The Country Calls

I came across this poem written by Sanjana Khanna on a website. Really liked it so am putting it over here. Indian Army is perhaps the best organization to join. Hopefully thi spoem will act as motivation for the readers. I would also like to thank the poet for such a good poem.

When you see olive green
Be filled with “josh”
‘Coz this is the real Indian team
– Uncorrupted, “sarfarosh”.

When you snuggle in bed
Spare a thought for the soul
Who fights an unseen enemy
In darkness and cold.

For us our soldiers die,
Leaving their families in sorrow.
And remember —
“They give up their today, for our tomorrow.”

They cry out with grit —
“Kill ’em, cut ’em, but kneel not”
And with such burning passion
Isn’t there something we feel not?

Do we still prefer
To join the unemployment queue?
While our country calls —
“Do you have it in you?”

To know more about joining Indian Army, please refer to the following website.
http://www.indianarmy.gov.in
Latest advertisements of Army are available on http://www.freshersworld.com

The Challenges ahead for UPA Government

The people of the country have voted United Progressive Alliance to form the government. Dr Manmohan Singh and his new team will be formulated by the end of next week. But the faith and expectations that people have in the abilities of Dr Singh will be the tough task for the alliance. Though Left parties are off the shoulders of the Congress but still they need to deliver on few of the key issues at great pace. There are few areas which need to be looked after with immediate concern and rectify the problems gripping these areas. 

The first and foremost will be to revive the economy. With India’s best economist in the driver’s seat, a lot is being expected from the new government. PM has said in one the election rally that he will revive the economy in 100 days. Well that might be too optimistic approach but definitely a lot needs to be done to bring economy on 9-10% growth. He also needs to tackle the job losses due to current crisis. The stimulus packages need to cover both of the problems together. 

The second challenge will be the internal security and robust foreign policy. There is growing concern with volatile neighbours around. Taliban is barely 500 km away from India and hence it is imperative to revamp the security and intelligence agencies. There should be special law to prosecute the ones caught for waging war against the nation. The Police needs an overhaulment on priority basis and they should be equipped with latest gadgets and weapons. The home growth threat of naxalites should also be taken care off. Without peace all the efforts to make India stronger and leader in economy will be futile.  

The third biggest challenge for the government will be bringing the agricultural growth back on track. Not only the growth rate of agriculture sector is low but also the share of the sector in country’s GDP has come down drastically in past some years. The problem of low rate of capital investment, smaller capital formation and low share in the national income are some of the main problems facing by this sector that needs to be addressed very urgently. There are many reasons for this crisis, which mainly includes absence of adequate social support, uncertainty of agricultural enterprise in India, lack of credit availability etc. Need of the hour is to increase the productivity of the primary sector by ushering in a new green  revolution to raise the annual average growth rate of this sector to about five per cent per annum. 

One of the other major concerns should be the legitimate demand of the forces. Personally i feel this should be top agenda as well. For long time, they have not been deprived of their due by bureaucrats and policy makers. Indian Armed Forces are finding it tough to attract youth and is facing shortage of officers. If the Army cannot get youth just for the sake of low renumeration, then future is really bleak for our country. A nation is as strong as the military of that nation. Hence it will be good in the interest of this nation that the demand of Armed Forces is paid heed and their grievances are solved at the earliest. We cannot show callousness towards our soldiers who sacrifice so much for the safety of the borders and us.  Hopefully, the new government will do something positive on this front as well.  

There is tough task ahead for the new government. The way in which new cabinet will handle these issues remain interesting. Only time will tell whether Dr MMS can deliver in the tough time. I feel that he will be able to as there are no clutches of Left this time.

This is how the other half lives

Female shop assistants first made their appearance in Kurumbur bazaar after STD booths [phone booths] opened in this tiny town.

Before their advent, one did not see girls behind shop counters here. After all, this was rural Tamil Nadu, where the only two places women worked were either in the fields or as domestic help.

Then things began to change. The utensil store hired a salesgirl, then the ice-cream shop and soon there was a fair sprinkling of girls in the town’s shops.

When Indian Oil Corporation opened a petrol pump here, it hired girls to dispense fuel to customers. They were paid as much as the boys, were given the day shift while boys worked the nights.

S Kuruppaya, who has been running the petrol pump for two years, says many girls have come and gone during this period.

M Devi is 22, has studied up to class IX and belongs to the village. After working at the STD booth for Rs 500 a month, she moved to the petrol pump. “Here, I get Rs 1,800 a month,” she says.

“Many girls from my street work in a textile showroom in Chennai. They live in a hostel there. My mother did not allow me to go there though I wanted to,” she continues, insisting that her photograph be taken in such a way that it didn’t show her face.

Since her elder brother moved out after marriage, she lives with her mother who works as a farm labourer earning Rs 40 a day.

“I like the work here. It is better than working in the paddy or banana fields where you have to work under the blazing sun and sometimes in pouring rain.”

She does a 10-hour shift, coming in at 8.30 am and leaving at 6.30 pm. Apart from her salary, she gets Rs 10 as expense money everyday. She also gets tea twice a day.

Her co-worker is L Stella, 43. After working at a printing press before, she had left the job to look after her home for a couple of years but a need for money forced her to take up the job at the petrol pump.

At the printing press, she earned Rs 1,500 a month, here she makes Rs 2,000.

Every morning she comes to work after sending her little son to school. In the evening, since he comes home before her, she rushes home at the end of her shift.

“I have never worked in the fields, I am happy this pump employs women. Normally in the village women are employed only in the agriculture sector, and I don’t know that work,” says Stella, whose husband is employed in the army and is usually away.

Working in a petrol pump is not easy. The women come across drivers who are rude, obnoxious, or in a mood to flirt. Often they have to put up with vulgar and sexist remarks. Moreover, the smell of petrol, diesel and oils is overpowering.

They have not heard about the NREGA, the government’s National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme to provide employment for 100 days at Rs 80 daily in the rural sector. But even if that were to start here, they say they are not interested. “If we wanted to work in the sun, we would have gone to the fields. That is less hours of work for the same money.”

Field workers make Rs 40 for working from 9 am to 1 pm and Rs 20 for a two-hour shift in the evening. But they do not work everyday. Work is seasonal and irregular.

People earning five or six figure salaries, may find it strange reading about women who make Rs 60 a day. But this is how the other half lives, and we should not forget that.

 

Source: Rediff

Do we care for our disabled?

It was once said that the moral test of a Society lies in how it treats the sick, the needy and the handicapped. On 3rd December, the United Nations International Day for the Disabled Persons, let us as a society appraise ourselves, Have we really done enough for these people? Continue reading Do we care for our disabled?