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455. Plastic man of India

Rajagopalan Vasudevan is an Indian scientist, who worked  mainly in Waste management.  He is actually a chemistry professor from Madurai who invented a ground-breaking technology that helps in creating roads by reusing plastic wastes. He developed an innovative method to reuse plastic waste to construct better, more durable and very cost-effective roads. This method will help in making roads much faster and also will save environment form dangerous plastic waste.

In 2002, Vasudevan came up with the idea of spraying dry, shredded plastic waste, made up of pieces as small as 2 mm in size, over gravel or bitumen heated to 170 degrees Celsius. The plastic melted and coated the stones with a thin film. The plastic-coated stones were then added to molten tar. Since both plastic and tar are petroleum products, they bind well. Vasudevan first tried out this technique to pave a road on the college campus. It yielded twin benefits: it reused plastic waste and built durable roads.

He has spent the last two decades researching and implementing the purposeful reuse of waste plastic. “Plastic is my resource,” he says and in  his lab we can see the  heaps of plastic wrappers, discarded carry bags, and plastic bottles. A Government order in November 2015 has made it mandatory for all road developers in the country to use waste plastic, along with bituminous mixes, for road construction. This is to help overcome the growing problem of plastic waste disposal in India.

“Bitumen, a highly heterogeneous mixture of hydrocarbons is in effect, composed of polymers similar to plastic,” he says. When molten plastic was added to stone and bitumen mix, Dr Vasudevan found that, true to its nature, plastic stuck fast and bound both materials together.

He was awarded India’s fourth highest civilian honour Padma Shri in 2018.

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421. Edison of India

g.d.naidu

Being a Coimbatorian, I am really proud to say that the Edison of India “G.D.Naidu” also belongs to Coimbatore. He had only primary education but excelled as a versatile genius.  He was a man of vision and action. He always had a thirst to find out the answer for many “whys and hows”.

First, he worked in a hotel, earned money and bought a motorcycle. He dismantled  and reassembled it easily.  He purchased an automobile coach and drove it between Pollachi and Palani.  His Universal Motor Service(UMS) became the most efficient transport in India.

His inventions are recognised by the whole world. He developed indigenous motor.  He took the honor of having invented and  manufactured  the first electric motor in India. He invented many tools(about 100) which help people in the fields of engineering, mechanical, agriculture and industries.  Among his super inventions, I like to mention a few viz., super thin shaving blades, kerosene-run fan, film camera with distance adjuster,  fruit juice extractor, 5 valve radio Called UMS radio just for Rs. 70.00 & a tamper-proof vote-recording machine.

His innovative  camera captured historical Indian personalities such as  Gandhiji, Subbash Chanda Bose and Nehru. He spent his hard-earned money  for students’ scholarship, research etc. With his aid,  India’s first Polytechnic college(Arthor Hope college) and Engineering college were started.   He donated 5000 sq.ft land in prime location of the city to start  Chamber of Commerce.

We should appreciate the mentality of this genius. When other people of his village only watched  in surprise the motor cycle and the driving of the vehicle by the foreigner, G.D.Naidu wished to drive the motor cycle himself and  wanted to learn the mechanism of the vehicle.

We have to say that he is truly a man in a million.

 

419. Thirukachi Nambi

Gajendra dasan was born in a rich family in Poovirundavalli. His father and his two elder brothers were doing business.  Gajendra dasan was not interested in earning money. He wanted to do bagavath kaingaryam to Kancheepuram Varadharaja Perumal, as a bachelor.  He gave away all his share of wealth to his brothers and obtained a barren land in Poovirundavalli.

He converted this barren land as a Nandavanam by his constant efforts and planted all flower plants in it. Daily  he prepared  flower malas and carried malas & flowers  by walk to Kancheepuram. He was also doing Aalavatta Kaingaryam to Kanchi Varadharaja Perumal.  Gajendra dasan was popularly known as Thirukachi Nambi.

He had a boon as he had the darshan of Kanchi Vardhan often and had chances to converse with Him. Kanchi Varadhan used to give him orders and  Thirukachi Nambi obliged his orders immediately. Thirukachi Nambi used to ask  solution to   Kanchi Varadhan for many problems he and his well wishers faced.  Varadhan used to respond to his request. Varadhan considered Thirukachi Nambi as his friend and conversed with him casually.

