Ananthoo's updates

When all trees have been cut down, when all animals have been hunted, when all waters are polluted, when all air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money. - Cree Prophecy

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Sir India

what a name! Still I went ahead and ordered some stuff online for a kid..and then I had to chase these guys on mails, phones and what not..
I have done online purchases before (mostly thru rediff, ivarta, indiainfo) but this time I fell a prey to such lousy irresponsible provider. Be warned ladies and gentlemen..
just bcos, the product I wanted to order(gift) was available only in this site, i went ahead and ordered..risked, so to say..
and what a pain it proved to be!
Though I have cancelled my order (after 2 weeks of agony)I shall only get back the value of the order. what happens to all those phone calls, mails, false promises by their reps, agonising days and the worst of all- my gift on time to that kid(my niece)..its a shame and I wish those of u who get to see this (oh! yeah, spread this too)dont fall a prey to such silly sites.


Thursday, September 27, 2007

2020 – success and excess

Hmm..its all happening there! Even Joginder singh smiled twice in 2 successive days! Phew!
and we won it..a world cup final..a world cup for which there was no interest for our BCCI nor us general junta (atleast in the initial stages)..and what a win..
to add a cliché here: nothing succeeds like success..and so the viewership (and so the advts), interest and the following tremendously increased!
from the south Africa match on, our guys turned the close ones in our favour, which normally wud have been the other a norm, esp at bigger stages, we wud be losing matches we shud have won..
the power of youth, eh? Worth all the fun, this win..special mention needs to be spelled about Dhoni..kept his cool all along in all matches, rotated well, field placings were good..looks fine..more assessment after 1st 3 ODIs against aus..looks a good long term prospect though!

Once back we will have the 3 stalwarts back and come to think of it- where will the new captain hide them in the field?? And what will happen to guys like gambhir, Rohit, joginder who performed well?
Ok, lets spare all these ponderings now and join the was fun to win and esp against Pak..(oh, what was that about thanking all muslims in the world- by pak! how much they luv their foot and inside their mouth too bloody often!)
Oh man! What a welcome rally it was and how politicians enjoyed stealing the thunder..and the vulgar amounts of money and prizes being showered on the cricketers.
Why don’t they think?? Are these cricketers short of money at all? Is the system or board lacking it?? Why such nonsensical shower? Esp when none of these people moved a bit to even congratulate other sportsmen (eg. Vishy when he excelled even recently or the hockey team which won Asia cup or shooting or other little known sportsmen) or offer such currency rains..what a pity..
And add to that the news starved TV channels all going gaga and covering the neighbors to maids of all the cricketers..vulgar excesses all these..
Now, I wonder- if these cricketers took all this with great smile and happiness, will they treat the abuses, complaints, cries and little bit of painting when they fail miserably..If they think the answer is NO, they better behave and behove.
Did u see all those sms about 1962,1971 and 2007 or about men in blue and sensorable comparisons? ROTFL..

Labels: ,

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Point is to return!

If god (that is, if one assumes his existence as most believe) were to offer u the most enticing and interesting job on a platter, then it shud be agri for sure. Yeah, no sailing, no wud be agri..

Remember the 'bar closed'?? and DV's point return? Did I tell u of the planning of a pond there and that I was lucky to get involved with many other better souls at point return? (see here!)

Its fun to be associated with DV and this project of his. Last week my wify n myself with DV planted some saagavaram (Oh! Am supposed to get the name of it in English..shall do soon) all along the fence.

It was a good exercise and really great feeling..and from now on, during every visit, we shall check how much it has grown and shall exchange proud glances! Am excited to see it grow tall soon..

Then we also used the A frames (oh, remember reading about it in engg course or else where ages back? We got to use it!) to mark the contour lines..its real fun folks..waiting to see the pond cut out and to participate in more exciting activities there..

The point is to return! Gotcha?


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

DHAN - a paradigm shift in development activities!

DHAN - an organization with a difference which makes a difference! That’s where we (me and wify) spent 3 days last week, thanks to Raghini of DHAN and saw so much, felt so much, got filled with so much..

Joining the organization starts with a rigorous recruitment process of you have the right attitude and aptitude for development work?? subsequent training programs and appraisal processess ensure that DHANites are still in tune with what is expected of doubt they advertise asking for socially committed, efficient and motivated youths to apply for exciting, challenging career – Not just a job! Really jobs that fill their souls and is challenging and fulfilling at the same time as many of them confided to us.

