April 23, 2018

Specially-abled Friendly Heritage Sites – Because It’s Their Heritage Too!

heritage

World Heritage is the shared wealth of humankind. It brings a sense of unity amongst people as it does not belong to a specific group, caste or community. It belongs to everyone, which includes specially-abled people too. While we talk about providing equality to specially-abled people in every aspect of life, academic or corporate, we often forget about them when it comes to providing access to heritage sites. Some heritage sites, including UNESCO World Heritage Sites, do not have braille signage, while others do not have basic facilities like wheelchair ramps and toilets for specially-abled tourists.

In an unprecedented move by the Indian government, under the initiative “Accessible India” Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has been asked to audit more than 100 sites across the country. This audit aims to gauge the kind of facilities needed to make those sites accessible to specially-abled people. Though the process will take some time to finish, the groundwork has started at some famous monuments like Taj Mahal, Hampi and Akshardham.

As the world celebrates World Heritage Day on April 12, let’s recognize the 5 heritage sites in Delhi-NCR that are completely or partially accessible to people with special abilities:

1. Qutub Minar – A UNESCO declared World Heritage Site, Qutub Minar is world’s tallest brick minaret with a height of 72.5 metres. An exquisite example of Indo-Islamic Afghan architecture, it attracts more than 3.9 million tourists every year. It is completely accessible to specially-abled tourists as it has ramps and public toilets for people with differences of all levels.

2. The Red Fort – Built by the great Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, this timeless piece of architecture is located right in the heart of Old Delhi. This fort attracts tourists from all over the world. The Red Fort is completely accessible to specially-abled tourists as it is equipped with ramps, and accessible toilets.

3. Humayun’s Tomb – Built in 1570, this ancient tomb was the first garden-tomb in the Indian subcontinent. It is located on Mathura Road, Delhi, which is near the famous tomb of Nizamuddin Auliya.

4.  Akshardham Temple – An architectural marvel, this temple attracts approximately 70 percent of all tourists who visit Delhi. It is situated on the banks of the Yamuna river, which are adjacent to the Commonwealth Games Village. Apart from its world-class structure, Akshardham Temple also boasts of an IMAX feature show, a musical fountain, and large landscaped gardens. This temple is partially accessible to specially-abled tourists.

5. Jantar Mantar – One of the world’s oldest astronomical observatories, the Jantar Mantar was built by Maharaja Jai Singh II of Jaipur. It is a remarkable structure which consists of fourteen geometric devices used for measuring time, forecasting weather changes, predicting behaviour of planets and finding extra-terrestrial altitude. Jantar Mantar is partially accessible to the specially-abled tourists.

It is quite a welcome move from the Indian government who is finally working on the lines of empowering the specially-abled tourists. Other state governments must take inspiration from these heritage sites which are setting a great example for all.

It’s time that we make “Accessible Heritage” a major part of the “Accessible India” campaign and help our specially-abled citizen, who too have an equal right to cherish the beauty of our history and rich heritage.

Source: Specially-abled Friendly Heritage Sites – Because It’s Their Heritage Too!

 

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April 23, 2018

Unemployment on the Rise in India: The Problem, Causes, and Solutions

India recently reclaimed the tag of “world’s fastest growing economy” from China. With a GDP growth rate of 7.2% in 3rd quarter of FY 2017, India has surpassed every other developing or developed economy by a huge margin. Though it sends a positive message throughout the economy, there is one index on which India’s performance is continuously worsening; that is unemployment. India’s rate of employment has declined steeply, and job creation has not been at par with working-age population.

According to a recent report from Labour Bureau, an attached office under Ministry of Labour and Employment, India has the largest unemployed population in the world. In the inclusive growth index, we are at number 60, far behind our neighbours. (Source: Outlook) 
65% of the Indian population has an average age of less than 35 years. Such a large young population could be our strength if put to employment, which is unfortunately not the case. The unemployment rate in India hit its highest level in March at 6.23%, according to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), an independent think-tank. Clearly, the situation is quite distressing.
While we are discussing the declining employment rates, it is also imperative that we discuss its underlying causes as well.

