WEEKEND THOUGHTS # 5

CHAKRA

Hello Everybody,

Namaskar. Today's posting on ORNET is not a typical Weekend Thoughts article. It is much more powerful than that. It is an informative social message from Dr.Devi Prasad Misra of Huntsville, Alabama. Dr. Misra, in this followup article, mentions about some Social organizations in Orissa which need your support. By "your" we mean everyone of you out there, everyone of you who have been lucky to have been blessed by GOD with a happy and successful life. Everyone of us can make a difference. We can start with our own village and then move on to other needy people in our state. I do not think money is a concern for a lot of people settled here. Many spend more than $10 a week eating outside, eating good food when there is someone in our homeland for whom this money would mean new life. Please come forward and help us make a difference in the lives of the poor and needy. They are, after all, our own.

Reading this message literally brought tears into my eyes. On one hand the world is moving into the high-tech 21st century, India is moving rapidly into a global economy, yet the poor people in our country are getting poorer and poorer. There are billions of people in this world, but how many Mother Teresas do we have to make a difference where it matters? It is upto each ONE of us as individuals to come forward and make a small difference. Every drop of water counts towards making an ocean of help.

Regards,


Introduction of the Author

Devi P. Misra, MD. FACP.
1001, Brookridge Circle
Huntsville, AL 35801

Parents:
Mr. G.K.Misra and Mrs. Sita Misra, Cuttack, Orissa

Education:
1958 - Revenshaw Collegiate School, Cuttack
1958-60 - G.M.College, Sambalpur
1960-66 - MBBS, Utkal University
1967-69 - MD, Patna University

Positions:
1966-67 - Rotating Housestaff, SCB Medical College Hospital
1970-73 - Clinical Tutor/Registrar, SCB Medical College Hospital
1973-74 - Senior House Officer in Genatrics, St.Mary's Hospital, Kettering, UK
1974-77 - Intern and Resident in Med PGGH, Cheverly, Maryland, USA
1977-79 - Pulmonary Medical Fellow, University of Missouri
1979-80 Instructor in Pulmonary Medicine, University of Missouri
1980-present - Practice of Internal and Pulmonary Medicine, Huntsville, Alabama

Honors:
American Board of Internal Medicine
1983 Fellow of American Center of Physicians
1982-84 Chief of Medicine, Crestwood Hospital, Huntsville, Alabama

Involvement:
Dr.Devi Misra is actively involved with various charitable organization both in India and USA. He contributes to United Way, Downtown Hope, a center for homeless people in Huntsville. He also helps SEEDS, Guru Gangadhar Pradhan and his Orissa Dance Academy and Prof. K.C.Mishra and his Institute of Orissan Culture in Bhubaneswar. The last two organizations are dedicated to preserve and propagate Orissan art and culture around the globe.


Organisations in Orissa


In Need Of Your Support


A list of organizations in Orissa were mentioned in a previous article, wherein, many organizations established by dedicated individuals with a focus on social and cultural improvement, were outlined. In such an effort a beginning was always desirable to appraise our Ornet members of such unselfish and devoted organisations. It was not possible at the outset to mention all such organisations existing in Orissa.

As time passes by it is certainly very welcome to know about any such organization in Orissa for our overall information, in order to generate areas of support and interest amongst the Ornet community.

BASUNDHARA

The orphanage started in 1985 by the physician sisters Dr.Mahamaya Patnayak and Dr. Jogamaya Patnayak in Bidanasi, Cuttack is a rehabiliation center for children, women, and elderly rejected by their families. Located in a sprawling area in Bidanasi, in the outskirt of Cuttack, some of the rooms are being built by grants from Adoption Societies in USA (Michigan, Wisconsin, Oregon chapters) even though the so called high society in Orissa does not lend an often benevolent stance.

Prof. Surendra Mohanti, Mrs. Jayashree(Ranu) Mahanti and myself, had the first-hand opportunity to visit the orphanage in July'95. We asked them for ways in which we NROs could be of help. Dr.Mahamaya Patnayak requested that we could provide equipment such as an incubator for Pediatric Nursing since taking a baby to SCB Medical College Hospital is extraordinary costly, Rs.4000/-per child. The estimated cost of nursery equipment is around Rs.1-1.5 lakh($4500/-). We believed we could raise the amount in USA. In the course of discussions we felt if we could encourage any interested person, specifically the younger generation, to support adoption of a child at the cost of $10/month (i.e. $120/annum), even though this help could be a drop of help in the vast ocean-like need of the orphanage.

