Beyond Money
A joy forever

Umang Foundation has been bringing happiness into the life of the underprivileged by helping orphanages and providing care to cancer patients

It was 2008. Ashish Goyal, an IT professional working in an investment bank, was looking for fulfilment beyond his personal and professional life. He felt indebted to society; this resulted in the formation of Umang Foundation in July 2008. The mission to bring joy to the underprivileged began with two friends.
 
Umang is a now a registered NGO that helps orphanages, street children, old-age homes, organising eye-care & blood donation camps and promoting eye donation, distributing clothes and helping cancer patients. It took a while to earn the trust of corporates as well as enrol volunteers. Mr Goyal says, “In the beginning, we hardly had any funds and few people attended our events. Trust was developed over a period of time with the increasing success and impact of every event of Umang.” Now Umang has a huge volunteer base, with support from the corporate sector.  

Umang believes that only education can help reduce poverty and uplift people’s lives. However, education should be of the best quality; many children who go to school don’t have enough basic educational material like notebooks, pencils, etc. Umang decided to fill this gap by providing the necessary stationery to children whose parents couldn’t afford to buy it for them. And the campaign ‘Promote Education—ek kadam ujwal bhavishya ki aur’ (one step towards a bright future) was born. Education kits purchased from donation amounts ranging from Rs300 onwards have been distributed to students on the outskirts of Mumbai.

Umang works with other NGOs, volunteers, orphanages and government agencies that help in identifying deprived students in schools, orphanages and slums. This collaboration helps Umang to monitor the requirements and performance of the beneficiaries. In 2010, Umang distributed educational material at a few schools in Ulhasnagar and Kalyan (in Thane district, Maharashtra).

Till date, Umang has supported around 8,000 children with educational material. It has collected 7,300 bottles of blood during blood donation camps. This year (16th January), Umang made its debut at the Mumbai Marathon—donations raised were used to support education of 4,000 students from Ulhasnagar by providing them educational material. “These children manage their entire year’s study by writing down notes on all subjects in just one or two notebooks, and they stop attending school when they don’t have notebooks to write on. But now they will have a separate notebook for each subject,” says Mr Goyal. Despite the Right to Education Act becoming a reality, Mr Goyal thinks that things will take some time to change. The media and society at large will play an important role in this change. Anyone can become a part of the efforts of organisations like Umang.

Mr Goyal says, “All the people working for Umang are volunteers, not employees. If you want to help society, Umang is ready to support you. Become a member; Umang will train you. If you are interested in warli (a traditional Maharashtra art form) painting or paper-bag making, Umang will allow you to pursue your activity to help society and eventually allow you to handle events of your own choice too.”

He continues, “We make volunteers as comfortable as possible. We help them to explore and experience. Each idea is good—it just needs some brainstorming and action.” Umang volunteers had arranged a bus ride for 26 children who are selling books & newspapers at the traffic signal at Haji Ali, Mumbai—with their help, 10 children have been admitted to school in this academic session.

Umang also provides a platform to corporates and helps them arrange activities as a part of their CSR (corporate social responsibility) initiatives. Contributions can be made via cheque or demand draft in favour of “Umang Foundation”.

All donations are exempt under Section 80(G) of the Income-Tax Act.

UMANG FOUNDATION
1506/7, Ruby,
Nirmal Lifestyles,
LBS Marg,
Mulund (West)
Mumbai 400 080
Tel: 91 98199 40222
www.umangfoundation.org
[email protected]

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SEBI announces new takeover norms; open offer trigger raised

The new norms mark an increase in the open offer size for public shareholders from 20% currently, while the trigger for such offer has also been raised from 15% in the existing regulations

Mumbai: Heralding a new set of rules for takeover of companies, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on Thursday said an entity buying 25% stake in a listed firm will have to mandatorily make an offer to buy additional 26% from public shareholders, reports PTI.

The new norms mark an increase in the open offer size for public shareholders from 20% currently, while the trigger for such offer has also been raised from 15% in the existing regulations.

Partly accepting the recommendations of a SEBI-appointed panel on the matter, the market regulator also decided to abolish the non-compete fees that acquirers generally pay to the sellers in merger and acquisition deals.

The decisions were taken at a SEBI board meeting here on Thursday and were later announced by chairman UK Sinha.

The SEBI panel on new takeover regulations had recommended an open offer for buying up to 100% in the target company, while suggesting an increase in the trigger limit to 25%.

While the recommendation on trigger has been accepted, the same for offer size has been kept lower due to intense opposition from industry and other market participants.

At the time of recommendation of Achutan committee, it was said that all the public shareholders were required to be given an exit opportunity in case of promoters of the target company selling out their stake to acquirers.

For removal of non-compete fees, which could be as high as 25% of deal value, the logic was given that promoters should not get higher price than that for public shareholders.

