Fighting superstition. #WATWB

Fighting superstition. #WATWB

Top post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers

India is a country where, even today, in the age of the Internet, superstitions rule (and ruin) the lives of many people. There are activists and organisations trying to get people to change their beliefs, but, it is an uphill task as these superstitious beliefs are so deeply ingrained in their minds that it takes years to bring some change.

One such organisation is the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (MANIS) which was founded by Dr. Narendra Dabholkar. Sadly, this fearless activist, who toiled tirelessly to change people’s mind through a scientific approach, was gunned down by those who opposed him. He passed away on August 20th, 2013. However, one of his many admirers and followers, Nandini Jadhav, the Pune district president of the organisation launched a campaign to help women get rid of their matted hair.

People believe that cutting of the hair would invite the wrath of the Gods, and so, for years together, refuse to touch their hair, comb it or even cut it. This leads to a number of health and social problems that they suffer from.

There are some of those, who secretly desire to get rid of their matted hair, but face opposition from their family members for fear of a curse.

But, Nandini Jadhav, despite facing stiff opposition and threats to her life, launched this campaign to help women chop off their matted hair and live a better, healthier and happier life.

Do read the story of this brave woman here.

We need more such fearless Nandinis, who come forward to fight this evil called superstition and free the society from such regressive practices. It’s the people, who usually belong to the lower strata of the society who fall prey to such superstition and suffer for their entire lives, waiting, in vain, for the miracles promised to them by their “Guru”.

We Are The World Blogfest

This post has been written for ‘We Are The World Blogfest’, an initiative to share real-life stories from the world over that speak about heroes who go against all odds to help those in need and prove it to us that the world is not such a bad place.

Do post any such stories you might come across on your blog and share them widely on social media. We all know we could do with some positivity in a world that can often get dark and frightening.

New Year Resolutions: Why our plans fizzle out.

New Year Resolutions: Why our plans fizzle out.

Featured post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers

So, finally 2019 is here–sparkling and glittering with its newness, infusing us with hope and vigour to make it a success story. I am sure most of us have decided on some new resolutions and promised to stick to those and fulfil them by the end of the year. Right?

But, as we all are so aware, all those grand resolutions are going to fizzle out by the end of the second week of January, itself! Or, may be by the end of January. And, we will find ourselves back where we started…wondering why we failed to stick to our plans and questioning our tenacity. By February, we will vow to stick to our resolutions the next year, come what may!

But, do you think we will succeed in 2020, either? I bet not.

Why do you think this happens? Why do our grand plans fizzle out?

I think, it’s because we make resolutions that are too ambitious and grand to handle. Seldom do we assess ourselves, our capabilities and our limits before making those resolutions.

Someone, who might wish to reduce weight, might decide to stay off sweets, altogether; enrol at a gym and workout like crazy; follow a diet to get the figure they so wish.

Someone might decide to work towards that promotion they so seek and slog night and day.

And, someone else might decide to live a more fulfilling life where they spend more time with their families and discover themselves, follow their passions, because, well… YOLO! I mean, You Only Live Once! ( I was so unaware of the meaning of YOLO till sometime back!).

But, is it that easy?

Being strict with your diet, hitting the gym regularly….can all get frustrating after a while because you never know when Life might test your commitment. All of our best laid plans could fly right out the window!

Or, in our quest to reach ahead in the “race”, we would neglect our health, our sleep and our family and if things don’t go as we expect–which is what usually happens– we could very well end up depressed.

And, people who wish to live a more fulfilling life with their families and all, can definitely achieve it, provided they place their smartphones and other gadgets under lock and key once they are home. But, do you think you can resist the temptation of checking the notifications on the many social media platforms?

You might do it for a day or two, but then will just give in to the urge to grab that phone and forget all about discovering yourself.

So, all the enthusiasm with which we begin the new year starts to wane and our singleminded devotion towards fulfilling our resolutions begins to peter out. We do make a few feeble attempts at getting our mojo back, but in vain. And, soon, we fall into the rut we all were so used to earlier. Life takes over along with the uncertainties She brings our way and we realise we will never be able to win over Life and Her big plans!

WHAT WE NEED TO DO INSTEAD

This year, I decided to make a few goals to follow; goals that I haven’t labelled as “resolutions”; goals which would be doable and easy on me and my mind. After all that happened in my Life since 2017, all I need today is peace of mind. That’s all. I am not at all trying to be overly ambitious, or enthusiastic, or anything. All I am looking for is the elusive peace, and how to make it a part of my life, and thus these goals.

So, I jotted down a few things that I needed to make a part of my everyday life. Little things, really, like…

Simple, doable things that are sure to make me a stronger person, calm me during the tiresome, stressful moments and yes, build a solid support system that I so need.

Of course, it is not easy, for instance, to accept Life as it is, or believe in myself when things aren’t going my way. I am human, after all. But, being grateful for whatever I have is bound to change that and give me a fresh new perspective about my Life.

