Saturday, December 24, 2005

Congrats..


Brilliant performance by Swapan, Param and Akshai grabbed the first prize and Ratul and team for grabbing third prize at Tiger Quiz held at Bhopal. Congrats.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

My days in Pradan Part II

Hmmm…starting from where I had left in my previous post (My days in PRADAN-1), I must discuss the town Sironj. Well, it is a small town, which was earlier a part of the Tonk State during the pre independence era. District Sironj was a part of Rajasthan State after independence. It was one of the strangest districts of independent India, as it was a part of Rajasthan, yet it was surrounded from all sides by Madhya Pradesh. This situation continued till 1956, when, under the state re organization act, it was merged in the state of Madhya Pradesh and was demoted from a district to a tehsil (block headquarter).

As during the Tonk days, Sironj was governed by a Nawab, the character of the town has a characteristic Muslim tinge in it. May be about 40% population of Sironj town would be Muslim, and it one of the big Muslim education centers in India, with pupil from various parts of the country as well as from abroad coming to Sironj to get Islamic education. There are a number of Muslim buildings-mosques, madrasas and dargaahs, as well as some old graveyards here. Contrary to other similar cities, Sironj is known for its record of communal harmony. This town is dominated by traders and businessmen –Muslims, Hindus and Jains, and it is in their interest that there should be peace in the area, as the business is the first casualty in any strife.

The Market- Agarbah!

The main nerve center of the town is a market road, which, after encroachments and all, is hardly 14-15 feet wide and it runs through right at the center of the town. It contains shops of all kinds-clothes, grocery, general stores, ornaments, money lenders, traders, bicycle shops, iron smith shop, spice shops, shoe stores, paan shops, small eating joints, medical shops, electronics shops- and so on.

The most characterstic thing about this market is its three tier shops. There are some that are almost on the footpath, their main portion under the ground and only some part above the ground, others that are about 4 feet above the ground, just above these underground shops and still others, that are about 10-12 feet above the ground level. It is said that this market catered to three kinds of customers in past- common people on foot, warriors and officers on the horseback and royalities and big traders who were on elephant back and the heights of the shops were set accordingly.

There is a local haat on every Friday (or Juma, the Muslim weekly Holiday on which grand prayers were said). On Fridays, the villagers from all across Sironj, roughly 200 villages come to this market for their shopping of the edible oil, salt, spices and some vegetables- things of daily consumption that are not freely available in their villages. During Fridays, the market is so crowded that you find it difficult to walk in , forget about driving. This market anyways did not support the four wheelers much for the driving. The day I saw it first was most probably a Friday, and looking at this market bustling with villagers-on feet, on bicycles, bikes and tractors, the ladies clad in long veils (ghoonghat), with the old men wearing big turbans of fluroscent green, orange or maroon, the whole of market full of the smell of chillies, spices, sweat and smoke from the bidis of the villagers, I immediately exclaimed –“Agarbah!” – being reminded about the famous market city of the Arabian Nights as shown on the Alladin of Disney. From that time onwards, I called it Agarabah, atleast with my colleaugues, who would understand the context.

Haunted Ruins

Immediately after joining PRADAN, I shifted in with Anant, a PRADAN colleague from Orissa. When I reached his place first day of my joining, after crossing many a streets covered with the flagstone, with open drains and goats as the traffic signals, we stopped near a decrepit old building, a haveli, which was next to another one-which was in ruins. I looked at him in disbelief when he told that I am supposed to live with him in this.

Although I am not a frequent flyer in Ghost airways- I mean I have not witnessed them very often but still, I went inside with a slightly high heartbeat. As we climbed up through a narrow staircase, my heartbeat increased. There was no railing on the stairs. As we reached the second floor, he showed me the kitchen and his living room. I tried to be comfortable in the surroundings, and approached one of the closed windows on the wall. I opened it to find that it led to the balcony outside. I then proceeded to the next window on the same wall, which was similar to this was in all senses. When I opened it, I was jolted to see that there was a small tunnel like thing that led to some place downwards.

Eeeeeeek!!!!!

I was afraid of this place-which seemed to me more like a set of Sahib-bibi aur Ghulam or Gumnaam- the horror-thriller movies of the bygone days! Anyhow, I spent the night there. Next morning, I asked Anant for the wash room, and he asked me to go to the balcony. “Washroom in the balcony? Have you gone nuts, man?” But that was it.

On the far end of the balcony there was an enclosed chamber called the toilet. When I went in, I found, to my horror, that my face was above the upper portion of the door, and so it was visible to someone in the balcony while I was busy in my daily chores! So, I could either dump my face down between my legs or let any onlooker to analyze the expressions on my face which I was in the loo!

There was an even more, when I reached the bath room to take a shower. I found myself in the ‘bathroom’ of the decrepit haveli. It was nothing more than two tin doors fixed in the balcony with a gap of about 4 feet. For taking bath, you need to leash both of them to the wall of the balcony. However, while you taking the bath, if the breeze blew a bit too much, the doors would open and you would be there, taking bath in a balcony, with a full Monty spectacle to not just the ghosts of the haveli, but also the common public in and around the haveli!

It was not long that we ran away from there, to find another, more suitable abode for ourselves!

The Office and the PRADAN Staff

PRADAN Office in Sironj is I think the next important office after that of the SDM. Most of the villagers know about it and it has become some kind of a meeting place for the villagers who come for the weekly haat at Sironj on Fridays. It is so interesting, you can find unknown people sleeping in the hall of the office on the dari (the rug) in the second half of the office. We used to feel irritated initially but later on when we came to know that most of the poor guys came walking from villages that were more than 15 kms away at times, we never used to disturb them. For them, it was like their home- they would sit there, discuss things, settle disputes and to seek help from us. Their affection became evident on such occasions.

When Sun starts to set, these guys would slowly get going out of the office and would take the dusty paths through the fields, forests and hillocks back to there small huts in the distant villages.

