Friday, December 31, 2010

in transit - Exhibition at Amdabadni Gufa

An Exhibition is held at 'The Gallery', Amdabad ni Gufa from 4th January to 9th January 2011. 'in transit' a journey that creates an undertone of new discoveries and distractions - will display recent works by Ayesha Parikh (photographs) and Amruta Shah (painted collages).

Both works focus on the concept of being 'in transit' as people. The duo has different exposures when combined from experiences that have played a huge role in moulding their perceptions. They have portrayed their experiences in art form on canvass with photographs by Ayesha. The painted collages by Amruta Shah are art work using mixed media.

World is changing and so is the next generation who can 'Think Big, dream big' - Ahmedabad see a host of Artists displaying their work, day in and out at various places. 'Art is where the heart is' and Ayesha and Amruta Shah just mean to reflect their inner souls and reveal their thoughts with an 'in transit' period of time.

Check in for a closer look to what today's generation vision is all about and dig in deep to corners of their souls to find solace to fulfil your heart's desire to feel the Art. Shri B V Doshi will be inaugurating the Art event. Be there to encourage Ayesha and Amruta - Ahmedabad sees a new hope to cultural vitality through Arts and Exhibitions. The Photographs and Painted collages by Amruta aim to convey Happiness, Energy, Hope and Promise - Let your future be bright with the colors and the colors of 2011 will bring in peace to you and your family.

Rush to Ahdabadni Guja 5th - 9th January 2011 and get a glimpse of these young artists. Enjoy.

- ilaxi

Monday, December 27, 2010


IIM Conclave celebration had Hon'ble CM Narendra Modi as a Guest today in the morning hours and it was indeed a great honor for me to be present to hear his most inspiring speech. A presentation was shown on the development journey of Gujarat and the CM shared his vision of progress and development all through the years and what 2011 VGIS can further do for Gujarat in terms of economy.

Listen to the speech here at CM's website.

What amazed me was a small child standing beside his dad and keenly listening to the CM speech. He clapped when the audience clapped and especially, when the CM spoke of Empowerment of children and that he would like to have the cars stopped on the roads when children are crossing the road. CM further said, areas like Law Garden should be only children areas for a day where they can freely play games like cricket, etc.

Mr. Narendra Modi spoke of Industries, Agriculture and Service sector - all three areas which are focused for development of Gujarat. For more, listen to the speech on his website.

In the Vote of Thanks, Mr. Amal Dhruv of IIM said, "CM's speech is an inspiring speech, energizing all and so gracefully charging all youth, men and women.The participation of IIM with government will bring in greater results." He gave a call for participation for all those who would devote time and contribute their share for the development of Gujarat.

Well, the coming VGIS 2011 and we are sure that Gujarat is on the World Map again - the IIMA joining the Government in its journey to success is sure to scale to heights.

- ilaxi

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Video to promote Education? Gunotsav?

Gunotsav, aiming to improve the quality of education at primary level has commenced in 618 primary schools of Vadodara district. Three thousand odd senior officials of the state, cabinet ministers and CM Shri Narendra Modi himself participated in three-day long drive commenced from 9th to 11th December and graded schools, teachers and students in Gujarat.

Gujarat Government has recruited 1.21 lakh Vidya Sahayak (education assistants), built more than 64 thousand class rooms, opened around 19600 new science labs, installed computer labs in 5500 schools, provided 33 thousand rural schools with electricity and facilitate 33 thousand odd schools with better drinking water and sanitation.

All can be read on CM Narendra Modi's website on this. But, follow the Blog of CM Narendra Modi and his note speaks of infusing life into Education. A very concerned note and total responsibility. However, it irks me to find a supportive video of 'Last Option' which stand irrelevant to the topic according to me. We need to devote time to development of children as Guardians but as responsible parents, nobody would like to see the video there which shows in ways to commit suicide!

I wonder, do our CM Narendra Modi promote such video on 'Why do kids commit suicide or How to commit suicide? An Award winning video but no way, should be promoted in a CM's blog nor should be watched by children online! I have no courage to give the you tube video here as the small kid's smiling face still shatter me to see him hooked to the rope. You may hop in to CM's blog and the linked video says all.

This not a movie of Amir Khan but real life of children and all parents love their children dearly - Promote Gunotsav but no need to promote such videos.

I run a children's Library since 1991 and promote Reading - Cultivate reading habits amongst children and run a Kids Newspaper Online - Never thought of promoting such videos just to promote education! The video has shaken me completely!

- ilaxi

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Gujarat gets United Nations Public Service Award

Recently, I came across a Certificate that adorn the wall at the Hon'ble CM Narendra Modi's Office. It is the Certificate of United Nations Public Service Award - 2nd Place Winner for Improving Transparency, Accountability and Responsiveness in the Public Service Category. Gujarat Government has proved for better management and better service with effectiveness, efficiency and quality of Public Service. The Certificate dates back to 23rd June 2010.

An Achievement by one of the Best States of India - It is a proud moment for every Gujarati and 5.5 crores who reside here that Gujarat is awarded by United Nations Public Service Award.

The news might be a surprize to you as none of the media I guess has published this nor even might have noticed this Certificate hanging on the CM's Office Wall. Not only this, it is also a matter of pride that it also has ISO 9001:2008 Certificate.

Well, East or west, Gujarat is the best and indeed, Heaven is a place on earth - only here that is 'Apnu Gujarat' - It rocks.

- ilaxi

Friday, November 12, 2010

Blink, blink - Do you read?

Recently when Barrack Obama visited India, the first lady Michelle Obama had been active with children and spontaneously answered their questions even on home alone! When President of US tackled on conflicts across the world, it was curious minds who asked how they managed conflicts at home. Michelle Obama spontaneously revealed about who blinked first when she and Barrack Obama had a tiff. It is quite obvious reply that it was the President and I think, one who blinks first is the one who is a loser - a communication understanding that I give up! And, it happens to all when there's an emotional trigger. Try this exercise and one who blinks first is gentle and soft at heart.

