Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Changing the mindset..


Guest Writer - G Krishnan

There is a small tea shop near my office and when we go for a chai, I always noticed that the used tea cups (plastics) are thrown into the gutter nearby. I have told the owner of the shop to keep a small carton box (trash box) and tell the people to drop the used cups into the box. But he was reluctant and it is understandable. But I did not leave it. I showed him the drain near by and there were >1000 used cups.
I told him that it is his responsibility too to educate people saying, when it rains all these plastic cups will clog the drain and we complain about municipality that they are not cleaning the drain. Drain is only for water to flow thru and not for any hard materials.
Tomorrow if it rains heavily and your shop gets submerged/damaged due to clogging of drain, it is because of you and not because of the Govt. Ever since he started keeping a trash box near his tea stall and I can say atleast the no. of cups thrown into the drain is reduced.
Also I take this opportunity to tell all that it is all of us who can make or break. If we decide to spread this simple message across, we can save the deaths of people esp children (since the poor children play in these areas), cattle etc. during floods/heavy rains.
Also since these plastics are not bio-degradable, it must be trashed in a proper way for recycling.
When ever I visit a road side stalls, I ensure that I spread this message.
To conclude I must say that I changed the "mindset" of the tea stall owner to "set mind". Let all of us set mind in changing this bad practice/menace.

Thanks for giving me an opportunity to voice out my story. Hope it benefits the entire society.


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Have we become hollow?

There is a small church next to my house, a very small church. Most of the evenings when I reach home there are always car parked right in front of my gate because of which I cant park my bike inside. Worst still are days when i have to go out urgently and there are always car right in front of gate. I have to go in the church and ask whose car is it and get them to move it.

I have had frequent conversations with this people and I try explaining them, how much difficulty they are causing for me and other people. They dont even listen, sometimes even accusing look because I end up spoiling their prayer time. To me it goes out of mind, why would someone want to pray when you dont care a bit about fellow people. Worst still it is not that the church does not have parking, but it is in the side lane, and it means little more time and little more time in taking out. But yups no one wants to do that.

Even when I went to Tirupati, I got the same feeling, people were pushing, fighting, shouting. No one cares if there is a old person or sick person and lets give him/her right of way first. Everyone just wants to get that one certificate of "darshan" which apparently supposedly would do whatever to your life. Makes me feel that we are just blinded by outward things, and dont even stop to think or introspect.

Recently I met this girl, she was from srilanka. Had come down to do a project for three months. She just leaving this week for once and all, with the determination that she is not going to come back to India again. She says because people are rude, people dont follow lane discipline, people dont care. Maybe she got a raw deal here, but in many ways she is right, and I did not have any answers to give her.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

From Beggars to Entrepreneur

Maddy pointed me out to this Video of Mohammad Yousuf which was posted on ngopost. This is really inspiring and here is the little excerpt from it.

I always insist that all human beings are entrepreneurs, without exception. it is part of human being, you cannot take it out, it is built in to him/her. Simply we could not build the society where we could unleash that potential, it remains dormant, because society never gave that idea, we do not talk about that in class room, in education system. Educations system encourages you to get good grades, and we say that if you get good grades you get good job. And it does not encourage entrepreneurship.

So this time we wanted to demonstrate that all of us are entrepreneurs, so the idea we came up with was that, lets have special program for beggars, our idea was you cannot be poorer than beggars,because that is last stage of survival, so if you can make entrepreneur out of beggar then there is nothing like it.

So we went to beggars and started talking to them, and we wanted to know at what point in time in life they started begging, what pushed them to beg and why they continues. Always the story was that I never thought that I will continue, when I started I could not find any other alternative, I thought next month I will stop but I did not have any solution and so I continued to be beggar.

So we suggested them as you go from house to house for begging, would you like to carry some merchandiser with you such as biscuits, cookies, candies, toys. etc, So that you can give a choice to the family, if they want to give you charity or they want to buy something from you, or they want to do both. So you are giving them choices. And you are going from house to house anyway, this is something you can add to your activity. And they liked it, and our thought was that we will have couple of thousand beggars in that the program and see how it goes and learn lot from them. It became such a popular program, today there are more than 100 thousand beggars in the program and more than 10 thousand of them have stopped begging completely, they are sales person, door to door sales person"

This and lots more, I have become a fan of this guy.