Mahatma Gandhi's Talisman Mahatma Gandhi's Talisman
Goddess Durga God­dess Durga
An Honest Scooterwallah in New Delhi: Fighting Corruption through Entrepreneurship An Honest Scooterwallah in New Delhi: Fighting Corruption through Entrepreneurship
The 'Awakened Women'
The 'Awakened Women' Self Help Group

Our Self Esteem has risen. It's risen a lot! We were all suppressed daughter-in-laws. Most importantly, we have learnt to talk. To move forward. And we have learnt to do our savings in the village. Not to be dependent on anyone!

The Three Saints of India: Swami Vevekananda, Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Teresa The Three Saints of India: Swami Vivekananda, Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Teresa

Feel for the poor

A Devotional Gathering A Devotional Gathering
Allows rural women to get out of homes and come together
Mr. Shambhu Dutta Sharma: Hony. General Secretary, Gandhian Satyagraha Brigade; Chairman Emeritus: Transparency International India Mr. Shambhu Dutta Sharma: Hony. General Secretary, Gandhian Satyagraha Brigade; Chairman Emeritus: Transparency International India

Nanogenarian Freedom Fighter of Mahatma Gandhi's Quit India Movement, fighting Corruption in Government through Gandhian Satyagraha

We have said that the third phase of our Satyagraha- if you don't pass any demand of these three- In the Gandhian parlance, we have told the government that upto the budget session, if you do nothing, then a few volunteers, five, six or seven of us- we will embark on a fast unto death! They are waiting that the movement will die of its own. Movement will not die. We may die!

"Satyagraha means Insistence in Truth. But it involves suffering of the man who engages in Satyagraha, because he cannot be violent. Hatred, evil, he cannot even entertain against the wrong doer. And because of your own self suffering, you may bring about some change in the person against whom you are doing Satyagraha.”

"On the 10th of August, 1942, I resigned my job as a member of the Indian Army Ordinance Core. I said: 'I will not serve the British. The devotion with which you- my British officers are working for your country reminds me of my obligation to my country!' So I was sent to prison right from my office."

"Two days before GandhiJi's assassination, he wrote an advisory note which we all treat as his last will and testament- and he said: 'I advise the Indian National Congress now that we have gained independence- that was  few months after India gained independence on 15th Aug, 1947- to disband yourself. Don't go after power politics.' Nobody Obeyed! Nobody complied! But this wing of Servants of People Society to which I have the honor to belong we went along with that last will and testament, and Lok Sewak Sangh was formed. Few joined because firstly, demands of Gandhi were rather rigorous: your religion shall be truth. Your means and methods will be non-violent- like that- and very few people even today would like to subscribe to that code!"

"If citizen doesn't protest even, and if non-governmental organizations don't stand up, and fight against this evil, Corruption will go on increasing."

"I stood first class first at my college, and was president of the student union. But I never practiced law because there was and still is so much of corruption in the lower judiciary that I found revolting as I found that as a budding lawyer I would have to tell so many lies to succeed. I remember the case of Mahatma Gandhi when he was a budding barister in South Africa: M.K Gandhi- bar at law- and he used to tell his clients- 'Please, tell me the truth. If you behold the truth at any stage and I later on come to know about it I will not be able to defend  you.' So great was the faith of the judge, that Gandhi has said so and so..., therefore, no arguments are necessary. "

"Here in Delhi, Mahatma Gandhi lived in the Bhangi colony- his way of identifying himself with the most depressed and suppressed class of India- the sweepers, and I must admit with great regret that even today in Indian villages they have to carry the human excreta on a basket on their heads. Lot of efforts are being made, lot of work is being done to uplift them, but still there are remnants of this."


Justice Leila Seth: First High Court and State Supreme Court Justice of India Justice Leila Seth: First High Court and State Su­preme Court Justice of India
Author: On Balance

"The first thing my father said when I was born was that there's going to be no dowry. She's going to go just as she is. And we're going to educate her and make her as good as the boys."

"I realized that in India you have to find somebody who knows him, will speak to him, so he will take the phone. So eventually I did.
When he saw me he said: Young lady- obviously he should have known why I was there- but he said: Young lady! What do you want?
I said: I want to join your chambers.
He said: You know, I think this is not a profession for young women, women should get married.
So I said: Mr. Choudhary! I am married!
Then he said to me: Well! If you're married, you should have a child.That's very important.
So, I said: Well! I have a child.
So, he looked at me and said: You know- if you have a child, it's not fair to have a single child. You should have atleast 2 children.
So I said: I have 2 children.
So, he said: You are a persistent young woman. Come and join my chambers. You'll do well at law!
So I joined his chambers and we went on from there."

"One of the things I moved for reform into the law commission - the women getting a part of the joint property, and the law has been passed. What I had hoped for was that it would kill the dowry system, and it would make women equal and I had hoped that many of these ills-like feticide- would die out. But its not happened yet! But I think people are realizing that you can't have an imbalanced world. From  dowry system you will go to a bride price system. One woman and there'll be 10 men waiting for her!"

"Making a law for the minority is always difficult unless the minority wants it. And the minority always feels that our religion is in danger. We need to have a uniform Civil Code- figure out what is best for women, what is best for others. Today even though our constitution says that we should have a uniform civil code, political vibrations are such that they don't do it!"

"When I was younger I did think the death penalty had some detrimental effect. As I have grown older, I definitely don't think so. There should be no death penalty."

"But the whole thing is that where do you get judges from? They are lawyers- members of society. So, if society doesn't have moral standards and high ethical standards, then you are bound to get lower standards in politics, in bureaucracy, in the judiciary. Judiciary- probably the least, because they are not that much in contact, you know? But it's bound to affect every limb of society.


Dr. Kiran Bedi: India's Highest Woman Law Enforcement Officer Dr. Kiran Bedi: India's Highest Woman Law Enforcement Officer
Winner of numerous awards including
Raman Magasaysay Award for Public Reform
Mother Teresa Memorial National Award for Social Justice
Featured in Documentaries and Author of various books.
Known for Prison Reform, Gully Schools, Drug Rehabilitation Programs and Empowerment of Women through her Navjyoti/India Vision Foundation

"The only thing that can change this country is a woman; A woman with power, who doesn't become like the men."

"Imagine girls not even having 25 percent support in the family, mine was 200 percent! For me, nothing mattered, male or female- I had broken through those bastions as a tennis player, as a young girl. Playing amongst the boys, the biggest glass ceiling is broken. If you want to break barriers, make girls play with boys and sensitize boys to play with girls."

"I never let any push down happen. If someone dared push me down, I held them by the scruff- Who are you to tell me this? Let's compete and see who wins. it wasn't overconfidence- but tremendous self-confidence of who I am, what I want to be, and what I want to do with my life."

"Iraq was such a tremendous misadventure. And all of us are paying for it. Because all of us are sinking in the cost of security which has gone up. If Iraq had not happened, terrorism  would not have stretched this far. It wouldn't have gotten this extreme. It's such a Frankenstein monster- Monsters- how do you bring them back into the bottle? America could still pay for its security. How does the rest of the world pay?"

"Over the years, what police has lost out on is sensitive and courageous leadership- from within its own ranks. Because corruption seeped in, politicization seeped in. This is a very dangerous combination: Political use, Political abuse, and Corruption. And today you don't know where to begin to correct the service. But even whenever we did begin, whoever began started with himself: by showing courage, by showing neutrality, and by giving integrity. These three things brought in those islands of changes wherever you saw them. Whatever you can recall. It was not because of neutral sustained political leadership. Never! Because you never had it!"

"I was always forging developmental strategies though that was not my role as a Police officer. But say, if you don't have a road, if you don't have work, if you don't have schools, if you don't have economic development- what will my security do?"

"When I was visiting American prisons, I looked around for mission statements outside the buildings. Not a single mission statement said: We're here to reform.  All said: Heightened security. Nowhere the word- 'Reform.'



The Self Help Group The Self Help Group

"If we do Purdah, we open our eyes also, No? Nobody can see from outside whether eye is open or not? We square our eyes and talk Madam! That's why we keep Purdah, so he doesn't know whether she's meeting his eyes or not!"

"I want that from my village, liquor and all intoxicating substances should go away. Everyone should spend their days with each other in affection and happiness. Should be good savings. And there should be no torture on women. And we don't have to spread our hands in front of men. So in our village, whatever is needed, we can find a solution to it ourselves."
--GyanvatiJi: Elected President of the Self Help Group Federation


Abhaypur women: Rajo and neighbours - Looking for help - for work. Abhaypur women: Rajo and neighbours - Looking for help - for work.

"He sits drunk with a stick in hand. If I try to do some little work to run the house- he beats me. But I want to learn something. Do it. I will do it in secret-bit by bit."

"Water comes when electricity comes. And electricity doesn't come sometimes for many days. There are 4 or 5 Govt. taps in the village. Some are broken, some work. But one who is rich will fill up, poor will keep standing to the side."

Author with Dr. Kiran Bedi - Founder, Environmental Management Graduate and facilitator Chandni and volunteers at the Navjyoti India Vision Foundation Author with Dr. Kiran Bedi - Founder, Environmental Management Graduate and facilitator Chandni and volunteers at the Navjyoti India Vision Foundation

"It is easy to mobilize women, rather than convincing men, because it is the women who realize that yes, it is their problem. The men don't care. It doesn't affect them. They want water- It's being provided to them by the women who have to bear the brunt of fetching water from 7 kms down the streets."--Chandni

Navjyoti Indian Vision Foundation Navjyoti Indian Vision Foundation
Fighting against a Rag picking Future: Gully Schools run by Navjyoti Fighting against a Rag picking Future: Gully Schools run by Navjyoti
A Gully School in Progress A Gully School in Progress

"Harey harey patte, lal lal phool...chalo bhai jaldi, chalo ischool.
Green green leaves, red red flowers, Come on brother lets hurry, lets go to school."

