Remember ME - You Me and Dementia

Friday, February 26, 2010

Senior citizens speak up prior to the Union Budget -HelpAge India Survey

As per a random sample survey of Senior Citizens conducted through Senior Citizens Associations across the country by HelpAge India, it has been found that 82.5% of the elderly have been affected adversely by the rise in prices over the last year and 92.4% feel that the Govt. has done nothing in this regard. The lower and the middle income groups have been hit the hardest. 71.6% elderly have cut down on their health expenditure and 40.8% have curtailed expense on nutrition in their diets. 27.8% have witnessed tension/anxiety levels grown in their families due to which their relationships have been strained.

“We have made a representation to the Union Finance Minister for higher exemption to the children who support their older parents. This is needed as there are virtually no institutional support systems for the older persons in the lower and middle income groups and children are their only support system.” says Mr. Mathew Cherian, Chief Executive, HelpAge India.

Around 400 senior citizens during the survey came forward to speak about their dissatisfaction with the Govt. on its failure to control price rise. 84% of the elderly demand subsidized food articles through ration shops & subsidized medical services. 82% want further exemption in Income Tax. 58% elderly across India are looking for a structured re-employment programme by the Govt. Also, an astounding 71.1% want IT exemptions for children who are spending money to maintain their old parents.

The trend has not been very different in some major cities and states too. “With the increase in longevity and an increase in the number of elderly above 80 years or more, the burden on 60 plus age groups has double. They have to cope up with their own diminishing incomes & at the same time account for their old parents’ medical & other costs.” added Mr. Kapil Kaul, Country Head (Advocacy, Resource, Communications),

75.4% senior citizens in Delhi, 76.8% in Kolkata, 70% in Maharashtra and 91% in Tamil Nadu, have also demanded elderly-friendly and easy-to-access Health Insurance Schemes in the upcoming budget. Another major finding has been that approximately 90% of elderly in Uttar Pradesh, 88% in Maharashtra, 80% in Patna, 79% in Gujarat, 76% in Haryana and 61% in Delhi are looking for re-employment opportunities to sustain themselves in inflation struck times. 95% elderly in Kerala are also looking for provisions pertaining to lowering of property/house tax.

The senior citizens of the country, irrespective of any state are clearly unhappy with the Govt. at the centre at present and want it to take more action in controlling the menace of price rise and provide subsidized medical services & food items.

In order to understand the perspective of India’s Senior Citizens holistically, the survey was conducted amongst 12 states in India; namely, Delhi, Maharastra (Mumbai, Pune & Nagpur), Kolkata, Gujarat (Ahmedabad), Tamil Nadu (Coimbatore, Madurai & Chennai), Haryana (Faridabad), Uttar Pradesh (Lucknow), M.P. (Bhopal), Punjab (Chandigarh), Bihar (Patna), A.P. (Hyderabad) and Kerala (Kochi).

For more details, contact: Mr. Mathew Cherian – Chief Executive, HelpAge India [9810042046]; Mr. Kapil Kaul – CH (Advocacy, Resource & Communications) [9810782340]; Sonal Kapoor, Mgr- Communications (HelpAge India): 9540781011

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

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Aavishkaar,social venture fund Invests in Rural BPO ( Business To Rural )

Struggling with challenges created by urban migration pressures on one hand, and insufficient non-agricultural livelihood options in rural areas on the other, an innovative approach to take a shot at both resulted in the formation of B2R Technologies, a rural BPO organization. Having corporate experience of more than 27 years, including the start-up and operation of a third-party BPO at Gurgaon to service international clients, Venki Iyer, co-founder, B2R, says "Considering cost pressures due to rising real estate prices & staff salaries as well as high attrition, there was a clear need to address many of the challenges faced in the urban context in an innovative manner". Recognizing that the beautiful hills of Uttarakhand had a lot more to offer than trekking & tourist holiday locales, Dhiraj Dolwani, co-founder & CEO of B2R says "Literacy in the state at about 72% is significantly better than the national average; however what has been an eye-opener and the cornerstone for success is the sincerity & tremendous zeal to learn that the youth have demonstrated". Partnering with CHIRAG, a well-established NGO in the region, has helped B2R establish quickly & connect into the villages for the recruitment of staff.

B2R's business model envisages setting up clusters of rural BPO delivery centers in a hub-and-spoke arrangement to provide business support services to domestic and international clients. The plan to scale-up to create up to one hundred such 50 seats delivery centers in seven years is now set to take off, with investment from Aavishkaar Micro Capital Venture Fund, a social venture fund, which focuses on social micro enterprises. Says Vineet Rai, CEO, Aavishkaar "Such projects offer an opportunity to bring together the economic and social development objectives and create a financially inclusive enterprise". The investment firm closed several such deals in 2009 and continues to make investments in socially relevant projects

The first delivery center is currently operational at Orakhan in village Simayal, near Mukteswar, Uttarakhand, and has 34 team members, all belonging to villages in the vicinity. A well-designed training curriculum led to reaching the desired accuracy levels of 99.95% very quickly - moving up the value chain in services is planned with ongoing training being a key enabler.

