‘ROCstars’ for December 2009 – Arun and Banhishikha Majumdar

Posted in Children, Education Sponsorship on December 24, 2009 by The ROC Team

We are almost drawing a close on 2009 and are hopeful of a great 2010. But before we say goodbye to this year, The Reach Out Club would like to introduce to you ‘The ROCstar of the Month’. This is a title for anyone who has gone that extra mile to reach out towards any cause.
For December we have two ROCstars – Arun and Banhishika Majumdar who have come forward to sponsor the education of needy children. Both of them have learnt that it does not take much to reach out to someone in need. The Reach Out Club applauds its first ROCstars.
Arun Raja
Arun Raja is an employee of Infosys and was looking around for opportunities to do some good work in the field of children’s education. When contacted by The Reach Out Club, he readily agreed to sponsor the education of two children of the Franciscan Institute School, Bangalore.
Arun had never heard of ROC or any of its members previously. But by evening, Arun paid the annual fees of two children – Dhanalakshmi (class IX) and Anita (class VIII) and gave them a better tomorrow. Congratulations Arun, do continue the good work!
Banhishikha Majumdar
Banhishikha is a journalist working for Press Association. Before moving into Mangalore Banhishikha was helping a physically challenged child’s education. Her desire to help children brought her to ROC which she wished to sponsor the education of a girl child. ROC put her in touch with a social work agency through which she sponsored the education of Kunitha D’Souza, a first standard student of Government School, Pavoor. Good work Banhishika. You are our ROCstar!
Children sponsored by Arun Raja

Dhanalakshmi studies in class IX at the Fransciscan Institute School, Bangalore. Like most children of her age, she wished to do finish her schooling and get into college. But the financial condition at home did not seem too favourable to even complete her current year of study in spite of being academically good.  
Dhanalakshmi’s father runs a petty shop on a busy roadside while her mother takes care of the house. She has two brothers and one sister. School is still a luxury to her. If things could get any worse, the shop that the family runs will soon be demolished for the road extension project in the area. It would be the end of the road for Dhanalakshmi. But thanks to Arun who paid all her fees for the year, she can now complete her class IX exams. 
Anita hails from a poor family. Her parents are both coolie workers and with their meager income support four children. Each day is a struggle for them. Though poor, the parent’s dream of seeing their daughter complete her schooling so that she may be able to become sufficient and independent in the years to come. But with the soaring prices for basic existence, Anita would soon have to drop out of school in order to support her family. Arun is blessing in disguise for Anita. It is because of sponsors like him, this bright girl is able to study and look towards a good future.
Children sponsored by Banhishikha Majumdar
Kunitha D’Souza, is the second daughter of Mr Francis and Mrs Tina. They stay in their maternal grandmothers house on a tiny island called Pavoor Uliya, near Adyar in Mangalore. Her father Francis works as a cook. In the last monsoons their small house collapsed and put them into great misery. Kunitha’s mother suffers from sever back pain. Little Kunitha is a smart and active kid. She loves dancing and is good in academics too. The helping hand from Banhishikha has helped ease the woes of the family.

About sponsoring education for  children
We all assume that sponsoring a child’s education costs a huge amount. The truth is that, it can be begin from very small amounts of Rs 200 a month. In case if you wish to know more about how you can help a  needy child, please contact the ROC team.
Melisha Noronha         9886771435
Vinod Lobo                9886724631


Thank you for helping Yogish

Posted in Disability, Medical Aid, Rehabilitation on November 22, 2009 by The ROC Team

Thank you for all your help and support, we have been able to collect the required amount of Rs 30000 towards the wheelchair expenses shortly. Yogish will soon be visiting specialists to begin treatment.

Watch out for this space for more updates!

For the last SIX years Yogish Shetty has not placed his foot on the ground. He spends 24 hours a day confined to his bed in a small room. The 30-year-old cannot do anything without help. He can neither eat food by himself nor attend the call of nature. What is disheartening is that the chances of him regaining his health are getting bleak with each passing day.

An enthusiastic lad, Yogish was working in a restaurant in Mumbai. One fateful day at the beach shattered all his dreams. While swimming he suffered a stroke in which his spinal cord (C5, C6) was fractured. Yogish has no strength from his waist and below. His hands too are affected and he can barely brush his teeth. The C5 and C6 fracture is known to paralize a person neck down.

At Majal Thota in Ranipura about 16kms from Mangalore city is a small-two room house of Mallikarjuna, a security guard and Rajani, a beedi roller. Yogish their oldest son lives in this house and is attended round the clock by his mother. 

It has been months since Yogish has seen the world outside his room. Mallikarjuna’s meagre salary makes it a hand-to-mouth existence for this family.

