Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Nalanda Centre for Holistic Learning available for Community Programme

Times Foundation, the developmental wing of the Times Group endeavors to create an enabling environment that fosters development through a range of activities like advocacy, partnership building and implementation of social programs.

One of these initiatives is the Nalanda World Wisdom Centre, which seeks to reincarnate the essence of the Nalanda University at Pataliputra of ancient India . The Nalanda World Wisdom Centre aims to facilitate holistic learning by enhancing the well being of communities through rejuvenation of the body, mind and soul.

The spectrum and character of the programs ranges from the traditional to the modern aspects such as Spirituality, yoga & meditation, health programs ranging from counseling to support groups, art & culture, professional skill enhancement such as human resources, legal and counseling skills.

The Nalanda centers have been conceptualized as a platform for holistic development. We offer the venue at no cost to those individuals or organizations who wish to conduct suitable programs at these venues. In return the organizations are required to contribute by replicating the same programmes for disadvantaged segments and audiences.

Nalanda Centres :
CST
Lower Parel
Bandra
Nalanda @ HELP


We are proud to announce the opening of yet another Nalanda centre at Masjid Bunder .

This would be the focus of programmes required by marginalized, underprivileged and socially excluded groups and communities. Thus the society around the centre would benefit from programmes on health, women empowerment, educational and development workshops for children and youth, in addition to the life transforming spiritual programmes

Having an area of 2500 sq.ft working space with all facilities, the new branch is located at -
Masjid Bunder
M.S. Godown,
The Times of India ,
Masjid Siding Road ,
Wadi Bunder,
Nr. Ghadial Godi, Mumbai-400 009
Contact details -022-22733212 / 22733242
E-mail: nalanda@timesgroup.com

Nalanda being a platform for holistic development will provide the venue at no cost to interested / concerned individuals and groups to organize social development based programs and courses.


Posted by:
Divya Mahimkar
Times Foundation
divya.mahimkar@timesgroup.com

Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Required a SOCIAL WORKER for NGO working with Senior Citizens

POSITION TITLE: Social Worker

REPORTING TO: President / Director

LOCATION: Mumbai, India

Silver Innings is a Social Entrepreneur organization dedicated for the cause of elderly and their family members. We are committed in ensuring that ageing becomes a positive, rewarding experience for all. On 10th April 2008 Silver Innings (SI) started off with a website www.silverinnings.com which contains comprehensive information for elderly and issues related to them. After the success of the website, Silver Inning Foundation an NGO was started initially to provide non-institutional services for the elderly.

Silver Inning Foundation (SIF) requires a full time Social Worker for managing services and projects that we are currently running and also planning to start. Trained Social Workers or persons with experience in the social sector can apply. The person concerned should be interested and willing to work for the cause of the elderly. He or she should be Passionate, Progressive, Non materialistic, Self Starter, open to new ideas and Technology friendly.

The roles and responsibilities would include the following:
Initiation and co-ordination of projects
Conducting surveys
Writing reports/proposals
Conducting volunteers meetings
Managing and coordinating with volunteers
Representing SIF at various forums
Handling dementia cases and other case work
Handling Elder Abuse
Counseling
Attending conference/seminar
Organising/Conducting Workshop, Lecture, Talks
Coordination with government authorities
Handling CSR projects
Networking with NGO’s and organisations
Fund Raising
Events and activities


Must Have/Be:
Operations and management skill
Leadership skills and ability to manage and motivate team/teams.
Skills in Networking and Advocacy
Good communication & representational skills.
The incumbent must be able to commit to a minimum of 3 year full time stint.
Patience and good listeners
Entrepreneurial skills
Willing to learn
Must be willing to travel any where in India


Preference:
Mumbai based candidates only
Fluent in English, Marathi and Hindi
Ready to join immediately/one month
Fresh / 1 to 3 years experience


Qualification:
BSW /MSW
Graduates


We assure you of Job Satisfaction and Growth.

Please note as SIF is startup organisation Salary will not be in five digits for at least one year and later it will be decided as per appraisal report and performance.


Interested individuals may please submit their CV, with a passport size photo and 3 references by email to silverinnings@gmail.com with the subject line indicating Social Worker-SIF.No phone calls and application by post/courier will not be entertained. Please note that only short listed candidates will be contacted. The last date of receiving applications is 10th June 2009. Appointment will be preferably from 1st July 2009.


Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Platform for the youth

Jaivir Singh, co-chairman, Young Indians Education Committee, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), speaks on how the youth can make a difference in educating the masses.

Young Indians (YI), an integral part of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), has recently launched Akshara, a project that focuses on primary education along with environment and primary healthcare of children from classes I to V. It is a platform for the youth from different walks of life to engage and share ideas at a national level. Akshara focuses on primary education of young students by establishing a 'Learning Resource Centre' at a chosen school. These learning centres also aim to achieve positive learning outcomes like quick learning, better performance in exams, positive attitude towards school and a constant motivation to pursue further learning, among others.

On how the youth can do their bit for the society, Singh informs, "The Delhi chapter alone plans to initiate 10 Aksharas in the year 2009-10 and has ambitious plans for other programmes relating to healthcare and employability. YI is open to all young Indians who want to help in realising the dream of a developed, economically strong and equitious India. Membership is open to people below the age of 40 years and currently the national membership stands close to a 1,000 members."

YI actively engages with government, corporations, civil society groups and NGOs to discuss and formulate plans for ground level programmes. Elaborating on its development programmes, Singh says, "YI works towards promoting leadership skills for the development and engagement of students in schools and colleges through its 44 Students' Net platform. This platform engages more than 3,000 students from 35 educational institutions across India. We hope to take the YI message to an even larger audience of young Indians at the local and national level."

Singh was also instrumental in launching Nanhi Chhaan — an initiative aimed at raising awareness about the protection and development of the girl child and the environment. "We will be running programmes to address the issue of female foeticide and infanticide in villages across North India. We also aim to plant over 5,00,000 saplings over the course of this year," he adds.

YI undertakes activities in areas such as economy, education, healthcare, youth affairs, employability and the environment. Through its various initiatives, it has so far impacted around 15,000 students across 50 centres.

Source:http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Platform-for-the-youth/articleshow/4572976.cms

Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

No Place to be Disabled

India passed a law for equal opportunities and rights for persons with disabilities in 1995, but in spite of taking more steps than some other developing countries, its 60 million physically challenged population remains hugely disadvantaged.

"There are very few options in wheelchair production, especially for children, with no regular supply of whatever is available," K.N. Gopinath, assistant director of the Bangalore-based Association of People with Disabilities (APD), a national organisation working to empower the physically challenged told IPS.

Technology in locomotion and mobility for the disabled has progressed worldwide, but India continues to use antiquated tricycles and wheelchairs as mobility devices.

"Basic understanding of mobility is lacking in India today," APD director V.S. Basavaraju told IPS.

Thirty-two-year-old Usman, who works for a company manufacturing aids and appliances for the disabled in Bangalore, says he has never boarded a bus or train. "Even though people are willing to help you, it is still nearly impossible to use public transport here.

" Nineteen-year-old Hanumantha says he has an arrangement with a colleague to drop him home every evening. In return Hanumantha buys him a ticket to the movies once a fortnight. "My father brings me to office everyday, carries me and sits me down," he says.

Only about 15 percent of the loco motor disabled in India are able to use public transport, as compared to over 65 percent of disabled populations in developed countries. The rest struggle to commute daily - or are immobilised.

India's social support network of family and friends is much stronger than in developed nations, but there is little barrier-free access to public facilities.

Usman is one of the luckier ones. His inputs on what suits the disabled most were used by his employers, the Bangalore-based Indian company Flexitron, to design a low-cost, motorised, rechargeable bike for the disabled, priced Rs. 18,000 (356 dollars). Similar bikes cost around 3,000 dollars in western markets.

Most of Flexitron's labour are disabled or challenged individuals who test their own products for usability and durability, thereby serving both their own livelihood interests and those of the company.

