Archive for ‘Society’

May 15, 2017

Vaakya – Innovation for the special ones!

Vaakya App

Ordering food- just tap and it’s delivered in an hour…

Want to go shopping? Open the app and buy anything and everything.

Technology has made our lives so easy that everything is just a click away.
Our country is developing with technology and so are our people. From battlefield grenades to a mop used for home chores; every little innovation is a vouchsafe of technology.

On 11th May, 1998 India executed the successful Shakti, the Pokhran nuclear test and the first indigenous aircraft “Hansa-3” was test flown to Bangalore on this day. Not only this, we also performed successful test firing of the Trishul missile on the same day.

To honour our technological advancements, we celebrate National Technology Day on the 11th of May since 1999. Every year, this day, the Technology Development Board of India awards individuals with national awards for their contribution to indigenous technology.

While technology helps people share their views with everyone, there also exist millions of people who can’t voice their opinions because of speech impairment. To help such individuals, we have designed Vaakya, an augmentative and alternative communication mobile application for a smartphone.

Vaakya is a picture-based app which provides the users the flexibility of customization according to their special needs and the benefit of using Vaakya is that you don’t require an internet connection to operate it.

So this technology day, benefit a life and make it a bit easier for someone by sharing Vaakya with them.

Download the app here- http://bit.ly/2lLag23

Happy Technology Day!

Source: http://www.mbcnschool.org/blog/vaakya-innovation-for-the-special-ones/

May 11, 2017

Laughter: the best medicine

Ever wondered how the world would be if nobody knew how to laugh?
Imagine out of the blue, one morning waking up to be a person who doesn’t knows what laughter is.
Nobody would crack jokes, nor anyone will laugh on them.
Nobody would know what comedy shows are and sarcasm won’t be fun anymore.
How do you think that life would be?
Creepy, terrifying and moreover, lifeless.

If we analyze the word laugh it sounds a lot similar to life…it not only brings joy to all but it also comes with some serious health benefits.
A powerful antidote to stress, depression, pain, conflict and even heartbreak, laughter is a proven doctor recommended medicine that holds the power to curb any disease.

Talking in medical terms, a good laugh is chocked full of mental, emotional and physical benefits. Making us feel happy and relaxed, a hearty laughter allows us to live longer, be healthier and provides an edge when battling ailments like mental illness.
Also it helps combat stress by increasing blood flow throughout the body and also boosts our immune system, heightens threshold for pain and assists in facilitating better breathing.

Along with our medical health, laughing helps improving our emotional health as well. And researchers have also proven that laughing in company enhances social bonding and stimulates positivity around.

So if you’re feeling blue, just remember to rejuvenate your soul with this fun & priceless medicine. Although you won’t find a free medine elsewhere than a good hearty laugh.

Moreover always keep in mind what the great Charlie Chaplin once said, “A day without laughter is a day wasted.”

Keep Laughing pals!! Happy Laughter Day 😀

Source: http://www.mbcnschool.org/blog/laughter-the-best-medicine/

April 19, 2017

Save Motherhood and Prevent Maternal Death

Save Motherhood and Prevent Maternal Death

Save Motherhood and Prevent Maternal Death

Every year, National Safe Motherhood Day is observed across India on the 11th of April to create and raise awareness about proper healthcare and maternity facilities for pregnant and lactating women. It is an initiative of the White Ribbon Alliance India (WRAI) to enforce that women must have adequate access to care during pregnancy, childbirth and postnatal periods.

The White Ribbon Alliance (WRA) is a nonpartisan, non-profit and non-governmental membership organisation that aims to decrease maternal and newborn deaths globally. It was formed to address the voices of women at risk of dying in childbirth. The alliance grew rapidly as thousands of people and groups joined the network, speaking as one voice, identifying problems in their own communities and finding specific solutions at a national level across Africa and Asia.

Every minute of every day, somewhere in the world and most often in a developing country, a woman dies from complications related to pregnancy or childbirth. Our mission, as a result, should be to inspire and convene advocates who can campaign to uphold the right of all women to be safe and healthy before, during and after childbirth.

To achieve the same, WRAI organises activities and campaigns throughout the country. As a matter of fact, members of WRAI also join hands with other NGOs to share resources and technical expertise on National Safe Motherhood Day.

Due to lack of education and adequate health and medical services, about 44,000 Indian women die during pregnancy and childbirth. This number can be reduced with simple and proven techniques, and by improving accessibility and education among women. One of these measures could be informing mothers about their nutrition needs from the time they get pregnant to the time they deliver their baby. Another could be educating them about keeping their baby safe after birth through immunisations that are essential for his or her growth.

When a woman dies, children lose their primary caregiver. Her death is a major loss for her family, community and country.

Here are a few ways to prevent maternal deaths:
● Ensuring delivery by qualified and skilled birth attendant.
● Reducing anemia among women during adolescence and childbearing years.
● Educating women on nutrition during pregnancy.
● Informing women about family planning and safe methods.
● Improving antenatal care.
● Shedding light on the importance of breastfeeding.
● Providing postnatal care for pain, infections, excessive bleeding and nutrition.
● Preventing child marriage.
● Improving education of the girl child.
● Providing immunisation and other disease prevention methods.
● Detecting and managing birth complications.

With the help of organisations like UNICEF, WHO, WRAI and various NGOs across the country, India has been successful in lowering its abysmal maternal mortality rate (MMR). We owe this to their continuous efforts to bring about this positive change.

Article Source: http://www.thepontychadhafoundation.org/blog/health/save-motherhood-and-prevent-maternal-death/

April 18, 2017

World Heritage Day – Do Your Bit

Do you know the fact that according to UNESCO, a monument can only be included in the World Heritage list, if it is well-preserved?

April 18th marks the World Heritage Day, also known as World International Monuments and Sites Day. This day celebrates the diversity of cultural heritage where people across the world pledge to protect and conserve the rich heritage of our monuments. But looking at the dismal condition of heritage sites in India, let us all ask each other a question. Are we doing every bit to protect our monuments?

The answer to this question is evident from the images below.

Taj Mahal

The pristine beauty of one of the world’s seven wonders – Taj Mahal – is suffering from the effects of pollution and is slowly turning yellow.

Then-

Taj_Mahal_(Edited)

Now-

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Lodhi Tomb, Delhi

Not only stripped off it’s beauty, the Lodhi Tomb in Delhi is not the only victim of human intervention, there are many forts and monuments in India which have been ruined by the rampant graffiti.

Then-

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Now-

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Daulatabad Fort, Aurangabad

Once reciting the glorious history from the 14th-century, the Daulatabad Fort is now left in ruins.

Then-

Daulatabad_Fort

Now-

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These forts hold the stories from our rich culture and history which is why it is more of our prerogative to ensure that we keep them safe and preserve their natural beauty..

But you must be thinking that how can you alone preserve the monuments?You can only do your bit if you take small steps and think of the safekeeping of our heritage as your own responsibility.

  • Whenever you visit a monument, don’t throw away plastic bags, eatables or garbage around.
  • Ensure that people around you do not scribble anything on the walls.
  • Use Govt. helplines if you see anyone harming the heritage sites.
  • Spread awareness in your reach to not damage our heritage.
  • You can also adopt a local monument in your area and pledge for its safekeeping.
  • Form local committees and groups with like-minded people who share the same passion for upkeep of our heritage sites.
  • Contact govt. bodies aligned with the preservation of our historical monuments and ask them how you can volunteer or help.

Taking small steps for conservation of our monuments and making people aware of their rich cultural heritage can go a long way in preserving our roots. Remember that these monuments are not public property, they are our national treasure!

Artice Source: http://www.thepontychadhafoundation.org/blog/environment/world-heritage-day-do-your-bit/

April 11, 2017

Tackling Depression: Tips for Parents of Children with Special Needs

Tackling Depression

Depression: It might not have a significant presence in our lives, but it is possible that someone around us, near us, has been suffering from depression for long enough without us even noticing.
Surprising, yes, but it could happen!
The questions we all have in mind: What is depression? How does it manifest itself? What has made it one of the most severe mental problems in the world?

Imagine having a heachache, a strong one… one that people dismiss as just a heachache, and not something to make a fuss about.
Imagine feeling empty all the time; no one to share your feelings with, nobody to talk to.
Imagine being amidst a sea of people, yet feeling all alone.
Imagine for once that nobody cares whether you exist or not.
That feeling is depression… and it isn’t pretty, especially since most of us don’t even talk about it, or so much as acknowledge its presence.

Depression could be of different types and it could affect people for different reasons, but it is often the parents of children with special needs who are its most common victims. They don’t suffer because they have a special child. They suffer because our society does not treat them as normal. And the only thing that can reduce their suffering is acceptance. It won’t cost us anything to extend a hand of help.

At Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan (MBCN), we treat every child like our own – with compassion, respect and care. As a result, parents feel assured that their child is loved and well looked after at this home away from home. Not just children, we care equally for parents as well.

In her article on coping with depression, Director, MBCN, Dr. Vandana Sharma lends some useful advice to parents of children with special needs.

Read on for insightful excerpts:

“They need to see this vulnerability and work to adopt effective coping skills to deal efficiently with the situation. It will ultimately benefit their special children also. They can deal with children more effectively and patiently if they themselves are at mental peace.”

Setting Limits on Expectations
There are limits to what one person can do. You shouldn’t expect yourself to think about your child all the time. And your child with a disability shouldn’t expect to be the center of attention all the time or the center of your life all the time. It is often easy to have the child with disabilities set the schedule and tone for all family life. You have limits and your child has limits; learn to recognize both and give yourself a chance to examine the situation before responding in anger or fatigue or with frustration. You are not SUPERPARENT.

Having Fun With Your Child
When every activity becomes ‘a therapy session,’ a lot of pleasure can be lost that would otherwise be shared by you and our child. You are the one who lives with your child, and you are the one who is being asked to do just one more thing. If you cannot do something tonight, or every day, okay. That is your decision. Having fun with your child with cerebral palsy can be a radical idea when you are surrounded by people telling you what to do or what should be happening next.

You are not your child’s therapist or teacher. You are Mommy or Daddy. Therapy and educational activities at home are certainly beneficial but you and your child need time to just fool around, tickle, giggle, tell stories and just hang out. These times are one of the most important parts of your child’s “education” and the love and social skills learned by them will stand in good stead for the future as they will contribute greatly to the self-esteem of your child – and your own self-esteem as a parent.

Taking Time Off or Having a Life
As a parent you need time to yourself, with your spouse or partner and with other family members, and just time without kids around. Many parents describe the first time they went to the grocery store alone after their child was born as a tremendous feeling of freedom — even though they were doing a chore, and even though they didn’t talk to anyone but the checkout clerk. There are many parts of your life and each deserves as much attention and nurturing as does your special needs child. At one point I realized that I had no social life and, even though it meant spending money for a respite worker, the time taken to build friendships has probably helped me be a better parent to my child. And even if it has taken time and energy away from my child, I now have ‘a life’ and can talk about more than my son and his disability.

Being the Expert-In-Charge
You know your child better than anyone else as you have spent the most time and lived the longest with this child with a disability, longer than anyone else. You know what works and what doesn’t; you have the big picture and history of your child and can utilize this in any situation. Support personnel come and go but you are the expert with the experience and first-hand knowledge of your child.

As the expert you have the right to be in charge of your child’s educational, social and medical and other decisions, at least until your child can do this for him or herself. Professionals do not live the consequences of their decisions, so while you want their opinions, remember that they are only ‘informed’ opinions and not facts. They shouldn’t tell you are wrong, that you will regret it, that you are selfish, or that you are not looking far enough ahead. Nor should they make you feel guilty or pressure you into a decision.

As suggested by Dr. Vandana Sharma herself, do not forget that someone around you might be a sufferer too. Look out, it isn’t that tough. It could be a friend, a cousin, or even your neighbour from next door.

Let’s start by asking the simplest yet most important question: How are you?
#LetsTalk!

Source: http://www.mbcnschool.org/blog/tackling-depression-tips-for-parents-of-children-with-special-needs/

 

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March 20, 2017

7 ways to Empower Women

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8th March is celebrated worldwide as International Women’s Day, a day when every individual pledges to honour, respect and value the women in their lives.

However, in a gender-biased society, how do we ensure gender parity all year long? In a world where women are often misjudged for the most trivial of choices, can we really say that women are empowered at all? Probably not.

Before we talk about how to empower women, we must first know why we need to. The reason is simple and universal. Women deserve to be empowered and deserve an equal footing because they certainly aren’t the weaker sex. It is their right to get all the opportunities and benefits that have been limited to men for years.

Ways to empower women!

Empowering a woman doesn’t mean giving her riches… Empowerment begins with small yet meaningful steps that bring about a positive change. Here are some easy ways to help empower women all around.

1. Ensure women’s safety
Out in the streets, women fight an unspoken war every day. Some are assaulted, some molested, and some violated. Truth be told, there is no safe haven for women anywhere, since most of these horrific cases occur inside homes and offices. While the government does need to initiate strict laws for the safety and security of women, we too need to keep our eyes open for wrongdoers.

2. Education
An educated girl can not only live life on her own terms, she can very well change the world. As responsible citizens, it is our duty to take that first step. From that urchin girl who begs for alms to that ragpicker who lives under the bridge, every girl needs and deserves to be educated. Teach one, teach all, and open new pathways for her bright future.

3. Healthcare
Safety isn’t just fighting criminals but also creating a safe, survivable environment for women all over. Ensure a safe, holistic environment and regular health check ups.

4. Save a Girl.
We focus on women empowerment every now and then, but how will we initiate the steps mentioned above when there will be no women? Girls in many parts of the world including India are killed before birth. Reason are many, but the consequences are horrific.

5. Teach job skills
A small skill is enough for a woman to start a career. Be it gardening, sewing or craftsmanship, these efforts can help them start a small-scale business of their own. Share new ideas with them and help them learn, because empowerment begins with small initiatives.

6. Raise your voice against gender inequality
Above all, raise your voice. Stand up for every woman and help decrease the prevalent gender disparity in all the stratas of society.

7. Give her Freedom
“Don’t travel late, stay within limits.” At every step we tend to imply restrictions on women. Now is the time to change the equation.
Don’t bind them in the chains of orthodox views. Give them the freedom they deserve.
If you wish to change something, broaden your mind and see what great achievers women can become.

Empowering women starts within our families, workplaces, and neighborhoods. Appreciate those superheroes who start their day much before you and end it much later. Say thanks to your mom and that teacher who encouraged you years ago. Say thanks to your sister who inspires you at every step. Say thanks to your daughter, whose smile is enough to fill your day with happiness.

Source: http://www.thepontychadhafoundation.org/blog/inspiration/7-ways-to-empower-women/

March 16, 2017

Let’s Pledge to Keep Each Other Safe

Imagine a child being lured into taking a candy from a stranger with unhealthy intentions. You know the stranger looks dubious but you turn a blind eye and placate your conscience by saying that maybe the man knew the child, but leaving the fate of that child to your voice of reason is downright inappropriate. If it’s all happening in front of you, it is your duty to intervene and inform the police.

We live in a world where ensuring safety is not just the job of lawmen, but also each one of us. We must pledge to keep each other safe rather than leaving it all in the hands of the government or police. That’s the theme for this National Safety Day/Week 2017 which says ‘Keep Each Other Safe’.

Apart from real world safety and security, workplace safety is also a prime concern when it comes to industrial workers and factory labour, who work in unsafe environments and dire conditions. To safeguard the interests of this section, National Safety Council was set up on 4th March, 1966 to create, develop and sustain a voluntary movement on Safety, Health and Environment (SHE) at the national level. National Safety Day is celebrated every year throughout India to reiterate the importance of safety and create awareness throughout the country.

Key Objectives of the National Security Council

1. To make people aware of the Safety, Health and Environment issues throughout the country
2. To gain active participation from different industrial players at various levels
3. To promote a culture that involves both employers and employees in SHE activities
4. To develop need-based activities, SHE management systems and compliance with statutory requirements
5. To cover SHE sectors not included in any legal parameter
6. To remind employers of their responsibility in ensuring workplace safety

Rapid industrialization post-independence saw a rise in many industrial accidents and workplace mishaps. The chief objective of establishing NSC was to minimise harm to workers by preventing such accidents.

Organisations are also realising the importance of workplace safety and carrying out activities for awareness around the same. Training sessions, workshops, safety drives, and awareness campaigns are being carried out to sensitize employees and employers about this issue.

This National Safety Day/Week, let’s pledge to keep each other safe by creating a secure environment not just at the workplace, but outside of the workplace as well.

Source: http://www.thepontychadhafoundation.org/blog/inspiration/lets-pledge-to-keep-each-other-safe/

August 4, 2012

Home Minister Shinde to visit Pune today

Mumbai: Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde is scheduled to visit the blast sites in Pune on Saturday. Image

Shinde is likely to review the security situation at a meeting with top officials here.

Four low-intensity explosions took place in the busy J M Road area in Pune on August 1.

Shinde, who took charge as Union Home Minister the same day, was supposed to visit the city that evening, but the visit was cancelled.

Source: zeenews.india.com

August 4, 2012

Team Anna’s decision to join politics irks backers

New Delhi: It seems that Team Anna’s decision to enter politics has not gone down well with some of the supporters.

Reports claim that some supporters of Anna Hazare at Navsari in Surat have burnt posters of the social activist and India Against Corruption.

In fact, former Karnataka Lokayukta and Team Anna member Santosh Hegde also said yesterday that he does not support Anna Hazare and his team floating a political party, but would campaign for candidates who identify themselves with his movement against corruption.

There was a section of the volunteers of India Against Corruption at Jantar Mantar, who were cheering Anna Hazare during his fast, protested the team’s decision to take a political route.

Around 50 volunteers reportedly submitted their identity cards with the management of India Against Corruption and refused to turn up at the event.

