Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Origami of Olden days



Origami of olden days

 












The other day it was raining. Water was flowing in front of my house – almost like a rivulet. My daughter and I wanted to leave paper boats / ships into that water flow. We made half a dozen of them quickly. Wrote in each of them: Give a Missed Call to: 8000980009. RallyForRivers Campaign was at its peak at that time. At least one boy down the street got the message. It was great fun.

This led me to think about other things I can do with paper. In my childhood I had learnt many simple things to make out of paper. Few items were learnt in formal classroom but mostly from my friends. I can recollect I could make: Ship, Ship with blade, twin boat, single boat, Ink bottle, bird, peacock, cubicle box, purse, drumstick, paper cracker, whistle, garland, fan and a few other items.

Origami is simple to learn and inexpensive to try out. All you need by way of material is just some pieces of paper. Learning involves very mild physical skills, keen observation, and reliance on repetitive procedures and a bit of patience. The outcome is creative piece of object that you would love to keep and display with pride. The result is a piece of art.  Apart from training your memory, the thrill of becoming an artist or a crafts person is immense. Is Origami taught in our schools as a matter of routine? I don’t know.

But now I am 75. Most of things I learnt as a child, I have forgotten how to do. Alzheimer’s creeping in? I doubt. There are online manuals teaching you how to do and videos to demonstrate. There are simple books for starters too. But following those instructions to fruition seems formidable for me. If you have been lucky to have grandchildren around you perhaps these skills may have been retained, as you try to teach them or keep them engaged. I don’t have that luck as both my daughters are single!  Any help?

Saturday, October 21, 2017

MTR Instant Food Items – A quick Review



MTR Instant Food Items – A quick Review

MTR, popularly known as Mavalli Tiffin Room earlier, has grown big. They offer a series of instant food products both in puch and bag packages. Vegetable Upma, Masala Upma, Kesari Halwa, Poha, Khatta Meetha Poha, Masala Oats are recent items introduced into the market.

All these belong to Three Minute variety. All you need is the add specified quantity of boiling water, stir well and keep it closed with a lid for three minutes. Presto ready to eat breakfast is right there to  be transferred to your plate for eating. In my experience keeping it closed for five minutes gives better results.

I have tried Veg Upma, Kesari Halwa, Poha, Masala Oats and Masala Upma. Among all the items I tried POHA is the best in terms of taste, consistency in prepared item, quantity etc. I will recommend this to all without hesitation. Upma  and Masala Upma  leave some smell of preservative, especially if eaten hot. If you cool and eat problem is less. Kesari Halwa is just plain Rava and insufficient sugar. To call it Rava Kesari is atrocious. Masala oats is OK – nothing superb about it.

All items are priced around Rs 15 to 25, easy on your purse. For small families of 3-4 people larger packs (bags) are available. The products being relatively cheap super markets find it difficult to stock and sell. They are best locatable in medium size kirana shops. In another post I intend sharing my views on MTR powders for preparing pulihora, chitranna and the like.


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Navarathri Kolu in Sarojini Narasimhan's house

Last year I wrote about Kolu in Justice Rangarajan's house being exhibited for several decades without a break. Another Tamilian household that upholds this tradition, is Mr VK Narasimhan's daughter in Wahab Nagar, Secunderabad. They have split kolu display in three sections making best use of space available in their hall. It is a mixture of traditional toys and modern ones. Artfully decorated with series lighting, it is a joy to observe not for just children  but for adults too. 

I got a link to a video imitating que sera sera song with changes in wording (lyric) to depict a typical Tamilian Kolu. You may watch it too:





Here are some snaps of  this year's Kolu in their house.

Let me congratulate them for their enthusiasm in uplholding our traditions.



Monday, October 2, 2017

International Older Persons Day - IDOP - Hyderabad HelpAge 2017

IDOP in Hyderabad – HelpAge India Meeting – 1st Oct 2017

As usual HelpAge India AP/TS regional office celebrated International Day of Older Persons on  1st October 2017 in Hyderabad.


Sri Raza Mohamad, Chief of HelpAge AP/TS, welcomed all. There were several senior citizens SHG members from Chottu Uppal, Patancheru, Shamshabad etc representing rural poor. He  explained the activities of HelpAge in protecting respect of elders through SAVE program – intergenerational sensitization of school children.

