Independence Day Special–Top 10 things we can pledge today

India is my country. All Indians are my brothers and sisters…” Remember this pledge which was printed on the first page of our text books?

66th Independence Day

66th Independence Day

As kids, all of us had read, memorized and even repeated it every day. However, how many of us actually practice or even remember those lines now, is a million dollar question.

Today, when India celebrates its 66th Independence Day, it’s time we renewed our pledge. Here are the top 10 ills of the society that we think that every Indian should pledge to get rid of:

1. Take a pledge to go green:
Unplug electrical devices when they are not in use.
Replace all your incandescent bulbs with CFLs.
Make full use of the sunlight. Dry your clothes in the sun instead of drying them in the machine and save electricity.
Opt for e-bills in place of physical ones and also pay bills online and save paper.
Switch to rechargeable batteries to eliminate waste and at the same time save money. These batteries can be recharged and used for years before they go bad.

2. Pledge against corruption:
Corruption has prevailed in India from time immemorial. If each one of us make up our minds to take a stand against giving and taking of bribes, we will be able to make a difference. In addition, ensuring unbiased and impartial use of the anti-social regulations to take immediate and strong action against the offenders will mean the death of corruption in our country.

3. Pledge against pollution:
You can do your bit by taking a pledge to use public transport or car pool instead of driving to work, carry you own bag to the super market instead of using plastic bags, stop smoking or at least follow the ‘No Smoking’ sign board, use unleaded petrol in your cars and never use open fire to dispose your waste.

4. Sexual health awareness:
The outlook towards ‘casual sex’ is changing amongst the youth. However, many of them are either unaware or not bothered about safe sex, which leads to unwanted pregnancies and STIs. Today, take a pledge to broaden your understanding of sexual health, relationships and not to indulge in unsafe sex. Child marriage is yet another menace which is rampant in certain parts of India to this day. Girls are married off at the age of 12 (in some cases even six or seven years of age) leading to early pregnancy, health complications and untimely death.

5. Female Infanticide:
India might have become a force to reckon with, but it is horrifying to see that female infanticide is on the rise every year. Girl babies are killed before they are born (female foeticide), and sometimes after they are born. Why do we detest them so much? Let’s pledge today not to encourage female infanticide and discrimination against the girl child.

6. Stop littering:
Littering has several effects on the environment. There are cases when people have been injured and even killed because somebody carelessly littered. Litter also ends up in rivers and lakes not just polluting the water but also sometimes poisoning the animals. If we all take a pledge to stop littering, we will be able to save the air we breathe and water we drink.

7. Eat healthy, live longer:
Eat healthy as much as possible. Eating a lot of greens, vegetables and lean meat will keep you healthy and active. Do not fall for the fast food fad. Keep in mind that the juicy, succulent burgers are adding innumerable calories and ‘dollops’ of cholesterol to your heart. Pledge today to eat healthy and live longer.

8. Conserve water:
Conservation of water is an essential practice today, whether or not you’re having water troubles at the moment. Simple changes can help save gallons of water a day. Fix leakages in your toilets and tanks, shorten your showers, soak your vegetables and fruits instead of running them under water and turn of the tap while brushing your teeth. So, take a pledge to make these changes and help conserve water.

9. Help one person become literate:
Hundred per cent literacy in India still seems like a distant dream. However, if each one of us take one step toward getting one person literate, we might not be far behind the targeted goal. Spending one hour with an underprivileged neighbourhood kid and sharing your knowledge will make a world of difference. Pledge today, to teach at least one person this year.

10. Say goodbye to obesity:
Get active. Walk to work and inculcate exercise as a part of your daily lives. Walk at least five days a week for about 30 minutes to keep your heart healthy and avoid diabetes. Encourage your kids to go out and play. Take your kids on a hike or go cycling because healthy kids make for a healthy nation. So, pledge now to remain active till the next Independence Day so we can take some more pledges to make India an even better place to live in!

Google to celebrate India’s Independence Day

Googlers from India, and around the world, will review applications and announce the 10 best projects on October 21.

Googlers from India, and around the world, will review applications and announce the 10 best projects on October 21.

WASHINGTON: Ahead of India’sIndependence Day celebrations this week, internet giant Google announced launching of ‘Google Impact Challenge in India’, inviting Indian nonprofits to explain how they would use technology to improve people’s lives. 

At the end of the challenge, four nonprofits will each receive a Rs 3 crore (around $500,000) Global Impact Award and technical assistance from Google to bring their projects to life, the California-based tech major announced yesterday. 

“On the eve of India’s Independence Day, we’re celebrating the spirit of creativity andentrepreneurship of the world’s largest democracy by spotlighting the best local nonprofits that are using technology to make the world better,” Nikesh Arora, senior vice president and chief business officer, Google said on a blog post. 

“Today we’re launching the Google Impact Challenge in India, inviting Indian nonprofits to tell us how they’d use technology to improve people’s lives. At the end of the challenge, four nonprofits will each receive a Rs 3 crore (around $500,000) Global Impact Award and technical assistance from Google to bring their projects to life,” he wrote. 

Arora said registered Indian nonprofits can apply online until September 5. 

Googlers from India, and around the world, will review applications and announce the 10 best projects on October 21. 

“You can learn more about the top 10 finalists then, and cast a vote for who you think should receive the Fan Favorite award,” Arora said. 

“On October 31, I’ll join Ram ShriramJacquelline FullerAnu Aga and Jayant Sinha in Delhi to hear the 10 finalists pitch live. As judges, we’ll select three awardees based on their potential impact, scalability and ingenuity. We’ll also announce the winner of the Fan Favorite, according to your vote,” he wrote. 

“Growing up in India, I’ve seen firsthand the vibrancy and innovativeness of India’s social entrepreneurs. I’m excited to see their projects and support their ideas for how to use technology and Rs 3 crores to change the world,” Arora wrote.