Sunday, May 29, 2016

Second Green Enterpreneurs Meetup #Pune 4th June 2016

Greetings !
After our first successful Green Entrepreneurs Meetup we are back to get the momentum rolling yet again.. :)

Inviting green entrepreneurs (and those who want to start!) to Green Entrepreneurs Meetup- Second Chapter at The Real Green Cafe , Koregaon Park.

Here, you will meet others like yourself and exchange ideas, resources, strategies on what works and what doesn't.

  • This time we will be focussing on how to convert offerings to actions.
  • 10 min- Slot by Sharmila Oswal, Fouder of Green Energy Foundation. She will be talking about her journey as green entrepreneur and services of her foundation followed with relevant Q&A round.

Who is this for:

  • Individuals working for green economy or 
  • Social enterprise that honours the three P's: people, planet and profit or
  • Anybody looking to contribute to solutions for pressing issues around environmental problems.

What all was discussed at the last meetup? Click here to find out!

Bring along: a pen, a notebook, and a can-do attitude!

Seats available: 15

When: Saturday, 4th June 2016, 10.30am-12.30pm.

Location: The Real Green Cafe,
above Subway, Koregaon Park Lane-6 entrance

Please Whatsapp us on 8983584431 to RSVP! We can accomodate only limited seats.

Join the conversation on FB!

Warm Regards,
Nikhil, Aishwarya, Shivani

Real Green Cafe | Spirit-In Pune


If you are working for green solutions or have any green initiatives, kindly share your project details in link below-

We are making a city-based directory of green solutions to create wider platform for holistic living. This listing will help us to make your project reach community in more effective way.

Fwd: MoM for first Green Entrepreneurs Network meetup (14.5.16)

Dear Friends,

Greetings !

We heartily thank you all for giving your valuable time and great insights at the first  Green Entrepreneurs Meetup at The Real Green Cafe, Koregaon Park, on 14th May 2016.

Thanks to Nikhil for being 'the bad guy' and such a great compere helping all of us to stay on topic and within time. Thanks Aishwarya for providing "The Real Green Cafe" as a green conscious space for all of us to feel the energy. And a big thanks all the 20 friends who joined us. Thanks, Shivani for co-ordinating the whole thing and dreaming big! See some pics here.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

My insights on "broke, hungry and on trend"

My friend Parth shared this:
This article struck a chord somewhere... felt like sharing with all of you :)

I found the article very good and helpful. Here's why.

1. It serves as a very good non-example for the young adults (I mean late teens too) who are just getting started with figuring out how they want to chart their careers. A non-example means: an example of what the instructor wants to teach the learner to NOT do. So, simple message : avoid damaging yourself / bankrupting yourself just to fit in. Bankrupting in monetary terms as well in other forms of wealth, like health, emotions, ideas, self-respect.

2. Exposure matters. Some people are able to figure out that there can be a better way to do things well in time. Some don't. Many realize something is wrong, but are not able to put it into words exactly what is wrong, and have not been lucky yet to come across alternative ways.

Some background:
For almost a year from mid-2011 to around Feb 2012, I was in the state I just described, as a primary school teacher in an educational fellowship program that had told me that there's just one way to do things. I was just not able to make things work, my heart was objecting the whole time but I didn't know why, I was not able to do anything in flow, even the simplest of things for other Fellows seemed just too difficult for me.

And then a book literally fell into my lap : John T Gatto's "Dumbing Us Down".

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

A hands-on gender sensitization/normalization activity for boys

I was raised in a household with 3 women (mom, a 7 years elder sis, a twin sis) and one where we did most of the chores. As the littlest and clumsiest runt of the litter, I was assigned tasks that carried the least risks. Which included hanging all the washed clothes to dry and folding them when dried; and to run to the shop nearby to get essentials (packaged products ie.. for picking the right veggies etc my mom couldn't risk it).

I was thus handling everyone's bras and panties from a little age; my mom taught me to especially check the crotch section of chaddis with my fingers to make sure they've dried properly before I fold them. Never experienced any kind of shame or ridicule from it.. it was the same as doing the gents' chaddis and banyans.

I Fight Rape Culture because...

Re-posting from

I Fight...!

"I fight Rape Culture because
When I told my ex boyfriend about my rape
He 'forgave' me.

I fight Rape Culture because
I saw my baby sister age overnight
As she told me about her best friend getting molested.

I fight Rape Culture because
My closest friend was abused as a child
And he told nobody but me.
It took him 13 years to open up.

I fight Rape Culture because
My friends admit to letting their partners f*** them when they don't want it
Then laugh it off as typical male behavior.

I fight Rape Culture because
Saying that you're raping someone is perfectly acceptable
If you're playing a video game.

I fight Rape Culture because
Men tell me they are insulted when women walking in front of them
start to walk faster.
As if their ego is more important than our safety.

I fight Rape Culture because
If I tell somebody their rape joke isn't funny
I am told that I'm uptight.

I fight Rape Culture because
It won't die out
Unless we kill it ourselves."

Sent by Pallavi Vatsa. Original source unknown.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Indian Supreme Court judgements in Swaraj Abhiyan case, pertaining to food & drought

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Kavitha Kuruganti
Date: Fri, May 13, 2016 at 12:05 PM
Subject: ~GMfreeMH~ Today's judgement in Swaraj Abhiyan case, pertaining to food: Re: Judgement of SC in Swaraj Abhiyan Drought case

Directions 30. 

In view of the discussion and the conclusions arrived at by us, we issue the follow directions: 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

How To change the subject line of an email you are forwarding, on gmail

How To change the subject line of an email you are forwarding, on gmail.

1. You have pressed FORWARD. A new typing space has opened.

2. Move the mouse over the button just to left of Recipients box, and click it.

3. From the dropdown list of options that appears, please choose "Edit Subject"

4. Now you can edit your fwd'd email's subject to anything you like. Please write there a proper subject that is relevant to the actual email.

Non-examples of subject lines : try and avoid these:
  • Fwd: Please forward
  • Hi
  • Hello
  • Help needed
  • Help! :(
  • Urgent
  • Fwd: (no subject)
  • Request
  • Re: Digest 
  • Fwd: final draft mailer
  • Fw: Fwd: Re: Fwd: Re: Re: hi
Example subject line for an event:
  • Invite: Pune UnConference, 20 May'17, @Thoughtworks, Pune we got the event's name, date and location covered here. For any time-sensitive mailer, like an event or deadline for applications, including date/month in the subject line will greatly improve your mailer's success/conversion rate. Same for non--time-sensitive conversations.

At the end of the day, you do want people to read the email you are sending out. So a little subject line 'lane discipline' can go a long way! Thanks!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Describing Transition

Describing Transition : My take on it..

It is observed in nature, in electronics, in any system that there cannot
be an instant switch from one state to another. Even in digital circuits,
upon closer inspection we find there is a transition. Sometimes that
transition can be smooth, other times messy.

So applying that concept to the macro level, various initiatives like
Transition Towns movement started with first the acceptance of things as
they presently are rather than complaining about it.

Then we think up of how we would like things to be. And then we figure out
how we could transition from here to there.

The intermediate steps can be messy, and because they’re intermediate,
won’t be perfect.

Many times we build overly high expectations and then when something that
might actually take us towards where we want to go comes along, because
it’s not perfect, because it’s an intermediate transition step, we might
end up rejecting it out of hand and so fail to transition.

It could be :
  • a political option at elections that isn’t the perfect one that you had wanted but at least can help to keep the criminals & greedy folks out of the system, 
  • a technology that isn’t absolutely 100% clean. 
  • a chemicals-free healthy food product that had to be packaged in plastic as it was the only option available to the maker right now to get it to you without losing 75% of the material in transit. 
  • something that shouldn't be more expensive, but is for the time being due to financial compulsions. 
  • a solution that does 80% of the job but isn't able to do the most difficult 20% that no one else also is able to do yet, like a machinery upgrade in an industry that removes 80% of the polluting effluents.
  • having to charge money in order to make a living while advocating a better economic model / givftivism etc.
  • one family member compromising on values and staying in corporate job to be able to make ends meet for the family and so enabling the parttner to work in promoting giftivism, alternative models etc. 
  • creating opportunities for schools to adopt better practices while still wholeheartedly agreeing with unschooling concepts.
  • heirs of large fortunes deciding to not follow their parents' footsteps and instead devoting their time and energy and their inherited resources to help good things to happen.
Invitation: Do you know similar situations? Write them in the comments section!

Some of these opportunities might still take us one step closer in a 100-step transition process, and so even if imperfect (and at times apparently conflicting with the overarching vision), can be a far better option than remaining stuck in the status quo.

Once you go a few steps forward, other opportunities might open up that you
can’t see right now. Kind of like that story of the dark road at night not being lighted all the way, but your headlights light up the first few meters and that is sufficient to go forward. On the way you might even find co-travellers and allies.

Addendum: Where will it begin? Will it begin amongst those who are living most hand-to-mouth, who cannot afford to take risks, who are at the mercy of the dominant systems? Among the poor? Or the rich? Or the middle class?

I think Transition will start first where it can do so without too much risk to the attempters, and then spread once it has established some kind of proof-of-concept. It'll be impractical to expect it to begin only at points of greater difficulty. And different kinds of transition may have different kinds of circumstances.

 The flip side

By rejecting imperfect things by default, by staying locked in the status quo (and so unconsciously voting to prolong the status quo), we might not be taking a risk but will still be 100% guaranteeing that good things will never happen. Which is better? A 100% failure guarantee or a 1% chance of success? What would a tree have to say about this : a tree that generates 10,000 seeds of which maybe only a handful will grow to be trees? Does nature prefer to lock itself into the status quo because of a lack of assured guarantees, or does nature prefer taking a shot, and maximize its shot-taking ability to tip the probability odds into her favour?

And since we don't live in a vacuum, there's a social obligation too. Your rejection of a good thing just because it doesn't fulfil your extreme expectations..

