IWSB Alum Sumit Gunjan, an inspiring changemaker, featured in Indian Express

Delighted to see #IWSB 2010-2012 PGP alum, @SumitGunjan, who anchored the school for children of construction workers in the evenings on campus, being featured in the Indian Express today.

IWSB - SEE : Mull-A-Cause launches library for childrenGUNJAN with friends facilitating children at the IWSB – SEE : Mull-A-Cause launches library for children

Sumit Gunjan has always been an epitome of empathy; a fine human being who always strived to create an impact wherever he was! Blessed to have such purposeful, passionate, persevering human beings who walked into life.

The above photograph is from the occasion of launch of the library for children at the evening school, when Indira and Mallika bought over 200 books for children from CBT and other sources. The evening saw story-telling and book reading sessions. More of the photos can be seen at the album Mull-A-Cause

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Here I am copying the Indian Express Story, as it appears on its website. I humbly thank IE.

In hostel for tribal children near Ranchi, lessons on how to stay close to roots

Two events, two years apart, were to set Sumit Gunjan on a journey that would not only change his life but that of scores of tribal children in ‘Bal Nivas’, a hostel he set up for them in Banta-Hajam, a village in Silli Block, 70 km from Ranchi.

The first was eight years ago, in 2010, when Gunjan, then a 20-year-old pursuing a post-graduate management programme in a Greater Noida institute, came across a group of children of construction workers at a plot near his college. He began engaging with them, holding informal classes for them with the help of his batchmates and a few professors.

The second “turning point” was in early 2012, when Gunjan, still with the Greater Noida institute, undertook a “research yatra” to Jharkhand for the National Innovation Foundation (NIF) in Ahmedabad to study medicinal herbs used by the tribals of Jharkhand.

The first time Gunjan, the youngest of three children of a district court lawyer in Jharkhand’s Giridih, visited Banta-Hajam, he stayed for five days. But he kept coming back to the village, fascinated by the tribal way of life, until he finally decided to stay on for good that April.

“Yahaan ka boli, yahaan ka chaal… hum sab kuchh sikhaya usko (I taught him our language, our practices… everything),” says Bhavani Patar Munda at whose mud house Gunjan began by imparting basic literacy lessons to children.

Gunjan also worked in the fields, did errands and lived like any other member of the Munda household. “From then until today, we have never discussed rent. I live with them, work with them, eat with them,” says Gunjan, who has a Bachelor’s degree in management from Durgapur, West Bengal.

A couple of years ago, Gunjan, with help from villagers, friends and well-wishers, set up Bal Nivas, where 35 tribal children are imparted knowledge of traditional tribal languages, and trained in singing, dancing, classical music, computers and spoken English, besides vocational skills such as bee-keeping and knitting.

The children, all of them from the village, live in Bal Niwas, cooking their own food and cleaning their living quarters. While some children go to the primary school in the village and others to schools in Ranchi, they come back to the hostel, where they are encouraged to stay connected with the tribal way of life.

“At any given point, we teach around 35 children, of whom 25 are girls. They learn music, folk and classical, instruments such as the tabla, harmonium and even the tuila, a traditional tribal instrument on the verge of extinction, the do-tara and the mandolin,” says Gunjan.

When he arrived at Banta-Hajam village, Gunjan realised the children had limited language skills, and were not interested in studying. That’s when he came up with the Bal Nivas concept. “Initially, this was a place to give young children time after formal school where they learned basic things like mathematics and language through activities that were part of their own milieu like local games, which children don’t play these days,” he said.

At present, there are around 15 children, including seven girls, who live at the Bal Nivas. “Most of these children either do not have a father or a mother or are orphans. Also, we take children, who are generally dubbed failures by their own community or those who veer towards alcoholism and other vices at a young age,” he said.

The villagers donate rice every week, while the children have created a fund, donating Rs 2-3 a week. Gunjan also earns by teaching at two teachers’ training institutes in Koderma and Giridih.

Gunjan says he realised that to impart education to tribal children, he would have to first understand them better. “They ate rice three times a day. I started having the same diet and realised it was affecting my stamina. It then became easier for me to explain to them why having a balanced diet, especially for children, was necessary,” he says.

