Career Guidance for Kids, Experts Advice for Students: Fairgaze

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Interview with Mr. Yashpal Singh Kalsi

Self Defence
author02 14 Jun 2017 0

Interview with Sashakt Girls

General
author02 07 Jun 2017 0

Interview with Ms. Alka Kaushik

General
author02 18 May 2017 0

Interview with Ms. Adite Banerjie

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Interview with Mr. Faisal Haq

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Interview with Mr. P. Bhattacharjee

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Interview with Mr. Siddharth Behl

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Interview with Ms. Shalini Singhal

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Interview with Srimonto Mazumdar

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Interview with Mr. Varun Inamdar

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Interview with Mr Rohan Mahajan

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Interview with Mr. Debangshu Ganguly

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Interview with Mr. Manhar Kapadia

Positive parenting
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Interview with Ms. Kulpreet Kaur

Holistic development
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Interview With Mr. Arpan Kapadia

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Interview with Mr. A.J.Philip

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Interview With Mr. Rachit Raj

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Interview With Dr. Himanshu Rai

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Interview with Mr. K.V.Gautam

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Interview with Dr. Anumita Agarwal

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Interview with Mr. Yashpal Singh Kalsi

author02 Editor 14 Jun 2017 0

Mr. Yashpal Singh Kalsi was born in 1978. A Sikh boy who started learning Karate in 1986 at the age of 8, he became the captain of his school karate team. Later in 1990, he joined a professional karate training school run by the accomplished Sensei A. B. George, and received his black belt six years later in 1996. Yashpal has been awarded many titles, trophies and medals during his student life, and when he made the transition to professional competition, he became a regular medalist at State, National and International Karate Championships. FairGaze got an opportunity to interact with Mr. Kalsi through our correspondent Ms. Priyanka Negi.

Would you like provide us with few insights of your journey from being a school karate team captain to a Mix karate expert?

I studied until metric in Adarsh Public School in New Delhi; this is where I started my Karate journey. Not every school provided an opportunity for the activity like this in those times where studies are the only priority for everyone. My passion for martial arts and few demonstrations in our school assembly inspired me to start with Karate. Later, I was selected as a Team captain of the school team on the basis of my attendance in all classes and better performance in the competitions held further.

To be a MMA trainer is not an easy goal. People say they are MMA trainers, but there is always something which remains to be learnt. A successful MMA trainer should be open to learn new styles. To be a MMA trainer one has to pass through many challenges in terms of their fitness, their respective Martial Arts styles etc.

I found Karate as a base for the beginning of my MMA carrier as a trainer. I visited Ukraine in the year 2002 and continue to train in the next training camp in 2003 as well. That seminar changed my perspective of Sports Karate and helped me to focus on extreme level of body conditioning and strength which is required for MMA. This is the time when I started watching MMA fights online and on TV channels.

How was your experience when you met renowned karate masters such as Sensei A. B. George and Dai Sensei Moses Thilak?

All credit of my success goes to my masters. I was the student of Sensei A.B. George. It was in my school days when I learned my first punch and kick. Sensei A.B. George was the student of Shihan Moses Thilak. I was honored when I got my Black Belt 3rd Dan from him.

What is the difference between Tae-Kwon-Do and Karate? What are the benefits of both?

For a beginner to know that Taekwondo is a Korean art of self-defense. Focus on high kicks. While other moves like kicks and punches are a small part of it.
While Karate is a Japanese Art focus on self-defense using every part of the body including Judo throws, kicks, punches, knees, elbows and locking as well. Both are the Olympic sports now.

At the age of 12, doctors advised you to stop the martial arts training to avoid the risk of further complication to your weak retina? How did you face it?

“Things are not easy in life and you have to keep fighting to achieve your goal, There are lot of adversity on our way, it’s your decision to get knock out or get up” – I choose to get up and fight.
During my learning I trained myself in such a way that I never got hit on my face except once or twice during my player life.

How do you define martial arts? How it has changed your life?

In brief, learning martial art is a life changing experience for me. It taught me to never give up whether it is life or a competition. Things may be difficult but not impossible.

Do you agree that karate can have a positive influence on students?

If Karate can change me, it can bring change in everyone who learns it. If trained under good master it always leave a positive impact. I always try to share my experience of 30 years in martial art – “Never Give up”.

Feedback from students makes me more confident everyday when I hear positive feedbacks from my students.

According to you, how students can deal with the challenges they face in their daily life?

Every session we train at Sanshinkan (the organization which I am running in India) is challenging. New Students want to give up in the middle of the session, this is the time we motivate students to complete the workout. In the end of the class students get the feeling of some kind of achievement which makes them feel amazing. We also teach the traditional concepts of bushido – “The way of the warrior” this answers everything about the question.

Do you agree that students who continue to practice the martial arts for prolonged have an increased sense of responsibility and a lower level of anxiety?

Yes of course we have some 5 rules (Known as DOJO KUN) every student must know and follow is:-

1. Perfection of character
2. Honest and sincere way
3. Endeavor to excel
4. Respect
5. Refrain from aggregation through spiritual attainment.

We make sure our students follow the way of Dojo Kun during the class as well as their lives outside also.

As martial arts teaches confidence and self-discipline while providing engaging physical activity, should it be included as a component in the process of complete holistic development of students?

I strongly recommend martial art for our new generation, who lacks in physical activities. Electronics and gadgets are taking the place of sports and games these days. To develop the physical efficiency of lungs, body reflexes and strong body, child should opt some outdoor sports.
This implies to all the people working for corporates with sitting jobs. It is our life and we should keep ourselves fit physically and mentally. If you are feeling old you must try to learn martial art to get younger.

What would be your sincere advice to students who wants to take up martial arts as their career?

There are opportunities for everyone for the championships to be a professional fighter or a trainer. As per the feedbacks we gets from our students who tried different gyms and other fitness activities, the gym trend will show some downfall in coming days and people want to do something meaningful to their life. As a result of which all big gyms are now introducing the Martial Arts trainings in their respective fitness centers.

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Interview with Sashakt Girls

author02 07 Jun 2017 0

Project Sashakt is an initiative started by Saranya Das Sharma and Aamiya Viswanathan, when they were in Class 11 in The Shri Ram School Moulsari, Gurgaon. The aim of Project Sashakt is to provide biodegradable sanitary napkins to underprivileged girls in the slums and villages in and around New Delhi, India, as well as training on how to dispose of them in sanitary and environmentally friendly ways. Moreover, this initiative will provide them with these napkins, and necessary disposal equipment, free of cost every month. FairGaze got an opportunity to interact with these young girls through our correspondenr Ms. Priyanka Negi. Read the excerpt below to know more about project Sashakt.

How did you get an idea to develop Sashakt?

I was reading an article about the number of girls who drop out of schools in rural India because of improper menstrual hygiene and was shocked by the statistics. I began investigating further and found out that the average woman generates 125 kg of sanitary waste in her lifetime and knew that I had to do something that addressed both these problems. I approached my friend Aamiya and we looked for an eco-friendly alternative to the traditional pads. Thus, Project Sashakt was born.

Do you agree that women’s health and hygiene is important for a better nation?

Yes, we believe that women’s health and hygiene is an integral part of creating a better nation. Women are the backbone of every nation, whether in the domestic or corporate sphere. Therefore, it is essential to ensure their health and hygiene for a better nation.

What kind of obstacles team Sashakt had to face while taking the first step to developing this project?

This is a topic that is still quite a taboo in our society so it was difficult for us to create a way to address the issue of menstrual hygiene in a way that was effective yet sensitive. Moreover, at first, we did not know how to go about funding. Therefore, it was really difficult for us but we got a lot of support from the community around us.

Did you get a support and motivation from your teacher and parents?

Our teachers and parents are an integral part of why we’ve got so far. They’ve given us so much support and have worked with us to ensure Sashakt’s success, even if it means that they had to make personal sacrifices.

Do you agree that general sensitization plays a major role to create awareness among people?

Sensitization is of prime importance, no matter what the issue is. However, especially for an issue like this one, that is such a taboo for most of the people, it is important for everyone to be sensitive because only then can girls get the proper hygiene equipment that they need, which is essential for their health and well being.

As this project is created by a team of two school girls, do you agree that team work put an extra impact on expected results?

Team work has been so important for the success of this project. Our immensely dedicated volunteers have been the reason that we have been able to have such a huge reach.

Would you like to share few ideas through which we can help students in rural areas?

The most important thing students in rural areas need is to broaden their perspective and get rid of a lot of lingering, traditional belief. Education as well as raising awareness on sensitive issues, such as menstruation, will aid in doing this.

According to you what are those factors that restrict female students to pursue higher education?

Traditional and inherently patriarchal beliefs still persist greatly in our society. It’s thought that the role of women is in the domestic sphere and that it is not as important for a girl to get educated as it is for her to be a housewife. As education is expensive and requires the utilization of resources, many parents decide that the benefit is not enough for them to send their daughters to get educated.

According to Legatum Prosperity Index India ranks 92 in education among 145 countries, do you think that lack of educational- awareness among people is the key factor behind it?

Lack of awareness as well as a traditional mindset that does not allow for women to be seen as anything greater than housewives is responsible for this.

Being a team of girls what kind of changes you wish to see in the society?

We want to see people’s mind change, for them to see that girls are capable of doing as much as boys and for them to see that girls are so much more than just their physical appearance and culinary abilities. We want society to be more tolerant, inclusive and open minded.

If the team Sashakt gets a responsibility to maintain the whole education system, what would be its priorities and major focuses on which they would like to work?

We would work on having a higher rate of female enrollment, both at the primary and higher level. Moreover, we’d shy away from traditional rote learning and would teach from multiple perspectives.

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Interview with Ms. Alka Kaushik

author02 Editor 18 May 2017 0

A Delhi based travel journalist and travel blogger, Alka Kaushik, writes extensively for the Hindi National Media. Her travel inspiration is all about finding fun, offbeat and quirky travel destinations in India and abroad. She writes about subjects ranging from recreational travel to tough treks. Read the excerpt below to know more about Ms. Kaushik through our correspondent Mr. Shatrujit Chauhan.                               

प्र1 .  आपका बुनियादी अध्ययन अंग्रेजी में होने के बावजूद आपके सारे लेख हिंदी में होने का क्या कारण रहा है ?

उ.    उत्तर भारत से होने के कारण मेरी मूल भाषा सदैव  हिंदी रही है। माँ हिंदी प्रोफेसर थीं। इसी कारणवश बोरियत के समय जब अलमारी खंगालती तो संयोग से हिंदी साहित्य की किताबें हाथ लगती। किताबों का संग्रह बेहद वर्गीकृत होता था और शब्दावली बी.ए .,एम. ए . के लेवल की होती थी। जहा कही भी कुछ समझ न आता वहा माँ सहायता के लिए तत्पर रहतीं। इसी तरह साहित्य की इनफॉर्मल ट्रेनिंग हिंदी में और फॉर्मल ट्रेनिंग इंग्लिश में होती चली गयी। जर्नलिज्म के पश्चात जब  लिखने का प्रयास किया तो रेफेरेंस के तौर पर अधिकतर लेख इंग्लिश के प्राप्त हुए , फिर चाहे माध्यम इंटरनेट या फिर लाइब्रेरी ही क्यों न हो। तब जाना की सन २००० में भी अगर हमारी पीढ़ी को ट्रेवल राइटिंग का रेफेरेंस चाहिए तो मुंशी प्रेमचंद के लेख ही उप्लब्ध थे। यही से एक आईडिया उत्पन्न हुआ के क्यों न एक ऐसी भाषा में ट्रेवल ब्लोग्स लिखें जाएं जो की इंडियन मासेस  तक पहुंचे और जिन्हे मुझ जैसे बाइलिंगुअल लोग भी एन्जॉय कर सकें व साथ ही साथ इसमें कॉन्ट्रिब्यूट कर सकें।

प्र 2. आज के दौर में यात्रा मार्गदर्शक साथ रखने की बढ़ती लोकप्रियता है। यह अवधारणा किस हद तक फायदेमंद है। क्या इसमें सोलो ट्रिप वाला मज़ा है ?

उ.    अगर व्यक्तिगत आधार पर बात की जाए तो सोलो ट्रिप इज़ नॉट माय कप ऑफ़ टी। हालात के चलते लोग सोलो या ग्रुप ट्रिप को अपने अपने हिसाब से प्लान करते हैं व उसे अपने मानचित्र में ढालते हैं। इन द ट्रूएस्ट सेंस ऑफ़ द वर्ड, सोलो ट्रिप्स होती हैं पर ऐसी ट्रिप्स करने वाले ट्रैवेलर्स और उनके प्रेरक अलग होते हैं। ट्रेवल कम्पैनियन के रूप में चाहे मार्गदर्शक हो या न हो , पर किसी भी नए भूगोल तक पहुंचने और वहा के अनुभव को यादगार बनाने के लिए ट्रैवल  गाइड /बुक के डायरेक्ट इनपुट्स बहुत मददगार साबित होते हैं। विदेश से आये पर्यटक मात्र एक ऑथेंटिक गाइड और जी.पी.ऐस. की मदद से उन स्थलों तक भी अपना पैर जमा आते हैं जहाँ आम तौर पर लोगो का  पहुचना संभव नहीं होता। अक्सर हमारे स्कूल /कॉलेज के मित्र या पड़ौसी ट्रिप पे हमारे साथ चल देते हैं या ट्रिप के दौरान ही और लोग जुड़ते चले जातें हैं। इसी तरह एक सोलो ट्रिप अपनी समाप्ति से पूर्व एक ग्रूप  ट्रिप का रूप ले लेती है।

प्र 3. भारत के सभी पर्यटक स्थल अपने साथ एक रूढ़िवादी टैग लिए मौजूद हैं। क्या यात्रा करना वह एकलौता साधन है जिससे इस नज़रिए को बदला जा सके ?

