Tag Archives: prime minister

INTERESTING FACTS: WHY DID KING EDWARD VIII ABDICATE THE BRITISH THRONE

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King Edward VIII

    You might have heard of, some kings and queens, who might have abdicated their thrones for the sake of love—their heart throb. Well I have one such world famous story to tell you in this regard and that is about King Edward the VIII of the United Kingdom.

    King Edward the VIII (1894-1972) became the king of the United Kingdom upon the death of his father, George V, on 20 January 1936. He was then in his early forties and a bachelor. Edward VIII was both popular and good-looking. He very quickly made his desire known, to marry an American woman, Wallis Warfield (Spencer) Simpson, whom he had known since 1931. But when King Edward VIII in this regard sought the approval of his family, the Church of England, Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin and his government in order to marry her, he met with complete opposition. Reason being: Wallis Simpson had been married twice before. Her second divorce was still pending and her ability to provide an heir to the throne was questionable as she was already forty, and childless.

    It was on 16 November 1936, King Edward VIII, invited Prime Minister Baldwin to Buckingham Palace and expressed his desire to marry Simpson when she became free to remarry. Baldwin informed him that his subjects would deem the marriage morally unacceptable, largely because remarriage after divorce was opposed by the Church of England, and the people would not tolerate Simpson as the queen. Reason being: King Edward was the titular head of the Church, and the clergy expected him to support the Church’s teachings. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Cosmo Gordon Lang, was therefore vocal in insisting that King Edward must go.

    Edward proposed an alternative solution of a morganatic marriage, also called, left-handed marriage, in which he would remain king but Simpson would not become the queen consort. She would enjoy a lesser title instead, and any children that they might have, would not inherit the throne. The proposal was supported by senior politician Winston Churchill in principle, but some historians, even suggest, that Churchill even conceived the plan for Edward. Ultimately, the plan was rejected by the British Cabinet as well as other Dominion governments. Their views were sought, pursuant, to the Statute of Westminster 1931, which provided in part that “any alteration in the law touching the Succession to the Throne or the Royal Style and Titles shall hereafter require the assent, as well, of the Parliaments, of all the Dominions, as well as the Parliament of the United Kingdom.”

    So, on 10 December, King Edward VIII submitted his abdication and became the only British monarch to voluntarily resign his station. The decision was endorsed by the Parliament on 11 December, and on that day Edward publicly announced his decision via radio to a breathless, worldwide audience. This is a historical speech. It was a Radio broadcast in London, England, on 11 December 1936. Below is the gist of it.

    ‘At long last I am able to say a few words of my own. I have never wanted to withhold anything, but until now it has not been constitutionally possible for me to speak.

    A few hours ago I discharged my last duty as King and Emperor, and now that I have been succeeded by my brother, the Duke of York, my first words must be to declare my allegiance to him. This I do with all my heart.

    You all know the reasons which have impelled me to renounce the throne. But I want you to understand that in making up my mind I did not forget the country or the empire, which, as Prince of Wales and lately as King, I have for twenty-five years tried to serve.

    But you must believe me when I tell you that I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge my duties as King as I would wish to do without the help and support of the woman I love. (So he abdicates the crown of UK as he is unable to marry his lady love). He further goes on to say,

    And I want you to know that the decision I have made has been mine and mine alone. This was a thing I had to judge entirely for myself. The other person most nearly concerned has tried up to the last to persuade me to take a different course.

    I have made this, the most serious decision of my life, only upon the single thought of what would, in the end, be best for all.

    This decision is less difficult for me because of the sure knowledge that my brother, with his long training in public affairs of this country and with his fine qualities, will be able to take my place forthwith without interruption or injury to the life and progress of the empire. And he has one matchless blessing, enjoyed by so many of you, and not bestowed on me—a happy home with his wife and children.

    During these hard days I have been comforted by Her Majesty, my mother, and by my family. The ministers of the crown, and in particular, Mr Baldwin, the Prime Minister, have always treated me with full consideration. There has never been any constitutional difference between me and them, and between me and the Parliament. Bred in the constitutional tradition, by my father, I should never have allowed any such issue to arise.