Vocational center for girls run by Navjyoti: Learning for survival Vocational center for girls run by Navjyoti: Learning for survival

Vocational center for girls run by Navjyoti: Learning for survival

I need to stand on my own feet, because when I get married and the man does not turn out okay, then I can stitch and earn some money by tailoring.

"We have left studies because of tensions at home- our parents and everyone says why we need to study because we are going to get married anyway! And the environment here is not safe. So they don't let us step out of the house- except for this."

"We would want that our children study. That they do more than us! Girls we need to definitely educate, the boy learns or doesn't learn!"

Mrs. Sushma Gupta: Sewing Teacher and much more Mrs. Sushma Gupta: Sewing Teacher and much more

"Many times the parents are not willing to send the girls- because the environment here in the slum can be very bad. So, in the home visits we have to make them understand why and tell them that the girl's responsibility is ours. We also make these girls understand, teach them what is good and what is bad according to their age and what they can do. If you learn stitching, then what advantages you have from it, and what you can become. Meaning, even though you're uneducated, with this you can do something, because here mostly the girls are all illiterate- though education is now growing."

The Three Heads: Pratiksha, Ankita and Ankit The Three Heads: Pratiksha, Ankita and Ankit

"If the Sky is there, we want to reach there, No?"

"In school life, I have experienced each and every thing- and each and every moment has actually taught me a very great thing. Some people scold you, some support you- everything contributes in us to becoming a very great human being.Can we all on record say Thank You to our teachers?"


Principal Jennifer Tytler Principal Jennifer Tytler

Staying ahead of students, parents and the times

"It is only in the last three or four years that Delhi as such has become aware and started the system of inclusive education, where we look after children with learning disabilities or physical challenges and keep them in our learning centers for a while before putting them in the classroom with the mainstream students. Our specially challenged children definitely have hope for the future. Maybe in the next decade or twenty years, the State will also begin to look after our specially challenged children, and give them all the advantages which the West is able to give their children."


School's On!! Band practice in the Himalayan foothills School's On!! Band practice in the Himalayan foothills
Not losing spin for today's students! Not losing spin for today's stu­dents!

"Today in this age of globalization, liberalization, with new ideas coming from outside, it's no more limited to one field of study. There are so many new avenues open for us!"

Students at Delhi University's Hansraj College Students at Delhi University's Hansraj College

"What has changed today is that our parents lived a chalked out life- they did what their parents wanted them to do. But today we do what we want to do. What we find happiness in. I think my Mom didn't know that she could even think this way. That this life even existed for her!"

"I don't think that my parents lived out a chalked out life. They took risks also and enjoyed life, but I think as time changes definition of risk changes."

"I'm involved with this youth intervention program in colleges to bring about change..." "I'm involved with this youth intervention program in colleges to bring about change... >>

...and there are sessions and workshops related to social issues, and I won't tell my parents I do all that because then they'll say it's time waste and all that! And of course I won't tell them about going out at night with friends and drinking and all that. My parents won't be cool about that!"

A Physics Graduate. Cobbling shoes on the footpath to support a family is okay. It's all work. A Physics Graduate. Cobbling shoes on the footpath to support a family is okay. It's all work.
The Chaiwallah: Selling Chai at 15 times less price than the shop in the upscale market across. Has India moved forward? We don't know. The Chaiwallah: Selling Chai at 15 times less price than the shop in the upscale market across. Has India moved forward? We don't know.
Buying and selling Rags. It's work! What else can I do? Buying and selling Rags. It's work! What else can I do?
"Population has increased from about half a million in 1947 to about fifteen million today, and expected to rise to twenty three million by 2021. Naturally there is a sharp increase in the load on the civic infrastructure. Everything to do with solid waste management, portable water supply, waste water disposal, trans­por­ta­tion in the city, housing for people drifting in with no place of their own- moving into squatter settlements on the fringes of the city- All of this poses a huge challenge in continuing to increase the capacity of the civic infrastructure. In absolute terms, it's like being on an escalator that's moving in the reverse direction and you are trying to move forward at least to keep still." >>

"Our vision for Delhi is that it should be a city with knowledge and culture and of course a humane city, where people are treated as decent human beings whether they are visitors or our own people- where we deal with them in a very humane and sympathetic way!"

Lt. Governor Tejinder Khanna Lt. Governor Tejinder Khanna >>

"Yes! We want Delhi to become a city of innovation, of higher learning and also a city for global cultural exchange. So anybody who thinks they would like to benefit from presentations of Indian cultural expression or share their own cultural expression with our city we will be happy to welcome them and the other way around."

"We have a densely populated city- we can't just ask people to move away because we have to widen the roads. There's a legal procedure you have to follow. It's not like China that you can just draw a line and say that basically in fifteen days the bulldozers are moving in and rest is left to people to scurry around and retrieve what they can. Here it's a slower process for obvious reasons. But the strategy is quite clear. Delhi alone can't absorb everything and cope with the huge demands on the civic system. We should encourage the development of the satellite towns. And it is happening."

"We are a global city. We hope to be upgraded to higher standards. If you can propose based on your own experience in your home country   some solutions which might be pertinent to solving the issues in Delhi- like low cost housing, public transportation systems upgrades, dedicated bus corridors and this and that... Then we are very happy to engage with those people who can provide those kinds of solutions."

"We have a densely populated city- we can't just ask people to move away because we have to widen the roads. There's a legal procedure you have to follow. It's not like China that you can just draw a line and say that basically in fifteen days the bulldozers are moving in and rest is left to people to scurry around and retrieve what they can. Here it's a slower process for obvious reasons. But the strategy is quite clear. Delhi alone can't absorb everything and cope with the huge demands on the civic system. We should encourage the development of the satellite towns. And it is happening." >>

"We are a global city. We hope to be upgraded to higher standards. If you can propose based on your own experience in your home country   some solutions which might be pertinent to solving the issues in Delhi- like low cost housing, public transportation systems upgrades, dedicated bus corridors and this and that... Then we are very happy to engage with those people who can provide those kinds of solutions."

My personal view is that Delhi should be given Statehood My personal view is that Delhi should be given Statehood- made an independent state minus the areas which are handled by NDMC- >>

directly handled by central govt because of their sensitivity- the Parliament is there, the embassies, the Central govt offices.

For the rest- give the State govt full powers and let them work! The Central govt areas could be given a separate status like Washington DC. Unless we can do this- we will not have an efficient system.

I have served in Kerala, Arunachal Pradesh, Andaman-Nicobar islands, Goa and Delhi.
Basic administrative norms of all areas are the same. You are dealing with human beings. But the administrative pattern, culture and norms have to emerge out of the local socio-economic conditions and culture of the people that are being administered. You can’t have the same strategy for a tribal area .
I will give you an example- They think in a different way. I was serving in Andaman Nicobar islands- One female officer came from Delhi and she was taken to a tribal meeting- and the first thing she asked was: “What do you want?” They didn’t like that. They said: We are not beggars.

She couldn’t understand what went wrong- because she didn’t have an understanding of the tribal psyche.

India is a very interesting place- all corners have different kinds of people, geographical conditions… so you have to adapt your strategy according to the local conditions. Basic norms of administration remain the same but in what way you deal with them-you have to evolve your strategy of dealing- that comes from experience.

The Andamand Nicobar island population consists of descendents of convicts and people who migrated from West Bengal or Tamilnadu regions . Entirely different than people in Goa who were ruled by Portuguese. British and Portuguese rules were very different. No structures other than churches were left in Portuguese India- while British left a lot of infrastructure and systems where they ruled. Everywhere I have served, the people, the infrastructure and the culture is very very different.

I am happy that while I am commissioner the planning process has gotten in place – and there’s a master plan with public awareness and active public participation which is very important- and that’s a great achievement.

Ashok Kumar: (Former) Municipal  Commissioner of Delhi with Grandson Ashok Kumar: (Former) Municipal Commissioner of Delhi with Grandson >>

MCD provides basic services dealing with sanitation, health care, primary education, authorized and unauthorized constructions, parking, and allied services- covering about 98% of the geographical area and 96% of Delhi's population, which today stands upwards of about 15 million.

We will have to provide a multi-pronged strategy for Delhi. First we will have to provide anti-magnets so people don’t come here. People come here for better facilities, job opportunities, education, security …things like that. Now we have the concept of the National Capital Region- why have everything in Delhi? Decentralize and decongest the city so people don’t have to unncecessarily come here. That is begiining to happen.

If we improve the public transportation system I’m sure pressure on roads will decrease.
Metro is a Signature act. It’s a success. We learn from our failures- we should also learn from our successes. Rules were changed for the Metro. Why not replicate the same model for other major projects? I see no contradiction in Democracy and speed. You have to have a vision. Metro has succeeded in a democracy.

In Delhi, about 40% of population is staying in unauthorised colonoies where there is no sewer connection. All that is generated gets into the storm drains and from there it heads into the river Yamuna. So what Sunita Narain is saying (Delhi is drowning in Shit) is not incorrect! So Jal board is coming out with a plan. They will not wait for all sewage to come to one point. They will have treatment plants at convenient centers inbetween. After treatment it goes into the canal and then into the river. So, decentralized treatment of sewage.

Agricultural land is being unauthorisedly carved into various plots and being sold off at a low price. And then all these shanties come up there without any facilities- no water supply, no sanitation. And then because of political reasons after 5-10 years all these colonies are regularized. They say they will provide all these facilities but you may try your best it will not be possible to lay proper sewer lines in such unauthorized areas- or to put proper roads.

