Indian scientist Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose was born 158 years ago, and became a world leader in telecommunications with innumerable achievements to his name.
Indian scientist Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose was born 158 years ago, and became a world leader in telecommunications with innumerable achievements to his name.
In the examination hall, the students eagerly open the question paper. Design a question paper based on what you have learnt this semester.
The tiny kingdom of Bhutan has sought a new path to development with a dual focus on ambitious conservation and human well-being.
But more than a symbolic act, the planting was part of the country’s wide-ranging commitment to sustainability. Bhutan is now carbon negative: it produces more renewable energy than it needs, but the kingdom also acts as a carbon sink.
A country previously known for its isolationist policies, Bhutan’s former king, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, sought a new path to development, not least with the Gross National Happiness (GNH) index.
GNH requires at least 60 per cent of land to be forested, allowing the country to absorb three times more carbon than it produces. Protected forests now cover over 72 per cent of the country.
Dr Saamdu Chetri, executive director of the Gross National Happiness Centre, believes the policy will grow more relevant as the country struggle with rapid modernisation and the direct threat of climate change. “After all, how can the future of a country be a prosperous one if you neglect to conserve your environment and take care of the wellbeing of your people?” he says.
How has Bhutan been so successful? Officials believe that policy isn’t the only reason. Bhutan’s hydroelectricity, most of which is traded with India, is a crucial local industry. A spike in urban migration also plays a part – every year a sizeable chunk of the country’s population moves to capital Thimphu, leaving historically forested, rural areas largely untouched.
Bhutan’s 2015 tree-planting project saw nearly 50,000 trees planted in a single hour
But like many developing nations, these changes bring new challenges. Bhutan is concerned about how to continue such efforts in a country that is rapidly modernising. Climate change remains a particular concern.
Bhutan’s commitments at the UN climate talks in Paris stood out as the most ambitious; along with high rates of reforestation, it promised higher taxes for imported vehicles and continued education programs throughout the country’s primary schools. Continued international assistance was also called for (Bhutan relies heavily on the World Bank for investments in clean power projects).
First Published by Kara Fox
And it was. A break from the regular melodrama, the series brought fun and fresh content for an audience like me — the ones in their 20s, the ones who struggle with bai negotiations, people sharing flats or are first jobbers. The struggles, the language, the triumphs in the series — are real. Like bagging a pre-placement interview.
Years ago, in the lesser known outskirts of Pune, a young boy who excelled in football, hockey and several other games topped his 10th Grade Board exams. The following year he tutored his younger brother who subsequently topped his Tenth Grade exams. The following year his younger brother’s friends were taught by him and all of them topped their school. When the boy’s youngest sibling was tutored by him, yet again history repeated itself!
This young boy who was born in Kerala and later brought up in Pune, Maharashtra, used to help his parents run their bakery in Vishrantwadi after school hours. Going around on his cycle selling bread, butter, jam and Keralite bakery items, with a smile on his face, the boy who exhibited exceptional brilliance in academics is now fondly known among his students, friends and well wishers, as Anees Bhaiya.
Back in 1988, the young Anees who was immensely popular in his school and neighbourhood for his wizardry in mathematics, set up a full-fledged coaching centre named Anees Classes to help mould young students for admission to India’s National Defence Academy (NDA) in Pune.
“I didn’t have much money to buy refreshers and guides,” a smiling Anees recalls his school days.
“After school hours, my friends would come to me seeking help in solving problems. They would also share their refreshers and guides with me. That’s how my first teaching experience began and I realised that I thoroughly enjoyed it.”
He recalls his years from class 1 to 10 to be a bumpy journey with a lot of fond memories. Often he had been made to stand outside his classroom as he couldn’t pay the fees on time. It was at such times that the kindness and affection showed by his teachers got him through.
Miss Govandu, Mr. Thacker, Miss Patwardhan are the few teachers who helped him. “I was always the teachers’ pet,” he reminisces. “I switched schools for my class 11 and 12, and that required a long distance travel from home to school. It was at that time that I took up teaching further and started charging Rs. 50 for my evening classes. My father initially told me that I was doing a foolish thing as I would earn more if I just continued selling the bakery items but my mother supported me and I continued teaching and embarked on home tuitions as well.”
“After my class 12, I was in a dilemma as to what to do further. I wanted to go for medicine but didn’t have the means to pursue it. I didn’t want to become an engineer and due to family’s frugal financial condition, I ended up pursuing a course leading to a Diploma in Electronics and Communication Engineering which I never enjoyed. My passion was for teaching and by now I had around 40-50 students in a batch. I taught a multitude of subjects including Marathi and various syllabi simultaneously.”