We sometimes used to compare our office with the government offices, where the babudom does not let the People, whom servant they are, to sit next to them on a chair. A poor man coming from a village deep inside the hinterland has to either keep standing while running pillar to post in a government office or after a while has to squat on the dirty floor of the office in the most derogatory fashion. In PRADAN, it is very clear that the villager would be seated on the same height that the PRADAN Executive Director would get while on a visit to any office. If there were 2-3 villagers, the PRADAN professional would offer them a chair next to him. If there were more people, the professional would request them to sit on the rug on the floor of the hall and take some space on the same rug to sit with them. This was tought to me once by a Tribal in a village deep inside the forest in Garhchirolli, Maharashtra. He told me that till the time we sit on the same level, we are partners, the moment you sit on the chair and I on the ground, you become the boss, and I, the subordinate. This was the single most important feature in PRADAN that made it different from other offices.

PRADAN is full of qualified people from diverse back grounds. It has got an elaborate system of recruitment of the Professionals from about 70 odd educational institutions across the country through a rigorous process of Campus recruitment. The people joining PRADAN are Post Graduates barring the Engineers and B.Sc (Agriculture).

When I joined PRADAN Sironj, it had one B.Tech (Agriculture), One MSW, One M.Sc (Agriculture). Within three months of my joining, there were two more fellows- Madhukar- B.Tech Agriculture guy from PAU and Shabana- a MA (Extension Education) girl from Jamia Millia Islamia. Such a mix of people in the team in a remote area where the outsiders were almost always less qualified vis-à-vis the educational qualification, always promoted a lot of intellectual discussion, thinking and what we called reflections of individuals. I don’t think there was a better intellectual stimulus to me as compared to the initial one year in PRADAN where as an apprentice you are supposed to learn from the work that you do.

The girl that I met on my first day in PRADAN Sironj was actually not from there. She was a summer trainee from Goa Institute of Management, Goa and was there for a period of about 2 months. In PRADAN summer trainees keep coming for some or the other project and whoever spends sometime here even for 2 months with an open mind and a spirit of learning, carries some everlasting impact on their lifestyle and thought process for rest of his/her life. The best part is the sensitivity towards the poor rural community.

My initial impression on the team members, particularly one of my senior colleagues Arpana, was not at all very good. Because of my urbane' appearances and happy go lucky attitude, she considered me to be a ‘hero’ who will pack his bags soon. Nevertheless, not withstanding the initial impressions, I received a very fair treatment from all, very supportive and almost kid gloved one. She is now the second in command in PRADAN Sironj, with very strong presence in the team and became one of the sources of strength for me later on. She got married to Ankur, of my senior batch in IIFM (who is also working in PRADAN Sironj) and they have been recently blessed with a baby boy!

The most remarkable role was that of Bhabhi (wife of Ashok, our Team Leader). She was like the mother to whole of the team. Despite living in such a remote place where there were no proper facilities for the education or health of her kids- Ankur and Aman (both of them were very naughty, yet very sweet), She supported Ashok and rest of the team with her dignified and reassuring presence in the team. Although she was a housewife, but at a number of instances, she played a important role in the team, as important as her husband, the Team Leader. She was the one who balanced the pragmatism of Ashok in the team with care and affection.

Then there was Sulakshana- the champion of gender issues. I have not seen a stronger lady in my life with such a devotion to the cause of uplifting the women –particularly those from the nomadic and tribal community. She worked with Banjara, Gond and Bagdi tribal groups in some very remote places where even the male colleagues in PRADAN would not feel very comfortable initially. A steadfast feminist that she was, she would not let any male colleague drive her bike when accompanying her, and would be provoked for a heated debate on slightest comment on the women. She was the champion of SHGs in PRADAN Sironj and some of the SHGs made by her proved to be longest surviving in PRADAN Sironj.

Ashok, the Team Leader was my Field Guide during the apprenticeship days. He was a B.Tech (Agriculture) from PUSA and was working with PRADAN for about 8 years when I joined it in 2002. I don’t think that I have learnt more from anybody else about the development sector than Ashok. The kind of interactive sessions that we had just after I joined was really phenomenal. The handholding of the novices like myself by Ashok as a Field Guide was really the USP of the apprenticeship program in PRADAN. He was a kind of Godfather to most of us.

(To be continued)
Contributed by Prashant Mishra (http://prashantmishra1.blogspot.com/)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

अभी कुछ दिनों पहले सोच रहा था कि OT-2 खतम होने के बाद, छात्र जीवन का कितना सा हिस्सा शेष रह जायेगा...मात्र २-३ महीने में पूरी दुनिया बदलने वाली है...वो हास्टल की मस्ती,दोस्तों से 'बकर', क्लास की नींद, सब कुछ पीछे छूट जायेगा...
IIFM जिन्दगी का कितना अहम हिस्सा बन गया है, इसका अहसास अभी तब हुआ जब मैं करीब एक महीने तक चार राज्यों की खाक छानने के बाद,उदयपुर वापसी के समय एक दिन (८-१० घन्टे)के लिये भोपाल रुका...was just feeling like home coming...दोस्तों से मिला(जिनकी OT भोपाल में ही थी), मेस का नाश्ता और खाना भी बहुत अच्छा लगा...
खैर , अभी OT का अन्तिम चरण चल रह है..२-३ दिन गुजरात और जाना है और फिर रिपोर्ट लिखनी है...५ दिसम्बर को फिर मिलेंगे IIFM में...अलविदा...:)

