Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan has been named the most generous person from Kerala according to the Hurun India Philanthropy list 2014.
The IT behemoth’s executive vice chairman who is ranked 8th in the list donated Rs 255 crore mainly in healthcare charities.
The list prepared by Hurun Report, a media group based out of Shanghai, states that region-wise, South Indians were the most generous, donating Rs 13,300 crore, five-times that of the amount given in charity by North Indians.
Ravi Pillai of RP Group is ranked nine in the list with a contribution of Rs 145 crore, mainly in healthcare. As many as seven persons from Kerala have found a place in the list of 49. They together donated Rs 609 crore for charity. Keralites in the list include Azad Moopen(Rs 100 cr), S D Shibulal (Rs 48 cr), P N C Menon (Rs 26 cr), M A Yusuf Ali (Rs 18 cr) and Sunny Varkey (Rs 17 cr).
“It is heartening to see that Indian businessmen are contributing more to philanthropy. This will create a more equitable society. Business is necessary for economic progress and with philanthropy business is also good for overall development of society. I feel proud to see this,” Kris Gopalakrishnan told Express.
The list has Wipro Chairman Azim Premji who gave away Rs 12,316 crore on top.
In September Hurun Report had published a Kerala Rich List topped by Emke Group Chairman M A Yusuf Ali who has a net worth of Rs 11,400 crore. RP Group’s Ravi Pillai came second with Rs 9,600 crore followed by Sunny Varkey, founder and executive chairman of Dubai-centered Gems Education with Rs 9,000 crore.
The India Philanthropy List, which highlights charity contributions made by India’s most generous measured by the value of their cash or cash equivalent donations, debuted in 2013. Donations made by a corporation in which an individual has more than 50 pc holding were recognised as being part of that individual’s personal donation. The period of calculation was from April 1, 2013, to October 31, 2014.
source: http://www.newindianexpress.com / The New Indian Express / Home> States> Kerala / by Express News Service / December 30th, 2014
Thousands of mourners bid an emotional farewell to budding cricketer Mohammad Ayazuddin on Friday, after he succumbed to injuries sustained in a high-speed road accident involving a 1000 CC Suzuki mobike on Sunday last.
The budding 19-year-old cricketer and son of Congress MP and former Indian cricket skipper Mohammad Azharuddin, breathed his last around 11 a.m. on Friday. His health condition had been extremely critical as he sustained multiple factures and serious injuries on kidneys, lungs, and brain.
A team of specialists who treated him removed a kidney after they failed to control bleeding in it. On Thursday, they had detected a brain dysfunction after some tests and termed his condition gravely critical.
Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, MPs Asaduddin Owaisi and Anjan Kumar Yadav were among a host of leaders who called on the grieving Mr. Azharuddin. The body of Ayazuddin was taken to Mecca Masjid for prayers before the funeral attended by more than 10,000 people. There was a stampede-like situation when people were allowed to have a last glimpse of Ayazuddin. A metal grill on which people climbed collapsed injuring two people.
The crowds swelled by the minute and Mr. Owaisi had to walk in front of the van carrying the body to help police clear the mourners. The funeral took place in a graveyard at Saidabad.
Mr. Azharuddin could be seen fighting tears though he maintained his composure whenever someone expressed condolences. Ayazuddin was his younger son from his separated wife.
In a condolence message, the Chief Minister said he was shocked and grieved by the death of Ayazuddin and conveyed his heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family. Minority Welfare Minister Mohammed Ahmadullah, Tourism Minister V. Vasant Kumar, and others too sent condolence messages.
source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Hyderabad / by Special Correspondent / Hyderabad – September 16th, 2011
Ali Reza might seem like the odd ball in the Telugu TV industry. However, the actor stresses that acting in a popular TV serial like Pasupu Kumkuma is the best thing that could have happened to him. That he took to acting in a TV serial came as a big surprise to his friends and many a times he was asked why he agreed to do it in first place.
