Religion is not a barrier to our sincere efforts of humanitarian aid. Some days ago we got a request, far away from the snowclad mountain region of Kashmir, for financial help from an old father, for his elder daughter’s marriage. Living in a small hamlet on the outskirts of Srinagar, Nasifa’s (name has been changed) marriage could not be solemnized due to a shortage of resources and funds. We received a request to provide aid for her marriage with minimal arrangements through a special friend of the PETALS family, Ms. Jyotima Mazumder.
It was not possible to get any details or check on the authenticity of the request from Kolkata. Thanks to our friend Mr. Kiran Chatterjee (Ex-Army man of the Indian Army), a member of ASTHA ngo who provided us the contact number of Mr. Ashish Chakraborty, a special task force personnel with the Indian Army. Mr. Ashish along with his colleagues in the Army helped us in getting all the required details of the needy family. On 30.4.2023 Petals sent our small token of love for Nasifa in the form of money amount through our brothers posted along the borders of our country (The names and identities of the family and others are not being shared due to security reasons).
We are all elated along with Nasifa’s family. Our blessings and best wishes for her married life ahead. We are indebted and grateful to all because of whom we could reach out to this young girl miles away from here. Our big salutation to the Indian Army personnel who protect us round the clock. Your kind gesture and your promise to keep in touch and work together have touched our hearts. Our sole effort is to hold each other’s hands and be with people and bring smiles to the faces of many more.
Stay happy, stay safe.
Dr. Sudha Mallareddy
Eyesight is a gift that allows us to see the beautiful creation of God. Eyes – one of the most important and sensitive _Panchendriyas_ (sense organs) have to be taken care of by all. When there is any issue with vision due to age-related or any other factor, immediate attention and treatment are required. This might be quite affordable for most of us but it’s a distant dream for the ones who do not even have two meals a day. Persons toiling hard for their families in the burning heat of a brick kiln too do not have the means or resources to check their vision. Most of them have issues like watery eyes, some outgrowth near the eyes, or allergies. A survey conducted by Baranagar Petals found a young mother (23yrs) losing her eyesight to a retina infection during pregnancy. A mother of 3 small kids would not have lost her vision if there was timely intervention and treatment.
Mohin Bhai, owner of the brick kiln in Rohanda, Madhyamgram had requested Petals for education and health requirements apart from the need for food. PETALS has already arranged for education and health for children here. On 23/04/23, a free eye check-up camp was organized by PETALS with the help of GKB Opticals who took the responsibility for free check-ups and spectacles for 125 brothers and sisters working in the kiln. Constant support from Sanghita Di and Sahadev Da, of the FOKE Foundation is greatly appreciated without whom this camp was not possible. And there was the excellent effort of Mohin Bhai, the owner of the brick kiln. Mohin Bhai was always with these labor families during the camp. We salute Dr. Neelava Das and
Dr. Monisha Saha for the compassion and care with which they examined each and everyone present. We are grateful to GKB Opticals for their kind support towards the free checkup and gifting of spectacles. Petals took the responsibility for the procurement of all medicines required which was successfully delivered to brick kiln workers. Mohin Bhai’s gifting of ripe mangoes, plantains, and other fresh vegetables from his farm added glitter and joy to the day of light and sight.
May the Beauty of Creation be seen by the eyes and felt by the heart by all of us.
Take care. Stay happy and healthy.
Dr. Sudha Mallareddy
Valentine’s Day…. a day of Love.
True love is still wanting amidst the exchange of red roses, chocolates, and costly gifts. An excellent natural feeling has lost most of its luster in the social exhibition of love. Still there exist pure beings whose love spreads hope and happiness around. This happened on 12.02.2023. Baranagar Petals accompanied Fifty-two differently-sighted brothers and sisters with their families total of 120 people on a pilgrimage to Maa Hangseshwari Temple, Hooghly. The day of songs, dance, food, and Divine darshan started at Dumdum station. We are indebted to the Divine Mother for being able to make all arrangements for the puja, mandir decoration, prasad, and archana. Our only intent was an exchange of heartfelt love between the children in front of the Divine Mother. The temple Sevayats too participated wholeheartedly. Dr. Sumon Poddar and his team successfully accomplished their task of offering Gangaajal abhishek of the Shivaling by holding the hands of our blind brothers and sisters. We could have a glimpse of the bonding of science and spirituality, like two branches of a tree.
Bansberia Municipality Chairman, Sri Aditya Neogi, and Sri Shankar Chakravarti helped us in availing the guesthouse facility. Grateful to Bappada, for the hand-licking delicious food arrangements. Gifts exchanged a special bag for our brothers&sisters, school bags for the kids, and a bag containing sattu, Govindbhog rice, and ghee. In exchange, we Petals received precious pearls of love and blessings.
After evening snacks with coffee and veg balls, we proceed to Chandannagar Church. The Father gifted holy water and Mother Mary blessing cards. Blind brother Govind Bhai’s melodious song created a heavenly atmosphere. Peace, peace, and Divine Peace were felt.
Now time to return home. Can we forget to relish Suryamodak Jalbhora Sandesh? We all had our fill on our way back.
Reached the end of a great day celebrated with lots of Love. There were roarings of Jayjaykar of Maa Hangseshwari and well wishes for Petals.
Sri subhash nath (Manabik Ranaghat), Sahadev da (FOKE foundation), Nasim Rehman bhai (Ankur foundation), Pathikrit saha(HELPP), Titir Narayan Nath, Sameer Adhikary we are greatly obliged to you all for your constant support. And much appreciation to all the members of the PETALS family. Three cheers to PETALS. HIP HIP HURRAY.
Dr. Sudha Mallareddy
Along with Shova Maa, we all sang Atul Prasadji’s famous song “Hao dhoro mete dhir hao koro mete bir……………..”
It has been ages since all 40 elderly mothers at Vivekananda Bhaban shared happier moments together. Away from the hustle and busy of the city, in a small well kept ashram in Habra, these mothers spend the remaining years of their simple lives, free of charge and free from the burdens of life; have food twice a day, can sleep peacefully. They too have little wishes, but fulfilling them seems a luxury for these ladies discouraged by their families. Petals think otherwise; all their little wishes can be fulfilled and these mothers are given due respect. So we arranged a warm get-together with sumptuous Gobindbhog-sonamoong khichdi, begun bhaja, fish fry, chutney, and sweets. All marketing is done by Astha ngo and cooking by the ashram cooks. On 8th January Petals reached out with a bundle of gifts, a Royal welcome with Roses and greeting cards, with the roses finding their places in the hairs of our elderly ladies with their eyes teeming, not with tears but with smiles. The day of 8th January 2023 was their day of enjoyment and merry-making. The gifts-imitation gold chains- were all that they had wished for. We are indeed grateful for being able to fulfill their little wishes and of course the wonderful return gifts we got in the form of fresh farm vegetables. We consider these to be “Mahaprasadam”.
All of this could be possible due to the generosity of our beloved member Mrs. Aditi Chakravarti from Hyderabad, who conducts baking classes for needy unemployed youth. Aditidevi gave all her salary to Petals. The purpose is “wish fulfillment” of the elderly parents in the true sense. Madam, gems like you add sparkle to our humble endeavors. Stay happy and blessed.
Dr. Sudha Mallareddy
We have come to the end of the great celebration called “Durgotsav “. Our Puja Special Mission has been happily accomplished as many needy families have been assured of 52 kg of ration and other essentials for about two months. Friends and well-wishers from India and abroad extended their continuous support and encouragement. We had the full active backing of prestigious organizations along with Astha NGO and many other volunteers. We had all been working together with the sole intent to reach out to the extremely needy ones in society. Strangers became friends and part of the Petals family. New clothes, essential study materials, medicines for the elderly, and many more puja gifts were provided to many backward families. Self-reliance was also our main project of us. We wished to celebrate Puja including one and all in our festivities, leaving none behind. Happy parents could venture out to pandals with well-fed kids. All are at peace.
JAY MAA DURGA. Do come early next year with your bundle of Grace and gifts.
May this ending pave way for new possibilities to spread more love around. We are forever grateful to the kind-hearted persons who shared their unconditional love with us.
Shubho Bijaya and happy Dussera to ALL!!!
A very happy Diwali and Happy New Year, 2023 in advance!!!
There are many unfortunate kids fighting the odds of dreadful cancer. No open sky, no playground; neither school nor education for them. Life ticking away lying on a hospital bed, bearing the pain and pressure of pricking needles, high doses of medicine, and chemotherapy. And cancer has brought with it other ailments adding to the agony.
On Janmashtami Petals reached out to these brave hearts at two places:
★Institute of Child Health (ICH, Kolkata)
★CanKids KidsCan Home,
with hearts full of love and compassion along with ‘Noni Handi’ (Butter Pot) filled with gifts and goodies. We wished to offer some moments of fun and frolic for these little fighting Krishnas. The new addition this year was the magic show which won the hearts of little Gopalas. The cancer-free children also shared the joy with the sick children.
We are humbled by supporting these fighters in their fight against cancer. We had the support of the kind-hearted Dr. Sumon Poddar in every way possible. We are grateful to all Krishna devotees who joined hands to offer the Noni Handi (Butter Pot) in the hands of these kids.
Wishing early recovery for these fighters.
With lots of love.
Dr. Sudha Mallareddy
After a prolonged struggle for about 115 days, Baranagar Petals, striving for the wellbeing of differently-abled, elderly, and children of the weaker sections of the society, brought back an elderly mother from the perils of disease and distress. A plate of food was an honor; love – an illusion; a piece of clean cloth – a distant thought and cure or treatment – a mere dream for this 70yr old mother- Bhabani Bhattacharya. She used to live on the filthy footpath near Dum Dum station, seeking food and alms. A heap of old clothes and a small bag with some coins were her only possession.
Baranagar Petals have been providing lunch packets to the hungry and deprived in and around Kolkata for some years. That is how Petals met the old mother who lived on the footpath under the bridge of Dumdum station. On 12th April 2022 members of the Petals family were taken aback when they came across this elderly lady with a deep maggot-infested injury on her head, stinking and lying in agony. Immediately with assistance from local police, she was taken to R G KAR Hospital, where she was denied admission but was attended to by Dr. Pinky Singh under the open sky because of the maggot infestation. She was provided first aid. We had no other option than to take her back and the daily dressing was done. With no improvement in her condition, we approached R G Kar Hospital again. After a long struggle of Petals with much persuasion and help from the authorities and police, she was provided a bed in R G Kar Hospital after 6 days and proper treatment started. The story does not end here. Members of Petals have been constantly beside her providing all kinds of support with daily visits, instilling faith with love and compassion. She got her family back – the Petals family. Three months have passed by, with the elderly mother facing 3 operations with plastic surgery. Now she is completely healed. A place for her stay has been arranged in an old-age home as we do not intend to leave her back on the footpath in the sunset years of her life. Her health, food, and accommodation will be taken care of here along with other senior citizens. We wish her a comfortable stay here with a life full of health and happiness in her newfound home- “Bhalobasha Neer” (Bhalobasa Old Age Home)
We continue on our journey with our humane efforts as there are many more elderly mothers waiting to be cared for. Your constant support to continue our movement is gratefully acknowledged.
Dr. Sudha Mallareddy
PETALS were at Naba Kushtha Ashram Purulia for two days from 17th December 2017. The residents of the Ashram were the people who previously suffered from Leprosy, but are now cured. But in spite of being presently cured of the deadly disease, their families refuse to accept them back and so they have nowhere to go. They live in this ashram away from the village. They are downcasted by the entire village and are not even allowed to board public vehicles. Even the sick has to walk to the hospital which is far away. Those who can’t walk have to stay without any medical help. “Since there is no one whom we can call our own, we have submitted ourselves to God,” they said. Amidst such conditions when PETALS greeted them with love and warmth, they shed tears of joy that there were people who did not make them feel unwanted and out-casted. Their expressions of joy, their dance, their smile and at the end their remark, “We saw THE ALMIGHTY!” said it all.
Our working agenda according to their wishes was:
🔶 We arranged for a Rickshaw-van so that they may take their sick ones to the hospital or at least the dead ones to the burial or burning ghat.
