Friday, May 30, 2008

One of a kindness

The Times of India's Mumbai Mirror celebrated their 3rd Anniversary today. Under the Happiness section, Compassion column - we could really see Dr. A.R.K. Pillai reinventing compassion through his generous gestures. IDF thank Mr.Kevin Lobo, special reporter of Mumbai Mirror and the Times of India team for their kind and continued support to IDF in humanitarian programmes.

One of a kindness

Dr A R K Pillai preferred to help fight leprosy in his city, rather than carry on with his lucrative career

By Kevin Lobo

Dr A R K Pillai, founder of the Indian Leprosy Foundation (ILF), chuckles at the earliest memories of giving up his lucrative career and setting up his NGO. The man who is at the fore-front, fighting the disease, set up ILEF during Indira Gandhi's reign. "In my first year I had a collection of only Rs 720. How do you run an organisation with that amount?" asks 80-year-old Dr Pillai.Leaving behind a lucrative career in advertising and an experience in doing PR for the government, Dr. Pillai took the plunge in founding ILF. "I resigned from all my jobs. My friends and extended family thought I had gone insane," he says. "Of course it was not the most normal thing to do."The turning point in his life came in the form of a conference in Frankfurt where he was doing PR work for the government. "Other than public relations we used to collect funds for our country from Germany. At one of the conferences someone said 'Why don't you raise funds from your own country?'" says Dr. Pillai. Driven by national pride and discussions on the meaning of life he often had with his family, Dr. Pillai went ahead with his NGO plans. In 1980-1983 there were 40 lakh people suffering from leprosy, now, there are around 70,000.

Click Read more for complete report.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Yet another IDF Ambassador

Dr.A.R.K. Pillai welcomed Mr. Naveen Gowda, MBA student from SIES College of Management, Navi Mumbai as IDF Social Ambassador. "I have pleasure in sponsoring a child in IDF Gurukul", said Naveen as he handed over the sponsorship cheque to Dr.Pillai.

"I am impressed by the activities of IDF and i had the privilege of participating in the new year celebration with leprosy patients. I am happy that IDF has selected me as Social Ambassador today. This social status will help me in promoting IDF objectives in public", Naveen expressed confidently.

Dr. A.R.K. Pillai, Dr. Narayan B. Iyer and Mr. Hari Thampy congratulated Mr. Naveen Gowda as he was inducted as the new social ambassador.

For complete list of Ambassadors click here.
Would you like to be the next Social Ambassador of IDF ?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Spencer's Support IDF

Spencer's Hypermarket at Inorbit Mall in Malad, Mumbai have come forward to support IDF. Mr. Hari Thampy, Project Co-ordinator for Project Goodness met Mr. Rizwan Khan , Sr. Manager (Operations) and Mr. George from Spencers and explained to them about the social programmes of IDF.

While congratulating IDF for the wonderful empowerment activities for nearly 25 years, Mr. Rizwan Khan accepted to place the take-away leaflets of the Foundation conveying empowerment programmes of IDF.
Several thousands of customers visit Spencer's Hypermarket daily and providing them free social information will only be a great act, he said.

Mr. Hari Thampy thanked Spencer's Hypermarket for this generous gesture.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Generous Gesture

Dr. Lalitha Vaidyanathan, Senior Correspondent, The Press Trust of India presenting a personal donation to Indian Development Foundation for its Empowerment programmes.

Moved by the activities of Indian Development Foundation in different parts of India, Dr. Lalitha Vaidyanathan issued a cheque for the welfare and uplift of the underprivileged. I know the work of IDF for several years. IDF's Project Goodness programme will certainly help in the overall development plan, she said.

Dr. A.R.K. Pillai, President, IDF thanked Dr. Lalitha Vaidyanathan for her generous gesture.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Blood Donation Drive at BPCL

BPCL Trombay Club in collaboration with Indian Development and Think Foundation organised a Blood Donation Camp at BPCL Colony, Chembur, Mumbai on Sunday the 25th May.