उ.    हम सभी का किसी भी पर्यटक स्थल को लेकर एक परसेप्शन होता है। उदाहरण के तौर पर आग्रा को ही ले लीजिए। दुनिया के सात अजूबों में से एक, ताज महल देखने जब हम आगरा पहुंचते हैं तो हमें वहा जा कर ही यह ज्ञात होता है की वहा आस पास का माहौल कैसा है। इसी तरह जब मैं छत्तीसगढ़ टूरिज्म के न्योते को स्वीकार कर जब बस्तर की तरफ चल दी तो सभी शुभचिंतको ने मुझे वहा के बढ़ते आतंक और माओवादी  गतिविधियों को लेकर आगाह किया। दिल्ली से रायपुर के एकांत सफर के बाद मालूम हुआ के रायपुर हवाई अड्डा बेहद खूबसूरत व मनमोहक है परंतु आज से पहले कभी इसका उल्लेख न तो कभी पढ़ा और न ही कभी सुना था। वहा का मेटल आर्ट, साफ रस्ते, ट्राइबल कम्युनिटी का रहन सहन व टैटू आर्ट बहुत ही अद्भुत लगा। अगले पांच दिनों में मैंने बस्तर का हर सिरे से आवरण करने का प्रयास किया और मेरे साथ कोई भी दुर्घटना नहीं हुई। इस रूढ़िवादी टैग का होना बहुत हद तक मीडिया की वजह से है। इसीलिए मैंने सफर से सम्बंधित हर एक लेख में वहा के पॉजिटिव एनवायरनमेंट को तवज्जो दी। अगले दो साल के अंतराल में मैंने दो और बार छत्तीसगढ़ का टूर किया और छत्तीसगढ़ के मेरे अनुभव में करीब 13 और लेख जोड़े। इससे मेरे व अन्य पाठको के सोचने के तरीके में काफी बदलाव आया।

प्र 4 . हर सिक्के के दो पहलू होते हैं। एक लेखक होने के नाते इस दूसरे पहलू की खोज कर उसका आंकलन कितना महत्त्वपूर्ण है ?

उ. एक लेखक होने के नाते अपने पाठक को सूचित रखना मेरी ज़िम्मेदारी है। हम अक्सर किसी भी लोकप्रिय स्पॉट को वहा के प्रसिद्ध और सबसे ज़्यादा चर्चित लैंडमार्क्स से इक्वेट करते हैं। इसलिए मेरी हमेशा यही कोशिश रहती है कि अपने पाठकों को विज़िबल ट्रूथ से परे ले जाकर उन्हें एक नयी दुनिया से परिचित किया जाए। मेरा उद्देश्य यही रहता है कि किसी भी स्थल को रोमांटिसाइज़ करने के साथ साथ पाठकों को उसके सन्दर्भ में ज़्यादा से ज़्यादा इन्फोर्मेट किया जाए।

प्र 5 . आपका परिवहन का पसंदीदा तरीका क्या है और क्यों ?

उ.  मुझे सड़कों पर से गुजरना पसंद है, कार—बस—ट्रक और रेल सबसे पसंदीदा हैं। ट्रक इसलिए क्योंकि उनसे एक सड़कों को देखने का एक अलग व्युप्वाइंट मिलता है!
स्कूल के ज़माने में जिस हिस्ट्री और ज्यॉग्राफी से मुझे सख्त नफरत थी, उनसे आज बेपनाह मुहब्बत की वजह सिर्फ और सिर्फ वो रोड जर्नीज़ हैं जो मैंने बीते दशकों में की हैं।
हां, दूरी ज्यादा हो, सफर लंबा हो तो ट्रेन सबसे बढ़िया विकल्प है। यात्रा दो—तीन दिन की हो तो मज़ा ही आ जाता है क्योंकि तब रेल का डिब्बा और उसकी एक अदद सीट अपना घर बन जाती है। मैं हिंदुस्तान की फर्राटा रेलों को भी स्लो ट्रैवल का ज़रिया मानती हूं और इस तरह हौले—हौले अपना हिंदुस्तान, अपने देश के लोग, उनकी कल्चर, उनका खान—पान और पहनावा करीब से देखने का मौका मिलता है। फिर, इस तरह का धीमा सफर आपको रिफ्लेक्ट करने का मौका भी देता है।

प्र 6 . आपकी नवीनतम यात्रा का अनुभव संक्षेप में बताइये ?

उ.     सच बताऊ तो सिंगापुर जाने का भूत मुझपे कभी सवार नहीं था। इस साल के आगमन पर मुझे सिंगापूर टूरिज्म का इन्वाइट आया जिसका एक अहम् हिस्सा क्रूज़ ट्रिप था। कही न कही मेरे भीतर भी यह परसेप्शन बन गया था कि सिंगापुर इज़ ए शॉपिंग एंड एंटरटेनमेंट डेस्टिनेशन। बादमे वहा के भूगोल के बारे में पढ़ कर जाना कि वहा का सी रूट और लोकेशन काफी प्रभावशाली है। एक  दिलचस्प बात यह भी है कि एक ऐसा आइलैंड जिसे कुछ साल पहले  'दी आइलैंड ऑफ़ डैथ' कहा जाता था वह आज एक वर्ल्ड क्लास इंफ्रास्ट्रक्चर के रूप में उभर कर आया है। इतने विशाल स्तर पर मानवता का विकास देखना अपने आप में ही एक 'आई ओपनर' था।

प्र 7 . जमीन, वायु और अब क्रूज पर यात्रा करने के बाद, आपकी 'बकेट लिस्ट' में अगला क्या है ?

उ.     ज़ाहिर है अंतरिक्ष ही बचा है! सच्ची कहूं, दिल के किसी कोने में एक चोर ख्वाहिश छिपी है कि रिचर्ड ब्रैन्सन कहीं मुझे पढ़—सुन रहे हों और वर्जिन गैलेक्टिक की पहली न सही दूसरी—तीसरी उड़ान के लिए मुझे न्यौता भेज दें!

प्र 8 . आपको दी गई बैस्ट ट्रैवेल टिप और एक टिप जो आप अगली पीढ़ी के यात्रियों को देना चाहते हैं ?

उ.     बेशक, हम—आप अक्सर यह कोट करते हैं कि 'दुनिया एक किताब है और जो घर से बाहर नहीं निकला उसने पहला पन्ना भी नहीं पढ़ा'। लेकिन मेरा मानना है कि सिर्फ बाहर निकलना, घूमना, नई जगह जाना—देखना—अनुभव करना ही काफी नहीं है। हम जब नया भूगोल देखें तो उसे समझने के लिए उससे जुड़ी चीज़ों को जरूर पढ़ें। पोथी पढ़ना भूल रही है नई पीढ़ी। हमारे साहित्य में बहुत खजाना छिपा है, उसे टटोलें। आपको जो खजाने तिब्बत की मानसरोवर झील के तट पर मिलते हैं उतने ही कीमती नग मुराकामी, राहुल सांकृत्यायन, अज्ञेय, पिको अयर, खुशवंत सिंह, बिल एटकिन, स्टीफन आॅल्टर, हेनरिच हैरर से लेकर मार्को पोलो, कोलंबस, फाहियान, ह्वेन सांग, बर्नियर जैसे लेखकों/मुसाफिरों के सफरनामे को पढ़कर हाथ आते हैं। मैं कहीं भी यात्रा पर निकलने से पहले और लौटने के बाद, उन जगहों/अनुभवों के बारे में बहुत कुछ पढ़ने के लालच से खुद को रोक नहीं पाती हूं।

प्र 9 .  आपके अनुसार क्या "ब्लॉग" के लिए हिंदी शब्द होना चाहिए? जो कि हमारे पास अभी नहीं है।

उ.      ऐसा नहीं है कि ब्लॉग का हिंदी पर्याय नहीं है, अक्सर चिट्ठा या वेबडायरी के तौर पर हम इसे जानते हैं। लेकिन जरूरी नहीं कि हर शब्द, हर कन्सेप्ट का मतलब अन्य भाषाओं में गढ़ा जाए। मसलन, 'कंप्यूटर' को ही लें। उसका हिंदी अर्थ संगणक है। मगर हम सभी कंप्यूटर ठीक से समझते हैं। तो यह नया शब्द गढ़ने की जिद क्यों? ब्लॉग को हम जस का तस अपना लेने से छोटे नहीं हो जाएंगे। भाषाओं के स्तर पर हमें उदार होना चाहिए, तभी हमारा शब्दभंडार बढ़ता है। 

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Interview with Ms. Adite Banerjie

author02 Editor 11 May 2017 0

Adite Banerjie’s love for books started at an early age. After working as a business journalist she turned her attention to writing fiction. She is the author of the romantic thriller, No Safe Zone. She has also written two books under the Mills and Boons brand name. Read the excerpt below to know more about Adite through our correspondent Ms. Srishti Anand.

How did the idea of writing occur to you?

Right from my childhood I was a keen reader. My habit of reading was encouraged by my parents who themselves were voracious readers of all kinds of fiction and non-fiction books. But apart from writing the odd essay for the school magazine I really did not take up writing in a major way. After my graduation I was looking for opportunities to take up a vocational course when I came across a journalism and creative writing course. I applied for it and I was hooked for life. Writing has been an obsession for me ever since.

What made you leave core journalism and take up writing fiction?

My journalism career spanned more than 15 years and during that period I worked with several publications including, The Daily, Sunday Magazine, The Economic Times and Business Today. While I enjoyed my journey as a journalist, I wanted to spread my wings. I wanted to explore different kinds of writing, including content writing and fiction.
So, I gradually shifted my attention towards freelance writing. I did – and still continue to –freelance content writing which included writing research reports for organisations, ghost-writing business articles, among others.
In the meantime, I also focused on learning the craft of fiction writing. I enrolled in screenwriting courses and that helped me enormously in understanding the essentials of plotting, scene building, world building, genre conventions, etc. which are very important for writing mainstream commercial fiction.

What is the best part about writing?

Whether I am writing a piece of fiction or doing business writing, I enjoy the entire process. Right from the research stage, to plotting the structure up to the actual writing and editing it.

People say writing is a therapy, do you think so?

I agree totally. Often when you are going through difficult situations in your personal life, writing can be a very cathartic experience and it can help resolve your issues, without going to a therapist! Many people write journals for that very reason. I have personally dealt with loss and grief by writing about it. It’s up to you whether you choose to make it public or not but writing is the best medicine that you can rely on.

Do you experience writers block? What is your way to cope up with it?

Everyone goes through writer’s block at some point or the other. When that happens to me, I try to evaluate the reasons for it. Writer’s block in most cases is a symptom of the fact that something in your story is not working. There are several ways of dealing with it. Sometimes you just need a break from your writing. And do something totally unrelated. Try not to think about your work-in-progress and when you come back to it after a few days or weeks with a totally fresh mind, you will automatically find solutions for those elements in your story that were not working.

Would you advise students to take up writing as a career and what is your advise to them?

Writing is first and foremost a passion. You have to enjoy reading books (and not just fiction but all kinds of books). As a voracious reader, you begin to imbibe the basics of writing, including writing styles, structure, grammar, etc. It also helps you differentiate between good and mediocre writing so that when you write your own essays or stories you will have a good feel for what works and what doesn’t. Without this kind of internal assessment, it will be difficult for you to evaluate your own work and make improvements.
Also, if you want to take up writing as a career, I would recommend that you first start off as a journalist or content writer, preferably in an organisation where you can get hands-on experience and guidance from mentors. While this will help you earn money from writing, it will also be a great opportunity to hone your writing skills. Be aware that if you want to write fiction, it is unlikely that you will make a living by publishing books. However, there are other ways of earning money from fiction writing – especially in the film and entertainment industry. But whatever kind of writing you focus on, you have to first learn the craft and focus on developing your writing skills.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

My father worked as an art director in the Indian film industry. He also acted in amateur theatre in his youth. His love and passion for storytelling has always inspired me. He could spin the greatest yarns from the most mundane of things. But more importantly, he would tell the stories in a most entertaining fashion. When I write, I often think of how my dad would have narrated the story and that continues to be a constant source of inspiration.

What is the one tip about writing which helps a writer do wonders?

Read! Read across genres. Read everything and anything that you can lay your hands on. That was the tip I was given by my first mentor in journalism and I would give the same tip to anyone who wants to be a writer. Renowned author Stephen King says it best: “If you want to be a writer you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.”

Have you ever been rejected by a publisher or such? How can a writer cope up with such rejections?

Rejections are a big part of the writing process. Every writer has to deal with it. As a journalist, many of the story ideas I pitched to my editors were rejected. But in those cases I made an effort to find out why they were being rejected. If I had already written out the story I would try and re-work it based on the feedback and re-submit. Or if the story was not feasible for other reasons, I would just move on and try to find some other story idea that would be more appealing.
In fiction writing, while my books have not been rejected (as yet) many of my screenplays have not found takers. There can be multiple reasons for that: for instance the scale of the story may require a bigger budget for the filmmaker or it may be in a genre that the filmmaker is not comfortable with. Same goes for the publishing world. So, every writer needs to develop a thick skin and not let rejections throw him/her off. The trick is in writing something more compelling, improving your skills and making sure that your next story will be more appealing and difficult to reject. 

What are your future plans?

There are plenty of opportunities for writers today even though the competition has got much tougher. My plan is to keep working on my craft, write stories that engage with today’s readers and viewers through better, more compelling stories.

