More than 40 representatives of organisations as well as individuals working towards a better society met at Kuttralam on the 11th and 12th of October 2008 to consider the direction and activities of the newly constituted trust, NDSO. The meeting was chaired by Thiru Jaganathan, the Secretary of NDSO.
On the 11th, the meeting commenced at 11am with all the attendees introducing themselves and speaking briefly about their work. The participants touched on the difficulties and challenges they faced. This session ended with lunch.
At 4:00pm the participants set out for Shenkottai where they took part in the innauguration of the Gandhi Mandran library. On behalf of Ennangalin Sangamam, Thiru Harihara Subramaniyan and Thiru Govindan spoke at the function. Selvi Sabrine presented a book on behalf of Ennangalin Sangam to the Gandhi Mandram library. Thiru Harihara Subramaniyan announced that he would donate 100 books to the library.
From Shenkottai, the participants went to Aayakudi where they visited the Amar Seva Sangam campus.They interacted with Thiru Sankar Raman, one of the founders of the Amar Seva Sangam. The participants watched a video presentation on Amar Seva Sangam. They also were conducted on a brief tour of the campus. All the participants were very impressed by the commendable work being done by the Amar Seva Sangam for persons with disabilities. After dinner at Amar Seva Sangam, the participants returned to Kuttralam.
The next session of the meeting commenced at the Sri Vivekananda Ashram at 9:30pm. The Secretary and Trustees put forward their vision and plans for the growth of NDSO. There was a lively discussion on these plans. The session ended at 11pm.
On the 12th morning most participants began the day with a refreshing bath at the 'Five Falls' which was close to the Ashram.
The first session began at 9:30am. New participants who had joined the meeting on the 12th introduced themselves. The Trustees announced the decisions that had been taken based on the previous evening's delibrations. The decisions are as follows.
1. All organisations and individuals intending to be members of NDSO will be sent a detailed application form which they need to fill out ond send back to NDSO. These completed application forms will be scrutinised by the Trustees and the District co-ordinator. Where necessary, the organisations will be visited and facts verified. Accepted organisations will be sent a letter of acceptance.
The application forms will be sent out by NDSO within the next 15 days.
2. All accepted members need to pay a 'Joining fee' of Rs. 500. All accepted organisations need to pay an annual membership fee of Rs. 1000. All accepted individuals need to pay an annual membership fee of Rs. 500. The annual membership fee for both individuals and organisations may be paid as a single sum every year or in ten (or five) monthly instalments of Rs.100.
3. The money so collected will be used to set up an NDSO office in Chennai equipped with necessary office equipment such as a computer, a fax machine and a telephone. The office will be manned by qualified staff. The office is being set up to assist and provide necessary information and help to members. A couple of rooms for NDSO members to stay when they visit Chennai will also be organised.
4. A souvenier (Malar) will be released in January to further raise funds for NDSO. A small committe consisting of Thiru Anandan of Thedal, Thiru Rajendran and Thiru Selvam will prepare a cost estimate for the souvenier (Malar) within the next few days.
5. The next meeting of 'Ennangalin Sangamam' is planned for the first Sunday in January 2009, (January 4th) at Chennai.
6. Thiru J Prabhakaran, Trustee, released the names of District co-ordinators for 15 districts. These are ad hoc appointments and may be revised later. The names of District co-ordinators for the other districts will also be released later.
7. The meeting ended with a vote of thanks to Swamaiji for the hospitality provided at the Ashram. A big thank you was also said to Thiru Madan for the excellent food provided during the meeting.
Report By: Mr. David Barun Kumar