Taking pride in the piece of earth you are living on

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St. Lucia is a small island nation in the West Indies subregion of the Americas. Today, the population is around 1.8 lakhs. One can assume the size and scale around 50 years back.
A special species of parrot, known as the St. Lucia Parrot, exists only on this tiny but astonishingly beautiful island. It’s gorgeous, with a vivid turquoise blue face, lime green wings, and a striking red shield on its chest.

In 1977, only one hundred St. Lucia Parrots were left on the island. The population had been decimated by habitat destruction, hunters, and people who trapped them to use as pets. The St. Lucia Parrot seemed doomed; in the words of one biologist, the species “could not escape oblivion by the year 2000.”

Paul Butler was a college student in his last year in 1977, studying at North-East London Polytechnic. Butler had previously spent five weeks completing a field research expedition in St. Lucia, where he had studied the parrot and submitted recommendations for preserving the species.

Post this, unemployment was starring at Butler. But to butler’s utter surprise a receive a letter from the forest department of St Lucia offering him a job with $200 monthly pay and a stay in the rest hut in the forest. They wanted him to work on the “Save Parrot” project further.

Butler accepted the offer rather than remaining unemployed. After joining, the 21-year-old Paul Butler offered three recommendations to the department:

1) Beef up the punishment for capturing and/or killing the parrot.

2) Establish reserves to protect the parrot’s habitat.

3) Raise money by licensing “rainforest tours,” which would offer tourists the chance to see the reserve and its star attraction.

Now, that was out of the scope of Butler’s job. He was a migrant servant to one of the government’s departments, not the government.

For Butler’s recommendations to be put into practice, the island’s laws would need to change, which was possible if he could make people rally behind this initiative.

So Butler, just fresh out of college, working with the forestry department, and armed with a salary of $200, had to raise a mass movement in a country he does not belong to. He had to make people stand behind a parrot that most of them took for granted  and would even notice if that disappeared from their country forever.

Neither the parrot has any economical impact nor was it connected with the traditions and cultures of tribes. Poor Parrot, and Paul.

So the clear case for Paul butler was to convince people of St Lucia to save the parrot just because they are kind enough to do so, (and Paul and the forest department wanted to save them).

Butler started this mission with a clear message of “This Parrot is ours, nobody else has that, hence we need to save that”.

Butler organised Parrot puppet shows, cajoled local band to create songs for the bird, distributed t-shirts, convinced local hotels to paint-up parrots on their walls, recruit volunteers to dress up in parrot costumes and visit local schools and asked local ministers to find and chant relevant bible verses. All of these and many of these, tirelessly.

paul butler with parrot
He even talked a telecom company into printing up St. Lucia Parrot calling cards On one card, the parrot was displayed next to the bald eagle, to make it clear who had the better-looking bird.

The St. Lucians began to embrace their parrot, as though it had always been a part of their national identity. The wave of public support made it possible to pass into law.

As the years passed, the species came back from the brink. From 100 to 600 in 10 years. In 1988, the government gave Butler full citizenship and later awarded him the St. Lucia Medal of Merit, the country’s highest honour.

Paul butler with award
As per 2022 survey there are around 1500 Parrots in St Lucia and for last several decades not a single parrot as been shot down by locals.

Paul Butler has not saved parrots, but had shown what it meant to take pride in the diversity the mother earth has blessed them with.

Today I am sharing this incident on world earth day so that we know that we too need to take pride in the beauty of whatever piece of earth we live on. Can we all do at least one of the following 4 things to express our pride and gratitude towards this mother earth.

1. Don’t feed birds and animals around. Yes it’s tempting for whatever reasons it can be, but feeding them can do more bad to us and them both, then good.

2. Plant local plants. Don’t try to look for fancy. Plant trees and plants which are native to your area.

3. Shrink your lawn. The green lawns look great but do least to the environment. Consumes a lot of space, a lot of water and gives back least to the ecology in general, forget the economy of maintaining it. So be wiser in giving space to lawn.

