Live and Express

Live and Express


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Let there be no illusions! #India’s #population is still at dangerous levels.

There’s a recent article on India’s population slowing down based on fertility rate studies. There are views expressed that finally we can heave a sigh of relief.

No.

That study is based on only the fertility rate – which is the new production of babies.  The truth and the fact is that we have already crossed the thresholds of healthy population rate multiple times as compared to the world standards (around 850 people per sq.km.). We already know that we are over-populated. Don’t we see that in the public places – people swarming with no respect to each others’ space and property?  When was the last time when anyone who’s coming in front of you, considered your presence, slowed down, and let you walk, in India?  We are 1.3 billion in number – 17% of world’s population!

Our agricultural lands are decreasing – because of unavailability of labour (movement to cities), water sources are draining out – because of new storage points not being planned, our air and environment are getting more polluted – not to mention about the new manufacturing oriented development agenda.

If you look at the map in the above article, you will see that the fertility rates themselves are on the higher side in the central Indian states.  This is in addition to the already dangerous levels of population in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Jharkhand. Literacy levels are low in these states, and they move to other states for labour. In fact, they generate babies for labour.

So, nothing for consolation. We need to act to take the message of dangers of over-population to the rural through grass-root workers of NGOs and social enterpreneurship companies – provide economic well-being and thus preventing them from generating babies for labour, and the message to adopt instead of generating new babies in cities.

And this has to done in a feverish scale. And bring down the child birth rate (incorrect to call it as fertility rate) to around 1 in the states mentioned above. Only then, we can breath, no pun intended.


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Private India – by Ashwin Sanghi & James Patterson : Book Review

Private India – by Ashwin Sanghi & James Patterson : Book Review (ISBN: 978-0-099-58639-5)

To give an idea about the pace with which the story unfolds, I completed this 448 page story in just above 5 hours! Good-paced, and the plot is well laid out and planned, characters and their roles well defined.

Santosh, the central character of this story, is a lead-detective of a detective company called Private India, which investigates a series of killings in the bustling city of Mumbai. The attractive feature is the way the story develops, twists, and twirls around all the characters, and how each of them is intimately involved in the plot.

The story weaves on the different layers of the society, how police, underworld, politicians and the rich & famous of Mumbai think, feel and act, and gives a glimpse of the complex interactions between them.

When I started reading the initial chapters, I was worried that the narration would be fully made of short sentences giving an awkward feeling, but later as the chapters go by, the sentences were full and the grammar was complete.  Not that I expected an English essay, but some amount of completeness is indeed expected in the thoughts of the characters.

Real speed picks up at the beginning of Part Three, and the suspense of who being the killer – is it a man or is it a woman, and who would that be.

Overall, a good story, but nothing exhilarating or thrilling about it.  Probably, I felt so because of my past readings of the likes of John Grisham, Sidney Sheldon, Ken Follett and Erle Stanley Gardner (Perry Mason).

I would give a 2 out of 5 in rating.

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

 


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India Population and infertility clinics

To anyone, who is on top of the statistics on India Population, it would sound weird to hear that there’s a claim that there are not sufficient infertility clinics and treatment in India. But, as the recent article shows, they claim that India need more infertility treatment clinics !

It’s kind of weird. On one hand, we are running short of resources because of overwhelming population. On the other hand, we are still running to infertility treatment clinics. So, where is the disconnect?  It is in people’s minds where they are still seeing only children born out of their womb as their children.

I was talking to a friend recently who declared “Every responsible person in India should have their own children, in order to generate responsible citizens!” So, if one adopts a child which does not have anyone to care for, give them education and nurturing, would the child not grow as a responsible citizen?  It will, but, people think that their own blood and genes is so sacrosanct to generate ‘responsible’ citizens, and other people’s genes are not.

So, this individual ‘responsible’ reproduction, even with the aid of infertility treatment, has given rise to collective irresponsibility of generating mind-blowing 1.4 billion population.

The funny thing is the article above says that the infertility treatment is not ‘enough’ for India, and advocates ‘budget’ infertility treatment too!  I wonder if these doctors ever see the population statistics, or just their own survival!

