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The Forgotten Spy: The Untold Story of India’s Youngest Covert Agent, Saraswathi Rajamani

Sixty-nine years after India finally got its hard won independence, the courage and contributions of many little known freedom fighters have faded away from public memory. Largely overlooked by writers and historians, these men and women laid the foundation of India’s freedom from the British. One such unacknowledged heroine is a woman few Indians know about, a woman who lived a life of intrigue and danger to help her nation fight colonial rule.

The woman was India’s youngest spy, 16-year-old Saraswathy Rajamani, who smuggled secrets for the Indian National Army’s intelligence wing.

Saraswathi Rajamani was born in Burma, in a family of freedom fighters, in 1927. Rajamani grew up in a liberal household where there was little to no restrictions for the girls. The deeply patriotic girl was barely 10 when she met Mahatma Gandhi, who was visiting their palatial home in Rangoon.

"Shocked to see the child with a gun, Gandhi ji asked Rajamani why she needed a gun."

“To shoot down the Britishers, of course,” she crisply answered, without even looking at him.

“Violence is not the answer, little girl. We are fighting the British through non-violent ways. You should also do that,” Gandhi ji urged.

“We shoot and kill the looters, don’t we? The British are looting India, and I am going to shoot at least one Britisher when I grow up,” said a determined Rajamani.


Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and Captain Lakshmi Sehgal with INA’s all-women brigade
She was just 16 when Bose visited Rangoon at the height of World War II to collect funds and recruit volunteers for INA. Unlike Gandhi ji and the INC, Bose urged everyone to take up arms to liberate India from British rule. Deeply impressed with his fiery speech, Rajamani removed all her expensive gold and diamond jewellery and donated it to the INA.

This magnanimous action did not fail to attract the attention of Bose who, on enquiring, found out that Rajamani was the daughter of one of the wealthiest Indians in Rangoon. The very next day, he arrived at Rajamani’s residence to return all the jewellery.

On meeting Rajamani’s father, Bose said, “Due to her innocence, she gave away all her jewellery. So, I have come to return it.”

While her father, a freedom fighter who had himself made massive donations to Bose’s cause, simply smiled in reply, an indignant Rajamani said, “They are not my father’s, they are mine. I gave all of them to you, and I will not take them back.”

So stubborn was the teenager that Bose could not but admire her determination. He told her, “Lakshmi (money) comes and goes but not Saraswathi. You have the wisdom of Saraswathi. Hence, I name you Saraswathi.” This was how Rajamani became Saraswathi Rajamani from that day onwards.

Disguised as young boys, the girls started working as errand boys at British military camps and officers’ houses. As covert agents behind enemy lines, they were responsible for intercepting government orders and military intelligence from the British officers and handing these over to INA.

Rajamani (as a boy her name was Mani) and her friends masqueraded as boys for almost two years to gather intelligence on British movements. While the unit had been told to avoid getting caught at all costs, one of the girls was once caught by the British. Knowing the consequences of being caught, Rajamani decided that she would try and rescue her fellow spy.The gutsy teenager dressed herself as a dancing girl, drugged the officers at the prison, and rescued her colleague. As the girls were escaping, they were shot at by the Britishers and Rajamani suffered a bullet wound in her right leg. Still bleeding as she ran, Rajamani and her friend climbed up a tree, where they camped for three days while the British carried out their search operation.

The bullet wound left her with a permanent limp, but Rajamani was proud of it. For her, it was a reminder of her exciting days as an INA spy.When INA was disbanded after the British won the war, Saraswathi and the other INA members returned to India on Netaji’s instructions.

Saraswathi Rajamani and her family gave away everything they had and made their way to India. Sadly, the family that gave everything they had to the freedom struggle, had to live a life of penury on their return to India.

Age has hardly withered Rajamani’s spirit and determination to serve her nation. Even at this old age, she visits tailor shops and collects cloth scraps as well as rejected fabrics from them. She uses these materials to make clothes that she then donates to orphanages and old age homes. During the devastating tsunami of 2006, she also donated her meagre monthly pension as a freedom fighter to the relief fund.

Somehow, history tends to forget this women. Many heroines, who walked shoulder to shoulder with the men during trying times, still remain in the shadows, their faces forgotten and their bravery unsung. Saraswathi Rajamani is one such heroine, a woman whose exceptional bravery and intelligence deserves to be recognised and respected by her country.

A Big Salute To The Ten Daredevils Who Overcame Their Impairments And Impacted The Society With Their Personal Intuition And Extraordinary Acts

They blossomed to explore the hidden celebrity in themselves, they influenced our culture by striking revolutions and overall, they actualized us that WE CAN DO IT to live out on our dreams, despite of physical barriers-



10. Sudha Chandran: A lady of sheer determination, Sudha Chandran is counted among one of the most celebrated Bharatnatyam dancers of the Indian subcontinent.
Holder of master degree in Economics, her right leg was amputated in 1981, due to Gangrene but this lady of incredible will-power defeated her impairment and fixed an artificial leg. After slow down of two years, she was back in her profession with the thunderous applause across the world. Apart from her dancing skills, she is also known for her astounding performances in Indian movies and television series.