“In the past, a lot of people told me that I was too handsome to be acting in a Telugu TV serial and that I should try my luck in films,” Ali Reza recalls, adding, “And every time I heard someone say that, I replied that I was not rich enough to produce my own films. Acting in a TV serial has taught me a lot of things and more importantly, I have become fluent in delivering dialogues in Telugu, apart from learning the nuances of acting. I think I needed to go through this quite early in my career.”
Born and brought up in Hyderabad, Ali reveals that his tryst with studies didn’t last too long. “I discontinued my studies after class 12 and ended up helping my father in his hotel business. My ancestors are from Iran, who came to Hyderabad several decades ago and we own an Irani cafe, Ramser in Marredpally. It’s been more than 50 years since my family has been managing the cafe and people still flock to our place for chai and chicken 65. In fact, I like it so much that when I went to work in Dubai for few years, my father would send nearly 15-20 plates of chicken 65 every time someone from Hyderabad was coming to Dubai,” Ali reveals.
In 2002, while he was still helping his father with his business, he began modelling and that eventually landed him an important role in Mani Shankar’s Mukhbir in 2008. “After acting in Mukhbir, I went to Dubai to work in a trading company, but I knew that I was missing something in life. That’s when I decided to come back to Hyderabad and once again, I started modelling for print ads and TV commercials,” he says.
Two years ago, he got a call from Annapurna Studios, as they were looking for a new actor for their daily serial Pasupu Kumkuma and Ali was chosen. “I was a little hesitant in the beginning, but I decided to give it a shot since a big banner like Annapurna Studios wanted me on board. Six months later, Pasupu Kumkuma became one of the most popular TV serials and my life changed after that. Now, people know me as Arjun, which is my name in the serial.” Ask him what really worked in favour of the serial, he avers, “I think it’s one of those rare serials which have a good love story woven into the plot. In most cases, TV serials are about the ego clashes between atha-kodalu. Isn’t it?”
And then, there’s the attention from his female admirers across the state. “You know… I have a hunch that a lot of people hate me because I never respond to their messages on my social networking pages. The moment I open my inbox, there are 150 messages and each one of them says how much they like me or love me,” he laughs.
So what’s next? “I am playing an important role in Gunnam Gangaraju’s next film Amrutham – Chandamama Lo. It was a pleasure working with him and as a newcomer, I couldn’t have asked for a better film. I don’t think a film like this has ever been made in India and 20 minutes of the climax is set on the moon. After that, I am acting in another untitled film which will be my debut as a lead actor. I am quite excited about Amrutham — Chandamama Lo and I think it’ll mark the beginning of a new chapter in my career,” he signs off.
source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> TV > News> Telugu / by Hemanth Kumar, TNN / April 16th, 2014
The turn of the year brings a pang of loss for Farooque Shaikh’s longtime friend Shabana Azmi as vignettes spanning a 45-year relationship unfold before the mind’s eye. He filled ink in her pen during exam time, accompanied her on taxi rides on days they felt rich, worked with her for four decades yet remained the exact opposite of her “hyper” temperament through it all.
Shaikh Sahab’s first Smriti Din will be observed on Sunday, December 28. Shaikh and Shabanaji acted together in films like Lorie, Anjuman andEk Pal but the stamp of their play Tumhari Amrita is etched in stone. In the aftermath of his passing, Shabanaji had said it was curtains for the 21-year-old play but later generously suggested that a new set of actors carry the script forward
She met TOI and managed to condense a lifelong association into a span of 15 minutes. “I did suggest to director Feroz Abbas Khan that Amrita is so strong, the script is the hero. I could never imagine doing it myself with any other actor except Farooque, but it is important to keep it alive. And what you call generosity of spirit is a given. That is the way things should be, you hand over the legacy to the next generation. Yeh na ho ki aapke saath ek achhi cheez khatm ho jaye.”
