Healing the Scars of Child Abuse

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By Somali K Chakrabarti

What does a child do when those who are meant to protect her turn into the perpetrators of crime against her?

Abuse in the formative years might be the worst kind of agony that a person could be subjected to. When perpetrated by family members it carries with it the burden of guilt and shame, which affects not only the childhood but spills over the entire lifespan of the person. Every time I read about child abuse, it disgusts me to think about the people who indulge in the heinous crime. More disturbing is the thought of children who are made to go through it.

 

Child abuse

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The Only Way Out Is Through

The Only Way Out Is Through,’ written by Shirley J Davis, is a first-hand narrative of the trauma faced by the author who was subjected to abuse in her childhood. While she avoids mention of the explicit details, Shirley mostly uses the form of free flowing poetry to convey the deep scars that were inflicted on her as a child, and the psychological setback she suffered due to the inhuman ordeal.

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Sounds of Silence

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 By Somali K Chakrabarti

The cat jumped out of the well

Read this sentence aloud and then read it again in your mind. What happens? A little voice plays in your mind.  Now try reading this without that little voice in your head. Just give it a go. Could you do it? Of course not! Because that’s how you were taught words; by pronouncing them; by memorizing the sounds first and then spelling them using those sounds.

Now, how do you think a deaf person would read this?

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Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) – A Coca-Cola CSR Initiative

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By Somali K Chakrabarti

The importance of drinking water, sanitation and hygiene in our lives cannot be stressed upon enough. We always try our level best to maintain sanitation and hygiene within our homes to provide our children with a healthy and clean environment. But, the lack of sanitation outside our homes affects us too.

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Voice of Nature- Dream of harmony between humans and nature

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By Somali K Chakrabarti

Nature has always been a source of wonder and woe, prospect and peril, delight and danger.  ~ Voice of Nature

Do you remember the fables in which the  trees, animals and birds talk among themselves, and also mingle with humans as if they were living in a seamless world?

I am talking about the kind of world that is depicted in children’s magazines such as Champak, (widely popular in North India)  or the world that you see in the Disney movies or in Chronicles of Narnia.

What if you suddenly discover that you had the gift of understanding what the birds and animals are talking about? Won’t you be interested to peep into their world?

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Hydro~Jal Plus – Perfect Water for Perfect Health

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By Somali K Chakrabarti

Drinking water is like washing out your insides. The water will cleanse the system, fill you up, decrease your caloric load and improve the function of all your tissues.  Kevin R. Stone

Water

In the sweltering heat of summer when you feel unnecessarily tired, irritated and lack the motivation or enthusiasm to do anything, it helps to remind yourself, time and again, how important it is to drink sufficient amount of water.

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Hari’s Boat School in Varanasi

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By Somali K Chakrabarti

Illiteracy is a major problem that impedes the development of a country.

At 287 million, India has the highest population of illiterate adults.

According to a report by UNESCO, India is one of the ten countries with more than 10 million illiterate adults.

Due to poverty, marginalization, and inadequate facilities many children in India do not have access to primary education, which impacts a child’s overall development.

Varanasi Boat School2

Expanding access to education, through formal or informal programs, is therefore vital for improving children’s development, increasing the efficiency of the education system, and for reducing inequity in the broader society.

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The Great Indian Litterbug

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 By Somali K Chakrabarti

Litterbug is the name; to litter is his game.

He is one you will adore, for his qualities galore.

This is the story of the 7 year old little Litterbug

Cute little Litterbug is just back from school. Hungry as hell, he throws around his bag and yells for food. His doting mother hands over an apple and some bananas to him. The little Litterbug eats the half apple and throws the other half right out of the window.

My son will grow up to be a great cricketer one day. See how he strives to perfect his aim!’ Mother Litterbug utters aloud drooling over the antics of her lil one.

The banana peel follows the half eaten apple out of the window as she lovingly looks on. He tears open a packet of chips, takes out his notebook, and starts scribbling vigorously to finish his homework before he goes out to play.

Little Litterbug
Little Litterbug

 

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Celebrate diversity and break cultural stereotypes

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 By Somali K Chakrabarti

 “There are not more than five musical notes, yet the combination of these five give rise to more melodies than can ever be heard.

