Monday, May 28, 2007

BlogCamp at Pune

Circa 2025 : At a friend's online party

Me : Hi HookedonTech, Didnt see you around for quite sometime ?

HookedonTech : Hullo there ! Was away on a vacation from blogging !

Me : Wow ! What luck ! We, sitting in Blogistan can never imagine taking one months break..There is an additional tax on us, if we dont blog while on vacation :-( But you guys at the NewBlogWorld have it so much easier !

HookedonTech : C'mon, I know Blogistan is developing much faster because of the high- quality low-cost services you are providing ! Anyways, meet my friend, Mr.X of the great Xposts blog...

Me: Hullo, Mr.X !! I am thrilled to meet you :-)...Your blogs are one of the most influential blogs ever written :-)

Mr.X : Hi ! Thanks for the compliments ! Yes, my offshore team does a great job !

HookedonTech : Mr.X, I believe you have now got branches in ReformedBlogworld as well ?

Mr.X : Yeah, I am starting off some work from there. The competition in the Blogosphere is hotting up. My strategy is very clear.... " Where do you want to take your Blog today ? "...

Does this sound too weird to you..Think twice, this may not happen exactly but flavours of this will surely !

If you would like to see, hear, learn and contribute to the growth of blogging, then join the BlogCamp at Pune, India on 16th June 2007 . This is an unconference modelled after the famous Barcamp - open participatory events ( read more here ). Read more about it here and register yourself as a participant here, if you wish to.

Note : HookedonTech and Mr.X are both fictious..I personally do not know any blogger with such identities. However, if you have this identity, please understand that this is purely a coincidence and not intentional. Still, if you would like me to replace it, then send me an email !

Friday, May 18, 2007

About Pashi

The inspiration for Pashi is a street child, not more than some months old ( read about him here ). That day when I started writing, I only wanted this blog to reflect my random thoughts. When a few weeks passed and I wrote a few posts, I started thinking about what Pashi is and what it is meant to be ( read here) ?

Well, this is what I think Pashi is .

Through Pashi, I want to portray a perspective on our life, our country and the world we live in. I dont believe that it will change anything hugely, but it might be enough to make us think , maybe think differently and create a spark in someone who may even take it forward.

Personally, Pashi acts as a storehouse of impressions for me which helps me crystallize my thoughts into an action plan to make tangible contributions sometime, very soon.

Monday, May 14, 2007

New India. New Culture.

Living in India is an emotionally exacting experience...Each country and each culture has a lot to offer to its people, and the people in the country are an integral part of the culture..making it , shaping it and reshaping it. And living in these countries or cultures could be more or less exacting for varied dynamic reasons. And so is it with India.

I dont think there is anything to be gained from comparing ourselves with the outside world in this matter, so I am not going to debate about it here. But an introspection may throw some interesting insights.

The generations before us may have had many reasons to feel this way. But most of their reasons were positive or with positive intentions or led to positive results.

Take the example of our freedom struggle. Living during those times must have been a much more intense experience, but since all thoughts and actions sprung from a common positive intention, the experience itself became positive.

Take another symbol of our culture, the diversity that we display in our culture. From the rains that shower in Kerala to the snow that covers Kashmir, everything is diverse about us. Our languages, our customs and traditions, our food, our clothes, our appearance and our demeanor - everything is diverse. And still we manage to live as one country. Isn't that a proud achievement ? Definitely. But is that emotionally exacting ? I dont think so. We as a nation have grown up with this diversity and we have the maturity to include rather than exclude, as a group of people. Hence it is not so much of a stressor, atleast for now.( However, the signs that keeps showing up everyday in many places point out that the virtues of tolerance are getting buried quickly. So we don't know how long we will cherish this aspect of our culture ! )

Maybe it is India's rapid development or the not-so-rapid development of present times ? Whichever way you prefer to look at it, the very fact that things are improving, from where they were, is a step forward..however small it may be. Agreed, that it may not be as much as is required or desired. And we are always playing the catching-up game. But still, imagine India a decade back. Till so very recently (about ten years back) , owning a telephone ( not a mobile, but a landline) used to be a luxury, and I am not talking about the villagers here ( like so many of us would like to think) I am talking about people who were well-educated with govt. jobs ( which used to be the biggest thing, then ). Compare it with the proliferance of mobile technology now. Every single member of an average middle class family owns a mobile. Your taxi driver gets a call, when he is driving you to work. The milkman gives you his mobile no, in case you need to place an extra order. The "mausi" who sells vegetables at the corner of the building carries one too !!! Could you have imagined this in your wildest dreams ten years back ?

