Category: Life Experience

The faultless, the nationalist and the holier-than-thou.

Recently, I read in the social media about an Indian couple who beat up a wheelchair user in a theater for not standing during the national anthem in Goa. How sickening is this?

This is not an isolated incident in the country. These incidents, however, may not be called a trend, but has been increasingly reported in the last 10 years and very much in the media since past couple of years. It may be because these incidents have increased in past years or the media cover of these types of cases have increased. No matter whether it has increased or has been constant in the past 70 years of freedom, it definitely does not seem healthy for a free society.

People are openly beaten up or even lynched for eating certain kind of meat (beef). Couples are trashed in public parks for being together. Night parties have been attacked by a group of people who claim to be the makers of a better society (what an irony?). Some are even beaten up for not chanting ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ (Hail mother India)  as few believe it is the way to prove patriotism. A few media channels have promoted themselves from being neutral reporters to the judges of highest courts (of their own standards) by making judgments and declaring people guilty and even pointing out the anti-nationals.

 Poor people are beaten up for transporting cattle in the name of stopping the slaughter and are seized unlawfully, but later the cattle is sold by the same people for profit. This is one of the few businesses which includes no hard work but returns both fame and money.

The driver of a bigger vehicle would most probably be beaten up by passersby if he hits a smaller vehicle on the road even if it is not his fault. Tragically enough, people are more bothered to beat up the driver than to call an ambulance or take the victim to a hospital.

People from Bihar and UP have been trashed in their own country (in Mumbai) because some believe that they have the highest form of lawless behavior in the country. One must find out how lawful it is to beat somebody up unlawfully. In my opinion, it is nothing less than the Nazis who believed that Jews were the destroyers of the civilizations, however, they never realized that they themselves were the uncivilized and the real destroyers of civilization.

Everyone thinks they are better than the other person. Self-righteous people of every religion portray others as inferior all the time. Self-declared patriots threaten others’ right to celebrate patriotism in their own ways. Many of us do not miss any opportunity to point fingers at a person with a fault and sometimes, even without any fault, people beat up others just because they can.

Every time I hear about such incidents, one thing that comes to my mind is the incident where a woman was brought to Jesus convicted of adultery by the preachers of the laws and some self-righteous people. They asked Jesus whether the woman should be stoned, as the laws says an adulterous woman must be stoned to death. I admire what Jesus replied to this. He said “If anyone of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her”. Hearing the reply, all of them who accused the woman left the place one after another and as the verse emphasizes ‘the older ones first’. 😉 John – 8: 3-10.

In the same way, are we all not guilty of any sin? Are we not humans who commit mistakes in our daily lives? In other words, when Men visit brothels, it is gratifying their sexual needs but women in the brothels are called whores and secluded from the society in a way that jeopardizes their health and well-being. In addition to this, rapists and people indulging in violence against women in their homes are teaching how women should dress and when they should go out, under the banner of culture, tradition and religion.

If we take a moment and look within and be empathetic before we judge and disgrace others for their mistakes or raise our fingers, the world would be a much better place.

Let the law of the state, which is intended to maintain order in the society take its course. Why are we becoming so judgemental and self-righteous and taking law into our own hands?

Let he who is free of sin throw the first stone…

Finally, one thing I have observed in my life is that the higher the level of hypocrisy in a person the more judgmental she/he tends to be and more the finger pointing. I may be wrong in my observations, scientific study needed. LOL.

“You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye”. Jesus in Matthew 7:5

Thanks

God bless

Making Sense of Sexual Energy

Nothing is created without a purpose and sexual energy is not an exception.

However, it has been causing so much damage every day in and around us.

As a believer, when I believe that everything has a purpose, I also believe that if a purposeful creation produces negative outcomes, it is because of its misuse or overuse or ignorance over its proper use.  Many of us are good at misusing things because we often act on instincts rather than thoughtful engagement or going to the root/depth.

What is the good use of sexual energy? Use within the marriage, for procreation, for (legitimate/appropriate) pleasure and relieving physical and emotional stress? All sounds great but is that all ‘sexual energy’ is for? Sex is an inevitable part of a healthy marriage however that is not the whole purpose, the sexual energy should be used for.

Sexual energy is a great force in our body and mind. Are we not responsible to use it for its intended purpose? Apart from the use for our own selves, shouldn’t we also channel this gifted energy toward more meaningful and greater tasks ahead of us?

In other words, when over indulgence or suppression of the energy is not all productive, shouldn’t we redirect this energy to our work, writing, serving, creative thinking so on and so forth? And can we?

We must seek to find out ourselves, because as humans, seeking and finding is an obligation, not an option.

