The Golden Sparrow Dec 20 2014

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“Charity becomes a way to shrug off our responsibility. But charity is no solution to poverty. Charity allows us to go ahead with our own lives without worrying about the lives of the poor. Charity appeases our consciences.” —Mahatma Gandhi

Learning a second language the faster way P7

‘Need to revive the dying art of circus’ P4

Where Pune’s bookworms can come together ANIRUDDHA RAJANDEKAR

Book clubs provide intellectual stimulus and bring people together, besides providing interaction with authors

Upcoming events

1. BDB Book Club monthly meet is on Saturday, December 20, at halls number 6 and 7, MCCIA. Why Nations Fail – The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty by Daron Acemoglu and James Robison will be discussed. To participate, call 020-3056 0700

BY YASH DAIV @yash009 The citizens of Pune have always been avid readers and lovers of literature. No surprise, it has a number of readers’ nooks like the Book Club at US Library of Poona Club, BDB Book Club and Pagdandi Books Chai Café. Besides affording their members access to the best in global literature, these clubs also generate intellectual stimulus and help in community building.

2. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou’ will be discussed at The Book Club, Poona Club Library on December 22, at 6:15 pm. The discussion is in tribute to the poet who passed away in May this year. To participate, drop an email to Satish Khot on


3. Community Story Telling Circle’s monthly meet will take place December 21, from 4:30 pm onwards at the Pagdandi Books Chai Café. Dola Dasgupta and Erica Taraporewala will enliven the art of oral tradition. Contact: Dola Dasgupta on 9552595215

Pagdandi at Baner has many book clubs operating through their Cafe thus making it an obvious choice for the young readers to spend their free time reading their favourite books

Satish Khot & Mohini Khot

“Through the book club sessions we get to meet people who read and discuss various issues. We exchange knowledge,” said Satish Khot, who launched The Book Club in 2002 as an extension of the 88-year-old library, Khot is assisted by his wife Mohini, who is the head of the Department of English at St Mira’s College. The club has conducted 135 reading sessions and other events for its members. They also held an

event to mark Shakespeare’s 450th birth anniversary, on December 13, where participants enacted soliloquys and read poems. “When Manney’s Bookstore in Camp closed down, we hosted a farewell for the landmark store. My wife and I enacted the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet on the bookstore’s spiral stairs,” Khot said. THE BDB BOOK CLUB The BDB Book Club of BDB India was initiated by RV Krishnan, chairman at BDB India and Manish Kulkarni, general manager, corporate affair at BDB India on October 20, 2010, to promote intellectual

discussions and interaction with authors of nonfiction books. The club has monthly m e e t i n g s , attended by 80100 members. Authors such as R Gopalakrishnan, RV Krishnan Shashi Tharoor, Gurcharan Das, Prakash Iyer and Subroto Bagchi are among those who have attended the club’s reading sessions. “The primary purpose was to inculcate the habit of reading in the participants. And it has made a

difference in people’s lives. We have received feedback from our members saying that the discussions have helped them in their business as well as personal life,” said Kulkarni. BDB Book Club has introduced new concepts like discussion on mini video clips, short word games and generic thoughtprovok i n g articles. “It makes the club meetings more enjoyable and interesting Manish Kulkarni for the members.

It introduces people to several thought processes all at once,” said Kulkarni. PAGDANDI BOOKS CHAI CAFÉ Neha and her husband Vishal Pipraiya launched Pagdandi Books Chai Café, Baner to promote reading. Today, several closed book clubs are run at the book store-ca fé, that also attracts readers. Vishal & Neha Pipraiya young “On Sundays,

we have families browsing through our collection of books. For the kids we have a special section. We do not charge them if they read at the café. Anyway, our library fees are Rs 100,” said Neha. “People say that Pagdandi is a place for them to just sit back and think as it offers them the right space. We have a lot of community building events like story-telling, reading and a writer’s platform. It brings people together,” she said.

Climbing mountains for Dispelling the darkness of depression the love of adventure, sport Reach Out to Life Foundation volunteers are helping students with suicidal tendencies overcome depression, through counseling and workshops

Sagarmatha Giryarohak Sanstha members who scaled Mount Everest in 2012, have undertaken a campaign to restore deserted forts in Maharashtra BY ARCHANA DAHIWAL @ArchanaDahiwal

The achievers Sagarmatha Giryarohak Sanstha (SGS)

