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Homeless beggars, ragpickers and labourers sitting with plates on a mat are waiting under a flyover. As the clock strikes 12.30 pm, a slim man appears on the scene and starts serving hot rice and dal.
Dabeerpura flyover in the old city has been witnessing this every day since 2012 and not a single day goes without the hungry gathering there for lunch or the man not serving them food. Meet Syed Osman Azhar Maqsusi, who works with unflinching zeal to satiate the hunger of the needy with apt slogan ‘hunger has no religion’.
As someone who lost his father at the age of four and who himself experienced the pangs of hunger, Azhar understands their pangs and is ready to do whatever possible to alleviate their suffering.
It was a chance encounter with a homeless woman near the same flyover six years ago which motivated him to launch the free food programme. “Lakshmi was crying due to hunger. I arranged food for her and decided to do everything within my limited means to remove the hunger of as many people as possible,” recalled the 36-year-old to IANS.
Initially, his wife used to cook the food at home and he used to bring the same to flyover for serving the needy. Later, he started cooking under the flyover to save the cost on transportation.
“It started with 30-35 people and today more than 150 people are being provided food here,” said Azhar, who now runs the Sani Welfare Foundation and has hired two cooks.
Three years ago, he extended this work to Gandhi Hospital, the biggest government-run facility in Secunderabad, the twin city of Hyderabad. A van of the foundation transports food for 150-200 people every day.
The Foundation along with NGOs is also running daily food programmes in Bengaluru, Guwahati, Raichur and Tandur.
Azhar is happy that the work which he started alone has motivated many individuals and organizations. “Today you can see many people distributing free food among the needy at various places in the city,” says Azhar with a sense of achievement.
He, however, believes that his dream will come true only when hunger is eliminated from this country and the world. “There should be nothing called hunger,” says Azhar.
He runs a Plaster-of-Paris unit near Dabeerpura and spends a few hours every morning and evening there. “The rest of the time I spend in arranging food at both the places,” said Azhar, who is helped by his brother, his cousin and a couple of volunteers on weekends.
As Azhar sat in his shop, a donor arrived with three bags of rice on his two-wheeler and Azhar himself unloaded the bags.
Last month, he was invited by actor Salman Khan to Mumbai for an event of his foundation “Being Human”. Selected as one of the six real-life heroes from across the country, Azhar had conversation and photoshoot with the actor. The social worker was earlier on a show ‘Aaj ki raat hai zindagi’ hosted by Amitabh Bacchan. Various organizations have also honoured him.
Azhar, however, remained down to earth. “I don’t have an office or staff. There is no change in my lifestyle.”
He doesn’t collect funds. “If people come with donations in the form of rice and dal, I accept it. I don’t accept cash unless the donor is not in a position to bring rice or dal,” he said.
Third among the four siblings, he dropped out of school when he was in fifth standard and started working as a labourer.
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“We used to live in my grandfather’s house. He also had a big family to look after. We used to get food once a day and sometimes even that was not available. But whatever may be the situation, we should remain thankful to the almighty Allah.”
For Azhar, the biggest inspiration is his mother, who struggled to bring them up. He believes that Allah is arranging food for the hungry and the needy through him.
“It doesn’t matter who is coming to eat. All I know is they are hungry. It’s in their destiny. Dane dane pe likha hai khane wale ka naam (Every crumb you get to eat has your name on it),” adds Azhar. (IANS)
By Maria Wirth
This is a true story about a Hindu who had converted to Christianity, and who felt the need to convince his family also to convert.
Once on a flight from Germany to India, one of those bright, young Indians sat across the aisle. We started talking. He was a science lecturer at an American university.
When food came, he ordered non-veg and I ordered veg. I teasingly asked him “non-veg”? He replied, “Yes, I started to eat meat when I converted to Christianity eight years ago.”
“You… converted… to… Christianity?” I asked in disbelief. “How could you do this? Are you not aware of their belief?” I kept throwing questions at him. He surely had not expected this reaction from a white woman with the name Maria. In all likelihood he had converted because he wanted to belong and fit in into the new surrounding in America.
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But since I grew up as a Christian, I knew what Christianity claims and he didn’t have answers. Ultimately he fell back at the ‘personal experience with Jesus’ which convinced him that Christianity is the true religion.
I told him, “If your trust in Jesus helps you, great, but why convert?” Doesn’t your own tradition stress the importance of devotion and does it hinder you from trusting Jesus?” And while for you Jesus may be the ideal guide, for others it may be Shiva or Krishna or Devi. Your tradition allows you all freedom whereas the Church binds you to the doctrine. For example it claims that Hindus go to hell. Do you believe that your Hindu brothers and sisters go to hell?” I asked.
I couldn’t believe his answer and by now he did not look anymore so bright. He said, “Yes, we have to believe this.” … we have to…
So I asked him about his family. Will they burn in hell? He had managed to convince his parents to convert, but his siblings had not (yet?) converted.
I really felt pity for him. His mental freedom to question and to enquire was gone.
He had earlier told me that he wanted to return to India. If he did, I hope he has found his way back to common sense and realised the folly to believe that Hindus go to hell.
By- Laxman Balagani
Remote working has grown to be a dominant trend in the post-pandemic world. Gartner anticipates that 41% of employees will work at least some of the time remotely once the coronavirus is in the rear-view mirror. Such a lasting change in the workplace culture has had the biggest impact on cybersecurity.
Many businesses struggle with how to secure remote workers or if it's even worth trying at all due to fears about security risks for those who aren't physically present on-site at any given time. What they need is insightful, practical, and useful visibility across all communication vectors as they support vast, remote workforces. To obtain this level of visibility, organizations should reconsider their data and user protection techniques and strive to get meaningful insights into what's going on behind the scenes.
