Volunteering
I have the good fortune to have a friend in Anupama...how we stuck along for so long is a different story, but what I admire her most for is the tenacity with which she follows what she belives in. Take the case of Seva Sahyog - she has been actively promoting the work and participating voluntarily to do her bit. Instead of being just another 'couch' volunteer , she was instrumental in getting her collegues contribute to the activity and spent the last 3 weekends help distribute school kits to children who were financially under-privileged. Read more - Times of India Pune, on their 4th page.
After hearing her story I browsed to realise there was so much in 'Seva Sahyog' - especially their site - Youth for Seva was very informative. It provided a forum to all those who have always wanted to do something but did not know where to start or trust the credibility of organisations seeking help. Seva does the research for you and in their updates sections gives a list of activities where voluntary support is needed.
So hope to see you sometime on a Seva activity...I am definitely there.
Value education for School Children
Well, the rummaging continues...and I discover this article written for the school edition of the newspaper - am posting the article as it is, but would be adding more as to what others have to say about the same. So here goes -

As a parent I ask myself – what all did I expect my child to learn at school? And was value education anywhere in the top three things to learn. I am sure if we sit down to list the reasons for choosing a school, value education would come way down.

Then whose responsibility is value education? I think it is the responsibility of the society that the future generation is made to be a sensitive generation. We as ‘parents’, we as ‘teachers’ and we as ‘by standers’ – in all these roles that form the web of society are responsible for inculcating values amongst school children.

The age group of 8 to 14 is considered to be the most impressionable age and children spend maximum number of waking hours in the school during this phase, and thus we often expect the school to fulfill this ‘learning’ need too. In case of value education it is not just the books, or stories or songs that help one to learn. It is observation, that is the major tool of learning. If what children learn at school and what they experience at home or in their social environment is contradictory, then we are only creating further confusions in the young minds. We are raising doubts and building up inhibitions to respond to what they feel is right.

If value education is taken up as a subject, it definitely becomes a subject to joke about, or is considered nearly an ‘off – period’ – I mean who wants to be told moralistic stories anymore? However if the same subject is covered through experiential learning it can become a major tool of inculcating values and sensitivity issues for the young minds. It could cover issues of socio-economic disparity, gender sensitivity, environment concerns and a host of others topics.

I remember as a school girl, I was a Girl Guide – and what we learnt in those three years are still a part of my personality. Even today I follow the basic tenets of the Guide movement - “do a good deed for the day” and “ khari Kamayee” (work and earn). Was it not ‘value education’? But we don’t seem to do these activities any more.

Currently the only lip-service that we give to our commitment to value education is through the mechanical rendition of the National Pledge. Even if each line of the pledge is recited with heart and commitment, and followed in spirit to the word, we do not require any additional classes for ‘value education’. Why can we not just commit ourselves to what we say in our national pledge; and extend the values from ‘all Indians’ to all “human beings”.

So let’s start with something simple and something possible. Just let’s try to inculcate the Pledge in spirit and value education will happen.
Collectively speaking
While rumagging through some old file on my laptop, I found this collection of 'collective nouns'. Here are some that are truly amazing. Do add more if you can think of some more - I will add them to my collection.
A Tower of Pizzas
A Shakespeare of Idiots
A Siagon of Memories
A Sympathy of Smells
A Twitch of Habits
A Custody of Husbands
A Beep of Censors
A Smug of Smiles
A Shadow of Sunlight
A Rash of Diapers
A Portal of Insignificance
A Granary of Salt
A Forest of Pens
A Curfew of Restrictions
A Dawdle of Time
A Digit of Chips
A Chain Mail of Links!
A Chicken of Doubt
A Cholic of Al's
A Budget of Decimals
64 Megs of Ryan
A Cacti of Pricks
Click It
Can you imagine using the laptop and not moving you fingers over the touchpad? Or you are sitting on your desktop PC and moving the mouse insanely on your screen , though you may not be searching for anything in particular? Well if you dont, then you are a rare species - somehow i do have this habit wherein i am unconsciously moving the cursor constantly. i did not realise how really strong the urge was to click - be it the mouse or the touchpad. and then i came across this website. I realised i am looking for links / buttons / cursor shifting to the hand icon and other indicators of links whiile browing page/site. So here i am sharing with you an enjoyable experience - Just Dont Click It!
Begining or the End
It seems I am discovering something new each day on the internet. Of course that does not mean it is NEW, its just that its new for ME. So what? So I happened to discover 'Stumble upon' and its been a pleasure so far. I came upon this post on work done by street artists. Now don't think I am talking about the usual sights we see at traffic signals in India, nor a magician or scamster. They are activists using their creative talents to express in innovative ways.
I really dont want to say much of this link you just have to click on it and scroll to the right.
Is this the begining or the end? And the post I had stumbled upon is called - Are you generic?