Anees, who himself experienced the pain of not receiving career advice from anyone in his time, freely offers career counselling to all his students. While speaking to him one can’t help but notice the warmth and friendly nature he shares with everyone, be it his staff, students or a visitor. He is nothing less than an Academic Superman.
He tells us his story amidst some counselling for some kids.
“Later on, I bought the premises that had been the family’s rented abode and dedicated a separate area for my classes. If on one side of the class I was solving sums for students in one syllabus, two minutes later I would be solving sums to another batch doing a different syllabus.”
One by one his own students became teachers at Anees Classes. The one criterion he stipulated was that all the teachers were to be trained in his classes. This ensured that all the teachers were well acquainted with the style and methodologies followed there.
Today, Anees Classes is spread over 11 locations in Pune and have students coming from all over India. With hostel facilities and food provided for the students, Anees Sir ensures that the students get the best of everything. For this, he has expanded the courses offered starting from stress management classes, coaching classes from class 1 to 12, foreign language classes, soft skills and personality development to various workshops, summer camps, and so on.
But how did he start preparing students for the NDA?
“Back in 1993, three students from Sainik School, Satara (a system of schools to prepare students for entry into the National Defence Academy and Indian Naval Academy) had come to me. All the three got into the NDA. The following year, seven came and later on 10 and then 16. Later I got to know these were Sainik school students. It was then that I started providing them with food and accommodation at my own place”.
Over the years, Anees Classes have prepared over 1000 successful students for the NDA and over 400 are officers in the Army, Navy and Air Force.
He also has his own unconventional techniques for teaching mathematics and has even given them unique names. Jugal Bandi, Chandal Chowkadi, Amar Akbar Antony, Mara Mari are a few of them.
A true philanthropist in every sense of the word, Anees Sir believes in helping every student. He isn’t a materialistic person and gives students the option of a refund in case they don’t like his classes. In the year 1997, he started a family Trust called the Evergreen Foundation along with his father, mother and wife as trustees. Initially this Trust began funding financially weaker students. Besides Evergreen Foundation, Anees Kutty has also co-founded MStartups.biz and the Indian Muslim Entrepreneurs Forum. He wants to create a global platform for young professionals and help nurture businessmen of tomorrow. The Evergreen Foundation conducts several events and workshops to promote professionals to pursue their dreams and careers.
Asked about what makes him the happiest, he says,
“The most satisfying part is that all my students are doing better than I do. I have realised that somewhere down the lane my students have picked up the values I hold. They believe in honesty and are genuine. Most of them call and wish me on my birthday and send me Rakhis on Raksha Bandhan. I am always remembered as their Anees Bhaiya.”
So what is the secret behind this good heart?
“I live by three mottos – Accept, Adjust and Appreciate.”
Well, one thing is for sure. Call him Anees Kutty, Anees Sir or Anees Bhaiya, this man with a heart of gold is a true example of
“Teachers don’t teach for the income, teachers teach for the outcome!”
This post is a part of Neer, a collaborative project by DCB Bank and Chaaipani to bring out stories of individuals and initiatives that are working hard and smart to save water.
We all possess an undying spirit to do something we really believe in. However often times we have to drop certain ideas for the fear of failure or just because it is the most convenient option.
Here is a man Eklavya Prasad whose passion for the term ‘WATER’ made him cross all sorts of boundaries and hurdles to not only execute what he believed in but also to make the people around him realise that they too can have that one thing which reaches Mother Earth in its purest form – NEER, JAL, PAANI in simple terms – pure drinking water.
Coming from a family of doctors, Eklavya Prasad was expected to follow the family tradition. However, his interaction and experiences with people, while he stayed with his brother who was pursuing an M. Phil degree in JNU (Jawaharlal Nehru University) in New Delhi, exposed Eklavya to various collective actions, political issues and students. It was at that time he learned how to relish even badly cooked food, how to approach friends and how to cherish this beautiful journey called life.
Eklavya wanted to study something which had a bit of everything from humanities and also a practical side to it. Hailing from then Bihar (now Jharkhand) and brought up in Dhanbad, Eklavya started searching for options to do a Bachelor’s course in social work. Jamia Millia Islamia was the only institute that offered a bachelor’s degree in this course and so he enrolled in it.
In his third year, as part of the field work, he got a project where the sole objective was to understand what deaf and mute people go through. Since Eklavya was quite active in the theatre he used that medium to connect with them. He also learned sign language and started linking various issues to the other. The entire experience made him feel the need to work for issues that were not being addressed.
It is definitely not surprising that he got into the prestigious TISS (Tata Institute of Social Sciences) and graduated with a Masters in Social Work (MSW). The practical side of this course made him experience several aspects of real-time life issues in the rural areas. He found out that rural work was far more comforting and involving for him.
In the year 1995, he started to work in Seva Mandir in Udaipur and hence started his water journey.
“My first Guru, Narayan Ameta, who was the Forest Co-ordinator taught me everything about water, right from the letter ‘W’. “
Later on, he worked for the Centre for Science and Environment. He was taken into the water unit by Anil Agarwal, the person who redefined ‘environment’ in India. After working for four years, Eklavya took up the role of a consultant in Delhi and from then on life took another turn.
“I decided to write a story about floods in Bihar for a magazine called the ‘Civil Society’. However, after writing the story I felt something was missing. I had visited the areas affected by the floods and the story had come out very well. But that was not enough. I made the decision to visit Bihar every 2 months and study the situation there. The diseases that were recurring and the problems faced due to floods had to be looked into.”
Eklavya realised, apart from suffering from floods, people were facing other related problems. So he went around various villages in north Bihar trying to convince and explain to the people why rainwater harvesting should be adopted. He knew that to implement it successfully, the technology used should be cheap. He had found out a method which made use of a polythene sheet and container.
“Many people thought I had lost it and, once I was even threatened to be thrown out.”
But Eklavya never gave up. He continued to try and convince the people and started getting mixed responses. It was at one such meeting that three people, who were working in the North East and Himachal Pradesh respectively, stood up and extended their support. The practice was followed back in the place where they had migrated for a sustained livelihood. That helped a lot and finally, people decided to go ahead with the installation. Slowly a change started occurring and an unknown benefit that of the incidence of gastro- intestinal problems started getting addressed by consuming rainwater. It was around this time that ‘MEGH PYNE ABHIYAN’ (MPA), a campaign that looked into the flood-prone areas in five districts of North Bihar was born. Initially, it started off as an informal network with help of the members of Arghyam, a foundation based in Bengaluru with a focus on groundwater and sanitation.
Slowly the campaign got registered as a Public Charitable Trust and currently continues to work in the flood-prone areas of North Bihar.
The kind of hard work and toil that went into developing various practices is truly amazing. What is exceptional here is the efforts made by the entire team to convince people and earn their trust. Slowly people started talking about it. MPA started working towards keeping up the impact all the year round. People made the team realize that it’s not just during floods but the need is to be cautious throughout the year. Slowly they started to see the impact of their work.
All through their journey, Eklavya and the other members have been working on various innovations Jal Kothi (rainwater storage facility), matka filter, flood resistant dug wells and the like. This is just a small part of the work done by them. To actually explain their entire journey till date would mean devoting ten more pages of writing space!
Megh Pyne Abhiyan has been working in collaboration with several grassroots organizations and resource groups. I must say that listening to the entire work done by Eklavya and Megh Pyne Abhiyan is something out of the world.
With each passing day, Eklavya continues his work with even more passion and dedication. He says it is extremely important to work with students as they are a group we need to associate with. Megh Pyne Abhiyan has made a group of students from ninth grade the water ambassadors in Dhanbad. A dynamic and enthusiastic ‘Gang of 20’ or G- 20, these students are from Carmel School, Dhanbad and are working on ‘Participatory Research on Urban Groundwater’ for the Dhanbad city, and proposes to publish a report by July 2018.
Eklavya Prasad hasn’t taken a holiday since 2011. This work is his entertainment, his life! He says “your work should be a good package of everything – fun, enthusiasm, passion, commitment and joy. And before one starts talking about a problem there should be realistic articulation.”
Well, in a world where water is taken for granted in some areas and longed for in others, Eklavya Prasad’s life journey has so much to teach us human beings – you can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.
Ngurang Meena and Reena are from Arunachal Pradesh. A state of multiple tribes. The state of the famous Ziro Festival. A state with immense beauty of mountain ranges from the Himalayas. The kind of scenes we drew as children in our drawing class, a mountain range with a rising sun with a valley and rivers. There is a bitter reality that the people in the Arunachal face. Polygamy. Child marriage.
Reena is one of the 9 siblings in her family from 2 mothers. Reena’s mother was married to her father at the age of 13 even before she even hit puberty. The tribal customary laws support the ways of child marriage and polygamy, exchanging women in marriage for Mithuns and stones. Her mother was a victim of both these practices. Reena’s mother got married at the age of 13. Her father married another woman when Reena was around 10 years old. The practice of multiple marriages is followed without restrictions as there is no registration of marriages which would, in an ideal scenario, prevent it. Meena the eldest among the siblings in the family understood her mother’s dilemma and repercussions of another woman in the house.
