Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Update on Shabira Khan

This came in from Serendipity:

Abdul (Shabira's older son) collected the cheque of Rs 10,000 which I collected from Aarif Malik last evening. That's Rs 22, 500 that we've raised so far!

Coming to the online transfer details which I had asked him to ask his Bank last evening, he's pretty clueless since he went to the bank but wasn't sure what to ask etc, so I've written an application explaining what we need which he just needs to go and show his Manager and hopefully he'll be able to guide him.

So those details could take a while.

Edited to add: A big thank you Aarif, from the IH team.

Update on Karuna

This is a couple of days late, sorry Serendipity:

Karuna just called me. She was quite upset and just burst out crying on the phone…she was in a ceremony organized at G.T. Hospital where they've put up some kind of remembrance thing for her husband as well as other people killed in the attacks… she just couldn't control her tears and had called me from within the ceremony.

I just let her break down and be vulnerable for a while as she said she controls as much as she can for the sake of her kids.

The youngest one (Yash) doesn't understand death and thinks his Dad is at the airport and keeps asking. I mentioned to her that she needs to counsel him and slowly tell him that his dad is not coming back…felt horrible doing so.

Anyway, she was better after crying.

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Delhi Chapter

This appeal from sscribbles who is spearheading our New Delhi chapter:

Whom have you helped today? With that motto in mind, we would like to kickstart our Delhi chapter as well. We are keen to extend a helping hand to those who feel we can make a difference. If you know of a disaster victim who needs a shoulder to lean on, please contact us. If you know of anyone who is in need of assistance, please share the details with us.

Like our Mumbai counterparts, we in Delhi would like to bring a smile to unhappy faces. We will evaluate cases before deciding how best we can help. Do write in to us at indiahelps@gmail.com for we are just a click away.
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Thank You

This from Serendipity:

Thank you Rohan Monteiro and Neha Gahlaut for the money they sent for Shabira Khan.

From the entire IH team, thank you.

Thank you...

Tony Leslie and Melinda Johansson from Australia for your cheques for Karuna. They will be handed across to Karuna in the course of the next week.

And Thank You Trevor Bormann of ABC for the report and the segment on Karuna Waghela.

Pavement School visit by Nomad

This came in from Nomad:

I went to Pavement School 2 today (the one outside the ICICI branch on Link road, Goregaon) and came back very happy. It was so good to be welcomed by open smiles and bright eyes; it took only a few minutes to get friendly. I suspect I was having more fun than them in helping them where they got stuck and just watching them do the lessons. I am already on first name basis with at least 7 of them!Including Prince who asked me if I am the same Prachi who comes on TV and is now in movies :) (Ms Desai would be surprised at how popular she is!)

There were around 70 students today and everyone seemed to be paying attention to their subjects. The three teachers had divided the class into three by making them face in different directions and taking up three subjects. Given the number of students it was being managed very well with each student being given problems and lessons as per the age. We do really have a wide age band with the youngest Kashish looking about 3 and the eldest ones in 8th std.

Along with snacks the children were also given calcium supplements which is great! One girl had fever and the teacher told me that there's a Doc nearby who checks them and gives medicines free of charge.

I had my friend and her two daughters with me - she has been wanting to get involved so came along to meet the students today. Her younger daughter mixed with the kids and had a good time while her driver - Pandeyji gave a Hindi alphabet lesson to a young student who had written in all wrong in her notebook. She is planning to give the school a water container - like a cool keg or something so that we can place drinking water, right now a few of them carry their own bottles.

I also got to meet Mr. Nadar and he told me about the picnic he and Priyanka are planning. Priyanka, do tell when is it and may be even I can join the kids :) Also, I will try and talk to a friend who is holding summer camp craft classes at her home if she can do a craft session with the children here.

I do need to say this for the record - Priyanka, Kiran and everyone who made this happen, its just great and I'm so proud! We came back with the widest grins on our faces :)

Here are a few pictures I took with my phone cam.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Update from Kolkata on Ahana

This report from Mamma Mia!!! Me a Mamma???:

Hello all! Just wanted to tell you all that Purnima called last night. Her bank a/c in Kolkata has finally become operational. There was a marked change in the attitude and behaviour of the staff as well and she was treated with a lot of respect and courtesy. She is truly grateful and sends a huge shout-out to the Bombay team too.

