The road to a better life passes through books. #WATWB

The road to a better life passes through books. #WATWB

Ludhiana, the industrial centre of Punjab, India, has some really large-hearted labourers, whose sole dream is to entice their children to read. With the only desire to see their children educated, the migrant labourers of Ludhiana, themselves earning no more than Rs. 10,000/ per month, have contributed towards creating a library.

The library is just a small room where a total of 30 children can be accommodated at a time. Not only is this a library, but also a place where they learn to read Hindi and Punjabi.

WIth parents, most of who haven’t studied past the VIII grade, these children have found a haven in this little library. The labourers, who contributed Rs. 100 to Rs. 5000 towards building this place, have received no help from the Government.

Belonging to the low income group didn’t deter their spirits and they came together for their children . The library is active between 4 pm to  7 pm and has a volunteer teacher coming over to help the children learn to read. An effort that has not gone waste as the children love going there and making new friends as well as learning to read.

Do read the entire story here.

We Are The World Blogfest

This is the 19th post of the ‘We Are The World Blogfest’, where we bring for you heartwarming stories about real-life heroes from around the world;  stories that show love, humanity and brotherhood in a world that can often seem full of negativity and hatred.

The co-hosts this month are:

Damyanti Biswas,  

Shilpa Garg

Eric Lahti

Inderpreet Uppal

Peter Nena

Do join in with such human news stories that  you may come across and help spread hope and positivity  on social media using the WATWB hashtag. 

 

With brave wings she flies — Project WHY.

With brave wings she flies — Project WHY.


Featured post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers

Women are the backbone of the family, the strength of the nation and the flag-bearers of the change we wish to see around us. And, it is, therefore, no surprise when you read about women who not only faced the adversities in Life, but fought their battles singlehandedly and rescued themselves and their families.

Sharing today the story of one such woman, who, when faced with dreadful circumstances in her life, put her fears aside and fought to not only solve the problems but also make a change in the quality of life for herself and her family.

Meet RENU KAROTIA — The Sewing Teacher.

Six years ago, when Renu Karotia joined the Project WHY Sewing Circle, her husband had lost his job due to a work accident, her family had lost their home and incurred huge debts.

After joining the Project WHY sewing class, she started taking small jobs at home. She then grew into the role of the sewing teacher and began taking pride in her students.

She is now paying back her debts and knows that she holds the key to her future, Her children study at the after-school support classes run by Project WHY.

WHAT IS PROJECT WHY?

Project WHY is a flagship program of Sri Ram Goburdhun Charitable Trust, that provides educational support to underprivileged children, This after-school support program goes beyond academics, to include life skills and all-around development.

Project WHY also runs vocational skill programs for women from underprivileged homes. Every year, this nonprofit reaches out to 1200 children and 160 women.

Since 2007, over a 1000 women have been trained at the Project WHY Sewing Circle.

WHAT IS NEEDED

Today Renu, the sewing teacher, is looking at developing the skills of her students through a six-month programme. This will enable them to find employment in the garment industry.

To this end, Project WHY needs the following:

Iron 1000/-

Interlocking machine 4400/-

Pico machine 5600/-

Ironing board 2000/-

Cutting table 4000/-

6-month salary for Renu 60,000/-

WHY YOU SHOULD DONATE

Women are true agents of change and helping them find the means to earn a livelihood goes a long way in transforming the lives of their families. At Project WHY, Renu and her students not only practice sewing but also learn to read and write. When women are empowered, domestic violence drops and the next generations gain access to better education.

Read the story of Project WHY at www.projectwhy.org

If you are donating from India, your donation is 50% tax deductible under section 80G, and the entire account would be put up on the project WHY website once the amount is raised.

Join the Project WHY family by supporting Renu so she can help women like herself. No amount is too small and every little bit would help make Renu’s dreams become a reality!

So, go ahead and make a difference in someone’s Life. You never know how your help could change a person’s destiny!

Donate here

Love,

SHILPA…

Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.

Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.

I opened today’s newspaper to find a headline that almost leapt out at me, as if trying to urge me to write something I had been putting off for a couple days now.

September happens to be the Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.

I had mulled over the idea of writing a post on suicides since the beginning of this month, but kept putting it off. I just couldn’t find the right tone to express my thoughts on the matter. But, today’s news changed it all.

Syed Nasser Hussain, a resident of Deonar, Mumbai, was returning home from work from Vashi. When on the Vashi bridge, he spotted a girl trying to jump off the bridge into the creek below. Syed Hussain got off his scooter, hurried to the girl and pulled her back in the nick of time.

He then spent an hour counselling the girl, asking her what the matter was, why she had decided to take such a drastic step.

Hearing her story about a heartbreak, he then counselled her and took her to her home. On reaching her home, they found the house locked as her parents had gone to a hospital. Taking the keys from her neighbours, Syed left the girl inside, and asking the neighbours to keep an eye on her, left the place.

While driving back, though, he had this strong feeling that he should not have left the girl alone at home in this condition, and so, he turned around and drove back to her house. On reaching, when he tried to open the door, he found it locked from within. With the help of her neighbours, he broke open the door only to find his intuition right.

