Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Alok Sagar

Taught RBI's Governor Raghuram Rajan. Resigned for bringing change at ground level. Betul district. Environmentalist (planted 50000 trees). BTECH+MTECH from IIT Delhi. PhD from Housten University, Texas.

क्या है आलोक सागर की कमाई
आलोक सागर के पास कुल कमाई में तीन कुर्ता और एक साइकिल की विरासत है. आलोक का दिन बीजों को जमा करने और आदिवासियों के बीच उसे बांटने में बीतता है. आलोक सागर श्रमिक आदिवासी संगठन से जुड़े हैं और इनके विकास के लिए लगातार काम करते रहते हैं. यही नहीं आलोक को कई आदिवासी भाषाएं जानते हैं और बोलते हैं. 
(source: http://www.inkhabar.com/other/24155-ex-iit-delhi-professor-lives-tribals-and-work-them)
1990 से बैतूल जिले के एक ही छोटे से आदिवासी गांव कोचामाऊ में रह रहे हैं. वो अपनी इस शैक्षणिक योग्यताको छिपाए, जंगल को हर-भरा करने के अपने मिशन में लगे हैं क्योंकि वो अपनी उच्‍च शिक्षा उस आधार पर औरों से अलग नहीं खड़े होना चाहते थे.
उनका जीवन आज लोगों के लिए प्रेरणा बन गया है. उनके पास पहनने के लिए बस तीन कुर्ते हैं और एक साइकिल. उन्‍हें कई भाषाएं बोलनी आती है लेकिन न सबके बावजूद वे बस इन पिछड़े इलाकों में शिक्षा का प्रसार करने में लगे हैं.
एक हिंदी वेबसाइट में छपी खबर के अनुसार आलोक सागर के छोटे भाई आज भी आईआईटी में प्रोफेसर हैं. उनकी मां मिरंडा हाउस में फिजिक्स की प्रोफेसर थीं और पिता इंडियन रेवेन्यू सर्विस में अधिकारी.

(source: http://aajtak.intoday.in/education/story/iit-professor-alok-sagar-who-once-taught-raghuram-rajan-is-now-working-for-tribals-1-887450.html)

Alok Sagar, a resident of New Delhi, did his bachelor in electrical engineering from the prestigious IIT Delhi and got his masters degree from the institute in 1973. He went on to complete his PhD at Houston University in Texas, US, before returning to India to become a professor at his alma mater.
However, it later dawned on him that he would be able to better contribute to the growth of the country and its people by working on the ground. So, in 1982, Sagar resigned as professor and began working with the tribals in Betul and Hoshangabad districts, helping save the environment — one tree at a time.
(source: http://www.hindustantimes.com/bhopal/mp-this-iit-prof-quit-job-to-work-for-downtrodden-tribals/story-CFUa47OhFyCYHTAZdmaVYM.html)

लेकिन, वहां मौजूद मीडिया के साथियों के आग्रह पर आखिर आलोक सागर ने अपनी शैक्षणिक योग्यता 32 साल में पहली बार बताई: उन्होंने 1973 में आई. आई. टी. दिल्ली से एम टेक किया,1977 में हयूस्टन यूनिवर्सिटी, टेक्सास, अमेरिका से शोध डिग्री ली, फिर टेक्सास यूनिवर्सिटी से डेंटल ब्रांच में पोस्ट डॉक्टरेट और समाजशास्त्र विभाग, डलहोजी यूनिवर्सिटी, कनाडा में फेलोशिप की। उन्होंने 1982 में दिल्ली आई आई टी में प्रोफेसर की नौकरी से त्याग पत्र दे दिया, वो वहां रिजर्व बैंक के गवर्नर रघुराम राजन के शिक्षक रहे।
(source: https://wikileaks4india.com/news/rbi-governors-teacher-alok-sagar-gets-threat-by-mp-police-2420)

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Temple of Cleanliness at Sirsoti

Irrespective of understanding the need of villagers and providing solution on priority basis, things are being developed just for namesake. Most of the time CSR activities of PSUs are being propelled by the popular vision of Gov. and such things are being executed with pomp and show. No one asks what actually they want. As Sirsoti is tribal majority village with widespread poverty and illiteracy as well (only 55% literacy rate), education should have been given the most priority. As 5-8 family members are living in small one or two rooms cottage, children seldom find peace at home for self-study. There are urgent requirement for study-cum-library at different locations of village for girls and boys separately.  

As this village is very backward and small bricks-homes are being now built and some shops are there, there is no requirement of community toilet at this point of time. Again there is school in front of this community which also have some toilets built for girls and boys, which might have used by visitors. Anyway the toilet remains unused. This is also one of the best, well designed structure in this particular village.
During my college days, members of GRA at IIT Bombay used to share story of toilet built by a minister in a village. Once a minister landed from flight at random in a village, early in the morning. There he found some people walking with lota (container for water). Amazingly he asked about this and he was revealed that those people were going for morning relieve. Thinking of such a pathetic scenario, he immediately facilitated building of toilets for each home. After one year, he once again came in the village and saw the same scene of people going for morning relieve in the open. Angered he remarked these foolish people are accustomed to live like this. Then some villagers told him there is dearth of water in the village and these toilets require lots of water for remaining cleaned. During rainy season, their cattle find no place to hide and hence they are using these toilets are being used as cattle room.
Such thing was not expected from Modi Government. Anyway janandolan for cleanliness led our honorable PM gave way to erection of this temple of cleanliness in the village. Hope in future may be five to ten years down the line these structure will have utility for the village. This village also lacks enough water for irrigation.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Labourers and CSR

White collars' community remain mum over the violation of laws in industries with respect to contract labourers. Management knows this philosophy of surplus given by Adam Smith and Karl Marx well and if these laws were implemented many contract workers have to be hired permanently reducing the overall profitability of the company which will reciprocate upon white collars' wages. Maintaining silence and overruling the laws is considered as maintaining discipline in industries as it is believed that there is nothing white, nor black but everything is grey. It is also true to some extent as laws is made by keeping ideal situations in mind and it leaves practical aspect on the decision of executives. 