Due to transition of Planet Saturn Thirukachi Nambi had to part Kanchi Varadhan for seven and a half years. When Thirukachi told that he could not live without having the darshan of Lord Varadhan,  Varadhan relaxed Shani’s ugram and permitted that it was enough  to remain parted for seven and a half Naligai. But, Thirukachi could not eat or drink anything, without seeing Varadhan.  During this time, the Lord’s Ratnaharam was said to be lost and Thirukachi Nambi was blamed as the culprit. After seven and a half Naligai, the Ratnaharam was found and Thirukachi Nambi was relieved by the King. Everyone understood about his devotion to Lord Varadhan.

Thirukachi Nambi remained as a guide and mentor to  Shri Ramanujar  and helped him to take major decisions in his life. As per his advice, Shri Ramanujar was doing Theertha Kangaryam to Lord Varadhan in Kancheepuram.

Thirukachi Nambi did service to Thirukoshtiyur Nambi  to obtain  “Bhagavatha Sambandham” and became eligible for Moksha. Lord Varadharaja Perumal welcomed him with open arms and praised his steadfast affection and devotion.  At this time, Thirukachi Nambi started to recite mesmerising  “Devaraja Ashtagam” and attained Moksha to serve Shriman Narayanan in Sree Vaikundam.

 

330. First Indian Women fighter pilots

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All the Indian women should celebrate this proud moment. The three women, in their early 20s, created history as India’s first women fighter pilots in the Indian Air Force. India’s first women fighter pilots – Bhawana Kanth, Avani Chatuvedi and Mohana Singh – were commissioned in the Indian Air Force. Each has cleared the first stage of training and has about 150 hours of flying. After getting their wings today as flying officers, they will train for six months on the Advanced Jet Fighter – the British-built Hawk – they will be assigned fighters and their squadrons.

The government decided to open the fighter stream for women on an experimental basis for five years. But combat roles in the Army and the Navy are still off limits due to a combination of operational concerns and logistical constraints. Women pilots were first included in 1991, for choppers and transport aircrafts.

According to Bhawana it was her dream to fly like a free bird since her childhood which inspired her to join IAF. Avani was inspired by Army officers in her family and had few hours of flying experience in the flying club of her college, which inspired her to join the IAF.  Mohana  aspired to make her parents proud by becoming a fighter pilot and fly the best of the fighter in the IAF. She dreamt of being part of the future combat missions and fight for the nation when duty calls for guarding the nation’s skies.

According to official sources, it takes Rs 15 crore to train a fighter pilot.  Air Chief Arup Raha has reportedly said that the woman fighters would get no preference and will be assigned as per requirements of the force. Despite having encountered bad weather, thunder, lightning, uncertainties and hazards of flying, nothing could deter these three flying cadets from achieving their goal. The strength of women officers (all the three wings combined) comprises 5.4% (3,177) of the total strength (59,380).

 

300. Saradha Devi

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We all know that Ramakrishna Paramahamsa is the Guru of Swami Vivekanandha. Saradha Devi is the wife of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. She married him when she was six. When she was eighteen years old, she started living with her husband. At that time Shri Ramakrishna had reached the highest state of realisation in which he saw God in all the living beings. He taught Saradha Devi how to lead a spiritual life along with discharging household duties. Saradha Devi accepted that life very happily and started to live as a devoted wife as well as a spiritual disciple of Shri Ramakrishna.

She chose monasticity as the means and end of her life. Because of her sacrifice, the Ramakrishna mission movement was possible. Saradha Devi was worshipped by Shri Ramakrishna as the Divine Mother. The disciples of Shri Ramakrishna was regarded as own children by both of them.

After the death of Shri Ramakrishna, the disciples looked to her for advice and encouragement. The followers of Shri Ramakrishna regared Saradha Devi as Adhi Parasakthi. During the last days Shri Ramakrishna suffered from throat cancer. Saradha Devi nursed him and gave suitable food. After his death, Saradha Devi remained as the spiritual guide for the next 34 years. She supported Swami Vivekanandha in the uplift of women community.

Her purity, selfless service, unconditional love towards mankind, wisdom and spiritual illumination made her an ideal woman. She used to say, “by constant practice of meditation, our mind will become calm. The whole world is ours; so we should not find fault with anybody. We should make a habit of prayer to overcome all difficulties. We are fortunate in getting the human birth. We can achieve anything by our hard work”.

