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…

Put that phone away!

Put that phone away!


Featured post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers

Last month, I wrote a post on a particular habit that I needed to change. I had promised myself that I would work on it and come back a month later to write about how I had successfully kicked the habit. So, here I am!

I had planned on exercising control over my phone usage and use my time constructively. As I said, habits take a while to change, to become habits. I had given myself a month, and today, I feel so good about myself because, although I haven’t kicked the habit altogether, I have learned to control the urge.

Now, my phone stays away from me in the mornings, till I finish my workout and my chores. I reach for it only after I have had my breakfast. I scroll through the messages and the news feed on Fb and Instagram. But then, I remind myself after about 15 minutes that my time is up. That there is work to be done, articles to be written, so put that thing away!

The Wi-Fi stays on, but the phone stays away. The rest of the day, too, I pick up the phone for a while, but I have observed that after some time, I tire of gazing into the phone and put it away sooner than I used to.

Most evenings, the Wi-Fi is switched off and some days, I just leave it like that. There isn’t much to see in there, anyway, and surely, the world isn’t going to change in the time I stay away from it all! And, if someone does need to get in touch with me, they can call me up. People to whom I matter know how to get in touch with me; they don’t need to reach out through a social media platform.

The peace I experience at such times is unbelievable and inexplicable. It also helps that I have a couple of good books that whisk me away from the madness that is social media. Also, the need to make better use of my time keeps me on my toes all day. My to-do list has quite a many items that need to be ticked off before the end of the day.

it is, indeed, satisfying seeing all those tasks accomplished, and, it is this contentment that propels me to keep working harder and stay away from the “distractions”.

Of course, there are days when nothing around seems to interest me and that is when the phone stays with me for longer. But, the need to keep my promise to myself is stronger than the need to entertain a bored and an idle mind. For such days, I use Netflix and watch a good movie–my TV viewing is 2 on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the least amount of time I spend watching the idiot box.

I had ended my post on a positive note, with hope and promise that I would, indeed, work on my habit. Maybe that is the reason I could put my heart into it. The responsibility I have towards myself made me work on it, seriously.

Being responsible for our actions is what makes the difference in our attitude. My father used to say that we need to be true to ourselves and everything will fall into place. Those words echoed in my mind each time I reached for the phone earlier in the past month. As a child, I hardly could fathom the meaning behind those words; it is now, as I work on myself, that I understand what they stand for.

The struggle to stay away from the gadget can’t be called a “struggle” today. In fact, on some days, I consider the phone to be the most uninteresting piece of invention by man and reach for my book!

Just writing these words gives me a feeling of utmost satisfaction. Feels really good to realise I care for myself more than stuff–unnecessary stuff. Glad to tick off another item on my list of ‘Things to do to love yourself’!

Love,

SHILPA…

P.S.

Just so you know, the amount of time you spend looking at your phone today, is half the amount of time you will be spending at your ophthalmologist. Also, you have just this pair of eyes to use in this life time.

SHILPA…

I came across these 10 simple ways to break bad habits. Do try and follow these. I am sure you will find a difference in yourself some day soon.

Easy ways to change old habits.

Habits make you.

Habits make you.

It’s the first day of a brand new month, and a good day as any, to begin something new. So, why not do something that I have been trying to work on, but failing successfully for so long now?  My mind was as wide awake last night at 1 am, as it is at 8 am, as I lay in bed, ruminating on the need for something new, something different.

My Geminian nerves get restless if something new and exciting isn’t happening every now and then. I get bored with the little things in life. No, I don’t cast away those boring little things, I just push them to some far corner in the darkest areas of my mind and look for something to replace them with; something that challenges me, makes me work hard and changes me in its own little way.

So, as I lay thinking about this much-needed change I wished to bring, a line from an Instagram post flashed in my mind. A blogger friend, Vasantha Vivek shared it–a digital detox tip:

“Stay away from your mobile before 9 am & after 9 pm everyday.”

 

These words just popped out of nowhere last night and I almost sat up! Now, that is the kind of change I needed! Since the longest time, I have been trying to break this particular habit of mine, but in vain. I would just give up after a week, or so, and then repent. But, what good was all that repentance when I wasn’t doing anything about it?

So, last night, I decided, that, this is it, enough is enough.  This is what’s been bothering me, and I am going to get it out of my system, altogether. What a wonderful idea it felt! And, today being the 1st of a new month, I felt I needed something new to feel good about.  A change–a good change–that would, definitely, help me.

So, beginning today, my phone stays far away from me till 9 am and after 9 pm. I did succeed today–I finished my chores, I began reading a new motivational book in the time I would scroll aimlessly through the news feed on FB and Instagram. And, my eyes felt less tired–no, in fact, they did not feel tired, at all! And, that felt great! Awesome, in fact!

