Thursday, June 19, 2014
For various purposes, human beings have to travel over long, medium or short distances & choose the appropriate modes of conveyance accordingly. Across seas, long distances or unfriendly terrain, one has to choose aero plane, ship or train as per the situation. For shorter distances, we may use lighter vehicles, SUV or car or two wheelers. But very few people would like to think of a bi-cycle for this purpose. If we are using a bi-cycle for conveyance, some persons may think that we are financially not well off. This is because a large number of persons cannot afford any vehicle other than a bi-cycle. It is also considered difficult to pedal and proceed on the roads everywhere, due to the high density of the traffic & sometimes adverse road and weather conditions.
During my several visits to USA & Europe, I found that bi-cycle is used there purposely due to several reasons. (a) It is generally used for short distances and also for morning exercise. (b) It is not at all considered as a poor man’s vehicle, since even rich persons own it, may be more than one. (c)There are separate tracks on side lanes of the main roads, where cyclists can drive safely. Also the condition of the roads is very good and it is a pleasure to use the cycle. (d) The children are also encouraged to use the bi-cycle. (e) Many persons are seen pedaling all the way up to some garden etc. and then going in for walking in the garden. The use of a cycle is therefore very good from the point of our health. Even if a person owns car(s), he or she may use cycles (and also walking) for keeping healthy & fit. Cycling improves our health and prevents some diseases, since cycling is a good exercise. It is also being used to go to another colony for paying a visit to the friends/relatives etc. (f) One more benefit of using a cycle is saving on fuel, thus reducing pollution & improving environment. Use of cycles is especially recommended in a spacious organization having a big campus, like a University, where a pool of cycles can be maintained at a central place, which can be used by others as per their needs. (g) The cycle being light can be lifted, turned over and direction changed easily. It can be taken on unfriendly terrain & narrow lanes/paths etc. (h) Its initial costs, as well as maintenance costs are very low. (i) A bi-cycle ride gives enormous pleasure and other benefits. (j) During our cycle travel, we are likely to meet more friends for mutual happiness and benefit. (k) Since the normal speeds of driving are very less, it can be controlled in a much safer way and chances of accidents are less, with normal precautions. (l) When we use a cycle, we get a blast of air on our body and it gives a feeling of happiness, pleasure, relaxation & being free from stress. (m) Cycles are also used for spreading some messages to the public, by the Government & some of the social organizations. (n) Special cycles are also being used for racing purposes including slow cycle race.
In spite of points like inadequate protection in rains or sun, inability to take more passengers and luggage, more time required for travels due to limitations of speed etc., use of a bi-cycle is still recommended on account of many positive points, some of which have been given above. However, we must take note of a few points like using helmets, carrying out regular maintenance of the cycle including proper brakes, correct air pressure in the tyres, using normal safety measures while using the cycle with the normal traffic on the roads. In view of its many advantages, the Government and the social organizations should encourage its use actively, including for conveying messages to the communities.
Compiled and presented by vijaiksharma, as a result of discussions in the meetings with Saturday Group Members Dr. L K Kothari, Mr. Surendra Bothara, Dr. S Nyati, Mr. S Gemawat and Mr. Vijai K Sharma at Jaipur.
Monday, November 11, 2013
Everybody will agree that especially for the purpose of higher and competitive examinations, the students need a proper atmosphere for studies. This may not be available in the homes of the students due to various reasons. Prakrit Bharati Academy, Jaipur provides such an atmosphere free of charge daily, for learning for about 800 such ambitious students. The facilities for these students include room(s), tables, chairs, lighting, fans, library of books and magazines and a motivating environment. There are separate rooms for groups of students studying for medical, competitive and other higher level examinations. The students can avail of these facilities daily generally from 7 AM to 10 PM. They can borrow books free of charge, out of about 85,000 books in the library, 100 magazines of general and competitive type and 25 English and Hindi daily Newspapers. For some magazines even 2 or 3 copies are obtained for the library. The present membership of the library is 5,000. Many students studying here do not go home for their lunch and obtain their lunch either from their homes or from Tiffin Centres and enjoy the same in the gardens of the Academy. One student had told that he has been coming to the Academy daily for the last two months, from his house, which is 5 kms. away and staying here for about 14 hours for study & getting his Tiffin here only. He further stated that the students get motivating atmosphere for studies and also an opportunity to discuss about the common problems and difficulties with their friends. This academy therefore, in a way, is a blessing for them.
