Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Is Mumbai City Safe for Women Today ?

Is this city safe for women? Probably, if you go by the statistics. On
the night of January 1, 2008, thousands of young women got into taxis,
their own cars, buses and trains and headed home. But they were all
looking around them with new eyes. In the old dispensation, a single
drunken man might have tried to paw a woman. She would have shouted at
him and other people would have come to her help. In the new order, the
mob forms quickly. Its hackles rise immediately.

The question Mumbai should be asking itself after we woke up to a second New Year on which women had been molested in public is: are all women now crossing into alien territory once they leave their family homes?

Mumbai, popular discourse assures us, is safe for women. This has been repeated again and again, at late-night parties as women prepare to go home alone, in offices after the take-out dinner has been eaten, at the recording studios and the call centres. This is repeated in salons where no one uses Indian perfumes and where the clothes are equally divided between ethnic chic and neo-Western designer wear. The men who reached for that woman, the men who tore off her dress and left her screaming in the street, had probably never heard about that. They do not own the city in the same way as the middle-classes do. They do not feel the same pride that the intelligentsia of the city feel in a city that can make space for a working woman or a partying woman coming home late in the night and alone. Perhaps this is because they have been shown that they do not belong.

A city is about managing contradictions. The only way to do this is by a series of subtle negotiations. A generation ago, for instance, young people were told that they should not eat in public because they did not know who had gone hungry that morning. You can argue that this was hypocrisy, a gauze bandage offered to the huge chancre of inequality and poverty. But it was also a gesture. And negotiations are often composed of gestures.

No one is arguing that the women should not have been intoxicated, if they were indeed intoxicated. No one is denying them the right to verbal retaliation or the right to wear whatever they wanted. There can be no sympathy for the men who acted in this gruesome manner. But this city is now composed of gruesome acts.

When Shamshad Khan, a performance poet from Britain, came to India last year, she was horrified at the poverty of the city. She had never travelled outside Britain before and Mumbai's complete self-assurance, its ability to contain vast swathes of marble-coated and chilly luxury and huge stretches of open-air public toilets, left her aghast. A small card placed on her bed, which explained that the hotel valued her sleep and so had provided four different kinds of pillows on her bed, struck her as some kind of horrible irony. Outside, on the road, men and women slept with their heads cushioned on cement blocks that served as road dividers.

Of course, living in a Third World city means that you cannot actually respond with sympathy or humanity each time you are confronted with someone crushed by the huge pyramid of social injustice on which we base our lives. As our air-conditioned cars take the roads that run through labour camps and slums, our axles hurt more than our consciences. The city's millionaires plan to build homes that are 60 floors high in a city where few young couples can even think of a single room as a starter home. The word 'crore' is bandied about thoughtlessly in a city where some salaries have just crossed the four-figure mark.

Lack of Social Mobility

Now consider the scene outside the Marriott, where it is possible to spend Rs 10,000 in a single night on a single bottle of alcohol. By its very nature, such a hotel must be exclusivist, seeking to keep out men such as those who molested the women at its gates. On this night of artificial cheer, a night on which everyone is expected to have something to do, or somewhere to go, these men were standing on the road and watching the rich slide by in cocoons of steel and glass and privilege.

And then they watched as women from another class, another level, women completely unavailable came out of the hotel. Their attack is no less heinous for all their lack of social mobility. But it arises out of a whole cluster of issues relating to their view of gender, their view of class, their view of privilege.

Today, Lakshmi Mittal believes that one needs to arrive at vanaprasthashrama before one gives in charity. Today, a certain class of young person is assured of a job and of a fairly decent salary as long as they know English and they take this for granted.

The call centre boom has lifted some boats. The entire northern suburb of Malad, for instance, has been revitalised and transformed into Back-end Bohemia. Young people return home late in the night and the neighbours no longer raise their eyebrows. They dig their daughter in the shoulder and ask why she hasn't applied for a call centre job where you get a fantastic salary if you manage to stick it out for a year.

Author : Samir Bhoir
Article Source : Is Mumbai City Safe for Women Today ?


John Kelai of Kenya, as expected, won the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon on 20.01.2008

Kelai finished in 2 hours, 12 minutes and 22 seconds, followed by Tariku Jufar of Ethiopia in 2:12:28 and Philemon Boit of Kenya in 2:12:35.

"I waited for the last mile and then gave it all. I knew if I maintained the same pace I would
succeed in winning. The wins in both the races was equally satisfying and I am really happy that I made it two in a row," said Kelai later.

Seboka set the record in the women's event in 2:30:03, ahead of Kenyans Irene Kemunto (2:32:51) and Margaret Karie Toroitich (2:33:56). Seboka has won three of the five Mumbai Marathons. Indian runners had a field day in the half marathon category with Surender Singh and Kavita Raut winning the 21-km race in the men's and women's category respectively.

