• KALAMWALI SALUTES ISKCON’s ANNAMRITA FOUNDATION
    Team Kalamwali | 29-May-2020
      “There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.”John Holmes. A not-for-profit, non-religious, non-sectarian public charitable trust, Annamrita Foundation, formed in April 2004 after the Government of India introduced the “Mid-day Meal Scheme” in order to improve the nutritional status of school-age children nationwide has been one of the strongest pillars of support during the COVID-19 pandemic. ISKCON’s Annamrita Foundation is a ray of hope for the underprivileged children from Below Poverty Line families, who attend Municipal Schools in about 40 cities of Maharashtra. It delivers full nourished meals to government schools where children are unable to get food from home. Immediately, after the lockdown was announced, Annamrita Foundation and Team held a meeting with the Chief Minister of Maharashtra and other concerned authorities to make provisions for food to the underprivileged. Since the Lockdown began, Annamrita Foundation with
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  • KALAMWALI SALUTES SHIRISH GAJANAN APTE AND JANA MADHYAM FOUNDATION
    Team Kalamwali | 14-May-2020
          “Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” Desmond Tutu As we know, COVID-19 and the lockdown it brought along have changed the dynamics of everything in the world. It has affected everyone in some form or the other. Amidst all this chaos, there is that strata of the society who has been fighting not against the virus, but against the situations for basics and essentials. And fortunately for humanity, there is also that sector of the society, which has come forward to help those who need it the most. Jana Madhyam Foundation founded by Shirish Gajanan Apte is one of them. This team in Pune has been working relentlessly since the beginning of the outbreak of this pandemic. They started off instantly by providing essentials like food and water to those who had no access to it. The next set of beneficiaries have been the daily wage earners. Another essential in today’s times are MASKS. Understanding
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  • KALAMWALI SALUTES BHARTIYA JAIN SANGATHANA AND SHANTILAL MUTHA
    Team Kalamwali | 13-May-2020
      “Think of giving not only as a duty but as a privilege”. -John Rockefeller While most of us conveniently think that this lockdown has tied our hands and we can’t do anything to help anyone, there individuals and organizations who are out on the streets, finding places where the problems are, and solving them, one person at a time. Bharatiya Jain Sanghatana under the guidance of Shri Shantilal Mutha is one such group who is out and about helping people who are affected by COVID-19. Established in the year 1985, Bharatiya Jain Sanghatana (BJS) has been in the forefront of addressing national concerns in the areas of Disaster Response, Social Development and Educational Initiatives. Having its head office in Pune, BJS is a non-political, non-profit, professionally managed Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) with a nationwide footprint working towards the benefit of all. Due to COVID-19 lockdown, people have been confined to their homes, and doctors are unable to open their clinics
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  • KALAMWALI SALUTES VINAYAK DEOKAR
    Team Kalamwali | 12-May-2020
      “Having a lot and giving a little is CHARITY.Having a little and giving a lot is GENEROSITY”- Kalamwali  This story deserves more than a salute. It deserves an applause, a lot of respect, and immense amount of help. Dedicating your entire life for those whose lives are a big question mark, is the most selfless kind of dedication. There’s always a choice. To look or look away. To think or not even think about what you see. To want to do something about it and to actually getting down to doing it. This is a story of someone who has done first and then maybe thought about it. This is a story of Vinayak Deokar- Founder and President of Mahatma Gandhi School- Pune  An orphan by birth, he was adopted and brought up by an old couple who were stone breakers. Having gone through the struggle of surviving without basics like a good Education, he always had to settle with taking up petty jobs. And so that noone around him suffers like him, he founded the Mahatma Gandhi School under
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  • KALAMWALI SALUTES JAGUAR LAND ROVER
    Team Kalamwali | 11-May-2020
