Sunday, January 12, 2020

Wandering Tigers, Dying Leopards, Vanishing forest & Insensitive Humans!







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“The time I spent in the jungles held unalloyed happiness for me, and that happiness I would now gladly share. My happiness, I believe, resulted from the fact that all wildlife is happy in its natural surroundings. In nature there is no sorrow, and no repining. A bird from a flock, or an animal from a herd, is taken by hawk or carnivorous beast and those that are left rejoice that their time had not come today, and have no thought of tomorrow”… Jim Corbett.

Well,  percentage wise speaking out of my hundred articles about forests or wild life, in nearly ninety articles I have used words of this man as starting quote & needless to say he is one of the best person who has lived forest as being part of them as then only such words can come from a person, so was Jim! Reason of this sharing is some recent news which as usual were not headlines but at least was bold enough to capture attention of many readers! One was about a tiger T1C1 (frankly I don’t like calling a tiger like some serial number of a robot in Star Wars R2D2) from Tipeshwar forest in eastern part of Maharashtra State has travelled nearly 1800 km & settled back again in Tipeshwar. The tiger was radio collared a technique by which a collar is attached to the tiger’s neck & via satellite (just like GPS) you can keep the location track of the animal. This technology is used to ensure safe keeping of the tiger (as its endangered species) within its habitat. Just like we all have a habitat mean the periphery within which we travel for our daily living needs, a tiger also has a habitat. For e.g. I live in Pune city & my habitat is western parts of Pune city where I live as well go to work or go mostly to shop or dine. Only difference is a tiger need not have to go to shop or work as his sole work is to find a prey as well get a partner to mate i.e. a tigress! And here is the problem as unlike humans, tigers don’t have a society or laws, they have only one law & that is survival of fittest! So in one habitat i.e. periphery within which a male tiger moves for hunting or mating is called as its territory & reason mainly known that a male tiger getting out of territory is pushed away by another male tiger or getting separated from mom tigress & making its own territory, which is applicable to even a female i.e. tigress! And this territory thing isn’t just for male tigers, it’s for female tigers, for leopards, for even wild dogs, for eagle & well even male frogs has their territory!

And then there was news which is now common for news papers in Pune District & it’s about leopards attacking farmers as well some leopard getting killed in road accident by some vehicle. It’s happening mostly around Junnar/ Ambegaon towns in Pune district. In one of the recent road kill a leopard got hit by some speeding vehicle & the impact was so hard that the poor leopard got thrown away for nearly hundred feet & needless to say died on the spot & the vehicle fled from the spot! Well, in a country where nearly one lac fifty thousand people i.e. humans die in road accidents every year, who has time to care for a leopard being hit & die on road! And then  as it’s a leopard a big cat supposedly endangered that’s why at least it makes to news-paper headlines (though in some inner page) but thousands of other animals such as hyenas, wolves, deer, snakes & many more are not even that lucky to make even in news! And then these are just road kills, we haven’t yet reached to birds dying due to power lines or wind mill blades or fish dyeing in thousands because of river or sea pollution.

Now if you are wondering, isn’t this all routine stuff & you are actually bored reading about animals & the way death meets them in hundreds of ways (though we the humans only makes this meeting possible), well on this background you will understand the importance of the 1800km journey by the tiger T1C1 from some forest in eastern Vidarbha (a part of State) to a west of Vidarbha & in process crossing State’s boundary twice & get settled finally at the very same place from where the journey has started, miracle isn’t it? As during all this journey as even if a tiger can walk say 40 to 50 odd kms per day (actually it night) then also it makes some forty plus days to complete all this journey & not even once it attacked any human or got caught neither it’s been hit by some vehicle while crossing many roads including national highways, not got electrocuted by some open power cable or electric fence, not even got food or water poisoned by our created pollution! Indeed this guy must be a Super Tiger & that’s why to study its journey is very much important as it may revel many miseries about not just tigers but all such other species which we are trying hard (at least showing) to conserve or protect from our own selves! As till today we don’t know many things about animal’s behaviour & again who cares as we don’t even bother to know about behaviour of our kids or elder people at home or at our colleagues working under us in office, so to expect from us to care for studying about animal behaviour is bit too much, isn’t it!!

