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Aug 6, 2010

Simple Substitute for Sleeping Pill

Tsunami hit India on 26th December 2004. A distraught NRI Indian blogger felt helpless yet wanted to help and so sent emails, that evening, to a leading bank, PM's office & TN government and an official from TN government (who had earlier helped her via email on information on driving license renewal.) And was amazed to receive the response the NEXT DAY, from TN government. A day later from PMO, and the official who had helped with traffic queries. All the 3 emails were informative and complete. With the bank it took 10 days and 4 emails. So cribbers out there who think government doesn't work. Sorry, it works, even for ordinary citizens. Aah, to see government use technology so effectively and communicating back, Mera Bharat Mahan!

But Mera Bharat was not Mahan for Sitadevi in Uttar Pradesh who bled to death while delivering her child, because, the dai didn't have her FOUR Rupees kit of sterilised blade, suture, a needle and other equipment that helps in a delivery. The reason why Sitawati had not received a dai kit was a tussle between secretary of the DHFW and family welfare minister. I read this few years ago, yet it continues to haunt me, that Indians have to lose their lives, because of the way the babus and netas function. Four Rupee for a Life, are we in touch with real India?

In India, I would like to change or atleast influence the following :-
2.Legal System
3.Media Apathy
4.Middle class Morals
5.Social Integration

Within each, I would like to discuss :-
A. The Scenario
B. Self: What I do and what more you & I could do
C. Suggestions to government
D. Stories of change related to it.

The post is lengthy, you can choose this as a sleeping pill and allow it close your Eyes, or decide, whatever the adversity, I will do my bit, and ARISE.


Every 8 minutes an Indian women dies due to childbirth. Motherhood is supposed to be about life, but in India where we revere our mothers, its about death. Before we dismiss this as yet another statistic belonging to developing nations with less resources, just do a regional comparision. In our region, Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) varies between 0.92 per thousand births in Sri Lanka and 7.4 in Nepal; it is 5.4 in India, 5.0 in Pakistan and 3.8 in Bangladesh. This translates into 140,000 mothers dying each year in India due to childbirth. This figure would reduce to 24,000 if our MMR were to drop to the Sri Lankan level, a saving of more than 100,000 lives Each Year.

And if mothers don't do well, what about the children? 26 million children are born each year in India. Of these, nearly 1.64 million children will die before they reach the age of one. If our IMR (Infant Mortality Rate) were 46 (the number in Bangladesh) instead of 63, then the number of deaths would reduce to about 1.2 million. In other words 450,000 lives would be saved each year if we could achieve the status of Bangladesh in the Infant Mortality Rate. And what about those who survive? Approximately 47% of India’s under-five population is underweight. (There are more undernourished children in India than in the African Continent). Health is Wealth, if we want to become a Super Power our citizens need not be Superhumans but at least have a system that is humane.

So what do I do? Would I use a government hospital? If I had a choice, no. I used it but not now. Well I try to talk and blog about it (Do U Know series and some other posts indirectly).

Because I believe lets at least get the information out there,
Maybe a few of them would Care.
With Sri Lanka & Bangladesh lets compare,
And make our healthcare more accountable and fair.

Suggestions to Government
What I would like government to change? Well how about a rule that every babu and neta who gets sick has to get treated at the local government hospital in their constituency. Even if they get a special treatment, let them at least realize how much of the basic amenities are missing in these hospitals.

Stories of Change
Child In Need Institute, tackling Child Malnutrition, established by Dr Samir Chaudhuri
Dr Prakash Bhandari's Snehdeep Jankalyan Foundation (SJF). Amongst other things, to arrest malnutrition among slum children' it has developed inexpensive protein supplements using groundnut' jaggery' gram and soya' which helped bring down malnutrition in Pune's worst slums from 15 per cent to 2 per cent.

The sparks exists, we just need a lot more of them.

