Cabby’s take on Make in India!

Each city has a different flavour and Mumbai being the financial capital of India is always buzzing with opinions from people concerning the economy. Though you may not really agree to various perspectives and opinions being expressed and though you might not be able to find a strong rationale which could convince you, yet the conviction with which a common man in Mumbai cites one’s perspective is a thing to learn from.

Yes, it was one heck of a drive with one of the cab drivers in Mumbai that I happened to take just a couple of weeks back. As you might be aware that Make in India was the talking point, practically all over India, just a couple of weeks back, this gentleman had a different take on the same altogether:

“Sir, where do you wanna go?”—Cabby

“Take me to the BKC complex for Make in India. “—Me

After driving for around 5 minutes, cabby broke the silence, “Sir, do you think it will be good for India?”

“Ya, I think so. Investments would pour in. More job opportunities would be created. People in general should benefit. So, yes, Make in India is a wonderful initiative taken by our honourable PM.”

“But Sir, don’t you think again the goras would come and start ruling again similar to what happened with East India Company and rest is History. I mean, all the investments would be theirs, what will we have? We will again become slaves in the entire scheme of things. Don’t you think it’s like selling India to the goras?”—Cabby had his own apprehensions regarding the entire initiative

“It’s not like that. It would be a Joint Venture between us and them. We would contribute some, they would bring in the rest of investment and expertise. Moreover, we will have checks and balances in place which would enable such a thing doesn’t happen”, I tried explaining.images

“Sir, kis zamane mein tumhe living aahe. The world is not that great. Do you think it’s all for the good of the people? It’s only because if you have money then only you can get a cut in the same. Sir, hum logon tak kuch nahi pahuchega. There is so much of corruption. How will we benefit?” Cabby had a valid point.

“So what do you think we should do?”

“Sir, we should encourage our own youth. Gora kya karega. Idharich, we should do something.” Cabby had his own take on things.

By the time I reached the BKC complex, cabby had me convinced about the gaps that need to be filled if any such programme was to be made a success.

As I entered the gates of the Make in India event, I wondered whether the cabby did have a point. After all, what was needed was not just investment, but a sustainable process where in the trained workforce can utilize the funds being brought in and have a sense of ownership in the entire scheme of things, rather than being dependent on the external sources of funds.

I would want to believe that collaboration is the way forward and with concepts like, “vasudaiva kutumbkam” receiving acceptance from the who’s who of philosophical thinking, may be the collaboration should have a basis which goes beyond just attracting investments from the external world, whether one must try to focus more on domestic before going to the international, may be the international collaborations would help more in case we are able to first sort out our internal affairs and be ready for the change.

What concerns me most is whether India has prepared well for the significant change at policy level that is taking place, whether we as Indians are capable enough to adapt to the pace of change that is going to hit us in the near future, whether won’t it be better to have things sorted out in education/skilling and healthcare sectors in a focused manner before venturing out in the world of investments.

Yet to be seen how Make in India and Skill India will come through, but one thing is for sure, decisions made at the policy level, needs to find common grounds with the implementer in the system, else all these initiatives would go for a toss and once again we would be left repenting and thinking, “what if”.

Source for Image: http://shareacab.in/

Accountability and Transparency in India: Perspective of an “Aam Aadmi”

People have given their mandate and it is believed that the new government will be and can be the one stop solution for all our problems. Whether it would be or not is yet to be seen, but one thing is for sure that there is hope amongst the population.

And one such hope that makes me excited on a personal level is that people who are given the power and the responsibility to execute scheme of things in their respective domains will be held accountable for what they are doing at the same time, the decisions, impacts on the population and the basis of the same will be made known to the public.

I believe this will not only empower the population to express their opinions and take part in the decision making process but also it will create an atmosphere of transparency which would enable the population to develop a resonance with the entire concept of a welfare state.