Some of his friends from NIF pushed Gunjan to introduce machines for sowing paddy. “But I decided to sow the saplings myself, along with the women. I then realised how it was also a place and platform for women to socialise. They would sing their traditional songs and come to know about each other’s lives. If we introduce machines, this beautiful thing would be lost. I am not against technology, but it has to be integrated with the milieu in which it is to be introduced,” he says.

Villagers are full of praise for Gunjan’s efforts. “Earlier, the only option for a young boy growing up in these parts was to migrate for work, or fall in bad company and take to liquor and other intoxicants. Gunjan has brought the focus back on all the good practices and traditions that we lived by but have now forgotten,” says Jogendra Gope, a folk singer, on whose land Gunjan set up the hostel. His daughter Sumati now learns classical and folk music at the hostel.

However, the journey wasn’t always smooth. “Last year, some people, upset with what Gunjan was doing, approached the panchayat. They wanted to know why so many girls were in the hostel and why they were being trained in music and dance. But, we stood our ground and, finally, they relented,” says Ramesh Chandra Kumhar, a lac businessman who lives opposite the hostel and who trains the children in vocational skills.

Kumhar says the reason why almost all villagers backed Gunjan was that the change he had brought about was for everyone to see.

Suraj Patar Munda, one of the students at Bal Nivas, says, “I had fallen into bad company and would take marijuana and never attend school. Now, I have left all that and I’m getting trained in music, besides English and computer,” says the teenager who is enrolled at the Ramakrishna Mission School in Ranchi.

Gunjan says he could win the trust of parents, especially of girl students at Bal Nivas, because he kept things transparent. “We would invite parents to live with us at Bal Nivas. When they saw for themselves how things were, they felt good about it and believed me,” he says.

The biggest certificate of their trust came in 2015 when he travelled with some of the children to Ahmedabad for the annual Satvik Food Festival of NIF. “For a village where girls are not supposed to go beyond Ranchi without men escorting them, it was a big thing,” says Gunjan.

One of those who made that trip to Ahmedabad was Ashtami Patar Munda, the 15-year-old daughter of Munda, at whose house Gunjan stayed when he first came to the village in 2012. “For the first time, I saw a world outside our village. Had it not been for Gunjan bhaiyya, it would have been unthinkable. I want to follow his footsteps,” she says.

Jharkhand’s Commission for Protection of Child Rights chairperson, Arti Kujur, who has attended a couple of cultural programmes organised by Gunjan’s students, says, “He got the artistes to perform to themes such as child marriages and human trafficking, which is a problem in these areas. Also, he has gained the confidence of the tribals. It’s not easy.”

But what really matters for Gunjan are lines like these, delivered with a warm smile. “For us, he is one of our own. He has changed our lives for the better,” says Alam Khan, a resident of Banta-Hajam.

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On Zee Business special : Cool Careers

Zee business conceived a two part series on cool careers, careers beyond engineering and medical. This is the first one that went on air on March 29,2018. The second in the series will happen immediately after the board results are announced.

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This was an hour long programme. The Zee Business channel failed to upload the episode on to their youtube channel, in-spite of promising that they would.

Surprisingly I found that an edited version of the program was put up by one of my co-panelists on the programme, Mr. Sunil GOel, highlighting all of his interventions, but editing out other two panelists R.Sreenivasan and Parveen Malhotra, significantly. Nevertheless I thought, for the young students who wish to go for non-conventional careers, even this truncated episode will be of value.

As a facilitator, mentor and coach, I just want to say that let us all be a good, facilitating human beings first. Rest will follow.

Dream It! Do It! Think Big, Start Small! – Nirmal Kumar, G-Auto, transforming INDIA!

I came across the latest endeavor of G-Auto, launch of its auto-rickshaw service in Rajkot recently. Nirmal’s endeavor that started in 2009, slowly and steadily is transforming the nation through sustainable, friendly and secure transportation service. You will soon see the impact of his endeavor in your city or town too, wherever you are in India.

