Baba Amte: A Social Reformist

Baaba Amte, or Murlidhar Devidas Amte, was born on December 26, 1914, in Hinganghat, Wardha district, Maharashtra, British India. In addition to being a lawyer, he was a social activist who dedicated his life to helping India’s poorest and least powerful people, especially those who suffered from leprosy. Numerous international awards have been conferred on him, including the 1988 UN Human Rights Prize, a share of the 1990 Templeton Prize, and the 1999 Gandhi Peace Prize. Amte was born into an affluent Brahman family and grew up in a privileged environment. His legal practice began in 1936, following his graduation from law school. While Mahatma Gandhi’s Quit India campaign was being launched against the British occupation of India, he acted as a defense lawyer to those imprisoned. Gandhi’s nonviolent fight for justice inspired Amte to give up his legal career in the 1940s and join Gandhi’s ashram in Sevagram, Maharashtra, India, where he worked among the downtrodden.

Following an encounter with a man suffering from advanced leprosy, Amte’s attention turned to that disease. At the Calcutta School of Tropical Medicine, he took a course on leprosy, worked at a leprosy clinic, and studied the disease. Amte established Anandwan, an ashram dedicated to the treatment, rehabilitation, and empowerment of leprosy patients, in 1949. Over time, the centre offered programs in health care, agriculture, small-scale industry, and conservation, as well as serving people with disabilities.

Amte was also involved in numerous causes, such as environmentalism and religious tolerance, in addition to his work with lepers. He opposed the construction of hydroelectric plants in particular dams on the Narmada River, both for environmental reasons and because of the effects on those displaced by the dams. As part of his commitment to this cause, Amte left Anandwan in 1990, but he returned to the ashram toward the end of his life. He left philanthropic work to his sons, Prakash and Vikas Amte, who became physicians.

Sadhna Tai, Baba’s wife, deserves special mention. Her family of Sanskrit scholars raised her in the orthodox Hindu tradition, and after her marriage to Amte she let go all caste prejudices and worked alongside him, despite difficult circumstances. Their unrelenting efforts led to the foundation of Maharogi Sewa Samiti (MSS), an organization dedicated to curing and rehabilitating leprosy-affected people. Registration for this company dates back to 1951.

As Baba Amte infamously said, “I don’t want to be a great leader; I want to be a man who goes around with an oil can and if he sees a breakdown offers his assistance. A man who does that is greater than any holy man in saffron-colored robes. The mechanic with the oilcan: that is my ideal in life.” Over the course of his 94 years, Baba Amte was awarded the Padma Shri, Ramon Magsaysay Award, Padma Vibhushan, United Nations Prize for Human Rights, Rashtriya Bhushan, Gandhi Peace Prize, and many others.

Sheetal Amte-Karajgi, a beneficiary of Baba Amte’s ‘new India’ vision, describes her grandfather as a man who fights injustice with a stick, believing Anandwan to be a shining example of this idea.

The 9th of February, 2008, marked the passing of Baba Amte.

His contributions to blurring the psychological divide between the marginalized and the privileged have continued even after he died, via the activities of Anandwan, even as a Gandhian by ideology. 

BODY DYSMORPHIC DISORDER(BDD)

Body Dysmorphic disorder is a mental disorder marked by an obsessive of perceived defects or flaws in once appearance. A flaw that to others is considered minor or not observable.

People suffering from BDD

  1. Can feel emotion such as shame and disgust concerning a part or parts of their body part and fixate on this.
  2. The obsession is so intense that the person repeatedly checks and compares the perceived flaw seeks reassurance sometimes for several hours each day.
  3. The person can also adopt unusual routines to avoid social contact that exposes the perceived flaw.
  4. This pervasive thoughts about their appearance and body image interfere with their daily life via
    • Educational
    • Occupational dysfunction and
    • Isolation

No matter how many times people assure them that there is no flaw, they cannot accept that the issue doesn’t exist.

The most common features about which people obsess includes:-

  • Nose
  • Wrinkles
  • Acne
  • Complexion
  • Blemishes
  • Hair
  • Skin
  • Vein appearance
  • Muscles size
  • Tone
  • Breast size
  • Buttocks
  • Genitalia

BDD is estimated to affect up to 2.4% of the population. The condition usually starts during adolescence affecting both men and women. BDD does not go away on its own if Untreated it may get worse with time leading to

  • severe depression
  • Anxiety
  • Substance abuse
  • Suicidal thoughts and behavior

Causes

The exact cause is unknown, but like every other disorder BDD may result from a combination of causes such as:-

  1. Brain differences
  2. Environmental factors; special if they involve negative social evaluations about the body or Self-image
  3. Childhood trauma
  4. Genetics; studies suggest that BDD is likely to run in family.

Certain factors that may increase the risk of developing the condition may include:-

  1. A family history
  2. Negative body image
  3. Perfectionism
  4. Negative life experiences such as bullying or teasing
  5. Introversion
  6. Media influence.