    Ever since I was Prince of Wales, and later on when I occupied the throne, I have been treated with the greatest kindness by all classes of people, wherever, I have lived or journeyed throughout the empire. For that I’m very grateful.

    I now quit altogether public affairs and I lay down my burden. It may be sometime before I return to my native land, but I shall always follow the fortunes of the British race and empire with profound interest, and if at any time in the future I can be found of service to His Majesty in a private station, I shall not fail.

    And now, we all have a new king. I wish him and you, his people, happiness and prosperity with all my heart. God bless you all! God save the King!’

    Edward’s younger brother, George VI, took over the throne and immediately gave Edward VIII the title, ‘Duke of Windsor.’ The Duke and Mrs Simpson (who was given the title of Duchess of Windsor) were married in France on 3 June, 1937 and lived in Paris. As an apparent, personal appeasement, of Hitler’s Nazi regime (the Windsors met the German Chancellor in 1937 and found him ‘charming’) made them something of an embarrassment when World War II broke out. Edward and Wallis were sent to the Commonwealth outposts of Bermuda and the Bahamas to serve out the conflict, with the former monarch serving as a Governor. The family of King George VI, especially his wife Mary (the Queen Mother) and daughter Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II) never forgave Edward for abdicating and exposing his brother George to the throne. They indirectly blamed Edward for the premature death of George VI—a quiet, shy man with a nervous stutter. He died of cancer in 1953, at the age of 57.

    Edward VIII died in Paris on 28 May, 1972, forever estranged from his family and former subjects. On 28 May 1972, ten days after the Queen’s visit, the Duke died at his home in Paris, less than a month before his 78th birthday. His body was returned to Britain, lying in state at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. His wife, the former Mrs Simpson, also died there, on April 24, 1986, a virtual recluse. She was buried beside her late husband in Windsor Castle.

    Almost 67 years after King Edward VIII’s abdication, the British Parliament and the Church of England avoided another potential constitutional crisis and allowed Charles, Prince of Wales and the heir to the throne, to marry fellow divorcee Camilla Parker-Bowles in April 2005. So friends that’s what happens when you abdicate your duties and responsibilities because of love that is not acceptable to the family.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

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Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be the undying characteristics of Lucknow. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014. It is included for reading in Askews and Holts Library Services, Lancashire, U.K.)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

MIRAGE

(Published in February 2020. The book is a collection of eight short stories. It is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Notion Press)

Short stories and Articles published in Bhavan’s Journal: Reality and Perception 15.10.19; Sending the Wrong Message 31.5.20; Eagle versus Scholars June 15 & 20 2020; Indica 15.8.20

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

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DR LOTAY TSHERING: PRIME MINISTER OF BHUTAN

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NOTES FROM BHUTAN AND THE REMARKABLE DR LOTAY TSHERING: “Prime Minster should be a surgeon or think like one”

    We went to Bhutan recently to launch the surgical skill centre by the IHPBA (International Hepato-Pancreato Biliary Association) foundation. Among the many interesting facts about Bhutan healthcare and education are free in the country. No wonder, the people are happy.

    But even more remarkable is Bhutan’s Prime Minister. Here’s the story of our interaction with ‘Dr Lotay Tshering—the Surgeon Prime Minister of Bhutan.’

    I wrote to him when we were ready with the surgical training centre, inviting him for the inauguration and not expecting a reply. I could not believe it when he replied within four hours, saying ‘yes, I will be there but not as a chief guest.’

    Wow, here’s a PM who doesn’t want pomp and show!

    When we went to the Jigme Dorji Wangchuk National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH), we learnt more remarkable facts. JDWNRH is the only tertiary care hospital and is teeming with patients from all over Bhutan. There are only three surgeons to look after elective and emergency surgeries. They literally work 24×7, 7 days a week.

