Monday, April 6, 2020

SYMA members organise rice distribution

Sunday, 4th of  August, 2019  would ever remain  a gold letter day in the annals of SYMA history.  We have been aspiring, dreaming for this ~ ‘dreaming big or a big dream’.   SYMA has an unsaturated desire for serving the Society. SYMA [Srinivas Youngmen’s Association]  has been in the field of Social service since 1977 starting with street cleaning campaigns and keeping environment, more specifically, the temple tank and its surroundings clean.   We at SYMA, feel strongly the primary responsibility of improving the Society and helping the underprivileged. 

We have been dreaming of expanding ~ and the foremost impediment in realizing our endeavour was perhaps lack of space.  SYMA has been functioning in a 270 SFT approx premises at 29 TP Koil Street,   Opp to Bharathiyar  Illam.   On 4.8.2019  with the munificent support of Vasavi Builders, SYMA moved  to a sprawling premises at 37 Car Street, Triplicane, Chennai 600 005. 

In a few months – the visibility grew bigger and so did the activities – the Rs.2 Medical centre started attracting more patients.  We have : Medical centre, Blood analysis lab, Gynecological consultation, Physiotherapy, Dentistry, Eye clinic – all under one roof – added private Doctor for ENT (Dr Sunandha); Pediatrics (Dr V Venkatesh) and Ortho (Dr Subramaniam) .. .. .. SYMA has become much bigger and .. ..expenses too were shooting up.   The 12th year of SYMA Growth too concluded with pooja – wishing the students all the best in the examinations and career.

Suddenly Mar 2020 has thrown the World out of gears – life has changed suddenly and totally.  As the Nation announced lock-down, we had to stop all our activities. The medical centre, lab and other facilities can no longer cater to the benefit of poor people. It pains us to receive that odd call from people asking whether we are open or when they can come for treatment ! .. ..

Lockdown is necessity and reality – people must maintain social distancing and remain at home in fighting the dreaded virus, as directed by the Govt.  The State and Central Govts are taking great measures in fighting and in preventing the spread despite some foolish moves by a few citizens in not adhering to the guidelines.

Life is sustainable for those of us in regular employment and in the comfort of our homes – we miss lot of things – especially our Sri Parthasarathi Perumal and purappadu. However, we get food at appointed hour and sleep in the comfort of our homes. We must appreciate those personnel – Doctors, Nurses, para-medics, Govt machinery, Police and everyone else who are out on the roads, protecting the citizens of this Nation.

Life is difficult for the daily wage earners.  There is some sprinkling of migrant population in and around Triplicane too.  One could see hundreds of construction workers standing at Triplicane High road in the mornings, waiting for contractors to pick them up and send to some sites. Life perhaps has come to a standstill for them.

SYMA members Mr SR Parthasarathi (SRP), Manivannan and others have been trying to support those with difficulty.  A group of Corporation workers had organized community feeding at the community centre in Venkatrangam Street – SRP, Mani and some other members of SYMA were there helping them.  With a call raised in local WA forums, many members contributed cash for this.

This morning SRP & Co arranged distribution of 5 kg rice packets from our SYMA Office premises (old premises at Peyalwar Koil Street) – appreciations to SRP, Mani and others involved in this.

We will also join with our little contributions.

 सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः
लोकाः समस्ताः सुखिनोभवंतु ॥

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
Secretary, SYMA

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Covid-19 stalls sports - hits Insurer badly !!

The biggest Sporting attraction is of course IPL – we would have been watching matches with keen interest – MSD, CSK, IPL would have been read, seen and spoken off everywhere – not to be ! This year's Wimbledon competition, scheduled for June 29 to July 12 stands cancelled. The cancellation  is s the first time in the tournament's history, the oldest tennis tournament in the world, since the second World War.  Simona Halep and Djokovic cannot defend their titles this year.  Covid-19 has taken its toll on the sports arena too.  The current economic situation of many German football clubs is more drastic than expected. According to a report from the sports magazine Kicker, 13 of 36 sides of the first and second divisions face insolvency in the case that the shutdown continues. The 2019/2020 campaign of the national leagues has come to hold after the 25 rounds of matches beginning of March due to the coronavirus crisis.