🔶 “We don’t remember the last time we had non-veg food,” they told us, so on the 17th afternoon, we arranged for a lunch party for them where we served non-veg food.
🔶 We saw them having food in broken utensils and buckets! So PETALS arranged for proper utensils for them.
🔶 “We want to spend the rest of our lives singing hymns of the Lord. Can you all arrange something for us?” was there a humble request. So PETALS gave them musical instruments like Khol, Kartal, etc.
Our dear member Tanusree Chakravarty also donated a Harmonium for them.
🔶 “Someone gave us a T. V. because we have no entertainment in life but there is no connection so it is of no use,” they told us sadly. So PETALS also arranged for a cable connection.
They praised our donors Jyotima Mazumdar, Tanusree Chakravarty, Ayan Karmakar, Jui Kar, and Kushal Parui in their melodious songs. We were joined by a new member, Ankur Gupta in this mission. He had donated in many of our programs, but this was the first time he joined us in person. He worked with us with great enthusiasm and we were greatly pleased with him.
Here are the pictures and videos of our project take a look and feel their joy that we have witnessed with our own eyes.
KINature is the most beautiful creation of God; the lush green trees, the everlasting blue sea, the upright hills and so on. But did we ever thought that why are these pleasing to us? It is because He has blessed us with the ability to see, He has gifted us with the best possible, our eyes. But unlike us, there are many other friends of ours who have the same feeling, same hopes, and desires, but due to some unavoidable reasons, cannot fulfill their wish to cherish this nature. So, PETALS having felt the pain of his another blind friend facing difficulty in his day-to-day life decided to organize an eye donation camp for its members. It was agreed upon to have this Noble deed done on the auspicious day of Guru Purnima, 27th of July’ 18 dedicating this to each one’s Guru or teacher. Starting from the age of 18 to 92, PETALS got a response from approximately 450 of its members. One of our very dear member, Dr.Sabuj Kundu, an IIT Professor, who could not manage to come down in-person for this event, sent his wife Dr.Bidisha Barik with both their form from Kanpur. Another respectable member of ours, Mr. & Mrs.Tanushree Chakroborty, who had to leave abroad for some work, had sent their forms beforehand. Most astonishing was, when our 18year-old member, Krishna Ladha came up with his form in his hand and expressing his wish that after him, let his other two friends also see this beauty of God, left us awe-struck.
PETALS believe that it’s teaching of sharing and unconditional love have made their roots strong, somewhere deep inside.
Anyone else, willing to make this world a beautiful place for someone else, can contact us.
“কিছু কথা ভাবতে ভাবতে চোখে এলো জল,
জলকে বলিলাম তুই, হঠাৎ কেন বাইরে এলি বল।
জল বললো চোখটি তোমার সুখ সৃষ্টির নীড়,
কি করে সইবো বলোএত কষ্টের ভীড়।”
Kolkata, the City of Joy, is all set to welcome its most celebrated festival, Durga Puja. Celebrations have begun everywhere; streets are lightened up, shopping of new dresses for the entire family almost done and menu all decided for each day, with the prayers of avoiding rains during these five-days at least. Otherwise, the new dress may get quenched in water, the shoes may get dirty and most important, the night-out plans may get canceled. But, maybe H listened to his children of this city, but Kerala is drowning. Maybe the rains have stopped by then, but the water levels have
submerged everything in it. People are left homeless and hungry. Maybe, the child at our home is happy with his new belongings, but a child there, who lost his parents in this flood, is left all alone, without any hope. So, PETALS decided to stand beside them in their tough times. We have our ongoing project “One buck, one life” which was initiated with the intention of saving the lives of people in their difficult phase. The project calls for One Rupee per person per month, something which was a matter of joke to many in the beginning, has now been able to collect a considerable amount, enough to help some of the flood-sufferers, at least.
So, PETALS contacted the Maharaj of Bharat Seva Ashram on 24th of September, 2018 and is glad to announce that it could raise, maybe not too much, but enough to save some families,
perhaps. We believe that our worship to Maa Durga is accomplished, because a mother always wants her children to stand beside each other in need, and PETALS also tried to follow the same
There is saying that our eyes reflect what our heart is.PETALS witnessed this very evidently and clearly in its Tarakeshwar Trip with some of our most special friends.
PETALS execute numerous projects every year, but the happiness and satisfaction to work with our sightless friends, have always been something special. These winters PETALS reached out to them again with a question, what can we do to make your winters better? With a sore throat, Ms.Kakoli answered, “Oh please Didi, do whatever but don’t give us blankets… Plenty of it we have… Under the name of donation and clicking pictures, people just randomly distribute blankets, without even knowing what we want”… Upon this, one of our senior member, Mr.Dibyendu Bhar, approached asked them, Then what do you all want? There came a voice saying that “what else can anyone do for us…We are blind people, and we have accepted our life traveling station to station to somehow earn our bread. Never anyone thinks of taking us out to an excursion or a trip because somewhere we are a burden to them. It is okay, we are used to this life now..” There came tears to the eyes of our members. There came a thought to PETALS and instantly asked them, how about Tarakeshwar Temple visit. At once they jumped with joyful teary eyes and said nobody ever thought like this for us. We always see Him with our inner eyes, but never got the opportunity to touch and feel Him. Please take us there because perhaps we can feel more than a person with eyes. We can absorb that happiness within ourselves more than a normal person.PETALS immediately took the decision to take approx 60 of our sightless friends to the Shiva Temple, and fulfill this wish of theirs this winters. Some of the senior members of PETALS conducted a survey of the temple on 05/01/19 and made the required arrangements, with the special initiative of Mr.Sayan Ganguly, the main priest of the temple who took care of the entire matter. So for the first time in the history of the temple, on 16/01/19 some vision-less children of Him, went to feel His greatness, holding hands of His other children. The excitement to go was very clear from the saying of a mother that her daughter could not even blink her eyes the previous night. There were special arrangements for the Mahaprasad for them with veg meal accompanied with special gifts for each one of them.
