Saturday, December 29, 2007

Targeting the Meet - 2

What: Targeting the Meet - 2
When: Sun Dec 30 9pm – Sun Dec 30 10pm IST
Where: Skype
1. New member intro
2. Have you thought about factors affection Standard of Living?
3. Why not start with a social ill?
4. Next fortnight goals!
5. Wrap

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Stuck at X-factor. How to more forward?

We have been talking about Standard of living, searching for factors affecting them, arguing for and against awareness
and a dozen other things. But let us admit to ourselves. Awareness is the only factor that we have at hand so far and we are still looking for the elusive X-factor(s)! That makes me think. Is this the only angle from which we can approach the whole initiative? Let us step back and think about it. How else can we approach? Let us we have started thinking of the X-factor and have hit road block (Cul de sac! At last a usage for the word I learnt recently! :)) How to get past this? The only way is to think NOT in terms of the factors affecting SOL for a while. How about things that we need to know to start working on any initiative irrespective of what the X-factors are?

For example, we are trying to address social ills. And we know about the oft-talked-about Right to Information Act. It is likely that sooner or later we will end up filing an RTI petition. Why not pick up a social ill at random (or for some reason) and file an RTI petition right now? This will give us a feel of what filing RTI petitioning is all about? After all there is no dearth of social-ills! :) May be this will give us some insight into the X-factors too! And this is just an example! There may be other things that we may need to know.

Also, we are all beginners. Honestly to goodness, we have more text book knowledge about the problems we face than field experience. I sometimes wonder if that knowledge is knowledge at all or just some illusion. So, why can't we hire an experienced person's help? (hire for free that is! :) )Some relative, who is a social worker or an employee of an NGO or at least just an entrepreneur who knows the insides of how our social system works.

Hope I am clear and hope this post is in English! :)

Pro of this idea: We can keep moving towards starting to our objective, as against getting stuck at the X-factor
Con of the idea: We may possibly forget about the X-factor (Remember it is still important!)

What say you? Merry Christmas, by the way!!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Why should I do something ?

When I think of changing society or even world without being unrealistic, the first question pops up in my mind is "Why should I even bother about it?"
After all I am happy, my family is happy and life is moving smoothly for me.
So the first question to encounter is why , before we actually get into the details of HOW and WHAT to do.
Why? Take a moment think about it. Do we really need to do anything?
Does it even matter to you how much poverty is there, how is our climate getting affected and how much is crime increasing in our society?
If your answer to these questions is NO!!! You are very normal.
If your answer to these questions is YES, You are literally, normal.

I believe, its about RESPONSIBILITY. If we think it is our responsibility to improve things around us, if we think that a child who sleeps hungry near a railway station is somehow related to the delicious biryani you had last night, if you think that it is an escape from reality when you turn yourself into oblivion, you have a trace of a responsible citizen within you.

And this responsibility is very different than what we usually consider as responsibility or duty. It is not a duty, it is not a charity. It is just a realization that society is integral part of me and I am just an impression of my society.

Only when we have right attitude to serve without the desire of popularity or results, we can move into a community relation.
With a right attitude , ideas automatically keeps flowing in, energy keeps you driving and the feeling of satisfaction and joy surrounds you 24X7.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Minutes:Targeting the Meet - 1

Attendees: Aishwarya, Badhri, Jagan, Priya, Sarathy, Shabnam, Shashi


Aishwaraya: Software, Pramati Tech., Hyderabad, India
Badhri: Electronics Design, Synopsys, Hyderabad, India
Jagan: Telecommunications, Muscat, Oman
Priya: Ph.D student, Texas, Biosciences, USA
Sarathy: Energy, California, USA
Shabnam: HR, Pramati Tech., Hyderabad, India
Shashi: Electronics Design, Synopsys, Hyderabad, India

Understanding of Purpose

  • Improve standard of living (SOL), don't wait for others to do it
What is instrumental for that?

