Showing posts with label Work. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Work. Show all posts


What's Your Mojo ?

Read somewhere, "If your dreams don't scare you,
they are not big enough."
Pic taken : Pigeon Point Light House, Off  Coastal Highway,
There are two kinds of people. First, the mass category - those who have found the end point of their journey, their destination, that is to be - stay where ever you are- at whatever cost. And the second minor category, those people for whom the new journey has just begun and the highway goes via US while the destination may or may not be here.  

Up until now how much ever i have figured out about myself-ourselves, i am more close to the later category. I am most impressed with the 'education' this country has to offer because its so much valued, its sort of life long investment even if you choose to spend your savings or take loan for it in comparison to the earnings that we crave for (specially converting it into Rupees). Because no matter which country, continent, small town life will take you after x number of years, your alumni network, knowledge and circle of influence is with you to propel in your 'whatever worth it' idea. If you know what you are good at, stay focused, know how to get it done, have a purpose or raise resources for it, i guess getting decent pay is not something to be bothered about. More of an entrepreneurial spirit or lifestyle. 

What i have become very sure of over the years or being repeatedly told is that i do unknowingly exhibit a certain amount of sheer madness (on the rise) when i am into something - i don't know if its something what we call passion which exuberates so much intensity in my efforts. When you can consistently work on something without being bogged down. When you are not tired about proving what you have in your head through telling compelling stories every single day, writing them in an assertive argument or a flawless business plan or a sales pitch while looking into the eyes of a complete set of strangers who have deep pockets that you are eyeing - that absolute passion that fuels you to talk endlessly given a chance to present your idea or your baby 'pilot project'. Everything seems in control and you are so confident to find solutions. That sudden rush of blood that makes you wake up in the morning and go for work with gusto. 


Why Count the White Elephant Called Disability

Disability is the pet white elephant in the
development sector zoo, if i may call it so.

#DisabilityCount #IDPD2015  #disabilityday2015. Today, I am going to share a slice of my work with you all. Well, all my work is not play, but yes it has been quite intriguing in the sense that it really compels you to think how best you can design development programs at the community level that reaches to all those who need them the most, include those who are left behind, address their unmet needs and hopefully continue or spur a momentum systemically, even after you exit as a donor agency. It is easier to capture the sentiments here in a blog, but, to really conceptualize a program that is cost-effective, inclusive, efficient, pertinent, promises to bring a long term impact with sustainability is no easy task even for some brilliant people working together as the variables in a social scene are subtle, intangible, interwoven and attribution to a specific welfare program or social innovation is slower than we want to. Unfolding of plans and demonstrating even the minimum viable product (or its forecast) takes couple or revisions and continuous flow of funds. 

A typical grant making circus goes like this. Okay, so we are launching a targeted intervention to reach the poorest of the poor people in xyz geographical area with tribal population this percentage, alarmingly low health indicators, no formal education, unbelievably low per capita income (if at all), women living in depravity and we intend to bring wonders by X% in Y years. And then we devise some SMART indicators, strategies, logic model and theory of change, monitoring and evaluation framework and on winning the grant assume to prove our development hypothesis right.

Wow, job well done.

No. Not really.

While gender has been a 'trending' buzzword for which data collection, analysis and disaggregation takes place at every step of the way, disability is by far most excluded. 

Disability is like that white elephant standing tall in a room, but no one can see it.


We Make Access to Education and Sanitation Possible as Basic Human Right

#WorldsAIDSDay #GivingTuesday  #IndiChange #WeCantWait

World Toilet Day 2015

Today, I am going to write about one of the program that i am totally passionate about and have been involved through Asante Africa Foundation team based out of Oakland, US. Though i can speak hours and hours on digital divide and how important it is, but, being a woman i think i hold myself responsible for strengthening 'gender specific targeted interventions' too, that brings social changes to address basic human/child/ reproductive rights of girls in East Africa or in future in India. By going to such places you realize how much India has progressed and being in US you make your wishlist even longer and think so how much more our country has to still achieve. We will do it, we are moving in right direction albeit slower than we want to.