Symptoms

Extreme preoccupation with a perceived flaw in your physical appearance that appear minor to others for at least one hour a day. Attempting to hide perceived flaw with –

  • styling, makeup or clothes – to seeking plastic or cosmetic surgery,
  • avoiding social situations,
  • constantly comparing appearance with others,
  • always seeking assurance about appearance from others,
  • low self-esteem, compulsive behaviour such as skin picking and frequent clothes changing.

Extreme preoccupation with an appearance that interferes with social life work, school, or other functionality.

Diagnosis

A medical evaluation will be carried out other medical conditions after which further evaluation is carried out by a mental health professional.

Diagnosis is based on:-

  1. A psychological evaluation; which aims at assessing risk factors and thoughts feeling as well as behavior can be associated with a negative self-image.
  2. Personal, medical, family and social health history.

Treatment

Treatment option may include therapy and medication includes:-

  1. Cognitive behavioral therapy; that helps you learn how to cope and behave to improve your mental health
  2. Medications; such as SSRIs may help is control obsession and control repetitive behaviours

Psychiatric hospital may be suggested if the symptom is severe such as when you’re in immediate danger of harming yourself.

Famous personality with BDD

Here is a list of people with BDD;

  • Michael Jackson(singer, dancer)
  • Billie Elish (singer)
  • Robert Pattinson (from twilight)
  • Ileana D’Cruz (from Rustom)
  • Miguel Herrán (from money heist)

B. R. Ambedkar

Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar was an Indian economist, politician and social reformer. He was also known as Babasaheb Ambedkar. He campaigned against social discrimination against the lower castes or Dalits of the country. Completing his doctorate from Columbia University and The London School of Economics, he gained reputation as a scholar for his research in economics, law and political science.

In the early phases of his career, he was an economist, professor and lawyer. Towards the later phases, he was actively involved in campaigns for India’s independence. He published journals and advocated for political and social rights for Dalits. He made a significant contribution to the establishment of the state of India. He was the first Minister of Law and Justice of India and the chief architect of the Constitution of India.

He had a Marathi family background and was from the town of Ambadawe in Ratnagiri district of modern-day Maharashtra. Ambedkar was born into a poor Mahar (Dalit caste), who were treated as untouchables and faced a lot of socio-economic discrimination. Although he attended school, Ambedkar and other untouchable children were segregated from the rest of the children and given little attention by teachers. They were not even allowed to sit inside the class. He had to sit on a gunny sack which he took home after school. When they needed to drink water, someone from a higher caste had to pour that water from a height as they were not allowed to touch the water vessel. It was usually the peon who did this for him and on days when the peon was not available, he had to go without water. He had later described this as “No peon, No water” in one of his writings.

During British rule, Ambedkar’s effort for the political representation of the oppressed untouchables of India bore fruit in the 1920s. The colonial state was forced to include two members from among the Dalits in the Round Table Conference in 1930. This eventually led to the framing of the Government of India Act, 1935.

From 1927, Ambedkar launched active movements against untouchability. He began public movements and marches to open up public drinking water resources for all. He led a satyagraha in Mahad to fight for the right of the untouchable community to draw water from the main water tank of the town. He also began a struggle for the right of Dalits to enter Hindu temples. In a conference in1927, Ambedkar publicly condemned the Hindu text Manusmriti (Laws of Manu), for ideologically justifying caste discrimination and “untouchability”. He ceremonially burned copies of the ancient text. On 25th December 1927, he led thousands of followers to burn copies of Manusmrti. Since then 25 December is celebrated as Manusmriti Dahan Din (Manusmriti Burning Day) by Ambedkarites and Dalits.

In 1956, he converted to Buddhism, initiating mass conversions of Dalits which eventually led to the Dalit-Buddhist movement.

A few days after completing his final manuscript ‘The Buddha and His Dhamma’, he died in his sleep on 6 December 1956 at his home in Delhi.

The Casteless Collective

The Casteless Collective is a Chennai based Tamil indie band. The band currently consists of 19 members including Tenma (leader and music producer), singers Muthu, Bala Chandar,  Isaivani,  Arivu and Chellamuthu, Dharani (Dholak), Sarath (Satti), Gautham (Katta molam), Nandan (Parai and Tavil), Manu Krishnan (drums) and Sahib Singh (guitar).  

Formed in the year 2017, the band was started by Pa. Ranjith and Tamil Indie Musician and Composer, Tenma, founder of Madras Records. The band’s name originated from the phrase ‘Jaathi Illadha Tamizhargal’ which was coined by the 19th century anti caste activist C. Iyothee Thass. He was a social activist who urged Dalits across Tamil Nadu to register themselves as Tamils without caste in the first Census in 1871. The band makes music to protest and rebel against the age-old caste-based discrimination and violence. Their songs are political which speaks against the inequalities of the caste system and oppression of women and minorities in Tamil Nadu.  

