Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Freedom to Act!




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“Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can't practice any other virtue consistently.”… Maya Angelou.

Maya Angelou was an American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, several books of poetry, and is credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning over 50 years. However we the easterner criticize west(read USA) this country has given many people to the modern world which has enriched our culture not by just their thought but the courage they displayed while sharing their thoughts & Maya Angelou is one such! And on the very same scale of courage ours once rich country on this front now performs badly, is a fact. No wonder on such back ground when a Supreme Court Justice & who is very much in service shows courage to point out the flaws in our so called Freedom, it’s worth appreciation & before that I will say sharing! Of-late we have witnessed many high profile bureaucrats (read IAS, IPS, IRS, IFS cadre) writing down their views via biography about the society as well govt (read as rulers) in very dare devil way but only after their retirement or when they are sure now they won’t get any new post or responsibility as perk of their service which was mostly to some individual politically powerful figure or some political party! Keeping due respect to many respected officers which don’t follow this track yet even when they take on social media or from their speeches as guest speakers from public dais, of course post retirement, suddenly they realize lacunas in the system which we call as govt & criticize the same with full guns firing! It may be some Director General of Police who comments on Police Force improvements needed or some Secretary to State which shares his tips about improving revenue dept & curbing corruption or some Army General which lashes govt for ill treatment it gives to the defense men & many such but one thing is common & that’s is there is “Rtd. i.e. Retired” before all such names! Well, when I read about such criticism, the only question comes to my mind is, “boss, what were you doing when you were in power or say post & could have tried some change by yourself, which now you are suggesting”!

And then one more question remains & that is, how many of such Rtd. Bureaucrats or Rtd. Govt Servants really mean the so called improvement or betterment of the society which they preach from their public speeches or social media posts! Because most of the time such post retirement advises or comments about the betterment of society come from either frustration or some hidden motive for personal gain & common man is no more a fool not to understand such “Post Retirement Wisdom” of these people!

On all such background recently I came across two news which didn’t make much of headlines in newspapers, one was about Supreme Court Justice Mr. Chandrachud speaking on the occasion of Freedom about Art & Our Attitude, & one was about an IAS officer Gopinathan resigning from the service with a public note about how he is fade up with the system (read as govt) for “Lack of Freedom” & he thinks he can’t do anything even as an IAS officer so better to resign! Though Gopinathan did get much footage on social media but Mr. Chandachud’s speech wasn’t that discussed, may be people are real afraid of Supreme Courts might so even to make any positive comment also they avoid! In past also there has been incidences of people from services resigning over their distrust in the system they only have chose to work with, Shah Faesal is one such hyped name, a topper in IAS from Kashmir cadre  who resigned in the start of year 2019 over the killings in Kashmir valley & finally joined politics! Well, its individuals choice how to improve system i.e. by being part of the system or keeping out of the system, till you have a goal of making this society a better place, the way doesn’t matters is what I think! But all such cases do indicates that how difficult it is to be at some high post in govt & yet retain our own freedom of expressing our views or emotions! Oh yes, there was two more news, one Nidhi Chaudhari (again IAS) got transferred for a twit she posted regarding Mahatama Gandhi & I have read that twit, it was an eye opener for masses actually! Another IAS officer got transferred as he was wearing glares while greeting Hon Prime Minister at air-port, well avoiding eye contact, must be the reason that Top Bosses got offended!

And with all such legacy for Babu's, when you are a Supreme Court Judge then things become too hard. because the chair which gives you maximum power it has got thorns too & these thorns are ruthless, they doesn’t know intentions of the person sitting that chair, one wrong move & your skin gets pierced, is a bitter fact! Yet one thing is true, with all such scenario around if at all there is some belief about the system (read as govt) has left in the mind of common man then its only because of some personalities who has courage to take pains by body piercing which the thorns of the chair they are holding gives & one such name is Supreme Court Justice Dhananjay Chandrachud!  Needless to say with the legacy of a father who was a Supreme Court Chief Justice, one should not be amazed when the son follows fearless track of the father yet in this world we have stopped believing in even miracles especially when they are for good cause! But it’s because people like Chandrachud’s who even being part of the system named govt doesn’t allow their mind get buckled under the pressure due the things like media, popularity, publicity or ruler’s  moods & keep doing their duty towards the society! Time & again Mr. Chandrachud has shown his wits & will to make this society a better place from his numerous judgments; but then those words are written from “The Chair” which has protection from everything. It’s very difficult to show courage (not foolishness)  when you speak from public dais about Freedom in a country which yet hasn’t understood what that word really mean, yet Mr. Chandrachud does his duty towards the society which is to make the society know its duty’s & responsibilities which comes along freedom! This is why it’s very special i.e. such words of wisdom & said with the authority, is what we need & even after that if we ignore them then,  well, we deserve to be what we are!Occasion was a public speech regarding Freedom & Art & Mr. Chandrachud made his point to keep Art free of anything rather use Art to become a better world together! We need more Chandrachuds’ in high places as its such men who has courage & a wise brain to handle that courage for proper use & yes patience also to change the system instead leaving it, these men are our hope, rather only hope! After listening to that I felt like writing to him which eventually I did & sharing my words here…I think we all need to take courage from Mr. Chandrachud as well wisdom also & display it whatever role we are playing in our profession, then only we deserve such words!

