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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Cyber-bullying: Cruel and not cool/MIdday November 29, 2013 MUMBAI Fatema Pittalwala

Bullies have always existed, and in the age of technology, their methods have only become more devious. As cases of online bullying grow, we get to grips with its causes and effects

November 29, 2013
Fatema Pittalwala
Countless children and even adults have known the terror of being singled out and heckled, manhandled, even injured, by the schoolyard or neighbourhood bullies. While home was generally the safe refuge from this menace, it is no longer so. The digital age means that today’s bully can follow a child home, or anywhere there is an internet connection. It is the age of the cyber-bully, and it is a frightening one.

Illustration/Amit Bandre
No boundaries
According to psychiatrist Dr Parul Tank, people don’t realize that cyber-bullying is different from real-life bullying; the abuser is a faceless stalker, which makes it harder for some to handle. She says, “The emotional outcome of cyber-bullying is similar to that of real-life bullying. The difference is that there is no escape from cyber-bullying; it can happen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Media professor Arpita Ghosh feels that validation from external sources is extremely important for individuals. Pic/Sameer Markande
And cyber-bullying messages can be posted anonymously and distributed to a very wide audience, in a matter of minutes. When you are bullied by someone during a face-to-face interaction, you can immediately understand the seriousness of the issue and react accordingly. Online bullying borders on cruelty. The victims in their most vulnerable stage are left to be judged by the world. Many times, deleting inappropriate messages and pictures after posting, and tracing the source, is very difficult.”

Consulting psychiatrist Dr Hozefa Bhinderwala comes across 4-5 bullying cases, every month
Need attention
Uday Vaidya, founder of Munee Consultants, an organization dealing with behaviour counselling, says, “Online bullying is a typical adolescent problem. With changing lifestyle trends among families and individuals, communication between individuals has also changed. Children are attracted to social networking sites because online, they receive the attention that they miss in real life.

NGO Aasra’s director Thomas Johnson says suicide is a result of multiple causes. Pic/Sameer Markande
Most of the time the attention is from the opposite sex and from a stranger. Today, a child constantly needs to be reminded that he/she is loved and cared for. Children are increasingly insecure. With their parents’ busy lifestyle, children may not always receive validation from their folks. Hence they look for affection from the second best thing available to them, ie, the internet.”

Dr Parul Tank urges parents to watch out for signs such as withdrawal among children. Pic/Sameer Markande
Visible changes
Dr Tank adds, “If a child is using the internet excessively, and quickly shuts the laptop or hides the screen when someone someone enters the room, he or she might be doing something you may not approve of. Emotional withdrawal, irregular sleep patterns and other behavioural changes are some signs that tell you there is something going on in a child’s life. Parents have to be sensitive towards such problems and they should make it a habit to listen to their children without immediately judging or interrupting them.”