I have been following Nirmal ever since he started G-Auto over four years ago in Ahmedabad. Nirmal happens to be an inspiration and a good friend too. It is all the more motivating since he has been a student of Career Launcher in Hyderabad, before he headed to do his B-school education at IIMA. Every teacher and mentor will always be delighted to see his mentee outperform himself. Salute you Nirmal!

It is a moment of pride to see the mentee outperform the mentor, especially in an endeavor of PUBLIC GOOD! Salute you Nirmal!

It is a moment of pride to see the mentee outperform the mentor, especially in an endeavor of PUBLIC GOOD! Salute you Nirmal! Photo taken on the day of inauguration of Airport Express Service at Ahmedabad Airport.

I have been using Nirmal’s story along with many other stories in one of my hugely popular motivational talks – THINK BIG, START SMALL! – to goad youngsters, especially B-School grads, to become entrepreneurial leaders. You can find the earliest version of the talk on this very website – Think Big, Start Small!

From all my research on the web and personal interaction with Nirmal, that have yielded enough data and information, I am briefly sharing the story to inspire myself and you too.

Nirmal, born in a humble farming family, in the hinterland of Bihar has been afflicted by polio at the age of three. He has done his schooling from the village school in the Hindi medium. His first brush with the alphabets of English happened when he moved to Patna after class 10, for want of better education, that his parents saw as only salvation from the hardships and vagaries of being a marginal farmer.

Since he was from a farming background, he perhaps felt or was mentored to go for higher education in Agriculture. Through the national entrance exam for agricultural universities, he got selected into N G Ranga Agricultural University, Hyderabad. This was his first move to outside Bihar. It was a struggle initially, especially with the language, English, in understanding and speaking. This made him create a club, Phoenix, at the university to help himself and others like him, to master English language. He managed to convince his fellow students, who are good in English, to take classes on spoken and written English. His journey of Entrepreneurial Leadership began in this act.

When in the pre-final year, got to know about, Business School education and CAT, and the prospects of having a secure and respectful job prospect, if he goes into one of the IIMs. He worked hard, gave everything to get into IIMs. He eventually made it to IIMA.

Nirmal, one who got into IIMA with a dream of getting a respectful corporate career, had a life-changing experience when he had to deal with a rude auto rickshaw driver in his second year at IIMA. This set his thought process rolling. “Why cannot we have a safe, secure, comfortable and delightful public transportation. Why not world-class Tuk Tuk Service!”

Auto Drivers to turn into city’s ambassadors

He went into his introspection and brainstorming mode to come out with an Auto Rickshaw service, and named it G-Auto. He went about talking to the Auto Rickshaw drivers and their unions to convince them to join G-Auto. After a lot of interactions, a handful joined his endeavor. He ran the service for a few months that made him polish the concept and with the leap of faith, sought an appointment with the chief-minister of Gujarat, Mr. Narendra Modi. Finally, his presentation to Mr Modi convinced the CM to add his government’s weight behind Nirmal’s dream. Nirmal convinced the CM to official inaugurate the service, and I suppose it was done with a drive to his office from home, escorted by Nirmal. This small gesture of the CM, was widely published in all media, an in no time more Auto Rickshaw drivers started looking at G-Auto as the god send. The numbers started swelling. From a couple of hundreds the numbers today exceed 15,ooo across cities of Ahmedabad, Gandhi Nagar, Vadodara and now Rajkot.

Some time in 2010, I happen to land at the Ahmedabad Airport and noticed an A4 sheet on the pillar next to the luggage belt announcing the launch of “G-Auto Airport Express Service,” the very day. I quickly lifted my luggage and headed out looking for the G-Auto booth only to be confronted by the other auto rickshaw-drivers who were blocking my way towards the G-Auto cabin, casting all kinds of aspersions. Later, Nirmal shared about the challenges of dealing with the unruly drivers and unions that at times even endangered his life. I have been using G-Auto ever since it has been launched, whenever I am in Gujarat.

What is so special about this Auto Rickshaw service –

For the Customer :

Drivers are trained in English and Hindi to interact, also trained to provide customer delight. They also are taken sessions on the heritage of the city to make them into heritage ambassadors. What more you can ask for than a friendly advise from the auto driver the moment you land in the city, on everything that you can imagine about the city.

