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Live and Express


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#India to beat #China in #Population by 2022; Child #Adoption process getting simpler

Life is a mixed bag.

Last week, two significant headlines hit the news. The first is about the estimate that the India Population is going to exceed China by 2022which is a bad news, as we had expected it to happen by 2028 earlier.  The other is about the child adoption process in India is getting faster, easier and transparentwhich is a good news, as more people including NRIs can adopt in a simpler way moving forward.

One is a problem, and other is a potential solution. While some even neglect to think that the child adoption is a potential solution to the population problem (and say that adoption is emotional, the child and parent should connect well, one cannot adopt ANY child, etc, which are all reasonable), many consider it as a viable solution.  Here is an example of a parent who thinks so.

The Central Adoption Resource Agency has created a database of children that are waiting for adoption, and it has linked the adoption agencies to the database.  This way quick access to children to be adopted is available to the agencies.  Potential parents can now register online for them to be considered.  The guidance will be effective by August 2015, is what the post says.

With these updates, the urban folks of India now have a choice.  We have written several blogs before encouraging urban parents to adopt and why.  Several things have changed from the past, and attitude of the young generation is changing too.  With limited resources that India has, population has to be kept under strict check, and adoption is one way out – to give life to an existing child rather than creating another which will add additional burden to the country – burden may be a strong word, but yes, that’s how it is – with population increasing 1.6% in India every year!


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The value of family and life – #India #Population

I write about India Population. And it’s a very unpopular topic.

Sometimes you need the steel heart to read the personal attacks that emanate from people who think that their rights are being violated when asked to consider not to give birth to children.

Here are some of the feedback received from very well known members of the community:

‘You look like you have lived your life well. How can you ask us to not to have babies? I am an unmarried woman in my twenties, and I want to have my family’.

‘Have you ever given birth and raised children?’

The first comment is because they fear the system/government will prohibit having babies.

The second comment is tricky.  If I answer ‘Yes, I have had children’, then they will blast me ‘You advice something for the world, and you do things differently. Hypocrite!’  If I answer ‘No, I have not had children’, then they will blast me ‘See? How will you know the value of having a family? You should never advice!’

Let’s look at it objectively.

The moment your child gets out into the streets of India, they become one in the 2.72 billion people. And the family safety net that you provide is lost.  In the streets, today, people don’t even see each others faces and smile at strangers. They are all driven by their own missions of getting to office and coming back. So, the ‘value’ that you are talking about in your ‘own’ child just vanishes in the society.

More so with these huge numbers of people. As the numbers increase, tolerance to fellow human beings will naturally reduce. All the push-pulls that happen in the public transport, and the politics that happen at the work places will increase as there are more number of people, because, everyone has to take care of their survival.

If you are not objective, and take care of managing the no. of people that this nation can hold (by the way, we are 17.5% of world’s population in 2% of world’s land!), then nature will be cruel.  By nature, I don’t mean just the land, water, air, etc, but also all the life forms including human.

Our nation has been a very tolerant one in general. ‘Please adjust’ has been our mantra. But that will break with a population growth of 1.6% every year, as per the latest reports. People will start being cruel to each other. Like buying illegal software through an IRCTC official and booking 36 tickets at once illegally!

Just take a look around, and see if we really more children. How are we going to educate and give jobs to all these population? What about drinking water, food, space to live? For God’s sake, how about experiencing the pleasantness of life with some space instead of always being jam-packed?

If one really values life and family, they will understand it’s being cruel to everyone to add more. And probably adopt children who have no one to care for.

Someone said ‘There will come a time when the government will start asking to produce babies’. That would be a golden day to live when we are all joyful, and want to make copies of ourselves.

But right now, we are over-crowded and miserable. Let’s stop!


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Delhi, may be it’s time for – We two, adopt two!

Congratulations! Delhi is the 2nd most populous city in the world! Sounds as though we are lifting some trophy in the World Olympics Championship! Not!  The bomb had already ticked a lot, and it now exploded! Now it’s time for the triage. Looky looky here!

That article talks about two things: (1) Condoms & sex education, (2) migration from other places.

Do you actually believe that a person living in a large city is unaware of the consequences of unprotected sex?  If yes, do we know what percentage?  Or should we take an SMS poll to figure out that number?

Yet, average people are bogged down by the mental challenges of handling their family, friends and circle for not having a kid. If they are really up to not having a biological baby, there are multiple options available: (a) stay single, (b) get married but decide not to have kids, (c) get married, but adopt instead of having biological children (in fact, the office of CARA, the department for adoption enablement under Ministry of Women and Child Welfare, is right there in Delhi!)

Migration from other places because of lack of opportunities, jobs, and sheer ambition to make it big in a city are also important reasons. While the state governments have to take care of the basic amenities in the rural and towns, and provide moderate growth opportunities, so that people don’t move to the cities, it’s the people who are in the cities who have lots of opportunities to do something about containing the India population.

