Tsunami Helping Hands
Who can forget that Black Sunday when we started to get dreadful news about Tsunami, and just as the world was gripping to the Tsunami fears we hear a voice in tamil from Japan Osaka city and the query was about Tsunami relief work and the message was that the Osaka Rajinifans have deiced to contribute Rs35,000 towards relief work to the affected and please accept it.
This phone message shook the Rajinifans Office bearers who were wondering if it was a prank call from chennai. SuperStar had announced Rs 1 Crore for the Interlinking of rivers project and as fans we thought we could collect at least Rs100,000 for that purpose and with that objective the web site had been started. In these mean world even close friends or relatives could give you a cold shoulder when it comes to monetary contributions, and here we are getting help from unknown source from alien land.
To start a web site and to collect Rs100,000 through that was more of a myth and as the contributions started to roll from different parts of the world our myth was shattered. We also must play a small part in the Tsunami relief work was the initial belief. The biggest turning point was when we got to know that Super star had presented a cheque for Rs 21 Lakhs for the cause directly to the CM at the Secretariat.
The next 2 weeks were spent in accepting and acknowledging funds received from Australia, America, Singapore, Dubai and rest of the other places. To honour the trust reposed by those contributors with a large heart based on their love towards Rajini and Rajinifans, we decided to form an Steering Committee to handle the issue. Accordingly a team headed by Moderator Natraj, started to survey the affected areas of Pattinambakkam to Mahabalipuram to have a clear picture of the Tsunami disaster and their relief requirements. First Report
The first report from the above committee was that "People affected from Tusnami need help, however they were getting sufficient relief measures from the Government and other sources. Moderator Ramki who was looking after the Tusnami relief work in Nagapattinam also confirmed this fact from there.
We could have just given this Rs100,000 to the Government and sit quiet. However, when there are able bodied fans who are willing to jump in the fray and with supporting words and encouragements flowing from fans all over the world it was decided not to give this contribution directly to the Government. A team of supporters to this view include Ramki, Natraj, Shajahan, Dharma, Deepa, Thinakar and Vasu joined together to co-ordinate for the cause and with the help of Rajinifans creative team and other senior members decided unanimously that the contributions should be used for Educational expenses of needy students.
It was then decided to seek the opinion of Rajini Fans HQ, Sathyan Naryana and he was immensely pleased with the suggestions and had the following to say: "Rajini sir has already given 21 lakhs on our behalf and it is better to spend this money for educational purposes, Sir will also be happy to hear this, please carefully think and make action plan to complete this mission". He also explained the complications involved in implementing the process and also agreed to help in short listing Government Schools for this purpose.
The team got into action quickly with the list of schools and those schools having sufficient aids were dropped from the list and only Government Schools from Marakkonam and Mahabalipuram were taken for review. The schools were then split into locality and the Rajinifans heads based on those localities were identified. Mr Sathyanarayana himself wrote letters to the Head Masters seeking the list of Students excelled in their studies with a yardstick of having obtained 70 % and more in the last completed Exams.
It was getting complicated to shortlist the students from the lists and on top of that had to face barrage of questions from people around and some schools had not given the relevant details. As Chandramukhi was nearing 100 days the process had to be postponed. However, the very thought of having to complete the mission within one year from the day Tsunami Tragedy struck, motivated to continue and around August the process was further streamlined.
December 2005 - Auditor Dharma with Thalapathi
26.12.2005. A team of Rajini Fans, Chennai members headed by Sathyanarayana gathered to meet up with families who lost their children in Tsunami. It was a tragic meeting and taste of the impact of this dreadful disaster. Tale of tragic woes: A kid who had gone to learn Karate lost his life and more cruel is the father who saved other kids and lost his one kid and the two families received some small aid from Rajinifans and it was handed over by Sathya Naryana to the parents of the respective families.
December 2005 - Ramki with Thalapathi
In the meantime, Chennai members discussed about the trouble and trepidations faced in getting the list of students and the short listing process, at this juncture Auditor Dharma who had flown in from Singapore also offered some valuable suggestions to the team. Dalapathi Sathyanarayana again came to the rescue of the team along with the fans from the respective started to scrutinize the list of 40 short listed students.
6.1.2006. The updated students list was ready including the relevant details and thanks again to Sathy Sir who was instrumental in following up on phone calls with the respective fans association members of Rajini fans on the Students list and their details and the Rajini fans team was all geared up to go on action to find out more details about the respective students and their requirements.
January 2006 - Thalapthi & Natraj in Mahabalipuram School
The rajinifans team interviewed the teachers about the family situations of the students and their immediate requirements and a list of 120 students were ready with all the relevant details. Moderator Nataraj and Senthil finalized the list and as per advice from Sathi decided to give the goodies to the children just immediately after the schools are reopened. An auspicious date was also fixed for this purpose.
July 2006 - Thalapathi with Mahabalipuram fans
10.7.2006. A team of Rajinfans bearers left early in the morning for Mahabalipuram and distributed the goodies to the children from Govt School and in the process had to skip the lunch and it was close to dawn by the time the team returned from Mahabalipuram. Sathy did not appreciate the fact that the goodies being arranged in Mahablipuram and distributed under flash lights instead we decided to leave them in room at Marakkanam School and later arranged for the students to directly take it from there.
July 2006 - Kadapakkam School students
The goody bag consited of 2 Sets of School uniform, One Big Bag, 4 Pens, 15 note books, 1 Geometry Box, one set of leather slippers and the total of each bag consisted of proceeds worth Rs1,500. No words to praise the efforts of Rajini fans from Mahabalipuram who ran from nook and corner to arrange for the necessary items forming the goody bags. Tailors were arranged to come to the school to take the measurements of the children along with the Slippers Mart Vendors to take the foot measurements for the slippers. There is just one magic word "Rajini" which motivates the fans from all over the world in completing the enduring tasks with no sign of displeasure or discomfort and to accomplish the objective with selfless motive.
July 2006 - Senthil with Thalpathi
The team from Chennai headed by Sathi left around 06.30 AM, and as the team reached the Mahabalipuram Government School adjacent to Perumal Temple the school prayers were just about to commence. All the goodies were ready at the prayer hall and as the Head Master of the school read out the names of the children one by one the Creative team of Rajini fans distributed the bags to the children.
'After the prayers Sathi made a very valid point to the children: "Dear Students, all these gifts are not given by Super Star Rajini and they are indeed given by students like you who have done well their studies and are working in places like USA, UK, Japan, Singapore, etc and had contributed some part of their earnings to give you these things. My job ends with reaching out their gratitude to you and there is no trouble for me in doing this. All I want from you is that you should do well in your studies and repose the faith shown in you, you will be provided with all help to do well with your studies and if you want such gifts again you need to continue to do well in your studies.
A tenth student boy rose up to the occasion to offer his thanks and made a touching point with his speech: "We are happy to see all these things, all along we thought people who go abroad are all selfish and will forget their motherland once they leave the shores. However after receiving such gratitude from those brothers we feel we should also do well in our studies and go abroad, earn well and help others in the similar fashion.
Nothing could be most soothing and gratifying to hear for us and we patted the boy on his back that this is what we had expected to achieve. As we left the school Sathi was already concerned about reaching out to students from rural villages and the possibilities of doing this for the next year. There are no words of wisdom to praise or thank the role played by Sathi and as these are feelings filled within the hearts of the fans which can not be described in words. Thanks to all those who helped us to make a small impact on the lives of these children.