    They have another ‘honorary standby surgeon’—the PM himself. The staff told us with pride that he comes every week on Friday to operate. Though he is trained in urology, he can do all abdominal surgeries ‘as there is no one else.’

    If there is an emergency or a difficult problem, just ‘call the PM’. He comes even if it’s midnight. The nursing staff is pretty happy to help their PM in conducting operations. No hang ups. Just normal scrubs and slippers for him.

    After teaching the residents and interacting with staff. It was time for the inauguration. We were expecting the security staff to come and clear the place. There were no great arrangements. His seat was demarcated with a special robe. Everyone was relaxed.

    The prime minister walked in with a beaming smile and just two people. His personal secretaries. No commandos, no paraphernalia.

    He is obviously happy to be with his staff and students whom he knew by name. After inaugural by a simple untying of a ribbon, he explained ‘in Bhutan they never cut a ribbon or cut a cake with name. It’s not a good omen.’

    He demonstrates his surgical skills to the residents and guides them to tie knots using the endotrainer. We commented that perhaps ‘he is the only prime minister who can tie laparoscopic knots.’ A loud laugh was the response. He was obviously happy to be teaching.

    ‘If you had come two years ago, you would have seen me working day and night at the hospital. Now I only come on Friday. This is the best stress relief for me. I sleep well on Thursday thinking about the number of patients I can help. We need more trained doctors,’ the PM says.

    He gazes wistfully. ‘Distances in Bhutan are 16 hours from remote areas to Thimphu. I used to go on camps. We had to operate on three patients on the same bed. Start with a young patient at 6am and finally elderly by 10am and 5pm. We had to finish 300 surgeries  and move to the next camp.’

    We promised all help with training and technology. In fact, as I write this, equipment from all across the world is being collected for Bhutan.

    What about politics, we probe. His tone turns serious. ‘I want to make Bhutan a developed country on par with other countries. That’s why I joined politics. I think like a surgeon—no dilly dallying. If you do have it, just do it. Don’t procrastinate. I also feel politics needs surgery to cut and remove obstacles like corruption and self-interest lobbies.’

    A surgeon is best suited to be prime minister, or the PM should think like a surgeon.’

     The writer is Head of Surgical Oncology, Lilavati Hospital, Mumbai.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****

 

 

 

KULDHARA—JAISALMER: THE HAUNT REMAINS EVEN AFTER CENTURIES

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By Kamlesh Tripathi

 

    Ghost towns and villages have often held our attention. But simultaneously, they have also unleashed our imagination to some hair-raising and eerie trepidation. So, its character remains quite aloof, from the oppressive ruins of the rich and arrogant castles and fortresses. One such village, nests in Kuldhara. Located in the deep-seated, desert region of Western Rajasthan. Where, when, you stand under the hot striking sun. You might not get to see a single human form till the horizon. In all earnest, such unspeaking and phantom towns and villages may not utter a complaining word. But then they scream about the enduring trauma. Their inhabitants might have undergone and that gives us a chance to peep into their harrowing lives.

    Rajasthan brims in the expanse of Thar desert. It has no dearth of ghost villages. That remains almost unpeopled for various reasons. But only a few of them have got as much attention as Bhangarh and Kuldhara. Perhaps, due to the myths attached to them. So, while we were in Jaisalmer. It was only natural for us to undertake the sightseeing of Kuldhara.

    It simmers in deep desolate wilderness, at about 18 km, west of Jaisalmer. And it certainly has a story to tell. Where, we came across a young boy named Bhairo Sharma. Who narrated the aghast episode, in an emotional tone. Is when, I reflected after many years. That there was someone doing justice to the forgotten art of storytelling.

    It happened some 300 years ago. When, Kuldhara was a prosperous village. Where, Paliwal Brahmins used to reside under the state of Jaisalmer. The story thus throws up a spine-chilling feel. When, the evil eyes of Salim Singh. The all powerful tyrant and debauch Prime Minister of the state. Fell for the daughter of the village head and desired to marry her by force. He then threatened the entire village of grave consequences, if they did not acquiesce to his wishes.  

