Friday, December 17, 2010

Modern Akshaya Patra- feeding the needy.

Hi friends, the exact period of Vedas, Upanishad, Ramayana, or Mahabharata may still be a matter of debate, but no body can deny the fact that during all these periods feeding a hungry person was treated as a greatest service to man kind. “Anna daanam mahaa daanam” is a very popular Sanskrit verse which has motivated millions of Indians to perform this divine act and in ancient India in most of the temple premises there were annadana centers. But, things have changed drastically and now we can see very few temple premises which run annadanam schemes. Healthy rural Indian economy has become sick as British rulers tightened their grips on administration and in 1947 when they left India for ever their policies have forced millions of villagers to hold begging bowl in their hands.

I am a regular viewer of spirituality centered television channels like Astha and Samskar and I never miss any opportunity to listen speeches of Late Rajiv Dixit of Bharath Swabhimaan which are aired regularly on these channels. He traveled excessively from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, Kutch to Bhuvanaeshwar many times and gathered information about socio economical conditions of rural India during different periods. In his speeches, Rajiv Dixit virtually takes us to rural India and explains how rural economy was growing with the mutual cooperation of all villagers irrespective of their cast, creed and economic status. Trades were carried out mainly with exchange of goods and as many as 2000 products were exchanged including cultivated and crafted. But, milk and butter milk were never traded in rural India and they were exchanged freely, those who have excess milk used to distribute it to neighbors or needy villagers. As whole rural economy was carried with goods exchange including goods for service, every household was self sufficient with respect to food and shelter. Till first half of 19th century, healthy rural economy has managed the wealth distribution efficiently so that no body was deprived of basic necessities. Every village was having a Gurukul where all children were given education, health centre to treat sick villagers, panchayat where all disputes were settled amicably. But with the emergence of British rule things started changing and Dixit’s eyes became wet when he explained the present condition of rural Indians. His dream was to bring back the glory of rural India by making them self sufficient as they were 15o years back.

Some people might have shown sympathy towards the pathetic condition of poverty ridden Indians in rural areas as well as in urban slums and given some temporary relief but very few people think of long lasting solutions to such social diseases. When Sri. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada saw a group of children, who were trying to over power street dogs and snatch food packet from their mouth, took a unique decision of feeding hungry people within 10 miles radius of his ashram. After seeing the success of this move, Swamiji and his followers decide to spread it to other parts of India in a systematic manner and thus The Akshaya Patra foundation came in to existence. Like any other organization it has also framed a vision which says: “No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger.” The mid day meal program started by Akshaya Patra for 1500 school going children in 5 schools few years back has grown beyond expectations of its well wishers and today in excess of 12 lakhs children across India are happily enjoying mid day meals distributed by selfless volunteers of Akshaya Patra trust.

India can regain its lost glory only if our younger generation can live with dignity and I feel it can be done only through education. But a hungry stomach in a body will not allow its mind to concentrate on anything else unless its demand is fulfilled. So I appeal all my fellow Indian Blogger to donate liberally to implement this noble activity all over India so that nobody remains hungry and uneducated. Visit “Akshaya Patra” to know more about its activities and be part of this great unit by donating your hard earned money which may bring smile on our underprivileged children. You can donate your contribution by just clicking the link

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

WCM concepts.......!

Hi friends, this post is continuation of my previous post. Thank you.

Initially, printed materials were made available to workmen on local language and banners were displayed all over the plant about 5 ‘S’ and its benefits along with lectures by both external as well as internal trainers. Since success of 5 ‘S’ concept depends entirely on team spirit, various teams were formed at different levels involving both staff and workmen. As teams started meetings, large quantities of unwanted materials, non value adding activities and underutilized spaces were identified and eliminated. As per the concept “place for everything and everything in its place” places were fixed to equipments, labeled with necessary information and one point lesson to handle it. With the elimination of all types of waste, work places in each and every department became well organized which resulted in reduction in breakdowns and accidents. Elimination of non value adding process created opportunity to reduce workmen and staff positions. Teams were encouraged to come out with kaizens(small improvements) some of which resulted in substantial financial savings. Financial benefits derived from all the above activities were spent for atomization which again paved the way for further man hour reduction.

