Saturday, August 23, 2008

An Appeal from a Charitable Trust

Punyatma Prabhakar Sharma Seva Mandal (PPSSM)

About the Charitable Trust

The Punyatma Prabhakar Sharma Seva Mandal (PPSSM) is a charitable trust founded in 1986 by Smt. Rukmabai Tallur, a staunch Gandhian, who led an austere life wearing only Khadi all her life. ‘Rukmakka’, as she was fondly called, began teaching in Seva Sadan in 1932 and later set up the Bambai Hindi Prachar Sabha to propagate the use of Hindi. In memory of her brother a patriot, social worker and follower of Gandhiji and Vinoba Bhave, she continued her Brother’s noble work by setting up PPSSM, after his self-immolation in protest against the Emergency declared in 1976.

The Noble Work being carried out by the Charitable Trust

With the support of one and all, the trust began working on various projects for the uplifting of the poor in rural and tribal population in state of Maharashtra. The work has made a difference to the lives of more than a million people living in areas deprived of basic educational, healthcare and self-help programmes.

Under an adoption scheme, started by Rukmakka, nearly 500 students are being educated at various centres, where students are imparted employment oriented trades along with their studies, with a view to be self-sufficient as they grow into adulthood.

PPSSM supports other charitable organizations such as Viklang Swavalamban Kendra in Chandrapur, which teaches Typewriting and Computer Centres for the Handicapped, by helping the physically handicapped with cycles to be mobile so that they can benefit from the Kendra’s facilities.

PPSSM supports a library, Jnanaganga Vachanalaya in Ambhora village, Chandrapur. The library, which benefits 12000 literate farmers has gained Government recognition and has been nominated for an award.

PPSSM also assists in making available teaching aids, furniture, school uniforms, notebooks, mid-day meals, an prizes for excellence in sports, etc. PPSSM reaches out to more sections of the needy by working with seven institutions working for special children.

Besides the patrons who have supported the Trust ever since its inception, the teaching staff and all support staff who has been serving the Trust have played a key role in the functioning of the Trust by imparting educational and vocational job-oriented training to the beneficiaries of the program, which are primarily rural and tribal children and youth in Alandi, Chandrapur and Igatpuri and several such villages in the interiors of our country.

New Project - A Boarding School for the Mentally Challenged named "Anusuyatmaja Matimand Nivasa Vidyalaya"

When Rukmakka completed 100 years of her selfless, austere, dedicated life on 8th January 2005, she was presented by many of her well-wishers. She immediately committed the cash gifts she received to her dream project – to build a Boarding School for the mentally challenged Adivasi students in Igatpuri. A school was opened in October 2006 at a temporary place offered by a well –wishers, until a proper Boarding School was built for the purpose.

The best tribute to Rukmakka would be to continue the good work she has left for the Trustees of PPSSM to bring to reality – The Boarding School to be named “Anusuyatmaja Matimand Nivasa Vidyalaya”, on a plot procured by “Ghatandevi Shikshan Prasarak Mandal”. The cost of the project is Rs. 85 Lakhs. The Trust wishes to complete the project by December 2008.

The Trust has appealed for donations, which may be sent by cheque in favour of
“Punyatma Prabhakar Sharma Seva Mandal”
to the following address –

Mrs. Shitala Pandit, Managing Trustee, PPSSM,
9/11 – 12, Saraswat Colony,
Santacruz (West),
Mumbai 400 054, India.
Tel: 91-22-26601837

Donations are eligible for rebate under Section 80G of the Income Tax Act 1961
Donations can be made in INR, USD, GBP or EUR

An Individual Embedded Name Plaque will be put up at the entrance for generous donations for certain facilities of the School as follows :-

Rs 50,000 – For each of the Classrooms (14 in all)
Rs. 1,50,000 – For the Worship area
Rs. 2,00,000 - For Kitchen, Dining or Workshop areas
Rs. 3,00,000 - For Dormitory or Hall

You may contribute in your personal capacity or can recommend your organization to support the cause as a Corporate Social Responsibility, as many organizations have committed to the uplifting of the under-privileged in our society. Your kind gesture would go a long way in the fulfilling of Late Rukmakka’s last wishes. We do hope the good work continues to bring happiness in our lives.

The image of the Building under Construction at Igatpuri

Sources: The Kanara Saraswat Magazine,June 2008 Issue and the PPSSM Appeal Brochure.

For more details about PPSSM, log into their website

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Abhi-Now Story!

By Gopinath Mavinkurve

Newspapers and TV Report don’t seem to stop talking about the latest sporting sensation that has won the hearts of all Indians. He deserves the limelight and the celebrations are understandable. After all, we have waited so long, that we did not even remember we were waiting when it happened!

Suddenly it was raining money for the calm and composed Abhinav Bindra from all state governments and corporates! He certainly deserves it. It is only hoped that this kind of money would pour for building facilities for aspiring sports persons so that he need not turn to his parents for building world-class facilities in his backyard!

Abhinav’s own blog tells the story behind his success.

A few extracts to note are reproduced below:-

“In fact, I do not have a life beyond the confines of the 10m range. I have had a range built in my own home to cut down any possibility of distraction and to be able to practise my sport whenever the fancy strikes me. It all did pay off, didn't it?”

“I would like to reiterate that everyone who represents India at the Olympic Games has put in years of toil and sweat. I ask the Indian people to support our athletes more. It is fine to celebrate our achievements but it is just as important to keep up the backing when we are not on top of our game.

How apt! The same very people who celebrate today would whip up a sporting star if he fails to match his fans' expectations! Did you notice how the media quickly labelled Roger Federer "Federror"?

“The joy that the nation feels at my win is humbling. I just wish that this is repeated more and more often.With our depth of talent and expanse of people I firmly believe India can be a world-class sporting power. What we need are precise systems. I will try to do my bit at grooming the next generation. I would like to appeal to each Indian to also do their bit in prodding us out of sporting complacency.

Read the Indian Express article, By Harcharan Singh, titled "A Lost Opportunity". How we fail to nurture rising stars struggling to follow their dreams and only wake up after the star begins to shine bright, albeit without our love and care.

Abhinav’s story is of dedication, passion, commitment and hard work. And we are celebrating his success! There are many more stories we have yet to learn about - of passion, commitment and dedicated service in all walks of life. Lost in the crowd. Not even looking for a gesture of thankfulness from society – let alone wanting to be in the limelight.

My new blog “Small Steps Along The Way” will attempt to post stories of dedicated, committed and passionate citizen and their work in their chosen fields – not restricted to sports. The blog will report good news, positive developments and appreciate the efforts behind such ventures. I will also invite fellow bloggers to share inspirational stories in their region which i will feature in my blog.

Abhinav Bindra’s achievement, among other encouraging developments prompted me to take my first step on this path. Just like the Gold Medal was the first

“When should I begin?”, I asked my self.
Abhi, Now!” was the obvious answer!