Fighting superstition. #WATWB

Fighting superstition. #WATWB

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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.

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. 

 

W – #WATWB… ‘We Are The World Blogfest’. #AtoZ

W – #WATWB… ‘We Are The World Blogfest’. #AtoZ

A to Z Blogging Chllenge

I learned about #WATWB — We Are The World Blogfest — through my blogger friend,  Damyanti Biswas’s blog,  Daily (w)rite.  She is a co-host for the Blogfest that shares real-life stories of compassion and kindness. Stories that need to be shared as much as possible through social media which is so filled with hate and negativity.

So, in a bid to spread hope and positivity, this Blogfest invites people from around the world to share stories of real-life heroes.  Stories that are heartwarming and full of hope and love that we so need in today’s world.

I instantly loved the idea!

Each day, when we surf through news channels or scroll down any social media, all we read are stories full of negativity, hatred, and despair. And, the first thought that comes to mind is, “Where are we headed?”

And, at such times, when we stumble upon a snippet of positivity, a story of hope and love between people, we are filled with a sense of relief. A feeling that all’s not lost, yet! That there’s still hope. A light at the end of the tunnel.

I decided to stay on the lookout for any such positive story I came across so I could share it on my blog as well as every other social media I could, and do my bit in restoring hope and faith in humanity.

This Blogfest is held on the last Friday of every month. All you need to do is share a real-life story on your blog in 500 words.  A link to a story that shows there’s hope and love, positivity and brotherhood in our world.

We Are The World Blogfest

This is the badge you put up on your blog and share the link to your post on Twitter, Instagram, Google, Facebook and any other social media you use to spread the word.

Here’s one of the stories I shared. Do read and share. We all know we could use as much positivity as we can!

Metanoia being an Inspirational Blog, too, I felt sharing such true stories was the best thing to do here.

Would you like to join us in spreading some hope and warmth?

April 2018 A to Z blogging Challenge

My theme for the A to Z Blogging Challenge is all about my blog, Metanoia, and my blogging journey from the time  I started, 5 years ago. The lessons I learned, the tips and tricks I picked up from fellow bloggers and the guidelines I could have used back when I began.

You will find all of my A to Z posts here.

 

The first man to wear a sanitary pad. #WATWB

The first man to wear a sanitary pad. #WATWB

Imagine this – you get your period and there are no sanitary pads available where you live. Or, worse – the ones available at the chemists  are far beyond your means and threaten to burn a hole in your pocket. If you were to buy those pads, your kids  go without food! And, thus you settle for some rags, or maybe some leaves, or, brace yourselves, some ash!

Can you visualise yourself in such wretched conditions? We, who take our comfortable lifestyle for granted, cannot even imagine the plight of millions of women for whom even basic amenities are luxuries they can’t dream of affording!

So, when a man comes up with a brilliant idea of a machine that manufactures low-cost sanitary pads, it’s like manna to the women living in the developing countries.

The Menstruation Man.

Sharing today, at #WATWB, the story of Arunachalam  Muruganantham, the first man  to use a sanitary pad!  A school drop out from Southern India, his courage, perseverance and dedication  brought about a change in the lives of countless women  in rural India, as well as other developing countries.

Do read the inspiring story of  ‘The Menstruation Man’,   here. 

We Are the World Blogfest, or #WATWB, created by Damyanti Biswas and Belinda Witzenhausen aims to bring hope through stories that spread positivity in the darkness that surrounds us. 

Do join in with stories of real life heroes who go beyond the call of duty to make a difference to our world. 

#WATWB is held on the last Friday of every month. Share the stories on your blog and on social media and help spread the love!

Replacing the negativity with positivity through social media is the need of the hour. Let us all do our best and focus the spotlight on people who work towards bringing about a change in our society and a ray of hope to the world.

 

The man who shone a spotlight on mental health. #WATWB

The man who shone a spotlight on mental health. #WATWB

 

For me and my family, as for  countless others, he has been an angel in disguise. For,  the ability to not only treat patients of mental illness, but also offer ceaseless support and encouragement to their caregivers with love and warmth is something only an angel can carry out, isn’t it?

Image courtesy Google (pic by Prassanna)

I met Dr. Anand Nadkarni around 20 years ago. He treated my mom-in-law, who was a patient of schizophrenia. The anxiety I experienced on learning about her condition eased quite a bit after I met him.  The most important reason behind it being, I knew he would always be there to help us and support us as we traversed the rough terrain life can be with a sick family member.

But, the instance when my belief in him grew profoundly was when I discovered my hubby suffered from bi-polar disorder. I remember we were out of town when hubby had an attack. He had been suffering since some days, but I was not aware of the storm brewing in our lives.

I called up the good doctor at an ungodly hour from the resort we were staying at, and he made all the arrangements for hubby to be treated by another doctor at a hospital where hubby had to be admitted, till he himself took over hubby’s case.

Dr. Nadkarni not only treated hubby, but ensured I went in for counselling as I was under enormous pressure. The fact that I am here today, sane and stronger, is all thanks to Dr. Nadkarni.

Dr. Anand Nadkarni has been practicing psychiatry since 30 years now. He began his journey towards bringing the concept of mental health in the spotlight 27 years ago. He established the Institute of Psychological Health, an NGO at Mumbai, where mental health professionals work towards treating mental illness patients, as well as organise  support groups and conduct community projects that help spread awareness regarding mental health.

He not only consults patients, but also conducts training programs for corporate executives, and mentors young athletes, artists and players to optimise their performance. He conducts training for elite commando forces and is also the founder and trustee of Muktangana de-addiction centre at Pune, Maharashtra. He is also a prolific writer with 17 award-winning books to his credit.

For a man who is so deeply immersed in his work, it will come as a surprise to many to meet this warm, friendly person, who has the knack of putting you at ease the  instant you meet him. The time he gives you as a doctor, a counsellor, or even a friend/guide, is all yours, without any distractions whatsoever. I would like to add, simplicity and humbleness are this wonderful man’s forte!

I remember pouring my heart out to him – how I feared losing my sanity from all the stress I went through at home – to which he  smiled, kindheartedly, and said, “You are doing absolutely fine, my dear. And, you really need not fear, I am here for you!” These words – spoken almost 15 years ago –  echo in my mind as I type this post today.

A man who has spent so many years of his life working towards sensitising the public about mental health; who has made it his life’s mission to bring awareness about mental illness deserves to be called a Hero, isn’t it?

Damyanti Biswas   Shilpa Garg   Simon Falk, Eric Lahti, Lynn Hallbrooks, and Guilie Castillo   are co-hosting the We Are The World Blogfest this month to share a snippet of positive news that shows our essential, beautiful harmony, and restore our faith in humanity.

Do join in with a real life story that speaks of something positive in a world that can be quite a scary place with all the negativity we see around.