Living Indian Whose Contribution Is Not Recognised

The topic was to identify a living Indian who had contributed to the society but was not duly recognised for the contributions.

Mann MilanTopic: Identify one living Indian who has done a lot for the society but has not been duly recognised.
Date: 25 Feb 2011
Time: 4 p.m. To 5.30 p.m.
Place: Banjara Academy, R.T.Nagar

Mann MilanRamaswamy: Ramaswamy said that he was going to speak about a person who did not want to follow the rest of the world in the rat race and wanted to do something different and help the society. He was talking about Dr. Ali and said that he had reached out to many people in distress. He had helped many people who had both physical and mental disorders and his service was very valuable. Ramaswamy also garlanded Dr. Ali and mentioned that this was only a small token of appreciation.

Mann MilanPartha: Partha said that while thinking about the topic he was very clear about the person whom he wanted to mention. He said that the person had various significant qualities, the first alphabet in his name was 'A' which stood for awareness and sensitive to people. Second letter is 'L' which meant that he was an embodiment of Love. Partha also pointed out how he was taught all the fragments of love. And the last letter is 'I' which stood for intelligence and it was smart intelligence. So the word formed by Partha was 'Ali'. He also mentioned that how he was influenced by the works of Dr. Ali.

Mann MilanMeera: Meera mentioned about Mr. Ramesh Ramanathan who was the founder of Janagraha. He was the person who worked for bringing about civil awareness in people. He along with his wife Swathi started Janagraha through which people were made aware about the social issues. They could know what was happening in their society. Janagraha has informed people about their right to vote and also made them aware about its importance. It had also helped students to join the group and made them more responsible. Through Janagraha people were becoming aware of their responsibilities. Meera mentioned that this was a huge task taken up by Mrs. And Mr. Ramesh Ramanathan and he was not recognised or received any awards for this.

Mann MilanAshwini: Ashwini spoke about Mrs. Muktha Harish who is the president of the Amruthavarshini Mahila club at Jayanagar. This club had members who were home makers. She said that Mrs. Muktha had co-ordinated the activities of the club and at the same time had managed to be a good home maker. She also appreciated her for putting in her efforts, as she not only playing both these roles efficiently but was also motivating others to be successful. Mrs. Muktha had helped many of the club members and was also involved in various voluntary activities.

Mann MilanSurekha: Surekha spoke about Yashodha, who is a Helping Hand volunteer and was a DCS student. She mentioned that Yashodha was a person driven by determination to help people to come out of their difficulties. Yashodha had a few bad experiences, where she was left with deep scars, but she had the will power to face the situation. She also utilised this experiences and created opportunities to help people. She focused on people who were addicted to alcohol and helped them in rehabilitation programmes. Surekha mentioned an example of how Yashodha had helped a young mother and her children. The mother was suffering from cancer and was in a very critical stage, as they were financially weak they could not pay the medical expenses and Yashodha had helped them with food and medicines. She had also gone out of her way to help a co-passenger when she was traveling to Mysore. Surekha praised Yashodha for the efforts she had put in to help people and the courage she had to face difficult situations.

Mann MilanSapna: Sapna mentioned about a person who did voluntary work and helped others. He was the brother of a Mason who worked for her. This person did not prefer any kind of publicity for his work and looked for every opportunity to help the needy people. He would collect old clothes from people and distribute it to people in need. Sapna also mentioned how the media only highlighted bad events and don't spread any good messages.

Mann MilanDr. Ali said that the reason he choose this topic was because he believed that “You need India more that India needs You”. India is a country that has stuck together for so many years where as many nations have torn apart. All these places have stood stand still. Sudan and Egypt have been torn apart. China though have done well materialistically, have no religion or democracy. They do not even have freedom of press. India is the only place where people enjoy freedom. We have such good people in India and the people are the strength of our nation. And many a times we fail to recognise these people who have done tremendous work.

Mann MilanDr. Ali gave an example of Dr. Manmohan Singh. He said that he had seen a photograph of Dr. Manmohan Singh in 1997, attending the Congress Committee meeting. He was shown getting out from a Taxi for the meeting. And he has grown from that position to become the Prime Minister of the Nation. But still people tease him and laugh at him, nobody values him. Dr. Manmohan Singh had once remarked that this was a coalition parliament.

Mann MilanAnother example also was mentioned by Dr. Ali about Arvind Kehariwala. He was know as a one man revolution. He single handedly fought for Right To Information (RTI). It was only because of this single man's efforts that today we have the Right to information from any Government office. Any Government official is bound to give the information, if he refuses he can be punished under the Right to Information Act. But today nobody appreciates or recognises this person.

Next Dr. Ali asked if anyone were punished in school where they were made to do sit-ups holding their ears. Partha volunteered to demonstrate this punishment, and Dr. Ali gave a step by step instruction. After this he explained that this was a form of exercise and also explained the benefits of the exercise. He mentioned that this was a very good exercise to relax the muscles and holding the ears helped relax an important pressure point located at the earlobes.

Mann MilanNext Dr. Ali read out a review of the book Dynamics of Counselling written by S.R.Krishnamoorthy. The review was given by Mr. Niranjan Nikham.

Mann MilanEveryone were given an activity were they were divided into groups of two each. Each group had to stand facing their back against each other and were asked to balance a ball on their back and walk across the hall without dropping the ball and in silence. When everyone had completed this task, Asha explained the importance of this task and said that in any relation adjustment was very important. If all people start taking initiative then the relation many go in different directions as each person will have their own ideas, but when one allows the other to take the initiative and lead then the relation will go smoothly.

The topic for the next Mann Milan meeting was given by Dr. Ali 'To mentioned about one new technology and enlighten about it'.

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Leading Banjara Academy's online email counselling team of volunteer-counsellors, I realize it is not an easy task reaching out to a person one has never met, never seen, without the added advantage of gestures, eye contact, a gentle reassuring touch, tone of voice and yet providing empathy, positive strokes, making the person feel heard and understood.

With the aid of only written words, it is quite a task building trust, making people open up and share and helping them cope and feel better. So when in many instances they write back saying thank you and that they feel so much better, the feeling one gets is priceless and incomparable - knowing one has done something right, something good!

Hats off to all the volunteeer-counsellors of Banjara Academy who have been carrying on this work silently, anonymously for the last couple of years. Truly commendable! - Ali Khwaja

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