In a progressive attempt to implement its core principle of financial inclusion and facilitate the integrated development of the rural ecosystem, B2R (representing the aim of bringing Business To Rural areas) intends to invest one-third of its post-tax profits back into the community, through profit-sharing with employees, as well as village & community level projects. The lines of social motivation and for-profit enterprise seem to be converging to create a new breed of socially relevant organizations - and facilitating this are social investors willing to make risk capital available for the business of social good.


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

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Legal Aid Clinic for NGO's in Mumbai

To be held on 27th February 2010, from 4.00 p.m. - 6.00 p.m.


B/2 Mahalaxmi Chambers,

22, Bhulabhai Desai Road,

Mumbai – 400 026

A brainchild of the Public Concern for Governance Trust (PCGT), this clinic is being run by a group of experienced practising lawyers. Aimed at resolving legal issues faced by NGOs, the Legal Aid Clinic will ensure smoother functioning of NGOs that are in search of legal advice and assistance.

We find that many NGOs function with little or no legal help. The clinic is our endeavor to provide our legal expertise to you.

This clinic will also be held on the second Saturday of every month from 4.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m.

Contact us at:

Tel: 022- 23526426 (Ms. Sweta Surve)


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

Friday, February 19, 2010

Kolkata Group demands food entitlements for all

The Eighth Kolkata Group Workshop, chaired by Amartya Sen, has argued for creating durable legal entitlements that guarantee the right to food for all in the country. Sen stressed the need for firm recognition of the right to food, and comprehensive legislation to guarantee everyone the right. The Eighth Kolkata Group Workshop was held in Kolkata between February 15 and 16, 2010, and saw the participation of over 50 people from various walks of life -- policymakers, opinion leaders, social scientists, scholars, activists and development experts -- to discuss dimensions of injustice relating to elementary education, food security, health, women’s work, and non-discrimination.

‘A Right to Food Act covering justiciable food entitlements should be non-discriminatory and universal. Entitlements guaranteed by the Act should include foodgrain from the Public Distribution System (PDS), school meals, nutrition services for children below the age of six years, social security provision, and allied programmes,’ a statement released by the group said.

The Kolkata Group meets once a year to explore the many inter-connections between inequality, deprivation, human development and democracy. Its special focus has been on examining ways of advancing people’s health and education. Organisations supporting the Kolkata Group include Unicef-India and the Harvard-based Global Equity Initiative, besides Sen’s Pratichi Trust.

This year’s workshop, the eighth in the annual series, was on ‘Eliminating Injustice’. It was structured broadly around the themes explored in Professor Sen’s most recent theoretical work, The Idea of Justice (Allen Lane, Penguin Books, 2009) and, like earlier workshops, drew on insights gained from surveys, other kinds of research, and practical experience.

On the basis of extensive discussions on the exceptionally high levels of under-nutrition in India, particularly among women and children, the Kolkata Group argued for firm recognition of the right to food in general and comprehensive legislation to guarantee the entitlement of food for all. Recent experience (including Supreme Court orders on the right to food as well as the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) shows the value of putting economic and social rights in a legal framework. Legislation should recognise that food and nutritional security depends not just on food but on a set of related interventions that promote women’s health and nutrition, safe drinking water, proper sanitation and healthcare. Design and implementation should include effective public participation, grievance redressal provisions and independent monitoring.

The two-day workshop, structured into five sessions, began with a discussion on the different dimensions of injustice and addressed the challenge of eliminating injustice in the areas of elementary education, food and health, women, work and care, and tribals, dalits and minorities.

Among those who attended were Shabana Azmi, Asim Chakraborty, Seema Chishti, Abhijit Chowdhury, Nandita Das, Asim Dasgupta, Saibal Gupta, Syeda Hameed, Surinder Jodhka, Rohini Nilekani, Biraj Patnaik, N Ram, Mala Ramadorai, Kumar Rana, Abhijit Sen, Shanta Sinha, Sharmila Tagore, Sukhadeo Thorat and Sitaram Yechury.


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

Monday, February 15, 2010

Government of India Ignores important NGO's in Constitution of Committee to review the National Policy for Older Person (NPOP) 2010

On 28/01/2010 Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MSJE) of Government of India which looks after more then 90 million Senior Citizens has neglected and ignored important stake holders ,NGO's and organization in Constitution of Committee to review the NPOP.

We appreciate government intention to review the NPOP but it’s sad to note that only 3 People from the entire country are made part of this very important committee. Also government has failed to communicate this with important stake holders, Go’s working for /with Elderly, its looks like close door appointments’. This creates suspicion in government intention.