Sri Uppula Gopala Rao said that State Govt must implement NPOP & MWPSCA properly. Food, respect, money should be provided to all indigent senior citizens. He also spoke about donations he made to Voice of Senior Citizens – Monthly, HelpAge etc.

Sri SN Reddy Secretary of Telangana Recognized School Mgmt Association assured full support to HelpAge in sensitizing school children in caring for the elderly in 12000 schools, under his purview.

Sri BR Madhusudhan Rao, Member Secretary Telangana State Legal Services Authority was the chief Guest.  TSLSA offers free legal help to senior citizens through hundreds of para-legal volunteers and service minded advocates. Their Helpline number is 151500, toll free.  Several cases of Elder Abuse, Neglect and victimization, learnt through newspapers, have been taken up for mediation, counseling and settling issues.

Sri G Muralidhar, Chief Mentor Akshara, Guest of Honour for the day, said that basic needs of the elderly  must be met by the govt. He advised senior citizens to go ahead and enjoy life without postponing their desires or wishes; they should not transfer property to children when alive; be actively engaged with grand children friend etc.

It is a pity that none of the speakers touched the theme for IDOP viz Fighting Ageism, though every participant was given a badge reminding us of the theme for the year!

In the next part of the meeting several senior citizens were honored -  all members of State Senior Citizens Council, those who won sports competitions held by HelpAge.  Some, whose names I remember are:   Smt Nagachandrika Devi, Sri P Kishan Rao, Sri Sridhar, Dr G Nageshwar Rao, Sri Uppula Gopala Rao, Sri Peddi Sudhakar, Sri Prabhakar etc. I missed being felicitated,   as I had to leave early due to another urgent engagement, I learnt later on.

Lunch packets, water, cool drinks, biscuits etc were distributed to all.  Efforts put in to celebrate International Older Persons day yielded satisfaction to all – elderly participants, speakers, NGOs, SCAs, media etc.





Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Open letter to Narendra Modi, PM of India from Senior Citizens

Respected Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji,
Respected Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitely ji,

First of all I extend my sincere thanks in anticipation that you will spare a few minutes of your valuable time to read and take suitable action in the matter.

I am a senior citizen and on 01.08.2012, I put Rs 40 lakhs in a nationalized Bank for 5 years. I was being paid an amount of Rs. 35,352/- every month (of course subject to income tax) enabling me to lead a worry free life financially. Now on maturity I have reinvested the amount in the same Bank and I will be paid Rs. 26,489/-; a shortfall of Rs. 8863/- i.e. 25% over the previous return, per month. Can you please advise me from where I should make good the loss or sacrifice consumption of medicines or atta or dals or vegetables or fruit or milk or what?

Practically your government after taking over in 2014 has done nothing for senior citizens. No additional facilities extended but withdrawal of what existed in 2014. No commodity or provision item is available at the price of 2014. 
Yes you have been able to bring down the figures of inflation and indices but not the actual prices. Every off and on the prices of some essential daily use items go rocket high like dals, chana/besan, salt, onion and now the tomatoes. At that time we cannot even dare see those items. 
I know you have political and the theoretical replies for these issues like interest on deposits and advances in banks depend on demand and supply. The prices of daily use items vary with seasons being agricultural products. But the straight upward shoot of prices cannot be justified by these reasons. If the government wants to provide cheaper credits to the trades and industries, it should not be at the cost of depositors. Banks are sitting over volcanoes of NPAs and all good money is being diverted for bad money. 
But is it not the duty of the government to enable the senior citizens to lead a respectable life who have spent their golden years in serving various organizations and finally the nation? Government cannot see the other way. I am at a loss to understand from where this deficit of 25% be met. 

Is any of the minister/MP/MLA is ready to cut his salary and allowances by this percentage? If not, then why the public especially the senior citizens? 

Perhaps it is because that, like you, we do not have the power to fix our own salaries, allowances and perqs and getting everything for full year, for sessions of total of 3 months and that too attending sessions at their sweet will. When the matter of increasing your salaries comes, you pass the same just in 2 minutes with no discussion, with all heads together be it from ruling or opposition benches. For this increase, you totally over look the cost to the exchequer, deficit, economics and any other factor.
The government had started a scheme for deposits of senior citizens and the rate was 9.20% but In July, 14 it was reduced to 8.3%; the amount limited to Rs 15 lakhs. This is totally unjustified. The rate should be a minimum of 12% and the amount limit should be equal to what a person gets as terminal benefits. The government should ensure financial respectability to the senior citizens to walk with their heads straight.
I am sure you will understand the plight of the people whose good part of expenses comes from the interest of their savings of life time.
Sorry if I have offended you in any way.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Just give a missed call to 80009 80009 to save our rivers

​India's water availability through rivers is depleting at an alarming rate. We have only 75% of what we had in 1947. By 2030 we will have only 50% of water we need for survival. If the country / govt and citizens don't take combined immediate action, future generations will have extreme hardship. Do  you know Cauvery does not reach the see? It has dried up 75 km before its destination.