So, thank you, Vasantha, if you are reading this!

Life was really so much more peaceful and less distracting before these damned smart phones invaded our world, isn’t it? And, we, the idiots, just let ourselves get all carried away, and now, look where it’s landed us!

But, as I said, any day is a good day to break an old habit and work on forming a new one. It does need a lot of work, and patience, to keep working on yourself so that that old, annoying habit doesn’t return and ruin things for us.

I plan on working on it, working on myself and coming back a month later to read this post and write a new one about how I kept my word to myself, so, help me God!

They say, it takes about 21 days to form a new habit. I plan on waiting for 31 days to see how well I succeed. I know, I will succeed!  I quit drinking coffee! Yup, it’s been more than a month now, and it feels so good!

So, do visit Metanoia on the 1st of next month to see if I do succeed!

Today, I also begin on the Alexa journey to take my blog,  the love of my life, Metanoia, to another level.  It sure feels good to have not one, but two new things happening on one day! Hmm….change is certainly good! Of course, it isn’t easy getting used to this change, but who said anything about Life is easy!?

Do you wish to join me in bringing about a little change in yourself? Maybe something similar to what I have decided–changing the relationship we have with our stupid phones?  Do let me know and we will work towards it, one day at a time, one step at a time. 

Love,

SHILPA..

 

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

 

21 days to form a new habit

 

Three quotes I live by.

Three quotes I live by.

Life teaches us stuff when we are least expecting it. And, it is at such times that quotes come to our rescue, to reassure us that this is, indeed, Life and it is best to accept it as it is, along with all of its idiosyncrasies. These words of wisdom give us light when we find ourselves in the dark, and show us the way forward.

There are some quotes that resonate with me, instantly, and make me realise a few truths about Life. Of course, every quote I read speaks to me, but, there are some that, I feel, are tailor-made for me, especially when I come across them at some specific juncture in Life.

Sharing today, three of those that are now a part of my daily self-talk that I give myself as the day begins. Well, two of them, actually. I am yet to inculcate the third one. I mean, it does make the rounds of my mind on a regular basis, but I am yet to give it the respect it deserves!

 

QUOTES TO LIVE BY

This is the number one quote on my list since some time now. For every time I slip back into the past or fast forward into the unknown future, these words echo in my mind and bring me back to the present–the present moment, the only moment we have with us.

We are forever losing ourselves in either the past or the future–revisiting some beautiful memories from the days gone by or planning for a future that’s really a mirage. Rarely do we make efforts to live in the here and the now–the present.

I realised how the amount of stress and anxiety reduced once I began practicing it, you know–living in the moment. Whatever happened in the past is dead and gone, and the future is still on the distant horizon, a moment that’s still to come. So, why not concentrate on this  moment and give it my very best?

Saves me a lot of heartache, time and energy, too.

 

NOTHING IS PERMANENT

Now, this is the number one fact of Life…of every aspect of Life. Nothing, however big or small, significant or insignificant, is constant in this Universe. Everything– from the seasons, to the days, to people, to feelings, to phases– is transitory, ever-changing.

Be it good, bad or ugly, if  it’s here today, it will be gone tomorrow! That’s the rule of our Universe, and the sooner we realise it and accept it, the better for us. Don’t you think?

So, let go! Let go of the grudges, the anger, the hatred, the bitterness. It’s really of no use to you; it only poisons the heart and wears you down.  At the same time, soak in the good moments, for some day they will be gone, too. And,  give your best during the difficult moments, for they are the once that teach us so much about the world and about Life.

And, don’t stress. Whatever’s here today, won’t last. I promise.

 

EXPECT LESS.

Isn’t it true?

Actually, we all know and understand this one perfectly well, yet we invest all of our energy in creating a mountain of expectations from people, from Life and then despair over everything that doesn’t turn out as we imagined.

I came across this really cool quote on expectations..

“What screws up most in Life is the picture in our head of how it is supposed to be.”

This one is something I really need to work on. Really! In spite of knowing fully well that neither people nor situations will turn out the way I want them to, I hope against hope and look forward to stuff happening as per my imagination. And, then, when it doesn’t, I find myself crying in a corner.

Stupid me!

But it’s never too late to begin afresh and I can always turn over a new leaf, for I am a work in progress.

We all are!

So, starting today, I hope to expect less from others and more from myself, because I know my strengths, my limitations and my potential. Let’s see how soon I learn.

 

How about you? What are the quotes you live by? Do share.

 

Love,

SHILPA…

 

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Quotes that guide me.