All of the past year has been difficult for Shabanaji, after all, theirs was a friendship spanning 45 years, from the time they studied together at St Xavier’s College. But even in this, the pain peaked during Eid ul’ Fitr. “Both households would compete to see who prepares the best sheerkorma. I felt mine was better, he said his was best. This year Roopa, his wife, texted me to say is saal toh sheerkorma bana hi nahin,” Shabanaji says.
Each time she performs a play at the venues where they did Amrita, the same feeling of loss surfaces all over again. “I found it difficult while performing Happy Birthday Sunita at Dubai’s DUCTUC in November, and in Delhi at India Habitat Center. It is painful to sit in the same green room and drink tea alone. In fact Farooque has been so much a part of my growing up, we have travelled together, been in such crazy situations over the 21 years we did this play that the wealth of memories is enormous. Travelling helps you get to know people best of all. Amrita would be impossible if we had not got along so well.”
Through it all, she says, Amrita’s director Feroz Khan and she were the ones who were “hyper and tense” while Shaikh Sahab was the calming factor. “He was cool and collected always. Na iska asar na uska asar. If I made one mistake during the show I would agonise over it for hours. And he would explain to me that it is no big deal.”
“Once during a show in the US our driver lost his way for two hours and the show timing passed. I began to scream at him, so he threw up his hands and refused to drive us further. Farooque calmed me down saying already we are late, how will your screaming help matters? It will only aggravate the issue. We finally reached two-and-a-half hours late. The audience was livid. Farooque took the microphone and explained to them what had happened. He said they were free to take a refund right away, or they could choose to see the show and then decide. Every single spectator sat back quietly in his seat. In the end, we got a standing ovation which resounded for long minutes.”
Another time Shabana was hauled off to Colaba police station just before a show of Amrita at NCPA, this time for her activist leanings. “Then again, Farooque came to the police station with my mother. I was defiant and willing to stay in the lock-up but he explained to the police that our audience had assembled, that could they please release me for a while and haul me back after the show if they liked. So that show went ahead late but smoothly. Again, we received such applause.”
Feroz Khan in fact joked that Shaikh and Shabanaji were an ideally suited couple given their cultural grounding, their common interests and their age of course. Shaikh Sahab was born in 1948, Shabanaji in 1950. She laughs and recalls the time the two were walking down the road. Shaikh held out a few coins to a poor woman sitting by the pavement. “She uttered the blessingtum dono ki jodi sada salamat rahe. He looked at her horrified and said, mere paise waapas kar do agar aisi bad-dua’a deni hai toh.”
Shabana remained with Shaikh through his career graph and his personal milestones as well. “His wife Roopa was my classmate in St Xavier’s. So I have seen their friendship blossom into marriage, I have seen them make the journey from being a couple to becoming parents of two beautiful daughters. I must say he was such a doting father. The children had him wrapped around the little finger.”
She recalls the manner in which he indulged them. “When his elder daughter Shaaista was a baby, he would cradle her and kiss her several times mid-sentence. So he could barely finish one line without interrupting it with a kiss. We would laugh and say bachchi ke sar mein suraagh ho jayega. Itna pyar nahin karte. Now Shaaista is getting married in January. He would be so happy to see that.”
On December 30 last year, as the last rites were taking place at Four Bungalows Kabrastan, Shabanaji was stunned to hear that Shaikh Sahab was being laid to rest in the plot right next to her father Kaifi Azmi. “You know, Farooque was a great admirer of Kaifi Sahab not just as a writer but as a human being. I was stunned when Shaaista informed me that their graves are next to each other. Nobody designed it that way. Nobody even knew.”
source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> Entertainment> Hindi> Bollywood / by Bella Jaisinghani, TNN / December 23rd, 2014
Noted educationist and former vice chancellor of the Aligarh Muslim University Saiyid Hamid, who played a key role in the drafting of the Rajindar Sachar Committee report on the state of Muslims in the country, died on Monday at age 94 in New Delhi. Born in Faizabad in 1920, Hamid, who also headed Jamia Hamdard, a deemed university, in 1999, worked for the educational uplift of Indian Muslims.