Singh finished with a timing of 1:05:43:57 beating Finnish athlete Jutsi Utrianen who clocked 1:05:57:07 while Santosh Kumar came third with a timing of 1:06:16:05

In the women's category, Raut fought off some close competition from compatriot Preeja Sreedharan to bag the first place.

Raut timed 1:16:36:81 while Sreedharan clocked 1:16:38:07.

Indian Preeti Rao
finished third with a timing of 1:19:26:51.


Marathon Men (42 km):
1. John Kelai (Kenya) 2:12:22.21; 2. Tariku Jiffar (Ethiopia)
2:12:27.98; 3. Philemon Boit (Kenya) 2:12:34.57; 4. Ketema Amersisa
(Kenya) 2:13:36.29; 5. Elijah Nyambuti (Kenya) 2:14:27.94; 6. Enoch
Mitei (Kenya) 2:16:12.23; 7. Evans Ruto (Kenya) 2:17:05.66; 8. Maluni
Katio John (Kenya) 2:17:34.52; 9. Zak Kinhara (Kenya) 2:18:18.47; 10. R
S Yadav (India) 2:18:23.33.
Marathon Women (42 km):
1. Mulu Seboka (Ethiopia) 2:30:03.19; 2. Kemunto Mogaka Irene (Kenya)
2:32:50.91; 3. Margaret Karie Toroitich (Kenya) 2:33:55.69; 4.
Winifridah Kwamboka (Kenya) 2:37:34.12; 5. Haille Kebebush (Kenya)
2:37:35.28; 6. Zebenay Moges (Ethiopia) 2:37:35.92; 7. Nailya
Youlanonova (Russia) 2:37:38.32; 8. Letay Negash (Ethiopia) 2:39:52.13;
9/ Marashet Jimma 2:40:41.76; 10. Katerina Stetsenko (Ukraine)
Marathon India Men (42 km) (Top three): R S Yadav 2:18:23.33; Bining Lyngkhoi 2:24:49.27; Narender Singh 2:25:30.63.
Marathon India Women (42 km) (Top three): Pashotlemia Devi 3:02:28.06; Dhiraj Indresh 3:08:11.28; Bhagwati Bhagwati 3:15:58.45.
Half Marathon Men (21 km) (Top 7):
Surender Singh (India) 1:05:43.57; Jutsi Utrianen (Finland) 1:05:57.07;
Santosh Kumar (India) 1:06:16.05; Soji Matthew (India) 1:06:43.43;
Gurusewak Singh (India) 1:08:07.73; M D Yunus (India) 1:08:20.96;
Naresh Kumar (India) 1:09:13.75.
Half Marathon Women (21 km) (Top 7):
Kavita Raut (India) 1:16:36.81; Preeja Sreedharan (India) 1:16:38.07;
Preeti Rao (India) 1:19:26.51; Kamlesh Baghel (India) 1:23:40.33;
Vaishali Chatare (India) 1:23:46.02; Anuja Bijagare (India) 1:27:33.64;
Wiitich Karen (UK) 1:44:57.78.

Author : Samir Bhoir

India has 53 billionaires - Forbes list of world's billionaires

India has 53 billionaires
whose combined wealth accounts
$340.9 billion, according to the Forbes list of world's billionaires
released on 06.03.2008

China has a maximum 28 people
joining the ranks of those with at least one billion dollar, India has
managed to retain its position as Asia's biggest source of billionaires.

China has 42 billionaires second highest in Asia with a combined wealth of $95 billion.

India and China are followed by Hong Kong - 26, Japan - 24 and Australia -14 in terms of number of billionaires

Last year in 2007, India had overtaken Japan as the biggest Asian
nation in terms of number of billionaires. Japan has now slipped even
below China and Hong Kong this year.

India holds the honour of having the largest number of four billionaires in top ten list :

# Lakshmi Mittal (4th)

# Mukesh Ambani (5th)

# Anil Ambani (6th)

# KP Singh (8th).

There are two Americans in Top Ten Warren Buffet at the top and Bill Gates at third.

India still remains way below the US in terms of total number of such people, which has as many as 469 billionaires worth a total of $1.6 trillion.

As many as four Indians steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal, Mukesh Ambani, his estranged younger brother Anil Ambani and realty baron K P Singh have made it to top 10 positions, as against just one, Mittal, a year ago.

India has retained its position as the top source of billionaires in
Asia with total 53 people, who have a cumulative networth of 340.9
billion dollars on Forbes' 2008 World's Billionaires
list consisting of 1,125 people with a combined wealth of 4.4 trillion
dollars. A year ago, there were just 179 billionaires, Forbes said.

