So far 20,000 families  have been benefited. 

A team of 50 doctors, 12 medical and pharmacy students from various parts of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have poured into Chennai to offer their help. A total of 10 teams were formed and they went about to conduct 40 camps in various parts of Chennai. About one lakh affected people were examined and necessary help was extended. Majority of the people were suffering from Athlete's foot due to prolonged exposure to stagnant and contaminated water. The local RSS volunteers helped in setting up the camps and in maintaining law and order in them.

While selfless groups, both governmental and non-governmental, devote themselves in relief activities, the State political leadership is trying to  take advantage of this disaster to yield political mileage. There are severe criticisms from different parts including mainstream media and social media, against the State government's selfish and calculated approach in managing the disaster. Reportedly, 1,800 personnel of National Disaster Response Force are on the ground in Chennai and other affected parts of the State.  Swayamsevaks in co-ordination with NDRF and Armed personnel are helping in rescue operations in Mudhichur, Mannivakkam. An MLA JCD Prabhakaran visited one of the Sangh's relief camps. He congratulated the Swayamsevaks for their invaluable contribution. He shook hands with the volunteers and said, "Thanks to RSS". ( Organiser Weekly, December 20, 2015) -goTop

Shri Vishwa Niketan