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Interview with Ms. Gargi Malik

author02 Editor 03 May 2017 0

Ms. Gargi Malik has been dancing since she was a child. Coming from Kolkata, the city famous for its culture, she imbibed in herself the love for dance, quite deep. Gargi believes that dance is a form of therapy and meditation that keeps you calm and composes. She has her dance school in Kolkata and loves guiding children through their dance journey. Read the excerpt below to know more about Gargi through our correspondent Ms. Srishti Anand.

Out of all the dance forms what brought you to Kathak?

I started Kathak when I was 4 years old. It’s obvious that I was new to the field and during those days neither me nor were my parents aware about Indian Classical dance forms. My mother is a singer and father used to play Tabla. And naturally there was a musical atmosphere in my home. So, one fine day, my mother took me to a dance class in our neighbourhood and got me admitted in the class and hence my journey of dance began.
Then after few months I tried a short stint of Bharatnatyam for 6 months, but I realised that Kathak is my forte and the charm and beauty of Kathak took me to its never ending world of learning.

Calcutta is a place where people love dance and music, did coming from Calcutta also play a role in you taking up dance?

Definitely, as I strongly believe that your whole nature, lifestyle and interests develop from your surroundings. I am blessed to get such an atmosphere. My father has a transferable job so I am fortunate enough to be in different places and get in touch with their culture. But frankly speaking, what I got from Bengal,I didn’t get such enthusiastic atmosphere anywhere else. This is one of the biggest reasons why I love dance this much.
Once I stepped out from my hometown, it was tough for me to mould myself single handledly in a totally unknown culture and atmosphere. But as I mentioned, it was in my blood. It took me hardly a month to make a viable cultural surrounding around me. I met many kathakars and other artists from different cultural backgrounds and I was never detached from my roots.

I believe you started learning the form at a very early age. Was it difficult to cope up at such a small age?

Yes I started at a very early age. My Guru, Ms. Sreemoyee Khasnobis was the reason I am on this platform which is giving me a chance to become a part of your organization. Normally it is never very tough for a child to cope up with any difficult situation and moreover it was my interest area so without even knowing I was into it. My Guru is the biggest inspiration for me. If you have interest and love for your passion no matter what the circumstances are, nothing can stop you.

Will you advise students to follow dance, specifically Kathak as a career option?

No, I will advice students to make it their passion not profession. You need to be practical, in India you need to have a definite career path to carry forward your life smoothly. Classical dance forms have a niche segment of audience and rest of the huge population is mostly unaware about the classical forms. It is better to love dance and do it with passion and carry forward our ancient art with respect. The moment you will make it your career, firstly, there is no such huge earning in this line and secondly, people become money minded and it loses its beauty. Dance is a prayer towards God, and materialistic mind cannot allow a devotee to devote fully towards this.

Who do you look up to? Who inspires you to become a better version of what you are right now?

My all-time inspiration in dance is my Guru, Ms. Sreemoyee Khasnobis. She says that if you want to be on top, place the best person on top. Once you aspire big then only you can achieve it. She is not only my Guru; she is my friend, guide, guardian, and adviser. I respect her as much I respect my parents. In fact, both my parents and my Guru are the reason for me to excel in this field. If you are extremely talented but you don’t have a supportive family you can never shine. My parents never stop me to develop my talent, which was built by my Guru. I can never put words as my respect and love for my Guru.

What are the basic qualities of a good dancer?

Basic quality is love and respect for art. You need to have that passion for dance. If you want to do it only because of peer pressure then it won’t work out. You need lots of patience to learn classical dance forms. And dance itself gives you grace and calmness in your personality. One can easily find out the difference between who is attached with the art and who is unattached to it.

It is said that dance is a way to reach to your inner self. Do you believe that?

Of course I believe this. You are directly connected with the divine power. Dance makes you more stable and gives you a very mature thought process. You become more creative in your imagination. Kathak is a visual beauty. The bhaw, bol, tatkar, and many more mesmerizing items are there to create a garland of art. Dance always speaks more than words, and that is what I believe.

What would be your advice to an aspiring dancer?

I am just a beginner in this universe of art. I cannot give any such advice, but I can only say love and respect your passion. Always be true with your art. A true artist is always close to the divine power. And most importantly, learn patiently and respect your guru. Worship dance, and you will be rewarded by the best.

Has dance helped you improve personally? How?

Dance is the only reason for all of my little successes across different genres. It helped me to be strong in hard times and also helped me to stay calm and stable in the exuberating moments. I always say to my students that one must be connected with at least one art form except education because its helps to excel and increase concentration. I never stopped dance classes while my board exams were going on or during my master’s final year. I was the university topper in my batch but I never thought I should drop dancing during examinations.

How do you prepare yourself before a performance, both physically and mentally?

I touch the feet of my Guru and if she is not there I always give her a call and I also call my parents. Stage is the place which belongs to me and I know that well. So, I feel relaxed before going on stage. But I always feel scared just the moment before I step on the stage. But once I am there I am totally into me and audience is God for me. I just pray in front of my God and rest is taken care of.

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Interview with Mr. Faisal Haq

author02 Editor 26 Apr 2017 0

Mr. Faisal Haq is heading Digital Marketing Operations for WATConsult in North India. He is a conscientious, seasoned and achievement oriented professional with over 13 years of experience in Digital Marketing and Social Media practice. He has been at the forefront in conceptualizing and implementing award winning campaigns for various brands. He has also trained and worked for the development of young minds to be the torchbearers of digital movement. He conceptualized and conducted the first ever YouTube Training Session in India by Google. He was associated with the Common Wealth Games 2010 as a trainer, was the member of 13 official trainers, trained 22,000 volunteers and 3000 workforce during CWG2010 and was heading the Digital Marketing & Social Media Communication for CWG-Delhi 2010. Mr. Faisal has also conducted Social and Digital Media training workshop for the Government of Bhutan for their Information Media Officers. Not only this, he has developed and designed the digital marketing framework for marketing professionals for the 'Kingdom of Bahrain'. Read the exceprt below to know more about Mr. Haq through our correspondent Ms. Bhavna Sharma.


How did you discover a career in digital marketing and advertising?

I started quite early when India only used to have VSNL as the service provider and it was the only gateway to reach out to the global audience. I was a part of LiveWorld and launched world’s first online shopping portal that used to work in real time. It helped me understand the power of digital marketing and online advertising.

Online medium enabled us to reach target audience in real time. Basis their real time consumption of the information, campaigns and messaging were tweaked and brilliantly amplified. This thrill encouraged me to peruse digital marketing as my career and there has been no looking back since then.

As a successful strategist in digital marketing, what are the essentials required to be a top notch marketer?

A successful marketer must understand the target audience, their consumption habits of the medium and how to reach out to them on a regular basis to help them make a buying decision. This is because ultimately every brand must yield a good ROI.

Your team received the opportunity to promote and launch the Madame Tussauds in Delhi. How did you feel about this and what were the preparations done to make it huge?

Madame Tussauds has been an iconic global attraction. Winning the mandate was synonymous with giving ‘the Delhi attraction’ a global approach.
An Innovative campaign using technology for an immersive experience to the users was our primary objective. Hence, we decided to make online influencers a part of the first mannequin challenge video at the time of media launch.

What goes in your mind while planning and developing campaign strategy for brands? How do you prepare yourself and other things to execute it perfectly?

First, the clients brief and second, logically predicting how users are going to consume the content we are planning to create for the brand.
Also, conceptualizing the best possible creative strategy for the same to complement the objective our brand wants to achieve. 

Please share some of your campaigns. Amongst all your campaigns, which campaign delighted you the most and why?

Madame Tussauds launch event, as we were announcing the global brand entering the Indian market.

The Body Shop – Launch of their British Rose range.

Apollo Tyres two-wheeler tyre launch, in spite of being a non-entertaining category, our campaign was so powerful that it got a lot of eyeballs and traction online and was trending in India for couple of hours.

Bausch & Lomb – Don’t be a Spectator Campaign, where we educated the users that they end up missing out precious moments of life while trying to fix their spectacles.

Is developing a career in digital marketing a good choice for students?

Yes, it is. Everything in today’s world is moving to digital and people consume information on the go. Moreover, there are enormous opportunities in the digital domain from display, client servicing, execution, media planning & buying, creative strategy, copy, creative design.

What do you have to say to students who are aiming to fly high in this career?

One mantra: read, read & read, if you don’t read what’s happening around the globe you will not be able to widen your horizon.

What are the mantras to reach the peak of success in a career like digital marketing?

Craft an idea into a campaign only after putting yourself in the place of your target group to understand the instinct-rich micro-moments which touch their soul.

Blend your objective with consumer interests flawlessly to achieve the brand objective.

Give your own meaning to “peak of success” and you will make a mark in the industry in your own way.
What are your future plans?

I am here to stay at WATConsult and would like to see WATConsult expand to international locations. I would like to get more national and international brands on board.

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Interview with Mr. P. Bhattacharjee

author02 Editor 17 Apr 2017 0

An educationist from outside and a visionary from inside- Mr. P. Bhattacharjee is a retired senior class one officer (Electrical Engineer) from DDA, New Delhi. He has a deep and varied experience in construction projects. A practicing member of the ‘theosophical society’, his vision is to contribute for creating a meaningful environment for the younger generation to enjoy living. Read the excerpt below to know more about Mr. Bhattacharjee through our correspondent Mr. Shatrujit Chauhan.

You have been a teacher and a student equally, for years now. How has the journey been like?

It has been exciting throughout. Every day is a fresh day creating value addition to my existing level of understanding towards life.

How effective is co- existence over competence. Where does the theory of “Survival of the Fittest” play a part?

Existence is a dynamic integration of multi-functional entities each component of which is competent to contribute to its evolution. ‘Survival of the Fittest’ is the hidden principle of nature which ensures the existence of the Fittest only. Nature selects and rejects automatically according to the degree of fitness of any object or event. We are fit, we exist. We do not see unfit people around.

How do you like the idea of grooming and educating students using online tools or a web- forum?

It is a very good idea provided the students are compatible with the system. Primitive students cannot be groomed using progressive mechanism. It is futile.

Effective and positive parenting appears to be a myth these days. How can we cope-up with this problem?

Who defines what a ‘myth’ is? There is no ‘effective or positive’ parenting as such. It is only parenting! Let us first identify the problem…solution will follow.

How important is it to set up think tanks dedicated towards internal yet important issues for nationwide progress?

All the arrangements are already in place but, are there any progress seen? Let us first define National Progress.

What according to you is the true essence of getting educated?

Getting educated means the subject is not a burden to the society in any way. He is competent to contribute to the national gross domestic product. He understands, being a consumer since birth, it is obligatory for him to be producer also.

You yourself have vast knowledge in multiple fields. Do you think our brains have certain limitations?

Any manifested matter has limitations. Free will is the prerogative of the un-manifest creator only.

What steps must be taken at the primary level so as to meet with world class standards of education?

The child must be exposed to an environment which will make him learn. This simulation technique is beyond the imagination of the so called educated experts. The child learns through exposure, experience and comparison, he never learns by instructions or directions.

Art and inventiveness is always given an antithetic tag while grooming a child. Don’t you think it is a significant part of education itself?

The situation has been created by unprofessional approach of the parents and elders while raising their off-springs. Parents need rigorous professional training irrespective of their status or level.

What is your vision of quality in education and skill development, how do you plan to take it forward?

Education converts a consumer into an effective producer. Professional skill is required to install such a mechanism. I am always ready to contribute objectively to the cause without any personal bias or motive.

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Interview with Mr. Siddharth Behl

author02 Editor 12 Apr 2017 0

Being lost is something that I try to draw story out of street children about how they come from different states of India, especially in Delhi. I am talking about Delhi because I have shot so many pictures in Delhi. The whole story of was about how migration has affected the lives of the street children, mentally, emotionally and also about how they have been living a very gruesome condition and a scary condition, although they really matter.

‘Being lost’ portray a story about children, dealing with a life which is very difficult and hard to live. At times it is very surprising and very challenging for them. However, most of us, when we grow up we don’t realize certain things that can affect us in future. This theme based photography is about how a child loses himself in the society and his own mental condition. The project is like an ongoing body of mine which I plan to continue trying to get more perspectives out of it.

What are the major points that inspire you to click pictures of street children?

I love children. They are beautiful, open minded and very frank with you. I have grown up in Delhi and have seen street children in Delhi. I have seen a lot of street children begging on the street.

The question has always been in my mind that what these children are doing on the street. Why are they doing this? Despite the fact that, some of them have the parents and some of them don’t. I always wanted to shoot them but I never knew where to start, what to shoot and how to shoot.

And I just randomly thought that lets just find out these children and later in after my deep investigation and whole research and development behind it, I realized that these children are migrants. They are not from Delhi. They have run away from different states.

This is how I encountered this whole idea of being lost and that shows my interest in street children even grew more and I got a theme, a base to shoot on. That is how I started shooting street children in a much more focused manner.

Do you agree photography is a talent that can be inculcated in students?

Yes, photography is a talent that can be inculcated in students as a talent. I think it has to be realized by all the students. Not exactly inculcated because for some it might be a mode of talent, while for some it might be an art, some might even find it a little boring because you are physically taxing yourself and most of the children won’t like that but photography is a beautiful expression.

It is the most expressive way of telling a story. Some people love writing, some love drawing, and that’s where photography comes, it has both the things.

The famous quote “a photograph tells a thousand words” itself a beautiful thought. I would like to advise that for a student it is a talent based thing. To generate students’ interest, the mentor should motivate them. The mentor should teach them that they can try and tell lots of things through their camera.

If you get a chance to change our education community where would you like to start from?

This would be witty enough, I would allow all the children to just run away from the class and do whatever they want to (Laugh). Honestly, our education system is not that bad, it has loopholes. There are certain things that need to be changed.

Children need to be focused right from the time they start their education and they should understand ‘how and what does their syllabus mean to their future’. Teachers should also be a little more focused.

