Sunday, July 5, 2015

“If you are born poor its not your mistake, But if you die poor its your mistake.” - Bill Gates.

"I slept on benches everyday & borrowed Rs 20 from a friend to travel to film city"- Sharukh Khan

"I failed in 8th standard"-SACHIN TENDULKAR

"During my secondary school, I was dropped from my school basketballteam"-MICHAEL JORDAN

"I was rejected for a job in ALL INDIA RADIO bcoz of my deep voice"- AMITABH BACCHAN

"I used to work in a petrol pump"- DHIRUBHAI AMBANI"I was rejected in d interview of PILOT"- ABDUL KALAM
"I didn't even complete my university education"- Bill Gates !!
"I was a dyslexic kid"- TOM CRUIZE"I was raped at the age of 9 "- Oprah Winfrey

"I used to serve tea in a shop to support my football training"- Lionel Messi

"I used to sleep on the floor in friends' rooms, returning Coke bottles for food money, and getting weekly free meals at a local Hare Krishna temple"- Steve Jobs !!"My teachers used to call me a failure"- Tony Blair"I was in prison for 27 years"- Late President Nelson Mandela
"At the age of 30, I was a bus conductor"-RAJNI KANT"Friends, there are many such people who struggled.. Life is not about what you couldn't do so far, It's about what you can still do. Wait and don't ever give up..Miracles happen every day....!!                               
Latest miracle will be : A chaiwala becoming Prime Minister of India. 
- And a black man becoming President of the United States of America?)Rs. 20 Seems Too Much To Give A Beggar But It Seems Okay When It's Given As A Tip At A Fancy Restaurant.

After A Whole Day Of Work, Hours At The Gym Seem Alright, But Helping Your Mother Out At Home Seems Like A Burden.

Praying To God For 3 Min Takes Too Much Time, But Watching A Movie For 3 Hours Doesn't.

We Wait A Whole Year For Valentine's Day, But We Always Forget Mother's Day.

Two Poor Starving Kids Sitting On The Pavement Weren't Given Even A Slice Of Bread, But A Painting Of Them Sold For Lakhs Of Rupees.

Sent by Arun Shroff

Startup eSeries: Driven By Greed - Uber Success or Uber Failure?

By Anisa Virji 

When I first discovered Uber cabs I was, to put it mildly, ecstatic. It seemed like a gift sent from heaven above, a simple, brilliant idea that changed the way we went from place to place. No more stressing about not getting taxis, haggling with autowallahs, drivers going to the village for months on end, wondering how to get around in a strange city... 

Safe, comfortable, convenient... when I need a taxi I look at theUber app  on my phone and it shows me little pictures of all the taxis that are available around me on a map. I click on a button and find out exactly which model car it is, the name of the driver, and how many minutes until the taxi will arrive to pick me. 

When I reach my destination I simply step out of the taxi and walk away. Payment is made directly from my credit card and I receive an invoice, completely avoiding the hassle of paying cash, haggling for change (somehow taxi drivers never have seem to have change)... Brilliant. 

I was so enamoured that even after the Delhi Uber rape incident I couldn't help but be defensive of Uber... it's an accident, a coincident, at least it's not really Uber's fault... 

We've all heard some great things about Uber - the genius tech startup - an epitome of technological innovation and capitalist idealism. You probably know that Uber is valued at an impressive $40 billion. They rung in the new year with 2 million rides, in over 250 cities, and have only been in existence for 5 years! 

But did you know they are also facing lawsuits from other cab companies, their own drivers, and their customers

They faced bans in Spain, Thailand, and New Delhi and hit regulatory hurdles in places like Germany, the Netherlands, and their home state California. 

They have been accused of mistreating their drivers and in fact one driver reports it would be better to get a job at McDonald's then become an Uber driver.

They have been accused of misusing customer data and revealing personal information of Uber users at a party for entertainment. 

Overcharging customers, even in times of crisis. According to this source, their surge-pricing mechanism, which raises taxi fare based on demand, was turned on when people were fleeing a hostage scene in Sydney, Australia. 

