Real Heroes


Senior Member
Jun 29, 2009
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Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa (26 August 1910 – 5 September 1997), born Agnesë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu (pronounced [aɡˈnɛs ˈɡɔndʒe bɔjaˈdʒiu]), was an Albanian Roman Catholic nun with Indian citizenship who founded the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata (Calcutta), India in 1950. For over 45 years she ministered to the poor, sick, orphaned, and dying, while guiding the Missionaries of Charity's expansion, first throughout India and then in other countries.

By the 1970s she was internationally famed as a humanitarian and advocate for the poor and helpless, due in part to a documentary, and book, Something Beautiful for God by Malcolm Muggeridge. She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 and India's highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, in 1980 for her humanitarian work. Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity continued to expand, and at the time of her death it was operating 610 missions in 123 countries, including hospices and homes for people with HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis, soup kitchens, children's and family counselling programs, orphanages, and schools.

She has been praised by many individuals, governments and organizations; however, she has also faced a diverse range of criticism. These include objections by various individuals and groups, including Christopher Hitchens, Michael Parenti, Aroup Chatterjee, Vishva Hindu Parishad, against the proselytizing focus of her work including a strong stance against abortion, a belief in the spiritual goodness of poverty and alleged baptisms of the dying. Medical journals also criticised the standard of medical care in her hospices and concerns were raised about the opaque nature in which donated money was spent.

In 1996 Mother Teresa was proclaimed directly by Act of Congress an Honorary Citizen of the United States. Following her death she was beatified by Pope John Paul II and given the title Blessed Teresa of Calcutta


Senior Member
Jul 31, 2009
Dr Sharan Patil & Sparsh Hospital

This post is to thank Dr Sharan Patil and his team in Sparsh Hospital for the long and successful operation of Laxmi Tatma on November 6, 2007.

Lakshmi Tatama is an Indian girl born in 2005 in a village in Araria district, Bihar, having "4 arms and 4 legs." She was actually one of a pair of ischiopagus conjoined twins where one twin was headless due to its head atrophying and chest underdeveloping in the womb. The result looked like one child with four arms and four legs.

Dr. Patil traveled to Bihar in September 2007 to bring Lakshmi Tatma for treatment at Sparsh Hospitalin Bangalore.
Lakshmi Tatma went for surgery on November 6, 2007. This marathon surgery lead by Dr. Sharan Patil constituted a large team of doctors, nurses, paramedical staff and which included the famous paediatric anesthetist Dr. Yohannan John. The operation lasted 19 hours and resulted in the successful separation of the parasitic twin from the body of Lakshmi Tatma.
The parasitic twin's spine and abdomen merged with Lakshmi's body. The twins' backbones were joined end-to-end and nerves were entangled. Lakshmi could not crawl normally or walk, but she could drag herself around somewhat. Doctors surmised early on that without the operation, she would not be able to live into her teens. The surgery began on Tuesday, 6 November 2007, at 7 am IST (1:30 AM UTC), and was planned to last 40 hours at the most. An estimated cost of over USD$625,000 was paid entirely by the hospital's charitable wing Sparsh Foundation. A team of more than 30 surgeons worked in shifts. The surgery lasted for 19 hours. The doctors gave Lakshmi a 75-80% chance of survival during the surgery.
The steps of the operation were:
1. (8 hours): Abdominal operation: remove the parasite's abdominal organs.
2. Remove the autosite's necrotic kidney and replace it with the parasite's kidney. Tie off the blood vessels that supplied the parasite.
3. Move the reproductive system and the urinary bladder into the autosite.
4. (6 to 8 hours) Amputate the parasite's legs: this caused heavy bleeding. Cut the joined backbone: the nervous system around the join was found to be extremely chaotic, and care had to be taken to avoid causing paralysis.
5. Separation, at 12.30 am on 7 November 2007. The combined pelvic ring was divided through or near the parasite's hip joints and not at the pubic symphyses. The remaining incomplete pelvic ring was cut and bent to make the ends meet, and not left as an open part-circle.
6. External fixation to hold the parts of the pelvis in place. This caused the pelvis to close in 3 weeks to the normal position.
7. (4 hours): Suturing. Operation completed at 10 am on 7 November 2007.
After the operation, the camera showed the amputated parasite and its legs laid out so that for a while they looked like a separate human form.
Lakshmi's recovery so far has been swift and satisfactory. Within a week after the surgery, the doctors held a press conference showing Lakshmi being carried by her father. Her feet were still bandaged. She was in the hospital for a month after the operation.
Afterwards, she and her family moved to Sucheta Kriplani Shiksha Niketan in Jodhpur in Rajasthan, where Lakshmi joined a school for disabled children and her father got a job on that school's farm.
As of February, 2008, a later operation is planned to bring her legs closer together. Another operation may be needed to rebuild pelvic floor muscles.
The last view of her in the television program showed her making an effort to walk, with her thighs fastened together with a spacer to keep her pelvic ring in place while it heals, and casts on her shins and legs.
This was the first time that surgery of this magnitude was conducted in India. Definitely Dr. Patil and his team has not only given Laxmi a new life, but proved the credibility of Indian medical system and competence of Indian doctors in front of the world.

