Friday, August 26, 2011

Saluting Satyagrahis of Anti Corruption movement

Anti Corruption movement has gone deep into the smaller towns of India.  Gandhian Anna Hazare has been on indefinite fast for the past 10 days since 16th August, demanding Jan Lokpal.  The Government has not shown any serious concern for the public sentiments.  Many of the middle class youngsters have come on street across the nation holding national flags and chanting Jai Hind.  The recent exposures of scams like 2G, CWG have angered people and they want a better governance.

Satyagrahis at LB Road, Chennai who completed 10 days of fast
Thousands of Satyagrahis on indefinite fast along with Anna Hazare in many centres.  Due to health conditions, some of the Satyagrahis were advised by doctors to drop out.  Today (26th August 2011), India Against Corruption organisers at Delhi have advised all the Satyagrahis to withdraw from indefinite fast on the 11th day, so that they could focus on other protests.  However Anna Hazare is continuing his fast, till the Government agrees to pass a legislation.
At Chennai, 18 Satyagrahis completed their fast on the 11th day.  Norre Vattan, another partner group of Action 2020 have started indefinite fast three days back in support of Anna Hazare and they said they would continue till Anna Hazare stops his fast.  
India Vision Group and Action 2020 Team salute the great Satyagrahis for their patriotism and commitment to the nation.  Please see the pictures of those great men and women who are fighting for the nation.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Quit India Movement 1942 - interesting historical facts

Today is 9th August 2011.  The same day, 69 years back, i.e. 9th August 1942 is one of the important days in the history of Indian freedom movement.
I am sharing the following interesting information for the knowledge of our young and old generation.  This will give some idea about the sacrifice made by our leaders during the freedom struggle.
World war II and Gripps Mission
The Second World War started in the year 1939 between Britain and Germany.   In 1942, then British Governor involved India, without consulting Congress leaders.  This angered the Congress leaders.
In March 1942, British Government sent a delegation under the leadership of Stafford Cripps, what is popularly known as Cripps Missin, to negotiate with Congress leaders and make them to agree to participate in the war on the Britain side, in turn for a promise of freedom.  The leaders did not agree for the proposal, as they wanted to maintain neutrality in the war.  
Preparation for civil disobedience
On July 14, 1942, Indian National Congress passed a resolution demanding complete freedom to India from British.  The resolution also stated that if the British did not accept the demand, Congress would start a 'mass civil disobedience'.
Since Britain was engaged in the peak of world war II, this resolution met with some controversy.  Sri C Rajagopalachari (Rajaji) also opposed the resolution and he even quit the Congress. (Rajaji joined back Congress later)  Rajaji  was telling Congress that time was not a right time to go for civil disobedience, as the entire world was engaged in World War II.  But all other Senior leaders accepted this resolution.  Even other political parties like Communists, Hindu Maha Saha and Muslim League did not support the call.
"Do or die' call in the historic session on 7th August 1942
The historic session of Indian National Congress was held from 7th August 1942 at Gowalia Tank Maidan, Mumbai (now known as August Kranti Maidan).  In the midnight of 8th/9th August 1942, the Congress passed the famous 'Quit India resolution', which electrified the country.  This has become the popular 'Quit India Movement' and mass civil disobedience movement was launched with Mahatma Gandhi's "Do or die" call.
Quit India movement turning violent
Within few hours of the resolution and call, all the national leaders were arrested.  Since there were no leaders  outside, the movement became violent.  The people burnt the Govt. offices and violence could not be controlled by the Congress.  British Govt. moved the army and more than one lakh people were arrested.  During this period, the contact of the leaders with the masses were cut off. During this period, Mahatma Gandhi lost his wife Kasturba Gandhi and his trusted secretary Mahadev Desai, who were also in the jail.  Mahatma also was losing health. 

Different reasons for 'violence' like absence of top leaders, mistaken impression of do or die call, inducement by British rulers indirectly are attributed .

Huge crowd at Gowalia Tank Maidan on 9th August 1942
Hoisting of Indian Tri-Colour
When the Quit India movement was started on 9th August 1942, British Police treated the masses brutally.  At that time, Aruna Asaf Ali hoisted the Indian Tricolour in the Gowalia Tank Maidan proudly.  This was the first time, when Indian Triclour was hoisted.  
Underground radio station
During the movement time, Aruna Asaf Ali and Usha Mehta (a student) were broadcasting the underground news through an underground radio station (42.34 metres).  They were shifting the broadcasting equipment frequently, to avoid being captured by British Police. 
It may be noted that all the leaders and freedom fighters  who participated in the movement were released only after three years, after the World War II ended.  
Freedom to India
After the World War II,  Labour Party won the elections and captured power in Britain.  They took initiative to transfer power to the interim Government headed by Pandit Nehru.  India got the full Independence on 15th August 1947.
Though Quit India movement has generated controversies at that time, definitely, this movement is being considered as one of the important milestones in Indian freedom movement, to force the Britain to handover the power to Indian leaders.
On this day, let us salute those brave freedom fighters for their great sacrifice.  
Jai Hind