But private companies like Flexitron lack access to government channels which use the public sector Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Company (ALIMCO) to source disability appliances.

Not surprisingly, Flexitron now has a major market outside India, selling low- cost, low-wattage consumption technologies, including 53 disability- assistance devices, to 16 countries.

Flexitron director R.S. Hiremath acknowledges that India has a poor record in research and development, but says there are several low-cost options that could be made in India for everyday needs, such as cutlery that can be grasped by those without fingers, or mats that allow a person to transport himself from wheelchair to bed, or bathroom devices.

"These would be simple devices, so very useful for the disabled, at half the price compared to western countries," he says.

But progress is patchy. "There is no actual discussion across all sectors of related users and manufacturers," Gopinath told a gathering at the APD golden jubilee celebrations in Bangalore last month. He said that the 1995 law, the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act is dependent on funding without designating a specified source for it.

India's Deputy Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, T.D. Dhariyal, says each state in India has its own priorities to arrange funding.

India is a signatory to the UN Declaration on the Full Participation and Equality of People with Disabilities in the Asia-Pacific Region and to the Biwako Millennium framework for action towards an inclusive, barrier-free and rights-based society. The Biwako framework of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) was agreed in Japan in 2002.

Barrier-free systems use appliances and designs such as stair lifts at metro stations, wheelchair-friendly ramps, Braille signboards, and accessible ticketing counters.

The only places in Asia with near-total barrier-free public environments by UNESCAP standards are Hong Kong and Japan.

Dhariyal says India's Disabilities Act of 1995 provides a strong fillip to ensuring the rights of the disabled.

"I am currently fighting a case in court of a visually impaired government officer who has been denied the position of District Collector (a senior administrative rank) because of his disability," says Dhariyal. The Act now makes it possible to take up such cases, he said.

India's Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, responsible for the disabled, has six schemes for rehabilitation, livelihood, education and assisted device grants, more than what most other nations have.

The amount of assistance on offer is, however, inadequate. "How much can Rs. 6,000 (118 dollars), given as grant for aids and appliances by the government really help?" says Hiremath.

But many are not able to access even this fund.

"My experience is that most of the current funding available (for disability- related aid) remains unused," Dhariyal told IPS.

"We (APD) are now saying that what we have today in India is not enough, that we need value addition to mobility issues," says APD director V.S. Basavaraju.

Dhariyal agrees that quality could be improved. "If aids of better quality are the issue, then somebody should approach the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (looking after disability-related governance) and put it to them," he says, sending the ball back to the court of organisations like APD.

Source: http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=46960

Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

No country for women

"She would never have been born if her parents had not wanted a daughter." This copy went along with a small photograph of Indira Gandhi as a young girl. It was one of the prize-winning entries nearly two decades ago in the Ashok Jain Awards for Public Awareness Advertising. It was also a direct attack on the growing practice of female foeticide in India, driven by the then-new medical technology called amniocentesis. This added to the already rampant practice of female infanticide in some parts of the country and led to a sharp fall in the sex ratio biased against females.

The 2001 Census shows that the sex ratio is continuing to drop at an alarming rate all over the country though the degree might differ from one state to another. According to some estimates made by Population First, a non-government organisation that works on population and health issues in India, approximately five million female foetuses will be aborted every year over the next five years. Child sex ratio statistics in the 0-6 group has been showing a continuous decline over the last four decades, growing sharper since 1981.

The current all-India sex ratio in the 0-6 group is 927:1000, which is a dangerous sign of a demographic catastrophe on a nation-wide scale. This fall, from 976:1000 in 1961, is alarming because the country is registering an upward growth in many other areas. This underscores that economic prosperity and education have no bearing on the sex ratio, or, in other words, the traditional preference of sons over daughters. It also points to the fact that modern medical technology is being used for purposes that are at complete odds with the stated goals of healthcare.

Testing times
In India, amniocentesis was first used to detect abnormalities in the unborn foetus in 1975, at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi. As soon as news spread that these tests could also detect the sex of the foetus, doctors at AIIMS noticed that most of the 11,000 couples who volunteered for the test were interested only in knowing the sex of their unborn baby and had no interest about genetic abnormalities. Women, who already had two or more daughters, asked for abortion, legalised in 1972.

Today, the three chief pre-natal diagnostic tests that are being misused to determine the sex of a foetus are amniocentesis, Chronic Villi Biopsy (CVB) and ultrasonography. Amniocentesis is meant to be used in high-risk pregnancies, in women over 35 years. Amniocentesis is advised in the following cases: when the pregnant woman has a history of one abnormal child - mentally or physically challenged; when either parent has a congenital defect; when the couple falls within the 'high-risk' category of producing a defective child; when a previous child has been born with Down's Syndrome or neural tube defects; when parents have hereditary and metabolic disorders; to detect haemophilia, a rare blood disease; and when sex has to be determined for sex-linked hereditary diseases.

Amniocentesis tests can detect 1500 genetic abnormalities, thus helping in advising parents to decide whether they would like to have the child carried till full term or whether they would prefer to get it aborted.

Similarly, CVB is used to diagnose inherited diseases like thalassaemia, cystic fibrosis and muscular dystrophy. Ultrasonography is the most commonly used technique as it is non-invasive and can identify up to 50 per cent of abnormalities related to the central nervous system of the foetus. But sex determination has become its preferred application. This is despite the fact that using diagnostic techniques for sex-selection is discriminatory and violates the fundamental right to equality, not to mention the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act - PC and PNDT Act of 1994.

The Act disallows the use of pre-natal diagnostic techniques for sex determination; it says that such techniques can be used only for detecting genetic or metabolic disorders, chromosomal abnormalities or certain congenital malformations or sex-linked disorders. The Act adds, "No person conducting prenatal diagnostic procedures shall communicate to the pregnant woman concerned or her relatives the sex of the foetus by words, signs on in any other manner."

The Parliament enacted the Act after the disturbing child sex ratios in the 1991 Census figures led to consistent campaigning on the issue by women's groups and other civil society groups across the country. The Act has been upheld by the Mumbai High Court in the case of Mr and Mrs Soni vs. Union of India and CEHAT, 2005. The judgement states: "The right to life or personal liberty cannot be expanded to mean that the right to personal liberty includes the personal liberty to determine the sex of the child which may come into existence. Right to bring into existence a life in future with a choice to determine the sex of that life cannot in itself be a right."

Read More: http://www.indiatogether.org/2008/apr/wom-nowomen.htm

Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Why Dalits Have Slammed Mayawati’s Sarvjan Formula?

Kanshi Ram and Mayawati started their politics with “Tilak, Traju aur Talwar- inko maro jute char” (beat the Brahmins, Banias and Thakurs with shoes) and “Vote hamara raj tumhara nahin chalega” (we won’t allow you to rule us with our vote). Besides this, in order to attract Dalits (Scheduled Castes.) they gave the slogans like “Baba tera mission adhura, Kanshi Ram karenge pura” (Kanshi Ram will fulfill the mission left incomplete by Dr. Ambedkar) and “Political power is the key to the entire problem.” Through these slogans they aimed at attracting and agitating the dalits against the ‘Savarans’( higher castes) and they succeeded also to a good extent. This polarization of dalits was further facilitated by the political vacuum created by the division and downfall of Republican Party of India which was established by Dr. Ambedkar himself in 1956.

Since 1995 Mayawati made various experiments to broaden the base of her Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). In the beginning it was known as the party of the dalits only. Later on Muslims and Other Backward Castes were also co-opted. It fought the 1993 Assembly election jointly with Samajwadi Party (S.P.), a party of Other Backward Classes and made good gains. It resulted in the formation of first coalition government of BSP and SP in Uttar Pradesh state of India. This coalition of natural allies became a subject of discussion all over India but soon a clash of personal ambitions resulted in its fall in June, 1995. Kanshi Ram and Mayawati grabbed the post of Chief Minister by making an unethical and opportunist alliance with Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP.), a party of orthodox Hindus and the bitterest enemy of dalits. This put the dalit movement and dalit politics on the path of opportunism bereft of principles. It not only confused the direction of dalit politics but also fogged the difference between friends and foes of dalits. This alliance not only gave a lease of life to the dying BJP but also broke the natural alliance of dalits and Backward Castes for ever. This unprincipled and opportunistic alliance was justified as being essential for getting into power and party workers were mislead by this briefing.