Well, let this be aside but one important thing to note is that Michelle Obama highlighted India's need for Education. She explained school children the importance of education and to be prepared for life's challenges. She was concerned for literacy and focused on power of education and suggested that India urgely expand literacy and deepen education. Not only get educated for jobs but also be well versed to read and write and understand with critical thinking, engage in debate and face challenges to gear up for change. Seminars, workshops and engaging thinkers, writers, leaders, idols should be a part of in school and college education. Knowledge economy can help India grow more intellectually and technology advancement to attain economy power and profit.

The UNDP Multidimensional Human Development report shows that 55% of India's Population is poor. The new data also shows that even in states generally perceived as prosperous such as Haryana, Gujarat and Karnataka, more than 40% of the population is poor by the new composite measure, while Kerala is the only state in which the poor constitute less than 20%.

Quite obvious, Gujarat lag behind in Literacy and this is when the CM fully functions with the Vanche Gujarat calling for Gujaratis to enrich knowlege. The Vanche Gujarat Abhiyaan brings the State together to Read. A powerful orator, an avid read and an original thinker, the Gujarat CM reads and encourages others to read.

I have been conducting Reading class since 1991 at Swagat Children Library. Every Saturday it has been a 'Samay Daan' for few hours for children and with flow of time, I have noticed that Reading is completely on the back seat. No parents nor children have the patience to read nor do have the concentration. For students, where is the time? Same goes for Parents who have to do the projects for kids given in schools and follow up their schedule.
What do you think? Do you think the Vanche Gujarat Campaign will motivate all for reading? Will this be temporaty reading or indeed, Gujaratis will focus on reading? Whatever, leave your comments/thoughts and do visit Swagat Children Library page and should you want to start one like this in your area, I give no franchise but free ideas to run a Children's library - go on, start one like me. My journey since 1991 go on and its a mission to spread literacy and focus on overall development at a time when schools can only teach and confuse children !

- ilaxi

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Gujarat a 'Can Do' State: Bags egov web 2.0 Awards:-)

The news around my desk says, "The official portal of Hon'ble CM Narendra Modi ( got the prestigious eGov 2.0 award for the ‘Most innovative use of social Media'. And, the Official Gujarat Government State Portal ( bags an award as 'Most user friendly portal.'

The awards were conferred by The eGov magazine, Asia's first and only print-cum-online magazine on e-Governance, focusing on the use of ICTs in governance. The event was held at Hotel Claridges in Central Delhi on 28th October 2010. India eGov 2.0 Awards aims to felicitate and acknowledge unique and innovative initiatives in the use of social media tools for creating interactive platforms for improving citizen service delivery. It is also awarded for sharing and garnering information to meet the larger social development goals by the government and private sector bodies including citizens, citizen groups, NGOs and political parties.

India eGov 2.0 Awards is a unique initiative that will help bring to forth best practices of government and public sector websites and use of social media tools by them, as well as by civil societies and various development organisations in the country.”

Among the 400 entries for this prestigious award, Ministry of External Affairs' Public Diplomacy Division and Delhi Traffic Police shared with CM Narendra Modi's website as Editor's Choice Award for 'Most Innovative use of Social Media'

In his message for the occasion Chief Minister said that “I am extremely happy for today's award since it has supported my belief that we can do wonders by deploying the strength of social networking platforms- not only to remain closely in touch with people or to improve our delivery mechanisms, but also to make people actively participate in governance. It gives me satisfaction that over a period of time this portal has evolved as a strong platform for the citizens to have easy access to the highest office of the State”.

The portal is also novel in a way that it is put in 5 languages English, Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi and Sanskrit for a wide coverage of users. For the applications, readers may visit the CM's official site for view.

State portal of Gujarat has been recognized as the most user friendly portal. It shares the Editor's Choice Award with Bharat Petroleum Corporation and MP, Government of Madhya Pradesh. It provides a unified interface to all Gujarat Government websites and acts as a logical front-end of the Government. The exclusive feature of the portal allows citizens to partake in Government by picking up various activities and hence enabling a huge participation. Apart from this, you may please view the Portal for complete features.

“Only those who keep walking get sweet returns...look at the sun's perseverance - dynamic & always on the move, never dormant... hence keep moving “. says the CM and so we move on....

It's a matter of pride for all of us and I am proud to be a part of the Team:-) Both the web Portals are presented by Silver Touch Technologies and CM Office. I am sure, you will feel proud to be a Gujarati whose CM and Gujarat outshines.

- ilaxi

Friday, October 29, 2010

Swarnim Gujarat's Khel Mahakumbh

Swarnim Gujarat's Khel Mahakumbh live webcast today morning at eleven a.m. inspired Gujaratis as the Hon'ble CM Narendra Modi addressed people to start the Khel Mahakumbh event.

Gujarat Sports Mahakumbh aims at:

Kindling the spirit of sports in every Gujarati
Searching the best talents for sports
Spreading awareness about importance of sports for fitness
Popularizing and preserving our traditional sports

Gujarat Sports Authority encourages the natural talent and energy of sports-persons which would lift them to their best performance. Cultural Secretary Shri Bhagyesh Jha, Chief Minister Shri Narendra Modi and Minister for Sports-youth &Cultural Affairs Shri Fakirbhai Vaghela apart from Department’s officials are making relentless efforts to make the event a grand success.

The ‘Khel MahaKumbh Flame’ will flag off from Shahibaugh Police stadium on 20th November, which will arrive at taluka and district places on 21st. The district Panchayat, seat-wise competitions would begin on 22nd. As per the schedule, from 22nd to 25th the District Panchayat, Municipality and Municipal Zone-wise competitions are to be held. From 26th to 29th the taluka-level contests are to be held. Direct district level competitions are on anvil from 25th to 1st Dec. Inter district competitions are to be held from 1st to 4th Dec. Special coaching session is arranged with an aim to polish their talents for the players from 5th to 7th Dec. All the state level sporting competitions up to semifinal stage are scheduled to be held between 8th to 12th Dec.

