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Archive for December 2004

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Tsunami relief – An Appeal from AID

Usually, mother nature provides comfortable nurturing. However, from time to time the elements seem to lose control and disaster follows often unexpected and of unimaginable magnitude. As you probably already know, starting with the worst affected state, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Orisaa, Kerala have all been hit severly by a tidal wave, the so called Tsunami. Although the full magnitude of the disaster is still being assessed, unquestionably thousands of some of the poorest of our fellow Indians have been rendered helpless.

AID (www.aidindia.org) volunteers in India are involved in providing immediate succour. AID-Chennai office has begun relief efforts on a war footing. We in the Diaspora here should do everything that we can to help out. We seek financial help from you for this cause. Let us all come together to show our loved ones that, no matter where we are, we care deeply for their welfare. Please help and help generously.

Contributions to AID can be made through secure on-line credit-card deductions from AID’s website: http://survivors.aidindia.org

where further details and updates will also be made available.

AID is working with our partners to support various relief proposals including prompt approvals up to the $10,000. AID has already committed. AID estimates the amount already committed willonly cover a fraction of the relief effort. Therefore, AID is

appealing to all members of the community, including its volunteers, and many supporters to contribute generously toward this effort.

For additional information

call: 1-888-TALK-2-AID /

Email: info[at]aidindia[dot]org

Web: http://survivors.aidindia.org

AID Volunteers.

Written by Sudarshan Suresh

December 28, 2004 at 12:30 pm

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Written by Sudarshan Suresh

December 27, 2004 at 3:17 pm

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What can ONE do?

Just ONE dollar a day: has built 20 watershed structures for soil conservation

Just ONE day’s salary a month: has supported a village school for 200 children for 6 months

Just ONE percent of salary per year: has supported an AIDS health care clinic for 3 months

Just ONE day of volunteering per week: has direct connection to development work in India Posted by Hello

Written by Sudarshan Suresh

December 25, 2004 at 9:36 am

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Swades… saw it finally

Finally, I saw Swades last night. A movie that depicted reality sans the frills of Bollywood. A very idealistic movie. It was quite a long narration and this might probably work against the movie when it comes to mass appeal. As many of you had read numerous reviews, let me also give my take..

The movie is clearly inspired or I should say the screen version of “Bilgaon Microhydel project” whose pictures I have posted below this post. Anil and Madhu, the two engineers who designed the project belonged to People’s School of Energy in Kanur, Kerala, brought electricty to the vilage in the foothills of the Satpura ranges. Mohan Bhargav, a NASA scientist, brings electricity to the village of his foster mother Kauveriamma. The technique used in the movie is exactly the same used by Anil and Madhu in Bilgaon.

Shahrukh Khan: A good underplayed performance but I have a feeling that his superstar image has actually worked against him in this role. I found it extremely hard to imagine the King Khan singing and dancing in the villages as I am more accustomed to seeing him dancing with gorgeous woman in phroein locales. Nevertheless, a clean performance..

Gayathri Joshi: I think she was commendable for a newcomer. She is tall and she has a very infectious and inviting smile. She is too glamorous for a village teacher…

Kauveriamma: I think her chracter was neatly defined wothout oo much melodrama that plagues Indian movies…

Postmaster( Gurran in Lagaan): Yet another good performance. I enjoyed his characterization in Lagaan as the magician and he has turned in a good performance here as well..

Mela Ram: He wants to open a Dhaba in one of the freeway exits…. A great idea indeed given the lousy Denny’s and Burger Kings that spot the freeway exits. In the end, he foregoes his dream and decides to stay back in Charanpur…

Ashuthosh Gowariker: He is the true hero of the movie… He has guts to present such a movie to the Hindi audience who feast on triangular love stories, sex and sleaze…

The scenes that gave me goose-pimples:

1. The scene were the bulb glows and old villager claims “bijli”. A true moment of epiphany- here we are in the United States rarely used to power cuts but in villages in India, electricty that lights up even a small bulb is welcomed with celebration…

2. The scene where Shahrukh decides to rink the water from mud pot: yet another moment of epiphany….

Bottom Line:

I think it is a must see for everyone. A vivid and comprehensive presentation of the problems at the grassroots. We, Indians take a lot of pride in the Bangalore tech boom and we assume that India is shining. But the reality is quite different. There isn’t even an electric bulb glowing in most places.

I must admit that we have made rapid strides in IT sector but the real economy is from agriculture. 70% of the economy is from agriculture and India still lives in her villages. Any development that neglects the villagers and it is going to sabotage their interests is going to be shortlived.

It is high time we get our priorities straight…..

Written by Sudarshan Suresh

December 24, 2004 at 2:56 pm

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The Smiles say it all…. Posted by Hello

Written by Sudarshan Suresh

December 24, 2004 at 12:33 pm

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Electricity…. FINALLY…Thanks to 2000 person-days of voluntary labour (shramdaan) put in by the villagers, support by the school (Rs.50,000) and AID (Rs.12,00,000), they now have tube-lights in every house and school. Day time electricity will be used for pumping drinking water, creating a grain bank through community agriculture, nursery for afforestation and livelihood generation through small-scale enterprises. The projects was designed by People’s School of Energy, approved by the Chikali Gram Panchayat and implemented by Bombay Sarvodaya Friendship Centre.  Posted by Hello

Written by Sudarshan Suresh

December 24, 2004 at 12:32 pm

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Completed Check dam Posted by Hello

Written by Sudarshan Suresh

December 24, 2004 at 12:29 pm

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the 15Kw Turbine Posted by Hello

Written by Sudarshan Suresh

December 24, 2004 at 12:26 pm

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Shramdaan in full swing to clear the canal Posted by Hello

Written by Sudarshan Suresh

December 24, 2004 at 12:25 pm

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2000 person-days of voluntary labour (shramdaan) put in by the villagers Posted by Hello

Written by Sudarshan Suresh

December 24, 2004 at 12:23 pm

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