We saw the difference between praying to Him for our own wishes and helping someone else pray for their wish. PETALS always conveys a unique message through its project, this being another one, that there is a world beyond what we see. There is happiness beyond our own. The feel when someone says, thank you for making our lifelong wish come true, makes us contended that there could nothing more to be asked for in this life. Their sparkling eyes said it all!
On the auspicious Eve of Good Friday’19, PETALS reached out to the little ones at “Navadisha”, a school runs for not so privileged children of our society at Jorabagan Traffic Police Premises. This event was organized to inculcate the habit of sharing amongst our little future PETALS. So, they were the one in charge of the entire distribution of all kinds of stationery items like books, pens, pencil, eraser, etc and along with it was our food packets to approx 118children. We were surprised to see how these kids have already a seed of love and affection amongst them, they already possess the urge to share their belongings with their other friends. They are those pure creations of Him who does not have any kind of discriminations in their mind, they do not know whether they come from a slum area or footpath. All they know is that they are also like them, tiny little tots, with that serene happiness on their faces. Neither do they mind sharing their chocolates with them, nor do they object taking a bite from them? Unknowingly, these tiny creations taught us an important lesson, the lesson of oneness with all.PETALS is proud to see our little futures spreading smiles amongst everyone. We hope to come back to these smiling faces soon.
ক্ষুদা তৃষ্ণা মিটে যাক,
এ পুজো আনন্দে ভরে যাক।
Every year during the Durga Puja Petals organize feasts for hundreds of needy and hungry people. They eat whatever they want to and as much as they want on that day. But this year Petals thought of doing something different. Eating a good meal for one only turns them more hungry on the other days when they don’t find any food. So we thought of supplying 100 families in West Bengal with one month’s full ration so that at least during the festive month they don’t have to worry about food. We have surveyed through dirty, muddy, waterlogged, slum areas looking for such families. Birati, Basirhat, Hasnabaad, Bongaon, Agarpara, Naihati, Durganagar, Barasaat, Kalyani and so on. What we will give as ration is as follows:
2. Rice(Govinda bhog)
3. Pulses(sona moong dal)
4. Mustard oil
5. Sunflower oil
11. Dairy whitener
14. Flour (Atta and Maida)
20. Toiletry (soap, shampoo, hair oil, detergent, etc)
21. Spices (cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, coriander, turmeric,)
Quantity as per the number of members
** Special addition for houses with children
1. New dress
2. New Toy
3. Books and writing materials
4. Jewelry items for girls between 10 to 18 years.
This is now a major part of our Puja Project for the past 2 years along many other small scale projects like Blind Theatre promotion, Drawing competition for street children along with our own kids, paying homage to hardworking people from underprivileged sections of the society and many more
Petals have always thought of doing extraordinary and unique projects that people have never thought of before. 2018 Durga Puja saw one such project – PRERNA AWARD
13th of October 2018 we paid homage and awarded 9 people who belong to the underprivileged section of the society with a very weak financial condition or helpless situation but all these hurdles of life have not been able to defeat them. They have beaten all odds of life and have worked hard to support their families. Petals arranged for a grand felicitation of these people by some very respectable people of the society. We have named this award as Prerna Award. Prerna in Hindi means Inspiration. These people and their lives will inspire many. We bow our heads down in respect for these extraordinary people.
People who have received the awards are
1. 75 years old Laxmi Rani Das who delivers roti to houses
2. 70 years old garbage cleaner Sayra Bibi
3. 52 years old Joyeb Manna Rickshaw puller
4. 85 years old grass cutter Bande Oraon.
5. 75 years old vegetable peddler Bimal Kumar Mondal
6. 78-year-old housemaid Bhanumati Dhara
7. 40 years old blind agarbati seller Kakoli Barui
8. 28 years old handicapped (severed legs) agarbati seller Raja Chowdhury
9. 40 years old widow Mita Karmakar who makes dresses for deity idols.
Our Cheif guests who have handed over the awards
1) MR. DEBASHIS PAUL
2) DR. SABUJ KUNDU
3) MR. RADHA KANTA BHAR
4) MRS. MANJUSREE BANERJEE
5) MRS. TANUSREE CHAKRAVARTY
Our parents toil hard to raise us from little infants to adults. From holding our little hands and teaching us
to walk to singing lullabies to put us to sleep parents sacrifice a lot so that their children can be happy. But
what happens when we grow up. They give us their best and we grow up, get good jobs in abroad, get
married and get settled far far away from our parents. Tired and old eyes keep looking at the street from the
window of some old-age home, awaiting the arrival of their children but all in vain.
Petals visited such an Old Age Home in Bansdrani named Navonir (female section).
Every mother had a story to tell and every story pierced like arrows into our hearts. They have been abandoned by their own children. We have seen these mothers yearning for a cup of coffee. “It has been so so long since anyone invited us somewhere to have a good and tasty treat”, they said to us. The first time we went there to celebrate Winter and Poush Parbon festival with them on 13th December 2018. We played quiz and solved riddles with them over coffee and Bengali special sweet ‘Patisapta’. There were prizes and we
saw our mothers competing with one another like little children to win prizes! We had long talks over coffee
and snacks. How can any soul be away from these angels? We wrapped new blankets around them with
love. We promised them that we will come back soon. We were back again in a few months to celebrate
Akshay Tritiya and mother’s day with them. So to keep our promise and mostly because we could
not stay away from our angels, we were back again on 7th May 2019. We found out that they were facing
trouble while arranging for the rice to feed themselves. So our dear Petal Ishita Chakraborty took up the charge of giving them 100kgs of rice. We took them for a dinner date to Kimli Restaurant which is owned by our dear Petal Ratna Bose. There were music and merrymaking on the way and every mother enjoyed themselves fully. We tried our best to give them the feeling of being their children. They hugged us tight and whispered in our ears, “Please tell us you will come back again, tell us you will visit these abandoned mothers again”. There were tears in their as well as our eyes. We will be back
again very soon to our Mothers.
Every human being in the earth has right to live. This could be heaven or this could be hell. Today’s story is based on place where habitants are just prisoners of their own device, a place that everyone ignores. Yes, it’s Shova Bazar Forbidden Area, a brothel where life is lived in darkness and with stigma.