    The entire clan of Paliwals then lived in those 85 villages. They forthwith held a council. Where, it was decided, instead of acceding, to the demands of the depraved Prime Minister. They would abandon and leave their village and homeland. To, save the honour and purity of their daughter from the evil eyes of the monster. And soon, they all left for good. But before departing they ordained a powerful curse on Kuldhara. That, after them, no one else shall ever be able to settle and prosper in the village. And from that day onwards the village remains unoccupied, barren and even deserted. It gives an isolated and godforsaken look. Perhaps, quite similar to the unseen yet imagined faces of the residents of those times, that too, centuries ago. It is also believed. People who have attempted to stay here overnight have been haunted away by some strange and abnormal phenomenon.

    The parallel story that runs and appears to be as plausible as the first one is. Salim Singh, upon not being obliged by the Paliwals raised the taxes to such an extent. That it became practically unbearable for the local community to survive in the village. So they decided to migrate to greener pastures. However, people are more inclined to believe the first story. That has a tinge of both romance and mysticism in it.

    The dilapidated and tale-telling houses and monuments are now maintained by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). One can enter the village only after purchasing tickets. After which you drive along the prime street. That appears to be the main boulevard of the settlement. Where, even now, after centuries one feels gloomy and sad. For there are rows of houses with their roofs fallen. And the ruined walls give a sense of melancholic past. Where, the entire landscape is dry, dusty and sun stricken. That conveys a blaring message of atrocious human upheavels. Even, when, the era denoted happiness through righteousness.

    We halted at a location. That appeared to be the hub of the rustic village. Just close by there was a house in good upkeep. We entered to see the rooms that were well maintained. Following the path we even went up the stairs and up to the roof. From where, the entire village was visible. Though, I could not feel any supernatural presence. Yet that element of sombreness struck me while I was there. One could say the animation was missing. Ladies in the group could not withstand the countenance of destruction and slowly walked away.  I could even sight an unvisited and left alone temple nearby. Gradually, we cruised past the ruins available in the form of the crumbling walls. For a moment, it gave me a flash of those lives that lived there centuries ago. There was definitely something spine chilling even when everything around was so calm and unmoved. Perhaps, the collective curse of those helpless citizens was still pulsating there. Where, everything was looking so recent. And one got a feel as if someone was calling you from behind those dilapidated houses.

    Kuldhara remains a desolate place with forlorn looks. Curses don’t die so soon, they say. The ambience brings across a kind of seeping sadness to your heart. Especially, when, one thinks of the unfortunate people.  Who, were forced to leave the land of their forefathers. However the place doesn’t appear to be spooky for any other reason barring the wicked crime spelt in the story.

    Even, when, the ASI has taken over the settlement. It remains to be seen if this village will ever flourish. By flourish I mean—will the lineage of the people, who left generations back. Ever come together to salvage their motherland. And last but not the least. Was this a quintessential example of a migration that moved a civilised settlement? My answer would be no.

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SHORT STORY: JOB OF GOD

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charvaha god at work indian king

    Long time ago there lived a king, who was habitually righteous but extremely arrogant. One day, he called his Prime Minister and said,

    ‘I have a doubt that keeps bothering me. As you know. In this universe everyone has a job to do.  Just like the king, who is supposed to rule. A soldier’s job is to fight, a trader is supposed to trade. A teacher is supposed to teach, a preacher is supposed to preach and even the rest of the citizenry have prescribed jobs to do.

    That is the law of the universe. In the same manner. The person who runs this universe. Also must be having a definite job to do. About, which, I know nothing. So please tell me what is the job of the person who runs the universe. That is the job of God.’

    Prime Minister had no ready answer. To this very tricky query of the king. As no one had ever asked him a question like this. But he tried to deflect the king’s attention by saying.

