Monday, 27 February 2012

In Praise of India...

We often fail to see our positive side untill some one from out side makes a fair comparison with an illustration.

A young Indian returns from USA, after a few years, for good. Here is a fascinating story of 'good' that he saw in us during a critical moment...

Here is a reproduction from his blog..

It happens only in India!
Welcoming? No, Sniffing us!

Your car breaks down in the middle of a sparsely traveled state highway at 11:00am. Your friend needs to catch a flight at 5:00pm. It happens 200 kilometers away from the airport and the closest city where the car can be repaired is 50 kilometers away. What would you do?

Had this incident occurred in the US, the only option I would’ve thought of is to call the AAA. They take up to an hour to answer your distress call to get to your vehicle. If you’d been forward thinking enough to enroll in an AAA plus membership, it will get you a free tow for up to 100 miles but if you’ve penny pinched by opting for a standard AAA membership, you’re out of luck after three miles, unless you pony up the extra for the remainder of the tow. I’m not sure how much towing would cost but I’d hazard a guess that its over a 100 dollars at the very least. Here again, you either opt to drop the car off at the garage, try to get a rental car if you can find one to drive your friend to the airport and get back to your vehicle spending a significant sum, or opt to get the damages assessed and repaired if a rental isn’t readily available, which probably can take the better part of a day for the mechanics working on your car before it gets road worthy again. During this agonizing decision making process, your friend has kissed his flight goodbye. Maybe he already called the airline and got his flight rescheduled. But he has an international connection and his travel plans have irrevocably been postponed 24 hours due to this technicality.

This, fortunately, did not happen in the US. It happened in India. The road where the car broke down was a twin lane state highway 17, fifty kilometers away from Mysore, connecting it with the Kabini forest reserve. The only vehicles plying the road were tractors towing farm produce, the odd lumbering truck and bullock carts few and far in between. The friend had to catch his international connecting flight at the Bangalore airport. I knew the inevitable: its going to be virtually impossible to reschedule his flight by calling the airline or the airport. I was already thinking up of an alternative to try and salvage his flight.

What happened in the next twenty minutes was unbelievable!

Elephant ride
I christen it the human network. My first phone call was made to dad where I informed him about the situation and the possible damage to his car that I had borrowed. Meanwhile, on the other line unbeknownst to me, his business partner called up the factory’s Mysore office and informed the head of operations there about the problem. Incidentally, this head honcho was a relative of mine and dad passed on his number to me. No sooner had I called him to brief him on the problem (that he already knew about), all he asked me was where I was, what my vehicle make and number was and if I needed a ride to Mysore. I crossed my fingers and asked for a ride all the way to the Bangalore airport! Done deal. I got a number in response and was told to hold on to it, which I duly did. Within the next five minutes, I received a call from the this number I was just to hold on to --a taxi driver’s cellphone --where he told me that he had already left Mysore and was on his way to the broken down car in the middle of nowhere, with only a description and the license plate number of the car!

It was close to noon when I saw the speeding Ambassador taxi from afar. As he saw our car, he slowed down and made a U turn on the highway, preparing to get off the vehicle. I interjected urgently and beaconed him to stay put, hauled my friend and brother into his car and told him to drive home --to Bangalore, pick up the friend’s luggage and race to the airport as soon as he could. His reassurances of the highway worthiness of his car were more than encouraging. His only request was we pay both ways --from Mysore to Bangalore airport and his ride back to his hometown of Mysore. As the taxi left in a cloud of dust, I received another call from an unknown number. This was from the driver of a tow truck that was already on its way to pick up my car and deposit it at the garage in Mysore.

It was after this frantic rush of activity that I settled down in a contemplative mood in the noon sun, waiting for my ride to arrive when I couldn’t help but think of the different outcomes of the same situation in a developed country like the US and a developing country like India. In the US, you are left to your own fate. This nation, that pushes and strives for fierce independence places the burden of the problem squarely on your own shoulder to face. Alone. Compared with the outcome here in India --the subconsciously taken for granted interdependence on the human network shines bright and strong. My friend, after all, caught his flight from Bangalore, nearly missing it being just half a kilometer away from the airport thanks to Bangalore’s infamous rush hour traffic!