      “In a gentle way, you can shake the world”- Mahatma Gandhi COVID 19, is one of the worst known Pandemics to the world. Not only because of the way it spread across borders, irrespective of geographies, but also because of the global meltdown it has brought along. While the entire world, was racing against time to win every battle, big or small, and to remain undefeated, nobody stopped to think that a virus could put everyone’s dreams and plans on hold and bring the entire planet to a standstill. A tiny jostle, causing a crack of the magnitude that could rumble the entire system within weeks. This may have broken backbones of the most elaborate global agendas, but it has also diluted boundaries and brought together the entire humanity in a fight against the pandemic. One such global entity, standing tall, going strong and making their resources of great help to the frontline warriors of the Pandemic is Jaguar Land Rover. Associated with trust and dependability, JLR has been a part
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  • Jalaja & Trisha
    Asmita Javdekar | 13-Sep-2019
    All of thirteen, these two eighth graders from Jnana Prabhodini have decided to make a book on educational and career choices.They are going to interview 100 people.1.Those who knew exactly what they wanted to become since childhood and pursued just that.2.Those who chose a career path which was way different from their educational qualifications.3.Those who diverge or switch gears into multiple careers...Trisha and Jalaja took my appointment, reached a few minutes before time.Smartly dressed, their excitement and nervousness tucked under their confident demeanour.They started off with crisp and clear instructions of how the interview would be conducted.Their in-depth research was evident from the questionnaire.As we concluded the interview, they gave me a beautifully thought out token of gratitude, for my time and inputs...When I asked them about their purpose behind this project, they told me that it would help the standard tenth, outgoing batch from their school to choose their career paths and also give t
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  • Lacchi
    Asmita Javdekar | 13-Sep-2019
    I was trying to get in touch with Lacchi for the whole of last week.She just wasn’t able to find time. I was almost on the verge of giving up on this idea when my phone rang.It was Lacchi, inviting me to Dadgu Shet Ganpati; her association was going to perform a pooja there...It felt like an invitation from the doorstep of the divine and there was no way I was going to refuse it.I was not interested in digging into Lacchi’s past or picking at the scabs covering the emotional wounds that society had inflicted upon her for a long time...Lacchi and her friends were an insightful lot. They told me that a lot of them are now getting an education. Their association is involved with a number of social service projects including raising funds for the recent floods in Kolhapur and Sangli. One of them was particularly proud to tell me that she drives really well and is also training others to drive...While bidding farewell, the group showered me with blessings...How amusing can the human heart be?We can act
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  • The Silver Lining to Burnt Toast
    Asmita Javdekar | 20-Aug-2019
    I could barely take my eyes off him.6feet 2inches, chiseled to perfection!His complexion was reeking of warm chestnut, perhaps a well earned tan from the Himalayan trek that he was brazenly boasting about. Amma always told me that I was an innate revolutionary, my first shriek into this world was proof enough that I was here to ruffle quite a few feathers.At 12, I picked up my first fight against Avva (my grandmother) for not allowing me inside the kitchen when I was on my period. At 15, the target was Amma and Appa for setting a 7 pm deadline for me to get home when my younger brother could gallivant at his heart’s whim. This unfair, biased world for women made me sick in my gut. Ever since, I prioritised Women Rights and Welfare as a cause that I would dedicate my life to.Kabir was a chance encounter.I was working on a Skilling project for a community of Himachali women. A friend had recently trekked to our program site and wanted to update me about her experience. For the first time in my life, I co
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  • Three Sisters
    Asmita Javdekar | 16-Aug-2019
    Three women, donning navwaris in the middle of the city, is a fairly uncommon sighting these days...These three sisters had taken early morning buses from their respective villages, bordering Pune, to convene at their brother’s house for Raksha Bandhan...All three of them were gushing about being photographed and featured on social media. They were in quite a rush to get back home as their daughters’ in law had their own Rakhi commitments as well...By the time we finished our chitter-chatter, their brother had organised for them to be dropped off by a rickshaw.Their joy knew no bounds.Neither did mine.