The leader and music producer of the band, Tenma was preparing to put together a group of indie musical artists for the Madras Indie Collective in 2017 when he got the idea from Pa. Ranjith, of training Gaana musicians for it. They prepared auditions for over 150 applicants and looked for artists who had a socio-political motivation in their lives as well as musical strengths. A mixture of Gaana, hip hop, rap and folk musicians were brought together. About 19 singers were selected for the initial ensemble.    

It has broken caste boundaries by engaging with the current social and political issues in the state. Instead of making music for entertainment alone the band has tried to eradicate discrimination through its music. Their main intention is “to create political awareness through music and art” because “art which makes us question discomfort is beautiful”. The band is a collective without caste which aims to eradicate caste based and religious discrimination through music.  

Jai Bhim Anthem (2018), Quota (2018), Magizhchi (2018), Vada Chennai (2018), Thalaiva (2019), Dabba Dabba (2019) are popular singles of the band.

The Casteless Collective had their very first concert on January 2018 in Chennai. It was their first performance in front of more than 4000 people. The 19 members including one female artist, all dressed in identical grey suits gave a wonderful performance. Their cries of “Jai Bhim!” were greeted with thunderous applause. They had not expected such a big enthusiastic crowd and it was a very emotional experience for all of them. This was also because most of the artists came from small backgrounds and they had mostly performed in one or two funeral processions. The instrumentalists who played katte and chatti were really overwhelmed as these instruments were restricted to only funeral events. 

It was not a concert that had people head-banging or jumping to the beat of drums. Instead, the audience listened to the songs with rapt attention. They broke into applause and shouts of agreement whenever the lyrics hit home. The Bhim Rap, a song on BR Ambedkar’s life and work, was met with a very enthusiastic reception. So was the Rap song that condemned honour killings in the name of caste and caste pride which was a major social evil in Tamil Nadu. Another popular track, Madrasin Magizhchi, spoke about the small joys of living in Madras, despite being poor.  

They say that people often ask them about the song lyrics and the stories about their experiences, so a discussion has begun. The band believes that social problems cannot be solved unless it is spoken about. Without discussions around caste-based discrimination one cannot attempt to eradicate the social evil. Their songs have already fulfilled their aim and created a stir among people. We hope that the band achieves greater heights and reaches out to everyone out there who has been a victim of caste discrimination and that it becomes successful in eradicating the malpractices of the system. 

Standardised Testing and the Coaching Class Culture

A better love story than Twilight.

Standardised testing. A serial dream killer. Hope undermining, man-made catastrophe.

The need for an absolute overhaul is inevitable for the sake of sanities of many. A change in the thought processes of the society would be the apt stepping stone for such a revolution.

As we approach the third decade of the twenty-first century, I guess it’s time to do away the standardised testing as a measure to test the overall capacity of an individual. Following such ancient methods of evaluating young minds in such a fast paced world is absolutely bonkers, we, should know better.

Experts across the fields have endorsed the need for knowledge based learning over memory based learning. But still many are capitalising on the status quo. With millions at the receiving end having it for the worse.

We all have at least appeared for one or the other such tests in our lives. There’s no denying that, the education system is wired in such a manner that there’s no other way around it. Best to succumb to it and make it out in one piece.

It’s saddening to the very least to admit to the fact that many of our dreams were often short-lived by courtesy of such devious measures. Figuring out one’s capacity to follow up his dreams and aspirations over memory based evaluations. Preposterous.

We all have friends and acquaintances who were not able to tread upon a path close to their hearts due to their inability to mug up and show up for standardised tests.

We might even know significant numbers of people, who could’ve been significant figures in their respective favourite fields if they haven’t had fallen prey to the societal norms and ambit of such tests to pursue mainstream degrees and careers.

If you’re somebody who has not been shot down by such a measure, count your blessings. You’re indeed one of the rarest of the rare.

With every passing year, millions of students are pushed into the rat race of such tests by the pressure implied by their guardians, mostly. The crazy obsession over a few courses and institutions in lieu of a trend that has long passed, but is still not accepted by the masses. People are suckers for a safe and secure career that is entirely overrated. 

With the passing of each year, new and newer coaching centres for prepping the kids for such exams are coming up in every nook and corner of our societies. Coaching centres are definitely and will be the black for a while. 

Another number synonymous with the pass numbers of such institutions are the suicide rates among the ones that go there. With the crammed up schedules to only learn and nothing else, millions of kids are traumatised by the agony inflicted upon them.

The only good, such institutions do are their unbridled role over building smaller economies. Pressured with the need to cater to the high numbers of students joining such institutions, they’re forced to establish bigger institutions to accommodate the same. 