4. Eat at least one plant in a quarter that you have grown yourself. It can be any fruit or leafy vegetable.

Greetings of national earth day.

Note: I have read this incident from the book “Switch”. Chip and Dan Heath has made this book full of such incidents teaching us how to bring a change in whatever we are at! Photograph credits to Rare.org

2024 Reading List: Discover the Best Books and Recommendations (Updated March-24)

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Here, I am compiling a list of all the books I have read in the year 2024 along with my thoughts and recommendations. I will keep it updated as I read more.

Will keep it updated as I read more.

1) “Doglapan” by Ashneer Grover

What is it about?

The life story of famed (or notorious) shark, and BharatPe founder, Ashneer Grover.

Remarks

His life teaches us how to maintain connections. He has been extremely fortunate in having influential people around him and possesses enough skills to utilize them effectively. However, his narrative of what has happened at BharatPe appears flawed. While I’m not privy to the internal matters, one can’t play the victim forever. There is something called Karma!

2) “Revisiting the Educational Heritage of India” by Sahana Singh

What is it about?

Talks about the brighter side of ancient Indian education system and it’s fall in last 1000 years.

Remarks

The book presents the data and facts but lacks anecdotes. Could have been better but a good read for the one who are unaware how India had lead the knowledge era, globally.

3) “Sahitya ane Cinema” (Literature and Cinema) by Jay Vasavda

What is it about?

It’s a compilation of his articles on these topics published in his column in Gujarat Samachar.

Remarks:

The book initially caught my interest, but it waned as the articles are dated, being almost 20-25 years old. Many of the topics discussed have lost their relevance.

5 books I would recommend to read in 2023

5 must read books

I have read many books during 2022. Here are the top 5 books from my 2022 reading list I would like to recommend you read.

1) The ride of a lifetime by #BobIger

I am happy I have started the year 2022 with this book. The ride of a lifetime by Bob (Robert) Iger, CEO of #disney, is actually the Joy and learnings of a lifetime for readers. Highly recommended.

2) Jag vikhyat 51 marketing campaigns – A Gujarati book by Imran Hothi

I love #advertisements and #marketing campaigns and this book in Gujarati language is a collection of 51 famous marketing campaigns executed by companies across the world. I was reading each of them and then researched them on YouTube and google. A nice action #book for me.

3) I too had a dream – #biography of Vergese kurien

I had read this during the free time while sitting at the first outdoor popup stall we have done for Havi.co | The Robotic Toy Store. The book is a detailed account of how #Amul, one of the largest corporation of it’s kind has been built. Genuine, truthful and inspiring.

4) Ladu ni Jatra ane biji vartao – Ranan lal soni

A very old Gujarati book having stories actually for children. But I have enjoyed every single of them. Just wow.

5) If truth to be told – Om Swami

I rarely get books in gift as I am mostly on the givers’ side. But have received this from my Mami as she loved it. You won’t regret reading this but if you have gone through biographies of Swami Vivekanand and Paramhans Yoganand already, chances are you would want to go faster with it.

What was your reading list? Which book would you recommend me further? What’s your opinion for the above 5 books?

Write in the comment please.

Traffic rule violation and increased fines in India

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As India is debating and facing the new traffic violation fines, following traffic rules make sense in my opinion.

1) Heavy penalties for violating all those traffic rules where you cause trouble to others. Like breaking maned or unmanned traffic signals, parking zones, rash driving, wrong lane driving, driving without a license, over speeding, overcapacity passengers, overloading of goods, use of phone while driving, putting high capacity headlights and horns and others.

2) A course to be introduced which is supposed to be completed in order to get the driving license. Make the process stringent, Automated and under cameras. Renewal of license along with updated syllabus every 5 years. The photo above is of Copenhagen where kids come to play and learn traffic rules.

3) Let people decide if they want to wear a helmet and seat belt. Yes, it is extremely important for the safety of individual but if you don’t care go to hell.