  • Awareness
  • Other factors play vital role too..but what are they? Open to debate
  • How are we planning to execute the projects?
(Aish and Badhri)
  • Form a framework of factors affecting SOL, choose projects to implement if they fit in it.
    • Research to know what the beneficiary is looking for (not what you want to give them).*
    • Research and brainstorm to find set up a system that serves the need continuously.*
    • Try not to give a temporary solution, unless it is done to gain the trust of the beneficiary.*
  • Choose projects that target different areas. (primary education, medical awareness)
    • Will ensure that most the components that contribute to SOL is covered
  • Don't be rigid about framework. Choose project on merit, then try to modify and fit it in the framework
  • How do you think NRIs can contribute?
  • As an NRI, you see the difference in SOL day-to-day. Share it!
  • The group has to stay connected regularly to brainstorm what is shared.
  • Meet once every 15 days! (agreed by all!)
  • For NRI to do field work, start with your school, stress importance of non-academic learning (like safety). Influence friends to do the same

(Shashi, Priya)
  • May consider a limit on the number of people in the group in the future.
  • Make blog more appealing, give only relevant information and make it more explorable and inviting.

* Didn't mention the very point during the meet, but gave an example of a preliminary negotiations with Ananda Bharati, an NGO at Hyderabad. The example meant to deliver these points.

(Please feel free to make changes or add points in case I have left out anything important. I have a copy of the version currently posted for back up. But do mention the changes made in the comment field)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Targeting the Meet - 1

Now that there are sizable number of like-minded people ready to contribute for the blog and the objective, it becomes imperative that we talk and get to know each other. I have proposed conference meet.

What: Targeting the meet (A conference net-meeting)
When: Sunday, December 16th at 9 PM Indian Standard Time
Duration: 1 hour
Who: All invitees
How: Using Skype (Get it here)
  1. Introduction of the team members
  2. Discussion:
    • What is your understanding of "Targeting the roots"?
    • What is instrumental in improving the standard of living?
  3. Wrap
To do:
  1. Download Skype and sign-up for an account if you don't have one
  2. Send in your Skype ID
  3. Add the rest of the members to your contact list (don't wait till all the IDs are in. You can always search for IDs)
  4. Arrange for a microphone
  5. Do some ground work for the discussion session (see agenda)
  7. Log-in about 15 minutes before the scheduled time. Remember! For quite a few, the conference is after nightfall! :)
  • Krishnakanth wouldn't be able to attend the meeting since he will be in transit then.

(Please propose any changes to the contents of this particular post in the comments)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Minutes of meeting - 21st November 2007

Attendees: Aishwarya, Badhri, Shabnam

Summary: The group met after a long time of around 3 months. Concerns/Topics put forward were

a. Meetings should be held more regularly and frequently
b. There has been no activity done in the past 6 months since the group was started
c. Priya put forward her opinion on the nature and langugage of the blog posts
d. There has been no meeting where all the members have got a chance to get introduced to each other. This meeting will have to be on phone or voice chat since members are in different countries/cities.

Agreement and action items at the end of the meeting on the following:

a. Badhri will introduce Aishwarya and Shabnam to Rukmani (who works in Synopsys). Rukmini is closely associated with Anand Bharthi. After meeting Rukmani, Aishwarya and Shabnam will take forward the Anand Bharthi case and explore the possibilities available.

b. Shabnam will contact Subba Rao and get on update on the presentations that were suggested by Subba Rao

c. In light of Priya's suggestions, we will try and ensure that the posts are:
1. To the point
2. Easy to understand
3. Without long winding sentences
4. Without using difficult and complex sounding words

d. One of the objectives for the next 3 months is to come up with ideas regarding the focus of the group. Badhri's opinion is "Awareness" should be the focus of the group i.e. when we take up an activity we should ensure that the activity is able to raise the awareness levels of purpose or cause for which the activity was taken up.

e. There is no harm in evaluating a project. But a project will be taken up only after ensuring that everyone's opinion has been evaluated and taken into consideration.

f. The group will meet and communicate pro-actively.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

"Define...Remember....Refine..." dubbed to English

Well, I have never felt more naked before! :) Now, here is the dubbing in English of "Define, Remember and Refine"

"Improving the standard of living" is very broad objective. I have commonly seen one of the two scenarios in a group like ours trying to achieve an objective.

- "No projects to do"
In this scenario, when two days pass by, the group gets desperate looking for an activity to do and feel that getting started somewhere than just keep talking.

- "Too many projects to do":
Here, I have seen that projects are chosen primarily based on how strong feel good factor is.

Both are cases that belong two different extremes, but they yield comparable result. The group ends up executing projects after projects that don't align with the initial goal. Soon, the objective is lost.