There are important organisation People all over India who are actively working for /with for Senior Citizens and their rights, ignoring them will be big mistake. Already the earlier NPOP which was formulate in 1999 could not be adopted and implemented for more than 11 years and now there was need to review the NPOP due to changed scenario of society and need of elderly.

Some of Important NGO's /Organisation which have been ignored are:
AISCCON - All India Senior Citizens Confederation
Association of Gerontology (India) (AGI)
Society for Serving Seniors
Alzheimer's and Related Disorder Society of India (ARDSI)
Harmony For Silver Foundation
International Longevity Center - India ( ILC-I)
Nightingale Medical Trust
Silver Inning Foundation
Center for Research on Ageing,Dept of Psychology,Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati
The International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse , India
Indian Association of Geriatric Mental Health (IAGMH)
University of Third Age , U3A India
The All India Central Government Pensioners Association
Bharat Pensioners’ Samaj
All India Central Confederation of Pensioner Association
Agewell Foundation
Anugraha India
Indian Academy of Geriatrics
Development, Welfare and Research Foundation (DWRF)
The Family Welfare Agency

Professional Organisation like:
Indian Medical Association (IMA)
Financial expert
Legal expert
Nursing Council
Indian Council of Social Science Research
TISS (Tata Institute of Social Science)
Medical Council of India
Indian Medical Association

Most important is the view of common Senior Citizens of India - poll, survey, debate, etc could be an effective method to know the practical needs of man on the street.

If government of India is serious about making an realistic NPOP which will benefit different segment of Elderly - young Old, Old Old , Very Old then it should have progressive and positive mindset and include important stake holders and Senior Citizens themselves.

Silver Inning Foundation strongly demands Ministry of MSJE to reconstitute/ extend the current committee to other very important stake holders for the benefits of millions of Elderly in India, please have inclusive policy and don't discriminate the NGO's and other important stake holders. We raise our objection on constituting of current small committee. An urgent step in this regards will be appreciated or else we will launch our nationwide protest.

Let’s work together for Right of Elderly.

Sailesh Mishra
Founder President - Silver Inning Foundation
Founder Secretary - ARDSI Greater Mumbai Chapter

15th Feb 2010

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


Check this out:

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

Friday, February 12, 2010

“Water Problems & Cleanliness” : Interactive Meeting with Municipal Commissioner of Mumbai

Gul Kripalani
Nanik Rupani
Chairman, Mumbai Development Committee
Members of the Managing Committee of
Indian Merchants’ Chamber
cordially invite you to an Interactive Meeting with
Mr. Swadheen Kshatriya
Municipal Commissioner
Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai
“Water Problems & Cleanliness”
on Wednesday, 17th February, 2010 at 5:00 pm
in the Walchand Hirachand Hall (4th floor)
IMC, Churchgate, Mumbai
Supported by:
Priyadarshni Academy
Rotary Club of Bombay
Property Owners Association
Nepean Sea Road Citizens’ Forum & other prominent NGOs
Seats are limited, kindly register your name at your earliest
RSVP: Mrs. Neeti: 2204 6633
Mrs. Kiran Kamath: 2204 6633 Ext: 107
This meeting has been organized by the Mumbai Development Committee, IMC.

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

Citizens of Mumbai and Maharashtra need to Unite

The Shiv Sena’s is trying to enforce its diktat that Sharukh Khan’s film must not be shown, since he has had the courage to exercise his fundamental right to express himself. The Government appears to be willing to defend Mr. Shahrukh Khan’s fundamental right this time, and Citizens must stand up to support this filmstar who is standing erect to defend our fundamental rights. It is about time, Citizens rally and declare that we will not be terrorized by some people who want to curb our fundamental rights.

We condemn everyone who seeks to terrorize us with threats to our freedom and peace. It does not matter whether they come from within the country or from a foreign country. Thousands of Citizens of Mumbai and Maharashtra need to express their desire individually to defend our freedom.

Posted by :
Shailesh Gandhi
Mera Bharat Mahaan..
Nahi Hai,
Per Yeh Dosh Mera Hai.

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

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Animal Angels Foundation: Animal-Assisted Therapy for Human Wellness

Animal - assisted therapy (AAT) is where trained therapy animals assist a medical/human service professional to motivate and help a child or an adult learn or improve various skills like social skills, verbal skills, physical skills, cognitive skills and it also helps to speed up the recovery process. AAT is used to help clients deal with emotional / behavioral problems by using therapy animals as part of the treatment process.

There is a tailor-made program for each client and the whole process is documented and evaluated. AAT can be integrated into individual or group therapy with a wide range of age groups and persons with varying disabilities. AAT can be used to help people with almost any kind of mental, emotional and physical illness /disability.

