Goonj’s #MyPad initiative for rural women

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Today’s mega story about rural women empowerment , where a solution was found for them on their menstruation problem. You guys already know the story of pad man as talks are on, thanks to the cool pad man movie, this is another story but it does not involve use of sanitary pads.

Yippe, Hi-Fi’s to all #SustainableMenstruation supportors, this story supports the use of sustainable, eco-friendly and cost effective products for period, these are #EcoFriendlyPeriod products. Last week lot of posts were made on this topic, many men have liked the posts and shared it, thank you for reading and being bold enough to support #SustainableMenstruation movement. I believe landfill waste is a issue and #SustainableMenstruation is a soluton for solving menstrunal waste issue and very happy men are willing to understand the issue and support women at period times; just like how India’s pad man Arunachalam Muruganantham did. However, he is not the only man to have worked heart and soul to find solution for menstrunal issues faced by poor women who cannot not afford market sanitary pads.

That’s right, there are other young men, and there is team of GOONJ too that had men like Anshu Gupta who had worked to find a solution for rural women period issue through their initiative called #MyPad. In 2004 or around that time, Goonj team visited villagea and wanted to solve sanitation issues in the villages they visited. Goonj team generally go to villages and find out the problem and empower local community to solve the problem. For ex, if villagers need a well to store water, Goonj arranges for materials for the making of the well, people get together to dig the well themselves. Goonj also works to get support of local Govt. to support people when they do such projects for material procurement assistance, and this strategy has worked. With this approach, villages have got roads, bridges, hand pumps, drainage systems, bathroom areas and what not. This has indirectly empowered village people, for ex, they can take bath, stay cleaner, women got places where they can get privacy for bathing and other purposes.You got to realise that India’s villages still don’t have basic facilities- like toilets, hospitals, schools that provide good education, water infrastructure, therefore life is very difficult. Anyway back to the story.

In their field trips to the villages, Goonj team found that rural women don’t have access to hygienic menstruation products therefore they used all possible products that can absorb the menstrual flow – cloth, rags, cow dung, sand etc. None of these were safe and hygenic products to use. It happened that one woman in the village died using blouse for period managenagement since she got tetanus coming in contact with the hook. There were other problems as well, families that had more than 2 women used the same cloth at period time, this cloth that was totally not designed for absorbing period flows was not dried in the sun which is very important for it to kill germs. Women found it difficult to do it because they lived in crowded clusters and were ashamed to hang period cloths outside as public can see it. This was a serious issue as it affected the reproductive health of women because as women followed such unhygeinic practices to manage their menstruation by the time they came of child bearing age, they had to have their uterus removed!! …

Goonj finally found a solution to address this women’s issue which later becomes a family issue as it affects women’s health. You can read about it in detail here – http://goonj.org/njpc/index.html

Basically, with all the cotton cloth materials they collected, Goonj team began manufacturing cloth pads called MyPads and they gave it to the women. They had divided the women into groups and talked about menstruation. They were told that with what ever water they have, just heat the water and wash the pads and dry it in the sun and reuse it again. The women did it and they feel no shame in hanging pads out in the sun. Goonj said they consulted educated experts from big institutions to find solution for the problem, their solution was distribute pads. Then Goonj team thought about this and felt that they were working on sanitation issues for having a clean village, if every eligible female uses disposables and throws it, it will all go to the area where lake is there in the village so the Goonj refused to adopt the sanitary pad solution; it would dirty the village with garbage.

The initiative was a success. Village women were used to cloth and can easily be acquanted to wear cloth pads, these pads were good in managing the flow and can be hygeinic, provided you wash it, then dry it in the sun. However, to talk about this issue was challenging however, Goonj team did it. This actually later provided employment to many women, they are working in stitching these cloth pads, it had positive effects.

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So, as you guys enjoy pad man movie and know the story of the real pad man, think about other pad activists who recomend #SustainableMenstruation. Goonj team story should also be known, but there is another truth to it. Society would not accept cloth pad as solution. Filmmakers would not like to show that cloth pad can be a solution for menstruation while also not contribute to menstrual waste that end up as landfill garbage. Well, anyway more information on #SustainableMenstruation and #EcoFriendlyPeriod products here – https://www.greenthered.in/

Please feel free to spread the word. Goonj’s Anshu Gupta himself urged us to think about Menstrunal Cup, he said in rural households that is no space and 2 or 3 menstrunal cups occupy less space than all other period products and he is right. As he said, he never forced village women to use cloth pads, Goonj’s intention was only to give a good reuseable pad to every woman to manage her period hygenically and cost effectively. She was always free to buy the well marketed Sanitary napkins, it’s a matter of choice. Similarly all are free to make choice but make a smart choice and stay informed on #SustainableMenstruation, it’s a healthy trend, good for women’s health and environment.

Thankyou for reading, feel free to share if you want to spread Goonj’s story which you should, they are a different kind of cloth pad people. All respect, you can all know about Goonj , volunteer or get inspired and start initiatives of your own. They would love more people working to improve our country, villages etc. Check their fb page and their website, links are there in between text in this article.

You can caught Goonj team this month and next month, they are going to Cities to talk about what all they have done in their 19 years of existence, in short they are celebrating their 19th birthday with public.. Check updates in their fb page.

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Unintended bucket list full filled – Hearing Rahul Dravid, the Cricket gentleman and wall

Rahul Dravid was at the Bangalore Literature Festival(: … It is extremely rare that we can find such clean, nice role models who got success through their sheer character, hard work facing the society that can be discouraging when we can’t present our best performances and don’t do things following their norm. These days many say that there is dearth of good role models for the youth, but here is one character which should inspire us, youth or even otherwise. Anil Kumble who was also there a day before at the lit fest can also serve as a role model personality. Here is all what Rahul dravid said which sounded lovely coming from him because he is truly an authentic genuine gem of a person(:

Before that bringing to light that this U19 A coach recently got in the news(: … no not controversially. Rahul Dravid was invited as a chief guest in a University and they wanted to confer on him a doctorate honour but Rahul Dravid confidently said he won’t take it because he has not done phd and does not deserve it. So, that is Dravid, honest and goodness personified, now here are the lessons for the youth from Dravid –

Now, we go crazy don’t we on celebrities, but we should be intelligent enough not to get negatively influenced by them. As Rahul Dravid says, he is fine with Virat Kohli what he says and how he behaves because that’s adult Virat Kohli, but… it’s not good for young kids to ape Virat or any other celebrity, everyone should be authentic to himself, just be the best of himself/herself. We have to get that maturity not get influenced by celebrities. We should do and behave in the spirit of what is best for us and true of us. So you watch movies, keep it as a movie don’t act like that ‘hero’ or use the product just because a celebrity endorses it. Also you don’t need to succumb to societal or peer pressure, be authentic.

Next, Rahul Dravid loved playing in international matches because he can go out there in the streets and take a walk, go down to the restaurant and enjoy his food but in India people would intrude upon him so he has to be inside his hotel room which he disliked. He would like to take a walk and eat out and explore without being intruded anywhere. So, we must respect others space, even if they are a celebrity they are entitled to have a ‘personal life’, we must inculcate a decent etiquette in not bombarding them. It’s hard, but take them as people, if they are not wanting the over fan attention, it’s better to leave them alone, it’s not like they are friends even though we do admire and idolize them, let’s keep our limits and wits with us always and be civil and mindful of them as people.

There are many youths who lose hope, suicide for various reasons, they might have got the willpower to fight life if they heard Dravid say that he made cricket work for him because he knew that a Bcom degree is not enough for him to get a job that gives him good earnings to lead a comfortable life. Also it’s worthwhile to connect with your passion and make it work for you to give you earnings to make your living. Will power and passion should be one’s strength to rise over the difficulties and do whatever is needed to make things work for one in life.
Rahul does not want to take part in media gossip, he does what gives him piece of mind and stays away from distractions because media and book authors do catch on acts and words of celebrities and make a big fuss about it. So, it’s better for people to not pass negative comments on others, talk on another person’s back, gossip and never ever in public. So, if there is something you need to address like a decent person address it to the person directly.

Dravid, said a lot of things avoiding as much as he could to not comment about other happening cricket issues mainly Dohni’s power in choosing his retirement from t20 and Kohli removing Anil Kumble as coach controversy. However, he was funny, in good humour, he attacked the conversation creating journalist Rajdeep Sardesai back harmlessly with statements that were really funny(and cute as well) when asked such questions{it sounded funny because we knew that Dravid went on the sweet offensive to divert answering question (lol) }

However, Dravid was again cajoled to give his opinion on Anil Kumble issue and he came out powerful that though he cannot comment on such things because no one knows what happened in the scene but it’s unfortunate the incident flashed to the media. Then he said powerfully that it’s not fair that such a thing should have happened to Anil because he is great personality and his track record is good in the coaching scene with India doing well, but coaches get sacked and that’s how it, maybe he himself would be given the boot soon.
Rajdeep Sandesai was very respectful towards Rahul Dravid and it was a complete joy to finally listen to someone who rightly deserves to be admired for his character, strength, he is termed as a ‘conscience of cricket’ , and proves that you don’t need to go in a crooked path to be successful in life. It was a real pleasure, honour and treat to have heard Rahul Dravid talk(:.

Being a Lit Fest, Rahul was asked about when he would get his book out? … He said no books for him(:, he is not interested in fame, publicity, glamour and controversies. Dravid said he can’t write the truth on the book it would create talk and ruscus as he is a public figure and he can’t have his family face all the public talk.

