Why me?

A very warm greetings to the people living in the 21st century, located in India’s capital city, Delhi!

A city which has the VIPs, VVIPs and god knows how many Vs…???

A city of power, where so much security is provided to the “important” that the commons are forgotten!

A city where maybe thousands are employed to provide protection, but still a girl cannot go out of her house without fear!

Time: 6:00 pm
Location: Road just behind my house

My mom was cooking some delicacy and found some ingredients missing, she asked me to bring it from the nearby grocery store. Following her instructions, of course it’s just the evening time and I do not have to travel far, so it seems really simple.

I went out, just on the way back home, mind it it’s a busy road, just behind my house; I have walked that path zillion times!

Two guys on a motorcycle crossed me and threw something on my back, surprised, and a little shocked I looked up and abused them about driving in a proper way! Then my eyes fell on the thing that they threw on me, this bought me more into a state of embarrassment mixed with anger.

It was a packet of condoms!

That very moment I wanted to hold those rascals’ collar and give them a tight slap each, but the only problem- they were gone!

Since people can point out about me being dressed inappropriately, so to clear the doubt, I was wearing a plain kurta and salwar, covering me properly!

This is a very common culture in the life of a girl, incidents of eve teasing happen just every day, in places expected like buses, metro, road and even in the places unexpected!

Some report these and as a result they have to face a bigger amount of trouble in going in and out of the police stations at odd times!

A friend once reported a drunken guy passing lewd comments to her, to the police, our so-called “Women helpline”, to our surprise the attitude of the officers was somewhat like this while registering the complaint- “Madam ko cheed diya hai, gussa ho gai!” (Madam has been teased and she is angry).

Standing there in the police station with my friend, I sensed that an eve-teasing matter holds no relevance to them!
Since we had enough proof, so the police traced the vehicle, for which I appreciate their efforts. But then another issue in hand was the identity disclosure, when a guy can tease a girl in broad day light, he can also create troubles for her if he comes to know her whereabouts. Of course, the big chunks of male ego, “How could a girl complain about me?”

The only way to avoid the identity disclosure was to ask the accused for an apology, in written and we had to except it otherwise the case will go to court and which clearly means inviting trouble!

The only question in my mind while writing this is, why can’t I roam around freely wherever I want, at any time of the day?

What is my crime, that I have to go through such kind of harassment? A man can never understand that feeling of being touched forcefully without your consent, of hearing a lewd comment about yourself, that helplessness when someone is stalking you, that anger when you want to protest but you do not to avoid a bad scene!

Is it my fault being a girl?

Most girls do not even mention these incidents to their family because that will create a stress in the members. (Girls are already a burden in India!)

Why can’t our society grow up and in each case not put the blame of protection of the girl on the girl itself? We can teach our sons to respect women, to behave properly with girls.

Maybe then a girl in can go out of her house with this comfort that she will be safe till the time she is back in her house. Maybe then our society will be just, and safe for all!

Need for communication for communicable diseases

Present situation about various communicable diseases

India needs to work a lot on its health sector. For example in case of HIV/ AIDS, as per HIV estimates 2008-09, there are an estimated 23.9 lakh people living with HIV/AIDS in India with an adult prevalence of 0.31 percent in 2009.

Acc to International Health Regulation, the past few decades have seen the re-emergence of cholera and plague in India.

In 2009 there were reported 0.10 malaria deaths, per 1, 00,000 populations.

This shows the condition of health of Indian people. There are other diseases also which are to be dealt with also. India is going through a period of transition, both epidemiological and demographic transition. Infectious diseases are still persisting as major health problems in spite of having national programmes for the control of most of these diseases for almost half a century now. There are re-emerging infectious diseases which are adding to the burden of diseases. In addition, there is an increasing prevalence of non- communicable diseases as a result of lifestyle changes and urbanization.

Sir Douglas Black said, “Main determinants of health and disease lie outside the realm of direct medical competency”.

Scenario at the time of independence

Before independence, medical and health services in the country were basically managed by the British officers. After independence, in 1947, the entire responsibility fell on the shoulder of Indian medical and health personnel. During British rule, curative and preventive services ran separately. Due to resource and personnel constraints, preventive services were at disadvantage. With the growing influence of specializations in clinical subjects, manpower development for preventive medicine was hampered.

Communication policies in 21st century

Even after 65 years of independence and various acts, laws, policies and regulations, other country still faces the problem of improper health care facilities. Though considerable achievements have been made, the goal of “Health for All by the Year 2000” has yet to be met even though we have crossed the year 2003. Lack of basic health services for the majority of the population, environmental degradation, a total collapse of the health care machinery during any epidemic crisis, and a population, which has already crossed the one billion mark, are all challenges the country is facing after 64 years of planned development. The last two decades have witnessed a gradual but sure decay in the health services of the country. Diseases claimed to be under control like malaria, poliomyelitis, dengue fever and kala azar are resurfacing with renewed vengeance. Gross disparity in health status and availability of health care services exist all over the country.