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

My days in PRADAN Part 1

My days in PRADAN-Part 1

How it all got started
It was a dusty day of April 2002 when I started off from Bhopal for Sironj in Vidisha district of Madhya Pradesh, where I had been recruited by PRADAN to work as an Executive. I had just passed out from IIFM, Bhopal after completing my PGDFM from there in March. It was on day minus one of the placements in IIFM that I got through for PRADAN. (PRADAN came for recruitment a day earlier than scheduled). I was keen on joining a grassroots NGO because firstly I wanted some good first hand experience of working with the community directly and then I used to feel indebted due to the money that the government spent over me while in IIFM. I had imagined that it would be a well to do place. After all, it was only 120 kms. from Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh. Vidisha is also connected by train but I had seen in the map that Sironj is somewhat away from the railway line. “So what?'- I had thought- “ 40kms is nothing. I can cover that much within 45 minutes and get aboard a train for home”. But that was not to be, as I later found out.
Daydreaming
As we started off from Berasia bus stand in Bhopal, on a bus labeled Non-stop, I was full of excitement. After all, it was my first job that I was going to join! I had so many visualizations about the place. I always used to imagine a one storied building, on the side of a highway (like PRADAN Office in Kesla is) and I used to think that it would be like a flat (like the Office of Amhi Amachya Arogyasathi-an NGO in Garhchirolli, Maharshtra where I had visited before). I kept thinking about the work that I would do, and kept thinking about how I would use the studies that I had carried out in IIFM.
Harsh Realities
While I was thinking the bus covered the good patch of about 40 kms of the road to Sironj. We crossed Bearasia and voila! The bus became a roller coaster ride, jumping and jerking over a road so full of potholes that I was reminding me of the surface of moon full of craters that I had seen in the National Geographic! I could not believe that roads just 40 km out of the state capital and that too in the constituency of the brother of the Chief Minister Dig Vijay Singh can be that bad.
The tire goes boom!
But, I was soon to realize that it was just a beginning. Soon, the passengers and the luggage were falling on each other alike. The bus was already overloaded but 'the beginner's luck' described in the Alchemist had ensured that I get a window seat and get enough oxygen along with the dust to remain conscious to register the unprecedented travel in my life. There came a bridge on a river (Sagad-later I came to know) and right in the middle of that bridge, the rear tire of the bus went flat. I thanked my stars, not for the flat tire, but for the opportunity to get down from the bus that seemed like a cattle truck to me and become human being for a few minutes again. I looked around and found what government records and IIFM books called Forest- a thoroughly exploited scrubland in which only the stumps of once densely found teak trees were found. It looked apologetic to me, for not looking as a forest at all to me. I was looking at the vegetables sown in the riverbed under the bridge, that the conductor of the bus started calling everybody on board. I was surprised at the speed with which they had replaced the flat tire with the spare one. Later a co passenger told me that it is so common in a day that the conductor and the cleaner have become experts in that particular activity.
BachaoBachao! I am kidnapped!
We moved a little ahead, and I realized that suddenly the bus has left the road and is traversing through someone's field, which, it being post harvest season was devoid of any vegetation. The bus was going away from the road, deeper and deeper in the fields and I was trying to understand what the poor devil is up to. A point came when the road could not be seen anymore and this guy is driving the bus right to the fringes of the forest, in the fields. I thought that some one has hijacked the bus, and all the passengers including yours truly have been taken hostage. I knew that I was going to join a grass-root organization and that it will definitely not pay a single penny in ransom for me, because at that point of time, they did not even know how I looked like. I looked around to see the reaction of the co passengers. Most of them had a exasperated look on their face- the face smeared with sweat, dust and the smoke- but none of them had the bewildered look that I carried on my face. They were looking sympathetically at me and I was not able to understand how these guys can keep their cool. By that time, the bus had left the fields and was deep inside the scrubland called forest. We were going through the forest tracks used by the head loaders and illegal wood cutters and the forest staff who was earning no better.
Now, this was a bit too much for me. I poked my elbow in the ribs to the co-passenger sleeping (miraculously!) besides me.
"Haan?"-he enquired, angrily on being taken out of his bumpy siesta, "What is it?"
"Bhai Saheb"- I said, trying to pacify his discomfort of being woken up in middle of a beautiful dream, may be-" Aap ko kuch gad bad nahin lag raha hai?" ( Don't you find something amiss?)
He looks up and down, right and left, and then says-"What?"
"Look around", I said- “we are in the middle of nowhere, and I think there is something terribly wrong".
"Yes it is", he says- "even the forest tracks and wheat fields of Madhya Pradesh are better than the roads that the state has!"
Bach Gaye!
True to his words, I saw the bus again changing its course, this time away from the forest and the fields and after another 15 minutes we were back again on the road, but in order to avoid the small stretch of 15 kms of absolutely horrible road (other patches are plainly horrible- there are degrees of horrible roads in M.P.!) we had spent close to one hour, going through the forests and the fields. It was my first experience of the vehicles leaving the highway and treading on the forest and the fields, courtesy Shri Dig Vijay Singh, then Chief Minister, Madhya Pradesh (his eccentric competitor, Uma Bharti gave a controversial statement later that year before the elections for MP Assembly in which she said that the public of MP would thrash Dig Vijay Singh government by dumping it in the potholes of the roads- and so it did!)
Aa hi pahuche apni manjil pe!
Finally, spending each second in the fond remembrance of the roads of Char Imli, the abode of the bureaucrats in Bhopal, where even the side lanes (meant for the mighty pets of the burra sahebs) are comparable with the Western Express Highway between Mumbai and Poona, I approached the Sironj town. Surprisingly, the bus was still in one piece (congratulations TELCO!). I saw a good building, which heightened up my spirits of finding more such buildings in my abode for next few years. It was a hospital, perched on the plateau that overlooks Sironj town. The next moment our bus was going down the plateau to reach the bus stand of Sironj. I got down and many autowallahs surrounded me at the very instant.
"Kahan jaana hai, Sir?'- asked one.
"PRADAN Office", I said.
"Where?"- pat came the reply.
"Above Khargosh Bidi factory"-I tried to explain.
"Accha accha. Pradhan walon ke yahan jaana hai? Chaliye!" – he said, to my relief.
"PRADHAN? As in Mukhiya of the Village? Interesting!"- I could not hide my grin.
The autowallah shrugged. I got into the auto, put my luggage- An air bag and a sleeping bag- in the back and we drove off. We were crossing through roads covered with the flag stone- something that I had not seen for a long time since I went in some very interior, old streets of my home town, Rewa. Between the flagstone, there were the drains, open ones, about 3 inches wide and 5 inches deep from individual houses to the main drain that ran parallel to the road. These smaller drains had flagstone sidings and so one can actually drive a vehicle over it, without damaging either the vehicle or the drain. Also, it is very convenient for the sweepers to clean the open drains. I looked around-Old, decrepit buildings-crumbling havelis, small fortresses- it was clear that I have arrived into a part of history studded with remains of the past.
My first Impression of PRADAN
I was looking around, when the autorickshaw stopped."Aa gaya, Sir"-announced the autowallah."Kitna"- I said, getting out of the auto with my luggage."Beis"-said he."Accha! Kuch jyada nahin hai yeh?"-I said mockingly, while taking out my wallet."Yahan itna hi lagta hai"-said he, bitterly. "Ok"- I said, giving him the bill-"here you go!" Pocketing it, he drove off without saying a word. I sighed in relief of having reached there, finally. I looked around. I was in the middle of a street, between a one storied building and a small shack, in front of which a white male goat was tied, chomping his grass. It was a four mill, an atta chakki. I looked at the one storied building for any signs of PRADAN or Pradhan as they called it. On the balcony I noticed a small white board with the logo of PRADAN.
''There you are"-I told myself. Holding my bags, one on my shoulders, other in my hands, I looked for a staircase. Having found one on the left, I decided to climb. It was a fight of about 15 stairs and I found myself in front of the office, which was going to be my Karambhoomi (the theatre of action) for next few year. I treaded cautiously. I peeped in the office- there was a big hall, and a wall after two thirds of the length of the hall. Built only for 6 feet, it was more of a partition then a permanent structure. The hall was empty, but I could hear voices of some people talking. I looked around and found a shelf in the wall, just after the entrance. There was a packing box for computer.
"Wonderful!"- I thought- "Atleast one can watch movies by getting some CDs here". (Later on, my expectations proved to be misplaced, because this was an old 486 kind of computer, sightly more modern- on which even ms Word would not run properly, forget about a video CD. Anyways, there was no CD drive in this box of a computer!)
"Hmmmm" - I said, looking at the charts put on the wall. These were all in Hindi, about the various activities like SHGs, agriculture etc. I the mean time I could hear a female voice, as I closed in to the partitioned part of the office. I decided to surprise the people at the other end. I entered the room with my bags on my shoulders and came face to face with a good looking, spectacled female of about my age.
"Hi!"- I said- "I am Prashant, and I have come here to join you guys!"
Oye-Hoye
She looked at me with a bewildered look and then said -"Hi! Have you come here on a two month summer training program? "-looking at the little luggage I was carrying over my shoulders.
"No", I said, "I am here to join PRADAN as an employee".
"Really? But looking at your luggage, I thought you are here for a short period of time" She said.
"I don't need much luggage to sustain myself"- I told her- "and in any case I would be going back to Bhopal to get my books and all!"
"Ok"- she said, "Let me introduce you to the others.” She took me to the other corner of the office.
"Here"-she told a middle aged person on a s-chair- "He is Ashokji, he is our Team Leader, and Ashokji, he is Prashant, he has come to join PRADAN."
"Welcome!"-said the Team Leader.
(to be continued.................................)