Counselling consultant Uday Vaidya feels that cyber-bullying is a teenage issue
Agreeing with this, consulting psychiatrist Dr Hozefa Bhinderwala says, “When a child is bullied online, they usually feel alone and helpless. There are no bystanders to witness the bullying and when it is online, it is extremely personal and confidential, and sometimes people take drastic steps to deal with it. Many times, parents are ignorant about their child’s online life. We need to take serious steps to curb cyber-bullying and start being proactive.
Curriculum developer Reema Parekh wants schools to have online etiquette workshops. Pic/Nimesh Dave
Online etiquette should be a part of the school curriculum, as the digital age is here to stay. I have come across cases where bullying is not only done over internet websites, but also over mobile social networking apps, and I come across about five such cases every month. The platform for bullying is vast and not concentrated in any particular website. As there is a legal age for driving and drinking, there has to be a legal age for having accounts on the internet. Until the child is of age, they should share the account with their parents and there should be transparency between them.”
Numbers game
Media professor Arpita Ghosh says, “When it comes to online media, especially social networking sites, we don’t use them constructively. Today for individuals, validation from external sources is extremely important. Posting photos, counting the number of likes, checking and responding to comments are some of the things that give a high or low to any child. We feel that the online world is a safe medium to share our thoughts.
But we have to remember that we are hiding behind a computer screen and the same goes for the other person. I agree that schools have counsellors, but how interested are they, really, in a child’s problem? It is a must for schools and parents to be more attentive towards children’s online activities. I remember my nephew had a spat with his friend. He was so angry; he logged onto a popular social networking website, and included his fight in his status update.
Now, that status was there for a while, for all of his 300 or so friends to view, including the one he fought with. I don’t understand the need people feel to pour out their entire anger and frustration over the internet. Individuals need to be confident and they should not be insecure. The fear of rejection and being ridiculed is something kids, and at times even adults, can’t handle.”
Ghosh continues, “Being adventurous is one thing, but I don’t know why kids today, in spite of being well aware, are foolish enough to trust strangers online. A while ago, a girl befriended a boy and went to a Santacruz hotel, where she was found dead. It is sad to hear such news, but then again, why should you go with a stranger and believe that you could be safe? Kids are smart, but they need to be smarter.”
Multiple causes
Thomas Johnson, director of the NGO Aasra, a crisis intervention centre for the distressed and suicidal people, feels that one should understand today’s social situation before coming to any conclusion regarding the cause and effect of suicide cases. He says, “Today, children are dependent more on technology than on person-to-person interaction. If they have a problem, kids prefer talking about it through posts and tweets, rather than to their parents and friends in real life.
Hence, if anything negative is said about them on a social networking site or on a chat, they take it to heart, as this interaction holds a lot of value for them. When a child commits suicide, it cannot be ascribed to a particular incident or person. It could be a result of multiple things bothering a child. A child needs a strong support system, which should include the child’s parents, friends, family and anyone whom he/she could talk to. If a child is weak and unable to cope, they will take the plunge. Bullying is nothing but a form of aggression. Not only kids, but even adults today express their frustration online.”
Police awareness
Madhuri More, assistant police inspector at the cyber crime cell of the Mumbai Police, says, “When we are online, we rarely realize that we have logged onto the World Wide Web”, she says, with the emphasis on ‘world’. She continues, “Not only children and teenagers, but sometimes even adults act irresponsibly. Everything depends on a single click. We have had cases where people accept friend requests from strangers and then they complain about stalking and harassment.
I agree that all sections of the police don’t understand the gravity of cyber bullying or any cyber crimes. But the cyber investigation unit is trying their best to make sure that all police officers understand the complaint and register it accordingly. Sometimes, because of lack of awareness, they dismiss the complainant and say, ‘account delete kar do’ (delete your account). This should not happen and that is why we conduct week-long cyber crime awareness workshops for Mumbai police. Regardless of rank, department or anything else, all police personnel attend this workshop.”
Simple solutions
Reema Parekh, a school curriculum developer, says, “Bullying is something that you cannot completely put a stop to. But during teenage years, parents and children should try hard to have better communication and relationship. Children should be able to talk to their parents about things going on in their life, and parents should be able to detect the signs that tell them something is up with their child. Children are very much influenced by the media; hence their exposure to these things should be monitored.
Also there have to be stricter laws for bullying, and proper action needs to be taken against bullies. Social networking sites should have stricter rules regarding age requirements for having an account online. Schools should also educate their children about bullying and its effects. To understand the depths of cyber-bullying, awareness should be created among teachers, parents and children. It all begins at home and in school.”
Online safety tips
>> Never reveal personally-identifiable information online
>> Never share your password with other people (except for your parents)
>> Never arrange meetings with strangers
>> Don’t believe everything you read or see online
>> Don’t download files or software without your parents’ permission
>> Don’t respond to inappropriate messages or emails
>> Don’t post inappropriate content
>> Be wary of personal questions from strangers
>> Don’t be bullied into fights
>> Don’t use adult sites
>> Understand that what you put online will be there forever
>> Source:
Recent case
On November 19, a 14-year-old girl committed suicide by hanging because she was harassed online by a 16-year-old boy. The minor took the drastic step after she was tormented and stalked by a boy who posted offensive material on her social networking account. A resident of Iraniwadi in Kandivli (W), the Std IX student and her father had approached the local police station with his daughter to lodge a complaint, fearing that the boy would harm her. The father alleged that the police had shown no interest in the matter, and they returned without a complaint being filed. 

