Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Recently we had been to Srikakulam where Srinumama joined the medical college there. We also went around in the town and visited Grama Swarajya Sangham where Mallimadugula Kodanda Ramaswamy garu stayed and worked for many years and his,and his wife Smt. Upanishad Devi garu's busts were erected by the members of the Sangham in memory of the services they rendered to Khadi. I have posted the photos here.

The sangham members received us with great pleasure when they came to know that I am their grand daughter and spoke highly of tatagaru and the work he had done and it was evident that they still regard him with great respect. It was very heartening to realize that good work is still being appreciated in some parts.

Devi, Lakshmana Rao


Random thoughts
By U.S.N.Murty
Age advancement is a major factor in life.While we consider it as an individualistic feeling which varies from person to person,I,at the age of past 80,feel that there is some thing fantastic to know some details as it is astonishing to know them in detail.In my own experience I have seen different factors which vary from day to day.Though it is a slow process,there is a sudden change,as I feel,when we are past 80.At the same time,surprisingly,memory of early day's experiences are fascinatingly memorable,where as the recent ones are not so.At this stage,even memory of common names is difficult to keep up.It is all really unexplainable process,which does not speak of any ill health or any other deficiency.It is all a process of Natural evolution circle as I feel.

In its natural process there is bound to be a feeling of of frustration which should not be entertained.After all life is for living,and that too with all awareness and of trying to do good for yourself and to others in all respects.

Do not merely listen to the word,and so decive your selves.Do what it says.Any one who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and after looking at him self ,goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.

Every moment of life is very very precious.Time passes very qickly.Let us not waste even a single second of it.The good you have been thinking of doing do it now.Who knows what tomorrow brings to you.Loving kindness is greater than laws.,and the charities of life,big or small ,are more than all ceremonies.

Worship does not consist of fasts and prayers ,but in the offering of a pure and contrite heart.This is my final and best wish,to me as well as all others.


This aricle was written by Niharika (grand daughter of U S N Murthy (Suri babu))and published in the magazine NXg.

Widely known as a city from where classical musicians and dancers hail, Chennai is filling up other spaces. Social activism seems to be high up there on the list, particularly in its younger corners. Whether it is running for a cause or cleaning up trash on the beaches, everything seems to be of value for the concerned Chennaiite whose expression of love for the city means going out and extending support to all causes that prioritise the city’s betterment.

Young, bold and active

Over the last couple of years, awareness campaigns have moved from cleverly worded posters calling for attention to smaller groups gradually building a support system for themselves by cashing in on the enthusiasm of college goers and young working professionals. Bold, sassy, creative and definitely a positive force to reckon with, their group names and novel strategies speak for themselves. ROB (Reclaim Our Beaches) is one such group that has consistently been on the scene with a commitment to the environment, a 21st century top agenda.

They say, “We believe that the current manner in which the earth’s resources are shared among people and among species is highly inequitable. One of the reasons for this and for the sorry state of the world is that the interests of some people and all non-human species do not find a place in our planning; in other words, a failure of democracy. We believe that the beach belongs to lovers, hawkers, walkers, frisbee players, the elderly, the turtle and the fisherfolk. But we are also clear that livelihood rights of the poor ought to receive higher priority.” You will find them with white t-shirts and headbands on lazy Sunday mornings in full force at one of the beaches; this group is making a cooler statement for the city than any before.

However, apathy and lack of involvement of the masses is a major roadblock. Says Sandeep Achanta, who has been a part of the beach clean ups, “I do think we are doing a pretty good job of making people aware. But the problem is that most people are already aware of the messed up situation and the whole expressway plan but don’t really care enough. What can change that?” This indifference is the biggest enemy to any cause. Unless selfish interests are affected, people are on and about their own lives. Good education, emphasising on social consciousness, is perhaps the only way to tackle that.
Annual events

There are also annual events with a series of activities lined up for a fortnight, like Prajnya’s 16-day campaign against gender violence every year. Poetry, music, workshops and discussions form the core of this campaign that hopes ‘to raise awareness of the different ways in which women in particular are vulnerable to violence, at home, at their place of work, on campuses and in public spaces’. Making use of public spaces in the city and a diverse, inclusive approach with multiple organisations and institutions playing a role along with the crucial involvement from the media is certainly a great way of reaching out and creating temporal and spatial dimensions for upholding Human Rights. Campaigns with a similar format and a gender focus are a regular feature in other parts of the world and the merging of both the creative and social could prove an effective platform for change in mindsets.Talking about mindsets, we cannot forget the yearly marathons, one of the biggest upholders of the city’s spirit. The involvement of celebrities helps focus attention on the event.

The Marg Chennai Marathon in aid of the GiveLife Charity held in August saw the involvement of many celebrities along with huge participation from colleges. The marathon took on a greater significance with its tag line *My city, My pride’. Hopefully, adequate involvement and the frequency of such events will help overcome the indifference that persists.

Aiming higher

On similar lines is the Stella Maris Walkathon scheduled for January 9. ‘The Walkathon will focus on spreading awareness and raising funds towards higher education for women, a pressing need in our time and country. While primary education is slowly gaining focus and importance, there is a vital need to take the next step. In order to power our future forward, India needs her women to be empowered with education and perspective that will take the country into the next decade.’ With the incredible importance that education and literacy have, this seems to be Stella Maris College’s small attempt to make a difference in the sphere of higher education.

Dhiya Kuriakose, president of Stella Maris College Union, says, “At Stella Maris, as a college and as students, we are constantly looking for new things to do. Through the year, we have been aware of how we are a privileged set though undeniably a minority. As our academic year enters its last phase we decided we would do something to ensure that more women have the opportunities that we do.” The event, hoping to be an annual fixture will be a three-kilometre walk beginning at the Triumph of Labour Statue and ending at the Lighthouse and will see The Director General of Police, Tamil Nadu, Ms. Letika Saran, IPS, Additional Director General of Police, Law and Order, Tamil Nadu, Mr. K. Radhakrishnan, IPS and the Consul General, US Consulate, Chennai, Mr. Andrew T. Simkin flag off the event.

I’m totally for it! Youth stepping up to defend nature, good causes and charities is great. Social networking sites also improve levels of awareness. I hope this becomes a rage and soon cultural festivals will also be committed to the cause. - Berty Ashley, Junior Scientist, Anna University

They’re definitely a step in the right direction. Every city needs a proactive student community and it’s cool we are getting one. I don’t think quantifying results and deciding if they are successful or not is the right thing to do. Personally speaking, the social change itself is worth it. - Thomas Manuel, Student of Chartered Accountancy

Niharika is a III year B.A. Literature student of Stella Maris College.

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