Thursday, February 17, 2011

Spiritual CONNECTION! what it means to ME :)

There is a spiritual connection based on religious beliefs and one that binds us humans into a weightlessness and warmth of breathing LIFE. By breathing life, I mean that the human spirit is so magical and uplifting in these individuals that they indirectly transform the minds and attitudes of others. It is but beautiful, how these free spirits exist among family, friends, children, teachers, lovers and even strangers. Their weightlessness seems to affect everyone around them and release pain in one way or the other. Weightlessness to me, is just a transient state of being , where one lives a life of  honesty, gratitude and goodness in spirit.

With scientists proving that brain chemicals and imbalanced hormones create havoc in humans and astrologers predicting that the planets have something to do with our personalities, we can get a bit uneasy and believe the worst about ourselves and our fate. In this confused state of mind, we are still faced with a choice to save ourselves from the dilemma in the early stages, by exposing ourselves to a positive environment of support as well as begin to ease ourselves out of expecting security and love from ones that cannot provide the same. Easing out of expectations from a loved one, does not mean that their love is not needed but it just means that their support does not exist genuinely and in-genuine support creates more pain. To some of us, who do not understand  the non -attachment teachings of spirituality where the connection stays in-spite of the detachment, this is just a simple example.

Being in my spiritual stage of life, all I can think of as my life's mission is to embrace the world and it's problems, soak them in, sit back with patience, uncover the simple truth and help the unruly people understand what it takes to live with sheer gratitude and respect. Finding easy ways to facilitate goodness in others and help share the same with a larger audience, where the transparency in sharing, caring and giving is established by the do-gooders is no easy task. Since goodness in itself has no boundaries, it's genuine value and growth potential being limitless, much can come of facilitating its consistent usage online. Having researched fun ideas over the years, I am now refreshed and open to build ourselves from the ground up at "We Flap", a Non Profit Social Enterprise attempting to be the largest, most engaging philanthropic community in our world. 

" The select few who accomplish goals larger than life are fully aware of their natural ability of being larger than themselves"- Chikki Venkat

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


As a humanitarian, I am watchful of the ill effects of our actions as humans.. Polluting our environment and inventing new weapons have led to our suffering new ailments, violence, fear and utter greed. As many try to convince us that there awaits an impending doom because we live in the age of Kali Yuga. (Kali Yuga is the last of the four stages that the world goes through as part of the cycle of yugas described in the Indian scriptures), it gets to psyche my mind into a feeling of hopelessness and assuming the worst about our future. To me, looking forward to this impending doom is like giving up on on our personal power to change a situation and help alter life's circumstances. Why should we give up on ourselves, when we can help make a difference?

Looking into myself and and beginning to understand my perception of life, has revealed the answers to taking on an active role in helping make a difference by living productively. It just required me to look past the negative and establish a more structured and disciplined outlook on the way forward. The steadfastness in purpose let me go about my personal journey with confidence and left behind a feeling of accomplishment that helped me understand the capabilities of my inner strength in effecting positive change. Also, tapping into my positive spirit drove me into exploring my freedom of choice and remain at ease to effect change with a strong strength of purpose.

When I genuinely make an effort to open my heart and mind for the welfare of others, it gets to free that fiery spirit of residing within myself. This has been an extraordinary personal journey, where I have never felt alone, as inside me resides a teacher and guide  that consistently leaves that fountain of love, wisdom and generosity, untapped.
"Unknowingly that extraordinary personal power resides in us, and tapping into that inner magic helps us make a DIFFERENCE!"

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Jaago Re

Jaago Re, a social awareness campaign sponsored by Tata Tea, was initiated in 2008 to encourage voter registration. Since then the campaign has expanded to other issues including their current focus - corruption. Visit their website to register, look for volunteering opportunities, and take a pledge against bribing.

Also check out this funny yet sad satire on corruption in India -

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

MakeSense - linking people for social business is two guys traveling around Asia, talking to social entrepreneurs, and having fun along the way (HT ThinkChangeIndia).

Their objective is simple - to share the stories and challenges of social businesses in order to promote and link these businesses to the larger community, similar to what we want to achieve at We Flap.