Contributed by Prashant Mishra PFM 2000-02
Originally posted at http://prashantmishra1.blogspot.com/

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Wen FICCI building shook

Guys wats going on !

Its a morning episode on 8th in New Delhi. As Delhi is one of my project study areas I was visiting the FICCI federation house. No I was noyt invited there, i made a called call fro the rural marketing summt being held here. Actually i went to meet .....guess ya smbody from our distinguished faculties...................

He was Dr Manmohan Yadav, and he asked me to cme there. well we sat nicely in a room where fragranc of tea and snacks tried to devaite me from listening to the prof. but soon it was some type of shaking, I felt that but beeing the first tuimer there i chose to sit quietly thinking that it was a suspended floor (big technologies now a days!). after the tremor was over past 30 seconds every body took notice ya thats shaking....................our prof ran and i was behind oh! soon i realised that soon i ahve to come out otherwise there wil be aday off in IIFM ( even am trying to keep me down i think waters in Saharanpur and Delhi won't help in loosing weight) and i forgot lift chose stairs and i was running and i made out of it. ......probbaly among the last ones to come out.

Now Aftermath people outside started talking ya wats happening many said it s due to underground works due to metro project and there were many comments we know the talented INdian people especially dehlites..................

Well after returning to room did i know about the deaths and all!

may god offer peace to dead

Amen

Sunday, August 28, 2005

LookSmart's Furl - Cool utility to save online pages..

LookSmart’s Furl (www.furl.net) is great help for all those people who do a lot of work (content search) on the web. Its main USP is facility to save all those webpages online and providing access to them whenever you want.
Considering the amount of research (!?) we have to do, while making assignments, it’s a great boon for us, as

1.You can save all the relevant webpage you have come across online, without consuming your precious hard disk space. It also saves a lot of time compared to saving on the hard disk.

2.You can search these pages, using keywords, topics, as it indexes all the pages by subjects, keywords and topics.

3.You can share the saved webpages, with other people, syndicate with your website/blogs using RSS. You can also make your archive private and only share a certain part of that to others.
4.You can comment upon those saved webpages, rate them according to their usefulness and quality.

Now, we can have track of all the webpages consulted for a particular assignment and we can have a look at them whenever we want and wherever we want. We can also share those pages with other people, by just sending them a link .. for example http://www.furl.net/members/san1378
a visit to this link will give you access to all the pages I have saved online and made them public.

