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Monthly Archives: March 2016

NGOs urged to avoid mediators in CSR

BENGALURU: NGOs participating in a programme exploring alliances with corporates in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities were urged to avoid taking help from mediators or middlemen who often made profits out of linking the two together.

The plea was made by the Chief Guest, Dr H Sudarshan, a renowned social worker and tribal rights activist at the event “Capacity Building Programme for NGOs” organised here on Friday by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Centre for Social Initiative and Management (CSIM).

Inaugurating the programme, Justice M.N. Venkatachaliah, former Chief Justice of India said, “The NGO community must grow up in a hurry.” Pointing out the crumbling faith of people in the government and their own society, he added that it is important for NGOs to be transparent, legal, and credible in all social activities.

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Panelists during the inaugural session of the event. PHOTO – RALPH

Dr Sudarshan said, “As finding funding sources for an NGO is a challenge, CSR activities of corporate companies act as a major helpinghand… The major source of income for social work is the taxpayer’s money, which it is challenging to claim from the authorities. The corrupted system in turn makes the situation worse.”

Aroon Raman, convener of CII-CSR Panel,said  “We are trying to work on an innovative platform to strengthen network connections in the sector, thereby opening up opportunities to give and take mentorship and feedback for improved working.”

“As part of CSR activities, companies begin with a social mind but for some gradually the businessmind comes to play. Thus, getting real organisations is the major challenge and this event would help solving this to some extent,” said Jeevan Mullolli, who represented the Bhoruka Charitable Trust.

Ralph Alex Arakal

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High stakes in mental health

BENGALURU: Odd work schedules in corporate workspaces are changing the biological clocks of employees and, in Bangalore, leading to a higher demand from them for mental health services.

Mental-health-icon

According to Prof. Kiran Jeevan, head of the Social Work Department in SJC, “If you are going to be working at odd hours, you are changing the biological clock and in Bangalore, the corporate mental health centres are full,” he said.

Prof. Jeevan is preparing to present a paper on the status of mental health in India, at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, USA. Speaking to The Beacon, he raised the question of openness regarding mental health issues in the society even today. “People think that it is a taboo to go out and tell that my child has a mental problem,” he noted.

Prof Jeevan said the mental health issues faced by people working in the corporate sector are more critical when compared to that faced by people in the villages. But the problem in the villages is that healthcare facilities are less accessible, be it for physical or mental ailments.

“You feel isolated from your friends and family since you sleep when they are awake and they sleep when you are awake and the work timings have really cost me a huge load of good sleep,” said Rishin Krishnan, a financial analyst in an MNC in Bengaluru.

The situation is made worse with the declining amount of government funds being allocated for health, Prof Jeevan pointed out. From his social work experience in different parts of India, especially in villages, he feels that public healthcare is worse than pathetic. During his visit to the USA, he hopes to tie up the Social Work Department with the University of North Carolina to initiate a project in public healthcare in rural India.

Chaitra Krishnan

Parks to be revived

BENGALURU: A plan is afoot to revive and green the decaying Hare Krishna park in Rajajinagar which is the only lung space for over 750 houses in the area.

N.L NarendraBabu, Ex-MLA, Mahalakshmi Layout constituency has taken the initiative to revive more than 1.25 acres of land allotted for parks that is facing destruction.

Babu said, “Instead of constructing new parks, we must revive the existing ones. The parks symbolise the beauty of our city and we must make it a point to preserve it.”

The BBMP and BDA have announced that they will revive over 60 parks in the future.

Parks on Service Road and West of Chord Road are being destroyed to build new bus stops and other infrastructure facilities resulting in increasing sound and noise pollution.

The parks are heavily used by senior citizens and children and are also home to a variety of medicinal plants such as the Sacred Basil, Barbados Nut, FieldmintCornmint, etc.

Some of the parks have begun rain water harvesting for watering the plants and fountains.

Akshitha S

Rs 55 cr for Maharani colleges under RUSA

BENGALURU: A cluster of three colleges – Maharani Home Science, Maharani Science and Maharani Arts, Commerce and Management colleges – are set to receive Rs 55 crores under the Central government’s RashtriyaUchchatarShikshaAbhiyan(RUSA) project. This is the first such cluster to get RUSA funds.

This was disclosed here on Friday by Higher Education Minister T B Jayachandra who was inaugurating a job fair at the Maharani Women’s Arts,Commerce and Management College.

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Minister T B Jayachandra inaugurates the job fair. PHOTO – VEDA

Speaking to The Beacon, Kanaka Lakshmi, Sociology Professor, said, “The government is making the three Maharani colleges as a cluster within the university. The RUSA funds will provide a vast opportunity for students to read their choice subjects.”

Usually such job fairs are held in medical or engineering colleges, but this is the first time such a fair is being organised in a government college especially to provide maximum opportunities to women and to encourage and support them, Dr Venkatesalu, the organising secretary said.

There were 45 plus companies of repute like Infosys, Serco, Just Dial, Omega, ICICI and HDFC at the fair looking to recruit some 1500 employees froman average of 3000 final year students from different colleges across the City participating in the fair, said Dr.Govindappa, another organising secretary.

Veda Gowda

Students to march on Parliament

BENGALURU:  Students are being mobilised across the nation for a march towards Parliament scheduled for March 15 to show their solidarity with the developments in the Jawaharlal Nehru University.

At a press conference here on Friday, Shehla Rashid, Vice president of Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU), said, “Everyone has the right to express their opinion about judgment.”

Rashid was in Bangalore along with Akbar Chawdhry, former JNSU president, Mohit Pandey, All India Students Association (AISA) activist, and Maruthi, President of Karnataka AISA to drum up support for their movement.

Chawdhry said their intention to go across India to speak to students and gain support for their fight was not only to protect JNU’s name but also to save democracy and secularism.

“It is supposed to be what Bhagat Singh envisioned and is an anti-imperialistic nationalism,”said Rashid, responding to a query on how JNU defines nationalism.

Rashid narrated an incident where JNSU president Kanhaiya Kumar was slapped by an outsider in the campus premises. Students of JNU had a high tolerance level and the security of JNU took the outsider safely without students harming him, she pointed out.

“We want a progressive nation and the Rohit Act be introduced and implemented which will ensure legislative protection for students from marginalised communities in higher educational institutions,” said Rashid, who also attacked the ABVP and RSS for trying to disrupt democratic programmes in the country.

 

Ashwin S