Tag Archives: Water

On Water!

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Recently, met my Brother after about 3 years. Besides having had a good time with him, I noticed that his Health has improved quite a Lot indeed. He has had Heart problems, including Stents, Severe Gout, Vertigo and what not. Now, he is walking with a Spring in his step indeed.

(Joe during the visit)

He attributes it all to having switched to Drinking Alkalinized Water. You can learn more about it in: http://www.enagickangenwatermachine.com

Image from site.

Do Peruse. Regards. 🙂

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Cost of Living in India

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Dear Brother Mick Canning had posted on his blog, and ‘this’ is by way of my ‘Remarks’ on a Re-blog. As has become usual in my case, of getting a lot of thoughts and writing quite a lot at such occasions, am making a separate post of it, and am giving a link to his, as under:

Stereotypes and Misunderstandings

Very happy to get those figures as to Incomes, and particularly the Rent, in the West. And Yes, We in India Do think that Westerners abound in Money, and I too was one of them, though now I have seen reason, so to say.

This post is by way of Understanding India. I share my  thoughts on:

  1. Salaries or Income,
  2. Food,
  3. Housing and Rent,
  4. NGO’s [ Non Governmental (Charitable) Organizations ], and
  5. A Caution on (the Absence of) Cleanliness, particularly in Eateries.

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1. INCOME or SALARIES

We are going to talk about the Middle and Lower income groups. We have to keep in mind that these things themselves are hard to define!

Starting from The Poorest, I would not hesitate to say that a Full 1% of People are Homeless, Abandoned, On the Streets, literally.

Just a few days ago a Poor Woman aged about 72 came to me and shared how she had gone to Church on Christmas night with her daughter, (the Daughter is Catholic, the Mother is a Hindu), and at the end of services they were all given a small piece of ‘Cake,’ which would have cost about 10 rupees…

pastries

What are pictured are probably of a much better quality. But the people in general go in for the 10 rupee kind, as evidenced by the large number of bakeries offering these same. But frankly, the 10 rupee pieces taste like Sawdust and Mud. Excuse me.

…And a little ‘Mixture,’ known as ‘Namkeen’ in the North. This last is a Savoury, prepared mainly of Roasted/Fried Pulses with Salt and Chilli powder.

mixture

Now You know. But not that the Poor woman got this quality or this much.

Going back to that Poor Woman, she stated These two things were the Tastiest bits of Food she had eaten for a Long time!!! …She and her daughter have been subsisting on the few Kilograms of ‘Free Rice’ issued by the government of Tamil Nadu. This, by the way, is a Political ploy to garner the Votes of the Electorate rather than any Love for the Populace.

The people of this level get by by taking their rice with Chilli and Salt, and at times, with Rasam, the ‘soup’ of Tamarind, salt and chilli again, costing very little. They pluck the leaves, particularly of the Drumstick, which can be found easily all over, and add these to the rice.

drumstick-tree-with-flowers-and-fruits-s

The top of the Drumstick tree, with Flowers and Fruit, really a Vegetable.

drumsticks-s

Drumsticks

drumstick-leaves

Drumstick leaves, used as Greens.

The owners of these trees do not mind the leaves being plucked by the people, (except they would not allow it to be sold by that person!), but plucking the drumsticks is not allowed. The owners do share it with their family and neighbours of course, as also to the poor at times.

Social Security in India

This does not exist in India per se. There Are ‘Old Age Pensions,’ ‘Pensions for the Disabled,’ Assurance for work in the form of ‘100 day Scheme,’ whereby the Poor are supposedly assured of at least that many days of work at Rs. 100 a day, (unless the rate is revised), increased to 150 days in drought hit areas, Free Medical care (upto a point) at government hospitals, etc.

But the execution of all these schemes are totally laden with CORRUPTION.

Out of, let us say, a 100 announced as eligible for a scheme, only 50 would get it, for about 6 months. A few do keep getting it in full for ‘Show case’ purposes.

Many schemes, when they reach the lowest, let us say Village level, get the money deposited in short term ‘fixed deposits,’ which Interest is pocketed by the politicos and the officials.

