Thursday, September 8, 2011


Cathy Ritlaw said...
Oh, no, so very sorry! At least you have the courage to speak up and perhaps change things. Thank you.
Johnny D said...
Catherine grateful for your kind support... I am very-very sad about the whole thing and most of the volunteers who were serving or had served in previous batches feel the same way but since they have come from respective colleges, they just cannot say anything...

The love and respect the villagers gave us are being betrayed in the name of help and that saddens me more than anything else... hope the scenario changes for better from the next batch and the management will take good care with full stock of medicines...

Cuidate :)
Sanjiv said...

People like this need to be held accountable. It is rather unfortunate that in the name of serving others, that people abuse the position they are placed in.

I was amongst one that sent medications out of concern, and am extremely disappointed to hear that there is such gross mismanagement. Again, just to reiterate, these people need to be held accountable, and I would strongly urge you to take some action. I am more than willing to assist you in your efforts.


Johnny D
Sanjiv you can imagine what I must have felt after the whole experience, giving my precious time, raise donations, raise medicines from all over India and also ask my friends to be part of the camp as volunteers and to be treated by the management in the most callous manner... I am more sad than angry because the love the villagers gave us... without knowing the reality... is hard to replace or pay back.

However, I am also glad that I came to know the reality soon and to make them accountable and the world to know, I am writing all my experience and the flaws of the management. I am extremely sorry Sanjiv but all the medicines which came in from individuals were used for the villagers to become alright... so I am grateful to you all who had send us medicines... so please don't feel otherwise. It is my duty to make the world know how the management has failed miserably and cheated everyone - the villagers, the volunteers, and the world...

If you can, please send this information to the media, so that they are exposed about all that has happened in the name of serving the poor villagers. My heart really boils when poor are exploited in such a fashion Sanjiv... I do hope you understand my plight for being treated by the management in such a manner... every volunteer feels cheated after realizing what the whole game was...

Grateful to you for all your kind support. Acchaka!

Cuidate :)

Ajay Saklani said...
Dear Johnny,

Sorry for responding late to your article. I read the article in details and I understand that there were miss management during the Dhadak Mohim programme, BUT the problems are not as big as you have stated in your article. Working in 47 villages (much more than 16 villages in last camp) wasn't that easy task. Your expectations according to this article were much more than it should have been.
While working in this region of Melghat, if you are expecting a packaged mineral water, that won't be possible.
You have also written about Rs. 700/- being charged from volunteers for 10 days. I won't be able to comment on this as I'm not aware of how much donations Melghat Mitra is getting.
Whatever I came to know during my work in Melghat is that they do not receive momentary support/funding from any individual or organization, rather they ask them to visit the region and then decide how can they support the tribals without donation money.
Johnny D said...
Ajay thank you so much for enlightening me and the world about the inefficiency and mismanagement... while I was on ground, you were not. As stated by you 47 villages, sorry that the management once again has misled everyone, including you. The camp was held only in 30 villages and not 47 as confirmed by Chandrakant Jagdale in 9 batches because they didn't get enough volunteers because they were charging Rs. 700/- from each one... the Dictionary meaning: "In general terms, volunteering is the practice of people working on behalf of others or a particular cause without payment for their time and services. Volunteering is generally considered an altruistic activity, intended to promote good or improve human quality of life, but people also volunteer for their own skill development, to meet others, to make contacts for possible employment, to have fun, and a variety of other reasons that could be considered self-serving." If volunteers get sick drinking well water, who is responsible Ajay? If the volunteers get sick, tell me how will they serve the poor? No toilet facilities for the ladies and the management wanted the volunteers to generate awareness about Health & Hygiene... isn't this a hypocritical approach? Chandrakant himself told us that after an article was published in Pune newspapers, a business donated Rs. 25,000 and later another 1.25 lakhs... many of my friends too contributed money who couldn't send medicines... I am surprised that you say that the problems are not BIG after going through all the points of inefficiency and mismanagement... will you please enlighten all of us as to what according to you is THE BIG PROBLEM? I will be grateful to you, really...
Dear Johnny, nice to connect back with you again, albeit through this bitter post :-( I am extremely sad to hear this, considering that I have been telling people a lot about 'Dhadak Mohim'. But I tell you what: I do hope that the people who sent in money and medicines do not lose their hope in helping. Of course this was terrible, but there are a lot others too who are doing great work, and I fear that this one bad incident would scar the memories of donors for the rest of their lives. All the best with all that you are doing. Proud of you. 

priyanka borpujari
Johnny D said...
Priyanka acchaka and grateful for your kind support... most of the donors and volunteers do feel cheated for contributing with good intentions and serving the poor... the experience on ground has been very-very sad and I hate when people cheat the poor villagers for no fault of theirs... cuidate :)
Okay Johnny, I have read what Ajay has written in here, and guess i would like to ponder on some of the points more openly. 

