Enthusiasm is excitement with inspiration, motivation, and a pinch of creativity. The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails. Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.

If you don't create change, change will create you. Change starts when someone sees the next step and the first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance. Many fine things can be done in a day if you don't always make that day tomorrow. You see, in life, lots of people know what to do, but few people actually do what they know. Knowing is not enough! You must take action.

Sometimes it's the smallest decisions with larger aims that can change the lives of many. If our attempts can at least become a spark. We are really grateful and the TEAM can proudly proclaim ‘MISSION ACCOMPLISHED’.

If you can LEND A HELPING HAND for the advancement of our country and its people be part of our ENDEAVOR.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

'TEARFUL ADIEU'


PASSENGERS, ATTENTION PLEASE— Train no: 6570 LIFELINE EXPRESS has arrived at platform no: 3---- ARE YOU TAKING THE RISK TO GET IN?

By:  K.K , Jithin Raghavan & Arjun.R.Shankar

 
 “While a murderer destroys the physical frame of the victim, a rapist degrades and defiles the soul of a helpless female."--- Justice Arjit Pasayat


In Kerala, recently, a girl called Soumya was raped and she succumbed to the injuries sustained during the violent episode. The 23 year old lady was first pushed out of the running train next to the tracks by a male assailant and then raped by him No one could save her. As if a testimonial to Kerala being the land where women are still finding it hard to travel at night, Sowmya took the long walk out of life. The media said she was “brutally” raped, but such adjectives are omitted because we fail to understand if there is any rape that isn’t brutal!! In a traditional matrilineal society like Kerala with high education levels, this incident has come with a rude shock. The remorseless perpetrator will be behind the bars, but the scars will take a long time to heal.

Readers may be wondering as to why this is coming so many days past that tragic day. Our motive is simple.  It is a wake-up call!! For about a week after the issue, people were enraged and sentimental about the fate of Soumya. The media and the blogs all over were buzzing with people strongly voicing their concerns and venting out their feelings. There were discussions by experts and tearful “Facebook updates” by the common man. And when all was said and done, with no page left unturned, people started losing interest. In the words of the Coke and Pepsi generation, all the fizz was lost. Every single time there is a tragedy, this is exactly what happens. 

This article isn’t yet another reconstruction of the events of Soumya’s tragic death.

What came as a surprise was leading women welfare organizations and individuals blaming it on the mentality of men as such; the way a woman is looked upon by a man. Somehow I was reminded of the clichéd rotten apple. Even if there are hundreds of thousands of men who respect women to the core of their hearts, it only takes a few Govindachaamis to tarnish the image of every single male. Being men who respects a lot of women, for their abilities and talents, and not at all based on their sex, we cannot help, but to disagree to the gross injustice of this allegation against men as such. Nor is rape a crime witnessed only in developing and under-developed countries where women are undermined by their male counterparts and even their own families. (a trend that is slowly changing!) Even in the developed nations this dreaded crime is oft reported.

Our collective conscience drives us into words every time a tragedy befalls. But, somehow, we are only moved into words and never into action. And, if ever there is some action taken, it is always violent and extreme measures that do not help any cause.

YES, YOU ARE THE ARCHITECT….

It's a fact that women need to travel with a little special care; horror stories do exist and women, taught to have a care in life in general, can toss cares to the wind and lose that finely tuned caution edge that they keep honed on their own city streets. Look and act confident. Be alert. Use common sense. Always stride along like you know where you're going. Don't slink, glancing furtively around you. Don't let all this scare you away from travel - you'll doubtless be perfectly safe. Being young and female is great - enjoy it!


This incident is a frightening wake-up call, and every woman and girl must meet reality head on and devise a personal safety plan that she can incorporate into her daily routine.  Several components are required to make a personal safety plan effective, which includes both physical and emotional decisions based on the comfort zone of the individual. Attitude, common sense, survival instinct and the motivation to fight back are all critical factors that need to be addressed on a very personal level. 

Madam, Why are you ALONE ???
There also has to be a firm conviction that developing an individual safety plan is as critical as having a disaster emergency kit in place. This belief is not only essential, it is crucial. A well defined personal safety plan is an option that can no longer be ignored. The veracity of living in a world full of economic duress, raging unemployment, relentless foreclosures, and social apathy from too much online networking and very little human interaction clearly defines that society is becoming an increasingly hostile environment to live in.  We need to accept it but understand that we DO have the power to prevent the chance of ever falling victim to a ruthless crime. Women and girls must have the strength and the determination to fight back against violence without fear, embarrassment or guilt. 

You don’t have to be ‘Super girl’ to defend yourself and win – awareness, preparedness, and a personal protection device will help you stay in control when circumstance puts you in a precarious situation.

We have come to terms with the fact that most of the politicians and administrators of this great nation are inefficient. And, moreover, even in countries where there are effective and committed people ruling, such crimes cannot be totally prevented. So do we just blame our government, lament about our fate, and do nothing? Do we just push such tragic mishaps out of our minds and go on with our comfortable lives? Or do we, as responsible citizens, ponder over the possible steps that we can take as an individual and strive hard to bring our thoughts into actions?  

We are over a billion in strength, but the commitment, passion and selfless efforts of few hundred is all that is required to make a huge difference! Even if we fail in our efforts, it will still be no less than a tribute to the souls of the numerous victims all over our nation.

 --Article is only complete with TEAM AKHSHAYAPATHRA's  RADIANT PLAN----- scroll down for that.

AKHSHAYAPATHRA – RADIANT PLAN


“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

A WOMEN HEADED RAPID RAILWAY TASK FORCE—

If you have been to any railway station in India at least once you can sense the amount of humiliation many women have to face every day, right from the platform to the train. Within the railway station limit numerous women are often victims of humiliation and abasement either by unwanted staring, sexually coloured comments and remarks, through vulgar and immoral gestures which are nothing less than sexual assault. Many of them are simply not reported.


TEAM AKHSHAYAPATHRA is simply suggesting a RADIANT PLAN on the wake of a ghastly incident.
·          
Create women headed Railway Task Force in almost all the prominent railway stations in the state according the extent of Railway traffic and no of expected passengers.
·         
* It can be a good volunteer pool with multifarious charges and duties within the ambit of the railway station. They can render their service on a 24 × 7 mode.
·          
This task force can be headed by a woman and can include some men for ground level support. The group can cover different platforms with a proper frame and simultaneous effects.
·          
Every platform will have a sub group members of the Task Force engaged in continuous patrolling.

·          such a taskforce can handle many small but serious issues with seriousness and precision.
·          
Women passengers inside the station can communicate directly to these people in case of a problem.
·        
The whole force should be coordinated by the Railway Police.
·          
Women passengers who are waiting in the odd night and early morning hours can feel secure by the proper invigilation and security measures.
·          
They should keep a close vigil on the ladies compartment whenever a train is stationed at a platform.
·        
This team can work on a shift basis and their working can be periodically reviewed and monitored through camouflage evaluations of Railway officials.
·          The force should be assigned a toll free no: for contact and that should be displayed in all important parts of the station and inside the train. (inside all the trains you have innumerable promotions of new movies. We can simply cut down those spaces for providing such contact numbers)
·        
Above all this can become a job creating Endeavour. Thousands of people can gain employment through this and can gain a handsome amount as salary.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

‘NO’ is not the ONLY answer to DEVELOPMENT

Coffee @ MAGARPATTA.....

By: Arjun.R.Shankar & Devipriya P.G


In today’s scam hit scenario everything is perceived with a sense of apprehension and foreboding. Projects are verified and scrutinized by the Ministry of Environment and Forests with immense precision and with unfettered reasonableness. The many tough decisions and prompt actions are the testimony of this care for the environment. The LAVASSA, The Jaitapur project controversy and many more similar issues are popping up every day and are raising so much hue and cry against the forced land acquisitions for various developmental activities including SEZ and integrated townships within our country.

Development in this country is very often the synonym of corruption and injustice to many leaders and people of this country. At least some of them can be due to their excessive greed mongering appetite, for personal gains or due to certain political ideologies. People of this country have blocked and froze innumerable developmental projects due to apprehension and fear of injustice. Kerala is one of the finest examples of this trend which made it a least investor friendly state. Another important reason is that in many cases the land acquisitions for public purpose were ambiguous; the compensation offered were unjustifiably low; and the provisions lacked clarity, often requiring courts to intervene. In addition, the procedures laid down were cumbersome.