The total taxi fare for unscheduled pick-up in the middle of nowhere, drop off in the nick of time at the airport and back --a total of four hundred kilometers: $50!

Twenty minutes for nine people at five different locations to get the job done right the first time: Priceless
…it happens only in India!"

And still flows Kabini..

Friday, 24 February 2012

Nanded I Care - An Example

Modelling is the best way of learning.
Ravi Rode, one of the active members of 'Nanded I Care', has been kind enough to write this guest post. The idea is to create a model which can be replicated. This post will be very useful for all those who already have some base created in their cities, or towns as a group of people wanting to do something for the places they live in.

Remember, if you are not a part of the solution, then you are a part of the problem!

Ravi Rode's brilliant piece....

"Life is very beautiful. Everyone wants that he should spend every moment of his life with happiness. As far as I am concerned, as a citizen of Nanded, I want that there should be 24 hr electricity supply, clean city , no traffic congestion, everyone should follow signals…………………and so on
This is what “I want or I think” !!!
Everyone always says - “Govt. should do this, politicians should do this, Corporation should do this” and so on…

On facebook we had a social group by the name of ‘Nandedians’ .We used that for fun, entertainment and gossiping . There were some really good posts and suggestions which indicated that lots of students/citizens were ready to do something for the city.
Dr. Nipun Vinayak Sir (Commissioner of Nanded ) made an appeal (personally) to that group to take a meeting of all those who really wanted to do something for the city..

About 30 people gathered for the meeting. All of us wanted to do something for our city. So we decided that we should spend at least 1 hour per week working for the city. In the same meeting we also finalized some basic principles of our group. Dr. Nipun Vinayak Sir named this “Practical’’ (working) group as “NANDED I CARE”.

The principles were
1) Start from SELF.
2) Do something. Don’t just discuss.
3) Maintain Values
4) Apolitical
5) Share own experiences to motivate others.

We also tentatively decided the subjects on which we should work

1) Traffic issues like following of signals, lane driving, right parking etc.
2) Anti- polythene awareness
3) Eve teasing
4) Use of dust-bin etc.

We collectively decided to begin to follow the above subjects at least in our homes. 
Then we created a facebook group by the name NANDED I CARE to inform members about events, discussion of issues and sharing of our group activities etc .

Meanwhile we added more people to this group on facebook. Then we called everyone for an event at Vazirabaad (main market in Nanded) on Sunday 27/11/2011, to try to solve the traffic problems. About 25 of us had gathered there. I personally arranged some whistles and small I-card (logo print out of size 2x2 inches). 
We parked the two wheelers properly and also ensured that the car drivers park their vehicles at the proper parking place.
We also finalized our logo which had a Marathi tag line “Ek taas Shehrasaathi” which means “One hour for the city”
In one of the events some senior members were absent but great efforts were taken by the newcomers to make the event successful. This was appreciated by all the senior members and they congratulated all those who had worked. The seniority in this group is not based on the post/ educations/ social status of the individual but on the number of times an individual had participated in the events.
Then we never stopped and have completed/taken 15 events till now. Which were based on traffic management, lane system, etc. Simultaneously, we arranged some awareness programs at some of the biggest coaching classes, colleges etc. and talked to them about our aims.

At the same time, some women’s societies triggered by the Corporation decided that they would not use POLYTHENE and also began to separate their waste as Wet Waste and Dry waste for proper recycling . We, the members of Nanded – I care, felt that we should do something so that these ladies groups get encouraged and others are also motivated to do the same.Thus, on behalf of Nanded- I care, I got printed some Appreciation Certificates and our group distributed it to those

Last two events we moved to the issue of POLYTHENE, and requested the shopkeepers and hawkers to use JUTE carry bags but they told that
1) It is costly
2) Other options are not available in the local market
3) They can’t distinguish between polythene/plastic/jute bags
So we stopped this ISSUE for some time to understand it in detail, study the options available and decide how best we could help to make the city ‘Polythene Free’.

