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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

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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.
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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." 
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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.
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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

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10 October, 2013

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Mental Health
Mental Happiness

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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 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Aasra's Mental Health Week program at Bandra Promenade Amphitheatre, Carter Rd Bandra on October 12th, 4.15-5.30 pm

Keep yourself Free   on October 12th and October 13th,

Drop in for the 'Mental Health Awareness Weekend', 

In an attempt to aid in the creation of a society where there is awareness and acceptance on mental health Aasra along with The Thought Co.  is pleased to invite you  to Mumbai’s first Mental Health Awareness Weekend, to be held on the 12th and 13th of October, 2013 at Amphitheatre, Carter Road  Promenade, Bandra (west), Mumbai 
The primary intent of this event is to aid in the creation of a positive, enjoyable and fun perception towards Mental Health. Being mentally fit is not only for those diagnosed with a disorder but for everyone.
In addition to other events by NGO's working in the field of Mental Health,
Aasra (Director Johnson Thomas) will be conducting an interactive audio-visual presentation cum  Workshop /Discussion 

Topic: Suicide Prevention Workshop 
Time: 4.30 - 5.30
Day: Saturday
Date: October 12, 2013