Dear Dhananjay Sir,

“Kings may be judges of the earth, but wise men are the judges of kings”… Solomon Ibn Gabirol

Solomon ibn Gabirol was an 11th-century Andalusian poet and Jewish philosopher with a Neo-Platonic bent. He published over a hundred poems, as well as works of biblical exegesis, philosophy, ethics and satire.  Sorry to address you by first name & without a tag of “Hon Justice” but very frankly whatever I have heard about you, from our common good friend, I think you are more a human than a SC Justice & that’s why dared to be casual, forgive me for that! At the same time I understand about sharing of your email id’s as I am big fan of Cartoon & Super Hero movies & Spider Man’s quote, “With great powers comes along great responsibilities” is my favorite & when its position like yours I will add it as, “With great Powers comes along great Responsibilities & with great Responsibilities comes great Sacrifices”!And sure at your position you must be knowing it what “Sacrifice” means, as service to the nation is not just taking a bullet in chest on border but not being allowed to live a normal life because of the duty you have accepted, is also a great service, which in a way is sacrifice only & I understand it as well respect it!

I came across analysis of your speech in Loksatta & would have been more happy if could have my hands (read as ears) to that speech but sometimes even the trailer of movie is enough to make you know what lays in next three hours ,well few are exceptions indeed but sure not yours! First of all let me congratulate you for speaking or taking up the subject, “Freedom & Art” which in itself is like Joel Garner’s bouncer for Gundappa Vishwanth type heighted batsman, which most of our countrymen are, when the ball if Freedom & its meaning & on top of it when its related to Art, lesser we say is better! It’s unfortunate for a country which gave “64 Kala aani 8 Vidya” i.e. 64 types of Arts & 8 types of Skills may be the right word, now has lost the Art of conserving all of 72 fields, in combine & yet considers it-self a free country! And when a Justice or Judge for common man of SC which is supposedly there to protect or decode or say establish the very Constitution of this so called free country comments on such subject then it’s not just a speech but commentary of society’s present which held our future actually!
In a country where the ignorance (read as fear) about the judicial system is such that right from childhood we have been taught (not in school) that “Shahanyane Courtachi Payari Chadhu Naye” i.e. “a wise man should never go to the court, for any reason”, which in itself is loss of trust or belief in judicial system in away! In such country, you a sitting SC judge, commenting on subject of Freedom & Art, is an eye opener for many other fellow men which enjoys the perks of the position they hold but forgets (or prefers to forget) to take some clear stand on any so called controversial subject. But then one needs self-conscience to take clear stand on any subject & self-conscience comes by virtue of character, morals, values one has & I don’t think we can find many men with above qualifications! And then of-late all we witness is men taking some stand for some reason which surely is not generated from self-conscience & the moment that reason changes, so as changes the stand by these men making common man lose belief further more in the system we know as Government or Justice or Freedom in nut shell!
Sad part is even the artists have not been free from this taking stand for some reason which is not moral or self esteem generated & then the poetry or scripts of the dramas of even the movies which are face of the society starts singing the tune which rulers wants to & no political party or regime of any individual isn’t exception to this Law of Art rather no more it’s an Art but becomes a Circus, which is what happening around! And that’s why once again not some Sanjay or some other name speaking about this harsh facts from public dais but you speaking makes the difference as in Marathi again there is splendid fraze, “Sonaranech Kaan Tochawe Lagtat”, sorry cant translate this one & it’s not needed also as you too are a Marathi person! And I don’t blame our rulers (read politicians) as they are nothing but our reflection only, after all are we not a country, “of the people, by the people & for the people”! It’s high time someone (read as many) should show the society our real face as under the mask so called patriotism we all are extreme selfish & divided on many fronts not one, such as Caste, Religion, Gender, State, Language, Politics & Wealth! We have forgot that Art is learnt to free our self from all above & many such barriers which are self created but we made Art also one of the barriers, to divide ourselves! And here is where you pointing out the mistake which we as a society doing makes difference as all this, a guy is telling whose shoulders (read as brain) has responsibility to decode our Constitution, means to make us understand, how we should behave as a Free Society!
Dhananjay da, this very State has witnessed not so long back, a Judge named Ramshastri Prabhune who had guts to slap back his King saying, “If you can’t give justice to the crown on your head, retire & come with me to Kashi”, wow, that’s how one builds a character! And if every generation needs some good King (read as ruler) then every generation needs a Ramshastri also to teach that King respecting the crown & his duty towards that crown! I wish my generation is lucky with people like you in place & when I read such speeches from that place, I feel still there is some hope & all is not lost for this country! Thanks a ton for giving my genre that hope as that’s what makes us keep going, isn’t it?