The question though is, how on earth this can be made possible. People have got used to a way of living that encourages corruption and jugaad, be it getting a driving license or a passport made or be it availing any other service from the bureaucrats and other government officials.acc2

The secrecy act, that was implemented at the time when British ruled India still remains on paper and in practice and even in the Right to Information Act, 2005; the secrecy act has not been repealed. But is the government the only entity to be blamed in this case?

Well, not really! It is the people who need to contribute on a personal level. Imagine a scenario, where everyone refuses to bribe a government official for the service he/she is supposed to provide and consider it as their right to be correctly informed, then would the government official have any other alternative than to serve you in his/her best possible ability.

The point that I am trying to make here is that we should try to be the change that we wish to see in others. We cannot expect others to do their part and continue to loiter around without any sense of responsibility towards our nation and her citizens.

The idea is to adopt a comprehensive and multi-sectoral approach wherein both people and the government they elect, along with the government commit to this culture of transparency and accountability.

The question that arises here is where should we start from? Some would say that education is the key when it comes to developing the all-important morals and ethics in an individual and the schools need to be structured in such a manner so that utmost importance is given to these wonderful aspects not only in theory but also in practice.

It is no hidden truth, that children learn the most by observing others in their vicinity, be it the teachers in schools or parents at home, or their peers with whom they play and have fun. All stakeholders in this case need to do their bit and contribute to the development of a child who thinks and does things keeping in mind the value system and the ethics, dharma that India has been known for since our Ancient times.

We just need to rediscover that dharma and play the game by the rules that dharma seems to support. A good initiative in this regard could be setting up gurukul like schools where in the students can be made to learn the importance of living an upright life. The teachers that need to be recruited for such schools need to be people who are genuinely interested in improving the state of affairs in this sector and have lived accordingly setting an example for all to emulate.

Though, I would want the infrastructure to be of the highest quality, yet even if to start with; the infrastructure doesn’t match the likes of international schools, it can do without if these values and morals are instilled in the lives of the students.

When these kids go on to become government officials, I am pretty sure that things are going to improve. They would frame and implement policies which would have an in-built transparent character and in turn would take responsibility for their actions. The ideal case would be when they would not need anyone to monitor them from above for doing what they are already supposed to do.

In this ideal scenario, there would not be any need for a grievance redressal committee; there would not be any need for multiple bodies on which the government exchequer is wasted and this money in turn would be utilized for implementing various development policies, be it in agriculture, healthcare, employment sectors etc.

But we aren’t living in an ideal world, so to say, and we need to discover solutions to all our woes keeping in mind that the ideal will take some time and enormous effort to implement. We can start by implementing the ideal at the same time we need to provide support to this ideal initiative.

The support could come from the Civil Society, known for keeping the government on its toes for implementing the various schemes in an efficient and effective manner at the same time making sure that the government is held accountable for the responsibilities that it has undertaken.

The Civil society in turn needs to be supported by the big shots in the politics and corporate world. On part of political world, the legislature should leave no stone unturned when it comes to enacting laws which would prove to be a blessing in disguise for the common folk who will feel empowered by the state to fight for his/her rights, and there shouldn’t be any sort of delay in enacting the same.

The laws should be such which enables, encourages and makes it easy for people to do good rather than the bad. On part of the corporate world, the corporates need to understand that they have a social responsibility towards the various stakeholders whose lives they seem to effect and that they need to do business but in a responsible manner.

A good initiative in this regard is the 2% initiative, wherein the corporates would be made to invest 2% of their profits in CSR activities, thereby ensuring that the corporates contribute in this process of nation building.

Transparency should become a norm and secrecy an exception. Yes, I agree that certain truths about our national security needs to be hidden in order to make sure that they are not misused, but the rest on which a number of times politics is played and people are kept unaware just because the big shots will get a chance to exploit them in some way or the other needs to be made public.

A culture of information sharing on a voluntary basis needs to be instilled in the minds of the government officials for which adequate training should be provided in institutes like LBSNAA.