She deposited the two cheques that were sent to her. It'll be a while before the money is credited to her a/c as they are outstation cheques.

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Update on Shabira Khan (26/11 victim)

This urgent update from Serendipity:

Shabira Khan is a victim of 26/11 attacks, the last one languishing in hospital. She. was injured by the taxi blast at Wadi Bunder along with her son. While her son has recovered with minor injuries, she is still in a critical state.
I just spoke with Abdul. (Shabiras older son). Firstly, here's the family tree. 7 people. Shabira, her husband, Abdul (24), Khalid (22), Sabah (19)m Shaheen (18), Shahid (17) and Sajid (14). Father working with Bombay Port Trust, earning Rs. 3,000 per month.
All kids except Abdul, the oldest are studying in school (Jamiya Islamiya school if I heard correctly).
The last time I had visited her in Wadala. Hospital, she had been admitted since 3 months, and was one of the only 26/11 victims still languishing in hospital. She had splinters which were embedded and had damaged her nerves in her foot and back. Her oldest son Abdul had a splinter below his right eye which thankfully missed his eye, and hence has not lost vision. I was told that the hospital (BPT) was paying for her medical expenses completely since her husband is a BPT employee. However, given her degenerating condition and doctors at BPT insisting that there's nothing they can do, they shifted her to Saifee hospital where she was to be operated. Cost of expenses at Saifee were upwards of 2 lakh (which is why I'm guessing they had to mortgage their home).
She was due to be operated at Saifee wherein during some blood transfusion process, they discovered Jaundice in her system, detecting which doctors at Saifee asked her to be transferred to Kasturbha Hospital which they told the family is a hospital specially equipped to handle jaundice. When she was transferred there too, the operation could not be done, and since they cannot afford medical fees, they've brought her back to Wadala (BPT).
Also, shes been told that if they don't operate within 20 days the situation could get out of control as the jaundice has apparently spread all over, coupled with everything else, her nerves have blackened and shes become very weak.
One of the daughters has taken leave from school and sits with her each day. So far I can see that they really need money, both for medical expenses as well as personally. Also, if we can get a doctor through contacts/second opinion. To note that her condition is critical now, her nerves have swollen accompanied by swelling in her liver. So at max, we can take all her papers and show to some other doctor, taking her physically may not be possible.
I have asked if Abdul can meet me tomorrow at Dadar, which is said is convenient for him as well. Will hand over a cheque for Rs 10,000, although the need of the hour is far more.

If anyone would like to help Shabira as well, please do write in at indiahelps@gmail.com or info@indiahelps.org.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Citizen volunteers wanted

Would you like to volunteer for election duty? Read on:

This is to confirm that Janaagraha would be very happy to work with GoG to mobilize and train citizen volunteers to conduct door-to-drives in their community / polling booth regions. Following is our current plan for Mumbai:
1. We are targeting to mobilize 500+ citizen volunteers across Mumbai city (similarly for Delhi & Bangalore) to spend one day prior to polling day (Apr 30) in their community urging their neighbours to go out and vote, giving them their polling booth address and asking them to make an informed choice. We are calling them as Booth Level Volunteers (BLVs). This is similar to Booth Level Agents (BLAs) that political parties deploy for door-to-door campaigning, which is known as the most effective method to get-out-the-vote
2. We will be organizing 4 ground orientation sessions for these BLVs to train them on how to do these drives properly, and also arm them with flyers & adequate information. These are being organized with the support of AGNI. The schedule and locations of these sessions are mentioned in the attachment.
3. We will be mobilizing volunteers through several channels - through our 1.25 lakh database of jaagore users, through companies that conducted voter regtn drives through us, through AGNI network, through HT, Fever FM etc. It would be great if GoG spreads the word through its entire community of NGOs / groups asking max. people to take up this role, and also attend any of our above ground orientation sessions. Any additional media support to spread the word on this activity and get more citizens to take up this role in their community, is most welcome.
Ground Orientation Sessions for Booth Level Volunteers at Mumbai
21st April 2009 - 7.00 p.m. to 9.00 p.m.
St Anne's High School Hall,
C/o Our Lady of Lourdes Church,
Marve Road, Malad West
Mumbai 400 064.