To use this you have just simply have to register with www.furl.net . To get more info on how to add/save pages online go to http://www.furl.net/getStarted.jsp .
The following article tells you about 10 coolest things you can do with furl.

http://blog.contentious.com/archives/2004/06/22/10-cool-things-to-do-with-furl

Confused/ want to know more…. Leave your problems in comment section or mail at san1378(at)gmail.com

Monday, August 15, 2005

Independence Day Volleball Match Pics

IIFM Faculty getting ready for the game.
PFM 2006 Vs. MRM 2006
PFM 2006 Vs. MRM 2006

Thursday, July 28, 2005

State of Fear

I have just finished reading Michael Crichton’s State of Fear…

It is a fiction with Theory of Climate Change & Global Warming at its base and what I liked about it was that MC tries to go against the traditional theories regarding climate change that it is leading to melting of glaciers or floods or disease or blah blah blah…

Though I still believe that too much human intervention with nature is leading us to some kind of destruction and climate change may be a part of that but this book tries to put the points other way round an that too with ample amount of references of various papers published in journals or data from various government agencies like NASA.

The message ,it wants to deliver is that human beings know very little about the earth and its environment and it is merely impossible for us to predict the changes in climate….or even to say that are these changes for sure and these are results of human interventions only or they are results of some other natural processes.

MC also holds responsible to a PLM (politico-legal-media) factor for the latest hue n cry over the issues of global warming and climate change….stating that at any point of time these factors are always in search of some or other issues(anybody remember fuss over Y2K issue?)

Some excerpts from the book...

“…The data show that one small area called Antarctica Peninsula is melting and calving huge icebergs. That’s what get reported year after year. But the continent as a whole is getting cooler and ice is getting thicker…” (References included)

“…There are one hundred sixty thousand glaciers in the world. About 67000 have been inventoried …….mass balance data extending five years or more for only seventy nine glaciers in the world…so how can you say they are melting or not?....”

“The effect of Kyoto would be to reduce warming by .04 degrees Celsius by Year 2100…”


and at last….I was wondering, about what an in-depth research of the concerned subjects author has done before starting to write a book(Same thing i thought about Dan Brawn for Da Vinci Code.)

Thursday, July 21, 2005

आधी हकीकत, आधा फसाना

Could not write anythng here since many days(months)...Thought of starting at some lighter note...
(u will need Hindi font + Unicode installed to read below properly)

CP की महिमा बडी,सोते देय जगाय ।
ज्ञान भले ही मिले ना मिले, ग्रेड भली मिल जाय ।।

फील्ड वर्क में क्या धरा, घूम फिरें घर आए ।
अच्छी रिपोर्ट लिख डालिये, सब प्रसन्न हो जाए ।।

बेक बेन्चर हम मुए,बैठ वहाँ बतियाएं ।
देख न लें प्रोफेसर जी, उनसे नजर बचाएं ।।

(CP - Class Participation)

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

So there lots been cookin up here, its fine that now Anon. is no more Anon. Thanx for kind gesture of revealing urself.
These blogs (Comments on Amitabh Mausi..) should act as a caution for information providers who induldge in giving (mis)information and also the inf. seekers shud be very cautious from whom they are seeking inf....
BTY it was very heartening to learn that two of our Alumni got married LONG LIVE IIFM CULTURE.......... amen
Wish them best of luck for their married life. Mr. Haddock do tell if they plan to come to IIFM

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Amitabh-Maushi Samvad (aka Sholey)

Here is description of talk between Amitabh and the Mausi of girl in question, when went for marriage proposal for one of IIFMihgts...
Amitabh: Mausi, ladka IIFM me pad raha hai...
Mausi: Hai ram..
Amitabh: Aajkal Bhopal me OT kara raha hai
Mausi:To kya zindagi bhar bhopal me hi rahega ?
Amitabh: Ab C aur D grade layega to Winrock aur Care ki OT to nahi milegi na mausi...
Mausi:To kya C aur D grade bhi lata hai ?
Amitabh: Ab agar calss me sota rahe to A+ to nahin na milta hai mausi..
Mausi:To kya class me sota bhi hai ???
Amitabh: Ab agar time pe Assignment submit na kare to faculty thodi na chup reh sakti hai,Mausi...
Mausi:To kya time pe Assignment bhi nahi submit karta ?
Amitabh: Ab Enginering kar ke aaya hai, MBA course me settle hone me thoda time to lagega hi, Mausi...
Mausi:To kya ladka Electrical engineer hai..
Mausi:Kaunse college se kiya ..
Amitabh: Uska pataa lagte hi hum aapko khabar kar denge..
Amitabh: To kya main rishta pakka samjhun mausi..
Mausi:Bhale hi hamaari ladki kuwaari reh jaye par IIFM waale se katai nahin karegi.......

(Work of one of the anonymous IIFMights)

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Beautiful Uttranchal

I write this as am finishing my OT-I reprots. Last two months have been very busy to th extent that i forgot to call my parents, of course inadequte communication facilities were the main cause, But this should not create a wrong image of god's land yes am talking about Uttranchal where i completed My OT-I. The training has been very rewarding and i enjoyed very much, i experienced and closely saw how people live lavishly and destitutly at the same time........so its been really a gr8 learning. Doing something with giovernment set up has its own benefits and losses. I was lucky to have more benefits than losses and this can be attributed to my reporting officer, who happens to be Director Corbett Tiger Reserve. I chose thi s project because for me this was the best perceivd option at the time of choosing and am glad that i have been good in my selection. The area where I have done my training might not be the field of my 0fficial work later on but I will never forget the love nad affection , repect and attention that i received form the residents of Sari and Mautar..................the place i developed community based tourism plan.

I can never forget the time spent in Corbett Tiger Reserve and the enthralling beauty of gadhwal himalayas.....oh! they would just drown you.................

