Category Archives: Social

Because she is a woman

As women’s day approached, I debated over the possibilities of topics for the post—woman achievers, gender discrimination, female foeticide, and so on. Then, I recollected the INKLive 2014, where I heard Shravani Hagargi’s talk. Shravani co-founded Safe Hands 24×7, a security agency which employs women security guards. The main obstacle she had at the beginning was to gain client’s trust. They had difficulty believing her guards could provide good security. The reason—because they were women.

Because I'm a woman

This got me thinking. What are the assumptions/expectations of people from a woman? How does she react to this stereotyping? Does she accept, reject or ignore them? Instead of answering these questions myself, I asked them to my fellow blogger friends.

Kokila, who blogs at Sunshine n Blue Clouds aptly describes the position of woman in ancient texts. “She is either a Goddess—the pious and the giving one, benign, patient and forgiving Or a witch—the bloodthirsty one, selfish, conniving, sly and scheming. Nowhere is she accepted as Manvi.. the Human.” Continue reading Because she is a woman

What’s in a name?

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” – William Shakespeare

Everyone quotes The Bard to undermine the significance of names. I feel names are important. How would you like it, if you asked me to order roses for you, and I called them chrysanthemum while ordering? You may not consider names as your identity, but they are used for identification. No one likes to be called that pie-faced boy/girl; they prefer names. Continue reading What’s in a name?

A long way to Swachh Bharat

A long way to swachh India
Littered Road-side, Karjat

Swachh Bharat campaign is getting a momentum. It has become a trend talking about cleanliness and hygiene. That is about the only thing most of the people do. Sadly, everyone isn’t ready to act for the cause. Taking a broom for a day isn’t going to achieve clean India, or if it does achieve it, it’ll be for a day.

Maybe we should have a clean India day. On that day, we all can clean the streets, and the country will sparkle if only for a day. And the rest of the year we can go back to our regular irresponsible self.

If we want something permanent, we have to try and break the habit of considering the streets our personal trash can. After about three months of the campaign, the streets are still littered with trash, and the trash cans when present are still never maintained. 😦

As to the stray animals, I personally feel it’s cruelty to animals letting them loose on the streets, prone to accidents. Many a times, poor dogs meet with a horrible fate under some fast moving wheels. But then, in a country which can’t care for half of its people, it’s useless to expect the authorities to bother about caring for stray animals.

The way to Swachh India

Can you guess the location of the picture? Filthy

Frankly, it could be any place in India. Filthy road-side habits coupled with piles of garbage littered around has become a trademark of our country. It is sad that India, who invented flush toilets is the same country where most people have no toilets in their house. Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Sanitation is more important than political independence.” Then why, even after 68 years of independence is clean India still a dream? The irony is everyone wants to see a clean India, the people, the government…but everyone expects others to do it. So, when our prime minister, Narendra Modi took it upon himself to pick a broom, and start a campaign for swachh Bharat, he was considered a pioneer. It triggered an enthusiasm among the people.

Banega Swachh India

RB and NDTV partnered to launch a five year ambitious programme, Banega Swachh India to address the sanitation and hygiene needs in India. The campaign aims at promoting awareness about sanitation and hygiene, and also team up with NGO’s to build infra-structure and toilets in India. This is an alarming task considering the nature of the campaign, and the current state of the country.

As a part of this campaign, swachh express was flagged off, which aimed to create awareness among the people by interactive videos, distributing flyer, hand-washing sessions, etc. Swachh India is not just about taking a broom and cleaning up your area, but maintaining good sanitation practices like not littering the streets with garbage,avoiding defecating in the open, and also includes  personal hygiene like washing hands. In short, it is a campaign to promote a healthy India along with Swachh India.

When Nihal from Indiblogger called to inform me, that I could join the swachh express during their journey in Maharashtra state, I was jubilant. Thus, I got to experience the live working of the campaign, and record how it affected/influenced the people. Continue reading The way to Swachh India

Hungry for education

Scene-1

Nima looked longingly at the school building, the kids rushing inside with their coloured backpacks. Her feet automaticaly moved in the direction of the school gate. She couldn’t decide between going to school, and to her mistress’s house. She wanted to study, to learn to read the books which told countless stories of great men of the world. However, she needed the work, her father was always ill, and mom couldn’t afford to feed their whole family. Her stomach growled, and the decision was made. Cleaning her mistress’s house might be exhaustive; it was a big house. There were many dishes she had to wash too, but there was leftover there, and she didn’t have to worry about food.

