Remember ME - You Me and Dementia

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Corruption in India is endemic because like charity corruption begins at home too

Corruption first creeps in slowly and quietly into individual brains. If we look back upon our childhood days, we would know how we—or our siblings and friends—snatched from others whatever we liked, no matter who the rightful owner was. A loving and caring elder always stepped in and quietened those he could, but helplessly gave in to the more stubborn who would not stop crying until his whims were met. That was how the first software of corruption was embedded into our personal systems. We grew up with an obsession of whims and preconceived notions that gradually took command of our behaviour.

Today we have reached a stage when nothing attracts us more than figures and statistics.We all feel greedy to have more—whatever, whenever, wherever and however! After all, when you have more than your neighbour, you earn his envy. 'Life is no good unless I have an edge over others'—we seem to think even when we have enough to lead a normal life. Accumulation of assets gives us an expanse to gloat over with a sense of triumph in a world that is racing to grab more. Of course, far from being sinful, honest pursuit to earn and create more resources in life is a highly-desirable activity and ultimately it benefits society. What is harmful and dangerous for society is acquisition of resources and privileges through dishonest pursuit and machinations. Spread of such a culture vitiates the atmosphere and promotes unfair competition, rivalry and crime.

The quest to excel, however, has different meanings for different people. The fear of being left behind in the race forces us to ignore the fundamentals of life in this fiercely-competitive environment. We find parents boasting of their kids getting as high as 99% marks. Teenagers attend school, tuitions and coaching for competitive examinations with no time for societal chores, nature watch, hobbies, games, outdoor adventures and so on. Care is taken to enrol into those tutorials where the student's teacher has commercial interest. The aim is clear: to get highest possible marks, no matter how. And so we know why teachers perform perfunctorily in classroom teaching, but do their most in 'tuition' sessions out of school. Every year, we also witness how question papers are secretly fished out and sold for hefty amounts a few days prior to the date of the examination. And the malaise is no longer confined to Boards alone, it has now become a high-paying furtive business eating into the country's most prestigious competitive examinations like JEE and other UPSC-controlled or institutionally-conducted examinations. And yet, universities and colleges too joined the mad race to rake in students who are in the highest slot of the cut-off percentage set as high as 98% and, in some cases, 100%. Is the percentage of marks obtained by students the only measure of their worthiness for the institution, society and the nation? Who would look for the more vital attributes in personalities the country and society need like aptitude, vision, character, disposition towards social/national issues and so on?

Read More : Corruption in India is endemic because like charity corruption begins at home too - Moneylife Personal Finance site and magazine

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

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Citizen Journalism (CJ) , Exclusively 3 days course for Senior Citizens at Mumbai

The JM Foundation for Excellence in Journalism announces a new module of its Citizen Journalism programme from September 30 to October 2, 2011 (Friday, Saturday and Sunday)  -- this time exclusively for senior citizens. Individuals aged 60 years and above are eligible to apply.

Silver Inning Foundation promotes this unique programme for Senior Citizens for the empowerment of silver citizens across the country, to harness the wisdom and experience of senior citizens towards a deeper participation in our democracy.

The course is designed as an extended weekend programme stretching over three days. Specialists from areas connected with the content of this course, professionals and domain experts would be conducting the training and information exchange programme.

Increasingly, the citizen is being asked to contribute to the news gathering process, either through write ups, pictures, video or information. Moreover, there are issues which need to be reported about. Be it environment, transport or water conservation. Often, it could be something as critical as an inadequacy we notice in the state's performance.
But how does one go about it. How does one gather facts? How do one verify these facts? If one needs to seek information, does one know how to avail of the Right to Information (RTI) process? What are the basic laws which one is governed by, or which one sees being violated time and again, and against which one can raise a voice? Does one know the basic traffic and civic laws and redressal mechanisms, the penal code and basic constitutional rights. Does one know the process of seeking redressal? How do the courts in India function? Can I be heard there and how?
This and much more could be the reasons a citizen should avail this programme.

This module has been tailored exclusively for individuals of/above 60 years of age. No formal qualification needed. You need to have a basic understanding of reading and writing.

