Friday, November 16, 2007

Moblog 01:59 PM

my first micro blogging

Posted via SMS on Friday, November 16, 2007 using Activ Mobs' Moblogger.

Moblog 01:57 PM

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Posted via SMS on Friday, November 16, 2007 using Activ Mobs' Moblogger.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Blog Moved

I have moved my blog to my wordpress account.
All those interested in reading can access it here

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Documentary on Chharas and Budhan Theatre

Watch the documentary BullDozer made by the Budhan Theatre on the plight of their Chhara community.

You can read more on the documentary, Budhan Theatre and Chharanagar on my previous post here. Read about the recent demolition in Maninagar by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation's Bulldozer here .

Watch the documentary on the Chhara tribal theatre "The Budhan Theatre Group". This documentary has been made by P. Kerim Friedman & Shashwati Talukdar.

New Connections on Orkut

Logged into my orkut account after returning back from 5-day trip to Goa. And what I see on my homepage is 9 friend requests and none of the requester looks familiar to me. No doubt orkut has made life easier by helping us find old school and college friends but the annoying aspect of orkut is getting friend requests from strangers. Especially women are bugged by these friend requests from the romeos of the cyber world. Don't know if the same happens with the guys. All those guys out there do tell if you are also flooded with friend requests from the juliets on orkut.

The above picture is my orkut homepage where I have 9 new friend requests(all males) from people I don't know. I am not open to making friends on internet so all these friend requests would be denied by clicking ''no".

Apart from the friend requests the scrapbook and the message inbox is flooded with messages from anonymous like -

"wanna have friendship with me" - The simplest friendship message

" hi i dont have any chat friend or girl friend......can we?????????" - This message gives an impression as if orkut is a dating site.

"hi girls,well i am a goan guy, aged 23 workin abroad. i am a simple and down hearted guy. i am tall, medium complexion and a very honest man. i am looking for my life partner. If any girl is interested in me, kindly message me on orkut or leave your telephone no. thanks alot ".

- This message was sent to the members of a girls' college community. Ever thought that orkut would play a matchmaking role in India. May be time will come when it would leave behind all those matrimonial sites like and who claims to be no.1 matrimony in India. Infact I think orkut would be more effective than these matrimonial sites as the bride/groom can find all the details about the prospective groom/bride from their profile and not to forget the testimonials. So all the guys and gals out there getting ready for their marriage, make your profile look good and impressive and bribe your friends to write a perfect testimonial for you before the person looking for you hits on your orkut profile.

Orkut recently entered its third year. It has become one of the most favourite timepass leaving behind Yahoo messenger and other chat services. Orkut is addictive and I am also a victim of it. All is fine with orkut till you are able to stay in touch with your friends but becomes irritating when you receive friend request and messages from Anonymous especially if you are not in favor of making internet friends.

Orkut is a great social networking site but like everything comes with its disadvantages, same is true with orkut. I have never come across any guy in the similar situation. All guys there on orkut let us know if your scrapbooks and inbox also gets loaded with friend requests from anonymous gals.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The DNTs of Maninagar - Fighting for a Permanent Shelter

The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation’s(AMC) bulldozer for the 12th time demolished the huts of the denotified tribes (DNTs) in Maninagar, Ahmedabad. It was on 8th Feb. 2007 when people of four denotified communities, who have been staying here for last 30-40 years, became homeless.

For their survival they used to sell maps in Ahmedabad city, villages. Women used to make plastic ropes at home itself and men used to go for ear cleaning work. Some used to sell toys while some of the women used to go for begging for their family’s survival. These people have been living under terror of the AMC as they demolish their houses and even beat women and children brutally.

Various applications have been submitted for a permanent settlement but there has been no positive response. Now “Sambhav” group has started a petition against the demolition drive of the AMC. Sambhav is a volunteer social group of the students of DA-IICT, Gandhinagar who go to Maninagar to teach the children of the people belonging to the denotified tribes. More on Sambhav here. The petition is a part of the struggle for getting a permanent settlement for these tribes.

People are suffering a lot. It is hot summer in Ahmedabad and there is no shelter for them. Now they cannot even go for earning because they have no place to leave their children. People are lying with empty stomach. These nomadic tribes need our help to make their dream of having their own house come true.

I request you to sign this petition and forward it to as many people as possible if you want to contribute to this struggle. Sign the petition here.

The previous post on the other DNT tribe of Chharanagar can be read here.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Feeling bored and lonely???

Feeling bored and lonely??? - Try considering a dating agency.(Courtesy: Google)

One of the Google search results for "how to spend time when feeling bored". Had been feeling bored for some time so as Google has been the solution to all the problems, tried finding ways to pass time through the search engine. While surfing through the results came through a counselling webpage where some people expressed their reasons of feeling lonely expecting some solution to it from the counsellor. But none of the solutions were motivating enough and none of the reasons matched with mine. Some of the sample reasons - "feeling lonely because I don't know what am I going to do when I graduate", "feeling lonely because I am not aware what I want from life".. Too serious reasons for me to get lonely... And some funny ones like A guy had expressed the reason as "feel lonely because I don't have a girl friend". I think for him the solution of dating can be useful. I think after reading these reasons my loneliness has disappeared. What was my reason for being lonely?? Let me think...Not that I’m around people that often. May be not seeing my friend since morning made me feel lonely. Not a bad reason for a tryst with boredom :)

But really tough dear to kill time when you don't have anything to do, don't have anyone to talk to, don't feel like doing even things that you enjoy. Sometimes life is too busy to find time for anything, and sometimes it gets so boring that one has to find things to kill time. My favourite time pass has been surfing through internet but today didn't enjoy that also. Tried killing time surfing through blogs, reading email archivals. Reading previous mails of your friends in your Yahoo, Gmail, Rediffmail can be a very good way of spending time through which you can relive some of the past good memories...How could I forget orkutting??? But unfortunately got bored of that also.... A hard day but could successfully end the day without any feeling like harming myself(it happens when ur loneliness increase Courtesy:Google) with this post..Now its 10 minutes to 0000 hours.

