NDTV Cleanathon – Resolve for a Swachch India

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

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 percent of India’s population uses cell phones, only 31 percent of the population has access to improved sanitation.

Poor and inadequate sanitation has been a major cause of diarrhoea and infections among young children. The other fallouts 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 for 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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Walking fiesta at Equals Street – a fun filled way to kickstart your Sunday

By Somali K Chakrabarti

 

Ciclovía, is a weekly city-wide, car-free day in Bogotá, when more than 2 million people come out to cycle, hang out and eat on the streets. It has been successfully running since 1974.

 

Ciclovía keeps cars off the streets in the Colombian capital and brings rich and poor together – if only for a day. ~ theguardian

 

The concept of Ciclovía has, since then, spread far and wide beyond Columbia, and walking events are now organized in different cities around the world.

Walking festivals in India

The concept is no longer alien to India either. Known by name of Raahgiri, a similar event started in Gurgaon in 2013, and has been continuing for over a year. Such events are also organized at Connaught Place in Delhi, in Bhopal, Ludhiyana, Pune, Navi Mumbai and have lately started in Mumbai as the Santacruz – Bandra festival, as the result of collective efforts of NGOs, think tanks, citizens’ associations and cycling groups

Living in Mumbai, one of my main grouse has been the lack of open spaces to walk. So when I heard of Santacruz – Bandra Walking Festival that is organized every Sunday from 7 am to 11 am, with two of the busiest streets of Mumbai – Linking Road and SV Road, being closed to traffic to allow people to walk, there was no way I could keep away.

So, there I was walking at Linking Road with hoards of others who were out on the road strolling, briskly walking, prancing or jogging. What a sight it was to see the traffic packed roads of Mumbai completely devoid of traffic! Children with roller skates whizzed past in glee, there were others on cycles and push bikes, and a few were trying to balance on a segway.

Bandra SC fest - Segway ride
Cycles and Segway ride

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6 Leadership Theories to define Effectiveness of Leaders

By Bhudeb Chakrabarti

Leadership is the projection of personality; It is a combination of persuasion, compulsion and example that makes other people do what the leader wants them to do. ~ Field-Marshal Sir William Slim, outstanding British and Allied commanders of World War II.

 

What is Leadership?

Leading is the art of influencing and motivating people to perform in a manner to achieve a common goal. The sum total of a leader’s roles, tasks and responsibilities and interpersonal influences constitutes leadership.

A leader should not only be intelligent (with general problem-solving capacity), but should also possess high integrity and character, equally concerned with ends (doing the right thing) and means (doing rightly).

Effective leaders have to work ceaselessly, and communicate with the people to motivate them in an efficient manner.

LeadershipTheories

 

What makes a Leader Effective?

Numerous studies have been conducted and considerable amount of research has been done to find out how a leader becomes effective. Various theories have been postulated from time to time to zero in on the factors that influence the effectiveness of leaders.  Read more

‘Bhopal: A Prayer For Rain’, A film to stir your soul

By Somali K Chakrabarti

December 2nd, 1984, was one of the darkest nights in the history of Bhopal and that of India, when poisonous gas flare had leaked out of Union Carbide India Ltd’s (UCIL) pesticide plant, killing thousands of people over the next few days.

Thirty years on, a film ‘Bhopal: A Prayer For Rain’ rakes up the memories of the hapless night as it narrates the heart rendering story of Bhopal gas tragedy, one of the worst industrial disasters in India that occurred due to corporate negligence.

Bhopal : A Prayer For Rain

The movie released in the US on 7th Nov and is scheduled to release in India on 5th Dec, 2014. The film is directed by Ravi Kumar, who upon reading Sanjoy Hazarika’s book, ‘Bhopal: The Lessons of a tragedy’, was inspired to make a film on the subject for a younger audience who do not know about Carbide or Bhopal.

The story unfolds through the life of Dilip, a poor Rickshaw driver living in a slum in Bhopal, who struggles on a daily basis to support his wife Leela, his child and his sister. Dilip is elated when he lands himself a job in the UCIL’s pesticide plant – the job helps him to earn wages to feed his family and marry off his sister. The factory is a symbol of progress and prosperity for Dilip. Dilip, however, is not the least aware of the impending dangers on his life and on the lives of his folks. Read more

Lufthansa A380 – Why Bigger is better for Indian aviation

By Somali K Chakrabarti

 

India Embraces Airbus A380   – The news made headlines in Jan 2014.                                                                                                                                                 

India’s decision to allow Airbus 380 is a welcome decision for India’s aviation industry and for the global airlines that seek to further leverage India’s aviation market – one of the five fastest-growing markets in terms of additional passengers per year.

Consent to let the wide body double-decker plane fly into and out of India, sets the ground for ‘Big being Better’ for India’s aviation.

