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Publication: The Hindu
URL: Surabi Puraskar Award
The annual ‘Surabi Puraskar' presentation for the year 2011 was held recently at Kamarajar Arangam.
H. Vasanthkumar of Vasanth & Co, Jeyachandran Managing Director of Madras City Properties, K.S.Gopal, Chairman of Pranavam Service Society, M.A. Salim, patron of Pranavam Service Society, who were present on the occasion, appreciated the work of y Surabi Trust in helping the poor and downtrodden children. B. Sankar Mahadevan, founder of Udhavum Ullangal and Dr. SaiLakshmi, founder of Ekam Foundation received the Surabi Puraskar from the guests' team led by Mr. Vasanthkumar.
Mr. Salim released the Surabi souvenir and handed over the first copy to Mr. K.S.Gopal. Sankar's Sadhagaparavaigal performed wonderful, delightful melodies of maestro Ilayaraja.
Mr. Sankar Mahadevan, founder of Udhavum Ullangal is a bank employee, who had an inner drive to help people in need. In 2000, he started Udhavum Ullangal and devotes an increasing amount of his time to the organisation. He is a key figure at Udhavum Ullangal, playing a central role in planning, coordinating, and executing projects.
Dr. SaiLakshmi, a paediatrician and founder of Ekam Foundation, aims that no child should be refused health care because of financial constraints, no parent should feel guilty of not being able to give adequate health care and no doctor or hospital should refuse patients because of financial constraints.
URL: IPL sixes to benefit children
Striving to brighten up the lives of underprivileged children, The Hindu and the Chennai Super Kings are joining forces with VGN Developers to launch the ‘6 for a cause' campaign.
Every time a batsman from the Chennai Super Kings hits a six in the Indian Premier League, VGN Developers would donate Rs. 2,500 to Ekam Foundation, a charitable trust that provides health care for underprivileged children.
Readers can also join in by donating to Ekam Foundation online through www.thehindu.com/6foracause. Donations through cheque can be made in favour of ‘The Hindu – Ekam' and mailed to HB no. 999, C/o The Hindu, Chennai 600 002.
All funds raised are exempt from tax in accordance with Sec 80-G rules and would be used for Ekam's Bala Arogya Suraksha Project, a special endeavour that will benefit newborns and their mothers by providing life-saving neo-natal care. More information on Ekam Foundation is available at www.ekamoneness.org.
In a similar initiative launched during the ICC Cricket World Cup, a total of Rs. 3.55 lakh was collected. The money will be handed over to Ekam Foundation for their health outreach initiatives, shortly.
Out of the total, a sum of Rs. 2.6 lakh came from VGN for 26 sixers that Indian batsmen hit during the league matches of the World Cup. Contributions also poured in from The Hindu's readers, who donated generously for every six that was scored by Indian batsmen.
The money will go towards drug support and paying hospital bills for children, according to Sai Lakshmi of Ekam. This includes help for two newborns from Chengalpattu district who had to be shifted to a paediatric centre in Chennai for medical intervention. Both babies have survived, she added.
Publication: Samanvaya News Room
URL: Freedom Lecture
PRACTICE OF ABUNDANCE AND LOVE ESSENTIAL TO ENJOY FREEDOM AND INITIATE SOCIAL CHANGE URGES Dr. SAILAKSHMI
12th Aug, 2011, Chennai: “The most important parts of social change and action can emerge from voluntary action and such voluntary action has to be driven by love and a sense of abundance”, urged Dr. Sailakshmi, founder – trustee of Ekam Foundation while delivering the 8th Samanvaya Freedom Lecture.
Dr. Sailakshmi through Ekam has been providing support services to the poorest new born children in the state whose parents cannot afford better medical facility or drugs. Ekam provides the new-borns with the best available medical attention to ensure that the neo-natal deaths are minimized in the state. Ekam has contributed significantly in educating and supporting the system and believes in working with the government machinery. Recently Ekam has also recruited and trained nurses for the neo-natal care units in the state as part of the NRHM, along with the State health department, Dr. Sai mentioned.
Dr. Sai has travelled to over 21 government hospitals across the state in training the nurses apart from setting up local civil-society support groups for better treatment to the new born. She said that the neo-natal mortality rate has come down by almost 50% per cent in most of the hospitals since. The local civil-society groups too have been set-up to provide monitoring and support services to the GM neo-natal units. In Tiruvallur, engineering college students have come forth to regularly monitor and volunteer in GH, in Vellore it is local NGOs and in Ramnad, teachers. Such voluntary participation from different cross sections of society is what drives her efforts, Sai said.
She spoke of her own journey in discovering the health problems the poor in the country faced and how care and love can make a major difference. Mentioning that when good efforts for a social cause are taken by individuals, support in abundance arrives voluntarily, she pointed out her own example and that of Ekam and how abundant support had arrived for what she called otherwise an ‘unsustainable’ model of rendering service.
The lecture was Presided over by Smt. Shreya , ED, Malladi Drugs & Pharmaceuticals. The Chief Consultant of Samanvaya, Mr. Ramasubramanian welcomed the gathering and updated the audience about the development activities across the state that Samanvaya has undertaken in the last year. He said that the freedom lecture was an effort to bring a grassroot worker each year to talk about their idea of freedom to the audience in Chennai. The Vote of thanks was proposed by Sri. Rangarajan, national coordinator of Rejuvenate India Movement, co-organizer of the programme.
URL: Cheque handed over to EKAM Foundation
DONATION FOR A CAUSE: Managing Director of VGN Developers Pratish Devadoss and Founder Trustee of Ekam Foundation Meera Menon with the cheque presented by N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu, in Chennai on Thursday. The sum was raised through “6 for a Cause,” an initiative of The Hindu in collaboration with VGN Developers.