This alliance with BJP not only confused the dalits but Muslims also moved away from BSP as they consider BJP as their bitterest enemy. During the first tenure of BSP rule in 1995 some land was distributed to empower the dalits because till then the party workers had some presssure on the party leadership. But later on in order to please the Upperr Caste people dalit interests were given a go bye and getting power became the sole motive of the party leadership. After first tenure of Chief Ministership of Mayawati, this process became faster and BSP raced towards ‘Sarvjan’ throwing aside the Bahujan. In every election moneyed, musclemen and mafias were given preference being winning candidates and dalits were restricted to reserved seats only. Party mission was overtaken by money power and muscle power. Old missionary party workers and those who were close to Kanshi Ram were made to exit the party unceremoniously. As such dalits were put on the margin in the party but they continued to be with the party with the hope that one day they may also get some benefit of government but their hopes were belied.

From 1995 to 2003 Mayawati thrice became the Chief Minster of Uttar Pardesh (U.P) but she always took the help of Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP). During this period neither any dalit agenda was chalked out nor any effort was made in that direction. During 1993 this author during many discussions with Kanshi Ram suggested chalking out a dalit agenda but my suggestions were ignored. I think it was done purposely because declaration of an agenda brings upon a duty to implement it and if failed it brings upon the responsibility and accountability for the failure. It is a matter of regret and sorrow that a party seeking political power in the name of dalits has not framed any agenda till to date as a result of which the dalits have been deprived of any gain coming from a government being run in their name. The result is that the dalits of U.P. are the most backward dalits in whole of India barring those of Bihar and Orissa. During this period moneyed and musclemen of Upper Castes have been managing to get Assembly and Parliament tickets and getting elected they been enjoying the fruits of power whereas dalits with a meager representation have been deprived of all such benefits.

BSP, which is doing politics in the name of Dr. B.R.Ambedkar, in its effort to secure power has totally ignored his warning in which he had said that “dalits have two enemies. One is Brahmanism and the other is Capitalism and dalits should never compromise with them.” But Mayawati has compromised with both by co-opting Brahmans and Corporate sector. At present dalit politics has become a tool for power grabbing. It reached its height when before 2007 Assembly elections Mayawati formed Dalit Brahman Bhaichara Committees (Dalit Brahmans Brotherhood Committees) headed by a Brahman president and a dalit as secretary.

The election success of BSP during 2007 was mainly attributed to the important role played by Brahmans and they got a lion’s share in power which was much disproportionate to their population. Dalits were reduced to the level of second class players in the Party and in minister ship. This methodology of co-opting Upper Caste people was publicized as new “Social Engineering” and BSP was transformed from the Party of dalits to a Party of Sarvjan (all inclusive).

During this period slogans such as “Haathi nahin Ganesh hai, Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh hai” (it is not an elephant but a trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh- all Hindu gods) and “Brahman shankh bajaiga, Haathi dilli jaiga”( Brahman will blow the conch and elephant will march towards Delhi) were coined to placate the Upper caste persons much to the chagrin of dalits. Elephant symbolizes the symbol of BSP. The Varna system of graded inequality became fully operative in the Party and dalits were further pushed to the margin.

Even now during the present rĂ©gime of Mayawati, dalits have been totally ignored and Sarvjan have occupied the front seats. All important ministerial posts have been given to Upper caste people. Mayawati’s personal corruption has percolated to all the branches of administration and U.P. has been assessed to be “ an alarmingly corrupt state”. The various welfare schemes aiming at empowering dalits and other weaker sections of society have fallen a prey to all pervading corruption thereby depriving the intended beneficiaries of their benefits.Balatant corruption came to light during recruitment to the posts of Safai Karamcharies (Sweepers). Similar complaints surfaced during other recruitments also. It is said that there might be only a few lucky persons who escaped payment of high price for government jobs. The funds intended for development works were spent on installation of statues including her own and creating royal memorials and parks.

The action of Mayawati of ignoring the dalits and giving preference to Upper Castes has resulted in disillusionment and anguish amongst dalits. This has been displayed by them during the recent 2009 Lok Sabha elections. Most of the criminals, moneyed men and muscle men fielded by Mayawati have been defeated as the dalits did not vote for them. Mayawati now and earlier also gave tickets to the persons whom she had herself accused of threat and assault during the Guest House case of 2nd June, 1995. But dalits refused to oblige her and almost all have been defeated.

The recent election results show that dalits have rejected Mayawati’s much trumpeted up “Sarvjan Formula” and she needs to do a serious introspection and learn from her mistakes otherwise it will prove to be a missed opportunity.

By S.R.Darapuri

Read More: http://www.countercurrents.org/darapuri210509.htm

Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Water safety blueprint on the anvil

A study sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) has pointed out that the standard of drinking water and sanitation in rural West Bengal is not good enough to prevent water-borne diseases. The situation might change for the better with Sulabh International Academy of Environmental Sanitation deciding to prepare guidelines on water safety plans for rural India with the help of various agencies.

"Water-borne diseases kill 782,000 people in India every year. There is an endeavour to improve drinking water supply and sanitation in Kolkata and some other cities under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) scheme," said A K Sengupta, national professional officer of WHO's Sustainable Development and Healthy Environment. The guidelines prepared by the Sulabh academy might be implemented through the JNNURM scheme.

Sengupta said a study was conducted in Hyderabad to check how the city's sanitation and drinking water supply system was working. "It was a thorough study involving collection of field data, which was then used for GIS mapping to create a complete recordable data," he explained.

Chairman of the arsenic task force, state expert appraisal committee and professor of Sulabh International Social Service Organisation, K J Nath, said a guideline on a water safety plan could act as an early warning system that can help prevent water-borne diseases. It would be a national guideline for all cities and rural areas to follow," he said.

Chandan Sengupta, chairman of the task force on total sanitation campaign and member of the arsenic task force, said the national rural drinking water supply programme, which was scheduled to be implemented from 2008 to 2012, got under way in April 1 this year. "In West Bengal, only 35% of the rural population has been covered by 1,150 piped water supply schemes, while the remaining 65% is covered by around 5,00,000 spot water sources like tube wells. By 2012, 50% of the rural population is likely to be covered by piped water supply schemes," he added.

NGOs need to be involved in providing an alternative safe drinking water supply system, he said, adding, "We have to ensure coordination between the bodies at the state level to further develop the system."

In Bengal, particularly in North and South 24-Parganas, a water safety plan is badly needed as many areas of both districts are affected by arsenic. Besides, the amalgamation of sewer and water supply lines in many places has created serious problems, particularly in rural areas.

Experts concede that there were no proper data and guidelines available with government bodies like the public health engineering and panchayat samitis to develop a drinking water supply and sanitation system.

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Kolkata-/Water-safety-blueprint-on-the-anvil/articleshow/4549394.cms

Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

NGO requires Program Officer

Background
TCI Foundation is the social arm of Transport Corporation of India Limited (TCIL). TCIL is a pioneer in the sphere of goods transit in India and is India's leading multi-modal integrated supply chain solutions provider.

As part of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s India AIDS Initiative, Avahan, the TCI Foundation is implementing Project Kavach, a $12.26 million project initiated in January 2004, to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS among long distance truckers in India. The project is presently operational at 19 large intervention locations across India.