 

Thanks

God Bless…

P.S. For further understanding on the topic read Napoleon Hill’s ‘Think and Grow Rich’. Don’t worry, the book is not all about financial richness. Chapter – The Mystery of Sex.

A little action for that big smile…

It was a hot day today and I was reluctant to go for a field visit. But work has to go on and a meeting was to be facilitated in one of our villages. We reached and waited only to find out that people who had agreed to come yesterday were now caught up in some other work and the meeting was cancelled. I was annoyed and decided to go back when Mr. Sanjay (our staff) suggested that we meet some children and follow up on their status.

Since we had put substantial effort into the children in this village, I was hoping to receive some good feedback. We visited Dasrath, who is 3 years old and has Cerebral Palsy. I was hoping to see him in a better position but we met him in the same state as a lot of children with disabilities, neglected, alone and on his bed.

Children with CP are usually required to have different positions which benefit their posture and various other things but since there is no one at home to take care of him when his parents go to work, he spends the entire day lying down, unable to interact with anybody. His parents are generally supportive people but since progress is very slow, they tend to give up and the other obligations are prioritised. This added to our frustrations but we stopped to talk to his siblings and his uncle and explained the benefits of making him sit and teaching him to interact.

As we planned to leave with our frustrations, Mr. Sanjay decided that it was not enough if we just visited over and over again and explained the child’s condition and he wanted to go further.

Please follow the photographs to see what happened.

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This is how he stays, alone
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He seemed excited about sitting but needed some modification for balance.
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Mr. Sanjay initiated the modification
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The kids joined in….
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The uncle took over and the structure was complete.
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He was seeing people from a different angle and hence more interactive.
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Modification for support made.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The problem was that he had to made to sit, the usual solutions are fancy items like CP chair or corner chair which are non-available locally  and even if available, unaffordable. A small idea by our staff and half an hour of our time changed the way Dasrath looks at things now.  The family has promised to make other modifications as well.

When we work with communities and work towards empowerment, we focus so much on “Helping them to help themselves”. We talk and explain and then expect them to act and get frustrated when change does not happen the way we expect. We sometimes miss the umpteen opportunities to initiate change a different way Sometimes, action has to be initiated from our side as well, a nudge; a little hand-holding can go a long way. It does not have to be resource intensive, simple gestures and initiatives can make a world of difference.Untitled8

As I left their house, I left my frustrations behind and carried with me the image of his smile.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Reading, God Bless

(Consent was taken from his parents)

Women – Beyond all adjectives

It’s that time of the year when words like strong, independent, multitasker and a whole lot of adjectives are used to describe women and various events are held, women are appreciated and then we move on. I pride myself on being one of these, strong, independent working woman. But often these adjectives conjure an image of a certain type or class of women (If I may say so), women with professional careers, balancing their home and work etc. Very seldom, have I used these adjectives to describe women in the place I work in and I have also not come across many whom immediately think of women in rural areas.

But today, I met somebody, who embodies all of this and so much more. Sushma Devi, is 21 years old from a village in the Satbarwa Block. I have known her for the past 4 years since her husband used to work with us in the project.

She had come alone to the hospital, to get her 3 months old baby girl vaccinated. As she waited to go back, I met her; we talked and ended up having lunch together. As we talked she shared the challenges of living in a remote village, her dreams for her children (2 years and 3 month old children) and their education, the plans they had as a family. She also shared the stress and challenges with her work. It was not very different from what I am going through.

I manage a project for People with Disabilities with 8 staffs. She works for an organization in the post of “Active Woman”. The NGO works with SHGs and for women empowerment.  She manages about 140 women in 14 groups. She attends 3 meetings, a day and supervises their work. In addition, she manages her entire household, takes care of both her children and her sick mother-in-law. She is 21 years old and hasn’t completed her graduation since she had her delivery during her exams. She plans to write it again this year and wants to try for a better job. She is both a mother and a manager, now that is multitasking.

Even though she has a job outside, since her husband is busy with his work, the entire management falls on her delicate shoulders. Through all this, she had found time to study and pursue a higher education.

As we talked, I reflected on all the times, I complained about the amount of work I have, the difficulties, the stress and many other silly things but compared to her life, I have had the luxury of a comfortable life. There are many people who appreciate the work I do, encourage me and support me when I am done. I am not so sure, if she even has time to ventilate to anybody and seek comfort and encouragement. Also there is almost no one in her social circle to encourage her and appreciate her work which could motivate her to try harder or try different things. But she continues this pursuit without complaining and with a lot of determination.

I thought, I was strong and independent but after meeting her, I feel there are so many women who go about their daily life, unnoticed, unappreciated and unrecognised. They work in adverse conditions, managing their homes and families, being strong for them.

