December 22, 2012

How do I Volunteer for a BETTER INDIA???

I came across this article here. The author of the article Mr Dinesh Ghodke is a Youth Director at the Art Of  Living Foundation with a BTech in Metallurgy from IIT, Mumbai. He also happens to be my mentor and an inspiration to thousands of youth across globe. I thought his words deserve a place in moi blog :)

India has the most inspiring history with it inclusive rich culture and traditions. There are so many opportunities for entrepreneurship, especially in areas that India can offer to the world, like food, fashion, dance, Ayurveda, Yoga, Information Technology, tourism etc.

Lets look at what measures, baby steps or giant leaps, we can take to resolve the numerous issues plaguing different sectors in India.
Starting from the grass-roots:

Other than in extreme circumstances, Sri Sri says Poverty is simply because of poverty consciousness. Art of Living Yuvacharyas have proved this truth, time and again. Through spiritual wisdom and practices (pranayama & dhyan), the youth leaders have inspired villagers to be amenable for skills learning, shramdaan (group self-effort), de-addiction, zero-budget natural farming etc and thus have raised the standard of living in Indian villages.
Uddyoginaam Purusha Simha Upaiti Laxshmi | (Fortune favors the brave AND the hard working). More often than not, we need to get poverty out of people, rather than people out of poverty!

India is an Agricultural country. More than 70 percent of India stays in the villages. If we make agriculture ‘glamorous’ (which could help reverse the youth migration from rural to urban areas), raise the self worth of the farmers, provide them natural methods of farming and good irrigation, access to good roads and fair trade practices, it will shoot up our GDP and make the life of our farmers much more happier and prosperous (if the ‘annadaata himself/herself is not sukhi, how can people who consume that food be happy).  
To make any 'industrialized' product, say a mobile phone, 10 times more material and resources are required to obtain the final product and yet huge profits are reaped. In farming, you sow 1 seed, it gives back a 100, and YET, our farmers are poor. It is simply because of over use ofchemical fertilizers, Genetically Modified (GM) seed culture and middle-men traders; largely owing to the Government.

There is a huge scope of entrepreneurial development in the areas of food, fashion, dance, Ayurveda (medicines and massage therapy), Yoga and fitness, Information Technology, tourism, 'essentials' service sector in the urban areas (electrical work, carpentry, plumbing etc), and good farming practices in the rural areas.
Today education is making students skilled but unemployable. 350,000 students appear for MBA in India out of which only 21% get employment. Statistics for engineering and other fields is even worse.
Corporate India could take up vocational skills courses for Youth and life skills or soft skills in colleges (through a program like the Art of Living) which will make them skilled AND employable.

Female foeticide and SAFETY FOR Women:

When safety of women is ensured by effective law and order, if dowry laws are made stricter and implemented properly, property laws are amended to be equally in favour of men and women and the minds and hearts of the society are changed by the spiritual leaders of our nation, the male/female ratio can be brought to healthier levels reducing social ills and crime.
Reformation needs to start at the level of each individual first.


Go vegetarian. That cuts your ecological footprint by half straight away. Because you are then using almost 30 times less resources in terms of land and water. Also stopping meat consumption, you reduce contamination of land, water and air (reduce global warming through reduction in green house gases). Watch
-Stopping deforestation (at govt level) and planting and adopting trees (at individual level) is a must. 
-Better implementation of anti-poaching and deforestation laws will save the flora and fauna of the land. 
-Effective methods of waste management, which can also take care of energy needs. 
-Green methods of energy generation like solar, wind and water power.
-Water harvesting in the fields and also rooftop rainwater harvesting must be implemented.
-Reducing dependence on plastic goods and polythene bags. 

Clean up the lifelines; our rivers. Stopping the dump at the Industry or Govt level and spreading awareness and creating community ownership for effective engagement. Once fresh dumping is halted, using enzyme technology can accelerate the cleaning thereafter.
Engaging doctors to conduct free medical checkups, camps and surgeries and using video technology to deliver medical care and even monitor surgeries (as done by Dr Devi Shetty etc).
Natural and age-old methods of medicine should be promoted. The government’s AYUSH (Ayurveda Yoga Unani Siddha and Homeopathy) department is aimed at this.

Food habits make a big difference to mood and habits. Vegetarian diet and reducing white sugar and spice can reduce the rajas and go a long way to curb violent thoughts and tendencies.

Instead of the traditional approach of ABC (Abstinence, Be faithful and Condom) which doctors and field workers swear don’t work much, we can modify it to the ABCD approach.

1) Awareness
2) Breath - breathing techniques and meditation can help change habits of people and also increase immunity and reduce the pain that goes with a disease.
3) Care & Commitment - reducing the stigma associated with AIDS, thereby ensuring quicker identification of the disease and necessary steps taken thereafter. Avoiding promiscuous behaviour by increasing commitment to one’s partner can greatly help the spread of AIDS. 
4)De-addiction: - almost 20% of HIV is transmitted through needles by drug users

    -Direct youth towards sports, dance, yoga or service. 
    -Equate smoking, drugs, drinking (even social drinking etc) with weakness

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says there is no 'one right solution.' Multiple solutions and a multi-pronged approach by a large number of people at every level can expedite the resolution of any colossal problem.

He says an action done out of a sincere good intention will NEVER go waste. Since we have it on the highest authority, with all sincerity and with a spark in our heart, lets Volunteer for a better India.
Dropping cynicism, skepticism, mistrust, distrust, disbelief, and a defeatist attitude, lets start somewhere. And do something. And know that victory will be ours. Satyameva Jayate! Jai Hind!

P.S. Another growing trend today is Depression: 
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has predicted that depression will the biggest killer on the planet from 2020. Time we took a proactive approach rather than a reactive one (only when a suicide occurs). 
Create ways for the citizens to engage in community service. (the more a person is engaged in activity and with people, the more tamas (Prana Shakti or life force energy which brings inertia and laziness) is in control, less are the chances of depressive and suicidal tendencies.
For children and youth, opportunities need to be made to shift from sedentary indulgences like excessive TV/computers to more active sports, family picnics or outings, dance and drama, singing, music or cooking festivals.

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