G-Autos have News Papers/Mags, Mobile chargers, PCO, and water, above all safety and security with a contact number for immediate action on any complaints. The 24×7 call centre takes care of all your needs of transportation by Auto now. Children and women can move around anytime of the day and night without any alarm. You get the receipt for your payments with all details and numbers whenever you board a G-Auto. The Pilot insists on your taking the receipt!

For the Auto-rickshaw driver, called PILOT in G-Auto :

Drivers have insurance cover – both accidental and life, child-education loan and other loans, addition revenue streams from PCO, selling newspapers and mags etc. More importantly gave them security, dignity along with prosperity. The brand value now rubs onto the image of the PILOT. He now proudly says “I am with G-Auto”.

Recently, after spate of highly publicized cases of harassment and rape of women, Delhi government has thought of doing something more to its public transportation system, especially Auto service. Nirmal Foundation after its presentation has been short-listed to provide services in the Capital. Soon you will see G-Auto enthralling the Delhi commuters too!

How does the business of “Auto Service” look like? The numbers story!

Now if you are keen on looking at the potential, here are the numbers, my back of the envelope calculations..

– Every time you hire G-Auto, G-Auto for its world-class secure services, charges Rs 20/- as service charges, over and above the meter reading. Even after paying this amount your bill will be far lesser than what otherwise the auto rickshaws fleece.

– Now, an Auto plies on the streets for no less than 10-12 hours. Even if I conservatively say, it services 10 customers in a day. It amounts to Rs. 200/- Nirmal foundation earns from every auto every day.

– For an estimated 15,000 auto rickshaws that ply on the roads under G-Auto, the collections is 15,000 * 200 every day. That amounts 30 lacs a day!

– Nirmal’s target is to create 10 Lakh auto rickshaw power by 2020!

– Does that end there? No. Since G-AUto has become a reliable and security giving brand, every company wants to associate and reach out to the end-customer. Nirmal now gets various services, like the Airport express service, branded. It was called ‘State Bank of India – Airport express service’, if I remember correctly when I got into the G-Auto from Airport on that day in 2010. The announcement inside the Auto said, “Welcome to State Bank of India, world-class G-Auto service”. The Auto becomes a great space to engage with your prospective customer with all the collaterals like brochures and leaflets thrown into the beautifully styled auto. Every such deal is going to fetch a few lakhs every month. And many such sponsors are queing up to create a multi-crore stream there. Nirmal shared, “Now my work has become more of networking business that adds immense value to every partner who partners with us.”

Are you ready to take the charge of your own life and that of your city? Nirmal is here to help you take the leap!

I will not be surprised if G-Auto makes about Rs. 100-120 Crores a year for Nirmal Foundation. This has helped Nirmal to venture into many more social transformation projects like — ‘CoCoFresh’ to help street hawkers, ‘Umeed’ for skills education of urban marginal youth, ‘Nirmaljobs’ for deploying all the trained youth into gainful jobs. I can visualize a grand transformational NIRMAL FOUNDATION spanning the entire country in the years to come.

In fact, Nirmal, a couple of years ago, asked me whether I know of young, dynamic entrepreneurial youngsters who want to take G-Auto endeavor to their own cities. I have been sharing this possibility with youth in every city that I do my sessions in, challenging youngsters to jump at the opportunity to impact themselves and also their own city, in every way. Are you ready for the game? If so, write to me sreeni@careerlauncher.com or go to http://www.g-auto.org and write to Nirmal directly

Green thing??

This is a very interesting annecdote that landed on my email. I thought it is worth sharing here. Will add a few relevant photos to make it interesting too. Thanks to all those who have been forwarding. Love.
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Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman that she should bring her own shopping bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment.

The woman apologized and explained, “We didn’t have this green thing back in my earlier days.”

The cashier responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations.”

She was right — our generation didn’t have the green thing in its day.

Back then, we returned milk bottles, pop bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so they could use the same bottles over and over. Yes, they really were recycling.

We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen; and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.
But, we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

We walked up the stairs, because we didn’t have an escalator in every shop and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.