In a village, one cannot expect a separate 'ladies' toilet. I think every time the volunteers are told that this will be a complete village experience. Forget toilets: there are hardly any toilets in most villages.

This should NOT be seen as serving the poor -- like, we the 'servers' are doing something great and thus look down on those in the villages. In fact, my idea of volunteerism is to stay with the villagers and live like them!

Instead of bothering about mismanagement, perhaps you and your friends could help out with that? I mean, not everyone have managerial skills, no?

To me, the biggest problem is that we consider ourselves as too great souls who are doing others a favour. Hell, we are doing it for ourselves, and we complain when we are attempts have some other motive. That is the way I see it.

I cannot comment on the Rs 700 taken, for I need to know more.

Please Johnny, continue your good work, but let us all not jump into conclusions? It is veryyyy easy to do that and to point fingers. Let's remember that volunteers go in with their own will, and so did you. If we really want to help, we should live one day completely like a man who is trying hard to feed his dying children. Let's keep Mumbai outside when we leave Mumbai. All the best.
Johnny D said...
Priyanka, I am not pointing a finger here because I have held Melghat Maitri in a very high pedestal before my experience @ Dhadak Mohim... and I sincerely request Ajay Saklani and you to realize and understand this FACT in the first place!

Along with Ajay, I had even gone to Mumbai to talk with JJ GMC students to request them to join Dhadak Mohim... I raised donations for them; I raised medicines worth 25 – 30,000 rupees in a short time; and I even raised volunteers for them and provided my service because I believed in them. I didn’t go for my personal benefits there because I have dedicated my life to serve the poor villagers in Vidarbha. So before writing – ‘Jumping to conclusion’ you should have thought about all these factors.

Secondly, is it my fault if so many flaws of the management are seen right in the front of your eyes? Will you keep your mouth SHUT like the world and turn a BLIND EYE?

Thirdly, it was MISMANAGEMENT at its BEST after conducting such camps since the last 14 years? They should have been flawless by 14th year, instead of so many flaws.

Fourthly, yes, separate Ladies Toilet is out of the question in villages but tell me how will you generate awareness of ‘Health & Hygiene’ if you are living their unhygienic life style? Will the villagers listen to you? One has to practice what one preaches or expect others to follow. What if poisonous snakes had bit lady volunteers? Obviously, since they made us to sign that in case of any casualties, the individual is responsible and not the Trust. So the management were smart enough to include this clause.

Fifth, only if Ajay and you had been on the grounds, would your eyes pop up with all the mismanagement and ground realities. Does one have to BEG for ‘Protein Supplements’ to be given to malnourished patients? They didn’t have STOCK, can you believe this? Two batches had to BEG them and it is only when I told Ram Phad that please send 20 Packets of ‘Protein Supplements’ and I shall pay the amount, it arrived late night... this essential supplement was missing and not available with them when they are serving in the region of malnutrition deaths?

Sixth, DETTOL the most essential antiseptic to clean the boils / injuries before applying the medicines was not at all given to any camps, WHY? In spite of repeated requests, only after four days, it was provided and that too not enough to distribute in four batches of one camp? This when I came to know that one volunteer from Pune by the name SARANG revealed they have enough stock of DETTOL. So why were the Base Camps deprived of the most essential antiseptic liquid?

There were many flaws that you and the world will read in coming days... and then may I suggest you to jump into your conclusion... the ground realities surely has opened my eyes.
Without honest, caring and organized people at the top, any organization will fail. Workers must have the support of the leaders, or all will fall apart.
Anonymous said...
"When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don't give up though the pace seems slow--
You may succeed with another blow,
Success is failure turned inside out--
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit--
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit."

~ Unknown
Johnny D said...
Acchaka ('Thank you' in Korku dialect) Catherine and you have rightly said...

Unknown acchaka for the inspiring poem... really appreciate your kind support and yes, i may quit only when death invites me in its arms... not otherwise!

cuidate :)
Anonymous said...
Johnny my boy, my advice not only to you but to all the kind-hearted people out there who wish to contribute for some noble cause (God bless you all for that!), next time make sure you folks investigate first to find out the NGOs are genuine or fraudulent, trust me these days there are more fraudulent NGOs than the genuine ones, especially in India (sorry to say that!)! What you’re doing right now by writing about your bad experiences with them you’re already helping in fighting against the fraudulent NGOs. I think it’s about time that we should think about fighting this so-called-NGOs-making money by concealing their true colours. I cannot imagine 14 years in the business!! Come let us all uproot such NGOs so that the genuine ones can do their good work without these fraudulent NGOs putting dark patches on them. Keep writing my boy it’s worth the risks you folks took being their volunteers. May God bless you always!
Johnny D said...
Acchaka ('Thank you' in Korku dialect) and grateful for your kind support and blessings Sir...

Sai Baba bless you always! - Cuidate :)

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