We have good teachers, excellent professors in our university and colleges. However, it becomes difficult for them to focus on individual children. As a whole education system, things should be clearer in the mind’s of children, depending on what subject it is and what mode of teaching it is. What theory can’t teach sometimes practical does?

During my school time I had, a lot of interest in history. However, I was, made to sit in the class and made to learn all the things. That time I used to think that why not if you visit all these places, you will learn it better. So, we should be given assignments in a way that we learn to explore ourselves. Like Indiana Jones or something. These things and teachers really matter in our education system.

How a teacher teaches and expresses their self really matters. So, all these things that I have missed I think can be inculcated in the Indian system of education in the future. It is already brilliant and just needs to be improved.

What are some tips/advices you would give to yourself if you started street photography all over again?

If I had to start all over again I would like to start with a good camera and would like to have a good mentor. After college I had an opportunity to work with Raghu Rai (the living legend of Indian photography). I had this opportunity to do my internship under him.

If I could have got a little more time with him, I could have done wonders in photography. So if I start photography again, I really need a good mentor.

Do you agree that a mentor is a right person who can guide students?

Yes, I agree that a good mentor is important for every child. Mentor Not only guides you to choose a right career but he motivates you to follow the right direction to achieve success. As I mentioned before, I think if I would have got a mentor at the very beginning of my career I might have achieved the success much earlier.

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Interview with Ms. Shalini Singhal

author02 Editor 06 Apr 2017 0

A Doctorate in Nutrition, Dr. Shalini Singhal started as a business head but later came up with the idea of opening her own clinic and guiding people towards good health. She has worked in the nutrition industry for the last 19 years. She contributes to the society with her expertise which has come from working in well-known institutes like VLCC, Pritkin etc. She has also been involved in teaching budding dieticians and nutritionists. Read the exerpt below to know more about Ms. Singhal through our correspondent Ms. Srishti Anand.

What attracted you to this career?

I always wanted to take up a career in Preventive Health Care. I chose B.Sc. Home Sc. for my graduation and then pursued Post graduation in Foods & Nutrition. Thereafter, I took up a research project on heart patients in a leading hospital in Jaipur and that study won me UGC Research fellowship and my Doctoral degree.

Why is a proper diet necessary for a growing child?

Nutritious food and proper dietary habits play a pivotal role in the physical, cognitive and psychological health of a child. A growing child needs nutrients for physical growth, mental development, for protection from various diseases and for energy purposes.

What is that one diet tip you swear by?

Eat More ‘’Food Right from the Kitchen Garden’’ and Eat Less ‘’Processed Food’’.

Do you think children should consider becoming a dietician?

Yes certainly. Preventive health care is the need of the hour. With rapid modernisation and urbanisation the world is facing an epidemic of lifestyle diseases. Nutrition & Dietetics is a field which is going to have an increased demand in the years to come.

What still keeps you attracted to this career?

It’s my passion now. I feel blessed to have got an opportunity to study Nutrition and guide people towards better health and longevity.

What is the common problem that people come to you for?

Obesity and other associated lifestyle problems like Diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, kidney ailments etc.

Who has been your guide/mentor in the entire journey?

Dr. Rajeev Gupta, Chairman of Interventional & Preventive Cardiology, Eternal Hospital, Jaipur has been my guide since my graduation days. My husband was the one who pushed me into entrepreneurship and has always been very supportive.

Do you think the supplements that teenagers take to substitute real fruit are fine?

No, I do not recommend anything of this sort. Processed food cannot be compared with natural food at all.

What is your advice to students who are planning to take up this career option?

Just go ahead. Get your concepts right, get the right work experience and practice with ethics.

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Interview with Srimonto Mazumdar

author02 Editor 28 Mar 2017 0

Srimonto Mazumdar belongs to a family of music & artists of Allahabad, U.P. Srimonto started learning Sitar at an early age from his father late Shri Partho Sarathi Mazumdar, who himself was a reputed musician of his time and was the first generation to play Indian Classical Music on Guitar. Srimonto has also received training from Shri Sanjay Guha of Kolkata and continued his training from his elder brother Shri Gaurav Mazumdar, a reputed musician of the present generation and disciple of Bharat Ratna Pt. Ravi Shankar.

Srimonto has completed Sangeet Prabhakar from Prayag Sangeet Samiti, Allahabad and has also won many competition of Samiti, Allahabad University, Sangeet Natak Akademi, Lucknow and All India music completion organised by Maharishi Gandharva Ved Vishwa Vidyapeeth, Noida. He also travelled to Australia, Kenya, Dubai and Singapore to accompany his brother Shri Gaurav Mazumdar on a music tour. In his career of Music, he faced a lot of difficulties due to his hearing problem. While performing tuning and teaching, he used his eyes for hearing and vibrations to understand it. Earlier he had a tough time fighting with the difficulties but now he considers them as his capabilities to know life and music better. Let's know know about him through our correspondent Ms. Bhavna Sharma.

 

When did you develop a love for music? What is music for you?

I belong to a musical family, where every member of the family is involved in music professionally or unprofessionally. I had a musical environment at my home since my childhood and I have developed a love for music by listening to it from my father, brothers and cousins. Many of popular BANDISH of Indian classical Music and old Bollywood songs, I heard first time on my father’s guitar much before audio and video systems. For me, music is everything. It has given me love, respect and recognition in every aspect of life.

What is the current scenario of Indian Classical Music in India? Do you find its craze amongst young generation?

Indian classical Music is very famous among the people of the world. Earlier, the only budding artist used to go abroad to perform but in present scenario’s almost every performing artist is going to abroad to give their solo performances. Even fusion of Indian classical and western music is very famous worldwide.  And when it comes to its craze among young artists, I would just want to say that Indian classical Music has its class and it is for Classy people. The artists of present generation care more about the fame and they have less devotion for music.

What motivated you to choose sitar over other instruments?

When I was 10 year’s old, my father gifted me a small sitar and started teaching and encouraging me.

You were invited for various music tours abroad. What were the differences you observed while performing in India and in abroad?

The interaction with the audience is quite different in these two places. As an Indian, I know my audience while in abroad, as there is a variety of audience, the content, the amount and quality of interaction with them changes. Besides, Foreigners are very punctual for the event timing.  

Your father was the first generation to play Indian Classical Music on Guitar. Have you ever played any western musical instrument like your father?

No, my father was very obsessed with Indian Classical Music and he only let us learn Indian classical Instrument. But later, when I get into teaching, I started playing synthesiser.  I love to play old Hindi film’s songs.

You are fond of Photography too apart from your passion in Music. How did you find your interest in Photography?

When my hearing problem got worst, my brother advised me to learn a new form of art and brought me a camera. Then, I started learning it. Later, I developed a passion for artistic photography but never liked to click pictures of people. That is why I never got into professional photography and returned to my previous art. I also have my exhibition of artistic photography.

Is studying Indian Classical Music good to develop a career in Music w.r.t. today’s scenario? If yes, how will it help students?

There is already AIR & Doordarshan, now many TV channels n FM radio so demand of musicians is increasing. As the number of Private schools and universities are increasing the requirement for music teacher’s is also increasing. There are also chances for public performance, or to join any orchestra/ music band etc.

Do you feel any other type or genre of music should be played on sitar other than Indian music?

Yes, with the demand and huge competition, it is fine but music should be soothing and melodious one.

Who are some of your favourite Indian musicians and how have they inspired you?

There are many in my family and other budding artists. It is hard for me to name one artist. But Pandit Ravi Shankar is my ideal for his music and timing.

What message do you want to convey to young children who are interested in Indian music?

The students who want to learn music, they should first respect the art and it is not a one day process. It needs dedication and devotion.

 

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Interview with Mr. Varun Inamdar

author02 Editor 14 Mar 2017 1

Varun Inamdar, a master chocolatier is also known as 'The Prince of Chocolates in India', is currently working as an independent hospitality professional. He is famous among people for his delicious and amazing food creations. Varun believes in determination, passion & dedication towards food. He is always on the lookout for exploring something new. Read the excerpt below to know more about Mr. Inamdar.

When did you know you wanted to become a chef?

I never wanted to become a chef. That was something that I could never even dream of. All I wished to be is in the kitchen and that’s it. It could be anybody doing any menial job in the kitchen. 15 years back, when I was studying, I came up with this idea of working after college hours. I had always been a good student in my hotel school years and every afternoon I would sit with a new book, but there was one book that I sat with every day but could never finish and that was ‘Larousse Gastronomique’. Whilst we could take every other book home using our library card, we were not allowed to take this one as it was very expensive. So I wanted to buy it. I did not want to burden my family with the expense of this book hence I checked with my college if I could work in the evenings. Permissions were granted and work evenings began. My first job was that of a dishwasher in a fondue restaurant in Bandra, Mumbai. From there the journey began after which I got through Oberoi Centre of Learning and Development followed by The Oberoi Hotels and Resorts and The Kuwaiti Royalty. 15 years and today, I am known as ‘The Prince of Chocolates’ and rank amongst India’s top 10 celebrity chefs. In these years I have been fortunate enough to serve the world dignitaries like Barrack Obama, Nicholas Sarkozy, Vladimir Putin, The Royal families in the Gulf and India alike. For an outsider with no Godfather, I am very proud of my journey so far. And trust me this is just the beginning.

What inspires you? How do you come up with ideas for the dishes that you create?

A lot of things inspire me, some vague thoughts; ideas which look unachievable inspire me to crack them. When I made India’s First Chocolate Mannequin, a lot of people asked me not to make it for various reasons. They said what if it breaks or melts while transporting. I said that in that case I will stand there personally and make it again live in front of the spectators. When a television channel approached me for a Ganesh Chaturthi episode and create 3 different types of sweet modak, I said instead let’s create Chocolate Ganesha. These things happen because of one’s clear passion, perseverance and persistence. And this combination can make one create the most beautiful- unthinkable things. Apart from all this, India as a country, its beauty, its heritage, its produce, its culture inspires me. This is how Barcode artisanal chocolates came into life. Today, it is looked upon as a complete luxury signature collection. It is all about India. 29 flavours, each representing the 29 states of our incredible nation.

What made you gravitate towards chocolate as opposed to other specializations?

It was all by chance. The hotel that I was absorbed in after my studies did not have a designated Pastry chef. I professionally had neither the inkling nor the interest to be part of that department, as my forte and focus had always been the hot kitchen and cuisines. But somewhere destiny had a different plan. I slowly started learning and the rest is history. But I am happy that because of that learning I can fuse flavors and techniques in both cuisines and pastries with flair.

Do you have any vivid or memorable food experiences that impacted on you as a child or as a young chef?

My father turned a vegetarian suddenly after an unfortunate dining experience that made him take that step. So whilst as a child, my mother rustled up the meat dishes on Sundays, I chose to stir the vegetarian fare for my father. That gave me more and more exposure to cooking as a medium. And I think that has impacted my cooking style and thinking a lot because I still think as a young boy. I disagree, with term ‘young chef’, as chef is an acquired grade of respect that a professional achieves as one keeps going higher up the ladder. I am lucky to be one, and trust me it needs a lot of hard work, focus and dedication.

What was it like working with hotels in different countries?

It is very different even one kitchen area to another. Country to country difference is a huge thing that we are talking here. Suddenly, handling a different set of team members from one’s adjoining kitchen could also be a challenge. Having said that, I am a fun loving person and can adapt to any situation. I am basically a crisis specialist. I shine best under stress.

Do you agree that parents should appreciate children’s passion for cooking be it, girls or boys?

Off course, parents must be appreciative of the child’s first signs of showing interest in the kitchen. My nephew, Vivaan is 3 and is already glued onto Youtube cookery videos, my food shows. Not just that he also helps his mother in the kitchen with shelling peas, rolling chapatti discs. However, irregular the shapes are but what is important is to let him be himself and not pressurize one’s choice and likings. And, the gender in the kitchen is just a word. I do not like people who differentiate and use terms like ’Lady Chef’ and the likes. A chef is a chef, whatever the gender.

Would you like to share your opinion on ‘qualities that define a good chef’?

One must be focused. Right from the days in hotel school till the last meal that you cook in your lifetime. There is no end to learning! You may pick up a style, a technique, a certain nuance from anyone, from anywhere. The sandwich maker on the streets may teach you something. So be vigilant always. And try to encapsulate each learning, each experience into daily functioning. Apart from that, be passionate, be dedicated and dream big always! You are not dreaming enough, if your dreams don’t scare you.

According to you, is it important to work in coordination with a team to achieve success?

Off course, your team defines the person you become professionally. It is always the team that would efficiently follow your vision to make it or break it for you. But the success mantra is to take the low points in your own stride and the high points and laurels must be dedicated to them. That’s the mark of a true leader.  

How can young enthusiasts brush up their talent of cooking or preparing something unique?

Talent, I feel is ingrained and you can’t polish it. You can only brush up on your knowledge and keep adding more by reading, and keeping your eyes open to the world of food. Every day, there are newer inventions and discoveries. To prepare something new and unique, one must first master the known and traditional because, one must know the rules of the game first to break them in order to crack newer formulae.

How important it is for students to learn cooking at an early age?

To learn cooking is extremely important, not to prove it to anybody or yourself but your basic survival. It is essential to be independent in today’s world. And like I said earlier, it is immaterial if it is a boy or a girl. The earlier you learn the better, as it gives you those many years of learning.

What challenges are you looking for in this position?

Every day is a new challenge. You’ve got to be in the grove to face it, and take the bull by its horns. Keep learning. Keep reading. Keep your basics strong and keep evolving. Think 10 steps ahead. And last but not the least, be fearless! 