22nd April 2009 - 7.00 p.m. to 9.00 p.m.
Salvation Hall
Portuguese Church
Dadar [W]
Mumbai 400 028

24th April 2009 -  7.00 p.m. to 9.00 p.m.
Lake Castle Podium
Behind Lake Castle Building
Cliff Avenue, Near Reliance World
Hiranandani Garden Complex
Mumbai 400 076

25th April 2009 -  6.00 to 8.00 p.m. 
Mount Carmel Hall
Next to St Aloysius School, Opp Leelavati Hospital,
Bandra Reclamation
Mumbai 400 050
Members are encouraged to  attend any of the sessions as per their convenience.
Please do contact  Sushama  at reddy_sushama@yahoo.com,for <mailto:reddy_sushama@yahoo.com,for> any information or assistance. --
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Story on Karuna Waghela on Australian television

This from Serendipity:

Here's the link to the India Helps mention on the ABCL website page on the story:

http://www.abc.net.au/foreign/content/2009/s2543734.htm <http://www.abc.net.au/foreign/content/2009/s2543734.htm>

The first page also has the video link to the story.

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Monday, April 20, 2009


This email from Chandni:

I've created an account on Twitter to post information on people in India seeking (and sharing) funds.

Contribute (with your money and/or by forwarding this mail) if anything on the page resonates with you. :)

Jamuna, thanks for coming up with the name!

http://twitter.com/FundACause <http://twitter.com/FundACause>


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Urgent appeal for help

Orangejammies received this appeal for help for a critically injured person at Vashi. We request kind souls to please donate directly to the hospital:

(The email reproduced below)

This is regarding a person, Navin Mistry, who has met with an accident on 4th April 09 and is hospitalized in MGM Vashi, ICU – Bed No. 9.

He has undergone a surgery to remove a blood clot from his left brain.

Further he has developed a swelling in his left brain which is putting pressure on his right brain, due to which the doctors had to remove his skull cap so the brain is not damaged. He has been kept on ventilator since then.

He has undergone a 'surgery of Craniotomy' and further treatment is required. The hospital expenses are estimated at around Rs 6, 50,000 (six lakhs fifty thousand/-) excluding medicines.

His family members could arrange for Rs 2, 50,000 (two lakhs fifty thousand) but rest of the amount is needed.

He is hospitalized in MGM Vashi, bed no. 9, ICU.

We request you to extend your helping hand.

Name of the Patient: Mr. Navin Mistry

Age: 27 years

Injury: Head Injury

Doctor in-charge: Neuro Surgeon Dr. Ashok Hande

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Update on Poonam Singh

This report from Sangeeta:

The good news - the Godrej hospital at Vikhroli sent a doctor with an ambulance to Poonam Singh's slum this Thursday. They prescribed some exercises for Poonam Singh. They will come every 15 days to the slum to keep supervising her.
I will also talk to the administrator at Godrej Hospital and check what she has to say.

From team India Helps a big heartfelt thank you to Dr Rati Godrej and Godrej Hospital.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Update on Ahana

This report from Mamma Mia!!! Me a Mamma??:

I have been in regular touch with Purnima. I spoke to her a little while ago to wish her for the New Year.
* I had given her some centre numbers from where one can hire ayahs and nurses. Right now, she is following up with a contact given to her by her son-in-law. This nurse will be visiting her soon. In the meanwhile, she is making arrangements for her Bombay nurse to come back. She has booked tickets using the Tatkal services.

* The cheque sent from Bombay arrived at my place today. I told her that the earliest I could visit her would be next week sometime, perhaps on Tuesday. If before that, she could send someone to my place to collect the cheque, that would be great.