These facilities are also provided to about 15 research workers coming from Kolkata, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Bhilwara, Ladnun and Jaipur. They work on subjects like Philosophy, Astrology Science, Hindi, History, Fine Arts, Sanskrit, Prakrit, Buddha religion, Jain religion etc. This library is considered very important for research workers also. It contains largest number of books about Gandhian literature. The former Chairman of SEBI, Mr. D R Mehta IAS had laid the foundation of this Academy on Feb 21, 1977 and is its Founder and Chief Patron. This is a voluntary and registered, literary and cultural organization. It is managed by a committee, which has renowned experts. Its finances are mostly managed by donations received from various sources. Many persons have donated books to this library and these books are then donated further to different schools. This Academy has a mobile library having 10,000.books and is in operation in various colonies where books are given on loan to the public for creating interest among them. .The Academy conducts regular teaching programmes for Prakrit Prathma and Prakrit Visharad examinations. So far 340 books have been published by this Academy. Generally every year about 25 books are published in English, Hindi and other Indian languages. The Academy also arranges for Hindi and English translations of rare literature in Prakrit, Sanskrit and other old languages. The publications of Academy can be seen in the libraries of Cambridge, Oxford, New York, Washington, Boston, Tokyo, Singapore, Sydney, Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, and Kolkata. This Academy also arranges lectures and seminars in its Conference Hall, in collaboration with other organizations and departments of Universities. In the past, when required, it had also provided facilities for regular programmes and practice of Art of Living in a separate room. It is also working in the field of Vegetarianism and Kindness to Animals. Society for Scientific and Ethical living works through its Non-violence Centre, Beauty without Cruelty through seminars and publications. It also provides a comfortable place for the rest, relaxation and entertainment of the senior citizens during the day time. This Academy therefore, with the support of various individuals & organizations, can continue to improve its scope of facilities & activities for students, research workers, senior citizens & the common man.
With a view to get first hand information about facilities available and actions being taken for protection and treatment of cows, a team of persons visited a few gaushalas around Jaipur. First we went to Ramdeo Gaushala near Bagru, Jaipur. It has an area of 15,000 square yards and having 385 cows. The buildings etc. were completed by the year 2005. It has a Gobar gas plant, costing Rs. 4 lakh at the time it was completed and installed. All the attendants are from Bihar State. It provides services of two veterinary Doctors and one Homeopathic Doctor. Mainly the cows which get injured on the Jaipur-Ajmer Highway are brought here for treatment. Their approximate number is 15 in a month. The objective of this gaushala is to protect, save and improve the indigenous cows. This gaushala is able to generate 100 Kgs. of milk every day from these cows. Then we visited Shri Narayandham gaushala. It has an area of 90,000 square yards with 552 cows. About 3500 trees have been planted here. There are several types of trees. There are many neem trees, leaves of which are not eaten by the cows. There are Ardoo trees, which are eaten by the cows. It has Sheesham trees also. Water available here is through boring. It is proposed to set up a gobar gas plant here. The next visit was to Ananddham village Jhadla. This is at a distance of 40 Kms. from Jaipur, near Bandi river, near Renwal town. The land here is 93000 sq. yds. and there are 35 attendants. Here 4000 trees were planted, out of which 1000 got washed away. While Sheesham plants have progressed well, those of Neem and Ardoo have not progressed well. There is no gobar gas plant here, but there is a solar electric plant on a small scale. The cows found loitering here and there are brought here. The overall impression of the visit was that this group of gaushalas was doing a very good work for the cows and therefore the group deserves all encouragement in this task.
