One Day At A Time - A Blueprint for Change

This post is a contest winner in the Blueprint for Change - Weekend Contest at Blogadda.com

This post is a part of Weekend contest at BlogAdda.com in association with Chanakya's new manifesto

The theme for the weekend contest at Blogadda -
Blueprint for Change : Share 5 problems/concerns/worries that you face everyday and why accompanied with a blueprint on how it could be solved/changed.


I apologize in advance for the length of the post. However, I have tried to do justice to the theme, since it is high time each of us took measures to contribute positively to our country.

My concerns are issues that affect every aspect of my daily life.

My blueprint for change is steps each of us can take every day to transform the way we think and act, one day at a time.

***

1. TREAT HER RIGHT - A Cry For Gender Equality

WHY I CARE - I don't know any woman, me included, who has never been a victim of discrimination or sexual harassment. It's time our voices were heard.

THE PROBLEM - 

She's your wife not your slave
She's your daughter not a burden
She's innocent, she's not to blame
She's your pride, not your misfortune


You've stripped her and beaten her
You've bought her and jabbed her
You've sold her and cheapened her
You've invoked "honour" and stabbed her

You've snatched away her books
You've wedded her for dowry
You've objectified her looks
You think she is your property

You defined decency for her
What to wear, where to go, when and with whom
Then you judged her character and raped her
And then you blamed her for her doom

Goddesses are being vilified
In this land of godly might
No society is civilized
That does not treat its women right.

MY BLUEPRINT FOR CHANGE - 

I will not discriminate between my daughter and my son, my mother and my father or my sister and my brother.

I pledge to stand up for that girl being heckled on the road, that woman being manhandled on public transport, that wife or mother or daughter that I know is being brutalized at home. I won't look the other way or be a silent spectator anymore. 

My son, my brother, my husband and my father have no right to speak to or touch or even look at a woman if she doesn't want him to. If they don't know it already, then it is high time I told them so.

I promise to never ever say or think or feel that the victim was at fault for dressing up or going out or being with a boy. I will no longer put up with people who think that the victim 'deserved' being raped for going against our 'culture' or for not being 'moral' enough.


I will treat all women with respect.


***

2. LIGHT THE FIRE - Education is The Answer

WHY I CARE - My husband has risen from poverty to prosperity because he had an exceptional education. He inspired many more from his community. He is now working to enable other students to reach the same heights as him.

THE PROBLEM - 

Every child deserves a childhood
An education for eager minds
A step forward into the future
Freedom from poverty's binds

Superstition rules the land
Where ignorance thrives
Minds polluted by the fake "godman"
Kill women and children alike

Free of the binds of caste and gender
Aptitude and ability rule
Equal opportunities, equally tendered
In education lies salvation true

For a country steeped in poverty
And misogyny and bias
And ill-health and illiteracy
And population malaise

Tomorrow will be brighter
If only we can look ahead
And the lamp of literacy we light
Before society is rotten and dead.

MY BLUEPRINT FOR CHANGE -  

I will not let my own education go waste. I will share my knowledge as much as I can.

Each one teach one. Not just to be remembered for slogan-writing competitions, or printed on a fridge magnet, but in actual practice.

It need not be a kid from the slums. It need not be reading and writing, or part of school curriculum. It need not necessarily be about exams and marks, or coaching and tutorials.

It could be me talking to my grandmother about women's rights. Or explaining to the maid what she can do to prevent malaria or dengue or typhoid or cholera. Or telling the milkman how to apply for a voter ID card.

I will sponsor an underprivileged child. I will donate my books. I will help a child stay in school.

***

3. RESTORE THEIR DIGNITY - Care for the Elderly

WHY I CARE - We went on a picnic recently. There was an old lady there, wrinkled and bent with age, who only got to eat when someone filled her begging bowl or when her forage around the picnic site yielded barely edible results. She's not living, she's simply waiting to die. Could it be me fifty years from now?

THE PROBLEM - 

They spent their days in life's embrace
In the evening of their lives they lie forgotten
No family, no friends, no support, no grace
No roof, no food, no doctor's notion

The caretakers of bedtime stories
Secret recipes and timeless wonder
Preservers of tradition and ancient glories
Freedom fighters and soldiers with memories torn asunder

They're poor and sick and lonely
Unprotected, vulnerable and targets
Their bodies have failed them, losing their minds slowly
Bullied and abused, a nation did forget

Where is the dignity they long for?
Debts to be repaid, rights to be restored
We forge ahead because they were stronger
Today there is decay where there was vitality before.

MY BLUEPRINT FOR CHANGE - 

I will take care of my parents and grandparents. I will not neglect them in their old age.

I will mobilize and become part of a neighbourhood watch that monitors and provides assistance to the elderly residents in the area. I will actively participate in campaigns for their safety and stability.

I will volunteer to spend an occasional holiday in an old age home. I will help them avail financial and medical assistance provided by government and non-government organizations.


***

4. NO MITHAI FOR BACHCHECrusade Against Corruption

WHY I CARE - I worked for the 2010 Delhi CWG Organising Committee. I saw our country's deserving sportspeople struggling to find nutrition, equipment and training, while treadmills were being bought for lakhs and outrageously expensive stationery became food for rats. Even as we curse Kalmadi, aren't we all part of the problem?