With a networth of 62 billion dollars, Buffett has topped the list,
followed by Carlos Slim Helu (60 billion dollars) and Bill Gates (58
billion dollars) on second and third positions.

These three are followed by three Indians -- Lakshmi Mittal (45 billion dollars), Mukesh (43 billion dollars) and Anil (42 billion dollars) on fourth, fifth and sixth ranks.

Besides, DLF's K P Singh (30 billion dollars) has been ranked, after Sweden's Ingvar Kamprad (31 billion dollars)

Other two in the top 10 are Russia's Oleg Deripaska Forbes said that Anil Ambani is
the biggest gainer with wealth soaring by 23.8 billion dollars since
the last list. He is only one billion dollars behind his brother Mukesh, who is the second biggest gainer with a rise of 22.9 billion dollars in his networth.

Lakshmi Mittal has gained 13 billion dollars from last year, pushing him one place higher to fourth rank this year.

Surefire ways to reduce the stress and stay happy while working in a BPO

Never before any sector in India witnessed such a growth, as did BPO in the last five years. BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) is the most publicized word in Indian industry today. If the current trend continues, BPO will rule the industry at least for the nest 15 years or so, although the BPO sector is booming, there have been some concerns over the level of stress the young employees are going through. It has been proved beyond doubt that BPO employees are the more stressed in the industry because of working in odd hours, loss of sleep, irregular eating habits and junk food. While it is always good to go for a BPO job, it is also necessary to cope with the increasing stress level with proper strategy. Below listed 5 surefire ways to reduce the stress and stay happy while working in a BPO.

1) Be sociable, interact more with your Colleagues

To cope with the high pressure of a BPO job, it is important to be more interactive. Don't remain calm and quiet, as it will have an adverse impact on your health in a stressful work environment. Crack jokes and have fun with your colleagues to make the atmosphere lighter. Make good friends, share your feelings and thoughts with them. It will ease the pressure on you to a great extent.

2) Spend more time with your friends and family when you get week-offs

Almost all BPOs offer two days week-off. Utilize your week-offs to the maximum level. Spend time with your family, friends and others. Go on lunch/dinner, movies or plan any other hangouts you wish. Visiting pubs, discos or restaurants in week-offs is also a great idea. It will keep your mind and spirit up.

3) Do work-out, visit Gym and Spa, do Yoga

Exercise is a must for BPO employee because of the amount of stress generated in their work place. Visit a nearby Gym at least thrice a week and burn your calories there. If don't get time, at least do some walk or jogging. Yoga is the best medicine, which will keep you healthy and fit. Also, visit a spa once/twice in a month to get some good massage. It will be relaxing and reliving for you. You can also go for Music Therapy if possible. Music Therapy is considered as an effective stress buster.

4) Attend Workshops, Camps in your spare time

Although BPO employees hardly get time to attend social events, let's believe the saying, "if there is a will, there is a way". Whenever you get a chance, attend the workshops organized by various companies and organizations. Also, don't miss attending special camps if they come your way. Such events work wonder in reducing the stress level and keep people fit.

5) Go for a Change of Job every six months

If you are working at an Advisor level, it is essential to change your process or job once in six months. Unless you see some growth in the existing company, go ahead and change your company every six months. Different process, different work environment and different set of colleagues will make your life easier, as it will reduce the monotony. Most BPOs do not allow a change in the process. So, it's better to leave them and join another. Since you have a job experience, you won't find to get a good job with a better pay package.

Author : Samir Bhoir
Article Source : Surefire ways to reduce the stress and stay happy while working in a BPO

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Drinking too much water can damage the kidney - Strange but True

According to a new scientific review published in the Journal of the American
Society of Nephrology
, drinking too much water can actually damage the

Liquid H2O is the sine qua non of life. Making up about 66 percent of the human body, water runs through the blood, inhabits the cells, and lurks in the spaces between. At every moment water escapes the body through sweat, urination, defecation or exhaled breath, among other routes. Replacing these lost stores is essential but re-hydration can be overdone. There is such a thing as a fatal water overdose.

a 28-year-old California woman died after competing in a radio station's on-air water-drinking contest. After downing some six liters of water in three hours in the "Hold Your Wee for a Wii" (Nintendo game console) contest, Jennifer Strange vomited, went home with a splitting headache, and died from so-called water intoxication.

Scientists say there is no proof for the urban myth that it is beneficial for the average healthy individual to drink a lot of water.

There is a long-held idea that drinking a lot of water helps clear the body of toxins, keep organs in tip-top shape and even helps keep weight off and improve skin tone, but scientists are skeptical.

