An Unostentatious Birthday – Doing What Needs Be Done

Notebooks for All

A Happy Day for Kids

Dr Amol R Deshmukh turns 37 years old on July 19, this year. Not wanting to celebrate his birthday in any kind of ostentatious manner, he was keen to lend a helping hand to people in the rural districts. The dry spell all through June had villagers worried about cultivation and much remains at stake for the small farmers located in the region. A bad monsoon spells bad economy for people tilling the land and the fallouts affects everything in the household expenditure.

Rising to the occasion for educational needs of school-going children whose new sessions have just re-started, it was a very thoughtful and caring gesture to provide good quality note-books to the children studying in Zilla Parishad and other schools. His birthday was therefore celebrated as the day to furnish the poor and needy children’s school bags with note books for school.

This is another example of Dr Amol Deshmukh’s noticeably individual style of reaching out to touch the lives of the underprivileged. The entire HERD Foundation team was busy on the ground distributing quality school note books in the villages of Parseoni, Ramtek and Mauda Talukas where the schools and the children welcomed the gift with open arms. The parents too felt satisfied by the thoughtful gesture.

Caring for children’s education is a long tradition in the Deshmukh family and this side of Dr Amol R Deshmukh’s personality to think out of the box reveals his highly empathetic interpretation of the needs of world in which we inhabit. Truly it turned out to be a birthday celebration like no other! They were extraordinary moments when team members went around distributing note-books to the kids with the headmasters and teachers pitching in. It reiterates our faith in supportive measures that go a long way to assist our rural brethren.

Shanta Baghmare – An Unknown Entity


Old Age & Poverty

An Unknown Entity – One of Hundreds Languishing in Old Age

Sixty five year old Shanta Baghmare, (looks like seventy five) lives in Wadamba village. She lives a semi retired life as she cannot work the way she used to work earlier. Making the morning cup of tea is about all that she can barely do now. Life is a series of aches and pains for her frail, tired body, morning to night as she lies on her cot. The village life inside the jungle was all she ever knew or can remember for way back as she can go.

Now that she cannot continue with the ways of her world, going out as a daily wager, she rests at home all day long. It has been ten long years since she became a widow having lost her husband suddenly. Both her son and daughter in law go out as daily wagers to work in agri-fields as when others offer them the chance to earn their daily living. The son makes 100 rupees while the daughter-in-law gets a mere 60 rupees for her toils. Yes, inside the forest it’s another story for daily wagers.

Shanta pays little attention to her physical ailments. She just languishes in her mind and body getting no relief but having to endure her joint pains. It was when HERD Foundation was conducting door-to-door visits that she heard about a medical camp. The field worker from HERD Foundation walked up to her door to inform her about the doctors coming to their village. She had to be really persuaded to come over to the school premises where the camp was being held.

But come she did. Perhaps little happens in a remote old village like Wadamba. And the medical camp created quite a stir with its team of doctors attracting people of all ages to come share their woes. For Shanta, just talking to a real doctor about the pain in her knee joints and the pins and needles that afflicted her arms and legs was a relief in itself. Getting the medicines and being cajoled to take better care of herself, had her feeling better in ages. No it wasn’t a critical medical condition but old age in itself was a weary burden for her to bear.

Never have we felt as overwhelmed as when Shanta continued to bless us all for having conducted the camp in her village. It is such simple souls and their declining condition that keeps us focused on our task to continue working for the needy and the unfit. HERD Foundation – ever ready to go that extra mile to bring a smile on people’s faces you may never have heard about.

Take Good Care – Safety First


Take Good Care

Safety First – Stay Indoors! — Follow Safety Measures to Be Safe

It seems we are in for a spate of heavy rains. It is really essential to exercise safety measures to take good care of ourselves and others around us. You should actually avoid lightning, flash floods, and other dangerous conditions caused by heavy downpours. Electrocution may yet be one of the more insidious of accidents that we must learn to combat.

Firstly, be aware of the weather conditions. Subscribe to weather alerts, watch current weather forecasts, listen to weather reports or scan the skies before heading out. Next, if you are located in flood prone areas protect your stuff. Pick up and store materials above the flood levels. Make use of plastic sheets to cover things that need to be sheltered.

With regard to safety – do not touch wiring when it rains. Unplug electric and electronic items when you hear thunder. Corded phones are dangerous during thunderstorms. Lightning traveling through telephone wires has killed people. Cell phone and cordless phones are safe. Also wait it out before you use plumbing-sinks, showers, tubs, and toilets. Plumbing can conduct electricity from lightning strikes from outside!

It is actually best to unplug electronics like TV, stereo, home entertainment centers, and computers modem lines when rains are expected. Stop playing video games connected to the TV. Do not let children play near storm drains or rain water pools after a heavy rain. In fact when you hear thunder roaring, go indoors. If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to being struck by lightning. There is no place outside that is safe from a lightning strike.