Then is it the corruption and the criminalisation of the entire system that is the cause. Definitely the parallel system which runs and dictates the country is cause for much chaos and machinations, but that is a system which has become a way of life in this country. And it is intertwined so much into the normal pattern of life that it is becoming hard to discern which is which.

But here, I am talking about the cultural aspects and not the systemic aspects. Because the system grows from the culture which nurtures it. This corruption and criminalisation is born due to the culture which gave it manure rather than weed it away. And now there seems to be no escaping it.

So why has India become an emotionally exacting experience ?

There are two behavioural aspects which has become very noticeable these days about us. As a people, we have become dishonest. And dishonesty has seeped into us so much, that it has become THE way of life. So much so that, if in case we come across someone or some action which is honest, it evokes surprise and amazement in us. And we do this spontaneously, unconsciously !

Just think about this. Don't you get surprised if the auto driver or the taxi driver goes by the correct meter charge ? Don't you notice it particularly if you find an honest traffic policeman ? Don't you discuss this amongst your colleagues, if a new employee has disclosed his prior remuneration correctly , and don't you rebuke him for being so honest ?

As a nation, don't we expect that none of the politicians will ever deliver what they have promised their electorate ? And even if they manage to do a 10% job of it, don't we get pleasantly surprised ? Do we ever punish the judges who acquit a criminal knowingly, using his power and knowledge of law to intrepret and misintrepret the various provisions ( Jessica Lal and Priyadarshni Matoo are the only ones we have where we can highlight judicial response in the face of public outcry, but for every Jessica Lal there are thousands of others who get away with crimes easily. And never have we read about a judge being punished for abusing his power, other than probably getting a transfer ! )

We can quote enough number of instances in our everyday transactions which will only reinforce the fact that dishonesty is accepted and has become the norm rather than the exception. From an individual, to the state, to the nation, we have made it our new "culture". Imagine what will be the values that we will pass on to our future generations ! And there are already evidences of the damage that we are doing.

Just watch a group of youngsters for ten minutes. Those whom you think belong to the same level of socio-economic status as you are / you were when you were their age. Its very interesting.

Which brings us to the other point.

If you observe them closely enough, you ll notice their behaviour and the attitude they display. Leave out the obvious things like the funky mobile and the ipod they carry (I stay in a middle class locality, and this is what I have noticed, so its given that these gadgets are quite prevalent even among the service-class kids ) . Nothing wrong in being technologically savvy, is there ?

But then notice the " taken for granted" attitude they display towards such things. It is all the more stark because there you have a huge set of people struggling to make their ends meet, and then you have a generation which is growing up thinking that the world revolves around X-boxes and iPods. Embracing technology or advancement is not the issue. The attitude with which we embrace it is. And the attitude which we hand down to our younger generation is.

Why look at only the youngsters ? Take their parents. Us. You, me and everyone around us.

Have you ever noticed the crowd that throngs the shopping malls ? Another interesting group to observe. You get to see every cross section of people out there, and hence all the more interesting.

Spend half an hour, and then you start noticing similar patterns everywhere. The nuclear family which does their grocery shopping, the group of middle aged housewives who are there to check out the latest trends, the old couple walking around window shopping, the gang of guys who are out to have a nice time, all of them display the same " taken-for-granted" attitude. It is as if this is the way of life that they have grown up with. And this is the ONLY way of life.

Again, I reiterate that I am not anti-development. But it is the attitude with which we adapt to it that irks me. I am not saying that we need to gape awestruck at it. But definitely, be grateful for all you have now. And do not despise the simple values of life.

I fear that we have forgotten and discarded some basic tenets of our culture. Simplicity of life, for example. Am not saying we have to live a life of renunciation, but valuing the good things in life. Being respectful of others. Selflessness. Being responsible for what you are and what you pass on to your future generations. Believing in principles and not just material acquisitions. Not measuring others only by their tangible assets.

These basic values which are core to our culture and our upbringing has almost vanished. These values which united every Indian in an irrevokable way is now nowhere to be seen. And believe me, this is not a phenomenon of only the metros or the big cities. Its everywhere. In every nook and corner.

