education

differently-abled sandesh

IS DMRC an unfriendly to ‘differently- abled’ passengers?? Yes Not only that today evening at Rajiv Chowk metro station, Sandesh a daily wage labor come to take a ticket at the counter has been refused and ignored. He standing in the ‘Q’… hardly help. Photos by Gireesh GV

How my camera taught DMRC staff virtue of caring for the disabled?

I love my camera. Not only it helps me capture moments, on ample occasions, I found that it helps those making the moments too. Today, it did its job expeditiously. But, it left me with a question – Why was there a need for a camera to tell Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) staff that they need to be sensitive towards the differently-abled?

Well it is not my story.. or that of my camera. This is about Sandesh, a daily-waged worker – a differently-abled person, who finds it hard every day to commute in DMRC trains – having little use of his lower limbs.

Today was no ‘different’ for Sandesh.

I saw him at Rajiv Chowk Metro Station ‘standing’ in queue at the card recharging machine.

People in the queue stole glances at Sandesh; so did a security guard posted to keep the queue in single file. As he approached the window, he fell short of reaching the slots. Ironically, onlookers looked on.

I can’t say that I was the only one with intentions to help him. But, I was the first. I offered to get him the token.

Sandesh had another issue. He wanted to recharge his card. Since tomorrow was a working day and rush hours would this make towering task for him. The recharging machine accepted only large currency notes and he had small denominations.

DMRC staff on duty at the counter, had no solutions. “What can we do if he is disabled,” was a reply thrown by one of them.

This is where my camera came to the rescue. As I lifted it out of the case, the staff members’ demeanor drastically changed. Out came a Rs 100 currency note in exchange of two 50 rupees notes for Sandesh . Along it were please directed towards me: “I am a daily-waged worker.., they will take my job it this goes out,” said the staffer. The guard came with an excuse that he was rushing out for dinner.

IS DMRC a unfriendly to ‘differently- abled’ passengers?? Yes Not only that today evening at Rajiv Chowk metro station,  Sandesh  a daily wage labor come to take a ticket at the counter has been refused and ignored. He neither got any help from guard on duty. When I saw him struggling to draw a token from the machine, I offered a help.

I left it at that. But during my entire journey in the metro train, I could not stop thinking. DMRC had been making tall claims of making arrangements for the differently–abled describing what it operates as – ‘India’s first public transport system with adequate features for differently-abled persons’.

It claims to provide extra-wide automatic flap gates for wheelchairs, lifts with buttons installed at a low level, tactile paths for the visually impaired, reserved spaces for wheelchairs in trains, etc.

The 7 minute episode that my camera helped end, proves beyond doubt that DMRC’s tall claims about training staff to deal with differently-abled were as ‘flat’ as the excuses given by its staff member and the security guard.

{ From DMRC’s guide book,Facilities for the differently-abled:  Delhi Metro is perhaps India’s first public transport system with adequate features for differently-abled persons. These include extra-wide automatic flap gates for wheelchairs, lifts with buttons installed at a low level, tactile paths for the visually impaired, reserved spaces for wheelchairs in trains, etc. In addition, station staff constantly monitors passenger movement and provides personal help to any differently-abled person who needs assistance.”}

 

dead fish floating after Poornima celebrations

Often described as a feast for the eyes, Pushkar Fair is among India’s famous religious festivals and livestock fairs. Featured in numerous travel shows, films and magazines, the Pushkar Fair offers a once in a lifetime magical experience for travelers – looking for out of the world experience.The Pushkar Fair is celebrated for five days from the Karthik Ekadashi to Karthik Poornima (full moon day) according to the Hindu calendar, about 10 days after Diwali.

Every year thousands of pilgrims congregate for a holy bath in Mathura to mark Kartik and other celebrations, after these celebrations cleaning the ghats is a major task for municipality. There is always a support  from the civilian volunteers and organizations to help municipality in cleaning. Every year the challenge is clearing the dead fish from the lake. This is become a routine story here in Pushkar lake every year, I’ve been told that 50,000 fishes died last year after the festival, said a priest at the ghat. This is due to the lighting ghee and oil lamps (diyas) inside the pond by pilgrims. They never listen to public notices._AA76282full moon apears on a Poornima,  Pushkar. Rajasthan

_AA76315cleaning the ghats by ‘civil defense’ volunteers in Pushkar. Rajasthan

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_AA76318 clearing dead fish from the lake, Pushkar, Rajasthan

Bangalore going Wi-Fi

Hopefully rest of the Karnataka soon will have the facility. Bangalore has become the first city in India to have free wifi spots.

Pix: A construction worker surfing on his mobile at Ramanagaram railway station, 50kms from Bangalore city. The town is famous for its contribution for the bollywood movie Sholay, which shot entirely in Ramanagaram.

GOld.... is become madness.

In Kochi an elderly woman in front of a hoarding showing all Indian film super stars to promote GOLD sales in South India. Where the middle class with minimum incomes are really puzzled. The gold prices are gone up in last few years….  There are lots of interesting stories from India on Gold rush. There are people who rush to buy these expensive metal as an investment. That’s true….  But

hanuman boy, dressed up for begging, Hampi, Karnataka 2004

A boy spotted begging in  Hampi, a  world heritage site in Karnataka, dress to look like a Hanuman is a Hindu deity,  a central character in the Indian epic Ramayana .

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A shy tribal girl hiding away from my camera, Attapadi, Palakkad, Kerala. 1993-

During our visits we come across so many such incidents. But nobody given them any attention or come forward to save their children.

 Today the reports says the number of infants who lost their lives due to malnutrition in Attappadi in recent months has gone up to 32.  Malnutrition and being underweight was stated to be the reason for the infant’s death. As far I know Such incidents being reported from Attapadi from past. The tribals been exploited and mislead for long.  Why  today Attapadi get enough attention and for what?

Attappadi is an extensive mountain valley at the headwaters of the Bhavani River nestled below the Nilgiri Hills of the Western Ghats. It is bordered to the east by Coimbatore district in Tamilnadu, on the north by the Nilgiris, south by the Palghat taluk 

Blue Iron pillar, Chettinad

Brilliant blue cast-iron pillars imported from Birminghan in Karaikkudi, Tamil nadu

Chettinad is rich in cultural heritage, art and architecture. It is well known for its houses, embellished with marble , cast-iron pillars and Burma teak, wide courtyards, spacious rooms, and for its 18th century mansions. Local legend has it that their walls used to be polished with a paste made out of eggwhites to give a smooth texture. Also very well popular with variety of cuisines.

chettinadu iron pillar