Stay at home. In case of power disruption always have a disaster kit handy. Keep candles, flashlights, extra batteries, food, water and transistor radio together to sustain you until electric power is back. If you are outside avoid low-water crossings. If your vehicle is caught in rising water, leave it immediately and seek higher ground. Never drive through flooded roadways. Be especially cautious at night. The best defense is to pull off the road to wait out heavy rains. Take care – Safety First!

Stay Safe

Avoid Electric Hazards – Plug Out – Literally!

Rural Sports Initiative – Connecting with the Real India

Let The Games Begin!

Cricket – A Perennial Favorite For Us All

It’s a first for us. But we had been contemplating since long to take on work for promoting sports in our rural areas. Aside from involving the youth we know for sure that sports can bring about a significant transformative effect on human minds and psyche. Did we not experience the world going viral at the recent FIFA World Cup Final?

Its true sports cut across culture, class, and regional factions and inspire us all. They also promote healthy living besides creating positive impact on mental health. We are now proceeding to make use of sporting events as a tool for development and demonstrate the effect that sport can have on the youth in particular.

By conducting sporting competitions and events it is our endeavor to provide a veritable platform and an activity for overall development in the rural areas. The competitions will pave the way for other development activities like education, health, skills training and more in time to come.  

We do believe that by doing this professionally and soliciting support of individuals, educational institutions and interested corporate houses we should be able to make this a sustainable model. The essence of our endeavor for encouraging rural sports is to empower the rural youth and thereby begin a process of allied empowerment. 

Our logo reflects the wings of aspiration and empowerment of the rural youth through sports. HERD Premier League or HPL as we call ourselves shall become a name to reckon with as we forge ahead to provide that opportunity and platform to our rural youth and search for rural talent for varied sporting events.

We strongly believe rural India has countless runners, volleyball players and cricket players. We may all have witnessed from inside moving trains village boys playing the game as we passed through rural parts of our country. Yes its games that inspire us all. Sports are one activity that has gained tremendous popularity all over. 

HERD Foundation attempts in a small way to demonstrate what sports can do for a community. It will be a novel starting point for us and one that might pave the way for offering a new dimension for our youth activities. Let the games begin!

  “The privileged should create a better world for the less privileged” — Azim Premji



Ramtek Meso Medical Healthcare Camp

Healing the Poor

Ramtek Medical Camp – Sunday July 13, 2014

Good mobilization is key to a good medical health camp and this is what HERD Foundation found out to its satisfaction yesterday, Sunday July 13, 2014 at the healthcare camp organized for residents of Ramtek. The field-work team, working in the background, made a success of the HERD Foundation implemented free medical camp, once again. This team actually works relentlessly to get the people to make full use of the opportunity being made available for them.

Shanti Mangal Karyalaya in Ramtek was the venue for the Meso Medical camp organized through Dr Amol Deshmukh’s good offices to provide healthcare benefits to the rural people of Ramtek town. The health camp started at 4:00 pm to continue beyond 10: 00 pm at night providing free medical checkups to nearly 2000 people who visited. Eight medical departments functioned inside the hall with respective teams responding to the large batches that kept coming all through the long Sunday evening.

The NKP Salve Institute of Medical Sciences and Lata Mangeshkar Hospital had their team of doctors, interns, nurses and attendants in place to examine and treat people. Medicine, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Pediatrics, Orthopedics, Ophthalmology, Surgery, Dental and ENT Departments attended to patients with care and compassion. Importantly this camp had a few extras – ECG testing, TB Chest examinations, Physiotherapy consultations, Blood Sugar testing and a blood donation drive. Free medicines were dispensed to people who needed them for their respective conditions.

An essential feature of the camp was an emphasis on proper hygiene and prevention measures especially in view of the monsoon season. Dr Amol Deshmukh was personally present to oversee the smooth operationalization of the medical camp. HERD Foundation’s chief social objective is medical relief for poor and needy. Dr Amol Deshmukh continues to play a key role in contributing for the medical welfare of people through provision of needed medical treatment. He is a strong advocate for weaker sections to be given access to medical care, particularly those living in remote rural areas.

Visitors at the camp were examined by physicians, specialists, dentists, and the team of paramedics to check for debilitating health conditions. Specialist doctors provided one-to-one consultations and provided guidance for referral cases.  Medical conditions relating to general discomfort, gynecological problems, joint pains, dental issues, eye problems, children’s ailments, malnutrition, back pain and so on were the common complaints.

Aside from the nearly 2000 OPD visitors, a 106 referral cases were recorded for further critical treatments. 74 patients were provided consultations for Physiotherapy. The random blood sugar Glucometer test was conducted for 54 patients, ECG for 16 patients and blood donation was done by 6 volunteers. All in all it was a Sunday well spent in service of the poor and sick for whom medical care facilities were provided at their door steps.