From the depressing world of healthcare lets go to Bollywood. If a Bollywood film changed the lyrics of our national anthem or changed the color of our flag for artistic reasons, would we put up with it? Of course Not! Then why do we accept the misrepresentation of our legal system in the movies. From the way they depict Procedure, Evidence to the time frame, Everything is a kids play, in Every movie involving our Laws and Legal system, with drastic differences. And unless we face the reality of the legal system in the movies, we are not going to change it or worry about it. Pathetic but isn't it true?

The High Court in New Delhi is behind in its work that it could take up to 466 years to clear the enormous backlog. Amongst reasons for the delay, there aren't enough sitting judges. India — a country of 1.1 billion people — has approximately 11 judges for every million people.

Our justice system should reflect our values, but when its denied, where are our values? Ignorance of Law is not an excuse. But when 50% of Indian children aged 6-18 do not go to school, I don't know how many of them will understand the broad aspects, forget the finer points of our legal system.

So what do I do? Again, I just read,blog and talk about it. Could I do more? Perhaps I could focus on just a few areas in law, and generate opinion to make some difference to it. Its not just enough to make our laws simple, we have to make the system more efficient. And perhaps if more joined, we could make a difference.

Suggestions to the Government
The Prime Minister did launch National Legal Literacy Mission, few years back. But no points for guessing what it achieved. Let the government, fill the judicial vacancies, make the law simpler and follow the recommendations of the Committees it sets up, for starters.

Stories of Change

I am an oldie who grew up with DD (in the neighbour's house) and so when I first heard about the concept of a 24x7 News Channel, I jumped with joy, really. The quantity of News channels on TV might have increased, but not the quality. Its not that we don't have capable journalists. But instead of focus and perspective, they prefer frivilousness and popularity. What would get more attention from the main stream media; a four run loss in an important match by the men's cricket team or an Indian women who loses her life for lack of a four rupee kit? A loss against Sri Lanka or Bangladesh by our men's cricket team or a healthcare system worse than these countries?

Every channel, that I watch has a website, and I do comment on their websites. Even if they remain in the clutches of sponsors, Consumer is still the King. Its not that I hate fun, but I just don't think one needs to throw away ones responsiblities. Lets click and comment, people. And show the media, we care about few issues too. What I should do? Watch more of Lok Sabha TV. After all, the government is supposed to work for me, and if I don't watch and object, how can I expect them to perform reasonably.

Suggestions to government
Work. Disruptions in the first week of the monsoon session of Parliament has cost the the tax payers Rs 40 crore. Every day, Rs 1.23 crore is spent on the Parliament, which means every minute in Parliament costs Rs 23,000. Let Political Parties pay for the amount lost when they hold up the Parliament. Then we will perhaps see a functioning Parliament.

And instead of being just a culture vulture with the media, regulate the advertisements, and take action against corporates which make tall claims and escape with a fine print.

Stories of Change
Thanks to the internet, its easier for us to follow not just the mainstream media. Two of my favourite sites are and and the best part they are free. (Though you can choose to support Indiatogether)
The Ministry of External Affairs is on Twitter. How wonderful it would be, if other ministries use social media, to interact with its citizens.

Many amongst the middle class moan,
the Politicians take Votes from the Poor
and Money from the Rich,
promising to protect one from the other.
Surely we we deserve better!
But do we? How many amongst us thought, lets handover the Commonwealth Games organization to Lalit Modi? Never mind if he could have been corrupt, whats important is the Image of India. How many amongst us don't think its wrong to watch a pirated movie, or buy a question paper or a college seat? We feel outraged, when we hear about caste based quotas for college seats, but never question the other quotas like NRI and management quotas. Even with the wrong percentage, today its easy to get even a medical seat for the right price.
When the IPL scandal hit the media, another corruption scandal, was uncovered. Medical Council of India's chief Ketan Desai was arrested on corruption charges, but did the country even Blink? We live in glass houses and hence don't throw stones at the babus and netas.