* She is in the process of opening an SBI account near her place. Should take another day or two. She'll give me the account details as soon as she gets them. In the meanwhile, if someone would like to put in some money in her account directly, they can use the Bombay account.

* She is very happy with the physiotherapist who is coming to work with Aahana. She has been progressing well under his guidance.

* She spoke to Sonu and Madhurima Niigam, who will be working something out regarding the money transfers.

* She was hoping for some help from film star, Mithun Chakraborty.

Meanwhile, I spoke to my friend whose mom used to work for the Spastics Society. I am very hopeful regarding this source and I hope a lot of good can come of it.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Update on Karuna Waghela

This report from Serendipity:

Hi all, I spoke with Karuna, who has shifted into her room at Sion.

She was quite emotional and was missing her husband...her little one has hurt himself, with three stitches, while her mom and dad are both unable to move in with her immediately since they're both sick. High B.P and sugar respectively...she is suddenly feeling the brunt of being all alone, the only plus side is that she got paid for a month and a half. I won't be able to visit at least for two weekends but she can call me whenever. She travels to work everyday by bus spending over an hour in transit. I have offered to teach her to commute by train in a few weeks if she's not learnt by then, since her travel time will be only about 30 mins then by train.
By the time we hung up she had really cheered up, having cried a bit and venting I guess.
Anyway that's that from her. She didn't seem to know about the trial so I didn't ask.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Update on Cheetah Camp victim-Shabnam

This update from Nomad:

Hi All,
I met Shabnam on Thursday and handed over Rs. 4000 for the monthly expenses.

It was very nice to meet her and she said that she was also happy to put a face to my voice :) She kept asking me if there's any progress on the job front for her - at a loss here as none of my leads have worked out. Urgent call for help here, people!

Her three younger sisters are going to school, the fourth one did not want to study further after 10th std. and so has enrolled into a govt. approved computer course. This course is being paid for a person working with a college in the area and she might have a job when she finishes the course, this may take some time but its still a step towards the family becoming independent. With the sewing machine coming in the mother will also be able to start earning some money. It is quite heartening to see everyone in the family trying their best to come out of this and are not taking any aid they get fot granted.

The payment for the new Usha sewing machine has also been done last week and it should get delivered today. Will report back once Shabnam confirms this.

Once my foot gets better I will make a trip to her home and meet the family, for now, this is it.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Help this baby

Six month old Nishtha Jadhav has a hole in her heart and needs urgent surgery. Details on page 9 of TOI today. Her father, Ravindra Jadhav can be reached on 9323086079. Cheques made in favour of Wockhardt Hospital can be sent directly to the hospital with Baby Nishtha a/c no 198223 mentioned on the reverse side.

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Good news from Balaji

Wordjunkie sent in this report:

Balaji's job with CMW is confirmed. He starts from today , at a salary of Rs 7000 pm., as a sanitation worker. His youngest brother now drives the rickshaw, while the middle brother is back in the village. So there is some income coming in.

I discussed his need for a visit to the ortho, but he felt he wouldn't get a day off just yet, this being a new job, but would inform me in advance if he could get a day off later on. He is in some discomfort, but I understand his need to get the job going first. So we could identify a doctor for him, but hold off taking an appointment just yet.

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Monday, April 6, 2009

Update on Aahana from Kolkata

This from Mamma Mia! Me a Mamma?!?:

Here is the update:

After arriving in Kolkata, Purnima Goswami called up one of the
Kolkata coordinators, requesting her to get in touch with Aahana's doctor in Mumbai. Aahana was restless through the train journey and got a fever of 102.5 during the second night. Purnima wanted the doctor's permission to start Aahana on Augmentin. Dr. Nabi informed us that Purnima should hold off till Sunday and just continue with Crocin syrup. if the fever was still high on Sunday, then they would start off with the Augmentin.

When I called later on in the evening to find out how Aahana was faring, Purnima informed her that the fever had crossed 103 and so she got in touch with Dr. Nabi herself, requesting the go-ahead for the antibiotic. The doctor was still willing to wait for a day, but Purnima was frantic and so he agreed.