District Panchayat Seat level, Municipality and Corporation Zones, and Taluka level competitions includes sporting events such as athletics, volleyball, Kabaddi and Kho-Kho competitions. District level contests to include basketball, football, judo-wrestling, badminton, table-tennis, skating, swimming, yogasana, hockey, and chess besides athletics-volleyball- Kabaddi and Kho-Kho. State level volleyball completions are arranged separately for the mentally challenged; at the same time, for deaf& dumb and visually impaired persons the special cricket competitions are being organized to mark their participation in Khel MahaKumbh 2010.

Now, here goes all the hustle-bustle of activities with the Khel MahaKumbh events and it is really going to be a historic and momentous occasion, which will create and surpass many records. The state will witness a huge participation up to grassroots and we are real proud to be a part of the State that harps on Development Progress - Indeed, all corners are cornered!

Reminds of the CM's words, "It's the development that wins the heart of the people" and yes, 5.5 crores Gujaratis are fans of the CM Narendra Modi who Can Do It.

- ilaxi

Monday, October 18, 2010

Kadva Patel Parivar Mahila Vikas - for Patel Women

Are you a Patel? Here is your door to join the Kadva Patidar Parivar Mahila Vikas Organization headed by President Kala Amin. The wing works for the benefit of all Kadva Patel women, highlights on programs that focus on overall development of women and builds a community to stay aware, gain knowledge and get entertainment with value programs. Formed in April 1984 with minimum 25 women, the group now is vast extended with thousands of Patel women joining the organization. Health camps, entertainment, arts and crafts demonstrations, recipe demos, picnics, religious tours, etc are enjoyed by many.

The Navratri ends - but still you have a chance here with this Organization as they will celebrate the Navratri Festival Garba on 20th October 2010. Known as 'Rangtali', the event is held at D K Patel Hall, Naranpura, Ahmedabad at 8.30. All can participate as it is not restricted for only Patels - All you need is to collect passes from Kalaben Amin (Kaneesha Boutique, C G Road, Ahmedabad).

As for Kala Amin, she is a dynamic personality and I am sure, many would love to visit her boutique on C G Road or just go online to - Kalaben is an active social worker and connected to Lions, GCCI BWW as Past Chairperson and even head several other groups.

So, get women join the Kadva Patel Parivar Mahila Vikas - strictly patel members - But for Navratri, head on for the passes, Enjoy!

- ilaxi

Swarnim Navratri 2010 ends!

Swarnim Gujarat Navratri 2010 which also marked the golden jubilee of Gujarat came to an end and I am sure many of you must have attended the same if you are in Ahmedabad.

The Navratri Festival was organized at GMDC Grounds at Memnagar from 8-16 October and was known as Ahmedabad's CWG! Participated by top Industrial houses and supported by Guj State, the event marked as the world's longest dance festival with tourist attraction - over 40,000 people attended the event which included 18 ambassadors from countries like Nepal, Albania, Peru, Cambodia, Ukraine, etc. The venue saw a huge concert stage with non stop garba dance and folk dance performance, huge photo gallery of Gujarat, theatre show, theme pavillion with Champaner gallery (world heritage site) and other heritage places,the then and now places of Ahmedabad in huge photo frames and much more of Tourism with the Amitabh Bacchan campaign stealing the show as it attracted the audience. The handicrafts with craft bazaar, food outlets, games and adventure sports, fireworks, fountains and lighting were the major attraction.
As usual, I had a casual stroll but the feeling this time turned sour! The reason was Management - mis-Management - in the sense that it could be a chaos on the last day with thousands of people thronging to see the Gujarat glimpse. One can spot the masses and no classes - Free never has value, I guess. It did offer free entertainment and glimpse into what you all did not know about Gujarat.

The navratri ends but not too soon as you can always look for more to come with the Vibrant Summit 2011 on 12-13th January and the Kite Festival too.

- ilaxi

Friday, August 27, 2010

'Sanjog se Bani Sangini' - Ga41 Entertainment's guests

Sometime ago, stars of the Zee Television Serial 'Sanjog se Bani Sangini' were in town. The soap opera is somewhat based on the film 'Devdas'- a love story of a guy Rudra (Iqbal Khan) who fails to get his childhood love Pihu, played by Aditi Gupta and than he takes to alcohol. At this point of time, enters Gauri (Binny Sharma) into his life like a breath of fresh air. Both live in different worlds yet emotionally bonded - will their love bloom their live? Time will say as the serial continues during the afternoons.(I hardly get time to see but You Tube shows all if u want skip and even watch few episodes!)

Aruna Irani and Sudha Chandran makes an appearance and it's nice to see them in the episodes apart from many others. Aruna Irani is the mother of Iqbal and plays her devious role who wants to do anything at any cost and is shrewd one in the serial!

Btw, the unit of Ga41 ENTERTAINMENT who are Event Managers and works on promotions, events and all related to Entertainment had Iqbal and Binny Sharma as guests for a day when they came for 'Sanjog Se Bani Sangini' Promotions to Ahmedabad some time ago. I was the lucky one to be photographed with the artist but here's a pic to share of the unit Ga41 Entertainment managed by Atrish and Grishma Trivedi - the most talented people in the field of Event Management. As you find a pic above, you can call them for any Events Promotions - Be it wedding, Navratri festival, Birthdays, Exhibitions, etc. Even if you like the Bollywood and have stars shining down on your events too:-) They are the ones who have earlier done Gujarat Tourism Events and engaged in many Creative events of Film, TV and stage Artists.