 

9. Patrick Henry Hughes:

What more can I say about this dynamic and inspiring soul? This multi-instrumental musician was

born blind on March 10, 1988, along with crippled limbs. An inborn patient of bilateral anophthalmia and hip dysplasia, Hughes was backed up by his father, who introduced him to piano at the early age of nine months. Hughes was spotlighted by media, when in 2006, as a student of University of Louisville, he played trumpet in the Louisville Marching Band where his father was pushing him on a wheelchair. After the exposure of his extraordinary talent, he was subsequently invited to perform across the country.


8. Liz Murray:

Chuck out the barriers and go ahead !! Elizabeth Murray was born on September 23, 1980, to drug
addicted parents in a filthy apartment of New York. At the early age of 15, this girl became roofless when her mother died of AIDS and father moved to a homeless shelter. Sometimes on park benches and sometimes on subways, she spent her nights in extremely baneful environments but she never missed the chance to read encyclopedias, recovered from the public trash boxes. Driven by persistence and obsession for hard work, she never surrendered in her way and finally she got listed in the Harvard University. Presently, Liz is an eminent inspirational speaker as well as director of a company, which empower grownups to make something innovative in their lives.
7. Randy Pausch:It’s not about how to achieve your dreams, it’s about how to lead your life, … If you lead your life the
right way, the karma will take care of itself, the dreams will come to you. Professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University, Randy Pausch became the victim of pancreatic cancer in September 2006 and died on July 25, 2008, due to its complications. The thing which made him famous was his one-of-a-kind lecture, Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams, delivered on September 18, 2007, at CMU auditorium. His flashing performance and a clean-cut approach to experience the life was watched by millions of Internet viewers, which became a sensation between international media and later, it was converted in a book, which has been translated in 35 different languages.

6. Sean Swarner:Considered as a medical wonder, Sean Swarner has defeated the two deadly stages of cancer,
Hodgkin’s disease and Askin’s sarcoma, respectively at the ages of 13 and 15. A live validation of victory over all odds, Sean is the first cancer survivor to climb the torturous Mount Everest, despite of life threatening circumstances. However, he still says, Frankly I don’t know why I’m alive, but this daredevil never misses a chance to participate in presentations and expeditions, organized to give hope to the cancer patients.


5. Jessica Cox:
Well known for being the first pilot to fly a plane using only feet, Jessica Cox was born without arms but this deficiency was ineffective to stop this wonder lady from capturing her goals. A graduate in psychology, holder of two black belts in Taekwondo, fond of fast driving, Jessica can also type 25 words/minute on computer and surprisingly she can put contact lenses in eyes, using her feet. She also works as a motivational speaker and encourages disable people to change their stereotyped mentality.



4. Ludwig van Beethoven:
One of the most celebrated phenomenon among romantic and classical composers, Beethoven wasborn in the family of musicians in Germany. During the adolescent, his hearing ability began to deteriorate and later he became completely deaf but this disability didn’t trespassed his caliber of composing. Promoter of the modern symphony orchestra, Beethoven has established himself as a master legend in the musical arena.
3. Helen Keller:
Inspiration of a movie The Miracle Worker, Helen Keller was the first deaf and blind person to earn the degree of Bachelor of Arts. She was also an authoritative member of the Socialist Party of America where she openly criticized the policies of Woodrow Wilson. An illustrious author of 12 books and winner of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Helen devoted her later life to work for the American Foundation for Blind.  

   

2. Nick Vujicic:
Victim of a rare disease Tetra-amelia syndrome, which is characterized by the absence of all four limbs, Nick Vujicic was born on december 4, 1982, in a Serbian family, in Australia. Throughout his childhood, he struggled a lot to overcome the sick mentality of society and finally at the age of 17, he established an NGO Life Without Limbs. After graduating in Accounting and Financial Planning, he started his journey as a motivational speaker of subjects revolving around meaning of life, hope and disability.

1. Stephen Hawking:
Not only does God play dice, but… he sometimes throws them where they cannot be seen. Sure enough, this genius, victim of a motor neuron disease, has changed the world by his revolutionary theories. Completely paralyzed with his legs, arms and voice, Hawking’s wheelchair is attached with a computer system which is operated by an infrared ‘blink switch.’ This renowned cosmologist and Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts is admired among tech pundits for his works on gravitational singularities, black holes along with his best seller A Brief History of Time.




source - topyaps

THE AMAZING STORY OF 21 BRAVE SIKHS, WHO FOUGHT AGAINST 10,000 INVADERS - THE BATTLE OF SARAGARHI (12-SEP-1897)




On the Samana Range of the Hindu Kush mountains in Pakistan, the British Army built a small communications post at Saragarhi, to be housed by an equally small contingent of soldiers. The region had always been a troubled area, and during the last quarter of the 19th century, British India’s hold on the North West Frontier was tenuous. In fact, several expeditions had been sent to maintain control and suppress rebellion in the region in the years immediately preceding the Saragarhi battle.

