MITU. (Multiple Initiatives towards Upliftment.)
People living in Malleshwaram and surrounding areas must be more familiar with this organisation and its founder,Kala Charlu But is equally well known in Bangalore social service circles.They won the Inner Wheel Bravery Award.I was fortunate enough to come into contact with her through Facebook.I came to know of their multiple activities through their posts.

One of their most appreciated activities is spreading awareness about menstrual hygiene amongst the rural and underprivileged.To raise funds for their organisation,they sell their products,some manufactured by them and some outsourced and displayed.Apart from sanitary pads,they also manufacture eco friendly products for our every day use.It includes newspaper bags,saree bags,Handbags of different types,clutches,mobile

bags and coin bags.These make excellent gifts.Last year I happened to buy some of their products.This year I intend doing the same.I have the satisfaction that the proceeds are going for a good cause.I request my friends to spread news about this organisation and help their cause.
To know more details,visit their Facebook page.

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Mahatma GandhiFather of the Nation.
Rightly called so.Lives in our hearts.

Affectionately called “Bapu”.

A darling of the nation,Nehru’s words

When “Bapu” passed away.

“light has gone out of our lives”. 

Eloquent expression of a tragedy.
We,at least some of us,remember

Him with sadness and fondness too.

Not awarded the prestigious 

Nobel prize,He adorned the “Time”

Magazine.One man who impressed 

Upon the world and taught

Them “Ahimsa” and led the country

To freedom with novel methods like

“Satyagraha” and non cooperation.

Gandhiji’s life cannot be summarised

In a few words.His struggle,peaceful

And non violent.Fell a victim to

An assassin’s bullet.A tragic irony.
An example and a guide to many abroad

to Martin Luther King and Mandela alike

And many more.An inspiration.

At home is remembered on his birthday

Leaders lay wreaths at his samadhi

His name stand as statues and roads

Almost in all cities and his picture

Adorn our currency notes and coins.

There it ends.

His principles long forgotten

The path he walked,trampled upon.

He remains in our hearts.
History is rewritten.who knows what

It would be tomorrow?his name 

tarnished and vilified ,

Assassins glorified.He sure

Would hate to be born in today’s India.

A friend’s poem says he would 

Rather wish to be born in Britain.
P.S.I have taken some ideas from my friends’ posts.

Sampath Kumar,Shiv K Kumar and Shyamala Raghavendra.

Yesterday,Today and Tomorrow.
Yesterday is past history.

It is dead and gone.

We all had our finer moments

And sadder moments.

After all life is a mixed bag,

With all pleasures and pain our own.

No one else could bear our cross.

No point thinking of the past,

Akin to crying over spilt milk.
Our present times,most vital.

With our life revolving around

Our tensions and anxieties 

With many happenings around her

Deciding our life and our actions.

No choice in many things.

We are ruled by a superior force,

Call it by any name.

God to some,fate and karma to others

Truth remains an enigma.

Dragged in different directions,

By diverse forces and divergent views.

We live in the present,

ruled by forces unknown.
No one to predict the future.

Uncertain and mysterious.We

Look to forecasts about our future.

Take recourse to astrology 

and predictions; can anybody

Really tell what is in store?

Planning for the future,they say.

What the next moment will bring,

A surprise or shock,none knows.

May be we think we are 

Strong and mighty to decide our

Future,only to see our hopes belied

Sometimes.Natural disasters,a great

Leveller and our personal,

not in our control.We have to bow

To whatever is in store.
Moral.

Live in the present.

Neither past nor future.

Past is gone and future yet to come.

It would be preachy if I say more.

Suffice it to say,live the life of a human

And treat others as human.

Without fear or favour.

Children and safety in Schools.
There is growing concern about the incidents of abuse,molestation,rape and murder inside the confines of a school campus.Previously we had concerns about female infanticides and last month we had a spate of deaths of innocent children due to civic and hospital apathy.Of late,incidents of child abuse and recently murder are reported.Close on the heels of the gruesome murder of a child in the school toilet in Gurgaon,we have the news of a five year old in the washroom of a private school.Some years back we had a gym inspector raping a child and several other such cases in Bangalore.In Hyderabad,a teacher made a girl stand in a boys’ loo,just because she didn’t wear her uniform.The easier and safer option would have been a warning to send her back home if she repeats the offence.A dance teacher is said to have abuse a student in a Delhi school.All these are news items taken from recent and today’s newspaper.From all these there arises a fear and uneasiness about the safety of our children in school.
All along, from old times,schools were considered a safe haven for our children and we always had the satisfaction that our children were safe and teachers,custodians of our children.All these have changed in recent times.When we leave our children in schools it is with a feeling of anxiety and trepidation.
While we agree that it is not possible for the teachers to keep an eye on the children all the time,they have the aid of modern equipments like CCTV cameras.It was reported that it was not strictly followed and in some cases they were not even installed or not working properly.It is definitely the responsibility of the school to set them right.
There are some fundamental guidelines to be followed.Some amount of proper reference about the person a school employs is essential.It is said that prior credentials don’t work since most of these are first time offenders.There should be proper construction of the premises and repairs to be done where necessary.In the Gurgaon case,grills of the windows in the toilet where the child was killed,have been removed.Any outsider could get in.There should be strict supervision about the entry of non teaching staff inside the school premises.There are government rules regarding child safety in schools.It is one thing to frame rules and another to implement them.Thus the remedy lies in strictly implementing the rules.
I have not written anything new and all these things have already been repeated by so many eminent personalities.It is just that we feel pained to see it happening on a daily basis.It may be our child,grand children,neighbour’s child or any child,the pain and anguish is the same.We long for the day when our children would be safe at least in schools.Definitely the school management is responsible once a crime is committed in the school campus and no two opinions about it.