Manchester, July 2019 – Indians were in for a shock – their sporting icon MS Dhoni walked off in disbelief. His well-worn method of chasing, where he initially settles in like he’s playing in a bygone era, failed !  Dhoni hit out by striking a six off the first ball of the penultimate over to revive hopes – then quite unlikely he was  run out by a sensational direct hit from Martin Guptill.  A dejected Dhoni,   trudged off with India’s stunning World Cup exit assured – a day later or so, people started talking on whether the supremo had played his last International innings.  For his fans, there was glimmer of hope – thala MSD will continue leading Chennai Super Kings, the team  he has captained to three titles, in the IPL and with string of good performances would force his way to T20 WC 2020.

MSD & IPL have weather many storms including  politics, weather, elections, scam  and more.  With the COVID-19 pandemic locking the world down, cricket around the globe has been indefinitely stalled. Among the high-profile ones to be affected is the 13th season of the IPL. Though the chances of the tournament taking place this year is increasingly looking bleak, Kevin Pietersen is hoping for it to happen, saying, "I do truly believe the IPL should happen". The competition was slated to begin on March 29, but has been deferred until April 15, but with the situation not having changed significantly, the wait is likely to continue.  A few cricket matches in March, including the first ODI between Australia and New Zealand in Sydney, took place in empty stadia soon after the outbreak was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO).  Pietersen suggested for the tournament to be played at 3 safe venues and behind closed doors amid the spread of the deadly disease.

IPL is a money spinner – the 2019 edition is understood to have fetched broadcaster Star India advertising revenues of more than Rs 2,000 crore, slightly more than the revenues of Rs 1800-2,000 crore earned in 2018.  “IPL is bigger than the World Cup. There are more matches and for a sponsorship, it would cost anywhere between Rs 50-Rs 60 crore. Star acquired IPL at a far higher cost than what Sony was doing. They will have to make up for those acquisition costs.

Though not popular over here – ‘event insurance’ is a niche product of many Indian Insurers too.  It is a customized protection suitable for specific requirements.  Every event – be it a marriage reception, cine launch, movie teaser, music launch or Sports promo – these days could be multi-crore events – a cancellation after incidence of expenditure could pinch the Organisers badly.  The primary section indemnifies the assured for the ascertained loss if the insured event is cancelled, abandoned, postponed,  interrupted, curtailed or relocated -  direct result of a cause not otherwise excluded.  There could be many other sections such as – Public Liability, Props, sets, equipments coverage; cash protection; personal accident cover and more  ! – but all Indian insurers exclude diseases and specifically Corona now. 

Miles away, MailOnline reports that Wimbledon organisers are  set to net £100MILLION (INR 9376 crores approx. !) insurance payout after taking out infectious diseases cover following 2003 SARS outbreak, with tournament now cancelled because of coronavirus. The reports suggests that Wimbledon is preparing to submit an insurance claim 'in excess of £100million' following the cancellation of the tournament this week. The All England Club's insurance policy, in the region of £1.5m a year, was updated in 2003 after organisers asked for a virus-related clause inserted following concerns over the SARS outbreak.  

The cancellation of the event due to corona fear  is  first time since the Second World War.  According to the Times, Wimbledon chiefs are to see their insurance triggered by the cancellation with the clause that covers infectious diseases set to be worth as much as £100m.   Outgoing chief executive Richard Lewis revealed a virus clause was put into the All England Club's insurance policy in 2003 due to fears over the scale of the SARS disease.  The exact amount of the pay-out they will earn from their policy remains unclear with the organising costs and the prize money, to the tune of £40m, to be considered as deductions now it has been cancelled.  

Wimbledon was set to bring in around £250m in revenue for the grasscourt Grand Slam. Figures from 2018 showed that The Championships had an annual turnover of £254.8m. There will, inevitably, be some financial hit from the annulment, such as a dip in merchandising and food revenue. All England Club bosses made the tough call to abandon the third Grand Slam in the calendar entirely, a marked shift from the decision made by the French Open to hastily rearrange to late September, just a week after the US Open in New York ends.