Ending this by saying, it may be good for youngsters and others to have people they look up to as inspiration, but they should choose someone really worthy and it would be good if they get to meet their inspiration in flesh and blood, If they are worthy and true personalities such a meeting would be a honour and delight indeed(:

Note : There were also 3 other legendary cricketers, they were greats and there at India 1983 world cup. We all gave them a standing ovation. One of them said that Rahul Dravid was a shy person now it’s such a delight to see him become a humourist as well(: The 3 cricketers were inspiration to Dravid but shamefully I admit that I was only interested in Dravid talk (not even cricket) but they deserve special mention as well, wish I could recollect their names…anyway, people can find it in media about Dravid in Litfest and special guests comprising of 3 other legendary cricketers…

#BangaloreLIteratureFestival #RahulDravid — feeling thankful.

 

 

Vows of Marriage and relevance of horoscope

Attended cousin brother’s marriage at Mumbai, it was a nice experience to get a feel of Mumbai City. Did checkout some lovely views of green stuff, waters and birds when glimpsing outside from the one day travelling train door. One nice thing about the train was this airy option of glimpsing scenes from train door, there was fresh wind with rains here and there and lovely sceneries of birds, trees, mountains and water falls and thrilling tunnels. Otherwise don’t prefer this long train travel mostly coz it’s difficult sitting or sleeping for so long and toilets, ewww, don’t like using train toilets, but I survived very well. I could relax in the train as well, sleeping and I even got to read a book I was wanting to read for quite sometime as I had it with me for years having brought it from a book stall on the road, it was ‘How to get from where you are to where you want to be’ by Jack Canfield who is also the author of Chicken Soup for soul. I am hoping I would read it fully and get insights on life, its a very motivating book to form dreams and work to achieve them.
 
This write up is about the vows of marriage as explained by the priest according to the marriage scripture. I had written something similar last year after attending a dear brother friend’s christian marriage, you can read about it here- https://mintymile.wordpress.com/2016/09/01/all-the-cs-and-the-showers-of-blessings-at-a-wedding/
 
These are values and principles that is like a guide for leading a meaningful married life.
 
In my cousin’s marriage, the priest translated the meaning of mantra’s into english, there were other delightful things for guests with servers roaming around with delicious cups of rasum and some mini tiffin snacks as the marriage ceremony was on.
 
Now getting into the context, the to be weds are like Vishnu and Lakhmi, it’s sort of romantic to imagine god’s like this(no offence). So Vishnu is taking Laksmi’s hand and in the ceremony he asks permission to all of Laksmi’s family members for her hand (no doubth it must have looked very beautiful to him). The couple get blessings from everyone, elders and people of similar and younger ages. The pujari tells the couple who are like Vishnu and Laksmi the following –
 
Be Alert
This may mean “be present or at the movement”, quite essential. One needs to sense the “partner’s soul mood” , the nag to sense if something is amiss without even the other communicating. It’s not just noticing body language but just knowing something is not right or different in the partner. You may call it understanding, friendship, companionship, just be alert and aware, it makes a big difference.
 
2) Never let any one come in between you and your partner
 
There is bound to be stress, distractions, interference but whatever it is the bond between the wedded couple is sacred and cannot be explained in words. Let nothing tear the bond away, the rest of the world from now on is at a distance, the nearest world for the wedded is themselves especially since they are going to live for life together and start a family, better trust each other or work towards it with understanding and respect.
 
3) New life chapter and journey, forget the past
 
The past is behind and it does not matter now. The pujas purify the whole couple and their families(I hope it even did those who attended it), so be alert and live from now on, never take a step which would ruin marriage, it’s the responsibility of the married couple to see to that.
 
4) Accept each other.
You actually said you accept the other when holding the hand of your beloved(or future beloved) in marriage. You get the person as they are and hopefully won’t find faults on the other and hurt them, no one is perfect. In future, people change, grow but let them be happy with themselves as they are. Also be patient, loving, supportive, this is the best approach to get the best out of your counterpart.
 
5) Take on household chores
 
Well, traditionally Lakshmi of the home takes care of the house which forever would hold true, especially of the kitchen. However, the man too have to help in it, because the household is run by 2 people. Also think about it, cooking alone or cleaning, or arranging home alone would be boring, do it together it can be more fun and gives a opportunity to spend time together in setting your own house. It’s basic na, you need to set a home you love, set the tone and energy to it, it sets up positive vibes for sure. Pay more attention to set up your home together, it’s your shelter at all times together.
 
6) Fulfill and satisfy each other
 
Not just physically, in body but in all aspects one must endeavour to complete each other. It requires understanding and letting the other be comfortable with themselves as we have accepted them when we married them. Two people have their individualities, likes, passions, dreams, we must try to satisfy the individual along with their basic needs because they are simply beautiful and best that way. In every possible aspect the two have to satisfy each other and complete them.
 
