Final preparations before you leave
The following suggestions do not constitute an official recommendation by the Sai Organisation of any suggestions mentioned herein.
AIRLINE NOTICE: All
electrical items, mains or battery operated, of whatever size, should
be packed in your suitcase (batteries separate) and not in your hand-luggage.
Cameras and videos can go in your hand luggage but without their batteries.
PASSPORT/VISA: Ensure well ahead of time that you hold a valid Passport. Visas are needed to enter India. Check details with the Indian High Commission – Apply well before your departure.
IMMUNIZATION: Recommendations are cholera, typhoid, tetanus, malaria, polio and hepatitis.
Consult with your doctor and chemist. Homoeopathic versions of all these can be ordered from your chemist or you may want to phone the Ainsworth Homeopathic Pharmacy, 38 New Cavendish Street, London W1 -tel. 020 7935 5330.
List the illnesses you wish to be immunised against then phone the pharmacy and they will prepare one tablet (ask for strength 30c). Take 3 tablets before leaving 12 hours apart then 2 tablets a week while away, then one a week when you return for 3 weeks. If you order 20 tablets that should suffice.
HEALTH: It is wise to obtain an adequate Travel and Medical Insurance Cover and to take the following with you - Water stenlising tablets - Plasters -Mosquito repellent - Throat Vitamin tablets - Laxative, Diarrhoea (Immodium or Arret) and Sickness tablets. Electrolyte available at the ashram or Dioralyte or Rehidrat available in UK (mineral salts replacement) should be taken daily.
Medical care in India is excellent and very low cost.
If you are under medication remember to take a full supply with you and make a note of the full pharmaceutical name and dosage as well as the brand name in case you need replacements. Always consult the Ashram doctors if you are in any doubt.
In India, unlike UK, most medicines can be purchased over the counter without prescription and in small quantities (ones and twos). Hereunder is a list of antibiotics and general medicines that you may obtain in case of need. Brand names are shown between brackets.
Antibiotics for general infections eg. teeth, ears, chest: - AMOXYCILLIN 250mg for 5days, one to be taken three times a day.
Chest infection: DOXYCYCLINE capsules 100mg - take eight, one a day at regular intervals. (no iron or indigestion remedies at same time.
Eye infection:- CHRLORAMPHENICOL eye drops. One drop in affected eye(s) every two hours until better; continue 3 times a day for 2 more days. Boils, and other skin infections:- SOFRAMYCIN ointment or similar antibiotic cream. Use 3 times a day.
Thrush:- CLOTRIMAZOLE pessaries - 200mg pessary for 3 nights or 500mg as single dose - vaginal use and CLOTRIMAZOLE cream externally
3 times a day.
Cystitis - Urinary infection or persistant ear or chest infection:- CO TRIMOXAZOLE, 480mg - for 5days - 2 tablets twice a day; or TRIMETHOPRIM, 200mg twice a day.
Persistent tooth infection: METRONIDAZOLE, 200mg 3times a day for 3 to 5 days.
Asthma:- if used to taking VENTOLIN (SALBUTAMOL) and/or BECOTIDE inhalers.
Sickness, nausea, dizziness if severe:- PROCHLORPERAZINE - 5mg up to 3 times a day (STEMETIL).
Antihistamines:- (PIRITON) CHLORPHENIRAM - 2mg, 3 times a day. (TRILUDAN) TERFENADINE - 60mg, 2 tablets twice a day
IT IS MOST IMPORTANT
that if you suffer from anything more than very mild diarrhoea fever
to consult a doctor if the condition persists for over 12 hours (but
sooner if you think necessary) as these illnesses can prove serious
if not properly treated early on.
CURRENCY: There are banking facilities at Bombay, Madras, Bangalore, Whitefield and Puttaparthi as well as most Hotels. Sterling Travellers Cheques are safer than cash, but take some sterling cash with you. You can buy Rupees only in India so, at the first opportunity it is advisable to go to a Bank and obtain a supply of small notes (Rs 1/-, Rs 2/- and Rs 5/-). However, if you are travelling in a group, wait till you reach the Hotel where the rate of exchange compares favourably. Authorised money changers will issue a Certificate of Transaction for you to keep for when you wish to convert back any unused Rupees at the Airport. Note that it is very likely that the cashier will convert your Rupees into US dollars and not £sterling. Please remember that you are not allowed to take Rupees out of India. The major credit cards are generally accepted and if you are short of cash, you may draw the equivalent of up to £130.00 against your Visa card at the Andhra Bank, Narasimha Raja Road branch in Bangalore (next to the Air India office). On your return journey, you will have to pay the Airport Embarkation tax before you are allowed to check in at the Airport and you should arrive at the Airport at least 3 hours before departure.
BOMBAY & MADRAS ASHRAMS: If you land in Bombay and have time, you can visit the Ashram which is quite near the Airport. The address is:
Dharmakshetra, Mahakali Caves Road, Andheri East, Bombay - phone Bombay 837 7999. In Bombay tell your taxi driver that you want to go to the Sai Baba Ashram. In Madras the ashram is called Sundaram.
SHOPPING IN BANGALORE
Commercial Street in Bangalore has many small shops where you can find almost anything. There is also a good food supermarket called Nilgris on Brigade Road. Many of the shops close in the afternoon from 1 to 4.00 pm, then remain open to about 8 pm and even later. You can travel round Bangalore very cheaply by taxi or in the 3 wheeled scooter-rickshaws, which are good for short journeys. Ladies can find saris, kaftans, Punjabi suits and scarves and men can buy white cotton ‘pyjama suits’ or kurtas for Ashram wear, all in and around Commercial Street. Please note that clothes from Mahatma Ghandi Road tend to be slightly more expensive. Tailors in Dispensary Road, Bangalore and also in Puttaparthi will run up what you need in a very short time.
TIPS: It is customary to tip in restaurants and hotels. In the restaurant for example use your discretion to leave between 6 and 10%.
Continued on Going to the Ashram (Page Three)