As a kidney specialist, Dr. Stanley Goldfarb of the University of Pennsylvania is interested in how the kidney handles fluids, which prompted him and a colleague, Dr. Dan Negoianu, to review the scientific literature on the benefits of drinking water. In doing so, the researchers debunked four myths.

Research results suggest that contrary to popular belief, drinking a lot of water does not suppress appetite, flush toxins from the body, reduce headaches or improve the skin.

There are circumstances under which drinking a lot of water may even be unhealthy: "In long-distance runners, for example, more harm is done by over-drinking during races than by long distance runners who under-drink"

So friends, idea that drinking eight glasses of water a day is good for your health has been dismissed now

Rising inflation and price rise is the biggest failure of the UPA government so far

The UPA government is squarely responsible for the present state of affairs.

In the middle of last year, the government claimed that the price rise was seasonal. Later, the finance minister began putting out the argument that inflation is a natural consequence of rapid economic growth. In the recent period, the government and its economic advisors are pointing to ‘supply constraints’ as a main cause for inflation. Despite all these arguments, the government cannot escape the responsibility for its gross failure. The rising inflation and price rise is a direct result of the policies of the government. The argument that inflation is a consequence of rapid growth also does not stand scrutiny. The Chinese economy has been registering rapid growth for three decades. Inflation is currently below 2 per cent in China.

The wrong policies of the government and mismanagement has led to shortages of supply and price rise of many commodities. The world prices of sugar have fallen sharply. Yet, the retail price of sugar in India continues to climb. The fiasco of wheat imports last year underlined the failure to procure adequate amounts of wheat from farmers because private players are being allowed to corner stocks. Large-scale import of wheat last year did not check the rising price of wheat. The government has failed to deal with the basic causes for the overall slow down in agricultural production.

Minister of State for Planning V Narayanasamy :
The newly-appointed Minister of State for Planning V Narayanasamy expressed confidence that prices will come under control soon following the steps taken by the Centre to contain inflationary pressure. “Union government has done its job, and within some days price situation will be rectified", he said after assuming the charge of Minister of State in the Planning Commission.

I don't understand how he is so confident about that ??? . Shocked

He's statement shocked me.
Day Dreaming

Don't he know that rise in price has hit the homemaker's budget like never before. Even the middle class is feeling the pinch.

From 5.92 percent on February 21 to the current rate of 7 per cent, inflation has soared to a 39 month high, and people's grocery list is changing by the week, in direct proportion to the skyrocketing prices of essential commodities.

The international oil prices have come down substantially. After the token cut in Rs. 2 for petrol and Re. 1 for diesel in December 2006, the government has refused to restore the pre-June 2006 prices by making a further cut. Neither is the government prepared to do away with the advalorem duty structure on oil imports. The government shows no political will to crack down on hoarding.

The government has to revise its agricultural policies. Food security and strengthening of the public distribution system is linked to adequate production of food grains. Encouragement of incentives to switch from food grains to cash crops along with other reasons has led to a fall in production of food grains. The public distribution system has been systematically weakened in order to cut back on food subsidies. In the union budget last year, there was a cut of Rs. 3000 crores in the food subsidy. The government will have to take urgent steps to strengthen the public distribution system and expand its purview by including pulses and edible oils and other essential commodities.

Instead of taking these steps, the government announced in January cuts in import duties on cement, capital goods, project imports, metals and chemicals. This was a wrong step. Such drastic cuts in import duty on manufactured items will have an adverse impact on domestic producers leading to deflation and unemployment. Similar cuts in import duty on wheat and pulses did not succeed in bringing down inflation.

While the performance of the Manmohan Singh government in the power sector has been dismal just about 50 per cent of the targeted 41,000 Mw was added in the 10th Plan period, it can take credit for prying open the nuclear door for India.

Though there seem to be last minute hiccups in the India-US nuclear cooperation deal, which would give India access to US nuclear technology and fuel for the first time in 30 years, it clearly caps everything else that the government has managed in the energy sector.

There was the plan to set up the country's largest power plants the 4,000 Mw ultra mega power plants across nine cities in the country but only one at Mundra in Gujarat has managed to get off the ground so far. Critics say the government would have done better by focusing incentives on smaller-sized plants since "not many companies have the ability and willingness to invest Rs 16,000 crore (Rs 160 billion) or more required for each ultra mega project."

"Inflation not only reduces the level of business investment, but also the efficiency with which productive factors are put to use."

Now people knows that rising inflation and price rise is the biggest failure of the UPA government so far.
Author : Samir Bhoir
Article Source : Rising inflation and price rise is the biggest failure of the UPA government so far