PRACTICAL EDUCATION: ROLE IN SKILL DEVELOPMENT
Education and its significance is not unknown to anybody. Education leads us on to the path of success. At primary level it elicits development of a child’s mind and enhances its cognitive skills. Skills are the abilities and learnings of a person which can be used to fulfill practical aspects. Education and Skills are intertwined. Elementary education of a person is the most noteworthy chapter in his life. He puts his first step towards the path of learning. It is the only period when a child can develop its mental skills with ease. This is often called a sensitive stage in a child’s life. A quality elementary education prepares the child for a better tomorrow. Are skills learnt only when we are well grown up? Skills can be learnt in any phase of our life. Even a child learns skills during its primary phase. It depends on the catching ability of one’s mind how one learns skills and at what age. Why are skills so important ? In this phase of tough competition everywhere around the world, a person without skills is like a Sun without Light. What is the use of Education when one is without skills? There are a number of people with Undergraduate and Postgraduate degrees but without skills and as a result they are unemployed. This situation is a proof that justifies the need for skills to be learnt. Skills are well learnt with the help of not only traditional Education but Practicality in Education. As Practical Education is responsible for a person’s overall edification, skills make them a person fit for employment. Many students in their learning years go for the rote learning method. Of Course they get passed in exams with good scores but what is the benefit of such scores which can not provide a job? Instead of rote learning if one goes for a skill learning for sure they won’t sit idle at their homes. For learning a Skill, practicality in Education should be strengthened. Expose yourself in the light of education and skill Make your way and fulfill your will.
While reaching this point of time in the twenty-first century, I realized something. As humans, we have been able to progress significantly, irrespective of the field. But like Newton's third law of motion (which although is meant for physics, but applies to life as well), this progress has cost us a lot. With success comes stress, and stress walks hand in hand with all kinds of mental health problems. The million-dollar question is whether we are doing anything about it. And the answer to that is sadly a no. Keeping India as our focus, the World Health Organization states that about 7.5% of the second largest population suffers from some kind of mental health problem. Mental health constitutes about one-sixth of the health problems here. Now, that's a lot of sad people. The one thing that has changed is that the upcoming youth has become more vocal about this. As a person who likes to observe more than speak, I have spent the last four years of my life noticing a change in the people around me. A lot more people have started speaking up about mental health, spreading awareness, and emphasizing why taking care of one's mental health is quite essential. And that seems like a relief considering the way things are going downhill nowadays. With the pandemic surrounding our lives and daily activities for the past six months, one is bound to feel lonely. And being holed up in our rooms all day, with nowhere to go and no one to meet has taken a heavy toll on the mental health of the public. But another happy thing to notice is that, while the number of people having mental health issues has increased, there is also an increase in the number of support groups, apps, NGOs and other forums to help people with this issue. These Organizations are a go-to-place for care and support. Life is quite uncertain, and we know this now for sure. But the one thing that makes me optimistic is that no matter how much of a hard time one is going through, we will always find help and comfort, sometimes from rather unexpected places.