But, she was right. We didn’t have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby’s nappies because we didn’t have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an ‘energy gobbling machine burning up 2KW, wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.
But, that young lady is right. We didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room. And, the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the county of Yorkshire .

In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us.

When we packaged a fragile item to send in the post, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn petrol just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power.

We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But, she’s right. We didn’t have the green thing back then.

We drank water from a fountain or a tap when we were thirsty instead of demanding a plastic bottle flown in from another country.

We accepted that a lot of food was seasonal and didn’t expect that to be bucked by flying it thousands of air miles around the world.

We actually cooked food that didn’t come out of a packet, tin or plastic wrap and we could even wash our own vegetables and chop our own salad.

But, we didn’t have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the tram or a bus, and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their mothers into a 24-hour taxi service.

We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances.

And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint

But, isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn’t have the green thing back then?

please circulate. let the young turks know how bold and wise were the old generation

Gandhiji and his relevance today : Dr R K Pachauri, Chairperson of Nobel Prize winning IPCC

Dr. R K Pachauri sharing the Gandhian Values that are relevant today, and for ages to come

Dr. R K Pachauri sharing the Gandhian Values that are relevant today, and for ages to come

Padma vibhushan Dr, R. k . Pachauri, Chair of intergovernmental panel on climate change (ipcc) addressing the gathering at BIMTECH on the occassion of inauguration of the golden jubilee celebrations, shared a few inspiring thoughts from the journey of Mahatma Gandhi, as it was also OCT 2nd, Gandhiji’s birth Anniversary. Here I try to recall for my own self and also for those who are keen learners.

Dr. Pachauri, apart from being instrumental in IPCC getting the NOBEL peace prize for the work it has been doing under his leadership, has also been decorated by the governments of France, Japan, finland, mexico, belgium. He is the director of TERI (The Energy Research Institute of India, formerly TATA ENERGY RESEARCH INSTITUTE)

His speech revolved around the question “Can the MOTHER EARTH bear the brunt of materialistic world? For how long?”, especially in the context of business and the conscience business management graduates need to have in the dynamically changing world.

Tatas and Birlas, being at the forefront of industrialization of the country have been conscious about contributing to the nation and the environment. GD Birla’ left his vast empire to his son B K Birla, advising that he will use the wealth for the cause of humanity apart from growing the wealth in a fair manner. We can see their contributions, in terms of institutions they have created that are identities of our nation, INDIA.

Dr. Pachauri shared Gandhiji’s list to his grandson of ‘Seven sins that will destroy us’. We need to be very conscious of these in the emerging socio-political conditions.

– Wealth without work
– Pleasure without conscience
– Knowledge without character
– Commerce without morality
– Science without humanity
– Worship without sacrifice
– politics without principles

Gandhiji wrote this on a piece of paper to his grandson, on the very day, a few hours before his assassination.

It is time to rediscover Gandhiji. Gandhiji has to be with us 365 days a year. It is not about one single day…We need to leave behind a legacy for our children

SEVEN thoughts culled out from the principles that Gandhiji said and followed.. and its relevance..

1. Industry should regard themselves as trustees of the society

Jagdish Bhagavati said “It is pity that the leaders in the industry are earning only to do the vulgar display”

G d Birla is a great example of being a follower of Gandhiji. He was a visionary who has created such a value for the nation, and never displayed vulgarity of the wealth. CSR has to be within. It has to come from within each of those who are going to lead the industry in the future. We need to lose ourselves in those whom we have to serve, the society at large; nothing as satisfying as serving to the society.

Gandhiji is far more relevant today than at any other point in the past.

We need to go beyond the consumerist values prevalent today. We are acting like the locusts. We need to protect and preserve natural resources around us. We are binging unmitigated, without any constraints. Where will it take us?

We want to buy cars, more cars. In a society where substantial numbers are deprived, can we increase the disparity.

2. Model of development

India cannot prosper if rural India is left behind. Urbanization is inevitable. But at what rate? Are we destroying social values, culture and tradition. Are we able to adjust with the rapid urbanization.