Rationale of the Project
The unique challenges posed by the plethora of trucker-focused interventions in the country, the mobile nature of the population and the fragmented structure of the Indian transport industry explain why trucker interventions in India need a unique approach. TCI Foundation is attempting to address these issues by creatively deploying conventional business tools such as innovative communication and promotions to engage the trucker community, branding and merchandising to build a unique, highly recognizable programme identity and standardizing and scaling up service delivery across a network of major transshipment locations akin to the franchise business model. In order to achieve scale and visibility the programme plans to engage major corporates in the transport and related industries, as well as key stakeholders in the industry.

This programme employs a strong system of measurable indicators supplemented with regular survey-based mechanisms to monitor progress on major outcomes as well as a comprehensive evaluation plan to assess impact. A 17-member team operating out of Gurgaon (National HQ), Nagpur (Regional unit) and Bangalore (Regional unit) manages the project. The team is equipped with diverse skill sets including STI Management, Communication, M&E and Program Management.

In addition, the program has played a pivotal role in supporting the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) in their efforts to design and implement a large scale National Program for HIV prevention among truckers under National AIDS Control Program (NACP) III. TCI Foundation’s engagement with NACO is focused on ensuring a seamless transfer of the project’s learning, systems and tools to the National Trucker Program as and when it rolls out.

NACO, as part of its NACP III, has prioritized HIV prevention among truckers as a key programme component and intends to launch the trucker program as a single national-level project to target long-distance truckers. NACO proposes to set up a National Trucker Consortium to design, manage and monitor national trucker interventions to halt the spread of HIV among the truckers. TCI Foundation, in partnership with All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC), has been selected by NACO to manage the National Consortium. Over the next couple of months, the team managing Kavach & Truckers TSG project will be around 40 - 45people.

Reason for Hire
TCI - Foundation is looking to hire Program Officer Positions at multiple locations (Mumbai, Bangalore & Chennai); who will be responsible for providing strategic support to implementing partners like SACS & NGOs in the areas of project planning, implementation & monitoring/impact measurement.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Assist SACS & NGO partners in planning and quality monitoring of the program.
  • Co-ordinate and provide guidance to the implementing partners in her/his region.
  • Responsible for quality monitoring and ensure timely recruitment of staff in respective intervention areas.
  • Identifying the capacity building needs or any other specific intervention needs along with their Regional Managers.
  • Facilitate field level interventions and provide assistance and timely guidance to NGO partners including training/studies conducted at the intervention areas.
  • Monitoring and supportive supervision of NGO partners.
  • Liaison with various stakeholders/ Government Agencies etc.
  • Ensure timely data compilation/ narrative reports of all interventions.
  • Social Mobilization at various levels.

    Must Have:
  • Post Graduate degree in Social Science/Public Health/Social Work; with 5-8 years of relevant experience of working on HIV/AIDS prevention programmes/projects.
  • Experience in providing technical support in project planning, implementation & monitoring (project based milestones); to partners like SACS, NGOs and other implementing agencies.
  • Excellent relationship management skills; with experience of working with government agencies.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English & Hindi.
  • Problem solving and decision making skills.
  • Prepared to travel frequently in the region.

Location: Multiple - Mumbai, Bangalore & Chennai

Third Sector Partners, a leading CxO and board search firm in the Not for Profit sector has been retained by TCI Foundation. Interested candidates can send in their CVs along with three references and a covernote to application.po@gmail.com or Contact us at: +91 22 6660 3558/6660 3559. The last date for submitting applications is 27th May 2009.

Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Join Diploma/ Certificate Programmes of Centre for Lifelong Learning, TISS

The Centre for Lifelong Learning announces 3 one-year evening Programmes from June 2009 to April 2010. Please find below the information about the programmes.

1) DIPLOMA IN GERONTOLOGY (A Course to Work with Older Adults)
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
(a) Goals of the Diploma Programme in Gerontology
· To prepare learners for interdisciplinary practice with older adults and their families while providing professional leadership in the field of Gerontology.
· To generate a trained cadre of functionaries for effective intervention based on a Human Rights perspective for enhancing the ‘Quality of Life’ of Older Adults

(b) Objectives of the Diploma Programme in Gerontology
The Educational Objectives are as follows:
· To offer a comprehensive interdisciplinary ‘rights-based’ perspective in the field of gerontology
· To inculcate a holistic understanding of the biological, social, political and economic issues involved in working with Older Adults
· To impart the necessary attitudes and skills for making effective interventions in the field of Gerontology

COURSE PARTICIPANTS
(a) Eligibility:
· Graduate in any discipline. Preference to be given to those with work experience in clinical, social and developmental settings.
· All NGO personnel involved with geriatric services in fields such as health, mental health and education; administrators of human service organizations and corporate sector personnel.
· The Course will cater to all who intend to branch out or initiate services for the elderly.
· The Diploma Programme has an interdisciplinary focus and so it will invite those from medical, legal and financial backgrounds who wish to address issues of elderly and to audit specific subjects in particular.


2) DIPLOMA IN COUNSELLING
OBJECTIVES:
· To develop a greater awareness of “self” as a tool for change in the counselling process.
· To build personal qualities for growth and professional development as necessary requisites for effective counselling.
· To systematically understand the purpose, scope, types, theories and approaches to counselling with a focus on their relevance to practice.
· To develop competencies to plan and engage in relevant interventions for effective counselling.


3) CERTIFICATE IN SOCIAL WORK
This one-year part-time Certificate Course in Social Work is offered to those who cannot engage in full-time study in professional social work education. This Course is also in response to the need for more frontline workers for direct service delivery in social development and welfare organizations.

LAST DATE FOR RECEIVING APPLICATION FORMS: June 12, 2009


FOR PROGRAMME DETAILS & APPLICATION FORMS CONTACT:
Call: 91-022- 25525682; 25525681; 25525680; 25525252;25525253; 25525000
Email: stp@tiss.edu; extramural@tiss.edu; sabiha_v@tiss.edu ; nasreen_r@tiss.edu
Website: www.tiss.edu


All 3 Programmes are Certified Programmes of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, a Deemed University . Detailed information about the Institute may be found on its website: www.tiss.edu



Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

Distance Learning Courses in Social Work

The College of Social Work, Nirmala Niketan, Distance Education Unit is happy to announce the launch of three new courses, apart from the other courses already being offered from this July. The College will be providing the following 5 courses this year, commencing July, 2009.

· M.A. in Rural Development [ 2 years ]
· PG Diploma in Rural Development [ 1 year ]
· Diploma in Women’s Empowerment and Development [ 1 year ]
· Certificate in Human Rights [ 6 months ]
· Certificate in NGO Management [ 6 months ]

Admissions close on 15th June, 2009. Feel free to contact us regarding any queries that you might have with regard to these courses.


Contact:
Distance Education Unit
College of Social Work, Nirmala Niketan Extension Centre,
St. Pius College Complex, Gate no.2,
Virwani Road,
Goregaon (E)
Mumbai – 400 063.
India.
Ph.no: +91-022-28787322
Email address: nnvirtuallearning@gmail.com
Website address:www.nnvirtuallearningcentre.net ; www.collegeofsocialwork.in


Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Indian NGO requires Regional Manager

Background
TCI Foundation is the social arm of Transport Corporation of India Limited (TCIL). TCIL is a pioneer in the sphere of goods transit in India and is India's leading multi-modal integrated supply chain solutions provider.

As part of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s India AIDS Initiative, Avahan, the TCI Foundation is implementing Project Kavach, a $12.26 million project initiated in January 2004, to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS among long distance truckers in India. The project is presently operational at 19 large intervention locations across India.

Rationale of the Project
The unique challenges posed by the plethora of trucker-focused interventions in the country, the mobile nature of the population and the fragmented structure of the Indian transport industry explain why trucker interventions in India need a unique approach. TCI Foundation is attempting to address these issues by creatively deploying conventional business tools such as innovative communication and promotions to engage the trucker community, branding and merchandising to build a unique, highly recognizable programme identity and standardizing and scaling up service delivery across a network of major transshipment locations akin to the franchise business model. In order to achieve scale and visibility the programme plans to engage major corporates in the transport and related industries, as well as key stakeholders in the industry.