GIVING IS THE NEW CELEBRATION
Just as a long and much-anticipated festive season comes around once more, hopes are pinned that will help lift the sentiments of a dropping economy. Being in quarantine due to the coronavirus pandemic has left us with very few things that we can do to celebrate the train of festivals such as Navratri, Durga Puja, Diwali, Saraswathi Puja, Chhat, and Christmas coming our way. But environmentalists have hopes that this might mean lesser pollution for the environment this year. India has always faced a huge problem concerning environmental pollution during its festivals. Because every festival means a brutal assault on natural resources like water, wind, and land. Despite the numerous laws and guidelines laid down for the idols, Plaster of Paris is still used in making idols and non-biodegradable Styrofoam disposable cutlery is used for serving food in bhandaras and bhogs. Thermocol decorations, lead-based paints and even polluting kerosene and diesel gen-sets are deployed in areas that don’t have adequate grid supply for elaborate light decorations. When we are aware of all these drawbacks of celebrating the festivals the way we do, then why contribute to it like this. All these festivals are celebrated for one reason, and one reason only, no matter which religion celebrates it and that is to celebrate what we have and thank God, nature, and all other living beings that we share this earth will for giving us life, food, water, and good health. Then why, why do we forget it and punish the same mother earth by polluting it on its day? Why not do what something that will make the Gods happier and would give us far more blessings and more fruitful life? Why not help others, less privileged than us by giving daan – money, our time, skills, or resources. We, at Aswasn NGO are planning to keep our very first Festivity of Donation. It is being planned for the month of Navratri. We will try to make this festival a special one for as many as we can. DAAN UTSAV brings you one such way to do this. Formerly known as the ‘Joy of Giving Week’ is a ‘festival of philanthropy’ which aims to become a part of the Indian Ethos. It starts from October 2nd on Gandhi Jayanti and ends on October 8th. it spans over corporates, NGOs, many government sectors, schools, and colleges. FOR CHANGE The Design for Giving School Contest inspires children between the ages group 10-13 from over 10,000 private and government schools all over India to design solutions to India's problems and implement them during the Week. CLOTHES COLLECTION DRIVE Goonj runs a Vastradaan initiative that provides clothes and other amenities to the far-flung villages, collecting on an average of 20,000 kg or about 1.2 lac units of clothing every month, processing it and distributing it through unique clothes for work program. STORIES OF JOY Stories of Joy brings together five short films that carry the message of Joy of Giving through interesting stories. COLLEGE JOYFEST A "College Joyfest" to promote awareness and sensitivity among the youth of 300+ college campuses in India catalysing as fundraisers for the partner with local NGOs during the cultural festivals. 7DAYS7GIFTS 7Days7Gifts, a simple idea where people will be encouraged to do random acts of kindness to people they don’t know for every day of the week. The 7 Day gifting challenge aims to take the focus away from you on to others. The only real condition here is that each gift should be meaningful and some thought should have gone into it. BATTLE OF THE BUFFET "Battle of the Buffet" events by the 5-star Hotels in Chennai and Hyderabad where they provided their most lavish spreads free of cost to NGOs of the city, who worked together as a city and sell donor passes to raise funds for their work. HI5 CLUB Hi5 Club is an event by Bhumi and volunteers.org to engage college students and young people in volunteering for a cause of their choice for five hours during Daan Utsav. Students can volunteer either on the structured opportunities provided by or can identify their activity. These are just some of the ways that you can celebrate your festival by helping someone and getting theirs and the Lord’s blessing. This is a way for you to make your own life happier and more meaningful. Why spend so much money on buying things like crackers, etc which will only harm the nature and do no good? Why not give a little and bring a little happiness and joy into someone’s life instead?
SMILE AND MAKE OTHERS SMILE
Did you know the fact that on an average our face uses 12 muscles to engender a smile and 11 muscles to frown? Since our face is used to smiling a lot these muscles are stronger than the muscles that are used to frown. What does it signify? Remain frown for an entire day and you’ll end up with an inexplicable tiredness of your facial muscles. It is well said ,”Your smile is the greatest gift of all”. When we smile our pains vanish away, we feel a presence of serenity around us. Even doctors suggest smiling and laughing reduces stress! How vigorous our mind feels when we smile and indulge in a convivial atmosphere! Woah it feels great ! How does it feel when you make others’ smile? In life many times we come across hue and cry situations and give up smiling . Life is akin to a wheel of fortune, at present it regales us and the very next moment it leaves us in obscurity. When the fact is obvious why do we shun our smiles? Instead of frowning one can go for a smile. By smiling you clear the hurdles in the pavement for upliftment of your own soul. For instance when you help the needy by offering them your helping hand, they cause a smile in their face and yours too!. When you play with a child it smiles so as you do. Similarly, when you amuse a person who might be in some stress by cracking some jokes , they don’t laugh actually but at least they present a smile for once. One should not smile in serious situations unless you want a hard hand! Before passing over a smile to others you should be sure to hit it at the right time and at the right place. Your one smile can make one’s day or can do the vice-versa. Make yourself learn the art of smiling even in your hard times. Once you master it, pass it to others. Helping others smile gives an internal joy which makes one feel happy themselves. Help others, give, donate, assist, be a part of the helping cycle and process. Believe it or not, it will not only make others happy but will render a sense of long term satisfaction for yourself. "When things don’t go light for a while Make up your mind and give a smile."