Here are some major factors that are contributing to the rising unemployment in India:
● Alarming growth rate of population
● Ever increasing income inequality
● Lack of technical qualification
● Dependency on underdeveloped agriculture sector
● Reliance on temporary jobs

Solutions, so far Indian government is making efforts to correct the alarming situation of youth unemployment. Various schemes and initiatives like Skill India, Make in India, Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMGEP), Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana, and Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana are just some steps taken by government aimed at redressing the current situation. Many Indian corporate houses and conglomerates are also taking charge and doing their bit to team up with these government initiatives and salvage the problem of unemployment in India.

Sardar Kulwant Singh Chadha Skills Academy – a Wave group initiative

Big corporate houses like The Wave Group are planning their CSR activities with a motive to engage youth in skill development activities and train them in employable skills. The Ponty Chadha Foundation has set up Sardar Kulwant Singh Chadha Academy, a world-class skills development academy. Located in Ghaziabad, this institute has a capacity of 120 to 150 students per programme. Keeping in mind the current demand of market, this academy imparts training in security services, facilities management, firefighting and real estate.

Clearly, the only solution to fight unemployment is that government works towards creating jobs and corporates lend a helping hand in training the workforce.

Also, while skill development is crucial, these initiatives should be supplemented by more comprehensive programmes and favourable policies that target the most vulnerable and disadvantaged youth.

Source: http://www.thepontychadhafoundation.org/blog/employment/unemployment-on-the-rise-in-india-the-problem-causes-and-solutions/

April 12, 2018

World Health Day – Moving Towards a Healthier and Happier World

world health dayUniversal healthcare is not an issue, it is the ONLY issue, that needs the most attention! WHO understood this fact way back in 1948 when they held the First World Health Assembly. It was this assembly, when 7th April of each year was celebrated as World Health Day. Every year, WHO organizes international, regional and local events on the day related to a particular theme, which is put forward to address the current issues and concerns related to world health. This year’s theme is Universal Health Coverage, which encourages various countries and organisations to make healthcare and basic facilities accessible to everyone, regardless of how rich or poor they may be.
Ponty Chadha Foundation’s ideology resonates with the theme of this year’s World Health Day and it is diligently doing its part in achieving universal health coverage for all. It organises various free health check-up camps for underprivileged people and distributes free medicine. While organisations like WHO and Ponty Chadha Foundation are doing their part for the greater purpose of universal healthcare, it can only be attained with an active participation from everyone.

Here’s how you can help in realising the dream of universal healthcare coverage:

1. Become an aware and responsible citizen
As a responsible citizen, you must be aware of everything your policymakers are up to, especially when it comes to health-related laws and policies. Communicate your needs, opinions, and expectations to local policy-makers, politicians, ministers and other people representatives.

2. Connect with local NGOs/NPOs, SHG, etc. working for the cause
The world is full of people and organisations who are working towards finding a solution for bigger health related issues. All you need to do, is make a little effort in finding and connecting with them. Help them in their efforts and make all the right noise to ensure that your community health is taken into account and addressed.

3. Volunteer
Universal healthcare inclusion is too important a job to be left only for the government. We all must do our part to make this possible. As an individual contributor, you can volunteer at a local health check camp, organise a blood donation camp or even donate a small proportion of your earning to the people who are working towards the same.

4. Engage & encourage others
Engage your neighbours, friends and community members by organising activities like discussion forums, school lectures, debates, marches, concerts, etc. to provide people with an opportunity to make their concerns heard by their chosen representatives. You can also use various social media channels and engage with likeminded people.
Universal healthcare coverage is a mission which ensures that all people get quality health services without any financial hardships. This mission can never be fulfilled until and unless we all understand and bear our responsibility towards the under-privileged sections of society. This World Health Day, let us all take a sincere pledge to do everything in our capacity to make sure that no human remains unhealed, and no soul remains unloved.

Source: Ponty Chadha Website

April 11, 2018

International Day of Sport for Development and Peace – Celebrating the Contribution of Sports to Our Lives

International Day of Sport for Development and Peace

Sports is a universal language that transcends every border, real or imaginary. People across nations, religion, cultures and belief systems have joined hands time and again in the name of sports. To celebrate this international phenomenon of people coming together for sports and its contribution in shaping our society, the General Assembly of United Nations has declared 6th April of every year as International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. The date 6th April was chosen to commemorate the inauguration of the first Olympic games of modern era, in 1896, in Athens (Greece).