SEZ (Special Economic Zone) for some is a colossal and prodigious reflection of economic development and prosperity in real terms and a stupendous island of infrastructure, to some it’s an awful land grabbing exercise, farmer displacements and political protests. In an era of the so called LPG effects still there are so many obstacles in India’s course of development, it’s a naked truth that quite a few are genuine but we suspect there are few exaggerations too. For all those who believe it is the prerogative of an emerging economy like India to say a big emphatic no to all such initiatives let us now recollect a forgotten success story …

-------- The story of Magarpatta City----------

This is a classic example of an extraordinary initiative and dedication by the ordinary farmers which is hard to follow and digest in the present scenario. This city is the first city in India which is owned, built and managed entirely by the farmers. Magarpatta is a self contained residential cum industrial or corporate settlement spanning over 430 acres of land is situated along the Pune Solapur Highway in Maharashtra . It’s an integrated township with highly sophisticated international amenities; an award winning and internationally appreciated model of integrated development and self sustainability. A city within a city having a commercial zone, residential neighborhoods’ , school , hospital , shopping malls , hotels and restaurants and recreation places . All this is complemented by verdant greens and a pollution free ambience – a supreme setting for life and business. The modernity here is dazzling and the ambience of this city might take you by surprise.

These farmers became the poster boys of inclusive equitable community development. The region was dominated by the Magar clan. The Magar clan and their immediate neighbours comprising 123 families trace their ancestry back to three centuries, were basically illiterate farmers. The land they tilled has been under the Pune Municipal jurisdiction since 1960, and was an agricultural zone. But in 1982, the Pune Municipal Corporation marked it as a future ‘urbanisable zone’ in it’s draft development plan, which meant that the government could easily acquire the land under the ‘Urban Ceiling Act’, and the population of this city exceeded the target of 2020 in 1991 with a population of more than 2 million.

Though some farmers in the neighbourhood , lured by the quick buck had sold their land to real estate developers the majority were content with the steady income afforded by sugarcane harvests. Therefore they started protesting against the development plan which was definitely rational. But by late 1980’s they realized they were fighting a losing battle as they realized that the city was already bursting at the seams.

Then they thought about a joint venture where the farmers applied for conversion of the entire stretch into a non agricultural zone. Together they pooled the 400 acres of land, seeked the state administrations approval for an industrial township. They wholeheartedly trusted Satish Magar who was instrumental in establishing the twin industrial township of Pimpri-Chinchwad in 1960’s.He mooted the idea of a company rather than a cooperative so that each family got shares equal to the size of their land holding. The company was registered as ‘The Magarpatta Township Development and Construction Company Limited’ and Satish Magar became its MD.

Instead of hiring labourers from outside during the course of construction people who gave their land were given employment in the construction activities and other jobs within the township. Remember, they were simple illiterate farmers. Probably that was one of the finest example of how effectively the human resources could be used when the required skill was imparted to them in the right direction. This is a lesson to be imbibed in most of the land acquisitions - be it for SEZ or for similar township projects.

What we see in recent times is blind stiff resistance every time such initiatives are in their infancy stage. It is mainly because of the apprehension of the displaced people towards their future. We often tend to forget the fact that there are strict legal norms regarding the rehabilitation of the displaced, their employment, health, education of children etc. Hence it is the responsibility of the corporates involved and concerned governments to ensure that every aspect of such victims of land acquisitions is taken care off. They should be able to gain the confidence of the people regarding the people’s security and also about the sustainability and viability of such initiatives.

This is exactly what happened in the case of Magarpatta. For this there should be adequate scope for effective negotiations between the common people and corporates in which our politicians and bureaucrats should play the role of positive catalysts. Only then can we dream about the emerging super power India in par with the developed nations. It’s always possible provided we are guided by strong principles of sustainability and self sufficiency. Then certainly many more replicas of Magarpatta or even better ones will come up in our Indian soil. The activities and changes are dazzling and are commendable.

A transformation has been triggered, by men who never went to any business schools, who knew nothing about the real estate business, who had no capital. This ‘Transformation’ is lead by farmers of Indian soil who had nothing other than the farmland they owned.