In future we are planning to undertake different programs to bring awareness among people regarding different issues like Learning license camps, “LETS VOTE “march, etc.

Some respectable people from cities like Shillong (Meghalaya), Pusad (MH) are also interested to start a similar MOVEMENT like “Nanded I Care”. We heartily welcome them and ensure our full support. We also appeal to the entire Nation to do the same and contribute their own bit to build an ’IDEAL INDIA’


Nanded- I Care" 

Please do leave behind your thoughts, views, queries and comments for all to get inspired.

Dilip Patel

Thursday, 23 February 2012

India I Care in Corporate World

India I Care is an unfolding concept. There is a role for ALL!

It was my privilege,and happiness last week, to be the course director of Heart of Effective Leadership program at I of C, Asia Plateau, Panchgani from 15th to 18th Feb, 2012. We had 27 live wire senior managers from Siemens (15), Naveen Flourine (8), and Nanded Municipal Corporation (5).

Welcoming a New Day

It was amazing to see that the members of the corporate world, and those of the Govt sector (Nanded Municipal members) blended with each other just like sugar in milk...:-)

Symbolically it strengthened the conviction that the Public-Private partnership is the only imperative to take the society forward.

Supporting Each Other
Most of the participants  opened up to themselves, and carried back invaluable perspectives for change.From acknowledging their spouses' wisdom to making personal changes towards more harmonious living.
                                                                                        After they discovered their own switch (snapping of the fingers) to bypass adult within and give way to the child, they all remained in the present moment, curious like a child, and joyful.

A tight Spiral Hug!
The soul nurture process connected them all to the ever benevolent nature, happiness around and silence within. The inner journey started unfolding to look at their real selves against the standards of purity, honesty, unselfishness and love.

They would further explore next day the process of taking the change process of connection, correction and direction  to initiate change beyond one self, to the family, society, the nation and indeed to the world.

Exploring ethics, and ethical dilemmas, and finding the root cause again within would be another parallel journey. Our value system, our beliefs and our succumbing to greed and consumerism would need re-examination.

 Practice of Quiet Time, and listening to the inner voice, perhaps, could help us get back on the right course.

A New Freedom
Mending relationships, using PHUL standards to examine motives and behaviour, and adopting 4Rs (Refuse, Reduce, Re-use and Recycle) towards sustainability of life beyond seemed to be appealing them all.

The cherry on the cake was, of course, appeal of the India I Care movement! India is where I live, caring would mean not to remain indifferent, not to cause harm to place and people where I live, and how much ever this 'I' may be different and complex, collectively we all need to be healthier, happier and successful (He-Ha-Su).

 Our behaviour decides whether we are making a deposit into, or withdrawing from the Character Bank of India.

While the Nanded group has already stolen a march by embarking upon 'Nanded I care', thanks to their Commissioner Mr. Nipun Vinayak, the amazing outcome of this program was a new perspective about the IIC and the coprporate world.

The amazing 15 Siemens participants from 5 different locations (Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Gurgaon and Aurangabad) decided to launch 'SIEMENS I CARE'! All our support, best wishes and prayers be with them. We would like to hear from them progress on this concept regularly on this platform.

Members of Navin Fluorine too went back with a resolution to explore similar action in their organisation. We will be happy to hear from them too.

And it opens up this new avenue for all the corporate entities associated with I of C to get their entire work force on a common platform for every body's good. We will be excited to hear from you all on this.

National Co-ordinator,
India I care


Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Recipe for 'India I Care' Tabloid...

If we can dream about it , we can make it happen!

This is a digital era. I had just published only the second post in this blog, primarily for people in India (obviously!), and, in hours, a lone written comment came from across 16000 Kms away in the USA!  Statistics of the traffic coming into this blog suggests that people in Russia, USA and Germany have visited this blog too!
 "Great, isn't it?"
" No".

 This blog is supposed to champion the cause of India as 'the place where each one of us lives', and from this definition point of view, this blog has not delivered. People in my local neighborhood do not know about it.