IT'S NOT A DUTY, IT’S A PRIVILEGE
Very often we come across this line in our life; “It is our duty to give back to the society.” That is a completely wrong way of looking at it. No, we don’t come in this world with a moral obligation that whatever we take from this world has to repay in the form of charity, because then it's not charity, you are merely fulfilling a requirement. In many cultures too, many people only donate because it is said that “Punya milta hai” or “Agle janam Mein bhi insan bante hai” or “Swarg milta hai”. We have turned selfless giving into a business to earn reward points from God. Charity is just a way for people to help each other without expecting anything in return. If you can give back to this universe, even a little of what it gave you from the very day you came to this world, then you are so lucky. Some people want to do so much for others but are held back by their situations. But even then, they find a way to do something or the other for people even less privileged than them. So then why can't you? Now you might be tempted to ask that, “How can the poor be more generous than the rich and privileged?” The answer lies in the fact that they are far more compassionate to the needs of others. Psychologists refer to their way of thinking as a ‘contextualized tendency’ marked by an external focus on what is going on in their environment and with other people. According to recent research, the rich are only inclined to give away 3-4% of their incomes, whereas the poor tend to give 4-5%. So, the next time you feel that you want to do something for other people or to bring about the change you want in this society, don’t think that you need to first be rich so that you could help someone with the surplus. All you truly need is a big and warm heart. Sometimes we feel that what if I give away something and then I wouldn’t have enough when I would be in need? Who would help me then? This has been very rightly answered in Anne Frank’s autobiography, she says; “No one has ever become poor by giving.” When we do good to others, our goodness comes back to us in many folds.
COVID-19 : INCEPTION OF AN UNFORESEEN ERA
It was a shiny day of 2020, when they broadcasted the news of ‘imposition of lockdown’ via different mediums. Every eye was shocked, every life was thrilled. What is Covid-19? Akin to this there were numerous questions in our minds. Starting from China, corona made its pavement towards other countries. Rich or Poor, Black or White, nobody was untouched from its havoc. With the massacre outbreak of this Virus it was declared a Pandemic. corona has intended to take away thousands and lakhs of lives with it. An evil dance of death has prevailed all over the world. Many faced loss of their life, their beloved’s life, many lost their livestocks, and the despicable happenings has incessantly continued since then. Amidst heart throbbing situations all over the world, Economy of the whole world has suffered a lot and is suffering a lot. Thus, the government has now unlocked many business aspects. Hitherto what has remained closed are schools and educational institutions. Study has taken a new turn, the online mode of study has now replaced the traditional one. But what about students who don’t have requisite resources for smooth conductance of online study? There are a number of students who have ended their lives just because they hadn’t enough resources for studying online. This is leading to problems of depression as well. Is this a solution to such problems? Going deep down in one’s life one will discern many snags! Scientists of different nations are claiming their vaccines to be effective against COVID-19 but an accurate result is yet to be found! What should be our action till then? Will it be virtuous to let corona defeat us? No, we humans are not supposed to lose our hopes that easily; What can we do to protect ourselves, our near and dear ones and our whole nation? Awareness and remotely helping the society can aid us against this pandemic. ‘Those who adapt in the worst lead their life in the best.’ Use masks and sanitizers properly. Intake Healthy diet and make your immune system ready to fight. There are many who are looking out for themselves and others. During these times, when people need medication and support, there is a need to provide free medicines to the needy. You can also do it! Be optimistic and spread awareness in and out of society!