This programme employs a strong system of measurable indicators supplemented with regular survey-based mechanisms to monitor progress on major outcomes as well as a comprehensive evaluation plan to assess impact. A 17-member team operating out of Gurgaon (National HQ), Nagpur (Regional unit) and Bangalore (Regional unit) manages the project. The team is equipped with diverse skill sets including STI Management, Communication, M&E and Program Management.

In addition, the program has played a pivotal role in supporting the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) in their efforts to design and implement a large scale National Program for HIV prevention among truckers under National AIDS Control Program (NACP) III. TCI Foundation’s engagement with NACO is focused on ensuring a seamless transfer of the project’s learning, systems and tools to the National Trucker Program as and when it rolls out.

NACO, as part of its NACP III, has prioritized HIV prevention among truckers as a key programme component and intends to launch the trucker program as a single national-level project to target long-distance truckers. NACO proposes to set up a National Trucker Consortium to design, manage and monitor national trucker interventions to halt the spread of HIV among the truckers. TCI Foundation, in partnership with All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC), has been selected by NACO to manage the National Consortium. Over the next couple of months the team managing project Kavach and the truckers TSG project will be around 40-45 people

Reason for Hire
TCI is looking for a dynamic Regional Manager who will coordinate, supervise, and monitor the progress of the implementation of the National trucker Program project on all the interventions within a specified region. The position is of importance with in the central team and will have 5-7 direct reports.


Roles and Responsibilities

· Oversee the scale up and on-going management of interventions across the region in conjunction with respective SACS.
· Provide technical assistance, guidance and building capacity of the implementing partners to ensure the standardization of the program across regions.
· Co-ordinate with SACS and NGO partners for implementing the project at grass root level according to the guidelines.
· Coordinate with the local partners (trucking companies, associations, SACS etc) to ensure their full support.
· Provide regular quality supervisory support to the contracted agencies /NGOs.
· Monitor and evaluate project plans and activity outcomes. Based on the data should analyze and present his/her idea to the core team, initiate revisions of plans according to the need of the community.
· Engage and advocate with transport companies and transport sector associations for greater engagement and for implementing structural intervention efforts.
· Facilitate and provide support to consultancies/studies/ training to be carried out in the region
· Advocacy / Sensitization at regional level and liaisoning with various stakeholders.
· Submit monthly/quarterly/Annual reports to National Trucker TSG.

Must have:
· Post-graduate/Masters degree in Social science /Public Health with at least 8 -10 years’ of total professional experience. Out of which at least 3-5 yrs regional or state level managerial position in social sector (preferably in the area of HIV/AIDS) in a recognized organization
· Demonstrated knowledge of planning, monitoring and evaluation systems of projects and programs.
· Ability to perform and prioritize multiple tasks on short deadlines.
· Ability to network amongst diverse partners.
· Excellent written and oral English & Hindi communication skill.
· Conflict resolution and negotiation skills/ people skills/ other required soft skills.
· Prepared to travel frequently in the region.


Preferable:
· Working knowledge of SACS/NACO/NGOs is preferred.
· Proficiency in the Microsoft suite of office products.
· Knowledge of one local language desirable

Location: Delhi/Gurgaon

Third Sector Partners, a leading CxO and board search firm in the Not for Profit sector has been retained by TCI Foundation. Interested candidates can send in their CVs along with three references and a covernote to application.rm.tcif@gmail.com , anamika@thirdsectorpartners.com or Contact us at: +91 22 6660 3558/6660 3559.

The last date for submitting applications is 20th May 2009.

Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

TCI Foundation needs a Communication Manager

Background
TCI Foundation is the social arm of Transport Corporation of India Limited (TCIL). TCIL is a pioneer in the sphere of goods transit in India and is India's leading multi-modal integrated supply chain solutions provider.

As part of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s India AIDS Initiative, Avahan, the TCI Foundation is implementing Project Kavach, a $12.26 million project initiated in January 2004, to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS among long distance truckers in India. The project is presently operational at 19 large intervention locations across India.

Rationale of the Project
The unique challenges posed by the plethora of trucker-focused interventions in the country, the mobile nature of the population and the fragmented structure of the Indian transport industry explain why trucker interventions in India need a unique approach. TCI Foundation is attempting to address these issues by creatively deploying conventional business tools such as innovative communication and promotions to engage the trucker community, branding and merchandising to build a unique, highly recognizable programme identity and standardizing and scaling up service delivery across a network of major transshipment locations akin to the franchise business model. In order to achieve scale and visibility the programme plans to engage major corporates in the transport and related industries, as well as key stakeholders in the industry.


This programme employs a strong system of measurable indicators supplemented with regular survey-based mechanisms to monitor progress on major outcomes as well as a comprehensive evaluation plan to assess impact. A 17-member team operating out of Gurgaon (National HQ), Nagpur (Regional unit) and Bangalore (Regional unit) manages the project. The team is equipped with diverse skill sets including STI Management, Communication, M&E and Program Management.

In addition, the program has played a pivotal role in supporting the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) in their efforts to design and implement a large scale National Program for HIV prevention among truckers under National AIDS Control Program (NACP) III. TCI Foundation’s engagement with NACO is focused on ensuring a seamless transfer of the project’s learning, systems and tools to the National Trucker Program as and when it rolls out.

NACO, as part of its NACP III, has prioritized HIV prevention among truckers as a key programme component and intends to launch the trucker program as a single national-level project to target long-distance truckers. NACO proposes to set up a National Trucker Consortium to design, manage and monitor national trucker interventions to halt the spread of HIV among the truckers. TCI Foundation, in partnership with All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC), has been selected by NACO to manage the National Consortium. Over the next couple of months, the team managing Kavach & Truckers TSG project will be around 40 - 45people.

Reason for Hire
TCI is looking to hire a Communication Officer, who will be responsible for designing & implementing communication strategies (Behavior Change Communication Strategies) for Kavach project & provide technical/capacity building support (in communication strategy development & implementation) to the Trucker TSG project.

Roles and Responsibilities
  • Coordinating communication and promotional activities of the Kavach project
  • Develop and implement effective communication strategies for the Trucker TSG project.
  • Coordination with all regions and contractual agency for developing effective communication modules
  • Provide technical assistance to contractual agency & NGOs for developing communication materials.
  • Close working with regional offices and contractual agency to develop effective communication systems for targeted intervention.
  • Raise the level of awareness among target population about HIV/AIDS.
  • Develop and carry out research proposals and campaign impact evaluations on a cyclical basis.

    Must have:
    Masters Degree in Mass Communication Studies, Social Sciences or any other discipline relevant to the position.
    At least 6 -7 years of experience with skills in designing &implementing communication strategies (Behavior Change Communication Strategies), preferably within the development sector.
    Excellent inter-personal skills & ability to work in partnership with multiple stakeholders/partners( like NGO’s, Government agencies, media/advertising agencies and research agencies),to help them design & implement communication modules & impact measurement systems(Technical Assistance)
    Ability to manage & monitor a communication budget.
    Willingness to undertake project travel.

Preferably:
Experience of designing & implementing communication strategies for health programmes.

Location: Delhi/Gurgaon

Third Sector Partners, a leading CxO and board search firm in the Not for Profit sector has been retained by TCI Foundation. Interested candidates can send in their CVs along with three references and a covernote to application.co.tcif@gmail.com, priyanka@thirdsectorpartners.com or Contact us at: +91 22 6660 3558/6660 3559.

The last date for submitting applications is 20th May 2009.


Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

Inviting Essay on ELDER ABUSE : Essay Competition

SILVER INNING FOUNDATION an organisation dedicated for Elders and their Family Members invites an Essay of 1000 words on the topic of "Elder Abuse: Role of Civil Society and Government ".