Just call Atrish or Grishma 9374243383, 9374800031 and their office is based at 152,153,154 - Nidhi Shopping center, OFF. 132 ft. ring road, OPP.Pragati Nagar Bus stand, Naranpura,AHMEDABAD-13.

- ilaxi

Monday, August 23, 2010

Gujarat Tourism at TTF Fair

TTF Fair and with a Gujarat Tourism participation rocked the venue Gujarat Exhibition Hall. Being into Holidays Business, I casually strolled for a visit and was amazed to see the visitors lined for travel destinations.

300 Participants were from 21 states and 10 countries. Among the International participants, they were from China, Nepal, Dubai, Philippines, Egypt, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam participating in the Outbound Travel segment. Among the major State tourism participants were Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh , Rajasthan, Karnataka , West Bengal, Chattisgarh, Jammu & Kashmir, Kerala, Punjab, and Jharkhand. Over 15000 Travel enthusiastics turned up at the show and sort for perfect Destinations. More Gujaratis are found to be travelling round the globe with more attractions for Egypt, Switzerland and Japan followed by places in Kerela, Rajasthan and Gujarat. Though International travel attracted visitors, so was a glimpse into Gujarat was inviting.

The Gujarat Tourism promotion was amazing with live traditional and cultural programs. The vibrant garba dancing by girls and live showing of destinations in Gujarat showed the spirits of Gujarat Tourism on rise. Gujarat offers everything in the tourism landscape including heritage, archaeology, religion, wildlife/eco-tourism and handicrafts.

You can find details of Travel and Tourism on Gujarat State Portal (click Gujarat Tourism here) with links to Gujarat Tourism and explore Gujarat Destinations.

You can stay tuned to Swagat Group for upcoming Holiday packages or call on us for details. The site maybe unupdated but than time is always a restraint and I soon plan to complete the procrastinated tasks.

- ilaxi

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Tomorrow's Young Achievers : Book Review

I confess, I love to read Management Books that inspire younger minds, that delve with the old as well as the ‘New Rules’ which work well with upcoming or established Entrepreneurs. Pushpendra Mehta’s Book ‘Tomorrow’s Young Achievers’ is Highly Recommended. The book is inspiring for young achievers as the Author shares his profound knowledge and experience with his readers.

Tomorrow’s Young Achievers by Pushpendra Mehta is an Enrepreneural package that consist of valuable 31 career defining insights for Generation X. In four Chapters, the Author shares his life experiences and lessons acquired during his Academic journey at Northwestern University, subject matter experts, personal observations, specific classmates and subsequent Professional careers. Travelled across 11 cities/towns within India and Overseas, Pushpendra Mehta is well versed with diverse cultures, is equipped with modern technology tools and gadgets and prepares young minds to be focused to determine their future in 2025 – 15 years from now, facing challenges amidst Learning curves and change, getting ready for Job or Entrepreneurship and even preparing the younger generation for socio-economic, cultural, political, legal, creativity, business, environmental and technical changes.

The Book is really a great entrepreneurial memoir with tons of interesting anecdotes and advise with insights to script own career destiny in an uncertain world. It Emphasize how Entrepreneurs can create a culture of candor that can allow them to grow beyond par to make a niche for themselves. Pushpendra Mehta gives an insight into some unique trials Entrepreneurs face and interestingly pin points key message highlighting illustrations that speak of entrepreneurial traits.

The Author provides informative insights on Entrepreneurship, Marketing, NGO, Communication and Life visioning to dream big and talks of Unconventional risks creating lasting impressions. He draws lessons learnt from the under privileged in slums of Mumbai and Peru and having dealt with NGOs, he speaks of lessons learnt in marketing and striking a chord with customers on the street. How to live and fight risks each day is a challenge indeed for the underprivileged and yet, he observed through their business ventures, there are limitless options to explore as Entrepreneurs.

Summing up the contents, here is a glimpse into some important topics from Four Chapters:

Chapter I: It takes Learning and Change to Tango

The Author advise to facilitate Learning with change by being yourself and building own natural strengths. His interactions with a successful Entrepreneur reveal that Playing safe is one of the biggest risks in 21st century. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Marc Zuckerberg and many others started young and fresh without the burden of the word ‘experience’ and they made it Big. He recommends to experiment out of comfort zone and measuring performance each quarter. He feels the Importance of mentor or coach. ‘Objective, sagacious or experienced coach + smart young You’ to make up duo to brace up to the challenges leading to 2025.

Chapter 2: Script your own Career Destiny in an uncertain world

Learn to wear unlike hats – Job or Entrepreneurship. Developing skills for both. Should a job not work or you face a lay off – be prepared to be an Entrepreneur, advices the author. The chapter provides lessons for the mainstream and non mainstream professional with his month experience with the Underprivileged. He weighs force on mastering the art of negotiations and highlights that Tomorrow’s CEOs will come from HR and PR and get ready to master these skills apart from mastering voice techniques and speech skills. He Focuses on creativity and charting business plans. Updating on International Business, practices, new ventures and unexplored options.

Chapter 3: Life visioning, dreaming Big, Unconventional risks and clut of communicators

Most of the Authors talk of dreams but Pushpendra Mehta talks of life visioning and dreaming big. To start when young and fresh. Big dreams = repeated failures + Reject rejection + Vary Approach – bouncing back with bigger dreams to achieve goals. Rebuffing Pessimism and never give up are some success tips mentioned by the Author.

Chapter 4: Your Choice will determine your Future in 2025

Choices determine destiny, says Pushpendra Mehta. Being Friends and what friends mean is a topic which reflects today’s changing cultural scenario where friends are new family who stand by day to day. At University or job, the most overlooked aspect is ‘Interviewing the Boss’ and this is an interesting thought that the Author pens down. Other highlights of this chapter are asking for help, be caring or self absorbed leader and an amazing tip to go and work for a leader/boss who remains unchanged for years to grab the best experience but a tip more for which you need to read the book! And finally, being Chief Happiness Officer – Be Positive and stay Happy in an Unhappy world.