Why do I say that? Because urban people are mostly (hopefully) educated; they have access to information; they have independence to think through and make personal choices like not having kids; and they have means to adopt children if they wish to, from orphanages and homes,and give them a home.

Delhi Government cannot keep building metro over metro, double-decker metro, underground triple-decker monorail, etc. It’s the urban people who need to take responsibility, if they want to live well in a city state, which is around 1500 sq.km in size (including NCR), but has around 25 million in population. That’s roughly 16700 persons per sq.km, while the healthy population density for India is 197 persons per sq.km.

Remember, it’s not ‘We two, Ours two’ anymore. It’s ‘We Two, Adopt Two’ time!

YOU, yes YOU! Please think about it, and act, or rather not act in the wrong direction!

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Can we leave coffee, tea and milk for good ?

Please feel free to re-blog this blog. This is public information, written for awareness for everyone’s well-being.  Spread it far and wide.

Some 10 years back, I left coffee. I was told by someone that coffee and tea are nervous stimulants, which, when taken without discretion, will lead to nerves weakness. The effect of nerves weakness will be the inability to sit peacefully at one place. No, I am not talking about meditation. Even for getting your work done at your computer, looking and attending to files in the office in a careful way, doing any work diligently, studying for your exams be it school or college, you need calm and alertness, which will be available to you only if your system is stable.

Coffee and tea will give you the sudden briskness with which you can carry on with your immediate tasks, but on a long run, it will lead to inability to focus and sit calm and alert to attend to whatever you are doing.

More so in the old age, when you have nothing much to do – you are retired, your kids are settled, and you enjoy your bliss – if you find yourselves restless, that will be very sad. Your mind will want to be active, but your body won’t co-operate, and you will be a mess.

There’s one more aspect to it – which is milk that’s added to the coffee and tea, in the Indian context.  If you don’t add milk, it’s even worse, because the ill-effects is more-prone and immediate.

But, if you have coffee and tea with milk, just consider where the milk is coming from. In western countries, there are complaints that cows are being artificially milked and they are sent to death long time before they are supposed to die – because they extract the milk faster and faster, and the cow loses the ability to give milk pretty soon.  Even in India, you might have seen loads of cows and buffaloes being carried in lorries and trucks. Where do you think they are being taken to? To get killed because of their inability to give milk.

Food that goes inside us is supposed to nourish us and give energy. Cow’s/buffalo’s milk, however, makes us dull and lethargic. Cows’ milk is meant for calves, and not for humans.

And food that goes into us is supposed to be a blessing and enable us to become better human beings.  Food that come from sources as mentioned above, and having the properties that tend to negatively influence our ability to perform at our full potential may not be good food options, isn’t it?

Especially in the context of India Population, where loads of milk is consumed by millions of people, it’s pretty necessary that we consider.

Please feel free to re-blog this blog. This is public information, written for awareness for everyone’s well-being.  Spread it far and wide.


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On the event of World Earth Day 2014

Greetings on World Earth Day 2014!

Many of you might have seen the movie #Gravity. In the final scenes, the heroine gasps and gasps and tries to breathe anxiously for some pints of oxygen, and finally when her parachute lands on Earth, she grabs the mud and feels thankful for finally being home to the mother Earth!  I guess that’s the feeling that everyone of us should have for having the privilege in being here in this beautiful planet which supports us.

But, sadly, as with every sense of living, we have abandoned our gratitude in the search of individuality. My own home, my own TV, my own smartphone, my own space and my own everything. In the pursuit of this myness and iEverything, we have almost destroyed the planet. On one side, we keep building spaces for people to stay and industries to work, and on the other hand, we have destroyed green, which is the basis of our breath.   How many minutes do you think you can live without breathing?

In the past 2 or 3 decades, while Earth’s population grew dramatically, we were trying to curb the symptoms of environmental destruction – like reducing the carbon levels and trying to plant more and more trees. All these are absolutely necessary, no question about it, but it’s just that we have crossed a threshold point where the no. of human beings in this planet have exceeded certain limit, and their demands for living are anyway going to have an impact on the environment.

I am not a lamentor, but you would be already aware of the fact that the projection of Earth’s population is 11 billion by 2100. We are seeing the ill-effects of over-population in many countries in Asia and Africa, where the population continues to be growing. Do you think Earth can handle 4 billion more?

So how many of these human beings are we going to tell – Conserve water, eat environmental friendly food, don’t kill animals, don’t do industry, live ecologically friendly, etc. First of all, it’s not scalable, and next, you can’t force such things as we have become a democratic world mostly living on individual choices.

While continuing to carry out the environmentally friendly actions that are necessary, we should also look at how to contain the population.

I will specifically talk about India – as I live here, and know the context. India is 70% rural and 30% urban. That 70% rural is mostly having livelihood issues, insufficient education, malnourishment, sanitation and health issues. They reproduce to get more family members so that they all can go do labour work and support the family. This is the reality. The only way to reach out to them and ask them not to have more and more babies to provide economic development opportunities along with economic reward for not having babies.

