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)