The social fabric and cultural ethos is under enormous pressure. Neighbors do not know each other. Community involvement has to be promoted. Individual enterprise is important and is a corner stone of growth, but are we conscious of our social responsibility?

3. Value of maintaining natural resources

“Mr Gandhi would you want India reach the level of prosperity as great Britain” was a question put to Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhiji responded -“Great Briton needed Half of the planet. How many planets do we need?” We cannot have a plan B, as there is no planet B.

4. The pattern of economic developement, in a subtle way. GDP is seen as the measure of growth. There a few significant things that if overseen then we are in the wrong direction

Speed is irrelevant if you are going in the wrong direction- Gandhi

5. Wildlife is decreasing in the jungle, but increasing in the cities? The more we prosper, the greater is our propensity towards profligacy and irreverence towards the nature and systems

6. Gandhi always was concerned with the underprivileged. Apply the test of what is the underprivileged going to receive? We are worse than most of the African countries.

Gandhiji spoke about holistic living –

– Keep focus on the benefit of the poor
– keep responsibility of the society in mind

7. India must emerge a pattern of sustainable development. We need to set an example. Each one of us has the responsibility. We are now a population of 9bn from 2bn in the beginning of 20th century. what do we pass on to the next generations..

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Q&A

1. Corporates and individuals know there is no planet B. we are losing cultural ethos. How do we work to facilitate?

A. We need to ask ourselves what is the impact on ecosystem and poorest of the poor.

We clean our home and empty on the streets, philosophically speaking! We need to inbuilt conscience in our every day life..

2. We as B-School graduates are heading to MNC companies. We are looking at only profits. Your advise?

A. Kindly exercise your conscience. These need to dictate terms. Organizations are not incensitive. Can we individually or in groups influence. Companies are sensitive. Subject of triple bottom line. The reputation that you will gain due to sustainability practices is immense. We will be thru immense public scrutiny. You can be leaders to make the shifts in the direction

3. Mahatma Gandhi suggested many about environment. Which of these is the best to followed?

A. Mahatma Gandhi had a very comprehensive view of development. It is holistic. We need to express much greater solidarity with the poorest of the poor. It is a causality. Welfare programs are poorly administered. NREGA is poorly implemented – noble cause, poor outcome. We can use the resources judiciously. We cannot afford to have this level of poverty. It has to be very high on the agenda.

4. Each time I hear a person like you and about trusteeship, I wonder -‘ Is trying to create wealth a crime? Is poverty a byproduct of wealth creation? How to create trusteeship. How do we define this trusteeship

A. Wealth need not be created along with elimination of poverty. Poverty is being patronized. Politicians have done it for obvious reasons. If we had created skills and capabilities to pull population out of poverty, we would have been much better off. We need greater focus now.

What is the education that our children in the rural India is getting. Can we use resources effectively.

Jimmy Carter commented, “when I was governor of Georgia, very small number were in jail; today the number is seven times, largest per capit in the world”.

Four countries are responsible for the capital punishment – Iran, Russia, China and the US

Scandinavian countries are rich yet welfare rich too

5. CSR – based on your experience, kindly share

The TERI program, ‘Lighting a billion lives’, initiated. Reach 400mn who do not have access to electricity. Low cost, light weight LED lanterns, to train villagers. Women charge and rent to the villages… Corporates are supporting it. No direct benefit to them.. Covered 2000 villages. It will snowball.

We have no idea what it makes to a household by providing such a simple solution..children, women, family healthier with less fumes, more time to study and do other household work…

6. Land use and forestry are major contributors. Urbanization contributes to degradation. How can we be inclusive.

Delhi has areas that are green. We need pattern of urbanization that promotes natural beauty and greenery. There is a large area in this country that can be consciously worked upon. Nainital, where I was born is in a sad state – degradation

We can have green cities. Safdarjug airport can be converted to green spaces. We get stuck between departments. I hope we soon do it.

7. We saw you with a Lantern in hand with Al Gore in the Chicago summit… Could you share your thoughts on Role of government

A. I have a vision. Programs that can feed power into the national grid. How do we go about convincing the nation

Solar roof programmes. Delhi can really contribute with vast amount roof space. Solar water heater, can. Not do it consciously. We can save several hundred megawatts of power. We need leadership, that acts.