Whole world is now under lockdown for outbreak of Covid-19. With this situation who wants to listen the story of those dark alley? Life has halted. No earning, no food. Very grim situation. PETALS learned about their miserable condition from Mr D Ashish of Shova Bazar Medica and O.C of Battala police station and generously came forward to make a bit difference in their shabby life.
PETALS reached the place with Mr. Jayanta Chakraborty from the police department to distribute rice, pulses, cooking oil, soybean, potatoes, tea, biscuits, flour and soap for 200 families. At the end of distribution, smile and tears in their eyes told so many untold stories. Blessing poured on PETALS from bottom of their heart. Its really an inexplicable moment for PETALS family. PETALS once again proved that – “Sokoler Tore Sokole Amra Protteke Amra Porer Tore” (Human is for humanity).
Encouragement and support received from different parts of the globe to make this mission successful. We are overwhelmed. A Big Thanks to Mr. Suman Pal, the O. C. of Battala PS, Mr. D. Ashis from Shobha Bazaar Medical Bank, Mr. Avijit from Onkar TV chanel, Mr. Nilu, Sujata Chakraborty and Mr. Jayanta Chakraborty for the whole arrangement and being with us for all the time.
A deepest gratitude, respect and salute to all those kind hearted people who donated for this noble cause. Thank you for being with us and supporting us in all our ventures.
Do we remember the lines of the immortal song
ভারত আমার ভারতবর্ষ
স্বদেশ আমার স্বপ্ন গো….??????(India my India homeland is my dream….??????)
It does not seem so.
The same way we have forgotten about a certain section of the society. They pay bills, pay taxes dutifully clear exams for job and never refrain from a minuscule job to keep their kitchen running. Yes these are the middle class.
Even though their medicines have stopped and the evening cup of tea has also stopped yet this particular section in the society is ashamed to stand in a free queue to get a free meal.
Petals friend and highly ranked police official Mr. Jayanta was contacted by Dr. Rajat Maity and Inspector of Police Mr. Arun Kumar Hansa and with their solo effort they ran a welfare centre in Maniktala. Some friends and students also joined.
This welfare clinics is absolutely free of cost.
The doctors there have been giving relentless service for the last month and naturally they are also extremely tired. That’s when they approached Mr Jayanta and only then Petals dived in to help in the already beautifully running project.
Petals is giving the 150 families there 1 month ration. Along with that milk packets for infants. The amount to be paid for all of this is only Rs.5/-
The families have been identified by the doctors serving there.
We are delighted and glad to be able to come to service of mankind.
Venue: 15/22 Biplabi Barin Ghosh Sarani, Near Pratap Sangha Club
Opp- Tufan Sangha Club
Kolkata – 700067
Date – 26.04.2020
Time – 12 noon
Petals is blessed with your good wishes and god’s grace.
ভারত আমার ভারতবর্ষ
স্বদেশ আমার স্বপ্ন গো
তোমাতে আমরা লহিয়া জন্ম
ধন্য হয়েছি ধন্য গো(India my India homeland is my dream. We are blessed and thankful to be born here)
In a time of crisis like this where every human being no matter what our profession may be, are in need of each other’s help. But there are some sections of the society that are considered to be “forbidden sections”. Not many of us reach to them in times of crisis. As a matter of fact we even forget about their existence. One of them being the sex workers and the other are transgenders. PETALS have already worked with the first section at Shovabazaar.
In spite of all the new amendments and rights for transgenders, these individuals face discrimination within their own family units and schools, in employment and housing, within government settings, through hate crimes, and under the justice and legal systems. As a result most of them are homeless and do not even get jobs. Now at this time when there is not an individual on road to beg for alms even, they
are simply destined to die of starvation. With starving voice too weak to speak they called up at Petals office. We were alarmed at the description of their situation. No food, no medicine, no money and most importantly nobody to help them! We are making arrangements to reach out to them as soon as possible. Are you there with us? Will you feed atleast one such hungry soul irrelevant of their profession or gender?
Any celebration gets it’s real value when it brings smile to any one’s face. This year, on Mother’s day PETALS witnessed such incident. 10th May 2020. Whole world is dealing with pandemic monster. Lockdown has imposed everywhere. Life has become more difficult. In such terrible situation, PETALS heard plight of some mothers who came to India for their children’s treatment of dreaded Cancer and stuck amidst lockdown. They were left with no money. They could only see the agony of their children, hungry stomach and faded eyes. All hell broke loose into their life.
PETALS came forward to make a bit difference in their stranded life. PETALS not only supplied required medicines, foods and other necessary stuffs to make their life easier but also made a promise to provide every support as and when required during their stay in India.
The pledge that PETALS made brought a glimpse of smile in those mother’s face and that accomplished the meaning of ‘Mother’s Day’ in true sense.
PETALS takes a bow to those holy soul who made their foot print in the journey and generously contributed for this cause. They are-
Smt. Jyoti Debnath (mother of Ranjit Debnath)
Mrs. Ive Baral & Mr. Tapan Kumar Halder
Mrs. Suparna Debnath & Mr. Ranjit Debnath
Mrs.Payel Roy Majumder & Mr.Debojyoti Roy.
A heartiest gratitude from PETALS.
Have you ever seen a bird weaving it’s nest? If you do, I think you’ll be able to appreciate the enormous efforts they put in for it. Starting from collecting materials, protecting those from all sorts of nuisances and finally crafting a little piece of art out of those waste materials – literally a scene to watch! But here we are talking about people, the people with sweat and blood, No, they are not intellects – they aren’t the speakers; they are the doers, the builders, the backbone of the society yet most neglected! This group of people aren’t protesting in the streets for electricity, for water although they are the hardest hit of the super cyclone and have been suffering the most because of the dual effect of the lockdown and the cyclone. You must be imagining this as a scene of Sundarban – no it’s not, they live just outside the Dakshineswar “Maa Bhabatarini” temple premises. You have not noticed them, right? Naturally, their faces have not appeared in news flash, na!
Just a few months back, a catastrophic, demolish fire had swallowed everything belonged to them, except their lives. Just when they started to bounce back, “Amphan” has hit them hard where it hurts most – one more time making them homeless, starving and stripped off all their belongings.