And worse, after all the cases against Uber drivers of sexual assault and even murder, they introduced a safe-ride fee of $1 which customers have to pay so Uber can conduct safety training. 

You would think customer safety would be a primary concern for a company that essentially creates a system where people travel with complete strangers, and not an after-thought, or a way to extract more money. 

When I was at university I took a course in social entrepreneurship. Social entrepreneurs start businesses that they believe have a sense of purpose beyond money, that tackle social issues and contribute to society. 

My professor defined 'social entrepreneurship' as businesses with two bottom lines - financial profit is one, and goodwill or social use is another. So to measure the success of a social venture you would ask two questions - what was the profit generated? And how socially useful was it?

I was a little surprised to hear this definition. I had thought all businesses would naturally be focused on two bottom lines - money and people. 

But the Uber story reminds us that that's what businesses sometimes do. Focused on one bottom line, driven by greed, they form uber efficient, high-growth businesses that sometimes forget to focus on people. And even though that might seem like a great short-term strategy for growth, that is not sustainable in the long-run.

When you are starting up your own innovative venture... whether a nonprofit venture or a for-profit one... here are a few lessons you can borrow from the idealism of social entrepreneurship for more meaningful, sustainable success. 

Be People-Centered:

I once wrote an article where I said: 

Every job that every person does, is really about other people. Everything a manufacturer makes, a chef creates, a writer writes, an accountant counts, a cleaner cleans... it's all done for the sake of somebody. It fills a need, adds value to a life, and brings smiles.

The customer is the person you are doing everything for. Your raison d'etre ... the reason for your existence. 

As Henry Ford pointed out, 'It's the customer who pays your salary.' The customer can't be a mere afterthought - because he will make or break you. 

If Uber had taken customer safety into account, they would not be facing a class action lawsuit today. If they had considered their drivers as their partners and cared for their welfare - they would have generated a lot more loyalty and goodwill. 

The Tata Group is an example of a people-focused business empire. It states its purpose clearly - and it's not about providing energy, or steel or selling cars. It says:

At the Tata group we are committed to improving the quality of life of the communities we serve. 

And they do whatever it takes to fulfill their purpose, they create value for all their stakeholders - including customers and employees, and they make sustainable profit as well. 

Begin your startup with two bottom lines - the people and the profit - and let it reflect in your company's culture.

Have a sense of purpose:

Social entrepreneurs are passionate about resolving a social issue - poverty alleviation, clean water, green energy, etc. They are clear that their mission is to fill a gap that society needs. Their ventures are founded on that purpose, and it keeps them grounded. 

Businesses on the other hand tend to start with the question, what can I do to make money? Instead, if you can start with a focus on providing a service where one is needed, your judgment won't be clouded by the profit angle, helping you streamline your efforts to become successful. And when you are successful, the money will follow. 

Uber found a need it wanted to fill. They identified the very real and global need of an easier way of getting taxis. And they found a brilliant solution. But they got sidetracked by cutting down their competition, and raking in the cash, and ended up facing a lot of hurdles.  

Protect your integrity:

To stay ahead of their competition and push them out of the market, Uber allegedly gave their drivers in New York anonymous cell phones to order and then cancel rides from their competitors, and put in place an elaborate campaign to steal drivers from competitors

Poaching is a fair extension of free-market capitalism, but trying to destroy the competition and establish a monopoly...? Not illegal maybe, but certainly, unethical.

Make money - by creating an amazing product, exploring innovative marketing strategies, providing stellar service... But don't get so hung up on the profit that you forget what the world needs. Don't get so busy cutting out competition and stealing the market that people forget how amazing you are and begin focusing on how immoral you are. 

Luckily Uber is adaptable and open to change. They started 2015 with a focus on changing its image to 'a smarter and more humble company that sets new standards in data privacy, gives back more to the cities we serve and defines and refines our company culture effectively,' according to CEO Travis Kalanick. If it truly can change the way it works, its popularity could still soar to phenomenal heights. 