On the occasion of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2009, Silver Inning Foundation, a dedicated organization for senior citizens and their family members will be commemorating Elder Abuse Day on 15th June’2009. It has taken the initiative to create awareness among civil society and Government to eliminate elder abuse at both micro and macro level.

World Elder Abuse Day 15th June ,programme aims to increase society's ability, through various programmes to recognise and respond to the mistreatment of older people in whatever setting it occurs, so that the latter years of life will be free from abuse, neglect and exploitation.

The Three (3) best essays will be published on Website www.silverinnings.com as also on Blogs: http://peopleforsocialcause.blogspot.com/; http://silverinnings.blogspot.com/ And best Ten (10) will get Participation Certificate.

All the essays will be property of and used by Silver Inning Foundation as database/paper presentation for its strategy to Tackle Elder Abuse. The verdict of management of Silver Inning Foundation & Silver Innings for selection of best essay will be final.

Silver Inning Foundation consists of a dedicated team of professionals contributing to the cause of the elderly. Silver Inning Foundation conducts seminars, camps, lectures, awareness modules, Dementia management services and also has support groups for home based advice.

The Last date for submission of Essay is 31st May 2009.

Email your essay on or before 31st May 2009 to info@silverinnings.com and copy to silverinnings@gmail.com .The winners will be announced online by email after 10th June 2009.

For more information please call on Tel no. 09987104233 – Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm.


Terms and Condition:
Essay not more then 1000 words
Essay should be in English
Essay should be sent by Email only
Indian Residence or POI can participate

This Programme is promoted by INPEA (International Network for Prevention of Elder Abuse) Indian Chapter through Development, Welfare and Research Foundation (DWARF) and 'Little Things Matter Initiatives' (LTMI).


Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sex education in schools leads to promiscuity says Rajya Sabha committee

The Committee on Petitions, comprising Rajya Sabha members from several political parties and headed by the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Venkaiah Naidu, has said that “there should be no sex education in schools” since “our country’s social and cultural ethos are such that sex education has absolutely no place in it”.


The committee was deliberating an August 2007 petition that called for a debate on the implementation of sex education in schools, which has become a contentious issue in the country.

In its report, the committee says that sex education “promotes promiscuity”, there is “no justification” or need to teach HIV/AIDS to schoolchildren in the 14-18 age-group, and that sex education “incites stimulation of instincts which is detrimental to society”. Basic “instincts like food, fear, greed, coitus, etc, need not be taught, rather control of these should be the subject of education,” the report continues.

The committee ruled that children must be given the message that sex before marriage is “immoral, unethical and unhealthy” and that sex outside marriage is “against the social ethos” of the country. It advocated “instinct control” and “dignity of restraint” and called for a new curriculum to include material on the life and teachings of saints, spiritual leaders, freedom fighters and national heroes to “re-inculcate in children our national ideals and values which would also neutralise the impact of cultural invasion from various sources”.

The panel, however, agreed that students should be made aware that child marriage is illegal and is injurious to the health of the girl-child. It also believed that children should be told that ‘consensual sex’ below the age of 16 amounts to rape.

The committee criticised the Ministry of Human Resource Development’s Adult Education Programme (AEP), launched in 2005, as a “cleverly used euphemism whose real objective was to impart sex education in schools and promote promiscuity”.

It objected to the AEP’s focus on prevention of HIV through use of condoms, saying it found no credible survey or study to establish that fact that schoolchildren in the 14-18 age-group were at high risk and needed education on HIV prevention. It recommended that HIV/STD-related education should not be permitted before the 10+2 stage in the biology syllabus and was critical of the involvement of the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) in framing the curriculum. In fact, it said that its members were embarrassed by the “indecent” powerpoint presentations on the AEP that the Delhi government brought out, and it was apprehensive of the negative effect that such education would have on children.

The committee recommended instead that chapters on naturopathy, ayurveda, unani and yoga and moral values should be made part of the syllabus. This would aid “total development of the child”. Chapters like ‘Physical and Mental Development in Adolescents’ and ‘HIV/AIDS and other Sexually Transmitted Diseases’, and related topics, should be removed from the curriculum and incorporated in biology books only at the 10+2 stage.

NACO secretary K Sujatha Rao, when asked to comment on the committee’s stand, said that there was “a lot of evidence that supports imparting life skills education. In fact, the 15-20 age-group contributes about 30-35% of the HIV epidemic. A study has been done by the Population Council which suggests that adolescents are at risk”.

The panel did not take into account the fact that children are subjected to sexual abuse and are not equipped to handle such situations out of ignorance. Many educators believe that the reality of modern life is that children are being exposed to sex via the media and consequently need a better understanding of the subject, which is what a well-thought-out sex education programme would provide.

The Supreme Court has held that sex education in schools can’t be brought under the ambit of constitutional rights by making it part of the right to education.

Source: http://infochangeindia.org/200904287726/Health/News/Sex-education-in-schools-leads-to-promiscuity-says-Rajya-Sabha-committee.html and DNA


Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Apply for UN Training Programme in Policy Formulation for Ageing:2009

INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE ON AGEING,United Nations - Malta in collaboration with United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Invites Application for INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMME in POLICY FORMULATION, PLANNING,IMPLEMENTATION and MONITORING of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing on 12 – 23 October 2009.

BACKGROUND
The dramatic and unprecedented increase in the number and proportion of older persons in the World is leading to various political, economic and social consequences and challenges. In developing countries, where by the year 2025, seventy-two per cent of the World’s older persons are expected to be living, this demographic phenomenon will pose a particular challenge. Although a number of developing countries have initiated various innovative and concrete measures aimed at meeting the needs of older persons, there exists an acute shortage of trained care-givers at all levels in the field of Gerontology. In February 2007, the United Nations began its five-year review of progress towards the achievement of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing agreed upon by the international community at the Second World Assembly on Ageing which took place in Madrid, in April 2002.

OBJECTIVES
This multi-disciplinary Training Programme in Social Policy, designed by an International Expert Group, is aimed at discussing the implications of population ageing, underscore the importance of including ageing issues in a country’s development planning and discuss options for policy formulation and programme / services’ implementation. It also aims at providing a broad and up-to-date understanding of the complex and far-reaching consequences of mass longevity. Participants are helped to evolve and implement appropriate policies, that will ensure the quality of life and well-being of older persons in their own society.

AREAS OF CONCENTRATION
The programme consists of lectures, seminars, site visits and workshops. Topics dealt with include: 1) understanding the commitments of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing as well as the Regional Implementation Strategies; 2) ensuring that policies in response to population ageing have a holistic approach and are implemented in a coordinated manner over a wide range of policy areas; 3) exploring ways of facilitation the participation of all stakeholders namely: governments, civil society, the family, the community and the older persons themselves; 4) collecting and disseminating the best knowledge and evidence based practices available regarding adequate policy responses to population ageing and 5) monitoring progress towards the achievement of the Priority Directions and Recommendations of the Madrid Plan of Action.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND THIS COURSE:
Applications are invited from policy-makers and decision-makers in the field of Ageing in developing countries. They should be directly engaged in policy and decision-making for older persons in the statutory, voluntary or private sectors in their own country.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE
Interested persons and organisations may apply by sending the following to:
The Director, International Institute on Ageing, 117 St. Paul Street, Valletta VLT 1216, MALTA

1. An application form which is available through the Institute's web-site or directly from INIA.
2. Proof of proficiency in English.
3. A letter of recommendation from the Director of your Organisation.
4. A personal letter (giving reasons for attending the course).
5. Copies of relevant certificates.

Closing date for applications is 12 August 2009.

Course Fee: US$ 1750 (includes tuition, board-accommodation and meals but excludes travel).
INIA might have available a limited number of partial scholarships. However, since this is not guaranteed, it is in the interest of prospective candidates to secure alternative funding.