In the mean time, minor issues related to quality were addressed without much effort because of the new culture and concepts like “cleaning is inspection”, “first time right every time right” etc. Dynamic work environment helped us to improve product quality where as ‘why why” analysis of a problem took us to the root cause of the problem. With regular brain storming by WCM teams, chemical consumptions were optimized which ended with financial benefit and improved process parameters. Ultimate goal of WCM is to delight the customer and he will be delighted only if we supply him defect free, best quality product at lowest possible price. Successful implementation of WCM and making it as our way of life has strengthened all aspects of our business and I hope with little bit extra effort we can be our customer’s first choice.
Some of the most common methods of mounting a bathtub faucet are tub or bathroom wall mounted , deck mounted, and freestanding supply. The method you decide on can depend upon the faucet drilling orientation of your bathtub. 

Monday, December 13, 2010

Japanese World Class Manufacturing concepts- not new to Indians

Hi friends, as mentioned in my blog profile I am serving in Aditya Birla Group which is already in the Fortune 500 companies list and aiming to be in the list of 150. Our unit has adopted World Class Manufacturing concepts which were originated from Japan and harvested its benefits to a great extent. I feel any borrowed concept or tool aimed at increasing the performance of systems need not be copied as such, they can be modified as per prevailing situations. I have observed that many of the concepts included in the Japanese WCM system are being followed in Indian house holds since centuries and the sad part is that we blindly follow and imitate others. In this context, I remember an age old Kannada proverb “hittala gida maddalla” which means the plant grown in the backyard is not medicine. Any way I am publishing the following article which I have submitted for an in house essay competition aimed at promoting the so called WCM culture among employees.

Our achievements after adopting 5 ‘S’ concepts by P Kamath

There was a time when our business was operating on seller’s market but slowly we slipped from that advantageous position because of various factors like adoption of liberalized trade policies by government and entry of new players in to VSF manufacturing. In addition to this, expectations of the stake holders of our business including customers, employees and society has gone up considerably which not only resulted in reduced profit margin but also compelled us to think about producing product with better quality. So with an aim to achieve excellence in all walks of industrial activities, our management decided to adopt and implement WCM concept and I feel that was the best step taken at a right time which yielded multifold benefits. I am working in this organization since 30 years and happily associated with every development activity in my work place connected to WCM and observing the positive changes took place throughout the plant at large. It is proved beyond doubt that 5 ‘S’ is one of the main pillars of WCM and unless you follow all the 5 steps holistically, reaching the standards of world class may remain a dream for ever.

I would like to memorize those successful steps taken at GRD by which today we could be counted among World class manufacturing units and as a testimony to our claim of attaining rare position of manufacturing excellence, we have been awarded with Chairman’s Platinum Award. I would like to thank our management for not sparing any effort to make our journey to excellence a smoother one by furnishing necessary infrastructure and moral support. As “old habits die hard”, it was a Luke warm response to WCM in the initial days but with wide spread education on the benefits of 5 ‘S’ in the work place and beyond, employees started practicing it slowly.

Friends, remaining part of the essay will be continued as next blog post.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

First ever artificial ice technology used in India!

Hi friends, I am dedicating this blog post to Late Rajiv Dixit who left this world for ever. He has kept National interest above all and till his last breath traveled length and breadth of India to educate people about the importance of Nationalism. He is a proud son of Mother India and she lost one of her brave soldiers. Today evening I was watching a recorded speech of Late Rajiv Dixit in an Indian TV Channel Samsakar and am surprised to hear what he was telling. He was listing out the contributions of Indians in the field of science and technology. He told, the first ever artificial ice was produced way back in 6th century in India, contrary to the belief that it was produced in 18th century in Europe.

Though plenty of ice is available in nature, technology to prepare ice was not known for many years. Chakravarty samrat Harshavardhan who ruled India in 6th century AD was basically a scientist and his specialization was chemistry. One day his son became ill due to very high fever and nobody could find any remedy to bring down the fever. The Doctor who was treating the patient requested Harshavardhana to arrange some cold material so that body temperature of the child could be brought down. Since natural ice was not available in that area, Harshavardhana used his scientific skill and prepared the first artificial ice pieces by human being and saved his son’s life. The scientist turned ruler knew the exact combination of temperature and pressure to convert water to ice. Historical biography of King Harsha in Sanskrit,Sri. Hars ha Charitra by Banabhatta is a source of information to justify this historical fact.

This post is a humble tribute to that departed soul who was always trying to make us feel proud about our mother land by highlighting its positive aspects with facts and figures.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Remembering the departed soul in Vedic way!

Hi friends, Indian civilization is the oldest one and it has produced many precious gifts to man kind. Vedas are the oldest Sanskrit literature in which one can have the deep knowledge of Indian way of life. Vedas are compiled over a period of time and till today most of our day to day rituals are having connection to any of the four Vedas, especially Yajurveda. From birth to death during various occasions specific rituals are performed and a trained priest will be engaged if the ritual is complicated. After the death of parents, death anniversary (shradda) will be performed by their children either on the day of the death as per Hindu calendar or during mahalaya period. In our house at my native place, every year we perform our parent’s death ceremony and under the guidance of our family priest all rituals are carried out. My knowledge about Veda is almost zero but I believe if every ritual explained in these sacred books if performed systematically, then it is going to produced enormous amount of positive energy. During the rituals I used to follow the instructions of the priest mechanically but my mind remembers my parents and good things they have done towards us. I feel this ritual for a common believer like me is an opportunity to remember parents and express my gratitude in the form of offering. I heard that there are many complicated rituals like perjanya yagna from which we can make it rain at any time. Rituals explained in Vedas are for the betterment of man kind and they replace the negative energy created by our inhuman activities with Divine energy.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Lessons learnt by a student in the process of becoming independent

Hi friends, I am continuing my previous post on education system in ancient India. I know it is not proper to compare systems which exist on different eras but by counting the positive aspect one system, we can bring changes to the present system. I am happy to read the matured comment for my post “Education at Gurukul in ancient India” by my blogger friend Always happy from United kingdom and according to her “Ancient gurukul system was good, modern education system isn’t bad either, it is up to individual student and parents how they use it. It has its pros and cons.” Any way as promised, I am listing out the lessons learnt by a modern student on his way to become independent. I am not sure whether these lessons are own experiences or copied from any other source but my source is SJCE college magazine published on the year 2002 and the student who wrote the article is Ann Jacob. Thank you Ann.

It takes courage to be yourself
Everybody will not like you and it doesn’t matter as long as you like yourself
You can be lonely amidst gazillion friends if there is no empathy.
Something that doesn’t kill you will ultimately make you stronger
Standing up for what you believe in won’t win you friends, but the peace you feel within beats all.
The best way to overcome fear is to face it.
Be kind for everyone you come across is fighting a harder battle
Truly loving another is letting go of all expectations
The best friends are always gained through trail in life
Never stoop to avenge yourself
Merit doesn’t count every time
Better looking people often get luckier and that shouldn’t demoralize you
Never compromise on personal standards
Prayer can work wonders
Things often won’t work out the way we plan it
You can make mistakes as long as you learn from them
No friendship has a forever guarantee
The most considerate thing we can do is to simply listen
People you love the most may hurt you the most
Things are not what they seen
Betrayal is a common thing but not betraying a betrayer is a decent thing to do
The most cheerful persons have the greatest sorrows buried within
Everyday has its lessons; it is for us to seek them

Education at Gurukul in ancient India

Hi friends, I never miss a chance to read stories of Indian epics or mythologies. I was brought up in a healthy cultural environment where my mom was my first Guru or teacher who used to tell us stories from Ramayana and Mahabharata which are counted among very few great epics of the world. The respective heroes of these epics, Lord Sriram and Lord Srikrishna are described as incarnation of the supreme power who is the creator of the entire universe and still they are worshiped throughout India. As I learnt from these books, education system followed in ancient India was unique in many ways including the process of handing over the student from the first Guru (mother) to master at Gurukul, the ancient from of residential schools. The concept of Gurukul it self very holistic in nature where students will be staying with their master’s residence away from their homes for many years till the master is satisfied with the performance of his student. Master used to treat his student as his family member and all his requirements were taken care off by master and his family members. The parents who send their children to Gurukul were not worried about their children’s activities and safety as they were under the homely care of Gurukul master. At the end of the many years of vigorous training, parents were asked to take their children back and what ever material given as fees towards the education were accepted by the teacher as guru dakshina. It is said that both Lord Rama and Krishna were sent to gurukuls where they underwent training on all aspects of education. But, the modern form of education in India has shrugged off all its cultural values and it has become a means to make huge profit from minimum investment. Now we send our children to far away cities for higher education where they will be staying in hostels for boarding and lodging. As long as children stay in the hostel, parents spend sleepless nights because there is no enough control over the students both within the campus and in Hostels. Even students want to be away from home during their studies to enjoy the student life to its full extent. But at the end of the student life they will realize what is gained and what is lost. Today I was turning the pages College magazine of SJCE, Mysore where my son has done his Bachelor of Engineering and found an article with a heading “Lessons” written by a student. He began his article saying he was thrilled to be away from home to find him and be independent. He says he learnt many things but paid heavy price for them. I thought it will be useful to my readers if I make a blog post out of it. The billeted list of his learning is quite lengthy, so I think it is better to continue in another post tomorrow. I think modern education system is keeping both parents and students sleepless but for different reasons.