My suggestion has been accepted by the govt. to at the very beginning- when a person comes and says –I have 10 or 20 acres of land – then we permit him to go for a residential colony or commercial area according to the land use of that area- so that at the very beginning you have a proper colony. That proposal has been accepted.

We don’t have the luxury in Delhi of having agricultural land where the cost of land is more than let’s say, 10 crore rupees ($25,000,000) per acre.

If we are able to remove this parallax of ground reality and the planning process– have a focused plan and implementation, then we will achieve our targets.

Arvind Kejriwal: Founder, Parivartan (Change) Arvind Kejriwal: Founder, Parivartan (Change)
Raman Magasaysay Award Winner for Fighting Corruption through 'Right to Information'
"There's mutual corruption that goes on at the top, but there's extortionist corruption that goes on at the bottom- where a common man has to pay bribes in his day to day life to get his legitimate rights from government departments. This is really killing the country because every single mind in the country is turning corrupt, >>

and we've now started justifying corruption by saying that there's nothing wrong in giving and taking bribes! A country where the psyche of the whole nation turns corrupt, where every single individual turns corrupt- that country can't progress."

"When we were dealing with Income Tax department, I stayed completely in the background. There were other friends who were the face of Parivartan, and I was doing the back room job. They would talk to media and to senior officers. I would have been lynched, if they knew I was behind it, because it became very hot. And we fought a case in the court against the department, so the deparment would have really killed me. I was still inside the department at that time."

"Corruption works at two levels: One is mutual- the other is extortion. You have paid excess taxes. You want your refund. They won't give you your refund. That's your legitimate right. But the going rate is 10% of your refund- to the clerk or the babu and only then you will get your check. And you won't get a PAN - permanent account number- every citizen is supposed to have one- without a bribe."

"On 3rd March 2002, we did a Satyagraha outside MCD office, wherein 30 of us, took our application forms and met the additional commissioner who is the competent authority. He said: We are a big department and to give him time- so we said: We are not in a hurry, we are sitting outside your room- take your time. So he said: it might take months, and we said: we are not in a hurry, we will sit here for months. We will not disturb you. We are not raising slogans. We will keep sitting in that corner. So he said: there's a problem in the law also, it needs to be amended. So we said: you write to get the law amended- only when the law is amended and our applications are taken care of- then only we will go from here. So, by evening he accepted all our applications. Just some dummy applications- RTI-Right To Information- applications- list of sweepers in his area..."

We started teaching RTI to everyone. Whoever would come we would draft his RTI application and ask him to go and submit it. So in about two months, about 300 cases got solved through RTI. We thought this was a magic wand, use it in every govt. department. Electricty, Water, MCD, Sanitation, Parks- everywhere...

It works because- The law says that he has to reply in 30 days, otherwise his salary would start getting deducted from 31st day. So, there is a penalty clause.

Whenever we are in the middle of a campaign - depends on what kinds of interest you are challenging - Public Distribution System (Ration Shops)- was a very violent period. Those few years there were several physical attacks on us- people were beaten up. Throat of one of our workers was slit by the shopkeepers. During Water Privatization- it was greed that was offered in various ways.

Actually each of those incidents when it happens- it tests you in varius ways - it tests your strength- it tests the organization's strength. Once you are through it, it gives you more strength to take on bigger battles."

Ranjana Kumari: Founder, Center for Social Research Ranjana Kumari: Founder, Center for Social Research- Fighting for Gender Equality and lobbying to reform laws for women.
Author: Brides are not for Burning. >>

"Female feticide is a major problem in this country, and with advent of technology which can clearly identify the fetus in the womb of the woman, it has become much more acute. Our sex ratio is very imbalanced to the extent we have 1000 boys born to 878 girls, and there are districts where 672 girls are born. Delhi is worst hit, and unfortunately this whole disease of aborting female fetuses and the mindset where female children are being killed before they are born, is unfortunately more in the urban educated population, in the richer people! So many horrendous stories to the extent you think whether this society is worth living for or not, what is happening to us all. Of course, on the other- brighter side there are loads of organizations working against such a thing, to stop it. It's not that nobody is bothered."

It's the way society really imparts values and trains you, you know? You tell your brother not to bring the water for the sister, but the sister must bring the water for the brother. So the mindset! You know, inferiority that is inculcated in the minds of men and women differently.

We have a provision in the law- and this should be known to national and internationally- for girls who have gone and got married anywhere in the world. 498 is a provision of the dowry law- any mental or physical cruelty against a woman within 7 years of marriage- now extended to whole life- in relation to dowry, she can always complain. Complaint is cognizable. Complaint is non-compoundable. and also non-bail-able. You cannot seek bail. Its a very effective law to the extent that now male groups are writing to say: we are here to save the Indian family, and- so we say to them- why don't you say No to dowry?

In 2005 we got the Domestic Violence Law passed. It's a very strong law. It's a civil law, so really provides compensation to the woman- and also you don't have to go to the police, because the police is very insensitive in this country, in spite of our 10 years of gender raining police, we can't claim that the police has become sensitive!

We know that the girls are not able to come out in the first round itself. When the water is above your nose, you start drowning, then the girls come out. In this law we also saw to the possibility that anybody else can complain. On behalf of the girl, complaint can come from a relative, neighbor, an organization, anybody- maybe you know your friend has been abused by her family and husband- then you can complain on her behalf.

Professor Sangeeta Kohli and Professor M.R. Ravi with son Pratyush Professor Sangeeta Kohli and Professor M.R. Ravi with son Pratyush

Using technology for Rural Devel­op­ment >>

That is the only answer to India’s poverty problem. Technological input combined with micro-credit. Yes! And very small technologies.

Only when IIT’s start contributing to the empowerment of the masses- contributing to the decentralized sector through technological innovations will it really start contributing to India’s development. And unless we decide that we are 'not' going to take the path of the West- that is we take the sustainable development path– we will make the same mistakes as the West did- and we will always stay behind.

So much needs to be done either in improvements in technology or innovations in existing technologies. When we got involved in the rural development we saw that if you make a small advancement- make a small input – it makes  a huge difference in their cash inflow. They realize they can become more competitive in the market.

We are talking about people with no capital whatsoever and an annual turnover of less than or about a lakh ($2500).

Khadi and Village Industries Commission is currently the main agent for rural employment guarantee program that has been started recently. It will promote self-enterpreurship.

IIT, Delhi and Khadi and Village Industries Commission have jointly set up a national institute for rural development called the Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Rural Industrialization which is this nodal institute that has technical interfaces into all leading technical institutions of the country like the IIT’s , IISC, NITs and other private institutes which will provide all the technical know-how to problems. The field people at the grass root level and officers of the Commission will disseminate this know-how and get the problems of the villages from bottom to the topmost level. So the network is available now throughout the country. So instead of solutions from top-down it is Issue based from bottom up. That is when it works. The potential is to reach the remotest corners- rest depends on the efficacy of the commission.

Trickle down economy is a fantasy of Capitalism. Has it ever worked? Trickle down economy is a fantasy of Capitalism. Has it ever worked?

When Commodity prices grow, the government employee’s salaries grow in the same proportion. The people above the govt. salary level- their incomes are growing at a rate much faster. And the commodity prices are rising.

Take the example of the servant/maid in a house here– the moment I get an increment of 10% in my salary – do I hike their salary by 10%? Do all of us do it? If we don’t, then its very clear that these people are not coming up at the same rate as these middle ones.

So the top is rising faster. The middle is rising at a certain rate and the bottom is not rising as much- which means Commodity prices are becoming more and more unreachable for the bottom – and therefore the poorer are becoming poorer- and the richer are growing richer. This is growing. An increasing gradient is a sign of instability. If trickle down happened, gradients would be evened out.

My son is growing up in a society that is increasingly selfish. The environment is not ideal. There are  a lot of external influences. He will need a lot more inner strength to remain what he is today- a balanced person. That is a lot to demand out of a child. To be a child with a balanced viewpoint is tough! It is easy to get carried away.

Vimlendu Jha: Founder, We For Change/We for Yamuna Vimlendu Jha:
Founder, We For Change/We for Yamuna [picture from browsekid]

Saving the Yamuna River-lifeline of Delhi and a sacred River of India through activism and education in schools, colleges and road plays
Besieged. Polluted. Almost Extinct. >>

"We treat Yamuna more as a source of water than as an ecosystem. We say that we need a hundred liters of water, so we'll take a hundred liters of water. We're not looking at it to say- Oh well, we also have to keep that river alive. There is enormous wastage of water due to leaking pipes, industrial and religious dumping into the river and overdrawing of water for irrigation."

"Basically we want to bring Yamuna back to the mind map of the government- that Yamuna is important! Almost 70 percent of drinking water for Delhi comes from Yamuna. And almost 60 percent of water in the Ganges comes from the Yamuna. So if there's no Yamuna, there's no Ganga. Historically, culturally, religiously, Yamuna has its significance. Delhi is Delhi because of Yamuna. Agriculture, Irrigation, Industry, Water- it all comes from the Yamuna. And if there's no Yamuna, there will be no water in Delhi- and who can buy mineral many people can afford to buy mineral water in India?"

Mr. Dadoo: (Former) Secretary for Environment, New Delhi Mr. Dadoo: (Former) Secretary for En­vi­ron­ment, New Delhi

"Five Lakh Rupees for the best Rainwater Structure Award!" >>


In a very big way, we would like to do Rainwater Harvesting, because we get twenty days of rain, two hours on an average, which means forty hours in a year, and right now we are tapping less than one hour of that rain. We need to tap at least fifty percent of that water, and recharge the groundwater and a large part of the problem in Delhi will be resolved.

We have always thought of getting the water in form of the piped water supply. We have never thought in terms of recharging the groundwater and that is a focus we'll have to handle now because population of the city is growing at about half a million every year, so if the water recharge is not done adequately then we may face a severe water problem in the years to come.