And how many marriages have we attended where the bride is accepted for who she is, and not for what she brings and the bridegroom's parents treat the bride's parents as their equal? Rare.

Whether its education or marriage, when it suits us, we keep quiet about corruption.

Many don't frown, when someone helps themselves to office stationary, well guess what, the amount might be different, but the attitude no different from the babus and netas we crib and complain, about.

Many choose to turn a blind eye to molestation on a bus or think its ok to watch the latest sex tape even if one of the parties involved is a victim, just because the technology allows us. Isn't that the latest blackmail, get a sex tape of a girl and then blackmail her with the mms /upload threat? How many Indians shamelessly google out the sex tape when a tragedy suffers?

Finally I do something else on the issue of Middle Class Morality. I don't watch pirated movies. Agree, its making virtue out of necessity. But I live in a place where, we get to see the movies only on pirated cds and it has affected my popularity with friends. But 7000 Indians die EVERYDAY due to hunger,but while they haven't created a revolution, and put up with even Rotten Rice from Ration shop,it amazes me when people don't give care about piracy. We can live without pirated stuff people. I still don't get it, why do I even have to say this? (By the way the 7000 was not a Typo, I hope you checked out the link.)

And heres something you may not believe, but still true. I don't pay bribes. And I have liasoned with various government agencies officially and personally. I have a formula for it. I allocate one extra day for finding out the procedure, preferably from someone as high as I can meet. Then follow the rules. And don't mind waiting and a silly superstitious point, dress modestly. And it has worked! And I don't spend even on their tea. I don't know if it will work all the time in the future. But I just don't make it easier. As citizens we can say no, and its not as tough as everyone imagines it to be. Lets make some use of the RTI or threathen with its usage, even if we don't become RTI activists.

Corruption is definitely a big problem in India and it bothers me more when there is corruption while buying equipment for our soldiers and the police. They sacrifice their lives, Patriots who put lives in the line for us, surely they deserve better. But corruption would be less, if the middle class practiced what it preaches.

Suggestions to Government
Move against Tax Havens, Make it easier for citizens to complain against corruption and simplify the rules. And just in case you will listen to me, minimize corruption.

Stories of Change
The RTI Act,
(When my father lived in outside the Chennai Corporation limits, but died in a hospital, which is within the Corporation limits. Initially when I approached the Town Panchayat I was given a list of things to do and was told how difficult it would be to get duplicate attested copies. Later when I went to the Chennai Corporation office, I was told I had to do nothing, the hospital submitted their list and within 10 days, the Death Certificate would be available online, automatically and I could take as many copies as I wanted since it was digital. A simple step, yet I am sure it avoids corruption, so easily).

There are amongst us many Indians like Bapi Sen, who stood up to the men, who were molesting a girl on New Years eve. Tragically, he had to pay with his life, for his convictions.

Whats Patriotism? Caring for the land or the people in it. We want Kashmir and the Northeast, but how much do we care about what happens to the people who live or lived there. We might be politically integrated, but socially we aren't. And we divide ourselves not just by region and religion but by class and caste. And how utterly incomplete we become, when nearly 1,600 girls a day and 6 lakh a year are missing at birth in the country owing to pre-natal sex-selection?

What can I do, other than the usual? Avoid generalisations on the net and in real life , mingle more with "outsiders" and if my child or someone I know, decides to marry someone an "outsiders", be supportive. True Unity in Diversity comes when Indians stop mentioning the caste and religion in the matrimonial ads. (And bliss comes when they stop asking for fair spouses.)

While at it, it would be nice if the Hindi speaking Indians learn another Indian language (excluding English), even if its sign language. And even a few phrases would be wonderful. Why? Why not?

Suggestions to Government
Have a category called Just Indian. And give us the option to change to that category. Just Indians need not be given any privileges. But the Just Indians would not have to mention their caste,creed, community or religion in any official form. Let it be an option available to all Indians when they turn 18. And see how many of us become Just Indians, comfortable with just that identity.
And instead of a holiday on Gandhi Jayanthi, make it a day when Indians do community service like the Nelson Mandela International Day in South Africa, where people spend 67 minutes to improve their nation.

