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Racism Down Under

June 8, 2009

Author : Harsh

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Quoting from TOI ,

“Online message boards are like social registers of the New Millennium. With the dual advantage of anonymity and invisibility, hearts and minds

are bared. The posts reacting to a Herald Sun article about the recent assaults on Indian students offer interesting insights into the mind of the average Australian.

One post says Indian students are out and about at 3 am to make phone calls, thereby making themselves vulnerable. Another says their homes are disgustingly dirty. A third refers to Westerners killed in 26/11, obliquely justifying the assaults. Some barely conceal their glee at the prospect of Indians wanting to leave Australia. Overall, the majority is unsympathetic to the Indians’ plight. This, when local police figures show that four Indians on average were attacked every day in Victoria state in 2008.”

All of us are aware of the attacks on Indian students in Australia . Four Indian students were assaulted by a group of Australian teenagers last week . One amongst them  Shravan Kumar, 25,  was critically injured in the incident.
The four Indians were first subjected to racist comments and were asked to return to India, after which they were brutally attacked by the boys who used screwdriver as a weapon.

This is not the only incident . A number of Indians are being targeted every day down under . An average person is now scared to move out alone , who knows if they are next in the queue . These incidents have raised serious concerns among the students who were aspiring to continue their studies in Australia .

In reply , Indian students organised a rally to protest against the incident . About 200 Indian students and their supporters marched from the Town Hall to Hyde Park in Sydney to protest against the wave of allegedly racist attacks targeting them . The peaceful protest was organised by the Federation of Indian Students of Australia (FISA) .

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has condemned the racial attack on Indian students and has promised to take necessary action. But it doesn’t look like any serious effort is being made . Indians are being attacked everyday . In an incident yesterday , a car belonging to an Indian was torched in Melbourne . Though police denies any racial motive behind it , no one knows any better .

Report: Pup Adoption Camp

May 4, 2009

Yesterday, a “puppy adoption camp” was organised by “Lets Live Together”, a welfare organisation, Bangalore. More than 13 homeless pups were adopted by animal lovers. These pups were completely vaccinated and were not on sale. I’ve registered to be a volunteer. If you are in Bangalore, you can do your little bit too. Anybody can support and sponsor. Visit their wonderful blog for more information – http://letslivetogether.wordpress.com/

Democratic Dialogue

April 5, 2009

A: Do you know we have elections coming up?

B: Oh yeah, the election frenzy has already caught up with everyone in the media..

A: It’s worth the hype. With 714 million voters, it is perhaps the largest democratic exercise in the world.

B: Are you going to vote?

A: I want to, but for whom?

B: There are options, plenty of them.

A: Like? It’s either the Congress or the BJP. And eventually it’s going to be neither. We’ll have another hotchpotch result, another unstable coalition government and revised manifestos to suite each of the participating member with all the promises forgotten in the process.

B: But by not voting, you are losing the right to seek accountability.

A: See, while I want accountability from the centre, I also want my elected MP to deliver in my constituency. The roads are still the same mess they were. The concrete dump in the neighbourhood is still where it was three years ago. The traffic has only worsened. There are still no clean toilets in municipal schools nor there is provision for clean drinking water. And worst of all, we don’t see the dudes we vote for after the elections are over. My leader has to be accessible if he has to be able to deliver in his constituency.

B: So you mean by not voting you are going to get your voice heard? You think it even matters to them.

A: Even if I vote, does it matter to them?

B: Of course it will, if a number of educated indifferent voters change their attitude of indifference towards voting.

A: No matter what we do, our numbers are too little to create a wave of change.

B: If you want good governance, there are educated MPs standing for elections. They know the problems and the way to their solutions.

A: You mean people like Varun Gandhi. He is a graduated from London School of Economics. I am sure he knows how to create problems and complicate matters further.

B: Agreed, but then there are those who can make a difference. Look at Milind Deora, Sachin Pilot, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Omar Abdullah, they all are a breath of fresh air in Indian politics.
A: But how many can spread their liberal and forward minded values to the party? Will they dissociate themselves from the Yadavs and Mayawatis and Modis who are pretty much the king makers in these elections? No, all they seek is power.

B: So vote for the emerging parties of modern India. There are a number of educated Indians standing for various seats. They come up with no prior legacy. Campaign for them. Help them win.

A: Name three such parties.

B: Loksatta, Youth For Equality, Bharat Punarnirman Sena, Professionals Party of India…you want more? Catch up with this Saturday’s issue of Mint. They have a whole list of parties who disillusioned people like you can vote for.

A: What do you mean disillusioned?

B: People who have no faith in the system.

A: Look there has to be something better than democracy which can defeat communalism, casteism and vote bank politics in India. Only a sound agenda before elections and a solid performance after them should be the deciding criteria. Look at what happened in the US. When will we have our Obama moment?

