Sunday, April 26, 2020

Bade Loag Badi Baate aur Real Estate!








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“If a fool believes in some rumour then best way is let him do so”...

By now all of you must have understood this is one more lockdown philosophy & now nearly forty days have gone & ten more days to go (is it just ten?). And do forgive me for the sarcastism (some may call bitterness) of the quote regarding the topic I want to share but the reason is not the frustration for being locked down! As I fully understand that it’s in my benefit only & then there is no other alternative but the sarcastism is for the people’s reactions or way of expressing & even those whom we use to (soon it will be used to) warship in business as well social life! No need for the names to be mentioned (that hardly makes any sense, it’s in blog name only) as one is head of a very big housing finance company as private bank & respected in real estate fraternity as well international finance circuit & another is one of the oldest business family in country & more respected for his social maturity as well grace with which he carries a business empire & then there are many others but that’s fine as when its hitting real estate below the belt no one in this country keeps in the last line!

I have taken up this issue, as in past also many big names which we only (read as real estate fraternity) have made big, have been vocal & twitting also in lashing out at builders & developers, whatever may be the reason but never for anything good is a fact! If floods chocks city roads- its due to builders, traffic jams in Metro citi-s, its due to builders, trees are being cut-builders hand behind it, some reservation of play ground is shifted & a building is build-who else but the builder, a river has been encroached- it has to be a builder behind it, pollution levels increasing, i-s builder lobby & the list is as endless as Hanumanji’s Punch! Fortunately till now nobody has held builders’ responsible for the epidemic & virus but the spread or threat of the spread is most in slums as well in the illegal settlements, we all know. And exactly this is where our social idol Mr. Character Business Man of country has hit the builders (read as real estate) that it’s the greed of the builders which has been reason of the slums as well illegal constructions! And what a perfect timing of quoting his views, when the epidemic spread threat is most in these localities or settlements in Mumbai & Pune! Thank you Mr. Character, on be half of entire real estaters; had been some other time I would have just bowed down (like all others) & let it go but not this time. Even if you don’t intended or the media has misread & misprinted what you have said (a standard practice post statement) yet there are millions in this country for whom some names are god & when its morals & character & good practices, your name is one of them, this is why I felt writing back!

Sir, first of all, agreed whenever any wrong thing (read the list above) related to any piece of land may it be regular land, or under river or some reservation then the name of the builder is bound to happen as that’s the industry which builds or creates new structures. Just the way in this recent virus outbreak, it must be job of some research lab of microbiology or virology which has gone wrong. But then please look about millions of people who also are resident of this country & residing in some legal home (you are also included in it), these thousands of building are also creation of some builder only, isn’t it? Indeed there are few wrong  entities in this business which are in automobile industry also who makes fake or duplicate spares but let me tell you, no builder alone can build an illegal building unless he is  Super Man! As agreed behind every illegal building there has to be a builder, same way behind every non-affordable legal home also there has to be a builder but then behind him, stands the entire system which includes our govt as well media & the society too, of which you & me are also part. Because no illegal building can be erected overnight, not even in China, so what the so called system which has created RERA & IOD/CC like labyrinth processes to get one plan  sanction for a normal builder (like myself), is doing when the while illegal building gets build over few months? And then may it be a residence or some office use in such illegal buildings, who are the occupants, they too are citizens of this very country sir, just like the way they purchase duplicate spare parts of a car of your company also! So will you blame all legitimate auto makers as wrong & corrupt?

Now coming to slums, indeed it’s a curse to our cities but then again how can you blame just builders for making of slums because these millions of people are unable to afford a legal homes that’s why they surrender to slums & then no slum is possible without support or say consent of the rulers which we call govt is a naked truth even a child in this country knows but you & other so called Mr Characters’ never blamed govt for making slums, may I ask why?  Today the police are so meticulously implementing their powers for lockdown, why the same police & the system shut their eyes & ears to the noise of slum like Dharavi getting build & break it when it’s in making only? Sure Ddharavi hasn’t been build in a year & when you were young then it must be small in spread, so where were you al so called South Bombayites when Dharavi reached to the volume of today’s size? Never remembered anybody demanding its demolition as it’s totally illegal!
And then if you are counter arguing that’s its builder who made homes non-affordable because of our greed that’s why slums got created, then with same logic can be applicable to thousands of illegal lodges which shelters poor travellers that they can’t afford room tariff of The Taj Hotel, so they have to stay at an illegal hotel, isn’t it? Sir & speaking about affordability, just a small home build in remote area like Timbhaktu can’t be called as affordable rather you can make definition of affordability for others as who better than you know what happens when you make somebody’s dream of car to Nano size to make it affordable! It’s the entire setup including land cost to infrastructure to construction, to need of market as well social & financial position of a buyer all this decides affordability, not surely some bunch of uneducated businessmen whom you call builders!

