One Step towards Changing the World

happy Yes I_can_FlyRecently, interacting with a fresh lot of IAS probationers, one of them queried, “Sir, do you think YOU can impact the YOUth with your sessions? It’s not a straight answer .. but then what drives me, what guides me, what motivates me … are small little indicators, a sign here, a flag there.
This was the missive in my inbox this morning … (names have been changed for ‘privacy settings set up by ;);))
Sir ,

You probably won’t recognize me now.
Back in 2016 , you came to *****, S****** (a autonomous public institute of higher education, governed by the Institutes of Technology Act, 1961 and lists twenty-three institutes), and gave your pre-placement talk with the main aim of motivating and help people gear up for the placements.

The way it happens in Engineering Colleges a lot of students skipped your session but a lot of them did attend, and even though I (an Electrical Engineer) was already placed at ****, I still attended both out of curiosity and somehow felt that these sessions are important. And hence, I think, I keep receiving your mails.
Its been 2 years since then. I joined **** but always felt like I could do better. At times felt the kind of work I was doing would not help me grow. Appeared for GATE twice but missed the interview calls by as narrow a margin as 0.5 marks.

Through these periods of downfalls and de-motivation your mails kept arriving regularly and they motivated me and your case studies provided insight (used the ideas, helped a lot in my professional life too). I always saw a light in the end of the tunnel.

Even though studying at an *** was always my dream, failing to do so has given me an equivalent opportunity instead. I am currently enrolled at  the M.Tech in Computer Science course at **Institute! Half way through my M.Tech, and on my way to ******* Research Labs, Bangalore for my Summer Internship! I’m super excited and life is looking great!

Sir, YOU’re doing a great job. Perhaps the most important thing that people require in these tough times is motivation and self belief , students and professionals alike, in their monotonic lives.

I just wanted to extend my gratitude to you for your wonderful work.
Tra la la la la … super super day! The sun is shining bright and the breeze is just a bit cooler! The birds are chirping louder and my round of golf was so much better.
Thank You.
To come back to the question asked by the IAS probationer, YES, YES and YES!!! I see myself doing what I’m doing, as even if one, just one student can benefit, it’s worth it.

Once upon a time, there was an old man who used to go to the beach.  Early one morning, he was walking along the shore after a big storm had passed and found the vast beach littered with starfish as far as the eye could see, stretching in both directions.

Off in the distance, the old man noticed a small boy approaching.  As the boy walked, he paused every so often and as he grew closer, the man could see that he was occasionally bending down to pick up an object and throw it into the sea. The man called out, “Hey! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”

The young boy paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean. The tide has washed them up onto the beach and they can’t return to the sea by themselves,” the youth replied. “When the sun gets high, they will die, unless I throw them back into the water.”

The old man replied, “But there must be tens of thousands of starfish on this beach. I’m afraid you won’t really be able to make much of a difference.”

The boy bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it as far as he could into the ocean. Then he turned, smiled and said, “It made a difference to that one!” and this one!!!.

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Women’s Empowerment

Women Superpower

Do we truly fathom the capabilities of a Women?

This International Women’s Day, I was invited by an Organization to address its employees (WOMEN only) to empower them. A number of issues cropped up and I reach out to my esteemed readers for their views/ comments on the subject. I believe, discussing them, in a way, keeps us in ‘awareness’ and consciously we don’t do things which go to perpetrate these issues/ atrocities against women. 

The United Nations in its Women’s Empowerment Principles seek to point the way to best practice by elaborating the gender dimension of corporate responsibility. It acts an a useful guide for business, the Principles seek to inform other stakeholders, including governments, in their engagement with business.

  1. Principle 1: Establish high-level corporate leadership for gender equality.
  2. Principle 2: Treat all women and men fairly at work- respect and support human rights and nondiscrimination.
  3. Principle 3: Ensure the health, safety and well being of all women and men workers.
  4. Principle 4: Promote education, training and professional development for women.
  5. Principle 5: Implement enterprise development, supply chain and marketing practices that empower women.
  6. Principle 6: Promote equality through community initiatives and advocacy.
  7. Principle 7: Measure and publicly report on progress to achieve gender equality.

I suppose these Principles are very good at the Policy makers level, if and when implemented. At least they give them a direction. But at the grass roots, I would like to elaborate Women Empowerment as to increase and improve the social, economic, political and legal strength of the women, to ensure equal-right to women, and to make them confident enough to claim their rights, such as:

  1. Freely live their life with a sense of self-worth, respect and dignity.
  2. Have complete control of their life, both within and outside of their home and workplace.
  3. To make their own choices and decisions.
  4. Have equal rights to participate in social, religious and public activities.
  5. Have equal social status in the society.
  6. Have equal rights for social and economic justice.
  7. Determine financial and economic choices.
  8. Get equal opportunity for education.
  9. Get equal employment opportunity without any gender bias.
  10. Get safe and comfortable working environment.

Saree (22)

I strongly believe Women have the right to get their voices heard. I, at times wonder, is this asking for too much? A level playing field, which is fair, just and treats all humans as equals without any bias irrespective of gender.

I’ve acquired certain skill sets during my 25 years in the Uniform. I share these survival skills with women under my WOSAF (WOmen SAFety) sessions with special focus on SITCON (SITuation CONtrol) measures. How to come out a winner from such situations? How can I, my body, my mind react when faced with adversity? How can I use my daily things/ items to protect me? Where do I strike to have maximum impact? and all such queries. Now my question is, Women Safety is centrally about MEN, and conveniently, they are out of the discussion. They are not part of the conversation. Any women safety issue and men excuse themselves. Not only as perpetrators of the crime, even to defend the honour of your mother/sister/wife/daughter/GF, you need to know the basics of WOSAF.

How would you like to initiate a social change in order to see your daughter walk with her head held high, safe, across our Country? There are much talk happening, addressing these issues. Let each one of us, contribute in our small little way to make it a safer world for our Mothers/ Sisters/Wives/Daughters.

p.s. Mind you, I avoid the usage of Self Defence. The moment you use the word ‘Defence’, you go into a shell, a defensive mind set. 25 years has ingrained in me: Offence is the ONLY defence.