Comment


  • good one......

    on 20 Mar 2017

Interview with Mr Rohan Mahajan

author02 Editor 08 Mar 2017 0

Mr. Rohan Mahajan, a law graduate from the prestigious Campus Law Center, is the Founder and CEO at LawRato.com. He leads the operations and partner relations for the legal tech platform. A seasoned and proven lead generation expert, Rohan has spent more than 12 years with global marketing agencies managing integrted lead generation and marketing campaigns for Fortune 500 clients across Asia Pacific countries. FairGaze got an opportunity to interact with Mr. Rohan Mahajan through our correspondent Ms. Priyanka Negi. Read the excerpt below to know more about Mr. Mahajan.

How do you deal with stress or conflict?

Dealing with stress or conflict has never been a major concern to me. I believe if you like your work and enjoy doing it, stress has no place in the middle. We all know that stress and strain never get good to anyone so I refrain myself from the same. The idea is to channelize the energy and dedication at the right place. Results of hard work do come sooner or later.

How did you dealt with the day to day experiences in your profession?

We provide legal advices to thousands of people daily. They have various issues and problems which gives us immense knowledge and experience about the commonly occurring predicaments in the society. Understanding these online customers and being capable of providing them with just and appropriate solution is our biggest agenda. India is leapfrogging into the digital age. But we are learning together with the customer, and refining our product as we go along. There are no precedents to learn from, and global markets are very different. Market research and customer feedback will continue to be the cornerstone of our product development.

What do you think are the most important characteristics and abilities for success? 

I believe dedication and channelizing the efforts in the right direction is very important for positive outputs.   

  • Perseverance – “I WILL find a way”
  • Adaptability – “Is there a better way?”
  • Goal-Orientation – “Are we there yet?”

Be focused on your goal, but be willing to accept the change. Always share your ideas with those who you believe can add value. Feedback is the best way to improve.

How the idea of connecting people with professional legal advisors stuck your mind?

Back in 2009, I was working in Singapore & Jakarta, Indonesia. A legal issue cropped up during my stint, and surprisingly, I was left dangling for help. Even in the age of internet and globalization, I had no platform to seek a verified and a reliable solution to my problem. It occurred to me how there would be many more stranded like me. And hence, the seeds of LawRato were sown.

There is no way whatsoever by which a common man can evaluate and identify the right lawyer for their legal situation. With no data available on the lawyers’ performance and track record, it is next to impossible to tell which lawyer would be the right one for your need. It becomes more difficult, as unlike healthcare, where there are clear specialists for different healthcare problems (cardiologist, neurologist, etc.), lawyers take up matters across multiple practice areas and there are no defined specialists for each practice area like property matters, matrimonial matters and others.

With 3 crore pending matters and 17 Lac new cases filed each month in various courts in the country, there was no transparent way to get access to the right lawyer so far. This becomes graver as 1 in 5 clients seeking legal consultation files a case. This makes it a whopping 1 crore consultations each month. With most of us not knowing where and how to find the right lawyer, we end up either reaching out to someone through a close reference or finding one through local directory listings. Either of these routes have no way to promise the credibility and quality of the lawyer as references are mostly based on 1 or 2 past experiences and local listings have no control over who is listing themselves as professionals.

A lot of clients end up in legal issues where they need a counsel to represent them in a faraway city. Be it a property situated in another city where relatives are having an illegal possession or a cheque bounce matter where the other party has filed a case in another city or matrimonial matters where one of the spouse has gone to his / her parental home thousands of miles away and pressed criminal charges in the local police station, the need to a local counsel in that city is of utmost importance to ensure the matter is handled in the most appropriate manner.

Do you think technology has brought a drastic change in common man’s life?

In today’s world, technology has entered deep inside a common man’s life. Due to the innovations in technology, an individual can gain knowledge about any topic at any place and at any point of time in his/her life. It has allowed the ease of availability of education. It has also improvised upon ways to fulfill our needs and to meet our expectations. Innovations in today's tech-world can help us to solve urgent problems. LawRato is also one of such platforms wherein you can avail solutions to your legal problems in just click. We are always available for our customers.

Do you agree that an interactive online platform can make it faster and easier to find a professional help?

Of course!  It is much faster and simpler to find professionals online, rather than going around looking for physically on ground. At LawRato, we have a network of thousands of top rated & verified lawyers in 250+ cities in India, and one can consult with them with a click of a button at the platform. Clients needing lawyers in faraway cities have actually called us as life-savers as we not only save them the time needed to physically travel to another city to find the right lawyer, but as mentioned earlier, even if they would have travelled to the city, there was no way to evaluate and identity the right lawyer so far. In today’s world where everything is so connected and transparent, having access to top level legal support is certainly the need of the hour.

LawRato.com ensures that this need of having access to transparent & guided legal support system is covered with their highly efficient and verified lawyer listings and ratings and reviews for each lawyer on the platform. The team conducts in depth online and offline verification of each lawyer before getting them onboard which includes verification through referral. Each user consulting a lawyer on the platform gets to rate and review them once the consultation is received

Would you suggest the field of Law as a good career option for students?

Law is for people who want to bring about a change in the way people lead their daily lives. If you feel that you can, in some way, impact the life of a few people, give them sound advice and help them get rid of their troubles, you must give it a shot. If you believe you have proficiency to impact even one person’s life, go ahead and seize your opportunity. The scope of law has broadened immensely over a period of time. It is no more restricted to a courtroom only. There is much more that you can do after completing your law degree.

What are the basic demands of this field?

Legal profession is much more laborious than one may anticipate. In the present scenario, people are quite aware of their rights and duties. But, to comprehend law is a different thing all together. How a qualified lawyer looks into a legal right is very different from how a layman would. It is important to scrutinize the needs of the people and develop the legal possibilities to cater such requirements.

With more than 3 Crore cases pending in the courts, we definitely need more number of lawyers each year along with many more judges. We need such smart lawyers who can help speed up the judicial system. With LawRato, we too are making an effort towards our legal fraternity to resolve the chaos. 

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Interview with Mr. Debangshu Ganguly

author02 Editor 02 Mar 2017 0

Mr. Debangshu Ganguly brings with him 27+ years of experience in Media Marketing, Event Management and Social development sector. He came into developmental sector as a choice and not by compulsion, 17 years back.  He has contributed sustainability and capacitated many NGOs through his innovative and creative approach. CSR came into limelight few years back but this man is advocating the corporate fraternity to collaborate with the social development for more than 12 years. His work was recognized during 2013 and was nominated in the advisory committee to frame the final CSR policy of India , by PIC  and IICA. He worked with organisations like WWF-India, Consumer VOICE, Heomophlia Society of India, FISME and Headed the Country on Strategic Partnership at Caritas India and Don Bosco Society of South Asia. At present he is working as a consultant to many non-profit organisation and teaching CSR to the corporate and few MBA Institutions. He was awarded as “ MENTOR” of the year by NDIM during 2015. Let;s find out more about Mr. Ganguly.

What are your major successes or accomplishments in your fieldwork?

The notable contribution, what I feel, is bringing in strategic thinking in the development sector. The infusion of a professional approach bred the path of sustenance among the social development organizations. The innovative and creative strategies changed the game from charity seekers to social impact provider.  Also working hard towards the generation of local funds. As a Corporate Social Responsibility evangelist, preaching and practicing the Corporate Partnership in this sector, is a structured mode. Now when I look back, I feel happy to see lot of self sustained program, resulting to more benefits to the people in need.

Since you are also a part of several NGOs that requires a lot of independent thinking and initiative and there is minimal supervision, how do you balance the work?

Actually speaking, if you enjoy your work, you do not have to balance anything, all falls in place of its own. Yes I do agree, the supervision is minimal, but there is immense mentorship involve in this arena.  Supervision is nothing but ultimate use of human management. It is a choice between being a boss or a leader. I succeeded probably because I always opted for the second.  I feel the mantra that work in every field, is to get involve to what you are doing. And you need to love your work to get involved.

How do you handle work pressure?

There is no set formula for that. It all depends on the situation. Some time a small break from core agenda works as miracle.  Lots of laughter and light moments at the work place also contribute to lighten the pressure. Music plays a vital role on this issue sometimes. But if one can structure its assignment, the pressure can be avoided. I personally feel that pressure do not exist, it is our internal anxiety that creates the pressure. So the best remedy is to be calm and take out the urgent out of the important and deal with it. Climb one mountain at one time, while plan for the next.

According to you, does education play an important role for a positive society?

Yes I am a firm believer on that. But most of the time we get confused between the education and literacy. Literacy is only one tool but education is the holistic development of the personality. It all start at home, and it is drill that one need to repeat till it peculates inside and develops as habit. Proper and quality education is the only solution for all social evils.

How can disappointments/failures be taken positively for a successful career?

 I personally feels that the there is no failure; it is only success and learning.  So it is wiser to analyze the cause of the failure and improvise.  Failures are the greatest teachers, if we can handle them. While paving career path, one needs to understand that everyone have its own potential. One must find their potential and sharpen the same to achieve the perfection. Success will follow for sure. We fail most of the time because we try to walk on the path of others.  I can tell you from my personal example; I failed many times when I tried to imitate others while pursuing my career. But then I realized, I am so different from them and my cause of happiness is different from them. And once I understood this, I never worked a single day; I started enjoying my work. 

Does communication make learning easier and increases opportunities for students?

Communication plays critical role in learning.  I am sure if you recall your school days, you will find that you were good in the subject if the teacher is good. That is because the communication style of that particular teacher is different from the others. It is a proven fact that the interest of a student can be enhanced with proper communication tools. So the communication needs to based on “how they want it “and not “how we want it”.

Is it important for students to have a mentor who can guide them for their future?

It is almost mandatory to have a mentor for a student to achieve his/her learning.  The student cannot see their hidden potentials and start walking on the path that is being prescribed by the parents. A good mentor can see the dormant potential or talent of the student and mould them accordingly. History gives us the testimony that the biggest achievers are carved by the mentors.

Do you believe that listening is equally important as speaking to guide children for a right career path?

Listening is the most important element of communication. Even nature created us with that in mind. We have got two ears and one mouth that is the indication that we have to listen twice than we speak. So in the case of guiding a student, we need to listen properly. The more the student speaks, it is better to understand the student. Every small little word needs to be listened carefully.

In your opinion how can social responsibility help children to grow into mature adults?

The social responsibility creates a better world to live in. Care and concern for others is the only gift that we can give to the society for a blissful life. Stronger bond among us makes us strong. So it is imperative to have the concern and helping attitude towards the others for a productive society. If this thought goes into a child, the child not only grows into a better human being, but also helps to create a better generation for the future.     

How do you give your bit to support Education?

I feel it is my duty to share my experiences with the next generation. The learning and challenges that I faced and overcame. The best way to give them is to show them by examples.  Try to motivate them for the value education. Be part of them and spend good time with them. But the best thing that I can contribute is to share the experience and knowledge I have acquired during my journey of life.  

 

 

 

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Interview with Mr. Manhar Kapadia

author02 Editor 22 Feb 2017 0

Manhar Kapadia is a renowned artist who has done award-winning painting exhibitions. Manhar’s paintings are mostly based on Mahatma Gandhi and depicts Gandhiji as a saint-like character and an idol of righteousness. These paintings capture all the attention of the spectators while making the eco-contemporary shadow with the realistic work. Let's find out more about Mr. Kapadia.

What inspires you to be a painter?

I failed in 10th standard. I don’t remember exactly but at that time I did some paintings and my neighbor told me for join Fine Arts College. I didn’t even know about Fine Arts College at that time.

Was it difficult to follow your dreams?

Yes of course. I was living in a slum area in Anand, Gujarat. After my father’s death it was very difficult to survive for us in a financial way. Even I sold water glasses on railway station at that time. So, it has been a long and a difficult journey.

What qualification it demands to become an artist?

It is not important to join a college of arts to become in an artist. There are so many artists around us who did no studied in fine arts college or any other art college, but the basic knowledge of art like academic art is very important. You have to build your own creativity as an artist.

What inspiration you got from your friends and family during your journey?

When I was studying in college my cousins supported me a lot. After my marriage my wife supported me every time. And now my son supports me a lot, we love to work together because we understand each other well.   

Do you agree that parents play an essential role to improve the creative skills of children?

In my case when I was studying my father died so I had to suffer in all the difficult situations at my young age. But yes parents play an essential role to improve the creative skills of children in today’s generation.

How you do advocate art as an important part of a child's education?

Every child has freedom in his childhood. At childhood the child learn very important life lesson. Through painting or any art they build their own creation and learn some lessons also by themselves. Personally I believe freedom is very important in childhood.

According to you, how students should take the first step towards creativity?

Every art student has to study the things around themselves in the real world. Because we can create everything from anything in art. Even we all can think in an artistic way for everything around us, only some have that kind of sense.

How important is it to choose a subject to create something on canvas?

Subject is very important in painting, graphic or I can say in every medium. Because when you create your own concept in mind and when it goes on canvas, there are so many things which might change. But every time the basic concept of art is very important. Because society takes a message from that concept.

What is your best advice for students who are interested in this field?

This is the best field to change this world through your eyes; at least you can create your own world.

As you have done so many exhibitions all over India, what are your future plans?

This year I’m taking rest till October, because I have done four solo shows in 2016.
On 2nd October there would be some planning for my next show on Gandhiji.

 

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Interview with Ms. Kulpreet Kaur

author02 Editor 15 Feb 2017 0

Kulpreet Kaur is a skilled counsellor in Career Development, HR Consulting, Coaching, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and Psychological Assessment. An academic consultant, Kulpreet is also known as a strong professional with a MA Psychology focused in Industrial and Organizational Psychology

When did you know that you wanted to be an academic counselor?

I liked teaching from the beginning. The first time when my grandfather held me in his arms he told my mother that he would want me to a professor. Somewhere the nature of the nurturance brought me in this field.

What strategies did you use to be successful in this career?

