At the age of 7 , He is the youngest to scale the Mountain Kilimanjaro …

He just wanted to see some snow. But he got much more than that.
Samanyu, all of 7, scaled Africa’s loftiest peak and proved that no dream is impossible.
And that age is just a number.
Rediff.com‘s Divya Nair speaks to the mini mountaineer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMAGE: Samanyu Pothuraju at Uhuru peak, Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
All photographs: Kind courtesy Samanyu Pothuraju/Boots and Crampons

On April 2, 2018, when Samanyu Pothuraju, 7, from Hyderabad, was woken up at 3 am by his expedition leader Bharat Taminneni, he didn’t want to wake up.

He begged, “It’s too cold outside. I don’t want to go. Please let me sleep.”

It was the very last leg of their ascent to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro so Bharat would not give in.

Recalls Lavanya Krishna, Samanyu’s mother, “Finally, Bharat told him that if he reached the summit, his favourite (Telugu film) hero Pawan Kalyan would (surely want to) meet him.”

Mention of Pawan Kalyan did the magic.

Samanyu woke up with a start.

Eight odd hours later that day, at 11.52 am, to be precise, little Samanyu made it to the top of Uhuru, the highest point of Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. And clinched a world record.

At 7, Samanyu is the youngest person in history to scale this peak, 5,895 metres above sea level.

But the Class 3 student, who “loves karate, computers and math,” did not have the faintest idea about the significance of his journey.

“I was wearing a thick jacket and gloves. My legs were paining, but I was happy,” Samanyu tells Rediff.com from Hyderabad.

Last year he was one of the youngest to reach the Mount Everest base camp in Nepal.

What inspired him to go to Africa?

Mount Everest actually.

Says Lavanya, who accompanied Samanyu till Kilimanjaro’s second base camp and not beyond, “When we reached the base camp of Mount Everest, some months ago, he (Samanyu) was disappointed that he couldn’t see much snow.”

“When I told him about Kilimanjaro, he asked me if there would be snow and if he could touch it. I said yes. He said he wanted to go and see the snow.”

For Lavanya, a bank employee who quit her job to take care of her children (Samanyu’s elder sister is 13), sending her seven year old to the top of Kilimanjaro wasn’t an emotional decision.

It was about letting Samanyu have his dream.

She consulted Raji Thammineni of Boots and Crampons, a Hyderabad-based adventure logistics company, to find out how safe the journey was.

“Raji is a friend and she advised I first send Samanyu to a training camp to see if he was fit to go.”

Samanyu passed the camp last year with with flying colours.

“He could climb 50 steps up and down with ease, trek to mountains and even made it to the Everest base camp in October 2017,” says Lavanya.

In November, Samanyu signed up with Boots and Crampons to prepare to scale Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain.

In addition to his training, Lavanya helped her son get mountain ready by showing him a video of the terrain daily.

“He saw how people climbed it in different situations — rain, sun, snow, etc.”

Samanyu was keen to see snow. But he also wanted to see East Africa’s famous blue monkeys.”

“He saw three blue monkeys,” Lavanya says.

Lavanya and Samanyu flew to Tanzania on March 27.

“It was supposed to be summer. When we reached it was raining and snowing. My head was paining on reaching the second base camp, so I was asked to rest,” says Lavanya.

The next climb, from the second base camp to the last camp, took approximately 10 hours.

The final stretch from the last camp to the summit was equally long. But Samanyu finished it like a pro, says Lavanya.

‘It required meticulous planning to achieve this mission. We took all the care and precautions to keep the child safe and help him realise (the importance) of his mission to the summit of one of the most challenging mountains in the world,’ Bharat and Raji posted on Facebook about Samanyu’s achievement.

‘Master Samanyu fought bravely with different terrains — rainforest, moorland-rocky landscape, Alpine desert and crater rim — before summiting this wonder of the world. We are extremely proud to support Master Samanyu’s achievement which brought laurels to our country,’ the post added.

The sacrifices

To prepare for Africa, Samanyu had to wake up early and religiously maintain a schedule so he could balance school, extracurricular activities and mountaineering.

“He’d wake up at 5 am and go for his karate classes followed by cycling. After school, he’d train for mountaineering,” says Lavanya.

Samanyu had to follow a strict diet. Not too much sugar. No ice cream.

“I had to eat canned food,” Samanyu tells Rediff.com. “It was tasty though.”

“After we climbed down, they gave me ice cream. I was very happy.”

What’s next

His next challenge?

“I want to do the 10 peaks challenge in Australia.”