All good wishes & thanks for reading all this & forgive me if I have crossed the line in the sentimental mood of sharing but then that’s all because of your speech narration, so you know who is main culprit, LoL! Thanks a lot for being kind enough to read my words, which I hope will reach to you…

Sanjay Deshpande

smd156812@gamil.com/ 09822037109

-- 
Sanjay Deshpande 
Sanjeevani Dev.

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



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Thursday, August 22, 2019

Security of Your Home!





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“No one can build his security upon the nobleness of another person.” … Willa Cather

Willa Cather, in full Wilella Sibert Cather was a American novelist noted for her portrayals of the settlers and frontier life on the American plains & no wonder with a career as writer when USA was going through a civic change in the society i.e. late 1800 to early 1900, that was the most unsecure time she has penned down in her quote! Since long security which is probably most neglected factor in a country like ours was on my mind, especially working in an industry which makes homes & which needs to be secured at its best! Actually three incidences made me  to push ahead to take up this aspect & all three happened right around myself & my own constructed buildings though the cause wasn’t lacuna on my part as an engineer cum builder, yet some where I was part of it as an resident if not builder!

Incidence 1, A: I live in a ten storied building in mid city western part of Pune i.e. Patwardhan Baug which you can call as up market area! The building has been built by my Ex Employee some twenty years back & is of fairly good quality, when CC TV type’s things were not yet in practice. Some twelve years back there was one house breaking incidence in our society & I was chairman then. After that I got the entire entrance lobby fenced up with solid MS grill & a safety door right at entrance. We made a practice to lock the entrance door post mid night & keep the key with the watchman which sits in security cabin at main entrance of the building. There is an intercom system which connects every flat to the watchman cabin & if any resident wants to go out or come in post mid night then he or she has to call from respective flat (or vice versa) to the watchman’s cabin & ask watchman to open the lock of safety door at entrance lobby & then enter in lobby which has got access to the lifts! For last nearly twelve years this is the system our society is following & touchwood till now there is not a single incidence of burglary in our society! Some two years back the society’s body got fixed CC TVs all around the building as well at gate of the building. Few months back at wee hours of night local police came to my home & informed me a guy residing at my next door is laying on road in-front of our building’s gate & some goons have beaten him us. I went down hurriedly did the necessary formalities of taking him to hospital etc. It was a road rage fight case & fortunately the wounds were not severe yet police launched the case & asked for the CC TV footage of gate camera & inquired for the night watchman. Well the footage did show the incidence clearly of few guys coming from a car getting out & beating my neighbor but due to the quality of the camera no face was visible neither the car number. And then the watchman of the society instead trying to defend my neighbor or calling for help just ran away from the scene & never returned, fled from the job, is what the security agency manager later informed us!

B: We have one automatic lift & one manual lift & recently my seventy year old mother got stuck in auto lift with no lights in lift as well no way to communicate with outside. The watchman was sitting at gate & has no clue that some old lady has got stuck in lift. Fortunately she was carrying her cell phone & I was at home so she could call me & I rushed down & somehow opened the lift door & got her out. Our security watchman was old i.e. sixty plus age & he didn’t know how to rescue a person from breakdown lift nor did he have physical strength which was required to open that lift door! There was no intercom arrangement from lift to security or the flats in the lift.

