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Archive for November, 2007

Dr Adhiraj Joglekar, UK, has sent this info to all drivers using Indian roads.

Please spread the word

Almost 10% of the global road traffic accidents occur in India. Much of the world wide web is full of sarcasm & mocking of the indisciplined driving on Indian roads. Unfortunately in since 60 years since independence the authorities have failed to publish a National Highway code. Licences are given to anyone who can demonstrate an ability to use the clutch-accelerator, consequently the motoer driving schools teach just that and no more. Concepts such as – blindspots, principle of MSM, the tyre & tarmac rule, 2 second gap and most improtantly giving way are not known to the average Indian driver. This site http://driving-india.blogspot.com/ has been created with the purpose of providing driver education and training to all Indian road users. It is by far the most comprehensive website providing training in defensive driving. Learning simple road habits can make our roads safe and also free up congestion caused by traffic chaos. At present 17 driver education videos aimed at changing the driving culture on Indian roads are available. The video are unique in that the footage is real life action from streets of London. We have copied the Western habits: Replaced the dhoti with denim, high rise buildings for Indian cottages, burgers and coke instead of Indian breads and perhaps sugarcane juice. Surely we can copy the Western ways of travelling too. To watch the videos, interested readers may visit: http://driving-india.blogspot.com/

The videos cover the following topics:
Video 1: Covers the concept of Blind spots
Video 2: Introduces the principle of Mirrors, Signal and Manoeuvre
Video 3: At red lights, stop behind the stop line
Video 4: At red lights there are no free left turns
Video 5: The Zebra belongs to pedestrians
Video 6: Tyres and Tarmac (rather than bumper to bumper)
Video 7: Merging with the Main road
Video 8: Leaving The Main Road
Video 9: Never Cut Corners
Video 10: Show Courtesy on roads
Video 11: 5 Rules that help deal with Roundabouts
Video 12: Speed limits, stopping distances, tailgating & 2 seconds rule
Video 13: Lane discipline and overtaking
Video 14: Low beam or high beam?
Video 15: Parallel (reverse parking) made easy
Video 16: Give the cyclist the respect of a car
Video 17: Dealing with in-car condensation

Many thanks,

Dr Adhiraj Joglekar, UK

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“Even a person who doesnot believe in god may go to heaven, but a person who doesnot believe in himself, there is no place for him even in hell.”-Swami Vivekananda.

The above words can never be an overstatement! These words tell us how important is self-belief! Everybody should cultivate this belief in himself/herself, regardless of their capabilities. This has to be nurtured from a very young age. It is during the 2nd year of life that toddlers become very inquisitive and curious. They want to explore their surroundings. They are curious about everything that they come across. These “terrible-twos” make their parents lose their sleep wondering what the kid is upto at any hour of the day! It is very important for young parents to understand the need for exploration by their little kid, through which it can expand its knowledge bank and they need to encourage this quality, by being supportive and at the same time vigilant, without becoming paranoidal!

Unfortunately, an over-protective parent never lets the child any freedom to explore and learn. The parent believes that he/she knows the best and decides everything for the child – where it should play, with what toys should it play, with which group it can indulge in play and what time it should play! The child’s freedom is totally curtailed and authoritarian rule imposed upon it from a very young age that makes the child start believing that only the parent knows the best and that the child itself can not take proper decisions. This lowers its self-confidence. This trend continues even to its adolescence and the parents never let go of their hold upon the child, who has now turned into an adolescent. He may, heart in heart, wish to explore the whole world and see the world throug his/her own eyes. Alas! This is not to be! The youngster grows into adulthood without having developed skills like, problem solving and decision making etc. He/she has no belief in self. If they ever were to take an independent decision against their parents’ wishes, and if the endeavour were to result in a negative outcome, finished is his/her adventurous spirit! Buried is their self-belief for life, more so under the sarcastic remark of their parents, “i told you so” with a victorious note!

But these parents need to realize how important it is for the young adult to experience autonomy in every sphere of life. Parents need to facilitate this “self-belief” in their young ones from a very early stage in small ways and slowly extend the autonomy to bigger things, all the while assuring of their support and encouragement, irrespective of the child’s successes or failures. It is this provision for autonomy that stands in good stead through out one’s life. Self-belief develops self-confidence, improves self-image, increases self-esteem and facilitates self-reliance later on in life.

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There seems to be lot of confusion in everybody’s mind about imparting sex education at schools and colleges. By the term ‘sex education’ people seem to think it is all about ‘sexual intercourse’ education! No, it is not that. Sex education is all about imparting knowledge on human sexuality. Sexuality is the femaleness and the maleness of individuals. Sexuality is part and parcel of the individual’s personality. From the time a child is born, it is assigned a gender as male or female. This knowledge dictates the person in every kind of behaviour that he/she indulges in. This behaviour is culture specific. However, there is a minority population in any society where the gender identity is not very clear to the individual. He or she does not believe in the biological gender assigned to them and they firmly believe in their mind and heart that they belong to the opposite gender. It is these people who sometimes go to the extent of changing their gender through surgery and then they are called the trans-gendered people. But those who have not changed their gender physically, but subscribe to the other gender psychologically, who resent vehemently their gender assigned to them by nature and by the society, are the ones who belong to the third sex and are fighting for their constitutional rights. I will discuss about them in a separate post.

