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?