Everyone wants to be part of the "happening" life. Except that they have thrashed away what makes that life meaningful.

And this is why I feel that Living in India has become an emotionally exacting experience.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Why ?

Why do I blog ? And why do I blog about the things I blog about...?? ( These existential questions just dont seem to rest in peace, leave alone let me rest in peace some !! ) But these questions have been humming in my head( actually now they are pounding it ) for quite some time now...
What is the basic motivation ( except for the initial enthusiasm and the excitement of discovering something new ) ? ....

I dont know i am taking a little figure out why I blog...what I intend to do with blogging and where it will all lead to ?

Do you have any thoughts ?

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Being a trillion dollar economy...

My beloved country has achieved another milestone....India has become a trillion dollar economy ! It took some time for my typical middle class economics to assimilate this understand the impact and the implication of such an achievement. And I did observe that most of the nation ( by that I mean, most of the media ) did not bother to focus any more attention on this bit of news than it would give to a story about an elephant being transported from Maharastra to Kerala in search of a mate ! much for being an elephant ...;-)

India's GDP at current market prices is estimated to be Rs. 41,00,000 crores and with the US dollar slipping below Rs. 41, this translates into a little more than $ 1 trillion dollars ! The other countries who have accomplished this are the US, Japan, Germany, China, the UK, France, Italy, Spain, Canada, Brazil and Russia. And to think that India had not even touched $ 500 million dollars in 2000-01 !

For all of those who want to pooh-pooh this as mere statistics, consider this :
  • India has been the fourth largest economy in PPP ( purchasing power parity) terms ( which converts rupee to dollar on the basis of what the respective currencies can buy in their countries rather than the nominal exchange rate , for more on PPP, refer wiki), just behind the US, China and Japan and its size is about $4 trillion
  • India is the second fastest growing major economy, with a GDP growth rate of 9.2% during the second quarter of 2006-07.
  • Total Foreign Investment increased to $ 15.7 billion during April - Dec of FY 2006-07, according to FICCI data. India has become the fourth largest recipient of FDI in South & South-East Asian region, according to UNCTAD reports
  • A Goldman Sachs report predicts that India's productivity growth will help in sustaining a growth above 8% until 2020 and by 2050 we would be the second largest economy in the world, ahead of the US
  • Doing business in India has become easier, according to the World Bank, which ranks India as one of the top reformers in a recent report “ Doing Business in South Asia 2007”.
  • Total telephone subscription crossed 200 million in February 2007, according to TRAI reports.

Well, I know that there are more statistics that we can showcase to demonstrate the other face of development. I myself, do believe that ensuring equitable development and reaching the fruits of this immense growth to the grassroots is the biggest challenge before India.

But, that should not stop us from celebrating what is still an achievement. Because unless we learn to take pride in our achievements and in our development, we will not take the responsibilities that come along with it.

So, here is to my country and all of my country people who are building a dream called India ! Congratulations and lets welcome the good times ahead :-)

Friday, April 27, 2007

Finally, a breather...

The Govt. has finally given a nod to the IITs and IIMs to go ahead with the admissions of the students belonging to the General category and the SC/ST category. Until the Supreme Court decision on the Quota debacle, it has put on hold the proposed expansion of seats in all Central funded Educational Institutions.

This is the most reasonable thing that the HRD ministry has done, though long overdue. However, the quirkiest part of the whole story is saying that they have given the go-ahead because it is affecting the Govt.'s stand in the case! And not because the delay affects the students and their future.

Well, at the end of the day, we need to accept that the HRD ministry is a political machinery and that politics and welfare are divorced. Now I tend to believe they were never meant to be you agree ?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Which way to Quota?

There it is. The final verdict. For everyone to see. Except that the Executive mechanism of our country refuses to see it. No, it has not blindfolded itself...Far from it...It has both its eyes wide open, but still has no vision...A sad state, for all of us !

The Supreme Court has turned down the Centre's plea to lift the stay ordered on OBC Quotas in Central Institutions, earlier this month, and has stated that its stay order is final. Interestingly, to the argument of the Centre that the stay would deny the socially backward classes of their legitimate share for the 57th year, the Court gave a scalding reply that " if the Govt. has made them wait for 56 years, it could as well wait for one more year ".

