Archive | September, 2012

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.

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Noise pollution

21 Sep

Noise Pollution

Noise pollution is defined as the unwanted sound which is released into the environment. It causes an adverse effect on physiological and psychological health in humans.It can have a detrimental effect on animals too. Noise pollution can cause annoyance and aggression, hypertension, high stress levels, hearing loss, sleep disturbances, and other harmful effects.

Sources of noise pollution:
Road traffic particularly during peak hours is a common source of noise pollution. Uses of loudspeakers on almost all kinds of occasions like festivals and elections, worship, and during advertisements are common almost all the year round. Use of household gadgets like vacuum cleaner, TV, radio, stereo, grinder, mixer etc is another source.

Level of Noise:
It is measured in the units of decibels and is denoted by the dB. Decibel (dB) is used in environmental noise pollution as a measure of sound power level, sound intensity level and sound pressure level. It is named after Alexander Graham Bel, the inventor of the telephone. The decibel (dB) scale begins from zero, which represents the faintest sound, which is audible to a normal ear.

Recommended Noise Levels:
Acceptable noise levels for outdoor and indoor as recommended by ISI (1954-1968). A permissible maximum outdoor noise level for urban residential areas is 35-45 dB. Ministry of Environment and Forest (India) has also notified the ambient standards in respect of noise in the Gazette of India on December 26, 1989.

You can avoid noise pollution yourself by following these tips:

  • Do not use car horns unnecessarily. Areas like hospitals and campuses are silence zones and honking is prohibited there.
  • Avoid loud music, which hurts your ears and others’ ears.
  • Firecrackers are extremely loud, so don’t try and burn them unnecessarily.
  • Motors, machines and vehicles also produce loud noises when not maintained properly. Proper maintenance should be carried out for better performance.
  • If you are working in an area where there are loud noises, you must wear earplugs to prevent loss of hearing.
  • Turn off the engine of your car or motorbike when you are not using it. It stops the annoying hum, and reduces air pollution!

http://iwonthonk.in: This is a social group created to raise awareness against unnecessary honking – a habit for many Indians on the road

Sources:

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noise_pollution
  2. http://www.preservearticles.com/2012011320628/what-are-the-main-causes-of-noise-pollution.html
  3. Google images
  4. http://www.wikihow.com/Prevent-Noise-Pollution

– Deepa

Save Water

21 Sep

Water Conservation

Water conservation refers to reducing the usage of water and recycling of waste water for different purposes such as drinking, cleaning, cooking, agricultural irrigation, making electricity etc. It means using our water wisely and caring for it properly.

The most essential among all the natural resources on earth is water. A step to conserve water is the step to secure the future. If each one of us make efforts to save water today, it will save us later. Water conservation needs to be a way of life, not just something we think about once in a while. If we all do our part in conserving water, we can make a huge difference for the environment. Since each of us depends on water for life, it is our responsibility to learn more about water conservation and how we can help keep our water pure and safe for generations to come. Since we all enjoy the benefits of having pure, clean water, we must help conserve water so that we may continue to enjoy these benefits. We must all recognize that water conservation really is our personal responsibility and not just leave it up to other people.

Our water supply is finite, which means that we do not have an endless supply. We only have the water that we have now. 97% of all the water on the earth is salt water which is not suitable for drinking. Only 3% of all the water is fresh water, and only 1% is available for drinking water. The other 2% is locked in ice caps and glaciers. With all the people on Earth relying on such a small percentage of all the water on Earth, it only makes sense that we must preserve and conserve our water. We must not pollute our water because it is the only water we will ever have. Some people do not realize the importance of water, and they are continually polluting it. Only about ten percent of waste water is disposed of properly. We must learn to save water now for the future. The quality of our water is very important.

We have the same amount of water now as there was when the earth was created. Water is the foundation of food and life. Next to air, water is our most precious resource. We cannot live without water. Saving water helps to preserve our environment. If we save water now, we are helping to ensure a water supply adequate for us in the future and for future generations. Saving water saves money. There are many things that we can do to help preserve water. These are not things that are hard. All it takes is a little bit of extra effort, and soon it will be part and parcel of our life. Save the water, its all we’ve got!

We must conserve our water so that it will be available to people, nature, fish and wildlife for years to come. There are many ways to conserve water. We need to always be thinking about conserving water. If we are thinking about it, we are less likely to be wasting the water that we use. It is our responsibility to conserve water whenever possible. We waste gallons of water every day. We must learn to save our water in our homes and outside so that in the years ahead of us, we will have plenty of pure, clean water.

