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Archive for the ‘Gyan Guru’ Category

(Disclaimer: This information may only be useful for people currently living in Boise)

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For people in Boise who love reading, here is something you may find extremely useful …

The Boise Public Library’s Summer Reading Program was kicked off on 1-Jun-16 and this will end on 30-Jul-16.

All you need to do is log your reading minutes by registering yourself at:

https://boiselibrary.beanstack.org/reader365

You can add your children to your profile as well to get them kick started too.

(Note: You need to be a member of the Boise Public Library and need to have a membership card)

The perks:

  1. Upon registering for the Reading program, you get a free copy of a short story by the Short Story Contest Winner. (This is what I got)…

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2. If you register your child, he or she gets to pick a book of their choice from the Boise Public Library. (This was what Riya picked up for herself)

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3. If you consistently read for 30 days, you get to pick another free book 😉

4. If you complete 60 days of reading, you get to pick another free book 😀

Some indulgences bring you so much joy, reading definitely tops my list.

Am currently on a self imposed reading marathon spree.

Until next time..

Keep the Faith,

Read anything and everything that crosses your path,

Adios !

 

 

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BBC Four to broadcast Nirbhaya documentary, ‘India’s Daughter’, at 3:30 am IST on Thursday

http://www.ndtv.com/

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Work life balance, everybody talks about it. How many of us actually get to work on it to strike that perfect balance between life and work is something we must explore.

A few weeks ago, I happened to see a Goodbye email by a colleague who signed off stating “I am now going to re-claim my life”.

It sounded great, no doubt; however, it set me thinking.

What is it that I want from my life ? Is my life only MY LIFE ?  Most often than not, there are no right or wrong answers to that one.

Everybody has different expectations and needs in life. What matters is what YOU want from your life.

I made a list for myself to understand what I wanted in life.

My prime focus areas were Family, work, friends, health and the likes.

As I said earlier, there are no right or wrong priorities. I think you need to make that very clear to yourself about what are the things you want, and what are things  you absolutely don’t want.

I then classified generic time slots for each of these focus areas, again, this is what worked for me. There is no hard and fast rule that this is the best method.

Whatever works best for you is the best thing for you.

In a nutshell, some pointers I made for myself were:

1. Plan your day in advance, you can chose to either plan your day early in the morning, or the night before.

2. Another good practice before you go to sleep is  to reflect on what things went well during the day, and what you should have done better if a similar situation were to arrive again in the future.

3. In some cases, you may also want to decide on what clothes you would wear during the week and make sure you have them ironed and ready for the entire week. This does save you a lot of hassle and time in deciding what you would want to wear on any given weekday.

4. List all your activities into 3 sections,

  • Things you absolutely must do. i.e. things that are urgent and important and that cannot be delayed.
  • Things that are important but not urgent
  • Things that are neither urgent nor important and which can be postponed.

Once you have fiished classifying these, plan your day and set timelines to stick by these.

5, If you are at work, and there are distractions, make sure you keep your desk uncluttered, if you dont want to be disturbed, keep that headset on, it gives an impression that you may be on a call 😉 Else, politely tell your time waster that you are working on something important and that you will get back to them later in the day.

6. Learn to say No. The magic of No is amazing. It sometimes sets you free. Don’t kill yourself by agreeing to do everything. People who have trouble saying this magic word, end up being miserable.

7. Delegate work that can be delegated. Do not hesitate to ask for help when in need. Trust me, the world is a better place when you set your ground rules and maintain transparency of what you an do and what you will need help on. For this, you need to ensure that you keep your stakeholders engaged and happy.

8. This one is specailly for women. Remember, it is not important to be a Super woman. Learn to stay calm, and yes, its okay if you dont do your laundry everyday.

In case you do not find domestic help,  discuss with your family, and explore options to get help.

You can chose to do your laundry once or twice a week rather than doing it everyday. It will save you lots of time and energy.

9. Check out on things that can be automated. It will help you save time which you can use to do things you love to do.

10. Breathe.

11. Meditate – It helps you focus.

12. Play with your children, spend time with them. It is the best de-stresser.

13. Talk to your spouse / partner.

14. Switch off your laptop / phone when you get home. Try to stay gadget free. It helps you free your mind and spend quality time with loved ones.

15. Exercise.

16. Don’t hesitate to just get up from wherever you are and walk away for a few minutes, all alone.

Alone time is the best time to think and solve complex problems.

17. Read, atleast for 5 minutes a day. It can be anything at all. but reading keeps your mind occupied and stimulated.

18. Stay wtih people who radiate positivity. Be with happy,positive people. Avoid gossip and back biting. It sets you free mentally.

19. The last in my list is to let go.

Sometimes its not really worth it to think and be overly anxious, just let go of your fears.

While we all may have long term and short term goals, sometimes its better and easier to take one day at a time.

Seize the moment, make the most of it, it would be gone even before you realise it.

Do the best of what you can do Now… it will make your world a better place to be in.

Stay happy.