So what is the solution? In my opinion, there has to be a criterion or a set of criteria based on which we can choose to do a project or reject it. This criteria should be defined in such a way that, when we decide to do a project based on this criteria, it should improve the standard of living (which is the goal!) of the beneficiary of the project.

Now when we execute such a project, we should always remember the criteria that we used to select the project and analyze if the project meets the objective. If it does not, we should analyze why. If we find that it is because our set of criteria is flawed (because of bad reasoning) or incomplete, we should refine them and use them to choose the next project.

While writing a post...

Hi all,

This is Priya Venkat from El Paso, TX. I am glad to be a part of this group.

As we are all living at different parts of the world, its no way possible to exactly understand what others are actually thinking unless we communicate in an effective manner. As a Ph.D. student who has gained some experience in writing technical article and as an individual who has less vocabulary knowledge, I would like to tell you things that will help communicate better...
Though it is not possible for us to follow all points, the members can do a quick check right before we publish a post.. I am conveying some of my points by using badhri's recent post. No offense. He is my sweet cousin but I would like to point things out so that others can try not to repeat it.

While writing a post ..

1. Simplicity: The phrase "x can be considered to be a y" is best replaced by "x is like a y." The construction "it is the x that frobs the y" should be written as "the x frobs the y." In the same vein, "we refer to x as frobbing y" should be "we say that x frobs y."

2. Do not use too many conjunctions: Usage of many and's and that's and which's make the reader lose track. And tryto lay out things in a step by step manner

No offense badhri!!!

>>Or we are drowned in the sea of "good project ideas" that we end up implementing projects targeting mutually unrelated and often conflicting objectives, thus ensuring that the net progress towards the overarching objective (which here is standard of living) at the end of a number of projects, is minimal>>>

Its shows his english skill. But, believe me, it took me a lot of time to understand what he meant. Esp. when a group has to sustain by just reading, it is very important to be simple and non-voluble. We can say the same like this

" We may have to start somewhere. Otherwise, we may get drowned in the sea of good project ideas. Such 'good project ideas' may lead us to work on projects that may not exactly focus on our objective to raise the standard of living"
- We dont need details how it may not make it work !!!

3. Define things.. Do not assume what you are talking about

>>>This clearly mandates a framework that poses questions about the characteristics of the project, whose answer would shed light on the eventual million dollar question "How much will this project contribute towards improving the standard of living of the overall community">>

Yeh, it needs a framework.. a frame work to stay focussed in our objective to raise the std of living. But by framework, what exactly do you mean?? Wait and explain what you mean??
And it did not pose a question to me or others " about the characteristics of the project" and you have gone to the answer .. Stop.. Is the discussion or statement about the question and answer and the billion dollar question anyway directly relevant to stress the "need of frame work" esp. when you are getting back to talk abt the" refine.. define... " stuff.
Yeh.. focus on relevance

4. Relevance: Please make sure that every statement you say is relevant to your aim of the post. There is a big difference between an essay post and a technical post. Ours is more close to a technical post.

5. Organize your thoughts and be coherent: Do not jump back and forth.. It distracts the motto of the post.

6. Weak adjectives and adverbs: Many adjectives and adverbs add little to the sense of a sentence. It is often wise to remove the adjectives "mere," "basic," "essential," "major" and "fundamental," as well as their adverbial forms. Some adjectives are advertisements without substance. Unless you explain what you mean, don't use words like "advanced," "powerful," "sophisticated," "flexible," or "special."

7. Weak verbs: Certain verbs, notably "make," "do," and "perform," are often used in situations where a much better verb can be found. For example, "The priest did a check after the penitent made his confession" is best recast as "The priest checked after the penitent confessed." Likewise, "I can't make a determination on the basis of one symptom" should be written as "I can't base a determination on one symptom," or, even better, "I can't determine it from one symptom." If you find that most of your meaning is in your nouns, and very little is in your verbs, you should be using stronger verbs. A symptom is excessive use of "is" and "are."

8. Double negatives: Remove double negatives. Replace "not dissimilar to" with "similar to". Replace "no different from" with "similar to" or "the same as". It is sometimes better to replace "not less than" with "greater than or equal to", even though the replacement is wordier.

9. Self-heckling: Don't contradict yourself within the same sentence in which you make a positive statement. Wait until a later sentence

I grabbed some other points from a professor's website in University of Kentucky (my univ)wherefrom I learned. For more info reg. writing, please visit here

Thanks for patience and your understanding.