Yet there are people fool enough (its sarcastically said please) who spend time & money to study about behaviour as well life style of animals & it’s because of them C1T1’s such long journey could be documented & being studied, thanks to forest department’s role in it! Usually forest dept is hailed for its non-doing & reactive (never proactive) role about wild life but that’s not true as actually its ignorance from our rulers (Mai Baap Sarkar) is the main cause for such image of the dept. All such studies & analyzing study’s outcome needs lots of man power & money, which is never provided to the forest dept is a bitter fact! Imagine keeping track of an animal like a tiger which mostly moves at night & you don’t know where it will go & the same time you can’t go too close to it as it’s dangerous for the animal as well for the observer. And then you have to protect that animal from the local people (read as humans) as they may get sacred, exited & any time some disaster or mishap is at platter! And this is about just one tiger, there are nearly three hundred tigers (known) in this State & then it’s not just the tigers but leopards, sloth bears, deer, wolves, snakes & the list is unending of the animals we need to protect from humans & for that we need to study them in detail!

Coming back to the news of leopard being hit by speeding vehicle in rural part of Pune & getting killed, well there are many other news also the leopard attacking humans as well their cattle! Most people (humans) will ask a leopard killing many cattles, sheep & threat to human isn’t that important than the news of some leopard gets killed by vehicle & then the leopard has come on road, right? The vehicle hasn’t gone in forest to chase the leopard & kill it by colliding in it at speed! Well, humans will ask this question as they can speak, they can write, they can protest, they have laws, they have cars, they have traffic rules being taught in schools (yet they break it every day),they can build roads in the forests & they have got insurance also if they get hit or get killed in the accident! But a leopard can’t speak, it hasn’t come on road in the city (well that day is not long) but on a road which cuts its home that’s forest & nobody has taught him in school not to cross the road without looking to left or right for a speeding vehicle!

Actually where on one side FB/ Insta are full of leopard sightings where some humans pay thousands of rupees to go in forests to get one click of a leopard, it’s amazing that on other side we ignore a leopard (many actually) getting killed by our own interference in its habitat. And I do agree, it’s easy to write a blog on leopard’s death or post images of a leopard clicked by sitting in gypsy car but having a small mud hut in some remote place in forest & go out at night to water the farm where some hungry leopard is roaming around, well I won’t definitely love leopard or will think of its conservation! Here is where forest dept (read as govt), some sane people (who can think on behalf of a leopard) & society should come together & find a bridge between the leopard & the locals which are agitated by its presence. Indeed we are encroaching the leopards as well other species, a leopard has canines & claws so it can retaliate but not all other animals, birds & reptiles are that lucky. All they do is just surrender (read as get extinct) & move away for another place for survival, which is not that easy to find among all the humans around! Think of using leopard’s sightings as mean of tourism, give them some reserved space & food of their own & I am sure it won’t come looking for MacDonald or Pizza in your towns! Agreed, in a country where land is gold, it’s not that easy to make space for the leopards or the wolves but ask ourselves are we the only & rightful owners of this land which we measure & get on our name via some document names 7/12 or property card? Just as a tiger or leopard don’t have revenue dept or city survey with them; they can’t claim some piece of land for themselves, isn’t it?

Just other day on my morning walk I saw a person throwing garbage collected from his home in to Mutha river from the Rajaram bridge near my home, well, it’s a common sight I see every day & I felt like asking that how he will feel if some fish or frog throws their left over in his kitchen while he is having his lunch or on his bed while he is sleeping at peace in his bed room! We just don’t care & we only cry that rivers are polluting & fish are dying, Hippocrates we are! In 2019 nearly 110 tigers & 491 leopards have been died across the country & that’s enough to tell the story about fate of other animals & birds & water species!