There are not more than five primary colours, yet in combination they produce more hues than can ever been seen.

There are not more than five cardinal tastes, yet combinations of them yield more flavours than can ever be tasted.”

― Sun Tzu

India being a large country, the culture and tradition of a part at one end of the country are distinctly different from another part at the other end. The vast multitude of art, music, dance, food and traditions add to the cultural diversity and enliven the country with shades and hues of different colors, but not without presenting their own set of challenges.

Cultural diversity

We are, often, so oriented to our customs and traditions that most of us tend to judge others solely by the values and standards of our own culture. We don’t desist from complaining about how foreigners perceive us, but then we Indians have our own yardsticks for judging people from other states. Deeply ingrained in our psyche are the cultural prejudices that we have grown up with.

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NDTV Cleanathon – Resolve for a Swachch India

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NDTV Cleanathon – Resolve for a Swachch India

By Somali K Chakrabarti

When you are surrounded by people who share a passionate commitment around a common purpose, anything is possible. 

With a purpose as imperative as cleanliness and sanitation, which affects every single individual in the country in some way or the other and is driven by none other than the PM of the country, it is but natural that a movement to support the cause will gain traction. The 12 hr long LIVE televised CLEANATHON on 14th December, 2014, a part of “Banega Swachh India” campaign launched by RB India and NDTV was such a unique event that brought together people from all walks and streams of life to create awareness for the need of sanitation and to support the cause. Amitabh Bachchan Swachh India

If my face and voice can become a reason for people to follow the Swachh India campaign, I’m happy to be a part of it. ~ Amitabh Bachchan, Campaign Ambassador

My biggest perk from blogging came in the form of winning Banega Swachh India blogging contest that gave me the opportunity to witness the NDTV Cleanathon event held on the 14th Dec and to contribute to the cause.

NDTV CLEANATHON Event

Mr Amitabh Bachchan, the brand ambassador for the Swachh India campaign, opened the event explaining why sanitation is of such immense importance to all of us. Mr Bachchan, along with co-anchor, Mr Vikram Chandra, executive director and CEO of NDTV looked into the challenges with respect to sanitation that exist in India today and urged people to join hands in the cleanliness drive.

Dia Mirza at NDTV Cleanathon
Cleanliness Initiatives on screen

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Clean India – Sanitation and hygiene starts with You and Me

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By Somali K Chakrabarti

 

*** This post won the Grand Prize for Indibloggers ‘Banega Swachh India‘ #SwachhIndia contest sponsored by Dettol -NDTV ***.  An account of the event is given on the post NDTV Cleanathon

 

There are more cell phones than toilets in India.

It is a well known fact by now that whereas nearly 45 per cent of India’s population uses cell phones, only 31 per cent of the population has access to improved sanitation.

Poor and inadequate sanitation have been a major cause of diarrhea and infections among young children. The other fallout are malnutrition, stunting, premature deaths, wasted time and productivity, and tourism losses.

This is likely to change with PM Modi’s emphasis on cleanliness and proper sanitation facilities, and the launch of ambitious ‘Swachch Bharat Abhiyan’, to make India clean by 2019. No longer it is undignified to talk about the existing sanitation problems and the need to build toilets to end open defecation in India.

To make the mission a success, many corporate houses, NGOs, media and other agencies have joined in to address the rising need of hygiene and sanitation in India. Many initiatives have been taken up for constructing toilets in rural areas, promoting the use of toilets by running  sanitation and hygiene campaigns and developing proper waste disposal and management systems.

RB India and NDTV have partnered to launch “Dettol – Banega Swachh India” and are organising a 12 hour LIVE televised CLEANATHON on 14th December, 2014, which will bring together the entire nation towards better sanitation & hygiene.

See http://swachhindia.ndtv.com/

While there are systemic or behavioral issues to be tackled at the broader level, You and I as individuals, can also do our bit to make India clean and hygienic.

Sanitation starts with You and Me

Much like charity begins at home, sanitation and hygiene starts with you and me.  

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