Sunday, September 8, 2013
Many of us probably know that several types of animals are being used for research work, in many countries, including India. During this process, they are subjected to adverse situations leading to cruelty against them. In some cases, the objective is said to be to carry out research for finding cures for human diseases. First of all, are we sure that the experiments being conducted on animals give a realistic picture? The second question which arises is as to what is the fault of the animals, due to which the animals should be subjected to cruelty. Can we not do without this testing on animals in this cruel manner? Though it is called research, the animals are subjected to fearful, painful, stressful and harmful experiments, even sometimes leading to barbaric killing in various institutions and laboratories etc. Do we have a right to kill animals? Sometimes duplicate set of experiments are also done unnecessarily. The animals are housed in filthy, narrow and congested cages/spaces, subjected to isolation and stressful environment, compelled to consume contaminated food and water, have inadequate support of veterinary Doctor for treatment, with likelihood of accidents & injuries even leading to accidental deaths also. Cruelty is also taking place during several other instances/places as well, which we should take note of. One usual place is during their use in vehicles, like a Tonga using a horse, a bullock cart using bullocks, cart using a donkey or a camel, donkeys used for carrying loads of bricks, sand or clothes etc. on their backs. Elephants are used for transporting logs of wood. Also elephants and camels are used for joy rides for human beings, camels are used for races and dance, monkeys are used for dance and bird fights as well as bull fights are arranged for entertainment of human beings. Besides this, the use of various animals for circus as well as for cinema, needs examination and consideration. In zoos, animals may not be housed in very friendly/comfortable environment. While keeping these animals at homes, they may be chained or caged for example cows, buffaloes, horses, donkeys and dogs etc. are chained and birds, rabbits etc. are caged. Some animals are kept in some homes as pets or even small zoos at homes and whether these have a reasonably good environment, needs consideration. Sometimes animals are transported by air, by train or by road. Their comfort during their journey needs examination. Several persons may be unaware of all this. The general public should be made aware of these experiments being done, the reasons and necessity thereof and the possibilities of alternatives. Awareness should lead to reduction and stoppage of such cases, through public opinion, direct and legal action. If a sample survey is conducted across all sections of the society, spread over various cities and towns of the country, about the personal experiences with animals and for obtaining an idea of the prevailing public opinion, lot of information may be forth coming, which we may not be having at present. This will of course, help in creating further awareness, as well as well as in motivating us to innovate and try to find alternative methods, to resolve this problem.
The world famous Pink city of Jaipur has many places of interest for the pilgrims and the tourists. In the past, we had the good fortune to visit Padampura, which is situated at a distance of 33 kms from Jaipur on the Jaipur-Kota road. This place is famous for Atishya Kshetra (Bada), the centre for the Digamber Jains. This houses the idol of sixth Tirthankar Devadhidev Shri 1008 Padamprabhu Swami Ji. This idol is said to have emerged out of the land in this area. The miraculous effects of this idol soon attracted thousands from far and wide. It is understood that merely by having darshan; several problems of the devotees are cured. The place where the idol had emerged had been identified and a charan-chatri has been constructed. It is a place for spiritual benefits.
The highest point of this temple, made in white marble, is 85 feet high. The entrance gate of this temple is 98 feet by 35 feet by 45 feet high. This place is developing fast. The facilities provided for the devotees visiting this place include providing of free and pure food. There is also a Government dispensary here, for providing medical facilities. From time to time special medical camps are also organized. For the benefit of the devotees, arrangements for many deluxe/semi-deluxe rooms and large sized halls have been constructed. Accommodation for those working here is also planned to be provided. A large library here provides old rare books and even hand written scripts, for Jain religion, and also other religions, as a source of knowledge and study. The whole environment around is clean and peaceful, free from pollution and having trees and plantations. Gardens, swings and other items for playing for children have also been provided here. Bus service exists from the main city. Besides these, it has Government School, OBC Bank, Post Office, PCO/STD booth, cool water for drinking, generator for electric supply etc. There are plans for further development of this unique place. During our first visit, we visited various spots/areas in and around this temple. It was a very pleasant experience. After this first visit, we were so much impressed that we have visited it several times more and also motivated our families to visit it, who also liked it very much. Many celebrities have been coming here and appreciating this place. In short, it is a place more than just a visit.
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Violence may manifest itself in society in several different forms. It is not necessary that the violence will occur only in that form, in which it is seen occurring today. Also there may be increase in its intensity and frequency, from time to time and place to place. Many of us may be aware of its presence in different aspects of our daily life. But the seriousness of the matter is in its taking a wild form & making encroachments in many aspects of the society. Talking or desiring ill of someone and thinking selfishly only about our own self, is also one form of violence, whether done at work place or home place. Most of us do not want that violence should manifest itself in any form or it should spread or become large in size, let alone gigantic in shape. But we may not think adequately about it, or about actions for containing it. Though one person may not be able to solve such big problems but sometimes even one man can perform a miracle.