Well, “baat jub afordability ki nikali hi ha to aur bhi kisi bhai saab ne haat dho liye apane bahati gnaga me”! Yes, one more name which has high respect & more importantly which has been raised from ashes of housing sector i.e. real estate only! He also jumped the train of hitting builders at perfect time saying reduce the falt selling rates, may it be even for ready possession inventory! Sir, you are also a respected worshipped name for us & again for both of you I am sorry for “Chota muah badi baat” but sir, affordability has to be two way, or else it would be called as charity, isn’t it? How will a banker repply, if I say, please reduce bank interest rates by 20% so that it will be affordable to me for building my project? I will like to know the answer, as that will enlighten me the formula which you have suggested for builders to survive! Indeed a home is costliest product in this country anywhere you not just in Pune, Mumbai of Delhi but even rural parts also or else the famous  phrase, “lagna pahawe karun aani ghar pahawe bandhun” wouldn’t have been exist here in Marathi which of course both of you legends won’t know as its in desi language,. Well, I will try to translate for you, it means two things a man should try in his life, and one is getting married & second is build a home, as both are toughest things a man has to face. No wonder real estate is one such weird industry as imagine for ages in this country when building one single home of own is considered as such a pain, what it must before building thousands of the homes, that too for others!
In a big city, to build one small building of even ten flats takes so much time & stress as there might have been times few decades back when being a builder was cake walk & all money but that’s no more for the present genre of the builders. I am not saying real estate is most hard or worst business as it still has money  which has got loads of hurdles along with it is a fact. As right from getting a clear legal land to obtain permissions, to build & to sale, is no more an easy job, courtesy the system we have here! Let me tell you gentlemen, govt as well media cares a damn for real estate & its issues yet every time there is flood or epidemic every govt organization expects help in kind or in money from builders (read as Credai) & we respond with open hands & mind, however pain we ourselves may be in! But when its policies or views to be considered nobody remembers builders as that time teaming with us is a taboo in this country, this is what we need to change if you want affordable legal homes & at reduced rates!  Even knowing all the fact, if you are commenting or blaming the builders for creation of slums or asking builders to reduce rates of the homes, then sorry gentlemen, all I will say is this is like a Guru telling some hungry man importance of “Upwaas” (fasting) with his stomach full!

Dear Mr Character & Mr Finance Guru (& all others) who takes pride in slamming builders & real estate, I am sorry for my anguish or frustration & let me tell you we respect you very much for you achievements & contribution for the country as well society. But please don’t make your line big by cutting our line small (again a phrase from Akbar Birbal)! As we respect you for your knowledge, wisdom as well experience but all these qualities are praised only if they are used to make other common mortal men (read as builders) a shade wiser & better human being &  that’s not going to happen just blaming us like any other cheap tabloid do; is all I wanted to share. And certainly this wasn’t expected not at the time when we all need to be united & fight the economic war forced on us by some virus! Sorry, again if I have hurt anybodies feelings then, “Michhami Dukadam” means Dilse Sorry!
--
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/

Creating Togetherness; team Sanjeevani Way(Click link below)

https://www.flickr.com/photos/65629150@N06/albums/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, April 22, 2020

Fasten Your Seat Belts & Gear Up; Real Estate!






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“I won’t borrow light from moon but the courage to fight with the darkness”...

Well, just the way  Munshiji alias Omprakash says to Vikki Kapoor alias Bachhan in epic movie Sharabi, “shayari me wajan chahiye to ishque hona jaruri hai, barkhurdar”, same way for philosophy its suffering which plays major role for “wajan” i.e. death, lol, a self derived logic again(needless to say lockdown is the cause)! Well, every day of lockdown is becoming virtually happening as nothing happens in actual but zoom meetings, duo calls, whatsap group charcha, all are in full form. And there is something new (I mean created) as so much chaos around especially when real estate is the case, its bound to be as why this virus thing, whenever it’s any of problem which isn’t in control of govt or society; may it be less rains may it be flood may it be illegal construction or may it be Metro FSI/TRD/TOD whatever you call it (what the difference it makes anyways), it’s always the real estate which takes the blame & impact. Then real estate is a industry which is like an orphan (no “mai baap”) & here, work from home is not possible for most of the associated segments; well unless we start building virtual homes & ask people to live in them virtually & then get paid by Bit-coin!