Or make working for other Indians, a culture. Every Month, for One Hour, let all Indians work for other Indians. Have an INDIA HOUR Every Month. When the media focuses on different proactive initiatives, there is going to be a shift in perception of Indians, from thinking, I pay taxes, its others duty to work for India to I am part of India, I have to do something for it and I can do something for it. We can even have a theme for each one month like

  1. Blood donation,
  2. Cleaning streets/beaches
  3. Going to a village or slum and helping people there or assessing their needs,
  4. Food donation
  5. Visiting orphanage or elderly homes
  6. Checking cleaning neighborhood sanitation needs
  7. Teaching, even if its for one hour, for someone who can't afford tution or basics
  8. Interacting with the police and getting to know their problems
  9. Using less of the scarce resources like water, electricity (Eg Earth Hour)
  10. Helping the women at home
  11. Having a discussion on laws that need to be changed
  12. Interacting with someone who doesn't share your background.
Just imagine, Politicians, Celebrities, Media, Sports personalities, and the "commoner" taking action together. Won't it fill us with pride to participate? To feel we are taking a step for India however small, Together. The theme need not be what I mentioned above, but still, instead of thinking of India on Republic Day, Independence Day and Gandhi Jayanthi, why not Every Month for One Hour at least?

Stories of Change
Instead of Stories of Change only on Social Integration, I would like to talk about a set of people whom I would term Social Warriors. Just like millions of Indians gave us Independence by sacrificing their lives and lifestyle, there are amongst us people who make a difference without getting intimidated by the system or the circumstances and in my opinion, truly make Mera Bharat Mahaan.
The sky might be dark, but there are innumerable stars in the sky who bring a spark in the lives of other Indians. They guide me and others who feel like they are lost in a desert on a new moon day.

I would like to mention few of them to illustrate my point. Some are private citizens while some are the result of initiatives by those in the government. I am just an ordinary Indian, and while there might be better resources out there, time doesn't permit me to do complete justice to it. Click what interests you and I am sure it will inspire you too. We may not be able to do what these Social Warriors do, but we can support them and take one more step towards making our Bharat Mahaan.
  1. A high school dropout, A Muruganantham's Jayashree Industries, supplies machines and raw material for making low cost sanitary napkins. These machines go only to poor women in the rural areas.Winner of the Fifth National Grassroots Technological Innovations and Traditional Knowledge Award,his machine was chosen by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to be deployed in Africa.
  2. The Disability Law Unit, an organisation fighting for the rights of disabled people,
  3. The Shanti Bhavan which gives education to students from extremely poor background
  4. Drishti, devoted to helping the needy with special focus on the rehabilitation of both physically and mentally challenged children has helped 1'000 boys and girls start a new life.
  5. Megh Pyne Abhiyan (cloud water campaign) A group initiative launched by four NGOs'Samta' Kosi Seva Sadan' Gramyasheel and the Gogardiha Prakhand Swarajya Vikas Sangh brought together by Eklavya Prasad for rooftop rainwater harvesting to access safe drinking water during floods.
  6. Lalitha Ubhayaker's Ashvasan that helps the aged in different classes of society
  7. Akshara Mahila'by UNESCO as one of the top nine effective literacy models in the world.
  8. Integrated Women's Empowerment Programme in Maharashtra's Yavatmal district.(Now they lend money to the moneylender)
  9. Aminaben Noorabhai Bohra the leading force behind the mahila pani committee in Rupal
  10. Kali, a women's group fighting sexual harassment in Kanpur
  11. Solar water pumping system in four Jharkhand villages
  12. Sangham Radio, first all-women community radio in Asia run by two Dalit women
  13. Environment technologist-couple Dr Sandip and Sayli Joshi through their simple, low-cost technology for ecological restoration of highly polluted water bodies like nallahs, streams, tanks, rivulets, etc through their organisation Shrishti Eco-Research Institute (SERI)
  14. MILLEE, a non-profit organization focusing on spreading literacy to under-privileged children using mobile phone games.
  15. Nidhi Kaila's Esha which helps the visually challenged by not just providing audio tapes but helping others get braille done on their visiting cards.
These warriors don't get intimidated by the data
or sitback and blame the corrupt neta.
Like a lamp, for others they are brightly burning,
and, bring meaning to the term India Shining.