In the urban India, there are opportunities to adopt. India has a good network for adoption homes. People in urban areas have access to social networking and hence awareness can be created asking them to adopt instead of reproduce. The change is slowly happening, and people are making personal choices in their lives.

On top of these, the policy support from the Government is very much required, in terms of awareness creation, economic rewards, tax breaks, etc. It has been a long time since the Indian Government has done anything with regards to population awareness, and it need to start again.

India holds 17% of the world’s population in 2% of the world’s land. That’s tragic. Every human being need 0.5 hectare of space of living self-sufficiently as per global statistics. Based on these, the living in India looks like is not the way to live. Statistically, India does not need another baby for the next 20 years.

All these boil down to how we manage Earth and its resources while we strive for the livelihood and well-being of the existing and future generations. So, if we want to protect Earth, containing population holds a major chunk of action. It needs be done, so that we can all live well, and leave a wonderful Earth for the future generations to come.

Happy World Earth Day!

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The collective Karma! #India #Asia #Population

I was walking hurriedly near Jyothi Nivas bus stop in Bangalore, It was almost time for my appointment, and I did my usual fast stroll, which is faster than the average walking speed for a stroll! I was walking on the road, as several vehicles were parked against the footpath, and I was not able to navigate myself to walk in the footpath alone. And then, this gentleman comes along from the footpath, takes 5 steps, walks in front of me, and starts staring at something behind me. I could not stop myself at that speed, so I took his two hands, moved him out of my way, and kept walking. He started yelling at me, but I didn’t care. I kept walking.

Has this ever happened to you? People suddenly coming in your way without giving due thought and consideration that you might bump into them? To be precise ‘StumbleUpon’ into them?

This indeed set of a series of thoughts in me. I usually scan the area around which I walk or drive, and I make sure that I give space to people who are coming into my zone. I either stop, or move away, or do something such that there’s no crash. But sadly, I have observed that many in India do not do that. They stare somewhere, have their own thoughts going in their minds, and walk or drive right royally into me.

So, is this my karma ? I broke my head almost 10 years thinking about this since I moved to Bangalore. Someone close to me always makes fun of me that I attract such people to me unconsciously! But, today, I would and have definitely concluded that it is not MY karma, but the collective karma of India.

Before you start showering obscenities towards me for taking India’s name, let me explain myself!

I think it’s the collective karma of India, in terms of population.

Already absent-minded and the free-flow Indian who does not have the concept of queue or discipline in their blood – if the numbers of those multiply, the StumbleUpon crashes also multiply!

I sometimes wonder that if I had been in New Mexico state of the United States, where in some areas one can’t see human beings for miles together, or probably even in Arizona state of the United States, I would be able to do my fast straight stroll without a problem! And yes, I could have my own thought process going on and jay-walk along till that 24-wheeler truck comes and hits me or scares me off the road with that loud honk!

Yes, it’s the no. of heads, people. Nothing else. India has 17% of world’s population in 2% of world’s land, and what else can you expect from that Koramangala uncle ?

And being quiet, abstaining (ahem, ahem…) or may be adopting would be a good collective karma for India moving forward!

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A sand called me

In the sands of time, I am just a speck, an insigficant one at that, compared to the grand schemes of the windmills of God. Oh, now I sound like Sydney Sheldon, but, that’s how it is, in spite of the master plans that my mind try to weave.

This sand has been observing its mind these days, and it noticed that the thoughts (the so-called intellectual leanings) is all just a projection, like a cinema of the impressions of the past, and the fear about the future. It’s fear because no more appropriate word for the games the mind play – for survival. It’s a well played mind, no complaints, its doing it’s work in a very fine fashion.

This sand, though, has its role to play. Sometimes its stagnant, sometimes its constipated, sometimes its bursting with energy, and sometimes its wayward, but, it exists. Just by the existence, its role is defined, not by its action. If this sand is just happy of what it is, that would be ideal. If this sand connects with the other sands and forms a beautiful conglomerate, that would be great. But, that cannot be forced as the way to look at this sand, because it becomes the perception of who looks at it. And that’s not the fair way to judge this sand. It just is.

This sand is expected to run along with others, but this sand is peacefully idle without any consciousness of time. Because this sand does not look at watches, does not draw a salary to be driven by a boss, does not have big goals to be achieved on time. The never-ending, sweet, stream of being – is – this sand. The waves come and go, the people with lemonade and a book come and go, the speedboats pass by – but this sand is still.

This sand could even become a temple, for, if this sand is blissful, if it could radiate its bliss nearby, people can come and sit in its shade – like they do under a tree. The sand need not become a tree, but it could still be like a tree. Like an eternity – no end of bliss, even if the body of this sand dissipates away.