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Indian Newslink 15th April 2018 Digital Edition


APRIL 15, 2018 28 Communitylink Help at hand even before St John Ambulance arrives The miraculous birth of Baby Bella Jennifer Porter Rachael Torkington was only 25 weeks into her pregnancy when she went into early labour on July 22, 2017. “I was barely six months pregnant. I remember thinking that it is too early. This cannot be happening – this is not good,” Rachael recalled. One moment, Rachael and partner Kyle were relaxing at home, the next, they found themselves delivering a vulnerable baby while on the line with 111. Guidance from Ambulance Rachael was lying on the bathroom floor, in pain and distress, when she felt a strong urge to push. Suddenly, she gave birth to a very small baby: “She was just teeny, teeny, tiny. She was not much bigger than my hand,” Rachael said. At the other end of the 111 line was St John Call Handler Rebecca Robinson and, with her, Intensive Care Paramedic Anthony. Together, they used all their training and calmly instructed Kyle on how to do CPR on their tiny baby, who needed urgent medical care to survive. While Kyle was keeping his little girl alive, St John Ambulance Officers Olivia, Karen and Steve Pudney were rushing to the house as quickly as they could. When they arrived, they knew that they had to get Bella to hospital. But she had to be stabilised first. Remarkable feat Thanks to their training and innovative thinking, they achieved an incredible feat and got her to hospital to receive the care she needed. Baby Bella was so fragile, she had to stay in hospital for 136 days. After some long and uncertain weeks, Bella was finally well enough to go home, where she is now happy, healthy and thriving. The story of Bella Olivia, whose second name honours one of the ambulance officers who kept her alive, shows just how much of adifference St John makes 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. St John Northern Region Fundraising & Marketing Manager Kristin Cross said, “Baby Bella’s special story, one of thousands out there, is why everyone here does what they do. St John is full of people who enable little miracles to happen every day.” Every day is different Rebecca, who took the 111 call from Kyle that night, has been a Call Handler with St John for over five years and says no two days are the same. “It is a great feeling to know that I make a difference to someone’s life in some small way, by helping those in scary and unforeseen situations. “There have been many moments in my time here that have been memorable – some happy, some sad and others traumatic. The opportunity to go to Christchurch and meet Bella and her parents, who I helped and gave instructions over the phone, was special. It was a very stressful and scary situation for the parents. Rare Meeting “It’s not often, as call handlers or dispatchers, that we get to meet the family of the people we help. Seeing Bella’s progress so far was a great experience and something I will always remember.” Rebecca added, “The assistance that St John provides is vital for local communities and people in need of education, and medical, traumatic and social support. The staff at St John – from call handlers, dispatchers and team managers to the amazing road crews and support staff work tirelessly to help people in need all over New Zealand.” Heart of Gold Appeal Throughout April, St John is running its ‘Heart of Gold’ annual appeal. The Charity hopes to raise $2.2 million, needed to pay for ambulances, and more of the specialist equipment and intensive training that helped to save Bella’s life. Kristin said, “A single ambulance costs $225,000 and can attend to as many as 600 incidents a year. The lifesaving equipment for which funds are also needed will help our ambulance officers to treat people more effectively in the high-stress scenarios that they encounter, helping around 470,000 patients each year.” Donations, please Donations to the ‘Heart of Gold’ appeal can be made in any ASB branch across New Zealand, online at nz, or by calling 0800-785646. St John is delighted that Indian Newslink is extending the chance for its readers to contribute towards a new ambulance via the Newspaper’s innovative crowdfunding initiative. Readers can help St John buy an ambulance for the community and save lives, simply by donating at or sending a cheque to St John, Private Bag 14902, Panmure, Auckland (include your name, address and code Newslink). Watch Baby Bella’s touching story here: https://vimeo. com/262130569/2419f0131f A new wave of Carnatic Music comes to our shores Amrutha Murali in Auckland and Wellington this month Venkat Raman A2011 review in The Hindu described her as “one of the brighter talents of the young brigade that gives much hope and optimism for the future of Carnatic music.” About seven years on, Amritha Murali has grown to become a leading vocalist of her generation, with an increasing repertorie of Carnatic Music with proficiency in executing Ragas and complex compositions, motivated by her passion for the art. Music buffs, budding Carnatic Music singers and enthusiasts will have an opportunity to listen to Amritha for the first time in New Zealand later this month. The Auckland Concert Organised by Rasikas NZ and Sangeetha Bharathi School of Music, the Concert will be held at Centennial Theatre, Auckland Grammar School, located at 55 Mountain Road, Epsom from 530 pm on Saturday, April 28, 2018. Tickets, priced at $30 (Reserved), $20 (General) and $15 (Seniors and Children) are now available with Priya Srinivasan (021-613155) and Dr Padma Govardhan ((09) 6245922). Email: The Wellington Concert New Zealand Fine Arts Society is organising the Concert in Wellington. It will be held on Sunday, Rachael Sibley and Kyle Torkington with Bella (seated) with Karen Connolly, Olivia Burns, Mike Martin, Steve Pudney and Rebecca Robinson (Picture Supplied) April 29, 2018 from 6 pm at the Newlands Community Centre Hall, 9 Batchelor Street, Newlands, Wellington. Tickets priced at $25 (General seating) are now on sale. For further information, please contact TN Balajee 021-0599405. Amrutha will be accompanied by R K Shriramkumar on Violin and Melakaveri K Balaji on Mridangam. Impressive beginnings Born and raised in a family that appreciates classical music, Amritha learnt the art initially from her grandmother, who was a Senior Artiste at All India Radio. Like many other eightyear-olds, her proclivities were in a number of other areas including sports. “Although I did not understand the seriousness of what was being taught, I learnt a few Varnams and Kirtanas from my grandmother,” Amrutha said. Her parents recognised the inherent talent in their daughter and provided her opportunities to learn the art from many well-known maestros including the late K R Kedaranathan, Meera Kedaranathan, Rama Ravi and her current Master P S Narayanaswamy. Discipline and Devotion The Kedaranathan couple deserve credit for Amrutha’s progress. “They inculcated a sense of discipline and aesthetics in whatever I sang and shaped my taste in music. I learnt a number of Kirtanas and was exposed to different facets of manodharma. My passion grew quickly and from then on there was no looking back,” she said. Of all the stalwarts of Carnatic Music, Amrutha’s esteem for the late Bharata Ratna M S Subbulakshmi was not only a source of endearment but also inspiration. A proficient Violinist, she learnt the art of playing the instrument from T Rukmini. “Music has always been top priority and no peer pressure or study pressure was a hurdle in my career. All the values that my Gurus have imparted have today helped me focus and have given a sense of direction to my music,” Amrutha said. About Support Artistes R K Shriramkumar is a Violinist from the Rudrapatna family of musicians from Karnataka. He is the grandson of the legendary violinist R K Venkatarama Shastri and grandnephew of R K Srikanthan, a renowned Kanjira player. In a career spanning more than three decades, he has performed for many prestigious organisations and festivals in India and overseas. Melakaveri K Balaji hails from a family of musicians. His Father K Krishnamurthy was a professional Mridangist. while his grandfather Melakaveri A Kalyanaraman was a renowned Kanjira player.