Monday, August 8, 2011

6th UnConference of Action 2020 focuses on career guidance and edu loans

Action 2020 is a platform for more than 30 like minded youth organisations to come together, deliberate on various individual and common projects.  This is part of the online India Vision Group.  The leaders of Action 2020 team used to meet every year during January and July as 'UnConference', to deliberate on their achievements and failures.  In the concept of UnConference, all the participats are equal and every one particpates equally.  Though a broad agenda is fixed earlier, the agenda is finalised based on the needs of the participating members.
Kannagi Nagar Project
6th of such UnConference was held on Saturday the 6th August (this year delayed by a week), at Asan Memorial Senior Secondary School.  40 leaders/representatives from 25 member organistions participated.  During this UnConference the members reviewed the common projects like 'Kannagi Nagar Project', where some of the member organisations actively participate along with Chennai Police and Rotary Club of Madras East, to decriminalise the area. Vinod of Azreya, the Project coordinator explained the activities  Many teams from Action 2020 are involved in this project.  Suyam is providing technical support. 
Education Loan Task Force
Through Education Loan Task Force (ELTF), Action 2020 is creating awareness about education loan to students and parents across the nation and also take up the cases, where poor and intelligent students are harased by banks, with higher authorities.  Through ELTF, the banks reconsidered and reopened the cases of nearly 300 poor and brilliant students for granting education loan.  Strategies for creating edu loan awareness were also planned.  K. Srinivasan, Convenor of ELTF clarified many of the doubts along with Mr Ravikumar, Coordinator of Action 2020. 
Career Guidance Programme
In many of the rural centres, students do not get proper guidance to plan their career and studies.  It was also decided to start a career guidance programme to the rural students through our volunteer network.  Initially, it was decided to start the programme at Nagappatinam district as a pilot project. Shiva and Ravi, coordinators of Action 2020 will be coordinating this project.
Rules and procedures for registering and managing trusts
Many of the youngsters group together to do social work.  They do it informally.  Many of them want to formalise through trust or any offcial body.  Expert input was given on the various procedures governing trusts, societies, etc.  Mr Nandhakumar, Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax, Chennai and Mr Prasanna, a social worker shared the rules and procedures for formation of a trust and other formalities to be complied with. 
'Thuli' event - competition for special children 
This year's UnConference was made to coincide with the annual event 'Thuli' organised by Punnagai and Dream India in the same veneue.  Nearly 400 children from various homes and orphanages participated.  They participated in various competitions and entertainment and bagged lot of awards.  Punnagai and Dream India are the partner organisations of Action 2020.  Through this 'Thuli' event, they were able to motivate the young special children to achieve more and more.
Natarajan of Dream India and Aum Murugan of Aum Foundation took the lead in organsing the UnConference jointly with 'Tuli' project.
The tag-line of Action 2020 is 'Together to act'.  All the team members have individual capabilities and strength.  When, we pool all the strengths together, the members are able to achieve more than what they could do.  
Pl see the photo stream:

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Lok Sabha Heroes and UnSung Heroes honoured