Nevertheless, today is world's AIDS Day and Giving Tuesday, for you to pick a charity of your choice and support its mission. So, i thought why not write about our Girls Advancement Program - Wizesha Vijana - on how a very cost-effective simple intervention which includes infrastructure upgradation such as building sanitary toilets in school have the power to impact education in some of the most rural marginalized areas of East Africa. And how these interventions directly supports in realizing sustainable development goals, holistically.


Rejections = Reignited Passion = Refueling Dreams

Go take a walk Chris Dixon. Sir its much easier said,
then done !
Who likes seeing rejection e-mails as first thing in the morning, definitely not me. But then somehow,  they do come to shake you up and wake you up and slap you in your face to tell you - listen you are not good enough - you are not good enough, still. And that brings a sudden gush of blood in your ears and face and you re-read the e-mail- once, twice, thrice - go around and do it again. 

Unhhhh !

This is second consecutive rejection, another one was was last Monday and now this one.

Should i let it bog me down or get me started again with same or rather more enthusiasm, fervour and being more bullish all the way up.

Getting up and running is the only thing i know - even if its written - you win or you lose.


Gore Hain to Kya Hua ?

With frequent skype calls i have realized i look horrible, so much so that, i keep looking at my own pic as how am i looking or like is it really me types. 

And in between couldn't help but notice, Sinha Ji's improved complexion. 

And the funniest part is when I asked so how is everything there ?

He took a deep breath (sign of something serious he is about to blurt) and then said, "Yeh log gore to bahut hote hain" !

I was like what ? You are an open racist out there !

That's for a fact that Indians are most discriminatory in nature ( someone had told me from their international NGO experience). 

And she also said, that the most "superiority complex"ones are the Arabs. And i had experienced this on Dubai airport, very much to my horror on my first international flight (alone).


What We Need to Know About Social Impact Assessment ?

Last week was as usual except the fact that i overate almost through out the week, hardly seen the gym and 'officially' delivered my first guest lecture. Officially means, someone has asked me to do that and paid for the value i brought in those 2 hours unlike the impromptu rant that my near and dear ones are used to, totally ignoring my gyaan vaani

The topic was 'Social Impact Assessment'. My audience were 15 young, bright fellows chosen from 2,700 applicants through a rigorous procedure from all over the world for 6 months at IDEX Accelerator programme. It's a programme to give a first hand field experience of working in social enterprises, while creating a genre of intrapreneurial leaders. Intra-preneurship implies defining, demonstrating, learning and scaling innovation within an existing organization. IDEX stands for Intrapreneur Development Experience. 

Although, i am not sure, how open are Indian origin companies for innovation but in not-for-profit sector the playfield is huge as the needs are grave and often interdependent. Interdependence (direct or indirect). Like if a social programme is not implemented the way it was intended to be, its consequences has a ripple effect beyond the 'core development theme'. For example, health is inter-linked to nutrition, education. Women empowerment to human rights, child rights to nutrition, disability to poverty, education, primary health etc etc. An opportunity lost to educate someone at primary level will reflect upon its poor health seeking behaviour or access to human rights sometimes later in their lifetime.

Sharing some excerpts from my ppt and also read related post, Laws of Physics and Life.

1. Who Wants Social Impact Assessment ?


It is Hard To Be a Woman

Talented women are intimidating. More when they seemed to have acquired control over their lives specially their family or personal life which supposedly is the price society wants them to pay for being successful. 


Because that's one "classic" accusation, most people use, to bring them down. To accuse them for "probably" or "presumably" neglecting their families to climb up the ladder of success. Or the next thing is "character assassination", which simply means, she may have talent of some "other" kind !

It starts from dissection of their current status of relationship. So. Is she single ?  Affair (s) ? Married ? Separated ?Boozing ? Available for drinks on weekends? Not Married, why not. Its her age? Must be over ambitious ! Kids, no, IVF going on / marriange on the rocks ? Second marriage ?