The solution lies in planting (forest) trees in govt land, fruit trees in private land all along the river banks to a width of 1 km on both sides. We need to create a policy at central / State levels to save rivers. It is a long time plan. When properly implemented results would show up after several years.

Isha ​Foundation led by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev is conducting a national level rally to create awareness on this issue. Sadhguru himself would drive from Kanyakumari to Himalayas starting from 3rd Sep  ending on 2nd October in Delhi. Sixteen Chief Ministers are joining and supporting.  Draft policy document will be presented to govt on Gandhi Jayanti Day in Delhi.

Please see the pamphlet attached. If you wish to support this cause just give a missed call to 8000980009. Your family members may have many mobiles. Request them to support in similar way. Only one call per mobile number will be counted. It is to impress upon the govt that public are with them or that a policy is their (public's) demand.





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Dr P Vyasamoorthy
040-27846631 / 09490804278

NPOP is an acronym for "National Program for Organic Production" also

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Isha Yoga Centre, Coimbatore – Some observations

Isha Yoga Ashram, Coimbatore – Some observations
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Well laid out buildings with safety and security
You can observe unexpected elements of architecture / design: steps are of uneven height, electric switches are in unexpected places, security check where you least expect it etc.
No footwear or talking in temple area
No walking and talking over mobile phone
Helipad for Sadhguru’s Helicopter landing / taking off
Water resistant ID tags for the wrist – you can wear them for 5-10 days!
Two eateries / canteens (plus free Ashram Food for residents from Central kitchen)
Over 40 types of lunch menus of various types are prepared every day in central kitchen for different groups like: School Children, Bramacharys, teachers, volunteers, residents, participants in several courses, people observing Silence / fasting etc
Two schools in the campus
Each and every cluster of buildings fenced and cordoned off: Schools, residential blocks /areas
Only about a fourth of total facility is visible / accessible to public
Mostly self sufficient in terms of vegetables  from own farms for the kitchen.
Food served is wholesome, hygienic, nutritious and offbeat. (ex: white Rice once a week!)
Volunteers are committed: yet to see a volunteer getting irritated or raising his voice
Almost everyone greets each other by folded hands – Namasthe!
People observing SILENCE wear SILENCE badge and are not to be spoken to or disturbed in any way!
Plenty of foreigners, youngsters, youth, young-adults flock to courses. So spirituality is not for the old or retired!

Public event attendance ranges from 200 to 7000! Ashram has expertise to organize quickly huge events right from chairs, tents, water, food, toilets, public address system, streaming video etc

Most of the work carried out by willing volunteers both local and foreign.

Thousands of visitors daily especially after installation of 112 feet Adiyogi statute – this has become a tourist attraction – lot of visibility after PM’s participation last Shivaratri. There is a Shivalingam consecrated (worshippable)at the base of the statute.

Theerthakundam for men, Chandrakundam for women, Lingabhairavi Devi Temple, Dhyanalingam are other spots to see.

LED lights throughout the campus
Lights are off between 8:00pm and 10:00 pm on Full Moon day and two nights earlier to it.
Electric scooters / two wheelers
No bells for bicycles
Solar power for hot water in living area
Separate facility for each block for washing and drying clothes
Surrounded by forest and Velliangiri mountains: full of greenery, peace and salutary environment
From residential quarters one could chance to see peacocks, wild boar, elephants, leopards, mongoose, snakes etc.
Plenty of unfamiliar insects and wildlife / wild growth
Apart from teaching yoga, education, production and sale of health & food related products, forestation, agriculture are other activities.
Current concern for next three months: Impress upon ALL stakeholders -- 16 state governments and the central government --  to save our rivers, by planting trees along river banks.