Budget 2014 – Real Benefits and Real Sops

A Cursory Analysis

A Look At Budget 2014

The first Union Budget of the newly inducted government brings about mixed reactions. The ruling party had made big promises before the elections that had actually won over the business man and the common man alike. But the proof of the pudding is yet to be had. We have to wait and watch to see if those promises will be fulfilled. Also the Rail Budget announced just days earlier, appears to suggest that much remains at stake.

It is a fact that the economy is faltering under high inflation and we have witnessed the worst slowdown since free-market reforms of the 1990s. This budget is going to be critical for verifying publicized reforms that brought the current government to power. The combination of infrastructure spending and relaxation of foreign investment curbs is a welcome maneuver and is just what the earlier government wanted to do in previous budgets.

The government did not slash food and fuel subsidies in its inaugural budget, which it continues to criticize, but itself has been unable to do anything about. This only authenticates that it has always been a pragmatic need, till date. According to economist Abhirup Sarkar foreign direct investment (FDI) cannot be a replacement for domestic entrepreneurship and FDI has not brought economic development in any country in the world. Although, higher FDI limits are encouraging, but surely that requires overhauling infrastructure and regulatory framework too.

Even proponents of free market feel that the emphasis on FDI in this budget does raise some concerns.  Further, this budget is also carrying on with populist measures that BJP itself was so against, earlier. And now in principle it continues with sops like providing loans to farmers at low interest, finance to landless, budget for madarsas, etc. Some developmental initiatives seem to benefit only few particular regions. We expected the government budget would be more equitably based for the needs of all. Surely it could have been infrastructure and investment focused as well. On the need for reduction of current account deficit it will be necessary to provide more incentives to exporters and this is not seen reflected in the budget.

The budget could have been more inclusive which only goes to show a certain hypocrisy in continuing with populist measures. The Finance Minister stated that we cannot spend beyond our means. He is aiming for sustained growth of 7-8 percent in the next 3-4 years and bound to usher in policies for higher growth, lower inflation.  While all of us are aware of the highlights of the budgets – Sardar Patel statue, saving girl child, funding for startups and entrepreneurship, cheaper phones, monitors and tablets etc, yet the government has not been able to find any plan to tackle inflation.  The budget 2014 in essence remains a slew of measures for starters.

That's the way the money goes - pop goes the weasel!!

That’s the way the money goes – pop goes the weasel!!

Preparedness Training for Youth Employability – Celebrating World Population Day

Preparedness Training for Youth Employability – Celebrating World Population Day


YuvaConnect Training

Dr Amol Deshmukh Handing over Training Certificates

World Population Day is observed on July 11, around the world to create awareness about population growth and related issues. UNO has declared 2014 World Population Day theme as: Investing in Young People. It is a call for investments in support of the largest-ever generation of youth. As the world population edges on we stand at the threshold of 1.8 billion young people who are shaping social and economic realities, challenging norms and values, and building the foundation of the world’s future.

Youth has profound implications for development and all opportunities are to be given to them that have implications on sustainability, access to health services and youth empowerment. HERD Foundation has since inception continued to invest in youth. Our YuvaConnect initiative has been consistently involved with youth from rural areas who have been accorded membership to help them participate in various initiatives like Employable Education, Healthcare, Training and Development.

The Arvindbabu Employment Fair organized by HERD Foundation on January 18, 2014 had 10,297 youth from Nagpur City as also the adjoining rural areas of Parseoni, Saoner, Katol, Bhandara and more. This initiative was a runaway success that brought job opportunities to the door steps of the youth of Nagpur District. The employment fair received a whopping 15911 registrations from prospective job seekers. A total of 4700 vacancies were on offer by more than 40 ‘A’ listed companies. These companies offered placement to 1552 applicants on the spot with job-offer letters furnished there and then.

The fair catered to all types of jobs for undergraduates, graduates and post graduates. Also suitable positions were on offer for high school pass and college drop outs. Spelling out appropriate possibilities for employment options, the fair offered hope and optimism for job-seekers who moved about with smiles and anticipation for transforming their lives. Our entire focus after the job fair was on trainings for youth to prepare them for employability. YuvaConnect has been hand-holding the youth of our areas to invest in young people to take on future course of actions charted out in compliance with their interests and qualifications.

Yet too many young people continue to grapple with joblessness, inequality with their urban counterparts and lack skills for employability like presentation, interview preparation and so on. HERD Foundation reaches out to rural youth in a bid to prepare them better to improve upon their collective potential. This 2014 World Population Day we pledge our support for continued investments for the largest-ever generation of youth.

Employment Fair

JOB FAIR January 18, 2014