So, instead of coming up with resolutions we will never stick to, why not make smaller goals to work on on an everyday basis; goals that are easier to manage and do not burden us with expectations.

Here’s what you could do if you wish to fulfil your new year resolutions…

8 WAYS TO STICK TO YOUR RESOLUTIONS:

1. Take baby steps…make smaller goals that don’t tax your mind if you miss out once in a while. Remember, it’s okay to slip off the track once in a while.

2. Don’t be too strict with yourself as far as meeting your goals is concerned. I mean, suppose you decide to stay off sweets, then take it a day at a time and keep aside a day when you can cheat on your plan. Have a chocolate, or your favourite dessert–for the sake of your taste buds–and, then workout a bit extra the following day. But, then again, don’t overdo it. Bottom line is, care for your body, be considerate towards its limits.

3. If you wish to cut down on your smartphone use, set an alarm for 9 pm when you will switch off the WIFI and put the phone away. Do not switch it on as soon as you wake up. And, once you do switch on, time yourself. No more than 10 minutes to check whatever you wish to and as soon as your 10 minutes are up, switch it off again. Stay away from it for at least a couple of hours between every 10 minutes phone break you take.

4. If you have decided to exercise/workout everyday, do it in the morning beginning with just 15 minutes. After a week, increase it by 10 minutes. 25 – 30 minutes of exercise is more than enough. And, take a break on Sundays. Your body requires the rest.

5. Prepare a journal in which you note down your goals and how you manage to achieve them everyday. Be true to yourself. No cheating!

6. At the end of a week/ fortnight, if you find that you have been pretty consistent with working on your goals, reward yourself.

7. Remember to take life ONE DAY AT A TIME–this includes working on your goals, too!

8. And, finally, remember that you are NOT competing with anyone except yourself–your old self. So, don’t be a tyrant and drive yourself crazy over your goals. It will affect your mental health. And, if your mental health suffers, believe me, there’s no point working on any other aspect of your life.

So, what goals have you made for the new year? If you haven’t yet, I would suggest you give it a good thought, take everything into consideration and then decide what it is that you need to change. I am sure you will have a higher chance at succeeding at it!

Wish you the very best!

May you all have a happy, healthy and a peaceful New Year!

God bless!

Take care, coz I care…

Love,

SHILPA…

Like it, Pin it!

 

Ways to make your resolutions stick.

 

The word that will guide me in 2019

The word that will guide me in 2019

2018 is coming to an end, and what a year it has been!

Eventful, I must say!

Not a day went by this entire year without teaching me something–a lesson for life, a survival trick, a secret to living Life! And, for all that happened–bad, worse, worst–I am grateful for it all. That’s not to say that good things didn’t take place. They did. Loads of good happened, too, for which I am grateful. But, it’s the difficult times that I am thankful for. It’s always the tough times, the troubles, the stressors that make us stronger, wiser, saner.

I read somewhere that a year can do a lot to a person. Couldn’t agree more! This entire 2018 changed me completely. The person I was, changed to the person I am today–a person I am proud of and look up to. I really don’t mean to brag about myself, but today, when I look back at who I was, I feel embarrassed…I cringe when I see who I was back then. So, am glad things happened the way they did this year!

Last year, I had chosen the words, HOPE and FAITH to guide me in 2018. They did. It was hope that kept me from losing patience, and faith that led me by my hand as I strove to face every odd that came my way. And, no, hubby’s illness was not the only thing that went horribly wrong this year. But, everything else that did go wrong is something that will always always stay with me, reminding me about the ephemeral nature of Life; that Life is not to be taken seriously, for it’s never constant.

The few lessons I learned this year are:

NOTHING IS PERMANENT

EXPECTATIONS BREAK YOUR HEART, SO NEVER EXPECT ANYTHING FROM ANYONE, LEAST OF ALL FROM LIFE.

And,

LIVE IN THE MOMENT.

This moment that I am alive is the only moment I have, so it only makes sense to make the most of it. Live in the here and the now. Of course, I have made a couple of plans for the next year, but being flexible as far as seeing those plans come to fruition is what I have decided. I don’t know if I will be able to fulfil all those plans, but I would like to do my best today and let tomorrow take care of itself!

So, my word for this year is:

CARPE DIEM

Seize the day!

Do my best, today.

Be my best, today.

Be as happy and grateful as I can be, today.

( Erm, is there a word for ‘Seize the moment’? I didn’t find any!)

That’s all. I just don’t wish to think about what the future holds for me. I would just like to focus on this moment, on today...this day…and be happy that I am alive; with everything I have (as well as all that I don’t).

Isn’t that much easier to do than make big resolutions and then slip off the track when Life drops a bomb on you, as Life is wont to do!? *wink wink*

So, what is your WOTY? Have you thought of any?

Love,

SHILPA…

 

The word that will guide me this new year

 

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…