Saturday, 24 March 2012

Tamilnadu Handicapped Federation Charitable Trust


Tamilnadu Handicapped Federation Charitable Trust invited me to their 12th State Level Conference and presented me Achiever Award. Chief Guest Mr Nataraj, I.P.S. was very much impressed when he came to know that I am a national Swimming Champion. Physically challenged people from entire Tamilnadu came there to participate in this conference. I met there another award winner Kamachchi, Int’l Badminton Player from Madurai. I took this opportunity to inform all the participants about the formation of Paralympic Swimming Assn. of TN and our decision to conduct 12th National Paralympic Competition in Chennai. I requested the interested people to give their details to arrange for coaching with the support of Govt. & philanthropists.

Kamachchi from Madurai, Int'l badminton Player

Mr Nataraj, IPS, Mr Chidambaranathan, Ms Aruna and other Guests

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Lecture at IIT

Feelings expressed by Preethi, Ass Prof of IIT, Chennai after my speech. 

Thursday, 22 March 2012

"Differently Abled?"

There was a lecture by a "differently abled" person today on the campus. I read the notice about it - partially - the way I read emails these days. I was intrigued. I love attending lectures such as this but in recent times I have rarely managed to. The best phase of my life for this was my post-doc years in Cambridge...

The child was going to be with me all afternoon today. This person - who lost use of her legs in childhood thanks to a polio attack - was going to talk a bit about swimming. So I figured it would be a good thing for the two of us to go to, as long as it did not go on for a very long time (and started on time).

To cut a long story short. It was the most mind-blowing lecture I have been to in recent times. I am not un-used to people who are able to overcome their problems, fight the good fight, and come up on top. Sure there are lots of examples out there and I am not un-aware of those examples. But this one touched my heart so deeply...

Oh! The way Madhavi spoke! Very simple. To the point. Direct. Like an arrow. "I want to say that I like engineers - its obvious why. Its because of engineers and their designs that I have all this" she said, pointing to her walker, her wheelchair, and videos of her driving a car.

"Whats the most important thing for a person like me?" she asked a room that was so quiet, you could hear a pin drop. The answer, which this room-full of IITians couldn't really come up with was, "Independence- the simple ability to do the things you guys do so routinely - climb up stairs, walk, run, go to the beach and dip your feet in the water" No, she didn't say it in a melodramatic fashion, very matter-of-fact...

And yet I sniffed into my handkerchief too many times to count. While Madhavi sat there in a little plastic chair, her laptop open in front of her, her nearly useless legs splayed in front, her quicksilver fingers flying across her keyboard. And this beautiful smile on her face the whole time. & I practically broke down when she pointed to a video where she is walking under water and said "Do you see my legs actually walking without support?"

"Tell me one thing you might design that might be useful to someone like me" she challenged us. Some person in the audience told her "Throwball would be easier"when she asked us what it would take for her to play volleyball. I almost got up and punched the guy in the face. "Oh you disabled woman, throwball rather than volleyball for you." - is that what he wanted to say? & Why?

"That might be true, but I want to play volleyball" Madhavi smiled at him. And I wouldn't be in the least bit surprised if she does, and does a fab job of it. She learnt swimming at 38 years of age and won 4 golds at the national paraolympic competition recently. She says she will climb the Mt. Everest one day... if she feels like it.

"I am strong willed but being a national swimming champion has boosted my confidence incredibly" said Madhavi, "not boasting, just saying that it has changed me" To some extent, you had to be there. She has this presence. Yes, a presence. This tiny dynamo, with just two working limbs and a slightly bent body, who made this room full of "normal" people feel so very tiny and insignificant.

"I blog" she told us. I wrote it down and read it. You can find it here: Madhavi's Blog. I hope to meet her sometime soon. But before that I really hope that I have some answers for her...

Today it’s a memorable day for me. I gave lecture in prestigious IIT, Chennai. I have great regard for Engineers. I shared my experiences with the students. I explained to them in detail how technology supported me in leading my life independently. I also requested for their support in making the lives of the challenged kids active and healthy through technological support. I have shown them some examples. Professors Ms Sujatha from Mechanical Engg Dept., Mr Srinivasa Chakravarthy from Dept. of BioTech., Mr Sundar from Mathematics Dept, Dr B.S. Murthy from Metallurgical Dept and Ms. Chandra and the Students received me with great affection. They are very much impressed with my speech. They promised to arrange accessibility for the differently abled to the pool in their campus and also expressed their willingness to extend technological co-operation. Students promised to me that they would be sensitive for the requirements of their fellow beings and they told that my speech gave them new ideas to extend support for the society. Students only made all the arrangements for this lecture. They planned and executed everything in a meticulous manner. Thanks to all the professors, Girish, Vignesh, Srivathsan and all other students. I hope in future with their support we can do wonders for our differently abled kids.