When you are starting up your venture, keep your social responsibility in mind. Not just for the sake of your integrity, but also because it can be profitable - it will make you attractive to investors; you will inspire loyalty in your customers, your employees, and all your stakeholders; and most importantly, you will have remained true to yourself. 

As the practical preacher Ralph Sockman said: 

What makes greatness is starting something that lives on after you 

In the startup series, we encourage you to go out there and start a venture of your own. Today, I exhort you to consider this: What would you rather have live on after you - a company that is despised for its heartless profiteering, or one that has successfully balanced the two bottom lines: the people and the profits?

The above is from the Newsletter I receive from Equitymaster.

Your Child is in Danger: It's Time To Do Something

- By Anisa Virji 

When I was in the US last year I discovered a wonderful new thing... makeup that makes my skin glow. I was fascinated and ended up buying some. 

You must be wondering why I'm telling you about make-up. You probably don't use it, but here's why you need to know about it...

The mineral that makes this make-up sparkle - used in car paints and other shiny products all over the world - is obtained by enslaving Indian children. 

Mica, the miracle mineral, is mined by Indian children as little as 3 years old!

It is their blood, sweat and tears that glisten on beautiful faces across the world. If you think of the face of that small child buried in a mine somewhere, you will see the ugliness in that beauty.

We at Common Sense Living often write to you with ideas and strategies on how to start your own business. But we want to give you more than strategies. We want to give you, along with the freedom of a business, a link refuse to hate. 

When you start a business you have the freedom to decide what values your business will espouse. And what value it will provide to your consumer. 

You get to decide if your product was created by a factory that had a cramped, unsafe work environment for their workers. Or if it was sourced by unfair trade practices, by cheating farmers or artisans, promoting prejudice or racism, bringing to your consumer, goods that were unhealthy or unsafe to consume.

And we want you to choose the responsibility of adopting fair trade practices. 

I wrote once about unethical business practices of the now-giant startup, Uber. Short-changing their drivers, scamming competitors, exploiting the lack of governance in the online startup sector. I said that it was wrong of Uber to choose profits over ethics.

People wrote to me saying I was being na├»ve. They said a new business must do what it can to survive, competition is cut-throat, and you get by how you can. Once you are established, like the Tatas for instance, you can think about ethics and community and whatnot.

But to me, this is an inadequate excuse for greed.

This is what is called, 'the end justifies the means' philosophy - that of Machiavelli. That is how smart people justify unethical decisions... 'At the end of the day, I did what I did so the business could survive, so we could progress and develop. I employ lots of people I have to pay, their families depend on my profits, so what I'm doing is worth it.'

But how about looking at it in another way? In the way that one of the most influential Western philosophers saw things. Immanuel Kant believed that we should, 'Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.'

Any act that you undertake, any belief that you espouse, imagine that it becomes universally applicable. 

If it is okay for you to bribe a policeman who caught you speeding, because you were in a hurry and needed to get somewhere important, imagine if it were universally okay for everyone everywhere to bribe. Would that be a world you want to live in? 

If it is okay for children in Jharkhand not to go to school and work in dangerous mines instead, then it should be okay universally for all children to work in mines. Including yours. 

If you're thinking, 'I'm not the one that sent children into the mines and put them in danger, what am I supposed to do about it?', think about what Desmond Tutu, an un-ignorable defender of human rights, who quashed apartheid, said: 

'If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.'

So if you know that a business is using unethical practices, if you know that they are using sub-par materials, if you know that they are putting lead in their product (I wish I didn't have to pick on Maggi at a time like this), if you know that they are making our children unsafe, what can you do about it?

You can do two things: Sell responsibly, and consume responsibly. 

Sell responsibly 

If you run a business, pay attention to where your product is coming from, at each link in the supply chain. Assess whether the sourcing is fair to the people who create the product, from farmer to artisan.

Assess whether raw materials are being misappropriated, or it is fair to the environment. We are chopping down trees in protected areas, destroying wildlife and destroying the balance of nature. We are all responsible for the earth and in our business, we can adopt practices that care for our environment. 