Course Contents
Some of the key areas covered in the course include Citizen Journalism backgrounder and how it is practiced globally, basics of reporting, news gathering, presenting the story through words and pictures, ethics including accuracy and fairness, laws including slander and privacy, introduction to Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Criminal Procedure Code, civic laws and use of technology in Citizen Journalism.

Reporting by Citizen Journalists will be put on a portal dedicated to citizen journalism called

Any senior citizen interested in becoming a citizen journalist. Basic language skills in any Indian language or English needed.

St. Andrew's College, Bandra (W), Mumbai.

September 30 - October 2, 2011. (Friday, Saturday, Sunday). 9.00 am to 5.00 pm.

Rs. 1250/-inclusive of reading material, food on all three days,and a certificate of participation. Senior citizens keen on registering in groups of five and above can avail of a further discount of Rs. 250/- per participant.

To register:
1. Download and fill out the soft copy of the registration form , click here :
2. Mail the form as an attachment to
3. Send a draft or cheque of the requisite fee amount favouring "JM Foundation for Excellence in Journalism" to:
JM Foundation for Excellence in Journalism
104 Sanjay Appa Chambers, 83 Guru Hargobindraiji Marg,
AG Link Road, Andheri (E), Mumbai 400093.

Lavanya Varadrajan: 022-40155197 / +91-98207 87949  /  +91-98209 85853 

Programme Directors
Shishir Joshi and Aloke Thakore

Shishir Joshi was till recently the Group Editorial Director of the Mid-Day group of publications, which includes Mid-Day (Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Pune), Sunday Mid-Day, Gujarati Mid-Day and Inquilab. Prior to Mid-Day, Joshi was with the TV Today group, where he was executive editor. He has also been editorial consultant for the Sahara group, helping set up TV channels across India as well as recruiting and training professionals for them. Prior to that he was with NDTV as its sole business news correspondent based out of Mumbai. He has worked with, written for Reuters and AFP and has contributed to UK based ITN-Channel 4 News and has been the South Asia Representative of Peter Arnett's Broadcast News Network (BNN TV). A law graduate, he is a Chevening Scholar. He is the co-founder of Journalism Mentor.

Aloke Thakore is a journalist, researcher and teacher. He has worked in print and television. At various times he has reported, written columns, authored academic articles, anchored programmes, taught at university and colleges, and coached in news rooms. He has also helped launched newspapers and magazines both as editorial and management consultant. He counts many journalists and media professionals among his students and trainees. A Media Leadership Fellow of the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, he has a Ph.D. in Mass Communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, an AM in International Relations from the University of Chicago, an MS in Journalism from the University of Kansas. His first degree is from Calcutta University. He is the co-founder of Journalism Mentor.

Citizen Journalism with its variants in Public Journalism or Civic Journalism acquired the accoutrements of a movement in the early 2000s, particularly in the United States. But the origins of Citizen Journalism are as old as journalism, when pamphlets and reports were issued by citizens. Some of the most powerful pieces of journalistic writing can be traced back to individual initiatives of citizens as reporters not reporters as professionals.
The need for citizens as journalists and for citizen journalists has been increasingly felt as media companies with their business and professional news gathering models do not necessarily commit enough resources to covering issues that beset a democracy such as ours or do not have any incentive to cover problems from a wide swathe of society. But not covering these problems and issues does not wish away the reality. And that is precisely where citizen journalists can reclaim the conversation. It needs to be remembered that the freedom of the press in India is an extension of the freedom of expression given to each citizen.

JM Foundation for Excellence in Journalism believes that India needs vigorous citizen journalism since it is well nigh impossible, for various reasons, for the news media organizations to cover all issues that need to be brought into the public eye. Hence, we have launched a Citizen Journalism initiative, which will both train citizen journalists and also provide them with a forum where they report.

JM Foundation for Excellence in Journalism
104, Sanjay Appa Chambers,
First Floor, Plot No 82,
Guru Hargobindraiji Marg,
A. G. Link Road, Andheri (E),
Mumbai – 400 093
Phone Nos:             +91-22-4015 5384       / 197


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