B: Well you have a point. But let’s face it; democracy is the best form of governance today. May be it has to change so as to remain relevant to the times of the nation.

A: Like how?

B: We can have a system like France, where the elections are held in two rounds. All candidates stand for the election in the first round and then the two with the highest votes contest against each other in the second round. This way you can ensure that the candidates don’t please or offend any particular vote bank for their gains, because eventually the same people are going to vote for him or his opponent in the next round.

A: Won’t that create a monopoly of parties at the centre? Will everyone’s opinion count?

B: We can also learn from the way the German parliament functions. Only a portion of the seats are filled by elected representatives. The rest are occupied by members from all parties, the number is proportionate to the number of seats the party has in its national tally. This way everyone gets a voice in the parliament but only the elected members can vote in a motion of no confidence. This way you have greater stability and better representation both.

A: Ok that’s a good idea but doubt it will ever happen in India. Any how, I am going to go home and research about candidates from these independent political parties you mentioned.

B: Yes do that. And please cast your vote for the one you choose. Make some noise!

Vote Earth :: Earth Hour 09

March 21, 2009

Author : Harsh

Earth Hour 2009 . Saturday 28th March . 8:30 pm – 9:30 pm . Wherever you live on planet Earth . Switch off your lights .

Earth hour is an effort to save electricity on a massive scale , by switching off the lights across the earth for an hour . Visualise how much energy can be saved if we switch off the lights for an hour all over the world . We have got the power to select between the two , Earth and Global Warming , by exercising our vote .

This year, Earth Hour has been transformed into the world’s first global election, between Earth and global warming.

voteearth-logoFor the first time in history, people of all ages, nationalities, race and background have the opportunity to use their light switch as their vote – Switching off your lights is a vote for Earth, or leaving them on is a vote for global warming. WWF is urging the world to VOTE EARTH and reach the target of 1 billion votes, which will be presented to world leaders at the Global Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen 2009.

This year , India will participate for the first time in Earth Hour . New Delhi and Mumbai are among 825 cities across 80 countries and territories that have pledged their support to VOTE EARTH during Earth Hour 2009.

In 2009, Earth Hour is being taken to the next level, with the goal of 1 billion people switching off their lights as part of a global vote. Unlike any election in history, it is not about what country you’re from, but instead, what planet you’re from. VOTE EARTH is a global call to action for every individual, every business, and every community. A call to stand up and take control over the future of our planet.

We all have a vote, and every single vote counts. Together we can take control of the future of our planet, for future generations.

VOTE EARTH by simply switching off your lights for one hour on Saturday, March 28, 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm local time.

Join the movement now!!!

wow ! Democracy …

March 20, 2009
by

Author Dinu

India is the largest Democracy in the world. Is it the most powerful democracy in the world ? That’s a different question, still better than our neighbors, so that’s fine.But now, I have started thinking if our people are actually serious about Democracy. If we are really serious about democracy, why can’t we say no to IPL cricket until the Elections are over ?

Don’t tell me not to blame general public for this, because they don’t make decisions but their leaders does. I feel our leaders have a clear idea how crazy we are about cricket, and they do not want to play villains during the IPL season. Did any of our leaders come out and say, lets play IPL after elections, ? I did not see anyone ?

Okay, forget IPL. There is the most discussed criminals in politics question. We vote for our leader even if he is found guilty by a court of law. We support him even when he is in jail. What else could be the reason for increasing number of such politicians ? those criminal turned politicians ?

We love it when cricketers jump in to politics, when actors come to politics …. did you read in the news that two of our movie star + politicians were leading with 12% and 27% attendance after their 5 years as MPs ? Okay, we did a mistake last time, don’t give them a second chance .. please !!!!!!!!!

The Water Day Quiz

March 20, 2009

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Author : Reema

International World Water Day is held annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. An international day to celebrate freshwater was recommended at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). The United Nations General Assembly responded by designating 22 March 1993 as the first World Water Day.

The theme for World Water Day 2009 is “Shared Water – Shared Opportunities”.

The world’s 263 trans boundary lake and river basins include the territory of 145 countries and cover nearly half of the Earth’s land surface. With every country seeking to satisfy its water needs from limited water resources, some foresee a future filled with conflict. But cooperation, not conflict, is the most common response to trans boundary water management issues. The government of every country has to bear the responsibility of managing the world’s trans boundary waters for current and future generations by mutual cooperation.

To celebrate this day and to contribute to the campaign to spread awareness regarding water and issues related to it, I have made this quiz.

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Water Aware or Water Beware?