An enthusiastic young man, Yogish had dreams to work hard and earn good money for himself and his parents. His state today does not permit him even to move an inch. Doctors have suggested that he will be permanently bedridden and this has been traumatic for him.

Amidst this turbulence there is a sparkle in Yogish’s eye. He has fought depression and is still hopeful of a better tomorrow.

You can make it possible by reaching out to Yogish.

Expert ortho-physicians have recommended a customized wheel chair for Yogish. He will have to make a visit to Mobility India, Bangalore, one of the nation’s top centres for providing mobility equipment for disabled. The subsidized cost amounts to Rs 30,000 and includes all his expenses for the wheelchair, his travel to Bangalore and his stay in the city.

 A wheel chair is what he needs to move out of his bed and look at life with new vigour. Your contribution, no matter how small it is, will help transform his life.

 The Reach Out Club calls you to contribute and give Yogish a better tomorrow.

Contributions can be made in cash or through cheques drawn in favour of ‘Family Service Agency, Roshni Nilaya, Mangalore’.

For more details on how you can help, please feel free to get in touch with Melisha on 9886771435 or Vinod on 9886724631 (after 9pm) or write in to us at therocteam@gmail.com

The list of those who have contributed so far

Vikas Pandey 1000
Dielle D’Souza 1000
A well wisher (p) 1000
Banhishikha Majumdar 1000
Bibhash Dash 1000
Glady’s Noronha 500
Shruti N 1000
Aditi Mallya 560
A well wisher (g) 2,500
Mohan Kumar 500
Lekshmi Kumar 1,000
A well wisher (s) 1,000
A wel wisher (n) 1,600
Soumya Acharya 2,500
Dolfred D’Souza 1,000
Royster D’Souza 5,000
A wel wisher (r) 1,000
Sangeetha Pai 1,000
A wel wisher (l) 2,200
A wel wisher (m) 2,200
Patrick D’Souza 500
Sushma K Nair 100
Murali Raj Uchil 150
Yogesh Bolar 500
Shiva Prakash Acharya 500
Robert Netto 200
Loyed Fernandes 200
Dhiraj Shetty 500
Naveen VP 500
Sunil D’Mello 100
TOTAL 31810

An Amazing Bonding at CUPA

Posted in Animal Care, CUPA, Dogs on November 11, 2009 by The ROC Team

What happens when people unknown meet for a cause! They collectively enjoy the positive vibes and cherish them for a long time to come. That’s exactly what happened on November 7, 2009.

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An email invitation from the Reach Out Club (ROC) to volunteer at CUPA brought 11 new people together. What do you think they did? They spent a whole day with animal. While few were ardent animal lovers, the others had their first brush with the quadrupeds.

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The rain played spoilt sport but that did not succeed in dampening their spirits. The most exciting dog baths had to be put off for another day but nonetheless the CUPA staff ensured the volunteers had a good time. Everyone got their chance to bond with the dogs as they took them for walks. Brushing them clean was also a fun activity that substituted the bath schedule.


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The greatest achievement for most volunteers was to be exposed to the needs of animals. Sensitivity towards animals especially those that are uncared for was the objective of the entire day’s activity.

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After getting comfortable petting the animals, most volunteers spontaneously began speaking the language of love. Hugging the dogs who were hankering for some attention, caressing them, carrying them and playing with them broke the myth that animals and humans are different. By the end of the day, each volunteer had their favourite dog.

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The animal kingdom has lots to offer us apart from unconditional love and acceptance. The dogs stole limelight while the cats, horse and cows got a fair share of love and caring.

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A brief talk by Mr. Lingaraj and Ms. Sudha put the concept of animal sensitivity into perspectives. Their heartwarming stories about the special cases at CUPA sure moved everyone gathered.

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Over all it was a day for animals and each of us enjoyed every bit of it.

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The ROC team at CUPA

The ROC stars who were part of the CUPA event: Divya C, Pavithra Balaka, Neeraj S Thakar, Urmila Subbaiah, Prajvin Jayaprakash, Gaurav Dalvi, Rahul Mehra, Veeru, Tinny Jose, Vinod Lobo and Melisha Noronha

Giving Chintoo a Home

Posted in Animal Care, CUPA, Melisha Noronha, Rehabilitation on November 11, 2009 by The ROC Team

Nelson’s family had just lost their pet. And as a pet owner, the loss is most often very hard to bear. That’s when Nelson decided he wanted another dog. While they were exploring different options of getting a pet, the Reach Out Club suggested the idea of pet adoption. In no time the family agreed to visit the CUPA shelter at Hebbal to bring home a pup.