4) Insurance mandatory at least for the third party if not for you and your vehicle. The option of insurance is an escrow.

5) The only penalty for polluting vehicle is to detain them. 1000 rs can not grant permission to pollute the environment. And please implement this on auto and trucks as well, you dear police!

6) Bring officials under accountability for cows and donkeys on the road, bad roads signals not working not arranging for adequate and convenient parking infrastructure.

7) There are several age-old rules completely irrelevant and foolish. Remember Bharat is a country of families and of the middle class. 2 kids of reasonable age along with their parents on a motorcycle is the need as well as the beauty of this country. Crackdown on all laws too which will cause trouble to the people ultimately.

8) It doesn’t make any sense selling vehicles with “Lights On Always” across India just because there was Fog in Delhi. I am sorry but whoever has made this is…. what to say!

Share your views in the comment bellow.

 

Book Summary – It Happened in India by Kishore Biyani

It Happened in India Book Summary

Following is the summary of the book “It Happened in India” written by Kishore Biyani, the founder of Future group and brands like Big Bazaar, Central, Pantaloons, Brand Factory and several others.

  • The four emotions that determine shopping behavior.
    A. Greed
    B. Altruism
    C. Fear
    D. Envy
  • Journey of Kishore Ji
      1. Started organized Dandiya program of the housing society.
      2. Joined the family business for some time.
      3. Trading of 200 meters of stone-wash fabric.
      4. Started buying good fabric from fabric manufacturers and selling these to garment manufacturers under brand WBB.
      5. Started Manufacturing the trousers.
      6. Started a shop to sell trousers with name Patloon.
      7. Started a factory to manufacture fabric.
      8. Took Distributorship of Arvind Mills.
      9. Manufacturing of branded trousers “Pantaloon”.
      10. Opened chain of Pantaloon stores selling trousers. Started from Goa.
      11. Started manufacturing all men apparels and accessories and selling them on pantaloon shop.
      12. Launched clothing brands under various names just to attract different customer bases. Like john miller, Bare and others.
      13. Launched ready-to-stitch product.
      14. First Pantaloons showroom started in Kolkata.
      15. Multiple outlets of Pantaloons opened.
      16. Started preparing for Big Baazar.
  • At a stage, it is tempting to move from one conference to another and make new relationships and get investments. But KishoreJi remained focused on his business model and customers, kept stock markets updated and money didn’t remain a problem for growth.
  • Train your people for everything you want them to do. For everything, you want to achieve. If watching your customer and learning from it is your strategy, you need to train your people for this. You can’t do all these things. Maybe the job remain for a leader is to set objectives, find people, train them and let them achieve that. Forget you can do any other thing Best.
  • Inspired by “Nimboo-Mirchi” hanging on the doors, pantaloons designed garments in yellow and green and those went hit.
  • People don’t buy products, they buy feelings & happiness.
  • As a seller or salesman, you should like the customer you are approaching. Customer should feel comfortable approaching you.
  • If you have done a mistake get out of it very fast. Get rid of that. Don’t waste money or time to correct that. Don’t put good money to recover the bad money.
  • Despite all your personal strengths, abilities, skills and whatever you have, the only thing which can make you win the entrepreneurial journey is to identify the right people for the right place at the right time. Team Building. When Kishore Biyani decided to build Big Bazaar, he built a team around this idea and made them visit the Saravana store which was the model for big bazaar. And asked the team to do everything. KishoreJi’s job was to take decisions, that’s it.
  • Don’t be a “Very good boy” in business. Not a single entrepreneur has lived a spotless life. Copying to corruption to affairs, at least something or a few things they have used at times when things were not moving. Big Bazaar used the idea to distribute fake currency notes to do marketing of big bazaar. Once an agent got arrested for that as it was against the law but as the idea was hit, Kishore allowed continuing the same in all other cities.
  • Movie making was a failure for them, but still, movies play an important role in their strategy to understand psychology & trends.