Friday, October 5, 2007


For a nascent team like ours with an objective as broad as "improving the standard of living of the society", the biggest question is "Where do we start?". Looking out for a good project to work on, we may get so restless that we feel the need to "just get started somewhere". Or we are drowned in the sea of "good project ideas" that we end up implementing projects targeting mutually unrelated and often conflicting objectives, thus ensuring that the net progress towards the overarching objective (which here is standard of living) at the end of a number of projects, is minimal.

This clearly mandates a framework that poses questions about the characteristics of the project, whose answer would shed light on the eventual million dollar question "How much will this project contribute towards improving the standard of living of the overall community". If the answers reveal that the project fails to offer good returns towards the larger goal for the time and effort the team may invest, the project should be ruthlessly rejected irrespective of the "feel good" factor it may offer.

How do we define the framework and how do we demarcate its boundaries? Well, I feel it has to evolve. And the first version of this framework should be defined based, partly on whatever experience we have, and on crude opinions. But DEFINE THE FRAMEWORK. If its contents are not backed up by reason and facts, let the mistakes we initially make bring it to the surface. If we don't want to be just another movement that never took off, the next critical step to take is, every time we choose to implement a project REMEMBER THE FRAMEWORK. Every time we complete a project REFINE THE FRAMEWORK!

Thoughts after our meeting today

A few things that I felt are really important for our initiative to achieve its objectives.

i) Considering that this group will necessarily consist of people who are from varied backgrounds and having different thought processes, differences in opinion are inevitable and are, in fact, required. I would request everyone to feel free to express their opinions, their reservations about others' suggestions/opinions. Good ideas will only come out of exhaustive discussion. We cannot adjust our opinions and come out with solutions.

ii) We will need to be open to others' view points, however DIFFERENT, it may seem.

iii) We will need to be open enough to accept opposition of our views. Accept it - Not all our opinions may be correct.

iv) Work will need to be shared. It is all about team work.

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Minutes of Meeting - 15:00 to 15:45, 5th October, 2007 @ Whitehouse, Hyderabad

Attendees: Aishwarya, Badhri, Shabnam

Topics put forward for discussion:

1. What are the contents that can go on the blog

i. An ancillary blog was started to store any information that we deem important for our endeavor. Visit the blog here.
ii. It was agreed upon that we need to update the blog on a regular basis to ensure that it does not get mothballed.
iii. It was decided to update the objectives and guidelines section of the blog to ensure that new and potential members get a clearer understanding of our objectives.

2. Discussion on Anand Bharthi

What is Anand Bharthi?
It is an NGO-cum-school whose primary objective is to target the girl children of economically deprived families who missed out on early-stage education and ramp them up on education along with some vocational and extra-curricular courses to open up more remunerative options.
At least that is what is known of them as of now.

i. It was decided to gather information on what are the objectives of Anand Bharthi, what are the problems it is facing, what are the ways we can help to improve things for them
ii. It was decided that Badhri will follow up with people at Anand Bharthi to get an appointment for a visit to their place. He would also let them know of the purpose of our visit.

3. Plan for activities that we need to take up

i. Shabnam put forward the activity of conducting sessions for government college students and the IT schools (run by Satyam Foundation) The topics would be communication, interview and group discussion skills, primer on customer care or BPO jobs and resumè preparation.
ii. Badhri's suggestion, which was agreed upon by everyone, was that before taking up this activity we, ourselves, need to be prepared in terms of what is background of the target audience and gauging their interest levels and a template of what aspects of the aforesaid skills the sessions will specifically target.
iii. Shabnam is responsible for finding relevant information from Subba Rao (Satyam Foundation) regarding the background of students at IT schools, the curriculum at the school, what are the type of jobs they get after training and how useful this session will be to them.
iv. Some of us will be visiting the government college in Old City to interact with the students there. This interaction will aim to find out the background of students there and their interest in such a session. For this interaction, we will need to prepare a preliminary presentation (not necessarily computer/projector based) which will tell the students of the highlights of the course, the take-away and how it is going to benefit them in getting jobs or admissions.