Turns out none of this has affected his academic performance: Samanyu, who studies at the Bolton School in Hyderabad, scored over 95 per cent in his last examination.           

IMAGE: Samanyu holds up a printout with Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao’s image at Uhuru peak, Kilimanjaro.

Lavanya and Krishna spent Rs 15 lakhs funding their son’s expedition, but they feel helping Samanyu attain his dreams was their most important mission.

Here’s their message to parents: “Never stop your child from dreaming big. You can guide her /him on what is right and wrong. But support their dreams as much as you can.”

Samanyu is now waiting to meet Pawan Kalyan, as promised. His parents have tweeted the Telugu superstar about their son’s wish to meet him.

Hey, Pawan, if you are reading this feature, please do give lil’ Samanyu a call.

http://www.rediff.com

Natarajan

 

 

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Why Do Many Historic Buildings in The UK Have Bricked Up Windows?…!!!

There was a time in Great Britain when having windows in homes and buildings were prohibitively expensive.

That time began in 1696 with the introduction of the much-despised window tax, that levied tax on property owners based on the number of windows or window-like openings the property had. The details of the tax kept changing with time, but the basic premise was that the more windows the house had, the more tax the owner had to pay.

In the eyes of the legislature the window tax was a brilliant way to put the burden of tax on the shoulder of the upper class. The rich usually had larger houses with more windows, and so were liable to pay more taxes. Poor people, on the other hand, lived in smaller houses and so paid less. To make the system even more attractive to the poorer class, those houses with fewer than ten windows were exempted from the window tax altogether.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A building with bricked up windows in Bath. Photo credit: Jo Folkes/Flickr

But the tax was not nearly as progressive as it first seemed. In towns and cities, many poor families lived in large tenement buildings with many windows, and were therefore subject to heavy window tax assessments. The tax was paid by the landlord but the costs of the window tax were passed on to the residents in heavier rents.

But the most fundamental error was the assumption that people wouldn’t respond in creative ways to avoid tax. Many people with a lot of windows started bricking up windows instead of just paying the tax. And often when new buildings were built, the number of windows were reduced, and at times, completely eliminated to avoid tax.

So not only tenants had to pay higher rents, they now had to live with inadequate light and ventilation

The legislation also failed to define a window, allowing tax collectors to charge anything that remotely resembled one including perforated grates in larders, leading to much resentment among all section of the society. It was novelist Charles Dickens who gave voice to these dissatisfaction.

In 1850, Dickens wrote about the window tax in Household Words, a magazine that he published for a number of years:

A building with bricked up windows in Bath. Photo credit: Jo Folkes/Flickr

But the tax was not nearly as progressive as it first seemed. In towns and cities, many poor families lived in large tenement buildings with many windows, and were therefore subject to heavy window tax assessments. The tax was paid by the landlord but the costs of the window tax were passed on to the residents in heavier rents.

But the most fundamental error was the assumption that people wouldn’t respond in creative ways to avoid tax. Many people with a lot of windows started bricking up windows instead of just paying the tax. And often when new buildings were built, the number of windows were reduced, and at times, completely eliminated to avoid tax.

So not only tenants had to pay higher rents, they now had to live with inadequate light and ventilation

The legislation also failed to define a window, allowing tax collectors to charge anything that remotely resembled one including perforated grates in larders, leading to much resentment among all section of the society. It was novelist Charles Dickens who gave voice to these dissatisfaction.

In 1850, Dickens wrote about the window tax in Household Words, a magazine that he published for a number of years:

The adage ‘free as air’ has become obsolete by Act of Parliament. Neither air nor light have been free since the imposition of the window-tax. We are obliged to pay for what nature lavishly supplies to all, at so much per window per year; and the poor who cannot afford the expense are stinted in two of the most urgent necessities of life.

One year later, in 1851, the window tax was repealed—156 years after first being introduced.

The window tax was just one of scores of absurd taxes designed by the British government to raise money. Another one was the brick tax introduced in 1784, during the reign of King George III, to help pay for the wars in the American Colonies. Again the people responded by increasing the size of the bricks so that fewer bricks are needed to raise a house. Many buildings built with oversized bricks still stand in Measham, Leicestershire.

Similarly, between 1662 and 1689, tax was levied on the number of hearths or fireplace in a dwelling, encouraging people to crowd into smaller dwellings and go without fire in some cases to avoid the tax. But the window tax was by far the longest lasting and the most hated.

Even today, the legacy of the window tax can seen be seen in the bricked-up windows in many historic buildings across Britain.