Every government department who is in the business of providing services to the citizens needs to have a charter in place where in a timeline is mentioned with regards to how many days it will take for a particular official to implement his/her duty and a clause mentioning what and how one could redress one’s grievance in case the official doesn’t fulfil his/her duty.

If at all such a situation arises, where an individual needs to appeal for redressal, it should be made sure that the redressal process is fast and cost-effective. Special courts and tribunals can be instituted for different departments in order to handle the departmental mess.

This would not only reduce the burden on the likes of High courts and the Supreme Court, but would ensure that justice is provided to the people in a cost-effective and timely manner, because justice delayed is as it is justice denied.

The right to information Act is an excellent initiative in this regard when it comes to moving towards a culture of transparency. But the lacuna in its implementation needs to be filled and it should be ensured that the very ideology behind implementing the same is pursued.

Decentralization is another aspect where in if people are given the responsibility of deciding what is good for them on a community level, will in itself lead to transparent functioning. Though there will certainly be a need to put in place a fully functional social audit system, monitored by the likes of SDM and DM in the respective districts.acc1

This would not only enable people to take control of their lives but would also ensure that they understand the difficulty and the various challenges that are faced by the government when it comes to implementing various schemes. This would in turn enable them to develop an attitude of bonhomie towards the government and a collective approach towards problem solving.

Coming to the various welfare schemes that are being implemented, per se on a policy level one can go on debating on the utility of the same; but on an implementation level certainly improvements can be made.

Some of the factors that have marred the various schemes from effective implementation are hoarding, corruption etc. One reason that one can associate with this is lack of transparency and information sharing.

People are not aware of what they are entitled for, whom they can approach and talk to in case they don’t get what they are entitled for. Rights based awareness generation is the need of the hour. Various NGOs, Anganwadi centres and the likes of SHGs can be made aware of the various schemes that are being implemented by both central and state government and they in turn can disseminate this information to the people at large.

Till the time rural electrification and internet connection is taking place, it should be ensured that information display boards are put up at panchayat level or block level in the local language wherein people can come and read about the various entitlements and then demand the same from the government officials in charge of disseminating their duties.

In case the government official goes back on fulfilling his/her commitments, the social audit body should be mandated to look into the same and recommend disciplinary proceedings against the official which should then be taken up on a high priority basis by the state government. Same applies to any other sector be it healthcare or be it agriculture.

The need of the hour is to have:

An attitudinal change on part of the government officials;

Rise in awareness quotient on part of the people;

Accountability mechanism for quick and cost-effective redressal on part of the state and central machinery;

Social auditing at community level;

A platform for information dissemination and opinion sharing;

Education of the highest quality on the lines of gurukul;

Tribunals in various departments for reducing the work load on the HC and SC;

Reforms in criminal and civil codes and the justice system with concepts such as Amicus Curie and Alternate Dispute Redressal given importance;

A will/desire on part of our government to improve the existing scenario;

Responsible voting behaviour on part of the people;

Being the change one wishes to see in others on part of the population;

Participation in decision making on part of the people at local level through decentralization;

Skill set development at community level to be able to work along with the government in a collective manner;

I am sure, if the above is implemented it will lead to an atmosphere and culture of transparency. People and government will start working towards nation building in a collective manner and the day will not be too far when the ideal would become a reality.

Sound monitoring mechanisms would encourage righteous behaviour. A strong accountability system would restore faith of people in the government and a better and a brighter future for India.

That is what one should not only hope for but should also contribute to the same at one’s own level. Isn’t it?

Source for Image: http://beautifultrouble.org/principle/take-leadership-from-the-most-impacted/, http://www.commirza.com/accountability-up-and-down-is-gold/

The Modi Wave!

It is not often that you get a chance to have a conversation on politics, considering that you are sharing space with 4 other persons, all eagerly marching towards the Dhikaala gate of the Jim Corbett National Park.