Incidence 2: My office is in a building adjoining to my residence building & here at first floor two offices are there, one is mine & above floors are residences i.e. flats. On ground floor there are six shops & they don’t have any connectivity with main building. We have one gate for entry & exit & in day time we have one watchman & at night two watchmen. One sits outside of gate & another somewhere inside. Here also there is entrance lobby secured with MS Gate which has a locking arrangement & till last month post mid night the MS Gate to lobby used to be locked controlling any person’s entry post mid night & the watchman has keys. Well the complex has 8 CC TV cameras with display monitor of five cameras in lobby as well hard disk storage of the input in society office located in the parking, which is locked. Last week on Sunday morning I got call from one of the residents that one flat in this building at 3rd floor has broken by burglars. Police came & started investigating & outcome was both the watchmen were clueless how the burglars entered in the complex. Entrance lobby main gate was not locked as per instruction of some flat holder (as per the watchmen) but main gate to the building was locked. The CC TV display monitor in the lobby was smashed by the burglars. At 3rd floor there are total 3 flats but the only one of which residents has gone out of town has been broke in, rest two flats doors were shut close from outside by the burglars. We have provided MS Safety door to all flats but the lock of MS Safety door was broke apart & same was fate with the latch lock of main door. We provide extra konda (bolt) on safety doors from outside so as when someone is inside nobody should be able to lock the door from outside but for that one has to put lock in that extra konda (bolt) which hasn’t been done by the other two residents who were in their flats at that floor making the burglars possible to lock them from outside. There were no CC TV cameras on every floor staircase lobbies. When police asked for the CC TV footage of ground floor cameras then they came to know the display was on but some battery cell of the recording storage instrument needed to be preplaced which hasn’t been done so no recording was stored though the cameras were on & the cost of that cell was some Rs 50! By the way, nobody from the society has ever bothered to check the recording ever before this happened. When asked why the main entrance lobby wasn’t locked then the reason was there is intercom system but was nonfunctional so it was not possible to communicate with the watchman at night if somebody comes late or wanted to go out, so the MS Safety door of the entrance lobby was kept open! Neither there was maintenance contract of CC TV nor that of intercom system in place by the society. Also for unknown reasons to all residents the outside lights were off for last whole week, nobody bothered to make it on or inquired why the lights around the buildings has been off for a week leave apart taking any action!  By the way, out of the two night watchmen, one was new & another was old, diabetic & has been asking money from every flat holder of the society due to his personal debt!
Well, one more thing the camera in the lobby was connected to DVR i.e. recording hard disc in my office with other cameras within the office but when checked that hard disk it was found full & the over right key was off, means when the storage capacity of hard disc gets full which usually is of one month recording, the past recording gets deleted automatically making space for new recording. Neither my admin dept people bothered to check it nor the maintenance contract guys did it, so that camera also gone for waste.

Incidence 3: On that very night one more building near our buildings were made target probably by the same burglar’s gang & one of them was having neither CC TV nor any MS Safety gate at entrance lobby. Another building was having MS Safety gate at entrance lobby but due to maintenance amount collection issue there was no night watchman & CC TV wasn’t in operation due to maintenance contact of the system wasn’t there! 

Oh yes, in all this rampage by burglars, the building where I reside as well the one adjoining to ours wasn’t touched; both the buildings has watchman in place right at gate, with CC TV on & entrance lobby securely locked. Our adjoining building has got three watch dogs also in addition which accompanies their watchman for night.

Ok, by now most of the readers have got the essence of my sharing about our attitude towards security of our own home, as even a school going kid can understand the lapses in all above cases after reading my sharing! But then my experience is school going kids are much wiser than most grownups, especially in protecting themselves! Here many will say what police were doing, why we should do all security things when we pay taxes to the govt, what chairman & secretary was doing of the society & blah blah blah but as the quote says ultimately when you call something as your home then it’s your job too, to protect it! As it’s like someone having death insurance & jumping from tenth floor, thinking he won’t die as he has been insured!