Guys, it’s not about a C1T1 tiger travelling 1800km or a leopard getting hit by unnamed truck; but who made that tiger to travel so much just for its food or home or who made the road right in the heart of the home (forest) of that leopard & what we are doing about that “who”, is the only question I will ask to every that person who calls himself or herself a human!

(* In a small awareness effort, we at Sanjeevani, decorating the lift cabins in our all projects with wild life images with a message "save wild life")

-- 
Sanjay Deshpande 
Sanjeevani Dev.

Please view my sharing about real estate in Pune at U-Tube link below..



Please do visit my blogs to know about our philosophy at Sanjeevani ! (Click the links below)


http://jivnachadrushtikon.blogspot.in/

Social Side of Sanjeevani ! (Click link below)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/65629150@N06/sets/72157627904681345/

For any of your complaints about city, log in at link below

www.punecorporation.org
Take your issues to Hon PM at link below..
Think Green, Think Life

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

City, Revenue & Citizens !










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“Remind people that profit is the difference between revenue and expense. This makes you look smart”… Scott Adams.
Scott Raymond Adams is the creator of the Dilbert comic strip, and the author of several nonfiction works of satire, commentary, and business. His Dilbert series came to national prominence through the downsizing period in 1990s America and was then distributed worldwide. And no wonder its such words from the greats like Scott are ageless & applicable even today, if you want a proof, read the news about our dear PMC’s reducing (well, that’s ever reducing actually) revenue! Every year come March, the targets or say budget of PMC rise to new high & as the year crawls to end, the reality (read as revenue) figures tells different story & that’s happening for past few years & it does affects not just real estate but entire city’s development. Agreed, Pune is much blessed than most cities in the State when it comes to revenue but then just like some sharp kid in the class, the expectations of the teachers as well parents are more from PMC as it’s supposedly the Smartest City in the State! Let’s see first what PMC’s budget means as many won’t even know how a city can have a budget!

PMC i.e. our municipal body which is responsible to give us services right from water supply to drainage system to life our garbage to give us proper roads for our vehicles to provide us public transport to maintain public health to give education to the needy students to provide us gardens & public places to keep us entertained, well the list is unending for the services which are essential for the citizens & all these services costs money which needs to be recovered from the people who avail these services means “The Citizens of Pune City”! And here is the main issue i.e. to collect the money required to make all above services possible which is called as infrastructure & the money collected (read as generated) to build the infrastructure is called as revenue. Just like any big corporate company there is a budget which decides how much money is required yearly for building & maintaining the infrastructure the city needs & how this money is going to be generated. We know the kind of services a city needs as its mostly same all around the State or the Country as well the means of revenues are also same but are dependent on many factors & they are growth of the city, the kind of people (read as citizens) the city has & the way this revenue is decided & collected i.e. the system! Here is where the major problems are i.e. collecting as well deciding the avenues of the revenue from the citizens & the city!

Majorly the city’s revenue is generated from four segments, property tax, new constructions premiums, advertising at public places & GST’s share from Central Govt which earlier was Octroy. And then the PMPML i.e. public transport which supposedly should run self sufficient like Railway or any transportation company but it’s just logic as since many years the public transport is running in loss only adding more burden on city’s budget. These all are conventional revenue generation & let’s see about the scene on these fronts…