Coming back to sex education, everybody needs to be equipped with the knowledge of the different changes that occur in a female or male, physically and psychologically, over a period of time through the whole length of human development, from childhood through old age. This knowledge helps a person, specially the pre-teens (also referred to as tweens – as they are in the in between stage of childhood and adolescence) and the teenagers, who are in between the stages of childhood and adulthood, to better deal with their emotional and physical changes. Otherwise, they are vulnerable to confusions, developing myths and mis conceptions about their sexuality and this wrong information creates lot of anxieties and psychological disturbances. The knowledge about their sexuality also equips persons to prevent any kind of sexual abuse taking place. Because of ignorance so many gullible children are taken for a ride and their innocence abused. And many try to experiment with various kinds of sexual behaviour that may put them into deep trouble later on.

Sex education needs to be imparted in educational institutions, not by a Biology Teacher or a Moral Science Teacher, but by a sensitive professional, like a counsellor, who can understand the needs of any particular age group and cater to those needs with authentic information and sensitize them about the physical, psychological and emotional dimensions of human sexuality. A separate meeting with parents is as much required to brief them about the need for sex education to their children and alleviate their own fears and anxieties.

I believe that knowledge is power and when imparted in the right way, it can enhance the respectful way people would treat the other gender and reduce exploitation of males/females as mere sex objects.

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Ms prabha arcalgud has this to say on children to follow footsteps of parents?! While re…

While there is one kind of parenting where doctor wants his son to be a doc and mom wants daughter to wear her jewellry, there is an other kind of parenting which is equally difficult to all involved. That’s when a parent(or even worse both parents) wants his/her children to be everything he/she could not be. They want them to have everything they ever dreamt of having growing up and then live the dreams they used to dream as youngsters. This creates so much pressure for both parents and children. There is always an underlying sense of fear in such relationships. Parents fear for the safety of the children not willing to let go. Children fear disappointing parents by crossing the line. Children should be like a packet of seeds of flowering plants that one possess. You plant the seeds, nurture the seedlings and give them the best care you can give. All along you don’t know what colour or size or form the flowers will turn out. But when the flowers bloom you sit back and enjoy the variety in size, shape, colour and fragrance! Just pure JOY!

Seeking joy and happiness in an other person’s happiness is one of the hardest convictions to follow in life.

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Mr ram has this to say:

am apprehensive about students who think there is competition everywhere and failure to win the race is a disgrace. Expectations generated by the above mind set has disatrous consequences if they are not fulfilled. I am appalled by the notion among Indian students and their parents that so much importance is placed in getting ‘ private tutions’ to improve grades to fulfill their expectations. Little they realise that it is the individual’s endeavour which prepares an youngster for the life after ‘the private tutions’.

In my academic days in Mysore, I had a very good reputation as an academic and students flocked to me for tution in greater numbers. Once I had 30 students knocking at my door who were interested to improve their grades because the ‘world was competetive’! As some one who lost his father who was the sole breadwinner early in his teens, I knew the value of self-help and self- motivation, and learnt how ‘sweet are the uses of adversity’ ( Shakespeare). Hence i used to advise students that the situation they were in should be considered as adversity and they had to develop the will power to overcome it without my help. When students in the above numbers used to approach me, I used to try to advise them the value of self-help and effort which alone will stand in goodstead when they were ready to take up a profession. Many remained unconvinced, and to pacify them I used to give a few tution lessons to give them ‘a leg up’ and then send them away to begin the process of self-help. If I had taken all those students for tutions in order to help them to fulfill their expectations, I would have no doubt earned thousands of rupees. But I would have deceived them because I knew that not all of them will be able to achieve the grades they sought.

Many times students came equipped with the kind of influence which would make me flich. For example, I had students whose parents were members of parliament, home and health ministers in the then Mysore government and at one time my own university vice chancellor asked me to tutor his son and daughter! My bosses were afraid of me because they knew that I had ‘connections in the right places’. But I used to explain to these parents and students in vain the value of self-help and the necessity to temper expectations with reality.I hear from a distance that parents and students in India are using’ private tution’ as a tool to deliver their expectations which is very sad indeed. I also hear the mushroom growth of tutorial colleges that dish out unrealistic promises, and private tutors who the parents think can make the difference. Having said the above,’the private tution’ has a place in the life of youngsters whoare unfortunate to be born with disabilities and medical conditions which prevent them from achieving full potential. In my experience, such students immensely benefitted from my ‘private tutions’ (I hasten to add that I did not charge them any fee),and went on to beocme good professionals. All the others whom I gave ‘private tutions’ including the kids of rich and powerful, it did not make much difference in their professional lives in terms of them achieving good expertise in their professions. Although they became senior engineers and surgeons, the superb professional touch which self-help alone brings was absent in them. In their minds I am sure that they know this. There is always pride in knowing that the achievent is due to one’s sole effort and motivation.

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Hi, i will be away for 3 days. going out of town.
keep your comments and feedback coming.

i request all readers / commentors not to get offended by any post/comment here. it is all written with good intentions and not to hurt anybody’s sentiments.

i welcome you all to take part in healthy discussions / debates and sometimes, agree to disagree :))

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UNICEF – Voices of Youth: Speak out

this is a wonderful forum that publishes all concerns of today’s children and youth. please join if you have anything to say about todays youngsters and also to protect child rights. Say and be heard. and EMPOWER children and youth!

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