    ‘Your Majesty! No one has an answer for this very intelligent question. Neither, it is mentioned in any book—as the job of God.’ He then halted for a few moments. But, since, he was an extremely cunning person he thought for an instant and added, ‘Nevertheless, your question is quite valid. As this question came to my mind also and that too several times. But since my job was to advise you to help you run the administration. I didn’t bother to ask. And these are spiritual issues. Where, I  think the Raj-Purohit (Chief-Priest) will be in a better position to give an apt answer.’

    After expressing his views. He strategically left the place immediately. Leaving the entire responsibility of answering the question on the shoulders of the Raj-Purohit.

    When the king posed the same question to Raj-Purohit. He too got bewildered, as no one had ever asked him such a question. Because, no one knew what the exact job of God was. And everyone, only knew to the extent they had read in the books. Even in the books there was no separate information about God’s job responsibility.

    But the King specifically wanted an answer to his question. Raj-Purohit couldn’t have dared to offend the King, so he sought a week’s time.

    King agreed and said, ‘okay, but I need a comprehensive reply to my question.’ Raj-Purohit went home. In the next one week he went to all the libraries in the kingdom and went through all the books that he could lay his hands on. But, no where, he could get a comprehensive answer to this question.

    By the end of the week he was mentally quite exhausted. So he went out of the city and sat under a tree and started thinking. How will he show his face to the King tomorrow, or should he leave the kingdom and flee.

    One shepherd boy who was grazing his sheep nearby. Saw the Raj-Purohit sitting there in a pensive mood and recognised him. He asked, ‘sir, why are you looking so sad?’ Raj-Purohit replied, ‘child you please do your work, as I have some spiritual task to handle.’

    But, when the child assertively asked again. Raj-Purohit narrated his problem. Knowing full well, the boy will not be able to solve his problem. But the child was smart. He said.

    ‘Raj-Purohit ji, if you are troubled only because of this small question. Then please go home and relax. Tell the King, this shepherd boy knows the answer to his question.’

    Upon hearing this. The Raj-Purohit was stunned. Because, even the most renowned scholars of the kingdom didn’t know the answer to this question. He pleaded to the boy to let him know the answer. But the child insisted. He alone, would tell the king. The answer to question.

   This relaxed him a little bit when he left for his home. Next day when he reached the King’s court. The king repeated his question and with great amount of eagerness and waited for the answer. But was flabbergasted to hear. That the answer to his question was available with a shepherd boy. He immediately ordered for the child to be there. The boy arrived at the King’s court in great enthusiasm.

    When, everyone looked at him with a great amount of disgust. And also waited for the valuable words to come out of his mouth. The king asked, ‘O shepherd boy! Do you know the answer to my question. That even the renowned scholars sitting in my court don’t know? So tell me all that you know about the subject?’

    The shepherd boy hesitated for some moments and then said, ‘Your Majesty! Before, I answer your question. I wish. I be given the right kind of seat to sit. Because, as far as this query is concerned. You are the student and I’m the teacher. So, I’ll provide you with that knowledge. In principle the seat of the teacher should be higher than that of the student. But such is not the case here.’

    Upon hearing this, everyone started whispering in an appreciative manner, about the boy. The King also felt some sense is his statement. After a few moments the King vacated his throne and requested the shepherd boy to occupy it After which he eagerly was waiting for the answer, while looking at him.

    But the boy after sitting on the throne went quiet. He started enjoying the great feel, while perched on it. The King got restless and in an arrogant tone he shouted. ‘Hey you child. Will you answer now. What is the job of God?’ The boy looked at the King and peacefully asked, ‘what answer?’ and on hearing this. All those present in the King’s court were stunned. The boy then said, ‘the job of God is to put down the arrogant and lift the humble.’

    This story is one out of the thousand stories of Puran (mythological scriptures). That is still relevant even today. Just as, it was in those days. 

by Kamlesh Tripathi

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We are an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases. If you wish you could contribute for the cause. The bank details are below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

                                  Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

                                  IFSC code: BKID0006805

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