I am definitely not a Social Warrior, but I do want to do something. Some years back I had written a personal agenda for myself to improve India. I would like to share it here. Instead of asking the readers to follow them, I would prefer if the readers added to them. Because there is only one thing I can definitely change in this world and thats me.

The Ideas of an Insignificant Indian
  • Vote, in Every Election including the Councillor election. (People died to give you this right)
  • Donate Blood, Eyes and Organs.
  • Say no to Piracy. (It sponsors terrorists/you can live without it/ hmmm its not ethical)
  • Do something for your village. (Majority of India still lives in villages. So make a start with atleast your own)
  • Promote real news. (Real news is not just cribs about the system but involves stories of change as well)
  • Stop generalizations. (Its stupid and leads to unnecessary culture conflicts)
  • Praise austerity in marriages. (The biggest wasteful expenditure in an Indian's life for sake of ego)
  • Educate at least one. (Increases confidence, decreases corruption)
  • Be aware of the state of public toilets. (Tragically there are more mobiles than toilets in India and the existing ones aren't well maintained.)
  • Be good and allocate an amount annually for charities. (Money has its uses.)
  • Help others, even if its just a gesture. For starters, lets keep a list of the phone numbers of local authorities to help others. Just google it, its out on the net. And officers do email back. It can start with a problem of a housemaid you know or a road you walk through. Write, email, the media, officers concerned. It won't take much of your time or money, but you will make a Difference.
  • Celebrate with a Cause. Instead of just material gifts, I also include gifts to charities, when it comes to family birthdays or anniversaries.( has a feedback system, that many have appreciated.)
From the above, I haven't done anything big for my village and haven't educated anyone directly and haven't recently done anything for improving India's sanitation and yet to sign the organ donation card, though my family knows my wishes.

I don't need to be Someone
I don't need the help of Anyone
To improve the life of at least One Indian
Thats way better, than just blaming Everyone.

To Conclude
One can crib about the lack of escalators & elevators,
or even if its difficult and tough, use the steps.
Results may not instantaneous, & to our ego cater
But lets not give up making India greater, step by step.

This is an entry for Blogadda's Proud to be an Indian Contest . "There is a little bit of India in all of us. We are aware of so many good and a few bad things that happen in India. Most of the people, like us, rant about so many things that the government does not do or support – and we know by executing those things correctly, we would be able to achieve so much more. We would like to believe that constructive suggestions and thoughts lead to action, in this case, corrective action, to things that we would like to see, to feel, to experience. Let’s all collectively share about the things that bother you, what can YOU do individually and what SUPPORT you would require from others to make that happen. Remember, the actions has to benefit not only to you, but the society in general, thereby leading to a small awakening, if we can say so. And this awakening will then lead to many more and give us enough reasons to be proud about our motherland, INDIA. Let us awaken now and profess our love to our nation. Let us rise and show the power of community. Here is the chance."

 (I didn't win it.Please read the winning entries here)


  1. Very informative post. Would love it if you'll share some of your writings on Kadzilla's Lounge. ( too.

    Don't know if you've already read my entry for this BlogAdda event, but I started this new ezine for this very purpose. And I participated in this contest only to meet more change makers like u.

    Plz do hv a look at the ezine & write back.
    My personal blog is at


  2. I liked your positive approach; rather inspired. Kudos to you. Its each one of us who can make a difference instead of cribbing. We crib, but we dont try to change. Thanks much for writing this.