AMU spokesman Rahat Abrar, who worked closely with Hamid when he was chairman of the UP Rabita Committee, said, “Saiyid Hamid’s life was devoted to the cause of Muslim education. He spread awareness and addressed the educational backwardness among Muslims. He edited a journal, ‘Nation and the World’, and wrote extensively for the community’s development in the social sphere. I would like to remember him as a visionary, and an institution builder.”
Before Hamid joined AMU, the departments had chairpersons for more than 10-15 years. He introduced the rotation system. A firm believer in education as tool for social change, he encouraged Muslim youth towards higher studies, and dissuaded AMU teachers from leaving the country for petro dollar opportunities.
Hamid’s keen interest in encouraging Muslims to take up civil services led him to establish Hamdard Public School and University, and ensure the UGC conferred “deemed university” status on Jamia Hamdard.
Syed Zafar Mahmood, AMU alumnus and founder of New Delhi-based non-profit organization Zakat Foundation of India, said, “He worked for the educational uplift of the deprived. He led educational caravans across north India. Consequently, dozens of new schools were privately established. As AMU VC he chose to side with merit and justice, even taking cudgels with vested interests. In the Sachar Committee, he was a silent contributor of substantial inputs.”
At the time when Hamid was chancellor of Jamia Hamdard, Zillur Rehman of Ibn Sina Academy in Aligarh was in the academic council. Rehman reminisced, “Hamid sahib was a bureaucrat and head of AMU. He took decisions keeping in mind political realities of the country, and guided us in difficult times. His way of working was above sectarian, communal and regional considerations. That, along with his speeches and writings, kept us all inspired.”
The AMU and its associated institutions will remain closed on Tuesday as a mark of respect, an AMU spokesperson said, adding a condolence meeting will be held in the afternoon.
source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> India / by Eram Agha, TNN / December 30th, 2014
Noted educationist and leading Muslim figure Saiyid Hamid, a Sachar Committee member and former VC of Aligarh Muslim University, died on Monday at the age of 94 in New Delhi.
Hamid, who was also chancellor of Jamia Hamdard (1999), succumbed to a cardiac arrest. Born in Faizabad in 1920, he is remembered for his crusading spirit to work for the upliftment and educational development of Indian Muslims.
AMU spokesperson Rahat Abrar, who worked closely with Hamid when he was chairman of the UP Rabita Committee, said, “His life was devoted to the cause of Muslim education. He led to spread awareness and address the educational backwardness among Muslims. In fact, he edited a journal called ‘Nation and the World’, and wrote every word for the community’s development in the social sphere.”
Abrar added, “A visionary, and an institution builder, that is how I would like to remember him (Hamid). Before he joined AMU, the departments would have a chairman for more than 10-15 years. He introduced the rotation system and now there is term to serve. As a staunch believer of education as a tool for change he inspired Muslim youth to pursue higher studies, dissuaded AMU teachers from leaving the country for petro dollar opportunities outside.”
Since Hamid wanted Muslims to take up civil services, he worked hard to establish Hamdard Public School and the University. It was due to Hamid’s purposefulness and vision that UGC agreed to confer deemed university status on Jamia Hamdard.
At the time when Hamid was chancellor of Jamia Hamdard, Zillur Rehman of Ibn Sina Academy in Aligarh was in the academic council. Rehman reminisced: “Hamid sahib had been a bureaucrat and head of AMU. He took decisions keeping in mind political realities of the country, and guided us in difficult times. His way of working was above sectarian, communal and regional considerations. That, along with his speeches and writings, kept us all inspired.”
Syed Zafar Mahmood, AMU alumnus and founder of non-profit organization Zakat Foundation of India, said, “Saiyid Hamid worked for the educational uplift of the deprived. He led educational caravans across north India. Consequently, dozens of new schools were privately established. As AMU VC he chose to side with merit and justice, even taking cudgels with vested interests. In the Sachar Committee, he was a silent contributor of substantial inputs.”