Teen Barred From Facebook Kills Herself By Vibhuti Agarwal/ India real time/ Wall Street Journal

Thursday, December 5, 2013 10:28:37 GMT

India Real Time

Teen Barred From Facebook Kills Herself

Paul Sakuma/Associated Press
The suicide of a teenage girl in Mumbai after she was barred from FacebookFB +1.04% puts the spotlight on India’s teenage suicide trend.
The parents of a 17-year-old Indian girl who killed herself late Wednesday after they barred her from Facebook, have said that they are in deep shock at her death and simply wanted her to concentrate more on her studies.
Aishwarya S. Dahiwal, a second-year college student from Parbhani in the western Indian state of Maharashtra, had asked her parents’ consent to log on to Facebook Wednesday night, police investigating the case said.
An argument ensued during which Ms. Dahiwal was reproached by her parents for “paying less attention to her studies,” using social networking sites and making long phone calls to friends, G.H. Lemgude, the investigating police officer in Parbhani told India Real Time Friday.
Her body was found on Thursday morning. She had killed herself by hanging, the police said.
Ms. Dahiwal’s death has once again put the spotlight on the teenage suicide trend in Maharashtra, one of India’s most developed states.
A total of 16,112 people killed themselves in the state last year, placing it second in the list of Indian states with the highest suicide rate, according to the National Crime Records Bureau. Tamil Nadu was the state with the most, there were 16,927 suicides there in 2012, followed by West Bengal with 14,957 and Karnataka where 12,753 took their own lives.
According to information available on the NCRB website, family problems were thought to be the single largest factor driving people to end their lives.
In a note recovered from Ms. Dahiwal’s room after her death, according to police, the teenager wrote that her parents’ decision not to allow her to access Facebook had driven her to decide to take her own life.
Her father Sunil Dahiwal told India Real Time Friday: “We still can’t believe it. We are in deep shock.”
“We just wanted her to focus on her studies. We never thought she would ever take such a harsh step,” Mr. Dahiwal added.
A case of accidental death has been registered and investigation is underway, the police said.
Johnson Thomas, director of Aasra, a Mumbai-based helpline that works towards prevention of suicides, said the problems presently faced by young people range from peer and academic pressure to lack of communication with parents and broken relationships.
In June, a 25-year-old Bollywood actor Jiah Khan committed suicide after an alleged failed relationship.
In a separate incident, a teenager ended her life last month in Mumbai, she was experiencing depression after her mother’s death, local reports said.
“The fact that majority of suicides are by those between 15 and 35 years imposes a huge social, emotional and economic burden on society,” Mr. Johnson said.
He also blamed the breakdown of India’s traditional family system for people taking their own lives.
In big cities like Mumbai – where it is common for both parents to work – children tend to become isolated and spend too much time chatting with friends on cellphone and using social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and others, according to Mr. Johnson.
survey by Tata Consultancy Services in June showed nearly 92% India’s high school students prefer to go on Facebook than make phone calls to communicate.
Mr. Johnson argues there’s a simple solution. “Parents should take out more time to understand the needs of their children, communicate better a build a strong relationship with them. This will greatly alleviate the problem.”
Follow India Real Time on Twitter @WSJIndia

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

International Volunteers Day( 5th December 2013): Theme for 2013: YOUNG.GLOBAL.ACTIVE

International Volunteers Day( 5th December 2013): Theme for 2013: YOUNG.GLOBAL.ACTIVE
Aasra takes this opportunity to appreciate and thank all it's volunteers (past and present) for the wonderful work they have been doing in the service of the depressed and the suicidal
                                              International Volunteer Day logo
International Volunteer Day (IVD) offers an opportunity for volunteer organizations and individual volunteers to make visible their contributions - at local, national and international levels - to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

For IVD 2013 we celebrate globally that young people act as the agents of change in their communities. On 5 December, 2013 join us in recognizing all volunteers' commitment and applaud hundreds of millions of people who volunteer to make the world a better place.

IVD 2013 is a global celebration of young people acting as the agents of change in their communities.

Volunteer your time and efforts for a social cause, Contact Aasra - helps in suicide prevention

December 1st World AIDS Day

December 1 is World AIDS Day. The theme is Getting to Zero: Zero Discrimination, Zero New Infections and Zero AIDS-related deaths.

2.4 million people are HIV positive in India
India has reduced new HIV infections by 57% since 2001
Not enough ART – anti-retroviral therapy: Less than 10% people getting drugs
Drug addicts, men who have sex with men (MSM) and female sex workers are the high risk groups
Still need to fight the stigma

The biggest challenge in India after the lack of drugs is the stigma attached to the ailment.


Be The Change- Be an active Participant in the Hands free movement

And when you believe your voice holds value ... well, let's just say, that belief can make a life changing difference. -- Rachel Macy Stafford 

Good News of the Day:
"Having a parent that listens creates a child who believes he or she has a voice that matters in this world," says Rachel Macy Stafford, a young mother who, in this digital age, has made the life changing decision to go completely 'hands free'. She did so to ensure her children always knew, that their voice in this world matters. "Because," she continues, "someday our children will find themselves in a difficult situation and they'll have a choice -- either to suffer in silence or speak up. And perhaps that is the moment they will remember your eyes, the nodding of your head, your thoughtful response. And suddenly they will be reminded that their voice holds value." Read more about the "Hands Free" movement -- and how it has the potential to be transformative.