“We don’t have grudges towards our father anymore”, says Reena.
They come from a very rural family. Reena’s father lived his entire schooling in one vest and two underpants. He walked barefoot until he was 16 when he got his first pair of slippers. Her father was interested in politics and worked hard to make a name in the society.
Both Meena and Reena understood that the only way to lift their region out of the abyss of these horrifying practices was to educate themselves. Meena moved to Bangalore to pursue her graduation in Economics, History, and Social Sciences. Whereas Reena moved to Delhi to pursue her graduation with a major in Social Sciences from Delhi University. Even in their colleges, they were both very active in politics and student unions, a trait that Reena says they might have inherited from their father.
“I think the silence of women towards these atrocities is what pushed us to Social sciences and to educate ourselves so that we could be their voice. The way they couldn’t voice their troubles and fight for themselves made us want to do something about the way things were.”
Meanwhile, Meena was all set to move to London to pursue further studies, but family’s financial constraints she had to return to Arunachal in 2011.
“Once you’ve had experienced new cultures, opened up to new possibilities, formed a certain mindset, and then you come back, the society doesn’t allow you to let alone change but even have an opinion different than their own”, says Reena.
This is when Meena started questioning the institution of Arunachal, the way things were. So Meena decided to leave the family and started living on her own. Things had to change. But the habitues looked at a woman living by herself as ‘weak’. She protested for proper roads to women rights, and in the past three years set up the ‘Ngurang Learning Institute’ with the aim of giving opportunities to women like their mother who were never given a chance to read and write.
“Since they were illiterate they aren’t able to enroll their children in schools, fill forms, use banking facilities.”
For a long period of time, Meena ran the institute without any money from the women she taught. She used to pursue part-time jobs and fend off for herself and teach these women. Reena would come to Arunachal for 2 months every semester and help her sister run the institute.
“These women didn’t know how to thank us. They used to bring in royal food, or native rice and meat to show their gratitude.”
In return, they had endured threats from the husbands of women. ‘She is my wife. She is supposed to cook. This is no age for her to learn how to read and write’, they would say. Since their father had a political influence, people didn’t act on the threats they made.
“One of the husbands of the women came to my sister’s place with a sword and threatened to stop teaching his wife or else..”
The women they taught, inspired and enlightened told them that they wanted their stories to be heard. They wanted the world to know what they went through so that no one ever endures what they did.
“One of the women who went through such atrocities was 3 years of age when she was married.”
Both the sisters decided to organize a pageant based on the stories of these women to share the progress they have made and to enlighten others about the prevailing condition of the state. Mrs. Arunachal Pradesh, Mother of Substance. The first proof that things are changing is the fact that, their father wholeheartedly supports the event and is the chief advisor for the same.
With so much news about how we’re progressing, initiatives to employ and empower women, help improve education, advance technology and what not, there is still a part of where such unearthly traditions are followed. Communities here do not appreciate the change. But as Elon Musk said, “Some people don’t like change, but you need to embrace change if the alternative is a disaster.” And these sisters have certainly put the first dent towards a change.
The finale of Mrs. Arunachal Pradesh is on 26th of November, with Mary Kom as their chief guest. Here is how you can get in touch with them to know more about them and the pageant. Email email@example.com and Facebook page to know more about the event. I would strongly recommend people who are in the vicinity to visit the event and show support for the courage of these women.
They have started a movement to celebrate brave-hearted women who have stood up for themselves and others as well, who for some haven’t been able to. Here’s their page to know more about the same.
I’d like to begin this story with reference to a movie I saw, end of October on global warming, Before The Flood. There was a lot covered by Leonardo Di Caprio in his travels, and the conclusion is what we have already established, global warming is here to disrupt lives, unless we take steps to prevent its impact on our generations to come. How is it related to the title that you read up there? So global warming is actually affecting the potable water, and we’re very unconsciously wasting a portion of it in our everyday usage.
No, I am not asking you to carry water in the hollowed palm of your hand. But here is a story brought to us by Divya Ramchandran and how the kids in her class are doing their part to save water and contribute to the environment.
I work at a School called Kids Central. I teach a 2nd-grade classroom and this term we focused on water conservation as a part of primary learning during our Social Responsibility class. We made students discuss how water is wasted on a daily basis and how much can be done by saving it.
We looked into how water can be saved at School. Students went around in the school to make sure there were no leaking taps or A.C’s. But they found a few leaking A.C’s around the campus. So, the students suggested that we could keep a bucket under each of them, and the water collected every day was used to water the plants in the garden.
