Encomiums for Udhavi by the Beneficiaries
Shri Indira Parthasarathy
UDHAVI is dedicated to the concerns of the seniors, addressing the feeling of loneliness felt by elders in a changing world of values. Committed volunteers boost the morale of senior citizens, and this institution is on its way to becoming the best in the country!
Shri D. Radhakrishnan
I was totally grounded at home due to health reasons, felt lonely and depressed. UDHAVI has been a godsend, the volunteers are regular in visiting and taking me out for walks, and there is something to look forward to each day, and they bring cheer into my life...
Smt Rajalakshmi Raghavan
I moved to Chennai from Pune, and felt depressed, even though I live with my children and they take good care of me. UDHAVI has transformed my life and I have gained a new family which gives me care and affection. I look forward to the volunteers taking me to the beach for a walk or to the temple...
How would you describe an average Tambram elderly lady – “slightly stooped in a Chinnalam pattu or Chungudi sari, doing the rounds of temples in the neighbourhood, attending Kathakalakshebam and free Kutcheries.”
You cannot get it more wrong!!
Meet nonagenarian Mrs. Kamakshi Subramaniam, a beneficiary of UDHAVI fondly called Kamakshi Patti in Besant Nagar neighbourhoold. She recently received an award given by the Federation of Senior Citizens’ Association of Tamil Nadu from the Governor of Tamil Nadu Sri.Banwarilal Purohit. UDHAVI was happy to honour its distinguished beneficiary at its recent event for senior citizens.
Mrs. Kamakshi Subramaniam can be the poster girl for our Prime Minister’s pet project “Swatch Bharat”. A walk down Besant Avenue will shock and awe us! Surely this cannot be the Chennai we are all accustomed to! There is no litter, the road is well laid and without pot holes and on the side of the road there is a street garden well maintained and marked by a net wall. All thanks to Mrs.Kamakshi Subramaniam’s singular effort. She is the benevolent Jhansi Ki Rani and also a nightmare for the employees of Besant Nagar Corporation office. She stays active and healthy continuing to do what she is so good at – getting the corporation to do their job.
Mrs. Kamakshi Subramaniam is the co-founder of SPARK. Founded in 2012, SPARK helps citizens tackle civic problems head on by approaching the right officials, lodging complaints with evidence, follow up at regular intervals, and ensuring that it is solved. Their persistence and commitment has ensured the resolution of many civic issues in areas like Adyar and Besant Nagar, under Zone 13 of GCC.
Affable and always with a smile she defies age. When we first visited her apartment, she received the Udhavi volunteers at the door step neatly dressed and with a warm smile. The house was spick and span. When I went in with her to the kitchen to help her make coffee she took my breath away – it was one of the most efficiently organized kitchens I have seen.
Mrs. Kamakshi once requested UDHAVI to help her reach station as she felt she may require assistance to walk the platform and board the train. Our Core Member Sudesh who assisted her, jokingly remarked later that she had to run to keep pace with Mrs. Kamakshi.
Mrs. Kamakshi Subramaniam “ignores” time … does not let it dampen her spirit or enthusiasm as every passing year adds to her age. She firmly believes that time does not have to leave unfavourable marks on your attitude. She proves Einstein right … Time is relative and not absolute.
We need more “Kamakshis” to embody Shakthi for women’s empowerment. We at UDHAVI wish her many more years of service to society.
beneficiary Kausalya Patti
One of our oldest beneficiary Kausalya Patti is 98 years old, being taken out for a ride by Core Group member Vina. She lives by herself and manages her household.
beneficiary Kamakshi Amma
Neighbourhood elderly activist felicitated by Governor of Tamil Nadu. While there are several voices that campaign for resolving the issues of the neighbourhood, the strongest among them is undoubtedly that of Kamashi Subramaniam, a resident of Besant Nagar.
beneficiary Rajalakshmi Amma
UDHAVI's beneficiary, sprightly Rajalakshmi Amma well in to her eighties, being taken for a walk in the beach by Core group member Sachu... here she is enjoying her potato swirls by the sea.
WHAT A FUN EVENING IT WAS AT THE MYLAPORE CLUB!
The evening was so well organised. Loved the yoga! Roopa Verma shared very good ideas with us. It was so nice to see everyone's faces lighting up during the games and everyone was smiling by the end of the games. The candle lighting was a beautiful gesture and it was so nice to listen to "Geeta's husband' talking so fondly of her. The tea was really, really good. The music was great!!
Enjoyed meeting Kamakshi Mami, she has such a vibrant personality! Enjoyed talking to Vimala too! Enjoyed meeting the Udhavi group too!
You and Udhavi are doing such noble deeds and bringing light into the lives of seniors! And the lovely candles you gave everyone will also bring light in their physical surroundings!!:))
4 years ago I had called Udhavi to be a volunteer. Again now, I would like to offer to be a volunteer in whatever limited way I can. Will talk to you about it!
Keep the great work going Sabita and the team! God Bless!
This is from Tara Rao, confined to a wheelchair, who wants to volunteer for us. A remarkable woman she is a great inspiration to each of us.
Visit to Vishranthi
We have often heard it being said that when you give, the giver gets far more joy than the receiver. The joy of giving multiplies many fold when the 'giving' is spontaneous, and done without any expectation. Eight members of Udhavi's core group found the above to be so true when they visited 'Vishranthi', an old age home run for the destitute, on 7th of October, 2015, to donate rice, dhal and biscuits during this 'Joy of Giving' week.
The place was started by the vision and compassion of one lady, Savithri Vaithi with like minded people in the year 1977, when she was moved by the plight of a destitute. What started as a small beginning, now has over 180 inmates, both men and women. They are provided shelter, food and medical facility totally free of cost. The place runs purely on the generous donations from well wishers. Talking to one of the service providers, we were filled with admiration when she said that the working of the place is fully transparent and the management is always open to suggestions to make the place better for its inmates. As far as possible, efforts are made to meet even individual request. The place is spic and span and surrounded by greenery. The inmates look comfortable and well cared for. Activities like bhajan, and other forms of entertainment are regularly arranged. Apparently, they constantly have visitors -individuals or groups - willing to donate in cash and/or in kind.
It was despairing to hear that many of the inmates have family but very few even visit them. One sad story was that of a nearly 100 years old servant maid who during her working years gave away all her earnings to bring up her eight children. Now, only one of them visits her occasionally! Having said that, it is also heartwarming to see that in the twilight years of their lives, the inmates have found camaraderie and a peaceful atmosphere at 'Vishranthi'. At the end of the day 'family' are those with whom love and affection are shared.