Main segment of any city’s (ideally)  revenue should be property tax i.e. a fixed amount collected periodically from the citizens which are occupying some space in the city for any purpose i.e. may it be for residence or for business or profession i.e. money earning. And this is the most “kamjor kadi” i.e. weakest link in revenue generation as right from the way this tax is calculated to the implementation i.e. actual recovering the tax from the citizens, everything is chaos! Many won’t like my comment but that’s fact, as going by the logic every citizen living in a legal premise (well, will explain that aspect also) in the city & availing services by the city must be charged same in proportion of the size of the premise he or she or by the family it occupies, isn’t it? Well, PMC doesn’t believes in logic as there are hundreds of ways by which the mode of charging to citizens depending up on location to age of the property differs & not just by margin but by huge way. For e.g. a 2 bhk flat in old city area built some forty or thirty years back (and there are thousands of such) has to pay Rs 250 for six months as property tax but  a 2 bhk flat built in 2019 of same area has to pay nearly Rs 2500 for six months as property tax. Both flats are in PMC area & sanctioned by PMC only, just the difference is the time span during which they have been built. But a simple logic is people residing in both the flats are citizens of the very city & enjoys same services, then why just some residence is old & some is new can be differentiating factor in calculating property tax, is the question I will ask to the authorities? And if the flat is for sale then just because the flat is built earlier so will that owner will be selling it at way lower than the new flat in the same area, well go & check by yourself guys & tell me the answer!  But only our PMC bosses knows the logic in keeping difference for new & old property’s taxation for the same services they provide to both & this is huge deficit for the revenue. Because even the periodical hike in the property tax for the old properties is peanuts in compare to the cost of the services or infrastructure the city needs to serve all old & new development. At the same time rather the maintenance of the infrastructure in the old city area such as age old sewer lines or water lines is a major burden on city’s budget is a fact! Indeed we are a wonderful country, as we can speak for having same law all over the country for all the citizens of the country but nobody speaks about applying same property tax to all the citizens of just one city!

And then there is one more aspect to the property tax, all above new & old are legal properties & at least they are paying may be less or more but no one knows or have any clue about how to collect property tax from illegal property users, residence or commercial! Again no availability of proper data regarding illegal properties is boon for many because we don’t have to worry about illegality then. But if nearly 40% of population of the city lives in slum (read as illegal properties) then they are already living without paying zero or nominal property tax isn’t it, as if some property is illegal in itself then how we can collect tax from it, is the logical question comes to my mind! And then one more thing, why the property tax is only as per size of the property & why not its per person, as in 3BHK flat there can be two people living & in a 1 BHK flat there can be six people residing, so who puts more burden on city infra? One more thing (read as joke), to my knowledge property tax on vacant land is less than the built up land i.e. land on which some structure has been build. Logical as vacant lands doesn’t put any burden on PMC infra but if the said land is planned for some use say residential zone or has some reservation on it & the owner isn’t developing it or handing the same for the purpose it’s been reserved for, then such lands must be charged ten times than normal rate of property tax! This is the way they do in European cities as well in USA because if a land has been marked for some particular use & just as the landlord is not using it for the same then that lands potential is not being utilized causing more burden on city, so this must not happen is the logic behind it. For e.g. if a land has been shown as under reservation of play ground & the land-lord is not handing over the said land to PMC then the entire city is being deprived from having a sports ground isn’t it & unless the land-lord is pinched by virtue of such additional taxation, he won’t hand it over to PMC as well that can be one way of generating more revenue for the city also!

Now coming to next aspect is premiums from new constructions i.e. for every square foot of new plan sanctioning PMC gets some amount in the form of various premiums as well development charges & they too are reducing in recent past. Surprising isn’t it as with ever increasing city population, how is it possible, is what many will ask. Well answer lays with again “pahale anda ki pahale murgi” types with revenue only. As lesser revenue affects infrastructures’ even distribution in & around the city & real estate grows only where proper infrastructure is available. Thus the suburbs of the city which has good road, ample water, proper drainage & rest all things, here the rates of lands are above gold (just a fraze) & not many can afford to buy a home here & in the locations where infrastructure is not proper people are not ready to live, thus in both ways there is reduction in new projects which directly affects real estate as well city’s revenue in the form of premiums. And then there are many pending policies such as TDR utilization as well Metro TDR & paid FSI making new projects got delayed. At the same time no TDR on the lands of road with 6 meters type decisions are also reason for lesser supply of homes in the city which has maximum roads of that width. And then no more people are having PMC as only option as the new job centers are like Hinjawadi, Kharadi, Chakan, PCMC, it’s obvious with lack of proper public transport more & more people are opting to stay out of corporation limits i.e. in PMRDA limits which again is resulting in lesser projects in PMC area. At the same time this migrating population for job in Pune region just can afford to buy home with PMC limit is also a matter of concern. So now the focus must be to create more jobs within city limits & for that one has to rethink entire city planning!

