A CAPSULE OF THE SHAKTI FOUNDATION
The Shakti Foundation had its origin in 1991. We are an organization that had its inception when our Founder Velan Raghuvir was diagnosed with a terminal illness called Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The Foundation was registered as a Trust in 1993 and obtained 80G Exemption. Our motto is “To Care, To Love, To Share” and to champion the cause of the physically challenged is what we have vowed. We would like to present to our readers a profile of the Foundation.
Aim and Objectives
- To provide Medicare for the rural underprivileged and the weaker sections of society.
- The integration of the physically challenged into the mainstream society.
- To focus on the issue of a barrier free environment by way of ramps and the implementation of The People with Disabilities Act.
- Counseling of parents and children with various disabilities.
- Rehabilitation and Counseling of physically challenged persons.
- To devise a way an ambulance when it houses a patient if especially in a critical condition can reach a hospital quickly.
- Introduce and implement the concept of suitable toilets for the physically challenged whereby the door width and frames are wide enough to accommodate the wheelchair bound.
- To create a data bank of all the physically challenged people whereby they register with The Shakti Foundation.
- To sensitize the people of the acute need to empathize with the physically challenged and constructively provide them with actual amenities in the environment bearing in mind their mobility limitations. Sympathy is not what we need but actual positive action.
- To equip The Adhiparasakthi Medical and Research Hospital 92 kms from Chennai. This hospital caters to almost 575 out patients everyday from 600 neighbouring villages in and around the Chengleput District. The treatment given in this hospital is totally free but it is in need of equipment. Visiting this center in 1991 had given us a knowledge that a vision was realized. We took the decision to equip this hospital in totality whereby every year we equip one ward.
- Stage annual fund raisers to raise funds for purchasing medicare equipments.
- To release an annual souvenir publication. The proceeds of these advertisements also is another source of our revenue to purchase the medicare equipment.
- To host the World Disability Day on December 3rd with Mangal Tirth Estate Ltd.
- To host medical seminars to enlighten the people on quality medicare, since medicare is an integral part of The Shakti Foundation.
- To devise a way that the wheelchair bound, the visually impaired and those on crutches and those with a mobility problem can integrate in mainstream traffic, either by separate traffic lanes, cautions at the traffic signals and sensitizing the traffic police.
Events staged by The Shakti Foundation
We have on record twelve successive annual fund raisers and as we go to print our thirteenth show is being staged. Our first two shows were held at the Foundation Auditorium. The next five were at The Museum Theatre and the next three at The Music Academy. Our show this year which is being presented is our thirteenth successive one, also to be presented at The Music Academy. Our shows were named as follows
- The Shakti Foundation Variety Entertainment 1992
- The Shakti Foundation Annual Variety Entertainment 1993
- Hope 1994
- Hope 1995
- Vision 1996
- Awareness 1997
- Concern 1998
- A Tribute 1999
- Sangamam 2000
- Mansar 2001
- Sraddha 2002
- Miracle 2003
- Samrddhi 2004
We have had celebrities with empathy and compassion to our cause as our chief guests. They have been
- Mrs. Revathy Menon
- Mrs. Suhasini Maniratnam
- Mr. Anil Kumble
- Mr. Rahul Dravid
Our other chief guests have been
- Shri. P. S. Ramamohan Rao, The Governor of Tamil Nadu,
- Mr. M. Balachandran Additional Commissioner of Police
- Mr. M. Balasubramaniam Director Mangal Tirth Estate Ltd
- Mr. T.T. Vasu President of the Music Academy
- Mr. Javed Abidi Executive Director of the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation
- Mrs. Jennifer Arul Chief of Bureau NDTV
- Mr. Rajiv Menon noted film director
- Mrs. Alarmel Valli Padma Bhushan recipient and acclaimed dancer
Our comperes have been
- Mr. P. C. Ramakrishna
- Mr. Ramesh Rattan
- Mr. Navin Jayakumar
We have had two medical seminars. The first one was entitled “Health Watch” held at the Foundation Auditorium. We had on our panel of speakers,
- Dr.T.S.Ravikumar, Chairman Department of Surgery, The Albert Einstein College of Medicine,New York.
- Dr. Arjun Rajagopal,General Physician, Kalyani Nursing Home, Chennai.
- Dr. Geeta Arjun, Gynaecologist, Kalyani Nursing Home,Chennai.
- Dr. Vijayalakshmi, Acharya Dentist, Dental Clinic,Chennai.
- Dr. Ravi Subramaniam, Orthopaedic, Surgeon Bone & Joint Clinic,Chennai
- Dr. Sivasubramaniam, Orthopaedic, Surgeon Bone & Joint Clinic, Chennai.
Our Coordinator was Dr.Deepak Arjundas. The individual presentation of the doctors was followed by a question and answer interaction with the audience. It was an enlightening evening.
Our second medical seminar was at The Taj Coromandel, called “Y2K Medical Science for the Millennium”.