Be The Change:
Experiment with setting down your electronic devices for a period, and really tuning in to that which matters most to you.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Suicides: India's hidden tragedy Published On: November 24, 2013 | Duration: 51 min, 30 sec

Suicides: India's hidden tragedy- The discussion that took place on NDTV (Aasra/Johnson Thomas, Mahesh Bhatt, Dr Machiswala, Dr Harish Shetty, Kalpana Lajmi, Pooja Bedi,joe Dias,Supreme court Lawyer KT S Tulsi were panelists on Barkha Dutt's - We the people )on the issue of de-criminalisation of Suicide and Abetment

The Show was aired on 24th (Sunday) at 8pm on NDTV's 24x7 English news channel -show title:  We the people.

In India, 15 people take their own lives every hour. That's 370 suicides a day. The new mental health bill says decriminalise suicide. What about abetment to suicide? Is it a legitimate or unfair law? We debate on We The People.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Appeal for Orissa Cyclone Victims

Appeal for Orissa Cyclone Victims

Food Shelter Clothing ...You may have it all, but Victims of cyclone Phailin are struggling in search of these very basic human rights that our constitution guarantees. Be Generous this Diwali...Gift your love... spread your kindness and display your humanity ...donate generously whatever you can and more...Lets join hands to Help the cause. Share the post and help create awareness!Photo: Food Shelter Clothing ...You may have it all, but Victims of cyclone Phailin are struggling in search of these very basic human rights that our constitution guarantees. Be Generous this Diwali...Gift your love... spread your kindness and display your humanity ...donate generously whatever you can and more...Lets join hands to Help the cause. Share the post and help create awareness!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Appeal for Orissa Cyclone affected Victims

Dear Friends,

With extensive attention all across the world, it came and went. For a few days Cyclone Phailin in Odisha was all over the media and among people. We all spoke about the effective evacuation and how life loss was minimized.. certainly a commendable job!!  BUT what hasn’t made it to the world’s attention, is the massive aftermath - the ravage caused across the state. Today even when news of this calamity has faded out, more than 12 million people in 16000 villages, 15 districts, over 4.00 lakh houses are left devastated. Figures much bigger than many previous disasters !!
Survivors are left homeless, struggling to resettle in barren lands. Schools, houses, fields, personal belongings to basic food, everything is still a huge issue for millions.

Goonj has been working in Odisha for many years now. This time the fading attention and the growing need is a tough challenge. We are trying to do our bit but the scale of the crisis calls for a much bigger action.  This is urgent, not because of present scenario but also because winters are setting in, which will soon make life much tougher for millions.
Please refer- for the immediate relief material list and to organise camps.

For financial contributions, refer- .

If you missed out detailed update on 3 months of our work in Uttarakhand, please refer- 
Do spread the word.. looking forward to your active role.. 

Finalists of the Social Entrepreneur of the Year (SEOY) India Award 2013 Announced

Finalists of the Social Entrepreneur of the Year (SEOY) India Award 2013 Announced

New Delhi, October 19, 2013

Following a rigorous due diligence process, Jubilant Bhartia Foundation and Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship today announced the finalists of the Social Entrepreneur of the Year (SEOY) India Award 2013. These include Breakthrough Trust (founded by Mallika Dutt), Mann Deshi Mahila Bank and Mann Deshi Foundation (founded by Chetna Sinha), Operation ASHA (founded by Dr Shelly Batra) and Yuva Parivartan/KSWA (led by Mrinalini Kher and Kishor Kher). The winner(s) will be chosen by a distinguished jury, and announced at an awards ceremony on November 11, 2013, in New Delhi.

The finalists of the SEOY India Award 2013 are shaping change in fields as diverse as health, financial inclusion, human rights and employability and skilling. A common theme that runs through their models is their work in hostile and inaccessible geographies (i.e. the Naxalite ‘red’ corridor, drought-prone zones, and areas with high incidences of violence). Taken together, our finalists are seeding thousands of first-generation entrepreneurs and change agents in excluded territories, laying the foundations of a truly shining India.