AMU will remain closed on Tuesday to mourn Hamid’s passing.
source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> City> Agra / by Eram Agha, TNN / December 29th, 2014
Plays from the city travelled across the world and the seven seas, new forms flourished… It was an exciting year for the city’s theatre scene
The Bangalore theatre scene, this year was marked by new productions, new forms, re-runs of older plays, and plays from the city staged abroad. Apart from the regular theatre festivals, including The Hindu MetroPlus Theatre Festival and Jagriti Season 2014, Ranga Shankara celebrated turning a decade and the 60th birth anniversary of veteran theatre personality, Shankar Nag, with a theatre festival that showcased some of the best contemporary Indian productions.
S. Surendranath, artistic director of Ranga Shankara, names three. “Ramneek Singh’s Chidiyon Ka Pinjra was very well received by the audience. Abhishek Majumdar’s Kaumudi was one of the best productions that happened in Indian theatre. The writing, the performances and the overall structure were excellent. And A Straight Proposal from Delhi was an eye opener.”
Nimi Ravindran and Shiva Pathak are ecstatic with how much they have achieved with Sandbox. “We have done 110 shows. There have been 35 shows of Anish Victor’s Koogu. It was staged in Delhi, Kolkata and Assam and even travelled to Kenya. We also had 26 shows of Ajay Krishnan’s Trivial Disasters,” says Nimi. The focus of Sandbox is to stage plays at alternate spaces. Shiva adds that performances, so far, have primarily been held in home spaces. “But we have also had plays at offices, at academic spaces like IIHS quite a few performances at Humming Tree in Indiranagar and at Beaglesloft.”
Remote Bangalore, presented by Rimini Protokoll and produced by Goethe-Insitut, Max Mueller Bhavan, was another unique theatre experience for Bangaloreans. The ‘performance’ involved a re-look at the city through a tour through undiscovered spaces. Sandbox Collective closely collaborated with German-based Rimini Protokoll for Remote Bangalore. Sandbox is set to welcome 2015 with travelling with The Company Theatre’s Piya Behrupiya to Chile.
2014 was yet another year of achievement for Abhishek Majumdar. He won the first Shankar Nag Theatre Award. His theatre company The Indian Ensemble, which he founded with Sandeep Shikhar, also had a fruitful year. Two landmark productions, Thook, commissioned by the Hunger for Trade Project, an international theatre network, and Kaumudi, were presented by Indian Ensemble. “It was a challenging year for us,” says Abhishek. “We have never had two openings in the same year. Thook andKaumudi were very different productions. Also, Indian Ensemble came together in a way that has made us very happy. We had our first international tour as a company. We travelled to the United States and performed at Carriage House Theatre in Hartford Connecticut and the Iseman Theatre at Yale.”
This year Indian Ensemble started the Director’s Programme. “It was started with four students, Basav Biradar, Amit Sharma, Anju Alva Naik and Karen D’Mello. The students have already put up individual scenes from Sakharam Binder.”
There were other members from Indian Ensemble who won awards and acclaim for their work. Ramneek Singh received the Inlaks Scholarship to continue his studies at LISPA and Anshuman Acharya won the Hindu MetroPlus Playwright Award.
Bangalore Little Theatre, the city’s oldest English theatre group, lived up to their reputation of staging stunning productions, including Finding Ananda, a tribute to Swami Vivekananda on his 150th birthday, Ira Hauptman’s Partition, directed by Sridhar Ramanathan, both held as part of the History of Ideas Programme, and Our Iceberg is Melting, directed by Amjad Prawej.
Vijay Padaki, director of BLT, says: “One of the most successful productions in the History of Ideas programme has been The Prophet and The Poet. Prasar Bharati commissioned a tele-film of the play. It was broadcast by Doordarshan twice in the year. An event of great significance was a theatre festival facilitated by BLT. It involved four other theatre groups of Bangalore, and was a tribute to the playwright-statesman Vaclav Havel. The experience of the Theatre Collective was presented by me in an international conference in Prague on Havel’s life and works. BLT organised the All-India Arts and Heritage Management Conclave that was held in Bangalore.”