The people with names on the 100 day scheme list find that they are not called up, but the books would show full implementation, of course.

Can I prove any of these things, to the satisfaction of a court of law? As much as a Dog can Prove that it had been kicked.

kicking-dog

Altogether too many Shop Assistants work for Measly wages, often Less than Rs. 3,000 pm, which works out to $ 1.60 a Day. The dollar is going at about Rs. 66 each these days. I am talking about ‘Starting’ salaries.

Masons and Carpenters get upward of Rs. 500 a day, (more in cities), their assistants getting Rs. 300+.

So it might surprise us that Shop assistants work for so less. For them hard work is not customary, and they get assured work. The class stated above get work when it is available.

There are a Whole lot of who can only be called ‘Labourers,’ who also go in search of jobs, sometimes travelling far from their homes and states, for instance from Bihar to Punjab, Kerala, etc. They work for about Rs. 15,000 per month for practically the whole year, getting a few days off per annum to visit their families. Their work goes on for 12 hours a day plus. The hours over and above the 8 do not get Any Extra remuneration.

Sadly, being mostly Uneducated, they get duped by their bosses who list up Imagined expenses to their accounts, and by Railway staff during their travels, etc.

grp-vic-s

It is night, the train is the ‘Raptisagar express,’ which connects the North East of India with Kerala, via Gorakhpur in UP. The Ticket collector had demanded a goodly amount from this Young man in spite of his having had a valid ticket, and had threatened to De-board him unless he paid up. Unfortunately for the Ticket collector, I happened to need to go to ease myself, and found all this happening, near the Toilets, of course.

This and the next photo are mine, others are all from the internet.

victims-s

Two of the Young men, ‘Labourers,’ and the Looks on All their faces show Us just How Cushy a life they lead. God have Mercy on us.

Of note, before I conclude this section, are ‘government employees.’ Their Least pay seems to be Rs. 25,000 per month, for instance for Peons, etc. 30 to 60 Thousand a month is common for these people, Yet they think they are not paid enough.

Getting such good salaries, AND so many Paid holidays, a large number of perks, etc, it is Woeful that they are the Basis of Corruption. We are not blaming the Bus Drivers and the Conductors here. But Any office Clerk, and those above them, besides making the Citizen run from pillar to post, AND not getting his job done, are the Cursed lot. When Bribes are paid, the work does get done. All this from First hand Experience.

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2. FOOD:

Long gone are the days when one could have had a meal for a ‘few’ rupees, if few means anything less than 5.

The Poorest can Eat in something like Rs. 10, (3 or 4 Idlis, – those Steamed, Rice-and-Pulse cakes, taken with Sambar or Chutneys).

idli-w-sambar-n-2-chutneys

What is pictured above would not cost less than Rs. 40, an estimate, since I never go to such ‘expensive’ places! …They would be tasty. So You can Imagine the ‘taste’ You would get for Rs. 10.

3 or 4 Tasty Idlis, prepared at Home, should cost around Rs. 7 to 10.

From First Hand Experience, (having run Eateries Twice in my life!), I know that the Ratio between Selling Price and Cost Price, for Eateries, is 10:4.

I have found eating 2 Parothas costing Rs. 20, which come with a ‘Kurma,’ as Most Cost effective, Enough for my Hunger, Tasty, and all that! Pictured below, these would cost nothing less than Rs. 15 a Parotha, not a bad deal actually. The Onions, – mixed with Chopped Chillies and Coriander leaves in ‘thin’ Curd, (the thin being the Economy measure of the Restaurant owner!), are served to ‘Cut’ the effect of the Maida, the Refined flour of the Parothas.

parothas

Coming to ‘Meals,’ which mean RICE and something in the South, where I am nowadays, would cost anything between Rs. 20 to 75, the second being OK for Visitors from abroad. (Think of Your Stomach linings!).

I appreciate the difference as shown by Mick, in that Meals would cost 2.5 to 3 dollars, which comes to about Rs. 165-200.