Preethi, another associate professor expressed her feelings in the following blog immediately (within  minutes) after my lecture. Preethi I don't have words to say anything after seeing your feelings. I don't think they are words, I could see only your feelings.  Thank you so much Preethi.


Monday, 12 March 2012

Neelkanth - an Electronics Engineer and my friend


Mr Neelkanth an Electronics Engineer is a very good friend of mine. He is very much interested in designing electronic gadgets to support the challenged people.

Love the Girl Child - A NH Media Communications Initiative


Love the Girl Child is a NH Media Communications’ initiative. This was started on the International Women’s Day (08.03.12).

Main Objective of this initiative is:

Create and spread the awareness on infanticide, bias, better nutrition, higher education, equal employment opportunity, financial independence, safe environment, access  to better health care and ultimately empowerment. 

Today they arranged a panel discussion with around 15 to 20 identified NGOs working at the grass root level at Madras School of Social Work. I also participated in that discussion. I got the opportunity to meet Mr J.Prabhakar (People fondly call him as JP) who is very active in social service activities. Mr Aneesh Coordinator for this initiative is a very dynamic person.

Being a woman I love this initiative very much.

They started a website also:

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Women's Day Celebration at Hotel Savera by Rotary Club of Madras Mount and other Clubs


Rotary Club of Madras Mount President, Mr Tamilselvan and other members invited me for Women’s Day celebrations at Hotel Savera arranged jointly by Rotary Club of Madras Mount, Rotract Club of Madras Mount, Interact Club of Govt. Hr Sec School, Kodambakkam and Annettes Club of Madras Mount. Vocational Excellence Award was presented to Mrs Priya Ravichandran, Divisional Fire Officer, Vocational Service Award was presented to me and young achiever award to Elavazhaki, World Carrom Champion in that function.

It was a great day for me. I could meet a great person PDG Dr C. S. Ramachandran there. We can learn from him how to take things in a very positive manner. Chief Guest Dr Sai Prasanna, Dist First Lady – She is a renowned Gynacaecologist and also having great passion for service to humankind. I could meet so many other nice people there. All of them were very much impressed with my video presentation on our movement. President Mr Tamilselvan and Presidents of other Clubs and other members promised me to extend their wholehearted  support to our  movement.

I have taken Mr Venkatesan and Mr Karthik our team members along with their attendants. They enjoyed very much.

It’s a memorable day for me. 

PDG. Dr. C.S.Ramachandran, President Mr Tamilselvan and First Lady Dr Sai Prasanna - While presenting award to me

Karthik our team member

Venkatesan and Karthik's mother

Friday, 9 March 2012

Women's Day Celebrations at our Office Scope Int'l Pvt Ltd


International Women's Day was celebrated grandly in our organisation Standard Chartered Scope Int'l. On that occasion I was presented  "GSSC Woman of the Year" award by our CEO Mr Edwin Nevis and "Most Inspiring Person" award by our WB Head Mr Kwan Chee Sun. Both of them are having great vision and empathy.They support me a lot in taking forward my movement. Our CEO Mr Edwin's advice to me is "THINK BIG". I am sincerely trying to follow his advice.

       Our CEO Mr Edwin Nevis presented me the prestigious award "GSSC Woman of the Year" 

While delivering speech

                       Our WB Head Mr Kwan Chee Sun presented me the most Inspiring Person Award


Today we, the members of Paralympic Swimming Assn. of Tamilnadu could meet successfully to discuss about the arrangements for the forthcoming 12th National Paralympic Swimming Championship which we decided to conduct in Chennai. It was a fruitful discussion. I shared with the other members about our organisation Scope International's interest in sponsoring some events in the forthcoming competition.

I have also shown them a short film on Israel Sports Centre for the disabled which is a dream project for me to establish here.

Link for the short film:"

All of them promised to extend their support to bring the dream project alive.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

TV9 Naveena Awards


TV9, a Popular Telugu TV news Channel selected me for the prestigious Naveena Mahila Award. This function was held in Hyderabad. Mr Ravi Prakash, CEO of TV9 channel and Ms Nandita Das, award winning actress and director were guests for this programme. Media interviewed me. I also met Ms Sandhya, President of Progressive Organisation of Women. She is a great lady. They work for the rights of women. These two distinguished ladies have been relentlessly striving for the protection of rights of women. All other awardees are also courageous women who have launched agitations/movements for achieving the rights of the exploited in their respective areas or rendering service to the general community. Without education and also poverty stricken,  so many rural women are doing their best for the fellow beings. Nice to meet them all. Knowing about them is great inspiration for all of us. I donated my total prize money to Ms T. U. Venkata laxmi, CDPO of ICDS Project, Rajendra Nagar to spend for the challenged children in their centre which was started with the spirit of our movement "Yes We Too Can".