I deliberately chose incidences right around myself as even with having so much exposure to building’s systems & security even I too failed (ignored) to look in such details which could have avoided the burglaries or may be made the burglars to postpone their plan of house breaking. As right from checking CCTV systems periodically to not allowing having a watch man who is buried in debt many things could have been done. Speaking about my building’s lift, I got intercom fitted in my auto lift doing expense from my pocket as my family too will be using the lift & I can’t afford someone getting stuck & damaging his or her health in the panic just because my society is not acting fast on such issues. On this, many people will say, this is unfair as society or even the govt is not doing their job why we should suffer by paying for such things as CC TV repairs or Intercom? Well, you are right in asking such but ask every that flat holder whose house has been broken by the burglars & the valuables stolen & then you will realize, he or she alone could have got entire CC TV system fitted leave repairs! I am not supporting lacunas in the system may it be society or police but the are we not expected to be a bit vigilant when our own security is at stake is what I will like to ask all the residents in this city! As all it takes is some curiosity & action to remove the watchman who is not physically fit & always asking for money to the residents, sure he can sell the information for few rupees about lapses in the security of your building to the wrong elements or even turn a blind eye at night to them when they broke in, isn’t it possible?

And even if your builder hasn’t provided any safety measures but spend a bit less on your interiors & use that money for making your home as the building in which your home is located bit secure, is wise way. At the same time, security is an attitude & not just fixing some gadgets; right from a system of keeping record of every person entering & leaving building to keeping the building premise well lit at night, smallest things also does helps to make your home more secure. As well spend some money on the security systems to keep them in working condition, whatever your builder has provided. And this doesn’t need very hi-tech knowledge, as if you come to know your home TV is not working & immediately call the TV guy for repairs, then how can you not know about CC TV of the society is not working? Answer is, you don’t feel need of checking CC TV & that’s why nobody else but your own attitude towards your safety is what going decide security of your home! Like mock drill by police, you can call local police station to check security features of your building & get the necessary things done as per their advise but then we expect police will do on their own! Lets understand this is country of nearly 120 crore people & with lots of disparity among them on wealth front & police cant guard every single home is a bitter fact. They may be having their own reasons or limitations but that doesn’t mean we also neglect our home! And most importantly keep in contact with your neighbors also, sparing some time from Whatsap & FB, it does help as they too can become your watchman.

Well, lastly something for police, indeed they are trying hard for security of the city but somewhere people are losing faith in police is a fact & people are not feeling themselves safe is not a sign of healthy society. As indeed, the citizens must take their own safety precautions yet CC TV type things are in a way postmortem, isn’t it? How in the first place so many people turns or say dare to turn burglars, is the question the so called system named govt should asked to itself, if at all govt wants to make the people feel safe & then act up on it!

 Fellow citizens living in buildings, do mind, Police, Govt, Society’s Office Bearers, Watchmen, Security Gadgets, all these things are like insurance of your home as all these exists because of you own that home & one needs to pay the policy premiums at least in time for that! And when its home security, the policy premium is just a little bit of attention by yourself in security aspect of your home as well of the buildings in which your home is located but if you are ignorant or thinks someone else will do that for you, then well, you have written your own fate, is all I will say to conclude!

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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)

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

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Sunday, August 18, 2019

Rains, Rivers & Fools!






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“The river teaches us many things, but its most important teaching is this: Whatever is happening around you, you keep flowing to your own destination following your own way!” … Mehmet Murat ildan.

Mehmet Murat I’ldan, a Turkish author & playwright with interestingly career as an economist, so no wonder even with poetry he hasn’t lost his logical touch about describing river! As what our so called developed State has experienced last fifteen days with rivers, the part in Mehmet’s quote is true the river keeps flowing at her destination & if you try to obstruct her way now you know what can be the consequences! Well there may few still who are ignorant or lucky about the havoc our rivers caused, especially in the Western Parts of this State & I don’t blame them as all the innocent people(most of them) who are victims of disaster caused by rains & rivers they too were ignorant or lucky till very present! I am sorry if I have touched sentiments of masses  but let me put very clear I am heartfelt sorry for every damage the rains & rivers have caused & will be doing my bit for the same but then we can’t just let this disaster pass as nature’s act, do we? Indeed media is full of head-lines as well experts (read environmentalist also) are busy as usual blaming everybody in the system which as usual includes govt (read officers of various depts. i.e. Irrigation to UD to Local Bodies), elected members (read elected municipal members, MLAs & Ministers) & how we can forget the villain No 1 i.e. the Builders, well as per media & all concerned, all above categories are supposedly projected as the main cause of floods & the damage it has made to common man!
And the reasons given for the disastrous floods is, actions of all above three categories which encroached rivers(read natural water channels) for their profits or greed whatever you call it thus causing contraction or reduction of water carrying capacity of the rivers & then it has rained maximum in this century (100 years) so outcome is the rainfall which gets converted in run off (i.e. excess water which doesn’t get percolated in ground & flows on surface) started flowing in every direction where it can get way out, causing the floods. 