Bonus fact: The term “daylight robbery” is believed to have stemmed from window tax since it essentially amounted to robbing people of daylight through an unfair mean. However, the first printed use of the phrase didn’t occur until 1916, and even then the context didn’t explicitly link it to unfair overcharging. It was only after 1949 that the phrase was firmly associated with “unfairness”. Because of this disconnect—both in time and in meaning—between window tax and the phrase, some etymologistbelieve that the relation between the two is a myth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A satirical cartoon titled ‘The Revolution of the Planets Against the Tax Upon Light’ in response to the window tax introduced in 1696.                                                                                 A family looking forward to seeing more of the Sun when the Window Tax would be repealed. Cartoon by Richard Doyle, 1754.

Source……..Kaushik in http://www.amusingplanet.com

Natarajam

 

Meet the Ex-IAS Officer Who Left America to Head the Swachh Bharat Mission…

 

The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Mission) promised to bring open defecation in India down to zero, and the government had also guaranteed that it would build enough toilets in every village and city to completely eradicate the problem of open defecation.

Many of us will agree that open defecation leads to the proliferation of diseases, and it is thus, advisable, to make India completely open-defecation free.

However, one man working for the Swachh Bharat Mission knows that the subject of open-defecation is not as black and white as it seems. For many, it is a part of their lifestyle, that they cannot change overnight. The problem of maintaining toilets that were built by the authorities also keeps people outside the washroom walls.

Meet Parameswaran Iyer, a former IAS (Indian Administrative Service) officer who currently leads the Swachh Bharat Mission  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr Iyer had worked with World Bank from April 1998 to September 2007 in Hanoi, Vietnam. From 2012 onwards he was the lead water and sanitation specialist for the World Bank and was instrumental in bringing two leading programmes on the ground there.

Before taking up a specialisation in Vietnam, Mr Iyer had also worked in Washington on Egypt and Lebanon and in the Bank’s Water Anchor.

When he realised that he had to accept that many people prefer to defecate in the open rather than in toilets, Mr Iyer brought his experience in Vietnam to practical use. In 2014, he had written about the need for behaviour change before a lifestyle change, on the World Bank’s site.

“The biggest lesson learned so far in Vietnam, and other countries is that eliminating open defecation is not driven by the construction of toilets.

It is driven by changing the behaviour at the community level based on quality, evidence-based interventions. What is also clear is that approaches must be tailored to be the specific context with careful consideration of local factors such as ethnicity,” he wrote.

Mr Iyer’s experience with the World Bank, across several countries, will certainly help India, to go a step further in the cleanliness mission.

This is a rare case of the Indian government appointing an IAS officer working with the World Bank for their initiative, and Mr Iyer has certainly upped the hopes of Indian citizens. He was appointed as Union Secretary for the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation in 2017 on a two-year contract basis.

A senior government official told Livemint, “It is clear from the two-year fixed contract, that the government has decided to give him a free hand to steer the programme. It also gives a clear signal that if the government does not get the desired results from the internal talent pool, it will not hesitate in getting them from outside.”

With a combined experience of about two decades in this sector, Parameswaran is sure to be a beaming light of hope for the dream of a clean India!

Featured image source: Twitter.

Source….Tanvi Patel  in http://www.the betterindia.com

Natarajan

 

How Sivalingam battled pain to snatch another C’wealth gold….

‘I had no hopes of winning a medal after I injured my thighs during the National Championships while attempting 194 kg in clean and jerk. ‘

‘Even now I am competing at less than ideal fitness, but I am glad that was enough to get me a gold.’                                                                                                                                       

Defending champion Sathish Sivalingam (77 kg) claimed India’s third gold medal at the Commonwealth Games on Saturday, emerging triumphant despite having given up podium hopes after his injured thighs made even routine things like sitting painful.

The 25-year-old Indian lifted a total 317 kg (144+173) and was so ahead in the competition that he forfeited his final clean and jerk lift.

“I had no hopes of winning a medal after I injured my thighs during the National Championships while attempting 194 kg in clean and jerk. It’s a quadriceps problem; even now I am competing at less than ideal fitness, but I am glad that was enough to get me a gold,” said Sathish, after the medal presentation ceremony during which he was accorded a warm applause from the packed arena.

“I was in so much pain that even sitting was very painful for me. Everyone took care of me, gave me hope but I was not very confident. I had not trained that hard and my body was not at its best, and so how could I hope for a medal,” added the Tamil Nadu lifter.