What amazes me the most is that instead of me writing about my experience of the entire jungle safari, here I feel compelled more to share the wonderful thoughts of a learned gentleman (G) who happened to sit next to me in this beautiful journey on a topic which has become the most popular in recent times.

You are coming here for the first time?”—-G

Yes, uncle, how about you?”—-Me

No, I have come here before. You see I have plenty of time on my hands having retired from my job, unlike you youngsters who are busy with their own lives and need to take out time from your busy schedules.”—-G

That’s true, uncle.”—-Me

I don’t know whether it is the right time to discuss NaMo, as you youngsters like to refer to the man, still would like to know your opinion on the wave that everyone seems to be talking about.”—-GModi

Uncle, I feel today’s India certainly need a change in the way the things are being run by the state machinery and hence a need for better government. If NaMo does what he says then surely things will head in the right direction for a country like ours.”—-Me

So, you support Modi?”—-G

More than the person, I support the vision, though I have certain reservations about whether he would be able to do so in a country as big as ours.”—-Me

I have heard this many times before from youngsters as yourself and every time I feel like narrating a story which I happened to be a part of.”—G

I am all ears Uncle :).”—-Me

Well, a couple of months back, I went to Gujarat to attend my niece’s wedding. On one of the days that I happened to be there, I thought of taking a stroll down at 11’o clock in the night, not very far from a highway, where the house in which the wedding was taking place, was situated. I have a bad habit of losing my way as I tend to venture out far away and on this occasion it was no different. I had left my cell phone in the house, so had no one to call to. I decided that the only way left was to seek help, as I vaguely remembered the address.

As I was trying to figure out whom to talk to for help, I saw two teenage girls discussing their examination paper on a bus stop, with one sitting on a scooty and the other waiting for her bus. As I approached the girls, one of them asked, “What happened uncle? You are looking lost!”. After informing them about my situation, the girls informed me of the bus number that would take me straight to the place I was looking for.

As I sat on one of the benches on the bus stop, the girl with the scooty noticed my anxious face and came up to me,”Uncle, if you give me 5 minutes, I will drop you myself after solving this numerical.” to which I happily agreed and she did drop me to my place afterwards.

Now, of all places that you have visited in India, can you name a few where you would find the girls feeling safe while venturing out after 10 pm at night and talking to a stranger? I am sure you wouldn’t be able to name many. If we were to go by stats, Gujarat has a very low crime rate. Even if one were to question the very credibility of the crime numbers; there is no denying the fact that crime has not taken its toll in Gujarat.

If we were to talk of the water availability, it is available in remotest of areas in Gujarat. The roads are a beauty. On the industrial and infrastructural front, Gujarat has made tremendous progress. I have even heard that in order to improve the governance in the state, Modi routinely talks to the big shots in the bureaucracy and ensures that they remain grounded and on their toes in their service to mankind.

The man certainly has a vision but more than the vision he has the knack of fulfilling the same. If he can do it in one state, I strongly believe that he can do so in other states as well, if given a chance. Yes, it is my belief and a desire but it is founded on strong fundamentals.”—-G

And then the gentleman went on to describe the characteristics of the extremely generous Gujaratis whom he happened to meet on his visit along with the delicacies that formed very much a part of his visit to Gujarat.NaMo

I was pleasantly surprised to see the kind of effect this whole Modi Wave has generated. The people are hopeful. As we witness the great turnaround in the fortunes of the political parties, the focus is surely going to shift on what Mr. Modi will do in the coming 6-7 months after becoming the PM of our country.

They say, where there is a will, there is a way and where there is a way, things surely come to a fitting conclusion. All in all, after seeing the results that are coming our way, the only thing that I can hope for is for Mr. Modi to perform and that will determine whether India has truly voted for the betterment of our country.

Source for Image: http://www.rediff.com/business/slide-show/slide-show-1-special-now-namo-on-your-dinner-table/20140102.htm, http://www.moneycontrol.com/video/politics/bjp-names-narendra-modi-its-pm-candidate-for-2014-polls_949487.html

Past, Present, Future!