Congratulating the finalists, Shyam S Bhartia, Chairman & Managing Director and Hari S Bhartia, Co Chairman & Managing Director Jubilant Life Sciences and Founder Directors of Jubilant Bhartia Foundation, said, Breakthrough, Mann Deshi Mahila Bank, Operation ASHA and Yuva Parivartan are demonstrating path breaking models  to build inclusion and meet the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) in the country’s forgotten regions. Jubilant Bhartia Foundation looks forward to collaborating and supporting them with linkages and networks to increase their impact and scale.

According to Hilde Schwab, Co-founder & Chairperson, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, India remains one of the most dynamic regions for social entrepreneurship and the India Awards consistently attract a high quality of social enterprises. This year, we are also very excited to see an all women finalist pool. They are all working on highly inspiring visions and innovative strategies across critical areas including skill training, livelihoods development, disease control and empowerment of women.”

The SEOY India Award 2013 opened in April this year and received a record 221 applications. Through a five-stage selection process, the four finalists were shortlisted after on-site visits, background research, reference checks and multiple rounds of deliberations. For the first time in the SEOY India Award, all our finalists are women social entrepreneurs, making this a special year for us.
Brief Descriptions of the Finalists

Mallika Dutt
Breakthrough Trust

Breakthrough is using media, arts and popular culture to change the mindset, behaviour and practice of gender-based violence. It combines large-scale public service campaigns with mobilization and youth trainings on the ground, to inspire individuals and communities to take a stand and act against violence.

Breakthrough’s campaigns on burning issues of violence trigger multiple community projects and individual stories of change. It has pioneered scientific processes to measure impact and behavior change that its campaigns and field programs create, both at individual and community levels.

Over 15 years, Breakthrough campaigns, such as Bell Bajao (Ring the Bell), have reached more 130 million Indian viewers in multiple phases, won international awards and been adopted by governments and civil society organizations of 6 countries. More than 100,000 individuals and organizations have been trained in 5 states on issues of human rights abuse and gender-based violence. Breakthrough is now partnering with organizations across South Asia, Brazil and South Africa to replicate its model.

Chetna Sinha
Mann Deshi Mahila Bank and Mann Deshi Foundation
Or The Mann Deshi Group of Ventures

The Mann Deshi Group of Ventures, headquartered in Mhaswad, Maharashtra, is transforming rural women from daily wage earners into role model entrepreneurs. The Group manages three pioneering institutions that together enable rural women to set up new livelihoods and triple their household incomes:  a women-owned rural cooperative bank that extends a range of financial services; a rural mobile MBA school that offers management and entrepreneurship training; and a chamber of commerce for rural women entrepreneurs that facilitates new social networks as well as market and policy linkages.

Working largely in agricultural and drought prone regions in the Deccan Plateau, Mann Deshi has enabled 185,000 women to save, 10,000 to own property and 42,000 to set up businesses and emerge as developers of their local eco-systems. By 2020, MDM aspires to launch 1 million rural women entrepreneurs through partnerships with social enterprises and mainline financial institutions of the country.

Dr Shelly Batra
Operation ASHA (op ASHA) 

Operation ASHA  is tackling the fractured delivery system of India’s TB control program through a doorstep TB detection and treatment service that is low-cost, high quality and accessible for the poor. Powered by technology and community ownership, the op Asha model partners with the government to deliver its C-Dot program to the last-mile. op Asha runs a network of 234 TB treatment centres in slums that are managed by local entrepreneurs and unemployed youth who are trained as professional TB counselors. In rural geographies, op Asha’s mobile treatment service reaches village patients on motorbikes. Its e-Compliance Initiative (a portable biometric patient identification system) has ensured rigorous tracking of patients and reduced default rates to 3% (3-20 times lower than the standard practice).

In 8 years, opAsha has reached 6 million TB patients in India and Cambodia, treated patients with a 90% success rate and lowered the cost of treatment by 15 times of that of other service providers. The model is now being replicated to Uganda and Dominican Republic through partnerships.

Mrinalini Kher and Kishor Kher 
Yuva Parivartan (YP)

Yuva Parivartan is making employability and skill training accessible and affordable to the large segment of India’s BPL youth who live in remote and hostile regions. It is building last-mile access, through a web of Livelihoods Development Centres and mobile training camps, that penetrate deep into inaccessible tribal areas. Together they offer a wide bench of quality skill training programs to youth at one-tenth the fee of other providers.

Over four years, YP has skilled 100,000 youth in 16 states, of which 60% have been placed in jobs or set up their own ventures. A majority of its young customers live in tribal heartlands affected by naxalism and terrorism. To dramatically scale its services, YP is professionalizing and aggregating small community organizations, tutorial centres and training institutes that operate in remote areas, into a nationwide employability network. With 200+ partners and NSDC on-board, YP aims to skill 10,00,000 excluded youth by 2015.
The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, founded in 1998, is a not-for-profit and a sister organization of the World Economic Forum.  With the purpose of advancing social entrepreneurship as an important catalyst for societal progress, the foundation is under the legal supervision of the Swiss Federal Government and is headquartered in Geneva/Cologny, Switzerland.
Jubilant Bhartia Foundation (JBF), the social wing of the Jubilant Bhartia Group, was established in 2007 as a not-for-profit organization. JBF focuses on conceptualizing and implementing the Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives for the group.
Start Up! is a Delhi-based social enterprise which manages the outreach, due diligence and jury presentation of the SEOY India Award on behalf of the Jubilant Bhartia Foundation.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

1000-plus differently-enabled youth to be felicitated by NGO Blind Dreams on Children's Day (14th Nov)

1000-plus differently-enabled youth to be felicitated by NGO Blind Dreams on Children's Day (14th Nov

 dr samir mansuri blind dreams talent contest newz66 (1).JPG
Tuesday 15th October 2013; Mumbai:  Over a thousand differently-enabled, autistic, and disabled youngsters and adults between the age of 10 to 40 from all over India will be felicitated in a touching, heart-rending and soul-stirring event, on 14th November - Children's Day in Mumbai by the NGO Blind Dreams in association with The NGO are in the process of raising about Rs Ten lakh in donations and sponsorship from the corporate sector to support and finance the career goals of these thousand plus youngsters.
dr samir mansuri blind dreams talent contest newz66 (4).JPG
Announcing this project on the auspicious day of Vijaya Dashami or Dussehra, blind celebrity healer and chairman ofBlind Dreams, Dr Samir Mansuri said, "On 24th August this year, more than 300 blind and differently-enabled youth from all over Maharashtra participated in the western zone round of auditions for the Blind Dreams’ Talent Hunt for the disabled or differently enabled. The auditions were held at the Kamla Mehta School for the Blind at Dadar in Central Mumbai. Most participants came from far off towns and villages in Maharashtra and Gujarat. Over the last 45 days auditions were held in various cities in India and we have short-listed about 1000 talented youth who will be specially felicitated and given sponsorship and donations to help them pursue their career goals including those from the performing arts, software and financial services sector." 
dr samir mansuri blind dreams talent contest newz66 (4).JPG
The over whelming response to the Blind Dreams’ Talent Hunt for the differently enabled and visually impaired is an indication that differently enabled youth are otherwise as talented as their colleagues and sometimes even more talented in certain fields like music, singing, acting, etc. All differently enabled should come together in a show of strength to demand their rightful place in society and in the day-to-day working of organizations and corporates, Mansuri said. He spoke about the lack of support and empathy from various sectors including the police and civic agencies. He demanded that all public places, railway stations, airports, government offices, etc., should be enabled to provide the differently enabled a level playing field.
dr samir mansuri blind dreams talent contest newz66 (5).JPG
Blind Dreams and have formed a panel of eminent persons including bollywood photographer Raju Asrani, TV actress Sheila David, actress and model Nisha Sharma, TV actors Rashmi Ghosh and husband Siddharth, HR professional Mamta Namdeo (herself blind who works with SBI as an HR manager) and several others to monitor and co-ordinate the event and help in the fund-raising activity for this ambitious project.

Friday, October 11, 2013

World Mental Health Day 10th Oct

Inline image 2
10 October, 2013

Inline image 3

Mental Health
Mental Happiness

Inline image 4
Being Happy
Being Human

This being human is a guest-house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
Who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture.
Still, treat each guest honorably.
Who may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
-  Rumi

We, the Normals!
‘Normal’ is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving
through traffic in a car that you are still paying for – in order to get to
the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you
leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it.
—Ellen Goodman
Some guy bought a new fridge for his house.
To get rid of his old fridge, he put it in his front yard and hung a sign on it saying: 'Free to good home. You want it, you take it.'
For three days the fridge sat there without anyone looking twice.
He eventually decided that people were too mistrustful of this deal.
So he changed the sign to read: 'Fridge for sale $50.'

The next day someone stole it!


 I stopped at McDonalds and ordered some fries. 
The girl behind the counter said would you like some fries with that?