Views expressed (is open to individual interpretation; individuals are free to edit their own opinions)

The activities we choose should always conform to a specific framework (example, spreading awareness) and the solution the activity offers should address the problems defined in the framework.
To the extent possible, we have to ensure that the activity should be applicable not only to the specific beneficiary, but also be applicable and repeatable to a different beneficiary at a different point of time.
The time and effort an activity might ask for should be measured up against the value it adds to the core objective of improving the standard of living. This should be an important metric to consider while deciding or choosing or rejecting an activity.

Shabnam: We need to get going on some activities. This will enable us to get a clearer picture and help us in charting our course of action. At the same time we need to ensure that we do not jump from one activity to another which will just result in token work amounting to nothing.

Aishwarya: We need to maintain a balance between thinking and doing. Both are equally important. Reactive steps or activities will lead to loss of focus and reduce our potential output. It will also delay any existing activity that we have taken up. At the same time, we ourselves need a clearer picture and for this we need to be "among the works". We may not lucky to be first-time correct. Iterations will bring out a well-shaped product/plan/solution.

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Our Initiative..!!

There’s no denying the fact that India has come a long way since 15th August 1947 economically on the global front...but the progress has been only on a superficial a grassroot level there’s still so much to do…so much pain and agony for the majority of Indian population. Today Politics has become a money-making profession; the zeal to work towards the development of people is no more visible in the eyes of our politicians. And we as citizens are equally responsible for the change, as Gandhiji has rightly said “Be the change you want to see in the world”.

Aishwarya and myself have been discussing on this subject for quiet some time about how we can bring in the change...and I am glad now we seriously wish to materialise it. There are so many issues prevalent in India, on a national level, state level, metro level, district level and village level...each unique on its own and severe enough to draw our attention..We were wondering which stream to target first, how do we begin with, but the bottomline was we genuinely wanted to reach out and exted our support in whatever ways we can..! Now we have Badri too with similar thought processes and hence i wish all three of us jointly can initiate this and make it really sucessful. Its our collective initiative to unselfishly help those sections of society which needs our support and assistance!

Would truly appreciate further suggestions/plans/ideas etc to work on this actively.


Shrug off the garb of Designer Social Work and "get your hands dirty"

Thanks Badhri for including me here. I would like to see the creation of this group blog as the first step towards our "walking the talk" resolution. I would start this blog with one of the very few pieces of introspection that I intend to put here. Otherwise, our intention is to put real good ideas and work, and to be sure, all serious things need not be done with a serious face. Humour is an indispensable part of a happy life. Back to the current topic.

Badhri and I have regular discussions on the state of affairs in our country. Lots of opinions and ideas are generated out of these discussions and there is always a healthy difference of opinions between us. Last night for a change we concurred on the fact that it is high time we made some noticeable efforts and brought about REAL change, which may not necessarily be big. This set my thought rolling on the thought process that goes inside an individual's mind when he/she tries to "contribute to the society". Are we heading towards a concept of "Designer Contribution" where we work towards social causes only to get rid of our guilt, embarrassment and to gain respectful glances from our fellow beings.

Of late this entire concept of social work and volunteering has gained a lot of popularity in terms of media and mind space. People have started thinking about it more often. My analysis, which I agree may not be totally correct on this is:

Most of the youngsters today in the age group of 23-27 have a job which pays them a decent salary. Many of them experience this "shock factor" when they come face to face with real people who are embodiments of what they thought exist only in the distant land of documentaries and Doordarshan reports. They see the boy begging outside their offices and on busy roads, they hear and see kids who want to study but are not able to due to lack of financial wherewithal. They see such deviations from the ideal society and feel embarrassed for being the right side of the deviation but not doing anything for those on the other side. This feeling is primarily responsible for the initial rush shown by we, the youngsters.

Now here, we need to make an honest assessment of our abilities and willingness. To what extent are we ready to go?If we can contribute only monetarily so be it. Be a regular contributor to a good charity. At the same time, disabuse yourself of any wrong notions of active contribution to the society.

Once you have identified your stand, you have go the whole mile in fulfilling it. If you choose to get associated with only events that require minimal effort and no deviation from your normal course of event, then it is your choice. In my view and from my limited experience, I can come to the conclusion that only a handful of the hundreds of sparks in out young minds actually translate into a path lightening torch. It is for us to choose - do we want to exact our rights from the society and then lodge ourselves safely behind the tinted AC glasses (from where we can still give thousands of discourses of a degenerating society) or do we want to get our hands dirty by making contributing to society a priority in our scheme of things. All the best to you, Badhri and me !