The BPCL families took active part in blood donation drive. Earlier Mr.Vinay Shetty, Vice-President of Think Foundation explained the importance of blood donation and the urgent requirement of blood for the Thalassaemia affected children.
IDF team Dr.A.R.K. Pillai, Dr. Narayan B. Iyer, Dr. Sharad Nayampally and Mr.Sanjay Waghmare took part in the event. Dr. Pillai expressed his sincere
thanks to the BPCL families for voluntarily participating in the blood donation drive.
Dr. Narayan said the blood donation drive at BPCL is the first activity of the recently initiated Project Goodness programme as IDF enters 25 years of humanitarian service.
Dr. (Mrs.) Desai from the Indian Red Cross managed the drive with the help of her committed team members.

The responses from BPCL families was overwhelming. The youth in the colony joined the drive in big number to support the cause. There were a good number of first time blood donors who felt great about their act. Once the blood was donated, the donors were presented with a `Thank You' card and a message showing `I donated blood today' was pinned. The donors felt happy that they could be a part of the programme which will certainly help the needy.

Mrs. Debanita Biswas, IDF Ambassador co-ordinated the event which was supported by Mrs. Shobha Sankaranarayanan.
No sooner the donors were made aware of the importance of blood donation, they rushed to the site and queued up to donate blood. BPCL families could donate 69 units of blood to the Indian Red Cross, which is an excellent humanitarian gesture, said Mr. Vinay Shetty from the Think Foundation.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Work in progress

Mr. John Trivedi, IDF Ambassador at Chicago visited IDF office. Mr. John receives IDF memento from Dr.Pillai. Mr. Hari Thampy & Dr. Narayan are seen.

Ms. Meenakshi Iyer, IDF Ambassador and a Mass Media student discussing with IDF team.
Mr. Hariharan & Dr. Narayan join the team.

Ms. Shiloh Jessie Francisca, student from a school in Chidambaram (TN) visiting IDF project at Chennai. Ms. Shiloh talking to the inmates of the centre.

IDF Ambassador Dr. Arul Kamaraj, Lecturer, Dept. of Social work, Loyola College, Chennai during his visit to IDF Chennai office. IDF team explaining the work to the visiting Ambassadors

IDF Ambassadors Mr. S. Karthick, Mr. Jaydutt Kamath, Mr. Hariharan M.B., Mr. Vivek Gopal are seen with Dr. Narayan B. Iyer.
Interested to serve the society during your spare time ?
Become IDF Ambassador and make the difference.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

An irreparable loss for IDF

The man who worked till his last breath
A Tribute to our dear Swami Sir

(02-04-1923 - 19-05-2008)

The Management, the Staff, the Social Ambassadors and the Volunteers of Indian Development Foundation (formerly India Leprosy Foundation) are shocked to inform about the sad and sudden demise of Mr. K. Ramaswami on the evening of Buddha Poornima - Monday the 19th of May 2008.

The voluntary young man of 85 and the man full of inspiration and life for the youth, Mr. Ramaswami left his team for heavenly abode. The golden moments and his ever-memorable thoughts are left behind for all of us to be cherished. Affectionately known as `Swami Sir' to many in the IDF circle was blessed with a rich voice blended with perfect diction. His voice still rings in our ears as sage advice of righteousness.

A flashback

Mr. Krishna Ramaswami hailed from a small village called Chamravattam in Malapuram District of Kerala. Chamravattam village became the first fully computer-literate village in the world in 2003.

Born on 2nd April 1924 to Mr. Krishna Iyer and Mrs. Parvathi Ammal, young Ramaswami had his education at the AV High School at Ponnani. He passed his SSLC exam in 1939. As was the general practice in those days, he learnt typing and shorthand and moved to Mumbai in 1942 in quest of a job. On the 25th day of his landing in Mumbai he got a job in Reserve Bank of India.

He changed his jobs as opportunities presented themselves. After short stints at Mafatlals and Burmah Shell, he joined Associated Cement Company (ACC) and spent 39 long years there. He climbed the ladder of success with years of dedication and loyal work and retired as Manager in HRD Division in 1984.

Social work was uppermost in Mr. Ramaswami's mind from early times. After retirement, Mr. Ramaswami joined Indian Leprosy Foundation in Sept 1988 and continued to be a part of the senior management. He has been instrumental in rechristening Indian Leprosy Foundation to Indian Development Foundation with broader perspective in national interest.