Most say that past is already gone by, so one need not worry about it. Future is something that no one can figure out what, when, how and why; so it is futile worrying about it. Present is the only thing that one believes has control over and this needs to be taken care of.

Well, many would share the same thought process as stated above. But are we really detached from our past? What about the consequences of things we have done in our past? Don’t they tend to haunt us in our present and in some ways act as a determinant for the future?

This World is indeed a small place. Not very long ago, I met a guy in a public transport who happened to belong to the minority group in our country and with whom I happened to have the most iconic of conversations, which I had already mentioned in one of my posts earlier.

And today, I happened to meet the same guy (G), in a clinic which I happened to visit today. Such was the mutual admiration that we recognized each other in the very first instance itself.past present future

Hey, how are you doing? Long time.”—-G

Good, how have you been?”—-Me

See, again we are meeting at a time when the elections are just a couple of days from now and again we, as in the minority community are being wooed to the core in order to get as many votes from us. What an irony! Again we will be left alone just after the elections only to be catered to again when the next general elections would be announced.”—-G

Hmm! So you aren’t going to vote this time around?”—-Me

You give me one good reason that I should cast my vote. Past has taught me not to trust the political parties and the candidates they give party tickets to. Present teaches me that I should not repeat the past by casting my vote for the wrong person and future looks as dim as the past with all the false promises that the political parties have got so used to giving.”—-G

Ya, but this time around, if you don’t like any of the candidates than you can opt for NOTA.”—-Me

Yes, that might be the only saving grace for the people who choose to cast their vote knowing the credentials of the people standing in the elections. But the issue here is that more often than not, people don’t tend to take interest in knowing the credentials of the respective candidates and end up voting for a particular person just because an influential member in our community tells them about the same.”—-G

But, aren’t they exposed to the various advertisements and tv shows like Satyamev Jayate, where a guy from your own community tells you to be prudent while casting your vote and whether these don’t have any impact what so ever on the people?”—-Me

Well, it does to a certain extent. But once these shows go offline, the impact goes on decreasing as the days go by. Moreover the people are not interested in choosing the right candidate per se but are more interested in choosing a candidate who will be able to solve their problems, whether legitimate or not is a different issue altogether. I doubt whether this election would be any different from what has happened in the past.”—G

I had no option but to cut short my conversation with the man, as the doctor in the clinic was ready to meet him and he bid me goodbye.

As I drove back, I wondered whether the past is so deeply engraved in minds of certain sections in our country, that they are not being able to find a way to move on from the same and are not yet prepared to modify their present in order to get a brighter and better future for themselves and for their generations to come.

Source for Image: http://www.northshorehypnosis.com/PastLifeRegression.htm

The First Time!

There is always a first time for everything, whether it be your first friend that you make in your life or whether it be your first day at school. For the past couple of days, I have come across numerous posts on facebook where my friends and batch mates have gone on to display their photos showing a mark of ink on their fingers and feeling proud that they have voted for the first time in their lives.

It is great to see such an unprecedented election fever catching up among the youth who are keen on seeing a change in the way our country is being governed. They wish to see principles of good governance being brought into practice in every government department, whether it be applying for a passport or getting a driving license made.first time

Where on one hand, I could see several posts claiming victory on having voted in this election, on the other hand, I could see several posts with people blaming the government for not being able to provide them with their voter card on time due to which they could not cast their vote.

Some were upset because they didn’t become a part and parcel of the waves that have been in focus for the past couple of months, whether it be NaMo or RaGa, not to forget that AAP has its own following among the lower-middle class who feel cheated by the system and who feel that corruption is the root cause of maladministration and a one stop solution to all their problems.

The credit for NaMo wave in turn can very much be attributed to the persona of a man, who is being talked of in really high terms. He is being predicted as a saviour for all communities and a reincarnation of Lord Krishna.

