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By Harshmeet Singh
In 2009, when DK Ravi’s parents heard the news that their son has cracked what many call ‘the toughest exam in the country’ with an all India rank of 34, they could hardly believe their ears. Little over 5 years down the line, another ‘unbelievable’ news regarding their son struck their ears. This time, they were told that their son has committed suicide by hanging himself to the ceiling fan.
The news of young IAS officer DK Ravi’s mysterious death in Bangalore is both, sad and depressing at the same time. As the news spread like wildfire, conspiracy theories of a foul play began surfacing from all quarters. In his tenure as the Deputy Commissioner of Kolar district in Karnataka, Ravi had earned the love of the locals owing to his honesty and integrity. His efforts to expose the sand mafia in the district were well known in the entire district and beyond. His 24×7 accessibility for the common man, random raids on sand mafia and on people with political connections made him a threat for many a people. His untimely transfer to Bangalore as Additional Commissioner of Commercial Taxes is traced to the pressure put by Sand mafia over the state Government. His transfer from Kolar saw unprecedented protests from the locals in the district, who were not willing to see their hero go away. And far away he went.
Ravi’s family has now revealed that he used to get threat calls from Dubai, but he never lost his sleep over them, which makes his alleged suicide all the more doubtful. The family has also refused to believe the theory that ‘extreme work pressure’ led to Ravi taking such a step. With the sand mafia angle looming large and the state’s Siddaramaiah Government already knee deep in corruption allegations, justice in this case seems far and away.
Unfortunately, DK Ravi’s case has a number of precedents in the country.
While working as a Marketing Manager in the Indian Oil Corporation, Manjunath had ordered the sealing of two petrol pumps in UP’s Lakhimpur Kheri for selling adulterated fuel. He was on a surprise inspection to one of these petrol pumps when he was shot dead by the owner of the pump, Pawan Kumar Mittal. The accused were convicted and are currently serving a life sentence. Inspired by his courage, students from IIM established ‘The Manjunath Shanmugam Trust’ in his name. The trust currently operates a nationwide Right to Information Act Helpline with an aim of improving governance in the country.
Satyendra Dubey’s case was perhaps the most high profile whistleblower case in the country. An officer in the Indian Engineering Services, Dubey was murdered in Gaya in 2003 while he was exposing a major scandal in the government’s ambitious Golden Quadrilateral project. While working as project director at National Highway Authority of India, he found that Larsen and Toubro, the main contractor of the project, was subletting the work to smaller and cheaper firms who didn’t possess the required high end technology for the project.
After his seniors didn’t respond to his questions, he sent a letter directly to the Prime Minister saying “Though the NHAI is going for international competitive bidding to procure the most competent civil contractors for execution of its projects, when it comes to actual execution, it is found that most of the works, sometimes even up to 100 per cent are subcontracted to petty contractors incapable of executing such big projects. A dream project of unparalleled importance to the Nation but in reality a great loot of public money because of very poor implementation at every state. I have written all these in my individual capacity. However, I will keep on addressing these issues in my official capacity in the limited domain within the powers delegated to me”.
Despite his repeated requests about not disclosing his identity, his name came out in the open and he was cautioned by the NHAI for sending a letter directly to the PM.
His death led to strong protests all over the country and inside the Parliament. In 2010, three people were convicted by the Patna court for Dubey’s murder. Satyendra K Dubey Memorial Award was established after his death. Given to the IIT alumnus with highest professional integrity, this award has been awarded to Arvind Kejriwal as well.
An IPS officer of the 2009 batch, Kumar was killed after he exposed the mining mafia in the state of Madhya Pradesh. He was brutally run over by a tractor in Morena, Madhya Pradesh after he tried to stop the tractor which was carrying illegally mined stones. Anna Hazare, along with his team, staged a protest against the murder of Kumar.
In the same week as Kumar’s murder, another IPS officer in the Chambal region, Jaidevan was assaulted by the local liquor mafia. Though he managed to escape without serious injuries, the deteriorated law and order situation in Madhya Pradesh was for everyone to see.
Lalit Mehta paid the price for exposing multiple irregularities in the NREGA (National Rural Employment Guarantee Act). He was found murdered in Palamau, Jharkhand in 2008. The local police conveniently passed on the matter, saying that his murderers have been killed by the Naxals since they claimed that they will bring his perpetrators to the books. “Now there is nothing to enquire into the Lalit Mehta case,” is what Palamau SP Udayan Singh had to say.
Unfortunately, the list of courageous whistleblowers who lost their lives for doing their job with integrity is a never ending one. V Saseendran was found hanging in his house with his two children after he exposed financial irregularities worth Rs 400 crore in the company where he was working. It was found later that he was the prime witness in a number of cases involving political leaders of the state.
