Wednesday, September 12, 2018

A Chance for Equality | shortlisted for #mBillionth2018 in Inclusion & Empowerment category

Sachin Tendulkar is a name known to everyone. He is one of the most famous cricketer’s of Indian cricket team, as well as is among the greatest batsmen in cricket history. He was only 11 when his brother, who believed he had great potential, took him to coach, Mr Ramakant Achrekar. Sachin was a little boy and was obviously nervous; he was not able to perform up to his calibre in front of Mr Achrekar. 

Ajit who had full confidence in Sachin, insisted Achrekar to move away from the nets and watch Sachin from a distance. Ajit stole a chance for his brother and it worked, Sachin did not get conscious and performed at his best. A chance at the right time can make a huge difference.

Now is the right time for information and everything digital, helping people on Planet Earth to have their chance to access information, knowledge and services at all times and at all places through the use of ICT (Information and Communication Technology) and digital tools is the mission of DEF (Digital Empowerment Foundation). The foundation works tirelessly to bridge the digital divide and empower the information-dark societies. Apart from its various programmes, DEF also launches few awards. One of the awards, The mBillionth Award South Asia, is the most influential and leading platform to explore, recognise and honour excellence in mobile innovations, applications and content services for development and empowerment across South Asia. The mBillionth Award has been previously won by start-ups like Ola, Paytm, Redbus.

The Quick Self-Defense App from Colorss Foundation is delighted to have been shortlisted as one of the innovations in the ‘Inclusion and Empowerment’ category of the mBillionth Awards. The App focuses on women empowerment and teaches techniques for Self-Defense. The app is easy to understand and is also available in multiple languages. It focuses on nine basic techniques to practice Self-Defense. Each technique is explained visually through a series of easy to follow steps. Also, each technique can be run in Learn or Practice mode, the Practice mode being a hands free mode, where the steps run automatically allowing the user to practice along with the steps.

Download the app and learn and practice Self-Defense anywhere, anytime.

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Ashpreet Dhillon 

Sunday, September 02, 2018

Women in the world making special news

History created: India's first batch of women fighter pilots commissioned’, this was a big and welcoming news published in 2016. Two years later, in 2018, the women made it to the newspapers again and managed to pull out yet another ‘first’ from their bags by flying MiG-21 ‘Bison’, which has virtually the highest landing and takeoff speed in the world. As the country marked 71 years of Independence this year, a first all-female SWAT team was deployed in streets of Delhi. These women have been trained in Krav Maga, which is a form of martial arts.

Feats like this conjure up from a number of external and internal factors, external in the form of help and support, both from family and society and internal in the form of courage, confidence and skills. Even more everlasting and deeply touching is the fact that the difference is made not only in the lives of the few women who were mentioned in the papers but the impact is manifold and macro, in terms of the countless women whose lives rekindle with hope and desires.

There are a number of women in the world who are making special news in their daily lives by winning their own ‘fights with firsts’ and at the same time there are many women who need help and support to make their fights a success and their achievements a news.

‘Mission 1000’ is one such initiative which wants to empower underprivileged girls and support them to move ahead so that they can turn their chances into opportunities. It prepares them to not only take the first step but also to sustain the confidence and to enhance and grow further. This is made possible through integrated workshops, which teach Self-Defense, and also focus on core development through meditation, life-skill sessions and value-based lectures.

A girl who can stand up against bullying, another who can go out and confidently perform her chores, a girl who can now travel in public transport and continue to educate herself are all special. These are a few impacts made possible through the mission. Though their fights have just started and their firsts may sound naive but these are the turning points which create histories. Every story starts with a single word. ‘Mission 1000’ aims to impact at least a 1000 lives every year, it aims to reach out to 1000 girls, who gain confidence to teach their mothers, and thus, help spread the message of empowerment like fire.

Join the ‘Mission1000’, and help achieve a common goal – thousand lives, thousand transformations.

Ashpreet Dhillon

Friday, August 31, 2018

Pen-powerment | Educate the Girl Child

Everyone always says that pens are mightier than swords. Before every battle fought, it’s the general who is the head behind the strategy. Education itself is a debatable term, according to me. Learning text books is a start to a formal education but hands-on experience in different fields of learning can also be considered as education. Another quote is that if you educate a mother, you educate the nation. Mothers are those entities who every child sees from the beginning of his/her life. We learn from her and our perception builds from what we see. A mother is a mother, nonetheless but an educated mother guides her child strategically through their life battles. Apart from fulfilling a successful role of being a mother, a woman has every right to educate herself and conquer her dreams.