In an Economy Boom, opportunities have never been better for Entrepreneurs and I feel, Entrepreneurs should read this book as ‘How to stay tuned’ to their own business and even face challenges with competitive companies in their own markets. Pushpendra Mehta’s Academic and Professional journey gives an insight to grab opportunities and strike big with wide ranging resource that offer something for business pioneers of all stripes.

And finally my concluding note: Tomorrow’s Young Achievers – This Book is a Boon and a Blessing. It is Well-written, great Entrepreneurial message, passionate plea, bold and courageous and a great book to reflect on what it means to Achieve and find youself in 2025. A must Read - Must pick, Enjoy.

(Tomorrow's Young Achievers is available at all leading stores and you can even buy on the Author's Website.)
If you are an Author or a Publisher and want me to review the Book, send an email here.
- ilaxi patel

Saturday, August 14, 2010

India - Land of the Free

Wishing all readers who pass by this blog, 'Happy Independence Day' as India celebrates 64th Independence Day tomorrow, 15th August.

An incident narrated by Gandhiji's interpreter Alexander Horace who first met Gandhi at Sabarmati Ashram in 1928. One day when Gandhi was praying in a village, a Muslim caught him by the throat.

Gandhi almost collapsed. But even as he fell down, he recited some lines from the Quran.

On hearing them, the Muslim said, “I am sorry. I am prepared to protect you. Give me any work. Tell me what should I do?”

Gandhi replied, “Do only one thing. When you go back home, do not tell anyone what you tried to do to me. Otherwise there will be Hindu-Muslim riots. Forget me and forgive yourself.”

India is a Can do Nation, A democratic country and I think it is high time our politicians in Delhi spread a positive signal of calm and peace to citizens. So many citizen voices and people power say it all, what more can I say in a small note here but to hope for a truly Independent country where nobody sleep without a morsel of food!

Btw, Click for the Gujarat Independence Day celebration and flag hoisting live. Also find Kidsfreesouls India Page. Download the National Anthem tune and celebrate freedom.

- ilaxi

Thursday, July 15, 2010

55% of India's Population is Poor - Gujarat 9th MPI Rank

A report says, 55% of India's Population is Poor! 645 Million People are poor as measured by Multi-dimensional Poverty Index (MPI). Developed by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) for the United Nations Development Programmes (UNDP) forthcoming 2010 Human Development Report,the MPI attempts to capture:

Income poverty line
Education - years of schooling and child enrollment
Health - child mortality and nutrition
Standard of Living - Electricity,Flooring,Drinking water,Sanitation,Cooking fuel and assets

Gujarat seems to have 40% of population living in poverty as per the new composite measure. The incidence of poverty and its intensity are both measured. No wonder, so many of them are under nourished and education is far way distant dream. Though all efforts are tuning to success for the government in upgrading education level and focusing on health issues, it might turn the poverty ratio to lessen as the State Development growth may provide ample job opportunities to somewhat eradicate poverty.

Gujarat stand as 9th in MPI Rank. The stats read:

Gujarat 57.3 Population in millions (2007)
MPI - 0.205
Proportion of poor - 41.5%
Average Intensity - 49.2%
Contribution to overall poverty - 3.4%
Number of MPI Poor in millions - 23.8

I guess it is thoughful to take to task on issues that concern poverty though the development itself speaks of tremendous growth.

What do you think? Can you suggest measures to further eradicate poverty in Gujarat?

- ilaxi

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Conference I attended - Building secure cities in troubled times

A half day conference was held on 25th May 2010 at The Hotel Gateway Ummed in Ahmedabad on the topic” Building Secure Cities in Troubled Times’ at The Hotel Gateway Ummed, Ahmedabad at 2.00 pm on May 25th, 2010. This conference was a part of the ‘Secure your City - Ahmedabad Initiative’ organized by SWI ( Security Watch India) in association with Gujarat Chamber of Commerce & Industry, IPPAI, CSARN, BCIC, MCCI. The conference was sponsored by Indianeye, while the security partner was G4S and the Media Partner, Business World.

I participated in this Conference which has the mission of 'Secure Your City - Ahmedabad Initiative' and support and facilitate the efforts of the Government, security Agencies and Industry to secure Business and citizens of Ahmedabad. The Inaugural speech was by Shri Balwant Singh, Addnl. Chief Secretary, Home Department, Government of India. All sessions were chaired by Mr. Maroof Raza, Defence Analyst and Senior Advisor, SWI. The conference was meant for Hotels, Hospitals, Schools, Colleges, Malls, Banks, Airports, Nuclear Sites, Power Plants, Oil & Gas Pipelines, Seaports, Refineries & Mines

It is said that, 'Disasters don't happen to places, it happens to people.' It is a fact that the city of Ahmedabad is one of the most rapidly growing Metropolitan Cities set to become a global hub across many sectors. Ahmedabad needs to match the pace when it comes to threat preparedness, disaster and emergency management, and the incorporation of secure systems and procedures across business and various other establishments for continuity and resilience.

The joint initiative focused on Action several points as Government and citizen participation, coastal security operations, need for maritime development and co-ordination and other issues that relate to implementations of technology and latest equipment and coordination for police forces and preparing for chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats.

As per the Information derived from the Conference, talking on world terror fatalities, till Dec 5, 2009, India had experienced 2062 fatalities, out of which 920 were due to naxalite operations, 782 were incidents in the North East and 360 were in the troubled region of J&K, clearly indicating that security is largely affected in the country through such disgruntled factions and insurgent groups. Additionally forest lands have become guerilla zones and 231 districts in the country have naxal influence, with the strongest presence in south Chattisgarh.

Not going deeper into why India is so susceptible to disasters, much about the Security Issues, which are the soft targets when terrorist strike and knowing the anatomy of terrorist and why such attacks are not handled well, the Conference gave an insight to major roles that can be played by Government and citizens to combat terror.