Mr. Ramaswami maintained a disciplined life routine. Frugal food, regular walking exercise and punctual office routine kept him fit and cheerful. Cricket was an obsession with him.

Mr. Ramaswami found happiness in sublimating his life by doing social and humanitarian work. He was happy that he could share thoughts with the youngsters and counsel them towards better enrichment. He was proficient in English and contributed regularly to Joint Action magazine.

His concern, respect, humility, self-discipline and above all goodness for others endeared him to everyone and marked him out as a person of excellence. IDF team venerated Mr. Ramaswami for his excellent qualities.


Mr. Ramaswami is survived by his wife (Mrs. Ranganayaki), two sons and a daughter.

Indian Development Foundation team condoles the sudden death of Mr. Ramaswami. We pray for the eternal rest of the departed soul.

Man who worked till his last breath.
An irreparable loss for IDF

Obituary in Times of India.

Monday, May 19, 2008

A report in Free Press Journal

Indian Development Foundation (formerly Indian Leprosy Foundation) was established as a Charitable Public Trust and Society with the Charity Commissioner, Mumbai-1984. Coinciding with its 25th anniversary and backed by its long standing expertise and experience, IDF on May 16 announced in a press conference a new project embarked called, "Project Goodness".

For full report : Click HERE

IDF thank Free Press Journal team for supporting `Project Goodness'.

A soldier for society - Dr. Pillai

19th May 08, Indian Express, Mumbai reports about the man at the helm of IDF.

A Soldier for Society

At the age of 80, this man wants the Indian Development Foundation to continue bringing change through an army of volunteers, not fundraising

A soft-spoken man dressed in a humble white veshti and kurta greets visitors with a childlike smile at his office-cum-residence in Jogeshwari. Quite proudly, he says: "I gave up ties and coats a long time back. I can connect better with the average poor man dressed this way."

Meet Dr Ananthan Ramakrishna Pillai, president and founder of Indian Development Foundation (IDF), formerly known as Indian Leprosy Foundation. As the organization turns 25, the octogenarian ARK Pillai is readying to launch 'Project Goodness', an initiative to make available basic education, health and development facilities to all, through the establishment of additional IDF gurukuls, bridge schools for rag-pickers and street children, arranging health camps and blood camps, honouring leprosy cured persons and networking with other NGOs to achieve the mission.

For full story : click here

IDF thank The Indian Express team for the excellent news coverage. Communication is the key. We are confident this report will bring more soldiers to the IDF's fold for making a better India !

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Kala Kaumudi reports IDF's Project Goodness

Click to enlarge the report.

For English Translation click here



Coinciding with its 25th anniversary and backed by its long standing expertise and experience, Indian Development Foundation (IDF) embarked on a new project called “Project Goodness”.

Indian Development Foundation through its Project Goodness, aims at empowering the citizens of country by making available to them basic education, health and development facilities through its awareness programme and support systems.

“With a humble beginning of providing service to the leprosy affected people and creating awareness, IDF has contributed and networked with various agencies in achieving the leprosy elimination status in India.” noted Dr. A.R.K. Pillai. Soon after, the foundation diversified into other areas of health, education and rural development.

Speaking at a Press conference organized at Mumbai on 16th May 2008, Dr. Pillai said `in line with its commitment to play a larger role in society, IDF felt the need to review its vision and mission’. Empowerment will be the key issue of the foundation, noted the octagenerarian
IDF aims to involve the youth of the people, by way of inducting them as social ambassador and carrying the message of social responsibility to general public. IDF invites young people to come forward and contribute their mite in creating a better India. Nationwide social health awareness programme is planned to mark the silver jubilee.

Project Goodness will also involve sponsoring the basic education of needy and poor students, establishing additional IDF gurukuls, bridge schools for rag-pickers and street children, arranging health camps and blood camps, honouring leprosy cured persons, networking with other NGOs to achieve the mission.

“The Founder-President of Indian Development Foundation, Dr.A.R.K.Pillai shares a twin milestone of reaching 80 yrs of age and completing 60 years as a Mumbaikar. On this occasion IDF also plans to come out with an autobiography on him”, said Dr. Narayan B. Iyer, National Co-ordinator of IDF.