In a patriarchal society, there are still areas that have the taboo of educating their girl and even if they do admit them to schools, the girls are a victim of early marriage or forced marriage. The cities have a completely different scenario. Women are still encouraged to get married as soon as they are of an appropriate (early or mid 20s) age. Now, you might ask, why is it important for women to study? Number one and only, the question is irrelevant in its own. It’s not about women studying, rather its
every human being’s right to education. Every man and woman needs to educate themselves. The question of ‘why’ cannot be considered in any circumstances.

Education doesn’t need to be from text books rather lessons that would help in life. Education would not only help women but would help the nation to grow as the workforce would increase and so will the economy and standard of life. When you’re educating half the world population, you are increasing the world by a notch. So, anyone who believes in gender equality should never ask why a woman should study, rather the question should be how can I help a woman study? Nothing is a better feeling than helping another human being to flourish. Remember, women are human first. Genders are a social construction for discriminating and voicing superiority, and avoiding this superficial thought could might as well be the first step to a better education.

Raisa Rahman

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Proud to be A Woman

Growing up in a single child household, I was always the peak of attention of both my parents, both in a positive and negative way. My parents loved me but were overly worried about my safety. My parents loved me but my extended family kept nudging them about how I should be raised like a man to be better in the society. The thought of being raised like a man has always made me cringe. As sexist as it sounded, this was a day-to-day conversation in every household. According to my father, specifically, he wanted me to be as responsible as a man and very often found himself in an avert position of dreading himself that I, one day, would be married off. I never really understood why this was such a necessity. Why couldn’t I be a woman and be brought up like one? That’s when I realized that to them, being brought up as a woman meant to cook, manage the household and take care of the children. So, I got their point, they wanted me to be independent - emotionally, financially and in every other way possible. After so many years of gender equality movement, we are back at the image of independence being equaled to men.

But as I grow up, I realize that I am proud of being a woman. I don’t think of myself as better or worse than men but I just want to be unapologetic as a woman. I can be strong and efficient. I can take care of the household (even though maintaining household should not be gender biased) and my work. I can take care of children and serve my passion at the same time. I don’t think, as a woman, should stop me from being who I am or who I want to be. Every woman should look at the positive, rather than the negative. We have to deal with too much stuff, from home or the world outside but that’s what makes us unique. We have the capability to turn the tables and be who we are. We have the strength to fight for what we want. We should never be sad for getting lesser trips than men or feeling more chained than them - rather we should focus on how to find happiness with what we have and who we are. We should help others to accept us and believe in us and it all starts from right now, today. Take
a moment, breath and enjoy being a woman - without any fear, without feeling like a burden and definitely, without feeling guilty of being a woman.

~Raisa Rahman

pic credits

Monday, August 06, 2018

Modern Parenting?

In a steadfast generation, good parenting is a necessary. Children are like fresh mud, they can be molded in many ways. Many of our societal problems start from a very early age, be it drug abuse or eve teasing. These things are to be taught from home but parents often emphasize more on educating the children by the books than focus on educating them as a human being. The importance of parenting is often misunderstood as a sort of guidance to only being successful in life but in reality, parenting works as a pillar for children to help them build perspective and personality. 

We have had long discussions and debates about gender equality and feminism. The ideas are the same without different explanation but in every way, the argument poses the same verdict and that is, everyone should treat everyone else equally. This lesson is not to be learned from an article or from a book but from home. Both boys and girls should be taught from when they are young to respect all genders and treat them equally. This is an important lesson to evaluate their future perspective. The idea of equality when engraved into children will help them build better ethics and morals. I believe that in this way we can stop or at least decrease sexual abuse, rapes, harassment and much more. 

From early on, parents should teach their girls to fight for their rights and protest when they are discriminated or when they feel abused or neglected. Parents should also teach girls to defend themselves emotionally and physically as well as help others to do the same. These important lessons can help the girl throughout her life and she wouldn’t feel like a burden to anyone and be more independent and responsible.