Monday, June 26, 2017

Best Health Insurance Schemes for SEnior Citizens

This post is from policybazaar.com Thank them for a useful article by visiting and commenting.
https://www.policybazaar.com/health-insurance/senior-citizen-health-insurance/articles/best-health-insurance-for-senior-citizens/
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Age is not anymore a number when it comes to health insurance. With increasing age comes the additional risk of falling sick and contracting diseases. It is said that the later years of an individual’s life are financially less sound and physically more challenging and so, having a medical insurance scheme to take care of any urgent health expenditure is an intelligent practice.
Best Health insurance scheme for senior citizens/parents offer numerous unique features like cashless hospitalization, specific coverage for diseases like cancer, stroke, etc. and critical illness coverage.

Some of the most crucial features of health insurance plans for senior citizens in India are mentioned below:

  • Hospitalization cover, including room charges and medical bills
  • Cashless Hospitalisation through cashless plans
  • Day Care expenses which might arise out of technological advancements
  • Ambulance Charges are included
  • Coverage for pre-existing diseases is offered, which is subject to insurer, and the plan was chosen
  • No need to undergo medical screening to avail health insurance. This feature is insurance provider specific.
  • Higher sum insured
  • Pre-existing disease covered
  • Hassle-free and fast settlement
Health is an asset, and every aspect of life runs around good health. Due to the changes in health due to old age, it is imperative to have a good health insurance product to help you through your difficult years.

Here are some Best Plans
HDFC Critical Illness Insurance

It provides a lump sum payment in case the policyholder is diagnosed with a health related condition which is serious in nature. Such problems often escalate and become critical in nature. Some of the critical illnesses include Heart Attack, Paralysis, Cancer, Coronary, Artery bypass surgery, Major organ transplant, kidney failure, and a stroke.
  • It is a comprehensive plan that provides coverage for surgeries, hospitalization, and critical illness.
  • Lump sum payout against 18 critical illnesses and 138 surgical procedures.
  • Daily hospitalization cash benefit in case of hospitalization
  • Flexibility of paying single or regular premium based on the convenience
Coverage
Entry Age
Between 60 to 75 years
61 years and above
0 to 65 years
Sum Insured
Rs.1 lakh to Rs.5 lakhs.
Rs. 2 lakhs to Rs. 5 lakhs
Rs. 2 lakhs to Rs. 15 lakhs
Network Hospital
6000 network hospitals
4000 network hospitals
3500 network hospitals
Premium
Rs.4,450 to Rs.18,000
Rs. 12,000 to Rs. 90,000
Rs.5333 for 2 lakh
Renewability
Lifelong
Lifelong
Lifelong
Discount
A discount of 10% on premiums payment
5 to 7.5% of discount on 2 years policy renewals
Discounts available on 2-year policy renewals

Red Carpet Plan by Star Health

  • Pre-existing diseases are covered excluding for conditions for which treatment was suggested by or received during the immediately preceding twelve months.
  • Co-payment clause available - 30 percent for other than claims for pre-existing diseases and 50 percent for pre-existing diseases.
  • Discount of 10 percent on the premium is available if all lab tests and other documents are submitted.
  • Enhancement of Sum Assured is permitted during renewal time.

Optima Senior by Apollo Munich

  • Wife and Husband can be covered under the same policy on individual sum insured basis and get a 5% discount on the premium
  • Pre-screening medical tests are compulsory. The company would then reimburse 50 percent of these expenses.
  • 140 day-care procedures that do not require a 24hours hospitalization are covered.
  • Enhancement of Sum Assured is permitted during renewal
  • Cumulative Bonus of 5% for every claim free policy year
  • Pre-existing diseases are covered after three years
  • Two years waiting period for specific diseases like a hernia, cataract, joint replacement surgeries, etc.

Heartbeat by Max Bupa

  • Reducing co-payment clause is an excellent feature. After four years of continuous renewals, the co-payment % will become nil for senior citizens.
  • Free health check - up covered every year
  • The plan will not cover any treatments during the first 90 days of the policy unless the treatment needed is a result of an emergency or accident.
  • All day care treatments are inclusive.
  • 10% additional sum assured at each renewal.

The Bottom Line

Old age brings with it several health conditions that are heavy on the pocket to treat. Health Insurance for senior citizens is the best way to avoid tension and anxiety of paying expensive bills. A lot of health Insurance plans are made available by various insurance companies, especially for people who are 65 years and above. These insurance schemes voluntarily cover any medical expenses incurred by customers in their old age.