In early February 2006, around 15 members of the TOS, TS and the partner company Grundfos visited some of the rehabilitation projects. The International Secretary of the TOS, Ms Diana Dunningham Chapotin, flew in specially from France and Mr B.L Bhattacharya, National Director of the TOS in India, also made the journey from Calcutta. Before heading down the coast, Ms Dunningham Chapotin inaugurated a reverse osmosis plant donated by the TOS to the Ramakrishna Mission Boys’ Home in Mylapore, Chennai. The home has begun housing tsunami orphans and hopes to take in more.
The group visited two of the eleven training centres for which sewing machines have been donated. It went to an environmentally friendly recycling unit and inspected the paper products. It also visited two water purification plants and met the heads and staff of the Thirumalai Charity Trust whose professionalism and dedication are heart-warming.
Ceremonies were held all along the way to inaugurate the projects and wish the villagers well. The biggest function was held at at Nagore Pattinanchery where the Additional Collector of Nagapattinam, Mr. Ranvir Prasad, inaugurated the fourth reverse osmosis plant acquired by the TOS for providing drinking water in the tsunami-hit districts. The President of the TOS in Chennai, Mr. C.V.K. Maithreya, spoke of the work of the TOS and of the TOS-Thirumalai Charity Trust partnership. Mrs. Diana Dunningham Chapotin dedicated the plant to the villagers. Mr. B.L.Bhattacharya addressed the gathering, distributed prizes to children and participated in the lighting of a lamp. Other speakers included members of the Thirumalai Charity Trust. The village representatives responded with speeches of thanks. There was a play organized by the youth of the village on the theme ‘drinking water in our daily life’. The agenda also included an oath-taking by the villagers in which they committed themselves to maintain the reverse osmosis plant carefully and share the water peacefully. On all occasions the important work of Dr. Annie Besant, the Founder of the TOS, was mentioned by the speakers.
The press reported the activities of the Theosophical Order of Service by giving a detailed account of some of its current projects: Here is a link to an article in the Hindu:
THE TS AND TOS COLLABORATE IN A NEW PROJECT
In addition to following through on the aforementioned rehabilitation projects over the long term, the TOS in Chennai has offered to help the TS to construct a small four-bed poly-clinic on the grounds of its HQ estate in Adyar, Chennai. At the Social Welfare Centre, free medical advice and medicines have been provided for a few years to the poor by the TOS’s team of volunteer doctors, three of whom were in the party visiting the projects in the tsunami-hit districts. The idea of the clinic is to have the space to keep patients overnight.
DEDICATION, PROFESSIONALISM & TEAMWORK
The extensive work of the TOS in Chennai is a reflection of the dedication of a united team and of the dynamism of its current president, C.V.K. Maithreya. As a management consultant with many contacts in the business community in India and overseas, Mr Maithreya has in a short period reinforced the reputation of the TOS as a reliable NGO partner. It would have been difficult for the TOS in Chennai to undertake such extensive tsunami relief and rehabilitation work without his leadership and without the help and cooperation of his wife, Dr Sunita Maithreya and the others on the committee, including Ms.Keshwar Dastur, Mr.S.Harihararaghavan, Dr. R. Revathy, Mr.V.Gopal, Mrs Radha Muthiah, Dr. M.Srinivasan, Dr. Geetha Jaikumar, Mr. K.A.Rajagopalan and Dr.Nagaraj. In addition to the work of this team, the young staff of Mr. Maithreya’s consulting firm work daily on TOS projects at the same time as they manage their professional work. Mr. P.Ramana Reddy, the Regional Secretary, has been a source of inspiration to all. Some of these key TOS workers at Adyar hope to represent the TOS in India at the international TOS Conference in Wheaton, Illinois in late July 2007. Mr B.L.Bhattacharya, the National Director of the TOS in India, may also be able to attend.