AAT is always used in conjunction with other therapies. In AAT, a professional as part of his/her own speciality uses the animal to help the client. For example, a clinical psychologist working with children uses the therapy animal in the context of play therapy, behavior therapy etc.

At Animal Angels Foundation each of our clients goes through a pretherapy, mid-therapy and post-therapy evaluation. All therapy sessions are documented through quantitative and qualitative data as well as video recording is done of the first and last sessions to observe the improvement in the client.

Animal Angels Foundation is a Mumbai based organization run by Rohini Fernandes and Radhika Nair who are clinical psychologists, certified practitioners of animal-assisted therapy and professional dog trainers.

Animal Angels Foundation is the first organization in India working in the field of animal-assisted therapy.

Through this therapy, specially trained therapy pets assist in helping children and adults learn or improve various skills and in speeding up the recovery process. They practice animal-assisted therapy in the areas of developmental disorders, psychiatric disorders, physical disabilities, physical illnesses and behavioural/emotional problems.

We also work with kindergartens and schools where our therapy pets assist in educating children on how to interact with animals.

They have a team of volunteers who along with their therapy dogs and cats do animal-assisted visits to places like orphanages and old age homes and for Dementia & Alzheimer's .

Their therapy pets assist in helping people cope with life's day-to-day challenges such as loss, stress, loneliness and illness, in learning new skills and in speeding up their recovery process.


Prerna, Flat 11
Military Road
Marol, Andheri (E)
Mumbai - 400059



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

Parivartan Foundation for Socio-Economic Development:YOUTH FOR CHANGE

The Parivartan Foundation for Socio Economic Development is a Non Profit Organization registered under the Indian Societies Act by a group of committed students who have a passion to be changemakers and a vision for a better India.

The Foundation aims at empowering people to effect a wholistic change. By combining the dynamism of youth and the knowledge of the more experienced, it aims to make a sustainable difference at the grassroot level using market driven approaches.

It all started when five friends at Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani decided to put this quote to action. With two other like-minded individuals, we started our journey with an aim to bring the energy and dynamism of youth to development of villages.

Our present project won the prestigious Goldman Sachs Social Entrepreneurship Fund, for which two of our founding members were eligible. This award triggered our energy and ignited our passion for community service. Our current area of operation is a group of 9 villages in the Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh, India. These are the lanka villages located in the delta of the River Krishna.

Our working philosophies make us unique. We believe that development projects need a strong receiving mechanism and have two guiding principles:

  • Treat people/communities you are serving as equal partners in progress and not as beneficiaries.

  • Teach someone how to fish rather than give them some fish.

These principles make our projects well oriented with the needs of the people and ensure effective utilization of all our resource.

Parivartan Foundation has various programs for different groups in the society. Primarily focusing on development, it also has well defined welfare activities. For farmers, productivity and income improvement are the goals. For youth and students, exposure to new methods of teaching, increased awareness about opportunities and access to financial resources for continuing education are the priority areas. For women and elderly, access to quality yet affordable healthcare is an issue. Widows also face destitution owing to circumstances.

The founding team consists of six students who are dedicated to see change as they dream of it! To know more about our team please visit :

We have taken up several projects in our current project location, which is a set of 9 villages in the Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh. One of our projects is a Computer and Internet Centre that trains the local communities and makes them computer literate. This centre opens the doors to information and communication for the 30,000 people living in these villages.

In another project of ours we are constructing a 450 ton capacity storage yard that will help eliminate middle men from eating into the profits of small farmers in these villages. We also have a tie up with SBI, who is willing to provide a soft loan to farmers who store their crop in our storage yard. We also have a collaboration with the IFMR Trust and with their help we can enable farmers storing crop in this storage yard to trade it on electronic commodity spot exchange, thus giving them a favourable price.

We have recently launched an internship program for this summer. We are looking for like-minded young individuals who have the same dedication as us to work with us.

Sonam Samat
Parivartan Foundation for Socio-Economic Development
Eamil: ; ;

Registered address:
Sunrise House,
Opposite Neelkanth Apartments,
Kanke Road,
Ranchi – 834008,

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

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Bihari enlightenment

India’s most notorious state is failing to live up to its reputation

ONE of the more unlikely case studies offered by Harvard Business School describes the turnaround of Indian Railways under Lalu Prasad Yadav, a shrewd, roguish politician who ruled Bihar, India’s most depressed and unruly state, for 15 years. His predecessor at the railways, Nitish Kumar, now leads Bihar. He may one day draw similar interest from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, for rarely has a failed state escaped political bankruptcy so fast.

With a population bigger than Germany’s, Bihar still suffers from potholed roads, indolent teachers, apathetic officials, insurgent Maoists, devastating floods, shortages of power, skewed landholdings, caste resentments and an income per head that is only 40% of India’s as a whole. And yet, bad as that may sound, Bihar is far better today than it was in November 2005, when Mr Kumar came to power.

