Archive | September, 2012

22 September, 2012 06:59

22 Sep

Hi Nikhil,

Please find my articles for today’s workshop.
Apologies for the delay




Why not commute by Bi-Cycle?

22 Sep

Date: 22/09/2012 Written by: Karthikeyan B

Why not commute by Bi-Cycle?

In today’s IT city Bangalore, almost every single person own at least one car ranging from Nano to BMW. And if not a car, at least a motor bike which became a status-quo to work in a MNC company.

And the problem lies in traffic congestion in the narrow roads laid by the government. During peak hours, it takes 2 hours to cover a distance of 30 minutes.

Apart from the traffic congestions, everyone gets an attitude of leading the other person going in front resulting in speed driving and accidents.

In addition to the traffic congestion and accidents, people develop obesity leading to lot of health problems developing acute diseases in a shorter span of time.

These are the problems i see when i think about the Bangalore city roads and people work in MNC.

Coming to the solution part, why not creating awareness about cycling in a mass way. Bangalore is one of the finest cities where one of the first cycling clubs is found in India. But still only few cycling enthusiasts were part of the club doing extreme cycling and also commuting by cycle to office.

If there is an awareness created by the government among the public and providing facilities like separate lanes for cycles, locking facility in railway stations/bus stands/malls, then it will motivate many people to commute by cycle.

If some great efforts were put up here, we will find a congestion free roads and a healthy living in Bangalore.

Believe me, you will love Cycling!

‘Tis the Season

22 Sep

It’s nearing the end of the year, and that means one big festival after another for most us. This is the time for us to go on holiday, to visit our parents, meet old friends, decorate our houses and surroundings, feel part of a whole and to just enjoy. A time for old bonds to be nurtured, new links to be made, our houses to get cleaned up, sweets and savouries to shared, and for an air of gaiety and joy to sweep the land.

All the same, it will also be a time when our surroundings will bear the brunt of our enthusiasm, when our ponds and lakes and rivers will be filled with plaster of paris and toxic paints, when burnt paper/plastics/fibre will litter everything, when animals and birds will cower from noise and will get hurt.

Do the two need to go hand-in-hand? With just a little bit of effort, can we not have a festival of lights without sound, a festival of creation without destruction? By using idols made of bio-degradable materials, by reducing or eliminating the use of crackers or by having a joint celebration, by teaching our kids to seek joy from
togetherness and not from toys and gifts, can we not reclaim the festivals?

Festival impact.pdf

Some ways in which education isn’t working as it should

22 Sep

“If you wish to make an impact for one year, plant corn; if you wish to make an impact for a generation, plant a tree; if you wish to make an impact for an eternity, educate a child” – Anon

Education has been described as a key tool for the growth and development of an economy and rightly so. In a world where technology completely reshapes industries in a matter of years, educated and adaptable people have a much better chance of succeeding. Even if we leave aside pure economics, it is clear that a proper education truly broadens the mind, dissolves barriers of caste, creed or religion, overcomes prejudices and promotes universal understanding. Of course, this may not happen immediately, but the impact of education over successive generations cannot be overstated.

Therefore, it is not surprising that the Government of India is trying to ensure quality education becomes accessible to as many children as possible, through measures such as the mid-day meal scheme, the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan and the Right To Education Act. While various aspects of these measures can be debated, their overall intent cannot.

However, as the accompanying examples show, the road ahead is bumpy. In one instance, we see a school running out of a converted toilet, lacking facilities such as a playing ground and having three classes run from a single room. In the second instance, we see how some schools are trying to subvert the RTE by almost promoting a hierarchy within the school setting.

Admittedly, our country does not have the resources to run lakhs of government schools in facilities that are very prim and proper. Even so, surely a small and robust building with a playing area cannot be that hard to provide. If our government schools cannot be cynosures, they don’t need to be eyesores. Our growing up years should be full of learning and fun, not drudgery.

With regards to the second example, there have been many concerns of how the RTE could lead to issues of discipline and so on. Perhaps this is indeed a challenge. But solving that requires sensitivity and not segregation. Our world views are infinitely richer when we are exposed to diverse perspectives. Mixing children from different social strata may not be easy but it has the potential to enrich their minds. Why shrink from such an opportunity?