Our panel of speakers were
- Dr. T.S.Ravikumar, Chairman Department of Surgery, The Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York
- Dr. Srinivas K Rao, Senior Consultant, Cornea Service Sankar Nethralaya, Chennai
- Dr. Kumar Manickavel Reader and Head of the Department of Genetics and Molecular Biology, Vision Research Foundation, Sankar Nethralaya, Chennai
- Dr. Solomon Victor, Cardiovascular Surgeon, The Heart Institute, Chennai
Our Coordinator of this evening was Dr.Navin Jayakumar. This medical seminar was a slide presentation followed by a question and answer session with the audience. This evening was enriching for the members of the audience and was held at The Taj Coromandel, Clive Room on 19.12.1999. It was a privilege to present two seminars.
Regarding awareness towards the ramp issue and accessibility, The Shakti Foundation has hosted seminars entitled Project Ramp Phase I and Project Ramp Phase II to highlight the issue of barrier free environment.
Project Ramp Phase I was held at the Foundation auditorium. Speakers were
- Mrs. Tara Murali, Architect
- Ms. Vaigai, Advocate
- Mrs. Rasheeda Bhagat, Journalist
- Mrs. Jayanthi Philip, Chairman – CMDA
This seminar was attended over by a hundred people. Our audience members being lawyers, architects, builders, students, journalists and doctors. Awareness was definitely initiated and the participation was good.
Project Ramp Phase II was held on World Disability Day on 3.12.1999 at Spencer Plaza Phase II. The speakers were
- Mr. Mohan Ramanathan, Engineer
- Mr. M Balachandran, Additional Commissioner of Police
- Mrs. Tara Murali, Architect
- Mr. M Balasubramaniam, Director, Mangal Tirth Estate
- Mrs. C Aryama Sundaram, Senior Advocate
This was a well attended evening. A message to support and promote the issue of ramps was highlighted and a thought process was set working in the minds of the audience. Accessibility for the physically challenged was a focal point.
August 15, 2000: Independence Day was commemorated by The Shakti Foundation. We had the event at The Spencer Plaza Phase II, which had constructed a ramp making the building accessible to the physically challenged. On this day, over 100 physically challenged persons were able to enter the plaza and had an enjoyable afternoon. The Shakti Foundation staged an entertainment for them and it was a day of total integration where the physically challenged were part of mainstream society. Our public awareness documentary featuring Anil Kumble was screened. The response was tremendous and our message for the importance of accessibility was conveyed.
September 3, 2000: The Hot Breads Chain hosted a charity lunch in aid of The Shakti Foundation at Planet Yumm, Annanagar. Our chief guest was Mr.M.Balachandran, Additional Commissioner of Police. The noted film celebrity Ajit and his wife Shalini graced the occasion. Our public awareness documentary highlighting the importance of ramps and directed and shot by Mr.Rajiv Menon was screened.
December 3, 2000: The Shakti Foundation and Mangal Tirth Estate Ltd hosted a get together. This day was World Disability Day. A large number of physically challenged children were able to access the plaza because of the presence of a ramp. Our public awareness documentary was screened highlighting the importance of ramps. Dr.J.Radhakrishnan, Commissioner of Corporation of Chennai, presided over the event. This event was made possible because of the commitment and perseverance of Mr.M.Balasubramaniam, Director of Mangal Tirth Estate Ltd, who was the only one to honour his commitment to The Shakti Foundation and constructed a ramp at the front entrance of their building.
December 3, 2001: World Disability Day was commemorated at The Spencer Plaza Phase II. The physically challenged children coming out of their homes into the plaza because of the presence of the ramp indicated the importance of this structure. Total integration and what better day to observe than the World Disability Day. Our public awareness documentary was screened. An entertainment and tea was had for the children. Mr.Rajiv Menon, the noted film director presided and spoke.
December 3, 2002: World Disability Day was commemorated at The Spencer Plaza, Phase III. This was a formal inauguration of the Plaza where the event was held at their new atrium. Access to this atrium has been made possible by the construction of two prominent ramps at the entrance. Almost 150 physically challenged children came into the plaza because of the ramps. There was an entertainment of song and dance for them as tea was hosted. Our public awareness documentary was screened. We had the St. Louis Orchestra for the Blind perform. All twenty members are totally blind and music of a great quality was played. We had as our guests of honour,
- Mr. Karsten Warnecke, Consul Republic of Germany
- Mr. Maniratnam ,noted film director
- Shri. U. Shrinivas, the eminent musician and mandolin virtuoso
We had face painting, tattooing and balloon sculpting for the children. A memorable calendar date.
December 3, 2002: The American Consulate and The Shakti Foundation hosted a Digital Video Conference at their auditorium to mark the World Disability Day. Consul General, Mr. Richard Haynes inaugurated the conference. The Digital Video Conference was between the Washington Panelist, who is now in New Delhi, Mr. Paul Avaraham Rabby and the members of the audience. He is totally blind. It was a very informative morning.
October 15, 2002: The Taj Coromandel and The Shakti Foundation hosted an afternoon for the physically challenged children to meet with the Indian Cricket Team. The entire team was present on the occasion when 150 physically challenged children who could not enter the MCC Stadium to watch the match were present at a tea hosted for them. Our public awareness documentary was screened and the national anthem played. The Indian Cricket Team members expressed their solidarity with The Shakti Foundation and our cause. The members of the team who took the podium were the Indian Captain, Mr. Saurav Ganguly, Vice Captain, Mr.Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and Anil Kumble. A memorable evening for the cricket enthusiasts with a mobility problem who had their dreams fulfilled to meet with the team in a personalized manner.