We also have grandiose plans of getting water through two schemes in Himachal Pradesh and one scheme in Uttar Pradesh- but those are big projects. They take time to materialize, while rainwater harvesting can be done immediately and can be done by any number of people in the city.

Right now we have to depend upon recharging the ground water, number one, and number two, ensuring that the water from the unsewered colonies that enters river Yamuna through seventeen drains gets treated at these seventeen drains before it enters the river. So we're going to have what we call interceptor sewers to treat that water so that when it finally flows into the river it is not as dirty as it used to be! I assume in the next three four years we should have much cleaner water flowing into the river Yamuna.  

Jawahar Lal Nehru Prize 2008-09 for Popularization of Science to CSE Jawahar Lal Nehru Prize 2008-09 for Popularization of Science to CSE
C.S.Babu: Coordinator, River Pollution Unit, Center for Science and Environment
"India is Drowning in Shit"
Water and Sewage should be Everyone's Business!

There are places in India where water table has depleted from hundred, hundred and fifty feet to below thousand feet. Water quality is increasingly bad in many villages, due to depletion or due to industry nearby, and the people are helpless. Many water blocks across India are now critical or near critical, but in certain cities, states like in Delhi, Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab- the water balance is actually negative- you are eating up on the future water availability.

There is an urgent need for us to go back to traditional ways of managing water! And what we have to do is stop the wastage of water! There's a relation between water and pollution. Eighty percent of water we use is returned as waste and therefore every liter of water saved makes a difference to the river!

No one feels for the river, and we're trying to tell people that look! There's a link between you and the river. Water that you drink comes from the river, the shit that goes from your house comes back to the river.

Every city today is dreaming of pumping water from far-off distances. River at its backyard is dirty. We want to dirty it further. It's not our responsibility! Someone downstream is going to take care of it!

We believe that every household can treat and reuse its sewage. We are promoting decentralized sewage management at house level, community level, at institutional level... We are talking about underground systems, similar to septic tanks- bioreactors that would treat sewage to acceptable levels for non-potable purposes. But in slum or very congested areas, we should have a park or an open area that can be incorporated.

Prof. Zoya Hasan: Member, Minorities Commission of India - "The issue close to my heart is equity" Prof. Zoya Hasan: Member, Minorities Com­mis­sion of India - "The issue close to my heart is equity" >>

"It is very important to be clear that in India 'minorites' refer to linguistic and religious minorites and there are really no affirmative action programs, or any preferential or special treatment of religious minorities. On the contrary, the Indian Constitution prohibits any kind of preferential or special treatment on the ground of religion which is seen to be going against the secular basis of the constitution. So there's a very interesting relationship in India between secularism and affirmative action."

"We do have one of the world's best regimes of affirmative action, but it is a regime pertaining only to Scheduled castes, Scheduled Tribes and now Other Backward Castes, but it excludes from its purview religious and linguistic minorities. And if we look at the situation of the Muslims today, in 2006-07, on most socio-economic indicators, their condition is not much better than that of scheduled castes. In fact, in some respects, they are even worse off."

Renu and Vishnu: "Scheduled Caste" "Untouchable" Latrine sweepers at a public toilet in an upscale market in New Delhi


"Why- everything's changed! World has moved forward. But the poor man has stayed behind. Where does the poor man go, tell? He's right where he was. What should he eat- how does he manage- some have two, three children- how do they manage? Some are widow, tell- how do the ends meet for the poor person?" >>

"No work is actually bad. But the thing is that a garbage man will be called a garbage man only. It happens like this in the village that who's down, like us, we get only one work. No one would even let us enter into their house. Don't even give us water because  I am an untouchable. They stay far from us only. In Delhi it's fine but, there is untouchability in the village, rural areas still. So go to Agra, they'll give you chai in a kullarh-claypot- won't give it in a reguloar glass! The thing is they'll ask your caste first- befor giving chai. Even if you're very handsome, everything is just so...tight... they'll still ask you which caste you are from."

Kirin and Pravin Singh: Members of a former Prime Minister's family Kirin and Pravin Singh: Members of a former Prime Minister's family >>

"Basically, the politics in India is changing for good. People had this idea that politicians and politics has gone to the dogs. But the new generation coming in- the educated lot, the influential lot- I would say people from good background, financially sound, well educated- they are coming into politics and it is difficult for people to take them for granted and get things done in a wrong way- by paying them, or by bribing them."

"Sometimes you feel guilty- there is a lot of disparity. India is growing, but not the whole of India. When you come across poverty and disease and sickness- little children eating from the garbage, you just want to stop and rethink- are we actually growing? Then it bothers you. You have so much. You feel guilty. You see children picking up from the garbage and eating. You know those are very sad moments."

Professor Satish Deshpande: Economist Professor Satish Deshpande: Economist

Caste and Inequality: How Caste affects life’s chances.

We obviously have divisions around ‘Class’: Large number of very poor and a significant number of very rich people- and these people are rich and poor now by global standards-not just Indian standards. >>

We are a subcontinent- very large, very diverse. It is more the expectation of simplicity and homogeneity that is to be questioned. Any large country like the United States is a very complicated country- and there exist very many divisions within the United States itself, or China for that matter. Diversity is not a particularly surprising fact.

Ethnicity and language are another set of divisions in India. And at the time of independence- linguistic communities were the first to organize and States were organized along linguistic lines which promotes ethnic chauvinism based on language.

Divisions in India are also on the basis of religion- which gives you Muslims and Hindus and so on.. Within religion they are on the basis of Caste- so in Christians there are lower and upper caste Christians. Within Muslims you have various caste identities and of course within Hindus you have the Hindu Caste order.

Caste is a grouping that is decided by birth and that is associated with a social ranking in the Hindu social order and used to be associated with particular professions and occupations. It involves strong sanctions-rules about whom one may marry. It has similar restrictions on occupation. and it even involves rules about social interaction including food sharing- whom you may accept food from.

But even in the past there was a significant degree of mobility possible in the middle level as economic or political circumstances changed across the centuries. But the extremes tended to be fairly rigid. So it was very difficult to change or affect the stataus at the top and the bottom of the hierarchy.

Caste is a Portuguese word and is used in English to refer to two different things: Varna- which is a large macro classification which refers to usually four or sometimes five categories. However, each ‘Varna’ may contain hundreds or thousands of everyday castes or 'Jatis'. Though it may appear rather quaint on the surface, in modern times Caste is taking on the features of an identity.

By and large, most well off and high status people tend to be upper caste and most poor and so called menial professions disproportionately tend to be manned by the lower caste. So on either end of the spectrum there remains a strong correlation between Caste and material status.

The Lowest Caste, or what we refer to as the Outcastes constitute what we refer to as the Untouchables. Their situation has changed the least although that too is changing- particulary with a lot of political mobilization.

Most recent and innovative forms of political mobilization have been seen in Uttar Pradesh with the latest electoral success of Mayavati, a lower caste herself, who has become the Chief Minister with an alliance with the upper caste Brahmins.

That ideological hold of various forms of belief that taught people that they were where they were supposed to be-is simply not credible any more. While the poor and the suppressed recognize that they are poor and suppressed- none of them believe that they are there by divine decree.
It is curious that now the upper castes are even more clinging to beliefs in their superiority- the lower castes no longer believe it. That is an irreversible change!

Professor Satish Deshpande Professor Satish Deshpande
Economic development is not affected by Caste and Inequality. In fact, you can have massive development with massive inequality. It is 'Equitable Economic Development' that is affected. >>

What is interesting though is that there will be a lot of shaking up of institutions and that process will be full of upheavals of various kinds. We live in eventful times. But there’s no question that this has to happen. These are processes of social change that are part of social trajectories that can’t be avoided.

In the West economic divisions very long ago have established complete supremacy- and while it is possible at ideological level clichés like anyone can be President- we know that is simply not possible because of the kind of money and kind of corporate backing it takes. There is no doubt that big capital runs places like America in ways that are very hard to dislodge because inter-locking system originally referred to as the military-industrial complex by President Eisenhower is now taking many different shapes.

Here in India, the hold of big capital remains on the surface. It is strong- yes. It's not that we are that much different- but somehow its possible to expect major change such as the change you see in UP.   So possibilities- sometimes disconcerting possibilities- but possibilities for change are present in India. Places like India, China or Latin America are the places to look to the future.

The idea of America is strongly present but has undergone a lot of change. A lot more people now have a lot more detailed information about America. This micro level information is making a difference. So people are likely now to know about wife beating or joblessness or racism rather than just see $ signs when you think about America.

And in the Iraq war- the seeming inability of the world’s biggest democracy to be democratic! Lot of people now realize this- that America is not just the name of a dream or something like that- it’s also full of problems.

Obviously everything is changing at all levels of society here, but the important questions are: Are they changing enough? Are they changing at a pace that the society can sustain? Or is the pace of change being retarded by social processes?

One very prominent thing is the emergence of extreme left wing politics in large parts of India- particularly the rural. Broadly speaking, wherever exploitation levels have been higher, we are seeing the developments of Maoist groups– and these are directly related to levels of poverty and exploitation. And they do produce change. And that is the route some parts of the country will have to take. Other parts of the country will through economic prosperity and unavoidable truickle down effect cross the threshold in terms of the relative gaps between the haves and the have nots. And once that threshold is crossed- more volatile periods of change will happen.

The Poverty Line is India is a frightening concept! It defines the point at which a biological entity can be kept alive. Close to a third of our people are still living below this biological minimum. It is not an achievement for a country like India with changing standards to claim that we are able to keep our population physically alive!