Consume responsibly

People around the world are also now starting to notice where the products they consume come from. It is not cool anymore to use products that are representative of global inequality, that represent slavery, that use unfair trade practices. Global corporations do not want to give up these practices because they have a lot of profit riding on them, but if consumers stand up against them they will have to pay attention. 

If you think slavery is a tangential or marginal problem, think again. The Global Slavery Index 2014 has announced India as 'the world's slave capital'. Children, women, whole families are subject to forced labour in brick kilns, carpet weaving, embroidery and other textile manufacturing, forced prostitution, agriculture, domestic servitude, mining, and organised begging rings, according to the Times of India

We must stand up for our people. We must take responsibility for our children. It is easy to reach out and take a #selfiewithbeti. But how about this beti... the one stuck in a mine, sorting minerals instead of going to school or hugging her father, is anyone taking a selfie with her? 

If you are still asking what you can do then this is what Justin Dillon, the founder of, says, 'Those who make profits off slavery are innovative and we must be too.'

He is innovative in his fight against unethical business practices. is an anti-slavery organization that works to solve this problem through building awareness, field programs and business solutions. Organisations such as Bachpan Bachao Andolan are working to bring childhoods back to these children.

They are working to rescue children from mines and create safe villages to 'free and protect thousands of children from these mines and put them in schools, where they can truly shine!'

My friend Sapan Parekh has joined's movement by starting a fundraiser where people all over the world can support this cause. I just made a donation to Made In a Free World India and a commitment to become a responsible consumer. I hope you can do the same for our children. 

The above is from Equitymaster Newsletter, which I receive.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Sound Advise

For all frequent flyers ... do check this one out ...
This is an incident that occurred at the airport yesterday.
A passenger with an American passport, changed money, and in the process, forgot his passport and boarding pass on my counter. As it was placed on the side, where my monitor blocks the view; it remained there for over 20 minutes. 
The next customer brought it to my attention. I went outside, to search for him but to no avail.
The passport was well worn, with numerous visas, including Japan.  He had travelled from Narita to LAX. 
The page in the U.S. passport where one can write home address and third party contact was blank. All it had was his e-mail address.
I went on line, and e-mailed him a brief message, including my phone number.
He turned up about a half hour later, profoundly grateful. He was blissfully unaware that his passport was missing! 
He was checking his e mail in the cab when he saw the mail I had sent. He turned the cab around and came back to the airport to collect it. 
He works in Japan and his work permit was attached to the Japanese visa in the passport. He was in the US only for a week.
In retrospect, it is evident that even if he had written his address in the passport, it would not have helped. Even a phone number is not much help, as a finder may not be willing to call long distance,  if 'found' in another country.
An e-mail, any one would send, from any place; and you can access your e-mail from anywhere in the world, when you are traveling!
it can really 'save your bacon' someday! (putting it politely :-)  )
I am mailing this to everybody that I can think of. 
Please forward this suggestion to anyone else you think will benefit. 

Sent by K K Singh

Succumbing to Terrorists

The Atal Bihari Vajpayee government suspected Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader Mehbooba Mufti of having links with the Hizbul Mujahideen and of even accepting “help” from the Kashmiri terror group during the 2002 elections,” says former RAW chief A.S Dulat in his soon-to-be-released memoir.

Mr. Dulat said the former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah wanted to resign over the Union government’s decision to release terrorists during the IC-814 hijack in 1999.

In the book titled Kashmir: The Vajpayee Years, Mr. Dulat, who had been a police officer with the Intelligence Bureau for three decades, chief of RAW from 1999-2000, and subsequently a special adviser on Kashmir in Prime Minister Vajpayee’s office, has made several explosive claims about the period.