An acceptable level of health for all people of the world by the year 2000 can be attained through a fuller and better use of the world’s resources, a considerable part of which is now spent on armaments and military conflicts. A genuine policy of independence, peace, détente and disarmament could and should release additional resources that could be devoted to peaceful aims and in particular to the acceleration of social and economic development of which primary health care, as an essential part, should be allotted its proper share.

Important policy about health

The National Health Policy 2002 was formulated with the following objectives to be achieved by the year 2015:

NHP-1983, in a spirit of optimistic empathy for the health needs of the people, particularly the poor and under-privileged, had hoped to provide ‘Health for All by the year 2000 AD’, through the universal provision of comprehensive primary health care services. In retrospect, it is observed that the financial resources and public health administrative capacity which it was possible to marshal, was far short of that necessary to achieve such an ambitious and holistic goal. Against this backdrop, it is felt that it would be appropriate to pitch NHP-2002 at a level consistent with our realistic expectations about financial resources, and about the likely increase in Public Health administrative capacity. The recommendations of NHP-2002 will, therefore, attempt to maximize the broad-based availability of health services to the citizenry of the country on the basis of realistic considerations of capacity. The changed circumstances relating to the health sector of the country since 1983 have generated a situation in which it is now necessary to review the field, and to formulate a new policy framework as the National Health Policy-2002. NHP- 2002 will attempt to set out a new policy framework for the accelerated achievement of Public health goals in the socio-economic circumstances currently prevailing in the country.

It is evident that in spite of the declining mortality and changing morbidity pattern, India still has the “unfinished agenda” of combating the traditional infectious diseases that continue to contribute to a heavy disease burden and take a sizeable toll. Along with these, the country has to deal with the “emerging agenda” which includes chronic and newer diseases induced by the changing age structure, changing lifestyles and environmental pollution. We need to prepare ourselves to face the challenges of widening disparities between sections of the population in terms of access to good health.

The ironical part

The most tragic development is that, such a huge public service broadcasting infrastructure right now is almost redundant and non- functional. “The ministries of the central and state governments engaged in nation building and development tasks seem to create neither any communication apparatus within their own ministries nor do they make demands on the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) for information and communication support adequate to the needs of policy formulation or implementation. The MIB is far from playing the role of a true communicating link within the government and between the government and the people in nation-building activities”.

Why should we communicate?

The oxford dictionary defines communication as, the imparting or exchanging of information by speaking, writing, or using some other medium. Communication is a very important aspect of the human life, since it is the communication that helps human beings to connect with each other as individuals and as independent groups. Communication is the very basis, which drives the process of development in all the fields. It is owing to the process of communication that we are able to send and receive information. Various mass media are an important communication tool for information dissemination.

Effective communication is a prerequisite for implementing organizational strategies as well as for managing day to day activities through people. “Identification is one of the key ingredients of effective communication. In fact, unless your listeners can identify with what you are saying and with the way you are saying it, they are not likely to receive and understand your message.” The quote above is the underlying factor that explains the importance of communication skills.

Communication is easily overlooked, but the ability to communicate effectively is necessary to carry out the thoughts and visions of an organization to the people. The importance of speech and words whether through a paper or a voice is a communication medium to convey directions and provide synchronization. Without communication, there is no way to express thoughts, ideas and feelings.

Importance of communication

The importance of the role of communication for national development was underscored in India even prior to her independence. The Indian National Congress while formulating policies for National Development for Independent India set up a Sub-committee on Communication under the National Planning Committee to offer recommendations for development of communication for independent India. After independence of the country in 1947, the new Indian government announced a development-oriented agenda of governance dedicated to the amelioration of the economic, educational, and health conditions of the people. With the target of Development Communication, the new government adopted the recommendations of the erstwhile National Planning Committee as the mainstay of its communication policies. “The issue of using modern communication acquired high priority as a developmental resource during the Nehru era when the planners explored the prospects of using radio as a development agent, that is, for information and enlightening the people in the countryside and towns on developmental issue”

On a speech delivered on “freedom of information” on March 5, 1962 Pt J L Nehru said “The mass media which are very useful have an element of danger in them in that they may be distorted for private aim. The rich group (inside) or the rich nation (outside) can flood the country and the world through the mass media with its own view of things which may or may not be correct view.” These words had turned out to be ominously true in the present world.

