Sunday, September 19, 2010

Tips to strengthen familes

Just like with any relationship, building a positive relationship between parent and child is one that requires work and effort to make it strong and successful. Parenting is a tough job, and maintaining close relationships and open communications helps to ensure parents and their children stay connected through all ages of their upbringing. Here are 10 simple tips for enhancing the bond between parent and child.

1. Say I Love You

Tell your child you love him every day -- no matter his age. Even on trying days or after a parent-child disagreement, when you don't exactly "like your child" at that moment, it is more important than ever to express your love. A simple "I love you" goes a long way toward developing and then strengthening a relationship.

2. Teach Your Faith

Teach your child about your faith and beliefs. Tell him what you believe and why. Allow time for your child to ask questions and answer them honestly. Reinforce those teachings often.

3. Establish A Special Name Or Code Word

Create a special name for your child that is positive and special or a secret code word that you can use between each other. Use the name as a simple reinforcement of your love. The code word can be established to have special meaning between your child and you that only you two understand. This code word can even be used to extract a child from an uncomfortable situation (such as a sleepover that is not going well) without causing undue embarrassment to the child.

4. Develop And Maintain A Special Bedtime Ritual

For younger children, reading a favorite bedtime book or telling stories is a ritual that will be remembered most likely throughout their life. Older children should not be neglected either. Once children start reading, have them read a page, chapter, or short book to you. Even most teenagers still enjoy the ritual of being told goodnight in a special way by a parent--even if they don't act like it!

5. Let Your Children Help You

Parents sometimes inadvertently miss out on opportunities to forge closer relationships by not allowing their child to help them with various tasks and chores. Unloading groceries after going to the store is a good example of something that children of most ages can and should assist with. Choosing which shoes look better with your dress lets a child know you value her opinion. Of course, if you ask, be prepared to accept and live with the choice made!

6. Play With Your Children

The key is to really play with your children. Play with dolls, ball, make believe, checkers, sing songs, or whatever is fun and interesting. It doesn't matter what you play, just enjoy each other! Let kids see your silly side. Older kids enjoy cards, chess, computer games, while younger ones will have fun playing about anything...as long as it involves you!

7. Eat Meals As A Family

You've heard this before, and it really is important! Eating together sets the stage for conversation and sharing. Turn the TV off, and don't rush through a meal. When schedules permit, really talk and enjoy one another. It can become a quality time most remembered by young and old alike.

8. Seek Out One-On-One Opportunities Often

Some parents have special nights or "standing dates" with their children to create that one-on-one opportunity. Whether it is a walk around the neighborhood, a special trip to a playground, or just a movie night with just the two of you, it is important to celebrate each child individually. Although it is more of a challenge the more children in a family, it is really achievable! Think creatively and the opportunities created will be ones that you remember in the future.

9. Respect Their Choices

You don't have to like their mismatched shirt and shorts or love how a child has placed pictures in his room. However, it is important to respect those choices. Children reach out for independence at a young age, and parents can help to foster those decision-making skills by being supportive and even looking the other way on occasion. After all, it really is okay if a child goes to daycare with a striped green shirt and pink shorts.

10. Make Them A Priority In Your Life

Your children need to know that you believe they are a priority in your life. Children can observe excessive stress and notice when they feel you are not paying them attention. Sometimes, part of being a parent is not worrying about the small stuff and enjoying your children. They grow up so fast, and every day is special. Take advantage of your precious time together while you have it!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

They Dream High But Hardly Do Anything

Yet again our govt gave us a false assurance...   

"93million slum dwellers by next year

Marks Increase Of 23% Since 2001"

  Selja said the target of achieving a slum-free India in five years, as outlined by President Pratibha Patil, was not unachievable if states cooperate fully. 

Well where is the revenues which a common man is pay's each time from the sweat of his brow going....? If the Govt complains that the masses are not paying taxes regularly... then what our leaders are doing??Is there no strategies left with them that will run the Govt. smoothly.

  Despite the country’s robust economic growth, around 93.06 million people will live in slums in cities by next year, an increase of around 23% since 2001, forced by a lack of space and means.
    According to an expert committee set up to estimate “reliable” urban slum population, there has been a growth of 17.8 million across the country in the last decade.
    Defending the increase in slum population figures, minister for housing and urban poverty alleviation Kumari Selja said this trend is along expected lines due to a spurt in urbanization. However, she assured that the percentage would come down, with the efforts of UPA 2 towards slum development and rehabilitation.
    The committee, headed by Pranab Sen, principal adviser to the Planning Commission and former chief statistician, pointed out that the projected slum population in 2011 would be go up to 93.06 million from 75.26 million that was estimated in 2001 as per the new methodology. The 2001
Census figures peg the slum population at 52.4 million.
    By next year, 31.63 lakh people will be living in slums in Delhi as compared to 23.18 lakh in 2001, going by the panel’s methodology.
    Among the states, Maharastra tops the chart where around 1.815 crore will be living in slums in 2011, followed by Uttar Pradesh (1.087 crore), Tamil Nadu (86.44 lakh), West
Bengal (85.46 lakh) and Andhra Pradesh (81.88 lakh).
    The ministry appointed the committee to come out with reliable slum data to ensure better implementation of Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) that aims to eradicate slums in India.
    Selja said there was “paucity of correct data earlier” as small towns were left out, and the new definition put forth by the committee would
serve as a guideline for Slum Census 2011 and state governments.
    A major reason for the total slum population being underreported was due to the fact that the Census 2001 took into account only notified slums in 1,764 towns across the country.
    Officials attributed the rise in slum figures to wider definition of slum and expanding the coverage as the committee has factored in all 5,161 towns, including 3,799 statutory towns, and has also modified the definition of slum as followed by the Registrar General of India (RGI), which conducts the Census.
    Selja said the target of achieving a slum-free India in five years, as outlined by President Pratibha Patil, was not unachievable if states cooperate fully. Admitting that urban population is growing and there are many challenges to realize the goal, the minister said, “UPA government has committed itself to RAY and money should not be a constraint”.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Aman Ki Asha