Actor and director Vivek Madan says this year a lot of shows travelled abroad. “There were a lot of collaborations. New forms developed because of Sandbox Collective. There was also Zip Zap Pow, an all-woman, one-minute festival.”
But 2014 was also a year of loss and bereavement for the theatre community. One of the most talented light designers in the city, Beary Mustafa passed away, leaving behind a void in the theatre community.
“We worked together for ten years. It is a huge thing to adjust to going to a theatre space and not seeing him,” says Abhishek.
source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> Features> MetroPlus / by Sravasti Datta / December 29th, 2014
Let us live together, forget about the bifurcation’. Taking a cue, Padma Sri recipient Yarlagadda Laxmi Prasad felt that the three-day convention was more than symbolic in many ways of how Telugu-speaking people can live and enjoy all liberties.
The three-day International Kuchipudi Dance Convention at GMC Balayogi Indoor Stadium could not have begun on a more touching note on Friday in terms of how the Telugu-speaking can live together and aspire to prosper.
It was a brief but to-the-point speech by Kalvakuntla Kavitha, Nizamabad MP and president of Telangana Jagruthi Samithi, which clearly floored the select audience at the Convention, organised by Silicon Andhra.
“Not many people liked the idea of me coming over to grace the inaugural of this three-day dance convention as they felt there is a clear tinge of residual Andhra Pradesh in the way the event is being organised. But I insisted that though Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are divided politically and administratively, that should be not the case with arts and culture. I believe art has no barrier,” Kavitha said amidst applause.
“Moreover, this being held in Hyderabad, it is a question of pride for all of us. Like Chandrababu Naidu, Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao too is all for the promotion of arts and culture of Telugu-speaking people. Let us live together, forget about the bifurcation, which is for a different cause,” she reminded.
Taking a leaf from the pages of history, Kavitha enthralled the audience by gently reminding them that though Kuchipudi was born in a village in Andhra Pradesh, it took the generosity of the 17th Century king Abdul Hasan Qutub Shah (more popularly known as Tani Shah) to promote this world-famous dance by setting up a ‘kuchipudi agraharam’ in Hyderabad,” she said to repeated cheers from the audience.
Taking a cue, Padma Sri recipient Yarlagadda Laxmi Prasad felt that the three-day convention was more than symbolic in many ways of how Telugu-speaking people can live and enjoy all liberties. “Let me tell you that the Telangana Chief Minister has given this venue free of cost and promised to extend all possible help to the organisers. This speaks of how we can steer clear of petty issues,” he remarked. AP Legislative Assembly Deputy Speaker Mandali Budda Prasad felt it was a question of great pride for the country itself that Kuchipudi had become synonymous with Indian culture.
source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Hyderabad / by V.V. Subrahmanyam / Hyderabad – December 26th, 2014
Power lifters from Karnataka who participated in Subrata Classic International Power lifting Championship 2014 held at Jamshedpur in Jharkhand from December 16 to 21 bagged several medals in various body weight and age group categories.
The Power lifters reached Mangaluru Central railway station on Thursday. Karnataka Power Lifting Association officials and sports lovers welcomed them. Six countries took part in the above event.
The medal winners are:
Mahammad Rameez – 1 gold, 1 silver; Pradeep Kumar – 1 gold, 1 silver; G V Ashok -1 gold; Krishna Devadiga – 2 gold; Yadava Suvarna – 2 gold, 1 bronze; Ashwin – 1 silver, 1 bronze; Mohammed Haneef – 1 Gold, 1 Bronze; Merina Devi – 1 gold; Usha B N – 2 gold; G R Mahesh – 1 Gold, 1 Silver; and Suresh Padukone – 1 silver, and 1 bronze. Sathish Kumar Kudroli from Mangaluru was the coach of the Indian team.
source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> City> Mangaluru / TNN / December 25th, 2014