Saturday, 19 July 2014

On unexpected results, and wonderful moments

This past week, when at Miraj railway station, I met Ibrahim Arabhavi, a traffic policeman who stopped me when I was walking to my train. He said that he had just won the silver medal in the triple jump a week ago (he meant to say a year ago, but in his excitement, he mentioned a week ago -, at the Torino World Masters over 35. When I further asked why he mentioned this to me, he said that he often came to Mumbai to practice at the Somaiya Vidyavihar track, to better prepare for his participation. It is amazing how the availability of facilities can make a difference in the lives of so many, who may be living so far away.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Our School and Junior Faculty will spend 6 weeks at Cornell University!!

Two of our faculty, Vaishali Salunkhe (Sharda School in Kopargaon - and Beena Vazhapalli (K. J. Somaiya Junior College of Science and Commerce -, have just reached Cornell University, to spend 6 weeks there, part of a US NSF Funded Cornell “Grass Roots” GK12 summer program at Cornell, where they will have the opportunity to engage in original research on bio-energy related projects, to listen to daily energy-related seminars and will be encouraged to share their teaching experiences with the Cornell PhD students in the program.

We had invited graduate students from Cornell, and K12 teachers from upstate New York, to spend time with us. In return, they have invited 2 teachers from our institution to spend time at Cornell.

We have chosen one teacher from our Junior College in Mumbai, and the other from the School we run in Kopargaon. We are really excited that they will learn in such an enriching environment. We are thankful to Program Director Julie Nucci, and Professor Paulette Clancy from Chemical Engineering, to invite our teachers.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

On Giving, and Giving Quietly

Last week, a Well Wisher visited the K. J. Somaiya Medical hospital, and donated a dialysis machine. On seeing the service provided, he volunteered to provide another 5-6 machines so that the service to the poor could be expanded. He did not want to be named.

This adds in capital, to the operating assistance we get from another donor, who is also very quiet giver, who subsidizes the cost of dialysis to the poor. As a result, we are currently able to provide dialysis care to those who cannot afford it, at under Rs. 400 per treatment. What wonderful examples of giving.

I think, that we should celebrate such examples, since the world needs more role models of those who give, rather than those who simply 'make'.

As the Dalai Lama said last week, that our education teaches us today, to spend more time following that which is limited (material goods), instead of also spending time in cultivating that which is unlimited (the power of the mind). We need to make, but also, from what we make, to give back to society.

There is a beautiful saying in Sanskrit:

शतहस्त समाहर सहस्त्रहस्त संकिर

Earn with a hundred hands, but give with a thousand.