Monday, December 21, 2009

Vaidyanatha Foundation - Rengasamudram

A few weeks ago, I got an email in an egroup about a young Gandhi who, after graduate education in the US, quit his well-paying American job to return home and do yeoman service to the poor, while leading a totally austere life. Totally praiseworthy, to say the least.
One of the members replied saying there were many many such great service activities going on that pass unnoticed and highlighted one such case. What struck me most about the email was how earnest the appeal seemed, in light of the fact that the sender, Shri Ramanathan (a 75+ senior citizen) requested, not for monetary support, but for ideas.
Another highly praiseworthy aspect of his deeds was the fact that he actually does not have any kind of relationship with the village he has settled down and begun his charitable work in/for. Apparently, he surveyed a few places before deciding to settle down here.
Below is his email -
"thanks for the prompt reply/ack of my message. re somehow since there are not enough access it gets disturbed. please giver me your postal address i will send you details of my activities with press clippings, funding is done from own sources right now. we established this foundation: AA Vaidyanatha Foundation, Visram, Agraharam, Rengasamudram 627 413 near Ambasamudram tirunelvely dt tamilnadu. we have no connection with this village, after exploriung possibilities in Kariappatty near madurai we decided this place suitable. (Phone 04634 293460/293560: cell 9486402330/9489351102. but it is an uphill task to help the illiterate poor. there is no co operation from the few bhramin households. the panchayat is chaired by sc man and others do not co operatre with him. we started with feeding the school children 100 every month, then changed it to every week for select 25 boys, girls from the agraharam st. emphasisx is to help the school drop out girl children and generally on the weaker sex. people eke out a living by rolling beeedies and brick kiln work harmful to their health. we have given instrument boxes, study materials, pens, pencils books to all students, now we have given one cycle each to a girl student in 6th 7th 8th standard, we want continue this. school is unaided and has classes from first to 8th standard, efforts to improve the shcool is meeting the same fate dur to non cooperation. we have sewing machine and compouters but lack of bus connect difficult to get a full time teacher. we have approached the TNSTC to start more bus services, the file is not moving atr TNSTC level, we have written to the DY CM MK stalin and hope things would improve. there is neither auto nor four wheeler in the village. we depend on autos to come from mukkudal 3 km away. since there is no medical facility here we got a TB detection treatment camp from Dy Director of health, GH tenkasi, another medical camp from Tirunelvely, we are pressuring the government to start a PHC, thanks to MK Stalin the files are moving though slow. we got Rs.1.25 Lakhs for renovating the cremation ground which was scuttled by communal interests, we got Rs.85000 sanctioned for a play ground same result. we got Rs.20,00,000 for repair of the village road, the panchayat president says it is all spent, there is none to ask how. we were promised Rs.25 Lakhs for metalling of the main road to ambasamudram and mukkudal but due to no proper representation by the panchayat it did not come to us but went to near by kallidaikurichy. the panchayat was asked by the RDO to pass a resolution to seek PHC but no resolution is passed even after 6 months. in the meanwhile State Bank of India has been approached for establishing a medical center, earlier positive response form Tatas for a medical van/ambulance was lost because tamilnadu government has a free ambulance service 108. now i am following up the state bank matter, while keeping in touch with others like amalgamations group chairman sivasailam. Indian overseas bank has promised to send a team to the village to teach the girls to repair mobiles. the village has many heritage temples around including Tamrabarani river, papanasam river, agastyar falls, mnanuimuthar falls, gajendra varadxa perumal, nellayppar and nava tirupathi templs. there is scope eco religious tourism, if some small groups can come visiting it would boost the village morale and the foundation would also be enthused. please see whether small groups can come visiting especially women, we would be happy, in our first floor we can manage two couples or five or six people on short visits. please reply. RAMANATHAN (SENIOR CITIZEN) my wife and me after five decades more living in Bangalore and kochi settled down here buying and remodelling a house to leisurely live. any suggestions, help, comment advice welcome."
For more information about the foundation, go here -
In today's e-World, donating a few hundred dollars to Asha Vision at the click of a button is a fairly easy thing to do. But contributing ideas is more difficult.
If not ideas, the least folks could do is take up his invitation and visit the place. Going by what he says, the village definitely does not appear to be a dull, nondescript locality.
And if not visit, as usual, what we software engineers do best - spread the word around. :-)
blog comments powered by Disqus