On Sunday, I had a small chat with Purnima regarding a doctor for Aahana. She said that they went to a Dr. Chattopadhyay, a peadiatric neurologist when Aahana was here a few years ago. Purnima will be visiting him once Aahana is better.

I called Purnima's daughter, Deboshree on Monday afternoon. Purnima has shifted into the new flat along with Aahana and even has a new phone number. Yesterday, a physiotherapist visited Aahana and Purnima. He will be starting sessions with Aahana today. Purnima wanted a back up just in case, so I suggested that maybe when she gets in touch with Dr. Chattopadyay, she could ask him to refer a physiotherapist who could help Aahana. Purnima liked the suggestion.

Purnima is also in need of a nurse to help her look after Aahana. There are some centres here that provide nurses, but it's all about luck regarding whether one gets a good one or not.

She can't thank the Niiggams enough for what they are doing for her and she referred to them as "Narayan and Lakshmi". I assured her that the Mumbai team would call her soon.

She told us to give them a breather for a day or two, before "troubling them with a mad woman's woes".

Purnima cried a lot and couldn't stop talking about her daughter. She said that nobody let her cry after her daughter's death. It seemed like she was grateful to be finally allowed to break down a little bit. I assured her that we would visit her this week. Purnima suggested Thursday since that is when her daughter, Deboshree, would be there too.

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Sunday, April 5, 2009

Our brand new website


Designed by the fantastic Renu. Thank you dear, for a wonderful job, done patiently, despite my repeated harassment.

Article on India Helps

And this is what appeared in todays edition of The Telegraph, Kolkata, about India Helps.

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1090405/jsp/7days/story_10775998.jsp <http://www.telegraphindia.com/1090405/jsp/7days/story_10775998.jsp>

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Friday, April 3, 2009

Update on Balaji

This just came in from Wordjunkie:

Have been in touch with Balaji and he called me today to say that:

1.. He can't work everyday, as his knee gives him a lot of trouble. His doctor has asked him to find a good 'bone doctor' . Can we quickly help him there?

2. He's getting the run around from the Railways office. His case has still to reach the appropriate office. He's been told he will get a job with something called the CMW dept at MMRDA. Couldn't get more from him on this, but he's forced to spend a whole working day going to VT, only to be sent back.

3. Neither of his brothers has a job yet, He continues to be the main bread winner...still!!!

4. He has been borrowing money to run the house.

Is there some job we could organize for him until he gets his CMW job? Driving an auto can hardly be comfortable, or even safe for him, with a bad knee, and a problem with the nerves in one hand.

Anyone who could help in anyway, please do write in at indiahelps@gmail.com urgently.

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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Update on Cheetah Camp victim

This report in from Nomad:


While talking to Shabnam during one of my routine calls to her, she very hestitatingly asked me if there is another help we may be able to provide. She mentioned that her mother knows how to sew so if a sewing machine could be arranged for her she will start looking small jobs from neighbors for alteration or tailoring jobs. Also this way she can fit all the clothes she has received from us as per the girls' sizes.

I did a quick search online to see how much they cost, the minimum cost I spotted was Rs. 3,000 on an Usha Tailor Machine. I am not sure if and where second-hands may be available, but we could check on that. Let me know what you guys think.

Also, I asked her and again she reluctantly said that she hasn't found a job yet and so there is no cash for the next month for groceries etc. We'll need to look into this as well.
If you would like to help her please write in to us at indiahelps@gmail.com.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Bye Ahana!

This from Shyaam, who has been working on the Ahana Mishra case with OrangeJammies and Aparna:

Went and met Purnima and Ahana last night. I have her daughter's number with me and so incase her number doesnt work we can get in touch with her daughter and get to know whats happening. I think thats about it from our side in Ahana's case as far as the Mumbai chapter is concerned. Was wonderful working on this.

(Edited to add: Purnima leaves for Kolkata today and the India Helps Kolkata team will now take over the baton on this case.)