SUPPRESSING SOULS DEPRESSING LIVES :A GLANCE AT DEPRESSION
Depression is a mental condition in which a person feels restraint to love and happiness. A person starts generating feelings of disgust and hatred for his own self and for society. Depression can affect anyone. As for now there are no particular reasons for depression. It can be transmitted hierarchically or a person with no such background may suffer it as well. Today we daily come across a number of incidents where we see people committing suicide. It’s an irony to see people committing suicide for trifle reasons. What is this man! Talking about youngsters, at such a young age they think they are in love they call it - shiddat wala love. If they don’t get success in achieving the coveted results they strangulate themself !. Does it really make any sense to commit suicide for such trifle a reason? They fail in exams, they end their life. It feels like they have no value for life. People are so lost in din and clamour in their lives that they neglect themselves and their family. It increases their anxiety and thus results in turning them to a direction of loneliness and depression. People obsessed with social media have few or no friends at all in actual life. Most of the people have misapprehension that mad and insane people visit to psychologists but it is absolutely a feigned interpretation. Infact one who feels any kind of anxiety may visit a psychologist. Depression was previously common in adults but the scenario has turned pathetic now. Today, 1 out of 10 children is under depression. Childhood depression is a real, distinct problem. It is a serious health condition, which if left untreated, increases risk of future prolonged and more severe depression. It’s time to generate awareness among people especially, among the youth. Psychologists suggest maintaining a healthy social life and giving at least 10 minutes daily for self introspection. Expose yourself to an optimistic ambiance. Keep away negativity and negative people. Eat healthy, think healthy and perform meditation. ‘Alone are those who have nobody. Make the world and your life a better with us.
THE UNSUNG CORONA WARRIORS: NGO WORKERS
Coronavirus Pandemic has wreaked havoc on the entire world. There is an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty everywhere. In India, the COVID-19 case count has crossed the 4 million marks, but despite all this, the frontline warriors such as healthcare workers, doctors, sanitisation staff and police officials are striving to contain the spread of the virus. Although the pandemic has affected the entire population in fact many people lose their jobs, incomes and loved ones but on the top of that, the deprived section of society is deemed to be affected the most which include migrant workers, labourers, low scale traders, vendors and vagrants. The people belong to the aforementioned section are more afraid of dying by starvation than getting infected by coronavirus and for the sake of their help, NGO workers have come to fore who have neither abundant fund nor special facilities but still, they are serving thousands of needy people daily during the lockdown. In March – April when the nation was under total lockdown and the migrant workers were returning to their hometowns owing to the shortage of money and work, the NGOs had played a vital role in providing every kind of assistance to the returnees ranging from masks to food and water. They also provided free transportation to those who were returning homes on foot. Besides this, the NGOs were helping the government in identifying the hotspot in April. According to a report in newslaundry,the chief executive officer of NITI Ayog, Amitabh Kant had sought help from 92,000 NGOs to volunteer the government in the fight against Coronavirus. Moreover, they were also asked to spread awareness regarding the pandemic and lockdown as various types of rumours were doing the rounds on the internet. Not only this, some NGOs reportedly lending a hand to the transgender and sex workers who lose their livelihood due amid lockdown. They are providing books and other study materials to the poor children who are out of school as all the schools and education centres are closed since march and those children are not accessed with the necessary equipment to take online classes. The whole nation is praising good works being carried out by the NGOs workers during the pandemic. The Prime Minister Narendra Modi too hailed the work of NGOs via video conferencing and urged them to keep serving the destitute. The supreme court in a statement stated that the NGOs ‘deserve all appreciation’ for providing food, water and transport to migrants in this difficult situation. The NGOs workers are the unsung corona warriors who have been out of their homes leaving their families behind to serve the underprivileged from the day when others were busy at hoarding food and essential items to meet the end during the lockdown. These unsung heroes may not be able to contribute in the development of a vaccine against coronavirus but their presence gives a sense of security to the deprived section of society that they are not alone in this challenging situation and all that these NGOs want in return is people’s blessings, love and commendation.