All through the washing, Nima dreamt that she was in her school with Lata playing, and talking about how she would be a Doctor when she would grew up. Then, she would treat people like her papa who didn’t have much money. The crash of the plate broke her reverie. She picked up the pieces, and tried to fix it. The glass cut through her little fingers, but she was worried more about how her mistress would react. She shivered at an earlier memory… Continue reading Hungry for education

Two kids playing in the park

Inblogger top postThe park seemed empty, he was early. He pulled down his cap to shield his eyes from the afternoon sun, as he looked around the park for a familiar face. Not finding anyone in the quiet park, he bounced his ball on the ground and tried to catch it. He missed it many times, and the ball rose high above his head; he jumped and still missed.

On the edge of the bench, not very far, sat another kid. When the first kid entered, it looked for a moment, this one would join him to play. He glanced at the other’s spotless blue shirt, pants, and matching shoes. He shook his head, and went back to digging the ground with his toe. He had dug a nice hole when a ball rolled near his toe. He hesitated, afraid of spoiling the smooth exterior of the ball with his rough, cracked hands. He saw suspicious eyes staring at him, and bent to pick the ball. Continue reading Two kids playing in the park

A child who reads

235x96_top-indivine-post“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”- Albert Einstein

fairy tale
Image Courtesy: A glimpse of Paradise

Does your child love to read? Are you surprised that your child has an aversion to reading even though books are your life? It isn’t surprising that kids don’t get attracted towards words when you consider other options like playing. As a child I loved playing with other kids than being cooped in a house with a book. My transformation from indifference to books to loving to read was a miracle devised by parents’ careful planning. My parents inclined me towards reading without forcing me or putting a stop to my outdoor activities. Continue reading A child who reads

A worthy cause-1

Green Coalition Network

Activity: Green Coalition Network is an independent non-governmental environmental advocacy organization that was informally founded in the year 2000.

Green Coalition is dedicated to improving public health standards, protecting the environment and promoting sustainable development & ethical business.

We provide practical eco-friendly solutions that integrate long-term economic prosperity and sound social development, thereby bringing about real positive change. We implement this by influencing public opinion, building constructive partnerships with industry and the government and promoting community and corporate programs focused on youth & public participation. Continue reading A worthy cause-1

The city needs trash cans

I took my nephew to the gateway of India a while ago, and had a really difficult time teaching values. After looking at the sea from every possible angle, he pointed at the bottles and other garbage thrown in the sea. I saw many tourists, foreign and Indian, guilty of the act. I was really very indignant. We, Mumbaites, can be very touchy that way. We might not keep our city clean, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t too.

Looking at my nephew, I realised that this could be a fine teaching moment. He was now busy with his dairy-milk. I told him, “When you finish, you throw the wrapper in the trash can. Other’s will learn from you.”

He dutifully nodded.

Gateway of India, Mumbai.
Gateway of India, Mumbai.

Minutes later, we started searching for a trash can. There wasn’t any. We walked all around the entire stretch and some more. I could see signs of apprehension in my nephew’s eyes. He must have started wondering if he’ll have to keep walking till we spot a trash can. What if we don’t find one?

Finally, I told him to do what I always do. We decided, we don’t need a trash can. We had one at home. We could take the wrapper home in my purse and throw it in our own trash can.

Then, I realised the source of my habit of carrying all such waste home in my purse. There never is a trash can nearby. The only places which have a trash can are the railway stations and the hawker’s stands.

I looked back at the people throwing the trash in the sea. Most of them weren’t carrying any bags. Normally, I am all on the side of cleanliness but even I was appalled at the alternative prospect of carrying all the trash in the back pocket of their jeans.

There are ‘keep city clean’ signs everywhere. The authorities want the city clean? Where’s the trash can?