Prime Point Foundation, Chennai and Corporate ezine PreSense honour the top performing MPs of Lok Sabha since 2009.  Top 5 MPs of 14th Lok Sabha were featured in the ezine PreSense.
In 2010, the Foundation instituted Annual Awards for the top performing MPs (calculated till the end of 31st March of every year based on the data provided by Lok Sabha Secretariat and compiled by PRS India.  Mr Hansraj Gangaram Ahir (BJP MP from Chandrapur, Maharashtra) and Mr S S Ramasubbu (Cong MP from Tirunelveli) were honoured for their top performance in the 15th Lok Sabha till the end of March 2010.  Mr Ramasubbu, stood first in debates, private bills and questions in Tamilnadu.  
For the year 2011, a simple and impressive function was organised at Thakkar Bapa Vidyalaya on 7th May 2011.  Mr Era Sezhian (well known veteran octogenarian Parliamentarian), Mr N Vittal (Former Central Vigilance Commissioner of India) and Mr Sthanunathan (Secretary of Thakkar Bapa Vidyalaya and a Gandhian) were the chief guests.  
Mr Hansraj Gangaram Ahir, Mr Anandrao Adsul, Mr S S Ramasubbu, award winning MPs with Mr N Vittal, Mr Sthanunathan, Mr Era Sezhian and K. Srinivasan
During this function, Mr Hansraj Gangaram Ahir (BJP MP from Chandrapur, Maharashtra), Mr Anandrao Adsul (Shiv Sena MP from Amravati, Maharastra) and Mr S S Ramasubbu (Cong MP from Tirnelveli, Tamilnadu) were honoured for their top performance in the Lok Sabha till the end of Budget Session 2011.  
Mr Hansraj stood first for overall tally and also in introducing Private Member Bills.  Mr Adsul stood second in the overall tally and also first in raising questions.  It may be noted, Mr Adsul stood first in raising questions even in 14th Lok Sabha.
Mr Ramasubbu, stood fourth in the overall tally at national level and first among Tamilnadu MPs.  
A round table discussion was held on the theme "Social leadership and development politics".  There was a huge particpation of youth in this programme.
Besides the award winning MPs, Dr Jayaprakash Narayan MLA of AP (President of Lok Satta Party), Mr Vivek Pandit Independent MLA from Maharashtra, Ms Jothi Mani, General Secretary of Youth Congress also participated and shared their views.
At the request of K. Srinivasan, Prime Point Foundation, the award winning 3 MPs agreed to take student interns to train them in parliamentary proceedings and procedures.  Department of Humanities and Social Science of IIT, Chennai has agreed to nominate students to these top performing MPs.  Based on the experience, this concept will be extended to other willing MPs.  This is the first of its kind in India.
Besides the three top performing MPs, the Foundation has also honoured Manam Malarattum, Build Future India, the NGOs and serial inventor Mr Arvind Thyagarajan (30) who holds 40 patents in his name. 
Mr Sudhangan, a well known TV anchor, moderated the discussion.
Indian Overseas Bank, Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd, Good Relations, Karnataka Power Corporation sponsored this event.  Cyber Society of India, India Vision online group and Action 2020 Team supported this initiative.
Please watch the photo stream:

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

India celebrates 62nd Republic Day - Interesting facts about 'Making of our Constitution'

Today (26th Jan 2011), India celebrates the 62nd Republic Day with joy and gaiety.  While conveying the Greetings to all the members of the group, I thought of sharing some interesting facts about the significance  of this day for the benefit of our young members. 
British Rule
First Britisher entered India in 1579.  Thereafter merchants started coming and ruled us.  In 1765, the Authority got transferred to East India Company formally.  Then British Parliament took over the  administration.  Indians started protesting the foreign rule even from the  18th century.  Indian National Congress was formed in 1885 to formally fight the foreign rulers.  After the entry of Mahatma Gandhi, the freedom movement became dynamic.  Before Independence, India was governed by various Acts enacted by British Parliament.  Government of India Act 1858, Government of India Act 1909, Government of India Act 1919 and finally the Govt. of India Act 1935 framed by British Parliament governed Indians. (These Acts became irrelevant after Independence and adoption of Indian Constitution)
Constituent Assembly formed
First day of
Constituent Assembly
After the prolonged struggle and negotiations, as a fore-runner of Independence, a 'Constituent Assembly' was formed with the members representing different regions and religions.  The first meeting of the Constituent Assembly was held on 9th December 1946.  Many great leaders  were part of this Assembly.  On the first day 207 members participated. 
On the first day, Acharya Kriplani, one of the respected leaders started the proceedings invoking the 'divine blessings' and proposing the name of Shri Sachchidananda Sinha (Bihar), the eldest member of the Assembly  as 'Provisional Chairman' till the Chairman was elected.  
Shri C Rajagopalachari (Rajaji) was the first member to present the credentials and sign the register to become the member of the Constituent Assembly.  
On the third day, Dr Rajendra Prasad was elected as Chairman of the Constituent Assembly. The designation 'Chairman' was subsequently replaced as 'President of the Constituent Assembly'.  
India got the freedom and Independence on 15th August 1947 and this Constituent Assembly took the Governance of India from British Parliament.  Lord Mountbatten was requested by Constituent Assembly to continue as Governor General for some time.  Shri C Rajagopalachari (Rajaji) took over the Governor General on 21st June 1948 and he continued till 26th Jan 1950.  Rajaji was the first Indian Governor General of India.  After 26th Jan 1950, Governor General post was made as President of India.  Dr Rajendra Prasad become the first President of India. 
Framing Draft Constitution for India
Draft Constitution
Committee members
After Indian Independence, Constituent Assembly wanted to frame the Constitution for India. They constituted a 'Committee to draft the constitution' on 29th August 1947 with the Chairmanship of Dr B R Ambedkar.  Shri Alladi Krishnaswamy Ayyar, Shri N Gopalaswami Ayyangar, Shri K M Mushi, Shri Saiyid Mohd Saadulla, Shri B L Mitter and Shri D P Khaitan were included as  other members  of this Committee.
These eminent people drafted the Indian Constitution and presented to the Constituent Assembly on 4th November 1947.
Discussion in the Constituent Assembly
Dr Ambedkar handing over
the draft Constitution to
Dr Rajendra Prasad
The Constituent Assembly discussed this Draft Constitution in 114  sittings, spread over 2 years 11 months and 17 days thoroughly.  The final Constitution was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on 26th November 1949.  This day is also known as National Law Day.  
Constitution document signed
On 24th January 1950, 284 members of the Constitutent Assembly signed the document and presented the official Constitution to the Nation.  Two hand written copies of our Constitution (one in English and the other in Hindi), illuminated by artists and one print copy of English Version were signed by the Members.  
After putting their signatures, all the members including Dr Rajendra Prasad (President of India Elect) and other Members sang Vandemataram and Jana Gana Mana in Chorus, symbolising a great achievement of Sovereign Independent Republic of India, after a struggle of nearly three centuries.  
If you want to read the proceedings of the Constitutent Assembly verbatim, please click the link
This constitution came into force from 26th Jan 1950.  From that day, India has become a Sovereign independent Republic.  
When the new Constitution was signed by the members on 24th Jan 1950, it was drizzling outside the Parliament at Delhi.  It was considered by them as a good omen.  
This Constitutent Assembly was made as a 'Provisional Indian Parliament' from 26th Jan 1950.  The first General Election was held in 1952 and the 1st Lok Sabha was constituted.  
Indian Constitution - Some interesting facts
Indian Constitution, drafted by great visionaries, continues to be one of the best constitutions in the world.  Many global legal experts have praised our constitution.  Indian Constitution contains 22 parts, 395 articles, 12 schedules and 2 appendices.  Over a period of 62 years, the Constitution has undergone 94 amendments. 
I am writing this finer details for the benefit of all the youngsters.  The freedom and soverignity, we enjoy has not come on a single day.  Our elders have struggled and lost their life in the freedom movement spread over near 300 years.  The great Visionary leaders have also provided us a wonderful Constitution.  None of these leaders, who have signed the constitution are alive today.  
It is the responsiblity of every one of us to salute our great leaders and freedom fighters on this day and live upto their Vision. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Banks honoured by Action 2020 for performance under Education Loan

