Monday, April 30, 2012 0 comments

Once upon a time in Mumbai

So, where do I begin from? So many things have happened in the last two weeks, that I am unsure with what to start. Okay, lets start with the basics. I am doing my summer internship[which is compulsory for any bschool student btw], in Tata Motors, situated out of Mumbai. Have been in Mumbai for just 2 weeks but have already fallen in love with it. There is just so much to explore. I have not seen much, but did visit a few locations such as Gateway of India, Elephanta Caves, Imax Dome theatre[saw Avengers in 3D yesterday] to name a few. Tons of things left to be done[apart from work]. Internship is going good, and the corporate environment is awesome at Tata Motors. Everyone here is very friendly, and you actually get encouraged to try out something new and take initiatives. Broadly speaking, am working on a corporate HR project related to Training and development. Made a few new friends out here, namely Debo(XIM-B), Rachit and Twisam[don’t ask me how it is pronounced] from XLRI, Megha from SIMS. All of them are pretty unique and fun to hang out with. I shifted to Wilson College hostel, and met Rito Da[also from XLRI] here. In fact, I have already met at least 10-12 people from XLRI itself. I also visited Pune for 2 days, as a part of an official trip. Met Amitabha there, who took my for a ride on his bike across the city. Saw Osho’s ashram and visited Phoenix Mall. Pune is pretty well maintained[it was my first visit to the city], clean and good. Would love to be here again. The trip to Elephanta caves[with Rito Da, Twisam and Jishnu Da] was also remarkable, more so for the hour long steamer/launch ride to the place than the actual location itself[hilly area]. You almost have to trek all the way to the top. The caves themselves are pretty ordinary, and you may not want to hang there for long. Met Divya there too, who was gracious enough to give me another book to read. The food here is a bit different than I am accustomed to, but so far didn’t really face any problems. Mumbai, as they say is a night city, and only truly comes to life post midnight. At least the crowd is pretty vibrant enough. I have to do a lot of shopping for the time being. But feeling too lazy to step out in the heat. Maybe later. For now, adios.
Thursday, April 5, 2012 0 comments

Lets Ban Sex Education in India. It is dirty!

All right, this was a topic which I had in mind long back, but finally decided to put it down into words. I agree sex education is a sensitive topic, even more so in India where even the word sex is considered to be taboo, let alone discussing matters related to sexual intercourse and reproductive health. This is probably the most ironical and hypocritical situation in a country like India, which has the highest fertility rate and reproductive rate in the world, yet it shies away from discussing what is probably the biggest hurdle towards economic and social development- causes of overpopulation and family planning. It’s high time we accepted the fact that babies do not appear out of thin air or drop out from the sky.

I admit that vast majority of Indians are illiterate and many are barely literate. In such a situation, there is high ignorance and lack of awareness of family planning methods, and the importance of having a small family. In most rural parts of India, children are still considered as God’s gifts, and usage of contraception is considered as blasphemy. Another major issue is the demand for a male child, for which the couple will keep on trying to conceive, even at the cost of the mother’s life. It’s no wonder that the maternal mortality rate is so high in India, where even basic healthcare is a luxury for most.

Thus, there is absolutely no denying the fact that sex education is absolutely essential, and in fact should be made compulsory in all schools and colleges. Moreover, parents need to take the initiative by imparting sex education to their wards, as soon as the kids are, say 10 years old or so. But the most unfortunate fact is that parents themselves shy away from discussing this crucial information. The mindset that sex is dirty, vulgar and should not be discussed is widely prevalent in most parts of India. Many people even say-‘Its not in our culture to discuss sex.’ Yeah right, Kamasutra was probably Greek culture brought into India sometime in the past. Some people even remark-‘There is no need to educate a child about sex. It comes about naturally, and it’s a post marriage thing. He/she will automatically know about it when he/she needs to know about it.’ But maybe the hard realities will shed some light- over 12% of mothers in our country belong to the age group of 15-18 years. Teenage pregnancies and sex related health problems are growing at an unprecedented rate in our country.

Many people mistakenly believe that sex education is just about sex, the physical process. This is a common misconception. Sex education does not deal with just the physical aspect, it deals with lots of issues including reproductive health, family planning, relationships, Sexually Transmitted Diseases and their prevention, psychological and mental issues, etc. And there is absolutely nothing ‘dirty’ or ‘vile’ about this. The sad part is that even today, most people, including(shockingly) teachers feel embarrassed while discussing anything even remotely connected to sex. Some biology teachers are even known to skip the entire chapter on reproduction, advising the students to read it up themselves.

What happens as a result, is that children tend to get false(or semi truth) information from their peers, internet, magazines, pornographic movies, etc. Naturally, teenage is the age when they feel like experimenting, and being unable to distinguish between right and wrong, they get into trouble. In extreme cases, it may even lead to sexual abuse, assault, voyeurism and other perverted actions which are illegal. I can say, by my own experience that most males do discuss about sex, but in a very coarse and negative manner. It is quite clear by their upbringing that they have never been taught proper sex education at any level. For females, it’s usually just the reverse. They will avoid any discussion on sex[at least directly], and will subtly hint that it’s a very disgusting thing which should only be discussed amongst partners, that too after marriage. Even this attitude is not correct. It also leads to lots of incorrect information about reproductive health and taking care of their bodies.

I personally find that most young males do not have proper respect for females. They will keep ogling at them, and keep making derogatory comments. Such issues can be avoided to a large extent, if those males are properly educated from their childhood. Sex education can also actually help in bringing down the population level. It is a well established fact that the fertility level of a woman drops with increase in literacy. With proper education, we can limit the size of families and reduce the burden.

I will probably write more on this issue later[right now I just depicted the general picture in India], but for now, am ending it here. Take care everyone. And as usual, comments are welcome.