Monday, October 30, 2006

Suicide Pledge in schools - Ethical?

In August (Article from Chennai Chronicle: MONDAY 28 AUGUST 2006 ) there was an article on the Chennai Chronicle on the 'necessity' of Suicide Pledges by children in school. This was a reaction to the increased number of suicides by children because of the increased and heavy workload of children, the cutthroat competitiveness in examinations and the pressure to perform.
The problem here is with the educational system but making children take suicide pledges - way off the limits.
Is this even ethical?

(Article from Chennai Chronicle: MONDAY 28 AUGUST 2006 )

Suicide Pledges, a must for schools

Our correspondent/ Chennai

Nearly 1000 students from the Adarsh Vidyalaya Matriculation Higher Secondary School took pledge recently to not commit suicide. According to the school principal, Rama Krishnasayee, students from all city schools should be made aware of the fact that suicide is not the answer to their problems. She says, After the NSS students of our school took the pledge at the Royapettah General Hospital; they brought the initiatives to my notice. I believe it is stressful times for students everywhere. Whether they are upset about their marks, extra curricular activities or even peer pressure. They need to understand that stress can be dealt within the right way.
Though the pledge was in Tamil, the significance was explained to the students in great detail. She adds, “For students, stress is not just regarding academics, it is also the vice of the age. The school children have been very receptive and I hope they have understood how attempts at suicide can change their lives and how it can affect the ones they love.

The doctors of the Royapettah Hospital took this pledge on August 15, and have decided to spread their message from school to school.

According to Dr. Chandra Mohan, head of the gastroenterology department at Royapettah General Hospital, the main reason behind asking students to take this kind of pledge is to make them aware of the harm that it causes. “Most often students only attempt to commit suicide. When this happens the acid/substance tends to burn up their food pipe and this in turn affects their health. This is when living becomes dangerous,” he says. Most people believe that girls are weaker emotionally as compared to boys and therefore girls must be exposed to the issue of suicide. Says R.Vijayeta, an HR executive who had attempted to commit suicide when she was in school. “I took the drastic step when I could not express my feelings of distress to my parents. I was facing the same stress as many of the boys in my class were. Only I felt weaker.”

However, certain experts feel that taking pledge is not enough. Mr.Sudhakaran, vice chair person Dream foundation and a clinical psychologist says,” This initiative is very good concept as it will create awareness among the youngsters. But it is not practical in the long run. Youngsters commit suicide when they are helpless-it is an impulsive decision. Hence they should be taught how to handle the crisis and or the problem, instead of escaping it by committing suicide. If this is done, it will save many young lives. I think both girls and boys are equally capable of suicide, it is not that girls are emotionally weaker than boys or vice versa.”

Thursday, October 26, 2006

IAAC Press Conference - Men of Burden

The Press Conference for the Sixth Annual IAAC Film Festival was held today between 4 - 5 p.m. Around 15-20 filmmakers, the Press and many actors and industry folks had made it for the presentation. Like every other year, this year too seems promising for South Asian/Indian independent filmmakers from the diaspora. This year's festival has 60 films in all, Feature Films, Documentaries and Short Films. Aroon Shivdasani, the executive director of IAAC opened the presentation. Met quite a few friends who are both filmmakers and actors. Watch out guys, Men of Burden - Pedaling towards a Horizon, is screening on the closing night at 6 p.m, Nov.5th, 2006.
For tickets, go to
Tickets are only $10.90 when you buy online. At the door, they are $15.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Way Past the Time...

We recently went to a place called New Port in Jersey city, New Jersey. From there we could see the enitre New York city skyline across the Hudson river. The view reminded us of a fast growing world and made us wonder about our position and role in this universe. On this side of the river, there was a board walk which led us to a memorial built for the people who lost their lives on September 11th 2001 at the World Trade Centers. This memorial was built right in line with the original World Trade Centers but on the New Port side of the river. Only the Trade Centers were missing now!
The above photograph is the view of the New Y0rk City skyline from New Port, Jersey City, without the Trade Centers taken on October 2006.
The three I-Sections which are in the other photograph were taken from the wreckage of the Twin Towers.To even imagine that they had been parts which had held the huge structures five years ago, was so strange.
No matter what the truth behind the bombings are, we can never deny the fact that lives were lost. Lives with dreams, hopes, faith, happiness etc were silenced there!
Many lives are still lost each day even without our knowing it or the media exposing it.
It is way past the time we got together and did something to spread peace and love in this Planet.


Are you an EARTHLING in the deepest sense?
Just give us an answer!!
Please give us your name and email address and we can begin the network to bring all the like- minded individuals together!!
Let us know! We are waiting!!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Web-roster for the Inquisitive folks

Hey Folks
Here are some websites that you could check out when you feel like you want to dive into the never-ending matrix world of web-browsing(some are especially for people who want to make the world a better place to live in). Ofcourse, this is just a small list, more to come later. Some are obviously popular but some have to made popular. Just dive in.

World Mysteries
Just World
Intent Blog
Suyam Siragu
Dooms Day
World In Common
Resurgence Online
A I Foundation
Asha Net
ABE Books
Adbul Kalam
TGF World
Accessible Horizon Films
BH Photo Video
Barnes And Noble

Monday, October 09, 2006

Men of Burden - Cycle Rickshaw Revival (MOBCRR) Project

Men of Burden - Cycle Rickshaw Revival (MOBCRR) Project

The objective of the film is to raise awareness and funds for our ‘Men of Burden – Cycle Rickshaw Revival (MOBCRR) Project’ .
This project aims to tackle issues of multiple dimensions; some key issues are to:
1. Raise Socio-economic status of rickshaw men in India, in the process, try to eradicate hunger and homelessness.
2. Revive cycle rickshaws in India
3. Reduce Environmental Pollution
4. Promoting Sustainable Transport in every nook and corner of India
5. Encourage students/professionals to do their part in creating a better world

Why help?

Approximately 400 million reasons.
Yes, an estimated 400 million people in India live on less than $1-$2 a day. And on a global scale, this amounts to an estimated 3 billion people living on $2 a day. When seen from a larger perspective, the planet with all its beings constitute a single living organism which breathes and lives every single moment. When you contribute, you are creating thousands of employment opportunities, propagating sustainable development, improving the lifestyle and social status of rickshaw men, reducing air pollution and creating a better world. Since the project has already been implemented in some cities in North India and has proved to be successful, it needs to be propagated for similar success throughout India. Collaborative efforts by academic (IIT Delhi) and professional entities (ITDP) are creating waves of progress towards socio-economic change that show promise of reaching every nook and corner of the developing world. It is time we played our part as it is perfectly within our reach to lessen their burden. At a time when half the world is in need, good intentions alone are not enough. Action needs to be taken…NOW.

For Information on How to be a part of the change, Please visit:

and scroll down :)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Men of Burden - Pedaling towards a Horizon

UPDATE: Documentary Film

Men of Burden - Pedaling towards a Horizon

We are happy to inform that our film's next screening is at the Sixth Annual Indo-American Arts Council Film festival on November 5th, 2006 at 6 p.m. Do check out our official film website at

Next Screening
NYC Premiere at the Sixth Annual IAAC Film Festival
Venue: Maya Deren Theatre, Anthology Film Archives
When: November 5th, 2006, 6 p.m Sunday
Check out:

Past Screenings
European Premiere
FilmBuro Baden Wurttemberg's Bollywood & Beyond Film Festival
Venue: Stuttgart, Germany
When: July 13th, 2006
Check out:

World Premiere
Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles
Venue: Arclight Hollywood Cinemas, Los Angeles
When: April 20th 2006, 6:30 p.m
Check out: