There are times, when you wake up, and settle down to a ‘routine’ day, a surprise visitor or an email arrives to cheer and change your day. Today is one of them. As usual, as I sit in front of the system to see the emails, with a cup of coffee served at the pc table by my ‘never cribbing’ better half, I saw this email from Mrs.Thenuga Sivaraj Chandrashekar that reads :
Dear Bellie Uncle,
How are you? It feels like I’ve known you for few years 🙂 I have read your postings in badaga.org. I have also visited your website badaga.in many times. I have never taken the time to write to you. Your website has tons or information. Thanks for all your effort !!
My name is Thenuga. I am from Kekkatty village. I am married to Chandrashekar (Billicombai). We are in US. We’ve been here for the past 10 years. My husband and I have helped few students in our community by sponsoring for their education. We were actively doing this 3-4 years ago with our relatives help. But now few of them have moved out of town and others have new responsibilites…. . Through some student organizations in Coimbatore, I am also helping some orphanage kids. I am now planning to organize a cancer awareness and screening programs in our hatties. I will need a lot of volunteer help from our community….. Can you please send me your phone number so we can discuss about this.
As being the habit, I replied immediately to Thenuga, [the name of a RAGA in Telugu, I gather] with my phone numbers, and guess what, she was on line within minutes. When Thenuga explained that she and her husband Chandrashekar, have helped in the education of many, by sending one of them to Madras Christian College and others to an orphanage school, on the Mettupalayam Road, Coimbatore.
Having lost her mother to Cancer, like most of the Badagas who have lost atleast one member to some form of cancer [ in my case I lost my sister, a few years back] she wants to spread awareness about this disease, which can be cured if detected early,among our hattis (villages) with the help of youngsters. They can also sponsor ‘differently abled / mentally challenged’ Badaga children in the School for Handicapped ‘ if the children can be identified.
I know of Badagas who live in the USA for decades and claim that they have oceans of money but do nothing for the community, there are people like Thenuga and Chandrashekar who are keen on doing something for the society. My heart is filled with joy and pride to learn about these Badagas who live thousands of miles away but have remained to remember their roots. Truly ‘Proud to be Badagas’.
If you can volunteer, your expenses will be taken care of, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. I, Wg.Cdr. JP, will be in Coonoor in the next couple of days and can schedule some meetings.
Every society is judged by how it treats its least fortunate amongst them.Let us resolve to join Thenugu & Chandrasheker and do something to the society, here and now.
Thenuga adds on 07 Apr 2010 about her plans :
Instead of conducting one huge camp, I am planning to organize few small camps covering 15-20 hattis at a time. The first camp will be in Kannerimukku village. Most probably in the government school. The way I would like to spread this word is through Magalir Sangam. I know each hatty has one. I am not aware on what they do. But anyways, I am planning to contact them and they will be responsible for spreading the word in their hatty and also to get people enrolled for this checkup. Once after we have the number of people enrolled, we will be sorting them based on their household income. The ones who have less income will be given priority.
Depending upon the responses and support for this camp, we can decide if we want to move to the next region. We will welcome anyone who is willing to sponsor for the camp conducted in their region. We’ll be advertising their name, company. etc.
By the way, we welcome any committed doctor who can lead in this noble attempt.Please contact me at email@example.com or call  9486631864 – JP