Books I have read in the year 2018

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Following are the books I have read in the year 2018. I have written the summaries in a way so you can decide if you would love to read any of these. Please provide your comments if you have already read any of this, suggestions, inputs or your recommendations for me as well.

1) “JSK” by Jay Vasavada

What is it about?

Explores various dimensions of the life of Shree Krishna and teaches important human values too. One of the best book on this subject.

Who should read it?

Anyone who loves, hates or remains neutral about Krishna.

2) “Sell” by Subroto Bagchi

What is it about?

Experiences of Mr. Bagchi as a sales professional. Tells beautiful short stories to explain various cases and situations.

Who should read it?

Sales and marketing professionals. A textbook for sales aspirants.

3) “Find your why” by Simon Sinek

What is it about?

Explains the scientific process of finding one’s life goals.

Who should read it?

Consultants, Speakers, Teachers, Trainers and all those who are responsible for shaping and mentoring others’ lives.

4) “Originals” by Adam Grant

What is it about?

Inspires to be creative and deliver original ideas. At the same time, it clarifies what originality is not about and where it is not required to be original. A myth buster book.

Who should read it?

Entrepreneurs, founders and everyone who play or want to play an important corporate role.

5) “Creative schools” by Ken Robinson

What is it about?

All the questions about what, why and how of education are answered here in this masterpiece.

Who should read it?

Teachers, Parents, Educational policy makers, everyone who is not happy with the current education system.

6) “Gita ane aapna prashno” by Swami Sachchidanand (Gujarati Book)

What is it about?

Discussion on various key issues of the society with respect to the solutions offered in Bhagavad Gita.

Who should read it?

Everyone!

7) “The magic of the lost temple” by Sudha Murthy (I have read Gujarati version)

What is it about?

A kiddy, beautiful novel for children that inspires to think differently and get involved into courageous actions.

Who should read it?

Young children. Also, parents and teachers who are supposed to tell stories to kids.

8) “Perennial seller” by Ryan Holiday

What is it about?

How to write a best seller book. I was expecting something different and got misguided when decided to read this.

Who should read it?

I abandoned it after reading around 35% of it.

9) “It happened in India” by Kishore Biyani

What is it about?

The journey of Kishore Biyani from an amateur trader to the retail tycoon of India.

Who should read it?

Management students, business aspirants, and early-stage startup founders.

10) “Marketing in 21st century” by B.N. Dastoor (Gujarati book)

What is it about?

Mr. Dastoor is a veteran marketing professional and he has written this book summarising his experience of more than half a century. He is witty in writing and you won’t feel bored ever.

Who should read it?

Marketing students and early age startup founders.

11) “The hard things about hard things” by Ben Horowitz

What is it about?

The challenges and issues you face on a day to day bases in the startup life and the solutions Ben has applied to overcome those.

Who should read it?

A Must read for every startup founder. You will regret delaying it.

12) “Take me home” by Rashmi Bansal (I have read Gujarati version)

What is it about?

Stories of entrepreneurs who have created successful businesses in small towns of India.

Who should read it?

Those who are seeking entrepreneurial inspiration and motivation. Students and business aspirants from the small towns.

Please write your views, suggestions, inputs or recommendations for me in the comment section below.

A better education system for a better living

better-education-better-livingKen Robinson, author, speaker and international advisor on education, in his remarkable book – “Creative Schools” explains 4 reasons why governments around the world enforce education.

  • Economical
  • Culture
  • Social
  • Personal

Here is my take on these reasons and how a better education system can bring a change:

Economy – Better education system for a better career?

The primary purpose of education is to become financially independent. Governments across the world also promote education for same reason. And this also should be one of the main purpose of education, but not the only one.

What kind of subjects are included under school education today,  so that they earn enough when time comes?

Let’s talk about what is already taught in most schools today.

