Frequently I write articles for newspapers and magazines on poverty, and I thought more people will get to read them if they are available as blogs.
Since 1995, I have been engaged in social work through The George Foundation to help alleviate poverty in India, focusing mainly in areas of income generation, education, healthcare, community development and social justice.
Your comments and thoughts are appreciated.
It seems many people are trying to find innovative solutions to improving the quality of education in rural areas, especially among the poor. Since most rural children study at government-run schools, the focus of any effort to improve quality and performance must be on those institutions. Without waiting for the state government to act, NGOs can directly interact with the administrators of those schools, especially the headmasters, and village leaders to implement measures that can yield positive results. That is precisely what The George Foundation has been doing since 2004 in the 17 villages surrounding its own school, Shanti Bhavan.
Three years ago our foundation initiated a community development plan that included working with government-run schools in our area. Deverapalli Government School was the first one we took on, and within two years of starting the program, it was judged as the “best” in the district by the educational authorities. Based on this project and our Shanti Bha…
It has been quite a while since I wrote my last blog. For some reason, I had concluded that there wasn’t enough readership interest in my personal notes and critiques of the country’s system. But recently, a friend of mine who stumbled upon my earlier blogs urged me to continue. Moreover, I had promised in my last blog to write about my experiences as an artillery officer along India’s western border with Pakistan, but I hadn’t kept my word. So finally I made up my mind to venture into writing blogs once again. My medical leave following the dynamite explosion in which I was injured while at Se La Pass was to last six weeks. I had returned home to Trivandrum sufficiently frost bitten to have my large ear lobes and nose turn dark, and skin pealing like a snake’s scales. It was a central topic in several hilarious conversations with guests when they visited our home, and I had a lot of stories to tell about my adventures in the snow-covered mountains of the Himalayas. Everyone wanted to …
recent Delhi rape incident has elevated national attention about nonconsensual
sex and violence.There is no doubt that
most reasonable people disapprove sexual violence against women. Yet, the
picture about what constitutes rape is not clear in India. The subject is
further complicated without any legal guidance on incest. For the
starter, let me briefly describe the laws in India. Marriage for girls is
permitted after 18 (except Muslim girls who may marry at 15) and 21 for
boys. But many underage marriages take
place, and the government does not intervene. Sex with a “minor wife” below the
age of 15 is punishable. But no one bothers if a man marries a girl below 15 as
long as the couple does not disclose that they had sex with each other. There is
no law in India concerning incest, often described as having sex between a parent and a child, or between siblings. If one is to believe ancient Indian writings, incest was not very uncommon. Today in India, sex
with a close relative gir…