One day I was walking down the beach with
Some friends when someone shouted.....
'Look at that dead bird!'
Someone looked up at the sky and said...'where?'

While looking at a house, my brother asked the
Estate agent which direction was north because
He didn't want the sun waking him up every morning.
She asked, 'Does the sun rise in the north?'
My brother explained that the sun rises in the east
And has for sometime. She shook her head and said,
'Oh, I don't keep up with all that stuff......'


My colleague and I were eating our lunch in our cafeteria, when we overheard an admin girl talking about the sunburn she got on her weekend drive to the beach. She drove down in a convertible, but said
she 'didn't think she'd get sunburned
because the car was moving'.


My sister has a life saving tool in her car
which is designed to cut through a seat belt
if she gets trapped.
She keeps it in the car trunk.

I was going out with a friend when we saw a woman with a nose ring attached to an earring by a chain.
My friend said, 'Ouch! The chain must rip
out every time she turns her head!"
I had to explain that a person's nose and ear
remain the same distance apart no
matter which way the head is turned...


I couldn't find my luggage at the airport baggage area and went to the lost luggage office and reported the loss.
The woman there smiled and told me not to worry
because she was a trained professional and
said I was in good hands.
'Now,' she asked me, 'Has your plane arrived yet?'


While working at a pizza parlor I observed a man
ordering a small pizza to go.
He appeared to be alone and the cook asked him if he would like it cut into 4 pieces or 6.
He thought about it for some time then said 'Just cut it into 4 pieces;
I don't think I'm hungry enough to eat 6 pieces’.

A man was driving when he saw the flash of a traffic camera. He figured that his picture had been taken for exceeding the limit, even though he knew that he was not speeding... Just to be sure, he went around the block and passed the same spot, driving even more slowly, but again the camera flashed. Now he began to think that this was quite funny, so he drove even slower as he passed the area again, but the traffic camera again flashed. He tried a fourth time with the same result. He did this a fifth time and was now laughing when the camera flashed as he rolled past, this time at a snail's pace... Two weeks later, he got five tickets in the mail for driving without a seat belt.. 
…..And last, but not the least: TRUE STORY
A noted psychiatrist was a guest speaker at an academic function 
where Nancy Pelosi happened to appear.
Ms Pelosi took the opportunity to schmooze the good doctor a bit and asked him a question with which he was most at ease.
'Would you mind telling me, Doctor,' she asked, 'how you detect a mental deficiency in somebody who appears completely normal?'
'Nothing is easier,' he replied. 'You ask a simple question which anyone should answer with no trouble.  If the person hesitates, that puts you on the track..'
'What sort of question?' asked Pelosi.
Well, you might ask, 'Captain Cook made three trips around the world 
and died during one of them. Which one?'
Pelosi thought a moment, and then said with a nervous laugh, 'You wouldn't happen to have another example would you? I must confess I don't know much about history.'

 ….and the very last from India!
During a visit to a mental hospital, the Chief Minister asked the doctor: "How do you determine if a patient should be admitted to hospital?"
Doctor: "Well, we fill a bathtub. Then we give a teaspoon, a teacup and a bucket to the patient and ask him to empty the bathtub."
CM: "I understand. A normal person would use the bucket because it is bigger than the spoon and the teacup."
Doctor: "No, a normal person would pull the drain plug.  Well? Do you want a bed near the window, CM?”

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Danny Kaye - "Manic Depressive Pictures present... "

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Danny Kaye - Anatole of Paris

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Danny Kaye Show - The Thinker

Exercise Techniques
 Do we really need Physical Training in today's life, when we already have our daily program of strenuous activities: -
01) Beating around the bush
02) Jumping to conclusions
03) Climbing the walls
04) Swallowing our pride
05) Passing the buck
06) Throwing our weight around
07) Dragging our heels
08) Pushing our luck
09) Making mountains out of molehills
10) Hitting the nail on the head
11) Wading through paperwork
12) Bending over backwards
13) Jumping on the bandwagon
14) Balancing the books
15) Running around in circles
16) Eating crow
17) Tooting our own horn
18) Climbing the ladder of success
19) Pulling out all the stops
20) Adding fuel to the fire
21) Opening a can of worms
22) Putting our foot in your mouth
23) Starting the gossip ball rolling
24) Going over the edge
25) Picking up the pieces 
Whew! That's a workout! Now sit down and
26) Exercise caution.
"Faith or Psychotherapy is not about everything turning out OK;
Faith & Psychotherapy is about discovering you are OK - no matter how things turn out."