BRINGING ABOUT CHANGE
People nowadays want to bring about a change in this world, but do not know where to start. The most obvious way that comes in front of us when we think of helping is to give monetary aid when we see someone in need on the streets or in our neighborhood. But what we don’t realize is that we might be doing more harm than good unknowingly. The people you see on the streets begging can be categorized into ones that are truly very poor and the ones that have mastered the art of begging and now practice it as a business and force others to do the same for them. According to a study, up to 40,000 children are abducted every year and the whereabouts of 10,000 remain unknown. What's more is that it is estimated that 3,00,000 children across India are drugged, beaten, and made to beg every day. It’s a multi-million dollar industry controlled by the human trafficking cartels. So when you give money to the poor kid on the roadside who doesn’t have a finger or a leg, you might unintentionally be promoting this business of begging. So if you truly want to help, then the best and most trusted what to do so is to get in touch with an NGO. With over 3.3 million non- government organizations,India has approximately one NGO for every 400 people. Also, many temples, churches, and mosques offer a chance for monetary donations or voluntary help work to help the needy. For example, in the Christian tradition, giving is a key religious practice. Many Christians still look to the Hebrew Bible and the tithe(giving one-tenth of an individuals income)as God’s commandment. Similarly for the Muslims, giving is one of the five pillars of Islam. ‘Zakat’ is an annual payment of 2.5 percent of one’s assets, considered by many as the minimum obligation of their religious giving. The amount you don’t or the amount of help you provide in any form doesn’t matter. It is the thought that goes behind it that matters. Some people do charity only to show off to the world or maintain their image in society. Charity goes far beyond that. Charity is a selfless act. You expect nothing in return. But the world is round and all deeds come back to us in some form or the other. If you do good to someone, good happens to you too, if you wrong someone, you are punished. So when you help someone selflessly, your life becomes more meaningful and rewarding. You get the blessings of many. And according to many studies, charity improves health too. Bringing about change isn’t an easy thing, but once you start “Karawaan badhta hi jaata hai aur log judte hi jaate hai”. When you start helping the needy people, other people see you and are inspired to join you. You can inspire others to be a part of this cause. Teach your children why we should donate and make a donation box at home in which they can contribute too. Tell your parents or relatives about it and ask them to support this and donate too. All you need to bring about change is the desire for it. We at Aswasn NGO help bring about this change in the society.
NGO: A sailing or sinking boat
It was reported on The NonProfit Times’ website on June 15 that that one-third of charities “believe they will have to shut down within the next 12 months.” Canceled events, curtailed government funding, and forced closure of business sponsors have left many organizations underwater. And with millions of people out of work, individual donations are dwindling. “Battered by COVID-19 restrictions, the cascading, deep economic recession, and falling contributions, many nonprofits are like flooding submarines, in the middle of the ocean and taking on water. Even seasoned administrators who’ve faced down one crisis after another are being tested to the limits by this one. The flooding submarine metaphor is grim but offers some useful crisis-response advice that may help nonprofits avoid the worst. Protect the Boat. Once the flooding alarm sounds, water-tight doors are shut and sealed between compartments of the boat. The idea is to contain the flooding to a limited area and protect the core. Nonprofits exist to accomplish a mission, and it’s the responsibility of administrators and board members to protect the core of the organization so that, in better circumstances, it can rebound and continue the important work. Unfortunately, that can mean eliminating programs which also means eliminating jobs and curtailing services to the community. The decisions are tough, but made with great diligence and consideration, can ultimately be the difference between continuing to fight another day or giving up altogether. Go Shallow to Reduce Pressure. In a flooding submarine, the damage control team works to isolate and repair the break that’s causing the flood. To do this the boat surfaces as much as possible to reduce the immediate pressure. In a true crisis that tests the stability of the entire organization, even programs that aren’t eliminated may need to go shallow by cutting back on the quantity of services they deliver. Administrators and board members must make extremely difficult and unpopular decisions as they work to sustain the organization through to the other side of the storm. “They have to think in terms of triage, bottom-lines, core mission, and doing the least harm" . It’s often sad, and it often hurts. And it’s also the right thing to do.”