I was talking to a writer today who said, ‘Venkat, with the economic prosperity, the no. of children will go down’.  Agreed, but when?  Time has run out already.  70% of the population is still under-privileged, and the ‘economic prosperity’ has not reached them. They still generate babies for labour.  By the time they achieve the prosperity, India will have irreversible issues.

If rural generates babies for labour, and city people go to any extent to have their own children, where will this end up?

Urban, semi-urban people have the luxury to make personal choices of not to have babies or adopt. They should exercise those choices. And that will make them as true patriots of India!

How can you help?

 


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India Population and social enterpreneurship

I have had the opportunities to attend the meets and presentations of social enterpreneurship companies. I have also had the opportunity to talk to a few leaders in this area of work.

Social enterpreneurship companies are a key factor in developing the people in the India’s rural. They work in several states, and they have access to the local NGOs and organisations who work on the ground at grass root levels.  So, I was musing how it would be to take the message of population awareness through these companies, make people see the perils of continuing population growth, and make people feel responsible in their own families.

As per the India Census 2011 data, a whopping 84% of India households have 3 people and above!  55% of households have 3-5 people. 25% of households have 6-8 people. 7% of the households have 9 people and above!

You might ask “Well, is it not a good indicator that we are living in a joint-family setup?”  Yes and No. because on the flip side, these people in turn have the potential to give birth to more babies. India’s average population density is around 800 people/sq.km, while the ideal is only 197 people/sq.km.

So, I thought I would give this information to the social enterpreneurship companies, so that they , start guidelines to the people who get loans on the rural areas that if the family generates more babies, no more loans!  Reward and punishment through economic enablement!

This concept is not new. In Bangladesh, Mohammad Yunus’s social work has responsible reproduction as a directive (among their 16 directives) for the families that get loan from their organisation. So, why not in India?

I met these enterpreneurship companies higher-ups recently. I talked to them about this to see how they feel.  The response was not surprising, but the excuses that they gave were hilarious!

One said, “Venkat, see population is not the problem.  It’s the corruption and pseudo-social work done by the politicians. So, I would suggest that people like you take a stand against corruption.”
I blinked and then wiped my eyes thoroughly.

Listen to another one. This enterpreneurship company recently had a Twitter chat to get their message out. I participated in the chat, and brought up the population issue, and if they can have directives on the families that they give loans to.  This person pointed me to some weird Niger related data, which showed that a lean population will affect social work! Excuse me?  Do we have a lean population in India?  Why not take a cue from Bangladesh, which is right next to our country and has same population issue as India?

I tried to get into their shoes and understand their line of thinking of why they are saying no. It struck me immediately.  For them, the more no. of members in a household, the more business they can do!  But, I think they are short-sighted.  The more no. of members, will decrease their ability to serve many other families.  Why not spread the loans out to families which are responsible with their no. of children, and help them grow?

So, this misconception that more babies means more business should be removed from their minds.  They can gently persuade the families in the rural to not to generate babies.  It should be an integral part of their social plan. Otherwise their work cannot scale.

Social enterpreneurship companies along with the NGOs are the only hope to spread the message of population containment in the rurals.

Hope they would do!


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Tribute to 20 years of A.R.Rahman

I’m ever-stuck with 1994-95. That was when I was working in Chennai, and had a chance to go to many movies and enjoy the music. So, I can’t believe that 20 years have passed by.

During that time, many Rahman composed movies released. I had a walkphone, and many a times, some of the songs were always in loop.

Especially, ‘Kannalane…’ from Bombay was a crazy hit.  I wondered if the music was so juicy, or the juice in me was making me enjoy the music. Could never tell.

I would like to highlight three songs that I loved, which came about almost around the same time :

Kudos to A.R.Rahman, and many more years of music!

 

 


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My Vodafone ZooZoo story!

I’ve been having Vodafone for several years now! I was attracted to Vodafone by one of the ZooZoo advertisements!

Here are the credits: 

Vodafone signal is very good even in the remotest areas, which I am happy about.

The one thing that I am not happy about are the call charges.  Per minute and per seconds charges are too high, and there’s no competitive monthly pack for STD and local non-Vodafone calls. If this is taken care of, I will be one happy customer!