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA – APRIL 07: Gold medalist Sathish Kumar Sivalingam of India poses during the medal ceremony for the Men’s 77kg Weightlifting Final on day three of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games at Carrara Sports and Leisure Centre on April 7, 2018 on the Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a fascinating contest of one-upmanship between Sathish and eventual silver-medallist Jack Oliver of England in the snatch competition.

The two kept upping the weights before their attempts but Oliver kept his nose ahead at the end of snatch as he lifted 145 kg in his second attempt. It was a kilogram more than Satish’s final attempt.

However, Satish had the last laugh in clean and jerk after Oliver failed two attempts of 171kg and settled for a total of 312 kg (145+167).

The bronze medal went to Australian showman Francois Etoundi, who lifted 305 kg (136+169) and collapsed clutching his injured shoulder after his final lift.

“I got lucky there, had he (Oliver) not dropped those weights, I would have had to go higher and I am not sure how my body would have taken that. I am quite relieved actually.”

At the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Sathish won the gold medal with 149 kg snatch and 179 kg clean and jerk lifts, totalling 328 kg. His lift of 149 kg in snatch continues to be the Games record.

“I didn’t want to touch that level because I still need to undergo rehabilitation. The fact that the access to our physio was limited made it all the more difficult. I just hope that we get a physio with us at the Asian Games,” said Sathish, once again highlighting the problems the weightlifters are facing due to the lack of accessibility of their physios in the competition area.

Sathish is also the reigning Commonwealth Championships gold-medallist.

“I hope to do even better in the Asian Games because there is a gap now. Earlier, the Asian Games used to come within 20-25 days of the Commonwealth Games, which didn’t give us enough time to prepare. But this time I have got time to prepare and be fully fit now,” he said.

Tags: Jack OliverKumar SivalingamSathish SivalingamFrancois EtoundiIMAGE

Source:   www.rediff.com

Natarajan

The jingle Trucks of Pakistan …

A typical Pakistani truck driver spends more time with his truck than he does with his wife. Which explains why he wants his 10-ton six-wheeler to look like a new bride.

These trucks plying across Pakistan’s national highways and the neighboring country of Afghanistan are distinctively ostentatious. The entire trucks, from top to bottom, are a riot of colors. Lavishly painted panels containing a mosaic of birds, flowers, landscapes, saints, and actresses in hyper-saturated color palette adorn the exterior, while plastic flowers, draped beads, mirrors, ribbons and velvet grace the interior. The cabin is crowned by a custom built wooden prow wrapped in more kitschy artwork, while a string of metal bells dangle from the chassis all round the periphery. When the truck is in motion, these bells clang against each other like a new bride’s ghungroo. This is where the nickname “jingle trucks” come from—coined by US troops deployed in Afghanistan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo credit: ISAF Public Affairs/Flickr

And it isn’t just trucks alone. Passenger buses, water tankers, transport vans, rickshaws, and even vendors’ pushcarts are psychedelically decorated with eye-popping colors. It’s like a rolling folk art, “a national gallery without walls, a free-form, kaleidoscopic exhibition in perpetual motion,” as Richard Covington puts it.

The tradition of decorating trucks began sometime in the 1920s with the introduction of the long-distance Bedfords—a British-built truck with rounded cab and seven-feet high paneled sides that was to become the country’s most prestigious and dependable truck for more than half a century. Originally trucks were painted with each company’s logo so that illiterate people could recognize who owned the trucks. Gradually, these logos became more fanciful, flamboyant and competitive. By the 1950s, stylized murals and frescoes had begun to replace them. It was only in the 1960s, as the country’s economy boomed, the decorations became increasingly sophisticated to reflect the growing wealth of the drivers and the rise of a new urban class.

Pimping out a truck this way cost truck owners a small fortune. It isn’t unheard of for a driver to spend the equivalent of a year’s worth, or more, of profits on truck decorations. According to a 2005 article, a basic painting and body job costs a minimum of $2500, equivalent to two years of the average truck driver’s salary. Some spend upwards of $10,000 outfitting their rigs. Unbelievably, many truckers will return to the workshop every three or four years for a full vehicle makeover.

“Truckers don’t even spend so much money on their own houses,” marvels Durriya Kazi, head of the department of visual studies at the University of Karachi. “I remember one driver who told me that he put his life and livelihood into the truck. If he didn’t honor it with the proper paint job, he would feel he was being ungrateful.”

A well-decorated truck also gives customers the impression that it is well taken care of and will, therefore, be a dependable way to transport goods.

Truck painting is also a big business. In Karachi city alone, more than 50,000 people are engaged in this unregulated yet lucrative industry. Family-run workshops comprising of apprentices and highly trained artisans, and small shops selling all manners of outlandish ornaments and accessories crowd around truck yards.