One senior figure at the Club put the cost of the insurance policy at ‘around the low seven figures’. Wimbledon is the only Slam of the four - Australia, France and US - to have an insurance policy that includes a virus-related clause and it is reported that the French Tennis Federation felt they had no option to cancel entirely, risking a loss of £230m. The All England Club’s Risk and Finance Sub-Committee have long since insisted on a clause covering epidemics, and the policy has been accordingly upgraded in recent years.

Outgoing chief executive Richard Lewis on Thursday warned that, despite the good insurance policy, Wimbledon would sustain a financial hit, although the knock-on effect for British tennis would be limited. 'The insurance will help protect the surplus to an extent, I would say to a large extent,' he said. 'Of course we're fortunate to have the insurance and it helps, but it doesn't solve all the problems. The details and the figure probably won't be known for months.'  Prize money for the 2020 tournament was worth a total of £40million to players.

That’s is a whooping figure by all means ! – liability insurance !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

Friday, April 3, 2020

Nation fights Covid19 - Protagoras Paradox - what ?

I picked this word from a Wicket keeper batsman **  who on his debut was given new shorts by his partner at crease Shrikant Kalyani, who owned a sportswear Company !!

A Sophist was a specific kind of teacher in ancient Greece, in the fifth and fourth centuries BC. Many sophists specialized in using the tools of philosophy and rhetoric, though other sophists taught subjects such as music, athletics, and mathematics. In general, they claimed to teach arete ("excellence" or "virtue", applied to various subject areas), predominantly to young statesmen and nobility. The term sophist comes from the Greek term sophistēs, which is derived from sophós meaning "wise man", Sophia meaning "wisdom", and Sophizo meaning "I am wise". It stands for a "wise maker", that is, one who makes pupils wise.

When there is National crisis, one must learn to obey orders.  When rumours fly around, the first victim is truth – never hear rumours, never spread them – in fact never post anything without checking its veracity and usefulness.  There are some who have compulsive obsession of questioning everything trying to show their intelligence but end up showcasing their stupidity !

This morning I received call from unknown no. – it was voice recording of the CM of the State Mr Edappadi Palaniswami urging the citizens to cooperate. I have become a great fan of Dr C Vijayabaskar, Health Minister of Tamilnadu.  Just follow him on twitter – such factual updates – he is visiting Hospitals, is found with health-workers and is virtually everywhere – very positive man, energetic and extremely effective.  The Govts – the machinery is really doing a great job in fighting the virus with most of us cooperating and  some ‘covidiots’ trying to impede every measure.

The respected PM of the Nation Shri Narendra Modiji has called upon the citizen - On the 5th  of April, on Sunday, I want 9 minutes from all you, at 9PM.  Listen carefully, on the 5thof April, at 9 PM, turn off all the lights in your homes, stand at your doors or in you balconies, and light candles or diyas, torches or mobile flashlights for 9 minutes.  I repeat, light candles or diyas, torches or mobile flashlights, for 9 minutes at 9 PM on the 5thof April.  – We have vowed to abide by every effort of the Govt.

Nine years back – when India played Pak in the Semis of ODI WC 2011 – the Nation watched – everyone was at home, streets were empty and nothing else transpired. It was India’s 3rd attempt in Semis at home – they had lost earlier to England in 1987 and to Sri Lanka in 1996 – however they had won both the Semi finals abroad in 1983 and 2003  ~ and playing Pak always creates a different tension. 

On a tense day, when the Indian batting looked ordinary and Sachin apparently scratched around – Indian  bowlers suffocated Pakistan's batsmen to set up a 29-run victory in the semi-final in Mohali. Though we were worried, 260 for 9 was enough as their bowlers did a fine job, but had Pakistan helped themselves, the target could have been so much more gettable. Sachin Tendulkar was dropped four times in his 85.  By contrast, India's display in the field was much more professional, and that was the difference in a match that lived up to the extreme pre-match hype. The decision to leave R Ashwin out to make room for Ashish Nehra was an odd choice on a pitch offering plenty of spin, but Nehra and his bowling colleagues built the pressure and gave Pakistan's batsmen little to attack after they made a promising start and reached 70 for 1.