But where is the problem? The same laws, policy comes in picture when the question of giving some facility to these poor labourers arises and management happily barred these facilities giving sweeping statements. Amid such situations, laws like right to information, right to education etc. becomes important for the sake of public cause. Management are happy to compensate by funding crores of rupees to the schools for shortfalls (means schools are unable to attract children to fill the minimum described seats in each section). It simply implies paying fees for empty seats. But management is reluctant to fill these seats by giving opportunities to bright children of its labour community and the poor people in its neighbourhood. This may also be counted as CSR without spending a single penny.

Education and Health should be the prime CSR activities of any industry. There is not much merit in investing money for generating employment as wage labourers as its CSR activities when it is already giving job to thousand of labourers as its core activities. There is need of extending quality education and health facilities to their labour community as they are not getting wages to get all these facilities.

A long way to go ahead for changing the mindset of management who believe that spending on education on labour will create problem in future for labour supply. They should believe that development of country will happen only when all its people will be well off which will lead to peace and security.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Parivaar: Vinayak Lohani

Vinayak Lohani, the Founder of Parivaar, did B.Tech from Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (2000) and MBA from Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (2003). He did not appear for the placement process at IIM, and immediately after his MBA, started Parivaar. The normal career-path of a mainstream corporate career following degrees from two of the most prestigious institutes in India ensures a highly lucrative future, but Vinayak Lohani sacrificed this to work at the grassroots level.
He was inspired by the spiritual and humanistic ideals of Swami Vivekananda, and with just 3 children in a small rented building with almost no financial resources, Vinayak started Parivaar. As on March 2016, Parivaar’s Residential Institution has 1337 resident children and is considered to be a model institution for caretaking and overall development of children from destitute backgrounds in a residential setting. It is also the largest free residential institution for children from impoverished backgrounds in whole of West Bengal. Parivaar is slated to reach a capacity of 2000 residential children by 2018 and in next 10 years aims to become India’s largest residential institution for children from impoverished backgrounds.

On Vinayak and Parivaar, many academic case-studies have been authored dealing with grassroots Social Entrepreneurship and Organization-building. These cases have been taught and discussed at various B-Schools in India. Best-selling author Rashmi Bansal’s book ‘I have a Dream’ has an entire chapter on Vinayak Lohani and the initial phase of Parivaar.

Source: http://parivaar.org/about/the-founder/

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Holistic Industrial Ecology

Rihand Township has been laid out in patriotic outlook. All its gates, roads, places etc were either named on behalf freedom fighters or on the name of mountains giving an image of India. In year 2010, I was invited by Malaviya Mision, an NGO as guest lecturer. Dr. Dinesh Dinkar, a Hindi teacher of DAV, Rihand was anchoring. He himself title as Rashtrakavi. Metaphorically he described Rihand Township as if it is a small Bharat with prosperity and luxury. In my speech, I radically attacked on his idea and suggested to include people living outside the Rihand Township Boundary to complete the picture of India with inclusion grim poverty. At that time I suggested there is need of an holistic industrial ecology where labourers and people living just out side the boundary should have opportunity to come along with managerial class of the Industry. In stead of maintaining a gradient by raising boundary (whose height depends upon on the level of economic inequality existing between outside and inside the boundary), there should be a well-carved out CSR plan for developing a continuous slope of this inequality. Children of Managers and Majdoor should be given equal opportunity as well as equal platform for moving ahead in the life. 

After year long effort of Navodaya Mission and continuous advocacy for this cause, finally the time has come when children of managers and majdoors shared the same dias, performed programs together and have a photo click together. Some bright children of labourers were also given chance to study in campous school free of cost and admission of a few more students are consideration. This is really a moment of rejoice for acceptance of this idea.  

Monday, 6 June 2016

Navodaya ICON: Raja Ram Mohan Roy (22 May)

Raja Ram Mohan Roy (22 May, 1772 - 27 September, 1833) is remembered as "The Father of the Indian Renaissance" for his effort to protect Hinduism and Indian rights. He is remembered for being instrumental to abolish the practice of Sati, the Hindu funeral practice in which the widow was compelled to sacrifice herself i8n her husband's funeral pyre. By founding Brahmo Samaj, a socio-religious reform movement against the evils of Hinduism and Multi-Theism. His activities had effects on public administration, education as well as religion. He also protested against the East India Company's decision to support vernacular education and insisted that English should replace Sanskrit and Persian in India. It was he who first introduced the word "Hinduism" into the English language in 1816. 

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Navodaya Vichar: How to treat your Servants

A master should look after his servants in following five ways:
  •        By assigning them work according to their strength
  •        By supplying them with food and wages
  •         By tendering them in sickness
  •           By sharing delicacies with them
  •          By granting leave at times
(The Buddha suggested above things to masters of his days. It is still relevant and may be taken as guiding principle by industries and employers.)
The fate of employers and employees should swing together. One should not extract exorbitant profits at the cost of welfare of workers pushing them towards penury.