The girl had hung herself from the ceiling fan.

They untied her off the fan and rushed her to a hospital. Yesterday the doctors informed the newspaper reporter that the girl was out of danger.

The girl’s father thanked Syed Hussain profusely.

Syed Hussain was a stranger to the girl. Yet, when he felt something amiss, he decided to help her. And, in doing so, twice in a night, he had saved a life. A precious life which would have gotten wiped out had Syed not stopped his scooter that night; a death that would have left behind heartbroken parents with nothing but memories of their only child.

In our hectic lives, how often do we stop and pause to think about what someone said or did that felt abnormal; something that seemed to be a silent cry for help, but in not as many words?

Do we even give a moment’s thought about what the person might have implied?

Each of us faces hardships in life. And, let’s not even get started on the kind of hardships that we are subjected to. We fight right till the end, with every ounce of our strength we can muster. Sadly, there are some who are left with no willpower to continue fighting; no support from the world and no desire to even keep running towards the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. Some just prefer to end it all rather than keep fighting and keep living a miserable life.

And, with the loneliness and the depression tormenting them night and day, and with no one to offer them the necessary support, they give it all up.

And, end up being just a statistic.

The Suicide Awareness Campaign might not find a better mascot than Syed Hussain, who went out of his way to save the life of a stranger. Not only did he save her once, but heeding his intuition, he reached out to her twice. He counselled her about not giving up because some idiot broke her heart.

To quote Syed Hussain, “I have had long conversations with her dad. She needs to be taken care of. I have told her he must support her to complete her education. She must grow into a confident woman who does not see unfaithfulness of a man as the end of the world.”

How many of us would leave aside our work, our busy schedules, if we were to spot someone trying to end their life? How many of us would even pay attention to what someone says in a moment of despair?

All the person needs is a patient ear; someone who holds their hand and asks what the matter really is. All they need is to talk their heart out to someone who will just hear them out, not judge them, or give unsolicited advice without knowing the entire story. Someone who will read the real meaning behind their sad smiles and their artificial laughter and their overeagerness to appear “normal”, when in reality, they are crumbling from within.

Do we have it in us to be that someone who listens, really listens, and doesn’t let go just because the person in front of us won’t open up about the pain they suffer?

it really takes very little time to help out people in distress. It takes just a few words to heal a sad, broken heart. And, it takes just a few moments to save a life from becoming a statistic.

All you need to do, is reach out.

Love,

SHILPA..

I am taking my Alexa Rank to the next level with Blogchatter.

You can prevent a suicide.

Can you spend time alone?

Can you spend time alone?

Well, can you? Or, do the walls of your house seem to close in on you, leaving you feeling stifled? Or, do you find it absolutely thrilling being on your own?

If it’s the latter, well, you are, indeed, lucky! You can survive very well on your own. You can take pretty good care of yourself and your emotional needs. In fact, you can consider yourself emotionally independent!

However, if it’s the former, then, you so need to work on yourself, sweetie! Consider this a loner’s verdict, if you may, but, take it from me that it is the number one bitter fact of life that:

Everyone leaves. So, you need to learn to survive alone!

“Of course, our friends will be there with us”, some of you might argue. But, will they, really? They have lives to live, battles to fight, issues to solve. They will have time constraints; some will move to another city; and some others will drift away. Life comes in the way, you see! And, even if your friends do stay, will they be there for you, always? As in, every time you need them? As much as they would want to, they won’t be able to.

So, what will you do in such a scenario?

“Well, our partner will be there for us, and so will our kids!” I can almost hear some of you assert, vociferously. But, do they really stay for you, precisely when you are desperate for someone to just sit by your side and offer their quiet company? They don’t! After a point, they lose patience. What do you do then?

Shall I tell you?

You learn to get used to your own company. It is really not that easy, believe me. But, it isn’t impossible, either. Ahem, all this gyaan comes from experience, by the way. So, I know what I am saying.

So, learn to enjoy your own company.

If you feel suffocated indoors, step outdoors. Go for a walk. Better still, take yourself out on a date! I have done it, and trust me, it was the best date of my life! I dressed up, went to a mall, lazed around in a bookstore, indulged in some window-shopping, had lunch and desserts and simply sat on a bench in the mall, watching life around me. Observing people, wondering about their lives, trying to guess their stories from what I saw. And, after a few hours, when I returned home, I felt refreshed!

My next on the to-do list is to go watch a movie, alone.

And, the next is, to travel alone.

Apart from these activities, you could develop a hobby or, maybe, find a job–something that you had pushed aside all these years. And, whatever it may be, make sure you stay occupied, so much so, that you find not a single moment to wallow in self-pity or pamper your, “I feel so lonely!” mindset.

Just do not encourage these negative feelings, for they ruin your mental space, leaving you completely broken and dejected. And, that is not a very good feeling.