Some students recognized another interesting point. They realized that a lot of them don’t finish the water in their water bottles every day. Most of them go back home to have it being poured down the drains, the bottles washed and cleaned to be refilled the next day. This was happening in every class, not just one. This meant gallons of water was being wasted every day. Could there be a way to use this water effectively?
The students placed 3 tubs near the school gates. All the students who were leaving the School at the end of the day were to drop any extra water they had in their bottles in the tub before they left.
The amount of water collected was measured every day and it filled up more than just 3 buckets. An analysis of how much water was wasted was done in the school by the students and it was collectively decided by them that this water should be used to water the garden in the school and the grass in the football field, instead of using sprinklers or hoses.
We used a can with a tap instead of one bucket, into which the kids poured any extra water. This was then placed outside near construction work area nearby for the workers to drink water from.
Smaller adjustments to the way of living create a great change for our coming generations. Would you like to answer to your next generation that we idly stood by and watched our go to dumps? Or that we did whatever was within our reach, even if to save ourselves from the guilt of it and but we did something.
It’s an interesting thing, the way we live our lives, the way we are all so different from each other. Yet somewhere in our mundane routines we do the same things, feel the same things and manage to connect as unique individuals.
What did we do?
On one of those random Monday’s we thought we should chalk out our day and see what happened, more so, find out how we could connect with each others. It was a very random sending of pictures back and forth, of some simple daily objects and daily events which added those few extra colors to the day.
So here’s us with #Duality. Hope you all enjoy it!
This is me and Aditya.
PC : Aditya Dhotre and Divya Ramachandran
Today, I write with the utmost respect for mothers, working or homemakers. You might be able to relate to this. I have a mother who tries that neither me nor my sister has to cook a meal unless necessary. And then I wonder what is it that she has done solely for herself. Not for the lack of space and time, but she didn’t pursue her passion. Not that she ever complained or didn’t have the support from us, believe me, she did. But what was it, age, apprehension, judgment, convention, or the just fact that she wasn’t given a chance to do so? Only a mother would be able to answer these.
So, I had the opportunity to meet a Mrs. India Earth contestant. A mother of two, 39 years old, Kanchan Korani from Rajkot lives in Hong Kong with her spouse. I know better now to say that these pageants aren’t just about tainting and painting.
Kanchan got married right after she completed her B.Com and moved to Hong Kong for her husband’s work. She started her own shop there, importing Indian groceries and food for people living in Hong Kong and other countries.
“Meri khudki pehchaan chahiye thi mujhe (I wanted a name of my own)”, she says with pride in her voice.
She started after her son was born. Kanchan wanted to have some connect with her native place and hence she started off with Indian food, sharing it with others who felt and craved what she did.
The wife of a man who assembles watches, Kanchan was trying to find her feet, nurture her kids, and do justice to her life in Hong Kong. Not that her husband wasn’t supportive, he was, but there are things you want to do, things you love without giving up on either one of them.
The 39 year old Kanchan Korani I met is beautiful, elegant, graceful, and looks way different from socially accepted convention falling under mother-of-two. But she wasn’t the same after she got married. With a shop to run and kids to manage, Kanchan had gained weight. Her daughter persuaded Kanchan to apply for the Mrs. India Earth Pageant.
“I had come to India for my brother’s marriage. All through the marriage I heard comments from relatives, ‘She’s married and has two kids, her youth is done for’. That moment shook me. I realised that I am not what I used to be. It wasn’t about how I looked, but how I felt about myself. In my head, I didn’t prove to anyone but my self. ”
That is when she joined a gym and started working out. Simple, no? No. A fit body undoubtedly requires a lot of hard work, which too doesn’t matter, if not clubbed with patience and determination.
“I used to weigh above ninety kilos in my brother’s marriage. Today I am forty-two.”
With the support of her husband, her kids, her younger brother and his wife, Kanchan participated in the Mrs. Earth India and moved to becoming a finalist.
“With their support, I won the subtitle of ‘Mrs. India Earth Beautiful Skin’.”
Kanchan is known amongst the Indian community in Hong Kong because of her established grocery business.. After her recognition in the pageant, she was approached by a lot of women in the community so that she could give strength to them as she found her strength in her kin. She is even the face of Closet Love a fashion app who styled her during the contest.
With this, I ask her what’s the next mountain she wants to climb? And she was ready with her answer.
“I want to study, I wanted to become a Chartered Accountant. So I’ll pursue that, I’ll help further the cause of education. I didn’t pursue higher education. But I want to and would love to help others who want the same.”
Kanchan believes if she will think that she’s forty and is too old to pursue such endeavor, people will always accept the easier and let her, because we have grown up in an environment where no one wants us to step out of the box but keep steady at our places, maybe because that challenges their way of life.