Today Bihar has pot-holes, where formerly it didn’t have roads. Businessmen grumble that they cannot raise money to invest in the state, whereas before they spirited their capital out of it. People complain that Mr Kumar’s government has fallen short of its ambitious development plans. But at least it has ambitions. Mr Yadav did not offer development. At best, he promised izzat, or self-respect, to downtrodden castes, who once voted as their landlords demanded, and later enjoyed picking someone their “superiors” could not abide.

How has Mr Kumar pulled off this transformation? He first imposed law and order, restoring the state to its role as night-watchman rather than rogue. He has put several gangsters—the sort of people who in the past became heroes—behind bars. He demanded speedy trials, where formerly defendants could intimidate witnesses and drag out proceedings. He has ensured that convicted criminals no longer get lucrative licences for liquor stores and ration shops, which sell subsidised food and fuel. And just as police reformers in America fixed broken windows, Mr Kumar’s police improved perceptions of safety by forcing Bihar’s many gun-owners to conceal their weapons, rather than brandishing them out of their cars.

People now feel confident enough to buy cars and go out after dark. The economy, always volatile, has grown at double-digit rates, on average, since he took power, partly thanks to funds from Delhi. He built over 2,400km of roads last year. In Bihar’s villages, posters advertising immunisation compete with adverts offering cheap mobile-phone calls.

Thanks. Now what?

The policies Mr Kumar has pursued so far have broad appeal. After the national elections in May 2009, a survey found that 88% of people were at least somewhat satisfied with the state government’s work. His second act will be trickier. He has shied away from land reform, which is both fiendishly complex and deeply unnerving to the upper-caste landowners included in his coalition. And to overcome what one minister describes as a “crisis of implementation”—teachers who don’t teach, nurses who don’t nurse, roads built but not maintained, funds received but not spent—he will have to overcome the most obdurate caste of all: the local bureaucracy.

More than the floods that frequently test Bihar’s embankments, local officials fear the rising expectations of people who no longer meekly accept their lot in life. Their instinct is to contain the waters by discouraging such self-assertion. But it is only by giving people their say, by turning unmet need into a political demand, that the state apparatus will begin to do its job. Mr Kumar must win re-election before the year is out. The biggest risk to him may be the rising expectations of his constituents. But that is also the measure of his success.


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

Monday, February 8, 2010

Three Idiots: A Film With A Message

The film “Three Idiots” is a great satire on the education system and the attitude of society. It tells us rote learning can be very harmful. That knowledge is to ‘know’ and not just in the name of educating ourselves memorise whatever comes our way. Learning without understanding can prove to be very dangerous.

Unfortunately we have been patrons of such system from time immemorial. Rote learning used to be important during the ancient times when education was being monopolized by a section of society, while rest of the masses remained illiterate. No doubt in spite of their educational exclusion, they had more knowledge than the so-called literates of the society. Even without getting the benefits of formal education, they understood their work and transmitted it generations after generations with utmost efficiency and dexterity. The cobbler, the agriculturalist, the blacksmith knew their work and carried it out very well and transmitted it also, without any compulsions of memorizing any kind of written text. Their knowledge was useful for every section of society and their service so important for the progress and development of the country. On the other hand, so called ‘formal education’ was the monopoly of a particular section to maintain status quo. It was of help to no one but its patron alone, It was constantly meant to remind their coming generations that their caste was born to subordinate a large section of society. That the masses below them have to be denigrated to the extent that they easily give in and without any resistance believe in the superiority of the few above them and in their own inferiority. Anyone indulging in physical work has to be looked down upon and regarded as illiterate and uncivilized. But the question that comes in one’s mind is that, who is to be considered more literate and more civilized. A caste using its skills in the service of others from generations together is to be considered more civilized or a caste making rules for others, cleverly putting ones name at the top and the rest below them are strictly instructed to serve?