I am just glad I had my Chikoo, my blog, my art and books and now I have my winged babies–Cookie-Bholu-Chikki–to keep me occupied in between my busy schedule. I also found myself a job, where I can work from home. And, it feels fantastic! Touchwood.

But, I will be honest. This horrid I-am-lonely-and-miserable feeling does spring upon me, sometimes, catching me unawares. But, I push it out of my mind. It is akin to moving mountains, but, you gotta do what you gotta do, lest you lose your mind! Then, I replace those depressing thoughts with some good thoughts, like, what post to write, what do I do about my artwork, or read a good book, or watch a movie.

It won’t be an easy journey, this dealing with loneliness. But, all it needs is to get pally with yourself. Love yourself, trust in yourself and your judgements and believe that you are no longer scared of being alone. If people do join you, good, and if they don’t, fine, as well!

Work on becoming independent–EMOTIONALLY INDEPENDENT–and you won’t need a person by your side, ever. Okay, sometimes you will, but you will also manage pretty well if you don’t find anyone there.

Wish you the best!

Love,

SHILPA…

P.S.

If you have had the worst experience being alone, if you dread those moments of solitude, talk things out, seek help, but don’t keep to yourself.

Take care,

SHILPA..

I am taking my Alexa Rank to the next level with Blogchatter.

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Learn to enjoy your own company

 

Why don’t we share our imperfect moments?

Why don’t we share our imperfect moments?

Have you ever scrolled through Instagram or Facebook and gazed wistfully at the exquisite images people share, and wished secretly those were yours, that, that was your Life, your story? Come on, you can tell me. I won’t judge you, I promise.  I, too, have felt that way, to be frank. Yes, I did!  I am human.

Thankfully, though, those were fleeting moments and I returned to my world, my Life, and sent a “Thank you” heavenwards for whatever I had received–good, bad, ugly. For it may have been the ‘good’ that filled my life with joy, but it was the ‘ugly’ that taught me precious lessons, helped me grow as a person and realise the true meaning of Life!

So, yes, all of us do wish–knowingly or unknowingly, at some time or the other, when Life is full of shit–that our Life was like the others’–picture perfect.  But, when we do so, hardly ever do we dwell on the fact that Life is never picture perfect. Life, as in Real Life, is not what we see in those pictures people share. It is the ‘filters’ in our phones that make it perfect, for the world to gawk at and covet.

Real life is something that most of us seldom share with the world. Real life is just different; it’s all about stuff going wrong, family feuds, marriages collapsing, illnesses, loss of a job, misbehaved kids and utter chaos. Real Life is  bad hair days with grumpy moods and tearful eyes, all behind closed doors.

Real life is burnt food, spoilt drawings, poor writing, evil thoughts and ugly brawls with loved ones. Something almost none of us share about on social media, or in our blogs. That won’t get us any Likes, will it? On the contrary, that will expose the ugly underbelly of the world we live in, so it’s best kept secret!

Couple months back, I shared a post on hubby’s bi polar episode on my blog. The outpouring of love and respect I received for having shared such personal matter in public made me wish I hadn’t shared it, at all! That was really not what I wanted. People wondered how I could share such details of my life so “boldly”. They gushed about how “brave” I was to write about a dear one’s illness for the world to read about.

The thought that came to my mind as I read all the comments was, I shared the story because that was Life! There are so many others battling the illness and living in despair over all that goes wrong, but with no one to talk to, or lend a shoulder to cry on. I know, because, once upon a time, I used to be that person, hiding the facts of my life from friends and family, and at the same time craving to hear a story similar to mine, craving to feel less left-out.

I feel, it is only because we fear sharing our truth with the world, that the images we see on the screen and the stories we hear of others leave us wincing, discontented with what we have been dealt with. Don’t you think?

Each one of us on this planet has been handed a Life that is way different than the others, but at the same time, a lot similar than we care to know. Each one of us is sailing in the same leaky, shaky boat that threatens to overturn and sink to the bottom if we were to lose control even for a second. But, rarely do we admit the condition of our boat to the others.

Do you know what that results in? A deep and haunting fear that our Life is imperfect, full of shit, while those others out there, have been gifted the best kind of lives, ever. The kind of depression that gives rise to, can be tough to push out of our system, leaving us disturbed and tortured.

Why not put an end to it all? Why not accept that, yes, our Life is not what you see in these pictures on the social media, neither are our stories the “happy stories” we talk about. Why not also share some of the imperfect moments of our life with the world? No, not to gain sympathy, or applause for having handled it all with elan, but so that someone out there suffering from misery at seeing all the so-called “happiness” around, would feel less miserable.

So that there would be lesser sad souls around cursing their fates and wishing for better ones. So that there would be lesser discontentment and more understanding within people’s hearts. And, so that there would be more of love and care and less of hatred and disgust.

We all are a little broken from within. Let’s show our scars, too, once in a while. it will only make us more human, don’t you think?

What do you think? Can you share your imperfect moments with the world so that someone out there felt less lonely?

Do share your thoughts with me. Feel free!

Love,

SHILPA…

Why don't we share our imperfect moments?