Tag Archives: Fund raising

Thoughts on a Cottonians Assistance Scheme / Update on OC Ramesh David Sihna’s situation

Old Cottonian Ramesh David Sihna recently suffered a stroke at his home in Noida, needed immediate assistance which came forth swiftly and without delay via a network of OCs who have always been at the forefront in situations like this. Quick thinking, immediate collection and disbursement of funds, a personal touch, caring for the brotherhood are the hallmark of these dedicated OCs. 

“This is the fourth time I have worked on something like this. The first was DeMellow…

However we need to institutionalize this effort.”
Vijay [Khurana]

The exchange of SOME emails between this network of OCs, who reacted immediately and reached into their pockets for the cause, are reproduced below. 

Vijay has spear-headed several such assistance programs at a moments notice and succeeded each time, and several OCs who are in discussion to solidify / formalize / institutionalize such a scheme. Any suggestions and willingness to be a part of a support group are welcomed. The intent is to eventually formalize a Cottonians Contributory Assistance Scheme.    

Here are some relevant emails reproduced, verbatim [in reverse chronological order]:
[OCA Webmaster/Editor]


On Sat, 11 Jul 2020 at 13:36, Vijay Khurana wrote:

Dear All,

I received a phone call this morning from Kanwar (Kuttu) Vijay Singh informing me that Ramesh Sinha suffered a stroke. Incidentally Kuttu Singh and Ramesh’s respective wives are sisters.

Ramesh is lying at home. It is difficult to shift him to a hospital unless he is tested for the coronavirus but more importantly the family has no funds. They have not paid the rent for the last few months in the Sector 108, Noida apartment that they currently  occupy. Distress all over.

Ramesh initially refused to accept my call and when he did the conversation was brief. I would prefer not to dwell on other aspects but the fundamental fact that the man is hugely unwell. He is also asthmatic. He needs all the help we can deliver – and more. I would not venture to make any judgements on any other aspect except that we have a friend who is now in dire straits.

This is not a request to reconstruct his life but to restore his health. It is, to be plain, a humanitarian effort that I make an appeal for someone we have known for all our lives.

May I please request you all to contribute in any measure that you can. The funds collected will be handled by us directly in coordination with the OCA and accounts will be rendered.

Right now all we want to do is get Ramesh back on his feet. Please respond immediately so that we can then appropriate measures.

I look forward to your response indicating what you can contribute while I work out where the funds should be deposited and ensure their proper utilisation. It would be easiest to deposit it into his wife’s account but I think we need to monitor this more closely and ensure  that the monies are employed for the purpose intended. I trust you concur.

Meanwhile, I look forward to hearing from you.

My thanks

Kind regards & Stay Safe

Sincerely

Vijay


On Sat, 11 Jul 2020 at 16:15, Vijay Khurana wrote:

Dear All,

You guys are terrific!! Thank you.

Neel Mehra who is coordinating this effort with me has witnessed a spontaneous response to the people he has approached. Several of you have called and would like to know where the funds should be sent.

Ramesh Sinha is currently stable after a doctor visited him this morning. We are not aware of the gravity of the stroke, whether it is major or minor, and until then no funds need be sent but thank you for responding with such alacrity. Truly appreciated.

The way this will work is that we will pay Ramesh’s medical bills directly when the need arises. The funds will be handled by two of three of us and I will be happy to render the accounts when that happens.

So, for the moment, please keep your funds on hold. I will be glad to request for them when the need arises.

Finally, you guys are truly amazing and I say “thank you”, “thank you” and “thank you” !!!

My thanks, yet again.

Warm regards

Sincerely,

Vijay


On Mon, 20 Jul 2020 at 11:14 AM, Vijay Khurana wrote:

Dear All,

This is further to my mail below.

First, Ramesh Sinha was examined by Dr Pandey at Prayag Hospital in Noida. The initial diagnosis indicates issues of blood pressure, blood sugar, rheumatism and asthma. A brain scan also indicates “blemishes”. This was expected since he continues to slur a bit. No hospitalisation is required at present and the patient is, in medical parlance, ambulatory. I am also unable to establish direct contact with Ramesh’s wife. Her phone is shut and their son has not responded. Whatever information I have obtained is from Kr Vijay Singh.

Meanwhile, I have a message from Partap Grewal informing me that he has remitted Can$ 1,000 for “Ramesh or any other OC” I am not sure whether we need these funds but I am not able to access them since the payment link is not hooked to any of the Indian Banks. Besides, no one needs these funds more than Partap himself. He is being most magnanimous.

Apart from Partap I have had direct interaction or third party inputs informing me that the following have indicated a desire to come forward with assistance:

RLV Nath
Ramesh Suthoo
Mohit Goyal
C M Kohli
Brandy Gill
Paraminder Singh
K S Dugal
Vinod Pawa
Arun Jolly
Bittu Sahgal
Inderjit Singh Badal
Govinder Singh
Davinder Singh Jaaj
Anupam Sachdev

& apologies if I have missed out any name!!

The following have sent funds directly to Ramesh’s account

Rocky Chopra (Curzon, 1963)
Pranav Roach (Curzon,1980 )
Ashwani Nanda ( Ibbetson,1974 )
Narendra Nanda Yadav (Rivaz,1982)
Anil Puri (Ibbetson, 1975)
Sanjive Sood, (Lefroy, 1978)

It is obvious that OC’s are open handed, generous and compassionate. I am also aware that the list above is not exhaustive and many more will come forward to contribute.

It would appear that there is currently not a situation that requires any further intervention since some funds have been placed at the disposal of the family. Should the situation change in any way and assistance is necessary, I trust, I can take the liberty and approach our friends again.

My deepest thanks for such a lovely response. Most heart warming and most affectionate. My thanks, again.

Warm regards

Sincerely

Vijay

PS. I have just spoken to Ramesh’s wife, Deepali, who confirms that he is stable and the diagnosis indicated is correct.

Ramesh Sinha suffered possibly a mild stroke. His left arm movement was impaired and he was slurring his words. An army doctor and family friend attended to him and she has stabilised him.

We have had some funds deposited into his account, Rs 35,000 and that should cover his immediate needs. An amazing number of guys have come forward to contribute but we are putting those funds on hold in the event he needs hospitalisation. We will, when that is necessary, disburse those monies directly to the medical facilitator.

I have also responded to some of you individually.

Ramesh Sinha is being taken to a neurologist this morning. Will keep you informed as I receive more inputs.

Cheers

Vijay


On 12 Jul 2020, at 1:40 pm, Vijay Khurana wrote:

Dear All,

Several of you have come forward offering assistance with Ramesh’s medical treatment.

The OCA Delhi Chapter has responded with approximately Rs 35,000 having been deposited directly into Ramesh’s account. This amount is currently sufficient to meet any emergency expenses.

We are happy to learn that Ramesh’s condition is currently stable and he seems to be doing well. In the event that he needs to be hospitalised or any other emergency occurs, I will come back to seek your assistance. We intend to pay all such expenses, when they arise, directly to the medical institution for his treatment. Account details will be indicated at that time. Naturally an account of expenses incurred will be shared with every one and certainly with the donors.

So for the moment, just hold on and I will come back.

Thank you, again, for your quick and spontaneous responses. I am always overwhelmed by the caring attitude of this lovely fraternity. It adds meaning to being an OC and that is what this is all about.

It is our response to situations like these that will add value to the OCA (India) as well. We certainly need to institutionalise this effort and it will be one good reason why any one should want to be a part of the OCA!! It cannot be a limited effort based on any parameter whether the year you left School or to the House you belonged to. It has to be a fraternal effort. It has to be inclusive. I trust you concur.

My warm regards

Sincerely

Vijay


AND HERE ARE SOME OF THE MESSAGES IN RESPONSE DURING THE COURSE OF THE EMAIL EXCHANGES:


On Sun, 12 Jul 2020 at 22:42, Ramesh Suthoo wrote:

Vijay , any further developments on the payment front? Grateful for your feedback,

Cheers

Ramesh Suthoo


Please let me know when and where the funds are required .
Moni Kohli


Vijay you do us all proud.

Both Madhu and I have been through a tumble drier for the past two months. She had a severe heart attack, but is now well recovered. But in the time of COVID19 believe me we went through hell and I can only begin to imagine what Ramesh is going through now.
Bittu [Sahgal]

On 12-Jul-2020, at 8:36 PM, Badal Singh wrote:

Hiya Vijay

Thanks for Informing us  .

Pls let us all know , As and when the need arises …..

I’m sure everyone will be more than willing to chip in with whatever they can spare …..

My regards to everyone .

Lots of Love , Good wishes & the Best of luck …..

Sincerely .

The 3rd Div gang 🤣



On Sat, Jul 11, 2020 at 17:46, Berizis Eng wrote:
I last met Ramesh long ago along with late  GIrish  Ghai when he was a reporter  with Free Press  Journal and got pissed left him to catch a local train unfortunately past midnight and poor guy had to pass the  night on a bench  kindly let me know where to donate towards his recovery  if u talk to him say hi

Hi Vijay,

I have already transferred 5k to Ramesh’s bank account details of which were sent by Kuttu.
You could access it if you can.
Warm regards,
Rocky


Sponsor an Indian Tiger in memory of Arthur Jones who died on June 11th 2020 of old age

Weʼre raising £250 to Sponsor an Indian Tiger at Shepreth Wildlife Park for a year, in memory of Arthur Jones who died on June 11th 2020 of old age.