TEA means a rather heavily sweetened drink, mixed with Milk, Unless You specify otherwise. But nowadays they offer Green Tea, Lemon Tea, ‘Sukku Kappee’ (made of Dried Ginger and other things, a very good drink, actually), etc.

COFFEE, besides being mixed with Milk and Sugar by Default(!), is mostly made of Instant coffee powders. If You want Black Coffee, please ask for ‘Filter Coffee,’ and specify that You do not want Milk and/or Sugar.

WATER:

It may be best to buy Bottled water, costing Rs. 20 per.

Best Mineral Water Brand in India

Shown above are some good brands.

But I have found these artificially ‘mineralised,’ tasting quite different (brackish?) than the Water I have at home, obtained by boiling and cooling water from my bore well. More on Water at ‘Caution.’

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3. HOUSING EXPENSES:

Ready made 1 Bedroom, 1 Drawing room (c 15 feet by 10) Houses cost from around 4 Lakh rupees (c 6,000 USD), but people do not prefer them as the quality, by way of the life of the building, is not satisfactory.

The Lucky few build their own houses at better quality when they get available government helps for the same amount.

Except in biggish ones, rooms are not taken for Rent in Villages. In towns and cities a decent two room house with Water connection and Electricity would cost about Rs. 5,000 pm.

But Accommodation is Not a Problem in India, Unlike the West where altogether too many are literally on the streets for having taken loans from banks for that.

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 4. NGO’s.

The question of NGO’s had cropped up in the comments in his post. …Many have indeed come up showing themselves as ‘Helpers’ of the (Poor) People. But for a Long time the thought has become prevalent in India that ‘NGO’s Help Themselves.’

It is understandable that Expenses, like salaries, office, travel, even food and living, incurred in the running of a society/trust aiding people, might/would need to be taken from the donation.

But what is frequently seen is that even 70% of the monies are taken by those running these ‘societies.’ This includes the in-charges of even such famous institutions like Caritas and Misereor. I speak from experience again.

Catholic Nuns for the Most part do Excellent Service. Catholic Charitable institutions work better in North India than in the South. So the Next time You think of sending Your hard earned money for Charity over here, keep these points in mind, Please.

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5. THE CAUTION!

WATER: Even if You find a little board saying that ‘RO’ water is used for cooking and drinking purposes in restaurants, Please do not take it at Face value.

Except in very good restaurants, (called hotels in India), cleanliness, especially Clean Drinking Water, is hard to come by. Bottled Mineral Water, easily available, seems to be the best choice for Visitors from Abroad.

REST ROOMS: Please, Do not even Venture into Public Urinals, etc. They are Atrocious. You Can use those in good types of Restaurants.

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Sincerely hope these points make Your visit to India a Happy one! Regards. 🙂

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Tweets on the Indo-Pak situation, as in Sep ’16.

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Indian Soldiers have died at Uri in India. India blames Pakistan for this, and Pakistan, in its turn, has gone to the extent of saying that the event was ‘Staged’ by India!!!

That Hardly seems possible.

In the meantime, modi’s government is of the opinion that ‘terrorism’ is India’s No. 1 Problem. I Strongly Disagree. Water Scarcity and the Damage to Farming and Farmers are the Real Issues for Us Today.

For all that, there is talk of trying to get Pakistan to stop aiding Terrorists. Economic Sanctions, Surgical Strikes, and Even Stopping Water to that country are being considered.

In the map below, of the rivers marked in ‘Blue,’ the three Southern ones are the ones in question.

indo-pak-waters

Map from the Internet. I DO NOT vouch for the veracity of the Borders.

Here are some Tweets I fired up on the subject. Tell me how much You agree with me on them.

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1. #NoWater2Pak: Have already written about this Inhuman, Barbaric tactic, Unworthy of India.

2. #NoWater2Pak: The Pretext being generated is: India wants to ‘Fully Utilize’ its share of the Water.

3. #NoWater2Pak: And behold, We have the #CauveryDispute, as Yet on the boards.

4. #NoWater2Pak: Is it going to be, One rule across borders and one within?

