Monday, 19 May 2014

Dare to Care by UNICEF, Ahmedabad, Gujarat

Recently I received a wonderful opportunity to work for UNICEF for their widely spread well-known project Dare to Care for UNICEF Ahmedabad, Gujarat. The event was on May 16th, 2014. Before I reached there, I thought it'd be wise to find more about the project. As I dug deeper into the matter, I came to know about their humbling and intricate work strategies for adolescent girls in Gujarat.

The project is a joint venture by UNICEF and the current IPL cricket team, Delhi Daredevils and is laid out for adolescent girls (aged between 14-17 years) who belong to the most backward and tribal villages from Gujarat. According to UNICEF, almost 40% of adolescent girls in the 14-17 age group do not attend school, and 22% get married before the legal age of 18 years. An estimated 56% are anemic and hence, highly prone to poor maternal health and not only to their own, but also to their future offspring. UNICEF works very closely and remarkably to spread the awareness but to make it more effective on the higher scale, they have called upon the IPL team, Delhi Daredevils, to come and help them in the venture. Because of the active participation from the cricketers, the impact has raised by leaps and bounds. Now the villagers are enunciating on the importance of girls' education. They are also barring on early child marriages and child labor. All credit goes to UNICEF's bold initiative, Dare to Care campaign. More on this we will focus later in this article.

Girls with Delhi Daredevils team players

No need to say, I was deeply impressed with the work and much looking forward to the event. The event was in Marriot, the official partner for UNICEF, Ahmedabad. I was sitting in a sophisticated corner with the group of bloggers and journalists when I spotted adolescent girls and the cricketers coming along. There were 11 adolescent girls who had come from the tribal villages of Gujarat and are part of UNICEF's child right initiatives. They intricately work on the grass root levels for thousands of girls like themselves to improve their lives and lifestyles. Basically these girls show dare to care for girls like them. The informal event was majorly based to cover three key issues - Child marriages, Child labor and Girls' education.

Shaking hands and spreading warmth

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Why do we need occasions like Mother's Day?

Firstly, Happy Mother's Day to all the moms in this world. Today is a special day for mothers and after wishing my own, I feel great. Mummy did not know today is her day and she was simply surprised when I wished her. She wished me back and then we chatted for a little more while before we hung up.

But before calling her, something else had happened. I was calling her but she was busy somewhere for incessant 20 minutes talking to someone else. Finally I called my father and informed about it's Mother's Day today. He chuckled and wished me. Then he asked,

"Who has made days like Mother's day, Father's day etc.? Do we really need such occasions?"

I laughed. Comments similar to this often flow my way nonetheless I replied to him.

"No. Actually we really don't need such days but if dedicating one day especially to our loved ones, we can shower some extra pounds of love, affection, care and gifts, there is no harm in celebrating them. For the rest of the days, we hardly say 'I love you' or 'I care for you' but on such special days, we specifically take out sometime and express our warm feelings. That is why we really need such days"

Friday, 9 May 2014

When I looked up from my book...

Yesterday happened a rather unusual thing that scared me for few moments but I quickly gathered myself, feeling helpless at the end.

So the story goes like this. Outside my apartment, there is a tiny porch where almost every evening, I love to sit, have my share of tea, read a book and enjoy the weather. Bangalore is anyway becoming cooler by each passing day (which I dearly love). Yesterday I poured tea in my mug and milk in a glass for my son, placed the drinks outside on a table with some biscuits, took a book and decided to read it with the sips of aromatic tea (as usual). When I started reading, I thought why not to look up from the book and enjoy the pleasant, bit chilling weather? It sounded a great idea to follow in my head. So I closed the book and started sipping my tea. My kid's cycle is chained in the porch itself. When I took the first sip, my eyes went to the cycle. Behind its rear spikes, I saw something moving. I got curious and I looked harder. Then I saw a stray dog sitting quietly there. For a second, I was seated unmoved because I have heard stories from people about getting attacked by stray animals for no reasons. I held my breath for few moments and told my kid to stay inside. The dog's face and the entire neck region was looking strange; something like he was infected. I decided to sit instead of running away. He was not doing anything anyway.

