Friday, June 20, 2008



Lakshmi, the girl who picks up my daily garbage told me how she had been beaten with a metal rod by an old man, because she dared to ask for water on a hot day. She was very upset, and cried angrily that day. It so happened that a few days later, as her cart was outside his home, the lady of the house had a stroke. The old man came out and called for help. He froze when he saw Lakshmi, as he was sure she would go away pretending not to have heard him. But Lakshmi went in and got the woman back on her bed, cleaned her up and stayed with her till she was admitted to hospital. The man offered her a five hundred rupee note, but Lakshmi refused it. "I needed him to see my dignity, not my poverty," she said. I wondered about her generosity and asked her about it. "Since I was a small girl, I have believed that we should not give back hurt to one who has hurt us and I try to live that way."

From an article `The Ahimsa Way´ by Smt. Usha Jesudasan in the MAGAZINE section of THE HINDU, June 15, 2008. Idea: Shri. Raghuraman.


Three young cadets of National Defence Academy (NDA) excelled in an international competition on the Laws of Armed Conflict (LOAC) for Military Academies, conducted recently, at the International Institute of Humanitarian Law (IHL), San Remo, Italy. LOAC is a branch of international law and is based on Geneva Conventions. It concerns, firstly, with protection of those who are not taking part in an armed conflict directly. The three cadets were Cadet Harshwardhan Pathak, Cadet Yogender Kathayat and Cadet Ritwik Sankrit. A total of 28 Academies from 18 countries including USA, South Africa, France, Israel, Ireland and Canada took part in the competition.

From June 2, 2008


Indian scientists are making rapid advances in their respective fields but when it comes to god, one in four is a firm believer and many more accept the existence of a "higher power." A survey of 1,100 scientists across 130 universities and research institutes across the country threw up interesting results as 29 per cent believed in the philosophy of 'karma' A survey, by the Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture of Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut and the Hyderabad based Centre for Inquiry, found that religion and faith had deep roots in the minds of Indian scientists. An amazing 64 per cent scientists said they would refuse to design biological weapons because of their moral and religious beliefs. In 2005, space scientists had travelled to Tirupati to seek the blessings of Lord Venkateswara before launching the rocket and satellite. Forty one per cent of scientists surveyed approved this religious endorsement of a space project.



Now, a spicy incentive for grihalakshmis in lieu of scrap plastics. In an innovative method to deal with waste management, 'environ', a Guvahati NGO, in collaboration with other women groups, is providing ginger and garlic to housewives in exchange of scrap polythene. The project aims to arrest pollution caused by plastic and help in proper waste management in the city, says its president Shri. Amarjyoti Kashyap For every kilogram of used polythene, the NGO provides garlic and ginger amounting to Rs 10, he says "Our idea," says kashyap, "is a participatory approach which involves the homemakers in waste management campaign." "Plastic wastes are generally generated from kitchen, that is why we thought of giving ginger and garlic which is used in making curry," says Beena Sharma, president of Abhijatri Mahila Samiti which is a co-partner of 'environ' in this project. The project which started without any government grants, is getting a good response. "On the first day itself we collected 75 kilograms of scrap plastics from a single society building," says Mamata Chatterjee, an activist associated with the project. The NGO has involved rag pickers to collect plastics from households. In this way they will also be benefited. At present they are getting only Rupees two for one kilogram of waste plastics. "But we will give them Rupees eight for the same amount," says Kashyap. According to a survey done by the ngo in 2004, Assam generates plastic waste of 50,000 kg per day, of which Guwahati accounts for 5000 kg.

Based on a report in, June 12, 2008

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