Contact:
International Institute on Ageing (United Nations - Malta),
117, St. Paul Street,
Valletta VLT 1216,
MALTA
Telephone: (+356) 21-243044/5/6
Telefax : (+356) 21-230248
E-Mail: rosette.bonello@inia.org.mt
Web site: http://www.inia.org.mt/

Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Indian Association of Social Sciences and Health (IASSH)

I am happy to inform you that the Indian Association of Social Sciences and Health (IASSH) has grown into a great fraternity of social scientists of all disciplines-statistics, demography, sociology, anthropology, economics, women's studies, psychology. management and human rights. As of today we have 362 life members.

We have a website www.iass.org and we also send out a E-Newsletter every three months providing information on resources, Job opportunities, fellowships, research grants, conferences and seminars etc. I invite you to join this fraternity and avail the opporunity to make your contribution to the advancement of social sciences in the field of health.

The Sixth conference of Indian Association of Social Sciences and Health (IASSH) was held recently in Pondicherry during 7-8 March, 2009. The theme of the conference was Health, Equity and Human Rights. There were three symposia and ten technical sessions, and these were attended by over 200 participants including some from internaional organizations and international NGOs. IASSH covered the cost of travel and accommodation of all the participants.

Our Seventh Conference will be held in Hyderabad on the theme Health, Poverty and Human Development. The venue and dates of the conference wil be announced in due course. We look forward to your participation in that conference. In order to ensure that you receive the conference brochure on time, I would appreciate your becoming a life member of iASSH soon in order to avail the discounted registration fees offered to members

Best regards,
Dr.K.E.Vaidyanathan
President, IASSH
Email: vaidyake@hotmail.com

Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

In Hindi: Karmayog CSR Ratings of the 1000 largest Indian Corporate

A Report on the Karmayog Corporate Social Responsibility Ratings 2008 ofthe1000 Largest Indian Companies is now available in Hindi (courtesy GoogleTranslate) at http://209.85.153.132/translate_c?hl=en&sl=en&tl=hi&u=http://www.karmayog.org/redirect/strred.asp%3FdocId%3D22987&prev=hp&usg=ALkJrhhnsYE_VkJQgydw_957PGgfWBFMKA

Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Rejuvenate yourself with Nature: A special Summer Camp for Senior Citizens

Silver Innings a Social Entrepreneur organization dedicated for the cause of Elderly, has organized one of its kind first time in India a 4 days & 3 night special summer camp for Senior Citizens who are 50+ on Thursday 28th May 2009 at Redstone Eco Center & Organic Farm, Panchgini, near Mahabaleshwar, India.

The Theme of this summer camp is Successful Ageing.

This is an initiative to give chance to elderly to Rejuvenate themselves, to make new friends and to explore nature. The camp is designed to enhance the camp experience for Senior Citizens.Para Medical staff and Doctor on Call Facility available.

Panchgini derives its name from the five hills in Sahyadri mountain range around it with Krishna River flowing alongside. Panchgani is about 285 km from Mumbai and 100km from Pune . It is situated at 1293meters (4242 feet). Its one of the most popular hill station in Maharashtra.

The activities includes – Yoga, Meditation, Nature Walk, Organic Farming, Talent Show, Bon Fire , visit to Local Market and many more interesting things.

Date of Camp:
28th May 2009 to 31st May 2009 (Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday).Thursday 28th Morning Departure from Mumbai and Return to Mumbai on Sunday 31st late Eve.

Camp Site:
The Redstone Eco Center & Organic Farm
Bhose Village
Panchgani (near Mahabaleshwar)
Maharashtra
India : 412805

Cost:
Rs.4750/- per person Ex Mumbai (This includes Travel by Non AC Semi Luxury Bus/CAR, Vegetarian Diet Food specially planned by professional dietician and Activities)

Note:
Detail itinerary and programme will be provided after registration.

If you are 50 + or you want to gift your parents a holiday then contact for registration and application form:
Mr.Bhavesh Chheda: 09892612992
Mr. Sailesh Mishra: 09819819145
Email id: info@silverinnings.com

Last date for registration and payment Thursday 21st May 2009.

Golden opportunity to discover yourself through sustainable living and understanding ecological balance.

This programme is organized by Silver Innings in association with Silver Inning Foundation and The Redstone Eco Center & Organic Farm.


Silver Innings, A New Beginning……………………………….


Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

Silver Inning Foundation Invites you to its 1st Volunteer Meeting

Dear Friends,
Greetings from Silver Inning Foundation.

It has been one year when we started our never ending journey to serve elderly with launch of dedicated website for Elderly www.silverinnings.com . During this period we also formed an NGO for Senior Citizens ,Silver Inning Foundation.With our proactive approach and your support we have made small beginning with a difference.

We would sincerely appreciate your participation as volunteer with Silver Inning Foundation. We are in the process of starting new projects for serving the elderly and we are positive that your support and contribution will be immensely helpful in taking the cause of the elderly forward. For this purpose we are conducting a volunteers meeting on Saturday 16th May'2009 at 11.00 am at HELP Library,Fort,Mumbai,India.

We look forward to meet you.

Date of the meeting :16th May 2009

Timings: Sharp 11.00 am to 12.30 pm

Venue address:
HELP Library - Health Education Library for People,National Insurance Building,
Ground Floor,
Near Khadi Gram Udyog
206, Dr.D.N.Road,
Mumbai - 400 001.
Tel Nos.65952393/ 65952394/22061101
www.helpforhealth.org
www.healthlibrary.com

Please register at Silver Innings Help Desk on 9987104233 OR write to silverinnings@gmail.com - Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm.

Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

For China, an Ominous Touch of Gray

As if Chinese policy makers did not have enough on their plate, they will soon have to grapple with the unprecedented challenge of a country that is growing old before it gets rich.

Many countries are turning gray, but Western experts are worried that Beijing is unprepared for the speed at which its citizens will age: U.N. projections say the population of working-age citizens in China will peak in 2015 and plunge by 23 percent by 2050.

By then, there will be 438 million Chinese 60 or older, or 61 people older than 60 for every 100 adults of working age, up from just 16 in 2005.

A report released last week by the Center for Strategic and International Studies says the economic and social stakes are so high that China's leaders, though in the midst of a financial crisis, cannot afford to delay policy changes.

"How China navigates its coming demographic transformation will go a long way toward determining whether it achieves its aspiration of becoming a prosperous and stable developed country with an expanding role in the global economic and political order," the center's study said.

Its core concern is China's rudimentary pension system, which is characterized by vast unfunded liabilities, empty accounts and low coverage.

As the center's report notes, the developed nations of today were all affluent welfare states by the time they aged. By contrast, China is still a poor country that has not had the time to accumulate the wealth needed to pay for comprehensive retirement protection.

Just 31 percent of the Chinese work force, mainly in the state sector, receives public pensions. Most of the fast-growing private sector is excluded, as are migrant workers. As for rural China, pensions are virtually nonexistent.

So hundreds of millions of elderly citizens will have to fall back on their shrinking families just as the increase to growth and incomes from an expanding labor force goes into reverse.

In the 30 years since China embarked on economic reforms, the growth of its labor force has added 1.8 percentage points a year to gross domestic product growth.

By the 2030s, in contrast, the shrinkage of its working-age population will be lopping 0.7 points a year off growth, according to the center's projections.

Many protests in China are started by unpaid pensions, and the center said that without an effective retirement policy, the social stability could eventually be undermined.

"Not just a retirement crisis, but also a more general social and economic crisis may loom in China's future," the report said.

More broadly, rapid aging will threaten China's hegemony in low-end manufacturing by pushing up labor costs, economists say. Vietnam's demographic turning point will not come until 2025, and India's working-age population will not peak until 2040, so both should enjoy a growing cost advantage over China in labor-intensive sectors.

The Communist Party is aware of the challenges and is guiding pension policy in the right direction.

Reforms have strengthened the basic pension system; enterprise annuities — similar to the 401(k) retirement plans in the United States — are growing quickly; a basic rural pension is to be in place by 2020; and the National Social Security Fund, set up in 2000 to backstop underfunded provincial pension plans, now has assets of about $80 billion.