At the same time need is think out of the box for new avenues of revenue earning & tourism or medical tourism can be good option. But unfortunately PMC doesn’t have tourism dept itself to my knowledge, so you can imagine our rulers’ attitude towards new ideas & innovations regarding not just revenue but entire city as a whole. On any Sunday or public holidays, all that one can do is visit the Malls or Cinemas as the city doesn’t have enough public gardens or recreation or heritage places where people can come together & spend time.

And then the same confusion about policy or lack of vision is with advertising revenue; with thousands of illegal hoardings, billboards occupying city sky yet generating zero revenue!

See, just one aspect of property tax & there is so much to think as we act up on but the main problem with PMC is all the dirty jobs (read as revenue increasing) are left with administration & elected members rarely push for any such drive as they think it will affect their vote bank! I think high time the so called wise rulers (are there any) of this city come together giving up so called political rivalry & think for the city’s survival (read as revenue generation) or else one day the budget may cross hundreds of crores of rupees but at the end if revenue is zero, we won’t be no more a Smart City but Mungerilal’s City (Search for “Mungerilal ke Haseen Sapne” on Google)!  

--
Sanjay Deshpande 
Sanjeevani Dev.

Please view my sharing about real estate in Pune at U-Tube link below..



Please do visit my blogs to know about our philosophy at Sanjeevani !
 (Click the links below)


http://jivnachadrushtikon.blogspot.in/

Social Side of Sanjeevani ! (Click link below)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/65629150@N06/sets/72157627904681345/

For any of your complaints about city, log in at link below

www.punecorporation.org
Take your issues to Hon PM at link below..
Think Green, Think Life


Key to Your Home in 2020 !







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“It’s only after you’ve stepped outside your comfort zone that you begin to change, grow, and transform.”… Roy T. Bennett

Bennett was elected chairman of the Ohio Republican Party (USA) in 1988, and remained until 2009.Bennett qualified as a Certified Public Accountant and an attorney specializing in tax and business law. And while we enter in to yet another year, it’s his above words which the real estate industry should understand & more than that adopt is what I will say. As it’s more than four years now every one of real estate industry is still asking (read wondering) where the things are heading in nutshell when the sales will start rolling. And joke is if that’s what builders & other allied fraternities such as vendors as well contractors related to the real estate are asking the end users i.e. the clients or say home buyers are still stuck up with the question where & how to buy the home they are looking for! Actually never there was such confused phase in real estate where everyone is waiting for each other’s move i.e. if the builders are waiting for clients to book flat which he has or is building & has great offers (by builders purview) then the client is waiting for the builder to reduce prices further or see the project in full ready form so as he can move in immediately after the agreement!

This last part is the most significant change real estate has seen in last four decades is what I feel & that is no one is in the comfort zone any more, neither the builder nor the buyer. Yet in compare to all other cities I will say still Pune is yet in much better (not comfort) zone where at least you can breathe for some air! Means, here the homes are in demand as buyers are in the market & has money to buy, now only thing the builder has to do is identify the buyer & his needs & deliver the product accordingly. Well I will say builders job is easier than the buyer & I know many eyebrows are going to be raised with my this remark about real estate but then the builder builds any project (read as homes) to make some money & has a strategy for the same as well most importantly he has say to launch or stall the project at his will (read as comfort) but what about the end user i.e. flat buyer, has he (or she) such privilege when it comes to home as a product? Answer is big No, as why you are buying a home is the first question I ask to every home buyer coming to me. Many will say, what the joke, for living, is the simple answer, isn’t it? But then most of the times simplest things are most difficult to achieve & this is said by great philosophers, not me saying so!

Let me explain situation of the home buyers in market, its same like in any big mall during shopping festival, you have a limited budget (major criteria) & you have unlimited options, best time to get confused. As you are not sure what you want to buy exactly with your budget, at one outlet you see something which is in your budget & you liked it but you are afraid than next outlet may be offering better deal & you will lose on it if you buy here. At the same time you are afraid for this aspect also that you go ahead to check another outlet then if the deal there is not as good as this outlet’s then by the time your turn back this opportunity will be lost! Well, what you do at such times, my experience is most of the time you take no decision & comes back without buying anything, the same is scene with real estate named mall! And then as a buyer no more home is the only front which is worrying you, your job security, your kid’s education fees, your car’s EMI, your family vacation trips, your weekend outings, your general shopping, all such things are there to keep your pocket busy & sometimes you have to keep home as second priority as indeed it’s a costliest product of all your needs. And now you know the mega sale is on in real estate mall, so you know you can afford to wait but do mind real estate differs from all other products on one front & that is land is limited which is raw material for real estate & this means choice is not as big as other commodities only if you know why you are buying a home in first place. For e.g. if you have a job in Hinjewadi IT park (a suburb in West of Pune) then even if there are hundreds of options on Wagholi/ kharadi (an East side Subarb of Pune), will you end up buying home there just because its within your pocket & ready possession too, to avoid project delay types hurdles! No, is the answer as to commute to & from between East to West of Pune now day’s takes nearly four hours of your day, means you get to spend just sleeping time at your home! With, due respect to Metro which is yet to see day-light to run for two or three more years with full efficiency, the traffic scene is only going to be worst looking at our other public transport options (read as our attitude towards it). And then also the Metro will have to be well equipped with connecting infra like bus service once you are getting out on some station. So commuting from work to home, from kids school to home as well commuting for our daily needs will be a major factor for choosing a home, which many people forgets!

And then comes the specification & amenities part which adds on more confusion in selecting a home. My clear logic is when I buy a Mercedes car then I don’t buy it just for its nice upholstery or side mirrors or the Hi-Fi music system it has neither I buy it as a status symbol, I buy a Merc because it’s a good car & for its performance & comfort as well safety it assures me at that price & I can afford to buy the Merc is also important, same way a home is not different than a Merc! I buy a home for comfort, coziness, convenience, safety  & all these factors are very individual as well has nothing to do with swimming pool, gym, children’s play area or jogging track which are accessories of the home & they are not home. That doesn’t mean all these things are useless, it means they are important but for that first make your definition of comfort, coziness because if a home is in your budget with giving you market as well schools in nearby premise & reducing your travel time to your work place by few hours then that is your comfort & coziness, isn’t it! But if the same home is available with all such accessories & ready to move in & in your budget then definitely go for it as then it has covered all the criteria of your definition for comfort, coziness & safety without burdening your pocket! And along with this it’s very much important who is the maker of the product we call home as I buy a Merc because it’s backed up by best of the after sale service too. Well, Toyotas, BMWs & Hondas (as well others) please don’t get offended I am using Merc as symbol, to explain real estate clients, how we should judge a product, that’s all. And again unlike any other product in real estate post possession (read as delivery or handing over) many things are involved & they are not just engineering aspects but legal too, such as society formation & title i.e. ownership transfer of your home. And all these aspects also counts for your comfort & coziness & safety because even if you get a home in your budget (which you think) with all best comfort providing amenities but it doesn’t get transferred on your name for a while or if the home has some civil works maintenance issues post possession such as water proofing or electric repairs & the product maker (read as builder) turns a blind eye towards your repairs, then will your be comfortable & at peace? Ask yourself this question while you make your definition of comfort is what I will suggest.

Lastly, about a big debate over comparison between renting a flat & buying one; well, no harm in renting a flat especially if you are not able to define your ideal home. But then comparing own home & rental is like Ola/ Uber service vs. buying your own vehicle, it’s that simple. I myself use Uber many a times but not all the time as there have been incidences of these services causing agony to my mind as well to my pocket! Yes, in dilemma about your career as well priorities, you can rent a home for a while but can you settle forever in a rental home with peace of mind; well, you only have to answer it! Apart from all the above factors your home is your best asset also, a status which no other commodity can enjoy is a fact which even financial wizards also accepts. Except gold, every other commodity loses its value with time but not homes (well most homes) & that’s true if you have made a right definition of your home & then only has bought it!
For the builders looking at year 2020, I will say stick to basics, as the wise old men has advised, maturity is in knowing what we cannot do than what we can do! Do proper planning of what you are going to build & how & once you start the project see that you build it through till end. One thing I have realized with real estate is no more even the unfinished or half projects will give you money; it’s only the completed projects that can generate some money for you & you are here to make money, I presume & in present times you can make money in real estate only if you make it in right way! At the same time stay connected to your clients, vendors, contractors as well to your team members by every means on personal level as these indeed are tough times & as a captain how you handle these times is what going to decide mental state of all these segments!

So, go ahead dear home buyers, welcome the New Year with a clear vision & open mind, just do remember the coming year is a  2020, with lots of entertaining offers for your home but buying an home is like a Test Match which will be testing your patience, temperament but once you master it, the home will be with you forever in all respects!
-- 
Sanjay Deshpande 
Sanjeevani Dev.

Please view my sharing about real estate in Pune at U-Tube link below..



Please do visit my blogs to know about our philosophy at Sanjeevani ! (Click the links below)


http://jivnachadrushtikon.blogspot.in/

Social Side of Sanjeevani ! (Click link below)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/65629150@N06/sets/72157627904681345/

For any of your complaints about city, log in at link below

www.punecorporation.org
Take your issues to Hon PM at link below..

Think Green, Think Life

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Jungle Belles; Tribute to the Path Untraveled!













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“Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.” … Robert A. Heinlein.

The year 2019 has come to end & while penning down my sharing in the later part of December I always love to look back & see the days of the years by rewinding the mind tape! Though tape (video/audio) now days has been restricted to sticking tape as today’s genre doesn’t even know what it is yet my genre still understand it as it meant!  Last two years my forest trips are not frequent as they used to be (I do miss them) yet my exposure to wilderness remained a lot & thanks to the people who made it possible, I want to introduce two such women who are my friends & that makes me proud! As you might be knowing wild life conservation, which is need of time, is something not much considered as woman’s field & reasons are forests are far away from homes, as well the infrastructure there is not so comfortable (read as safe which is a myth though) & then when the holiday destinations are decided in the family a woman has last say as its always kids & the hubby & the seniors in the home (read as In-Laws) is the standard chronology in most Indian families. Obviously a lady of the home has hardly any choice of her place to visit & no wonder forests comes last on travel agenda! At the same time it’s not possible to go with unknown groups especially if men are involved, is another hurdle, even if the lady gets permission to go to forests alone. 

That is the reason if you go through social media & groups of wild life photographers posting their wonderful wild life images, 95 out of 100 such wild life images are clicked by men & most celebrity wild life names are of male gender! Though we forget wild life is not just about clicking photographs of tigers but a lot lot more than it & to understand wild life first one needs to visit the forests or else how you are going to love them & if you don't love forests how you are going to conserve them, is something I always ask to the people! And on such background if a wife, a mom, a sister, a girl-friend, a grand-mother starts visiting forests, gets enlightened about its importance, then only she can tell (read as share) about forests & what these forests needs from us to survive, to her brother, son, husband & friends & there only is some hope for forests as well thousands of species who are endangered & on verge of being extinct by some son, father, husband or a friend ( read as men)! 

And then another side is this can be best mental as well physical break for a woman when she visits some forest far away from city life as well home's daily chores, rejuvenating herself for her infinite duties! This is why Hemangi Vartak & Aarti Karve's new venture Jungle Belles is special as its women focused & making them aware about their duty not just towards forests but towards themselves! And when they both decided to start Jungle Belles, which will be a service to provide the platform to women to make them visit wilderness exclusively by themselves i.e. ladies special you can call, I myself as their friend as well as a wild lifer, was happy to be their little support via Sanjeevani i.e. my firm. As here are two women who are themselves comes from so called elite (read as upper class) part of society & who could have been just happy by visiting forests by themselves & post their outings on Insta /FB & get applauds from their friends. But they deiced to do something more as they not just love forests but they want to convert their love for forests in more better way & actually do something for the forests & what better way than making other women gets exposure of forests by their venture! And if you want to make a woman love something then first she should know that thing, a simple funda which most men never understands & that’s why may be it took these two women to come up with concept like Jungle Belles!

