Tag Archives: Foundation

P. N. Panicker – Father of Library Movement in Kerala

P.N. Panicker is known as the Father of the Library Movement in the Indian state of Kerala. The activities of the Kerala Grandhasala Sanghom that he initiated triggered a popular cultural movement in Kerala which produced universal literacy in the state in the 1990s.

The State Government of Kerala has announced 19th June (day of his death) as the PN Panicker Reading Day (Vaayanadinam) and June as the Reading Month.

The PN Panicker Foundation together with a number of Government agencies, private sector entities and civil society organisations, is leading an initiative of reading. Their target is to reach 300 million under-privileged people by 2022. The main objective of this mission is to promote reading as a means to grow and prosper.

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Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: A Blessing to the World

I am writing this post to express my admiration for Mr. Bill Gates, Mrs. Melinda Gates and all the people associated with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Recently, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has become very active in partnering with the Indian Government to help in fighting diseases, social evils and providing innovative solutions to unsolved local social problems.

Although, the Gates Foundation is involved in philanthropic activities throughout the world, let me list a few of the projects that the Foundation has undertaken in India:

  • American business tycoon and philanthropist Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced an emergency relief fund of $7 lakh for the flood victims of Jammu & Kashmir.
  • The Gates Foundation provided monetary and operational support in the fight against Polio and India was declared polio-free this year.
  • The Gates Foundation provided monetary and operational support in the fight against Malaria.
  • The Gates Foundation has committed to spending $1.5 billion over the next five years on maternal and child health.
  • The Gates Foundation will support the Government in the newly launched ‘India Newborn Action Plan (INAP)’
  • The Gates Foundation will partner with the Government to promote user friendly toilets to ensure universal sanitation in the country with the objective of addressing sanitation-related health concerns.  It has been agreed that the Ministry of Urban Development and the Foundation would cooperate in four areas — innovative technology demonstration in respect of toilets and sewage management, promoting decentralized sewerage systems that enable disposal of sewage at habitation level rather than pooling of sewage, capacity building in sanitation sector and promoting the use of toilets.
  • The Gates Foundation will work with the Indian government to wipe out kala azar. The second largest parasitic killer in the world after malaria, kala azar is concentrated in 52 districts in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and West Bengal. India officially reported fewer than 5,000 kala azar cases in 2011 and fewer than 100 deaths due to the disease, according to the World Health Organisation. However, the international health community believes these to be gross underestimation; while India reported just over 1,000 malaria deaths in 2011, medical journal Lancetplaced the estimate 40 times higher.
  • The Foundation has offered to help in monitoring of the progress made with regard to Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), the flagship financial inclusion scheme of the government.

And, these are just a handful out of the numerous social and philanthropic projects that the Gates Foundation is involved in, in Asia. Activities of The Gates Foundation are spread out all over the globe:

  • The United States Division of the Foundation works to improve U.S. high school and post-secondary education and support vulnerable children and families in Washington State.
  • The Africa Division is involved in humanitarian projects related to HIV, Polio, Malaria, etc. The South America Division is working on improving emergency response.
  • The goal of the European Division is to identify, support, and shape scientific research that can have the most impact and to accelerate the translation of scientific discoveries into solutions that improve people’s health and save lives.

So, you can see that basically, the blessed reach of the Gates Foundation is till every continent on earth!

For me, Bill Gates is a man greater than the greats like Steve Jobs or Donald Trump. In addition to being a prominent tycoon, he is also an honourable social entrepreneur. He has committed to donating his entire wealth for the larger cause of humanitarian work and not for passing it down to his next generation. I mean, this is not an easy thing to do. It needs courage and conviction. This displays his saintly character and noble ideals. Sadly, not all wealthy people of the world are like that. They keep their wealth for the wasteful act of making ostentatious displays of wealth and projecting power. If we look even at Indian businessmen or Chinese businessmen, hardly two or three affluent persons utilize their wealth for their fellow human beings. If I have to name people to whom God has bestowed wisdom apart from their wealth, I will name Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Mark Zuckerberg and Azim Premji. Everyone is familiar with Warren Buffett who is in the process of donating 99% of his fortune to various charities, a pledge that has been unmatched in the world of the super-elite. In 2010, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett launched “The Giving Pledge”, a campaign for the rich to commit to giving atleast half of their wealth to philanthropy. The young and charismatic Mark Zuckerberg signed the Pledge in 2010. Azim Premji is the first Indian to sign up for the The Giving Pledge. These noble men from America prove that there’s no such thing as giving too much and that not all rich people are selfish and diabolical.  Many men speak of charity, nobleness and godliness but only a few choose to act. These men are indeed a gift to the world and their very existence in the world proves that God exists and they are the chosen few by God to spread happiness and hope for the millions of downtrodden people of the world. They are truly global citizens. In fact, I am of the view that the Indian Government should award “Bharat Ratna” to Bill Gates for his contribution towards the poor of India.

Hats off to you Bill. I salute your divinity. #Respect

“Acquiring wealth through hard work and enterprise is noteworthy but serving humanity using it is nobler and you are a shining example in this regard.”

-Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu for Mr. Bill Gates

“Just as he revolutionized the basic human thought process through the personal computer revolution, Bill Gates has saved millions of lives by donating billions of dollars for transforming conditions of human existence. At a time when the anti-polio campaign was threatened for want of adequate funds, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation stepped in with help. They are invaluable partners in our fight against disease and death.”

Union Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan for Mr. Bill Gates

“We see equal value in all lives. And so we are dedicated to improving the quality of life for individuals around the world. From the education of students in Chicago, to the health of a young mother in Nigeria, we are catalysts of human promise everywhere.”

-The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation