Dr. Aswathy Ashok Menon – Winner of The Dr. Arundhati Tambwekar Award for Excellence in Pathology, 2017

6 November 2017


This year’s award goes to Dr. Aswathy Ashok Menon, MD Dept of Pathology at CMC Vellore.

Dr. Aswathy has had a stellar record all through her career as a doctor. She did her MBBS from Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi, in 2013. During the course of her undergraduate degree, she won Gold medals in Pathology, Pharmacology, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and also the Amrita Kiran award for all round excellence in MBBS course.

While doing her MD and residency at CMC Vellore, Dr. Aswathy also won the first prize for paper presentation at Annual Research Day 2016 at CMC, Vellore.

Congratulations, Dr. Aswathy! The Pursuit of Excellence never ceases. Continue to strive for excellence, keep your values and passion intact. We wish you the very best !

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On Air with Red FM

This is a belated blog post. In September, we responded to the Red FM Pothole Challenge. Here is a brief note from the producer Moushmi Manek.


Thank you very much for taking the time out and agreeing to be a part of our morning show on Red FM and of course for coming forwards and supporting The Red FM Pothole Challenge! We are very thankful to you for having come on-air with us!

Here is the link that we played on-air. Please do share it with your friends and family and encourage them to be a part of the campaign as well.

Sanjay’s Talk

Shubhangi’s Interview with Disha Oberoi

I must say, you have really rattled and inspired many a Bengalureans to come forward and take road safety seriously. We had messaged pouring in after we aired your link, all showing solidarity with you.

Once again, thank you very much, and we will keep going with our efforts to make sure we can do as much road safety awareness as possible.

Moushmi Manek

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Road Safety at MLA Academy of Higher Learning

Oct 14, 2017

The MLA Academy of Higher Learning was started in Aug 2006, an offshoot of the  90-year old Malleswaram Ladies Association. It offers courses in B.COM, M.COM and BBM. Ms Santoshi Ramu, Professor and Coordinator, got in touch with us after the voice clips were aired on Red FM during the campaign against potholes last month. The Academy was keen to do a session on Road Safety as a part of Institutional Social Responsibility Initiative.

Our session was scheduled for 12:30 PM – after the classes on Saturday. We had a sizable attendance with over 150 students. The children were probably eager to get home! So when Ms Santoshi began the session saying “please be attentive for the next 1 hour and 30 min”, there were groans from the audience!

Shubhangi assured them, that we would make it worth their while, and not keep them for 90 min.

And indeed, once the session started, there was a good engagement from the audience.  Shubhangi’s appeal touched them in many ways. And in the end, they came forward to share.
* A student shared about her uncle’s accident.
* Another girl felt overwhelmed with the emotion talking about her mother urging her to take care on the road
* The staff remembered 2 promising students, and how the promise was snuffed out due to road accidents. In a way, our road safety session was a tribute to those departed souls, and a call to action and defensive driving to the students.
* And a girl came forward to say that she felt the time was most well spent!

As usual, we ended with the pledge. We always emphasize that the pledge to drive safely is a promise to oneself. It was heartening to see the students come forward to sign the pledge.

Thank you Ms Santoshi for the opportunity to spread the word on Road Safety, and to all the students and staff for their participation.

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Road Safety Session at Netsurion

Sep 1, 2017

My old colleague Soumitra Sen (Soms) reached out to me last month.  He is now the General Manager at Netsurion.  A young engineer at his office had met with an accident riding a 2 wheeler, and Soms asked me to sensitize his team about road safety.

We planned the session at 6 in the evening to get good participation during the end of one shift and start of another.
Our presentation is now updated with the statistics from 2015, including the age and gender distribution.

It was heartening to see about 70 employees joining the session. The concept of Defensive Driving will now be well understood by the attendees! I liked the engagement during the discussion after the talk. The topics included “How to define overspeeding?”, “Bad time management is the cause”, “Potholes and bad roads”.

As Soms observed “We spend a lot of time of our life on the roads! It is imperative that we pay attention to safety on the roads”.

Thanks to Soms and Geetha for organizing the event, and their whole-hearted support to The Arundhati Foundation.

A few pics from the event :


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Arundhati – The Morning Star

In February, this year,  we brought out a book. This is a selection of Aru’s thoughts and ideas reflected in her stories, poems, scripts, and sketches. It has a few tributes from the people she touched. A tiny part that we share, and, in doing so, hope to keep her memory alive and give you a glimpse into our morning star. The picture above is the cover page designed by Ms. Manjiri Sabnis.
Do read an article in SiyaWoman about Aru and her foundation.
Aru’s writings will soon be published every Friday on this site.   A big thank you to Lakshmi Ananthamurthy and Namita of SiyaWoman for your encouragement.
Update :  Selected writings from Aru’s book can be seen here on SiyaWoman
Please spread the word. Share this article and help us spread the message on Road Safety.
Thank you for your support and kindness.
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Road Safety @ Mushtifund Aryaan Higher Secondary School

July 18, 2017

Mr Vyankatesh Prabhudesai, an alumnus of IIT Mumbai and IISc, has been the driving force behind the Aryaan Study Circle in Goa. With the vision of directing the students potential to the optimum, the Aryaan Study Circle and The Mushtifund Saunstha joined hands and floated a new unique and unaided higher secondary school named The Mushtifund Aryaan Higher Secondary School, Panaji to provide a better ambiance to the students of Goa.  The school has shown an impressive track record over the past several years.

A couple of weeks ago, we had the opportunity to address about 100 students of Std XI aspiring to the best institutes in the country.