One can look at this issue at different levels :

i. Pro-quota and anti-quota debates, which we have debated for years and will continue to still debate, until the political mechanism of this country cleanses out and education becomes more important than literacy.

ii. Do we have another option to Quotas : something which we should be thinking and doing. At the emotional level, we need to stretch out a hand to those who have been bearing the brunt of their lineage and India's history. At a practical level, India is an economy whose strength is its manpower - skilled, educated manpower at lower costs. As competition amongst the developing nations shoots ahead, we will have to have more and more of our manpower to be trained and skilled. Else, this burgeoning population will spell the doom. And soon.

iii. Judicial activism or Judicial over reaction ? Who spells out what is what ? Recently, with the Quota issue aggravating the tussle between the two arms of the state, we heard the PM commenting about Judicial over reaction. Well, the supremacy of the Apex court and the Legislative powers granted to the Legislature are meant to act as checks and balances, however, in an environment where both act at a certain level of maturity. Well, now that the Ministry has been caught on the wrong foot, they cannot cry foul.

iv. HRD ministry has a Plan-B to implement the quota system ! Can we become more childish. They are worse than a 2 year old throwing tantrum fits !!! If the Court has questioned the order on the basis of lack of data, which is for everyone to see, then why this juvenile adamancy to have their way only. It makes the situation look silly, when they say that they have a Plan-B now and it is unconstitutional to not go ahead with Quotas. Definitely, how much more blatant can they get in revealing their political interests and playing to it ?

This issue has been debated in and out, for ages that it's reduced to another cliche.

When will we see the focus on the real issue than hiding it behind personal agendas and ego clashes?

When will the sun shine and the rain clouds become unbiased..i wonder ?

Friday, April 13, 2007

Curiouser and Curiouser !

'Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
'That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,
'I don’t know where. . .
'Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,'
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
India feels like the ' wonderland' ,only that most of the times it's a rather murkier version of it !
Just imagine this - "In Bhopal Sindhis have slapped a code of conduct on girls" - to the extent of banning mobile phones and two wheelers to girls of their community ! The trigger to such atrocious bans being the recent elopements of two girls of their community with Muslim boys. The local Sindhi panchayat in Bhopal has asked parents to keep their daughters in check and not give them too much liberty. It even goes on to say " sometimes too much liberty becomes a burden on society".
Whatever be the reason for administering this kind of atrocious moral policing and whatever be the small/local/politically motivated group of young/old people involved in this -
this is REGRESSION. Isn't it true that these days one seems to find that we are actually regressing in a number of basic aspects of life behind the veils of development and democratic freedom.
This issue seems quite trivial at the preliminary level, but deep down we find manifestations of this gender- biasing very prevalent in our country. We have not made any progress, in fact we have regressed quite a long way back in terms of respecting women for what they are.
Everyday there seems to be mountains of evidence for much so, that this has become more of the norm than the exception. Another example that highlights the callousness with which women get treated in India, be her at the lowest rungs of society or at the highest echelons of corporate life - " In the new appraisal system for the Indian Administrative sevice, there are specific queries for women on their menstrual cycle and the last confinement"...All this while the male counterparts had no questions regarding any of their health issues !
Is it then an exaggeration that I call India the wonderland ? It is here, and only here that you will find such episodes of high drama that feed and poison a system that is already corrupt beyond its limits , inflicted with systemic infections both of the mind and the body.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Quotas and then some Aishwarya.....

The "Quota"isation of India continues...Indian govt has recently introduced a fixed quota of 27% for OBCs ( Other Backward Classes) in all institutions of higher education including the IITs & the IIMs. This had raised a huge public uproar but seems like Mr. Arjun Singh, the honorable HRD Minister is determined to atone for all our forefathers' sins, and demands that it be done, very soon.

Definitely, I and most of the so-called " Upper caste" Indians do not believe in perpetrating such discrimination and we are ashamed for the cruel treatment meted out to the underprivileged classes amongst us ( In fact, in the same breath, we must remember that there were a number of upper caste men and women who openly opposed the caste system and were instrumental in bringing about changes to it ) ... We also do strongly believe in setting right the wrongs that have been done in the past.

But is Quotas the way out ? Just by doling out Quotas, are we really making any good ?