(Example insert : like expecting the vegan restaurant with a "green" in the name to be 100% plastic-free when they never ever committed to that at all, failing which you dismiss it as a fake/fraud, nevermind all the efforts they have been making despite all odds and taking on serious expenses to do the best that they can, nevermind the thousands of other restaurants out there whom you're giving a free pass with zero obligation and focusing all your negativity and judgement on just the one who actually gave a shit, who stepped out of line, took a great risk and tried to make things better),

...and sharing of your harsh dismissive stance with the larger community and using your perfect logic to justify your up-nosed high-horsedness, might actually DESTROY the chances of the solution you and others want from ever happening. Why would anybody even bother to try doing something nice ever again with people like you sitting around and waiting to insult any attempt at it in front of the whole community? Those who have done these kinds of things need to learn that they share responsiblity in prolonging the problem even if they weren't the original problem-causers.

Note: I'm upping the pace a bit here because the above example.. has actually happened just yesterday, with one dear friend of mine getting on the high horse and having done some serious amount of damage to another dear friend's initiative which by all counts did not deserve that kind of treatment; and the damage done might very well be permanent. So I have seen first-hand how bad things happen when somebody assumes a position of high expectations and perfectionism and unilateral definition-imposing (the 'green' in the name was never supposed to stand for zero-plastic.. my friend blindly assumed that without asking and judged the whole thing without trial) and forgets how to be nice in the process.


So in times of transition, it pays to be kind and humble and nice, to be accepting of what presently is, to not be perfectionist or have unrealistic expectations and instead explore how we can move where we want to get, realistically, incrementally, positively and at many times, intuitively.

Project to make managing bus routes much easier for any bus authority : looking for a few creative coders

Hi Friends,

Please connect with anyone who would like to do some fundoo coding-for-public:

Design document: (a ppt slideshow) :

or click here:  Bus Route Information Management System

(lots of things ironed out since the last time I spammed you about this, and I've now broken it down to phases where initial ones would be fairly simple to implement)

Specific detail: As far as possible I want to pull this off on PHP/SQL/Javascript platform.

If you could connect me with a pune-based college's computer science department it would be heavenly!

Sharing a few of the slides to stoke your imagination.. 

(please see the slideshow shared at top for seeing all the slides. Slides have been updated since I made these screenshots, pls refer the slideshow for latest.)


Special thanks to PMPML officers, staff and fellow volunteers at PMPML Pravasi Manch for their constructive inputs and continued encouragement.

Disclaimer note: If you believe you're a .NET-only developer then this is not for you. And, absolutely no hi-fi advanced server/stack based solutions allowed which require complicated command-line installations on server side and need to be maintained as if they're some freakin' nuclear power plant. This whole thing can run off just 2 tables in its most basic form (phase 1&2), so let's keep things simple. Aur copyright / IPR ki baat ki toh chappal khayegaa.

Thanks for your time! Do connect if interested!

FAQ's about the Bus Routes Management System project

1. Why don't we just do live GPS mapping of all buses and wait till that happens?
>> a. I'm sure there's many folks already doing that; 
b. I feel that timetables and proper routes info for buses is something basic and necessary and cannot be substituted by live GPS mapping; 
c. I'd rather empower and make accountable the bus system people to do things properly, and enable them to keep up their obligation to the commuters of punctual and transparent service, instead of leaving everything to the map apps and giving leeways for last-minute delays and changes. It would be great to have BOTH instead of having to choose one.
d. The all-buses-will-have-GPS thing isn't here yet for each and every city and town in the whole country, and this solution shouldn't be limited to just one metro city.

2. Are there any deadlines for this?
>> Once you see the whole thing, the question that pops up for most is "Why isn't this available already, it's such an obvious thing!". I think that's because of the deadlines culture, and have witnessed closely how things have gotten messed up in Pune's bus system's case because of rushing and taking shortcuts. But anyways, if you do want to fix a deadline, how's this : Before your children grow old enough to commute on their own using public transport.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

about John Perkins
More Confessions of an Economic Hitman: This Time They're Coming for
Your Democracy
John Perkins

More than the article, I want to share what inspires me about this man:

He's seen the deepest depths that mankind can stoop to, he's seen how
whole countries are deliberately messed with and how entire
populations' lives are toyed with. He's been there himself.

And just look at how positive he his, how deeply he understands that
we're all in the same boat, his compassion for humanity rather than
hatred, his hope rather than despair.

I have witnessed this repeatedly : people who do get exposure to
darkest sides and who get to witness real misery and who decide to do
something about it, are often the optimistic ones, the ones who have
so much hope and conviction that a better world is on her way, the
ones who are always smiling and never whining.

Whereas those who have been in comforts, who haven't really seen the
dark realities of the world, who haven't figured out what they want to
do about what they feel is wrong, I see them being really pessimistic
and hopeless and dismissive about humanity. I don't know about what
others may have seen, but this has been my observation.

If this trend is real, then what might this tell us about how we want
to raise our children? What if shielding them from the big bad world
is going to make them MORE despondent and hopeless and pessimistic
when they grow up? What if letting them know about what is really
going on in the world, is the key to empowering them to fix it when
they grow up?

Gift Economy

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