Let us worship and follow Saradha devi to lead a meaningful life.

294. The person who inspired me – Part IV

I want to say some more information about Swami  Vivekananda  before I conclude.

In British-ruled India, Vivekananda gave a new colour to the national movement throughout India. Sri Aurobindo regarded Vivekananda as the one who awakened India spiritually. Mahathma Gandhi considered him as a social reformer as he helped to cut the dead wood of tradition. Rajagopalachari(Rajaji) remarked  that Vivekananda saved India by saving Hinduism. Subash Chandra Bose called him as the maker of New India. Rabindranath Tagore mentioned that if anybody wants to know about India, he has to study Vivekananda’s writings. Jawaharlal Nehru wrote about him as Vivekananda came as a tonic to the depressed and demoralized people.

According to Vivekananda,”Religion is science of consciousness”. The universal conception frees religion from the holds of superstition and makes it highest pursuit of knowledge, freedom and happiness. Vivekananda’s concept of potential divinity of soul makes life meaningful and worth living. He said that we should be pure because purity is our real nature, our true divine self or athma. Similarly we should love and serve others because we all are one in the supreme spirit known as paramathma. Vivekananda built a bridge between Indian and Western culture.

Swami Vivekananda gave a clear cut profile to Hinduism. He brought harmony by unifying different sectors of Hinduism. He raised voice in defence of Hinduism. He faced grave challenges and he met them boldly by integrating the best elements western culture in Hindu culture. He elevated social service to the status of divine service.

Swami Vivekananda has said that even after he laid down his body he would continue to work and inspire young generation people to carry on his unfinished work. At Kanyakumari, the Rock Memorial  which stands in his name is a unique symbol of unity and purity. When he reached Kanyakumari in 1892, he was suffering from hunger and thirst. He was exhausted and  had no money to pay to boatman to travel by boat. He swam across and reached the rock. He sat there for three days and meditated on Mother India who for him is incarnate of Divine Durga. He thought about the past, present and future of India. He took a decision to travel throughout the world to spread India’s religion  and culture.

I hope the person who inspired me will also inspire you also.

288. The person who inspired me – Part III

I was sharing some information about Swami Vivekananda in Part I & II. Today I want to say about some of his  thoughts, which are very much helpful to our life.

The waves raise, fall down, disappear and raise again in a lake. Similarly,  in our mind thoughts raise, fall down but raise after some time. These thought-waves become finer and finer, when they raise again and again.

To succeed in a deed, we have to take up an idea, make that one idea our life, dream of it, think of it and live on that idea. Let the brain, body, muscles, nerves and every part of our body be full of that idea and just leave all other ideas alone. This is the way to success.

Fill the brain with high thoughts, highest ideals , place them day and night before you and out of that will come great work.

Each work has to pass through these stages – ridicule, opposition and then acceptance.

Your life is reflection of your thoughts.

If you don’t design your life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. Guess what they would have planned for you. Not much.

People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did but people will never forget how you made them feel.

If the obstacle is below you, jump over. If it’s above you, crawl under it.

We should not forget those who are helping us. We should not hate those who are loving us. We should not cheat those who believe us.

Anything which makes us weak physically, intellectually and spiritually we have to reject it as poison.

Talk to yourself atleast once in a day. Otherwise, you may miss a meeting with an excellent person in the world.

Relationships are more important in life but it is important for those relationships  to have life in them.

Arise, awake and stop not until the goal is reached.

We cannot  believe in God until we believe ourselves.

The world is a big gymnasium where we come  to make ourselves strong.

All the powers in the universe are already ours. It is we who have put our hands before eyes and cry that it is dark.

Let us try some of the above in our life.

283. The person who inspired me – Part II

I was telling about Swami Vivekananda in Part I. I want to share some more information about him.

I want to begin with his words, “Dare to be free, dare to go as far as your thought leads and dare to carry that out in your life”.

One day Vivekananda’s mother was very ill and on her deathbed.  Vivekananda didn’t have money to give her proper food and medicine. He went to his guru Sri  Ramakrishna and asked,”What is the use of spirituality when there is no job and money to take care of essential needs in life?” Ramakrishna asked Vivekananda to pray to Kali to fulfil his needs. Vivekananda sat for prayer before Kali and prayed for hours together but he could not ask Her anything for himself.