A mobile phone based alarm system named E-Watch, enabled through GPS was also demonstrated at the Conference.

You can read the overview and report with names of Speakers who participated on SWI website.

- ilaxi

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Simply Gujarati - Proud to be one!

Soul curry for kids - That's Kidsfreesouls in Simply Gujarati, India Today, 28th June 2010 - Grab your copy now from the stands!
Read more on Ed blog.

- ilaxi

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Girl Education and School enrolment Initiative

Girl Education and school enrolment initiatives takes off. A three-day ‘Kanya Kelavani' and ‘Shala Praveshotsav' programme is held during 17-18-19 June 2010 in rural areas whereas programme for urban areas will be held during 24-25-26 June 2010.

The Initiative is promoted by Gujarat CM along with his team of Cabinet Ministers, Secretaries, MLAs and Govt. officials who personally visit villages like last year and foresees a vision to higher the literacy rate and aim for 'zero - ‘0’ percent' drop out rate in Gujarat.

Around 1.05 Lacs of teaching assistants, 64,390 new classrooms, 50,350 sanitation facilities and 32,350 schools will be equipped with drinking water and electricity. This is a major change at Primary education level in rural and urban villages in Gujarat.

Moreover, Books will be donated to schools under the 'Vanche Gujarat' initiative. Toys will be donated which involves people participation to donate 'a book and a toy' for children. Yoga demonstration and Computer teaching will also be conducted. Great efforts are put for education reforms as there will be a system of Teacher-student Gradation in schools. Weaker students will be specially taken care for. Std. 8 will be included in Primary schooling too.

Vidhyalakshmi Bonds will be distributed and implementation of midday meal scheme will be assessed.

Now, we call this a dynamic approach towards improving Education. You can find few Projects and Initiatives on State Portal here.

Who says, 'Gujarat has high school drop out rate' - Prior to 2009, 40 out of 100 children use to drop out but now the figure stands low and comes down to only 2 !

Hats off to the CM and his team - Be proud to be a Gujarati and in Gujarat:-)

- ilaxi

Thursday, June 03, 2010

GCERT getting ready to change the Primary school syllabus - for Good!

For the parents and teachers of class I-V - good news is that GCERT (Gujarat Council of Education Research and Training) is going to review the text book syllabus of classroom teaching. Best of the teachers are selected and I hear, the new group is formed which includes 160 resource persons - primary teachers, cluster resource centre co-ordinators, Education inspectors, experts from Textbook Board, readers and lecturers from GCERT.

This group will discuss how children learn, their tastes of learning and classroom habits. They will take about a year and a half to submit their recommendation to a curriculum committee headed by well known academician who will verify to further make their recommendation to the Education Department for final decision.

Long procedure, isn't it? Anyways, but some move is being made and that's for good instead of teaching children boring lessons - mistakes and language flaws apart...Children are move savvy today and the Govt. Text books need a complete revision.

Btw, ask an English medium primary class student, 'Do you know 'Cat in the Hat' and the reply comes, "Yeah, we learnt the lesson in the classroom" However, they hardly know it was Dr.Seuss' famous work and ask children, who is Dr. Suess and few can reply to this! This is English medium - naa gharna naa ghatna...And even, I am one of them!

- ilaxi

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Go Green : Join the Green Campaign

E-green Initiatives:
Go Green and the Government has all plans set ready to roll down and involve environment lovers to go eco friendly. The State's Forest and Environment Department I hear has announced appointment of green volunteers in city areas for protection of trees and to increase the social forestry in urban areas. Interested citizens and organisations will be motivated to be Green Guards. Students, teachers, eco clubs, environment lovers, environmentalists, social workers or any citizen can join the Green Guard movement. Be Green Ambassadors and motivators will play their role to join hands with the government to face global warming.

The Swarnim pledge is happenning and everybody wants to contribute and add zest to life. Be it Read Gujarat initiative or Go Green - life moves on and maybe soon enough, we have the Health Gujarat initiative to guide our kids and stop them being obese by eating the junk outside!

Well, here's a new topic on Environment Column and be there, every week for a question that rolls down on Environment concerns. If you have one, do send your question right away.

- ilaxi

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Swarnim Live Show on

Sardar Patel Stadium - Pre Gujarat Day - Swarnim preparations is in full swing.

Swarnim Sankalp Jyot Rath Yatra began on 12th February 2010 on the auspicious ocassion of Shiv Ratri to mark the people's festival of 50 Glorious years of Gujarat. Every citizen of the State participates in the celebrations of Swarnim Gujarat and as countdown begins, on 1st May at Sardar Patel Stadium, Dr. Kamala Beniwal, Governor of Gujarat will inaugurate the cultural show. Around 4000 participants from various regions of Gujarat will perform live amidst light and sound show. 'Vande Gujarat' - the theme will focus on History of Gujarat and remember all those who contributed for gujarat. There will be a fusion of traditional folk music and dance to the modern era with laser shows of illuminated lights and effects with echo surround sound effects that truly will be enthralling.

I witnessed the extraordinary pre preparations and am sure, many will like to be there lest they miss out.

To watch live, click for following views:

Swarnim Gujarat, Vaishwik Gujarat
(NRG meet & Cultural Event)
Swarnim Kalash will be presented to country and state representatives
Date: 30th April, 2010
Time: 5.30 pm
Venue: Convention Centre, University Ground, Ahmedabad

Mahatma Mandir Foundation Ceremony
Soil and water locations around the globe, India and Gujarat will be placed in the Mahatma Mandir
Date: 1st May, 2010
Time: 9.45 am
Venue: Nearby Gandhinagar Railway Station, Gandhinagar

Vande Gujarat
(a Gala Cultural Event)
Date: 1st May, 2010
Time: 6.00 pm
Venue: Sardar Patel Stadium, Ahmedabad

- ilaxi

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Swarnim Gujarat celebrations

Swarnim Gujarat celebrations Countdown begins....Here is a pic pre practice for Vande Gujarat event at Sardar Patel Stadium some days ago prior to the decorations done.