Sagarmatha Giryarohak is the first team in Pimpri-Chinchwad Sanstha (SGS) of Pimprito scale Mount Chandrabhaga CB-12 Chinchwad, is a group of (6264 metres) and Mount Mera (6,654 like-minded youngsters, metres) and Mount Everest in 2012. It was bonded by a common recognised as India’s first cost-effective passion for trekking, rocknano expedition. It has 35 members who and rope-climbing. Besides are technically proficient in rock-climbing promoting adventure sport, and mountaineering. SGS is also undertaking a campaign to restore forts, Prashant Pawar for which it organises the scaled Mount Everest in 2012, but tragically, ‘Fort Marathon’. we lost Ramesh Gulve at the base camp. SGS was founded by the late Ramesh Gulve, This was a most painful event for us. Gulve Prashant Pawar and Shrihari Tapkir, on May was a cheerful person and passionate about 29, 2008. The group has been active in Pimprirock-climbing and mountaineering. He Chinchwad and Pune, organising rock-climbing made great efforts to popularise it. To carry expeditions, trekking and such activities in the forward his mission, we organise a trekking Sahyadris and the Himalayas. race-cum-competition called Fort SGS members are cleaning up Marathon every year. This is the second deserted forts that can only be reached year of the competition. by rope-climbers. “Recently, the group The competition will be members have cleaned up the Lingana Fort conducted in the area of those 23 in Raigad district,” said Prashant Pawar, forts which Ramesh Gulve had secretary of SGS. climbed in just three days, which The volunteers also train Pimpriis still a record. While organising Chinchwad children and women in this competition, we make sure adventure sports free of cost during holidays to protect nature and show our or on occasions like International Women’s gratitude towards it through our fort Day or Children’s Day. Pawar said, “It cleaning activity.” is easy to train young kids who start in The members have scaled several early ages. The confidence levels of these pinnacles and rock cliffs of the Sahychildren are boosted and they also excel at adris, such as Kundlika pinnacle, Vacurricular activities.” jeer pinnacle and Vanarlingi pinnacle. This year, the Fort Marathon MISSION AND will be held at VISION Lohgad and Visput The SGS aims to forts at the end promote adventurof December. ous activities and Last year, 125 sports, to love naenthusiasts ture and the enviparticipated in the ronment, and train event at Rajmachi people for mounPeak, Lonavala. taineering expePawar said, ditions “Three of our archana.dahiwal@ Members of SGS at the base of Mt Sagarmatha best climbers had

BY VIDYA UNNITHAN Dr Natasha D’Cruz, a professor of Ps yc holog y at the Now rosjee W a d i a College, started the Reach Out To Life Foundation, in 2009, after being Dr Natasha D’Cruz alarmed by the rising incidence of suicide among students. D’Cruz said, “The purpose of the NGO was to get young people to reach out and help other youth as they could identify and empathise with them.” About the number of suicides, D’Cruz says, “I don’t believe it’s a sudden rise. It’s been a problem for a while, but of late it seems to be spoken about more, which is a good thing. The more people are aware, the more they will know from where to get help. The fi rst thing to do is to tell someone, be it a friend or a family member, to help locate assistance, as this is an extremely serious matter and the person needs immediate professional help.” D’Cruz, along with six of her students, started a 24x7 helpline, for the benefit of the troubled persons who desperately needed someone to talk to, or rather someone who would listen to them patiently. The organisation has grown from strength to strength, and its mission of mercy has attracted many more volunteers. Reach Out To Life Foundation now has more than 50 volunteers and healthcare professionals, contributing their energies towards a pro-life attitude. The organisation also works for the holistic development of

Volunteers of Reach Out to Life NGO counsel depressed youth and help them overcome their problems. They also organise workshops for school and college students

“The more people are aware, the more they will know from where to get help.” youth by means of workshops for students of Class VIII and above, helping them deal with the issues they face, and boosting their resilience and ability to cope with stress. The students are educated in time management, life skills and dealing with issues of adolescence. At the end of the workshops, they are handed

‘Yellow Cards’ or ‘Reach Out Cards’, that provide the details to access the 24/7 helpline run by counsellors and psychologists. The foundation has put up street shows on the occasion of World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10, and also conducts programmes to raise awareness on mental health problems like depression. The foundation’s volunteers meet regularly to share ideas, and discuss issues relevant to students. Its Reach Out Café (ROC) is an informal, open platform that provides the opportunity for interaction, and exchanges of ideas, aside from raising awareness about youthrelated issues creating an atmosphere of unity. Reach Out To Life Foundation volunteer Ophelia Lobo says, “Ever since I’ve started

working with the Reach Out to Life Foundation, I have learned patience, tolerance, optimism, hope and compassion. Most importantly, it has taught me not to lose hope whatever be the circumstances. It also teaches me other skills, like being empathetic and receptive. I now believe in myself and others and accept others unconditionally.”. Another volunteer, Linaz Soonawalla says, “Personal satisfaction and the simple reason of giving back to society is what drives me to be a part of Reach Out.” GET IN TOUCH For more information log on to Helpline number: 988-102-0211

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