The web app is still in development, but you can pre-register here. In the meantime, check out their fun blog and videos.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Skills development for women farmers in India

Did you know that 70 percent of agricultural activities in India are carried out by women?

With mass migration of farming families to cities, drought, inconsistent monsoons, shrinking agricultural land banks, next generation food supply chains and processes, new farming techniques, etc., it should be obvious that engaging women farmers and equipping them with skills to cope with a changing agricultural landscape is an imperative.

In practice, that isn’t quite the case, according to an international research project conducted in by the London-based City and Guilds Centre for Skills Development. The report from the project finds that it is the men folk who receive better and most of the training. Women, on the other hand, continue to remain at the bottom of the training pyramid, confined to toiling in the fields. The report highlights the need for appropriate training for women to ensure that their productivity is not lowered.

The state of training women farmers in India is quite disconcerting. Research shows that giving women farmers the same inputs and education as men could increase yields by; despite this women continue to receive only a small proportion of the appropriate training compared to men.

Here is a very good documentary on the state of small scale farmers in India (29 mins)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Fans of what kids could do

Over the last 6 months, We Flap has been working with kids to develop a new program we are calling "Enrichment clusters". Soon, we will start to document our work in more detail and expand this program across various schools.

We learnt quickly that kids can be surprisingly thoughtful when they break complex issues down into the simplest of terms. Frequently, they generate creative ideas by just thinking of things in ways in which most of us cannot - simple because our adult brains have been conditioned not to think in those terms.

In the spirit of our work in fostering "childish thought", we thought it would be apt to share with you an example of why we are such fans of kids -

Monday, December 14, 2009

Giving this holiday season

Struggling with how to pick a charity this holiday season? Here is some help -

Mint presents data on charitable giving in the US and provides advice on how to give.

Tim Ogden from Philanthropy in Action discusses why Mint's advice is dead wrong , and presents his own take on the best and worst ways to pick a charity.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Online giving - keeping it honest

A recent New York Times article highlights an important challenge that online giving and lending sites face. How do you make your model appealing but maintain transparency and efficiency?, the most popular online lending site, allows users to lend small amounts of money to microentrepreneurs in developing countries - at least that is how Kiva presented it. In reality, the funds that users donate go into a pool of money for microfinance institutions. Typically, these institutions lend money to the individual entrepreneurs before the loans are made on Kiva. A person-to-person model is appealing, but not efficient. If individual borrowers had to wait to get their money from a group of lenders, it's likely that many of them would end up waiting for weeks. So, it's understandable (and acceptable) that Kiva operates the way it does.

Kiva modified how they explain their model on their website due to the latest scrutiny. Whether this affects their popularity remains to be seen.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The gift of giving?

How many of you agree that wonderful things happen to you later on in life after experiencing incredible giving experiences at a tender age?

Do I agree? Yes, I do. Let us take for instance my writing this blog and feeling at ease with what I choose to write about. Thinking back there has been one incredible experience that i would like to share with you. It was spending quality time with my grandfather who was developing a disease called Parkinson's. My grandfather was a grand old man with a deep voice and a sharp temper. He had done most of his schooling in England and returned to India to be a District Judge and start a family of his own. Little did I know that he would be more British than Indian as he smoked a pipe, wore classy shirts and trousers and insisted on good manners and discipline, always!

Just the thought of grandpa made me nervous and scared but I always had a soft corner for him as he rewarded me with chocolates for good behavior. Now, to relate my incredible experience with grandpa. Well, little did I know that he loved my hand writing and my writing style until he insisted that I spend my weekends helping him write letters to his good old friends as he had developed a debilitating disease called Parkinson's and his fingers always trembled. My poor darling grandpa I thought and willingly offered to help him whenever he needed help.

Little did I realize at that time that I was learning every step of the way. I did what I was told as I had just offered to be his hands and not HIM! He loved me for just being ME. As I listened I learned, as I wrote I learned and as I interacted with him I learned. The experience was INCREDIBLE! It had a lasting effect on me as it improved my grammar, writing style, confidence and personality. And what I find most fascinating is that everytime I write, it brings back fond memories of quality time with my grandfather.

Surely, many of you have an incredible experience to share. Do publish your posts for all to see. Thank you!