Commenting on the SEBI decision, consultancy firm Corporate Professionals MD Pavan Kumar Vijay said: "The SEBI board approved new takeover regulations. It is a good move in the direction of simplification of the complicated law."

He said the move to raise open offer trigger point from 15% to 25% was a "good move for increasing fund raising options and joint ventures".

It has been said that institutional investors were not being able to put money in listed companies in excess of 15% in fear of mandatory requirement of additional 20% open offer. Now, the investors can buy up to 25% stake without making an open offer.

Mr Vijay said SEBI has decided to increase open offer size to only 26% due to "industry pressure against the 100% offer size recommendation of Achutan Committee".

"Though logic of 26% is not known, but the move is good for domestic promoters and industry as cost concerns and funding of offer is addressed to a major extent," he added.

On non-compete fee, he said that SEBI has accepted the TRAC recommendation of scrapping the non-compete fee.

"Outright scrapping may not be treated as a right move as promoters can not be treated as right in all cases. Where the promoters have real personal contribution in business, Non-compete fee is logical," he added.

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MakeMyTrip fined by Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum for providing deficient service

Forum penalises the company for a total of Rs6,000 for providing insufficient accommodation despite early bookings

The Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Bengaluru, has fined travel website MakeMyTrip.com for causing inconvenience and humiliation to one of its customers. The Forum also asked the travel site to pay Rs5,000 as 'compensation' and Rs1,000 towards 'cost' to the customer.

Arjun Ramaprasad and his wife, both Bengaluru residents, complained to the Forum about humiliation and inconvenience caused to them due to inappropriate arrangements made by MakeMyTrip.com.

Soon after their marriage, the couple planned a pleasure trip to (Port Blair) Andaman & Nicobar Islands from 7th to 14th November last year. They made advance bookings through MakeMyTrip's Bengaluru branch by paying Rs21,000 on 4 August 2010 and the balance of Rs36,400 on 27 September 2010.

Mr Ramaprasad's case is that the entire trip organised by the company caused "humiliation and inconvenience" as the couple had to wait four hours at the airport; accommodation was made after waiting for five hours at the hotel reception. Further, Mr Ramaprasad alleged that the accommodation had no attached bathroom, the itinerary was shuffled; the food was not properly arranged... he has a long litany of woes.

Mr Ramaprasad served a legal notice on the company dated 22 December 2010, and asked a sum of Rs2 lakh as compensation and cost. Though the company neither replied nor paid any compensation to the company, hence he approached the forum.

In the consumer forum, MakeMyTrip, refuted the allegations and argued that arguments by the complainant are false and frivolous. They submitted that except the couple all other passengers were "happy and satisfied" with the trip.  

The Forum observed that the company denied some allegations, while admitted some, stating that it is difficult to handle a large group of 160 members.

The Forum said in its order that waiting time at the airport was beyond the control of the company as it was due to bad weather. The Forum also considered other "shortfalls" such as the Bharatang Trip, was under the 'optional tour' category and was organised by a local vendor. "The allegation of the complainant (Mr Ramaprasad) is baseless. And there is no deficiency in the service on the part of Op (the operator, MakeMyTrip) to compensate for that," the Forum said, while passing the order.

Mr Ramaprasad also alleged that the company did not obtain tickets for the journey from Port Blair to Havelock Island, which was to be made by MV Makruzz, a luxury cruise. Instead they were made to sit on the seats meant for the crew of MV Makruzz vessel.

MakeMyTrip.com denied these allegations stating that such changes were accepted by customers as a part of the terms & conditions. The Forum observed that such a shortfall was beyond the control of the company.

The Forum accepted the main allegation—the complaint of waiting for long hours at the reception and not providing a room with an attached bathroom. "When the programme (was) organised by Op in a large group, that too booked well in advance, it is their responsibility to arrange all necessary arrangements prior to landing the group at the destination. Because everybody needs to rest and freshen up immediately after the journey. There is no justification from the Op for waiting for a long time at the reception counter to allot the rooms to the passengers, (even though) it may be a large group," the consumer forum sated.

The Forum added, "When (the operator) is not able to organize the trip and not able to handle the crowd, nobody compelled them to do it."

While passing the final order, the Judge said, "Therefore, in our view, the Op caused deficiency in service in not providing proper facilities and the trip was not properly organised which caused inconvenience, humiliation to the complainants though the other travellers opined that the trip was good and organised in a proper manner."

 The forum fined Make My Trip to pay Rs5,000 as compensation and Rs1,000 as cost to Mr Ramaprasad within 30 days of the order, failing which the company will have to pay interest of 10% pa from the date of the order, which was passed on 12 July 2011.

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COMMENTS

V M Balakrishnan

5 years ago

.I have cancelled my flight ticket (Indigo 6E-111) on 28.5.11. Till today my refund was not paid by Make My Trip.

Vikas Gupta

5 years ago

Very good to see that somebody has the courage to fight against Big Co.s to protect Consumers' Rights. Khudos to Mr. Arjun & his wife

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