Dr Sharan Patil and Sparsh Hospital

Dr. Sharan Shivraj Patil was born in the district of Raichur in the state of Karnataka, India. His early education took place in Gulbarga at Sharana Basaveshwara Samsthana. In 1979, he moved to Bangalore and attended premedical school training at the MES College Bangalore.
Sharan Patil completed his medical school with an academic distinction from M. R. Medical College Gulbarga, followed by a brief stint at St. Martha's Hospital in Bangalore. He followed it with a post-graduate degree at Kasturba Medical College Manipal and graduated with a diploma in orthopaedics in 1990. In 1991 he graduated with a master of science in orthopaedics and was awarded with a Gold medal.
In 1992, Sharan Patil moved to the United Kingdom for further training in the North West of England. His training included the Alder Hey Children's Hospital, Royal Liverpool University Hospital Hope Hospital, Manchester and Warrington District General Hospital. In December 1995, he was bestowed with Mch. Ortho from Liverpool University.
Sharan Patil returned to India in 1996 and joined Manipal Hospital in Bangalore. He later decided to bring high-quality medical care to poorer citizens, resulting in the birth of Sparsh Hospital.
Under Sharan Patil's stewardship, within 16 months, over 3000 major surgeries were performed on the lower-middle and middle class strata of society at Manipal Hospital. Patil's philosophy of providing quality healthcare to the common man without compromise to all earned him accolades from his compatriots and is the driving force for the establishment of Sparsh Hospital. His goal is to dispense top quality health care for all, irrespective of financial status or their race or class in society.
There have been various initiatives taken up by the hospital, including:
• A project called "Resuscitation by Right" for accident victims.
• Sparsh Neighborhood care scheme.
• Regular arthritis camps, disability camps and yashasvini camps, which help make joint replacement surgery affordable.
• Video-linked ambulance service..
• Patil partnered with the Government of Tamil Nadu to establish a primary resuscitation centre on [National Highway 7] at Hosur.
• Instrumental in setting up of Sparsh foundation where in everyone irrespective of economic status. caste, creed, religion or placement in society is accorded quality treatment.
• Club foot eradication program.
Sparsh Foundation
Dr. Sharan Patil with the encouragement, love and affection received from well-wishers and recipients came out with a novel concept to further commit him and Sparsh hospital to take up social causes through medical science which will benefit the society at large. Hence his brainchild to help the poor and needy pioneered the charitable wing of Sparsh Hospital now known as the Sparsh Foundation. The basic philosophy is to get quality treatment to the poor and the treatment has to be on par to that which is accorded to the rich the difference being the poor do not have to pay for the surgery. This philosophy along with the cooperation of his friend the chief Anesthetist Dr. Yohannan John became the hall mark in his philanthropy to give the touch of life and to inspire everyone


Senior Member
Aug 6, 2009
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Sam Manekshaw
It took Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw only 14 days to secure his place in Indian history. The career officer, who died June 27 at 94, had a mystique as thick as his silvered mustache, after fighting heroically against the Japanese in World War II. But his defining moment came with the Indian army's decisive victory in the two-week 1971 war against Pakistan. For a country that had been mired in seemingly endless battles on its borders for most of its history, his triumph became one of India's crowning military achievements.

Manekshaw's winning strategy began with patience. As army Chief of Staff, he advised Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to wait rather than intervene after a declaration of martial law in East Pakistan threatened to destabilize the region. He organized a coordinated army, air force and navy offensive that began on Dec. 3, 1971, and repeatedly went on the radio to warn the West Pakistani troops that they were surrounded. Overwhelmed, their commander surrendered within two weeks. The subsequent Simla Accords eventually led to the creation of Pakistan and Bangladesh. Shortly before he retired in January 1973, Manekshaw became field marshal of the Indian army, one of only two people ever to hold that title.

His strategy had its critics, who said faster action could have headed off a major refugee crisis. But his reputation as a soldier's general survived. He personified the old-fashioned, scotch-in-the-officers'-club army culture that India inherited from the British. Manekshaw will be remembered, according to retired Lieut. Colonel Anil Bhat, as "a person who made India stand tall."

A music video dedicated to late respected field marshal sam manekshaw. He crafted india's greatest military victories.

YouTube - Sam Manekshaw - the unforgetable indian


Senior Member
Jul 31, 2009
Nurul Islam | In West Bengal, one man’s on a mission to educate Muslim kids

Sustained by donations, Al Ameen Mission is providing mainstream learning to the community’s children

Rajdeep Datta Roy

Khalatpur, West Bengal: Saima Khatoon’s father died when she was a year old. Her mother washed utensils to support young Saima and her brother.
“I want to join the state civil service,” says Saima, now 17, and studying humanities in her pre-university course. Her mother and brother still live in a remote village in North 24 Parganas.
Meanwhile, Kashmira Khatoon, another student from Joynagar in South 24 Parganas, who topped the class X examination among girls, says she wants “to become a doctor”.