  3. kaddu i will thanks:)

    insignia, thank you so much for reading this very long post.

  4. WOWO hmmm what do i say now.. I must say I think as you mentioned when u emailed around tsunami you got the responses it is true.. as it happened during mumbai riots we could not get hold of one of my friends, so I emailed the commissioner and evne called the police headquarters leaving a message and my phone number and this might come as a surprise in two days I got a personal phone call from a officer telling me that My friend had been Contacted personally and he is well and safe.. Which was indeed great ...

    Hospitals well a similar thing happened in CHANDIGARH, a women heavily pregnant was made to move from one window to another with her husband to get forms etc done, so much so that it leadto so much distress that the baby died .. and with all the committees and stuff it has been declared that it was the FAULT OF THE WARD BOY/GIRL who gave the wrong info WHAT THE F____ now tell me these doctors and nurses they are QUALIFIED these qualified people say its that persons fault how ridiculous does it sound .. when a doc could have got his arse and helped

    I had a personal experience, when i was young he he I was very hot tempered anyway My friend had an accident and broke both his legs, in those days there were no phones it was just luck that a passerby saw him and on his travel he stopped in front of our college gate to tell us that this has happened .. we rushed to the spot to be told some person had taken our friend to hospital in his car..
    we reached the hospital this is the scene that greeted us .. main gate my mate lying on the side of it in agony, his clothes torn, turban off.. 2 or 3 DOCTORS standing next to him SMOKING.. we enquired to know there were no stretchers.. we ran here and there to find one .. meanwhile these idiot doctors are having there GUP-SHUP over there smoke .. seeing a person loosing blood crying in pain..
    it took us more than a hour to get the CARD made, inform the POLICe, find out what doc to go, blah blah only to find that the doc who was to see WAS ONE OF THE THREE HAVING A SMOKE..

    I questioned him to which he said he was on break and i shud mind my business if i wanted my friend seen to .. by that time i had lost my cool caught hold of that doc and gave him a nice thrashing.. I had to spend a night in jail but it was worth .. there was a big ruckus after that with strikes and all but to hell with it ..

    THIS is what we are and this is how our so called LEARNED people treat us ..

    Patriotism :- is one word we cling on to which i find absurd.. what sort of patriotism is it Only to come out if one hears some one say something bad about the country.. I wrote a article once and i got bitten hard to the point of called a looser etc ertc .. But then calling me names is not patriotism.. Indeed there are people who care for there country but then majority is of people who are more concerned about where to get the next meal and the ones who are left are either eating the country hollow or uninterested.

    I agree with you step by step an most genuine people do it too,
    The thing is frankly all and each individual who says they love there country or can do anything blah blah
    EACH and EVERY individual INDIAN.. has to wake up and DO SOMETHING and sorry to be arrogant and straightforward YES THE TIME HAS COME TO ACTUALLY PROVE your love towards your country how so ever much it is ..

    when this happens that will be the day.. another revolution is requred we dont need ONE bhagat singh or One Azaad or One Rajguru .. in todays age it will take a thousand BHAGAT SINGHS, RAJGURUS , AZAADS to clean our country .. YES each one needs to be one you, me , everyone ..

    oops i have written too much sorry for the long comment i hope it makes sense :)

  5. All the best for the contest.. I went completely off the rail up there ...

    a good article

    Thanks for all that info god willing and hopefully our kids might see a better INDIA then what it is now ...

  6. It feels so nice and positive after reading the post. I'm happy that there are so many in so many places trying to make a difference. India salutes them.

  7. thanks bikramjit, really appreciate your comment.

    on the patriotism well, i can understand. just has a good percentage of bullies. actually it has taken almost 3 years for me to write a direct post instead of using a subtle story or a funny post after my exposure to them.

    its just too much to expect India will just go on like this and those comfortably off can remain that way. Isn't there a limit to tolerance of being abused.

    change is going to come, maybe for the better maybe for the worse, but its going to change.