Over the years, however, the business has changed. Now instead of meticulously hand painting each truck, mass produced stickers and adornments are used.

“Truck decoration is not stagnating; it is dead,” laments R M Naeem, an assistant professor at the National College of Arts, Lahore. “This is because truck painters treat their work as a source of livelihood. They do not have the time or the luxury to innovate; they repeat the same old patterns, images and icons over and over again.”

However, thanks to artists like Haider Ali, who gave a Ford van a jingle-truck-style makeover a couple of years ago in a parking lot in Pasadena, California, and other painters, it’s unlikely that this quintessentially Pakistani craft is going to die out any time soon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source……..Kaushik in  http://www.amusingplanet.com

Natarajan

 

 

ஒழுக்கத்திற்கு வழிகாட்டும் தாத்தா…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

தாத்தா ஒருவரால் தான் குடும்பத்தில் எல்லோரையும் மன்னிக்க, கண்டிக்க ஏன்… தண்டிக்கவும் முடியும். வானளாவிய குடும்ப அதிகாரம் படைத்திருந்த தாத்தா இப்போது எங்கே?

தாத்தா, பாட்டி உறவு தாமரை இலை மேல் தண்ணீர் போல ஒட்டாமல் போனதால் தான் இன்றைய பல குடும்பங்கள் சுக்கு நுாறாய் உடைந்து, சிதறிப் போயிருக்கின்றன. வீட்டில் சாப்பிடாமல், நாக்கில் ருசியின்றி கிடக்கும் குழந்தைகளை, மருமகளிடம் திட்டு வாங்கினாலும் பரவாயில்லை என்று ஓட்டலுக்கு கூட்டிச்சென்று புரோட்டா, ஸ்பெஷல் தோசை, ஐஸ்கிரீம் என வாங்கி கொடுத்து வீட்டிற்கு அழைத்து வந்த நாட்கள் என்ன… காய்ச்சலோ, வயிற்று போக்கோ வண்டி கட்டிக்கொண்டு முதல் ஆளாய் டவுன் ஆஸ்பத்திரிக்கு, பெரிய டாக்டரை பார்க்க அழைத்து போகும் உத்வேகம் என்ன… அந்த தாத்தாக்கள் எங்கே?

கயிற்று கட்டிலில் நிலாவை காட்டிக்கொண்டே காற்றோட்டத்துடன் கதை சொல்லும் பக்குவம் என்ன… அவை எல்லாம் இந்த காலத்து குழந்தைகளுக்கு கிடைக்காத பாசபிணைப்பு காலங்கள்.

தாத்தாவின் அதிகாரம்:
தாத்தா கையில் தான் வீட்டின் சாவிக் கொத்து இருக்கும். கல்யாண நாளில் திடீரென ஒரு பெரும் தொகையை மருமகளிடம் கொடுத்து, பிடித்த நகை வாங்கிக்கொள்ளம்மா என்று குடும்ப சக்கரத்தை பக்குவமாக நகர்த்தி செல்லும் தாத்தாக்கள் இல்லாததால் பல குடும்பங்கள் தடம் புரண்டு கிடக்கின்றன. வீட்டிற்கு யாராவது புதிய ஆள் வந்தாலோ, ஆண் குரல் கேட்டாலோ யாரு என சத்தமாக கர்ஜிக்கும் குரலில் எதிராளி சற்று ஆடிப்போய் விடுவார்.

குழந்தைகளை முதல் நாள் பள்ளியில் கொண்டுபோய் விடுவதிலிருந்து, மருமகளை அடுத்த பிரசவத்துக்கு ஆஸ்பத்திரியில் சேர்க்கும் வரை தாத்தா தானாகவே இழுத்து போட்டுக்கொண்டு செய்யும் வேலைகளை இப்பொழுது செய்ய யாரும் இல்லை. ஆட்டோக்காரர், கால் டாக்சிகாரர்கள் அந்த பணியை செய்ய வேண்டிய நிலை. இதுவேதனையானது மட்டுமல்ல மூத்த உறவுகளை உதறிய பாவத்தின் தண்டனை தான்.

ஒழுக்கத்தின் அடையாளம்:
தாத்தா வீட்டில் இருந்ததால் பெரும்பாலான குடும்பங்களில் ஆண்கள் மது அருந்துவதையும், புகை பிடித்தலையும் தவிர்த்தார்கள். லேட்டாக வீட்டிற்கு வந்தால், கதவை தட்டியவுடன் முதல் ஆளாய் கதவை திறந்து ‘ஏன்டா லேட்’ என மகனையும், பேரனையும் அதிகாரத்துடன் கேட்கும் உரிமை தாத்தாவிற்கு மட்டும் தான் இருந்தது. அந்த உரிமையை பறித்ததால் இன்று வீட்டிற்கு ஒன்றிரண்டு ‘குடிமகன்கள்’முளைத்துவிட்டனர்.