In nutshell the present disaster due to rains & rivers can be described in above mentioned simple words but then has this happened over night or even in some months or in a year? No sir, encroachment on natural water bodies has been happening over the decades in every town & city of this so called developed State of ours! And it’s usually under the name of; need of homes or anyways there is no water in rivers or there are no heavy rainfalls now days or to make infrastructure for the city (Metro route from river) or beautification of the city & lastly to make Smart City; in actual we have raped nature in every possible way under above tags! I am extremely sorry to use such slang in my sharing as I have never used it but this is the only word I can use to define our acts regarding rivers as well natural water channels! And here many may call me hypocrite as I myself being civil engg & builder to, thus making me also party to the crime. Indeed I am what I am by profession but then no one has ever said, don’t build homes for the needy ones or don’t beautify the rivers or don’t create infrastructure for the cities or don’t make Smart Cities, yes we are free to develop the cities or towns but, (this but is very important) without touching nature & rivers too are very much part of the nature! Or else nature (read rivers) is also free to behave or say react to our acts of freedom towards it & we all have experienced it time & again!

That way we the humans (especially of this State) are real fools because consider ourselves very smart & only a fool thinks he is smart while every our action proves we are utter fools! Look at the reactions or response when every such nature’s disaster has hit us in past as well the present ones. Apart from smiling selfies by celebrity’s rescue teams, all we do is forming committees & sub committees which consist of same old faces which have been cause to such disasters or were unable to predict ones such or failed to stop it. These same old faces in the committee, generates same old reports of what to do & what not to type documentations  which in present case is marking Blue Lines & Red Lines of river floods or controlling discharge from Dams or creating rain water harvesting awareness. Few days gets pass on & all the age old fools forgets the disaster & the age old committee’s reports gets dumped in some record room to collect dust on it & encroachments in rivers beds continues, rain water harvesting remains for just awareness as all our rulers (read elected members of local bodies & their bosses) keeps concreting every sq inch of the surfaces & the system (read officers) which is supposedly to look after dams & water discharge control get back to please their ministers & bosses by obeying their  priorities which we all know what they are! Even media also forgets this aspect & goes on to search for new head-lines for their readership & all fools lives happily to welcome new disaster! I don’t say all the system (govt) is bad & all the faces are fool, indeed  there are people in this system which keeps fighting their lone wars & try to things wisely but their numbers are less & the system soon throws them out on some desk job is a fact!

If I am sarcastic of frustrated, well indeed I am as all we know to deal with a disaster like flooding of rivers is blame each other & ignore the basic cause of the disaster is a bitter fact. Take simple example of Smart Pune & its rivers, as who has stopped concerned govt agencies i.e. Irrigation & PMC to mark red line which indicates flood level in 100 years & blue line which indicates flood level in last 25 years on site throughout the city limits, on both banks of Mula & Mutha! And ban any construction within blue line & only controlled construction activities should be allowed within blue & red lines, is simple norm to ensure the river bed i.e. water carrying channel remains clear!  Definitely no single builder or builder’s organization has such power to stop govt from marking blue or red line, as had they be so then we won’t have kept even river bed free, isn’t it? I am not justifying builders as they too are interested party (few of them) in building on every such piece of land which was part of some river someday yet isn’t the system (read govt) more at fault which bends like the river path, as per these few builders says! And then the ignorance about such disaster of floods starts not just from river bed protection but right from rampant de-forestization happening in the catchment areas of the dams which we have failed to understand or ignored to understand! Because if you read the figures on forest front, indeed tigers have increased but the habitat(read forest cover) has decreased significantly in the State & this we are talking about regular wild forest as who has time to look what’s happening on non protected forests which makes large part of catchment areas of dams or rivers! As tree cover is reducing for last many years the run off towards the dams & rivers is increasing, making our age old calculations of water discharge related to rainfall fail miserably & we blame nature! So the mistake (or crime) starts right from not being able to maintain tree cover all around & not just in some tiger projects & whose responsibility is it, builders? Well, yes, as it’s everyone’s responsibility to make as much tree cover we can as that’s one sure way to catch the rain water not being converted in to the flood!
But then the system which can’t protect the river bed itself, to expect protection of catchment area is a distant dream (read foolishness). I think most important aspect of entire flood control system is land use defining & controlling what has been defined. For hundreds of years the rivers as well streams & such natural water ways are in existence but except making some maps on paper we have never bothered to protect them in actual. 