    And yes we need 1000s of Bhagat Singhs because, we had earlier 1000s of Bhagat Singhs. The unnamed and the unhonoured who cared for others future.

    IF BRITS ruled us today, questioning them would have been unpatriotic.

  8. And to think I went about my business, blissfully unaware of the harsh truths of life and even if aware, considered it to be somebody else's problem unless it directly (or at least remotely) affected me or somebody I knew! This post has definitely taught me something (a lot actually!). That each one of us can make a positive difference, however small or insignificant it may seem. And to stop cribbing, like I'm outside the whole scheme of things!

  9. oofff..what a wellmeaning and sincere post boss..there r so many things india needs to a reporter in mumbai i had visited several places where looking at poverty ridden people would make one faint..well.but a negative approach can have a negative impact..lets look forward...indians progress in spite of the politicians who refuse to turn into good leaders and visionaries..boss...v have to move on ya..v will..

  10. A lengthy but a very sensible post with a great insight.

  11. Hey WD,

    I really liked your article. A very well thought out, researched, academic article with great references. Would you mind if i share a link of your post in my blog space?

    I have a serious disregard for the term,'patriotism'. What is it?

    I belive it is just one of those media through which the smarter sections of the people (religion, cinema etc) control the hearts and minds of others.In other words it could be a weapon for control, like domesticating an animal so that it serves you.

    I have no regard for this nationalistic feeling and don't feel proud for being Indian. I go out into the city and see the CWG prep. What an appalling show of mismanagement coupled with selfish interests. Before you ask me what role I have to play in my country and its improvement, i make sure it starts from my self. I try to be the best possible citizen of this country. I try to not pollute, pay my taxes, no pirated CDs, traffic rules, voting..having seen the importance that some western countries give to QOL(quality of life), what are we having here? Are we not working hard enough to demand our share of a good life. why cannot the aam admi live a life full of dignity?

    may be we have ourselves to blame. May be more people should be taught about civilisation, morals and ethics.

    Please suggest me something to change mu attitude if you it needs change.

    "We don't live in a fairytale world,we live in Delhi.We don't see rainbows here but see pollution from the traffic.We don't see a starlit sky but would be lucky to see a single star clearly in the sky!!" - Aisha -- Dint we think stars and rainbows were good for our souls? what happenxs to the millions who live in this city?

  12. ramesh well we will move, but perhaps not in the direction we want:)

    unsure ascetic, would appreciate the link in fact:) I am not in position to advise Indians but just don't give up and listen to your conscience:) And don't hesitate to ask questions.

    kg thanks:)

  13. I see a great ,wise, writer and thinker here.
    very well put up.
    you wanted my link.
    thanks a lot for you superb guidance.
    it brought life into me.

  14. thanks maun vision, i have promoted it.

    ramesh welcome:)

  15. Deeply researched post. Very informative.

  16. Nicely written..Out of many posts I read..this one stands out..for sure!!..

  17. thank you Sharad and Vicious:)

  18. Wonderful post ! best wishes for the contest !

  19. hey good points ya..thanks buddy

  20. Wow! Very intensively researched and equally well presented...good job!
    All the best :)

    And i particularly like the line about yourself in your profile- "I am wise, when the donkey in myself I recognize" It speaks volumes about a very simple lesson in humility. Hats off!

  21. thanks AV
    actually its not humility, i know i am stupid and immature. but instead of letting it be a hammock and an excuse for everything i do, i make it a springboard and hope to be a better person everyday:)

  22. That was a super dooper post!!! So much of information and statistics packed into it....Good luck for the contest


  23. Wow.. Thats a great great post.. Thank you for inspiring. All the best for the contest. Sharing it on facebook and twitter. Hope more people read this.