7) Be the bridge to each other’s original family
 
The two have held their hand and gone aside to form a separate unit, still when in need the couple have to support each other’s family and be a bridge between the families. One should never forget our roots, once we do, somehow we get confused and lose moral sanity, so keeping touch with immediate family is essential. It’s also true that we are indebted to care for our family as a duty as they have done so much for us all our lives. Love from parents for adult kids is really special, same for our dear siblings who know us so well right from childhood.
 
8) Respect basic family by-laws.
It could be pujas, rituals and functions, you don’t want to do, if there is a sacred bye law of the family learn about it and see how you can fulfill it.
 
9) Honeymoon promise
 
Marriage is done, many obviously would go for honeymoon. However, make this promise, you leave something behind as you go for the honeymoon. Guess, what you would leave…
Ego. Please lease that ego now, high time.
 
This was all I remember from the vows of marriage explained by the priest…they were some more
points but this was all I took note of. I did personally go to the pandit and told him he did pre-marital marriage refresher course session and appreciated it. Every couple who is getting married should hold hand and attend a session like this, if it’s pre-marital counselling session too it should be exciting at that point of time atleast, else marriage would be a boring, routine, stressful process which both emotionally are unprepared for.
 
Wait, this is not all. Special wisdom from a uncleji on horoscope. Should we look into a horoscope match for a marriage be successful?
 
Marriage is definitely a challenge, it’s complicated there would be so many issues that no one would disclose to others – physical incompatibilities, child bearing problems and living together can be stressful too. However, is horescope mismatch the reason for the problems of this sort?
 
Honestly, true for all we don’t see the person for what they are , we see finances, job etc which is practical and is a personal prerogative. However, we must try to see the person – the persona, character, heart and stuff like that and it is basic, rest comes afterwards. Even, species does not matter, you marry foreigner great, marry any one from another religion fine. However, the couple have to like each other enough to bend down to understand and accept the other and work towards a life they would make for themselves together. Difficulties would creep but both have to have that spirit to face it.
 
The negatives in horoscope is that in many cases calculation and computation is wrong, it is at times tweaked to match things, these days it’s all a business and many times it is used as an excuse to reject the alliance and stuff. More than horescope, just follow the principles to be a good person, a good partner and such things, it’s more fruirtful. It’s again a personal prerogative. Also please try to get married in a eco-friendly way(:…anyone’s horoscope with good earth matches if one does ceremonies in environmentally-friendly way.
 

Eco-Friendly Weddings – Helpful insights

My article on green marriages(: … I had been to Mumbai last week for a cousin’s wedding, it was a interesting wedding expect for one thing I did not like, water for guests were served with plastic bottles and I never took water from there(: anyway there where lots of other interesting drinks to drink, like lime soda, for me great thrist quencher, add pudina aka mint and spice it up maybe some pepper then nice rasum and soup(: (: yum yum yummy… Anyway my article on green marriages. After this a super article on marriage vows coming up(: … the pundit ji who conducted the marriage explained to all the marriage vows. Now that divorces are on the rise I personally feel before the couple get married they attend a pre marital counselling session together. The pundit ji gave marriage wisdom along with conducting marriage…applause… and here is my article on green marriages… ta da

Eco-Friendly Weddings – Helpful insights

Since the past few years, couples have been opting for differently styled weddings than the usual traditional ones – there has entered the green weddings and wedding with vegan food. This trend is a catching on with more people wanting to do green eco friendly wedding and weddings with vegan palette etc. Links that give all information on eco-friendly weddings with news of people who have taken the step to have such weddings is provided at the end, please read them. A huge applause to them to have a wedding that’s eco-friendly and taking on Indian society which still prefers long, elaborate, traditional heavy weddings.

In eco-friendly weddings the idea is simple – the wedding should be conducted in such a way which causes minimal harm to the environment.
Here are some elements to look into for eco-friendly weddings, please go through the links provided at the end as well.

The simplest and basic thing to ensure is try to eliminate use of disposables completely, instead plan to arrange for steel cups, melamine utensils. There is also edible cutlery like spoons, they can be eaten after being used to have food instead of it being thrown away. Don’t know the details but they must be made of cinnamon, starch or something, this should be a good option.
After this disposal of waste should be adhered to by embracing the concept of ‘zero waste’ , no waste should go to landfill. The compostable waste like flowers, leafs, food should go for composting and other non-compostable waste should go to plastic centers.