Hence, they resort to remoter areas where land is cheap and set up shop there. With more and more families trying to put their kids through such a process, they move closer to such institutions and play their part in fuelling the growth of such rural economies.
A blessing in disguise for many.

We live in a country where the education policies are over three decades old. Since then we’ve liberalised the markets, had massive growth of population and numerous other socioeconomic changes, but this sector falls short to such changes.

With every passing year, education becomes more political than the year before. Higher passing percentages are a matter of concern for political parties to market false bravado. Unaware of the millions who fall prey to such a process.

Rewarding students based on their abilities to rot learn and awarding them with grace marks for selfish reasons might seem reasonable in the short term. But in the long run, bringing out generations of students proficient, theoretically, would just drag this great nation to the dirt. 

A stitch in time saves 9”, better act up before it’s too late.

Do express your views in the comments below.

How NGOs can help in improving the lives of Poor

Introduction:

While a country’s government can advance economically by improving the infrastructure and industrial development, accomplishing socio-economic development warrants Civil Society active engagement. Non-governmental organizations play a significant role in filling the void in the various government-executed socio-economic development schemes. Moving right in the centre of communities and through informative research, NGOs will ensure that India ‘s poorest people experience sustained growth and access to education and employment and critical services. This helps to ensure that economic growth benefits reach the tiniest denominator.

10 NGOs rejuvenating education in India - GiveIndia's Blog

Non-governmental organizations or NGOs have now become an increasingly relevant motif in countries of the third world as well as in the social business world. India denotes no exception. The NGOs have popped up as the messiah of countless people without food, clothing, education and basic facilities for health care. India is one of the top 13 least-favoured countries. With history of being the most heavily populated nation on earth and poor expertise in manpower, India faces a monumental task in meeting her ever-increasing population ‘s demand. Consequently, NGOs in India can continue to play the role of precursor in achieving sustainable growth and development provided that there is a lasting, comfortable and reliable relationship between the government and NGOs where both work for the benefit of people with different activities. Their main responsibilities are to organize these people, to raise public awareness within them and to make them oriented towards development. These organizations work on the basis of the needs and demand adjudicated by the farmers and women at the grass root level.

NGOs can help in ensuring that India sees poverty eradication, sustained development and the downtrodden empowerment in several ways.

  1. Leading the Fight for Sustainable Development

NGOs continuously campaigned for sustainable development. They provide government organizations with data-driven support, and they also empower local communities to move towards a sustainable way of living. The aim is to help the present communities evolve and succeed, without compromising the growth opportunities of future generations. By donating to NGOs you empower them to take up the cause of the Indian society’s most marginalized sections. Civil society leverages the support earned to push social movements and place pressure on businesses and governments and work sustainably.

  • Poverty Attenuation:

While the country has experienced substantial economic progression over the past two and a half decades, access to clean drinking water, sanitation , quality education , health care, housing, and nutrition are essential to allow India’s 260 million people to leave a life of poverty behind. To end the factors that cause poverty, NGOs run major research, awareness-raising, and growth programmes. Beyond that, they carry out projects on-ground to empower societies. Many children centric NGOs such as Child Rights and You, Teach for India, Save the Children etc. for example, works to provide education for the most vulnerable children in India with the goal of helping them to march forward in life. Similarly, poor toddlers are undergoing health and nutrition projects so they can lead a happy and healthy childhood.

  • Empowering children:

In any nation, children are the future. Healthy and peaceful children of today have grown up to become tomorrow’s mature, held accountable and educated adults, and can contribute much better to the process of nation building. Prominent Children centric NGOs carries out campaigns and projects across India to ensure for the safety, and health of the poorest and most deprived children and make provisions for them to get quality and holistic education.

Organizations such as CRY,TFI etc. are also doing some cutting-edge grassroots research in slums, tribal areas and remote villages when they go to help children in the midst of India’s most marginalized communities. It is absolutely essential that our society gives children their share, respects their rights and supports them and gives them a satisfying childhood. This will go a long way towards achieving genuine development.

Conclusion:

Scholars now think of NGOs as non-state actors in the field of international relations (a category that may also include multinational corporations). This concept reflects the growing presence of NGOs in the foreign policy arena where only States had previously played a significant role. The former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Kofi Annan, has called them “the conscience of humanity” and the World Bank and other UN agencies have consulted professional NGOs on related issues before adopting policies and drafting treaties. Its role will surely expand as global governance becomes more multicultural and less confined to state-based structures. It will continue to be a beacon enlightening the way forward as the world emerges to confront fresh problems.

NGOs can play a significant role in shaping the society for future generations. They may be the force that directs the political discussion to achieving equity and sustainable growth. Over the past 2 decades. NGOs can help bring about a systemic shift in India’s socioeconomic landscape with their rich knowledge in bringing about a change in the lives of backward communities and an experience in campaigning for their (backward communities’) cause. Donate today to charity to play your part in India’s development.

