Tata-Dhan Academy: PDM


Programme in Development Management

PDM 13 Inauguration: The Blooming of the White Flowers…

It is in the month of August that we celebrate, year after year, the “birth” of a new country called India. For Tata-Dhan Academy too, August is particularly important, as it is in its first week, a new batch takes “birth” every year. On the first of August, 2012, the new batch, PDM 13 was formally inaugurated.

Ms. Vijayabharati started off the proceedings, and compared PDM 13, who showed up dressed all in white, to white flowers, ready to bloom. Shilpa Nalavade from PDM 12 gave a soulful rendering of a Kannada prayer song. Then the “blooming buds” rendered a devotional song, offering their salutations to Lord Ganesh, the remover of all obstacles. It was followed by the lighting of the lamp by the chief guest–Mr. Thulasiraj from Aravind Eyecare Systems–along with Mr. Vasimalai, Executive Director, DHAN Foundation; Ms. Umarani, Director, TDA; and the students.

After introducing themselves, PDM 13 put up a short play, highlighting some of the development issues they encountered during their first exposure to a rural area. Ms. Umarani gave a brief introduction to TDA, followed by Dr. Damodar Jena’s introduction to PDM. This was followed by an array of short speeches, welcoming the batch into the TDA family. Mr. Vinit Prabhakar, Class Representative of PDM 12 was the first to do that, followed by alumni (Ms. Sasikala, Mr. Baalu, and Mr. Akhileshwar) and DHANites (Ms. Padmavati and Mr. Balasubramanian).

The stage was set for the speech from the Chief Guest, Mr. Thulasiraj, a product of IIM-Calcutta and a nephew of the legendary Dr. V of Aravind Eye Hospital fame. He has been an hospital administrator par excellence for several years now. The following are some excerpts from his inspiring speech:

Inequality is a major threat everywhere, and the state has been unsuccessful in bridging the gap. Therefore, there is a lot of space for NGO’s.

It has been a learning experience for us in Aravind, right through. Once a beggar came to one of our eye camps, who was completely blind and sought help. He was diagnosed of cataract, which could be curable by a surgery and it was conveyed to him that this could be done free of cost. Then he asked whether food will be provided free to him, for the week he has had to stay in the hospital. The doctor replied in the negative. The beggar did not show up for the surgery. But the doctor was determined to find him. Once found, he was asked why he had not showed up, to which he gave this reply, ‘I cannot live without food for a week. So…’! From then on, we started providing them food and conveyance, apart from accommodation.

The matter of dignity matters more to the poor than to the rich. A poor man’s need for vision is much higher than a rich man. For the rich man’s environment is predictable, while that of the poor is not!

Do not work for money, let money work for you. If you commit a mistake, the usual tendency is to escape from owning it. But, it is important to have the guts to own a problem.

Mr. Vasimalai, then give a short, stirring speech after joking that, being the thirteenth batch of PDM, there is nothing to worry about! This was followed by an oath-taking ceremony by the new batch, given by Mr. Adinarayanan. Ms. Shanti Maduresan wished the “blooming buds” all the very best. The ceremony, simple yet proud, came to a conclusion after Ms. Vijayabharati gave a vote of thanks, followed by the rendering of the national anthem by all.


Filed under: PDM 13,

4 Responses

  1. Janakiraman.N says:

    Hi. Thanks for interesting proceedings. I missed that event but I could get the feel with this blog.

  2. Milan Kumar Mishra says:

    Best of luck to all students of PDM 13.

  3. Shanti Gupta says:

    I am happy to see the progress of our student’s blog. May the white flowers flourish with their energy in TDA.

  4. Amarendra says:

    Best of luck PDM-13 to enter into innovative and energetic field of development. I hope you will do best in the future.

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