Laws for whistleblowers
It was only in 2011 that the Government felt the need to frame a law for the protection of whistleblowers in the country. Subsequently, the Whistleblowers Protection Act 2011 was passed by the Rajya Sabha in February 2014 and got the President’s nod in May 2014.
The Parliament, very conveniently, has excluded the politicians from the purview of this act. When was the last time that a scandal took place without a political hand in it? Unless the political nexus gives way to an honest bureaucracy, no act would be able to change the fortunes of whistleblowers in India.
The Modi Government has recently announced its intentions of bringing certain amendments in the Whistleblower Act to give more teeth to the CVC. Prioritizing this bill and making it more holistic would certainly help make India a safer country for whistleblowers and save the life of the next DK Ravi and Satyendra Dubey.
Eve Yvonne Maday de Maros, the woman who designed the Param Vir Chakra, was born in 1913 in Neuchatel, Switzerland. It was believed that she came to India to understand the country's culture and tradition.
She got to know about India's spiritual and cultural wealth at a very early age through holistic education which she received. Soon, Eve Yvonne fell in love with a Maharashtrian named Vikram Khanolkar, who was a young army officer, and was undergoing training at the Royal Military Academy in the United Kingdom.
Soon, both the persons married, and Eve Yvonne acquired the name Savitribai Khanolkar and shifted to Maharashtra with her husband who by the time became Major General.
Savitribai Khanolkar with husband Major General Vikram Khanolkar.Photo found on Google Images
As Savitribai Khanolkar was already amazed by the rich culture of India, she immersed herself in the study of mythology, traditions, and religious scriptures. Along with this, Savitribai also started indulging herself in the art, music, dance, and linguistics of India.
Parallel to this, India was celebrating its independence from the British rule, and was on its way to remove British legacies and re-establish the country's identity.
This was the time when When Adjutant General Hira Lal Atal was assigned with the task of creating the Indian equivalent of the British Victoria Cross. For this, he took Savitribai in confidence as she had an in-depth knowledge of the nation. Thus, from here began the journey of making the Param Vir Chakra.
The design of Param Vir Chakra was to denote power and sacrifice demonstrated by the soldiers that protected people at the cost of their lives. So, according to Savitribai, nothing could represent in a better way than the great warrior Chhatrapati Shivaji himself. According to the history, the ruler was known for his courage and strategic defence. Hence, his sword 'Bhavani' found a place on the disc, enclosed within the Indian mythical weapon 'Vajra', from both sides. This mythical weapon is believed to be made of a sage's bone in order to kill evil enemies in the name of goodness.
Moreover, the first Param Vir Chakra was awarded on India's first Republic Day celebrated, which was celebrated in 1950, and its recipient was Savitribai's son-in-law's brother, Major Somnath Sharma.
In this world full of technological advancement where everything is now home-delivered, even the most essential beauty services are now available at your doorstep? Let the pampering sessions begin. The whole salon environment at home believes that services at home are undoubtedly the best option during the unusual crisis.
IANSlife brings you the co-founder of YES MADAM, Mayank Arya who speaks of the benefits of at-home salon services.
We all prefer comfort over anything and everything. Nothing is more comfortable than getting everything under your own roof. One of the most amazing perks of subscribing to an at-home salon service provider is that you can watch your favourite TV show or OTT series while having your hair treated or nails done. Amidst, Covid-19 and working from home some of the beauty services can be taken simultaneously. Getting beauty services at your home keeps you relaxed and calm. During festivals when you are already busy the on-demand salon services can do wonders for your mind, body and soul.
Nothing is more comfortable than getting everything under your own roof. | Photo by Inside Weather on Unsplash
Usually many customers have problems related to hygienic surroundings. Of course, they do not know if the place is properly sanitized or not. For such kinds of customers "At home Beauty services" is nothing but the most appropriate option. There is something about being in a familiar environment that makes you feel at total comfort instantly and allows you to enjoy the treatment in a much better way. Create your own bubble with the most appropriate hygienic conditions according to your requirements and take the at-home salon services.
Create your own bubble with the most appropriate hygienic conditions according to your requirements and take the at-home salon services. | Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash
The biggest and the major concern during the times of the Covid-19 pandemic. In the duration of time where the whole world is fighting a virus, we all need to be extra careful about exposure to any kind of infection. With at-home salon services, you do not have to expose yourself to dozens of people on your way but you can allow yourself to enjoy excellent services within the safety of your home. With vaccinated beauticians, it becomes much safer to get the treatments done. In at-home salon services, the beauticians wear a PPE kit that includes a mask, gloves, bodysuit, and a face shield. They utilize only monodose (single-use) products. Moreover, they also sanitize the area where the set-up is done to deliver the services.