How Social Media Affects Your Self Awareness

I recently acquainted myself with a new term called ‘Smiling Depression’. This term is unusually used for people who appear happy on the outside but are in actual fact not happy. Because of social media, this condition has become more prevalent in social media users. 

We all know of Maslow’s hierarchy of our basic needs- self actualisation is one of the needs we have as an individual and we are constantly making efforts to craft this image that is better than the current one. We try so much that this becomes almost obsessive. As humans, we are set up with the basic instincts of self-improvement and we always somehow seem to know how to identify someone who we feel is ahead of us. This creates the an endless loop of ‘smiling depression’. 

Social media is an easy and dreamy out to reality. To create the image of a person who simply wakes up fresh and rejuvenated face, has time for make-up and heads out stylish without even trying to be, but how many of us can testify it as that easy? Very few if any. We all need to realise that regardless of the amount of time we spend creating these social identities online, we are only simple humans. Others are just better at creating and embracing these images and facades on social media.

So next time you are scrolling through your Instagram or Facebook feed, realise these points before you slip into ‘smiling depression’:

  1. You need a time-out from social media, maybe even for the rest of the day. People are not who they are online, their image on social media is highly curated and does not always represent reality. 
  2. Confront the negative thoughts and ask yourself  ‘Where are they coming from?’. Remind yourself we all wear a mask online, no one is as happy as they appear to be on social media. Everyone has problems, even celebrities. 
  3. If social media is your boredom killer where you scroll endlessly the whole day, logout and grab a book or download gaming app or do something that you like and you’re good at. Be more productive in real life and less online.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health

If one is already suffering from a problem with drug abuse and a mental health condition such as depression, bipolar disorder or panic, it is considered a co-occurring illness or dual diagnosis.

Both the mental health problem and alcohol or drug addiction have their own different signs and symptoms in co-occurring disorders that may interfere with your ability to function at work or school, ensure a sustainable home life, handle the problems of life, and relate to others. The co-occurring disorders also directly impact each other, to make the experience more complicated. The problem of substance abuse usually gets even worse when the mental health issue remains undetected. So when there is a rise in alcohol or substance misuse, mental health issues increase significantly too. You’re not the only one however. Co-occurring issues around drug abuse and mental health are more widespread than many people know. Reports published in the American Medical Association Journal state: About 50% of persons with severe mental disorders are affected by substance abuse.37% of alcohol abusers and 53% of drug abusers also have at least one severe mental illness. 29 per cent of the people diagnosed as mentally unstable use either alcohol or drugs.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Issues - HelpGuide.org

Although problems with addiction and mental health issues do not get better when overlooked in reality, they are likely to get much worse. It’s important to understand you don’t have to feel this way. You can do things to overcome your demons, repair your relationships, and get on the path to recovery. You will conquer a co-occurring illness with the right resources, self-help and care, regain your sense of self and get your life back on track.

Substance abuse and mental disorders such as depression and anxiousness are strongly connected, and while some substance abuse may cause prolonged psychotic reactions one does not cause the other directly. Nonetheless: The side effects of mental health problems are often self-medicated with alcohol and drugs. People often exploit alcohol or drugs to ease the symptoms of an undiagnosed mental disorder, cope with difficult emotions or change their mood temporarily. Unfortunately, the abuse of drugs causes side effects and also worsens the symptoms they originally tended to mitigate in the long run.

Alcohol and substance misuse can raise the risk of psychiatric illness underlying it. Mental illnesses are caused by a complex interplay between biology, the climate and other influences beyond. If you are at threat for a psychological illness, you may be pushed over the edge by alcohol abuse or illegal or prescription medications. For example, there is some indication that some drug abusers have an elevated risk of psychosis while those who misuse prescription painkillers are at higher risk of depression.

Drug and alcohol abuse can aggravate the symptoms of a mental health issue. Substance abuse can significantly increase mental illness symptoms, or even cause new symptoms. An integrated approach, in which both the issue of drug abuse and mental illness are addressed together, is the best cure for co-occurring disorder. Whether your mental health and substance abuse issue first came, lengthy-term recovery relies on getting treatment from the same treatment provider or team for both disorders. Focusing on specific question you have:

Your psychological health problem may be treated with medication, individual or group counselling, changes in lifestyle and peer support. Treatment for your substance abuse may include detoxification, withdrawal symptoms management, behaviour interventions and group support to help maintain your sobriety. The best way of supporting others is by knowing what you can and can’t. You can’t compel someone to stay sober, nor can you convince someone to take their medication, or schedule arrangements. What you can do is make smart decisions for yourself, encourage help from your loved one and offer support while trying to make sure you don’t lose yourself in the process.

Care and COVID…..