THE PROBLEM -

When I was born, my father paid
A bribe to get me delivered first
An offering was given before my birth certificate was made
But there was no quenching the thirst

When I went to school, the principal asked
For a special "donation" to his personal coffer
I failed my exams, but always passed
All I had to do was make the right offer

My first bike at the age of fourteen
I ran a red light, no papers on me
I paid the constable a note of fifty
I didn't kill anyone luckily

"Ministers are thieves" scream the news
I shake my head in disgust
I evade taxes, don't pay my dues
But I'm not wrong, it is only just

Why should I pay my money hard-earned
When they are ready to steal it from me
Then I cry when there's no development
Who is responsible if not me?

MY BLUEPRINT FOR CHANGE - 


I will not give or take a bribe. I will not deal in black money. I will pay all my taxes. I will be honest in my dealings.

I will discourage my family and friends from propagating corruption.

I will report incidents of corruption to the competent authorities.

I will be a responsible participant in democracy, and vote for change.

In every thought and action, I will truly be a part of India against corruption.

***

5. CIVIC SENSE AND SENSIBILITY - Responsible Citizenship

WHY I CARE - My neighbours are throwing their garbage in front of my gates. Mosquitoes are breeding in an open drain by the roadside. Someone spit on my white car. My BP reaches dangerously high levels every time I drive on our roads. I don't want to die of a combination of cholera, malaria and a heart attack.

THE PROBLEM - 

"India is so dirty, Phoren is so clean"
You complain as you pee on a wall
"Traffic, Pollution, Global Warming, Go Green"
You chant as you ride in your car

"Let's recycle" as you throw a plastic bottle
"The government sucks" though you didn't cast your vote
"Indians are so backward", then at short skirts you ogle
"No one will help you", moving past an accident you note

No respect for public property
If there's a jam, on the wrong side you drive
On ancient monuments you display your artistry
If you see a wrong, you turn a blind eye

A citizen is entitled to rights and freedom
But with power comes responsibility
Do we really deserve it, or have we forgotten
Our civic sense and sensibility?

MY BLUEPRINT FOR CHANGE - 


It is enough to follow these in everything I do -
(Source: "ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED IN KINDERGARTEN" by Robert Fulghum.  With a few additions from me.)

  • Share everything.
  • Play fair.
  • Don't hit people.
  • Put things back where you found them.
  • Clean up your own mess.
  • Don't take things that aren't yours.
  • Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.
  • Wash your hands before you eat.
  • Flush.
  • Help others.
  • Leave things better than you found them.
  • Give back the good you receive.
  • Take responsibility for your actions

***



Images courtesy Google. All images copyright to their respective owners.

22 comments:

  1. Mixi, Your thoughts on some of the issues are simply superb. If we desire change in this world, it should come from within and hope every individual makes a little change to see this world a lovely place to live.

    Keep up the good writing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your kind words Fayaz. These issues are neither new nor unique, and yet every day your life is affected in myriad ways by them. I only wanted to outline ways in which each of us can contribute in bringing about a change just by making a few adjustments in our daily lives.

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  2. Wow. This post needs to be read over and over again, by everyone. Really, EVERYONE.

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    Replies
    1. All we need is for each of us to make slight changes, a few shifts in our attitude and thoughts, and the rest will follow on its own.

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  3. Even I have applied for the same contest, but this post shook me from within. Do have a look in mine too. Yours is great.:)

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  4. very well written ...all the best

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Nandini. Wish you the same!

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  5. Mixi

    I have become you ardent fan and follower. One of the greatest post I have ever read.Superb words penned down at right place . I don't have enough words to describe the praise
    But one thing I will tell you, the above solutions have no meaning unless these are implemented.

    Thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vishal Sir! You humble and delight me with your appreciation! Yes, I completely agree that talking will achieve a lot less than doing. My blueprints are steps that I myself am taking in my everyday life, that don't require me to wait for an occasion or do something special and out of the way of my normal schedule.

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  6. doesn't matter if a post is long as long as it makes sense. i am glad that i read it and i am glad that i follow your blog. yes, it's high time we put our thoughts into action.

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    Replies
    1. Wow! Thank you so much DJ! I'm brushing away a tear or two reading your comment :P But seriously, encouragement from fellow avid bloggers goes a long way in keeping spirits up! Cheers :)

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  7. Very Nice :-) Change must come from within..Keep writing :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, change must come from within!

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  9. Loved your take on it...the poems appeal and hit the issue bang on. It makes one thoughtful. We are so neck deep into issues, 60 percent as victims and 40 percent as perpetrators.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Manjulika. It is important to recognize that not only are we sinned against, but we are sinners too.

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    2. Congrats!! A well deserving win..
      manjulikapramod.com

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  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  11. You rock babe!!! :)

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    Replies
    1. Aww... Thanks my ever encouraging Bunty :) You should start writing more often as well!

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  12. Mixi I agree with all your points. Each point is relevant in today's context. Its just that we know but still we ignore. If each of us start implementing then its not long that things will improve in India. Fabulous post..

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me!

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