“Ms. Mehbooba’s links and the support she received from the Jamaat-e-Islaami and the Hizbul Mujahideen during the 2002 elections when they [PDP] formed the government was well known at the time. In the PMO, it was talked about quite freely,” he told The Hindu ahead of the launch of the book.
In an interview to Karan Thapar’s “To The Point” programme on India Today TV, Mr. Dulat said Mr. Vajpayee and his National Security Adviser, Brajesh Mishra, had “grave doubts about Ms. Mehbooba” and refused to share the dais with her during a public rally in Srinagar in 2003.

He said Mr. Vajpayee had shared his concerns with Congress president Sonia Gandhi, warning the party against an alliance with the PDP in 2002. The Congress, however, disregarded the concerns. Ironically, it is the BJP that is in alliance with the PDP at present.

Asked about any lingering ties with the terror groups mentioned and the PDP, Mr. Dulat told The Hindu: “The Mehbooba of 2015 is more circumspect than she was in 2002, just as [PDP patron] Mufti Saheb is older, and more under pressure than he was then.” Ms. Mehbooba did not respond to The Hindu’s requests for her response to the allegations.

In his book, Mr. Dulat also writes of the “blunders” by the NDA government in the handling the IC-814 hijacking in 1999. When the Cabinet decided to give in to the hijackers’ demands for the release of terrorists like Masood Azhar and Omar Saeed Sheikh, the then Chief Minister, Farooq Abdullah, lost his temper and stormed off to see Governor G.C. Saxena. Dr. Abdullah wanted to quit, accusing the Centre of making a mess, but the Governor dissuaded him from doing so.

In another potentially explosive statement, Mr. Dulat told India Today TV that Mr. Vajpayee had disapproved of the handling of the Gujarat riots, and told Mr. Dulat “we made a mistake with Gujarat”.

What has been reported above has been suspected by me all along and had said the same in some of our earlier blogs.
In 1989, within few days of taking office as the Union Minister for Home Affairs, his third daughter Rubaiya was kidnapped by terrorists. She was released in exchange for the release of five militants.
Mohammad Sayeed has survived several attacks on his life by Kashmiri separatists who oppose Indian rule.
Years later Farooq Abdullah claimed that his government was threatened with dismissal by the central government if the militants were not exchanged for Rubaiya. The kidnapping set the stage for heightened militancy in the state. Many say the abduction was the watershed in the Kashmir insurgency. Releasing the militants was nothing short of a blunder. Had the V P Singh government not buckled down, things would have been different," they say, "The JKLF would not have harmed Rubaiya due to public sentiment. But then when the Home Minister's daughter is involved, how can the government act differently?
The result of this was that an Indian Airlines Flight from Delhi to Kathmandu was hijacked to Kandahr, Afganisthan in 2009.
If instead, we had followed the Israeli policy of not negoriating with terrorists, things would have worked out differently.
1976: Israelis rescue Entebbe hostages

Air France plane seized
The crisis began on 27 June, when four militants seized an Air France flight, flying from Israel to Paris via Athens, with 250 people on board.

The hijackers - two from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and two from Germany's Baader-Meinhof gang - diverted the plane to Entebbe, where it arrived on 28 June.
The hijackers - who were joined by three more colleagues - demanded the release of 53 militants held in jails in Israel and four other countries.

Uganda's President and dictator Idi Amin arrived at the airport to give a speech in support of the PFLP and supplied the hijackers with extra troops and weapons.
The hijackers then set a deadline for 1100GMT for their demands to be met or they would blow up the airliner and its passengers. But their plan was foiled by the dramatic Israeli raid.

At about 0100 local time (2200GMT), Ugandan soldiers and the hijackers were taken completely by surprise when three Hercules transport planes landed after a 2,500-mile trip from Israel.

About 200 elite troops ran out and stormed the airport building.
During a 35-minute battle, 20 Ugandan soldiers and all seven hijackers died along with three hostages.

Israeli commandos rescued 100 hostages, mostly Israelis or Jews, held by pro-Palestinian hijackers.

The leader of the assault force, Lieutenant Colonel Yonatan Netanyahu, was also shot dead by a Ugandan sentry.
The Israelis destroyed 11 Russian-built MiG fighters, which amounted to a quarter of Uganda's air force.