October 31, 2009. Chintoo got a new home and loving family. Nelson and his fiancée Rose made their first visit to CUPA where the volunteers took them around and showed them the pets for adoption. Puppies and dogs waiting to be taken home. After spending about an hour playing with the puppies, the couple decided on their new pet- a naughty little pup over two months of age. Needless to say, the pup too loved its new family.


With a brief round of counseling by the CUPA staff and basic documentation, Chintoo was on his way home. Today he enjoys the company of a very loving family, a nice bed, Nelson’s other dog and his favourite food – chicken and rice. Chintoo does not have to fight for his toys anymore. He has his own. He does not bark for attention, his life is complete with lots of love from his new family. He does not have to fear tomorrow because he knows there is someone who cares for him. Chintoo is a happy dog because he knows everybody loves him.

There are many such Chintoos waiting for a Nelson or a Rose to come their way. Just like us, they too need love and care.

This was the Reach Out Club’s first adoption marking a great beginning. If you wish to adopt a pet and show them you care, do write into us at therocteam@gmail.com

We’d be happy to help.

Star Pair Rescue Octuplets

Posted in Animal Care, Dogs on October 29, 2009 by The ROC Team

To rise up to a need and act instantly saving lives is what makes a star. We have two stars with us Shalmi Monterio and Alston Lobo whose small gesture made a notable change.

 When a mother died leaving behind eight adorable pups none were happy. In fact all were boiling with anger to nail down the security guard who brought the fatal end to the female dog. Not many knew of the death until the second day. By now the little ones were starving and were reduced to just a thin layer of skin around their bones.


Shalmi is helped by Reena to feed the pups

 Our office campus was green but was not accommodating enough for dogs. However this litter found itself a cozy space in one corner. As the heat of the morning sun hit the four-day-olds the battle for survival reached its peak. That’s where our stars emerged. Shalmi and Alston took the leap in the rescue.


On knowing the state of the pups they rushed to the neighbouring medical store and bought a feeding bottle. I rushed to the cafeteria and got some diluted milk while Alston rang Animal Care Trust for assistance. Handling each pup with care Shalmi fed them with the milk through the feeding bottle.


Alston and Shalmi

The hungry pups drank to their hearts content. Thoroughly malnourished the pups who had no strength received a new lease of life and slowing began to show some activity. By noon they were more active and a second round of feeding got them to move around. A few of them even opened their eyes.


This whole episode sensitized many who witnessed it. Several inquired about the puppies and stepped forward to help protect them within the campus. It was evening and we bade goodbye to the octuplets as they were taken to Animal Care Trust for further caring. A small act of kindness saved eight lives. Kudos to Shalmi and Alston.

Little Diwali of Smiles

Posted in Celebration, Children, Rehabilitation on October 29, 2009 by The ROC Team


Diwali this year was indeed a festival of light for us as we mingled with the children of Twin House. It was like seeing an ocean of smiles. It was a memorable moment for us. What made it special was that it was our first big ROC event as a group and most importantly the kids at Twin House have always been very special to us.



They are a bunch of enthusiastic children who have been rescued children from difficult situations. Most of them are victims of circumstances. Diwali celebration benefited us mutually – we gave love and received love in double measure.

A few friends got together to bring festivities in the lives of 28 little children. Group games like passing the hat and ball kept the kids brimming with energy while some other fun games ensured that they laughed their hearts out. Music and dance brought life into each one gathered. We also shared our favorite snacks with the children – Coconut muffins and orange juice.



Joy saw no bounds when each child was given a gift. The winners of the competitions also got special prizes. This was followed by an evening of fireworks. Sparkles, flower pots, bombs, rockets, you name it and we had it. The excitement of the children could not be contained. Each child wanted to have her share of crackers. While some were a little frightened of fireworks, others were brave enough. Screams of “yeah yeah” filled the air each time we lit a flower pot. Listening to them shout in joy made the entire event worth every bit of it.



The children of Twin House had a gala time. So did we. Each volunteer was like a kid among kids. The success of this project was getting together people with an attitude to reach out to others. Planning, funding/contributions is what followed. This definitely would not have been possible had it not been for your support and encouragement. Contributions through cash and kind ensured that we were able to reach out to these children in the best way possible. Each volunteer contributed Rs 200 to meet the basic expenditure of the event. A few of them also brought with them eatables and other utility items as well.