AAP has been running high on the responsible shoulders of Arvind Kejriwal, an IITian turned bureaucrat turned politician who is believed to have lived in an extremely upright and honest manner and is believed to be another reincarnation who can get rid of this corruption menace.

RaGa wave seems to be the weakest right now, though it might be an illusion considering that there has been a section in our society who can truly be called the loyalists who never seem to forget their duty of remaining true to the party.

Somehow, the very aspect of pitching a person in divine terms seems to be disturbing to the core as we Indians have got into a habit of depending on our destinies more than having faith and ability in ourselves.

Somehow, I don’t like the idea of people getting influenced by one-man-ideology whether it be NaMo, RaGa or AK. One must always remember that though the individual credentials might be really good, the tickets that are offered by the respective parties are based on political compulsions of being able to win the seat in that particular constituency, which might lead to tickets being given to people with criminal antecedents.politics

What we want in our Legislature, are people with extremely upright credentials and people who can live up to the expectation of the people in our country. So, while voting, whether it be NaMo, or RaGa or AK you got to remember that individual credentials matter more than the persona of any particular leader.

Though it is great to see people coming out in numbers and voting, what worries me is the fact whether they are casting their vote responsibly and on the basis of the credentials of the people who have been given tickets by different political parties.

Source for Image: http://www.stereogum.com/1318152/dre-skull-first-time-feat-popcaan-purity-rings-megan-james/mp3s/, http://makerculture.pbworks.com/w/page/20123148/Episode%205%20-%20%20Politics%20-%20Final%20Copy

The Focus!

How many times do we end up focusing on things which are not so relevant and significant in life? Things, which one uses as an excuse to run away from something about which one doesn’t seem to find appropriate matter of substance.

Things, which one can use to blind those who might have wanted results from the effective implementation of that one significant thing. Things, which always will haunt us in the times to come.

And one such concept which is so talked about in the national and international parlance is the concept of GDP, which since its initiation was aimed to provide cues to the government enabling them to see in which sector they might have to frame their policies in the right manner for the want of some progress, which had been halted in the same due to certain bottlenecks.focus

But little did Keynes knew that his concept, which was meant to reveal the market value of all goods and services produced within a country, would be used to hide the malace that might be going on in the entire World.

What amazes me the most is that things like Human Development Index (HDI) which is nothing but a reflection of the state of health and education in the countries worldwide, seems to take a backseat with GDP taking the lead in all the discussions being conducted on the economy.

The common man or the aam aadmi, who is too ignorant to understand the significance of the concepts, ends up believing that their country is being run in the best possible manner. With no political will aimed at educating the very same aam aadmi, they have no option but to tow in line with the logic that the governments around the world tend to give to their citizens.

And with no better alternatives at their disposal, they end up having no choice when it comes to voting a party into power. But are only the political parties that are to be blamed for the menace that our political system seems to be caught into? or Are we as people of a nation to be blamed for furthering our own ends at any cost what so ever?

To find the answers to the above, I decided to venture out and had the fortune and the privilege of talking to one such aam aadmi:

Bhaiya, why do you vote for a political party?”—Me

It is because they will take care of our needs and will ensure that all our problems are taken care of.”—Aam Aadmi

By problems, do you mean drinking, sanitation, health, education in and around your village?”—Me

No, I am talking about the disputes that I keep having in the village. They make sure that I get the upper hand in the duo that ensues.”—-Aam Aadmi

But for the fight that you are having, there is our administration and the police you should go to. Why do you need to go to any person belonging to a particular political party?”—Me

It is because the police and the administration never seems to report on time. They are either unavailable or unapproachable. In that case, we are left with no choice but to look for people with power and money, who end up becoming our mai-baap. Now, you tell me if you don’t vote for such men then who will take care of us.”—Aam Aadmi

I had no answer for what the aam aadmi had asked me. In lieu of our administrative and bureaucratic system not functioning to the fullest of its capacity, the aam aadmi is left with no other option to seek for bahu-balis in and around their respective area, who end up getting elected from the same region.