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Karnataka Diary

Last couple of weeks have been very hectic for us. Getting up in the morning at 7 o'clock to get ready for the field work, taking a quick bath or a quick decision to not take bath and then along with the team members getting packed into jeep (7 people including the driver) and then starts the real work, going from village to village and gathering information about the existing or potential pulpwood plantation. Though, the whole process of gathering information about the plantation is being carried out by our team members as neither we have the ability (no knowledge of kannada) nor the ability. The team members are really something, specially my namesake, a tall fair fellow, showing a great affinity for male jewelry, which I guessed either he has robbed his in law on the pretense of marriage or has some relationship with some jeweler from where he has got all that on installments, as the kinda of salary he is getting from the organization ( the org in consideration is one of the biggest conglomerate of India). He is a bit annoyed by us and our methodology, which the team follows, this might be due to 5 hours lecture we rendered to them in the workshop to train them . In his opinion, there is no need for such kind of exercise as they have been doing all this exercises all the years, though it's a different thing management has never got any substantial result from their exercise.

So we started for Belur Taluk in Hassan district, I took my preferred back seat in the jeap (a result of my craving for leg space ). I tried my best to gather as much of karnataka as possible through my visual receivers, which were constantly focussed outside the window and keeping me busy in the analysis. Actually this is my way of keeping myself busy. Observe around myself and look for extraordinary in ordinary things. Sometime trying to read what is written on the signboards and posters, to know about the town or place. End result, cursing the kannadiga people for their lack of concern for people like us, who do not know kannada, almost all the boards were in kannada, or the information you are looking for is in Kannada.

When we stop for the data collection, all the team members raid the puzzled victim. Thinking us as either police official or some other govt officials, a range of expression does a quick parade on their face. But the moment their hear the word Neelgiri and Survey, they start opening up and in some time we have 10-12 people surrounding us, trying to help us or help themselves I don't know.

The most beautiful experience was visit to Sakleshpur, famous for its coffee plantation. There were a lot of Silver Oak trees with small canopy, talking to sky and creepers of black pepper had surrounded them, they looked more like green pillars ( Coffee plants were planted with Silver Oak trees as they need partial shade. ). Lush green plantation of coffee on both sides of road, and beautiful landscapes give you feeling beyond expression. I must thank IIFM for this experience, I doubt if any other institute provides such beautiful experience. Population density in this region seems to be very low, as we traveled around 20-30 kilometers and whole coffee plantation region was dotted with some groups of 5-6 houses. I found mostly women working in the plantations and nearby areas, dressed in shirt and a kind of Ghagra. Pleased in what they were doing, giving a cursory glance to our vehicle crossed. There were several boards declaring "World's Best Coffee Grows Here".

Another great experience was visit to Belur, where we saw a great example of South Indian architecture in the Belur Temple, beautiful. It was just beautiful. Huge structures filled with wonderful example of subtle, beautiful carvings. I just wonder how many man days, it would have taken to build it. Cameras were allowed inside, a deviation from what was almost universal rule in Tamilnadu. I took full liberty of this. I must thank Mr. Bapat, a real gentleman who took several snaps of us. Then we headed for Hallebeedu, and visited the temple there.
Next day, we got an opportunity to visit the village of our former Prime Minister Mr. Devegowda. Nothing special about the village apart from the road leading to the village, on which you can easily put your car in top gear and enjoy the rare experience of seeing your speedometer needle pass 100 kmh mark. Since we were to visit a lot of villages there, we had to take food in small hotel (if I can call it), that hotel we found out after asking a lot of people for a good hotel. I think that was the best hotel there. The served a food, which you can take only to fill your tummy, don’t ask about the taste. The served something looking like a ball (slightly bigger than a cricket ball ), I could not muster the strength to say yes to that. When I asked what as that, as some of my Kannadiga team members were relishing that. They told me that this dish was secret of Mr. Devegowda’s health, full of protein. We paid Rs. 15 per person for the lunch, which made me wonder that to survive you need not much money. Though food in K'taka or you can say in whole south india is very cheap, you can get good food for 30-50 Rupees, the south indian meals are very cheap compared to the north indian foods here.

One thing surprised me that south indian states have comparatively high literacy rate, but visit a magazine shop and stationery shop, you would find only Kannada magzines on the stand, almost all the magazine are either film based or political. Its very difficult to find some good english mags even in the district headquarters. While in Bihar or UP all the news stand keeps a good range of popular english/hindi magazines. I think its due to a lot of people in these states preparing for different competitive examination. The need to keep themselves updated with wold affairs and different topics make them grab these english magazines. Contrary to that, here in Karnataka, I think majority of youth go for professional education, engineering / medical, and why not, getting 20-30 percent mark in the state engineering / medical entrance, guarantees you a seat. Thanks to the mushrooming engineering and medical colleges. But don’t ask about the quality (no offence intended to anyone), but most of the colleges are just a center for distribution of professional qualification. And their student end up working for 5-6 thousand rupees per month or opt for BPO career.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Rural Innovations

This is first time I am writing on the blog. Currently at the verge of completing my first OT....would be moving back to home tomorrow. It was really a nice experience to work with National Innovation Foundation, Ahmedabad. I got a real-time project to work on a portfolio of innovations done by grassroots people. I worked on six innovations preparing investment opportunity documents for them. This project brought a lot of learning’s to me. All the six cases belong to various fields and varied nature. They ranged from FMCG product like toothbrush to social product like pine needles crusher and stove. All had different challenges in their sector. All the innovations were at different stages of product life cycle. Few were at the concept stage while few where almost at ready to market stage. Few were even at testing stage.
Working on these innovations provided a deep insight about the vast and rich knowledge that exists at the grassroots. The common population has great ideas and traditional knowledge, which if effectively utilized can change the whole scenario of the society. This project also gave me the best exposure to the difficulties and intricacies involved in the new product development. This helped me in understanding that only novelty of innovation cannot make a product successful in market.
Best part of the project was that i was supposed to scout for entrepreneurs and licensees for transferring these grassroots technologies for successful commercialization and I finally succeeded in finding an entrepreneur who became ready to invest 1-1.5 lakhs for product development of an innovation. Hope this brings a change to the life of the innovator who being in the profession of rickshaw pulling has faced a lot of difficulties to carry out his innovation. .

Mukul Jain
(the post was sent to me by email.. - santosh)

Friday, April 01, 2005

Good Bye...Seniors!!!!