  24. ananth i didn't win the contest,or for that matter get even a mention.
    you can check the winning entries through the above link.
    well, this post is a work in progress for me, i didn't write it for the contest, its just something i really believe in.

    i don't think of India as my mother now, I think of her as my baby, not perfect, but still my baby and its my duty to do something for her

  25. Excellent post!!

    Never care losing the contest! The post is very very inspiring and very informative too.. a bit long but reading the information it can be even long!
    Yeah, India is a baby now! true very true...

  26. Thanks Raj, today is another day.

    The win or a mention would have been nice no doubt, but when one writes about women who can die for lack of a four rupee kit, one doesn't brood much on blog contests

    its length is a definite disadvangtage. but i took the criteria mentioned in the contest too seriously. i will probably write another post with just one part of it.

    thanks for reading it:) appreciate it:)

  27. You know I and my friend Ananth used to discuss on these things, Its great that we have found many people who want to develop India !! I think if all come together we can make a change we can make a better India!!
    Yeah, the four rupee kit incident is too bad, the politicians will go to multi speciality hospitals for their treatments! and poor people will not be given anything!
    We need a change! and we should make it.

  28. Yes Raj and through this post I wanted to communicate there are plenty of people out there who are working and we can at least support them partially.
    The main problem is people like to see instant results. Almost every Indian will come on the streets if someone can guarantee that a one night vigil will change India. But it doesn't .

    Babies have to grow and evolve, and we have to be patient.
    I think it would be wiser if people thought of a long term plan for India's growth and contribute to it accordingly.
    And my 12 point plan mentioned above, is of course a plan in progress. but I intend to carry it out before I am 60:)

  29. hey!
    this post deserves to be in some leading daily

  30. AS well thanks, appreciate it:) hope you could take away something from it.

  31. got this from the recent comments..ur blog is like an akshayapatra.the more we dig..there is much more in it..
    I read about Mr.Muruganantham..truly inspiring..
    ..all the facts and your opinions,thoughts..the way you presented..this post gave me goosebumps
    my reverence for you has been growing post after post..this one is too much.
    And about the award..pls those r not for ur level..those r for kids..u r much ahead of those

  32. unknown I am amazed I had not pestered you to read this post! thank you so much:)

    The contest was about what would you like to change, that will benefit not just you. what would you like the government to do etc.

    Its ok if i don't win a contest. But I was disappointed to not even get a mention. But I have moved past the contest results. But not past this post. I will probably edit it and post it again at a later date.

    Emailed Mr.Muruganantham (the id is in rediff article). As he pointed out, if he could do that, how much more those with more education and access do.

    The sites i mention have so much about people who bring a change, that it was with very heart i choose randomly these people.

    there are so many out there, and even now when i get disheartened i read about them to get inspired.

  33. Hi WiseD,

    I read your post briefly once after you left a comment on my blog, and will go thru it again.
    good post overall.

    I had some comment other than this, I cant recollect it now. will get back later.

    but on the bribe front, I attempt the same things as you, more or less. its not always worked out so well though. how do you get to meet "the highest designation possible"? its usually tough to meet the officer babus and do they actually entertain you. do you have some clout beyond aam-aadmi?

    do u manage to get all the rules/forms understood within a single extra day. many a time the forms are in local language not always understood by the applicants in all metro cities.


  34. jaics thanks:)
    i really don't have any influence/contact etc and am absolutely "common".

    i just walk into office and ask someone who is sitting behind a desk. generally i have found it best to avoid people who are roaming the corridor etc even if they are employee. better to ask those who are directly responsible.
    i am very humble and polite and mostly get a response.

    and then if i have to meet someone else i just ask i can meet whether one has to wait or get an appointment etc. but i don't aim for the top all the time. its pointless to waste someone's time, if its unnecessary. and sometimes if possible i check on them on the net so that i can understand the terminology.
    i think ultimately its a matter of luck. but there is a saying that harder you try luckier you get.
    sometimes i agree it might take more than a day. the point is to minimise corruption, and couple of days are worth a shortcut bribe in the long run.

    on the language factor there are people outside the govt office to help.


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