பாடம் சொல்லி கொடுப்பதாகட்டும், வாத்தியாரிடம் சென்று ‘படிக்கலைனா நல்லா அடிங்க’ என்று சொல்லிவிட்டு, பேரன் போன பின்பு ‘அடிச்சு கிடிச்சுப்புடாதீங்க; ஒரு பேச்சுக்கு சொன்னேன்,” என்று மறுநிமிடமே வாத்தியாரிடம் மல்லுகட்டும் அந்த தாத்தாவின் அன்புக்கு ஈடு இணையே இல்லை. குழந்தை பருவத்தில் உண்டியல் தான் தாத்தா கொடுக்கும் முதல் பரிசு. சேமிப்பு பழக்கத்தை முதல் காசு போட்டு தொடங்கி வைக்கும் தாத்தாக்கள் உண்டு. ‘தாத்தா நீ செத்துப்போனா எனக்கு யாரு பொம்மை வாங்கித்தருவா? யாரு காசு கொடுப்பா?’ என விளையாட்டாய் கேட்கும் போதெல்லாம் சிரித்துக் கொண்டே ‘உன் கல்யாணத்தை பார்த்துட்டுதான்டா நான் சாவேன்’ என முத்தமிட்டவாறே சொல்லும் அந்த முதிய குழந்தை தாத்தா இப்போது இருப்பதெல்லாம் முதியோர் இல்லங்களில்.

முதுமையை போற்றுவோம்:
குடும்ப உறுப்பினர்களின் மூக்கணாங்கயிற்றை அதிகாரமாக கையில் வைத்திருந்த பல முதியவர்கள் இன்று முதியோர் இல்லங்களில் கட்டிப்போடப்பட்டிருக்கின்றனர். சமீபத்தில் ஒரு ஆதரவற்றோர் இல்லத்தில் எழுதிப்போட்டிருந்த வாசகம் நெஞ்சை உருக்கியது. ‘இது மனிதர்களை பார்க்க விலங்குகள் வந்து போகும் மனித காட்சி சாலை’. பல ஆயிரம் அர்த்தங்களை உள்ளடக்கிய வாசகம் இது. தங்கள் வீட்டின் முதியவர்களை முதியோர் இல்லங்களில் கொண்டுபோய்விடும் மகன்கள் அங்கு சொல்வதெல்லாம், ‘இங்கேயே ஏதும்ஆனா கூட பரவாயில்லை! நாங்க உங்களை ஏதும் சொல்லமாட்டோம். திரும்ப எங்க வீட்டுக்கு மட்டும் அனுப்பிவிடாதீங்க!’ குடும்ப உறவுகள் அந்நியமாகிப்போனதின் முதல் அபாயமே, வீட்டின் முதியோர் புறக்கணிப்பு தான்.

கேள்விக்குறி உறவுகள்:
தாத்தா பாட்டி உறவுகள் தற்போதைய குழந்தைகளுக்கு கிடைக்கிறதா என்றால் கேள்விக்குறிதான். தாத்தாக்கள் கிராமங்களில் தனியாக ரேடியோவோ, தொலைக்காட்சியோபார்த்து அன்றாட பொழுதை ஓட்டிக்கொண்டிருக்க, நகரத்து குழந்தைகள் பள்ளி, டியூஷன், டான்ஸ் என பிசியாக காலம் கழிக்க, என்றாவது வரும் தாத்தாவும் நகரத்து வீட்டில் தனியாகவே இருக்க, தாத்தா- குழந்தை உறவுப்பாலம் நுாலிழையில் தொங்கிக்கொண்டு இருக்கிறது. டிரங்கால் போட்டு கூடுதல் பணம் செலவு செய்து போனில் தாத்தாவிடம் நலம் விசாரித்த காலம் போய், இப்போது பணம், அலைபேசி, நேரம் இருந்தும் மனம் இல்லாமல் தாத்தாவுடன் போனில் பேசுவதையே தவிர்த்துவிட்டோம்.

தாயின் அன்பை போன்றே தாத்தாவின் அன்பும் ஈடு இணையற்றது. ‘தாத்தா நீ செத்துப்போயிட்டேன்னு சொல்லி இன்னிக்கு நான் லீவு போடப்போறேன்’ என்று பேரன் தாத்தாவை கிண்டல் செய்து ஓடுவதும், ‘இரு உன்னை உங்க வாத்தியார் கிட்ட சொல்லித்தரேன்’ என்று சொல்லி தாத்தா செல்லமாய் துரத்துவதும் இனி கிடைக்காத நாட்கள். எந்த ஒரு செயலையும் பக்குவமாய் அணுகி தீர்வு சொல்வது தாத்தாவின் கைவண்ணம். வயதும், அனுபவமும் தாத்தாவை பக்குவப்படுத்துகிறது. ஆனால், அந்த நிதானமும் பொறுமையும் இல்லாததால், இன்று இளைய தலைமுறை இயந்திர கதியாக இயங்குகிறது.

கோடையில் தாத்தா வீடு:
கோடை விடுமுறையில் தாத்தா வீட்டிற்கு கிராமத்திற்கு செல்வதை குழந்தை பருவத்தில் ரசிப்போம். தாத்தாவும், பாட்டியும் சேர்ந்து தலைக்கு நல்லெண்ணெய் தேய்த்து குளிப்பாட்டிவிடுவார்கள். மாலையில் வடை, இரவு சுடச்சுட தோசை சுட்டு கொடுப்பார்கள். திடீரென எல்லா குழந்தைகளுக்கும் விளக்கெண்ணெய் கொடுத்து பேதியாக்கி, வயிற்றை சுத்தம் செய்வார்கள். பள்ளி திறக்கும் முன்பாக சென்ட்ரப்பர், பென்சில், நான்கு வண்ண ரீபில் பேனா, புது ஜாமின்ட்ரி பாக்ஸ் என தாத்தா குழந்தைகளை கவனிக்கும் விதமே தனி தான். பெரியப்பா, பெரியம்மா, சித்தி, சித்தப்பா, மாமா, அத்தை என சம உறவுகளோடு கிராமத்து வீட்டில் குழந்தைகளாக ஆட்டம் போட்ட நாட்கள், குளத்திலும், கண்மாயிலும் நீச்சல் கற்றுக் கொண்டு நாட்கள், பம்புசெட்டில் குளித்தநாட்கள், கோடை மழையில் நனைந்தவாறே கிராமத்து வீட்டு முற்றத்தில் குதித்த நாட்கள் இன்றும் ரம்யமானவை. அந்த நாட்களின் பாசப்பிணைப்பு தான் இன்றும் நம்மை நமது சொந்தங்களோடு இணைத்து வைத்திருக்கிறது.

குடும்ப உறவுகள் அறுந்து போகாமல், நேசங்களும், பாசங்களும் விரிசல் விடாமல் ஆண்டுதோறும் புதுப்பித்து கொண்டிருந்த ஒரே உறவு தாத்தா தான். டேய் என்ற தாத்தாவின் கம்பீரக்குரலுக்கு அப்பா, பெரியப்பா, சித்தப்பா, மாமா, அண்ணன், தம்பி என அத்தனை பேரும் சர்வநாடியெல்லாம் அடங்கி பதுங்கி இருந்த காலம் மறக்க முடியாதவை. தாத்தாவின் குரலுக்கு ஆதரவாய் புதிதாய் வந்த மருமகள்களும் இணைந்து போய், கூட்டுக்குடும்ப உறவுகளும், வரவுகளும் சங்கமிக்கும் கோடை விடுமுறை இப்போது டியூசன், இசை, நடன பயிற்சி என்று தடம் புரண்டு போய்விட்டது. 40 ஆண்டுகளுக்கு முன் குழந்தைகளுக்கு மே மாதத்தில் கிராமத்துவீட்டில் கிடைத்தது எல்லாமே தாத்தாவின் அன்பு அரவணைப்பு தான்.

இழந்துவிட்ட நமது கலாசார உறவு மேம்பாட்டுக்கு குழந்தைகளை கோடை விடுமுறைக்கு தாத்தா வீட்டிற்கு அழைத்து போவோம். ஒதுக்கப்பட்ட முதிய உறவுகளிடம் அன்பு கேட்டு தஞ்சம் புகுவோம். உங்கள் குழந்தைகளுக்கு தாத்தாக்களை நீங்கள் அடையாளம் காட்டுங்கள். பேரக்குழந்தைகள் தாத்தா உறவை கற்றுக்கொள்ளும் மே மாதம், கோடை விடுமுறையில் தாத்தாவிடம் சங்கமிப்போம். கொடுப்பதற்கு ஒன்றுமில்லை என்றாலும் தன் நடுங்கும் கரங்களால் தங்கள் பேரக்குழந்தைகளை வாஞ்சையுடன் தாத்தாக்கள் தடவி, வருடும் போது இருக்கும் அன்பு எதற்கும் ஈடாகாது. உறவின் ஆழத்தையும், அன்பின் விளிம்பையும் குழந்தைகள் உணரும் தருணம் அது.

-ஜெ.ஜெயவெங்கடேஷ்சித்த மருத்துவர், மதுரை

98421 67567

Source….www.dinamalar.com

This 69 year old Man has helped start free Libraries across Chennai , and YOU can too !

No membership, no one to supervise, and no last date to return books: Mahendra Kumar’s libraries run on no rules, and plenty of goodwill.

Chennai-based Mahendra Kumar speaks about reading and books with reverence and passion. “It is a character-building activity,” he says earnestly.

In April 2015, he decided to do something which he hoped would encourage people to read: He opened a library in Thirumullaivoyal, Chennai.

It wasn’t just your run-of-the-mill library. The most unique part about it wasn’t even that it was set up in a cement shop, where 69-year-old Mahendra shared a table with the shopkeeper.

What truly set it apart was there was no membership fee, no register to keep track. Literally anyone could walk in, pick up one of the 20 books, and take it home. They could return it whenever they wanted.   

This was the first Read and Return Free Library (RFL). Now, Mahendra says that there are 66 of them across TN, and a few other states, with 10,000 books in all.

His first library in Thirumillaivoyal has now expanded to three cupboards, which he keeps outside his house,bursting with books. It stands completely unmanned.

“I could have kept a register perhaps, where people could sign with the book they were taking,” he adds as an afterthought. But Mahendra snaps out of it the very next moment. “I wanted no protocols, no control. Just people free to read and return books, as per their conscience.”

Encouraging others

Presently, there are 48 RFL libraries in Chennai alone. The others are in Nilgiris, Coimbatore, Aurangabad and Mumbai.

But setting these up has not been an easy task. Unable to travel to these places himself, Mahendra would try to convince others to start such libraries.

“I would sometimes see contact numbers in books. Someone who has written an introduction or a foreword – I’d try to find their numbers. I would try to convince them then to start this in their locality. And I would send whatever little money I could to help them,” Mahendra shares.

One such person he convinced was a former classmate of his, Captain R Venkataraman, who started a RFL library in T Nagar, Chennai, in 2016.

“But there are only so many friends or family members who can be convinced,” Mahendra says. “If there are 66 libraries today, you can assume I made 6,000 calls for them.”

Not as easy as it seems

In the past two years, RFL libraries have sprung up in many different places – gated communities, railway stations, hospitals and even a barber shop.

RFL at a Railway Station….

Mahendra is reluctant to share that this has required a considerable amount of legwork and resources from him. He believes it will discourage people, and make them wary of starting more RFLs.

“When people initially came to know about the concept, they wanted to donate books. So I would speak to a few of them, start at 5 am in the morning, make a round with multiple stops and come back with a car full of books,” he recounts. “Sometimes, I would sleep in the car because I’d get tired.”

The problem was that everyone wanted to donate books, but no one wanted to start the library. “Sometimes, people seemed on board with the idea, but they don’t really follow it up with action. I have been wanting to start one RFL library in Bengaluru as well, and got a volunteer too. But they have not really taken it forward after that.”

Mahendra says that he is ready to send some books, and whatever token amount he can from his pocket to help them get started, if only people volunteer.

He also mentions that he is grateful for his wife, who has never raised an objection against him going around the city at odd hours to collect books, and spending money for the RFLs.

Helping students

Mahendra put together the RFL website in 2016. While he is not very familiar with the internet, he says that he somehow learnt some basics and put it together. “The logo looks very childish, no? I made it on Microsoft Paint,” he says, sounding anxious.

The sole purpose for starting the website, he says, is to promote something called ‘Students Corner’.

It allows students to post requirements for second-hand course books, as well as if they have books to donate. Once they fill a form under that section on the site, other students can see it and get in touch. The donor can either mail the books or have them collected by the recipient, as per convenience.

However, Mahendra rues that this has not become as popular as he would have liked it to be.

He also wishes for more people to start RFLs in their localities. “But, it is quite simple really. You just have to see it from time to time to ensure that the infrastructure, wherever you’ve put it, is okay. You can also start it, madam!” he says, cheerfully.

Source…..Geetika Mantri in https://www.thenewsminute.com/

Natarajan