Sports has played an important role in everyone’s life, be it in the form of a competitive sport, physical activity or recreational play. Children learn to function in competition for the first time while participating in sports, and adults learn to put their differences aside while playing or watching sports. Sports is a great educator, and this is the sole reason it has grown to be an integral part of our society.

Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan, a school for special children, understands the importance of sports in the physical development of its students and its ultimate role in educating the society. Keeping this in mind, MBCN has designed its curriculum in such a way that there is equal focus on academics as well as sports. MBCN encourages and empowers its students who show an interest in sports. It provides in-house training for various sport related activities and events. MBCN students have proven their mettle in various sports such as football, softball, cycling, badminton, etc. at national level championships. Here are MBCN’s 12 shining star sportspersons:

International Day of Sport for Development and Peace is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of children like these, who have risen above their physical condition and achieved what they truly deserve. On this day, let us recognize the growing contribution of sports to the societal development and the empowerment of our younger generations.

 

March 27, 2018

Earth Hour: Let’s Embrace The Darkness for an Hour To Light Up The Ages

earth hourIn 2007, what started as a simple “lights-off” movement in Sydney has grown dramatically and made its way to more than 180 countries today. Over the years, Earth hour has come a long way. For the uninitiated ones, Earth Hour is an annual event which encourages people across the globe to turn off lights for one hour in their homes, offices and buildings, as a symbolic act of taking better care of this planet. The organisation behind this brilliant idea and event is World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

Earth Hour 2017 saw cities with famous landmarks and monuments from around the world such as the U.N headquarters in New York, Big Ben in London, the Eiffel Tower, Sydney’s famous Opera House and others dimming their lights as a symbol of unity for this event. We expect to see the same level of zeal and enthusiasm this year as well.

When is it being celebrated?

This year it is being observed on 24 March 2018 from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm.

Why is Earth Hour important?

Today, global warming and climate change are not just words related to some scientific research paper. Both have emerged as a real threat to our planet. With the ever rising population, number of cars on the road and carbon footprints throughout the ecosystem, the initiatives like Earth Hour are exactly what we need today.

We as human beings have been affecting our ecosystem and putting ourselves as well as other species at a great risk. Though the industries are the bigger culprits in this case, and international treaties like the Paris Agreement is doing its job in putting a leash on them, we too are responsible citizens who must come forward in order to save our planet.

With Earth Hour, the WWF aims to engage people across the globe to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle. Turning off lights for an hour is just a reminder of the fact that if we do not change how we consume our resources, the dark age is not very far. 2016 was recorded as the hottest year for the third year in a row, which signals towards the ever-increasing impact of global warming. Keeping this in mind, WWF is taking Earth Hour even further by encouraging people to cut on fuel, food wastage, plastic usage, etc.

How can I contribute to Earth Hour every day?

• Commute by public transport and cycle as much as possible.
• Turn off the lights and other appliances whenever not in use.
• Switch to solar energy and sustainable LED bulbs.
• Recycle paper and plastic bags as many times as possible.
• Reduce food wastage. Buy consciously.
• Talk about Earth Hour on social media and spread the importance of this message

Everything mentioned above is just a speck of the action that we all need to take if we want to pass on a healthy planet to our future generations. This Earth Hour, let us all take a pledge to do our best to make this edition an even bigger success than it has been in earlier years. It’s time to deliver the action needed to protect the planet.

Ponty Chadha Website

March 26, 2018

Raising Awareness on World Down Syndrome Day and Beyond

downsyndrome

Down syndrome is one of the most common chromosome abnormalities in humans, found in one out of every 1000 newborns each year. However, the society, including most of the parents of babies with Down syndrome, has so much to learn about this, especially in developing countries like India.

Keeping this in mind, World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) was first observed in 2006 in many countries around the world. Acknowledging this, the United Nations General Assembly declared 21 March as World Down Syndrome Day – the 21st day of the third month; to signify the triplication of the 21st chromosome that causes Down syndrome. Here, we are trying to simplify the disorder so that everyone knows and understands the fact that children with this condition are not sick or suffering; they just have one extra chromosome.

What is Down syndrome?
To put it simply, Down syndrome (Trisomy 21) is a chromosomal abnormality where a child is born with three copies of the 21st chromosome (as shown in the picture).

When babies are being developed, they receive 23 chromosomes from their mother contained in her egg and 23 chromosomes from their father contained in his sperm, totalling 46 chromosomes. Children with Down syndrome are born with an extra 21st chromosome.