Equipped with a heliograph, Saragarhi transmitted messages by using flashes of sunlight, sent much like telegraphic communication (read: Morse code). The flashes themselves were made by either pivoting a mirror or interrupting a beam of light.

In the summer of 1897, things were getting tense in the region, and the British had only recently ended an uprising of Pashtun tribesmen in the Malakand region (known later as the Siege of Malakand) in early August. By the end of the month, there was a general uprising of Afghans, and by the beginning of September, Pashtuns were actively attempting to capture British Army positions, including attacks on Fort Gulistan on September 3 and September 9.

To combat the Pashtun offenses, troops were sent from Fort Lockhart to reinforce Fort Gulistan, and after the battle on the 9th, on their return trip, a few soldiers were left to reinforce the small detachment at Saragarhi. All of the 21 soldiers remaining at Saragarhi were members of the 36th Sikh Regiment of the British Army, and the contingent was led by Havildar Ishar Singh.

On September 12, 1897, in an effort to prevent any further communications between Forts Lockhart and Gulistan, 10,000 Pashtuns attacked Saragarhi, beginning at about 9 a.m.

Since Saragarhi was a communications post, almost the entire battle was broadcast in real time by its signal man, Sardar Gurmukh Singh, which is why we today know what exactly happened there when 21 faced off against 10,000.

Shortly after the attack began, Gurmukh Singh signaled for aid to Lieutenant Colonel John Haughton at Fort Lockhart, but he was told that immediate help was unavailable. Undeterred, the Sikh soldiers committed to fighting to the last to prevent the encroaching Pashtuns from reaching the other forts.

The first man injured was Bhagwan Singh, and sometime after, the invaders broke part of the wall of the picket. Offers were made to the Sikhs in exchange for surrender, but they were refused. The Sikhs were trying to buy as much time as possible for the other forts to be reinforced, and were willing to pay for that time with their lives. After two unsuccessful attempts at the gates, the Pashtun forces eventually breached the wall. Fierce hand-to-hand fighting ensued.

Shortly before the end, Ishar Singh ordered his men to retreat even further while he remained behind in defense. He, too, fell, during that charge, as did all of the remaining soldiers except for the heliograph operator, Gurmukh Singh. Gurmukh was the last to die, after being burned to death when the Pashtuns set fire to the post. He is reported to have repeatedly yelled until the end, the Sikh battle cry, “Bole So Nihal, Sat Sri Akal,” meaning “Shout aloud in ecstasy! True is the great Timeless One.”

Although no Sikh survived the battle, their sacrifice sufficiently delayed the Pashtuns such that reinforcements were able to arrive at the Pashtuns’ ultimate target, Fort Gulistan, in time to stop its fall.

In addition to the 21 Sikh dead, reports of Pashtun losses range from between 180 and 600, though it’s difficult to discern the true number accurately. That said, it was probably at least 180 as that is what the Pashtuns themselves later reported as their losses in that battle.


For their sacrifice, each of the Sikh soldiers were awarded the Indian Order of Merit, the highest award for gallantry then given to Indian soldiers by the British.

In addition, Saragarhi Day is celebrated each year on September 12 to commemorate the battle.

Saragarhi, itself, was little more than a small block house and a signaling tower. It was constructed to enable communications between Fort Lockhart and Fort Gulistan, two more significant British posts situated on either side of Saragarhi, albeit several miles apart.

source- todayifoundout.com

Narayanan Krishnan: The Story of A Chef Who Dedicated His Life to Feeding The Homeless

Narayanan Krishnan, an award winning chef at the Taj, a five star hotel in India, was on his way to take up a job in an elite hotel in Switzerland after being shortlisted from thousands of hopefuls.In 2002, Krishnan witnessed an incident which had lead him to give up his dream job and dedicate his life to provide support and food to the homeless and destitute people in his home town of Madurai, India.


"I saw a very old man eating his own human waste for food," Krishnan said. "It really hurt me so much. I was literally shocked for a second. After that, I started feeding that man and decided this is what I should do the rest of my lifetime."

Krishnan was visiting a temple in the south Indian city of Madurai in 2002 when he saw the man under a bridge. Krishnan quit his job within the week and returned home for good, convinced of his new destiny.