Indian Development Foundation (formerly Indian Leprosy Foundation), a leading national NGO committed to health, education and rural development, rededicates itself to the nation.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

IDF Ambassador speaks on his visit to Vimala Centre

Mr. Hariharan M.B., IDF Ambassador speaks about his experience of visiting Vimala Dermatological Centre at Mumbai.

"Today I visited Vimala Dermatological Centre, one of the health projects which is supported by Indian Development Foundation. Accompanying me was Dr.Narayan Iyer, National Coordinator of Indian Development Foundation.

Vimala Dermatological Centre is a premier institution which was established in 1976 and located close to sandy beach of Versova in North Mumbai.The centre is run by Congregation of Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate(founded in Italy). Close to 900 sisters are involved in active humanitarian services in India and abroad.It is funded by IDF, GLRA and other NGOs.

During my visit i met with Sister Bertilla Capra, who is the Director of the centre. Closing 70 years Sister Bertilla spend almost 38 years with Vimala Dematological Centre. Her compassion for fellow beings who are under priveleged has brought her to India leaving her hometown Italy.

We also noted the beautifully maintained garden which seems to be personally supervised by Sister Bertilla.We were taken around the project by Sister Sisily, who is the administration incharge.The centre houses a OPD (Outpatient department) in centre with buildings both sides. There is a convent where sisters stay, attached to a chapel.The atmoshpere in the chapel is serene. We met leprosy patients in the rooms who narrated their sufferings and also how they were taken care of by the Sisters. Looking at the sisters who patiently and persistently took care of each children, i was moved by their selfless service.The projects aims at embracing the leprosy, TB patients in the surrounding areas and provide free medical facilities to them.

The center has also taken up boarding since 1995 , covering childrens from age of 4-15 years. This was an additional attempt to ensure a better tomorrow for the children.

Leaving the Vimala Centre, I recalled the IDF theme "Why postpone goodness in Life" I appeal to readers to contribute their mite to NGOs like IDF who are working for the empowerment of India.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Writing for a cause

The Hindu newspaper (Bangalore Edition) carried news about IDF's young ambassador. (13/05/08)

A moment to remember: Sai receiving the award

Nine-year-old Shanker Sai, Std. IV , Kendriya Vidyalaya, M.E.G. Centre, bagged a prize for writing the best essay in a contest organised by the Office of the Joint Director of Tuberculosis, Government of Karnataka and Indian Development Foundation.

Sai was honoured by Brigadier R. M. Mittal on May Day, which coincided with the Annual Day of Kendriya Vidyalaya. It was a happy coincidence that the day was also the birthday of young Sai. Receiving the honour Sai said that he would like to associate more and more with social causes, especially those related to public health. Brig. Mittal, the Chairman of the Vidyalya Management Committee, Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan, congratulated the teachers for kindling students’ interest in an important social cause. S. Franklin, Area Manager of the Indian Development Foundation, congratulated Sai and inducted him as the IDF Social Ambassador

Click on Shanker Sai to read the news

Monday, May 12, 2008

Meeting TISS Director

IDF Social Ambassador Mr. Hariharan B.M. (centre), and Mr. Hari Thampy (right), Project Co-ordinator of IDF met Professor S. Parasuraman, Director of Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) on 12th May 08.

The IDF team apprised the Director of TISS on various Project Goodness programmes initiated by IDF.

Prof. Parasuraman congratulated IDF for its entering 25 years of service to the humanitarian causes and wished Project Goodness well.

Thanking the TISS team, Dr. Narayan B. Iyer, National Co-ordinator of IDF highlighted the wonderful support extended by Prof. Parasuraman for IDF's social responsibility programmes.

Hari's Square

IDF Social Ambassador Mr. Hariharan B. M., inducts Mr. Hari Thampy as the Project Co-ordinator of IDF's Project Goodness programme. Project Goodness has been initiated to spread the message of goodness in the community as IDF enters 25 years of its service to the nation. Mr. Hari Thampy is the 1st year Management Student of SIES College of Management, Nerul, Navi Mumbai.