The important thing is that now ‘Inequality’ is no longer tolerable and as stable as it was- because now we live in a heavily media saturated world where kind of lifestyles and kind of possibilities that exist are visible in great detail. Therefore, it is not possible for people to feel contented with what they have. They are always driven- in a sense by the knowledge that more is available. Sometimes it sets up the paradoxical situation that improvement increases discontent.

Professor Manoj Pant: International Trade Expert, Jawahar Lal Nehru University Professor Manoj Pant: International Trade Expert, Jawahar Lal Nehru University >>

To think that IT is something different from everything else- it isn't! It's just a new way of delivering commodities. The advantage of IT, is that it doesn't require a traditional infrastructure- does not require roads, and in particular does not require proximity to growth sectors, production point or consumers. But the thing is that the kind of growth that's taking place, the sectors that IT is impacting- if you are not educated, you are not going to be able to partake of that. This lack of spread of education is the biggest stumbling block.

Unfortunately it is not the kind of bigger growth that is of the mass consumer nature like in manufacturing, which tends to go to the poorer much more quickly. Mass consumer based manufacturing in China- the advantage is it doesn't require too many skills. This is not the kind that's taking place here. It's more IT- and some degree of education is required. That's why the inclusive part is important at the moment. We need to move beyond thinking about the growth figures, and see who the money is going to.

Educational streaming hasn't changed too much. Students are still being channelized into engineering and medicine and then into management, economics and so on, but the difference is that we are still talking about a very small percentage of the population. Less that 1 percent of the employable work force which is-State Universities provide education to less than 10 percent of those eligible for higher education. What about the other 90%? They are studying whatever they can- run of the mill, fly by night operations. It is they who have a problem. Top ten percent don't have a problem. That is why salaries in the organized sector are so high today. Others- where do they go- that is where the problem is! That is where the educational infrastructure is lagging behind the requirements industry.

Traditionally Agricultural Sector in India is subsistence economy. In most states it still is. Upwards of 90-95 percent are small farmers, each subsisting on about 1 hectare of land. So first challenge for that sector is how to move them out into agro-processing sector which does not require so much land, because whatever people might say, India is not a land surplus country.

Indian Institute of Technology Students: Aspirations

Bio Technology Phd students- Three Girls:

We all got selected based on eligibility criteria. This is a good and renowned technical institute and we get more opportunities to work in industries after here. Job prospects are very good.

We want to solve environmental problems through bio-technological approaches, like treatment of organic and inorganic contaminants in waste water. >>

We do not have proper treatment facilities in small scale industries and all the discharge of effluent goes to the rivers. Laws are there- no one obeys them. Industry is supposed to treat them- but they don't!
We plan to stay in India. Teaching or join consultancies... India is the place we need to put in more effort.

We don’t think marriage impacts the future of girls in India. We don’t think so!


Civil and Mechanical Engineering Undergraduate class
Two boys and one girl:

In Civil engineering there are 4 girls out of a batch of 70. There are 40-42 girls out of a batch of entire 550 here. So, less than 10%.

This is my ideal degree. I had always wanted to be in IIT.

To enter IIT, I had to study a lot. Work hard. 10-11 hours of coaching everyday. Dropped a year of school. Almost everyone has gone through coaching. It's  an exception for a student to get here without it. Concepts are very important for physics and Math. Lot of memorization is required, but you need to have very strong understanding to clear the exam.

Top rankers would choose Computer Science- Nobody would choose Civil! But then when you are in it- you develop a passion for it.
Largest packages are more towards the Finance sector and Comp Science is most in demand. You don't have to go into IT but it's used everywhere.

Aspiration here is to get into Multinationals. After engineering, I will do MBA. I will go into wherever field I get the highest package.

The Civil jobs are the toughest and not rewarding. If I get a Core job here and it's not rewarded- then I will go abroad- why not?

I don’t see any reason to go abroad when I can get everything I want here after my qualifications. India is basically home and I would like to stay at home.

Dr. Deepak Gupta: Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist Dr. Deepak Gupta: Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist

"The structure of the family is changing, from a joint to a nuclear to a single parent, and single parent to more live-in relationships- its all coming up in India more and more. Divorce rates, marital conflict leading to again single parents- this type of structural reform is happening inside the family, which makes a difference to a child's wellbeing." >>

A family acts as a buffer in working with the difficulties of the child, and tries to neutralize the child again back to the right trajectory. But a family that itself has a question mark and that is itself struggling to settle will not be able to provide a proper adequate buffer.

Because the system is breaking up, the people in the system are themselves emotionally disturbed and stressed out. Themselves they don't know why they exist, what they're looking for- that causes lot of frustration, anger, aggression, lack of self control- so they are not able to provide the right adequate parenting environment for these youngsters today.

I see lots of unwanted pregnancies, illegal abortions, HIV infections, exploitations, and emotional problems. My point is that any intervention should be done based on the current socio-cultural scenario, where the message is what is healthy sexuality, how it should be preserved, why healthy sexual relationships are important, how to protect yourself from not only physical damages, physical infections; HIV, STD, other risk of reproductive health, pregnancy, abortion, but emotional problems like bullying, blackmailing, rejections, separations...

So the point is if we don't work with today's youngsters and don't educate them, the high risk behavior in these adolescent teenagers will increase."

Professor Tulsi Patel: Sociologist & Author, "Sex-Selective Abortion in India" Professor Tulsi Patel: Sociologist & Author, "Sex-Selective Abortion in India"

"Girls are more vulnerable today, not because of issues of morality, but rather because of issues of security. This has always been there, but with greater and greater migration, it is on the rise. It was there, but you could see that you were moving among people who knew you. >>

They may not be family, but they knew you. It was possible for a girl to walk three kilometers to a school and not be raped, which is less and less a possibility today.

Wedding is an industry. From advertisings to newspapers to television to textiles to jewelry to accessories to event management- you name it and the entire culture industry is into the wedding scene. That is something which has made marriage a very expensive proposition.

So, while at the same time as parents become aware of treating their daughter equally to their son, and provide her with an equivalent education, they are also ending up spending more money on their daughters. And then of course there are security issues. So, daughters it turns out are both vulnerable and costly to maintain!

At least the association is there. You can see the sex ratios- the number of ultra sound machines that are there in India, the use of these machines, and at the same time this gift industry and the marriage industry that is there. It's a serious nexus. It's a nexus where industry, economy, market, consumerism, education, marriage- everything seems to be!

The National Population Policy would say: 'Have fun with one!' People are now accepting it. People are now designing their families- choosing to have their one fun child: A boy. "

Prof. M.R. Ravi- Indian Institute of Technology, Prof. Sangeeta Kohli-Indian Institute of Technology with son Pratyush Prof. M.R. Ravi- Indian Institute of Technology, Prof. Sangeeta Kohli-Indian Institute of Technology with son Pratyush >>

"At least in my generation when I was a student, no one would openly admit that making money is my career goal. Today, it's where the money is. It's a major shift in focus for aspirations. And core Engineering jobs unfortunately are still not as well paid, even in the best of employments. The formula for high paying jobs is IIT, IIM and get into that high paying job in a multinational firm."

"I have told myself that to feel frustrated is no solution. We have to sensitize these kids about the reality of this country, and see how many actually get inspired. If in a class of hundred, one gets inspired, that's good. Most of these kids are completely unaware of what's happening in their country. They hardly know anything outside their classroom and their homes. They just don't know what's happening on the streets."

"Now several IIT's have started technology business incubation cells including IIT Delhi, and in fact I am the technical director of one such company which was started by students a few years back. So, it is happening but in a very small way- The handshake of academia and industry is beginning to happen."

Dr. Vikram Kumar: (Former) Director, National Physical Laboratory of India Dr. Vikram Kumar: (Former) Director, National Physical Laboratory of India


"India has a dearth of scientists. We have acquired hardly any new blood in the last decade and we are critically short of scientists. >>

But, students don't stay in science today. It doesn't pay. And Govt. has done nothing to change that. We are short of scientists. We are short of engineers. And we can't afford to compete with Multinational salaries. Only if some outside companies start setting up research labs here, and pay well, the situation might change."

Dr. P.S. Sindhu
Author & Professor of Chemistry, Delhi University

Students are coming from a middle class family, and a middle class family has been in need of money for the last 30, 40 years- So they are running for money!

Science students do not immediately get jobs. Lesser and lesser number of students are coming for science and I feel bad about it. >>

I have been involved in the changes in the curriculum in the chemistry dept and in general science for the last 15 years. Whenever I suggest any change suggesting you do it in this particular way, they are not going to do it, because they say how does it matter!

At one time I told them why not introduce some applied courses in chemistry in the colleges. If sombody wants to go to the applied, let him go. If somebody wants to go to the pure science, let him go, both streams are open. Everything will remain alright, and science will remain popular! Its not essential that if someone has missed the bus after 12th class, or even after BSc- well, he should still be allowed to go for the Applied Sciences.

Education should be moral, for the development of the mind. To see things critically. If these objectives are met, then society will change. Even the boys and girls sitting together, this is a sort of moral development- Openness and things like that!

P. Rajendran: COO, NIIT; Spreading IT education to the masses P. Rajendran: COO, NIIT; Spreading IT education to the masses

"One of my greatest thrills in life is that I have lived through these twenty five years and today as we sit talking here, about 1.6 million people in the IT industry are employed in India, and another 400,000 people of Indian origin are dispersed around the world in this sector. We would be employing another one million or so by 2011 and also by that time, projected by the industry association- we will be short of 500,000 people. >>

So this computers plus networking plus communication has unleashed a new kind of employment opportunity which was not even visible twenty five years ago."