Photo: R. Ragu
A cheque for Rs. 4,95,944 collected through the “6 for a Cause” initiative of The Hindu in collaboration with VGN Developers, was handed over to the Ekam Foundation here on Thursday.
The Foundation is a charitable trust providing healthcare for the underprivileged children.
Seeing the World Cup and the excitement around it as having the potential of supporting a social cause, the campaign was based on an arrangement that for every “six” that an Indian batsman had hit during the league matches of the World Cup, VGN Developers would donate Rs. 10,000 to the Ekam Foundation. The Hindu had invited contributions from its readers as well.
With 26 sixes bringing in Rs.2.6 lakh for the cause, VGN decided to add to its contribution, raising the amount to Rs. 4 lakh. The Hindu readers also made a contribution of over Rs. 90,000.
Founder Trustee of Ekam Foundation Meera Menon, who received the cheque from N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu, said the sum would be used to support two children from Vellore and Chengalpattu now undergoing treatment at the Kanchi Kamakoti CHILDS Trust Hospital. A portion of the sum would go towards purchasing drugs and conducting lab tests for children at The Institute of Child Health and Hospital for Children (ICH), Chennai.
“In Chennai, we work with the ICH and we want to expand our work to cover more government hospitals in other districts,” said Ms. Menon. The Foundation has tied up with 18 private hospitals in the city.
Managing Director of VGN Developers Pratish Devadoss said this was one way of giving back to society. “It is a corporate social responsibility initiative. It gives us tremendous joy to be able to contribute in some way. We would like to be part of initiatives that support causes such as education, nutrition and health care and shelter. It is our responsibility.”
Terming the initiative “a good start,” Mr. Ram said the Ekam Foundation was doing excellent work in providing free medical care to the unprivileged children. “The title sponsor over-fulfilled its commitment and contributed more than the Rs.2.6 lakh for the 26 sixes,” he said.
In a similar initiative, The Hindu and Chennai Super Kings collaborated with VGN Developers to launch the ‘6 for a cause' campaign in the context of the ongoing Indian Premier League. Every time a batsman from the Chennai Super Kings hits a six in the IPL, VGN will donate Rs. 2,500 to the Ekam Foundation.
Readers can also donate to the Foundation online through www.thehindu.com/6foracause. Donations through cheque could be made in favour of ‘ The Hindu – Ekam' and mailed to HB no. 999, C/o The Hindu, Chennai 600 002.
All funds raised are eligible for tax exemption as per Sec 80-G rules and will be used for the Ekam's Bala Arogya Suraksha Project, an initiative aimed at supporting newborns and their mothers by providing life-saving neo-natal care.
Url: Ekam: Torchbearers of child health movement
No child should be deprived of health care due to financial constraints – this is the mission of Ekam (One-ness), a Chennai-based NGO. And the entire community is striving to give its best to ensure that the mission is achieved. Thanks to Ekam, which shoulders the responsibility of bringing the community together to reach out to the needy children.
“Ekam provides holistic health care to the underprivileged children in partnership with Hospitals, Paediatricians, Nutritionists, Social workers, Corporates and NGOs,” says Meera Menon, one of the trustees. Ekam was initially started in 2006 by a group of paediatricians, led by Dr. Sailakshmi, who were passionate about helping the needy children and involving the whole community in this endeavour. Ekam was supported as a project of CIOSA, the CSR arm of MaFoi Foundation. In 2008, Ekam got Tamil Nadu Government approval for supporting Government hospitals in child care on a Public-Private Partnership model. In 2009, Ekam was registered as a trust with 11 trustees, who were people from different walks of life. Ekam's activities include conducting training, medical camps, hospital care and providing financial assistance to critically ill underprivileged children. Ekam offers training to hospital staff and people who work closely with children on various aspects of health care. In association with ICDS, it recently completed training 600 anganwadi workers on eye screening, hearing impairment and developmental delay. Ekam also conducts medical camps in Corporation-run schools, ICDS centres, Government-aided schools and in slums and villages.
“A lot of doctors and nurses do the services at our medical camps free of cost and individuals and corporates also offer their support, either in terms of money or as volunteers. Government cannot take care of every child; it is the responsibility of the community to assist the Government. Ekam's aim is to complement the Government's efforts and not to replace it,” says Ms. Meera.
Ekam has taken up The Institute of Child Health and Hospital for Children (ICH) as its pilot project for the Public-Private partnership model, with a view to upgrading the facilities at these hospitals in terms of fund and infrastructure. Ekam has added its own staff members at ICH - the trained staff members include a housekeeper, a chemo nurse and a lab technician.
“As many as 20 private hospitals are associated with Ekam” says Ms. Meera. The hospitals offer the services at a discounted rate and the cost is borne by Ekam through the donors," she explains.
Through donors, it supports infrastructure, setting up of new wards, procuring drugs, lab tests, purchase and renting of equipment, hospitalization care, and guidance for treatment through Kalaignar Kapeetu Thittam, etc.
Ekam recently launched the Paripoorna Bala Suraksha scheme, a medical assistance scheme for poor children below 19 years, in partnership with Disha Foundation.
“We are starting with 1800 children, after a process of screening children identified by NGOs in and around Chennai,” says Ms. Meera. Disha Foundation provides volunteer support for field visits, registration, besides raising funds for the scheme.
This scheme will be implemented in addition to the Kalaignar Kaapeetu Thittam.
Ekam, which functions from Nungambakkam, can be reached at 65515921, 9952043339, 98402 96109.
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