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Counselling & Psychotherapy are Processes in the direction of
Self Re-Discovery, Re-Alignment & Re-Integration with the Universal Wholeness!

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How Faith Can Affect Therapy
Can belief in God predict how someone responds to mental health treatment? A recent study suggests it might.
Researchers at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass., enrolled 159 men and women in a cognitive behavioral therapy program that involved, on average, 10 daylong sessions of group therapy, individual counseling and, in some cases, medications. About 60 percent of the participants were being treated for depression, while others had bipolar disorder, anxiety or other diagnoses. All were asked to rate their spirituality by answering a single question: “To what extent do you believe in God?”
The results, published in The Journal of Affective Disorders, revealed that about 80 percent of participants reported some belief in God. Strength of belief was unrelated to the severity of initial symptoms. Over all, those who rated their spiritual belief as most important to them appeared to be less depressed after treatment than those with little or no belief. They also appeared less likely to engage in self-harming behaviors. “Patients who had higher levels of belief in God demonstrated more effects of treatment,” said the study’s lead author, David H. Rosmarin, a psychologist at McLean Hospital and director of the Center for Anxiety in New York. “They seemed to get more bang for their buck, so to speak.”
One possible reason for this, he said, is that “patients who had more faith in God also had more faith in treatment. They were more likely to believe that the treatment would help them, and they were more likely to see it as credible and real.” Of the 56 people who expressed the strongest belief in God, 27 also had very high expectations for the treatment, while nine had very low expectations. In contrast, of the 30 patients who said they had no belief in God or a higher power, only two had high expectations for the treatment.
“It’s one of the first studies I’ve read that actually looks at perhaps a mechanism” for “why we see some correlation between the strength of religious commitment or the strength of spiritual commitment and better outcomes,” said Dr. Marilyn Baetz, a psychiatrist at the University of Saskatchewan who studies the effects of religion and spirituality on mental health. An earlier year-long study by Dr. Baetz and her colleagues found that people with panic disorder who rated religion as “very important” to them responded better to cognitive behavioral therapy, showing less stress and anxiety, than those who rated religion as less important.
Assessing how religious practices affect health is difficult, in part because researchers can’t randomly assign people to embrace religion or not, the way they might assign participants in a drug test to take a new medication or a placebo. Most studies of this relationship are observational, and people who are more or less religious may differ in other important ways, making it difficult to know whether religious faith is actually causing the effect or if it is a result of some other factor. But teasing out the effects of faith on treatment outcomes may be an important goal. Most Americans believe in God — 92 percent, according to a 2011 Gallup poll, though the percentage among mental health professionals may be considerably lower. One study from 2003 found that 65 percent of psychiatrists said they believed in God, compared with 77 percent of other physicians.
Previous research has associated church attendance with increased life expectancy and, in some studies, a reduced risk of depression. But this study looked not at how often the participants went to church or at their religious affiliation but at their belief in a higher power. “I think it’s a scientifically sound way of measuring things that have to do with people’s experience of spirituality,” said Torrey Creed, an assistant professor of psychology in psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania. “I think about this as a study of cognitive styles, that there’s a pattern of thinking that helps people get better in treatment. And two examples of this pattern of thinking are ‘I believe in treatment’ and ‘I believe in God.’”
Randi McCabe, director of the Anxiety Treatment and Research Center at St. Joseph’s Healthcare in Ontario, said, “People’s belief that something is going to work will make it work for a significant proportion of people,” similar to the placebo effect. “Your belief that you’re going to get better, your attitude, does influence how you feel,” Dr. McCabe continued. “And really, in cognitive behavior therapy, that is really what we’re trying to change: people’s beliefs, how they’re seeing their world, their perspective.” Dr. Rosmarin offered further explanation for why religious faith might aid psychiatric treatment“There’s a vulnerability associated with physicality,” he said. “I think people, psychiatric patients in particular, might recognize that vulnerability and recognize that things can’t be counted on. “Sometimes medications don’t work, and sometimes psychotherapy doesn't work,” he continued. “But if someone believes in something that is metaphysical, if someone believes in something spiritual, which would ostensibly be eternal, permanent, unwavering, omnipotent, then that could be an important resource to them, particularly in times of emotional distress."

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Attached PPT : The Argument against Argument
VLC: Wrong Number

Greg Lobo
Counselling Psychologist, Psychotherapist, Life-Coach