I have an intrinsic interest to learn and it is easy for me to express it in a way that the other person understands. This was the core quality and then these things added to my success.

What are the challenges that you faced while choosing this field?

Not much! It just happened for me, somebody was going on a leave and there was a casual conversation over a cup of tea where I expressed my interested for it and fortunately got selected.

Did your friends and family supported you in your decision?

My family including my parents and husband always wanted me to be in academics so I have always got lot of support from them.

What changes you advocate in today’s education system?

The place from where people come to study is not always an intrinsically motivational, they fall apart before completing their program. They are not sure of what they want to study sometimes there is just peer pressure or people telling them what to do. I think there should be a sufficient time wherein people should be able to explore of what is their inner calling then it will become easier for everybody.

Do you agree that new technologies have changed the map of education?

Yes! It is easier. Because the communication has become fast, we do not have to wait for the session to begin. Students can begin to talk on whatsapp and can communicate through email. They can easily send their stuff and get a response and proceed on. So yes, absolutely, it has become much faster.

What is the best thing about being a professor?

When students come to study something and sometimes they do not know the road map how to reach. When you see a person completing a project and being happy that happiness reflects on their life which in turn reflects on my life. So I think happiness is the most important thing I get out of teaching and counseling psychology.

Do you think mentoring students is different from teaching them? How?

Yes, teaching is a one way traffic wherein a teacher gets up and says or discusses a topic. On the other hand in mentoring the person is also an active participant in the entire process. It should be both ways there are times when a counselor has to become a teacher, likewise a teacher has to become a mentor. It can be changed between the two.

In your opinion, what personal and professional traits are desirable for mentoring students?

Begins from intrinsic motivation and then it spreads depending on the subjects. I do psychology and I have a motivation to do it for people then I am willing to learn, willing to adapt to wherever it goes in terms of counseling students. The knowledge of the subject is like a personal trait. Second thing is the knowledge of the subject sufficient information so that you can impart it to the students in a way they can understand. These things are necessary for the entire thing. From the students’ end we also need the person’s willingness, need and necessity to do it and for it to become formal stamp or system for them. Then the student can take it and use the knowledge in their daily life.

Would you like to share the success mantra among students?

Your interest to do it. Why you have to do it and the skills if you have them.  Of course your intrinsic variables, if these two things match there is no stopping for a person.

Do you have any special plans for your future?

I would do some research, post doc studies and I would publish some papers of what I have been thinking about. I don’t want to plan too much in advance as things change but yes would like to see myself doing post doc studies. Let’s see how it is destine for me.

 

 

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Interview With Mr. Arpan Kapadia

author02 Editor 02 Feb 2017 0

Mr. Arpan Kapadia is the Founder of ‘Alleviate Studio’ and a known director/producer of short films. Arpan not only produces movies but creates awareness among people through putting small issues such as child-labor, duel personality disorder, women’s right and much more. FaiGaze got an opportunity to interact with him. Read the excerpt below to know more about Arpan.

When did you decide to become a producer/ director?

Since childhood I had a very close relation with camera, because my grandma always use to taking photographs of each and every moment of my childhood.
I have still not become a film director or producer yet, life always teaches you so many things and I truly believe in that. I love my work of filmmaking and that’s why I do it.

When did you finalize to start a creative production house like ‘Alleviate studio’?

I was writing a poem at my father’s studio 2 years ago. My cousin brother was there and suddenly he told me, “Why shouldn’t you start to make short films from your written short stories and poems!” It’s a great idea, I said. And then we started “Alleviate Studio”. We tried to spread social awareness through art- films, paintings, graphics, music, photography etc.

You are a collaborator. How have you discovered members of your team and how do you keep the relationship with them strong?

In ‘Alleviate’ we all have started from 0(zero). And now we’re more than 20 creative people in our group. The word, ‘Alleviate’ itself means to lessen the pain, to make problems or suffering less extreme. There are no problems or difficulties which could go away completely but we (the society) can make some efforts to lessen the effects these problems leave behind. Our team aims to bring social awareness, to break people’s superstitions and keep discrimination, domination, suffering at bay. We all have a great understanding among us, and they all support me a lot.

How your friends and family supported you to follow your dreams and passion towards movie making?

Sometimes it’s very difficult to survive only through films. Some of us are working and studying also. But yes, for my dreams my family and friends supported me every time.

What was your inspiration behind the screen play-‘An Unread Book’?

It is a real life incidence. I like to travel while making a film, I went to my friend’s home, Deola (village) which is in Nashik. I was walking in a street for taking some photographs. I saw there was a boy who was working in a chicken shop. I was filled with pity at that time and started to follow that boy after his work. I decided to make a film on that incident because he deserves to be happy and safe, after all he was only 9 years old at that time. I asked him to act in a short film. That was a real life event which I have showed in a film too.

What was the most important lesson you learnt that had a positive effect on your film?

Film is a journey of real life to reel life. It is depends on you how you take it!
I always try to show positive message in my films. Our society has some boundaries, so we have to take care of them.

Do you agree that education is the best way to support young India?

Yes, of course. In my opinion youth is everything in today’s world. From my point of view youth has no age. And education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the society, country and the whole world.

Do you suggest that we all should take an initiative to encourage children, living in rural areas, towards studies?

Yes, we all should take an initiative to encourage children who lives in rural areas and who works in their childhood. We can spread the awareness via some educational films. They should understand well if they are visually affected. And that is good for India, one of the world’s most child laboring countries.

What advice would you give to schools students who want to pursue a career in film making?

I’m not that much of capable to give an advice but do what you love in life because we don’t get opportunities always this is the only thing I can say to school students for their career.

What are your future plans?

Right now we’re working on 1 animated short film and 3 other different genre short films based on a social cause. After that we’re planning to make a feature film about youth and society’s actual dark problems.

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Interview with Mr. A.J.Philip

author02 Editor 25 Jan 2017 0

Mr. A.J. Philip is the Senior Journalist and a Chief-Executive-Officer at Deepalaya a NGO working for children. He has an experience of more than 40 years in print media. Read the interview below to know more about Mr. Philip.

Why did you choose Journalism as your career?

I chose journalism as a career because I found that it fitted my aspirations. I thought I had a flair for writing. I am inquisitive by nature. I want to know more, meet people and travel. In other words, I wanted to respond to new situations. I thought journalism provided opportunities for all this.

What motivates you to write news for your readers?

The desire to communicate. Whatever information or knowledge I have should go to the maximum number of people. So I write so that whatever information or knowledge I have benefits them.

Today, after becoming a journalist, what changes you advocate in the society?

I want the people to be more aware of their rights and responsibilities. They should not be fooled by charlatans. They should be able to decide matters independently and take a holistic view on most matters. I want every Indian to be educated and aware of his duties and responsibilities as a proud citizen of the country.

What qualification one should have for becoming a journalist?

Interest in public issues is the primary qualification. He or she should have the ability to raise questions and find answers for them. A degree with a diploma in journalism will suffice. 

Being a journalist, do you think this job comes with its own pros and cons?

Yes, the job is very challenging. One has to work hard. There is no time for rest. A reporter is as good as the last report he filed and an editor as good as the last copy he edited.

Do you agree that reading is essential to write something? How?

Reading is very essential. The more you read, the better you would be as a writer. One should read classics besides contemporaries, journals and newspapers. The wider a person reads, the wider will be his/her horizon.

Do you think that Indian education system provides opportunities to those students who want to pursue journalism as their career?

Many people do not know much about journalism as a career. For instance, everybody wants to become a doctor or engineer or civil servant. Few know about television journalism, print media, social media etc. There should be greater awareness among teachers about this profession. They should encourage the talented to choose this as a profession.

How students can brush up their journalistic skills from early age?

Encourage them to watch news on TV and read newspapers. They should be encouraged to respond to public issues by writing letters to the editor in newspapers. If they write five letters, at least one will appear and it will give a boost to their creativity.

Do you suggest Journalism as a good career option to students?

Yes, provided they are ready to master it. A good journalist should be a good writer, editor, photographer, photo editor and good with technology.

What are your future plans?

I run Deepalaya, an NGO, and I also do some writing work. I want the NGO to be able to serve a larger number of people. I want to publish a book containing my selected writing.

 


 

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Interview With Mr. Rachit Raj

author02 Editor 18 Jan 2017 0

Mr. Rachit Raj an engineer by qualification serves the country as an IAS Officer. He has a vision to work for his country especially for the poor and the downtrodden. FairGaze got an opportunity to interact with Mr. Raj. Read the excerpt below to know more about him.

When did the idea of becoming an IAS stuck in your mind?

The idea was always there in my mind since I was a child. In my district, I used to see lots of IAS officers. They used to work a lot. That is how, I started thinking that one day I will become an IAS Officer and serve my country.

How difficult was it for you to crack such an exam?

Yes, I agree that it was difficult. There were lots of obstacles, sort of negativity,  pressure and of course lots of hurdles. However, we should always remember that every situation has two faces. No struggle is complete without ups and downs. And like others I too had my share.

Today, how do you feel when you see yourself as one of the successful aspirants of the desired post?

Today, as an IAS officer, I see that I have a big role and a very big dimension to work for the country and for the world. More than that I think, there are people who belong to the down and poor section of the country who really need help. So yes today I see I have a very big role to play.

How did your family and friends support you during your IAS preparation?

Indeed, my friends and family supported me throughout my journey. Their support was very motivating. I believe friends and family’s support is very much needed. They can give you motivational support and boost your morale. Sometimes  you may feel depressed with the negativity that may  surround you. In that case your family and friend’s can help you by pushing your confidence towards a positive direction.

Besides all the difficulties, do you think IAS can be a good career option for students?

According to me, IAS can be the best career option for students, who really want to devote their life for the people and the country. I really believe it is a platform, which can offer you what you have really dreamt of.

According to you what should be the ideal age for a child to take effective decisions for his/her career?

Age is just a number and not a bar. In my opinion, there is no particular age to do anything. When I was in the 10th and the 12th standard, whatever subject I used to study, I was  very thorough with it. So whatever you are studying you must be thorough with it. After the 10th you have to decide whether you want to go for science or you want to go for commerce. By then you must be clear what your aim in life is. So the beginning is very important. One needs to be focused and be thourough with whatever he/she is studying.

As per your suggestion, what all it takes to prepare for a competitive exam?

There is a basic  rule which is applied everywhere. Be it in IAS,  CAT or in any other exam, there are three basic mantras. First and foremost you have to revise a lot. Secondly, practice a lot of questions. Lastly, always be positive and confident. These three things are important to achieve the targets.

As it demands 15 to 18 hours a day to sit and study to prepare for competitive exams, how students can reduce the stress?

First of all,  I would like to deny the fact that one needs to sit and study for 15 to 18 hours a day for any exam. This does not hold true. I,I myself in preparing for the toughest exam called IAS exam, never studied for more than 5 hours a day. One should always remember that never count hours, it should be qualitative study and not quantitative study. Secondly, stress will exist throughout, but the challenge is how you deal with it. You need to have self motivation, self confidence and above all  patience to move on and to keep life very positive.

How can students balance their studies along with extra curriculum activities?

That depends on how students take up their studies. During my preparation,I used to devote a lot of time towards studies as well as listening to songs, jogging, etc. because that really helps to reduce the stress.

Would you like to share the success mantra for a balanced life for students?

There are three basic mantras which I believe in. Firstly, do whatever you are doing with passion. You must have a burning passion to achieve your goal. Secondly,  whatever you have dreamt of, try to imagine yourself in that role and accordingly work towards it. Lastly, be very confident and you must be patient.

As you have achieved one of your ‘goals’, what is your future plan?

I am going to work for my society and my country by being in the administration system. I would also like to carry this forward on an international platform in the global framework.

 

 

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Interview With Dr. Himanshu Rai

author02 Editor 11 Jan 2017 0

Professor Himanshu Rai a faculty at IIM Lucknow, is an educationist, an alumnus of Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA). He is the former Dean of MISB Bocconi and Professor at SDA Bocconi, Milan, Italy from 2014 to 2016. His core area is Human Resource Management, wherein he focuses on Negotiation, Mediation, Arbitration, Strategic HRM, and Leadership. He frequently conducts training program and workshops for executives as well as bureaucrats. He has earlier taught in the HR area at XLRI Jamshedpur. FairGaze got an opportunity to interact with him. Read the excerpt below to know more about Dr. Rai.

Since you are an IIM pass out, what difficulties you faced while cracking the entrance of IIM Ahmedabad?

None. Cracking the CAT was not difficult as I have always been a voracious reader and puzzle solver. During my stint at Tata Steel (before getting into IIM Ahmedabad), I continued to be in touch with academics through quizzing, reading and theatre. More importantly when I decided to write CAT, I was very sure what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. Having a clear personal vision makes things very easy for people.

As a recipient of the coveted National Talent Search Examination (NTSE), national-level scholarship program, how do you feel?

Although it happened a long time back, the memories are still vivid. When I got the letter telling me that that I had cracked the NTSE, I ran to the house of my Physics teacher Mr. Arvind Katiyar who was my mentor also, and shared the news with him. He was almost as delighted as I was if not more, and that is something I will remember forever.

Would you like to share some tips among the students that can help them to achieve NTSE scholarship?

First and foremost you need to understand that NTSE tests you on a range of skills. The mental ability test is the key as it tests you on logic and reasoning and can be unpredictable. You need to write as many mock tests as you can and constantly analyze and work on the areas of strength and weaknesses. The other two sections are subject specific and your syllabus material ought to suffice for your preparation.

As you have spent so many years in shaping young minds how is your experience till now?

It’s great to be young in these exciting times. Opportunities abound, information is on your fingertips, and the environment, though still competitive, is far more conducive to and supportive of innovation. In my experience people with a clear vision and the perseverance to back that vision with action will change this world.