Education issues examples.pdf

No Safety For Females

21 Sep

No Safety For Females

As we have all seen in the past few days, the television and news channels have been filled with acts of unprovoked violence against females.

Even if we ignore these violent reports, a conversation with any girl will give us an idea that there has not yet been a single female who has not been subjected to any form of abuse or has been the recipient of unwanted behavior. How can a society remain happy and carefree if 50% of its population lives in constant dread of the fate that may befall them? A dread daily enhanced thanks to the graphically detailed videos and reports, stories and experiences that are heard and seen every day.

This however is not an easily solvable problem unless we can consider forcibly reforming every male mind and some female minds as well.

What steps can we take to ensure that there is some feeling of security and to ease the current sense of fear and cautiousness? Some basic steps such as:

– – Allowing ticket vendors, drivers and other similar personnel in public transports basic authority to intervene and raise complaints with higher institutions in case of such incidents

– – Installing surveillances and the cheapest possible technology to at least instill the fear of being watched to dissuade such behavior

– – A hotline number that is attended to by an organization (such as the one provided by the youth congress in Bangalore on Valentine’s day)

kjh – Sindhu

No Job Opportunities For Less Than Fairly Educated People

21 Sep

No job opportunities for less than fairly educated people

People with education up to the 10th or 12th do not get opportunities to work in this society as easily as they are supposed to. Although they can easily be considered for jobs that require medium skilled labor such as simple accounting and paperwork, they are rarely taken up and considered.

Example 1:

A maid of mine worked many houses to put her sons through school and pre-university hoping that they will at least get a steady income job of a secretary or an assistant. She later pinned her hopes on making him a BMTC driver or a cab driver with a private company. Her son today is an office tea boy despite his more than fair score in the 12 board exams. Despite our best efforts, he was unable to secure a respectable job although he can read, write and calculate well and can also communicate much better than most of the people we see today in the same positions.

Example 2:

A neighbor, till today, struggles to support his family. He is unable to do so because there is nobody willing to give him a job suitable to his education or his work experience. He has studied till his second year of BA and then dropped out due to unavoidable circumstances. He also has many years of experience in the automobile and automobile spare part sales industry. His educational background has stopped companies or people from accepting him as a suitable candidate for the smallest of jobs today. A fact that could have been easily remedied had he marketed his skills and knowledge well.

A group or organization that can take such people under their wing to train them in the areas required would be extremely beneficial to society and can improve the standard of living of many families. Sometimes a small thing such as improvement in speaking or an improvement in resume can work wonders.

– Sindhu

Effectiveness of Donation Collecting Organizations and Donations

21 Sep

Effectiveness of Donation Collecting Organizations and Donations

A problem that has really got my attention is the lack of focus and effectiveness of organizations that claim to help societies by collecting donations via campaigns.

We have always helped and supported organizations that ensure facilities like housing, industries and food in impoverished areas. These organizations have always requested donations in terms of clothes, rations, money and other material goods. We have also donated a large number of clothes and food items to such causes. But how many of these organizations actually have a good understanding of the real problems being faced by the society they are trying to help? And, how many of us who donate are aware of how effective our help is in relieving a tough situation or in providing help that is truly needed?

It is a simple enough task to perform a real time study of the society, group of people or the area we are trying to help. Most of the time, people who can observe and speak the language are more than sufficient to understand what exactly is most required by the people. This not only helps in creating a self sufficient organization, but also avoids such entities from becoming permanently dependent on benefactors.

Example 1:

I once visited a self made village community that was supported by my undergraduate college. This visit happened as a part of my induction and was meant to educate my class about the tough living conditions that exist and of the actions that are taken by the college in order to help these people. The help provided were in terms of building houses, donation of money, material provisions like groceries and clothes. On speaking to the villagers, in Kannada, they expressed the actual need for emergency transportation and training in their industries.

Example 2:

There is an orphanage in proximity to my house which is run by the RSS. This orphanage is very unpopular and not well known at all. This results in a very less number of patrons and hence a very low rate of donation income. There is no lack of material donations such as food and clothing. All patrons donate the same things. What is really required by them is money for amenities such as cots, ceiling repairs, blankets and education related activities such as tuition and fees.

– Sindhu