Let’s be aware that many things we wear and do at weddings are not eco-friendly. The jewellry (gold) we wear are procured through mining that is harmful to our environment. The silk sari and dresses we wear as part of our Indian tradition are made after cruelly killing silk worms that would have otherwise been part of Nature and ecosystem as butterflies. If one can find alternatives to this it’s lovely. There are silk sarees that are made without disturbing the silk worms, they are called non-violent silk or Ahimsa sarees. They are made from silk left by silk worms without disturbing their lifecycle. You can check them out, though they are costlier than silk materials. You may opt for anything you like by being creative too, wear clothes made in eco friendly way by artisans. Through this you are also being Indian ambassador promoting the ignored artisan’s skills in dress making. Some people make clothes out of recycled materials too, in the links below you can find such instances.

For the garlands and even decor, it’s good to use local flowers instead of exotic ones like rose.Ensure the flowers don’t come with other accompaniments that you eventually have to throw away.
One can plan the backdrop in the stage with a theme they are passionate about. Making use of some indoor plants is good idea, as they serve a good purpose of giving clean air and freshness.
Let’s take care that there is minimum wastage of food as well. To grow vegetables, grains a lot of water has gone into it, so it’s a good value not to waste food, otherwise we are wasting water and vitamins and minerals that would have nourished many poor children and people who are malnourished. Our farmers worked hard to grow crops, it is a source of livelihood for them and to respect them we must respect every grain of precious food we get on the plate.

For this one has to tell the waiters to serve guests slowly and in less quantities, never serve food quantities that would be too heavy on a person’s tummy. One can opt for a buffet system where guests take food they want from the food serving area. Also it will be good if a sign is put on the area which sends the message to guests in a polite and good humored fashion to not waste food. Care should be taken to design a message but it can be done, many of your guests would appreciate your thought on not wasting food, a excellent value we people must imbibe.

Speaking about rich food to give to guests, it should be healthy. It would be eco friendly to use fresh Organic produce for food. It is not a good practice to serve too many sweets with so much sugar and ghee, also food that makes the stomach too full as happens in marriages is not a comfortable feeling. So, design a menu that won’t be too heavy on the stomach of the guests, ensure it’s healthy as well. One may use jaggery instead of sugar, have buttermilk that’s good for digestion after eating marriage food, light rasam etc . Let’s ensure there is not excess of oil and ghee, sugar. It’s not necessary to have too many varieties of food, let’s have food varieties that’s less but made tasty and healthy.
When serving water to guest, never serve disposable mineral water bottles.to them.Imagine so many plastic bottle wastes generated along with water in them getting wasted!! Arrange for enough steel or other material tumblers, cups and serve water from one mineral water can. You can be creative and always do more like serve zeera water and lightly flavoured water in earthen cups with a attendant who would serve the water to guests from jugs in the water serving area.

As memento for guests give them things like cooking turmeric powder or saplings of tulsi or lime. These are healthy and useful, ensure the packing material is useful and eco friendly. Some options are cloth bags, jute bags maybe with your marriage logo(: as momento (get creative).
It would be beautiful if the newly married couple show generosity to the less privileged too by giving them food as well that’s served to guests because starting a new life and chapter with a good deed is a good thing when combined with blessings of parents, well wishers and others, the goodness blessings just multiplies(it’s again a value, good Dharma and Karma) .

Also it would be good to mention in the invitation that it’s a eco friendly function, something like we only require the esteemed company of our guests and their best wishes and we appreciate it if they don’t bring any gifts wrapped in plastics, no flower bouquets as well, they would be thrown away and are meaningless.

These are just points for a eco friendly wedding… others can give more ideas. If planned properly, arrangements can be made well(:

Someone who has done a eco – friendly wedding for himself and arranged such weddings for few others is Vijetha Nagabhushan N . The news of how he arranged for his eco friendly wedding is in the link provided below. You can refer to him as well, he runs nursery where he grows plants.

Links – Here is article that tells you what you should do to have a eco – friendly wedding

http://www.thealternative.in/lifestyle/how-to-plan-your-own-zero-waste-wedding/

The rest of the articles are news about people who have done done friendly functions -:

http://www.storypick.com/green-wedding/

http://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/society/The-Indian-wedding-goes-green/article14395236.ece

https://www.scoopwhoop.com/This-Bengaluru-Couples-EcoFriendly-Wedding-Is-The-Template-We-Should-All-Follow/#.bbvs6z42q

Aksar Yoga’s Self Defence Workshop Experience

askharyogaAttended the Akshar Power Yoga Academy’s Self Defence workshop for women… missed out on seeing Geetha Phogat, the Dangal girl who came early morning for Akshar’s yoga workshop yesterday. Self Defence is your respect … to show others and yourself that you can tackle troubled situations yourself, others have to respect you as a person, they cannot touch you or do something to your body without your permission, simple. Self Defence is self respect, and learning self defence or even making yourself stronger to face difficult situations is the least you can do to earn self respect from society that still considers women a gender who should be protected, secured and restrained from many things to keep them safe.