Sources:

  1. http://www.farnellfamily.com/cfarnell/why/default.html
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_conservation
  3. Google images

– Deepa

Law of traffic-dynamics

21 Sep

"Traffic jam can neither be created nor be destroyed but it can change forms and flow from one place to another". Traffic jams are so bad in Bangalore. As part of the change making, I would like to solve the traffic jam in a particular area, locality which I know very well. The Graphite India signal at Whitefield, near the SAP Labs Office. I selected this spot because I want to solve the problem in this area and try to extrapolate the learning from this spot and apply to the other areas of Bangalore. Apart from the civic sense missing from most of the commuters, what is also missing is the local municipality’s ability to explore the alternative routes to avoid a nightmare in this are at the peak hours. I would like to survey the area, get the possible alternative routes, including talking to the private land or road owners to allow the vehicles and propose the plan to the traffic police or the local authority.

_23BGTRAFFIC_71663f.jpg (636×454)

The Indian Economy

21 Sep

YOU CAN MAKE A HUGE DIFFERENCE TO THE INDIAN ECONOMY .
Before 12 months 1 US $ = IND Rs 39

After 12 months, now 1 $ = IND Rs 56.619
Do you think US Economy is booming? No, but Indian Economy is Going Down.
Our economy is in your hands…

A cold drink that costs only 70 / 80 paisa to produce, is sold for Rs.9 and a major chunk of profits from these are sent abroad. This is a serious drain on INDIAN economy.

What you can do about it?
1. Buy only products manufactured by WHOLLY INDIAN COMPANIES.
2.You don’t need to give-up your lifestyle. You just need to choose an alternate product.
All categories of products are available from

WHOLLY INDIAN COMPANIES.
LIST OF PRODUCTS
COLD DRINKS:-

DRINK LEMON JUICE, FRESH FRUITJUICES, CHILLED LASSI (SWEET OR SOUR), BUTTER MILK, COCONUT WATER, JAL JEERA, ENERJEE,and MASALA MILK…
INSTEAD OF COCA COLA, PEPSI, LIMCA, MIRINDA, SPRITE

BATHING SOAP:-

USE CINTHOL & OTHER GODREJ BRANDS, SANTOOR, WIPRO SHIKAKAI, MYSORE SANDAL, MARGO, NEEM, EVITA, MEDIMIX, GANGA , NIRMA BATH & CHANDRIKA
INSTEAD OF LUX, LIFEBUOY, REXONA, LIRIL, DOVE, PEARS, HAMAM, LESANCY, CAMAY, PALMOLIVE

TOOTH PASTE:-
USE NEEM, BABOOL, PROMISE, VICO VAJRADANTI, PRUDENT, DABUR PRODUCTS, MISWAK
INSTEAD OF COLGATE, CLOSE UP, PEPSODENT, CIBACA, FORHANS, MENTADENT.

TOOTH BRUSH: –
USE PRUDENT, AJANTA , PROMISE
INSTEAD OF COLGATE, CLOSE UP, PEPSODENT, FORHANS, ORAL-B

SHAVING CREAM:-

USE GODREJ, EMAMI
INSTEAD OF PALMOLIVE, OLD SPICE, GILLETE

BLADE:-
USE SUPERMAX, TOPAZ, LAZER, ASHOKA
INSTEAD OF SEVEN-O -CLOCK, 365, GILLETTE

TALCUM POWDER:-
USE SANTOOR, GOKUL, CINTHOL, WIPRO BABY POWDER, BOROPLUS
INSTEAD OF PONDS, OLD SPICE, JOHNSON’S BABY POWDER, SHOWER TO SHOWER

MILK POWDER:-

USE INDIANA, AMUL, AMULYA
INSTEAD OF ANIKSPRAY, MILKANA, EVERYDAY MILK, MILKMAID.

SHAMPOO:-
USE NIRMA, VELVETTE
INSTEAD OF HALO, ALL CLEAR, NYLE, SUNSILK, HEAD AND SHOULDERS, PANTENE

MOBILE CONNECTIONS:-

USE BSNL, AIRTEL , RELIANCE .
INSTEAD OF Vodafone

Food Items:-

Eat Tandoori chicken . home made food
INSTEAD OF KFC, MACDONALD’S, PIZZA HUT, A&W

Every INDIAN product you buy makes a big difference. It saves INDIA. Let us take a firm decision today.
BUY INDIAN TO BE INDIAN…

Education system in India causing Income Inequality

21 Sep

From Evernote:

Education system causing income inequality

Never let school interfere with your education- Mark twain

Literacy [lit-er-uh-see]
UNESCO defines literacy as the "ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate, compute and use printed and written materials associated with varying contexts. Literacy involves a continuum of learning in enabling individuals to achieve their goals, to develop their knowledge and potential, and to participate fully in their community and wider society.

Does the current education system of India really aligned with the definition? According to CENSUS 2011, 26% of India is illiterate. The fact that this illiteracy rate is one of the highest in the world and government has to work to bring this illiteracy rate down is no brainer. However I would like to draw your attention to a major problem in the quality of those 74% literates produced by our education system, which is driving this nation to a bigger social problem of income inequality.

