Practice safe selfie. No selfie is worth dying for.

Practice safe selfie. No selfie is worth dying for.
  • Selfies boost self-esteem, selfies hurt self-esteem
  • Selfies are empowering, selfies are narcissistic
  • Selfies are fun and exciting, selfies can be annoying
  • Selfies are about creative self-expression, selfies are about self-indulgence and vanity

The debate goes on…

The growing obsession with selfies has the smartphone brands competing in the markets for their coolest selfie features and cashing on the selfie fad. In a recent smartphone commercial aired on the prime TV channels, India’s ace cricketer, Mahendra Singh Dhoni is shown taking a selfie with a Lion.


Though the picture could be fake and is done in a fun spirit, yet, in my opinion showing a popular figure and a youth icon taking a selfie with the lion is ill-advised and irresponsible. Given the fact that several people have inflicted harm and injury upon themselves or upon the animals in the pursuit of snapping selfies with wild animals, celebrities should actually warn people of the risks of taking such life-threatening selfies.

Recently, a man got trampled to death while trying to take a selfie with an Elephant in Rourkela in Odisha. An endangered dolphin died in Argentina after people pulled it from the water and passed it around the beach for selfies. At the Yellowstone National Pak, five people taking selfie photographs provoked a bison into attacking them. During the annual bull-running festival in Toledo, Spain a man taking a selfie was tossed up into the air and gored to death by the bull in front of the horrified crowd.

Many such incidents have occurred all over the world.

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Five long term actions for controlling air pollution in Delhi


China will trap its smog and turn them into diamonds. 

– World Economic Forum 

As bizarre as it sounds, this video posted by the World Economic Forum (WEF) on their Facebook page claims that China will tackle Beijing’s air pollution problem by turning the carbon from smog particles into a diamonds.

If at all such a technology is practically and economically feasible then maybe it is time for our Delhi government to explore the possibility of use of such a Technology, the pollution levels in Delhi being at its highest and one of the worst in the world.


While the schools remain shut for three days, all constructions and demolitions have been banned for five days, as usual the center and the state government are busy leveling charges against each other as to who is to be blamed for the smog that shrouds Delhi. Whereas Delhi govt sites crop burning in Punjab as the major reason for pollution, the central govt says that 80% of the pollution is caused inside the city.

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Camel Bus – Social Innovation for desert transportation

Camel Bus – Social Innovation for desert transportation

By Somali K Chakrabarti


“Innovation opens up new vistas of knowledge and new dimensions to our imagination to make everyday life more meaningful and richer in depth and content.”

~ Dr APJ Abdul Kalam

While most people know about camel rides in the deserts of Rajasthan, not many would have heard about a bus that it is driven by a camel.

The idea of the camel driven bus was conceived by a school teacher late Radhey Shyam Mishra , as a means of safely transporting students to and from school through the desert.  His friend, Mewaram Jangid, who was a skilled carpenter developed the bus in 1972, which provided an affordable solution for mass transportation in rural desert areas.

Camel Bus, Rajasthan

Seven such buses are still used to transport over 400 students to Bhanwarlal Kala Bal Mandir School in Churu, Rajasthan. According to the school principal, the school has developed a distinct identity because of the Camel bus and other schools in the area have also followed suit. Buses currently used by the school are still based on the same design.

The Camel Bus is a simple, affordable, and efficient local solution social innovation developed by creative individuals for solving a local problem.

The Center of social Innovation, Stanford Business School defines Social Innovation as:

A social innovation is a novel solution to a social problem that is more effective, efficient, sustainable, or just than current solutions. The value created accrues primarily to society rather than to private individuals.

Many times, these innovations from the informal sectors of our country remain localized. As such, their potential growth gets constrained, and the benefits are confined to a small section. To overcome this challenge and support the social change agents, volunteers of Honey Bee Network scout, spawn and sustain such frugal innovations at the grassroots level.

This instance of social innovation was spotted by the Honey Bee Network, and it was appreciated in National Innovation Forum, a body which works towards promoting creativity and social innovations at grassroots.

More examples of grassroots innovation are given in the post Frugal Innovation – bringing Grassroots creativity to the Global stage.

In the words of Dr. R.A. Mashelkar, Chairperson, Governing Council National Innovation Foundation, Ahmedabad

“The purpose of innovation is to create a new value for an individual, team, organization or for society at large.” 


References and Image credit:

  1. National Innovation Foundation, Rajasthan Innovates


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Impact of Uttarakhand Forest Fire


By Somali K Chakrabarti


Image Source


A few weeks back I had written a poem on Forest Fire.  Here is a following  write up by Reshma Gandhi, elaborating upon the impact of the Forest Fire and the related environmental concerns.

A fierce forest fire blazed across the state of Uttarakhand in May. Ruthless and punishing it created havoc and disaster. Several viewpoints emerge to get us thinking. Was it the aridity of the forest that prompted it? Did the combustible chir pine trees attract it? Political greed too seems to be the motive behind this relentless destruction.

What triggered the Uttarakhand fire is yet unanswered. Read more

Baked Earth – A poem on the need for Water conservation


Baked Earth

Image Source

The earth cracks
with blistering heat,
rivers dry and the crops wilt;
if water is consumed
without a thought,
we all shall bear the brunt of drought –
Life is water, water is life
Conserve water before shortage is rife..

© Somali K Chakrabarti

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Forest Fire


By Somali K Chakrabarti


Image Source

A raging forest fire
Since the past few months
Burns the green cover
In the state of Uttarakhand
The worst of its kinds
In the recent times
Natural or motivated?
Several theories transpire –
Combustible chir pine trees or
The greed of mafia and lobbies-
What stoked the fire
Remains yet unknown
Meanwhile the disaster spreads
Agony unfolds


© Somali K Chakrabarti


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Gail-Indian Speed Star: An initiative to promote athletics

Gail-Indian Speed Star: An initiative to promote athletics

By Somali K Chakrabarti


You will be nearer to Heaven through football than through the study of the Gita.

This is one of the most popular quotes of Swami Vivekananda. A healthy mind resides in healthy body and football or for that matter athletics are good sports to keep oneself fit.


Yet, athletics has received very little support and attention in India, both in terms of budget, and media coverage, which in turn has resulted in the lack of quality training and career prospects for the athletes.

Hence, it is not very surprising that the number of world class athletes from India has by far been very few as compared to other countries.


A few facts indicative of the state of Indian athletics:

India had first participated at the Olympic Games in 1900, with a lone athlete Norman Pritchard winning two silver medals in athletics. But, it was not before 1920 that India started sending its national team to compete at the Olympics.

Since then, the total number of medals won by India athletes in Olympics till date remains 26, a abysmally low number for a country with 1.3 billion population. With a history in athletics  dating back to the Vedic period, the situation certainly deserves to be better.

The recent selection of Dipa Karmakar, the first Indian Gymnast to qualify for Olympics has given impetus to our hopes.

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Monsoon Forecast – A haiku


By Somali K Chakrabarti

Monsoon Forecast

Sun baked grounds

Forecast of monsoon abound

Hopes soar!


Read more

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