It hardly makes a difference in their lives, if its women’s day or if their efforts are appreciated. While the world celebrates Women’s day or week or month or women as heroes, there are many whose lives are untouched by all this. But they silently live each day, move on, selflessly doing what they do whether they are appreciated or not. They keep going because the only way to survive is to ‘Stay Strong’.

She is one among many, many women who are in similar situations. But I would take the liberty to say that she is among the few privileged ones as she has a good family and a very supportive husband. A Majority of the girls get married early and that is the only thing they are prepared for since they are born. They don’t even dare to dream. Although there is so much work going on for the empowerment of women, there are so many who do not enjoy the basic right to life- a life of dignity and fulfilment.

Often it feels like things might not ever change or take a long time but when there are women like Sushma, there is a glint of hope. With every woman she meets, am sure she leaves a trace of her determination and continues to inspire them. It’s these women who are the real heroes, who need to be encouraged, appreciated and enabled to continue to make a difference.

“When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another.” – Helen Keller

Thank you

Proud versus Broken hearted

Why is it important to be a broken hearted person? Here is what the scripture says:

“You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise” (Psalm-51: 16-17).

What can we give to God when he has everything? He is not interested in anything that we can give Him but our heart alone. But what does it mean by a broken heart that God wants or what it is to be a broken hearted?

I got a piece of paper from the Church yesterday which had a long list of comparison between proud and broken hearted people. I thought to share it with you. It is not to judge ourselves and feel bad or judge others on the basis of this. It is to evaluate ourselves what kind of lives we are living? Whether we are so proud or broken hearted and humble that pleases God. It is to stop and look at our lives, reflect and pursue to live a life of fullness.

When we give our heart to God, it pleases Him and He restores in us the heart of forgiveness, love, kindness and humbleness. Remember that a strong person is S/he who is humble, forgiving and loving not the one who has pride, power, wealth and might. Here is what the list says:

 

Proud people focus on the failures of others.

Broken people are overwhelmed with a sense of their own spiritual need.

 

Proud people have a critical, fault-finding spirit; they look at everyone else’s faults with a microscope but their own with a telescope.

Broken people are compassionate; they can forgive much because they know how much they have been forgiven.

 

Proud people are self-righteous; they look down on others.

Broken people esteem all others better than themselves.

 

Proud people have an independent, self-sufficient spirit.

Broken people have a dependent spirit; they recognize their need for others.

 

Proud people have to prove that they are right.

Broken people are willing to yield the right to be right.

 

Proud people claim rights; they have a demanding spirit.

Broken people yield their rights; they have a meek spirit.

 

Proud people are self-protective of their time, their rights, and their reputation.

Broken people are self-denying.

 

Proud people desire to be served

Broken people are motivated to serve others.

 

Proud people desire to be a success.

Broken people are motivated to be faithful and to make others a success.

 

Proud people desire self-advancement.

Broken people desire to promote others.

 

Proud people have urges to be recognized and appreciated.

Broken people have a sense of their own unworthiness; they are thrilled that God will use them at all.

 

Proud people have subconscious feeling, “This ministry/church is privileged to have me and my gifts”, they think what they can do for God

Broken people’s heart’s attitude is “I don’t deserve to be a part; they know that they have nothing to offer God except the life of Jesus flowing through their broken lives.

 

Proud people feel confident in how much they know.

Broken people are not concerned with self.

 

Proud people keep others at arm’s length.

Broken people are willing to risk getting close to others and to take risks of loving intimately.

 

Proud people are unapproachable or defensive when criticized.

Broken people receive criticism with a humble, open spirit.

 

Proud people find it difficult to share their spiritual needs with others.

Broken people are willing to be open and transparent with others as God directs.

 

Proud people want to be sure that no one finds out when they have sinned; their instinct is to cover up.

Broken people, once broken, don’t care who knows or who finds out; they are willing to be exposed because they have nothing to lose.

 

Proud people have a hard time saying, “I was wrong; will you please forgive me”.

Broken people are quick to admit failure and seek forgiveness when necessary.

 

Proud people tend to deal in generalities when confessing sin.

Broken people are grieved over the cause, the root of their sin.

 

Proud people wait for the others to come and ask forgiveness when there is conflict in any relationships.

Broken people take the initiative to be reconciled.

 

Proud people compare themselves with others and feel worthy of honor.

Broken people compare themselves to the holiness of God and feel a desperate need for His mercy.

 

Proud people are blind to their true heart condition.

Broken people walk in the light.

 

Proud people don’t think they have anything to repent of.

Broken people realize that they have need of a continual heart attitude of repentance.

 

Credits: Mosaic Church, Leeds

Thank you

God bless…

What unites us? Tragedy or good times?