At the same time repeatedly people (read experts) were screaming on the top of their head for keeping some earth cover exposed in the city (Pune especially) so as the rain water could seep in the ground, reducing runoff as well increasing ground water table but the govt (read public bodies’) which gives news paper ads’ as for rain water harvesting & offers rebate in property tax bills to the citizens for the same, is busy in concretizing every possible open land making rain water impossible to percolate in ground, which is main reason of floods in the cities & towns! But who cares as concrete roads & paver block contracts are more important than floods, isn’t it? And then nobody question govt as can we question God ever? Then comes the responsibility factor of floods & damage it causes as when any disaster (read accident) happens at the site of some private builder or industrialist then immediately police complaints are lodged & the concerned persons (including even labor contractor) are sent behind the bars & even the Hon. Courts’ declines even the bail considering that person (mostly builder) as killing innocent people for his greed, isn’t it? Well, I am not justifying or comparing but now when floods which are caused by man made mistakes only or say ignorance, & hundreds of human lives & thousands of innocent animals lives are lost as well millions rupees worth properties got lost; why not a single person is arrested or booked for this crime, is the question I want to ask, not as a builder or civil engineer but as a common man!

Because not a single govt dept comes forward to take responsibility of the floods (read disaster) or cause of it which is encroachment in natural water channels but every dept or organization is busy in showing how they have been effective in disaster management which is a post action, what about disaster stopping management instead? I think most important lesson if we need to learn from the floods is define the clear responsibilities in flood stopping controls as neither irrigation dept which otherwise is so efficient in cutting the water supply of the cities nor the “mai bapp” PMC (read local body) has shown any enthusiasm in accepting the responsibility for the floods which otherwise they keep on showing down each other! So, if at all the govt (read big bosses in Mantralay) is serious towards the lives of common man & is keen to protect the same then whose responsibility is it must be fixed so at least to save the skin (if not face) that dept will see that the natural water channels are marked & are protected the way they are marked. Same is with forest dept which is mostly busy in promoting their “Save Tiger” agenda should take responsibility of protecting every tree under their jurisdiction as well increase the numbers of trees, mainly in catchment areas of rivers as basins respectively! Lastly the Police force also must take responsibility of protecting or say giving protection to the departments which are supposed to protect rivers as most of the time the illegal encroachments in all these natural water ways dares to do so because they know “kanoon ke haat lambe to hai par takatwar nahi hai” , sorry couldn’t help to take support of Bollywood, it means “hands of the law (read police) here may be long to get hold of illegal elements but isn’t strong enough to break their neck or even hold their neck”! At the same time with due respect the rivers needs protection from judicially also as for years the law suits (even by the environmentalists) against illegal structures or encroachments in the rivers remains lingering which in a way boon for all such illegal elements only! And that’s why all the illegal elements (here every one is party to the crime) dares not to make the law or to break the law & encroach on rivers (I refrained myself again using the R word) as they know nothing will happen!

But then we forget another popular Bollywood dialogue, “Uski aankhe sub dekhti hai aur uski laathi jub chalti hai tub aawaj nahi hota, aagaj hota hai” well, for non Bollywood guys it means, “God ignores nothing & he delivers justice even if the men fails to do it & when he does then he do it silently but effectively!” I believed in this philosophy once again & keeping all sorry feelings for the flood victims, what we experienced in the recent floods was in a way nature’s justice! Only unfortunate fact is the victims of god’s justices are not necessarily the criminals always, as the nature god (read as river here) doesn’t discriminate humans by their post or religion or caste, she is blind in true sense punishing everybody which comes in her path & yet keep flowing to her destination leaving behind signs of her verdict against entire mankind which is fool enough not to learn this lesson even after such harsh punishment!

Silver line in the disaster of these floods was, news of one Dy Collector Surekha Mane donating her prize money for flood relief & then there was a dog which kept waiting for his lost owner for nearly a week at same spot, showing heart touching display of loyalty, as well there are thousands of hands coming ahead in every possible way to help the flood victims; all such stories makes us believe that despite our foolishness, all is not lost yet!  

-- 
Sanjay Deshpande 
Sanjeevani Dev.

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