Well, Jungle Belles doesn’t just takes women to forests but brings forest to them at their door steps that too in city like Pune through many well known wild life celebrities, which shares their work as well passion about wild life with audience (mostly women) so that the bond between women & forests gets builds! Jungle Belles runs (an plans to continue with it) an year long activity in Pune for wild life lovers & more for non lovers (of wild life) by which a platform is being created between the people in field & people in city, to make both these fraternities gets exposed to each other. And this includes forest departments senior people who actually work for protecting forests like Mr. Nitin Kakodkar, IFS, PCCF (Wild), wild life filmmakers like Nalla Mutthu & Bedi brothers, wild life photographers like Vikram Potdar & Mohan Thomas & the list will sure soon have some female names too as there are such though a few yet; infact the Jungle Belles took off at the hands of none other than Vandana Chavan, MP of Pune who is known for her environment awarness!! And even if you get the forests to a woman’s door step yet getting that woman to her door steps is hell difficult, especially when the cause is like wild-life. Because unfortunately that’s not priority for most women & when a woman is invited for some wild life program then she comes out with every possible reason for not attending it (even it may be a holiday or week end); such as, kids have classes, its holiday & husband wants me around, I have to attend some family function, I don’t have transport arrangements, my maid hast turned up today, my in-laws are not well & the list is just un-ending! And this is why we are unable to protect forests & natural habitats as the women power has not yet joined hands in this movement!This is where the path of Jungle Belles concept wise may look golden & great, but it’s rough & tiring than any jungle path actually, as its most difficult to make women know that the key to save the forests or nature is in their hands only! Still Hemangi & Aarti (in support with Anuj Khare) dared to take this path & are on with their fight, this is what makes them special in my eyes!

Below is something about Jungle Belles which I wrote; it’s actually for Hemangi & Aarti, more than readers…...

Indeed, Girlz, with Jungle Belles, it's the wilderness experience is what we want to make you live by! A venture by Hemangi Vartak & Arrti Karve, who themselves are Master of Management & Wild Lifers too, have come-up  exclusively for Women Wild Life Tours, Awareness & Conservation opportunity! It’s well supported by veteran wild life guy like Anuj Khare!  Jungle Belles is is Wild Life Tours only for Women & there will be a round the year Club activity also with loads of programs, dedicated to wild life knowledge sharing as well conservation. Best part is it’s by the women, for the women so fur some moments you will keep aside every responsibility you perform under different roles & explore the nature through best dimension i.e. wild life! 
Actually by me it’s not just about wild life, forests, animals, nature or even conservation, it’s actually for every that woman who keeps herself on the back foot (or say back stage) when its deciding priorities. I don’t by mistake will say to any woman that don’t care for your husband or kids or family  & then comes your house hold duties & then job front for working women & then comes career but beyond all this there is a duty towards your own self, its knowing the woman within you & make her at peace & happy & best way for that goes through nature. When you are visiting some forest even nearby to Pune or attending some visual presentation about nature or forests, that time is what you are giving (read as gifting) to your own self & that’s what I call rejuvenation! Do it women & see you are not just helping to a movement known as Save Tiger but you hold power to Save Entire Society; that’s what Jungle Belles is going to make you know about yourself!

So ladies, this 31st Dec, while you welcome a New Year, make a resolution to be a Wild Lifer Woman & age is not a criteria here, gender is surely & it’s in your favor when you joins Jungle Belles, Happy New & Pink Wild Year Girlz!

You can get more info about Jungle Belles from aarti/hemani or anuj at..

junglebelles.pune@gmail.comas well at 09763418218/ 09923558588 / 08007976337

--
Sanjay Deshpande 
Sanjeevani Dev.

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