But generally, the serving caste without some amount of knowledge and skill couldn’t possibly move an inch, be it growing wheat for the nation, or making tools for industrial or any other purposes, or fixing a wall even. Every work requires skill and intelligence, and one needs a large heart to build houses for others and themselves stay in shambles. The servile castes have been doing this ‘godly gesture’ for ages together, no wonder Gandhiji used the word ‘Harijan’ to address them. They have exhibited remarkable amount of tolerance and willpower. Their stomach might remain hungry but not for a day they would take leave to take rest but continue to work in unison to achieve the target. Their children might be ill or injured but not for a moment they stop their work. They grow our crops, they make our tools, and they build our hospitals, but seldom are allowed to get proper treatment there. They build our schools but without any grudge, accept it as their fate of remaining unlettered and allow us to get literate. But our studying in Convent or a great University abroad doesn’t teach us to be as sacrificing, tolerant and selfless as the so called illiterate, serving castes. The aim of the literates is to get high marks by hook and crook, to prove themselves in the rat race, through a false degree or anyhow get into a prestigious college later on by any means, give a ‘religious babu’ some amount of bribe so that he can also take his family to a trip to Vaishno Devi in the coming summer vacation of his siblings. But in the rat race of getting high marks human values ‘go down the drain’. It is evident that in the so called prestigious centres of higher education the same ‘high grader’ shows he can be a great villain for real and in ragging the junior students he puts to shame even the worst of criminals. Where from he got those lessons one fails to understand? Convent education, public school education, high caste well preserved ’sanskars’ given at home takes a backseat and the hidden “goonda” comes out. The mantra that time is, tradition has to be followed without questioning it! We were not spared we will not spare others! In the modern times there are so many other ways of entertainment but they still insist on going for sadistic pleasures! Is higher education so simple that allows students to indulge in such luxuries of wasting time? What is ultimately derived out of it, has the so called high graders, given a thought to it? It is here that is reflected that how dangerous rote learning can be. It kills inquisitiveness, reasoning, rationality and worst of all creativity. Like a dodo we fail to respond in an appropriate manner to the crisis situation, serial train accidents, children falling in borewell or students committing suicides under psychological pressures day in and day out! Our senses remain numbed to the utmost, failing to react till another mishap occurs. Everybody waits for a miracle to happen or someone else to do the job for them! Their marked indifference reflected in their attitude.

Sitting on high pedestals not for a moment they give thought to the idea what example they are setting before the society. Lalu Prasad ji was right when he said recently “we are totally devoid of civic sense.” For the same reason we still need ‘proper toilet training’ and other mannerisms while travelling in VIP trains atleast! Most importantly an attitude of concern for others has to be developed alongwith a feeling of belonging to a nation, which is like a plant that is to be nurtured unitedly. Right from nursery class we have learnt by heart patriotic songs we still might remember some lines here and there but spirit still remains lacking in our character. That’s the reason on slightest pretext we are ready and more than happy to move to other country, braving ‘racism’, waiting for years together to get hold of a green card or a more permanent citizenship right. But would certainly object in our own country if a person of other state tries to get a job in our state.

We have learnt by heart ‘Saare Jahan se Accha Hindustan Hamara’, or our National Anthem but still cannot clearly understand what it is to be like living unitedly as one, in a nation and contributing to its development. If only we would have tried to understand before blindly memorizing our lessons! There is a rule that when we understand something it takes less effort to remember it! That is what is reflected in the movie ‘THREE IDIOTS’ and that being knowledgeable doesn’t end at achieving high marks alone, but there should be an effort on our part to know, understand and most importantly be concerned about the welfare of others and ‘treat others the way we would like to be treated by others’. Three idiots have certainly given society words of wisdom.

By Dr.Shura Darapuri
Coordinator (I/C)
Centre for the study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy,
Baba Saheb Bhim Rao Ambedkar University,
Lucknow (U.P.)


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

Saturday, February 6, 2010

People’s participation in development initiatives a must

Janwani, the NGO promoted by MCCIA for all stakeholders of Pune city, has called for increased participation by authorities, NGOs and individuals in the development of Pune Metropolitan Regional Development plan.

Addressing reporters recently, BG Deshmukh, chairman, Janwani, said the NGO is a platform for people keen on the overall development of the city. “People’s participation is essential to achieve what they want. We are pursuing the initiatives which are important for the city and which resonate the needs of the citizens of Pune.”

Ravi Pandit, founder member, Janwani, said the body would unveil the vision document after conducting extensive surveys in the first stage. “A consultant would be appointed in the second stage to look into various other aspects. Also, a study will be undertaken to understand various development patterns initiated in other cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Indore and Surat to examine whether any of these patterns can be adopted in Pune,” he said.

He said Janwani and MCCIA have been campaigning for better mass transport system and that Metro rail project cannot be examined in an isolated viewpoint.

“We are yet to go into the specific details of the Metrorail project for Pune. The project cannot be examined from an isolated viewpoint as it is linked to various other development aspects.”

Recently, the NGO had conducted a ground survey across various wards of the city regarding the use of compost pits by newer housing societies and carried out research of the transportation of solid waste. Six months ago, Janwani had helped the city traffic police develop a map-based Accident Report and Analysis System.