As a Professor what kinds of changes you determine in present generation?

Today’s generation has far more information than we had as well as many more alternatives to choose from. The landscape of education and career has changed profoundly and is likely to continue changing exponentially. At the same time I believe today’s generation does not differentiate between data and information. Communication technologies have multiplied but the quality and effectiveness of communication has deteriorated. I guess it’s a phase of churning and things will change for the betterment once everyone reconciles with this digital revolution and matures in using it.

Do you think that preschool programs in early childhood can shape the future of India?

Most certainly. Our personalities get shaped by the time we are 20, and a lot of it has genesis in the experiences we undergo by the age of 8. Children at the age of 2 start making sense of things, including time and the learning curve thereafter is steep. If these preschool programs are thought through, they can indeed shape the future of our country.

Do you agree that our education system needs some changes in order to develop bright careers for future generation?

Our education system needs changes at every level. At preschool and primary school levels, we need to incorporate pedagogies that instill curiosity in children. Middle school and above should concentrate on learning through experience and use rather than rote learning. Higher education should include programs that address the needs the country has and is likely to have in the future.

Is it important for children to have mentors to be successful in life?

It is useful for sure to have mentors early on, especially to help them sift through reams of available data and help them make choices which are their own and not of someone else.

How do you differentiate between a mentor and a trainer?

A trainer is a formal coach who through various pedagogies addresses the gaps in the knowledge, skills and the attitudes of the trainees. A mentor, on the other hand, is an informal coach and friend rolled into one, who helps the mentees in finding their own meanings of life.

What are your future plans?

I plan to continue doing what I do: help others in figuring out their destinies.

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Interview with Ms. Kavita Saxena

author02 Editor 04 Jan 2017 0

Kavita Saxena conflicts with Human Trafficking with her NGO, Women and Child Welfare Foundation. She plans to convey a conclusion to the exchanging of young ladies for exploitation and in especially resolved to work for different causes also. Let us know more about her through a little meeting by our correspondent Anubha Das.

Why have you selected a career in social work?

I never thought I will choose social work as career alternative for myself however when I saw nobody working specifically for human trafficking, I began to safeguard trafficked casualties with no apprehension and even against the will of my family.

What do you hope to accomplish as a social worker?

I feel glad to spare trafficked casualty and I would like to continue finishing it.

What major disappointments/failures have you had in fieldwork?

Individuals know about physical exploitation yet at the same time society thinks young ladies are eagerly doing prostitution and they neglect to comprehend that. Disappointments incorporate police not being steady. After so many workshops and preparing programs still police would prefer not to bolster. If we see rehabilitation of people who truly deserve to lead a normal life as general public are also not getting appropriate support from government.

Do you feel a student should be objectified about doing social work?

If we educate our students about do’s and don'ts in their initial age than our upcoming era will sincerely be connected with the general public. Our students are our future who will run our general public.

What kind of social work are we talking about in general in which students can indulge into?

Look social work comes by heart. People are money minded but if we teach student that they can make good career in social field then they can do wonders. Mostly parents never allow their child to go for social work job. Every student should learn about our society problems and how to solve their problems because social work is a 100% dedicated job.

In your opinion should social work become a part of the school objective?

Yes and it’s a good initiative and learning. If social work becomes a part of school curriculum section, student will understand its importance.

Do you put stock in the reality that counselling is vital for students from an early age?

Yes indeed counselling is very important as it directs the energy of the students in the right direction. This should be done not only in the urban schools but in the rural schools as well.

Where do you think the field of social work is heading in the next five years or so?

People have become more informative about the problems and that’s why they are coming forward for Ngo Jobs as well. It is on a good track.

What do you have to advice to the young generation?

 I will recommend them do work smartly, check issue and attempt to get a solution not for one individual but rather for a general society entirely.

What are your future plans?

My future plans are to set up a business to accomplish more social causes. Moreover to help individuals.

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Interview with Mr. Abhishek

author02 Editor 27 Dec 2016 0

Mr. Abhishek is a certified sign language interpreter. Founder of Tree of Interpreters, he aims to works for the development of sign language & interpreter's community in India. FairGaze got an opportunity to interact with him. Read the excerpt of the interview below to know more about Abhishek

When did you realize your capability to be a sign language interpreter?

When I was studying in class 6th, one day while going to school by bus I saw two persons communicating in sign language & I got attracted to it. At that time only the interest for learning this art got embedded in my soul & all I knew that I had to do it.

Why did you choose this field?

Meeting new people & learning new things has always been one of my favorite hobbies. By learning sign language I had the opportunity to open gates for exploring deaf community & knowing their psychology. I loved the thought of being a bridge between two worlds Deaf & Hearing community.

What difficulties you faced when you decided to choose this career or during your college days?

I had problems in finding the institute to pursue this course. This area is least popular in society. Most people don’t even know what sign language is. Even career counselors are not aware about it. It took time to get the information for the right place & person to talk about it.

After joining the course of sign language interpretation I saw that the batch strength was only 7 due to which the phenomena of learning through peer interaction was less. There were almost no study materials, videos, networking & exposure to deaf people available outside of the classroom. In spite of all the difficulties I bloomed which happened because of the zeal of accomplishment & now I thank those circumstances for evoking me to bring change in the present scenario for the benefit of the latter aspirants of sign language interpreters.

What changes you notice in yourself after a deep knowledge of sign language?

 After the completion of course it was a beautiful & lovely feeling to live with this art. I saw that I had an enhanced level of contextual interconnectivity of thoughts. Since sign language is a non verbal & visual language so living with it increased the observation & catching power. I sensed that it made me able to see the things happening behind the curtain.

Pretty Interesting! It’s an exotic stream of expression for sure.  Science also says that bilingualism boosts brain. Now I was ready to enter in deaf world & be the part of their community & culture. It also came to my understanding that we “the hearing community” uses sign language in our daily life unknowingly with or without spoken language. For example- communicating with children, pets & even among ourselves with hand signals, expressions, body language, gesture & pantomime.

As a sign language interpreter what differences you advocate in the society?

Being an interpreter is being bilingual & bicultural. This new identity has roles & responsibilities. I am a “communication (language) bridge” to narrow the distance between both communities. I sensitize the hearing people for the issues of deaf community like their employability, education, laws & accessibility. I make hearing people aware about the norms of deaf community & vice-versa. I keep sharing the knowledge of sign language & its importance. All these things make this society inclusive in nature.

Do you think sign language communication is an essential tool to reduce social differences?

Social differences like literacy, poverty, employment, participation etc occurs in society because of the exclusion of a particular group of people from the mainstream based on their traits. Exclusion does happen because of a number of reasons like the absence of infrastructure, attitude of un-acceptance, lack of knowledge & communication barrier where sign language plays a vital role to bridge the gap between hearing & deaf community. So it’s very necessary to be knowledgeable in sign language to reduce the social differences.  

Is it important for everyone to get an idea of sign language or finger talks?

That’s a good question. In India at present deaf people are facing linguistic genocide to a certain degree & audism in daily life. We see sign language deprivation in most of the places, even in families & schools which is contributing negatively to their employability, literacy rate, economic conditions & overall growth. These things are happening because of the lack of knowledge & absence of infrastructure. It’s highly unfortunate when we are having the largest deaf population in world. A nation cannot develop without fulfilling the humane needs of its citizens. In countries like USA & UK sign language is the part of the basic curriculum of school. This is the knowledge which breaks barriers & makes us united irrespective of our hearing ability. So, if we want a happy place to live in then definitely everyone should have the knowledge of sign language.

Other than that it’s an exotic & interesting art too to learn. It’s a silent form of communication, it saves energy & also everyone can talk without disturbing each other in a room. It can be communicated even in the presence of a glass window between the sender & receiver, underwater & while skydiving too. Babies express themselves using sign language. It was the foremost tool of communication for human beings. It’s called the mother tongue of all the languages in the history of civilization of humans. Signs are everywhere! It’s an awesome world.

How sign language connect the special needs children with the world?

Special children such as deaf & mute have a threshold for hearing. They cannot speak or hear. They are not familiar with the world of sound, but signs. They cannot use verbal language, but visual. Their only way of communication is sign language. As George Veditz said “sign language is the noblest gift God has given to deaf people”. Sign language is the most effective, healthy & natural way to communicate with a deaf. Even those persons who are deaf & blind uses cued speech; an advanced form of sign language. Those who are deaf & physically handicapped with hands uses sign language with their legs.

Method of oralism, hearing aids & co-chlear implantation is only successful in certain conditions like in the case of early intervention for those who have a partial hearing loss. These are not applicable everywhere & other than that it’s the matter of choice as well that in which language they wish to communicate.

Do you think sign language interpretation can be a career option for students?

Sign language interpreting is growing as a profession in India. As I stated that India has the largest deaf population of 20 millions (approx) in world but the irony is along with that we have only 300 certified interpreters which makes 1 interpreter for every 66,666 deaf persons. So, that definitely makes a huge demand for interpreters. Recently with the autonomy of ISLRTC (Indian Sign Language, Research & Training Center) & passing of RPWD (Rights of Persons with Disability) bill, the situations for this profession has became even better.

Do you think there should be more facilities for ‘children with special requirements’ in our education system?

At the present time oralism is followed in the education system for deaf & mute children. Audiological methods are not applicable and unnatural in reality in many cases; it is being enforced which is against Human Rights and obviously wrong and immoral. Knowledge of sign language is not compulsory for special educators according to their curriculum. Only in few schools its usage is supported. In most schools it is discouraged & students are restricted from using this language in classroom. It is believed that using sign language will lessen the chances of speech development of deaf. Such an education system is based on the incorrect assumption that using speech is superior to using signs. Even it’s medically proven to be a false concept. So, there must be interpreters in schools for deaf or it should be mandatory for special educators to have the full knowledge of sign language so that they can use it fluently to communicate effectively with deaf children. In this way deaf children can have the right accessibility to education.

How the Indian education system can create awareness about sing language?

The role of Indian education system is of utmost importance in creating the awareness about sign language in nation. Sign language should be included as one of the subjects in syllabus of students. Teachers of sign language should be recruited for it. There should be workshops conducted for sign language sensitization. In this way those students after learning this art will act as an agent for spreading its knowledge further on in their families & friends. By adopting this method there won’t be a hindrance in communicating with a deaf & hence it will increase inclusiveness in schools, work area & everywhere. The communication gap will be covered up which will result into a positive development of society.

How are you planning to spread the knowledge and awareness on sign language among students?

 For this cause, an organization “Tree of Interpreters” is founded by me & few other interpreters to spread the knowledge and awareness on sign language. We provide sign language classes online & offline in classrooms. We conduct workshops in schools for sensitizing purpose. We provide mentorship program to the students who are desired to make a career in this field till the completion of course & further on as well or just to learn it to communicate in which guidance, study materials, information of local deaf clubs & all the necessary elements to mingle them with the deaf community & develop themselves in the field of sign language. There is a major role of our strong networking team in this domain. We keep updating the members about important news of deaf community, events /programs & announcements of jobs & other stuff.

What are your future Plans?

After entering in deaf community & getting sensitized to its burning issues, witnessing  the pathetic conditions I have decided to bring fruitful change in the present scenario by working in the form of an organization  “Tree of Interpreters”  which has already been founded for the holistic development of sign language, interpreters &  deaf community in multiple ways. We provide sign language interpreting services for successful communication with deaf. Meetings for Interpreters are conducted to churn on the pressing issues & relieve themselves. Making of interpreter clubs to increase the interconnectivity is in progress where each can share their experiences & expertise. Our aim is to build a healthy & strong Interpreters community.

Sign language is still not an officially recognized language by the government. There are no instructions given through sign language in deaf schools and no deaf college or a university for deaf people. This can be changed by creating a pressure on government on a large scale by general mass which is possible by the awareness of the importance of sign language & deaf culture. So, we are buckling our belt for the same.

I have plans to boost up our activities in Tree of Interpreters organization & extend our services to every hearing & deaf. My dream is to make India a nation where every citizen knows sign language & people are not judged by the basis of their communication but by the content of their heart.

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Interview With Mr. Abhishek Dey

author02 20 Dec 2016 0

Taking the "Anu Aunty" melody seriously Abhishek Dey turns into a business visionary being a Btech graduate. He is the founder of EcoToddler, which plans to boost and reward clients for driving a more advantageous and healthier way of life. With such an awesome thought, he is among the rundown of the most youthful business people. Abhishek trusts that gamification of wellness won't just be propelling yet a much more rewarding experience every time. We should delve in additional about him through our correspondent Anubha Das.

What made you choose this career path?

The real joy only lies in creating new things. There has been a general paradigm shift over the years in the way of looking at things-from doing what is necessary to doing something which you love.

Being a part of the Air Force has always taught me to stay fit both body and soul. Seeing the conditions of gyms these days which lack assigned trainers and proper environment made me come up with the idea behind EcoToddler. Working as a business development associate at BJYUS was a triggering point in itself that took me into my own personal venture in health n fitness.

Is it hard to get a unique idea for an entrepreneur?

A big portion of the Indian market is yet untapped and there lies a lot of potential.
The goal behind an idea should be to connect service to people.

What are your responsibilities as a founder?

Managing the team and making sure that every individual grows is crucial towards company's success.
The concept of hierarchical structure is orthodox and obsolete and hence my entire team does work on the same workbench on the same floor.

If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?

Persistence is the key. So, don't be that tip of the matchstick that burns off after a quick flint and have patience.

Did you face any failures at the starting? What did you learn from your biggest failure?

Initial stages are always challenging until you start getting traction.
There was a time when we were heavily draining our resources in active offline as well as online marketing. It's hard to convince people the real worth of a product which is yet not there. The thing that I have learned is that we should never stop. One must review-modify and keep on going. You should keep iterating the process until you bring it out perfect. After all, nothing happens overnight.