I think Robert Frost once said that it doesn’t matter what happens but life goes on, which quite makes a lot of ripples in the recess of our conscious mind if we think about the present scenario so is it just me or everybody thinking that we should take COVID-19 a bit more seriously than the way we are considering it right now as by taking into account the amount of riots happening, people still doing all sort of careless things amidst the massively increasing numbers of corona virus cases with a cure or a vaccine nowhere to be seen. So yes this is a good optimistic mentality that we should live on no matter what but being this callous at a time when a virus is reaching it’s peak is not decisive and wise at all if you are wondering what I’m talking about I’m speaking about the raising number of cases this world is seeing because of covid but still people are not taking it serious enough as by roaming without masks, eating outdoors and also in places where hygienic condition are not even close to the mark which are set by govt for outdoor eateries. Well I’m not saying that to stop the riots which is supposed to eradicate an issue which is like a dark spot on the canvas of humanity but people should take care of themselves amidst the adrenaline and the patriotism in a riot for humanity.

To be frank I think there is not a single soul in this whole wide earth who is feeling good about this lock down even though everybody used to like holidays but this pandemic has shown us something more powerful than anything existent in this universe that’s our humanity and our conscious choices which we used to make, are making and let’s hope we will always make in the future not only for ones own betterment but for all people who we feel as our near and dears. This pandemic taught us that humanity can face anything if we fight it together with unity determination and a sense of patience and the most important thing that we learnt that our beloved mother nature can heal from any atrocities and damage as life will always find a way through any gospel walls of terror if you give it a chance to heal and recover. So after like three to four months of this drama I think we all need a break to restart what we left long ago as it doesn’t matter from where you belong to or who you live with we all have that routine which we used to follow before lock down which I’m pretty sure had some parts of outdoor and nature in it so the only thing which we can do right now is to look after ourselves and to protect ourselves because that is the only way how we can protect others too as in manner avoid public gatherings which are not made by respecting the social distancing norms, use a mask regularly as it helps a lot if you don’t have any then a clean handkerchief will also do the trick, use and carry a sanitizer at all times and when you come hope wash your hands for at least twenty seconds with any kind of soap or hand washes, if gymnasiums are open then take proper care of yourself and make sure the gym owners are following all of the safety norms for the safety of the gym goers as workout is necessary not only for leisure but for a good lifestyle so do go to the gyms, if you are eating outdoors then make sure social distancing is maintained and if delivery is your cue then order from restaurants who are maintaining a proper hygiene and if you wanna support local business then educate them about the govt’s norms and safety standards so that they can help themselves to help you to get really tasty street food and the rest like a place’s tourism industry and other entertainment industries and all have to wait for sometimes as of now every country’s economy is in smithereens so it will take some time to recover but we will get through this together as one big, bold and happy family.

Child Labour in India

Child labour has become a major problem in the world as it affects the children both emotionally and physically and it also threatens the children’s future. Child labour, not only in India, but also in other developing countries, is a huge issue. Because of poverty, it is widely common in many developing countries. It is a major social problem because children are a nation’s promise and future. There have been plenty of legislation introduced to prohibit child labour but they are unsuccessful. According to 2017 statics India has a whopping 33 million children working in different forms of child labour, becoming one of the leading countries in Asia.

Strength of Child Labourers in India:

According to the ILO, some 12.9 million Indian children are engaged in work in between ages of 7-17. They are much less likely to go to school or attend only intermittently when children are appointed or doing unpaid work, trapping them in the cycle of poverty. Hundreds of thousands of Indian girls and boys go to work in quarries and warehouses every day, or to sell cigarettes on the highway. Most of these children are between the ages of 12 and 17, who work up to 16 hours a day to help their families accomplish their ends. But child labour in India can begin even earlier with an estimated 10.1 million children aged 5 to 14 involved in work.

India can wipe out child labour with proper laws | Deccan Herald

As children get older, they also become more involved in employment. In India 20 per cent of all children between the ages of 15 and 17 are active in unsafe industry sectors. It is difficult to calculate the exact extent of child labor in India, since it is still concealed and underreported. In India, there are nearly 18 million children between the ages of 7 and 17 who are considered “unavailable,” neither in employment nor in school. Such missing girls and boys in India may undergo some of the worst forms of child labour.

Forms of Child Labour:

According to an ILO study, the majority of child labor in the world (around 71 per cent) is done in agricultural sector, including cotton fields and paddy fields. Approximately 17 percent are hired as service staff, mainly as farm servants or in restaurants, and another 12 percent of child labour, is spread across jobs in the industry sector including hazardous mining activities.

Many child labourers in India are employed in textile factories for starvation wages, helping with carpet manufacturing, or doing back-breaking work in factories and quarries for brick making. Other child labourers compete for the tobacco industry on the street selling cigarettes, called “Bidis.” Throughout industries such as steel mining, gem polishing, and carpet making, children are also used for cheap labour. A shocking number of girls are victims of Indian sex trafficking, be it by conventional slavery or criminal enterprises. Children’s commercial sexual abuse is one of the worst forms of child labour, and trafficking includes around 1.2 million children in India.