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  • Sarodey Kaka
    Asmita Javdekar | 19-Jul-2019
    On my way to #TeachIndia this morning, I had a tête-à-tête with my Rickshaw driver; Sarodey Kaka. . . He told me that besides driving, he has a farm and he is also into marketing of Sakas Food products. His zest for multitasking was interesting so I prodded on about what he did for a living when he was younger. Kaka had worked for a Mechanical Pumps Unit for 22years before the company suddenly closed down. With two young children and no job, he was in a state of helpless turmoil. . . “I took odd jobs, whatever came my way. It was about taking one day at a time. When your world comes crashing down, it means it’s only your problem. Not Life’s problem. Life doesn’t stop for you. It doesn’t stop for anyone and if you don’t keep pace, you will stay in the past when everyone around you moves into the future. In my difficult time, all the menial jobs that I did are the reason that have made me who I am today. You name a job and I can do it but talking to people
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  • Tina
    Asmita Javdekar | 20-Jun-2019
      The kids have a Walmart “junk raid” ritual in the first few days of our stay in Macon. It has to be carefully administered while my sister is at work as Cheetos, Chips Ahoy, Gold fish, Gummies and Mac n cheese don’t really qualify as snacks in my sister’s jurisdiction. At our loot check out counter, we met Tina.  Effervescent, friendly and cheerful. Tina works as the cashier at Walmart. When I told her it was really inspiring to see her, do her work and I would love to write about her, she joked that it would cost me money. Tina’s fun spirit, positive attitude and big heart taught me that no matter what storms life throws at you, when you take charge of the oars and infuse optimism in your journey then you simply have to, “Row row row your boat , gently down the stream, merrily merrily merrily merrily, Life is but a dream.”
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  • Sindhu
    Asmita Javdekar | 20-Jun-2019
      For anyone who’s a member at ABS, she is “Maushi” Today while ambling on the treadmill, I had a tête-à-tête with her about life. For starters, Maushi is Sindhu and just a few years older than me. She lost her husband fifteen years back. Ever since, she has strived to single handedly raise her son, who is now a commerce student. Maushi leaves home at 5.45am daily, after finishing her household chores. Her travel to work involves a bus ride followed by a long walk. She tells me she enjoys the morning breeze and the peaceful walk to work. She emphasises on the importance of education. Having studied till 10th grade aided her a lot in financial and legal matters, after the passing of her husband. “Life has taught me one thing, if it throws problems at us, it teaches us to solve problems as well. One must stop relying on God. You can pray to God but you have to solve the problem yourself only.”
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  • The Journey of Death
    Asmita Javdekar | 16-Jun-2019
    Memory, Remembering, Missingalways dwells on the essence.Not the becoming, not the perishingBut the spirit. Day by day, the pain begins to ebb.The debilitating images start fading,getting infused by a warm presence.An eternal companionThe body may have gone.The presence always lives through you The Journey of Death
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  • A Kiss of Love
    Asmita Javdekar | 07-Jun-2019
    She dragged herself out of bed.The night seemed to be furtively lingeringover the nippy, peaceful milieu.Her daughter had an early morningBasketball practice at school.The frenzied dash of the first 20minutesof her day witnessed a new level of agility,from two tight hair braids to three healthyDabbas!!Finally, the customary farewell kiss on theforehead infused some emotion into herrobotic operation.
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  • Wanderer
    Asmita Javdekar | 07-Jun-2019
    I know the Swiss Alps like the back of myhand.I've romanced in dreamy Italian hamlets,scattering down to the sea.I've played hide and seek in the narrow,cobbled alleys in Edinburgh.I've breathed, felt, touched, owned everytravel destinationHere, I'm not the only one who's travelledwithout a passport or a visa.Yerwada Jail is known for miserly humansand generous books.
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  • Feeling Loved
    Asmita Javdekar | 31-May-2019
    For Amit who secured admission at COEP for Mechanical Engineering, it was the first time in his life that his father, Mr.Shrirang Godbole had ever smiled and said “Good” to him.The Godbole family took immense pride in the fact that Amit would be the fourth generation of brilliant mechanical engineers from the Godbole family to graduate from such a prestigious institution.Shrirang was a disciplinarian and a pragmatic man.He was raised on a foundation that emotions take one away from focus and life should be led within the framework of rules rather than frivolousness of emotional display.Shrirang had never cried!Never even laughed out loud.He was simply a man of limited expression who led a very strict life.Amit had grown used to his father’s ways but a part of him yearned for some fatherly love and encouragement.Just any small gesture.A pat on the back, a warm handshake or even just an expression saying, “me ahe na” (I am there for you)After all these years, Amit finally managed t
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