Dr. Jogmaya Patnayak requested if we could donate old clothes and Mrs. Ranu Mahanti expressed her willingness to coordinate this with OSA through a Washington based International Voluntary Organization.

It's a great pleasure on my part to mention to Ornet that 12 members came forward to fulfill the need for the nursery equipment as requested by Dr. Mahamaya Patnayak. Also through persistent encouragement from Mrs. Ranu Mahanti about 23 families including 4 from our younger generation have supported cost of adoption of a child for the year 1995. We certainly see this as a starting point for all of the above members to keep nurturing a needy child for the incoming years.

Prof. Surendra Mahanti will personally deliver $4500 towards nursery equip. and $3000 towards child adoption to Basundhara Management in February 96.

SAHAAYA

This is an institution for the mentally disabled including some children with Down's syndrome. It is located in a rather depressingly, not too lighted quarter provided near Orissa Redcross campus, under the leadership of Mrs.Mrinalini Padhi. She herself having had Masters in Sociology now is a non-practicing attorney involved and dedicated in developing an organized and socially acceptable rehabilitation of the mentally handicapped. The institution meticulously measures the advancement of each child through serial MMPI grading.

To help finance its expenses the institution gets wax from the Department of Industries and the disabled children make candles to sell in the market at an annual income of Rs.4000/-. A girl of 10years who says "da" instead of "la", now, through practise, is not only able to sing and comprehend, but has also sung on radio programs. Another girl who is mute since birth, with perseverance is now able to present a dance recital at national level. This institution not only needs funding but also needs any guidance that you could provide in getting these disabled children into mainstream acceptance and also in their individual developemental growth.

Contact Address: Mrs. Mrinalini Padhi, Secretary, SAHAAYA
                 (Office) Blood Bank Campus, Mangalabag, Cuttack 753007
                 (Residence) 10, Bhasakosh Lane, Cuttack 753002
                 (Phone) 25202, 20012 (if you are in Cuttack)

Rotary Eye Hospital

Through the Commonwealth Society for the Blind, a 75-bed eye hospital is built in Bidanasi, Cuttack. Prof. Sukumar Das, now retired at 75 years of age, is actively involved in the day to day organization and management. Orissa Government deputes the eye surgeons. The hospital is highly successful in providing the advanced technology including laser surgery.

One heartening observation is rooms and operation equipments are also donated by local philanthropists. Prof.Das interestingly informed me that if you are a Rotarian and donated to this Rotary Hospital, say $100, then Rotary International will match that donation by contributing another $100 to the hospital. Any involvement in this area would definitely ameliorate blindness and solve many eye diseases in the region.

Contact Address: Prof. Sukumar Das
                 Retd. Prof. of Surgery and Rotarian, Sutahat, Cuttack
                 (In USA) Dr. Devi P. Misra, Phone# (205) 883-5499

WHY SHOULD WE HELP?

"TO LIVE FOR SELF IS THE SOURCE OF ALL MISERY" - Paramahansa Yogananda

As we progress in our lives here in USA and establish ourselves in our own objectives, we should, instead of enriching ourselves, look forward to helping these just causes and making others' live worthwhile.


HOW COULD WE HELP?

All of us do not have to be involved in a single project and may not be any of the above mentioned projects. But you individually can decide if your prerogative is to help your own village or school or school library or any social project. If a few people can get themselves interested in a project, it will make immense difference to those who benefit. Not all the people receiving donation are morally corrupt. We can still identify good people with good values carrying on selfless deeds.

In our lifetime two things are certain, death and taxes. Donation to tax- free organizations have been and shall remain deductible from your taxes. You can always make tax-deductible donation to an organization of your choice in Orissa, by donating through OSA.

In Orissa as well as in any part of the world when we are asked to donate our belongings and assets to religious institutions, most of us do it unhesitatingly, may be out of fear for the unknown. Religious organizations in Orissa or India on the other hand do not spend 0.0001% of any donation towards social causes or needs, unlike in this country.

It is most certainly possible to identify, organize and help many of these needy institutions not only monetarily but also with your belief,conviction and technical know-how. I urge everyone, especially the younger generation, to come forward and make a difference in others' lives.


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Devi P. Misra


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