5th UnConference of Action 2020 Team was held at Chennai on Sunday the 23rd Jan 2011 to review the performance of various activities and to plan the future projects.  50 representatives from 25 member organisations participated
The first session was the review of projects and planning for future.  All the member organisations shared their views. 
Second session was devoted for Education Loan Task Force (ELTF).  State Bank of India and Indian Bank were honoured for their top performance under Education Loan in Tamilnadu and for their prompt response for the grievances 
In the post luch session (third session), a workshop was held on 'Positive Communication' by K. Srinivasan, Prime Point Foundation.

Mr S Rajasekhar, Managing Trustee of National Agro Foundation who are piloting the second green revolution movement participated.  He is the  son of Shri C Subramanian, former Union Minister and architect of Indian Green Revolution and also who opened the education to poor people, immediately after our Independence.  
Mr S S Ramasubbu, Member of Parliament and one of the top 5 performers in the current 15th Lok Sabha also participated.  He is also actively associated with our ELTF initiatives.  
Both Mr Rajasekhar and Mr Ramasubbu presented the awards to the representatives of State Bank of India and Indian Bank.
Mr S S Ramasubbu MP presented the award to State Bank of India.  Mr Ramakrishnan, Chief Manager of SBI received the Award.
Mr S Rajasekar presented the award to Indian Bank.  Mr Swaminathan, Chief Manager of Indian Bank Head Office received the award.  
K. Srinivasan, Convenor of Education Loan Task Force (ELTF) requested Mr Ramasubbu to take up with Hon'ble Finance Minister on the scant respect given by Private Banks like ICICI Bank and other banks on the education loan to poor students.  Also, he brought to his notice that interest subsidy scheme needed some more improvements to benefit the poor people. Bankers also presented their views and their experience.
Mr Ramasubbu assured ELTF and bankers that he would take up the policy matters with the Government of India for improvement of education loan scheme. He appealed to the banks to step up their education loan to the poor and deserving students for improving their living status. He also offered to start an 'education loan campaign' in his constituency with the support of all banks. 
Mr Rajasekar emphasised the importance of industry need based   education.  He is an independent director in ONGC.  He cited the example of how, he was able to introduce a new course known as 'Petroleum Engineering' in IIT, Chennai with the involvement of ONGC.  He said, such courses would benefit the country a lot, in building the nation.  In this task, he appealed to the banks to share their expertise with the industry and the educational institutions.  
Please see the photo stream:

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