Causes of Child Labour:

Notwithstanding India’s recent economic growth, over one third of all Indians tend to live below the poverty line. The IT sector’s technological advances and improvements have not produced jobs in poverty-stricken regions. People from rural areas with little schooling frequently see little choice but to take their kids off school and put them to work to help feed their families. Because of the dire situation of many families, children are being sold to child traffickers by their fathers and mothers or parents abandoning their children in the countryside while they are looking for work in a big city. These children are most vulnerable and are often abused by traffickers who force the boys and girls to work for very low salaries or absolutely nothing.

Laws present to fight Child Labour:

In 1993, the Indian Government passed a new law against child labour banning hazardous work or practices that could impact girls and boys under the age of 18 to the psychological, spiritual, moral or cultural wellbeing. Child labour, however, persists for a variety of reasons, for example people manipulate loopholes in legislation that allow children to be hired if the job is part of a family business. So having kids selling cigarettes on the street might be considered legal if it’s part of a family business. Additionally, many business leaders, such as mine owners, hold political office and have significant influence. Industries might not want to bar cheap labour from their business operations.

The laws against child labour were reinforced in 2006 and again in 2016 to guarantee that children under the age of 14 were forbidden to work in restaurants and hotels as domestic aid or service staff. Nevertheless, child labour remains permissible in family businesses. Furthermore, the rule does not extend to 15 to 17 year-olds who are only restricted to do “dangerous” work.

Steps to resolve the problem of Child Labour:

In the political system much more needs to be done to prevent exploitative child labour in India: the laws against child labour must be further stiffened and implemented more strictly. Furthermore, fighting poverty and hunger, a root cause of child labour, is important. Acknowledging poverty and inequality is crucial for putting an end to child labour.

It is also vital that access to education breaks the intergenerational cycle of poverty and child labour. Once children achieve higher educational rates, they are more likely to find decent paying jobs at adulthood and can use their income to provide for themselves and their families without depending on child labour.

Women Empowerment in Today’s Age

Education is important to empowering women. Through it, women have better direct exposure and employment opportunities, leading to higher income levels and less isolation at household or exclusion from economic matters. Women can live their aspirations with an education, by continuing to pursue their own goals and values.

Mindset needs to change for women's empowerment - The Sunday ...

Studies have found that if each girl completed 12 years of schooling, child marriage would drop by 64 percent and health risks from early pregnancy would drop by 59 percent and 49 percent respectively, such as early births and infant deaths.

Economic Growth by Empowering Women:

Helping to educate women and girls also boosts the economic growth of countries, decreases the possibility of violence and extremism, and has been called the Brookings Institution’s Best Investment against Climate Change. According to the Malala Fund, there are more than 130 million girls outside of school worldwide. These girls will often marry and have kids at a young age without an education, work in unregulated or minimal paying positions and rely on their spouses or family members for economic support. Without an education, there are limited futures for their futures and for their families. Encouraging women to engage fully in economic life in all sectors is vital to building stronger economies, achieving globally recognized growth and sustainability targets and improving the quality of life for women, men, families and communities. The private sector is a key partner in pushing for gender equality and empowering women.

Any prosperous country will consider crucial concerns for sustainable growth, such as gender equality and women’s economic empowerment. Higher female earnings, as evidenced by surveys, significantly contribute to children’s education and family health, impacting a nation’s productivity growth. Statistically speaking, the contribution of women to wage work jumped from 42 per cent to 46 per cent from 1997 to 2007. Obviously, achieving economic empowerment for women is the key to solving issues such as gender inequality and poverty, and also to foster inclusive economic growth. Women are considered to make a major contribution to economics in the form of industry, entrepreneurial work or (sadly!) unpaid labour.

While women living in some parts of the developed world have the function of decision-makers and influencers, gender inequality in other parts of the world persists a crippling social problem, and these subordinate women are also alarmingly impacted by poverty, sexism and other types of vulnerable oppression. As every developing country will agree, sustainable economic development is impossible without empowerment of women and gender equality initiatives are the driving force of social change and economic growth. Working women make a huge contribution to education, health and well-being, and hence achieving gender equality is essential for holistic developments.

Women Empowerment’s role in Sustainable Development:

As issues of women’s economic empowerment and gender equality are gathering traction on the global scene, nations around the globe are taking unbelievable steps to reduce gender gap and encourage economic equality. Some of the ways we can follow to achieve women’s economic empowerment for sustainable development are discussed below in order to play your part in the movement.

Women as Decision Makers:

While many women are now important contributors to some states’ economies, gender equality continues to be a myth in much of the world. Women have been actively engaged in the technology sector, food processing, and sustainable use of natural resources, domestic health, entrepreneurial work, and energy and climate change. But, to get a better-paid career, most women still lack access to good work prospects and money. As the attention turns to inclusive economic structures, it can go a long way in achieving women’s empowerment to provide women with leadership opportunities and make them a part of decision making.