Those of us watching were regretting – Sachin Tendulkar played and missed Saeed Ajmal and was promptly given out lbw by Ian Gould in the 11th over (Sachin was 23). Time appeared running out and after much deliberation, Tendulkar asked for a referral; replays suggested that the ball, delivered from an angle, pitched outside the line of off stump before turning in to hit his front pad in front of middle. Hawk-Eye suggested that the ball would have gone on to miss leg stump. Ajmal, after the game, expressed bafflement, claiming he had bowled an arm ball that went on straight when it had appeared as though the ball had been an offspinner that spun down after pitching in line.  The replay was subject of conspiracy theories with many YouTube videos showing what the correct prediction path should have been. Some audaciously even suggested that what was shown in replay was a different ball !

Years later Saeed Ajmal recalling the incident said, Ian Gould gave it out, we were sure, Gautam Gambhir too advised against referring – but Sachin took a chance.  It took a long time and decision went against us.  Some others believed  Tendulkar's decision to review the decision was, perhaps, more in hope than in belief. This is no post on that match – but in Espn Cricinfo Deep Dasgupta -   Wicket keeper batsman **  (played 8 tests and 5 ODIs) wrote that in his  assessment, the Hawk-Eye got it right.   It'll fall under the realm of Protagoras Paradox, in that both sides have convincing arguments.

The Paradox of the Court, also known as the counterdilemma of Euathlus, is a paradox originating in ancient Greece. It is said that the famous sophist Protagoras took on a pupil, Euathlus, on the understanding that the student pay Protagoras for his instruction after he wins his first court case. After instruction, Euathlus decided to not enter the profession of law, and Protagoras decided to sue Euathlus for the amount owed.

Protagoras (490 BC c.420 BC)[1] was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher. He is numbered as one of the sophists by Plato.  Protagoras also is believed to have created a major controversy during ancient times through his statement that, "Man is the measure of all things", interpreted by Plato to mean that there is no absolute truth but that which individuals deem to be the truth. Protagoras, like those who followed him, charged exorbitant fees for his services, a story is told of how the great Sophist was once outsmarted by one of his pupils and this tale has come to be known as Protagoras’s Paradox.

Protagoras agreed to instruct a poor young man, Euthalos  -  in law and rhetoric free of charge on the condition that he would pay the Sophist’s fee in full if, and only if, he won his first court case. Once Euthalos had completed his course of study with Protagoras he assiduously avoided taking any cases at all. Protagoras, finally out of patience with the young man, took him to court for payment.

The case before the House was put as :  Euthalus owes money to Plaintiff Protagoras as per their agreement.
Protagoras viewed that : 
1)    If he wins the case, he would legally earn the money to be paid through the Court
2)    If the Respondent Euthalus wins the case, Protagoras would still be paid as their original contract was that Euthalus would pay his teacher when he wins his first case !!
Euthalus held a totally contradictory view.  To him :
1.    If he were to win the case, the Court’s decision naturally would be to not pay Protagoras
2.    In case he loses, going by what his master had ordained, he would not have to pay anything as he had lost the case.

The paradox thus is – who wins, who is right and who will have to pay ?  This argument (for which perhaps  no solution was ever offered in antiquity) has come to be known as the Paradox of The Court (L. Alqvist) and a resolution to the question is still debated today in law schools as a logic problem. Of course, there could be more legal angles, and more possible circumstances which when inserted could change the deliverance.

To me, as usual the game of Cricket is a great teacher and thanks to Deep Das Gupta for introducing me to this concept / paradox.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
3rd Apr 2o20.