Reports also said some of the volunteers were also beaten up for displaying placards requesting Team Anna not to join the politics.

However, Team Anna has given assurance to dejected volunteers that Arvind Kejriwal would meet them soon.

Team Anna’s decision to join politics irks backers On Friday, Team Anna moved towards forming a party to fight the 2014 Lok Sabha polls but Anna Hazare made it clear that he will not launch a party or contest elections. Ending their ten-day fast at Jantar Mantar, the team declared that “people” will decide on their candidates and fund their elections.

“We will have to throw this government out. It is a long fight. This is not a party. It will be a movement from the streets to Parliament.”

“Parliament has to be purified. There will be no high command. People will decide the candidates and they will fund it,” Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal announced.

August 4, 2012

What did Anna Hazare’s Jantar Mantar fast achieve?

ImageTeam Anna’s latest fast at Jantar Mantar was initially greeted by a tepid response by the aam admi and the media. After the high-voltage show at Ramlila Maidan last year, the camera lights had dimmed. Adding to the concerns of the anti-corruption crusaders was the absolute thumbs down by the government; no one from Lutyen’s Delhi appeared to be interested in them anymore.

The same ruling establishment which had wooed and ‘saluted’ Anna for his indomitable spirit and called him too ‘valuable’ for the nation, completely ignored him, a year after Parliament adopting a ‘sense of House’ resolution on the Lokpal Bill.

Although, the movement did gain pace after Anna Hazare himself took to the stage and began fasting along with others, it is clear that the latest round of fast did not really have the kind of action that they had hoped for.

Fact is that Team Anna was on the backfoot and had no strategy to counter the Congress led UPA government’s wait and watch game. One could almost feel them rubbing their hands in glee. As they say – Time is a great leveller.

Given the above scenario, Anna called off his ten day fast on Friday along with his key aides Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia and Gopal Rai and made an announcement which has started off a national debate.

Just before breaking his fast, Arvind Kejriwal revealed what we all had anticipated. “We will form our own party, the name and the manisfesto of which will be decided by the people.” So finally Team Anna has taken the all important plunge.

The question is whether Anna and his men had any options left? With nothing much happening this time around, they could not have simply called off the fast without a face-saver. And this declaration of providing a political alternative was probably the best option left for them.

Critics of Anna and his team like senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh have maintained throughout that the movement had political aspirations. In fact it was also being said time and again that people like Kejriwal were using the diminutive man from Realegan Siddhi for their personal ambitions.

When Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni said that they always knew that Team Anna were inspired by politics and that it was good that whatever the intention was it had come out clear, one could almost feel the sense of victory for the Congress party. Also it may have given them a sense of confidence. After all political arena is the grand old party’s area of strength but appears to be completely alien territory for Anna’s motley group.

It’s not just the Congress, to take Team Anna on in their own turf and in their own background will be something parties cutting across political lines will not mind.

But the moot question is whether this experiment of Anna’s men will succeed or is it embarking on a path of destruction? Politics is a different ballgame altogether. And that too in a country like India where caste and religion play an important role in electoral politics.

However, Team Anna can take solace from the fact that the last couple of state elections have shown, albeit slowly but surely, that the voting pattern of the country is changing. The last elections in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh did bring to light the fact that people are voting on the plank of good governance and development. And if Team Anna can convince the electorate that they can clean up the system, the people of this country who are fed up with deep rooted corruption may give them a chance.

Will Anna be able to provide a formidable front in 2014 is a matter for posterity? However the immediate challenge that will confront them will be how to embark on the road to electoral politics. It will be anything but a smooth ride. It will be bumpy and pull of potholes.

The transition from being a pressure group to a political front will not be easy. What will the organisational structure of the front be? Questions will arise on ways to fund the elections and the task of finding more than 500 ‘clean’ candidates who can win. Also the team has to be prepared to take in criticisms just as any political outfit is criticised if they are found wanting. Apart from their views on corruption and Lokpal, the team will have to make their stand clear on a host of issues confronting the country. For starters, they have to start talking in one language and their intentions have to be pure.

Post Script: But as Ghalib said – Ek aag ka darya hai aur doob ke jaana hai. Likewise the team has to prepare themselves on a war footing to jump into the political cauldron of India. However, let us not be cynics and let us give Anna Hazare and his band of soldiers a chance. In a democratic country like ours everyone has the right to form a political party and fight elections. After all there are more than 60 political parties and seven national parties in India. There is surely space for one more, especially one which promises to be different.

Whatever the outcome or fate of Team Anna may be, one thing is sure – we are in for interesting times ahead

Source: zeenews.india.com