The grassroot changes they have made has to be seen to be believed...the most tangible of effects is the empowerment of rural women..and we were witness to all the advantages that come to the rural society as a whole when its women are empowered.. women young and old, who before DHAN came into their lives, never even faced strangers are now ready to confront any issues that they or their village mates face..

One of DHAN’s early initiatives is Kalanjiam – which is basically microfinancing to bring in the concepts of savings, credit and health insurance…but what the initiative has achieved in addition to microfinancing has been to get the rural folk (mainly women) aware of the possibilities of making their life better. As one of the ladies who leads a massive co-op of 1000s of women in Madurai outskirts said, ‘now our life has bettered. We can afford food 2 or 3 times a day, but will be happy if our wards get jobs..’ how true! A perfect portrayal of ‘what next’..They have moved a bit in that direction through a tie up with a manufacturing unit and letting them share space in kalanjiyam’s premises employing the wards of the kalanjiyam women! There is no end to the innovation and authority of these rural women once u show them a path. Now they even have micro-insurance or easy insurance!

Another initiative Vayalagam helps farmers get financial aid for constructing “farm ponds” which in the farmers own words act as their “crop insurance” ..No more sleepless nights wondering if their crops will get the crucial rainfall and save them from total crop loss..They have precious rain water stored in their farm ponds to save them. Add to that Ooranis that they revive/plan in (drinking)water starved Ramnad district. Hats off..these guys are actually doing what the Govt shud be doing, hmmm…

The internet has shrunk the world for the urbanites…And DHAN’s Information and communication technology (ICT) initiative has extended this to the rural folk. DHAN’s well trained person who meticulously maintains these centres are seen by the villagers as the person with access to information..They support the Panchayat by maintaining soft copies of local records and various forms which can then be printed out on an as needed basis. They arrange for video conferences by agricultural experts, met dept, and doctors and seem to keep thinking of innovative ways of helping bring the information age to the villagers.

I can keep adding here, but then I cant wait to share my views about Vasimalai (Vasi as he is called by all over there)! I consider it my good fortune to have met him, a very unassuming, down-to-earth, soft spoken gentleman, who is the brain behind this great D-school (like B school ). This IIMA product is the founder of this Developmental organization with a paradigm shift. He is instrumental in delivering this Infy of the NGOs..a great idea, I shud say wherein, DHAN recruits and trains professionals and posts them to head various projects all over. The passion with which they all work, the motivation level, successes etched by them cant be described in words. Most importantly in the half hour I spent talking to Vasi, I cud not bring out the word “I” from his mouth. It was, we, the team, all our people all along. When asked to mention his passion in one word he said ‘organising the unorganised’ and when I insisted one word he smiled and said – people! If I had questioned about his breakfast too he wud have prolly said ‘ we all have early breakfast and rush to office you know…’ such is the humilty of this great man..
Such people are our hopes..such people are a boon..such people are a rarity..let us salute such personalities even if we don’t celebrate them!

Note: I shall post in detail later about how/what one can contribute to the various projects of DHAN, meanwhile visit the links given above and do what u reckon is best.

Labels: , ,

Monday, September 17, 2007

cricket and other funny things..

cricket these days is hotting up, bcos of activities outside the ground that is! first it was ICL under Kapil and now the BCCI tries to emulate ICL and brings its own version of T20..ha they know to conduct themselves and be professional? why attempt these stuff? They already make a mess of things in the present affairs.but thats their right to give us all full sit back and for T20 itself, with the world cup now on, its hardly being watched much for its popularity..add to that such comical ending as that of the Ind-pak match! India won 3-0!! yes, a cricket scoreline that is very much!
The other news catcher in cricket was Dravid's resignation. IMHO that was pending from the world cup debacle itself. Then the spineless way he led Ind in the 3rd test in England and all these days of lacklustre captaincy with out an ounce of imagination or innovation..that bland captaincy needed an end soon and prolly was forced on him behind the scenes..good for him, good for us..very rarely such win-win situations evolved in Indian cricket!