About two-thirds of those polled in India and almost three-fourths of those in Pakistan said they desire a peaceful relationship between the two countries. Only a tiny minority, 17% in India and 8% in Pakistan, are opposed to the idea of consigning hostility to the dustbin of history.

The neighbourhood we live in may be the deadliest in the world, but it also is one in which the yearning for peace is enormous. Indeed, the very fact that the horrors of hostility have been brought home so forcefully to all those who live in this neighbourhood may explain why two nations that have had such an embittered relationship voice such a strong cry for some sanity. In an extensive poll conducted jointly for The Times of India and the Jang group of Pakistan, it was that an overwhelming majority want a peaceful relationship. Most hearteningly — and unexpectedly — there is also a high degree of optimism about the possibility of an end to hostilities and there is a widespread recognition that bringing about that happy denouement is not a task that can be left to the two governments alone.

Aman ki Asha polled people in six Indian cities as well as respondents in eight Pakistani cities and 36 villages to feel the pulse of a sub-continent besieged by violence and fear. About two-thirds of those polled in India (66%) and almost three-fourths of those in Pakistan (72%) said they desire a peaceful relationship between the two countries. It’s not as if the rest were opposed to the idea of harmony. A sizeable chunk in both countries — 17% in India and 20% in Pakistan — neither agreed nor disagreed with the statement that

“I want peaceful and friendly relations to prevail between India and Pakistan”. In other words, only a tiny minority, 17% in India and 8% in Pakistan, were opposed to the idea of consigning hostility to the dust bin of history. For countries that have fought three wars and one mini-war and have accused each other of abetting terror, those figures are a whole lot better than what you might expect.

In India, the urge for peace was more or less uniform across gender, age and socio-economic categories, but in Pakistan male respondents were surprisingly more strongly in favour of the idea than their female counterparts (77% to 66%).

The survey tapped respondents in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad in India. In Pakistan, the cities covered were Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur in Sindh, Islamabad/Rawalpindi, Lahore, Multan and Faisalabad in Punjab and Quetta in Baluchistan.

Desiring peace is one thing, but is there a genuine feeling that it is possible? Once again, we were pleasantly surprised by the findings of the poll. A clear majority in both cases — 59% in India and an even higher 64% in Pakistan — said they were either “very hopeful” or “quite hopeful” that they would see our current state of antagonism becoming a thing of the past within their own lifetimes. In India, the women were more optimistic than the men on this count, though not by a huge margin. Also, respondents from the SEC B socio-economic category were somewhat more hopeful than those from the more elite SEC A category and the relatively young (ages 18 to 19) were just a touch more hopeful than the older lot aged 30 to 45 years.

Can people-to-people initiatives — which is what Aman ki Asha is really all about — be effective in bringing about the peaceful relationship that is so fervently desired? The vote in this case was decisive. In India, 78% said they were an “effective” or “very effective” instrument of peace. If that sounds massive, the verdict was even more unequivocal in Pakistan, where 85% chose one of these two responses. In fact, an impressive 43% in Pakistan said it would be “very effective”. We couldn't have asked for a more resounding endorsement of our earnest belief that civil society initiatives can and must make a difference.

Indeed, we wouldn’t have imagined the response would have been so clear.

What explains the scale of this endorsement? A large part of the explanation would seem to lie in the answers to another of the questions asked in the survey. We asked the respondents to rank the current state of the relationship between the two countries on a scale of 1 to 9, where 1 indicates “hostile” and 9 indicates “friendly”. We also asked them to do this rating separately for relations between the two states and between the two peoples. On both sides of the troubled border the responses were revealing.

While the average rating given by Indian respondents to state-to-state relations was 3.65 (indicating “cold”), the same respondents rated people-to-people relations at 4.15 indicating something closer to “neutral”. On the Pakistani side, state-to-state relations were rated on average at 3.79, while people-to-people relations were rated at 4.61 on average. In other words, while Pakistanis had a more positive view of the relationship than Indians, both sides agreed that the rapport between people was better than that between the two governments. It is not difficult to see why they believe civil society initiatives are the way forward from here.

On each of these questions, there were significant variations in the responses from different Indian cities and there was at least one clear pattern to those variations. Delhi and the southern cities of Chennai, Hyderabad and to a lesser extent Bangalore were more inclined to take a positive view of both the current state of relations and the prospects of peace than the other cities.

In contrast, Mumbai was clearly the city with the most gloomy perspective on each of the questions asked.

A majority, 54%, for instance said they were not hopeful of peace being achieved in their lifetime. Given the horror of 26/11 that is hardly surprising. But the fact that even in Mumbai 50% said they wanted peace against the 42% who didn’t and 52% voted for people-to-people initiatives as the way to move towards that peace must be seen as a vindication of Aman ki Asha.