Hoping to have a unboring and lonely-less day tomorrow!!!!!

Monday, February 05, 2007

True Survivors - People of Chharanagar

Theatre has become the part of their life. Be it protests or be it their anger or be it creating awareness in society - theatre is the medium they use for raising their voices and communicate it to the mainstream society. These are the Chharas - the denotified tribes(DNTs) of Chharanagar, Ahmedabad, Gujarat in India. This community was labeled as a "criminal tribe" by the British during their rule. But even after 60 years of independence, not much has changed for them and they are still living with the stigma of Criminal tribes. No jobs, no respect, constant surveillance by the police, imprisonment without any explanation, outcasted by the society - This is the life of the people of Chhara tribe. These people are infamous for stealing petty things and production of liquor.
The Budhan Theatre Group, started by the some members of the community, has influenced their life to a great extent. Daxin Chhara, who leads the Theatre Group, believes that development has many forms. It is different for a village, a city or a community like theirs. He strongly said that education can't be taken as a form of development for their community. Transformation of people is the best measure of the development of the Chhara community.
Every Chhara wants to be educated and many of them are graduates but no one wants to employ them because of their reputation. There are many Chhara advocates but studying law was no help to them as no one takes their case to them. When these people are denied education and employment they take resort to means like stealing or making liquors for feeding themselves and their children. Some Chharas tried to be different and became vendors selling goods like snacks etc but due to the constant police harassment they had to leave these jobs. They are not allowed to sell their goods outside Chharanagar. Daxin Bhai quotes "Aadmi subah bhookha uth sakta hai lekin raat ko bhookha so nahin sakta"(A man can wake up hungry in the morning but can't sleep hungry). Now when they are not allowed to do decent jobs, they are forced to do stealing. This is where the Budhan Theatre has made a difference. They perform street plays to raise awareness about the conditions of their community and other such communities. It is an important activity for the development of Chharas as they are even able to generate income through this. Because of the efforts of the Budhan Theatre group their voice has been heard by many and many people have come forward to help and support them. Many youngsters have left doing illegal things and joined the group. Even the children of the community are involved in street plays and are more aware of their rights than a child of their age in the mainstream society. They performed two street plays recently in our institute - one on RTI and the other on the child marriage. As told by Daxin Bhai they had prepared the street play on child marriage themselves without any help. They were inspired to make this play because of a 13-yr old friend of theirs getting married. They have gained a great confidence which could be seen while their performance.
The Budhan Theatre's latest effort is a documentary named "BullDozer" depicting a settlement of a nomadic tribe bulldozed by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation , resulting into the death of two children. Through this documentary they have tried to expose the traumas through which they have to go. This documentary will be released soon.
The Budhan Theatre is not working only for their own Chhara community but they are also trying to expose the problems of other DNTs in other parts of the country. They have made a documentary "The Lost Salt" on the conditions of the people extracting salt for their living in the Little Rann of Kuchh. This corner of Gujarat is a vast desert landscape cracked dry by the sun. Nothing grows here and the water is undrinkable. The people there has to work in the soaring high temperatures of 49degree Celsius to the low temperature of 0degree Celsius. Because of the constant contact with the salt, they suffer from skin diseases, eye problems and there are no health facilities provided there. You will be surprised to know that the salt for which we pay 10Rs/kg, these worker gets around only 10-14paise wage per kg of salt they extract. These people are just being exploited.
The Budhan Theatre is doing a commendable job of trying to break the vicious circle of prejudice and crime in the Chhara community. They have proved through their talent that they are not born criminals but born performers. The theatre, with the help of NGOs and some students, is also involved in maintaining libraries where they have computers donated by some people, informal education of kids. It is very important to concentrate on the development of the Chhara kids because they are the future hopes who can break the stigma. To some extent they have succeded as two of the residents of the community has got admission into National School of Drama. But still a lot has to be done.
You can help the Budhan Theatre by buying their first documentary movie "BullDozer"(Rs. 300). This money would be used for the sustenance of the Theatre Group. For more info on Chharas, Budhan Theatre visit Roxy Gagdekar's blog, who leads the Budhan Theatre Group with Daxin Chhara. For an article by Tehelka on this community click here

Friday, February 02, 2007

Live life fully!!!!

Never had the urge to earn more and more money as some of my colleagues in my college. Almost all appeared for CAT and other MBA exams...Why MBA??? Reason: Want to earn a lot of money for a very comfortable, secure life..Very few would be really wishing to do management because they want to do it. Was adviced by many around me to go for it because everyone else was doing and a BTech degree holder's salary would not be sufficient to have a life full of comforts. But no money didn't attract me much even after I come from not much financially well background. I have my own plans and priorities in my life(may be I will tell you about it next time).
The question is "Why people run after money and want to do what the crowd is doing? Why can't they take a decision on the basis of their interests and capabilities?" If everyone tries to do what they really want to do and what they are good at, there will be more efficiency. We don't spend much time on ourselves to know about our capabilities and our interests. It will be good if we think before planning our future and deciding our priorities in life.
Living life based on our personal priorities is needful because we will be doing more of what we want and need to do. Life is meant to be lived fully and we can achieve this only if we make conscious decisions about our future based on our priorities.