[Sreeni: One of my friends from Germany shared about the solar farms on the roof tops that pump into the national grid. Imagine with 340 days of bright sun across the country, how many Terrawatts of energy that we can generate..]

8. Climate change. A lot of hue and cry…

Is it really a reality. It is natural for the earth to have the changes. Is it natural? Climate of the earth changes gets due to natural and human factors. A large change is very likely because of human induced changes. With our behavioral patterns we are changing the planet. Right now we are overwhelming the changes, which may bring about natural overwhelming. Small islands, coastal area, rain fed agriculture and … Are getting impacted. Let us be conscious of our every act.

Thanks.

Incredible India! Fatehpur Sikri – Mughal Architecture at its best (sreeni on road)

The grand entrance to the city of Fatehpur Sikhri
The grand entrance to the city of Fatehpur Sikhri

This is in continuation of the last story on road, that I shared in the previous posting. When we reached Agra with all the intention to see Taj with our kids, after the smooth, pacy and yet the adventurous ride on the new expressway, we got stuck for a couple of hours in the traffic snarls of ill-prepared Agra. Agra never witnessed such flood of vehicles ever in its history, in its narrow lanes. It could not entertain the huge rush from Delhi that took the newly inaugurated expressway. So, quickly we exited and headed towards Fatehpur Sikri, that I have never visited before. Thanks to Indira and Mallika who insisted on going there at any cost to untie the knots at the chisti’s abode that they tied a couple of years ago, praying for our second child. Now that Svwara arrived in our life, we headed to the chisthi.

Thus we reached Fatehpur Sikiri and I was flabbergasted at the expanse of Mughal Architecture and its finery. I am always astonished at the Vision, Design, Execution and craftsmanship that go into making such grand structures, that have been existing in this land of INDIA for a cover 2000-3000 years, many are still standing majestically!

The grand entrance to the city of Fatehpur Sikhri from inside
The grand entrance to the city of Fatehpur Sikhri from inside

According to contemporary historians, Emperor Akbar took a great interest in the building of Fatehpur Sikri and probably also dictated its architectural style. Seeking to revive the splendours of Persian court ceremonial made famous by his ancestor Timur, Akbar planned the complex on Persian principles. But the influences of his adopted land came through in the typically Indian embellishments. The Easy availability of sandstone in the neighbouring areas of Fatehpur Sikri, also meant that all the buildings here were made of the red stone. The imperial Palace complex consists of a number of independent pavilions arranged in formal geometry on a piece of level ground, a pattern derived from Arab and central Asian tent encampments. In its entirety, the monuments at Fatehpur Sikri thus reflect the genius of Akbar in assimilating diverse regional architectural influences within a holistic style that was uniquely his own. Built during the 16th century, the Fatehpur Sikri is one of the best preserved collection of Mughal architecture in India

For the full canvas of sreeni’s photopaintings of the Fatehpur sikri, visit travel blog link ofsreeni on road

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WATER – THE LIFELINE….. photo-essay on my blog Sreeniviews

Water breathes life ....
Water breathes life ….

Water is essential for all dimensions of life. Over the past few decades, use of water has increased, and in many places water availability is falling to crisis levels. More than eighty countries, with forty percent of the world’s population, are already facing water shortages, while by year 2020 the world’s population will double. The costs of water infrastructure have risen dramatically. The quality of water in rivers and underground has deteriorated, due to pollution by waste and contaminants from cities, industry and agriculture. Ecosystems are being destroyed, sometimes permanently. Over one billion people lack safe water, and three billion lack sanitation; eighty per cent of infectious diseases are waterborne, killing millions of children each year.

World Bank Institue
WATER POLICY REFORM PROGRAM

Civilizations are born around water - Varanasi, India
Civilizations are born around water – Varanasi, India

LET US NOT BORROW FROM OUR FUTURE GENERATIONS….SAVE WATER, SAVE LIVES.

Enjoy the full photo-essay on “Water – the lifeline”, at my photoblog SREENIViews – …more

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