How do you find inspiration?

A fit body is the biggest motivation. It feels heart warming to always hear out users who have finally been able to lose weight, reach their fitness goals and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
With EcoToddler, you can live happier now.

Do you think there is a certain education preparation for it?

No. But being open and exposed to the start-up ecosystem does help one in accelerating faster though.
An entrepreneur should know the nitty gritty of his work, he should be well informed of current affairs, his current social status, local area where he wants to operate, and should have money, resources and people available at disposal.

Do you think right kind of mentoring is important for students these days?

Indeed. Good mentorship can reduce your errors and fine tune your decision making capabilities.
A good mentor does help you in channelizing your efforts in the best direction and in the least time.

Do you advice children to follow the path of being future entrepreneurs?

Every student should possess a business venture of his own while passing out of his college; it helps students in sharpening their own skill set.
As jack ma says, the age between 25-30 is when you should focus on learning only!

What are your future plans?

Making EcoToddler the Oyo of fitness.
Our aim is to make people healthier and happier.
Currently at 5K users, and over 20K page views in the past 4 months we are aiming to expand pan India in 4 metro cities by Q3,2017.

 

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Interview with Mr. Shantanu Kwatra

author02 Editor 13 Dec 2016 0

Mr. Shantanu Kwatra is working as a creative thinker. He is the director of 3Dexter Lab that works for the development of students’ minds. Shantanu believes in creating a whole new environment for students where they can learn new things through the medium of practical learning. Currently Shantanu, an enthusiast, is working on an idea of changing the education sector by integrating technology with the existing classroom learning experience to enhance real time learning. FairGaze got an opportunity to interact with him. Read the excerpt below to know more about Shantanu.

Where did you get the idea to start something like 3dexter?

Being engineers we were always inclined towards new technologies and therefore started working on various new upcoming technologies. We found 3D printing is growing at an exponential rate and therefore it has a very huge scope. Having an experience in the education sector we thought of bringing this technology at the grass root level and introducing it to schools and colleges. We want to create a curriculum to support and assist educational institutes and bring in the element of experiential learning in classrooms using this technology.

Which subjects appealed you the most in your student days?

Subjects that appealed me were Science and Geography.         

What formal education you undertook for 3D printing?

No formal education. I am a self taught person.

What were the challenges you faced and who supported you?

Challenges faced were more in getting yourself positioned in the educational sector. Then the challenge was to forward telling and getting your idea approved by the management of schools and colleges.

3Dexter has been established by seven school friends, how you all add value with your talent to the organization?

We all have experiences in different segments and our particular skill set lies in two fields. Someone handles marketing, some handle product development, handles finance, operations and business development. Thus, making the best mix of the team qualities.

In your opinion does the education system in India needs a revamp?

Education system needs to revamp in a lot of ways. Firstly, we have been following a system where our higher education is changing at an exponential rate but the school education is still following the same old process of teaching and also the curriculum supported also has not changed much. Therefore this creates a huge gap and students devalue the school education as it’s not supporting their needs. Secondly, there is a huge lack of experiential learning in schools, students are still learning through textbook medium and digital medium therefore their innovation and experimentation is missing. They are not building on their life skill values and therefore not keeping up with the 21st century skills. Thirdly, I believe our educators need to be more accepting to the new trends in the market and the new needs that are being created. Through their acceptance only we will be able to bring a change, where the students learn everything.

Do you believe mentors are more important than trainers?

I believe both are equally important. One can’t do without the other.

What is your mantra of motivating students?                             

Just do what you love and things will fall into place.

Do you advocate that students should have future targets for themselves?

Not really. Targets are something which we make so that we can achieve them. I want students to just do what they love. Find their center. Understand their passion and what drives them and just follow it.

How does 3Dexter works for students?

3Dexter works at bringing in new technologies for students and helping them innovate freely. We help them build their life skills like creativity, problem solving, visualization and critical thinking. We teach them a skill of the future which is 3D printing technology and help them to bring experiential learning to their classrooms through subject integration and enhancement.

How important extracurricular activities are in shaping the life of the student?

Any activity which stretches beyond classroom teaching is important even if it’s cooking or cleaning bathrooms.

What are your future plans?

Our future plan is to get in all the schools with our project and change the way students learn things. Our next year targets are 100 schools. By 2018-19 we are targeting 500 schools.

 

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Interview with Mr. K.V.Gautam

author02 Editor 06 Dec 2016 0

K.V.Gautam is a professional cartoonist who honed his craft from a very early age. He is also a motivational speaker and an author based in New Delhi. He has worked as a political cartoonist for leading newspapers like Hindustan Times, Dainik Jagran and Indian Nation.  A self-taught cartoonist, he got his cartoons published in several journals including fortnightly Khojbin and monthly Cartoon Watch, while he was still in school. Let’s dig in more into his life and ideology through our correspondent Anubha Das.

When did you know that you wanted to be a cartoonist?

I was determined to become a cartoonist when I was in my 10th class. I started to draw even before I started to write.

What kind of response did you get?

When I informed my parents about my decision they were confused. They did not know if there was any career option to become a cartoonist and earn money by drawing cartoons. My father wanted me to take up a government job like him. My friends were also not sure and many of them were not aware about career options in the field of cartooning. My parents become supportive only after my cartoons published in leading newspapers.

Who inspired you the most in your school days?

I was inspired by the legendary Indian cartoonist R K Laxman. When I was in 5th class I used to see a newspaper shop on the way to my school. One day I saw a newspaper hung upside down with some fine drawing on the front page. Whenever those drawings appeared I used to buy the newspaper using my pocket money. I did not understand the purpose of the drawings but I used to admire the fine drawings. Sometime later I understood that the drawings were political cartoons drawn by R K Laxman in the Times of India newspaper. This also started my habit of reading newspapers and improving general knowledge and political understanding.


What is your favourite cartoon character?

The Common Man created by R K Laxman


What do you do when you face rejections?

Rejections are part of life. We should not expect to be liked by everyone. Some people like you and some don't. As far as failure is considered, I feel failures teach us more than anything else. We
should take failure in the right perspective. We can improve ourselves and turn a failure into a success. No failure is final and no success is permanent. Improving ourselves every day is important. Failure should be taken as foundation of our success.


What is more important to you---style or idea?


Idea is the soul of any cartoon and is the most important part of it.


Do you advise students to take up this as their career?

These days’ youngsters can have careers in the field of cartooning in many ways. They can opt for the animation industry, or can work in a newspaper or magazine as a cartoonist. These days many websites also use services of cartoonists. It’s important to be good in your art work to start a career. One should know how to draw well and one should also have good knowledge of the world and society. Besides that, one should have a good sense of humour.

One should choose this as a career if they are passionate about it. The career of cartooning can give lots of fame too. For example, I have been invited to speak at high profile events like TED. Someone
made a documentary film on my life as a cartoonist and the film was screened at 16 international film festivals. Recently I was invited to become a participant in the high profile TV show Bigg Boss. Even if I rejected the offer I got huge publicity from mainstream media and TV channels.
 

In your opinion should drawing or arts be made mandatory in school curriculum?

I would not recommend it to be made mandatory as some students may not have any interest in the drawing art. We all are born with different talents, and forcing one form on all of us is not fair.
However, it should be noted that drawing is a very good expression of creativity, and creativity is required in success of any field.

Understudies nowadays are very much involved in art yet guardians support are missing, what do you have to state on this?

I understand that parents are mostly focused on earning capacity of any career option. Few decades back India mostly had government jobs or medicine or engineering as viable career options. However, these days there has been explosion of new career opportunities and youngsters can make good career out of any art form. Many cartoonists have earned good amount of money and fame in their careers. It should be noted that jobs for cartoonists are limited in big cities.

Is there any particular course related to this profession?

We do not have any good course in India on cartooning. I have organized cartoon workshops at IIT Kanpur, Anna University, BITS Pilani, VIT University, Delhi University and IIT Delhi. I see many students keen to learn this art form. I keep getting requests from many people to teach them this art form. However, I feel there is no good institute to teach the art of cartooning in India. Most
cartoonists are self-taught. Even I am a self-taught cartoonist.


Do you think that this career path leads to nowhere after a few years of glory?

No. There are many fine cartoonists who have long careers.


What institutes do you advice?

Students can opt for Sir JJ School of Arts. This will give them a good understanding of art. Thought it is not for only cartoonists.


Do you feel that mentors should be more than trainers in today’s education system?

Yes.

What do you plan for your future?

I want to spread the art of cartooning even more. I also want to conduct more cartoon workshops to ensure more young people get interested in this amazing art form.

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Interview with Dr. Anumita Agarwal

author02 Editor 29 Nov 2016 0

Dr. Anumita Agarwal is an Economics professor in higher education with an experience of over 18 year. She is also a member of Indian Economics Association. FairGaze got an opportunity to interact with her. Read the excerpt below to know more about Dr. Anumita.

 

How did you decide to take teaching as your career?

As a student I used to teach the fellow students.  My teachers too used to see lot of potential as a teacher in me that is how I went into teaching.

What educational qualification you undertook to pursue this profession?

Initially I took a post graduation degree. Then I cleared NET (National Education Testing) conducted by UGC. This is national level test which is conducted twice a year by UGC and clearing it makes a person eligible for teaching at higher education level. Then I did my PhD, but even before I started PhD I was already into a job. I completed my research later on, during my job.

What kind of challenges you faced during your student days?

During my student days, there were lack of internet facilities, today, as a teacher I think internet is an important source of information. Being from a small town, lack of books was the biggest challenge at that time. Had they been there at that time, it would have been much better for me as a student.  So if I compare these things with present times, internet facilities, lack of books, and lack of staff in the colleges are the real challenges that I faced.

What is your opinion about the existing education system of India?

I think the educational system is burdening the students too much. Today, scoring marks has become more important than acquiring knowledge.  So when students come to college level they do not have that much of potential  and again the teachers have to start from the beginning, that is one thing that the policy makers needs to look into. Students should not be pressurized to acquire marks rather concentration should be more on acquiring knowledge. That is how the students will become clear of what they are learning as sometimes the students are unaware about what they are learning.

As a part of the education system what changes do you advocate?

The students come to us with similar challenges which I used to face at my students days. There is a lack of knowledge, they are confused. Students don’t know what to pursue, how to pursue and where to go. The coaching institutes help students but they keep on shifting and they reach nowhere. These are the few things that need to be looked into. The primary motive of the parents and teachers should be to look into the potential of the children.

Recently, you had organized an international seminar on sustainable development- how it made difference to the students of your college?

This seminar was organized in the hill area so it was one of its kinds in hills, where initially the students were not even aware as to what kind of seminar it is. So it was really enlightening event for them. We had many economists, both from the country and abroad. The students and the teachers were able to listen  to the economists so this kind of system gave a good platform to the students to know much more than what the books and the institutions was to offer to them. It was an entirely a new experience for the students.

What changes you have witnessed in students in your more than 10 years of teaching experience?

I think few things in today’s students have deteriorated. At our time we were more disciplined and focused towards our career. Today the students start their career after completing their post graduation. On the other hand, when we were at our high school we were deciding about what stream we were to take up. Since, I have been into teaching in rural areas more so I am telling you from that point of view. But as I interact with the students from urban areas, they are more aware because the internet facility is there, they know where to go, they know about Google search.  So, in my opinion there are few positive and negative changes in students.

Do you recommend students to take up teaching as a career?

Yes, because there is lack of higher education teachers in India, usually, students pursue B.Ed and they go for school level teaching but in the higher education there is a lack of teachers, especially good teachers. Good students, intelligent student’s need to pursue the career in their college level to compete with the education system internationally. Teachers are the base of any system, they are considered as the human capital of the system, if we talk about skill development, it is not possible without teachers. So we need good teachers for everything.

What educational qualifications do you suggest them to pursue for this?

There is a difference in qualifications as per the school teachers are concerned and for college teachers are concerned.  For opting a career as a school teacher one has to do graduation or post graduation with a B.Ed along with this one can also do ‘Teacher Training’ which the government has made compulsory which is similar to NET at a school level. Further, people can also go for higher education teacher job where they can do NET, conducted by the UGC or SLET that is conducted by the state governments, after completing their post graduation.

 How do you think education in rural areas different from urban areas?

Lack of facilities and lack of infrastructure is there in rural areas where students are interested in learning but they don’t know where to go and what to do. Today where we have internet facilities, students’ from rural areas are unaware of it. So in rural area there is also lack of awareness in the students which needs to be enhanced entirely from schools to higher level, secondary level as well as college level.

What changes rural education is going through?

Gradually, the rural education is adapting changes from the urban areas. The government is also spending money on the E- learning. Satellite system is coming to the rural areas which make it possible for people to impart knowledge.  These are few changes which I can see in the education system in rural areas. The Indian government is also working on their aim to achieve millennium and sustainable development in the country and they are concentrating on the enhancement of the education system across India.

 In your opinion, should focus be on mentors than on formal teachers?

Yes, I think mentors are important because teachers are bound by syllabus, timetable, by the rules and regulations of the system. By abiding by those rules teachers are unable to focus on the good students for their betterment and weak students for their upliftment. Whereas a mentor can play a good role as they do not have such boundations. There is no restriction of syllabus, timetable, rules and regulation system for mentor that is how they can work in an autonomy that can increase the capacity of students.  Also, there is no fear from the student’s side. Students can talk to the mentor about their weaknesses without any fear of the school and institution.

 What are your future plans?

I would like to go for research, as being into teaching line I understand higher level teaching is not only focused on teaching, it is more like research, also. It can be in the form of books, research paper, curriculum making and many more, so I think we need more researchers in our country.

 

 

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