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

Resources for NGO & Social Sector in India

For free food grains for the destitute in Maharashtra:

Free Scholarship to Study at the Asian University for Women in Bangladesh:

Funds Available to Work on a Maternal Health Project:

Funds available for NGOs working for rural communities in Tamil Nadu:

Funds Available for College Students of Bombay to live their Dreams:

Funding Available for Social Impact Projects:

Funds Available for School Education - Bombay:

Funds Available for Cancer Research:

Funds Available for Christian NGOs:

Financial Help for School Kids Available - Bombay:

Free Treatment for Poor in Pune Hospital:

IndianOil Academic Scholarships:

Looking for CSR Activities:

Grants for Educational Infrastructure and Facilities: Check the details in the \'Schemes\' section of

National Scholarship for Female Students Belonging to Minority Communities:

Funds Available for Schools Projects around Bombay:

Free Cleft Surgery: and

Funds Available for Physically Challenged People:

Funds Available for Old-Age Homes - Bombay:

Donation Available for Parsi Trusts:

Free Treatment for Kidney-Related Problems - Chennai:

Free Cataract Surgeries in Bombay: and

Funds Available for Physically Challenged Females:

Hope this helps someone sometime somewhere. :)

Posted by Chandni Parekh

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

The youth can be a great force

Five rupees. Just a mere five rupees. That’s all Mission 5 asks from its willing donors. A student’s initiative which emerged from one of Bangalore city’s college has gone on to inspire people, young and old in many parts of India. The plan was to help the disabled and deprived by collecting Rs. 5/-. In these past years the team has done a lot of commendable activities.

To get an idea of the kind of work they do for instance as part of their New Year celebrations Mission 5 took the kids from Kannada Adarsha Mahila Makkala Samsthe to see Gemini Circus. Team Mission5 also visited an orphanage and celebrated 'Sankranti' with children also called Kite-flying Day and engaged in Kite Flying with the kids. Also on January 10, as part of a new project, Prayas - to encourage co-curricular activities among children, Mission5 conducted the first 'Sports Day' programme for kids at an orphanage.

Mission 5 started on February 2, 2007 by a group of five young students of Garden City College, Bangalore. The students named the group ‘Mission 5’ because they aimed to fulfill a set of 5 objectives with just Rupees 5/-. Their objectives were the aim to support the disabled and deprived to lead a better life, with major focus on providing ‘Light of education’ & ‘Right to childhood’ to underprivileged children.

These students are on a mission to usher in a new era of social development that defies the notion that one has to have lots of money and time to partake in or bring social development. The initiative, close to completing three years, boasts of a team of 20 active members, hailing from over five countries, doing their bit to bring smiles on the faces of the underprivileged. After two years of remarkable service to the society, 'Mission 5’ was finally registered on February 2, 2009 as a charitable organization under the Government of Karnataka. Mission 5 endeavors or respondents have spread to many places outside Bangalore. They have two branches in Bangalore, GCC branch and SFS College branch and three active branches in Hyderabad - VNR Vignana Jyothi Institute of Engineering & Technology, Bachupally.

For its noble idea and its implementation, Mission 5 was chosen as one of the best 'Citizen Hero Initiatives by CNN IBN and was telecast on a special programme on January 26, 2008 (Republic Day). MISSION 5 story was also telecast on DD News on December 27, 2009.

In an exclusive chat with The Morung Express, Ashok Shah, one of the founding members of Mission 5 shared the views and agenda of Mission 5. Formerly a GCC student and currently working for a website portal as a writer, Ashok reveals that the aim of Mission 5 is to bring positive changes in the society and especially make efforts at providing a possible good life and education to the underprivileged children. He narrates that as college students he and his friends faced hurdles in the form of both money and time constraints. Hence they thought of creating magic with jus Rs. 5/- from each willing student in the college and planned on doing activities during weekends. They began with supporting an orphanage and providing stationery, play materials, basic requirements like slippers, etc. “Our aim is to motivate and encourage youth partake in social development n do good with just Rs. 5/- from an individual” he says. Ashok hopes that the youth across India will learn and imitate from Mission 5. He also states that many students from Nagaland have been part of the project. He mentions that currently also Naga students in GCC, Bangalore have also been contributing to it regularly. Ashok concludes the interaction by leaving a message for the youths of Nagaland that the “Youth is a great force. Just take a little time out of this rat race for pursuing short-lived fun and good career, and devote to the underprivileged. The smile you can bring on their faces is priceless and their blessings will remain with you forever.”

One just has to contribute an amount as nominal as rupees 5 to bring positive changes in the society and devoting little time everyday or every weekend.

Mission 5 is currently supporting :

• Two orphanages, (Kannada Adarsha Mahila Makkala Samsthe and Jeevitha Anathashrama)
• Two old age homes (Shree Shirdi Sai Vrudhashram & Home for Mentally Retarded and Sai Krupa Vrudhashram)
• One school for the visually challenged children (Sri Rakum School for the Blind )
• One school for the underprivileged children (St. Anthony’s School)
• Funding the education of 19 poor children (3Help 1Child - an educational project of MISSION 5 - sending 19 children from across six villages to school)

To know more, visit their blog:

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

Monday, February 1, 2010

Care for the Withering Flowers

They are forgetful but not mad. They are wrinkled but not withered. They are old but not meek but above all they are humans and not a burden.