  • They are learning languages, particularly English, but we hardly see students coming out of schools or universities as good reporters, interpreters, speakers, translators, writers or story tellers.
  • Math is considered just as a scoring subject or a beast support to be cleared by one third of total marks.
  • Science –  let’s save this topic for another post.
  • Sports, arts and other subjects are left to private coaching & activity centres.

Last week, I had a meeting with an Art teacher, who works in a very reputed school of Bhavnagar. I got pleasantly surprised when he said that he is very busy throughout the week and works from 8 AM to 8 PM, starting with school, and tuitions for rest of the day.

My excitement vanished when he told me that 80% of the parents have hired him, so that he can complete art & craft projects that their kids get from their schools, which actually are always out of the kids’ capacities.

He revealed to me that 15% of parents, put their kids in my drawing class because they aim for their kids to become doctors & engineers and want them to prepare  drawing figures & diagrams. 4% of them come so they can be part of competitions and create a better portfolio with the certificates they win. Just 1% of the students have a passion for art.  Some day she May replace this art teacher and start earning out of her art skills.

art_funding_gapImage Source: https://sarahgracegriswold.org/resume/arts-in-education/

What are the real skills that we need to inculcate in our children as to create a better education system?

  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • Ability to learn new skills
  • Networking and communicating with other people
  • Selling their skills to others

Unfortunately, we don’t see any of these in the entire curriculum.

Cultural – Education Nurturing Moral Beliefs

The Gita has taught us to understand & appreciate our culture and to understand & respect other cultures. That is what Hinduism is. And that is what tolerance is. But our community is now divided into the following categories:

  1. Those who don’t know anything about Hinduism or India in reality, but keep buegaling ‘Fables’ on social media. Sadly, a significant majority.
  2. Those who don’t know anything about Hinduism or India and keep degrading  everything about our culture and praise other cultures. They feel proud of it.
  3. Those who know our culture but have blindfolded themselves. . They neither want to know anything more nor want to respect other’s thoughts.
  4. Those who really understand Hinduism and Indianization, appreciate it, , are proud of it, understand others’ culture and respect it..

In the present situation, the first three  are in a whopping majority. But those who dream for a better India are responsible to educate their kids to this aspect too. This is another reason as to why governments enforce education. And also a reason to why we should look forward to a better education system.

40cc0ac8c27650c5912fed8fdf3311c2--infographic-education-student-loan-debt

Social  – Better Education System For Co-existing

Education is expected to make students responsible and respectful citizens. Education is also supposed to teach us basic etiquettes that we have to follow to co-exist in this world.

But aren’t we also aware of the number of suicides being committed by students? Solely because of teachers, schools and the education system collectively.

And I fear that the number may surpass murders & rapes executed by students over their fellow classmates or schoolmates. Aren’t we supposed to educate children on how life is too valuable to lose?

We all cast our vote with conscious thinking, but the kind of people sitting in our parliament are a national shame. Aren’t they? Not all of them for sure but we all know a few of them, who are and what was our thought process when we voted for them? In fact there was no thought at all or else they would not have gotten elected in the first place.

Did education tell us what factors we should consider while we were deciding whom we want to give our vote to?

I am in a flight while writing this article. Every time a flight lands in India, air hostesses requests passengers to remain seated  until the aircraft lands. Don’t we know that the flight won’t go away anywhere before we deboard? But is that how we really behave?

Personal – Knowledge for Self Help

In almost all  professional & HR surveys ‘Job satisfaction’ is rated as the top most reason of doing or not doing a job. But rarely you get satisfaction. Why is it so rare?

What  really is job satisfaction?

As Ken Robinson says. “There are two worlds. The world which exists even if you don’t exist. The world of events, of objects and people. And the second world is your own world, which comes when you come and ends as you go. This world consists of your thoughts, beliefs & action.”

We know the first world but very few people know something about the second world. Rest do nothing. When you know your own world and and make an impact on the outer world with it,  that very intersection brings satisfaction.