IIC Islands of Excellence - 'Reach Out' man, Mr. Ramaswamy

It is here that my attention went to the just delivered 'Reach Out', a fortnightly 4 pager tabloid which gives me the information and news about the very local happenings. It informs me that one Veena Rajappa, and others from our locality have just succeeded in initiating the action for the revival of a dried up lake. I also recall another group in my neighbourhood had cleaned up their street and had vowed that they will all keep it so.

I had a thought. Could this be an answer for reaching out to the masses for galvanizing them for India I Care cause?

I was excited. I called the editor, Mr. Ramaswamy for an appointment. Look at his humbleness, he came to my home to discuss about the tabloid!

Mr Ramaswamy is a septuagenarian!(He declined for his photo to appear here, and we respect his desire). He had worked for 50 solid years as a journalist, spending many years in Delhi. His desire was not to remain irrelevant post retirement, and hence as he chose Bangalore, and our locality in Bangalore to settle down, he created this tiny little tabloid to induce self esteem among the school children in Rajarajeshwari Nagar. After inspiring nearly 2000 floating children every fortnight for nearly 8 years, he expanded the scope to reach out to every house hold buying some newspaper or the other within RR Nagar. He expected it to become a meeting place for service oriented citizens, and in the past two years he has succeeded in getting quite a few people come together for a common cause.

Financially he is able to breakeven the costs, as profit making is not his focus. But, he says, if youngsters work on such a project, they can make a reasonable profit too! Currently he is having a circulation of about 15000 copies every fort night, and he incurs a rupee a copy as cost.

My dream is, Can we launch hundreds of editions across the country, in every conceivable locality, a tiny fortnightly tab, individually called '------- I Care' ( fill up the gap with the locality name, e.g 'Nanded I Care'. or 'Shillong I Care'). as a subset to 'India I Care'. These tabs will be totally decentralised, managed locally as a small social enterprise. IIC movement will provide consultancy and connectivity.

It looks very inviting project to me, and I would invite the entrepreneurship minded members to write back with critiquing. Is Mr Farooque Ahmed in Nanded listening? LET US TALK.

Dilip Patel

February fervour..

This blog is nearly one month, 3 posts, 25 Associates and 500+ views old.

I confess I am behind schedule. At least two more posts had to be published in Jan. But I will cover it up.
I am happy that within this month 25 of you have registered as associates on this site. Very hearty welcome! We need to multiply this figure 10 fold.. Those of you who have not yet registered, please do it asap.Thanks.

The month of January has got us 31 IAS officers, 36 members of corporate world through HEL - Jan'12 program, and 29 members of Karnataka Public Sector Enterprises from HEL-DPE program exposed to the idea of IIC. Almost everyone has committed to be associated with the movement. The coming months should bring in multiplying effect. Let us get ready for action.

So, here is the February calender to down load it as your wall paper for the month . This picture depicts the pillars in the Qutub Minar complex. This gives me a message that ..'to grow tall you need a lot of support at the base.

Note: Instructions for downloading as wall paper are here.

What are we expecting in February?
A lot.
Through 4 to 5 posts this month we will complete the 'Definitions..' post, we will identify and create distinct entities who could be our associates to take the IIC movement forward in their localities, and we will also initiate introducing various means and methods to make IIC movement visible to the masses.

We are requesting the Nanded I Care functionaries to write a guest post here giving details about their modus-operandi, activities and achievements. This could become a beacon for many more cities/towns to initiate '--------- I Care' ( Name of the city/town in the blank), activities this year. In the offing are - 'Shillong I Care',  'Noida I Care', 'Gulbarga I Care', 'Mysore I Care' etc. We will keep reporting.

What do we expect from you?
Again, a lot.

1. Can you all propagate the idea of IIC within your circle of influence? Can each one send the link of this blog to 10 others?
2. Can you identify individuals, groups, NGOs, or commercial organisations in your vicinity ('your India') who are actually making more contributions/deposits to the Character Bank of India in their own ways? Send us their details to enable us to get connected with them, and give them adequate exposure in our future posts.
3. You could offer to write a guest post here on your own initiatives and contribution to the IIC movement.

You may send e-mails to us at

Awaiting your responses..

Dilip Patel
In service of IIC