Only a few days ago, headlines on the front page of a national daily screamed: ‘Family throws granny on garbage heap’.

The accompanying photograph was of the semi-paralyzed 75-year-old woman, left to die on a rubbish heap by her grandsons. The boys had acted under the instructions of their mother – the old lady’s daughter – who had decided that she could no longer take care of her mother.

In September last year, a 37-year-old man beat his father. A son out of sheer desperation raped his old mom.

With an increasing number of cases of abuse and neglect towards senior citizens being reported across the country, Indians can no longer boast of being proponents of traditional family values. Four out of 10 elders are victims of abuse.

Unfortunately, the gradual disintegration of the joint family system and the growing number of working couples has meant that the elderly are left to fend for themselves. Many are left struggling through the last years of their lives, alone and neglected.

About 4.6 percent of older people are victims of physical, sexual or financial abuse, perpetrated mostly by family members and those who are in a duty of care relationship with the victim. Elder abuse, the mistreatment and torture of older people, through a manifestation of the timeless phenomenon of inter-personal violence is prevalent in India.

Still, there is no systematic collection of statistics or prevalence studies, crime records, journalistic reports, social welfare records and small scale studies to provide evidence on existence of abuse, neglect and financial exploitation of elders.

This is an extremely sorry state of affairs. We all will grow old sooner or later. Imagine being mistreated, verbally abused, denied proper food, proper medication and care by younger members of family.

Older people are indeed in a very helpless situation with eroding social values system in India. We all must have come across at least one or two cases of elder abuse or mistreatment in our neighborhood.

In the masculine centric society that we are heading to, the acts of work, wealth creation, enjoyment, hedonism, hyperactivity define the culture. Gone are the feminine centric roles of nurture, care, healing, consideration and empathy. If women get into masculine roles of acting as protector and provider, then some men must come down to the roles of nurturer and healer. A society which drives itself at breakneck speed without out occasional maintenance can have severe wear and tears.

With nuclear family further getting reduced to single parent family, Most old people have to head towards the Old Age Homes. In a morally corrupt country like India, there is no guarantee that they will not experience severe abuse in Old Age homes as well. Unfortunately, media is glamorizing this old age home concept.

There are also cases of severe elder abuse where the children force the old and sick elders to give them their savings or write property in their name. Sometimes children even file legal suits on the elderly parents making the frail and sick elders to run around the corridors in courts.

But, the most disturbing phenomenon is the legal abuse of elders by daughter-in-law. Imagine, a police jeep coming in front of the house, arresting the family members as old as ninety years and taking them to prison just because an adulterous daughter-in-law filed a false complaint of harassment against the entire family. Next day, media flashes the news of how an innocent daughter-in-law is harassed by a family of sadists with enough colors in it. In India, police arrests old and sick elders “Without Investigation” if a daughter-in-law or grand-daughter-in-law complains of harassment.

I speak of India because the Indian culture today is fast diminishing it is getting more and more so called modernized. In our culture old is certainly considered as gold it is also considered as a bank of knowledge and experience. But it is now very disheartening to say that today old people are merely a forgotten treasure instead they are considered more of a burden. Who is to be blamed for this our fast paced life or our forgotten values?

It is an extremely unfortunately scenario in India where old people are told to campaign if they are wronged. The old people having passed their prime, being weak and sick can not shout slogans in the streets. They can not hold protest marches. Often, when they approach Human Rights activists or Feminists oriented NGOs, they are shown the door. Even media remains totally silent about elder abuse in households except occasionally reporting murder of lonely elders in urban India.

Many such elders have committed suicide after spending some ten to fifteen days in jail. In some of the cases you will see that in most of the incidents the old people’s children as well as their grand children are involved in causing atrocities to them. It is rightly said that what comes around goes around .Today whatever values that you inculcate in your children, they will mould into that character only. May be in future your children will be the one throwing you out of their house.

So what is the solution for this?

The hands that fed you, the eyes that cried for you when you were hurt, the people who gave you ultimate care and protection in your childhood need your help today. It is said a man when he grows old should be treated like a child.

Your child, your parents, your grand parents – all need your help.

Take those wrinkled hands in yours today and say “I am with you…..I do care”

Let us care for those withering flowers and make India a shining example – That is my vision for India !

BY Tazeen who resides in the vibrant city of Mumbai. She is currently pursuing her graduation in mass media with majors in Advertising. She is an ardent lover of life and believes that living in Mumbai has made her accustomed to all the shades a person could experience. She loves to talk 24/7 - talk about any thing under this planet. According to her creativity lies in simplicity and curiosity is the start of knowledge.


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