The first part of the talk was motivational :  thriving on the challenge, continuously raising the bar for oneself, self-confidence and self-discipline, and enjoying the journey.

We then segued to Road Safety. Shubhangi linked the two talks by urging the students to ensure that their hard work is not upset by lack of caution on the road. We trimmed our talk to address 5 key points :
* Protect yourself First : Wear a helmet / seatbelt
* Slow Down : A normal speed with get you where you want
* None for the Road : Drinking and Driving do not mix
* Say No to Distracted Driving : Hands Free is not Risk Free
* Mind the Gap : Keep the distance and be aware of blind spots

To tune the talk to the, we discussed with the help of Physics and Biology ( difficulties from skull and head injuries, effect of speed on stopping distance, field of vision and blind spots, effect of alcohol on our body, distance traveled when distracted for a couple of seconds). We also tried to inspire the would-be engineers with some examples of innovations in road safety ( the seat belt, intelligent braking )

The children were very receptive, and their response was very heartening to us. The boy who stood up to give the vote of thanks, tore off his prepared speech and spoke spontaneously, urging his classmates to take road safety seriously.  The faculty also joined in signing the pledge.

As always, our fervent hope is that our effort influences at least 1 person to take a positive step towards safety of self and others on the road.

We thank Mr. Vyankatesh Prabhudessai for giving us this opportunity to address the students at Mushtifund Aryaan, and we hope to make this a lasting partnership.

Here are some pictures from the event.


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ADITI : Help spread knowledge

This year, The Arundhati Foundation was fortunate to receive funds from many friends. Many well wishers donated to help a cause. Sponsoring textbooks for students of HINDU BAALIKA PATHASHALA, one of the oldest schools in Bengaluru. The students studying in this school come from an under-priveleged background but have a zest to study and learn new things. We realized this fact during our interaction with the students during our Road safety lectures.

We could sponsor all textbooks for a hundred students. We would especially like to thank Mr Vijay and Mrs Manorama Joshi for their contribution to this cause.

Every person who donated towards this cause was given a copy of ‘ARUNDHATI:THE MORNING STAR’a compilation of select writings penned down by Aru.

Ms Noorein Fathima was provided a full scholarship to cover her tuition fees for standard tenth.
Noorien, a bright young girl had scored the second highest marks in standard ninth. We decided to encourage Noorien as the girl who stood first had already received a full scholarship for tenth standard from another patron.
Noorien who is a budding badminton player, hopes to do well this year and make her parents and school proud.
Here is wishing Noorien and all the students of HBP School a fruitful year.

To all our friends a grateful thank you for supporting Aru’s foundation and showering her with your love. We look up to Aru to guide us at every step and give us the strength and wisdom to do our duty of giving back to the society.


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COLORS: Campaign to pass the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2017

As you are well aware that the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2017 which was passed in the Lok Sabha, is most likely to be brought up in the Rajya Sabha in the upcoming monsoon session commencing on July 17th. To continue our movement for the passage of the Bill, we have joined hands with SaveLife in starting 2 campaigns on behalf of the COLORS alliance.
1. A campaign via the website where we are asking people to write to the Rajya Sabha MPs to pass the Bill. On behalf of the COLORS alliance, a similar exercise was done earlier asking people to write to the Prime Minister. There was an overwhelming response to the same, and the Prime Minister in his Mann Ki Baat had mentioned that he received a number of letters regarding improving road safety. 
The same website has been tweaked to get people to send letters to the Rajya Sabha MPs. Since this will be a COLORS initiative, Arundhati Foundation’s logo is displayed on the website along with the other partners.


2. To draw further attention, 4 billboards around the Parliament area will have messages focusing on the issue and reminding the Parliament to pass the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2017.  Here are a few pics.

A small effort through our COLORS coalition, and thanks to Saji Cherian ( SaveLife ) for driving it.

Do extend your support.

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Classrooms with a Cause : Follow up on the Road Safety Audit


We are happy to report on the progress following the road safety audit.

First, the fallen no-entry signpost was rectified. Then, a CCTV was installed at the junction.
And now, Zebra crossings have been painted at the schools and at the junctions.

Here are a few pics to share.

Just goes to show that the citizens’ involvement makes a difference. We are thankful to the Bangalore traffic police who gave due attention to the recommendations of the road safety audit conducted by the students of St Meera’s.



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Panipuri for Potholes!

Mar 13, 2017 : The Arundhati Foundation partnered with Qwikcilver Solutions Pvt Ltd in this unique experience with CSR. The Holi celebrations at Qwikcilver this year went beyond the filling of bellies to filling potholes in and around the city of Bangalore.

Besides the music, food and entertainment which were a part of the Holi festivities, the fundraising activities included a game of lotto and food stalls selling delicious snacks ranging from pani puris, bhel puris, kachoris, samosas, ice creams, gulab jamuns, lemonade. The funds raised were handed over to Prathaap B Rao “Pothole Raja” for his initiative in making the city of Bangalore pothole-free. [  Should one spot a pothole one could take a picture and ‘WhatsApp’ it to 814POTHOLE (the letters correspond with the numbers 7684653) and Pothole Raja would attempt to fix it ]

Prathaap spoke to the Qwikcilver team about his initiative (in the pic above), and the volunteers joined forces with him. The group, working in small teams, worked over the next few weekends to fix 8 potholes in the vicinity of the Koramangala office. See the pics below.

Thanks to Prathaap and Qwikcilver for this fantastic effort. A special thanks to Anu Mathew – head of HR at Qwikcilver – this idea was her brainchild.

This is a great way to get people involved in CSR related to road safety, and make a difference on the ground! Hope other organizations also take up similar initiatives.


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