Hari meets Hari - Let's call it Hari's Square
Chennai Super Kings Vs Mumbai Indians

Project Goodness initiated

Mr. Hariharan B.M., IDF Social Ambassador met IDF members at Mumbai in connection with Project Goodness initiated as IDF enters 25 years of its humanitarian service.

Mr. Hariharan called on Mr. N. R. Parashuraman, Member and Treasurer of IDF and discussed about Project Goodness events of IDF.

Dr.C.N.N. Nair, Member and Secretary of IDF congratulated Mr. Hariharan for the Project Goodness as it is designed to spread goodness among the underprivileged sections of the society.

Mr. N. D. Shete, former Finance Manager of IDF appreciated the work of Mr. Hariharan and wished him well. Mr. Shete spoke on the transperancy and self-reliant factor of IDF.

Project Goodness is being launched as IDF enters 25 years of its humanitarian service.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

IDF Ambassador in Chicago

Mr. John Trivedi, Director of Operations, Chicago/ O'Hare Hotels from USA expressed his keen desire to promote health and education to the poor and needy in India. India's efforts for national development needs support from every corner, expresed Mr. John.

Dr. A.R.K. Pillai and Dr. Narayan B. Iyer inducted Mr. John Trivedi as IDF Social Social Ambassador to Chicago on 7th May 08 during his visit to India.

Mr. John appreciated the work of Indian Development Foundation and paid compliments to its team. It is heartening to become an Ambassador of IDF which has dedicated 25 years of its service to the nation, said Mr. John.

Mr. Cecil O. Joseph, IDF Social Ambassador in Chicago congratulated Mr. John Trivedi for taking this social assignment. Better networking will really help in reaching the underprivileged in the society, Mr. Cecil said.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Yet another young ambassador for IDF

Nine year old Shanker Sai, a class 4 student from Kendriya Vidyalaya, M.E.G. & Centre, Bangalore bagged the prize for the best essay among the young writers which was organized by the Office of the Joint Director of Tuberculosis, Govt. of Karnataka and Indian Development Foundation.

Shanker Sai was honoured by Brigadier R. M. Mittal SM, on the May Day which co-incided with the Annual Day of Kendriya Vidyalaya.

Brig. R.M. Mittal SM, Chairman, Vidyalya Management Committee, Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan and Chief Guest for the function presented the prize to Shanker Sai and appreciated his writing skills. Brig. Mittal congratulated the teachers for rendering silent service in promoting the younger generations as responsible citizens. He also advised the parents to invest more time on the development of their children.

May Day happened to be the birthday of Shanker Sai. Receiving the honour with all jubiliations, Shanker Sai made a resolution to serve the poor and the needy by associating with Indian Development Foundation. Shanker Sai expressed his desire to become the social ambassador of IDF so that he could actively participate in the social movements during his spare time.

Inspired by Karan Dravid, the youngest social ambassador of IDF, Shanker Sai said that young students should join the movement of Indian Development Foundation and help in serving the underprivileged children. IDF gives us a platform to learn more on social issues and birthdays can be a better occasion to do our service for the society, said Shanker Sai.

Dr. S. Franklin, Area Manager, Indian Development Foundation congratulated Shanker Sai for winning the best prize in essay contest and inducted him as the IDF Social Ambassador. Young ambassadors are really a great source of inspiration for all of us and IDF is poised for doing better for the society, said Dr. Franklin.

What more can be a satisfying birthday gift for me than getting the status of IDF social ambassador, expressed Shanker Sai with a smile. I am confident that more students in our country will join the fold and help in developing India.

Mr. Sai Ranga Rao, Principal of Kendriya Vidyalaya congratulated Indian Development Foundation for the wonderful work carried out for the uplift of the tribals and poor in the society. He admired the social inclinations of Shanker Sai and Karan Dravid, students of his schools who have become social ambassadors of IDF. He wished many more students get inspired by these kids.

The annual day of the school continued with Mrs. Alka Mittal presenting prizes to students for excellence in curricular and co-curricular activities. Cultural programmes with thematic skits added more colour to the event. Mr. Jeyachandran, Vice Principal of the school proposed vote of thanks. Mrs. Sathyalakshmi and Mrs. B.R. Kar, senior teachers of KV co-ordinated the event.

Shiloh too joins IDF in Tamil Nadu as the youngest social ambassador