If the employees in any organization are satisfied & happy & do not have many problems from their family side, then they can concentrate their mind on the workplace, otherwise, their attention may waver from there & the work may get affected. It may be considered an intelligent move to take all employees and other connected persons along with us. But some persons may adopt the policy of “divide and rule”. It is also a fact that the employees do not get organized themselves properly. One organization may have more than one union, with the result they seldom have same opinion on specific matters. But it may be in the interest of the organization for the management to take everybody together & to take adequate care of the interests of the employees. This should include facilities at workplace and also their training, promotion, career-progress, suitable salary during service and sufficient facilities for the time of retirement. The progress of the organization is no doubt, the basic point, but it can be achieved with the cooperation of all employees & other connected persons. It will be better if the employees are permanent, so that at least they and their families can lead normal life. In case the employees will always have the sword of dismissal over their head, then in this fearful atmosphere, the contribution of the employees may be inadequateGenerally there may be a wide gap between the owners and the senior officials and employees in any organization, especially in private organizations, which are generally motivated by a spirit of profit. The working hours of the owners and the senior officers are normally very long e.g. 10-14 hours per day, but they get well paid in the form of salary and perks, though they may not get adequate time to interact with their families, due to which sometimes the families may feel bad. Sometimes the seniors may treat their employees with less respect. Also, in spite of completing the work, the employees may not get sufficient salary for a living. They may face many difficulties for looking after their family members adequately. Sometimes, they may have to even look for other sources for earning money, like some other additional service, business etc. so that they can increase their monthly income. It is even possible that some persons may take up wrong paths. No employee would like to be involved in any of such activities for making the family financially better and sound, but sometimes the circumstances may force him to take up such a step. At that time the employee is not inclined to give attention to its long-term effects, disadvantages and losses, because he is turned towards the short-term benefits only. But when he finally becomes aware of the long-term effects, it becomes too late and the things get from bad to worse, especially for the families, who have to bear the damages thus caused. Its effect is also felt on the work of the employees in their organizations, on their production, work efficiency, quality of work, cooperation & mutual relationship etc. As a result, the owners and the senior level officers may exploit and threaten such employees with removal from service or may even remove them. In such conditions, the employees may take recourse to strikes, but this also is a collective decision and still they have to face the consequences.
The dealings with the employees in all cases may not be made in a human manner and adequate attention and care may not be given for the welfare and facilities of the members of their families. Employees are generally under pressure for increasing the quantity of production as much as possible, but having the specified quality. But the basic facilities and amenities at the workplace for carrying out the work satisfactorily may also be deficient in quality and quantity. It is well known that a happy and satisfied employee can do a lot for his organization. It is essential to make the employees realize that the organizations where they are working are as much theirs, as these are of the owners and the senior officers. For achieving improvements, we need information & suggestions from, and contribution and cooperation of everyone. It has been observed that the persons, who are directly connected with any work, have better awareness, knowledge and experience of the problems associated with that work. They are more likely to offer suitable suggestions for performing the works in a better way, provided someone asks for suggestions, considers and implements them. In case the employees will be thinking the whole day about the basic problems of their families, then they are unlikely to think properly about the company work & improvements therein. This point should be understood fully well by all concerned. Our all actions should be done with maturity of deep thinking & not in a casual & sudden manner, with regular communications, without aggravating the situations. .
Posted by Anonymous at 6:32 AM
For several years now, in schools & colleges, especially the engineering, medical and other professional colleges, we have been receiving information through the media, about the problem of ragging of students. Introduction of the students, by itself is necessary and helpful. No one can disagree with this. But in the name of introduction & familiarization, many times heartless events have taken place. In some cases, some of the victims have even committed suicide. Ragging can be group based or individual based. The latter can be due to some understanding or personal animosity or with the intention of taking revenge. However the group ragging has different dynamics. It appears that there is sadistic pleasure involved in teasing a person, who is in a vulnerable position. Also it is difficult to pin down a particular person involved in this group incident. No doubt, some of the students, involved in serious instances have been rusticated from their institutions, but in many cases, the people of the society, have just remained spectators, when some of our youth have been forced to sacrifice their lives. Such unpalatable incidents have been happening from time to time every year, in many institutions. It is considered that it is also the duty and responsibility of the society, to resolve such problems. We all should try in our own ways, to resolve this problem. In our opinion, we should carry out sample surveys amongst (a) those students who have been the victims of such ragging in the past. (b) those students who are doing ragging at present (c) the concerned faculty members/administrative officials/Principals/Hostel Wardens etc. The results of these sample surveys should then be analyzed, so as to arrive at some concrete action-plan, which should include deterrent punishments to those violating the norms fixed. While the stress should be on preventive actions, but punishments should not be lost sight of.
Posted by Anonymous at 6:28 AM