Unsung heroes and heroines

Old is useful

Swati Shinde | TNN

Pune: Most of us don’t think twice before discarding those age-old odds and ends. But not Jyoti Sachade. For two years now, the former college teacher has been collecting and passing on old articles — both her own and those donated by others — to the needy.

Today, her efforts have grown into a trust called Mamata Charitable Foundation, which came into existence three weeks ago. Sachade receives items ranging from clothes, electrical appliances and vessels to books, shampoo bottles and mattresses. Or, as Sachade puts it: “Anything under the sun.”

“These days, people get bored of things and throw them away even if they can be further used,” she observes. “They don’t realise that they can be of much use to the needy.”

With this thought in mind, Sachade began giving her old items to those in need. Soon, her neighbours and friends began donating their old things to her. “Right now, I have 24 dozen notebooks piled up in front of me. All these have been donated. With the new academic year set to begin in a few days, there’s a lot of demand for them,” she adds.

Many orphanages and old age homes visit Sachade’s home and pick things. Her flat in Kothrud is crammed with donated items, some of which have been sent from abroad.

“Last year, I was sent stationery from Kenya and Germany. Besides, there have been people coming in with donations from Gujarat, Mumbai, Delhi, Nagpur, Talegaon and from around the city,” she adds.
Sachade once even received a two-wheeler while television sets and refrigerators sent from various corners of the country have also filled her house in the past.

The institutions which need these things enter their requirements in a register kept by Sachade. When the requirement is available, it is despatched to the institution.

However, cash donations are a complete nono. “Giving cash is a great attraction for people. However, I do not wish to take it for several reasons. Also, doubts may be raised on how the money is being spent. So, I insist that people only give items.”

THE ART OF GIVING: Jyoti Sachade


Biju Babu Cyriac | TNN

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Bangalore: For the thousands who will assemble at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Sunday, road running is the latest way to bond with others. But for a select few like Sharad Bhagwatkar, it is all about overcoming one’s disabilities through self-belief and working for a social cause.

Fighting his way back from a devastating road accident which almost cost him his right leg, Bhagwatkar defied medical science winning medals from the pool and then hitting the roads and successfully competing in marathons in India and abroad.

“I was bedridden for four years after suffering multiple fractures in 1992. Doctors told me that I would never walk again. They were about to amputate my right leg, but I came back,” said Bhagwatkar, who retired from government service in Maharashtra.

By 1999, Bhagwatkar could move around a bit and soon he limped back to normalcy. In 2004, he competed in his first road race in Bangalore and finished the distance of 21 km in 2 hours and 40 minutes. On Sunday, Bhagwatkar will be competing in the senior citizen’s race.

“Then, I got this idea of raising money for charity and so far I was able to raise around Rs 20 lakh,” Bhagwatkar told STOI.

Bhagwatkar’s passion for running saw him enter in the Mumbai marathon in 2006 and then again in Bangalore. He also got a taste of international races when he competed in the Chicago marathon in 2007 and 2008.

The sexagenarian wants everyone to take up running so that we can all enjoy the benefits of good health. “People can run anytime and anywhere. Just that one needs to find some time,” he said.