Deepa, a nine months’ pregnant does not know where will her child see the first ray of light in the earth! Babul, handicapped with both of his hands amputed, helplessly watching his 82 y/o mother starving. Ratul has recently broken his right arm in an accident, is vehemently searching for a plastic – no, not to cover his head rather to save the only earthen oven he has as a possession. He does not care about the harmful aspects of plastic to human health – in fact, a starving stomach does not care about anything in the world except the food. Sumit, an auto rickshaw driver by profession, has lost the only shelter built with all his toil and blood; this lockdown did just not only stop the engine of the auto rickshaw, rather it stopped the only engine ensuring two ends meet for his family. Sumit’s two yr. old boy is incessant in crying as he does not know a better way to express his anguish of starvation – his tears and feeble gibberish rattling us to the core, could not stand long there!
No, we do not dare to call ourselves “Messiah”, Only God can ease their pain and suffering..we from PETALS are only trying to stand beside them firmly in this testing time. The fact always mesmerizes me that how these people with almost everything lost, can so easily be happy after just getting a piece of “Tarpaulin”, yet we, the privileged and far more blessed, curse everything under sun for just missing a thing or two in life. We, with all your support can ensure that, from next day onwards, Sumit’s two year old boy does not have a dinner plate filled with dirty rain water dripping over his head.
PETALS is grateful to “Tiffin Ghar” and all its members (who have been arranging two times meal for 500 starving people and milk for the children everyday since the lockdown started) for the wonderful support. Shri Shansanka Bhavsar, the pioneer of the “Tiffin Ghar” rightly pointed out – “Someone had to take the responsibility and we stood out, we’re determined to ensure that no one is starving at our locality”.
PETALS thanks Pritwiraj Paul, a wonderful person and a member of PETALS family for introducing PETALS to the noble cause here at Dakshineswar. Along with Pritwiraj, a new member Amalendu Banerjee, not only stood beside us rather helped in all possible way (including financially) to get this through together. The “Tiffin Ghar” members were all helping in fixing the Tarpaulin sheets as temporary shelter and distributing the clothes among the homeless. The renovation work for the complete collapsed structures has also been started but there’s lot to do yet. Mother Ganges was looking beautiful and shiny today promising the new hope. While passing through the Bally bridge and conveying the prayers towards “MAA Bhabatarini” – the glorious temple dome was reminding me of “Rani Rashmoni”.
Ranima, you’re utterly needed now, not in TV sets but among these distressed souls, we know, had you been here today, the temple door would not have shut rather provide these poor souls the shelter they need. The temple canteen would have served thousands of people everyday! An old lady was repeatedly blessing us although we had nothing to offer her as we were done with the relief work and were returning, don’t know why but the repeated blessing of the old lady instilled an incredible feeling within me and I could not be surer of “MAA Bhabatrini’s” presence among us all. I started murmuring –
“Bohurupe sammukhe tomar, chhari kotha khunjichho Ishwar, Jibe prem kore jei jon, sei jon sebichhe Ishwar”
~ Where are you looking for God – when he is in front of you in every living being, in many different forms? Those who serve mankind (and any other living being) are serving God.
Written by : Murali Mohon Ghosh
We are all locked in our homes away from my friends friends and close relatives spending days in hope to be able to go out again like before but this situation is worse for children because we adults may understand the understand the understand the situation but they are too too innocent to understand what is going on around us. There are some children although for whom it does not really matter whether it’s a lockdown period period or not because they are always locked down down to their beds beds in hospital. They cannot go out to go out to see the rainbow nor can they go out in the fields to play, neither School nor studies studies. They did not grow up with toys, books and school bags. They are growing up with medicines, needles, pipes and chemotherapy. There days to play in the fields are being spent in unbearable pain on their beds beds in the hospitals. Little children suffering from cancer. But these are no ordinary children because Petals has seen Lord Krishna in them. So this Janmashtami Petals reached out to these Little Krishnas to spread smiles amongst them with Handis of butter, chocolates and various gifts. We went to three places and reached out to almost 300 Little Krishnas.
✴ Institute of Child Health
✴ Saroj Gupta Cancer Hospital
✴ CanKids KidsCan Home
We were accompanied by Dr Suman Poddar who is a wonderful and very helpful person. Almost like God in human disguise. He elaborately discussed with us on how to stay healthy and to cope cope with the present difficult situation that we are all facing due to the arrival of the novel coronavirus. Along with that he also extended his support to the children suffering from cancer and promised to stay by by them in any way he could could.
From the core of our hearts we wish to thank and show our gratitude and also salute all those who helped us to fill the handis with goodies, love and devotion.
Given below is the link to the YouTube video of our channel where in you will see see the most unique celebration of the birth of Lord Krishna.
Only a healthy body is capable of building a healthy society. With these noble thoughts in mind, we PETALS ventured upon yet another social cause.
In our society there exist many kids who have never ever heard of terms like hygiene, immunity, Vit – C etc. Only a distressed feeling of hunger can be seen on their physical being, along with their pale dry neglected skin peeping out of the gaps in their torn and tattered clothes. These kids sometimes appear on the big banners of Chaumatha Street and sometimes on social media pages for people with self-centered publicizing intent.
Should we just stop looking at these pictures? Isn’t there anything else which can be done? Should we not come out of our own comfort zones and lend a helping hand?
Yes, it is rightly said that “If there is a will, there is always a way”. We PETALS resolved to take the responsibility of the health of these kids. PETALS has already taken on the responsibility of educating some such kids. Now we are contributing in our way towards their much neglected health issues. This decent thought would have been just a thought if we were not supported and encouraged by a famous pediatrician, Dr. Sumon Poddar. He took the entire responsibility of full health check-up and disbursing medicines. He has shown his extraordinary medical skills and treated about 92 children with utmost care on 11th Oct 2020 in a Medical Camp set up by PETALS, adjacent to the Dakshineswar near jetty Ghat at “Sri Sri Ramakrishna Maha Mandal”, which has been a place of great significance for Thākur Srī Srī Rāmakr̥iṣhṇa Paramahansa Dēv.