HEALTHCARE IN INDIA
India’s healthcare costs may be among the lowest in the world but they are still out of the reach of a vast majority of its citizens. India stands on 42th rank in healthcare with 66.21 health care index . “Advances in medical technology and new medicines are indeed a boon, but to work in India they have to be value for money. Most people can’t even afford conventional treatments at subsidised prices in public hospitals,” says Dr MC Misra, director, AIIMS. Low on cost, high on quality of care and with a wide range of treatments available — the Indian healthcare system draws over 1.3 million patients from abroad each year. The sector is expected to generate $3 billion by the end of 2013. In Harvard Business Review’s November issue, a study by authors Vijay Govindarajan and Ravi Ramamurti gave private hospitals in India a thumbs-up for “delivering world-class health care, affordably”. Yet, 99% of India’s population cannot afford these services, shows World Bank data. Each year, 39 million people are pushed into poverty by out-of-pocket payments for healthcare, with households on average devoting 5.8% of their expenditures to medical care, the data reveals. Today, about 1.5 million NGOs work in India The PRIA survey also reveals that 26.5% of NGOs are engaged in religious activities, while 21.3% work in the area of community and/or social service. About one in five NGOs works in education, while 17.9% are active in the fields of sports and culture. Only 6.6% work in the health sector. ASWASN focus on providing primary healthcare to each and every person who cant afford it as we know poverty is one of a reason due to which the people who belong to poor sector community fails to get proper healthcare. Aswasn understand this and tries its best to improve the condition of healthcare in poor sector of our country. Health is the Biggest Wealth in Life. It brings in desired Happiness, Enjoyment and Pleasure. Given things in life are priceless and can't be purchased with money. There is strong perspective that, unless a person is Healthy, it's difficult for him/ her to enjoy. Lets take a small step together to improve the healthcare in INDIA by supporting organisations like AUSHDHI SOCIAL WELFARE ASSOCIATION that are trying to make a healthy environment by providing and availing a better healthcare to all who cant afford it. DONATE | VOLUNTEER | JOIN
How to Help the Needy?
My last blog centered around helping the society in the right way. Let me enunciate that with the help of a real incident. This story dates to 1800s. Dr. Mikao Usui, who is considered to be Reiki Founder. (A quick liner on what reiki is: it is universal life force healing technique which uses the energies present around us to heal oneself and others). After he discovered this healing technique, he decided to live in the slums in Japan where he would offer Reiki to the poor and homeless. Then when they were ready he would help them find jobs and send some of the younger ones to the monastery, where they would be trained by the monks in skills to support themselves. The monastery was very supportive of Dr. Usui’s intentions but reminded him, “You must heal the whole person. A temporary healing of body and mind is not enough, people have to be genuinely seeking long-term positive change within themselves before a permanent healing is possible.” Dr. Usui spent a number of years practicing and teaching Reiki in the poorest area of Japan and, although his intentions and offers of help often met with derision, he did not give up as many people seemed to be benefitting from Reiki. However, after some time he began to notice some of his earlier Reiki students begging on the streets again and he asked them why they were doing this. They told him that working and earning a living was much harder than going out to beg each day. Even though they had been able to support themselves they lacked the effort or wish to continue improving or maintaining their position. On discovering this, Dr. Usui was very disheartened. He gave up his mission and took some time to evaluate what had happened. After further contemplation, he decided to introduce five principles as a part of his service. He then decided to travel throughout Japan helping wherever people were trying to create a better life and looking for an opportunity to learn and grow. Sometimes helping may be a temporary act however for it to bring a more stable impact in the lives of the needy, it is essential that we follow a different set of methodology. Yes certainly, there are situations where the needy is helpless, like in case of drought or flood hit areas. However when we try and help the financially weaker sections, we need to ensure that proper knowledge is imparted for the receiver to understand the value of the help. In case of ration distribution/essentials and hygiene product distribution Aswasn NGO follows the below steps to ensure help is imparted to the needy and is valued by the receiver as well: 1. Identification of the clusters 2. A pre-interaction with the residents to understand their needs 3. Before the start of the distribution activity: conveying the value of the act in forms of pictorial displays and how others have hard earned this money and donated to help them. Importance of hard work and education. 4. While distributing a brief interaction on personal level. 5. Modifying the drives for that cluster basis the discussion and experience. As the helping face of the society, we understand that it is our responsibility to ensure that your donations are directed for the best of the society. Help us help the right way.