We are hoping to raise enough money to Adopt an Indian tiger at Shepreth Wildlife Park, In memory of Arthur Jones, a Dad, Grandad, Great Grandad, Brother, Uncle and friend to many. Who died of Old Age on 11th June 2020

Dad was born in India in 1933 and always had a passion for wildlife, he loved watching wildlife programmes and even stayed in a tiger park on one of his visits back to India with his wife, my Mum Shirley.

Due to Zoos lack of income in the present climate, they may struggle to maintain the livelihood of these magnificent animals, we thought this would be an apt way to remember Dad


Arthur’s final goodbye was held at the Fulborne Cemetary.
Julie had arranged and accepted 30th June – Shirley & Arthur’s wedding anniversary
Arthur was laid side by Shirley & late eldest daughter Lisa’s family plot.  Bless em.
End of an era.
Peter Stringer

Request for a contribution from OC’s to help COVID 19 Virus victims.

Dear OC,

Greetings from OCA-India.Trust you and your family are doing well during this most trying time on account of the Covid 19 virus.

I would like to use this opportunity to share with you that at the recently held meeting of the Board of Governors of Bishop Cotton School on 11/05/2020,it was decided that the school along with OCA-India would endeavor to provide support and succor to the lesser fortunate who had been adversely impacted by the Covid 19 virus.Representing the OCA-India in my capacity as its President along with other eminent Old Cottonian’s on the Board of Governors,namely Mr.D C Anand the President Emeritus of OCA-India and Mr. Anil Mehra, Chairman of the Finance Committee of the Board were in agreement to this proposal.

This as a background the school has committed an amount of INR 500000/-(Five lacs) as support for this project with the hope that Old Cottonian’s would match it with an equal amount.The contribution from Old Cottonian’s would be collected in the account of Bishop Cotton School,the details of which are as follows:

Bishop Cotton School

HDFC Bank Ltd.-Sec/5,New Shimla-171009

Current A/c No:50200039445899

IFSC-HDFC0002447

You are also requested to kindly share your Contact details,Batch and House along with the amount deposited with the Bursar of BCS Mr.Rajiv Mehrotra at bursar@bishopcotton.com.

Whilst the deployment of funds would be monitored directly by the Chairman of the Board of Governors,the President of OCA-India would be kept informed of the same. The contribution would be entitled to tax benefit for which an appropriate certificate will be provided under 80 G by Bishop Cotton School. We already have commitments of over one lakh. Upon exhausting the funds a complete statement of account would be circulated to all Old Cottonian’s as well as posted on the OCA-India website.

May I request you to kindly come forward and lend a shoulder to this noble project by contributing generously so that we may be able to provide assistance to the affected in their time of hardship and distress.

Wishing you all safe and healthy days ahead.

Warm Regards,

Davinder Singh Jaaj

President

OCA-India

OCA Nepal Merchandise

Dear OCs
As you may know, OCA Nepal was officially established few months ago. We are now trying to grow by collecting funds for our association as well as doing something for the school.

imageTherefore, we created a souvenir, which will be for sale during the school fete    [UPDATE: Venue for showcasing, sales and ordering of Khukuri, an OCA Nepal merchandise, has been moved to: Marina Hotel, OCA Dinner, 8:00 p.m., 30 September 2016. If the Khukuris run out, please place your orders through Mr. Ajay Thiara, Secretary, OCA.] this OC Week 2016, that signifies Cottonian-ness as well as Nepali-ness. Please do have a look and spread the word.

It’s a 10” blade, standard British Army size, usable and displayable KHUKURI with BCS and OCA emblems. It comes with a leather sheath and a wooden stand.

Sent only 15 pcs for now as a trial run. It will be available, but may take time, AFTER OC Week 2016 as well.

Priced at INR. 10,000/- only, out of which, INR. 3,000/- will be go to school and the remaining will go to the merchandise’s cost and OCA Nepal fund.

image

 

And thanks to Saurabh Ranamagar, Abhinav Adhikari and Himmat Lal Shrestha, of UVI Batch of 2005, for carrying the merchandise to school.

All the best for OC Week!

Thank you.