"That spark and that inspiration is a driving force still inside me as a flame -- to serve all the mentally ill destitutes and people who cannot take care of themselves," Krishnan said.

Krishnan founded his nonprofit Akshaya Trust in 2003. Now 29, he has served more than 1.2 million meals breakfast, lunch and dinner -- to India's homeless and destitute, mostly elderly people abandoned by their families and often abused.

"Because of the poverty India faces, so many mentally ill people have been ... left uncared [for] on the roadside of the city," he said.

Krishnan's day begins at 4 a.m. He and his team cover nearly 125 miles in a donated van, routinely working in temperatures topping 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

He seeks out the homeless under bridges and in the nooks and crannies between the city's temples. The hot meals he delivers are simple, tasty vegetarian fare he personally prepares, packs and often hand-feeds to nearly 400 clients each day.

Krishnan carries a comb, scissors and razor and is trained in eight haircut styles that, along with a fresh shave, provide extra dignity to those he serves.

"The panic, suffering of the human hunger is the driving force of me and my team members of Akshaya," he said. "I get this energy from the people. The food which I cook ... the enjoyment which they get is the energy. I see the soul. I want to save my people."

The group's operations cost about $327 a day, but sponsored donations only cover 22 days a month. Krishnan subsidizes the shortfall with $88 he receives in monthly rent from a home his grandfather gave him. Krishnan sleeps in Akshaya's modest kitchen with his few co-workers. Since investing his entire savings of $2,500 in 2002, he has taken no salary and subsists with the help of his once un-supportive parents.

"They had a lot of pain because they had spent a lot on my education," he said. "I asked my mother, 'Please come with me, see what I am doing.' After coming back home, my mother said, 'You feed all those people, the rest of the lifetime I am there, I will feed you.' I'm living for Akshaya. My parents are taking care of me."

Cooking for over 450 homeless people a day, providing breakfast, lunch and dinner Krishnan has spent the last 12 years of his life serving more than 1.2 million meals to the people of India.

"Now I am feeling so comfortable and so happy," he says. "I have a passion, I enjoy my work. I want to live with my people."

Guinness Rishi : The Motivating Indian Who is Holding 74 World Records




Original Name - Har Parkash
Born On - July 7, 1942
Aim - Demonstrating that his goal is setting new Guiness records.

WORLD RECORDS ALREADY BROKEN/CREATED

1- Longest He na Tattoo 63 ft. 2574 Links one hr. Created by Ms. Juhi 16-08-09
2- 755 Drinking straws of 5mm. outer dia in mouth (after removing all teeth)
3- Longest distance Domino Pizza Hand delivered 12,431 KM. on 10th sep. 2001 from New Delhi to 4- Ripley’s museum, san Francisco, U.S.A.
5- Non-Stop scooter riding 30,965 km. in 1001 hrs. by 3 riders.
6- Longest will of the world 489 pages 1,04,567 characters
6- Oldest adoptee 61 years 7 Months 22 days
7- Longest lease of the world
8- Shortest will of Bimla Rishi
9- Longest Domain Name
10- Longest URL of 71 Characters
11- Smallest Holding Half by Half Inch
12- Smallest Greeting Card 4 mm long, 2mm wide
13- Smallest Holy Book Quran
14- Tallest Sugar cube Tower
15- Smallest Will engraved on one inch Brass Disc, 499 characters
16- Son’s Wedding smallest invitation card He is holding 74 World Record's presently and still counting.

Source: guinnessworldrecords & guinnessrishiworldrecords.

The Water Car : Invented by Mohammad Raees Markani, India (Madhya Pradesh)

Mohammad Raees Markani from Madhya Pradesh has invented a car that runs on water. This 12th pass took five years to develop the final product. The car runs on acetylene gas, which is formed from a chemical reaction between calcium carbide and water. Raees now has a patent for his water car. According to Mirror, Raees has been modifying an 800 cc engine for the last five years – and now believes he has made the scientific breakthrough. The eco-friendly car uses a mix of water and carbides. Cost per KM is just half only Rs 3/ KM against gasoline Rs 6 / KM.

Raees who has been a mechanic for the last 15 years told Mirror, “The gas is used for several industrial purposes including welding and portable lighting for miners. But in my case, I am using it to propel the car engines . I have made other changes to the engines, which helps the overall performance of the car. So basically, it is just about the water.”

“The market for environmentally friendly cars is getting bigger and automobile companies around the world are looking for eco-friendly ways to reduce pollution. So a car like mine can be a good alternative. It costs close to nothing to operate and it is environment friendly,” added Raees.

The Chinese automobile companies have invited Raees to develop the idea further. All the companies that are interested in Raees’s water car project will have to meet his one condition – any plant to make new cars will be established only in his hometown in Madhya Pradesh. “I want things to change in my hometown. So this is where my work should continue,” Raees stated.

Data Source : social.yourstory.com