A poor-quality education will likely lead to less development of productive skills and therefore lower paying jobs in the marketplace, while the high-quality, private educations received by those that can afford it likely lead to higher paying jobs. How many of us really reach IIMs and IITs? For an ISB graduate, because of high Human Capital, the income will exponentially grow, while the majority with low or no human capital (the 26% illiterates for instance), the income will remain stable or with a very little growth. Similar to any other policy, the education system is helping rich get richer and poor get poorer. And the Indians who graduate from IIMs or IITs, they are just the handful of people who would have adapted and survived in any difficult situation. The majorities who go through the trivial rote learning system are not getting prepared for what’s out there, most lack the skills and the mindset for productive employment. Do we still say we have a 74% literacy, Are we enabling our individuals to achieve their goals?

The people, who get the best education, what they really learn is how to work the status quo for their self advancement instead of recognizing their power to change the unjust status quo in the first place. One out of the ten thousand poor children might get out and earn good money but the system (inequality) remains the same. That one might feel that he doesn’t belong to his old community anymore and he has found a way to come out of the poverty and misery.

How you get to this situation is a historical process. Before you know it, you are put in school and then you are just trying to adapt to that the situation. You are asked to get grades, you are asked to go forward, you are told that is what one should aspire for and we just keep on going on that, our reflections are limited in certain paradigm and that paradigm is already set for us and our thinking is limited to that. You haven’t been allowed to think about anyone but yourself.

Instead of scanning from past to the future, look at it from the other end i.e. from the future going back end. Where do we want to go? Think of where do you want to be and then work backwards and what do we need to learn to reach the goal. Are schools serving that and if schools are not serving that can we adapt schools to serve that and if we cannot adapt school to serve that then what is in the society to serve that? We don’t have to be restricted that there is going to be an institution where this thing is going to happen, this can cap pen in many different spaces

Any set of qualities, that people might think, which can help an individual tackle the 21st century problems, cannot be taught in school through a curriculum. For instance by saying this is how you become a determined person, now memorize this and give this answer and you will become a determined person. It is just not possible and what we need to think what are the environment or the spaces where these kinds of things can be fostered. Just as we say necessity is the mother of invention, creativity probably fosters more in the environment of constraints because otherwise you don’t even need to think hard. According to the laws of aerodynamics, the bumblebee can’t fly, but the bumblebee doesn’t know the laws of aerodynamics, so it goes ahead and flies.

Learning doesn’t happen in a factory. Human beings are not like a computer, put all the parts together, assemble it, load the OS and at the end of the day you have a ready computer. The essential part in the learning for a human being is motivation, when they want to learn. The soil has to be ready for the seed you plant. Always be ready in catching the opportunities when people are ready and that is what we need to notice when are people ready for what

I think it is about time to come together and act on this because the day wont be far when you would say that the cup you choose to fill has no bottom.

-Alok Mihani

Child Labour

21 Sep

I was always concerned with anything to do with children and their suffering. While I was researching about the Child labor issue in India, I came across the following facts:

According to the 2001 census, there are 12.6 million children under the age of 14 engaged in child labour. This is surely a conservative estimate. The government estimates also do not acknowledge the millions of children working in agriculture. Civil society places the number of child labour at a more realistic 40 million or so.

Approximately 70 per cent of children in child labour are in agriculture. Owing to the labour intensive nature of cotton production, the use of child labour in cotton fields, especially for cross-pollination, has increased over the years. Children working in cotton fields are continuously exposed to poisonous pesticides. Apart from the health effects such as headaches, nausea and respiratory ailments borne out by various studies, children working in cotton fields are deprived of schooling. Working long hours in the field means that children cannot attend school regularly or even if they are enrolled, invariably drop out at some point.

Source: http://www.tehelka.com/story_main46.asp?filename=Ws170710AnanthapriyaSubramanian.asp

An estimated 12 percent of children in India ages 5-14 are engaged in child labor activities, including carpet production (UNICEF, State of the World’s Children 2010).

Source: http://www.goodweave.org/child_labor_campaign/facts

Irrespective of what is shown in the official statistics, we say that the phenomenon of child labour is significant because, the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986 is a legislation to address hazardous industrial child labour in a limited way as the purview of the Act covers only the organized sectors of production. As it is inbuilt in the law, this Act has excluded a vast section of toiling children in the unorganized sectors, as over 90 percent of the labour force in India is accounted for by the unorganised sectors of production.

Source: http://www.ncpcr.gov.in/Reports/Magnitude_of_Child_Labour_in_India_An_Analysis_of_Official_Sources_of_Data_Draft.pdf

I always feel that what we see/hear/read is just 10 to 20 percent of the actual reality. So I feel this is one problem which needs to be handled as quickly as possible.