Yesterday was the last day of Senior Batch (PFM 2005) at IIFM.Gave them final farewell yesterday night.Really, the batch was one of the academically best batch in IIFM history..(as all the faculties also said in their farewell speeches)..and now they r on for a new journey
IIFM will miss u guys....
Good Bye....Good Luck....Best Wishes....

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Ground Reallity

/**Had written this post a few days ago,on My Blog when we returned from Samardha Trip.Thought of Posting(pasting) it here also(as Akshai asked in his previous post)...So here it goes....**/

Destination…Village Samarda, arnd 35 Km from Bhopal. First we visit a Nursery near Barkatulla University…& then heads off towards Samarda. The village is in interior, 10 kilometer from main road…no other connectivity. We reached at arnd 12:30.
We have already made groups which had to concentrate on various issues & we scattered in the village.
My grp enters the village….my first encounter is with Narendra, He is arnd 8-9 years old, & he says, Namaste sir, when he looks us. I try to start conversation…. abt him, his family, his education. He is in 4th std, has two siblings & his father is a Nakedar (Forest watchmen) with forest department. He also have agricultural land, & when I asks him that who works over land, he proudly says that he joins his mother in fields. He says that there are total 96 students in his school from std.1 to 8th but only one Ma’ssaab (Teacher) we also come to know that there are several television sets in village & also four CD Players,& …which was the last movie u saw, he shyly tells..”Billa No.786”, A Mithun Dhamaka(proves that not Shahrukh, but Mithun rules Indian grassroots still :).

After talking several minutes (when I think that there is nothing more to ask) we move further inside the village. The scene is, that almost everywhere…I encounter my classmates in groups of 2 or 3, talking to villagers.

again I encounters a child, girl this time(arnd 7-8 yrs), but she is too shy, & I only get her smiles in answers to my queries, but I manage to know her name(Puja) ,that her father & mother are not at home, that she also goes to school but didn’t went today(holiday) & when I asked..what abt food, very proudly, she tells that “I prepared it & also fed by little brothers”….

Here, we meets, Vrindavan….he is arnd 30 years old..& after several minutes we also come to know that he is the father of Narendra(the child whom we met earlier). We talk abt the problems of villages & the first among many is connecting road…he did not had to say much because we reached by that road only…& that 10 Km patch (from main road) is pathetic. & this is the condition when this village comes under State Chief Minister’s constituency. He says that whenever elections come...they get huge promises that the road will be made this time…...but promise are promise only.
Regarding other probs…it is drinking water, drainage system, education, health…to name a few.There r only 4 hand pumps in village & only 2 are working. There is a well at forest rest house and once some pipes were also laid to village for water supply but the work halted in between and those pipes are stolen by now & there has been no progress since then.

Regarding health…in major cases they have to take patient to Bhopal & in most cases it takes too much time to reach Bhopal that the condition of patients worsens in middle.

Regarding education as we already heard from that child, there is only one teacher on 96 students & he is also not very regular. We can very well think what a person will teach to 96 students.

There is not much agricultural land with villagers…the other sources of income are..works provided by Forest department, Tendu Leaf & Mahua Collection..


We again start moving & encounters some more villagers…but it is that old lady(arnd 50) years who gave us some bitter truth pills which I can never forget. I m writing her words in Hindi here as that generates more effect.,

kya hai ye…tum log har mahine aa jaate ho.(I protest that its my first time)..to koi aura aa jata hai…yaha aate hai..ye sab likh le jaate hai..karta koi kuch nahi, mai 40 saalo se dekh rahi hoo, is gaon me kuch nahi badala, kuch nahi hua.(I says that I m a student)…to tum log yaha picnic manane aaye ho. Aaj shaniwar hai na…tumhari chutti hogi, tum ghumne aa gaye, nahi to yaha Samarda me kya milega jot um yaha aaye ho, Abhi 2 mahine pehle bhi ek camp laga tha yaha…log aaye the 8 din rahe, khele-kude, khaya-piya aur chale gaye…kiya to kuch nahi.yaha log aakar 50 baar road kaa naap leja chuke hai,aaj tak road nahi banaya.tum jaise log bhi aate hai, ulte-seedhe sawaal puchte hai..aur chale jaate hai.(an elder person (age arn 65 is sitting near her 7 he tries to cool her but in vain.)

I just listens the grnd reality with bewilderment, unable to answer anything, whatever she is saying, there is truth in her words, & though there is anger in her words there are also traces of pain. also it leaves some questions in my mind

Who gave us right to interfere in there lives? OK we have our studies and field work components but doesn’t asking question like this raise false hopes in their mind? They tell us our pain, with expectation that here is someone who has come to listen me & he will do something for me once he goes back…& what will we do…make a nice presentation…a nice looking report…talk some big words(sustainability. livelihood, capacity building, blah., blah, blah…) and then forget everything. Is it ethical?

Imagine the way we behave with the door to door salesman in cities…and here we are…44 students…attacked a village with just 50 houses with our absurd queries and question, asking the problems abt which we can do nothing (at least at present).

(some examples…how people were asking questions there…”Aapke yaha BPL families kitni hai?”, “Aapke yaha family planning hoti hai?” & the poor fellow is wondering over the words “BPL” & “family planning”).

How can India Feel Good when a village, just 35 kilometers from State Capital, constituency of State CM has not got proper road connection, have a school with only one teacher, have no employment and no water (whatever bloody interdepartmental & governmental conflicts are there)?

One question to myself…I m writing all this stuff, so big words…but once I get a job ..will I think abt them…will I prefer to go & work in a village like that? I don’t know….

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

The Differences....., We Made.....