For the past 2 weeks or even more, every time I check the news, I look for updates on Chennai, the rains, the flood, the relief. Why do I care so much when I am living more than 1000 kms away?? Chennai is my city, my home; it was where I spent 5 important years of my life, most of friends and my family live in Chennai.

Chennai: People rescue from their Watter lodged houses during heavy rains in Chennai on Wednesday. PTI Photo (PTI12_2_2015_000351A)
Web pictures

Of late, Chennai has been witnessing the worst rains and floods, nature’s fury was unleased as rains lashed mercilessly but Chennai has also witnessed peaks of humanity. Very few disasters have had such response from within its people. The expanse of the help rendered by Chennaiiteis is unbelievable. It is not NGOs or government that took initiatives. It was every day Chennaiites who opened their homes, distributed food, offered rides. A lot of corporate companies, franchises have also come forward to support each other. It has also spread to other neighbouring cities like Bangalore as well. It’s amazing hNYT2008112822242898Cow one tragedy can bring people from all walks of life together and make them so selfless.

But the one question amidst all this is, Do only tragedies unite us as a state, country, as people and as humanity? The Nirbhaya rape, Mumbai attack, the Chennai Floods or the Paris attack; what is it about grief and suffering that brings us together that happiness and joy cannot do? Are we able to share others grief but not celebrate their victories? I am not sure what the answer is, but sure, I and almost every india-rape-casesingle human being would prefer that it was a celebration and not a tragedy that brings us together. Do we have to wait for yet another tragedy to appreciate our neighbours and friends? Shouldn’t we unite for a better government, unite for prevention of natural disasters, prevention of injustice.

It is amazing now we can stand together in grief and pain and this is important but I think it is also important to appreciate people we live with every day. It is important to unite to celebrate, unite for justice, and unite to celebrate other’s victory, and finally unite to make the world a better place.

Finally, I leave you with this question to ponder upon: why do our tragedies unites us but not our good times?

Note: Please do continue to pray for Chennai and its people.

Beyond beef, pork and BAN…

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Television, Newspaper and social media are filled with beef, pork and chicken since a few weeks in India. Eat Beef!!!Ban Beef!! Ban pork!! Ban Chicken!!! What’s happening?? Why have we been concentrating on what people should eat and not??? But there are no highlights on number of people who go to bed with no food or inadequate food every day in our country…

Is not life much more important than just eating? What will happen if one does or does not eat something? How far is it justified to hate someone for their eating habits? Is it not important for us to love one another? If we will love people on the basis of their behavior and attitude we can’t love…we can only hate…

Promoting hatred and fighting each other in the name of religion has become a trend in certain parts of the world including our country. Why are we fighting in the name of religion? If anyone believes that God promotes religion, then leave it to God to defend his cause. We are too small to defend God. Don’t defend God, he does not need you to defend him and kill one another in the name of religion.  How does that promote peace and harmony?

Talking about holiness. Not that which goes into the mouth defiles a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defiles a man – Matt-15:11. What a person eat does not make a person good or bad but how one speaks, behaves and his/her attitude makes him/her good or bad. That means we need to concentrate what comes out from us rather than what goes inside (other than in terms of health). It is good to stop eating something if that disturbs anyone, but how far is it right to kill a person who ate something in his house without causing harm to anyone?

There are more important things to worry, rather than someone’s eating habits. Unfortunately, our media focuses its attention on the sensational news rather than the harsh realities. All around, there are millions of Indians who do not have a square meal each day, a huge population lives in extreme poverty, children die of malnutrition, mothers in childbirth, access to a social life is a dream for majority of the People with Disabilities, millions of children have no access to proper education (we may be happy with the literacy rate in our census data). There are so many more important and pressing issues that need our attention and priority.

Come to our villages and see lives…”India lives in its village” – Mahatma Gandhi. If you don’t agree then experience it. Visits to many of the villages in Jharkhand, Odisha and few other states are very limited due to the fear of Maoist presence in the region. But reality cannot be understood unless one goes to the ground. Only when we step out will be able to see, think and experience something different. Right now all banning Beef does fulfill some political agenda and satisfies somebody’s greed while realities remain unchanged.

Looking at these realities might actually save lives.

Rather than focusing on what goes inside let’s think about what goes out. How we live our life and contribute to the society and behave to our fellow human beings are important than eating?

By saying this, I don’t mean I am perfect but all I am saying is to focus on the things that matter and we will grow together. Time to look beyond beef, pork and BAN….

Thank you

God Bless..

I am strong when I am weak…

When you do something different and pursue your dream there are people who encourage you and there are people who discourage. But ultimately you do what feels right to you and what God leads you to do.

When you are starting a different thing or in a new place, doing something you have never done before, it might be difficult in the beginning. But knowing that God is always there, is a great assurance. As the word says – “He will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deu-31:6

“Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart”. Ps-37:4

We all feel good in our strengths but not in our weakness. Here someone says, I am strong when I am weak. As God says, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” 2 Cor-12:9. Isn’t that amazing? I don’t have to worry about my weakness because when I am weak God’s strength works in me with abundance.

I recently joined the University of Leeds and one of my friends asked me what is my hope for this year? That was a good question. That made me think about why I am here and what exactly I need to do in this year.

I had a purpose to come to this place for study and have a dream for what will I do after my study. There is a purpose, why I have come all the way from my home.

Lots of things happening around and you can do anything you want to. But everything is not part of your dream or purpose. Therefore, one needs to be sure of his/her own purpose and goal. Do things, you are here to do and focus on the things that matter eternally. Don’t be carried away by things that matter least to your purpose and plan. Give maximum time and effort to the things you have come here for.

…and remember, there is a world waiting for you to come and share your life. There is a world needs you to be with them. There are so many people need you and your skill and potential to help build a better world. You have a big task to do. A greater assignment. You are being prepared for greater things in life. So keep that in mind. Enjoy the time and prepare yourself for the best.

That’s what I feel right now….Sometimes talking to own self, comforts…One needs to take some time to talk to him/herself…Not when you have nobody but everyday, I think so…That’s how we discover ourselves.

Cheers….

God Bless…

….see some of the photos taken from the airplane earlier this week in my next post…

A Statesman, A Scientist and A Poet

The Vision

I climbed and climbed
Where is the peak, my Lord?
I ploughed and ploughed,
Where is the knowledge treasure, my Lord?
I sailed and sailed,
Where is the island of peace, my Lord?
Almighty, bless my nation
With vision and sweat resulting into happiness

A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

It is my hearty tribute to the great man Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam who is no more. What a wonderful president, a great scientist and a noble character he was. We will miss him but his thoughts and vision will remain with us and inspire us as we make continuous progress towards the dream that he had seen for our country.

We will miss you Dr. Kalam but your contributions, your writings and examples that you have set in life would reside within us as long as we live.

Vision ignites the mind…If you have a vision it will ignite your mind….Dr. Kalam

apj-abdul-kalam

Sound of Silence

As on June 30th we had finished our project cycle of three years. The past three years was an amazing but strenuous experience, especially the last 6 months as we frenzied through activities leaving all of us in our team exhausted. Hence a retreat was planned for the team away from all the noise and work in a place about 200 kms away. We stayed in an abandoned but beautiful retreat centre.

The 2 days away from all the chaos was a blessing and the 1st session was one of the most interesting times. It was part of the devotion and we had found a beautiful spot, which most probably was a popular spot as there were stone benches, greenery all around and peaceful. Our facilitator asked, all of us to grab a bench each and spend some time silently. He encouraged us to close our eyes and just listen to the sounds around us.

I chose the farthest bench in a hurry to get away from everything and as I closed my eyes, breathed the cool fresh air and listened unintentionally to all the sounds of around me. It was blissful…. Those 15 minutes in silence actually helped and as I sat there, I put all I heard into words and out came this silly poem, hope you enjoy it.

P.S. It doesn’t rhyme but bear with me, I was in a trance, ha ha ….

The sweet sound of silence

Can be heard only in the quiet

The rhythmic beating of your heart

The distant crow of the roosterPhoto6080

The occasional sound of a vehicle passing by

The song of the Koel

The constant chirping of the Crickets

All this and more

Can be only heard

In the sweet sound of silence

Clam your heart

Close your eyes

Open your ears

And enjoy the sweet sound of silence

I strongly encourage everyone reading this, if you’r rushing through life, stop, take a break, go somewhere far away from work, breathe some fresh air, close your eyes, open your ears and enjoy the sweet sound of silence.

Note: More pictures of this amazing place coming up in the next post.

Happy Reading, God Bless…

Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care.

Today is World Environment Day and this year’s theme is “Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care.” wow… what a beautiful theme!! Are you observing? It is not necessary that you observe it grand…just a simple decision to minimise the usage of natural resources in daily life is enough…have you taken any decision? Have you told anyone about this? If you are organising a big programme for the day, it is awesome, if not, a small step is also great.

Oh we humans!!! How long can we be careless?? Oh we Indians!! How much water, electricity and fuel will we waste?  How many forests will we turn into plain lands? How much natural resources will we exploit in the name of development? When will we stop this for the sake of ourselves? Do we want more lives on earth or we are going to be the last??? It’s up to us…

So let’s decide! Be a good steward….Use with care…minimise usage…maximise living…

English http://www.unep.org/wed/

Thank you

God bless…

A Beautiful Transformation…..

Two days back I had a discussion with our Community Animators about development. They all are from the target villages and have been working with us since 1 . 5 years. I asked them to write what do they mean by development and when can they call a particular community developed? And I told them to discuss in the group and make a final presentation.

What came out from the discussion was unbelievable for me at that time…. They said a community can be called developed when it has following aspects:

Education for all, enjoy good health, organised, have capacity to solve own problems.

Stewards of natural and physical resources, Have a monitoring system, participatory decision making.

Have trust, Leadership, Respectful, Have a vision, hard working, Honesty, Take responsibility and

Selfless (concern for others)

Food is secure for all, Proud of their own community and themselves

Maintain cultural values and give importance to community gatherings.

Active Participation, Equal opportunity for marginalised people, continuously growing and Learning

Aware about own problems and weaknesses, Able to take action and accepts changes

Lives with Dignity

I was amazed to hear this from them as I had never expected this response from our field staffs.

When I asked what they think about physical development of the community? They said if a community has all these characteristics, automatically the physical/infrastructure development will occur. But if it has all natural and physical resources available but don’t have above characteristics then it will fail to manage the resources it has..and it will never prosper…

A Change from within can bring a huge change outside….That’s what it is…

This is a huge change in their perspective from the time they have joined…I am glad as the project is able to bring some beautiful changes in the lives of our field staffs whom we see as future leaders in their own communities ….

They have not been taught all this but they have learnt it from their experience….A beautiful transformation has happened within them and I hope this will bring transformation in their sphere of influence too….

Thank You… God bless…

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Photo Courtesy : Rachel

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Pray for Nepal and India

Dear Readers…images

Nepal and some part of north India have been hit by several earth quakes. The massive one of 7.9 magnitude on 25th followed by some small tremors throughout the day. A 6.7 magnitude earth quake on 26th around 12.30 pm caused loss again. It has caused more than 2500 deaths so far.

Let’s pray for our dear fellow beings who have been suffering due to the disaster. Pray for the families who have lost their dear ones…And most importantly let’s pray that the uncertainty ends…and frequent quakes stop…

This is the time the world should stand for a nation which is in trouble…as it is written in Romans- 12:15,– “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn”.

Our prayers and thoughts are with you all who have been suffering…..

You may support physically or may not but certainly your prayer will help….Thank you

The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knows them that trust in Him. (Nahum 1:7)

Let’s hope and pray for the best…

God bless..

 

A beautiful Easter morning….

Yesterday, was a beautiful experience of Easter morning at our hospital campus….

The Local Mennonite Church had organised the Easter morning service at  the graveyard like every year. But for me it was a first time experience…

There was a candle march from the church to the graveyard at 4 O’clock in the morning. And we had our worship at the graveyard followed by some programs by children. Families decorated the graves with flowers and candles…looked beautiful…

Whenever I visit Graveyards, it makes me humble and reminds me of the truth that I have come from dust and my body will melt away to dust. Why pride, ego, hatred and competition??? What am I going to achieve that I can carry with me… ? it encourages me to live fully, being joyful, love wholeheartedly and make peace….What a great preacher is the graveyard!!! But visiting graveyard on an Easter morning was a complete different experience.

The beautiful early morning turned into a wonderful experience as we worshiped the Almighty God. Families remembering their loved ones, who have passed away and an assurance that we all will meet in heaven one day. In John 11:25-26 Jesus said  “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die”.

It was indeed a serene morning….hearty worship….above all the joy of Easter….“We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.” (Romans 6:9).

Yes!!! Through his resurrection He gives hope and assurance in life everyday…..but on Easter we just celebrate it differently…and that’s beautiful too….

Some of the photographs of the event:

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Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…1 Peter 1:3

Thank You

God Bless….

Thelema

Thelema is the Greek word for “Will of God”. Most of us seek God’s will or desire to seek God’s will in our lives, work especially when making decisions for study, work, marriage. It is also a concept that we struggle to understand and we are not always sure of. I have heard messages, sharing and also have personal experiences of God’s will. It is one constant question that haunts all of us.  What is God’s will in my Life?

There also the other questions, that we tend to ask, How do we know God’s will, does God’s will apply only in big decisions? I have asked these questions to myself.

Different people offer different answers, some convincing, some real, some fishy even ungodly. So who has the answers? In the early days, it was easier like Abraham who talked with God or David or Moses who sought God and he answered. But now a days God’s answers are subtle but the still small whisper remains unchanged.

The answer, I believe is only in the Word that God has given us, “The Bible”. During a recent devotion, I came across answers in 2 places which eventually answered other questions as well.

One is the very obvious one, in ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ which I have often repeated.

Your Will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven”. When we pray for God’s will, on earth, it definitely means on everything not just the hard decisions or life-changing events, not just when we not sure but when the offer is tempting.