Ensuring that the underprivileged get an equal opportunity to education and job is just the first step. We have been giving quota to the SC-ST category for about half a decade, but is it not true that there are very very few of them who utilise this opportunity and come up in life ? How many of the Govt. vacancies for these quotas remain unfilled for ages ! And in the bigger scheme of things, is it not true that Quota has become another crutch for these communities?

What we need is a system which will handhold the underprivileged ( I refrain from defining this here - should it be caste based / income based, that is a topic for another discussion ) and give them the right tools and methods to utilise the opportunity given to them.

Well, it gives us some relief to see that atleast the judiciary has now woken up to the act and has raised some very pertinent queries regarding the new Quotas being introduced. The main issue that the Court has raised is on the very basis of the definition of OBC and whether we should be using the 1931 census as the basis for quotas at all. The Supreme court has asked the Govt to identify the backward classes on a periodic basis and use adequate data to do this. Whatever be the queries and issues, the Govt is in an unusual hurry to implement quotas this year ( well, I can't refrain from remembering the kind of urgency they displayed in the matter of the women's reservation bill..!!!) .

By using Quotas as a political tool to cater to certain pockets of the "vote-banks", we are witnessing the most blatant political maneuvering and like the court has said, "the reservation policy cannot be and should not be intended to be permanent or perpetuate backwardness.” Let's hope and pray that we restore some bit of semblance in this society and not let political machinations lead us to doom.

How can I talk about Quotas when India is getting dressed in designer wear and dazzling diamonds for The Wedding...The fanatic frenzy and feverish fervor that is displayed all over the place, believe me, one would not have witnessed it even when India celebrated her independence.

There is no respite for us poor souls ( very few of us, let me say), who want to get a breather...every sight and sound blares out each miniscule detail of the bride and the groom - from the nosepin that she might wear to what would be the colour of the fireworks to who would attend and who wouldnt..and who will carry the baraat..and who will smile and who will cry...aaah...the pains that these guys go to speculate all this and more.... I wish that this kind of enthusiasm and excitement was displayed by the media in more serious issues...I am half-expecting a special edition Times ( The Abhiash Times of India or maybe it should be The Times of Abhiash in India or how about India in the Times of Abhiash) being delivered to me on the D-day..

There is nothing wrong in celebrating and nothing wrong in being happy about some celebrity getting married to another star...after all, marriage is an occasion of celebration and cheer ;P...but why this national preoccupation to the exclusion of everything else....

I guess at the end of the day, we as a nation do say, saas bhi kabhi bahu thi...:-)

Monday, April 2, 2007

Where to India ...?

The last two days' newspapers in Mumbai carried two news which I really had to write about since the new age mantra is about "India and development" - the cause for much excitement within and without India.

The first of these news items says " Sex Education banned in the state( Maharastra)" and the second one goes " Mumbai tops in suicide by homemakers".

Maharastra is the fifth state in India to ban sex education in schools..the other states being Kerala ( imagine our torch bearer for literacy doing this ! ) , Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, and I am sure, others to follow the trend very soon. And to top it all, even the Central board schools(CBSE, ICSE ) have to follow the state dictum here.

The reason being cited for such a move is that sex education in schools is " an assault on Indian values" and that it is a means of " imposing western culture on the state".

Let us ask a few basic questions here :

The legislators who talk about the assault on Indian values and aping the western culture have very conveniently disregarded our cultural heritage or do not have any learning and respect for these values. On the one hand , we boast about Kamasutra and Vatsyayana's contribution to the world, and here we are giving in to false impositions of moral policing by a bunch of ignoramus.

In deciding this issue, have they ever asked what is being taught in sex education, and why is it required ? Do they really have an idea about how many adolescents fall prey to wrong and incorrect information, or lack of correct knowledge ? Do they know that approximately 5.7 million adults ( age 15-49 yrs) who lived in India, are living with HIV and the counter ticking very very fast? Did they consult any child psychologist or for that matter any of the stake holders in this matter - parents, teachers, principals, students before taking such a decision ? So much so for democracy !!

Talking about imposing western culture in the state, why don't they first do something about the media which seems to churn out enough and more of mind - sickening movies & music videos all targeted at this adolescent population ( my views on freedom of expression is for another day's blog) ! If that is not corrupting the yound minds, then what is ??? Or maybe they think that children will not go wayward by watching such soft porn churned out mindlessly by our remix gurus and commercial cinema producers and will only be interested in such matters once they teach it in schools!!!

How much more lopsided can the state machinery be ? And how much can politics and policy strangulate logic and reality ??? Its for you and me to think, since the future of our next generation is in OUR hands and cannot be left to the political machinery !

Now for the next news item..this one caught me unawares, but I guess, I was not alarmed at the news...It says Mumbai tops in suicide by homemakers....well, though emphasis is on the fact that Mumbai tops the list, it should be on the fact that " homemakers are the single largest group committing suicide in Mumbai".

It is not the unemployed or professionals or students who top the list - but the simple woman who remains behind the scenes in most of the households here...yes, I do agree that women have progressed immensely in this country, and yes, I do agree that there are more of women professionals and many of those who have jobs and positions which will make men turn green and purple...and yes, I do agree that there are more and more of women who go on to do higher studies in India and abroad...and yes, there are a lot of them who are happy while juggling profession and family...BUT there are a lot more out there , behind the scene....

And while there has been a huge amount of discussions and debates about the women who make it to the frontlines, there have been very few thoughts about these women of the other world....our counterparts...And now they have got the focus on them for all the wrong reasons....

As usual, while I was on my way to work ( which is when I think, I think ), this bit of news kept bothering me...The news article calls this a phenomenon caused by " spillover stress"...( whatever that means)...but somehow the term caught my attention...why spillover...what do they mean by spillover stress...does it mean that the homemaker's stress is only a spillover stress different from others...another case of stereotyping, I believe...

The analysis and opinions by psychologists lists out rising prices, children's education, day-to-day monotony, husband's whims, lack of sleep etc etc as causes for this stress ultimately leading to the drastic step. Well, I agree and I think there is more to it than just these obvious she is living in times where everyone is racing ahead, and success is being defined by professional success, fame and money...these symbols and stereotypes being reinforced day in and day out by various media..the saas-bahus of the world, commercial cinema, and all our newsprints with the focus on page 3 showcasing life as one big party and advertisements of creams and treatments making you feel like the "before" in the before-after clips....

Hugh...and here she is struggling to make both ends meet, cooking and cleaning and the daily chores of her life make her age faster than she can afford one of those pricey creams and anti-wrinkle formulae....where will she go if not get depressed...and I am only thankful that the number is only 361 and not more....

This news item is not only about Mumbai and its homemaker women, its just a pointer to where we are headed.....

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


I live in Bombay ( Mumbai, if you like). It has been a year now.

And every day I travel by an auto from my home to my place of work.

This 15-20 mins of my life have proved to be the best education that I have ever got and am still getting...( are thinking there is someone else going to write about the traffic jams, travails of travelling, mumbaikar spirit etc etc...Hmmm...I am not going to write about any of this and more, there are lots of intelligent and not-so-intelligent people commenting, raving and ranting about all this, so much so that i dont know what to make out of it !)

Well, I am just going to write about what I see, without judging and what I feel, without embellishment...

I regularly see a boy begging with a small child tied in a cloth around him with an empty feeding bottle in his hand. The boy must be around 11-12 yrs and the small child about 4-5 months old.

We all encounter worse scenes of poverty in our everyday life and most of us feel angry,sad, sympathetic ( and maybe give them a coin or two or something to eat, if we are not staunch opposers to begging or for some they are thieves) ...I am not an exception. I have also been conditioned into seeing with unseeing eyes and quieting my conscience after some moments when my attention gets distracted...

This was different.

For sure, it was not any peculiarity or striking character of the two children that have struck me...they are ordinary and do the ordinary tricks to get your attention...neither is it that I suddenly feel the need to be more humanitarian. This has stirred something more basic, something more primitive and elemental, which I do not know.

Everyday I search for these kids when I reach the signal..I hope to see them, and feel relieved if I do. For them, I represent the rich, the 'haves', the unfairness of life. I may donate, volunteer, help as much as I can. It is not enough. Anything I do will not change this. And the truth remains.

Will they always remain beggars...grow up to be thieves and goondas, maybe ? Will they always go hungry to sleep..? Will they ever have a new dress...a toy....a home ? Will they ever Will they ever have the innocence of childhood ?

Can I change any of this..the present...the future...can I give them hope... ?

The small child is always sleeping when I see them. When he awakes, will I be able to look him in the eyes ? Will you be ?