 

Cheers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It was the year 2002, I had just passed out of college. I was young, clueless, and lost. I grabbed whatever came my way and joined WNS, a leading BPO back then. It was during this period, that my team members paid a visit to the Pune Blind School at Koregaon Park. A few  of them had volunteered to read stories to the children at the Blind School every week.

I clearly remember my friend telling me that she was getting into a state of depression, she stopped going there after the initial few weeks, she said it made her uncomfortable dealing with these children and that she could not handle it anymore. This memory somehow stayed in my head.

I hopped several jobs and cities over the years; but the memory remained.

I had never really known or seen anybody who was blind in real life; the only blind persons I had seen were the ones I had seen in movies or on TV; I was not sure if I was ready to help yet, but was curious to know about the world of men and women with blindness.

Sometime, earlier this year, I finally googled about the Pune Blind School, and called up the Administrator there; I wanted to visit them and possibly explore options of volunteering for help. I was nervous, and had a thousand things running in my mind; finally, in the morning of the day that I was to meet the Administrator,  I developed cold feet; I somehow felt that I was not ready to commit myself to any kind of help or support and chickened out. I was lame enough to call up the Administrator and apologized for not being able to make it this time. He courteously replied that I could call them up any time I wanted to visit them. I never called him after that.

2 weeks ago, I saw an email in my office mailbox regarding a visit to the Pune Blind Men’s association (PBMA) and registered for it. I thought, this was it!! This was going to be my last attempt of stepping into a zone I was afraid and paranoid about.

We were supposed to reach the venue at 9am on a Saturday morning, but by the time all of us reached, it was already 9.40am. We waited at the corridor for further instructions. In less than 5 minutes  we saw a gentleman in his late 50’s walk out of his office, he was Mr. Homeyar Mobedji, the CEO of PBMA. He welcomed us and gave our team an overview on PBMA.

We were listening intently to him at the Technical Training Institute of PBMA. He said that their vision and mission was to empower  visually impaired persons by helping them aquire skills and techniques through their various professional trainings. They also helped their students in finding employment options, training and on job assistance. The age group of their students was 18 – 35 years.They provide their students all their trainings free of cost. Their lodging and boarding is also free.

It was towards the end of the entire visit that we figured that Mr. Mobedji is completely blind; he neither had a white cane, nor did he have any trouble stepping in and out of his office. Any time a volunteer asked him a question, he responded by looking straight at that person’s face. That came as a surprise; because, the first memory I had of a blind person was watching Nirupa Roy in Amar Akbar Antony. Bollywood has always depicted the Blind as victims in need of constant help and sympathy. The scene here was different. There were students, walking around and talking as easily as us. The students here were on their path to become self reliant, confident individuals with the hope of blending into the mainstream world.

The thing I did notice was that the students often moved around in pairs, holding each others hands, guiding each other through the correct pathway, occasionally bumping into our group members.(We were a big group and had occupied a huge area around entrance of PBMA).

While interacting with some of the students of PBMA, we discovered that most of them were extremely intelligent and well informed about current affairs. I had prepared a Quiz as a part of the Fun Event that was planned for the students; they could answer all of them correctly.

We also happened to walk into the Vodafone Customer Care section of PBMA, I was delighted to see the way they answered their calls; they were able to identify callers with the help of a special screen reading software that helped them handle their day to day calls. I was truly impressed.

We also were taken in to their Recording room which is used for their Digital Talking Book Project – this is used to produce audio books for the general Visually Impaired community so that they can have listening material for their various learning courses.

Some of the courses that PBMA offers include:

1. Training in Call centre operations – in partnership with Maharashtra and Goa; we actually had gone to this room, and were surprised at the way these students answered calls with the help of a screen reading software that allows them to identify their caller and verify basic information of the customer.

2. Certificate course in French language – in partnership with Alliance Francaise, Pune

3. Certificate course in Basic Computers for the visually challenged.

4. Certificate course in Massage and Naturopathy

5. Certificate course in Diet and Nutrition

6. Certificate course in Home Science

7. Certificate courses in general trades and handicrafts etc.

They also have grooming sessions for personality development. music and braille.

PBMA also provides assistance to its students to complete formal Higher Education through Open Universities.

Aid and Support: Currently, the PBMA runs on donations and charities; you can either support them in form of donations.

All donations to this institute are exempt under Sec. 80G of the Income Tax Act. Cheques, drafts can be drawn in the name of “Technical Training Institute of Pune Blind Men’s Association”, payable at Pune.

In case you are interested in helping them, you can contact them at:

The Technical Training Institute of the Pune Blind Men’s Association,

109, Dr. Hellen Keller Road, at the foot of Ramtekdi, Hadapsar, Pune 411013.

Tel: +91-20-26870609 or 91-20-26870986.

Email: pbma.tti@gmail.com

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I think I can just go on and on about things I saw at PBMA; it made me wonder, how we take things for granted. Our lifestyles are such that we tend to overlook the beauty that surrounds us; when was the last time you saw the sun rise? or the sun set? When was the last time you saw a rainbow, or that butterfly; I wish I could soak it all up. I wish I can keep my eyes wide open to be able to watch things around me rather than just seeing it.