The other place, which was my devotion, is Psalm 143: 10 where David prayed “Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. I am amazed at this prayer. David prayed for God to teach him, it obviously means that, it does not come naturally; it’s something that has to be learnt.

When we pray the Lord’s Prayer, it does not magically or automatically happen as God never forces his will on us. We have a choice and the choice requires that we learn to God’s will and that I believe is the only way we can fully obey His will.

We need to first learn to do His will and then maybe we would know better and understand it in our lives. I hope as you read this, we will pray the same prayer that David prayed; Teach me to do Your Will….

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God Bless…

BeLiEve, tAlk & wAlk the talK…

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A must read book

“Leaders who do not act dialogically, but insist on imposing their decisions, do not organize the people–they manipulate them. They do not liberate, nor are they liberated: they oppress.”
― Paulo FreirePedagogy of the Oppressed

While working with the community, we also find ourselves imposing our ideas on them. We start by facilitation but in the process, lose our patience and try to get quick decision so we end up imposing. This also happens because we do not trust their ability to think, reason and take decision. We fail to believe that they also know things and have better knowledge about their situation and solutions than any of us.

Until now even after two years of work with the communities, I have constantly failed to trust the community fully and believe in their ability to take decision and implement them successfully. Neither have I seen any of our leaders doing this. We talk lots on this and believe in this principle as well but when it comes to practice we are way behind…

It has been a struggle and I have no idea how long will it take to change this attitude within us? We may seem like a facilitator and a companion to them(communities) but if we do not practice what we believe in, this would keep them in the same condition, dependent and in bondage for a life time.

Therefore, I would request my friends and new emerging fellows committed to work with poor communities, let us practice this value and trust the capacity and enormous potencies of the community. We can be a part of their struggle for liberation with the attitude of a leader not as a superior being….

Let us believe, talk and more importantly walk the talk….

Thank you

Never for Granted….

In a recent prayer in our department, we were reflecting at the last year and all that we are thankful for. As I look back, I am of course thankful for a lot of things but the one thing I am most thankful for is a significant part of me that I often take for granted, My family.

I am very blessed to have an amazing family and being the younger child has its share of advantages.  My family has been my biggest strength throughout my life. I knew I had a good family but I am not sure I have taken enough time to thank God for them.

This post is dedicated to my family my dad & mom, Victor & Daisy my elder brother & sister- in- law John & Amy and my best friend Abinash and I hope to show the world a glimpse of the amazing family God has given me.

A small family you have given me

But with the biggest hearts

They always go out of their way

Whether it’s night or day

Their love is unconditional

Definitely not situational

 

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I have my dad and we are inseparable

Proud of every little thing I do

And is someone I always turn to.

 

My mom is a dearie,

Love, sacrifice and worry

Keep her merry.

 

 

My brotherIMG_4722

None like another

Always together

I hope we’ll be

We have jokes that no one interprets

We have experiences that no one understands

Always was, always will be, my hero.

 

My Sister-in-law or the sister I never had

Girl talk, gang up or just silly giggles

She’s to be counted on

Stronger and Smarter

Completes my brother

 

 

And finally my best friend

Who plays all the above roles,Photo1849

When my family is away

And is yet unique and a gift.

Strong yet caring

Smart but learning

Teaching but always growing

Loves to talk but stops to listen

To all my gibberish

Always goes the extra mile

Just to bring back my smile.

 

This is my family and I am thankful for each member and for the role that they have played in my life. I am what I am because of them. I thank God and I pray that I will be able to be to them a part of what they are to me.

As you are reading, I would encourage you to take time to appreciate your family, thank God for them and never take them for granted… If your family has not been there for you, make an attempt to be a family for somebody else, you will be blessed.

Happy Reading and God Bless.

Pope Francis’ suggested New Year’s resolutions

10 New Year Resolutions suggested by Pope Francis….. Beautiful ones, if followed, can make our lives and lives around us beautiful and complete…God bless…

CNS Blog

(CNS/Paul Haring) (CNS/Paul Haring)

VATICAN CITY — When Pope Francis met before Christmas with Vatican employees, mostly lay people with families, he asked them to do 10 things. The list sounded remarkably like suggestions for New Year’s resolutions:

— “Take care of your spiritual life, your relationship with God, because this is the backbone of everything we do and everything we are.”

— “Take care of your family life, giving your children and loved ones not just money, but most of all your time, attention and love.”

— “Take care of your relationships with others, transforming your faith into life and your words into good works, especially on behalf of the needy.”

— “Be careful how you speak, purify your tongue of offensive words, vulgarity and worldly decadence.”