Inauguration of Livelihood Resource Center - Samarthanam, CISCO & Wadhwani Foundation

Image Courtesy _ Nova Foundation

Today, we marked another milestone in Samarthanam's journey of 17 years by inaugurating Livelihood Resource Centre (LRC). This project is in partnership with CISCO and Wadhwani Foundation (under its OND - Opportunity Network for Disabled initiative). 

This LRC is unique, since it's located at our HSR Layout premises, which is a barrier free universal design building with need specific architectural changes allowing safe mobility of PWDs, as mentioned in UNCRPD. 


Unlock Pockets of Dream : Come take Education Key

# This post is an account of my first field visit to Samarthanam's school and training center

This morning ride to office was good with radio giving full kick on Sallu bhai's songs. Had some site visits planned for the day.

Stop # 1: We started with TechVision - a facility supported by Microsoft and Philips and many other corporate to train persons with visual impairment in ICT via JAWS (Jobs Access With Speech). Met Chandrakant who heads the TechVision Centre, Sunil - who is a real troubleshooter when it comes to my mailbox configuration and Shalini, she was translating a Kannada book to speech.

Last year, we have trained 400 young adult with disability or under privileged background through TechVision (computer training center)


Advocacy Initiative in Andhra Pradesh : Public Private Partnership with GoAP and HMRI

L to R : Dr Rao - Founder , Myself, Manimala - CEO, Dr Subramanyam - Principal Health Secretary, AP, inaugurating the mobile diagnostic van equipped with state of the art eyecare equipments. 

HMRI, Sightsavers International and Government of Andhra Pradesh have come together under a public-private partnership (PPP) to augment healthcare delivery systems in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Under the partnership, HMRI has implemented a state-of-the-art 24x7 health helpline, serving the 80 million people of Andhra Pradesh. Taking the healthcare initiative further, the partnership has also launched 104 Mobile, also called the Fixed Day Health Service, to further expand the scope and delivery of healthcare in rural areas.

The advocacy initiatives of SIAO and the recent meeting on 8th June, 2009 with Dr L V Subramanyam (Prinicipal Secretary - Health and Family Welfare), Dr Mothilal Banothu (Joint Director- NPCB) and Dr A P Ranga Rao - Chief Advisor (HMRI) has resulted in addition of eye health component in training of HMRI (mobile van staff) across the state. Its our pleasure to state that Sigthsavers International has been recognized as a training partner for eye health by GoAP.

Vehicle donated by Sightsavers International with state of the art equipment for easy diagnosis on the go. 
Some of the important decisions taken during the meeting were as follows:

1- Sightsavers is recognized as training partner for eye health component for rreparation of standardized training material and module. These modules will be used to train the 475 mobile van (one staff) of HMRI across the state and also to train the RMPs (as part of HMRI diploma course) recognized by AP Paramedic Board.

2- Sankar Foundation as one of the referral centre for Diabetic Retinopathy in Vizag region. As a result, Mr L V Subramanyam accepted our invitation to inaugurate the mobile DR van at Sankar Foundation on 12th June, 2009. Attended by all government ophthalmic functionaries from Vishakhapatnam, Vizianagram and Srikakulam district.

3- Principal Secretary proposed to conduct state level workshops/training for all cadres of ophthalmic personnel at Sankar Foundation in collaboration with Sightsavers International, NPCB and HMRI.
What is Fixed Day Health Scheme ?

The mobile van come running if you call # 104. 
The objective is to create a technology enabled comprehensive, once-a-month fixed day health service that will provide convergence of comprehensive services for the identification, screening, diagnosis, monitoring & treatment, record keeping and referral of high risk cases in each rural habitation beyond 3 kms of any health facility.
It would strengthen the present fixed day services delivered in the habitation by bringing regularity, punctuality, integration, convergence and comprehensiveness using technology supported 475 mobile health units to cover 4 Cr. Population. HMRI was started by Satyam Foundation and it had 5 % stake in this NGO. Although, last quarter 5% stake is bought by GVK.