Once a social reformer told Vivekananda, “I  want to support women. I want to reform them”. For that Vivekananda replied, “Just leave them alone. They will do what they have to do. It is not that a man has to reform a woman. If he just gives room, she will do what is necessary”.

In the beginning, when he gave lectures in India, there was no response. But, after finishing lectures in western countries, he got a warm reception in India.  He traveled throughout India and inspired many people by his speech. In foreign countries he spoke about India’s spiritual heritage. In India he addressed social issues such as uplifting people, eliminating the caste system, promoting science and industrialisation, poverty and ending colonial rule.

He inspired Jamsetji Tata to set up a reseach and educational institute but when he was offered to head the institute, he declined.

Vivekananda propagated that the essence  of Hinduism was best expressed in Adi Sankara’s Advaita vedantha philosophy.

Vivekananda believed that a country’s future depends on its people and his teachings focused on human development.

I will share some more information about Vivekananda in my next blog.

276. The person who inspired me – Part I

Swami Vivekananda was the person who astonished me with his courage & achievements and inspired me the most.

He was born in an aristocratic family in Calcutta, along with 8 siblings.  He was known as Narendra or Naren.  At the young age, he excelled in studies about religion, history & social science, art, literature, music and gymnastics. He was the first person who introduced  Indian philosophy, yoga  and vedantha  to the western world.  He started practising meditation from  his boyhood.

Sri Ramakrishna was his English professor at college.  Vivekananda put the same question he asked many people earlier,”Sir, have you seen God?”. Ramakrishna replied instantly,”Yes. I have seen Him clearly as I see you in a much intenser sense”.  Vivekananda  started showing  pure and unselfish love towards him.  He accepted Sri Ramakrishna as his spiritual guru and started to visit Dakshineshwar often to see him.

The sudden death of Vivekananda’s father, left the family bankrupt. He, once a son of a well-to-do family became one of the poorest boy in the college. His spiritual education continued through Sri Ramakrishna and the poverty did not make him tired. Sri Ramakrishna passed away due to throat cancer and Vivekananda  was nominated as his successor  by Sri Ramakrishna, before his death.

Then, Vivekananda took the  Hindu  religious life of a wandering monk and traveled extensively throughout India. He visited Japan, China, Canada and USA. His famous speech about Hinduism on 11th September 1893, at Art Institute of Chicago began with the words,”Sisters and brothers of America”. At these words, he received two minutes standing ovation  from the crowd of seven thousand people.  He insisted about universality and religious tolerance.  He was named cyclonic monk from India.

Vivekananda spent two years lecturing in Chicago, Detroit, Boston and New York.  He founded the “Vedantha society of Newyork”.   He was offered academic position in Harward University and the Columbia University but he declined both. Then, he traveled to UK and the other Europeon countries. The Irish woman Margaret Elizabeth became his disciple  later, in the name of sister Niveditha.

I will continue the information about Swami Vivekananda in my next blog.

208. People’s President

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In India, many people  are not interested even in knowing  the name of the President.  But, our former President Dr. A.P.j. Abdul Kalam  found a place in every Indian’s heart by his good deeds. He was the only president who brought many common people to the Rashtrapathi Bhavan.

After completing his tenure, he had only 2 suitcases of his personal belongings with him. Usually the belongings  of former president would have required many lorries to carry the things. The nation honours him for his simplicity. Every Indian would  have shred tears on hearing the news of his death.

His engagement with common people, especially children made  everybody to consider him as a close friend, philosopher and guide.  The Missile man of India was the most respected person of the country by raising the image of India in front of big countries of the world. He played a crusial role when India tested its nuclear weapons in Pokhran.

This vegetarian bachelor has not undergone any training in abroad. While meeting the youngsers he used to listen to their speech carefully and respond. In one meeting with school children, power went off suddenly. He stood in the middle of the hall and asked the children to surround him. His lecture and interaction with 400 children continued, without the requirement of the current.

He has donated his lifetime savings to a trust named “Providing Urban Amenities to Rural Areas”. When he was a president, in spite of his busy schedule, he used to write reply and thank cards in his own handwriting.  In a function he refused to sit in a big chair and asked the authorities to put a similar chair like others’.

While working in DRDO, a scientist could not keep up his promise of taking his children to an exhibition. Knowing this, Dr.Abdul Kalam took the children with him to the exhibition. There are many more interesting real stories about him. Indians feel very proud to own such an outstanding personality.