— “Heal wounds of the heart with the oil of forgiveness, forgiving those who have hurt us and medicating the wounds we have caused…

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Be ‘Full of Life, Now’ and forever….

Happy New Year

I hope the year 2014 had been a great year for all of us. I think we all had lots to learn and had so many rich experiences. The year has become history and it will be written in the history forever. I hope the experiences we all had in the year may be remembered all through our lives. It gave us loads of great feelings, experiences and learning and courage to walk through the future. So with these little appreciation and good feelings I give farewell to 2014. I thank God for the blessed year…

Now when we enter to the New Year, it is a grand feeling. I hope the year will be the best than all the past years. Let’s grow continuously through this year till the final breath of life. Let’s live it full through good and difficult circumstances.

At this juncture of moving to a new year, let’s evaluate the past year and plan the next…. Let’s take some resolution for our new year and try to follow those towards our life goal… I have my New Year Resolution and I am sharing this with you so that I may be accountable to all the readers and my friends….Here is mine:

  1. I would strengthen my relationship with God by spending quality time in prayer, meditation and by experiencing God’s presence in day to day life.
  2. Practice Kindness and Gentleness: I would focus on practicing these two personal qualities/characters in this year.
  3. Read every day: I will read a book everyday may it be at least one hour.
  4. Write More: I will spend more time in writing.
  5. Will do lots of research: may it be personal or professional, May it be small and informal ones.
  6. Better management of personal Finance: This has been never successful but I will try my best.
  7. Will try not to waste time on things which matters less: Which does not benefit me and others.

These are the seven New Year resolutions that I have taken. I will try my best in disciplining myself to follow these. I have taken many resolutions in past and failed in following many times…and I have taken this time and know that I may fail to follow number of time….But still I take because It does not matter to me, how many times I would fail to follow but every time I fail, I would like to see myself getting up and practicing again towards the dream and purpose of my life….

I hope you have taken yours so I wish you all the best for practicing those….

May it be a great year for you and may you grow continuously towards the great purpose of your life…. God Bless you…Be crazy and….Be ‘Full of Life, Now’ and forever….

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Betla National Park, Jharkhand, India

 

Thank You

A long way to go….

The year 2014 is going to end in few hours. We are entering another new year with lots of hope, promises, and so many wonderful feelings. There are lots of things to remember, lots of good and bad and many more beautiful experience. But the word that was popular and one that I heard often in this year was ‘Development’ I think. The whole country was busy with election and so many promises had been made. The year ends with the very popular phrase ‘development for all’. That’s a good statement, in fact a beautiful one and a beautiful idea too.

The ‘development for all’is not impossible but I struggle with the idea every day. While working with the community I struggle to keep up the hope in my everyday work and life. The big concern is whether it is real or just a dream which would never come true. I am not against those promises made by the government and political leaders, I am not saying, it is a false hope that have been given to people but it is hard for me to believe that ‘development for all’ can be achieved with the present thoughts and attitude towards it.

What is development? I am not asking the definition!When to call a particular community developed, is a big question. What does development mean for those who are promising and for those who are hoping or expecting? Is the development all about the infrastructure, factories, business and international relations,economic development etc? In the name of development so many things have been happening but the poor are still poor or becoming poorer. Their struggles are increasing day by day with new troubles. Instead of the growth, new social and environmental problems are being added to their lives every day. What is then the development everybody is talking about?

Don’t you think development means much more than what most of us actually think? When can one say a community is developed? It might differ from one person to another but the basic thing about development would remain same. I think the development is when; peoples’ participation increases, they are part of decision making, there is opportunity to grow and use their potential, willingness to take initiatives, able to dream, there is education and awareness, people are contributing to the growth of the community, identifying and addressing their needs by themselves, community is improving their living condition without external help, able to manage resources effectively, participation in planning, implementation and evaluation of the community based programmes, able to facilitate others, enjoy good health, able to think freely, able to respect all human beings, able to communicate, able to maintain peace with one another and with the environment, has a good value system, there is a sense of security and there is justice. I would say a community is developed when I see all these. But I leave it up to you to think and define development.

For this to happen, I believe it should start from within. And it would be possible when we choose to work with people at their same level not as a superior being, trying to help them. Our superior attitude would never bring the change that we desire in our communities rather it would push them to deeper oppression.  This might be possible only when they are facilitated to think on their own rather than imposing our thoughts on them.

I am not finished yet… I also will be sharing with you what the community thinks about development.I will continue this through my future posts but till then I leave you to think about your own version of development.

The dream of ‘development for all’ is not going to be achieved overnight….It is a long way to go….but no matter how long, let us make our contribution towards this as far as we can…. Where ever you are, you can make development happen….and that could be a part of your New Year resolution….Take care and share your thoughts….Have a blessed year ahead….

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God Bless….