In the name of history, we are ruining our present

Violent clashes have erupted in Maharashtra. Widespread unrest has engulfed the entire state. The rioters are running berserk. Vehicles have been set ablaze, public property has been damaged beyond repair, and above everything else, normal life has been crippled.

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Cramping for room: Congestion’s on an all-time high in Delhi

Travelling to work in a city like Delhi is a major concern. Every morning, countless people can be seen making their way to the office. Take my example: I live in West Delhi and make my way to Gurugram every morning via the metro. Taking a cab does no good as traffic tends to crawl like a snail in the morning. This is perhaps because the use of personal vehicles to travel to work has increased significantly. Moreover, the metro is no less crowded and a journey spanning across 40 stations takes nearly a couple of hours.

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History is often showcased through a lens of sentimentality for it to sound relevant to the present generation

Sanjay Leela Bhansali has become controversy’s favourite child these days. His latest offering Padmavati, a fictional reconstruction of the life of Rani Padmini, is finding itself in troubled waters. The film is facing widespread violent protests in the northern parts of India. Over all these years, art has generally been the softest target, but the present wave of unrest has surpassed all acceptable limits of fair criticism.
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You learn so much out of your own failures

“If you’re mentally unhealthy in the first place, it’ll definitely affect your body. The first thing you need to do is to accept it, and go through the difficult part thinking it’s a part of a much bigger scheme of things.” Continue reading “You learn so much out of your own failures”

From sex to sexuality, fickle-mindeness is our real problem

We, as individuals, speak volumes about putting an end to or at least minimising sexual violence, but our efforts are often as fragile as our memories. With Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein facing the heat after being accused of sexually harassing a dozen women, the hashtag #Metoo seems to have taken the world by storm. The hashtag has thrown light on the fact that it is indeed a daunting task for women to report sexual harassment at workplace, even in countries having strong legislations to counter the problem. Continue reading “From sex to sexuality, fickle-mindeness is our real problem”

Being an introvert doesn’t make you an egoistic, ‘bigda hua ladka’

If you’re an introvert, it means you don’t have many friends. If you’re an introvert, it means you’re too shy. If you are an introvert, it means you’re egoistic because you don’t talk. (well, that is what the society believes). Just keep these arguments aside for a moment. Being an introvert is actually a good thing (I’d like to believe that). Being an introvert means you don’t have weekends engulfed with unnecessary hullabaloo. At times, not having a plan is actually a good thing.

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Decoding Essex’s rise to glory

Essex County Cricket Club’s journey from being a mediocre club to lifting the championship title this year has been nothing short of extraordinary. On only four instances, including this one, did they get an opportunity to play in Division One of the County Championship, since 2000. Each of the last three times they gained a promotion, they were relegated the year after. Following their promotion from Division 2 in 2016, they finally won the County Championship for the first time since 1992.

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Healthcare in Uttar Pradesh: Not in the best of health

The sad reality of Uttar Pradesh’s failing healthcare system has been highlighted by the tragedy that showed its ugly face in Gorakhpur, where as many as 60 children died at the Baba Raghav Das Medical College. Call it a coincidence, but it comes as a surprise that the tragedy occurred in Yogi Adityanath’s turf. He has been representing the constituency since 1998. His government has presented statistics to suggest that fatalities aren’t unusual given a large number of patients being treated at the hospital. Continue reading “Healthcare in Uttar Pradesh: Not in the best of health”

Do the right thing…

While flipping through the pages of an old textbook, I came across an excerpt from Anis Jung’s ‘Lost Spring: Stories of Stolen Childhood’ The Story revolved around a boy named Sahib who happened to be one of the countless street dwellers living in Seemapuri, a district in North-Western Delhi. The story focuses on the plight of street children in a country as big as India. It further throws adequate light over the fact that these children have been living in a dire state of poverty for ages.

The story also explores the problems he faces, getting exposed to hazardous waste in the garbage dumps, roaming around barefoot without adequate nourishment or clothes on his body. Sahib, like many other children dwelling in slums is a rag-picker. Finally, he finds work at a tea-stall, but is unhappy because he ends up losing his freedom in the process.

Stories like these keep emerging out of thin air every now and then, but we hardly pay heed to them. Perhaps we’re a bit too busy, or perhaps we see it happening and we turn a cold shoulder. Not paying heed to such incidents is perhaps the easiest way for most people to ignore what’s happening around them.

It reminds me of one of the major projects I had undertaken with my batchmates during my days at the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC). The project dealt with preparing a campaign for the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR). The campaign drew attention towards the need to inculcate a sense of sensitivity towards juveniles who are being subjected to inhuman treatment in countless juvenile rehabilitation centres spread across the length and breadth of the country.

I remember the groundwork we’d laid down to make this campaign a success. We’d travelled all the way to a prison (I won’t name it) where juveniles had been mercilessly thrown behind bars. We’d also made our way to various government schools across Delhi to urge students to channelize their energies and talents in order to fulfil their dreams, but it was easier said than done.

So,  our team decided that instead of telling children not to do something wrong, we’d tell them to do the right thing. And,  it is here that we came up with a creative tagline for our campaign. The tagline was: ‘Karo wahi jo hai sahi'(do the right thing). The campaign was named: ‘Thaan lo’:Karo wahi jo hai Aaho. (Take a pledge to do the right thing).

As part of the campaign,  we asked school children to channelize their energies towards something that they enjoyed doing.  Some of them wanted to play,  others wanted to draw and sketch. There were those who wanted to write.

We even prepared promotional material for people to see. The entire idea behind the campaign was to come out with something which would encourage people to do the right thing.

It is often witnessed that poverty makes street children indulge in things such as petty thievery. To help them rise above these problems, we encouraged them to get enrolled in schools. Financial constraints are just one of the many excuses we came across.  The truth however,  was completely different. Children didn’t want to go to school because they were unaware of the role schools play in a child’s life.  Life,to them was all about roaming around doing nothing.

So,  this is pretty much what was undertaken by us as part of our attempt to make a difference.

Whether we could win the campaign or not is a separate discussion altogether,  but our efforts didn’t go unnoticed as we got rave reviews from the faculty @ IIMC.
 

 

India versus Pakistan: Rivalries, sub-plots and cricket…

The moment people hear about an India-Pakistan cricket match, blood starts gushing through their veins. Cricket freaks across the globe have their hearts pounding in their chests. Work gets sidelined, with emails piling on at a rate of knots in mailboxes, and all of us are there, with our eyes glued to the TV screens, desperately waiting for a miracle to occur out of nowhere. Every time Virat hits the ball all the way to the fence, the entire nation erupts in jubilation. The entire nation is there, hopping and jumping in excitement. There’s anticipation wherever you look.

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