Friday, October 22, 2010

Diwali Greeting Cards And The Days Gone By

Today I suddenly remembered the days when we used to send paper Diwali Greeting Cards to everyone. It suddenly seems like those were distant ages! And it wasn't more than, maybe, ten years ago!

It was a whole process, sending those cards to send all your near & dear (and far & not-so-dear) ones "Season's Greetings" and "Wishes For a Happy And Prosperous Diwali", or simply "Shubh Deepavali"!

It began with a trip to the book shop, which was a simple process. But it would suddenly grow complicated when we would be standing in front of that aisle of table showcasing all those Diwali cards from - BNHS, WWF (NOPE, NOT the wrestling thing) Help Age, CRY any many other such organization. I usually ended up buying 2-3 of each!

Then came the most painful part of it all. Writing messages on all the cards, writing addresses on the envelops, making sure that each card goes in the write envelop and then sticking the stamps on them all. Remember, cards were sent to many people - parents and brother topped the chart of course, then all the aunts, uncles, cousins, school friends, college friends, pen friends and then some important ex-colleagues. By the time this whole process was over, the enthusiasm would have waned considerably.

We thanked the internet when it came and we could send e-cards... at least to some people from that huge list. Then life caught us over, the list began thinning. Telephone calls became cheap, mobile phones came and those paper greeting cards disappeared from our lives.

And today, suddenly, they appeared in my memories... out of nowhere. And then curiosity took over, so I did some googling and found the I can buy my paper Diwali greeting cards online, at least I found two of my favourite organisations selling them online - BNHS and CRY. Sadly I couldn't fine WWF India's online store. It would be great if some one could locate it for me. Also, if you know of any organisations that sell Diwali greeting cards online, please add the link.

Meanwhile, here are some great Diwali reads that you can check out.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Arab-Israel Peace - There is Hope

Do a Google search for Jayyous and you will find all about this Palestinian village. It's one of those villages which is now divided by a wall built by the Israeli government.

While Israel calls this a 'security wall', the International Court of Justice has declared it illegal years ago

Google will also tell you how the people of Jayyous are suffering, how the land is suffering. 

According to the website of Jayyous Charity Society 83k olive trees were chopped down apart from thousands of others to make way for this gigantic wall.  

The farmers of this Palestinian village have limited resources now. Very few people can visit the village, that too, during certain hour and on permit. 

Amidst all this darkness, however, there is a glimmer of hope... a glimmer of peace. There are many dedicated groups of Israelis who are working towards. They are gladly extending helping hands to their Palestinian counterparts.

Irit, one of the lovely ladies I met at my virtual office of WFAC, is one such Israeli. She has been involved in all things peace. And she has also been to Jayyous, to help the olive farmers of this village during harvest season. And she was not alone; there were 80 of them, who visited the village. 

Irit says, the farmer whom she helped, told her,"you are the handkerchief for our tears."No compliment can be more fulfilling.

And to read more about  Arab-Israel peace check out this link.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Bibi Ayesha Gets A New Nose

Remember Bibi Ayesha, the young Afghan woman whose nose was cut by the Taliban? She got her nose back, and is looking as beautiful as ever!

It was the TIME magazine that brought world's attention towards Ayesha and now, after being flow into the USA, getting a prosthetic nose and being honoured with Enduring Heart Award, Ayesha is all set to live a new life.

I just hope she is not lost after all the excitement dies.

Meanwhile you can read her story here and watch the video too.

And if you want to know about the power of TIME magazine, check this out!

Mutilated Afghan Woman - Bibi Ayesha

As I struggle to cope with my new environments... here's some one who tells me to be strong -

Aisha, a shy 18-year-old Afghan woman who was sentenced by a Taliban commander to have her nose and ears cut off for fleeing her abusive in-laws. Aisha posed for the picture and says she wants the world to see the effect a Taliban resurgence would have on the women of Afghanistan, many of whom have flourished in the past few years.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Domestic Violence and Safe World For Women

It was almost a year back when we at WFAC, started our journey with A Safe World for Women - a campaign aimed towards making the UN and the nations across the world sit up and realize that NOW is the time to take their women seriously... NOW is the time to show responsibility towards women and children and NOW is the time for the world to come together and demand strong action, not just empty words.

The reason we felt the time was NOW is that the year 2011 is fast approaching... it's the year that marks completion of 100 years of ’s movement. The very first International Women's Day was celebrated 100 years ago.

The time is now almost on us. And looking back, I am proud of our wonderful team, which has done so much of work in such a short time. Though most of the time they have been busy with the campaign to free the Three Hikers - Sarah Shourd (who is, finally free), Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal - they have still managed to do a whole lot more. Considering that it's a tiny team of four!

Domestic Violence is something that the whose team is greatly passionate about (among many other things). So research has been going on and a lot of info is now available on the website. What is startling is that DV is not just prevalent in under-developed, poor countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America, but even in the so-called 'developed world'.

You can read it all at SWW's page on Domestic Violence. Meanwhile, take a look at this video too...