In case you missed the event details on Swarnim Gujarat website, here is the link to Divya Bhaskar. Info below mentions of some celebration events:

સ્વર્ણિમજયંતી વર્ષની ઉજવણીના કાર્યક્રમો

સવારે ૭.૦૦ કલાકે : લાલ દરવાજા નજીક મહાગુજરાતના પ્રણેતા ઇન્દુચાચાની પ્રતિમાને શ્રદ્ધાસુમન.
સવારે ૮.૦૦ કલાકે : શહીદ સ્મારક ખાતે પોલીસ બેન્ડ સાથે શહીદોને શ્રદ્ધાંજલિ અપાશે.
સવારે ૮.૩૦ કલાકે : સાબરમતી આશ્રમમાં ગાંધીજીને અંજલિ, સ્વર્ણિમ સંકલ્પો, ગુજરાતીઓનું બહુમાન.
સવારે ૧૦.૦૦ કલાકે : ગાંધીનગરમાં પૂજય રવિશંકર મહારાજની પ્રતિમાને પુષ્પાંજલિ.
સવારે ૧૦.૩૦ કલાકે : ગાંધીનગરના સેકટર-૧૫માં મહાત્મા મંદિરનો શિલાન્યાસ, દેશ-વિદેશમાંથી આવેલી માટી અને પાણીનો મંદિરના પાયામાં અભિષેક.
૧લી મેએ બપોર પછી : સરદાર પટેલ સ્ટેડિયમમાં ઉજવણીનો શાનદાર પ્રારંભ.
લાઇટ એન્ડ સાઉન્ડ શો સાથે ભવ્ય ઇતિહાસ રજૂ થશે.

૩૦મીની પૂર્વસંઘ્યાએ શું થશે?

ગુજરાત યુનિવર્સિટીના કન્વેન્શન સેન્ટરમાં એનઆરઆઇ સંમેલન.
વિશ્વમાં જયાં ઉજવણી થવાની છે ત્યાં મોદીનું માર્ગદર્શન.
સ્વર્ણિમ કળશ પ્રત્યેક પ્રતિનિધિને સોંપાશે.
સંસ્કાર-વિરાસતનો સપ્તરંગી ગુજરાત કાર્યક્રમ.
સાંજે સાડા સાત કલાકે ગુજરાતમાં જયનાદ અને ઘંટારવ.
ગાંધીનગરમાં નેવી બેન્ડની સુરાવલી સાથે નાગરિકોનો જયનાદ.
મહાનગરોમાં વોર્ડવાર જયનાદ.
૨૮મી એપ્રિલ થી ૩જી મે સુધી ગુજરાતભરમાં રોશની.
For more news to appear, follow Gujarat State Portal. And, for your Swarnim Pledge, log to - follow Gujarat Day Page on Kidsfreesouls too.
- ilaxi

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Samaydan - donate time

Celebrations of Swarnim Gujarat continues with yet another movement “Vanche Gujarat” - Cultivate reading habits amongst kids and citizens. A kind of initiative 'jagya tyarthi savar' - late but welcoming! Watch and listen to live web telecast at Gujarat State Portal or at CM Narendra Modi's site on 1st April 2010, 11 a.m. sharp.

Kidsfreesouls conducts Childrens' Library since 1991, encouraging kids for reading and other creative activities - once a week, two to three hours, round the year with 100 per cent results.

Now, you can be a part of the campaign by joining 'Samaydan' - donation of time and offer community service.

Read more on Kidsfreesouls News and follow blog.

- ilaxi

Friday, March 12, 2010

Remembering 12th March

12th March and an unforgettable day for me - My dad was born this day - Gandhiji's Salt Satyagraha and Sambhaav Newspaper's birthday. It is not a death of a newspaper with five years of continuous Sambhaav Metro - However, there is no match substitute to the newspaper that Bhupatbhai managed. One got to accept with grace. And, when I see Bhai today, my heart fills with emotions that have no words to say except wish him happy ageing and happy memories of the yester years.

Here's a review of a Book I share with you:

If Life is a Game, Play it. But, If Life is a Game, These are the Rules!
Review by ilaxi

A must read for people who are Too Nice to be Too Good! A basic spiritual primer for what it means to be a human. The author explains 10 simple rules. No mistakes but only lessons to be learnt. As per my experience, any person in life needs :

1. Acceptance & Appreciation
2. Self Esteem
3. Respect
4. Endless learning in a school called 'Life'
5. A better living style

We are enrolled in a full time Life School where there is endless experiencing and endless learning. We may like to learn these lessons or just hate this experiences but ultimately, it do make you a better person. There is no better place than 'Here' living on the edge, whatever Life offers and in this presence, we simply get to reach 'There' - And yeah, this is a better 'There' always than 'Here' coz the very experiences in life takes one to a higher ground and makes a better compromise with life - Some things happen in life just for GOOD.

The Rule 9 in the book says all :
All you need to do is look, listen, and trust

This gives Inner Knowledge - Just listen, vision and trust in own abilities and in your own beliefs - Silence is a blessing and silence is peace. The fruits of karma are here and here alone.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Advaniji says on his blog "It's time for compulsory voting" - The idea of CM Narendra Modi's initiative has a supported voice. Gujarat has introduced this measure for all local body elections. The law has been passed by the State Assembly, but it is still to be implemented. The rules etc are still being worked out, says Advaniji.

And right opined. Compulsory voting will have higher percentages from the literate, Graduates, post graduates - the youth and who have a clear voice.

Advaniji adds "Not many may be aware that as many as 25 countries inhabited by more than 700 million people today have compulsory voting even for their parliamentary election. These countries include Australia, Argentina, Italy, Brazil, Mexico, Turkey, Thailand and Singapore. I feel political thinkers in India also must apply their mind to this."