The surviving hostages were then flown to Israel with a stopover in Nairobi, Kenya, where some of the injured were treated by Israeli doctors and at least two transferred to hospital there.

Speaking at the Israeli Knesset (parliament) this afternoon, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin who ordered the raid said: "This operation will certainly be inscribed in the annals of military history, in legend and in national tradition."

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

How is AAP different?

Tarannum’s life hadn’t been easy. She had been through it all; having had to do odd jobs to bring food to the worn out mat in her little jhuggi every night; having been burnt up to her face, while making her first meal for the family, while her parents had been out; having being married off to a man who beat her up every night, and having to put up with in-laws who never let her forget the worst day of her life.
It had been an unusually quiet and peaceful night and Tarannum had decided to pay a long overdue visit to her friends at the Women’s Shelter, next to the Jama Masjid. She rarely visited the shelter that had helped her survive in the years of her youth, these days. She had been growing short on both patience and funds, these last few days, and this place promised her more of both. She would spend some time here and they would provide her a meal and a concrete roof over her head-what more could she ask for? She took a deep breath and stepped on the step leading to the Masjid with a wistful smile, already feeling younger, and remembering the lost days of her youth, if only she could feel like this every day….
Fire! Everywhere!
She ran past the gathered masses. She could see her jhuggi burning in the distance, with great alacrity. Somehow she knew her son was trapped inside. She couldn’t even recognize which home was hers. Her five year old son, Sartaj, had died in the fire that had destroyed nearly all the slums near hers. 
The boy was charred to death in the fire. “The government promised us compensation two years ago”, she informed the Public Grievances Head, Ms Swati Maliwal, at the Janta Samwad. She had written multiple letters to the then Delhi Government, for the past two years requesting for compensation that had been promised to her. “I have two infant daughters, my husband is in jail and my father has no money left. I don’t want my remaining children’s lives to get ruined!” she cried. “The government is not letting me forget the past; I have to re-live it every, single day, running from one department to the next, for the past two years! I need the money to start my life afresh, away from that cursed colony!” A lifetime of frustration streamed down her face, in the form of tears. “Please, do something”, she now begged us, with a desperation that chilled us to the bone.
From that day, Tarannum came each week to the Janta Samvad, to learn the progress of her case. And each week, the light in her eyes burnt a little brighter, the smile on her face, grew a little warmer. The case was being closely followed by the Public Grievance Monitoring System (PGMS) and had now reached the DC’s office from the Revenue Department. Finally, after another two weeks, she was accompanied to the SDM by one of PGMS officers. The SDM asked her to bring two witnesses with her and to sign some papers. That was it. When she finally received the compensation, she was shocked that the PGMS of the current Delhi government had accomplished in one month, what the previous government had been unable to do in the past two years.
She came back to the Arvind Kejriwal’s house then, her eyes shining with unspeakable gratitude. Instead of thanking us, she surprised us by saying, “I knew you would get our work done. The day your volunteers brought us food and shelter after the fire, I knew that you would help us."

Monday, June 29, 2015

Being on places - Tourism?

I have been in many places, but I've never been in Kahoots. Apparently, you can't go alone. You have to be in Kahoots with someone. 

I've also never been in Cognito. I hear no one recognizes you there. 

I have, however, been in Sane. They don't have an airport; you have to be driven there. I have made several trips there, thanks to my children, friends, family and work. 

I would like to go to Conclusions, but you have to jump, and I'm not too much on physical activity anymore. 

I have also been in Doubt. That is a sad place to go, and I try not to visit there too often. 

I've been in Flexible, but only when it was very important to stand firm. 

Sometimes I'm in Capable, and I go there more often as I'm getting older. 

One of my favorite places to be is in Suspense! It really gets the
adrenaline flowing and pumps up the old heart! At my age I need all the stimuli I can get! 

I may have been in Continent, but I don't remember what country I was in.  It's an age thing. They tell me it is very wet and damp there. 

Sent by Prakash Bhartia