APRIL 15, 2018 Model of the Fortnight Inner beauty shines with eternal grace Beauty alone is not the attribute to be an Indian Newslink Model of the Fortnight, there should be the ‘inner beauty,’ that permeates the personality, says Anjini Lata, the reigning titleholder of Ms Fiji People’s Choice Award 2017 (as Ms Earth). Her smile is captivating but Anjini maintains a small, inner circle, for, “being careful is better than being sorry.” “I make friends easily but loathe dishonest and selfish people,” she said. Ability to provide quality care and service has made Anjini a successful real estate agent but that is another story- under ‘Women in Real Estate’ feature in this issue. Awards and Honours She will be visiting Las Vegas in July to participate as Director and Ambassador of ‘Elite Global Earth 2018’ to be held there– that is yet another story to appear in a later issue. Among her other accomplishments in show business are Ms Fiji Earth and Marketing Manager for Mrs New Zealand 2017, Mrs New Zealand 2016 and Mrs India New Zealand 2015. “Nothing is impossible if you aim high. This happens when you leave a legacy behind that is honoured, respected, valued and imbibed by people. Your social life can become a model for others and help them lead a better life. Women have made this world a beautiful place to live. The presence of women makes life blossom like a flower,” she said. Cultural and Social Values Anjini is a single mother and even now dotes over her only teenager son. She has justified pride in seeing her child grow as a fine young man, keen to become a professional with cultural and social values that are important in life. She has given and received love and respect in every country that she has visited- Fiji, where she was born and raised, Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, and USA, where she has impressed peers and admirers with her sincerity and self-respect. -Venkat Raman If you wish to be featured as a ‘Model of the Fortnight, please write to editor@ Communitylink 29 New Starship boss pursues lofty ideals Venkat Raman An Award-Winning Marketing Specialist and Planning Strategist has been appointed to head the Starship Foundation in Auckland. Aisha Daji Punga took charge as Chief Executive of the Organisation on April 3, 2018. A graduate in Commerce (BCom) with Marketing as the major subject from the University of Auckland, she has more than 20 years of experience in senior executive positions in the fast-moving consumer goods and telecommunications businesses. Ms Punga is a passionate advocate of children’s health and wellbeing and has been a volunteer at the Life Education Trust for the past 12 years and has been a mentor at the Akina Foundation, apart from being involved in Ko Awatea and the South Auckland Health Equities campaign. Lofty Target Ms Punga hopes to raise at least $20 million every year for Starship. “We are more ambitious than ever in our drive to unlock and enable all New Zealanders to demonstrate their goodwill and support for Starship. Despite the extraordinary support and work of many, New Zealand’s health outcomes are still far from where they should be – we are ranked in the bottom-third of developed countries in terms of overall child health and wellbeing. I look forward to the Starship Foundation playing a pivotal role in accelerating better health outcomes for all New Zealand children,” she said. Three Priorities Ms Punga said that the Starship Foundation will continue to invest in several priority areas. These include (a) Research and innovation that will accelerate the pace of Aisha Daji Punga with Starship Clinical Directors Dr Mike Shepherd (left) and Dr John Beca (right). (Picture by Olivia Hemus) change, bringing new treatments, smarter ways of delivering them and helping to retain Starship’s brightest minds (b) the latest advances in medical technology and better facilities, so that the team at Starship has the resources to go above and beyond for their patients; and (c) the best training and professional development to enable staff to meet the most challenging and complex cases. Good Choice Starship Foundation Board Chair Martin Wiseman said that he and his colleagues are delighted at the appointment of Ms Punga. “She will ably work together with the Starship Foundation team, Starship Child Health and our wonderful donors as we embark on an exciting time ahead of enabling our national children’s hospital to achieve even greater heights providing world-class care to children and their families,” he said. For donations, please call 0800-78277447 or visit

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