Modern women is empowered with education and economic power, but she needs other things to empower her as well(: , one of them being self defence.

On the workshop we were told to be focused and serious and it’s not a session to have fun but to equip you to face troubled times tomorrow but inspite these instructions ended up having lots of fun(sorry grand master Akshar yoga).

First thing in self defence to do is shouting loud and threateningly from your lungs – shout “hey or aye or oye” and point out to your opponent. Next is your stance to portray to opponent that you have no fear that should be enough to scare away the opponent as most of them target women thinking they would get scared and surrender. Truth is those men who do these things are cowards so just show them you are not useless enough for their ulterior purposes, you are tough and they would leave you off.

Please note, women do not shout like women did in old hindi movies –“bachao and help” they are outdated, shout like an aggressor, not like a helpless victim, got it?? … “oye. Aye… hey… no help”

After this if you still are in trouble, lets fight, good punches, kicks, blocking, we are free to bite, use nails, we know the weak points of man’s body – go bang there(eyes, face, groin, abdomin and things like that), hit them were it hurts and escape(: …please note, you want to be capable to do this so you need to build your body to be strong, flexible and your mind to be brave so you don’t get nervous. You need to be fast, you should be able to fall down and rise up and never give up, you still can hurt the opponent and have a great chance to escape, infact 100 percent chance to escape.

First attitude to adopt – You are to be respected, you don’t respect men who do these things(insult to the name of other good men who treat women well and are safe to be around with and are nice people)

Second, you are peace loving person, if you have to fight it’s because it’s necessary – you would first shout like an alarming aggressor this informs people that you are in trouble, plus would scare your opponents off.

Third, think you are strong!! … and show your power. As urban women in Bangalore, the City is generally safe, this is a City which rose up and got the politicians agree that women are free to go out anytime and wear anything and be safe . There are a lot of good people here mostly, so you do something like this it would definitely create an impact, you will get lot of support and appreciation, most of us want women to be strong and free unlike women in many parts of India who are a oppressed lot.

Fourth, be an agent telling men to respect women, treat them well, so keep working to change the mind set of men(those who need that mindset change). Tell them to think of girls, women as a person and respect them, as a human being. You can start initiatives or support initiatives like Ride for Gender Freedom. Concept is very simple society should think women as a person and be nice to her – not discriminate her, restrict her and worst not harm her. We need to do this(: … we don’t want a patriarchal society we want a society where all genders live peacefully, happily, freely, without fear.

After establishing these things lets venture into self defence training .
Start exercising women – you need to build your upper arm strength, the lower body core strength so do exercises start with warm ups it takes just 25 minutes of your day. Do jumps, warm ups for your arms and legs and shoulders then do squats, crunches and push ups(practice it dialy), squat walks, jumps etc.

Eat good food – fruits, veggies and whatever is required, eat right, drink water and establish a balance in your body system. You need to maintain perfect weight, not be fat or thin. Exercise makes you powerful, your body stance becomes smart and alert, you get happy because happiness harmone is activated, you get body strength too, endurance. You can cool off with 3 to 5 minutes meditation or more.

At the first day workshop we did jumps, did the super cool power stance(like fight stance), punch tecniques, back movement, squats and jump turns, things like that. Were encouraged to go fall down and rise up and get into that super cool power stance.
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Second day practiced fight techniques which looked really like Dangal movie wrestling.

Both days Grandmaster, thin, agile, prompted us to build our bodies and get more powerful.

So now, we know some exercises to build our bodies – after which practice punches, kicks, blocks dialy. He told us to practice 3 defence techniques with someone stronger than us to develop our strength. It basically wrist twisting, catching opponents arm and locking it and lifting opponent using the lower body and upper body from back and throwing them off on ground.

Basically, women you can do some things without fighting to ensure your safety –

1) First keep helpline numbers – of police and other agencies etc who will help you when you require help.
2) Keep apps developed for women’s safety that send sos to people who can help you (contacts, friends)
3) Start knowing the police station near you – ensure that it’s a place you can report any difficult instances you face, if not lobby to make it so, it’s important!!
4) Please use your spirit and assertiveness with your vocal cord power – shout, make noise and such things.

Well, about women, they are very powerful their own way, let’s face it!! … think how much strength women has to give birth and so many other things, they are sensitive genders but does not mean they are delicate. Men and women should get rid of this inferior and superiority complex based on physical strength and stuff, else it’s not going to be a healthy relationship. They have to think of each other as equals and appreciate each other’s abilities and accept each other’s limitation and be happy.

You don’t need to be a body builder to be strong, you don’t need extra biceps, triceps, or big body, even if you are small, you have enough power, just build on your strength, use your strength to the maximum, it is common sense.