So, what do you say? Your Opinion, your voice always counts. The Government of Gujarat is open to voices and what better voices could it be other than yours? Do you support Compulsory voting initiative of CM Narendra Modi or you won't?

Btw, let me be honest - I never voted in my life but only after seeing the CM working wonders, I've started voting since last two years! The perspective has to change....

- ilaxi

ps. The picture of Advaniji is exclusively taken at a family function - edited and placed here.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Rambling thoughts on Gujarat Development

Ahmedabad and have you arrived to a Mega city? Yet? Somewhere I read, "Every city has a page 3 culture" - I guess Ahmedabad has a 'Page 3+3+3..." culture. We need many 3 pages to speak of the glory of the city of Gujarat!

If you think I am referring to the Kankaria Lake, the BRTS service or the flyovers, you're little bit right. However, it's more about the word 'Development' - the Projects, the schemes, the initiatives. 'Apde ketla taka' is now getting to 'apan ne ketla taka' - This does not matter as long as the development process is on as Gujaratis have a vision and the future belongs to the people who beholds. 'M' is a word more popular after the word 'M' in 'Millinnium' and this M for Mega is creating waves in all Corporates, Education places and Estate-housing schemes. The word 'Charity' is freely used and the funded concepts works wonder - be it economy housing schemes for low class or education for deprived.

The present is ever greeting the past in different ways with the traditional gujarati ways stepping a comeback to urban homes. The city has got Entrepreneurial spirits which ticks off to global map.

Lacking is Traffic management - any other? mindsets of people and man power with professional polished skills. The weakest part is lacking in 'English language skills' and also fail to preserve its own traditional mother tongue 'Gujarati' language. We can go on....if we ever try to find many of them for which we can't blame the government all the time!

Well, We got to think Positive and focus on present and future. What is so unique about all the developments is 'Governance' - And, Gujarat is # 1 in Governance - fifth time in six years!Gujarat CM's statements, critical or appreciative, are noted seriously. No other CM has made political presence of Gujarat felt as much in New Delhi on matters of development. No other CM has pursued such a dynamic diaspora and aggressive tourism policies.

'Chalo Gujarat' and it's development of not only Gujarat but India too. It only remains to be seen how well, the 'Good Governance' can survive amidst all the major plans and how well can tact and intelligent governance skills be used for 'Swarnim Gujarat. - a Golden Gujarat where Life is a celebration.

Watch this space even though I post random now as more to focus on ramblings of thought about my loving land Gujarat and stay tuned to Kidsfreesouls for info, edu, entertainment and my Blog world. You can look forward for some news too....

- ilaxi

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Samvidhan Gaurav Yatra

Join...A Unique tribute to our constitution - Samvidhan Gaurav Yatra and watch the live web telecast from Gujarat State Portal at 4.00 pm today (24th Jan. )

Various groups will join the yatra like Dhol group, nrutya group, sant group, Ambedkar group with cultural, Police stand group, Women's group, ministers group, vakil group, army group, kshatriya samaj, muslim samaj, maldhari samaj, gayatri samaj, vora samaj, anya samaj, ranakdevi group, zalavad chamber of commerce and industry, youth from colleges, Ganga sati group of women, bhajan mandali group, miraben group, etc - all these group will show their love and loyalty to the nation, give a glimpse into the culture and heritage and be proud to be free.

Click to watch the Yatra as it begins now at Dr. Ambedkar chowk (zalawad) and do come back to Kidsfreesouls - Republic day page.

Now, this is the time when all of us involved in our busy schedules remind us of all those very great songs of yester years which really missed today like...
avo bacho tumhe sikhaye....vande mataram...
nanha munha rahi hun desh ka sipahi hu...
ae mere vatan ke logo...

- ilaxi

Friday, January 22, 2010

BRTS Impressive!

Recently, I attended the Traffic Seminar on occassion of Traffic Police celebrating Traffic week in the city. It was nice to see active participation of AMC Mun. commissioner IP Gautam, Mr. J P Gupta, Transport Commissioner (person behind City Disaster management), Mr. Mohan Jha, Police Commissioner, Mr. Anarwala, Dy. Commissioner of Police who answered the queries and discussed on issues related to Traffic at GCCI.

No wonder, with officers active initiative, aapnu Gujarat is sure to scale high as I hear that Janmarg Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) in Ahmedabad is chosen by Transport Research Board (US) for the Sustainable Transport Award-2010 recently. Top World Bank officials too were impressed by development and urban governance work undertaken by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC).

Earlier, I had mentioned in news about the officers to attend a session on 'Arrangements for managing and operating Bus Rapid Transit System'. Municipal commissioner IP Gautam made a presentation of development projects like UMEED program, Sabarmati riverfront development, waste water treatment plant and solid waste management apart from financial reforms taken by the AMC.

Read more here and stay tuned to Kidsfreesouls for more to come.

- ilaxi

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Traffic and it's a hurdle!

Missed out postings and its almost a new beginning of the year 2010! I am sure, all readers will have a happy go lucky, cheerful and bright year. Only...Only if you believe in your ownself and the things/wonders that you can do:-)

I just had a choice to go for a brunch party or go for an AMC - GCCI walk to riverside project. Quite obvious, my choice you can understand. Yeah, my choice was a brunch party!

How many of us miss our our social obligations just because we are enjoying our personal lives? All most all of us have choices but I think, the day isn't far when we have to engage ourselves for causes. Especially, the Traffic problems. We complain every day and can't even reach place timely. The major issue we need to combat is traffic problem and I almost am planning to reach the venue for Open house Traffic Awareness program at GCCI on 5th Jan, 5.30 pm.

If you think, you find traffic problems and have suggestions, do leave your comments here or walk in to open up, speak up.

- ilaxi