The year 2002 also saw the Tamil Nadu Architects Association link with the Shakti Foundation. They were earnest in their endeavour towards working with us for a barrier free environment in Chennai.
The year 2003 saw The Shakti Foundation bring down foreign artisted for the first time. We had from Los Angeles Michael Brook, Edward Quinn and Christopher Tin play with U. Shrinivas in “Miracle 2003” on March 22nd.
August 8, 2003: The Shakti Foundation staged our first outstation concert “Sraddha”. This concert featured U. Shrinivas, Shankar Mahadevan, Sivamani and Loy. Karnataka Government responded well and Access Audit Team was created to review eleven buildings. Our concert was held in Dr. B. R. Ambedkar Bhavan. In an audience of 1278, 440 was physically challenged Anil Kumble was our chief guest.
November saw The Pizza Hut merge with The Shakti Foundation. They had Madhavan meet our children at Pizza Hut Nungambakkam. We constructed a temporary ramp and the wheel chair bound were able to enter with dignity. The feeling of total integration was there as they were able to be part of mainstream society in a fun filled morning.
December 3, 2003: The Shakti Foundation commemorated World Disabilities Day at Spencer Plaza Phase III an event hosted by Mangal Tirth Estate. We were able to access in over 160 physically challenged into the Plaza. An evening with a fete organized for our children with games, eatables. A puppet show, a magic show and stalls made the evening complete. The U. S. Consul General Dr. Richard Haynes was our chief guest. Our special guests were Robin Singh and U. Rajesh-eminent artists.
December 25, 2003: Christmas Day had Cookie Man host an event for the children of The Shakti Foundation an enjoyable morning of untold happiness for the children. The Shakti Foundation’s motto ‘To Love To Care To Share’ was symbolized.
August 9, 2003: Airtel Bangalore organized a rally for The Shakti Foundation where Anil Kumble participated and flagged off the rally. He ran for a kilometer with the children. The awareness towards the issue of disability and barrier free environment was highlighted and the response was tremendous.
A milestone for our Foundation was Airtel – Bangalore constructing a ramp at the front entrance of their new office in Benergata.
Statistics of Funds Raised by Souvenir Advertisements and Individual Donations.
- 1992 – Rs. 21,672
- 1993 – Rs. 1,09,000
- 1994 – Rs. 3,10,000
- 1995 – Rs. 3,80,000
- 1996 – Rs. 4,04,000
- 1997 – Rs. 5,65,000
- 1998 – Rs. 6,20,000
- 1999 – Rs. 8,01,000
- 2000 – Rs. 8,50,000
- 2001 – Rs. 9,02,000
- 2002 – Rs.14,75,000
- 2003 – Rs.16,10,000
Medical Equipment Purchased
- General Ward Equipment
- Pediatric Ward Equipment
- Ophthalmic Ward Equipment
- Dental Ward Equipment
- Surgical Ward Equipment
- Physiotherapy Ward Equipment
- Neonatal Ward Equipment
- Neonatal Ward Equipment
- Intensive Care Unit Equipment
Together with equipping these wards in totality, we have also purchased the following
- Automated Bio Chemical Analyzer
- Women cum Paediatric Ventilator
- Pulse Oximeter
- EEG Machine
- Automated Blood Cell Counter
- Elisa Reader with Washer
- Dash 2000 Monitor
- Automated Biochemical Analyzer
Equipment for the physically challenged such as
- Elbow Tripods
- Hand operated crutches
- Crutches with tripods
And other rehabilitative aids have been purchased.
Our founder is remembered today. A 20 year old who was physically challenged and struggled to integrate in the environment with his wheel chair. We lost him in 1998. But his presence and spirit motivates us to make his mission impossible then a mission possible today.
- Mr. D. Raviraj, Maarvel Graphics
- Mr. S. Masilamani, Sivaram Enterprises
- Mr. Vivek Sachdev, NPT Offset
- Mr. Rajkumar, Ratna Offset Printers
- The Hindu
- The Indian Express
- Business Line
- Ananda Vikatan
- India Today
- Star/Vijay TV
- Sun TV
Our Art Directors
- Mr. Chinni Tharani
- Mrs. Priya Bhaskar
- Mr. Muruganandam, Ram Arts & Crafts
Our Camera Crew
- Shupa Video and Stills
- Our Auditors
- Mr. G. Sitaraman of Venkatraman & Co
The Shakti Foundation’s Message is ‘Heal The World’, which is sung at the end of every fund raiser.
Our Mission Statement
“I believe Life is short, so play/work hard”.
The Words of our Founder Velan Raghuvir, whose presence is felt in all our activities and who remains the sole inspiration and motivation of The Shakti Foundation.
Our postal address
No.9, Manikeswari Road
Chennai 600 010
All donations to The Shakti Foundation are under 80G Exemption.