Beyond Money
Skin Protection

Sunday Friends established a first of its kind ‘skin bank’ to save the lives of victims of burns, diabetics and trauma

W e make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” That is the motto of Sunday Friends—a Mumbai-based non-government organisation (NGO) formed by 100 like-minded friends who work at looking after the welfare of the helpless and downtrodden. Sunday Friends was established in 1982 by youngsters inspired by the work of Narayan Sewa Mandal at Vile Parle (Mumbai). As the name suggests, most of the work happens on Sunday. A team of volunteers regularly visits different wards of the LTMG Sion Hospital in Mumbai and helps out along with medico social workers (MSW) and doctors.

One of the most distinguishing features of this NGO is their creation of a ‘Skin Bank’, the first of its kind in Mumbai. Most people don’t even know that skin can be donated after death or stored like in a ‘blood bank’. The biggest challenge before Sunday Friends is to educate and motivate people to donate skin after death. The process started with educating doctors, especially family physicians, who are best placed to encourage donations. Gaurang Damani, who is active in this movement, says that the education process started with a seminar in February 2007 attended by over 150 doctors. The process is repeated at every opportunity, including participation in exhibitions by setting up a stall to explain the process and the need. He says, “Donating your skin after death saves the life of at least two burn victims or patients.” Interestingly, more than 540 families have already taken interest and have donated their skin.

When a person suffers serious burn injuries, the body loses proteins when there is no skin; this, often, leads to death. Synthetic skins are available today, but they are very expensive and out of reach for many victims. Donated skins are stored in freezers and retrieved to be applied to the exposed and burnt body parts of victims. It acts like a biological bandage by covering the exposed body and prevents the entry of bacteria and controls the loss of protein. This ensures protection until the victim starts to develop skin on his/her own. Beneficiaries are victims of burns, diabetics and to trauma patients.
So, how does one go about donating one’s skin? Anyone above the age of 18 can donate skin. Older persons with wrinkled skin can also donate and Mr Damani tells us that a 102-year-old man had donated skin, probably making him the oldest person ever to do it! An important condition is that one must not have any communicable disease, such as hepatitis, HIV, skin cancer or skin diseases. The blood type of the donor is irrelevant and need not be known. The family of potential donors can call the hospital and a doctor’s team will arrive within two hours to collect the skin. The skin can be harvested up to 24 hours after a person dies, since the doctors only take a thin layer of the epidermis from the thigh and back of a person. Anyone wanting to donate the skin of a recently deceased kin can call the Sunday Friends’ helpline

Apart from conceptualising the skin bank and donating the freezer, Sunday Friends has also established a life-saving ‘drug bank’ to subsidise the supply of insulin injection, dialysers, and provides financial assistance and rations to needy patients.

What makes Sunday Friends unique is the decision not to register it as a formal body with office-bearers, but to raise funds for specific activities as and when required. It also follows a no-names policy to ensure that there are no disputes or power tussles and the money received is utilised optimally without wastage.

If you are interested in contributing/volunteering in any manner whatsoever, contact Sunday Friends.

Sunday Friends

211 / 5, ‘Beas’, Sion Main Road,
Opp  Ltmg Sion Hospital, Sion (E),
Mumbai - 400 022.
E-mail: [email protected]/
[email protected]
Contact details for Skin Donation only: 9820075645, 9821119451, 9821523076


Book Review: The Risk of Trading

A real-life view of trading risk


A lot of people know risk in real life. You know that you’re in danger when you’re in front of a speeding train. But do you, as in investor, know whether your savings are in danger after buying some financial instrument? Risks can creep up and hurt us, financially, because they’re invisible. While risk management is taken somewhat seriously by companies, it is generally missing at an individual level. Most investors rely on their gut feeling to measure risks. This book by Michael Toma  makes the case for a more ‘data-driven’ approach to risk management. In other words, analysing past data and making statistical inferences to manage risk will yield better results. While this may be true, it really depends on your style and discipline; because, eventually, risk management is all about the process and not just the numbers cranked out after feeding in a bunch of formulas into the system. Maintaining a journal is an integral part of the process as it inculcates the habit of recording (and learning) from every trade. At first glance, the book appears academic. Besides being heavy on text, it has questions at the end of each chapter to ensure that readers have understood the chapter. The book is divided into three sections. The first introduces the reader to the concepts of risk management. The second delves into the practical applications of data analysis and the final part deals with the psychological aspects of risk management. If you are interested in the concept of risk and want to know the history of how humans have handled risk, look no further than Peter Bernstein’s excellent book Against the Gods. However, if you want a book specifically for improving your trading or investing habits, this book could come handy. 