Saima and Kashmira, who are not related to each other, are among 1,836 Muslim girls and boys who stay and study at a network of residential schools run by the Al Ameen Mission in five districts across West Bengal. This year, 115 of the mission’s students made it into engineering colleges and 69 went on to study medicine. A couple of thousand more students attend tutorial classes and the day schools run by the mission. These are open to students of all religions.

“I was inspired by the Ramkrishna Mission, whose institute of culture I used to frequent,” says Nurul Islam, the general secretary of the mission, who is based at the organization’s first and biggest establishment in Khalatpur, some 75km from Kolkata.
“I was very impressed by the selfless service of the Ramakrishna Mission monks. Since our religion doesn’t have the system of celibate monks, we are trying to put together husband-wife teams who work and stay on campus.”

Though the Al Ameen Mission itself came into existence in 1987, following the renaming of the Islamic Institute of Culture, which Islam founded in 1984, his philanthropic streak had shown itself much earlier.

In 1976, while still studying in class X in his village, Islam set up the Khalatpur Junior High madrasa, the Arabic word for any school, though it has become more synonymous with religious schools in recent years. Even today, in a corner of the sprawling 70 bigha (about 23 acres) compound, stands the pale-green madrasa. A little beyond it is Islam’s greatest achievement—a school and hostel for about 300 girls. The residential school caters to students from class V to class XII.
But soon after he set up the madrasa, he says he realized that the community sorely needed an institution of mainstream learning.

“Our youngsters stay away from studies because their parents are not educated and send them into manual labour,” says Islam, who is also a political science teacher. “Muslims who stayed back in 1947 have been badly off and wrongly believe that more children would mean more hands to labour and bring in money to the family, but the biggest handicap is that they don’t know how to dream.”

It was to overcome these hurdles and to give them what he calls a mainstream education that Islam established Al Ameen Mission in 1986. “Al Ameen means The Truthful and Trustworthy and is associated with the Prophet,” explains Islam. “I felt that if we could come out of the traditional madrasa system, there could be a chance of keeping these kids in school.”
Toofan Ali from Murshidabad is one of the early Al Ameen success stories. The son of a Murshidabad criminal, he is now a Union government employee. Around 20 others from Ali’s village, which had no access to higher education, have now joined the mission.

The hostel for Islamic Institute of Culture was set up in 1986 in the madrasa itself, its operations literally funded by collecting one fistful of rice from every home in Khalatpur.

“I would then sell the rice at the local haat (market) and the money would be used in running the hostel,” recalls Islam.
Then, Islam and his friends went to local businessmen asking for zakat (alms)—typically 2.5% of yearly income—that traditionally could have gone to a madrasa to set up a secular school. Some 20 years later, the mission is still mostly run through these zakat donations.

“Muslims throughout the country contribute to the mission, which has about 25% seats reserved for poor, destitute and orphans,” says Islam. “Apart from this, there are many individuals who have come forward whole-heartedly to help the Al Ameen Mission.”

One-third of the students pay half their fees. Admission to the schools run by the mission is purely on the basis of merit. “No student with an impeccable academic record is turned away if he/she can’t afford to pay the fees,” says Islam.
Just as Islam is recounting instances of local merchants donating sand, cement, stone chips to fund the mission, one of his staff members runs up to announce jubilantly that a local merchant has agreed to supply wood for a fresh set of doors and windows.
“See, that’s how we manage,” says Islam.

(Sixty in Sixty is a special series that we are running through 2007, the 60th anniversary of India’s independence. We will introduce you to sixty Indians —both here and abroad—who are not rich or famous. These are people who are making quiet, but important, contributions without seeking headlines, to help make India and, in some cases, the world a better place. We also welcome your suggestions on people whom you think should be profiled in this series. Please send your suggestions by email to [email protected])


Member of The Month OCTOBER 2009
Senior Member
Jul 23, 2009
Arvind Kejriwal​

• Born in Hissar in Haryana.
• Graduation (Mechanical Engineering) from IIT Kharagpur in 1989 and joined Tata Steel.
• Joined the Indian Revenue Service 1992 and was posted in the Income-tax Commissioner's Office in Delhi.

Arvind Kejriwal (known to his KGP friends as “Kejri”) is the eminent Indian leader and activist who was awarded the the prestigious Ramon Magsasay award in 2006 for Emergent Leadership for his contributions to the landmark Right To Information law in India and for “activating the right to information movement at the grassroots”. He, with others, started "Parivartan" [Change] to bring transparency in the working of government & public institutions. Because of the efforts of Parivartan, the Income Tax Department had to implement major initiatives to bring transparency in its dealings with the public. At the instance of Parivartan, the Government of National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi has taken several other steps to clean up the public administration in Delhi.

Arvind Kejriwal uses a new state law to fight corruption in India, training ordinary citizens to secure transparency and accountability at all levels of government. Arvind uses a 2001 law called the Right to Information Act (RTIA) to bring political power back to the people of India. The law began in Delhi, and has since spread to eight other states, opening opportunities for citizens to hold their governments accountable to high standards of transparency and integrity.

Arvind Kejriwal’s interview to India Together.

More about Arvind Kejriwal

Arvind Kejriwal at Google - Hydrabad​

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