Sincerely,
Ayush Rajbhandari

An appeal to help J&K

Dear Old Cottonians
We make a fervent appeal to all OCs around the world to donate generously to those ravaged by the floods in J&K.  Mr Junaid Azmi Mattu can give give specifics as to how donations may be channeled either by the OCA or by individual members.
Regards
BM Singh [President, OCA India]

Dear Fellow Old Cottonians,

I am staring at the haunting screen of my computer wondering where to start. I am writing to all of you spread across the world to describe a natural calamity that has devastated Jammu & Kashmir and displaced more than a million people, rendering most homeless as cruel, cold winters stare us in the face. The floods that inundated most of Srinagar City and washed away hundreds of villages throughout the length and breadth of the State have left an indelible mark on my heart and mind. Having survived an almost certain death during a rescue operation, I still come home guilty and anguished every night thinking of those who couldn’t make it.

There are heart-rending stories – of a bride’s body in her bridal dress that was fished out days after the floods, of an entire wedding party of fifty disappearing into the waters including the just-weds, tales of mothers jumping into the furious rage of the floods after infants were pulled out of their laps by the gushing fury and swallowed by the waters forever. I have seen people die and disappear up close during the darkest hours of the floods when there were no rescue boats to pull people out. I took a rescue boat into the worst hit area in Srinagar (Jawahar Nagar) the first morning after the city got drowned up to two floors of water and saw people clinging on to straws and stuck on steep rooftops in some of the most affluent neighborhoods of the city – the fabled ‘Paradise on Earth’ – now a big vast pile of crumbled and crumbling houses. Their cries for help, their wailing and their screams will remain with me till I am alive.

Unofficial estimates of the death-toll keep getting revised every day as more and more bodies surface from the receding waters. In my estimation around 1,000 to 1,200 people must have lost their lives in the State. Around one million (10 lakh) people are displaced and homeless with their clothes, food, ration, belongings all swept away. The damage to both public and private infrastructure is incomprehensible and could be upto 100,000 crores.

Entire localities have been devastated. Our hospitals in the city were up to two floors under water – ruining expensive diagnostic equipment, destroying blood-banks and sweeping away supplies and stocks of medicines. The night the Jehlum waters breached the embankments, almost all critically ill children in our Chidren’s Hospital died for want of oxygen and incubation. Numerous pregnant women lost their lives due to complications resulting due to lack of access to doctors and emergent care as Srinagar’s Maternity Hospital got flooded up to the second floor and became inaccessible.

Now, while the rescue operations have officially concluded, we are looking at a human tragedy the scale and magnitude of which is incomprehensible. Hundreds and thousands of people are without drinking water, food, warm clothes and shelter. The threat of epidemics and water-borne diseases looms large over the capital city. The Tourism and Private Sector is almost entirely wiped out – rendering a death-blow to the State’s Economy after we had just started to recover from the devastating political turmoil the State had witnessed. New roads, bridges, public infrastructure, buildings, schools, dispensaries – everything seems to have been swept away like it never existed. Around 1,200 government schools have been swept away – floor, ceiling and roof in the fury.

I write to all of you – my brothers – not as a politician and certainly not as a resident of Jammu and Kashmir alone. I write to you as an Old Cottonian who believes that we could and should all pool in and organize an effort true to the charter, motto and spirit of Bishop Cotton School. This is unambiguously one of the worst National Disasters to have hit India in recent history – comparable perhaps only to the Gujarat Earthquake. While the Government, the Armed Forces, the Air Force has done and will continue to do all it can – this tragedy merits an enormous civic action and effort. Numerous NGOs and thousands of individuals from across the country are pitching in – some even having flown in to personally assist and help. And every hand, every penny and every single quilt that we receive is one small step towards rebuilding and rehabilitating the lives of a million people.

I make a humble appeal to all Old Cottonians’ Associations across the world to contribute and organize a systematic charitable response to this almost apocalyptic catastrophe in India. While the OCs in Punjab could help by collecting and sending off rice, flour and pulses, the OCs in Delhi for instance could focus on bedding, clothes and medicines. A lot could be done by OCs in USA, UK, Canada, Australia and elsewhere too. Once the wheels are in motion initially, we can then organize and delegate distinct areas among various OCA groups and chapters – attempting to put forth a holistic, comprehensive relief and rehabilitation effort. I request Presidents of respective OCA Chapters to come forth and help in coordinating an Old Cottonian’s Operation in response to this challenge thrown our way.

Let us all please help in overcoming this tragedy and rebuilding lives.

Regards,
Junaid Azim Mattu
Lefroy, 2003.

Spokesperson – J&K National Conference
Mobile: +91-941946600
Email: junaid.msu@gmail.com