5 years ago


I just finished reading your review of "Makers" by Chris Anderson.

It was a great review. This brief review has touched on many core topics which programmers (hackers) and startup entrepreneurs are talking about these days. For example services vs manufacturing is analogous to consumption (content consumed or time wasted on facebook / twitter) vs production (producing something tangible, perhaps a blog post or even a product), 3D printing, open hardware (Arduino).

In general these topics are talked among programmers - but I was surprised and delighted to read about them from a non-technology journalist. The above technologies are new and you seem to have researched about them from the web - which is a good thing. Your mention of Wired also highlights that you have done fair amount of research on this.

Thanks for such an excellent write up.

Mutual fund regulations: Who contributes the most to equity inflows is overlooked

Independent financial advisors contribute the most to new equity fund inflows especially from beyond 15 cities. Yet the regulator chooses to ignore this ‘small’ distributor community by coming up with regulations that harms their business

Around 77% of the total equity assets under management come from the top 15 cities, according to CAMS MFDEx data (accounts for 91% of industry). In the top 15 cities most of the fund inflows come from independent financial advisors (IFAs), national distributors, and private banks; each of them contributing around 27% to 29% of the total fund inflows from the top 15 cities. From beyond 15 cities, IFAs’ contribute the highest share amounting to 55% of the total fund inflows. Direct investors contribute just 5% to the total assets in both the categories. On consolidating the data, IFAs have contributed the highest to the total equity fund inflows for the period from April 2012 to September 2012. IFAs brought in 33% of the total equity fund inflows followed by private banks and national distributors which brought in 26% and 23% respectively. Other distributor categories brought in less than 6% each. But yet the regulator ignores these facts coming up with regulations that go against the distributor fraternity and impacts the industry as a whole.

Here is why we feel the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has a history of coming up with half-baked ideas. In August 2009, when SEBI banned entry load, the worst affected were the IFAs. With their commissions taking a hit many IFAs went out of business. Three years later, in order to increase penetration, SEBI allows fund houses to hike TER (total expense ratio). Our analysis has shown that a hike in TER stands to benefit the fund house the most and the earlier entry load worked out to be a better option for long-term investors. (Read: Much-maligned entry load was a cheaper option!) Instead of incentivizing the channel that has the highest penetration in beyond 15 cities, the regulator has done just the opposite by striking a blow at their business and introducing a direct plan.

The IFA community has also written a memorandum to be sent to AMFI and SEBI against the introduction of the direct share class. They mention that the abolition of entry load brought a major blow to the IFA community and that their income shrunk by three-fourths of what it used to be. This led to a huge exodus of IFAs from the industry. A number of active ARN holders shrunk drastically post-August 2009 directive. The proposed regulation of introducing direct share class and offering lower TER for direct investors would result in devastating effects for the IFA community. Their existing high net worth clients would shift to the direct route and would result in a loss of revenue for them. “With dwindling revenue, an IFA would find it difficult to remain afloat and soon abandon the business” they mention in the memorandum.

Though, at present, direct investors contribute the lowest to new equity inflows, it would be interesting to see whether the SEBI’s new plan would be able to increase the contribution of inflows from the direct route. A lot depends on the magnitude by which the TER of the scheme is reduced. Fund houses knowing that their distributor community contributes the maximum may not reduce the TER to an extent that it would cause investors to switch to the direct plan.

To read other research done by Moneylife on mutual funds, click here.

The direct route would be beneficial in the long run for investors but then that too would come at a cost. Direct investors may find it difficult to keep up with the various changes in regulations and documentation process without an advisor. There are various servicing activities like change of address, change of bank mandate, consolidation of folios, transmission of funds, inclusion of nominee, handholding on minor investments, arranging for periodical statement of accounts, correction of mistakes in the account, change in KYC, change in contact information, etc that are carried out by IFAs for their clients. Direct investors would have to do all of it by themselves.