That is also one of the purpose of education. To prepare a person of actions as to create something that is useful to outer world. To channelise his thoughts in a positive direction and build better and stronger beliefs which does not change with every single WhatsApp message being forwarded to you.

Conclusion:

We need to bring about a change. The education system in our country needs to change and we need to thrive for a better education system. Ironically, few things have changed from the colonial times. We have established IITs, IIMs, law schools and other institutions of excellence.

But rote learning still plagues our system, students study only to score marks in exams. It’s become a number game. The goal of the education system should be on creating entrepreneurs, artists, scientists, thinkers and writers to create a knowledge based economy and build a better future altogether.

Fun ways to teach kids numbers & basic math operations

At Milople Education (https://www.facebook.com/PaarijatByMilople) we strive to find creative ways to inspire kids to be creative, innovative and future leaders. It’s our responsibility to help them give a platform where they can learn new things in most creative and fun way. Paarijat by Milople is a project to build the unique fun learning ways for kids between 2 to 8. And here we have summarized ways to teach numbers and basic math operations. Parents, teachers, and schools are welcome to use this and optimize these further. Please comment here your views and suggestions. If you want a set of 106 high quality laminated, long lasting number cards, you can please pay 597 Rs on following Paytm account and email us the address & number on education@milople.com. The cards will reach you. Happy Teaching.

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Adhik Maas – The additional month to improve yourself

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Calendars are made in tune with the movement of the sun, the moon, and the earth. The days and months change according to the motion of these objects. But achieving accuracy in round figure is never possible so all the calendars have kept adjustments of leap years. The Solar calendar which is being widely followed across the globe has 365 days in a year. But to be in sync with the actual motion of the earth around the sun, the calendar adds 1 additional day every 4th year and year becomes of 366 days.

The Hindu calendar follows lunar movements and remains in sync with Nakshatras. The year is of 354/355 days regularly. The remaining 10 or 11 days a year would be adjusted all together every 3 years when an additional month would be added into that year. So the year becomes of 13 months. That month is called “Adhik Maas” (The additional month) and since it is additional, it should be spent on the worship and duty of Lord Vishnu. People observe fast, do additional pooja, chanting, Katha, Reading and etc which can give them peace and happiness.
The adhik maas is starting today and should be observed into the improvement and discoveries of one’s self. Take up an idea for this month, which you feel will sharpen your skills, will help you be better, will help you do better for future. That can be Reading, Meditation, Yog, Exercise, Practicing music and other hobbies, Visiting places, Meeting people, Speaking less, Cycling, Sports and anything which keeps you happy and makes you better.

Take up a Vrat (challenge) for you and follow the same for next 30 days. Spend dedicated time and put committed efforts towards it. Open the door of success and find the improved self of yours. Krishna will help you for sure.

What is your Creation?

What is your creation?

We have this beautiful world where several thousand people come and go everyday. Billions of people have been coming and going on this earth since centuries. Many of them have made an impact on us and few have made a significant impact on this world. Those who have made impact are the people from diverse domains, geographies and disciplines. But one thing very much common amongst all those is the fact that they have created something for us which lasted for a while or for long. They were writers who wrote poems, books and stories for us. They were engineers making machines and painters creating fantastic pictures. They were Artists whose performances and practices into the dance, drama, music and cinema are still being admired and followed. They were sports-persons who even today motivate us to stretch the boundaries and entrepreneurs who have generated immense value for society. They were scientists who gave us Yog, Aayurved, Acupressure, Acupuncture, Vaccines, Medicines, equipment and everything we see and experience around us. They were mathematicians, they were sculptors and they were architects. And all those thought leader who have given us powerful thoughts of spiritual living. They were all those ladies and gentlemen who have created the whole art and science of food for us. They all have created millions of things which are making our lives joyful today.

We at Milople and Paarijat By Milople bow down and celebrate all those people who have created something fantastic for millions of us.

What is your creation which will make this world better?