And the story after that is known to nearly everyone in our country. Who’s fault is it then to elect such leaders? Is it the aam aadmi who has got tired being exploited again and again by those in power or the bahu-balis who tend to get elected based on their muscular and money power that they possess?changes

And by the way, are we too caught up in blaming others for our own grievances? A great philosopher once said that there are two primary causes behind making a human being unhappy and these are desires and expectations. Whatever bad is happening around us is because of these two evils which tend to take control of our mind and body and in turn makes us incapable of differentiating between the right and the wrong.

The soution to all what I have just said above lies in this one question that I am about to ask us all:

Are we prepared and ready to forgo the two evils when it comes to deciding upon what is right and what is wrong?”

It is up to you to find your own answer. And if the answer to the above is YES, then you can rest assure that the system in which we are all living in and which we tend to criticize on every other opportunity that we get, is heading in the right direction and we will soon be able to witness the much sought for change.

Source for Image: http://www.zachandjody.com/blog/tuesday-photography-tips-tricks-back-button-focusing/15588/, http://www.peacharno.com/specialisms/change-management/

Understanding the Men Behind the Art

If you have ever been involved with constructing a house or getting done the woodwork or the interiors in a flat, you would know every bits of information that I will be mentioning henceforth.

With the kind of work environment provided to the workmen who are involved in the above e.g. carpenters etc., and with the kind of work prestige that comes along, they are bound to get unprofessional.

They are truly an unorganized work force, who live on a daily basis. They have no option but to work at the mercy of their agent or the contractor, who tends to get the major part of the profits, leaving these artists a very meagre amount in which they have to sustain not only themselves but also their families, residing either in the slums of the city or their native villages.

This coupled with the fact that the skill set they possess is not because of any professional training that they might have got through the various government non-functioning schemes, but because of being involved on site with their brethen, makes them sometimes a target of the ire that the client might have built in him/her because of the quality of the work that might have resulted.

What follows is a series of quarrel between the client, the contractor/agent and the workmen. The client takes it out on the contractor who according to the client is supposed to fulfill his/her part of the deal (by the way, in most situations there is no deal of sorts and the work gets done on a purely verbal understanding).

The contractor, since he/she is bound by his/herwords tends to take it out on the poor workmen who have no option but to listen to the wrath being taken out on them. The workmen are sometimes aware of the lack of skills they have, but they end up not doing anything about it because of the sheer absence of alternatives available to them.

What follows is a total chaos. The client gets upset because his/her work doesn’t get completed to his/her satisfaction and liking. The contractor is upset because of the things that he/she might have to listen to (though they have got pretty much used to the bickering and are only concerned with making money these days). The workmen of course are a disadvantaged lot and have no where to go to.

Seeing the above, the need of the hour is to have a professional organization which can organize things for these craftsmen, who can register themselves in the same and can be assured of an equitable and continuous source of earning.

The perception of the so called well-off in our society needs to be changed and they should be sensitized towards the plight of these workmen, at the same time, a respect for the very work should be made to develop amongst the lot.

The government needs to become responsive to the needs of such labour by introducing well planned schemes which can enable these workmen to develop appropriate skill set required in the profession that they are pursuing, which would in turn help them in developing self-confidence.

This would ensure that the workmen would no longer be considered the dirty lot and would get their due, of which they have been deprived off since centuries now.

Source for Image: http://www.dartblog.com/data/2010/10/009220.php, http://quinn-tasteandsee.blogspot.in/2011/12/i-am-carpenter.html

Raining Cats and Dogs

Its not often that you get up after hearing the reverberating sound of the cloudburst. And today was one such morning. To my delight, the rain Gods had taken over the charge and were all out to bring some relief to the ever increasing temperature that had hit the city in the past couple of weeks.

