Saturday, December 5, 2015


Today's post actually does have a word learning element, as sundara is Sanskrit for "beautiful". But that's not why I'm writing about it today. Yesterday I happened to get an email from TakePart, an online action group, which included a link to this article. The story is about how a woman in India has started an organization called Sundara that takes slightly used hotel soap, cleans it up and sanitizes it, and refashions it into new bars for people who otherwise would have none. It's estimated that seventy million people in India qalone live entirely without soap. The article tells us that more than two million children die of diseases like pneumonia and diarrhea which could be prevented by soap and regular hand washing.

If you're like me, you sometimes think of things you'd like to have that you can't afford. But I'm pretty sure if you're reading this, you have a bar of soap at your disposal, which puts you in a category of luxury that a lot of people can't even conceive of. If you'd like you can make a donation at Sundara, and in some parts of the world anyway, you can also get involved with Clean the World, which gathers soap from the U.K. and the E.U. among other things.


  1. I had a college classmate from India, part of whose name was "Sundaram." Another part of her several-headed name was "Lakshmi," who was the consort of Vishnu and the Hindu goddess of good fortune. That was a quite a set of evocative names my classmate had.

  2. Unlike Lakshmi, though, she did not have four arms.