Job Opportunities:

Despite becoming significant contributors to social and financial development, women lack equal opportunities for employment. Equal rights programs can make significant investments in promoting decent jobs and public policies, and in promoting growth and development.

Conclusion:

Women empowerment programs invest extensively in women’s health and empowerment, empowering women to break free from their conventional positions and remove perceptions of gender. There are many ways to achieve financial equality for women and the above guidelines are only to name a few. It is time to break down barriers and considering possible programs to advocate for equal opportunities for women and promote financial inclusiveness in order to keep up with the changing economic trends and meet sustainable development goals.

Importance of Education in Society

Education plays a massive role in current societal growth and progress. It has been one of the key elements which can significantly impact the development of a society. If people of a society are educated, they can contribute greatly in the fields of arts, literature, science, technology, and others, and ultimately develop a well-rounded and stimulating culture.

Education & Society - The Editors' Desk

It helps to earn money and meet life’s basic needs. Education plays an essential role as it helps an individual in their overall development and help them sit in a pretty good position in a society. It might help you grow in a profession and make your dreams come true. It also helps one set their personal and career goals.

The ways in which Education plays a significant role in the betterment of society are as follows:

Improved Communication:

A quality education helps us to interact with others more easily and more effectively. Keeping in mind that communication is not just about talking to one another and exchanging information. There is a way lot more to it than that. It’s about knowing when and how to listen to one in need, how to use and read someone’s body language.

If one has been deprived of decent level of education, communicating with others via email , letter, fax or even smartphone would be difficult. You may need to know whether to add to anyone in a formal or informal manner, or not. Why is education important within society? The very first reason points out to meaningful interaction amongst one another.

Ability to express views and Opinions:

Many people face problems when they have to express their opinions and personal views. Having a tough time expressing yourself may also be the product of inadequate education and a lack of experience in life.

Education is the source of your work and social progress, as it helps you in better communication and everyone wants to know what you’ve got to say. Just imagine how all those authors and poets became worldwide popular for their ability to influence individuals, if not because of their education. For what cause is education essential to society? Reason 2-People more open-minded.

Social Cohesion:

Education is a wonderful thing but social cohesion is the most beautiful and essential thing that has been associated with it in recent years. Despite our differences, education has made us coexist in consonance with one another.

When you enter every university’s doors you can see people from distinct religions, cultures and races. You’ll be surprised to see that they realized, given all the appearances, that after all, they are not that different

Raising the Standard of Living:

Many people think that education can lead a person to a place where he / she can fulfil all their ambitions and aspirations. But most do not believe in such thinking that education in one’s life tends to create such a difference.

Training alone, too, cannot make you productive unless one really works hard to get to that point. When a person commits himself/herself to quality education, only then the outcome of such commitment can be fruitful.

Conclusion:

With that said, education is mankind’s greatest gift and it is only through information that we will ever be able to coexist peacefully on this beautiful planet. Once we understand this, it is our responsibility to help the younger generations understand how powerful and important education can be. One should have rights and freedoms, rules and regulations living in a society. This knowledge will help to build boundaries around us so that we can follow the rules to have a peaceful life. Education will help to communicate and exchange information and insight with people from different cultures and live in harmony. To be an active participant in society and gain respect from the community, one should learn new things at all times.

Civic Engagement for Young People During Social Distancing

Many of us feel a bit helpless to help others out during these coronavirus social distancing and isolation times. This also true for kids and young people. There are actions they can take as part of their home schooling. They can participate in civic engagement and activism activities.

Civic engagement is defined as “working to make a difference in the civic life of one’s community and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values and motivation to make that difference (https://youth.gov/youth-topics/civic-engagement-and-volunteering).”

Quite frequently, not only do state standards permit teachers and schools to support student activism, but they encourage student activism as a means by which to develop civic understanding. Although standards vary from state to state, many of them are modeled on the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards (NCSS, 2013), which specifically endorses student activism:  “Civics is not limited to the study of politics and society; it also encompasses participation in classrooms and schools, neighborhoods, groups, and organizations . . . In civics, students learn to contribute appropriately to public processes and discussions of real issues. Their contributions to public discussions may take many forms, ranging from personal testimony to abstract arguments. They will also learn civic practices such as voting, volunteering, jury service, and joining with others to improve society. Civics enables students not only to study how others participate, but also to practice participating and taking informed action themselves” (https://kappanonline.org/student-activism-civics-school-response-singer/).

Civic engagement and activism in normal times has benefits, but in these times of coronavirus and social distancing-isolation, the benefits are amplified as such engagement can move young people from feelings of helplessness to feelings of empowerment.

Even in social isolation, there are actions young people and kids can do. The following activity guide can provide ideas and give some structure to civics activity engagement.

The following PDF has links with more information about how to do that challenge: