Mar 27, 2017

Your Child is Not A Google App

“Hey, what marks did your daughter score in science?” some mom asked me on the result day.

Image Courtesy:
“I don’t remember exactly, since they have all sorts of UTs, Internal Assessment and Term Exams among other things. But she seems to have done reasonably well.” I quipped lightheartedly. Anything above 85% is reasonably well for me. And I know that my daughter had understood the concepts clearly, though she did not present them in the perfect language the teacher expected. But I thought that is not such a big deal and she will learn this art gradually as she grows up.

The mom persisted breathlessly, “My son scored around 92 (out of 100) in Science and I am very disappointed...

Read my full article at MyCity4Kids

Click Neha Gupta @mycity4kids for more articles.

Feb 4, 2017

Just Talk

Do you really talk with your little one? 

Do you discuss about what's happening around?

How often and openly do you broach the subject of Inappropriate Touching?

Courtesy: Google Image

It's downright agonizing reading about the sexual abuse of women when they were just kids. It's their anguish, their stories, their painful narratives that compelled me to write this post. And with the increasing incidents of molestation against children, both boys and girls, it is pertinent to take some precautionary steps to keep our children safe...

Read my full article on this sensitive issue at MyCity4Kids

Click Neha Gupta @mycity4kids for more articles.

Jan 24, 2017

Dare To Be Free

Courtesy: Google Image
I have always been an admirer of Swami Vivekananda's works, and lately more so. His lectures, his words carry a very deep meaning that if followed can enrich one as a human being. Here is one such line from his lecture that left a deep imprint in my mind.

Therefore, dare to be free, dare to go as far as your thought leads, and dare to carry that out in your life.
- Swami Vivekananda, The Free Soul (1896)

Let me explain these beautiful words of Swami Vivekananda through a small story.

Once an elephant was kept in captivity since the time he was born. His hind leg was chained. The chain was just long enough to let him move around for a few metres. One day...

Read my full article on the deeper meaning of Swami Vivekananda's work at AkkarBakkar

Click Neha Gupta @AkkarBakkar  for more articles.

Jan 17, 2017

Modern Day Parenting

Today morning, when I was standing at the bus stop to drop off my daughter, I realized it was freezing outside and she is not wearing her school blazer. Immediately, I got into a frenzied emergency mode ignoring the fact that she was already loaded with 3 sweaters…and it was definitely not cold enough for water to turn into ice! So practically speaking, she was safe!

But there I was all worked up!

‘Hey, Ishita, you must be feeling cold! I will run and get your blazer or my own coat.’ I spluttered anxiously. 

‘Mom, it’s cold but I am fine. You please relax!’

I took a deep breath to calm myself and asked her again in just short of 2 minutes, ‘Are you sure Ishita, you are not feeling cold!’ I must have sounded like a frantic mother whose child is stuck from neck below in the freezing snow of the Arctic, because Ishita gave me one of those warning looks that meant ‘Mom Please!!’

In an effort to divert my attention, I looked around and noticed that...

Read my full article on modern day parenting at The Art of Parenting @AkkarBakkar

Nov 6, 2016

Delhi is Choking

The capital city of India is choking and this is an Emergency!
And an emergency requires urgent action; isn’t it?
So, what are YOU doing about it? And what actions are the AUTHORITIES taking on this?

The AQI (Air Quality Index) in Delhi is 999 that is 15 times more than that of New York City. Even Beijing has AQI of just 134, far less than Delhi and surrounding areas. The safe level of AQI is supposed to be less than 50. The AQI of various other cities in India is given below for your reference:
Hyderabad 161
Mumbai 152
Jaipur 80
Kolkata 63

To manage any disease, we first need to assess the cause and then proceed to symptomatic treatment and thereafter preventive measures. So let’s study this situation through an objective lens.

According to research, following are some of the causative factors for the increased toxic matter in the air:
  •  Persistent Vehicular Pollution
  • Dust from Construction sites
  • Crop Burning
  • Garbage burning
  • Bursting of Crackers

Let me also elaborate on the toxins that we all are inhaling? Carbon Monoxide, Nitrogen Oxide, Nitrogen Dioxide, Benzene, Ammonia, Sulphur Dioxide and tiny particles PM 10 and PM 2.5.
Now coming to the adverse effects that are induced by inhaling these toxins persistently in such alarming levels:
  •  Increased respiratory problems especially in people with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease) and Asthma.
  •  Fatigue and headache
  • Research has shown that children can suffer from low IQ, risk of autism and epilepsy on persistent and/or significant exposure to air toxins.
  • Inhaling of such air toxins can lead to reduced life span.
  • Increased incidence of stroke and heart failure in adults.

We need to take strong preventive and symptomatic measures to manage the choking hazard in Delhi before it grows into a cancerous disease. So what are some short term and immediate measures that can be taken at an individual level?
  • Indoor Plants: There are some plants that might help in purifying indoor air. Plants like Spider plant, Ficus, Peace Lily, Snake plant, Boston Fern and Bamboo Palm may help in removing toxins like Benzene, Ammonia from the air.
  • Increase anti-oxidants in diet: Taking antioxidants especially Vitamin C may help in curbing the harmful effects of the toxins.
  • Keep AC on for filtered air: It is advisable to use air purifiers at home. You can also use your air conditioner in the ‘Fan’ mode for similar result.
  • Keep the windows closed to avoid toxic air inside your house.
  • It is medically advisable to avoid morning/evening walks and minimize outdoor activities to minimum for a couple of days.

What about Preventive Measures? Authorities and common public together can come together to create solutions for this increasing air pollution in Delhi:

Strict law enforcement in curbing all the old diesel vehicles is essential. Encourage car-pooling and increased use of public transport. Students and schools should be encouraged to create regular drives for common public to create awareness. Again strict law enforcement is required to make optimal use of landfills for garbage disposal and dust from construction sites. Crop burning is a serious issue. There must be more scientific ways to increase the fertility of agricultural land other than burning of crops. A kind request to media to focus on constructive discussions regarding such topics rather than political mud-slinging. Please engage scientific people in such talks for creative and practical solutions. Also focus on exposing defaulters in cases of vehicular pollution, garbage burning and crop burning. This might dissuade people indulging in such harmful activities.
Schools should not have “No Crackers” policy in name only. Try having debates, classroom discussions and nukkad natak to enforce such themes.

I am not blaming any political party or person. The purpose of this article is to make people aware of the current dismal situation in the capital city of India and, various ways to combat that.

Sep 10, 2016

The Road To Heaven

Here are some snippets from my guest blog at IcelandNaturally:

"We had just landed in Reykjavik, after a long flight of 10 hours."
Colorful Reyjavik
Hallgrímskirkja Church: Largest church in Iceland
"The next morning, we were off to Westfjords for a day tour!

The landing of the plane was terrific, the way it meandered between the hills and glided smoothly over the ocean before it came to a halt on the runway."
Airport @Isafjordur

"Isafjordur was the first town we had planned to see in our 14 day long trip to Iceland. It felt like I have been transported into one of those perfect Noddy towns of Enid Blyton."
Artistic Town of Isafjordur

"The white sunlight filtered through the water droplets breaking into a kaleidoscope of colours." 
Dynjandi Waterfalls

 Read the full article @