"So something which could be slightly negative, is that so much pressure has been there in hiring people from our engineering colleges: Initially it was the comp science guys, then MCAs, then the general thing became- let's hire any engineer, because they've all gone through the CAT exam of India for entering the colleges, so by definition they are all meritorious students, they can be taught a skill. They're hirable. In the process, I think, probably, probably, we don't have very good civil engineers, and this nation is now booming in construction. So I'm not really sure if we have the right technicians and civil engineers available who are up to speed on the latest techniques. I'm sure it's all there, but we have created a definition these last couple of years, where we have moved all of them into IT."

Md. Shahabuddin: Asst. Vice President, NASSCOM Md. Shahabuddin: Asst. Vice President, NASSCOM

National Association of Software Companies of India



Now what we are doing for the customer is much more high end, which a customer never dreamed that a Indian company can do. The first reason, people come here is cost. There is about a 8 percent cost differential between working in India or the US. So, the first year you beat the competition by cost. But the next year do you thing GM would stay here because it is cost effective- No! Customer came here for cost, stayed here for quality!

The first thing we did as we became mature during Y2K was to create certain 'hygiene' standards and quality certifications. CMMI- which is the most respected certification in software engineering- the first company to adopt it was an Indian company. 80% of total CMM and CMMI certification is with Indian companies across the world. So quality & process adherence, Sigma practices, and learning best practices from your customers- organizations like GE, AMEX - so we started learning them, and implanted them in our system. If you look at project management, I don't think anyone has got it better than Indians. I've travelled across the world. I don't think anyone has it better than Indians.

Md. Shahabuddin:

Do you think fraud doesn't happen elsewhere? 95% of fraud happens in the US. Various studies have shown this. What happens is that when you take a certain piece of activity from your motherland to somewhere else people expect you to be far more productive, far more efficient, and far more effective than what is happening in your motherland. Its natural.


What's happened is that this industry- IT and BPO has evolved very fast. Now here's need for qualified people in middle managerial postitions. And this is a problem everywhere in the world.There is nothing else that's an issue- security or anything else- which will hamper us. I think if our stick of middle management doesn't straighten, we will have to leave business!

The India-Pakistan Partition- 1947

"I joined Govt. College in Lahore (Pakistan) for Chemistry. It was very prestigious then. I also did Punjabi (hons) and was editor of magazine at the college. Lots of students were members of the independence movement, including a few very pro-active girls. I was not in it. But we were all sympathetic. And when I look back- we used to read a lot- All the best novels in the world- Russian, French... Then we started reading Karl Marx. That was a big influence on all of us. We used to debate Kant, Marx. That doesn’t seem to happen now. Nobody reads anything! Most of us had Leftist leanings. >>

We saw lots of poverty, inequality- so Marxism appealed to young people. The sociological, economic inequality that existed was part of the whole Indian setup. But of course, we blamed the British for everything then, since they were ruling us! There were lots of student protests.

Partition came in 47. Exams were to take place- we didn’t have them. We lost a whole year because of partition. The riots continued. We were evacuated from Lahore on 18th Aug- it was too dangerous. People used to go from Lahore to Amritsar. Train was guarded. But those trains used to be attacked. Not even 40 miles distance! Only thing I had were my certificates, a small book and a copy-just like that... We were not attacked, but we were all very afraid. We saw cut up killed corpses on the side as we rode in the train. It was only a distance of a couple of hours. Trains went very slowly. Army was guarding the front and back of the compartment. When we got into Amritsar safely- all of us like you kiss the earth- we felt- Freedom!

We stayed in Bhatlada- it is there where I saw the real carnage. It was a small place.  The villages were Muslim and the people were still in there. So the RSS people and the Akali Sikhs got together and surrounded the villages. The police - all hindu sikh themselves were giving them the Arms. A few muslims on horseback tried to get out and then these people attacked. I will never forget in my life what I saw there. I had only heard- but young girls all clothes ripped apart were walking around-two people would fight about a girl- if they couldn’t settle-they would kill that girl! Small small kids were being impaled and hacked. I had only heard stories but now I saw it. There was a well there-lots of the muslim girls and women jumped into that. And the police wallahs- they kept standing there. I was 17 or 18. I still remember running to the police wallah- and I must have said something- He slapped me: "Don’t interrupt! Sit down!" He said.

There was a boy there who used to read and recite Ghalib's (Muslim famous poet's) poetry with me. Later on he became a minister in the Punjab cabinet. He was a RSS boy. And he was one of those planners. When I talked to him, he said: "That is all right!"

No one personalized it at all. That these were people like them-women-children… The same thing was probably happening on the other end!"

Joginder Ahluwalia (center) with GrandChildren Joginder Ahluwalia (center) with GrandChildren

A Journey: From Gujranwala, Pakistan >>

to the horrors of Partition to becoming a refugee in Delhi to the first Solar Cookers to France to the beginning of Indian Oil to America to rediscovering a lost religion in India

The Sikh Religion

The first line in 'Guru Granth Saheb' the Sikh Holy Book, which is our guide is: “Ik Onkar-One God; Satnaam karta Purkh- He is the creater; Nirbhav. Nirvayru. Akaal Moorati. Timeless; Ajvuni. Saibhang- Creates himself; Gurprasad- You can only obtain him through the grace of the Guru.
This is our 'mool' 'core' mantra.

Guru Granth Saheb is written in Ragas. In every Raga first there will be 1st Guru- Guru Nank’s vani- Any writing is Vani. Then the 2nd Guru's and then the 3rds… Then are the Vanis of the disciples- Kabir, Namdev…about 15 devoted disciples whose Vanis are there. Then there is the Vani of Muslim Farid.

Guru Grantha Saheb was compiled by the 5th Guru then the 9th Guru added to it. Guru Gobind Singh was the 10th who said: No more gurus after me. In a way the Guru Granth Saheb is the same as the Muslim's Quran. Except it is the word that is the Guru- not the paper that contains the word.

In fact, the Guru Granth Sahib is not written in Punjabi: for instance 'Kabir' was not Punjabi. Everything was written in Gurumukhi script but there was a lot of Muslim influence- lots of Persian words. It was written in “Sadhu Bhasha” a mixture of all northern Indian devotional languages of the time: Northern Indian language of the saints called 'Sadhu Krie.'

Theoretically, in Sikhism there is no caste. There shouldn’t be any caste. But we are riddled with it.

Guru Ramdas selected out of his 3 sons, the youngest as Guru: Guru Arjun. The eldest son Prithi Chand said: "He has been harmed." So he started another branch where he and his sons became parallel Gurus and started another Sampradaya- and it lived on for 2 centuries. We are considering them as literature of the time. We are not calling it Gurubani. It was suppressed because it was from rival Gurus. It will be about 10 volumes. We have 3 books already. 2 more are in the offing. We found the manuscripts. in villages and in libraries where people had neglected them. Nobody had bothered to read them!

From Solar Cookers to Petroleum

We used to go walking to Delhi University- about 10 miles. For 1 year I did research project. Then I got job in NPL. We started working on Solar Energy-1950 or 51. We made solar cookers-my 1st paper published was on Solar Cookers-that’s when they started.

In '53 I got a possibility of scholarship in France. In got a seat in a French Petroleum institute outside Paris. Indian Ministry then were in the process of starting Indian Oil Corporation: Oil and Gas Commission. >>

The deputy Minister from India came to visit the Institute next month. I met him and when there was a delegation going from France to India to talk to them as to how they can corroborate-  they took me. I thought I would come back-never did.

I became undersecretary in Chemicals and Engineering and all technical questions would come to my table. I was the only technical person! I was put in the committee to study the formation of Indian Institute of Petroleum. After 2 years I was made officer in special duty to set up the Indian Institute of Petroleum. They I was given a free hand to look up a site in India to set up Indian Oil’s research center- Design, equip and man it with Limitless Budget! Won’t get this opportunity anywhere in the world.

Chevron people here used to visit us and sometimes I used to visit them. On a visit their VP had just hinted-when I told him I am going to retire next year-if I would be interested in coming to Chevron?  Next visit there- he asked me again. In India when you retire they take away your home, your car, your driver- and you have to work for private sector which are corrupt-I didn’t want to do that. So then I took up the job. I signed the papers here.

In India I was in a very big position and officers in India live on power rather than money. Here there was no power. I became the global technical supervisor for Chevron-for heavy engine lubricants research. Coordinated labs in Rotterdam, Tokyo, Paris and California.

Having money but not power hurts ego. But what’s the alternative at my age. And it has given our kids good career options.

India is third in the world in terms of numbers affected with HIV/AIDS India is third in the world in terms of num­bers affected with HIV/AIDS
Religion or Caste are no boundaries to AIDS Religion or Caste are no boundaries to AIDS: Use Condoms!
Don't bring AIDS from other women when you go for work- says the wife to her truck driver husband! Don't bring AIDS from other women when you go for work- says the wife to her truck driver husband!
It is wives who bear the brunt. They are thrown out on the streets with their children after the husband dies.
People who have AIDS require Love, Not Hate People who have AIDS require Love, Not Hate >>

"There is the issue of stigma and discrimation in society. Now you still have instances of men being thrown out of their houses and being burnt alive. Just a few days ago, there was a woman burnt alive in Orissa- one of the states. SO there are instances of health care workers not treating patients with HIV, refusing deliveries in hospitals, refusing treatment to HIV positives, or society throwing them out or burning them alive- basically ostracizing them from society. Those issues of stigma and discrimation are huge problems and need to be addressed very fast."

"Another thing is the issue of providing treatment to those who are HIV positives. Now Govt. of India has launched a free ART scheme, under which they provide free Anti Retro Viral therapy but till date, I'd say about twenty percent of people who are positive are getting treatment."