You use it every day in every way possible. But how much do you appreciate the finer points of the liquid that sustains life? How well do you know about water? Are you a responsible person who is aware of issues related to water and believes in conserving water? Or do you need to know “Beware! Water is not forever” ? Take the quiz and find out!! BE HONEST 😀

Write in your replies in the comments space which will be held in moderation till the next post. The person who gives the maximum number of correct answers will get a badge to flaunt on his/her blog’s sidebar.

  1. How much of the earth’s surface is covered by water?

    • 75%
    • 50%
    • 65%
    • 70%
  2. What percentage of the world’s water supply is fresh?

    • 2.5%
    • 7.5%
    • 10%
    • 20%
  3. How many percent of the world water is suitable for human use?

    • 25%
    • 10%
    • less than 1%
    • 40%
  4. Water that is safe to drink is called

    • Tap Water
    • Potable water
    • Distilled water
    • Piliated water
  5. The average Sub-Saharan African uses the same amount of water in a day as someone in a developed country uses when they do what?

    • Brush their teeth for two minutes with the tap running
    • Run a lawn sprinkler for a minute
    • Flush a toilet
    • Any of the above
  6. How many people in the world do not have access to clean drinking water?

    • 1 in 3
    • 1 in 6
    • 1 in 10
    • 1 in 20
  7. What proportion of the world’s major rivers are seriously polluted or depleted?

    • 10%
    • 25%
    • 50%
    • 75%
  8. Which of these countries uses most water per person per year?

    • Russia
    • India
    • Egypt
    • Germany
  9. The World Commission on Water estimates that it would cost an extra $100bn a year to tackle global water scarcity. What is this roughly equivalent to?

    • The amount spent on ocean cruises, make-up and ice-cream yearly
    • The net worth of Microsoft chief Bill Gates
    • The estimated value of the worldwide bottled water industry
    • A quarter of the US budget deficit
  10. Which human activities need the most water?

    • Personal hygiene
    • Cooking
    • Irrigation
    • Drinking
  11. What are the main sources of water pollution in India?

    • Municipal sewage
    • Bathing in rivers
    • Industrial discharge
    • both a and c
  12. What minerals are found in the run-off from agricultural land and treated and untreated sewage effluents, which are highly responsible for eutrophication of water bodies?

    • Phosphorous and carbon
    • Nitrogen and phosphorus
    • Potassium and arsenic
    • Iron and manganese
  13. What is the project to clean up the polluted waters of the Ganga called?

    • GPP
    • GOP
    • GAP
    • GCP
  14. Imagine your tap is leaking drop after drop. How much water is lost from this leaking tap per day?

    • About 75 litres
    • About 20 litres
    • About 50 litres
    • About a glass of water
  15. How much water do humans use daily?

    • 100 litres
    • 190 litres
    • 75 litres
    • 160 litres
  16. How long could you live without water?

    • About 3 weeks
    • About 1 day
    • About 3 days
    • About 7 days
  17. Currently what percentage of world’s population is facing serious water shortage?

    • 50%
    • 30%
    • 40%
    • 25%
  18. How many people in world lack access to adequate sanitation facilities?

    • 2.4 billion people
    • 1.2 million people
    • 3.5 billion people
    • 5 million people
  19. How much water is used to flush a toilet?

    • 4 to 20 litres
    • 10.5 to 30 litres
    • 7.5 to 26.5 litres
    • 20 to 40.5 litres
  20. How much water is used In a five-minute shower?

    • 95 to 190 litres
    • 40 to 90 litres
    • 100 to 150 litres
    • 20 to 50 litres
  21. The cost of providing safe drinking water and proper sanitation to everyone in the world by 2025 will be

    • US$100 billion a year
    • US$150 million a year
    • US$400 million a year
    • US$180 billion a year
  22. How many children die every year as a result of diseases caused by unclean water and poor sanitation?

    • 4.2 million children
    • 1.8 million children
    • 2.8 million children
    • 3.4 million children

Also check out these links :-

The Official World Water Day website

25 ways to conserve water at home

Download water conservation tips for home and office here.

Quiz questions taken from BBC, TERI and Lenntech

P.S. After making it at quibblo.com I realised the code can not be integrated in free wordpress blog 😦  Sorry for the inconvenience.

India May Fail to Meet 7.1% Growth Forecast as Harvests Decline

March 18, 2009

Author: Kartik Goyal

India may fail to achieve the government’s 7.1 percent economic growth forecast if crop harvests don’t meet expectations, according to the finance ministry’s top economist.

Agricultural output in Asia’s third-largest economy fell 2.2 percent last quarter from a year earlier and the nation’s farm ministry expects food-grain production in the year to June to decline by 1.3 percent to 227.9 million tons.

“To the extent that agriculture growth turns out to be below the 2.6 percent expectation” then our forecast for gross domestic product in the fiscal year ending March 31 would have to be adjusted, the finance ministry’s Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Virmani said in an interview in New Delhi yesterday.

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