But Stuart Leckie, chairman of Stirling Finance, a Hong Kong pension consultancy, said the issues needed to rise to the top of Beijing's political agenda.

"China really is in a race against time. It is doing the right thing overall, but it needs to do them faster and it needs to do them better," he said.

Compounding the policy challenge is another striking feature of China's demographic profile — an unbalanced sex ratio that ensures men will outnumber women for years to come.

A new study in the British Medical Journal found that there were more than 32.7 million more males than females younger than 20 in China, because the spread of low-cost ultrasound tests and abortions had reinforced the traditional preference for boys.

Countries typically record between 103 and 107 male births for every 100 females. But in Chinese towns in 2005, there were 124 boys 1 to 4 years old for every 100 girls. The figure rose to 126 in rural China and topped 140 in Henan and Jiangxi Provinces, according to the journal.

The potential repercussions of this imbalance, accentuated by the one-child policy in the nation, are grave. "What we know from other societies that have been male-dominated is that they either emigrate or they fight," Mr. Leckie said.

Yet in China the number of excess males is too great for the problem to be solved by emigration, he added. "So this is undoubtedly going to be a real social issue."

Economically, the impact is already being felt.
China International Capital Corp., an investment bank, says its studies show that provinces with a big imbalance consume less. This is because the competition for brides in rural China forces the parents of young men to help them buy houses early and to save up for betrothal gifts.
The root cause of this behavior is that parents, in the absence of a strong welfare safety net, look to sons to take care of them in their old age.

"Unless China sets up a much-improved rural social security network and medical care insurance system, we believe the rural sex ratio imbalance may deteriorate and continue to constrain rural consumption," China International Capital's economists said in a recent report.
The Center for Strategic and International Studies said that even more worrisome than the shortage of brides today will be the shortage of daughters-in-law tomorrow; for while the son is responsible for looking after his aging parents, it is his wife who provides the care.

All the more reason, the center concludes, for China to create a program for old-age income support, financed out of general tax revenues, and to build a national, fully portable system of funded retirement accounts.

By Alan Wheatley ,a Reuters columnist.

Source:http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/28/business/global/28inside.html?_r=1

Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Alternative advantage, shackled by regulation

“Dinesh does not talk to us. He will turn away every time he meets us. I do not know what I have said to offend him; nor will he tell us. When he gets angry without a reason, I feel insulted and hurt," says 15-year-old P Penchilamma of her classmate at the 115-year-old Olcott Memorial High School in south Chennai. The class X student is talking to the school counsellor at a workshop for life skills.

What might seem like adolescent angst to most of us is a valuable lesson for Penchilamma. Her mother is a domestic servant and father a casual labourer; she does not find time to be with them and learn coping skills.

“I get angry quickly when people do not treat me fairly. But I feel guilty after my mood swings," says her classmate P Sivagami, also 15. Till they took part in the workshop, they did not realise these mood swings were a rite of passage into adulthood. “After giving our class X exams, we were under so much stress about our future, At this workshop, we have learned how to handle our emotions and the stress that could come with higher education,” say the friends.

The school initiated these training sessions to address teen depression and suicide in the community that their students come from, something absent in most of the Government-run high schools and many private schools.

Alternative schools push the envelope
“This is the advantage of alternative education, especially among the socio-economically backward community. It looks at development of the child as a whole and not just academically. When their parents are not in a position to provide for their emotional growth, the school steps in and be the parent too," says Lakshmi Suryanarayanan, head of Olcott Memorial High School, where around 560 students from around the south Chennai fishing hamlet of Urur Olcott Kuppam get to learn about a lot more than from textbooks. Apart from sticking to the curriculum, the school also runs an English Language Lab, a computer lab that links computer literacy and self-learning, and two counsellors.

Lakshmi points out that in most schools the teacher student relationship centres around academics, but alternative schooling for marginalised children has to extend beyond academics into a nurturing relationship too. A sick child has to be tended by the school, since their parents are often not immediately reachable due to the nature of their work. "Invariably you start looking at students as a whole," she says.

Often children from poor backgrounds have a high amount of stress that impacts their learning. Recent studies (by researchers in University of Pennsylvania and Cornell University) show that children from poor backgrounds have a reduced capacity of memory, which is believed to the result of stress that affects how children’s brains develop. Given strong anecdotal evidence, and current science, more schools are now tuning in to an alternative to the rote-oriented learning in the mainstream.

For V Uma, Managing Trustee, Suyam, alternative education thus becomes the way out of poverty. Working with a community that includes those rescued from begging, street children, bonded labourers in brick kiln, apart from pig farmers and marginal farmers, Suyam found a need for a child-centric approach to education. In 2000, the Siragu Montessori was started in suburban Palavedu Pettai (15 km northwest of Chennai). Today, Siragu has around 380 students and is about to send students into Class IX and Class X.

“We came up with our own books that stick to the prescribed curriculum at the same time incorporated the Montessori methodology of activity-based learning,” says Uma. Children stay in the hostels and are involved in activities including organic farming and arts and crafts, apart from academe. “We are confident our children can compete with those from elite schools. We encourage a child to learn by themselves and express themselves without hesitation, she says.
At The Shriram School in Thiruneermalai (20 km off Chennai), where around 800 students from neighbouring villages study, the story is no different. Most of the community is involved in construction work and the children are also first generation learners. With its students also at class VIII level, the correspondent is actively working with the government in getting the requisite affiliations for the school to grow into secondary and higher secondary levels. The correspondent, Vidya Shankar, says that shaping the curriculum for first generation learners is important.

“These children do not have support structures at home and rely on schools alone for their learning. The challenge lies in sticking to the prescribed curriculum while making the textbooks simple,” says Vidya.

By way of an example, Vidya compares the lesson on ‘Our Environment’ in both the NCERT book and State syllabus. “The NCERT book is full of self-learning exercises. While the state board text is exhaustive but requires by rote learning. The lesson construction is very heavy and rambling in the state textbook and full of details that are insignificant,'' says Vidya.

In educationally and socio-economically backward Dharmapuri, (around 260 km from Chennai) Puvidham Trust helps 83 children from tribal, farming and construction worker communities to receive an education that is skill-based and promotes self-learning. “Schools have become either too mundane or if they are progressive, too expensive. Most education does not allow the child the opportunity to think and the schooling then becomes a way to mould them to take orders. There are no lessons about managing real life situations,” says Meenakshi Umesh, Puvidham founder.

Based on the ideologies of Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore and Montessori methodology, the school teaches mathematics, science, social sciences and languages using farming and real life situations around them and learn how to manage them. Her school too takes the children up to the class VIII level and the students then join the government or private schools for the secondary, higher secondary education. “In the end, the parents want their children to be capable of taking board examinations and getting a collegiate education. If not, they will be designing agricultural tools at our school on a par with agricultural universities," she muses.

Read in detail: http://www.indiatogether.org/2009/apr/edu-altschool.htm

Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

I voted in Protest with difficulty,used 49-0

On 30th April 2009 in Loksabha Election I used 49-0 under people representation act TO PROTEST against Criminal Candidates.Also I did not found any other suitable candidate who wll represent me or do justice to Senior Citizens of India.

It was sad and shocking that Booth election officer and Area Election Incharge Mr.Mohite did not knew about this important Voters power.

Mr.Mohite did not allow me to use this power and asked the police not to allow me to enter the voting room.

But I insisted on excersise my power of not to vote and asked Chief Election officer number.He gave me cell number of Thane Collector.

I called Thane Collector and he asked me why I want to do this and he said he will call me after 5 minutes.It was nice he called me after 7 minutes and asked me to sign the reisgter.

By this time Mr.Mahesh Ahire booth Election Officer showed me the act and aksed me to excersie my power.

After great difficulty and strugle I could utilise 49-0.

Iam happy that I did not vote for criminals and some one else could not do voting in my name.

Hope in next Election Voting is made compulsory with 49-0 voting button on EVM.


Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.