Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Second Chance - New Life

New Life was registered as a non-profit organisation in the year 1993 as it was felt by the philanthropist professionals drawn from fields of Agriculture, Rural Development, Information Technology, and Medicine. The mission of New Life is to help raise the socio-economic status of women and children belonging to the weaker sections of society and thus enabling them to become productive members of society

Activity: Counseling of families of the prison inmates, home for poor children, rehabilitation of child labour, supporting primary education, microfinance to poorwomen, microinsurance, vocational training for the youth, social security to terminally ill & consultancy.
Support: Education, Health, Livelihood, Rights & Social Issues, Financial & support services.

| This post is a part of BlogAdda's Bloggers Social Responsibility (BSR) initiative. I am exercising my BSR. You can too with three simple steps. Visit  and support the NGO's. |

The Long Break

So one fine that that India won the World Cup in cricket, yes, in cricket, I know it's hard to believe now when you look at them playing in England. Where was I ? Yes, so basically I got my degree diploma actually. And I flew back to Hyderabad. My joining was about 4.5 months later and I wondered what I would do for such a long time and tried a lot of avenues to find an internship.

But I must say it turned out quite fine to just laze around at home and then laze some more watching movies from morning noon to night. But I did other things as well.

I read a lot of books.
I watched a few movies.
I took a couple of trips.
I wrote for an NGO called Samhita.
I worked on a project with a professor in IIMCal.
I received free books to review from BlogAdda.
I took up BSR with the help of BlogAdda and Samhita.

All in all fun and eventful enough for a vacation.
And now I head out to start working for the first time in my life. Excitement!
London! Here I come!
Also, I shall begin a new label for London. What should I call it ? 

Sunday, August 07, 2011

My Rant on Chanakya's Chant

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books!

Chanakya's Chant by Ashwin Sanghi
Westland Publishers (2010) | Rs 195

The idea of the story is brilliant. To try and integrate Chanakya's teachings in today's world of politics. Times have changed but rarely do people change. And through out the book you see distinct traits of people that continue through generations. I do not know if the chant actually refers to the Shakti mantra but here is the trailer and the mantra

Adi Shakti Namo Namah! Sarva Shakti Namo Namah!
Prathama Bhagavati Namo Namah!
Kundalini Mata Shakti! Mata Shakti Namo Namah!

The story line alternating between today and 2300 years ago follows similar patterns and similar devious ideas that are used to manipulate people with their greed without giving away a clear comparison thus making it an incredible read. It's about slowly controlling kingdoms by taking over or forming a truce which is more likely in today's world.

The plot however is not that thick and if I had one advice for Ashwin Sanghi it would be to pay attention to detail. The story is indeed about small actions and small results leading up to a bigger picture. But the small deeds also need to be taken care of quite neatly. Many a times I also wondered if no one else was smart enough to outbeat Gangasar. And these great men seemed to foresee the future. Rarely did they need any back up plan because they could exactly see what the enemy would do and the enemy did just that. It's like playing chess when you make a move and your opposition makes the same move you expect them to.

It was a smart idea to use one liners from many famous personalities, but it's too smart. Chanakya gives so many one liners (and many one might have heard before) that it doesn't feel like he is actually thinking. He is only trying to be a wise quip. Also not many one liners have a context which could possibly not fit into the story. And by context I mean not just the story but the era and cultural background.

In this book there are two characters, Chanakya and Pandit Gangasagar Misra. And I thought that Chanakya not just wanted to unite Bharat but also wanted to find and groom an able leader Chandragupta. However, this book lacks any other character because everyone else gets crushed under one big mass of stupidity. I even found Chandragupta and Chandini Gupta to be stupid the way they keep asking questions and questions and questions, and never trying for once to understand their mentors thoughts and complete the thought. At the end of the book, I was left wondering how these two could actually rule India if they could not pick up even some of the smart thinking of Chanakya. Also I wondered if no one can strike back but a few did and they too were smart people. Thankfully, yes there can be other smart people in today's world. And at times, the author did glorify the street smartness of Ikram and Chandini.

Another trait of the book that stood out to me was the language used. It seemed to me that some of the characters were very uncomfortable with swearing and yet they did. Basically, they swore out of place and out of cultural context. Not that I have anything against swearing characters, just those who did not want to swear yet did. It basically translates back to the point that it needs detail. But the research is enormous and can be clearly seen through out the book. At times one would wonder what a mighty task that author had taken upon himself.

The cover page is absolutely fantastic. I haven't seen such a smart cover page in a while and I wanted to credit the artist but couldn't find his name. The bringing together of ancient coins with current coins speaking clearly the idea of the book, bringing together of two eras with the help of one idea.

To sum it up, I bow to Sanghi for taking on a herculean task and a very noble one in deed. He has produced it into a page turner adventure book that would aide in bringing in youth of this country closer to home. It helps people relate to our country with its glorious past and brings forward the hope that one man may rise to build a leader for the nation. A dream one wishes would come true!

Friday, August 05, 2011

Not Just A Dot

"The ‘decimal’ is simply a dot wihin a number. Its position within a number determines what the number means to us. Just a shift to the right or left changes its meaning exponentially. This is our hope at Decimal. We envision small meaningful interventions, that will change the value of life exponentially, for those touched by us."

Activity: 1. Public health improvement (preventive and primary), in both urban and rural areas.
2. Creating a safe working and living environment for marginalized populations.
3. Environmental sustainability.
4. Communicable and tropical disease prevention.
5. Women empowerment and employment generation.
6. Childcare.

At Decimal they believe in helping those in need with simple but sustainable solutions. Each solution has an objective of social welfare and a robust business plan backing it. Each project, along with benefiting the target population, is sustainable.

Decimal Foundation works on projects from multiple fields, be it Health, child care, women empowerment and employment generation or the environment. What remains constant in all these projects is the spirit of Decimal.

 Each project is linked with finance and marketing teams, in order to bring in self sustainability which is key in all their projects.
  • Public health improvement (preventive and primary).
  • Livelihood for marginalized populations.
  • Environmental sustainability.
  • Communicable and tropical disease prevention.
  • Women empowerment and employment generation.
  • Childcare.
Note: Maid in India (MII) is aimed at organizing domestic helps into a formal labor force. With MII, all maids receive a set of benefits; including healthcare, insurance, training and standard jobs, utilizing the existing infrastructure. MII plans to create a single channel that will assist households with hiring and providing standardized services. This mutually beneficial system will help alleviate the poor standard of living and lack of recognition for the domestic helps, and provide households with the ease of finding and replacing house helps and fulfilling their social responsibility towards them.

"This project is different from others as we donate attempt to recreate the wheel. We simply create an easy channel to obtain what is rightfully theirs. What we also do differently is creating a revenue flow to make our project financially self-sustaining, enabling us to generate enough resources to expand and reach out to a larger population."

MII has two ongoing pilots to test different models, thus creating jobs for the unemployed, providing healthcare, training and a new social order.

Cost per Unit/Beneficiary: Rs. 1000.

| This post is a part of BlogAdda's Bloggers Social Responsibility (BSR) initiative. I am exercising my BSR. You can too with three simple steps. Visit and support the NGO's. |