—Dr. Bir Singh

Dr. Bir Singh: Heads the AIDS Education and Training Cell at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences Dr. Bir Singh
Heads the AIDS Education and Training Cell at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences and is the author of numerous related publications >>

"India is the 3rd largest country in terms of numbers of HIV positives. National AIDS Control Organization has been trying to really raise awareness and bring some changes in behavior, specially sexual behavior- but the ignorance about the disease is still rampant. The 15-29 years is the most affected age group in terms of HIV positive and AIDS patients. These are the groups that need to be focussed on more sharply and more intensive efforts need to be done. SAEP program, usually called sex education, is an exteremly vital step in the containment of HIV AIDS in India. Definitely! Because these are the people who need to be reached. They are the ones at greatest risk. And they need to be told about the disease. No way we can afford not to teach them about this! Today's youth is indulging in sex at an early age and more frequently. I mean there are surveys which have clearly indicated this. So the issues of society not recognizing this simple fact is unfortunate.

I can say with surety that more and more working in the fields of HIV are realizing that HIV is acquiring a feminine face. We need to address the issue of HIV in women and children more rapidly and more intensively. "

Anjali Gopalan: Ex. Director, Naz Foundation - Fighting HIV/AIDS by raising sexual awareness. Anjali Gopalan: Ex. Director, Naz Foun­da­tion - Fighting HIV/AIDS by raising sexual awareness. Providing Care Homes for children affected by the disease. Empowering girls through sports. >>

"One thing that has been bothering me for years is no matter how much prevention work we do, young women are getting on being infected. I think we need to experiment more in what we can do to work with young woman, because that may be the only thing that would protect them finally."

"Once you create the space for people to talk about issues such as sexuality- they don't stop talking. Everyone wants to talk! And everyone wants information! So its key for us to create those spaces, I think. Because that's the first step towards combating HIV. , I remember going to schools and letting us come in and talk about sexuality with young kids. We had a hard time. But today the same schools contact us."

"We need a law for children- to protect our children. The state of our children is- its really sad what we do with our children in this country. If you go down any street corner, you will see the condition of the kids begging in the streets. And abused, of course! And a lot of these kids have parents, so they are actually using them for begging. So very often people like us can't do much, because our hands are tied."

The Kinnars of India

Many Other Names:
Kotis / Gays / Hijdas / Eunuchs / Hermaphrodite / Third Gender / Khasuaa / Khasura / Transgender / LGBT /...

Kotis:Lower socio-economic class, non english speaking 'Gays'. Aspire to be Hijras many times for safety and security.

{The first annual gay-pride parade in India recently marched through the cities of New Delhi, Bangalore and Kolkata. Many of the participants wore masks: To avoid disclosure in public as well as to conceal their identities from their families. >>

And yet, it was a huge achievement, a platform to celebrate their gender as well as to protest section 377 of the Indian Penal Code which declares homosexuality to be illegal in the country. Punishable by fines and a ten year prison term, this archaic law drafted by the British in the 1860s is used primarily by the police to harass same sex couples. Yet it underlines the social stigma that is faced on a daily basis by the gays, lesbians and the transsexuals of India, referred to in the ancient scriptures as Kinnars. -Author}

The Koti-Kinnar Manifesto
being drafted at their support group

We Want from the State:

- no violence from the police.
- access to legal aid for marginalized
- fixing of rates for clients
- old age pensions
- admission for children in schools
- housing loans
-access to health care
- special concessions in govt schemes
- voters identity and ration cards
- bank accounts
- passport


People are now more aware of it. Ten years earlier it was completely different. People had never heard of support group meetings, help lines , other kind of networks. And I wonder how much they had to undergo because of the stigma. Stigma is still there, but now the media is highlighting the issue, be it print or be it electronic media. They are highlighting the issue so much that people are actualy made to think. And we are giving a very loud signal that we are very much here. We are very much a part of the Indian culture, of this country and society. We have been here centuries back as well, but you never accepted it. We are here now, and now we want our rights!

Somewhere our  law and the society are joined together. If law changes, the viewpoint of society changes also, no?
People's thinking will also change when they realize that even the law is agreeable to it.

The Koti-Kinnar Support Group

See in India is the joint family system. There is a big effect of that. Now in foreign or Europeon countries boy and girl come of age and they separate from the parents. Then they can live their life in their own way. Here the pressure on the children is too much in the joint family system that you have to live with the family, and when you live with the family, you have to think about the family before you can think about yourself.

-You may not marry for your own happiness, but you will marry for your parents happiness, no? If they are happy then I am also happy, no? >>

-See, marriage you have to do for your parents. Like my marriage is in 3 months. Now my family is putting pressure on me - now I can't say in front of them- See, I am impotent. This no one can say openly.
-In the society, marriage should happen with a girl only!

- See, as far as the question of my own life being destroyed is concerned, I have to live a dual life. As far as her life is concerned, I have not yet committed any violence on her. And have not put any boundaries on her- that don't go here or there- have given her full freedom. So our relationship is very good. She knows about me. She knows about my sexuality.

Sometimes people have had to face a lot of problems. With many its happened, they have told their family, and thinking that they are mental, they have been admitted to the mental hospital.
-Electric shocks have been given
-Many have committed suicides.
-Removed from inheritance
-Thrown out of house
-Can't tell the family all at once you know. A mother always knows that my son is how and how not. But still can't tell like that. Because they know that they have brought you up since childhood, given you baths and all, how can we accept that you are a gay? Even if you tell than that we can't do this or that- they won't accept!

Police troubles us a lot. See many of us are not that literate, don't know much about the law. Then they create a lot of problem. Specially when it is a Koti. They know its not a Hijra from a Deraa, because she is a differnt type. They take her clothes off and misbehave. They try to have sex. A Koti also try to pass as normal in front of them. But he does look different!
- I have noticed one thing. If we talk to Police with a lot of respect, call them sir, sir- then they oppress us definitely, but if we talk to them like Hijras, then they leave us.
- Then also they don't leave us. Beat more.
- Most of the cases they leave! They are afraid of the Deraa coming to create a commotion.

Sumit Dutta: Group Facilitator

"Initially, I used to say I am not going to marry. I don't believe in marriages, but that never helped. So I had to come out. Slowly, it was like one word at a time, one sentence at a time. It was a shocking phase for my father. Like any other parent he thought it was a passing phase. When he's grown up, he will be a normal guy. Then I told him that this is what is, and this is the reason I can't marry. I don't want to marry. If you really love me then you have to let me the way I am. Otherwise we have to part ways. >>

Either you accept it and you have to suffer all throughout keeping in mind that people will be asking you questions about why I don't marry and all, or else, you just kind of throw me out- whatever you do. I mean, we cried a lot, and and he didn't say anything- but all he meant through his silence was his acceptance. After that maybe the bonding was much stronger. He is no more. He passed away a couple of months back. But it was great that he knew about it and had some kind of positive response."

"Now people are coming out of the closet and parents are accepting them. Parents coming to the TV show and talking about it- give so much of encouragement to other people who are actually in closet and their family who are still in doubt or in two minds- what's going to happen to our son or daughter. So parents if they themselves are sensitized, society will also. Because they say charity begins from home."

"To be a Hijra, you have to follow certain rituals. You have to make  Guru in the deraa, then you have to be the disciple, and then there's a whole process of rituals and ceremonies that have to be performed. when you follow the process to become a Hijra, you are a member of the Deraa, you are a Hijra now. And now, its up to you, whether you want to go for emasculation or not. People who are emasculated, they are called Nirvan Hijras. People who are not they are called Akvaas.

What happens- in a Deraa - they go for "Toli-Badhaai", they go for singing and dancing when a child has been born, or a marriage has been solemnized, so any kind of auspicious occasion- typically of these two types they will go and bless the newly wed couple, or newly born child, and then ask for money.
That money received from each household is divided among the Chelas. Those Nirvans who have gone through emascualtion receive the higher amount."

Kanchan Chander: A Successful Painter and a single woman raising a child in Indian society Kanchan Chander: A Successful Painter and a single woman raising a child in Indian society

You see the thing was having a full time 9-5 govt. job, bringing up a small kid, running the house, cooking, painting- all at the same time. My husband was also an artist, but he didn't do any work. >>

I even said that we can switch roles- you can do the housework- I mean I am not bothered about what the society says, but it didn't work. We split after 11 years of marriage. Then things got even worse. Because it was the same field, and it was the Indian society. So, I was always the bitch!

Before they'd invest in gold, property, shares- but once they came to know that art is an investment, then they just- dharaa-dhar... With new money and the opening up of the economy- there was a lot of change in people buying art. People are unaware of what they are buying, but they are buying it. It's become a social symbol to own a x,y,z. It's good for artists! But also bad- because then there is also mass production!

Sushil Saxena: An Aunt- Keeping humor intact at 70

"This Bareilly Aunt-in-law would come and say, 'Hai! that Kaka- your father- has gone done a daughter again! Hai! Four daughters now! Used to tell your mother- Kakey's wife has no sense! Again girl has happened!' Now, I myself did not have that much sense then either. I used to laugh and say, 'Buaji says like this: Done a daughter again, done a daughter again, now tell, if it's happened- should they throw the girl then?' " >>

"In today's world, they are actually discarded. You can even get them removed. That's the problem. Comes on TV all the time. Don't do such a thing, right or no? But God had given your mother such strength. She didn't say: Oh! what should I do? Oh! what should I do? If there are 4 daughters then there are. Okay! And the best thing I say- you girls came out fine! Some girls go with one then with another- you chose one and stayed with one. Are independent on your own feet. That's the matter!
Now tell me, do you have a mother-in-law? And sister-in-law, brother-in-law, his wife and ..."

"When I was in Bhutan and I got very sick, I told my daughter: See! If I die here, don't you worry, just burn me right here! To have Boys! What nonsense! All these are useless talks- Boy or girl...boy or girl!"