Now to something more funnier! Pak politix!! come on, dont fall off laughing just at the thought..please read:-) man absolute mavericks..theres no end to fun there, what with mushy boy, old man shariff and loud mouth Benazir..they really compete heavily for the top post, of comedy that is..and now with one or the other reason stopping mushy and sharif (oh! how he wud have felt on the quickest round trip from saudi to pak ever)are introducing their wives in to the arena! a la what if its an orthodox muslim nation, sharia in effect and all that? so no end to fun there..and when they all get bored they cross the border and freak out at kashmir and we will still be watching..anyway lets all have fun watching these never say die comedians..what all they spin..

next is, sethu bridge (ramar bridge), ASIs stupid MK like arguments, cong backtracking, bjp lost in this whole scene and MKs various retards that beg for brain transplant, jairam ramesh's dig at ambika, ambikas trick on manmohan..oh! that bridge is really lonnnng..but one thing, there r 2 families who in TN who will laugh all the way to the bank in this episode! (clue: both have 2 wives, officially that is)

and BTW what ever happened to the comments? give me some oxygen gents n ladies!

Labels: ,

Monday, September 10, 2007

Parted wisdom…

Oh a tooth is missing, I mean in the title! Just parted with my wisdom tooth and so like most of u will have an interesting dental story to narrate..which I lacked till now..
For all those who were jealous of my wisdom, be informed am one less..have parted with my wisdom…tooth that level playing field, eh??
It all started when I accompanied my pain er pain with pain che..wife with a tooth pain for one of her routine dental visits and here, I am one tooth less and that too- wisdom. One sure shot way of my association with wisdom..sigh..sigh..
Just bcos it was a young lady doc, I strutted out an O (open mouth)and said proudly, I have never went to a dentist and am fine..she sneaked in and one look- told me, there is a slight decay, there is a wisdom..yeah wisdom and me closely associated yet again, for one last time! And that too its growing in some vague angle (defying all gravity and other sciences) and they make u believe it..she gave me the same gas they are taught in 8th semester- u can either do it now or later when the pain increases inordinately and then it shall be an emergency..’its ur choice’ and that smile that is taught much earlier,in 8th standard? U buy it immly and so the next thing u do is fix up an appointment with surgeon..
For once 2 days went off in pain and my wify was so happy I hardly spoke for 2 u know who connived on the level playing field now??

And as the pain subsides we are off to Madurai to visit some interesting projects of Dhan, a great off to MDU: Dear sir, as Iam suffering from tooth pain and travel please grant me leave for 3 days;-)

Update: BTW did you note the update on full video for the prev post here


Thursday, September 06, 2007

Single Teacher Schools

In the long list of interesting people who have made a big impact, that I have been meeting in the recent past, this one takes a place high up there. Not only becos he has done so in a field so close to my heart (rural education) but due to the system he has evolved and the efficiency with which its running!
Single teacher schools are run by Swami Vivekananda Rural Development society. It’s the amazing brainchild of Shri. S. Vedantam and the concept behind is simple enough “ If children cant go to schools why cant the schools go to the children”

The implementation is very practical and considerate of the ground realities of a typical village. To ensure maximum attendance, school is conducted in the evenings between 5:30 and 8:30. The most educated young literate in the village takes on the role of the teacher. Constraints like proper infrastructure are no deterrents. Classes take place under trees, in temples, by the river side - wherever sufficient space is available. A blackboard and chalk are all that is required. The school atmosphere is casual, cordial and enjoyable.

More impressive than even the educational aspect of the school is that the students are taught the importance of basic hygiene, behavioral do’s and don'ts and morals. Coming from a teacher this has more value than from anyone else. The whole syllabus has been prepared by an eminent panel of experts.

Single teacher schools are for children of the age group 5 to 12. Children who have had the benefit of participating in these schools more often than not opt to continue on to secondary education in regular schools. That shud be considered the greatest achievement of this project as enrolling for higher education means a few kilometers of walk, needing a very high motivation to pursue studies. There are 540 functional STS as of now and Shri.Vedantam wants it to be 1500 with in an year. Apart from a teacher each school is also having a health worker (ofcourse from the village itself) who is trained to attend to basic first aid and teach the kids health and hygiene. They keep a close watch on the child’s health and also assist parents on basic health issues.

So ladies & gentlemen – If u wanna help this to reach more villages and want to be a part, Donate by visting them in person or their website and/or contact me. I wish to definitely do more than collect donations from folks, so keep me informed if u want to /can help this great effort apart from donating. And BTW, the donations for STS are eligible for 100% tax exemption under section 35AC. (I am told this is far more difficult to achieve than the normally mentioned 80G)

Pl do see this video. (sorry I could upload only partially, but shall upload a fullish better version soon)

Update: You can now see the full video here

Labels: ,