With at-home salon services, you can allow yourself to enjoy excellent services within the safety of your home. | Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash
Sometimes, even if you book an appointment, you have to travel a lot far and still the beautician keeps you waiting. The in-house beauty treatment services are much more flexible. It's all up to you, one can book the date and time whenever they need the service, and the beautician will be there at your doorstep. If it is a busy week or an impromptu decision, one can always rely on the on-demand salon services.
. The in-house beauty treatment services are much more flexible. | Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash
The session with family and friends
Who doesn't love to gossip around and chill with friends and family while getting their manicure and pedicure done? There are so many nosy customers while you visit the salon that just kills your buzz. But a salon at home with your friends and family especially during the times of festivals provide you with the most relaxing and happy vibes.
A salon at home with your friends and family especially during the times of festivals provide you with the most relaxing and happy vibes. | Photo by Obi Onyeador on Unsplash
With the up-gradation in technology, the on-demand salon services do not let you pile up the house chores. While you are working from home and want to get your house festive ready with services like pest control, sanitization, sofa cleaning, carpet cleaning, kitchen cleaning, bathroom cleaning at-home services like Yes Madam always keep you sorted.
(Article originally written by: N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: salon, pandemic, safety, hygiene, family, friends, comfort
By Aishwarya Jain
According to the World Happiness Report 2021 which was released by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, Finland was once again crowned as the world's happiest country. India has been ranked 139 out of 149 countries in the list of UN World Happiness Report 2021. To make society happy, firstly it is really important to spread awareness on how it is okay to relax, chill and take a break. People tend to normalise overworking, which is so wrong. Of Course, we need a job to live and sustain ourselves but you shouldn't be working yourself to death, and the fact that this is seen as normal is really worrying. You spend more hours at work than you do awake at home, so if those hours are drenched in misery then sadness basically becomes the norm. A study from Gallup (2017) found that happier employees were more engaged, which resulted in improved customer relationships, and a 20 percent increase in sales.
Also, lowering down the crime level would act as a major factor towards a happy society. People who witness crimes, or come across evidence of a crime in their local area, can suffer anxiety and may feel demoralised or powerless. We should also teach them to stop judging people by materialistic things and accept everyone with all their flaws. Media plays an important role in making society happy because they have the power of reaching out to billions of people and helping them out through a solution-based approach.
Media plays an important role in making society happy because they have the power of reaching out to billions of people and helping them out through a solution-based approach. | Photo by Dave Goudreau on Unsplash
As per Aishwarya Jain, the Founder of IM Happiness, a social community that works to increase awareness of mental well-being, "Every great leader always talks about building a happier society from Chanakya to J.R.D. Tata. As J.R.D Tata said, "I do not want India to be an economic superpower. I want India to be a happy country". Happiness makes good things happen. It actually promotes positive outcomes. It's high time corporates start taking importance of mental well-being like it's happening around the world. Last week, Nike became the latest company to close its offices for a week to give employees a mental health break. That's after LinkedIn, Bumble, and Hootsuite have all shut down their offices for a week this year to address mental health. I think the global revolution of happiness has started."
Our brains are literally hardwired to perform at their best not when they are negative or even neutral, but when they are positive. Yet in today's world, we ironically sacrifice happiness for success only to lower our brain's success rate . When we are happy -- when our mindset and mood are positive -- we are smarter, more motivated, and thus more successful. Happiness is the centre, and success revolves around it. IM Happiness is a community that believes happiness is a skill to be enhanced by training and practice. The team works day and night to help the sufferers get rid of their mental chaos and teach them the skill of being optimistic and happy in every situation, either favourable or adverse. They work on the aim of the United Nations Goals of promoting good health and well-being and have worked closely with the organisation. The team is utilizing the power of Science and Spirituality in achieving this aim.
IM Happiness is initiating a new campaign, 'Hello Happiness'. | Photo by Dylan Sauerwein on Unsplash
IM Happiness is initiating a new campaign, 'Hello Happiness'. The campaign unites 30+ celebrities from across the country to have a surprise conversation with selected people in India. Ranveer Brar, Daniel Weber, Masoom Minawala Mehta and Ash King are some of the celebrities who will be a part of this campaign. With this campaign, the community wants to help people deal with their emotions and to motivate them. The campaign is free of cost and the nominee just has to register, wherein the unique algorithm will connect the nominee with a celebrity or other mentors on a call according to their keywords.
The community is trying to bring a change but it is the society's accumulative effort to spread awareness and to make oneself happy. We should try to start small and it will eventually make a great difference because a better society allows us to lead a better life.
(Article originally published on IANS by N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe) (IANS/ MBI)
Keyowrds: Happiness, society, IM happiness, campaign, India, community