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mankind meddling with nature

As I sat on the veranda of our farmhouse very early in the morning, watching a magpie tirelessly dart back and forth to feed its young, a wave of contemplation washed over me. It made the journey of 15 to 20 times and each time the bird returned with a worm clenched in its beak. I couldn't shake the thought of how our human actions have disrupted the delicate balance of nature. In our pursuit of agricultural efficiency, we use harmful insecticides that indiscriminately wipe out the very creatures that sustain the ecosystem. The consequence? Birds like this magpie struggle to find food for their offspring. It's a stark reminder of how disconnected we've become from the natural world around us. I couldn't help but reminisce about a time, perhaps a century ago, when agriculture operated in harmony with nature. Crops grew without synthetic chemicals, inviting insects and birds to thrive in a symbiotic relationship. Birds of prey would swoop down to feast on pests, leaving b

A visionary par excellence

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Mr. Vilas Shinde, founder and chairman of Sahyadri Farms at Nashik, leads the country's largest Farmer Producer Organisation (FPO) with 25,000 farmers. After a pilgrimage to Shirdi, I had the golden opportunity to meet him at his corporate office , and the two hours I spent there was truly a remarkable experience. Mr.Shinde's story is compelling; after completing his agricultural engineering degree, he wanted to venture into full time farming . Realizing the challenges faced by smallholder farmers with only 2-3 acres of land, he formed an FPO with just 10 farmers. Today, over 25,000 farmers and more than 25,000 acres of land are part of this organized cultivation initiative. During our conversation, what struck me profoundly was Mr.Shinde's perspective on the treatment of farmers in our country. He emphasized that farmers shouldn't always rely on subsidies and should be regarded as entrepreneurs. His vision aims to transform the lives of farmers, ensuring

A Need of the hour

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I'm deeply moved by the message conveyed in this article. It's a powerful reminder of the importance of approaching education in a holistic way. It breaks my heart to witness medical aspirants, who invest so much effort and dedication, facing numerous challenges and ultimately giving up on their dreams. We must recognize the diversity among our students, especially in terms of their social backgrounds and linguistic diversity, as these factors significantly impact their learning experiences. We must strive to create a space where every student feels supported and valued, regardless of where they come from. It's not just about grades and test scores; it's about nurturing well-rounded individuals who can thrive in all aspects of life. By prioritizing holistic development and creating favourable learning environments, we can empower students to pursue their passions and lead fulfilling lives. This reinforces my belief that balance is the key to success in life.

Faith energises .. faith heals

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  Faith energises.... faith heals.... My memory goes back 10 years ago when we had shifted to our newly built home in the outskirts of thindal, Erode. Surrounded by lush green paddy fields , the first few years was a " kerala" experience! Close to our home, the  " karuparayan and kannimaar" temple particularly intrigued me . The huge tamarind trees and neem tree would easily be over 100 years old and I have enjoyed the bird chatter standing outside the locked gate. I would ask the passersby " WHY" it is kept locked . And each had a story to share ! Finally after 33 years , the " kumbabisegam " was held today.  The insensitive blasting of loud music and the bursting of crackers ( my heart was bleeding for all those birds whose home this tree has been, for many years ) infuriated me and my rational mind fired up to" question" this faith . But then, I pacified myself telling " thank God, the traditional faith " is still there

Children's day surprise !

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  On children's day I decided to surprise our children by playing the veena . As a 7 year old my mother got me started and till the age of 14 a teacher would come home and I  learnt to play veena . I still remember the expression on my face ( and my sister's) when we saw the veena teacher's footwear when we got bck home . Her presence meant that we had to  forgo our free play in the evenings . For two hours every evening, the neighborhood children would come home and we played like mad before retiring to do our homework. So, obviously we resisted the Veena classes .  My mother was strict . Just to please my mother I learnt veena in childhood. And then , went to boarding school, college , marriage ... for 25 years did not touch the divine instrument . But when I started to learn again , to my surprise, the muscle memory worked magic ... even today, I played after almost 10 months , but memory comes back. This is not about me. It's about the muscle memory.  I really wish

Parenting confusions !

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 Montessori or Waldorf ? Which is best for your child ? Parenting is a responsibility and it is heartening to see that, today's parents are more aware and are keen to explore various options before they choose the learning environment for their child. Let us look at some frequently asked questions. What are the similarities and differences between Montessori and Waldorf systems ? Both Maria Montessori and Rudolf Steiner were visionaries who focused on developing the whole child. Steiner was a philosopher and thinker who believed in educating the child through his head, heart and hands. We see that both had a common ultimate goal and that is, holistic development of the child. In Montessori classrooms, Children are very independent and they work with materials individually. Steiner believed in “group” learning and imitation during early years. So, the environment is a lot more social in a Waldorf classroom. Children engage in free play and imaginative play using natural materials. T

Rhythms of life

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  Rhythms of life in ancient India was in sync with the Rhythms of nature. This was the thought that I had this morning, at 6 am , witnessing the "manikavasagar vizha" at  shiva temple ( Thondeeshwara temple) in erode. Scientists say that mid- December to mid-january is the time people normally feel " mentally " low ( seasonal change). People in cold countries are more prone to depression during this period. In India too, this is a cold month. The tamil  month of " margazhi" is replete with celebrations in temples , helping us to naturally cope with the seasonal changes and empower us with positive emotions.  There are no weddings this month .why? One of the reasons is , to avoid all materialistic distractions and focus in faith and devotion. At the temple , sivanadiaars were carrying the idol of manikavasagar and dancing rhythmically and women were engrossed in " kolattam" and " kummi" . As I stood hesitantly one devotee pulled me in