The world’s largest passenger aircraft, Airbus A380 that can seat 850 passengers in an all-economy configuration, and 550-600 passengers in a three-class configuration, is allowed to land at the airports of Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore, which are equipped with A380 enabled infrastructure including runway, taxiway and aerobridges, and also have higher peak hour handling capacities.

Singapore Airlines became the first carrier to launch commercial flights of A380 on Singapore-Delhi and Singapore-Mumbai routes, followed by Dubai-based Emirates Airlines that started daily A380 flights between Mumbai and Dubai. Lufthansa, not to stay behind to meet growing passenger needs, became the third airline to fly A380 planes to India on November 2014, starting A380 flights on the sought after Frankfurt-Delhi route.

Thus starts a new era in Indian aviation!

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10 Quotes on how Nature inspires Creativity

Nature is the best designer

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Nature has been a perennial source of inspiration for many! Artists, architects, designers imitate the design patterns of nature; poets describe its beauty and scientists try to unravel the mysteries of nature. A deep look into nature unlocks imagination and inspires creativity.

 

Nature paints the most wonderful pictures that can take your breath away and engulf you in their majestic beauty.One can not stop marveling at the designs of nature. The spiral of the sea- shells, the swirl of rose petals, and the arrangement of sunflower seeds, air vortex created by the flapping of wings of insects, the galaxy spirals and even the eye of a hurricane follow a geometrical pattern that is represented by the Fibonacci series.

Here is a collection of quotes that highlight the connection between nature and creativity and the creative inspiration that you can draw from Nature.

Nature is Art quote

What is Art, monsieur, but Nature concentrated? ~ Honore de Balzac

Nature design quote

There is no better designer than nature. ~ Alexander McQueen

Designs of Nature quote

Some of nature’s most exquisite handiwork is on a miniature scale, as anyone knows who has applied a magnifying glass to  a snowflake. ~ Rachel Carson

 

Nature and Imagination quote

It is the marriage of the soul with Nature that makes the intellect fruitful, and gives birth to imagination. ~ Henry David Thoreau

 

Nature is a powerful teacher

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Nature teaches us many valuable lessons of life. As we discover our connection with nature, it renews our senses, rejuvenates and revitalizes us. Nature never hurries and yet it accomplishes everything.

Through its repeated patterns, nature reminds us of the things that remain constant over time, while also teaching us to be optimistic and to remain open to the unknown.

Look deep into Nature quote

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. ~ Albert Einstein

Nature rejuvenates quote

I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.  ~ John Burroughs

 

Nature Walk quote

In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks. ~ John Muir

Nature does not hurry quote

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. ~ Lao Tzu

 

Nature heals quote

There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature – the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after the winter. ~ Rachel Carson

 

Nature quote by Tagore

 Trees are the Earth’s endless effort to speak to the listening heaven. ~ Rabindranath Tagore

Images by : Ratna Banerjee 

Lei: A wreath for your soul is a collection of short poems that combine elements of nature, philosophy, culture, science and spirituality. Take a peek here at Kindle Store.
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Delhi in the 19th century – Vintage Pictures

By Somali K Chakrabarti

I asked my soul: What is Delhi? She replied: The world is the body and Delhi its life. ~ Mirza Ghalib

An excerpt from Delhi : A Novel, by Khushwant Singh.

Delhi, a city with a rapidly changing skyline, has been a part of India’s ancient history.

Indraprastha, the legendary capital of Pandavas, is described in the epic Mahabharat and it is believed to have existed where the present day New Delhi is.

The city that has witnessed the rule of many dynasties over centuries, has been plundered, destroyed and rebuilt several times.

Hindu kings from the dynasties of the Maurya, Kushan, Gupta, Tomar Rajputs and Chauhan Rajputs ruled Delhi till the 12th century. The end of the 12th century saw the onset of the Delhi Sultanate, and marked the beginning of the rule of Islamic rulers including Ghori, rulers from the Mamluk (Slave) dynasty, Khiljis, Tughlaks, Lodi, and later on the Mughals.

Delhi passed into the direct control of British Government in 1857 after the First War of Indian Independence, and became the capital of British India in 1911.

Here is a collection of Vintage Pictures of Delhi from the 19th century. The pictures are mostly of the architectural structures of the British and Mughal period, most of which exist till date.

New Delhi, designed by Edwin Lutyen and some other brilliant architects such as Robert Tor Russell, E. Montague Thomas, Herbert Baker, did not exist in the 19th century and was inaugurated in 1931.

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VIEW OF QUTB – DELHI , ca 1850

Delhi - Qutb 1850

Watercolours, painted on ivory plaques with the views of Qutb, Delhii by unknown artist ca.1850

Qutb Minar, the world’s tallest brick minaret at 72.5 metres, was built in 1193 by Qutb-ud-din-Aibak, the first Muslim ruler of Delhi. Qutab-ud-din Aibak commenced the construction of the Qutab Minar, but could only finish the basement. His successor, Iltutmush, added three more storeys, and in 1368, Firoz Shah Tughlak constructed the fifth and the last storey.

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