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Characteristics of children with Down syndrome:
While the effect of this disorder may differ from child to child, most of the affected ones are observed with the following physical characteristics:
● Flat facial features
● Small head and ears
● Short neck
● Bulging tongue
● Upward slanted eyes
● Atypically shaped ears
● Poor muscle tone

Children with Down syndrome usually have some degree of developmental disability, but it’s often mild to moderate. If not paid attention to, the children might show behavioural properties like:
● Impulsive behaviour
● Poor judgment
● Short attention span
● Slow learning capabilities

How to raise a kid with Down syndrome:
First thing a parent should do is learn as much as possible about the condition. After that, one can look for help at other support groups, talk to therapists and get in contact with other parents who have already been through this. Apart from this, here are few things that might help such parents:
● Give your child chores around the house. Just break them up into small steps and be patient
● Have your child play with other kids who do and don’t have Down syndrome
● Keep your expectations high as your child tries and learns new things
● Make time to play, read, have fun, and go out together
● Avoid saying “That’s wrong” to correct mistakes. Instead, say, “Try it again”
● As you work with doctors, therapists, and teachers, focus on your child’s needs rather than on the condition
● Look at what your child is learning at school and see if you can work those lessons into your home life

While all these tips will certainly help your children in the longer run, one thing they need the most from you is love. Kids with Down syndrome need and deserve as much love as other kids.

Contributing towards making the society more understanding towards children with special needs like in the case of Down syndrome, The Ponty Chadha Foundation runs Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan, a school for specially-abled kids. MBCN makes sure that these children get a holistic learning experience and a supportive environment, empowering them to achieve maximum independence while defeating their conditions.

On this World Down Syndrome Day, let us all take a pledge to create a society that is more supportive and loving towards the children with special needs.

March 20, 2018

Tang Distribution Drives by PCF this February

Tang-Distribution-Camp-Blog (3)

There’s no joy like the joy of giving, as a nation we have fared well in terms of progress, basic issues like hunger remain constant. In a quest to bring in equity at a grassroot level, PCF takes immense pride to carry out food and beverage distribution drives on a regular basis. Mostly held in the Delhi/NCR region, these distribution camps cater to the marginalized sections of the society. Our belief is to make a positive impact through spreading the basic human happiness through something as necessary, and thus mostly overlooked, as food.

Under our food distribution camps, this month saw five Tang distribution drives across the Delhi/NCR region. We went to several schools in places like Raghunathpur, Dinanathpur, Dasna, Bamheta, Bayana etc. and served the children with refreshing glasses of Tang.

The joy and warmth were experienced by a total of about 3000 children. It was a matter of immense pride to us to have catered to these kids and spread the smiles as can be seen in the images.

Apart from these, in February this year, we organized two health drink distribution camps at the villages of Yasin Garhi and Masuri in Ghaziabad. he delicious and nutritious doses were served to a sum of over 1500 children.

However small in scale, it’s a step that’s much-needed in our nation to keep each and every citizen well-fed. Food and nutrition are definitely the need of the hour and with all of us standing together, in the aid of those who can’t fend for themselves, we’ll surely overcome it one day. We’re already headed that way, are you with us?

Source: Ponty Chadha Website

March 19, 2018

Make Room for Kindness, Compassion & Goodwill this World NGO Day

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27th February, a day to celebrate & commemorate charitable acts done by NGOs around the world! Declared in 2010 by the 12-member countries of the IX Baltic Sea NGO Forum of the Council of the Baltic Sea as the World NGO Day, it’s a day of honoring the spirit of philanthropy.

A number of Indians have put on the philanthropic hats and gone out of their ways to bring in positive changes to the country. Be it in education, healthcare, gender rights or wealth gap, it is through the charitable steps taken by these personalities that make the world a better place. Labelled as the ‘Most Generous Man’ several times by multiple organizations, Azim Premji, Chairman of Wipro Limited, has been known to have donated about half of stake-holding in Wipro to charity work. Subhash Chandra, Chairman of Essel Group, has contributed as much as Rs.5,000 crore for philanthropy. Similarly, there are multiple NGOs that have achieved a distinctive spot in philanthropy.

Any individual, irrespective of class, can take up philanthropic work. All it takes is the will and the spirit to make peace, equity and justice the status quo. There are plenty of ways you can make use of your time for charitable undertakings. You can always join any NGO that is working in the sector that you want to contribute to. If you wish to start a philanthropic venture on your own, there are numerous ways that can be approached too. Given the right guidance and mentorship, you can form your own organization. All you’ll need is a group of like-minded people who are willing to make a change.

When it comes to dealing with disability, youth empowerment, healthcare and hunger, Ponty Chadha Foundation too is trying to contribute to the nation. With our Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan, we have embarked on a mission to gift a life of self-sufficiency and dignity to the differently-abled. Our Kulwant Singh Chadha Skills Academy plays a crucial part in empowering the youth of our nation and enabling them to support themselves. In the similar way, the regular health camps and food distribution drives strive to usher in accessible care to the marginalized.

We are all capable of making a change that turns the world into a happier place. Let’s pledge to start on our own this World NGO Day and give peace and equality another chance.

March 16, 2018

A Tribute: Remembering Stephen Hawking’s Most Inspiring Quotes

stephen hawkins

 

A scientist, a visionary, a bestselling author – Stephen Hawking has bid farewell to this world that could never get enough of his profound contributions, incredible knowledge and brilliant humour. The New York Times wrote the most apt obituary for the prodigy saying, “who roamed the cosmos from a wheelchair, pondering the nature of gravity and the origin of the universe and becoming an emblem of human determination and curiosity.” Hawking’s work on the properties of blackholes and gravity has given a whole new perspective to the modern physics.

Here’s our tribute to the science’s brightest star by remembering his immortal words that will keep on inspiring the generations to come.

post-2-A post-2-B

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post-2-D

post-2-H

post-2-G

Source: http://www.mbcnschool.org/blog/a-tribute-remembering-stephen-hawkings-most-inspiring-quotes/

March 16, 2018

Zero Discrimination Day: Doing More than Just Spreading a Message

Zero discrimination day

March 1 of every year is observed as Zero Discrimination Day round the globe to celebrate and promote equal rights of people with different nationalities, castes, genders, religions, beliefs, races etc. It was first celebrated on March 1, 2014, particularly observed by UNAIDS, a UN organization that fights discrimination against people living with AIDS. It was, later on, observed as a day to unite people against every other kind of discrimination to strengthen the sentiment that everybody counts.

It is quite unfortunate that even in India, whose independence war started as a battle against the extremely racist British regime, discrimination and prejudice are still quite common and prevalent. Such unfair and ill-founded is this discrimination that it does not let even the differently-abled people live with dignity. Discrimination is not just denying a specific right to someone but an action as common as giving a lingering look to tourists, colored people, people on wheelchair, and the list goes on. It is making them feel that they are incomplete in some way.

In such a situation, what we need is an initiative that not only stands against the issue but empowers the concerned people as well. That is exactly the motto of The Ponty Chadha Foundation (PCF). The organization, through Kulwant Singh Chadha Skills Academy, provides equal learning opportunities to the underprivileged Indian youth, no matter what their caste, religion or background is. So far, thousands of young people have been employed and are making the most of their lives. The academy maintains a commendable teacher-student ratio of 1:30 so that each student gets equal and ample attention of the teachers and trainers. The curriculum encompasses almost every employability skills ranging from soft skills training to computer literacy.

PCF is also dedicated towards making quality healthcare accessible to the needy through its regular free diagnostic health camps for village communities. Thousands of patients who are underprivileged have benefitted from these camps, which certainly encourage us to do more and better for them.

The Ponty Chadha Foundation’s another applaudable initiative, Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan (MBCN), is a charitable school for children with special needs and abilities. The idea behind MBCN is not only to educate, but also make these children ready for the competitive world and give them a chance to claim all they deserve.

PCF also firmly believes in food security for every human being. Keeping this idea as the founding stone, the organization has partnered with the India Food Banking Network (IFBN) to organize involuntary food distribution drives to donate essential food grains such as rice and wheat and high energy biscuits and cookies to the underprivileged communities in Noida and Ghaziabad.

The Ponty Chadha Foundation is just one step in the right direction. We, as a nation and society, must come together to eradicate discrimination of all types, from all lives. This Zero Discrimination Day, let us all take a pledge to treat everyone equally and respect unconditionally.