The people in this area wished that we take care of the children’s health issues. Here in the special company of Sri Pallabbabu of Bally Chorus, about 100 deprived children have found a new path today. They have learned not only to brush their teeth before eating but also about nutrition and hygiene through the light of education and love showered upon them.
We do not wish to stop with this distribution of nutritious and delicious food, toothpaste, mask, soap, santiser and food. If we get a chance, we will take full responsibility for the overall healthy development of these children along with regular follow ups.
Praising our efforts, a thankful mother of the 89th child said with tearful eyes, “God has come Himself to treat our kids in the form of such a great doctor.”
At the end of the day, the famous statue of baby Jesus in the lap of Mother Mary (at Sri Sri Ramakrishna Maha Mandal) suddenly shines bright, brightening the faces of all the children. Thakur Sri Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa Dev had worshiped this statue realizing the presence of the Lord Jesus here.
We bow down to the great souls who have extended their heartfelt support in spreading happiness and joy believing in the great saying of the Dalai Lama, “Happiness is the highest form of health.”
20th December 2020 – an extraordinarily special day for the PETALS Family.
We had taken the responsibility to lend our helping hand and support a section of our society which has long remained hidden behind the shine and glitter of the city we live in. This group of people, aged 60-90, was often neglected by family and remained uncared living in some dingy corner of their homes. They too had cherished some unfulfilled dreams in their eyes, weary with age.
Though Year 2020 saw the shattering of many a dream, we PETALS intended to realize the small dreams of these elderly people. In consideration of some such dreams we reached Sobhabazar’s Medical Bank where a group of 51 elders had gathered for an evening session of warmth and togetherness. All they wished for was some time spent with people with some caring words, a soothing touch, and overall an evening spent cheerfully as they saw some of their inner most desires being realized. No big dreams, just a flask for sipping warm tea, a sweater, a shawl, a blanket to keep away the winter chill, an emergency light to brighten up someone in darkness, a knee cap to strengthen the weak legs to face the world, a walking stick to walk some more miles before resting finally. All were eagerly delighted and relished the gifts offered. They poured on us, their blessings of joy – this was visible in the twinkle of their eyes which were overwhelmed with the generosity bestowed on them. Their boundless satisfaction is what touched the core of our hearts.
We could comfort them to some extent so that they gather enough courage to face the present and hopefulness for the future. From this bounty of love, we pledged that we would offer our support to 100 such elders every year. Can’t we afford this??? Kindness is a gift we all can afford to give.
We were all soaked up in the warmth of their love and would remain Grateful to God for providing us with this chance of emotional enrichment through Divine Grace.
Stay Happy, Stay Blessed.
★Health is wealth★
After the demise of Sri Sri Thakur RamKrishna Parmahansa, Swami Vivekananda travelled the lengths of India to evaluate the economic situation. He also set foot on different foreign soils to participate in religious gatherings. He lived the life of a monk – seeking alms, wearing saffron robes, walking barefoot. He understood that one has to love humans to understand humanity. He mixed and mingled with all, without any discrimination of race or religion. His teachings have enlightened many.
Are we able to understand and instill his true teachings into our lives?
12.01.21- the birth anniversary of this great lover of humanity, sees many programmes being organised with bright lighting, expensive garlands and his statues getting a coat of fresh paint.
But have these lights lighted up our inner conscience? Have his teachings penetrated our selfish mindset?
2020 witnessed tough times and much loss. We have not been able to defeat death inspite of development of technology. Those of us, who are still alive have understood the beauty of life. We are all still fighting to live a healthy and peaceful life. But is this fight meant only for a specific group of previledged people, who can afford their family’s well being?
The ones who have seen only the ugly side of life – who find themselves feeding on leftovers, who live in the dingy corners of the society, kids born behind the dustbins or railway station bathrooms, who learn only the alphabet and numbers in the name of education, don’t they deserve to live life to the fullest?
Have we given them the courage and opportunity to go forward?
We have handed over some cakes and biscuits and clicked some snaps. Did we ever have the willingness to see through their sufferings and wounds? Have we ever been sympathetic enough to fix an appointment with a doctor for them? Have we not stopped our kids from mingling with them in fear of infection? We have instilled this discrimination in the minds of the kids since their childhood.
Don’t we have an iota of interest in their treatment? This has to be given some thought. Our responsibility is not over by just giving them some cakes and biscuits. Did they ever receive any empathy from us?
There are still some people in our society who are inspired enough to come forward and contribute generously and to take up the responsibility of health and medical needs of some such kids, not for a day alone, but for every day. Some super souls like Dr. Sumon Poddar , Dr Mandira Roy Mr Ashis Dutta have yet again extended their hands of support for the kids from the under previledged sections of the society. On
12.01.21 PETALS could organise a medical health check-up camp at Shobha bazar Haatkhola Medical Bank with medical support and space provided by the Doctors and Mr D. Ashish . We could accomplish this task by keeping our noble intention in front of us, as inspired by Swami Vivekananda, a great son of India.
Thank you all for your constant well wishes and blessings.
#Dr. Sudha Mallareddy
The devastating COVID-19 pandemic has led to severe global food insecurity, affecting vulnerable households all over our country. Many families are facing extreme poverty, with sole bread earners for their families losing their livelihoods and the number of undernourished people is increasing everyday due to lack of proper food.
As per our commitment, we Petals have been striving throughout the year to reach out to the needy families, lockdown or no lockdown, as the pangs of hunger do not understand the language of the socioeconomic situations. We have been receiving desperate calls from the men and women from the marginalized sections of our society seeking help.
Our major activities during Lockdown:
Monthly Ration distribution:
– As most of the families which sought help reside in far-flung villages and localities, sending rations to them, especially in wake of lockdown restrictions, was a huge challenge. But our team members eagerly responded and delivered rations to their doorsteps as most of them could not venture out and some were differently-abled. The monthly ration included all essential food items, from cereals to pulses, milk powder, biscuits, oil, spices and snacks. More than 300 families could be helped out with this very indispensible requirement.
– Many families who had come to West Bengal for medical treatment, especially kids fighting the dreaded Cancer were left stranded here. These families were supported with monthly ration distribution. They were provided with all essentials and especially proteinaceous diet as recommended for the cancer afflicted kids by the doctor.