To give me company in my garden were all sorts of animals and insects which one can imagine in an ambience provided by a domestic garden. And my favourite amongst them all, kutkut, the little squirrel that I have talked about in my previous posts, was present along with the other animals.

By the way, kutkut has increasingly become fond of me and is not anymore scared to come near me. I guess, thats how animals tend to develop relationships with people, taking their own time and by treading a cautious path.

On one hand, where all the above was bringing smiles to my face, on the other hand, I was extremely upset to see the state of drainage system in my city, which is by the way the capital of the largest populated state in India, and can be taken as a representative of most cities in India including the metropolitans, when it comes to getting affected by the rainy season.

It was disappointing to see the man holes over flowing and the streets getting clogged with water, finding no way whatsoever to escape the bitumnious and concrete pavements. As a result, one could witness long traffic jams in the centre of the city during the office hours. People could be seen arguing and abusing due to incidents like water being splashed on their clothes.

There are some amongst us who have already given into the lack of responsiveness on part of our administration. And then there are some who keep criticizing the administration, primarily the Municipal Corporation for not doing what they are supposed to be doing.

What surprises me the most is that every year, the same situation is repeated, yet no one seems to be able to provide a solution to this periodic problem. Is it due to lack of interest on part of our administration or is it just because they aren’t capable of providing a solution to the problem?

Whatever might be the case, I am sure that there are enough funds which, if appropriately used, can definitely provide the much needed relief to the people during the Monsoon season.

But is our administration listening?

Source for Image: http://ikanbela.blogspot.in/2010/04/tips-for-installing-and-maintaining.html, http://www.megamedianews.in/index.php/61008/rains-continue-in-dk-water-clogging-at-several-places-in-mangalore/

The Welfare Concept

When I was a kid, I used to wonder why is it that some parents tell their kids: “it’s a scary world out there” and used to deliberate over the thought process that would have gone behind parents telling their children about the same.

As I grew older and stepped out of the safe and protective ambience of my house to come in contact with the real World, I realized the fallacy of the concept of a welfare state that our country takes great pride in projecting herself as such on all international forums.

Some pessimists and non-reformists in the intelligentsia of our country would compare our country to malfunctioning states like Somalia and Afghanistan and would come to the conclusion that India is indeed a welfare state.

But as a common man, when I step out of my house, say, at 11 p.m at night, to take a casual stroll, why do I have to worry about being robbed or caught by the very same people who have been enthrusted with the responsibility of safeguarding our lives? Why do I have to worry about the nexus that has evolved between the politicians, bureaucrats and criminals in our country?

Why is it that girls in our country have started fearing venturing out at night, especially in cities like Gurgaon and Delhi? Are all the above examples indication of the welfare of our citizens which our nation wants to achieve?

If not, then what are we as a society and our administration as caretaker of the citizens of this country, doing in order to reverse this tide of an ever increasing crime rate?

Our government on its part is always lauding the steps taken by it in order to improve the governance in our country. But the question that needs to be asked is:

How effective and efficient are these measures turning out to be?”

Source for Image: http://peterjmunson.blogspot.in/2012/01/welfare-state-thesis.html

Role of Media in our Society

Have you ever wondered why the media chose to report on BJP President Gadkari’s health and not the mystery behind Sonia Gandhi? It is strange that after an initial mention of the same, the news just disappeared from the media channels never to be reported thereafter.

I wonder whether media has all been sold out and what motivates them at the end of the day is the TRP apart from the political and corporate influence which the media seems to be surrounded with at all times.

The coverage of things like a kid falling in a pit hole seems to be occupying most of the time of certain news channels, especially the Hindi News Channels, which have such a large viewer base.

Sometimes, I wonder whether media, which is supposed to be acting as the fourth arm of our constitution, will ever be able to fulfill its role meaningfully, or whether it will ever be caught in the number game.

Source for Image: http://blog.newscollective.com/blog/globalized-india%E2%80%99s-media-is-out-of-step/