This is a simple poem reflecting the mental turmoils of a refugee.
Voice of a Refugee.
I am a simple person,living in peace

Happy with my family,my surroundings,

What I considered my country.

One day I find myself displaced

From my home and hearth.

I am told I don’t belong here

Though my forefathers have lived

Here for ages.our houses plundered

Our womenfolk molested and raped.

All on a sudden my world comes 

tumbling down.What has been my fault,

I wonder.We are displaced.
We run for our lives,we know not

Our destination.We run where our

Legs take us,by foot or at the mercy 

Of some boatsmen.We land

In a new place,new country,

Unknown faces,surroundings.

This is our neighbouring country.

We are termed “refugees”, meaning

One who seeks asylum ,we don’t 

Ask for alms,we do not want sympathy

We ask for a decent place to stay.

We have been driven away.

Our story is nothing new.

Has been happening in the world

At many places.
Partition divided the nations and the people

The scars of which people still carry.

World over the story is the same.

We are not beggars,but asylum seekers.

Hounded by people in power.

We are left at the mercy of many

Looked at with suspicion,

We have no home we can call our own.
We hope for a peaceful settlement,

One day we hope to go back to our

Country,our own home.

Wishes and hope gives us the impetus

And energy to survive and live our life.
P.S.This poem is inspired by my friend,Sampath Kumar’s post on Rohingyas.We have faced it during partition,during the Sri Lankan struggle and during Bangladesh’s war.Now we are witnessing the Rohingyas struggle.

International Literacy Day.
Celebrated as international day.

Ideally every country,every state,

Every nook and corner must

Have a school and all children

Should have education without

Discrimination of any kind.

Some states claim full literacy.

Kudos to them.
The real scene,not so bright.

Many go to school with visions

About future in their eyes.

Schemes like Akshaya pathra

Takes care of their nutrition.

Still dropouts are many.

Many face family problems forcing

Them to withdraw and lend a helping

Hand to the family to make both ends meet.

Child labour is bad,they burn themselves

In match and agarbatti factories.

Many work in households in dismal conditions.

Laws exist in books but no one 

to really implement them..Education stopped

Halfway in many instances and still

we dream of full literacy.
What is real literacy?Is it the education

We are trying to inculcate or something

More profound?The full transformation

Of an individual and society at large.

Widening our horizon and having

A vision to accept views and opinions

Of others,to give the freedom to express

Freely and fearlessly,causing no harm to

The other,physically.When we attain this

Then we can claim literacy.Not reading

And forgetting what real education is.
Let us not fall at the feet of false 

Propagandists and give in to hero

Worship and superstition.

Let us dispel the darkness in our hearts

And light up our mind?Then perhaps that is literacy.
Let us hope for full literacy in the real sense

When no child is left to fend for himself.

With education and a free society

To help him attain his goal with 

courage and confidence and a government

With tolerance and giving one 

the right to live

With equality of outlook and without 

differences of any kind.

Perils of Technology.
We cannot deny the advancement of Technology in all spheres of life nor can we deny the benefits accruing from this advancement.All the same,we cannot shut ourselves from the perils that is playing havoc with young,impressionable minds destroying their health,their mental stability and in some cases even taking away their lives.Much has been written on this subject and even today on page 2 of today’s paper there are three articles,very exhaustively written about the hazards of the virtual world on the young.I would like to stress on certain valuable points mentioned in these articles.
Affordability and easy availability makes almost all teenagers possess one of these smart gadgets.Parents sometimes are too busy building up their careers and also saving for the future of their offsprings that a child is left alone to indulge more in video games.Very often this is coupled with lot of physical activities or lack of extra curricular activities like art or sports.There is a virtual disconnect with the outside world and there is a visible setback in health conditions also resulting in back pain,sleeplessness and dry eyes resulting in fatigue and exhaustion.The initial euphoria and getting instant scores and success and gratification makes them indulge more in these games.Recently many lives are getting lost because of an online game.The remedy lies in parents,family and friends taking more efforts to ease a child’s life by talking to him and making him face the real world with ease,taking him out to appreciate the little things of life and also introduce the child to some art or sport,depending on where the aptitude lies.He or she should be taught to handle disappointment or stress when such a situation arises and not succumb to any pressure,internal or external.Parents have to look out for any behavioural changes in their kids,however small it is since it is one of the main yardsticks to see whether a child is disturbed.Some of these points have been beautifully covered by experts in the field in the articles mentioned above.
I am reminded of olden times when we were young.We didn’t have any entertainment in today’s sense of the term except for an occasional movie,that too strictly monitored by parents or some elders of the household.We had lots to read,lot of time to play.May be we were not so advanced or intelligent.We had no need for passwords.There was more manual interaction between people.For the not so social like me,there were other hobbies like reading or music or any art to pursue.Life was more peaceful.Lesser number of suicides,depression and other mental illnesses.
Then came Television.One could still enjoy without getting addicted since there was only Doordarshan and the hours of transmission were limited.Along with the advancement in Technology,many channels sprouted and with that the quality declined.Inane,regressive serials and meaningless programmes were catering to all sections losing a particular identity.I am sorry I am digressing.To come back to the subject of children,they were getting addicted and many a time parents started feeding a child switching on the T.V as a bait.Still,worse was to come in the form of video games.
Parents are expected to set an example by limiting their hours of watching Television or being constantly on the mobile,to devote more time to be with children and engage them in fruitful conversations and in short getting to know your child better.This end of my post may sound preachy to some but this is what is advocated by counsellors and only the words are mine.We cannot and need not go back in time but we can certainly make the best use of Technology keeping in mind the dangers.