It has been arnd 9 months at IIFM & now we are in post mid-term session of third term.Have gained a lot from IIFM and tried to contribute our bit.We have always said that our batch is "different".It should be.....after all it consists of more than 12-13 engineers(including me;). There are a lot things which we did for the first time in IIFM,plus some which we not did.I was trying to compile all these since last few days.Here is a brief analysis.
*The list is indicative and not exahustive...suggestions for "more" additions are welcome.Also the credit for "did/got new" also goes to initiatives of Director(espacially SAC) and not PFM 2006 only.
What we did new…
  • IIFMites participated in various intercollegiate level competitions & won!!!!
  • First time in IIFM, Organized an Intercollegiate event (Open House during Kalpataru)
  • Organized various debate, poetry, brainstorming sessions
  • Exclusive Kalpataru website
  • Media coverage of KT
  • Got our own Student Affairs Council

What we not did (but was expected from us)....

  • No Sampark….
  • No Skit at Kalpataru
  • No one above OGPA 4 :(.

What we got new…

  • Fulltime Director
  • Class timings changed to 8:30-1:45, No Classes after lunch (under normal circumstances)
  • Net connection in Hostel
  • A Nescafe outlet in campus

What we not got...

  • No Blazers this time
  • No FRI Dehradoon trip
  • No Amarkantak/Pachmadhi trip (All three..thanks to COST CUTTING operations)

Moving ahead.........

we are moving ahead ppl and in big way ( at least in my opinion). If any one searches for IIFM in google we are placed third in the search results. It is certainly a big thing for us and gives us a lot of reponisbility, think of any one looking for information about IIFM and finding the blogs of its student, u can be sure for a click at the site. So now, we have the responsibility on our shoulders to make this blog rock.. its right time for us to project our talent, so wake up and contribute....
I am going to upgrade the blog.. you can expect a fully customized view of this blog in a couple of days (instead to this look provided by bloggers.com), and well for akshai, you have always been able to overcome the problem posed by the collective identity of PFM 2006 (which has always been different from the identity and attitute of all its individual memebers) so Kudos to you... and one more thing welcome back and contribute....
thanks mr. anonymous for comments.....

long time..

...visiting the blog after a long time... finally got time to do some surfing after Kalpataru though there is still lots of KT winding up to do (inventory of all sports equipment, writeups for newletter and student council, finance etc etc.)... god! wish i had never taken this post of Sports Co-ordi... just wound up giving myself tension the whole year and spoiling relationships with my classmates!

anyway...

santosh, who is this mr.anon.? and how about sharing some of his posts with us?

nitin... great work... u r keeping this blog going... also saw ur blog... please post the last SIX paras of GROUND REALITY here... if i had to write something on that field trip, it would be very similar... what right do we have to give villagers false hopes and constantly trouble them in their homes for our own selfish study purposes? Even in our UP field trip we often visited villages where the FD had 'arranged' for many of the villagers to leave all their work and assemble at one place so we could talk to them... who are we to do this? what do they get from it?...

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Mr. Anonymous.......

Posting after a long time to the blog. I was overjoyed to see the comments from the other members of IIFM family apart from the PFM 2006. The Mr. Anonymous who has posted quite a few comments and I assume that he is regular to the blogsite. I would request him and also invite him to share his views, I do not know why you are not revealing your identity, but from your comments, one thing is certain that either you are an alumni or ....very rare chance but a faculty members. So, please let us know about you.. If you want to post at the site please mail me at san1378@gmail.com....

Here, I would like to thank Nitin for keeping this blog alive. Hats off to you, Mr. Bagla.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

The Conflict

Dear friends
We have seen some great conflict in IIFM in last few days ( kalpataru week). Each one of us have supposedly different reasons to which we can attach the conflict. I hereby propose a universal reason which i suppose would be acceptable to one and all. The main and possiblly the only reason for the entire conflict is the vacation in kalpataru week. We have got no work and thus are left with no option other than engaging ourselves in some conflict. Just imagine what wopuld have been the scenario had there been no vacation during the kalpataru week.
The "workload" of the classes would have easily send the ideas of a boycott to the backdrop of our mind. Even if we would have boycotted the event, a slight persuasion by faculty would have been sufficient to melt out resilience. There would have been no series of mail and we would not have witnessed the attack and counter attack and the following ambience of mistrust. IIFM would not have witnessed the series of GBMs and there would not have been volley of comments. Having said that i feel that our batch should behave in a more matured way and we should get into a pracitice of organisinf atleast 1 GBM every day so that in vacation we dont get frustrated as Mandhar said" yaar main to pagal ho jaaonga".

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Wov! so nice placements!

Being junior batchee we watched closely the seniors wearing tie n in formals n appearing for the campus interviews. And really they have got their destinations right from the campus...Corporates buzzing in the campus and going with more than the intake.. it was really nice to see the firms going back by the third day only...now its party time for us and with KALPATRU in the forthcoming days has really made the campus like anything, I m really enjoying these hectic moments inviting & going for sponsors simultaneously playing baddy,volley, cricket, carroms n really everything although these assignments will really never leave us and really they make our nights too shorter anyway the ambience is really vibrant...although the sad demise of mother of Billa.D & father of Kunal put the brakes and let us all pray to the god to provide them strength to fill up the void created...

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Profound Thughts

PROFOUND THOUGHTS....
If you're too open-minded, your brains will fall out.
Don't worry about what other people think; they don't do it very often.
Going to a church doesn't make you a Christian, any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.
Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.
My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance.
Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is serious.
It is easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.
For every action, there is an equal and opposite government program.
If you look like your passport picture, you probably need the trip.
Bills travel through the mail at twice the speed of checks.
A conscience is what hurts when all your other parts feel good.
Eat well, stay fit, die anyway.
Men are from earth. Women are from earth. Deal with it.
Middle age is when broadness of the mind and narrowness of the waist change places.
Opportunities always look bigger going than coming.
Junk is something you've kept for years and throw away three weeks before you need it.
There is always one more imbecile than you counted on.
Experience is a wonderful thing.
It enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.
By the time you can make ends meet, they move the ends.
Thou shall not weigh more than thy refrigerator.
Someone who thinks logically provides a nice contrast to the real world.
If you must choose between two evils, chose the one that you've never tried before.