As for me being a former yoga liker, I had familiarity with many exercises, however for past 1 and half years my health has been unstable due to vitamin D and B12 deficiency. I am prone to get tired easily with dehydration many a times has proved uncomfortable. I have improved my health but never dared doing any exercise other than walking and checking out trees past 4 months. Was not able to tryout the outdoor gym which had all sorts of women and men of all ages trying out and enjoying their time, so I accepted the fact happily that I am not physically fit.

However, for this workshop I tried arm exercises, leg, thigh and shoulder stretches as a result I had arm and thigh pain even before this workshop which felt good, it meant my body muscles are used, its stretched(:

In the first day of workshop felt really good to do exercises… I was surprised I was not dehydrated which is common for a person suffering D and B12 deficiency especially me. That is why even though I was to be serious in the self defence workshop, I had so much fun and happiness, felt like my weak health days are over finally.

Today was the second day and I got dehydrated as usual which meant my vitamin battery needed to be recharged needed a dose of B-12 injection … yet did the exercises, surrendered to things I cannot do such as upper arm push ups, squat walks. Still, I know my body will get strong, the muscles would, it’s a matter of time, I will keep doing exercises and improving my fitness.

As for self defence, I already know and been sensitised to not be afraid whatever happens and surrender(even before the workshop), good to know that I should make shameless noise when necessary and not care. Will try my best to help myself or others when in distress. I support women empowerment and support agencies like police, looking forward to know about them and make it good women friendly place and very happy to propagate yoga and self defence anything which betters individuals as human beings and society(:

On women’s day Ashkar Yoga’s grandmaster would have self defence exercises at Cubbon Park (8th March) at 7 am, women and men are invited… self defence is not for fun, it’s for really training yourself to face tough situation tomorrow but still it’s a session where you can have a good time, feel good, then practice with focus and spread awareness.

Have to thank Askhar Yoga, because this workshop was completely free. If you have to be trained for such things say from a Organisation such as I Fit, you should shell out about 3000 bucks per month but here it’s free. 3 years ago, watched a free Askshar yoga performance, they were awesome, they were doing power yoga. The institution trains people to become yoga teachers(: … they provided us tasty satvik food too, enjoyed my while seeing the their yoga show.

Grand Master Akshar was serious, committed in training us women and men to become powerful. He really did make our time spend there worth it. Many thanks to cool grandmaster and Askshar yoga… (:

Dust Bin Santa Story Series – 0.5

Dust Bin Santa Story Series starting this new year(: … This is the first Part 0.5 of the Story (note its 0.5 not Part 1 of story)

There was loud music on some celebration in the vincity, it was that time of the year after all the end of season. During the end of season, all talked of Santa and here an ordinary creature was magically converted to a character equal to Santa. There is music pouring into her ears with her earphone, she wore a smile that also had the power of cheer and on the side of her arm generally one would except her like other ladies to have some fashionable hand bag but she had something else… swing cha cha cha cha cha cha… yes swing… she has a swinging bucket, a swinging dustbin, she’s the dustbin Santa.

It was Christmas time, and she had some boring purchases to make all of a sudden because of a chatastrophy that took place at home, nothing severe, it was just that her maid broke the floor sweeper and another had to be purchased. Maids these days want hi-tech floor sweeperers, they would not bend and wipe the floor like the olden days, smart maids.

“Well, atleast it’s not like we have to purchase a vacuum cleaner, I will get one for Laksmi”, she told her Mom, who was blaming the maid for mishandling the floor sweeper and breaking it. A lot of good having to bend and clean floor with the cloth sweeper broom end would do to the maid as she can reduce her fat countenance with exercise, but certain facilities for maids need to be provided for the well-being of the maid , so there this lady later to be Dustbin Santa decided to get Laksmi her maid a floor sweeper/wiper.

(Sudden question raised by kid who was listening to her bed time story)
“Wow, what’s this Dustbin’s Santa’s name?” The narrator looked at his daughter, cute as she was, this obvious question put a smile on his face.

“Well…let’s call her Dustbin Santa”, he said.

“Daddyji and why is she not a Dustbin Fairy?”

This question got him thinking “hmm… well she liked being known as Dustbin Santa than Dustbin Fairy, it suited her, now on with the story”

Anjali, kept looking at her Dad, “Daddy, did Santa not Dustbin Santa have beard, you want to grow beard like Santa, Mom told you to shave beard”

“Shhh… look Anjali, you don’t want to know about Dustbin Santa then go to sleep, did Mommy tell you to comment on my beard”

Little Anjali noded her head and raised her eyebrows, “well your Santa, story Santa, will there be song in the story?”

“Yes, dear, we will compose, first let’s finish more of the story shall we?”
That was story teller Juggy husband of the lady who nick named him Juggy, the one who made this special story for children called Dustbin Santa, she had to leave him with Anjali as she had to go abroad for a story telling festival. Anjali expected tons of candies and chocolates from her Mom when she comes back, Juggy only wanted her to be there by his side, she was his favorite and most comfortable sole soul companion of his life.