What needs to be done?

The need of the hour is to provide quality health care at all levels by using methods which are feasible, affordable, acceptable and accessible to all. All national programmes need full-hearted support of the community so as to ensure sustainability and success. There is a need for qualified persons with good governing skills at every level, and all activities should be based according to the needs of the community at large.

Most the issues mentioned above can be resolved to a great extend with proper communication system by the main operating body, i.e., government. Advertisements and various other ways used by the government to improve the conditions. But it is also the case that the communication is done with proper care.

This work like other work of the government is not upto the standards where some changes can be expected. The communication done by the government is not so effective. There have been approx 580 reported cases of influenza from May 2011 to August 2011. This shows what the aim that is to be achieved is far ahead. Here arises the need of a proper communication system with the help of which the common people can be made aware of. This communication has to be such effective that it is easily understandable by all. But the reality paints the actual picture. Various practices like corruption, carelessness, red-tapeisum etc among the highest body does not lead to an effective communication practices in the country.

Government communication is nothing but waste of people’s money and mere forced communications. This research will focus on the effectiveness of the communication done by the government.

Away from home…

My home has always been the place for me where I find myself again and again. It defines me, it determines how I am! A house becomes a home when you have your loved ones in it, they contribute towards a place called home.
There have been people around me who have been living away from their respective homes. I have been observing them for a while now.
I can get their emotions, their love, their longing, their subtle ways of staying connected. They have their reasons of not staying close to home, majorly study and job.
This is a small attempt to express how they might be feeling.

इस शेहर की हर गली, हर कोने में ढूँढती है निगाहे,
कही घर सा मंजर दिख जाए किसी बहाने|

आकर यहाँ थम गए है
काम में भी रम गए है
पाव भी कुछ जम गए है,
कामयाबी का नशा भी चढ़ रहा है
दूरियों का दर्द भी बढ़ रहा है,
नींद में भी याद आजाते है अक्सर,
माँ की गोद के सिरहाने

वो गालीया, वो चोबारे,
माँ की गोद के सिरहाने|

India v/s Bharat

“India is a great country. I am proud to be an Indian.”

These lines may convey strong patriotic feelings but ever thought why “Bharat” is not a great country and why we are not proud to be a “Bhartiya”?

Maybe the quest to do it in ‘western style’ had taken a big leap when our constitution was framed. The first sentence of our constitution says- “India that is Bharat”’ which clearly gives importance to the word India (given by the Britishers) rather that the word Bharat (this one is purely original).

Many people also have this misconception that our country did not have any particular name before the invaders arrived here. It is believed that the origin of the word Bharat dates back from the Vedic period, it is derived from the King Bharata from the Puru clan (the same from which originated the Pandavas). A proof of this can be seen in the sacred texts of the Vishnu Puran, Verse (2.3.1)-

“Uttaram yatsamudrasya himadresdrav dakshinam
Varsam tad bharatm nam bharti ytra santith”

This means- The country that lies north of the ocean and south of snowy mountains is called BHARATAM, there dwell the descendants of Bharata.

“Parathe swetha varaha kalpe vaivastha manvanthare
Ashta vimshathi tame kaliyuge
Prathane pathe jumbudwip Bhartha varshe
Bharatha khande meroho…”

This chant expands the meaning of Bharat as a subcontinent which comprises of today’s India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and some parts of Afghanistan, the name suggests the diversity in cultures, languages, styles but yet one entity.

The justification of not using the word Bharat is given on the basis of its current geographical location, stressing upon the fact that Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal and Bangladesh are no more a part of India.

The origins of the word India is from Greek via Latin, literally meaning- region beyond the river Indus. Which is the last time I checked is currently Pakistan!

When the geographical correctness of the word India can be neglected, then why same can’t be done for the word Bharat? Even after knowing that the meaning of Bharat still describes our country’s diversity in culture. Or are we sticking to India just because it was given by Britishers?

I think it’s time we realize our individuality and dismiss the concept- “west is best”!

In conversation with…

‘Positive mind leads to a good film’

I got an opportunity to chat up with Mr. Kaushik Bhaumik, who is the Deputy Director of Osian’s Cinefans of Asian and Arab Cinema, New Delhi and is also the co-editor of “visual sense” a cultural reader published by BERG Oxford, about recent changes into the film making process and documentary making. Here is what he said.

Digital technology has transformed the way of making movies. What is your take on that?

Now the technician and technology are great. If you want to make a theatrical or cutting edge, out of the box film, so you can do that. With this technology, anything is possible. Two kinds of films are being made. One side complex films are made, which are a challenge to the existing technology. More sharper the technology becomes, you can come closer to what it is actually. The opposite is also happening, really slow films are also being made, they capture time, nature beauty, duration and silence.

Is digital technology taking over the traditional techniques?

Digital technology allows the equipment become lighter. Camera can go everywhere, you can experiment your wild ideas. It allows you to play with extremes. Digital is something by itself. Digital cannot be mixed with analog or electronic. Surely you can work with 35 mm camera but you can do wonders with a digital camera. Digital is like a magic box, it’s a manipulative device. Traditional methods are like sophisticated toys, where within the boundaries you can play. But digital is like a toy meant to break all boundaries. Digital is a playful medium.

There is less audience for documentary films as compared to main stream cinema, what do you think about it?

After 1940-50’s there came a boom in the documentary making. Documentary is made when there is a crisis; today there are many environmental crisis films, because that is what happening. Crisis allows audience towards these crisis related films. India in recent year has been seen having a certain level of excitement, there is not much of a crisis but there is an emotional change. So the change in thinking there and gradually it will definitely change.

Do you think that ever the documentary will come up to the level of main stream cinema?

That is not the point. It’s about what people want to watch. What we need is a matured society where people are allowed to make what they what to and also find audiences for that. Point is to just allow things to happen.

Anything that you would like to say to young film makers.

Young filmmakers should be sure of what they are making. People start compromising on what they believe in and try making other people happy. Other most important thing is learn the technology well. Try and do something experimental and out of the box. Lot of attitude goes in making a movie.

Unusual yet Inspiring auto ride!

It was a usual day, one of my daily struggles to hire an auto rickshaw to reach my college, which is by the way a big hassle in a place like Delhi. But today was different, after getting frustrated with auto drivers charging almost double the price, I found myself lucky to find an auto driver ready to go by the meter!

The driver was somewhere in his late 40’s and wore the uniform (which was again a surprise!), as the journey began we (driver and me with two other friends) started interacting.
He started off by saying, “Khoob maan laga kar padhna madam ji agar fail bhi ho jao to ghabrana mat, khush hona” (Study hard, ma’am, even if you fail, don’t worry)
By now I have gone used to advices but it was the first time someone was telling me not to worry, even if I fail! This made me curious to know, what makes him say that.

He clarifies his point further, “Main 8 rickshaw chalata hun, ijjat ki khata hun aur aapne sapne bhi pura karta hun, aur ye sab iss liye ho paya kyuki main 8th class mein fail ho gaya tha…” (I run 8 rickshaws, earn my money with dignity, fulfill my dreams, and all this is possible only because I got fail in class 8th).

According to him, when a person fails, he comes up with excellent ways to cover that flaw into him/her. With a proud smile he told us that he dreamt of marrying his daughter to a high profile officer, and did so! Enthusiastically he revealed, “laal batti wali gaddi mere ghar tak aati hai” Government distinguished cars stops at my home now (‘laal batti ki gaddi’, which is a huge craze among Indians :P) He credits it all to his failures.

Addressing us as ‘beti’ (daughter) he hesitatingly suggested, “work for 10 years and keep a business plan in mind, implement it, and see the wonder”, by now I had started liking this man’s practical sense.

 

 

 

 

It’s very true and rational to say that money is all that is required to prosper in this world. Oscar Wilde once said, When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is…

We were stuck in an irritating traffic jam (very common in Delhi 😐 ) when he said the most important 3 pointers for life. He said, “In life all that matters is a passion, always have passion for 3 things in life.

  • Fine clothes- first impression is the last!
  • Quality food- shows that you belong to a well to do family.
  • Money- because the world runs with it!

(I was happy to listen these three points, mostly because I figured two items from this list is a tick mark in my case! ;))

Just when we were about to reach the destination, he disclosed something far more interesting than any of it above. He said that he is desperately waiting for his only son to get failed!
I was left in a state of shock, because never in my life I had seen any parent wanting their child to get failed in academics! (It is a grand affair in India, where education is so stressed upon)
He dreams of making his son a millionaire! And truly I prayed for his dream to come true.

Just as I paid him the fare, he left us with blessings and last thought from his heart. “Never cheat in life, be true to yourself and the world”.

Had I been impatient I would have not tried to listen to the driver, I never do! But there was something amazing about this person that made me sit through and give it a thought.

Later into the boring lecture I pondered upon the morning ride, and I smiled at the mere irony. There have been people close to me, saying all this, but I guess there is always a right time for everything.

I don’t know that person’s name, but from the bottom of my heart I would like to thank him, and also wish him good luck!

One thing that I learnt from this is that — You find hope in the most hopeless places.

(The next time when you, hire an auto, just hope for the hopeful! :D)