Light a lamp @ 9 pm for 9 minutes on 5.4.2020

Light a lamp @ 9 pm for 9 minutes on 5.4.2020

Text of PM's address to the nation
Posted On: 03 APR 2020 9:22AM by PIB Delhi

My dear fellow citizens,

Today marks 9 days of the nationwide lockdown against the Corona pandemic. The discipline and spirit of service you have displayed during this periodis unprecedented, and embodies the true meaning of both.
Government, administration and the public at large, have together made great efforts to manage the situation as best as possible. The manner in which you had expressed gratitude to all those fighting against the Coronavirus on Sunday 22nd March, has today become an example for all countries. Many are replicating it now.
Whether it is people’s curfew, ringing bells, clapping hands or clanging plates;they have all made the nation realize its collective strength in these testing times. It has led to the deepening of the belief that the nation can unite as one in the battle against Corona. This collective spirit of yours, of the nation, can be seen manifesting itself during these times of lockdown.
Friends, today, when crores of people of this country are confined to their homes, it will be natural for anyone to question what they can do just by themselves. Some people may also be worried about how they are going to fight such a big battle on their own. Many will be concerned about how many more days they will have to spend like this.
Friends, this is certainly the time of a lockdown, and we most certainly are confined to our own homes, but none of us is alone.  The collective strength of 130 crore Indians is with each one of us, it is the strength of each one of us.It is required for our countrymen, to from time to time, experience the greatness, majesty and divinity of this collective strength.
Friends, in our country the citizenry is considered a manifestation of God itself. Therefore, when the nation is fighting such a huge battle, one should from time to time keep experiencing this collective superpower manifesting itself in the form of the people.  This experience boosts our morale, gives us direction and clarity, a common aim as well as the energy to pursue the same.
Friends, amidst the darkness spread by the Corona pandemic, we must continuously progress towards light and hope. We must continuously strive to take those of us most affected, our poor brothers and sisters, from disappointment to hope. We must end the darkness and uncertainty emanating from the crisis, by progressing towards lightand certainty. We must defeat the deep darkness of the crisis, by spreading the glory of light in all four directions.
And that is why, this Sunday, on the 5th of April, we must all together, challenge the darkness spread by the corona crisis, introducing it to the power of light. On this 5th of April, we must awaken the superpower of 130 crore Indians. We must take the super resolve of 130 crore Indians to even greater heights.
On the 5th of April, on Sunday, I want 9 minutes from all you, at 9PM.  Listen carefully, on the 5thof April, at 9 PM, turn off all the lights in your homes, stand at your doors or in you balconies, and light candles or diyas, torches or mobile flashlights for 9 minutes.  I repeat, light candles or diyas, torches or mobile flashlights, for 9 minutes at 9 PM on the 5thof April.
At that time, if you have turned off all the lights of your homes, and each one of us in all directions has lit a diya; we will experience the superpower of light, clearly illuminating the common purpose we are  all fighting for.  In that light, in that lustre, in that radiance, let us resolve in our minds that we are not alone, that no one is alone!130 crore Indians are committed, through a common resolve!
Friends, I have one more prayer in this regard, that no one must assemble or gather anywhere while participating in this program. Please do not go out on to the roads, lanes or your localities, do it at the doorstep or balconies of your own homes. One must never cross the ‘Lakshman Rekha’ of Social Distancing. Social Distancing should not be breached under any circumstances.  This is the only panacea  to break the chain of Corona virus.
So, on the 5thof April at 9 PM.  Sit in solitude for some time and reminisce about Maa Bharati, picture the faces of 130 crore Indians. Experience the collective resolve, the collective superpower of 130 crore Indians.  This will give us the strength to fight, as well as the confidence to win, in this hour of crisis.

It has been said here that –

Utsaho Balwaan Arya, Na Asti Utsaah Param Balam |  
Sah Utsahasaya Lokeshu, Na Kinchit Api Durlabham ||”

Meaning, there is no greater force in the world than our passion and our spirit.That there is nothing in the world that we cannot achieve on the basis of this strength.Come, let us come together and jointly defeat this Corona virus, and make India victorious.

Thank you very much!