Taking the ball and rolling it!

I have lived in India for almost all my life. Well..almost. For a short of time I had been in the US. Yea... if you had gone through the blog title, read so far, you are thinking in your mind.

"Oh! Not another supercilious NRI who harps about the comparative inequality in India and blames the politicians for it!"

Tell you what! I used to be one among them, making one-to-one comparison between a well developed economic stalwart and a fast, haphazardly growing economy. Now that I am back to stay here for good, I rather owe it to myself to be part of the solution for ostensibly countless and endless problems that either hamper the growth or render the growth to be what it currently is - lopsided, non-inclusive and non-uniform. After some constant observation and extensive brainstorming with a lot of friends, I am totally convinced that

- Any entity that caters to a segment of the masses - government or otherwise caters to what it asks for, not what it needs. And in India, the problem is we do not ask what we need. So, blaming the politicians or a government entity for a problem implies that we have missed the point to begin with.

- Any social problem comprises of two root-causes, each to varying degrees depending the nature of the problem and who it affects.

1) Ignorance ( or Lack of awareness)
2) Indifference

The solution to indifference is enforcement. In the social context, it is the responsibility of the public security system (police, armed forces) and as a civilian you and I have very limited role to play.

The solution to ignorance is a no-brainer. Awareness. But the awareness is useless if it doesn't jump start one to action and say "Why was I asleep for this long?"

With this realization it becomes but a trivial fact that all one has to do is

- put forth the correct demand,
- ask the right question and
- seek awareness on an issue that is relevant

is all one have to do and within a decades time, the results should be drastic.

There is one loose end in the whole idea. Change for the good is brought forth in response to a collective demand. That calls for a collective consciousness and a search for the like-minded people. The result is this blog which we endeavor co-author to start with. The conviction is that the ball we roll by the post we put up will generate and refine enough ideas that will steer it through to the alley to score some strikes in the society.

I owe this idea and a countless others I would have otherwise never thought of to a dude, who in addition to this, actually has a lot of space for comical non-sense on lighter subjects.

Aishwarya Mishra, What is your take?

Monday, January 1, 2007











Objectives and Guidelines

The initiative: Targeting the roots

Core belief:
Standard of living in a society can be improved only by the people who constitute it. If they don't work towards better living standards, nobody will.

Purpose of the initiative: To strive for improvement of living standards in Indian society.

Objective of the blog: This blog forms a rallying point for our initiative. Please DO NOT mistake the blog for "the initiative". The blog is, but, a part of our initiative. Through the blog we intend to:

1. Build a forum which will provide a platform for authors to:
i. Introduce their ideas and views on issues or ills prevailing in current Indian scenario.
ii. Discuss/Deliberate/Argue their ideas and views on topics introduced by other authors.
iii. Formulate cohesive (well integrated) and coherent(well planned) targeted initiatives/solutions, which will follow the above two steps.
iv. Form a consensus to prioritize activities, decide on future course of action for a particular activity or for the initiative as a whole

2. Build a dashboard of information on updates on current activities, start of a new activity, addition of a new member, etc.,

3. To initiate a knowledge center where interested people can introduce a social problem and opine its root causes. Suggest, analyze, debate, form a consensus and prioritize solution(s) and execution strategy.

Guidelines for authors:
1. Will express their perception of social problems, put forward their take on what they believe are its root causes.
2. May propose solutions and execution strategy if they have any.
3. Are expected to actively participate in the discussions that ensue such proposals & assist in the execution of the strategy discussed.
4. May use this blog to promote/share their own initiatives/experiences that they may have any, take help or pass on some useful suggestions to drive it further..
5. Other civic rules apply - Personal, inflammatory, racist and other derogatory remarks strictly prohibited.

Note of caution:
· This blog is just an interface that keeps the team and the general public informed and updated. The objective is to do meaningful work at the ground-level.
· Anybody from the public domain is welcome to be an author in this blog. Choice to be or not to be an author is totally voluntary.
· Posts by authors are not moderated, but will be monitored for strict compliance to civic guidelines.
· Comment from readers and authors are moderated.

Sister Blog: This ancillary blog is meant to act a resource storehouse for the the large amount of information that will be required for any of our activities. Reason for having it separately was to ensure that this blog does not get cluttered.