Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Very special arts....and people

Empowering the less privileged and disabled.......saving the environment by recycling plastic......critical issues worldwide, and which many are striving to do. So it's doubly praiseworthy when the two are combined together---this is what Very Special Arts is doing, quietly, efficiently, and with commitment.

Many of us who have grown up listening to cassette tapes and watching movies on video cassettes are now in a situation  where they can no longer be used, with tape recorders becoming obsolete! Yet, it's difficult to relegate them to a bin/garbage, so I was looking around for a place where they could be used. Thanks to a friend who referred me to someone who manages a NGO ---where the poor and disabled are taught to weave (with plastic/tapes) items like bags, napkin holders etc and also to make candles, among other things.

Children from The missionaries of Charity homes attend classes held daily from 9 am to 1.30 pm.

Another impressive measure is the free computer classes for children. Expensive courses like Designing are taught for a nominal amount.

Saturdays are for extra curriculars and recreational activities, which translates to public performances and participation in events.

You can find the details on the site:

http://vsaindia.org/



Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Ms.Sunita Narain.... a crusader for the environment.....

CSE, the Center for Science and Environment, headed by a great environmentalist Sunita Narain has been doing monumental work in spreading awareness and fighting for environmental issues. She is the editor of an excellent magazine, Down to Earth. A recipient of national and international awards, and listed among the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine 2016, she is also an amazing human being----petit and elegant, unassuming, simple and warm, belying her gigantic stature in the country and world.

On 4th June (eve of World Environment Day)  her book of essays, culled from those published over the last 25 years (it was also the 25th anniversary of the magazine) was released. "Why I should be tolerant" was released before a packed house. A panel of 4, including Sunita Narain  and leading journalist Ravish Kumar discussed various aspects of environmental issues, which are covered in the book. Among the current topics raised by Sunita Narain and Ravish Kumar was the proposal of converting Lutyen's Delhi (an oasis of green) into a smart city. Sunita also elaborated on her choice of the title, when questioned about its aptness!

Signed copies of the book and other publications of CSE were on sale at the venue. It was a memorable program, and any one attending is sure to have come away with a feeling of pride and admiration at what an individual and her organisation is doing, and hope for the future.

Some of Sunita Narain's most memorable assertions during the function:
"Environmentalism of the poor is happening, but we are not listening to it

The most powerful nations would like us to believe that there is no other side.

In an information rich age, we are knowledge poor.

Anything that is inconvenient is ignored in the international climate discourse.

Part of the problem is that we think everybody else will solve it.

Why I should be tolerant is because we can't let the rich take charge of the future at the cost of the poor.
We are in a world where getting an inconvenient opinion out is very difficult. That is intolerance.


















You might look at these links to read articles and learn of the excellent work done by Sunita Narain and her team, and her untiring efforts over the last 3 decades. It is thanks to her that ordinary citizens have been alerted to toxicity in food items and even paint.

http://www.cseindia.org/node/221

http://www.cseindia.org/blog_entries_by_author/6

http://www.downtoearth.org.in/

No words are enough to do justice to her unflagging commitment and contribution to make the planet a better place................

Ms. Sunita Narain before the book release


and even if you are not fluent in Hindi, do look at the videos of Ravish Kumar's  popular program Prime Time (on NDTV Hindi)---he is a journalist par excellence, possibly the most balanced/objective in the current scenario. He has gained widespread recognition, and very recently, the recipient of the best journalist of the year award.

http://www.ndtv.com/video/list/shows/prime-time

http://www.ndtv.com/topic/ravish-kumar



Ravish K. giving a sound bite to a news channel after the release

Mission Netaji

The title of this post is the name of a movement/organisation which has devoted itself to resolving the mystery of what actually happened to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, undeniably one of the greatest freedom fighters India has known. It was reported that he died in a plane crash, but the theory has too many doubtful aspects, as revealed in √Źndia's greatest cover up"by Anuj Dhar, one of the founding members of the organisation. His unrelenting efforts  has garnered huge public support and led to the government to agree to declassify files related to the case. The process of declassification has just begun...

On the 27th May, Anuj held the audience captive for over 3 hours, when he discussed the various possibilities, enumerated in his latest book "What happened to Netaji"? With clear, precise slides and commentary, he convincingly explained why the plane crash theory can be debunked. His passion and dedication is admirable and inspiring. His other books on the subject are "Back from the dead"and "No secrets"---must reads!

You might look at:

https://twitter.com/anujdhar

https://twitter.com/MissionNetaji




A special full moon

April is the month of a special full moon, known as the Wesak and celebrated by many, specially in the Buddhist tradition.....it's a special day for Pranic healers. A glimpse of the setting this year...



Change is constant.....

Spring gives way to summer......the "before"and now say it all....


May
 April

April



May!




perceptibly lighter!













Cotton pods burst and litter the ground....














The dominating color now.....

Monday, April 18, 2016

Changing colors!

As the last flowers of spring are fading away in anticipation of a harsh summer, there are still bright splashes of color......while the trees are not far behind........










Wednesday, March 30, 2016

...all creatures great and small.....

It was a routine morning walk at the Siri fort Sports complex this morning, when we saw the sky darkened over by dozens of crows, swooping around a white object on the path----approaching closer, we found a small and very frightened and white owl...its round eyes even larger with apprehension. People simply walked past...fortunately, a member of the staff happened to come down the road, and the hapless bird was picked up and given shelter, while I called up Wildlife SOS, known for their rescue efforts of animals, big and small.
The purpose of this post is to highlight :
a) the apathy and attitude of many city dwellers.....when the staff member was trying to help the bird, walkers stopped to click photos, and then ask him why he was bothering
b) common people are more rooted to the earth and nature, as seen by the gardeners who watched over the owl and gave it sips of water, while I went home to get a cardboard box for it
c) the professionalism of the SOS rescue member who responded to the call promptly and with great care. I had read about their efforts and made some contributions, so it was good to see their action in reality.
 Read about the organisation here   http://wildlifesos.org/

Perhaps human beings need to remember the last line of the verse---The Lord God made them all....and learn to give the voiceless creatures their due.

PS: I checked with them later and heard that the owl is not injured (as we had thought), just scared and lost, since it couldn't see in the daylight. It is being looked after in the SOS office, and will soon be released in the wild.