So as I dipped the first biscuit in my tea, I threw another at him despite of knowing the fact that this would look as a bait to him to come at my home over and over again. But I could not eat alone while a hungry dog was sitting right in front of me and stray animals are usually always hungry. I threw few more biscuits at him which he immediately finished. By this time, he had started shaking its tail as any pet dog would do out of affection. Now I was sure he would not attack me. But as I could not take him with me, I took my stuffs and came inside. He was still looking at my moves. I was feeling sympathy towards him. Knowing the fact that he might be infected, I couldn't dare to take him to a veteran all by myself. I kept looking at him time to time until he himself made his way out of the building.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Love to live positive!

When our house becomes dirty, we clean it. And when our mind station gets polluted, it needs some sweeping job too. So let's talk about dealing with negative thoughts and how we can keep our life free of them.

Negative thoughts send negative vibes by their very name. When we think negative, we can not think good or say, positive. We always keep complaining. We always speak ill of others/everything. When negative thoughts overcome life, it becomes burdening and annoyingly irksome. We hardly like anyone and no one likes us. This is the truth. But now, say bye bye to negativism and say hello to positivism. How? Let's drop in the relevant conversation for its sake.

What you think, you become

In other words, if you think good, you will feel good. You just need to practice it little more. Suppose the weather is cloudy and you happen to dislike it. You go easy on making comments like 'Ergh! I hate this weather' or, 'No rains...please'. Exactly such kind of thinking invites more negative energy from around and you become a bigger sac of negativism.

Instead of thinking negative, think positive. Say, 'Cloudy weather! Hmm! I could enjoy warm cup of tea with some snacks. Let's get some friends over to my place' or, 'I wish the sky would be clear and sunny'. We all know that friends, good friends, entice the arena and make worst the best. So basically what you think, you become at the end. Simply chisel out words like No, Don't, Dislike, Hate, Annoying etc. from the list. Therefore, think positive to live positive.

And follow what the picture says 

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Bits of life

So...I am back in Bangalore from my native home visit and now gradually catching up with my writer self. It has indeed been long since I have written something on my blog but you know's never too late to start afresh. Therefore, allow me a fresh beginning.

Talking about my home visit, it wasn't normal like every last year. My tau ji (uncle) has got operated for mouth cancer recently and now he is being taking up rounds of radio therapy alias radiations. I love and respect my tau ji a lot and that was the prominent reason to move my lazy bones and flew over to my home. Being there with him felt me wonderful but seeing his little distorted face made me sad (distortion is because of the operation). Every day I wish best for him. I want him to get well very very soon. My tai ji or his wife (aunt) is no more. She expired few years ago. Surviving such painful stage without your life partner is terrible. I have seen it on my tau ji's face. He is disbelievingly patient and pleasantly co-operative but loneliness has crept inside him. We do our best to make him happy and not to let him feel alone. But despite of the downs of his life, tau ji smiles with every one of us. He holds enormous strength. He co-operates completely and sometimes do not hesitate to scold us for some silly things we do which we take it with pleasure. On the day I was leaving, he was better than when I had come to see him. He is doing okay by health yet he needs to take precautions followed by few more rounds of radiations. I want him to live positively and get healthy asap.

When I was leaving home, like always I went emotional and couldn't resist shedding columns of tears. My sister was laughing for I was crying like a small girl. She was sad too but she has got better control on herself. Anyways I miss her too. My flight was via Varanasi to Delhi and then Delhi to Bangalore. When the flight took off from Varanasi airport, my eyes again filled with tears. Involuntarily I realized I was getting far far away from my native, my parents. I had to cease my emotions. Seeing pictures that I took also made me cry. Few tears dared to touch my cheeks. Truly speaking, I hated coming back to Bangalore. I wanted to stay with my parents much like any girl would want. But this is our unchangeable fate...and cruel too. Anyways, to calm my senses I looked out and the sight made me smile. I was astonished to see it. What did I see? See it for yourself :)

Soft and tiny shrubs of clouds