– Some old people forced to live all alone, owing to the loss of family members were supported by providing the required medical aid in the form of taking them for regular consultations and check-ups and procuring medicines.
– Many bright, meritorious and aspiring students who were on the brink of discontinuing their studies, owing to scarcity and poor financial conditions were provided all necessary stationary items including arrangements for online classes, school and college fees books, notebooks and even tution fees.
Financial Aid and Assistance:
– Our top priority was to keep a flow of money to some of the deprived families so that they can purchase basic commodities for themselves according to their requirement. We aim to continuously support each one of them till life gets normal for everyone and feel that no family should be left hungry.
Monetary support for restoring homes after yaas cyclone:
Some elderly people were given monetary support for restoring homes damaged during heavy storm due to Yaas.
Safety kits distribution:
Many destitute families living in dingy shanties were provided with essential supplies including medicine and hygiene kits comprising of masks, sanitizers and soap.
Dry ration distribution:
Dry ration food packets, and vital health supplies including mask, sanitizers and soap were distributed to deprived persons living in miserable conditions on streets, footpaths and railway stations.
Meditation classes and Healing of the world
Under the able and exceptional guidance of Reiki Grandmaster Ms. Paushali Bandopadhyay Healing classes were conducted online everyday all through the lockdown. The members of the Petals family have been healing and praying for protection of Mother Earth from Covid and have been touching the lives of many people in need of healing.
We PETALS have a magnanimous responsibility and have been making every effort since the last seven years to touch many lives in whatever possible way and bring smiles to the frowned faces. We understand we still have miles to go and thousands to reach out to. We will make every single effort to extend our humanitarian response to the needy. Feeding hundreds of vulnerable families and providing soap and face-masks only will not help in the long run; our focus would be on helping them find jobs as well.
As a community, let us continue to work together to create a conducive environment for all to live gracefully. We can accomplish this only with your support and the Grace of God.
Seeking your blessings and lending hand for this noble cause in spreading the word called DIVINE LOVE through PETALS- Pure Existence Through All Love Living Souls.
Dr. Sudha Mallareddy
The day was Janmashtami. All households arranged for the Puja, with glimpses of our cute, plump and adorable Gopalas, all adorned with new clothes and ornaments, surrounded by different varieties of delicious delicacies. Even the social media had turned into a temple. All these paraphernalia aroused the “bhakti bhava” in us all. Engrossed in the festivities we have forgot the fact that kids may be the most affected in the impeding covid 3rd wave, which has remained just as yet another news article in the newspaper and the TV screens.
We have the usual excuse of blaming others overlooking our own faults. Only a medical professional has the eagerness and motivation to fight on the forefront, without any conditions. Only a doctor can ascertain the health status of the Gopal – the living one, not the well decorated stone one, which we have darshan in temples.
Today many a living Gopalas are leading their lives in very dire situations due to poverty and illness and lack of awareness adds to their miserable conditions. How many poverty stricken parents can afford to visit a child specialist for their kid’s health check up?
What if one eminent child specialist reaches out to these needy kids? It’s tale-like but true. On the auspicious occasion of Janmashtami on 30th of August 2021, with the assistance of Petals family, Dr. Suman Poddar with all his love and medical support had reached out to 120 such kids. A medical camp was organized with the help of Mr. Choton Dutta at Pandua, Hooghly’ s Panchgara Sishu Bikash Seva Niketan, under the able guidance of Dr. Suman Poddar. The medical support was not meant for a single day alone but for the whole year.
Along with medical supplies, Krishna’s most loved “Noni handi” containing all goodies from butter to cholocates were gifted to the little Krishnas. It was an attempt to bring cheer and providing a healthy foundation for these kids. Dr. Poddar’s sincere dedication has awed us as always and has inspired us to march ahead in our endeavours. This is real “Ishwar Darshan”. Decked-up Krishnas are found in all houses, rarely we come across such human beings who intend to spend the whole day of a holiday in service to many needy kids in the outskirts of Kolkata. We felt the presence of Krishna amongst these kids. A Janmashtami well celebrated.
Dr. Sudha Mallareddy
By the grace of God, Indrajit (Alok) Chowdhury has now begun a new journey of his life. In June 2020, Indrajit’s body was burned with 11000 volts. Treatment continued at a prominent hospital in Kolkata. Left hand was amputated in just three days. He thought he would live with one hand. But there was something else written in his destiny. The right hand was also amputated due to deteriorating physical condition. This was like a curse. The lower part of the waist was also disabled. Deep darkness descended on the family. During the Corona in 2020, Indrajit stood by the side of many people by supplying oxygen cylinders, sometimes medicines, sometimes food to the suffering people. Then suddenly Alok’s own life was shattered.
But no, destiny is not like that. In 2021, we Petals came to know about Indrajit and stood beside him. After hearing all the words, a member of Petals took the responsibility of Indrajit’s child. But the end is not here. Indrajit Chowdhury has to live. That’s why the senior members of Petals started looking for a way out. Through Mrs. Swapna Chowdhury we came to know Mr. Debopam Chakraborty and his wife Mrs. Aditi Chakraborty at Secunderabad. We got to know about Reboot Orthocare where Alok can get Robotic Hands. But the value of this hand is much higher. Combining two hands means a huge amount. But no, Petals did not back down. Because Petals have vowed to move forward.
On 31st January, 2022 Alok started his journey with three of his family members for Secunderabad with the help of PETALS. Debopambabu and Aditi Devi took over all the responsibilities of Alok in Secunderabad. An immense battle lasted for eight days. We are also grateful to SAPREM (NGO) for all their support to bring back Alok Chowdhury to normal life. Two hands were planted successfully. After two years, Alok drank water and ate food with his own hands. He also ate biryani at the hotel. He was overjoyed. The lower part of the waist has started to heal slowly with the help of exercise. Dr. Sahoo of Reboot Orthocare has said that, he would always be there to solve such problems in India.
The end is not here. PETALS has taken full responsibility of physiotherapy of Alok Chowdhury. Our battle will continue till Alok get back to full normalcy.
Petals has taken an oath that, “When everyone turns away, when despair sets in, we will stand by the people who need a little bit of empathy, a little bit of love today.”