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There are cyber risk management solutions available today that can help ensure your business stays safe and productive without sacrificing flexibility for your employees.
To guarantee a safe and secure working environment, enterprises must rethink their approach to security and privacy when dealing with a dispersed workforce. This article explores how business leaders should approach cybersecurity risk management in the era of remote working.
A behavior-centric approach based on a human-centric viewpoint on cybersecurity
The growing usage of smartphones, cloud-based apps, and social media in both work and personal has made it clear that people are the new perimeter. To contain these changes, the new cybersecurity risk management strategy, which aims to protect people, places, and things, works on a behavior-centric approach.
This approach centers on understanding users' behaviors using critical data and intellectual property across worldwide IT systems. This strategy is designed to identify problematic employee behaviors and prevent them from escalating. It's a new way of defending against threats that complements the traditional cyber risk management approach of stopping the bad guys.
It has become essential for businesses to integrate edge security, cloud security, and network security into a single, cohesive format. Here are a few steps businesses can take to enhance cybersecurity when working remotely -
To guarantee a safe and secure working environment, enterprises must rethink their approach to security and privacy when dealing with a dispersed workforce.Unsplash
Providing cyber security training to employees who work remotely can help minimize cyber threats. Ideally, employees should be able to spot a cyber scam in action and know how to avoid it in the future so they stay one step ahead of cyber threats. Providing cyber security training through video modules or cyber security e-learning is a great way to help remote employees retain cyber threat prevention techniques, cyber-hygiene standards, and cyber safety procedures.
There is an absence of a true security perimeter in a remote workplace. Thus, organizations must adopt the mentality of zero trust. All systems must be properly secured and require verified access, whether internal or external. Adding a layer of multi-factor authentication is a crucial step that will protect data from unauthorized access.
Ironically, cloud-based security systems offer better cybersecurity risk management than on-premise servers. Cloud systems are built from the ground up to be safe even when exposed to the public internet. This gives them an edge over regular file servers, which are only lightly secured with sensitive data.
The use of collaboration tools and videoconferencing platforms to allow for business interactions while away has increased significantly. Most of these were quickly integrated, with resiliency taking precedence over any security concerns. The recent Zoom-bombing is the poster child for the risks that come with adopting technologies fast. Teams in the CXO suite need to get defensive and audit all tools and platforms for security flaws before integrating them.
We've already seen software-defined networks (SDNs) emerge to define and protect networks, allowing businesses to use a single, holistic approach for all edge computing. Now that remote networks have taken center stage, IT leaders must apply the same strategy across the network and into the cloud to ensure consistency, cohesion, and security.
Remote working makes it imperative to rely on digital connections, making it critical to ensure that they're secure, fast, scalable, and robust across all networks.
Some companies may not embrace working remotely as their modus operandi, while some organizations might cling to an outdated network model. Anyhow, businesses must consider the long-term impacts of technological disruption and look at them as opportunities. With a distributed workforce, organizations must reconsider how they secure and protect their data.
(Disclaimer: This article is sponsored and includes some commercial links.)
By- Devakinanda Ji!
ॐ त्रिकालसन्ध्यानुष्ठितभूम्यै नमः
(Ṫrikāla: Three periods of the day; Sandhya: Obeisance to Sun god; Anuṣthiṫa: Practice, performance)
The word sandhya refers to those times, when night passes into day and day passes into night. They are dawn and dusk. The ritual of one's obeisance to God during these periods is known as sandhyāvandanam. Doing the ritual thrice at dawn (prātah sandhyā), at midday when the sun is right above our head (madhyāhna sandhyā); and dusk (sāyantrah sandhyā) is known as trikāla.
A person who has undergone the upanayana ceremony, as also house-holders (except the working class), are expected to perform this sandhyā ritual three times a day, as a sacred duty. These three rituals have many steps in common. However, in practice, only the first and the last have survived. The scriptures have provided for this modification.
After taking a bath and wearing the traditional religious dress (dhoṫi and chadar or uttarīya) one should apply the religious marks on the forehead (like the vibhūti or the ūrdhva puṇḍra as per one's family traditions), and sit on the seat (kept aside and used only for such religious purposes). Though there are differences in the procedure and the various steps to be followed, the six steps common to all and the detailed procedure has to be learnt from the family priest or the elders in the family.
These six steps are: 1) Āchamanam- is the ceremonial sipping of water from the right hand cupped in the shape of the ear of a cow (gokarṇam) to the appropriate mantras. This āchamanam is a general purification act that precedes every religious undertaking. 2) Prāṇāyāmam- is the control of the prāṇic energy through the regulation of the breathing process as detailed in the works of yoga. Prāṇayāmam helps in the control of the mind also. 3) Mārjanam- is literally means cleansing or purifying. It consists of sprinkling water on specified parts of the body with a mantra. This process will make the body ceremonially pure and fit the ritualistic act. 4) Arghyapradāna-is the offering of water taken in the two hands cupped together, by repeating the Gāyatrī mantra and addressing the Sun-god. This is just to show our gratitude to the Sun-god who is our primary life-support. 5) Gāyatrī japa-is for the goddess Gāyatrī within the orb of the sun. 6) Sūryopasṭhāna- is repeating the prayer addressed to the deity Gāyatrī in the standing posture, facing the sun. This is the last rite of bidding farewell to the goddess after having invoked her and satiated her through japa.
Hence, our land which worships the Sun-god who is our primary life-support, three times a day is known to be 'Trikālasandhyāvandānuṣthiṫa Bhūmi'.