Friday, December 21, 2007


Ham Bhopal ke naari hain, ham phool nahin, chingaari hain. is the rallying call of the Chingari Trust.

from their website ...
The all-woman Chingari Trust represents the spirit of resilience and persistence of the Bhopal survivors and notably the women who for years have refused to be daunted or defeated. Ham Bhopal ke naari hain, ham phool nahin, chingaari hain. ‘We are women of Bhopal, we are flames not flowers.’ This rallying-call of the Bhopali women survivors inspired the Trust’s name and symbol.

The Chingari Trust seeks to provide proper medical care for children being born in Bhopal with malformations and brain damage, and to provide income-earning opportunities for families that have been impoverished by the disaster and the subsequent water contamination. Many families have lost their main earners to death or illness and are left struggling for survival. By funding and encouraging the creation of new jobs and offering a positive and nurturing support structure, the Trust intends to set an example to government and others.

The Trust will recognise and support struggles led by women in various parts of the country, especially in remote rural India by each year making a “Chingari Award for Women Against Corporate Crimes”, with a trophy and a fellowship of fifty thousand Indian rupees.

Mukta Jhodia, a tribal woman leader fighting against the Hindalco-led Utkal Alumina’s bauxite mining and processing project in Kashipur, Orissa, won the first Chingari Award.

Unrecognised heroines, Kalpana Sharma writes about Mukta Jhodia and the cause of struggles.

A Google news search for "Chingari award" gave 5 results.

Monday, December 17, 2007

batti bandh

MumbaiUnplug called for a Batti Bandh on 15th December, from 7.30 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.
Here is what "Batti Bandh" is (from the MumbaiUnplug website) ...
Batti Bandh is an entirely voluntary event taking place on the 15th of December between 7:30 & 8:30 p.m. This event is aimed at requesting all of Mumbai to stand up for a cause that is greater than all of us. All you need to do is switch off lights and appliances in your home, shop, office, school, college or anywhere you are for 1 hour to take a stand against global warming. Just 1 hour.

What will this 1 hour do? This 1 hour for just 1 day is not our only aim. This 1 hour is to set an example to the world, to every person who witnesses it, to show that together we can make a difference. This 1 hour will save a lot of electricity as well as pollution and if done regularly can go a long way in reducing pollution that is released by electricity plants as well.

We were inspired by a similar event recently held in Sydney, Australia, called Earth Hour. In Sydney, 2.2 million people participated. Their one hour of lights out meant that 24.86 tons of carbon dioxide were not released into the air - the equivalent of taking 48,613 cars off the road. We are a city of more than 20 million people. Let this number be motivation enough to show that we can make a difference. Unplug Mumbai. Do this for every child who otherwise will never have the opportunity to witness snow capped Himalayas or the glorious tigers and lions or the sun kissed beaches of Goa. Because if we dont unplug from our ways now, nothing will remain the same. Batti Bandh.

While newspapers are reporting that the event got a lukewarm/mixed response, hopefully it will act as starting point for larger initiatives, particularly when Mumbai is spared from scheduled/unscheduled power-cuts at the expense of other cities/villages.

On a related note, R K Pachauri, the chairman of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, on the 1-lakh car,
More private vehicles, ... , is not the right way forward. On the contrary, it would take the world farther from solutions to climate change.