These lessons are thought to be crucial for girls and the parenting for modern parents are changing but at the same time, these lessons apply to boys as well. Boys are to be taught about gender equality, respect for all genders, consent, behavior etc. When boys are taught attitude of such, girls would feel safer around them. When you teach boys to be responsible and teach them to know what to do and what not to do, the rate for abuses will decrease. 

As said previously, the lessons start from home. It’s the baby step towards a better perspective which makes the world a better place to live in. We need to start from now to give our future generations a healthier mentality and society to live in.

~ Raisa Rahman

gif credits | image credits

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Volunteer: Is it a mind-game?

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A very common notion around volunteering is that it is about helping others and to ease guilty feelings. It is thought of as ‘more privileged’ people giving to those who are ‘less able’. Our brains are trained to measure everything based on something that is tangible or quantitative. We quantify privileges or abilities also in similar fashion. For example, we measure physical strength by appearance; we estimate the level of education or intellect through degrees/diplomas. The mind is also efficient and inclined in estimating financial strength of a person through visually available signs. To summarize, we are programmed to define ‘more able’ in a limited way. The intangible benefits or strengths which we lack lie in the blind spot zone. We create a self appealing picture to protect our illusive ‘more privileged’ image of ourselves and assume we are positioned to help others. 
After volunteering we feel good which might be due to the heightened feeling of self-worth or self-power associated with this act of ‘giving’. But we turn a blind eye to the ‘taking’ involved in the process. Volunteering is not just about helping others, it’s about helping oneself. There is a lot more one is left with while volunteering than what one gives during the experience. Everyone needs help, everyone needs a volunteer. 

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With the advent in technology, it’s even simpler to volunteer, by volunteering online. A few take-away from volunteering – 
  • A unique experience
  • Understanding of social, economic and legal factors
  • Connections across the globe with volunteering network’s
  • Learning new skills
  • Knowing yourself better
Line for
Understanding socioeconomic factors
New experiences
Teaming up at volunteer social network’s
Empowering yourself and others
Engaging others
Re-inventing yourself

Volunteer not just for others, volunteer and do something for yourself.

~ Ashpreet Dhillon

Monday, July 23, 2018

Self-Defense : psychological changes to human behaviour

In simple terms, defense is a countermeasure. If some damage or threat is perceived, natural response to protect oneself is triggered. The keyword here is ‘natural’. It implies everyone is born with the natural instinct to protect oneself from harm. Even harmless looking plants have self defense mechanisms, which range from visible defenses like thorns to invisible ones like release of chemical compounds.
Photo Credits
So, when faced with threat, natural response to protect oneself automatically takes precedence. But, is the involuntary engagement triggered by instinctive reaction enough to save us? The outcome does depend on one thing – practicing Self-Defense. Generally speaking, Self-Defense is thought of as a skill to enable oneself to stand against any harm to oneself. This is because of the benefits it has in terms of increasing physical strength. But, Self-Defense is not only about being able to protect oneself; it is also about being capable to protect oneself. This is especially true in case of women or children, who might be considered as being less able to protect themselves, based on comparative measures of physical strength. Self-Defense deserves due attention as it has the power to improve capabilities and compensate for any lack in abilities, hence changing lives forever. 
Just like reading a book on cars cannot make one a car driver, it requires practice, similarly Self-Defense needs to be practiced. Again, driving on an empty road might be impressive but it is not as challenging as driving in real traffic. Self-Defense, just like any other learning activity has its phases, too. As one goes deeper into the phases, it is easy to understand and feel the invisible benefits of Self-Defense. The observable visible benefits include increase in physical strength just like the visible plant defense mechanism, thorns. In addition, Self-Defense makes psychological changes to human behaviour too, which transcend the benefits to the internal mechanisms like release of chemical compounds on facing a threat situation. It helps to co-ordinate mind and body. ‘Battles have to be won in the mind first, and then with the body’, and Self-Defense helps to train both the mind and the body.
Colorss Foundation: Quick-Self Defense application for Android Phone
Practising Self-Defense broadens self-perception on one’s own physical capabilities, it increases confidence and self-esteem. These benefits are visible in the body posture and response reactions. It also has positive effects on the behaviour. It narrows the mental confusion and fear driven responses, helps to make quick judgements in threat situations and hence transforms a natural instinct into a more responsible means of protection for self and others.
~ Ashpreet Dhillon