5. #NoWater2Pak: If India can ‘Fully Utilize’ its share of Water in case of Pak, cannot Karnataka do that?!

6. #NoWater2Pak: #centre seems to be setting #Precedent for #Karnataka citing this. This can lead to #CIVILWAR bet K’taka and TN!

7. #NoWater2Pak: When #RajivGandhi had been PM, he was blamed for rasing the #ForeignHand to Hide Local problems.

8. #NoWater2Pak: #modi‘s govt doing the same; raising #ForeignHand and#Ignoring #Problems of #Farmers.

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India’s Success with GPS!

satellite launch

Or should I say, India’s Huge Success with the GPS! Must say that along with Every other Indian, Felt, and Feel, Very Proud indeed over this. Kudos to the Scientists and the Entire Team. Yet, as Usual with Yesudas, …BUT.

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It seems that the Indian Military would be helped the Most by this. But of course a Most Wide Range of Benefits are also there: Knowing Where You are, in Any and Every situation, Finding the Best Catches (of Fish) at Sea, and Accident and Disaster pin-pointing, etc, etc. For all of this, Kudos again.

And India has done this AHEAD OF such advanced nations as those of Europe, Japan, etc, and has become just the Third country to have its own GPS!

It is Not that I want that Other, More Necessary things like Water and all should have been dealt with First.

But.

Urgency has been paid to projects like these, the GPS, the Bullet Trains, etc,

Water Scarcity, the Joining of the Rivers, Increasing the Numbers of Ordinary, Un-Reserved Coaches in Trains, Running More Trains, Providing Drinking Water to Rail Passengers, etc., Are Not these treated as subjects of Secondary Importance by the government?

crowded trains

mumbai-crowded-train

Crowded Buses

NONE OF THESE give an Idea of the Crowds INSIDE the Compartments/Buses. You do not have Room to aim a camera.

Water Nagpur

This is from No less a Railway station than NAGPUR, a Very Major hub, where there were Just Four Water Taps, of which Two were Not working. I am witness to that. This is My photograph.

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Sure, there are a Load of people, for whom the Crowds, the Water Scarcity, is Not an Issue. But Surely again, We Do Not Belong to that Catagory, do We? 🙂

It would seem that the new government at the centre in India today is like the Young Man, who just wants the latest in everything, irrespective of its Need, or Even Worth.

It that not a Shame? I call it Criminal.

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When You Provide Water, They Will Come – Certified Wildlife Habitat 139,583

I find Bonnie’s ideas Excellent! Very little expenditure, just a little labour, and We are Helping in Ecology, and Enjoying Beauty right in Our yard! And he even has an answer to the Mosquito menace!

Let’s all try this! Kudos, Bonnie! 🙂

The Iris and the Lily

When you provide … they will come

Green frog 2014

One of the 4 key components of a Backyard Wildlife Habitat is water with the other 3 being food, cover and places to raise young. Providing water can be as simple as placing a bird bath in the garden  or as complicated as installing a pond.

Reflection of the sumac stand

 I have provided a bird bath, installed a small, molded pond  as well as creating downspout watering holes.

Pond in lower gardens This pond in the lower garden was created using a plastic molded form purchased at a yard sale for two dollars.

Green Frog Galvanized tubs are placed under downspouts to catch the rain. Animals now use them as a summer home. The tubs are surrounded by river rock which allows the water to flow into the gardens without washing the soil away.

  At every water source animals who share this space come  to drink, sun themselves and play.

Three Green frogs sunning themselves on a log in the pond Three…

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On Acid Attacks

IMP Acid attack victims

These sort of conditions cannot happen if mere ‘Toilet Cleaning Acids’ are used. They are very diluted ones.

It is CRIMINAL that Concentrated Acid seems to be So Easily Available.

Water is Not Available, even for Drinking, except in Cans; and it has to be Bought. Electricity is Not Available.

But Acid, Liquor, and Drugs are Easily Available.

And We are Not Crying.

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Graphic from: https://www.facebook.com/StopAcidAttacks?fref=photo