Meena Baldev: Family Center Councilor

I do FCC because, for very small reasons, families that are breaking apart today, I don't want them to break. And there is a dowry law- and women have got many rights- but women don't know how to use them. So I think if Govt pays attention to FCC's and supports them, so many problems that are coming on the women can be improved.

It is the misfortune of our country, that we only know when it turns into AIDS. Govt has now taken some steps- but still rehabilitation of girls is a huge necessity. >>

The positive girls- we get problem of rehabilitation because even parents sometimes don't want to take such girls and such grand children and they end up on the streets. Because children are also positive. So, you only think, no one would pick these children in their lap, or marry them. Where before we used to get 1 case in a month, now 3 or 4 people come in a month, and for that through your medium I would like to ask the Govt. to open Rehabilitation Centers. Women are so troubled, many of us organizations have gotten together and gotten them rooms on rent, but we are not so capable that we can give them all the facilities!

Meera Sarin: School Councilor Meera Sarin: School Councilor

Indian parents are not open- they don't think they are responsible for anything that goes wrong with their child. >>

They don't understand that it's not a disease but a disorder. Around twenty years back it was worse.

In India there's a serious problem of joint families- fights going on at home and they don't realize how badly it affects a small child. And then marital discord which is becoming very common- because the women have suddenly woken up in India- they are becoming financially stronger. So the wife doesn't want to take a lot of nonsense from the husband!

The first letters of a better future The first letters of a better future
Manu Saxena: Distance EducationManu Saxena: Distance Education

Distance Education is the answer for India's teeming population: for disadvantaged sections, remote areas as well as for continuous learners like myself.
Neha: Medical Graduate: Taking a break from the 24 hour study cycle at her brother's wedding Neha: Medical Graduate: Taking a break from the 24 hour study cycle at her brother's wedding >>

"Honestly, I don't know why I am doing medicine! There are so many people who die every year because of stupid diseases like- Cholera- which can be avoided if you just practice basic sanitation, but they don't! But when you go to the OPD's and you see the doctors treating the patients, and you learn how to do that- that's new and that's nice!"

It's good to relax with family It's good to relax with family

"The doctor-patient ratio, it's terrible in India. >>

You can't imagine the workload that's on a doctor! An average resident- a newly entered medical resident- gets two hours of sleep everyday. So, that's pathetic. And that's why people are running off abroad! The length of doing medicine- its also a hindrance to girls, because in India the marriageable age- 24, 25, 26- will be gone. Because mostly parents wouldn't allow girls to enter a field which takes seven and a half years to finish!"

Alkab: India of Today-High Aspirations and Higher Aptitude Alkab: India of Today-High Aspirations and Higher Aptitude >>

"Blu Blanc Rouge" Starting the French Institute for language as well as business to business connectivity

"Ofcourse! I even think in French!"

Nitin: The New Management Gurus of India Nitin: The New Management Gurus of India

Business and Knowledge Process Outsourcing >>

"It's no longer just plain Data Entry. In India, we provide complete Software Solutions involving re-engineering, analytics, intelligence and knowledge input for clients, including making your business processes more efficient and streamlined."

Munazzah: A Muslim Social Work Graduate

I see a lot of change- difference in outlook- after education that you get. Maybe a muslim family who is not educated will follow things rigidly without understanding it, while I believe that you should first understand the thing and then follow it.

If something is said in Islam with the simple reason of protecting a woman, and somebody is doing it with her own free will, without forcing, they should be given a chance to do it. >>

That too force of a person who is nobody to you, I don't think so! I think it should be left to a woman, it should be left to a man to decide what their action should be. Give the entire information to a person, what are the pros and cons of doing a particular thing and if then I accept or reject it, its on me.

Bhawna (standing on extreme Left) Bhawna (standing on extreme Left)

The New Generation - Breaking from conservative Hindu traditions >>

"My parent's choice is to settle down in life, get married and nothing else!
But mine is studies- Be successful in life: First settle your career, and then whatever else you want to do- marriage, children and so on...

My first priority is my career. Until and unless I settle myself on the career side, nothing will be included in my life. Because I think in today's life it's important to be an independent person. I don't want to be dependent on anyone- not on my parents, not on my brother, my future husband- on nobody!"

Timothy Daponte: Fullbright Exchange Teacher from America teaching 11th Grade Physics in a 'Central School' in New Delhi

"Students here wear jackets and ties! In America, its not as formal.

Houston, where I teach is the 4th largest city in the US. Students are from all over the world. A much more heterogenous population. Here everyone is from India. So you have very few differences. Much moré uniformity- even though it’s a nation of a billion people- hard to say everyone is the same! >>

The class size! There are some classes with excess of 80 students in a class. Two classes I have over 50 students in each class. With Physics, there’s a theory section and a practical lab section. I like to teach an interactive class but I am not able to do that with 50+ students in a class.

I have broken windows in my room. Electricity goes out regularly. No one blinks. Okay. I don’t blink anymore either. You continue in the dark. We don’t have a lot of the lab equipment- basic everyday lab equipment, not expensive stuff. This particular Central Govt. school system has nearly a million students with 9-10,000 schools. So reforming the system will take a whole lot to do.

The Central School system is for children of employees who are in transferable civil service jobs and military employees- so the students don't miss a beat as they transfer from one school to another. In America, we don't have that.

At the end of 12th grade, the physics students in America pretty much cover the same material. But a huge difference is that the students here can give you the derivative of every formula forwards backwards sideways off the top of their heads. But if you ask them: explain Gravity- they have trouble doing that. Students in America are encouraged to think more creatively and independently. Here I don’t see that . Here calculators are forbidden. Why do you have to memorize the square root of something where it can just display it for you?

What drives the students- they know if they don’t pass Physics they will have to take entire 11th grade again. America- if you fail history you don’t take your entire sophomore year again!

Here in India if child is talking out of turn and you just look- they stop. There is that hardwired respect. Everyone stands when you get into a room. American students don't do that.

There was a faculty meeting and the principal walked in- everyone stood up. I was the only one not standing. My colleageue nudged me- stand up! I don’t think it promotes dialogue with that wall in between.

Boys and girls sit separately in the room. One entire row will be girls. And the boys interact more. The girls are more shy.

America wants to go to a more centralized system and India wants to go to a more decentralized. Where are the two going to meet?

It's like  a huge ocean going vessel- It takes time to change direction. But what do you want to change it to? Who do you want to serve? What are the goals? Where do you want to be few years from now? Those questions have to be answered. I ask them everyday of myself when I teach."

Food's Good in India Food's Good in India!

Visiting: From Maine to New Delhi >>
Making Friends at a school in India New Delhi

Making Friends at a school in India New Delhi

"India is a great place to be in winter. It's crazy. It's chaos. And it's fun! I love being around family- people are so interesting-they have a different sense of humor than we have in America. The 20 year olds around me had lots of knowledge about different religions and awareness of cultures- and they treated me like them even if they were much older than me. Most I came across are very well travelled and have a great sense of humor.

The schooling in India is very different. Yes! It is the end of the school day when I am visiting but it seems much less organized- children are running here and there-not really interested in being in class- and more interested in me than I would be if someone who looked different was visiting my school! To me there doesn't seem to be that much diversity in India!

Lot more homework though- and not that many sports within the school itself. Everything in your life seems based on studying. But you seem to have a bit more freedom in these schools- more time to be outside of class- and more break periods.

Elderly population is totally different in terms of being respected than our elderly population. They are more respected in India no matter what they do or have done- they are nice but many have caste systems and prejudices in their heads.

Servants in India are not like 'help' in America at all. They are poor and aren't treated as well and aren't paid much."

Weddings are a lot of Fun Here! Weddings are a lot of Fun Here!

Visiting: From Maine to New Delhi
Dr. V.K.Khanna- Principal of Homeopathic College

Encouraging research and finding alternative ways to treat diseases
Dr. Mishra- Western Medicine

Judging Socio-Economic Conditions within India based on patients, diseases and treatments
Dr. Ishwar Basavareddy- Director, National Institute of Yoga

Health is Mind, Body and Spirit
The Great Cricket Rivalry: India vs. Pakistan The Great Cricket Rivalry: India vs. Pakistan
It's a 5 day match but the stadium is packed! It's a 5 day match but the stadium is packed!
Tea Time! It's still a gentleman's game. Tea Time! It's still a gentleman's game.
There is still some water left for fruits There is still some water left for fruits
A Cheeku tree A Cheeku tree
Hoarding water - artistically Hoarding water - artistically
What holds the mountain? What holds the mountain?
Mining the bottom when the river is gone. Mining the bottom when the river is gone.
Water: gone. Water: gone.
Taking goats to market Taking goats to market
The old Chaiwallah under a makeshift tarp The old Chaiwallah under a makeshift tarp
Keeping Chai affordable
It takes ten to move a Pole! It takes ten to move a Pole!
A slum resettlement A slum re­settle­ment
Keeping Curtains on Peace open. Keeping Curtains on Peace open.
Feeling? Anyone? Feeling? Anyone?
Rajghat: Paying Homage to Mahatma Gandhi Rajghat: Paying Homage to Mahatma Gandhi
The Gandhi Monument: The Everlasting Flame The Gandhi Monument: The Everlasting Flame
Sanctuary Sanctuary
Ceremonial bowl filled with turmeric and mustard at a wedding ritual Ceremonial bowl filled with turmeric and mustard at a wedding ritual
Hands filled with Mehndi Hands filled with Mehndi
Gods playing Music! Only in India! Gods playing Music! Only in India!
Sapal: Servant Sapal: Servant

Life's good if you take it a moment at a time.
Lines for the Ration Shop- Is it open today? Lines for the Ration Shop- Is it open today?
Anything left from the Black Market? Anything left from the Black Market?