Sales contribution from



National Distributors

PSU Banks

Other banks

Regional Distributors


Top 15








Beyond 15




















5 years ago

It was a great mistake to abolish entry load. It is given to understand that churning was the reason which prompted such action but it was ill conceived and half thought action. Leave aside financial products and think of anything other than the spiritual or social services given by a few holy souls in this world what is given free and who works for somebody without expecting remuneration by whatever name? Why should the public servants get salary? Further as in any other field free advice/service is available in every field from our friends, neighbours, relatives and social servants. They could have done this work also for the public. It was absurd to think that only mutual funds schemes should be sold without paying any commission to the agent and all other products, services may it be financial or otherwise can be sold with any amount of commission without any knowledge to the buyer. What is the situation in medical, education field? Who else declares the profits he earn by selling anything? Only 3/4% money is invested in equiry or equity related products. Why this sudden love towards these 3/4% investors developed leaving balance 96% of consumers of various products and services to the mercy of manufacturers, sellers and those things? Banks are in business for last more than 50-60 years and have branches everywhere in India. Everyone knows bank and who wants an account opens it. Everything is direct. Still RBI has formulated and allowed banks to create channels like Business Facilitators and Banking Correspondents paying fee/commission to them. From where this commission come, ultimately from the customer's account. This is contradictory. Why we can not find a person, organization or govt. body which can think about this disparity. Ok, if you want it to make direct and without any kind of payment on account of commission etc. to anyone make it in post office, life and general insurance, banking, RBI bonds, all private schemes and also make compulsory for all manufactures of pin to aeroplane to print amount of profit earned by manufacturer, distributor, retailer etc. on the bill. At least they should learn from the experience of PFRDA.

Suiketu Shah

5 years ago


MF is fine provided the agent provides positive service and adv to the client.Most agents fool customers into MF9there are 500 of them) into those where they get higher commission even at higher NAV etc.This is why most investors decide to play safe with FDeposits.If one needs to be in equity,shares is not so difficult with wonderful research by companies like moneylife.Im afraid to say MF is a dying industry thanks to the patheticallt agents(majority of them ,not all) who make more money than the customer.We strongly agree to disagree.



In Reply to Suiketu Shah 5 years ago


Investing is an act of faith. Mutual funds are not for those, who are not willing to put their ‘trust’ along with their money into mutual funds. However, those who have reposed unflinching trust in mutual funds and held on to them steadfastly through thick and thin have done well for themselves.

Mr. Shah, request you to ‘also’ read another article on moneylife titled “Indian retail investors tend to lose in the stock markets”.

Indian MF industry is on the death bed, not because there is something inherently wrong with the nature of MF industry. – But, because it has been brutally damaged from outside.

I am hopeful, you shall reconcile. The sooner you do, it shall be profitable for you. There is no compulsion to invest in mutual funds though.


5 years ago

As a mutual funds distributor please allow me to First and foremost say a BIG thank you to The Moneylife Team. Thank you MDT for the empathy.

This is perhaps the only article in the past four years, which has not listed us as some kind of crooks and whatnot. . . I can’t thank you enough for treating us, mf distributors with basic courtesy and respect for once.

To say that the past 3 -4 years have been tough would be an understatement. Yet the powers that be, do not want to define how much commission is fair and adequate for mobilizing money into mutual funds.
– But, How is it okay to offer more compensation for mobilization from Tier2 cities. It is rotten idea, not a half-baked one,

A mutual funds investor who follows asset allocation can NORMALLY expect to double his investment in 4 – 6 years time. In this period the agent use to get between 1% - 2.25% as a onetime upfront commission + 0.5% on annualized basis till the investment is alive. – Anyone who says this arrangement is unfair needs to undergo a mental check up.
If this upfront commission is deducted by the AMC from the investment amount and paid to the agent. What is wrong? Where is the problem? Why is it allowed to happen in Life Insurance & General Insurance?

Some intellectuals claim entry load is anti-investor. How can entry load be anti – investor?
Rather than penalizing the wrong doers they chose to strike at the entry load and positioned entry load as anti-investor.

Just consider the bad press we, as mutual funds distributors have been receiving from those very guys who have been merrily collecting advertisement revenue from speakasia and also a foreign bank charged for criminal offence and money laundering in the USA. Worst the mis-selling of some now gets glorified as ‘sharp selling’.

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