ROC stars at the event: Preethika Suvarna, Reena Pinto (along with 6 members from her family), Namitha Varma, Yashpal Suvarna, Aneesha Kodial, Shiv Acharya, Bibhash Dash, Vinod Lobo and Melisha Noronha

ROC stars who contributed but could not attend the event: Jackson, Rukku, Shruti N, Latha Shenoy, Lekshmi Kumar and Toms Varghese

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With Them….Their Own

Posted in Animal Care, CUPA, Dogs on October 29, 2009 by The ROC Team

We did not know Tara. We had never met Rani. But that day we were the most welcomed members into their current home – CUPA. The few hours spent with them changed a great portion of ourselves making us more sensitive and learning to love in the measure we receive love.

Born as humans, we sure are a lucky lot. Most of us have everything served to us on a platter. When we fall sick, we have people who can take us to a doctor. When you are down in the dumps, you have a family who knows how to lift your spirits. When you are bored, a friend is just a phone call away.


The visit to CUPA at Hebbal, Bangalore was a long-planned activity. Each time we planned a visit there would be something to stop us. And this time, we put aside all other priorities and made our way to the animal shelter. And boy! We are glad we did it! It just opened our eyes to a whole new world. A world where it does not matter who you are, what title you hold, how you are dressed or how much money you have. You just enter a world of unconditional love and acceptance. Here, you have to experience it to believe it.

Animals cross all barriers and love you with all that they have. As we stepped in, our eyes first met the sight of numerous dogs of different shapes and sizes and colours, one more adorable that the other. Each time we looked at a new dog, all we said was “Awwww….how cuuuutttteeee!” We wonder if the dogs murmured about our limited vocabulary. Some dogs came running to us, as if they recognized us in one glance while some took a little longer. But in less than ten minutes we were all friends.


At CUPA, the language is love but is expressed in sounds like woof woof, meow meow or mooo. The first friend we made was Joy, a three-legged Labrador. He just came wagging to us and we could not stop ourselves from cuddling him. Needless to say he was “sssoooooo cccuuutttteeee” in his off-white soft coat. He sure was a pampered dog back home. The fact that he had lost a leg in an accident was never evident. He jumped. He frisked around and played like any other dog did. Then there was Rani, Tara, Rubberband, Dipstick, Scooby and so many others, all of whom we wanted to take home if we could.

CUPA is home to all dogs, cats, rabbits, calves, guinea pigs, all of who have been injured, abandoned, lost or sick. It moves your heart to see them welcome each one despite the pain they are in. While some of them were raised on the streets of Bangalore, some of them come from comfortable homes that cared less to take care of them. The day we visited we met about thirty dogs, thirty cats, a few calves, rabbits, birds, a donkey, an injured little monkey and a few guinea pigs.

The premise is well kept and attends to the medical needs and most importantly the emotional needs of each animal. For a dog that has been raised in a home, abandonment is traumatic. This coupled with an injury is very painful. While medical aid heals the physical wounds, the love given by all the volunteers nurses them twice as fast.


A dedicated team of full time and part time volunteers share their time with CUPA. Animals are referred here from various sources and CUPA has its doors open for all. Once here, the animal is treated for any medical problems it might be facing. And once it is back to health, it is ready for adoption. Every animal here deserves a loving home and family. Each animal has a story – a heartbreaking one most often. Victims of human atrocity or being fore lone and orphaned, these quadrupeds are now in caring hands. They just know to love. They need love and more of it and this was emanating from every attempt the dogs would resort to, to win a pat, a gentle stroke, a cuddle or a playful act.

We looked around to find a small enclosure which was colourful. There were toys hung with strings from ceiling and all around them were happily playing pups. What sight to behold! Their tiny tails moved vigorously seeing us and they jumped all over as if to say “come carry me, take me home”. We could not hold ourselves back and carried one each. Being licked all over the face and on hands was just their way of saying “I like you.” No words but only whole-hearted love. These were the most well-behaved, welcoming, loving bunch of animals we have ever been with.


The centre had more to offer and what we could see was that every volunteer knew every animal and interacted with them like family. The approach towards animals was humane, far from how we would treat animals. Here there was respect and dignity. We agreed that it is this treatment that makes them faithful, obedient and loving. Come evening and it was food time. A good measure of food was offered. The food they eat was not leftovers here but well-cooked meat and rice given by donors and foster parents.

The doctors and volunteers make their rounds to keep a tab on their eating habits. Regular check-ups, vaccination, bath, exercise and walks make the week for these animals. These two hours at CUPA were the best time we had with animals. We wished that all these lovely animals find suitable homes where there would be lots more of love and caring. CUPA is where everyone should visit and feel the difference. We learnt to relate to animals and share their love. Its your turn next.

The ROCstars who went to CUPA: Vinod, Melisha

*All pictures courtesy the CUPA website as photography at the shelter is prohibited.