The quarter moon shined and a star above twinkled, and Juggy kept narrating the Dustbin Santa story, this was his favorite story and he pictured his darling wife narrating this story, not as good as the Hobbit story but since his wife(his favorite companinon) was the author of the Dustbin Santa Story, he loved it, and loved being the narrator of the story to his daughter.
End of Part 0.5 of the Dustbin Santa Story… it would take another 0.5 part to reach Part 1 of story, wait for the next part coming soon(:
Happy New Year Every One.

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Babuji’s Ahimsa Concept highlighted with Ahimsa Sarees from Ethicus

Today is Gandhi Jayanthi and it is the perfect time to speak about one of Mahatma Gandhiji’s values, Babuji’s theme of ‘Ahimsa’ or non-violence. There are people who believe in being vegetarian so that they don’t harm animals, there are vegans who don’t take any animal products including milk a tall because that involves troubling cows, goats etc as there are people who believe in not wearing clothes or owning items that are made of animal skin or any other part of animal body etc avoiding things made of leather, silk etc. Came across Ahimsa sarees when checking out alternatives to silk sarees because any eco conscious, vegetarian person after reading about how silk worms are killed for making silk clothes would not like buying them(:

However, in Indian society for functions people can’t do without silk as many vegetarians can’t do without milk products even though it’s possible. There are alternatives to silk sarees and one of them is ahimsa sarees, the rest involves looking for non-silk alternatives but that is another theme.
Recently, came across Ethicus, Apachi-cotton shop on facebook. They specialise in making hand woven eco-friendly cotton sarees. They are not only eco-conscious, they also give livelihood for farmers, weavers by providing them job opportunities and supporting them so that these people get economically sound, get a decent standard of living and also heritage of India is maintained through those traditional weaving designs which all of us love but are extinct in these times except in few corners of India.

Checked Ethinus’s base showroom at Pollachi and to my delight I got a saree that is a Ahimsa saree. So, what is Ahimsa saree? It’s a silk saree that’s made from silk of silk worms but its procured by non-violent means, the silk used to make the saree is obtained without killing those poor silk worms (:, such a nice concept. The silk of the saree was of silk worms that left silk after they completed their life being a silk worm and turned into adult moths and flu away. It was silk obtained by not disturbing the silk worm and it would have anyway gone waste if it was not used to make saree/ or silk panchagacha etc .
Therefore it was extremely unique concept and I had to purchase atleast one ahimsa saree, it is light weight, simple, elegant, comfortable, hand weaved, how can this not be special?

My saree like all sarees of Ethicus had a tag on who weaved my Saree and how many days he took to weave it(; (Awesome!!!) … so when I purchase saree I get a product hand weaved by a weaver who was paid fairly for this and I get to purchase one saree that’s made with the concept of ahimsa(non-violence). Other sarees are organic cotton sarees, extremely soft textured lovely sarees. They have creative prints and patterns on them inspired by so many themes from birds, to ancient texts etc. To manufacture these sarees there are groups involved, from farmers who grow cotton for these cloths to weavers who hand weave the Saree. They get paid for these services, and are provided support for sending their kids to school etc, so this process develops community as well, sustainable development concept which is lacking in our Cities is on play here(:

For guys there was Angacastram and Dhoti set made out of ‘Ethical Silk’, that is Ahimsa silk. There was a plain one and another set had subtle parallel line patterns, the second one looked very nice. It comes with a handkerchief as it is designed for the Jain community who traditionally believe in not harming any little insect by mistake also (: …

After my visit to Ethinus, it felt good that there are enterprises that are Indian and successful, we all know about PM Modiji’s ‘Make in India’ campaign, and this enterprise in Indian. It tries to show the beautiful Indian heritage with its design concepts. There are also ignored communities of farmers, weavers and artisans given livelihood and respect. We really see how much hardwork and time the weavers put to manufacture each fabric, its manual labour with precision and patience.

We hear stories about garment factory workers being treated in an inhuman manner, it was nice here they are nicely respected and recognized for their efforts (: … The looms here are elevated so the weavers don’t need to bend and do their work, as their work hours are long, this helps them to maintain good body.

This is Ethicus… their website is http://www.ethicus.in … Their products are costly but still for those of us who can spend and want to buy different clothe collections, no harm buying their clothes it is for a very good cause, it will be a good experience. The shop has many popular people as clients from famous political personalities to foreign people.

In this note putting across Bapuji’s message of Ahimsa (: … Bapuji was himself a propagator of the concept of Swadeshi, he spun the wheel to make Indian fabrics, he was a make in India man, he believed he must keep the heritage of India intact. Happy Gandhi Jayanthi(:

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