Saturday, September 26, 2009

Team Everest reaches children through stories!

Stories are the best medium of communication to reach young and old. In the early days, grandma stories from epics used to be popular. Now due to change of life style, our system is totally forgotten this age old proven concept. However story telling is an art by itself. Through good stories, we can plant good thoughts in the minds of the children.

In order to revive this concept, Team Everest, one of the partner organisations of Action 2020 Team under India Vision group released a book on 26th Sep 2009, in Tamil titled "Ilam Indiayavukku" (meaning 'To Young India'). This book is the initiative of Mr Kartheeban, Founder of Team Everest and his team. Team Everest has around 3000 members working in Cognizant Technology at different locations, connected only through intranet. They are supporting various education projects, identified through their members.

This book has 100 anecdotes (in the form of stories) compiled by 23 members of Team Everest, taken from the lives of great people like Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Nehru, Dr Abdul Kalam, Abraham Lincoln, Mother Theresa and others. Every anecdote has been written in Tamil in a very interesting manner like a story, so that young school children get attracted to that. All the 23 authors are working in different projects of the company at different locations and in different countries. They have also not met each other earlier. They compiled the book using the email and chat and other technology tool.

I was also present during the launch function. Out of 23 authors, only few people could attend the function, as all others were in different parts of the country/world. Interestingly, even those authors who were present there met for the first time, though they were closely working together to compile this book. :)
The members of Team Everest operating in US, mobilised funds to the extent of Rs.70,000/- through some cricket tournament to print these books. Presently, they have printed 10,000 copies for distribution amongst school children. As a pilot project, they have already spoken to Chief Education Officer of Tiruvannamalai district. This book will be distributed free of cost to the Head Masters of nearly 500 schools coming under that district. Every day, one anecdote will be read to the students in every school during morning prayers. After few months, Team Everest will get feedback from the Head Masters and improve further.

Kizhakku Pathipagam, one of the leading publishers of Chennai helped them to print the books at cost.

The book is priced at Rs.25/. Whatever money earned out of the sales will be used for re-printing of this book for further distribution. Mr Kartheeban aims to print and distribute a minimum of 1 lakh copies.

Team Everest can be contacted at and Mr Kartheeban may be reached at 9940299062 (Chennai)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mahatma Gandhi's Sabarmati Ashram - A place for 'patriotic pilgrimage'

On 15th Sep 2009, I had the opportunity of visiting Sabarmati Ashram, in the outskirts of Ahmadabad. Mahatma Gandhi lived in this Ashram from 1918 to 1930. Many major decisions relating to freedom movement were taken at this place in those time. Great people like Acharya Vinoba Bhave and Miraben lived in this Ashram. This Ashram is in the banks of river Sabarmati.

Mahatma Gandhi started his famous Dandi March, which is popularly known as Salt Satyagraha in 1930 only from this Ashram. Dandi March created great awareness amongst Indians against British Rule and more than 60,000 freedom fighters were arrested by then British Government. Dandi March was a mile stone in Indian freedom struggle, which forced British to quit India.
What a simple life Mahatma was living in this Ashram. The visitors room, his personal room, kitchen and guest room are all maintained in the same condition, as it was earlier. The huts where Vinobaji and Miraben were living were too simple. The Ashram had around 70 inmates when Gandhiji was there. They have displayed the rules governing the inmates in original. What a simple life they were living.
This Ashram was opened for public by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in 1963. Lot of pictures and the materials used by Mahatma are displayed in galleries.
It was so exciting for me to sit and meditate in the place where Mahatma was living and set his foot. For anyone dreaming a great India by 2020, Sabarmati is a place for 'patriotic pilgrimage'.

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