Sarcastic, I am, but then that’s the scene as first the govt says you can start site work on 20th April, though not sure how yet it announced & then on the eve of 19th April govt (PMC,PCMC, Collector, Hon Dy CM& everybody) says nothing is allowed in PMC/PCMC (well may be in other areas allowed but I am concerned with this) i.e. Pune region. Well even its been announced that property registrations (read as flats”) also will be started on 20th April, god knows who is allowed to go out for registration & how & most importantly why someone will dare in first place with such terror & confusion on media as well govt itself with its policies! So as usual all we can do is discuss & re-discuss about fate of real estate. No doubt despite efforts of every authority, scene in Pune region is bad than other areas of State on front of epidemic spread but we can’t ignore the other side of the curtain also which makes Pune & Mumbai most densely populated region with half of the Maharashtra (and many other State too) living in this region for their jobs & careers is a fact! And then with all due respect (plz do mind) I really wonder who is controller of the situation in Pune city, as Police has their own circulars, so has Municipal Commissioners’ of PMC & PCMC, then Collector has its own orders & on top of it Mai Baap govt which includes CM, Dy CM & whomsoever, have their own dosage of announcements regarding new restrictions, lifting or tightening! And joke is by my logical mind, if this is disaster caused by epidemic of a disease so the Public Health Dept must be controller & all other depts should follow what the concerned minister says which happened to be a Doctor also. But fact is except public health all other depts are running their own agendas with zero coordination, that’s main disaster actually! Sorry guys (read as authorities) but to the common man that seems the scene in this region at least, I don’t want to take away credit for your efforts (read as govts’) sure!

Any ways so by now more stringent restrictions on movements in Pune reigion for till April end are supposed to be there (don’t ask means what), I only wonder about how to control the labours at site which are cramped inside hutments in more than 40 degrees temperature outside & nothing to do! I repeat, I fully understand graveness of spread of virus yet at the same time pressure is mounting in lower class (in real estate as well other industries) is also a fact we can’t neglect, is what I am pointing at!

Well, on all such back grounds silver line is younger genre working with me is curious (worried also) about their future journey in real estate & my cousin’s son along with my younger son (mkt guy) too, working with me as an engineer sent me a mail with a ten pointer questioner regarding scene in our company as well entire real estate & social front. I am happy as if you don’t have questions, then that means two of the things, either you are too dumb or you have attained wisdom! But if you have questions & you dare to ask them means your journey towards wisdom is on i.e. you are surely not a dumb!  I  wrote him back saying I will try to answer as much I can as first I am an engineer, planner but less of a businessman by myself & second this is something which not even the best among us has faced, so I am not sure about my own right or wrong. Yet I replied with my logic & sharing the same which can be somewhat useful (I hope) for not just builders, their staff or real estate related entities but entire industry world (especially genre next in business) as well many of us. I have deliberately kept the draft as what I answered just to keep naturalness of the conversation as his questions reflects his freshness & they are regarding the project he is working on yet its applicable to most sites (as well most builders), so here we go...


On Tue, Apr 14, 2020 at 4:50 PM Rohit Mahajan wrote:
14/04/2020

Kaka, These are few issues about which i would like to know from your point of view.

1. How do we plan to get the whole construction work back on track for prestige avenue keeping in mind that we have lost quite a bit of time and the coming months will be of monsoon season after the whole lockdown is lifted.

Frankly it’s too early to comment as we don’t know what they decide about Pune & transport of materials thing, so wait till 20th April orders. As even if they lift the restriction yet how the outside materials will reach to site as the supply chain will take its time to resume. And then we also have to take infection threat which will be still there, in our consideration keeping in mind safety of staff as well labours. So, I think best way is waiting till 3rd May i.e. lockdown period over & take a review & then decide course of action. We will be writing to clients about the same as well authorities like RERA & our bankers regarding this.

2. We still don’t know or have any idea about the future developments regarding the situation of COVID-19 (in the worst case scenario for how long will we continue with the payment of salaries of the people working at the firm)

I am working at it as its going to be difficult sure with no revenues & people also should understand that no company can pay full when you are sitting at home for nearly 50 days! As expenses of the staff also must be less during this period like petrol & entertainment etc. That they should consider keeping in mind companies loss, this we will have to explain the staff by speaking to them across, which I will. 

3. Once the whole lockdown is lifted how we plan on notifying RERA about the delay and how realistic will their approach be towards it keeping in mind that all the construction firms with ongoing projects will apply for the same. Does CREDAI as a body have any plans for this upcoming situation?

Credai is a social body & they can advise or guide which they will. RERA has already allowed three months delay but the impact will be much more than that. But yes we are trying to make authorities know the facts & follow for policies on all fronts keeping in mind these facts!

4. Similarly how do we plan on tackling the situation from customer’s perspective?

Difficult aspect is selling flats here after as people are afraid of their own future & they may think of renting & investors will be there but they will make you cry (bleed ) for price we ask! We have to balance both & come up with innovative ideas to make people buy homes, is the only way! As well take existing customers also in confidence.

5. In this whole situation how are we handling the bank and their expectations as in the project finance, loans, interests etc.

Speaking personal level at present we have only one project loan (fortunately) that too Prestige site & its way below the sale inventory & we have asked them for weaver for three months which can be expected to extend by three more month. Best way is we try generating our finance for completing the project as fast we can. But govt will have to think about this aspect as well I too am thinking but my problem is I am too bad at finance & will take help of some real brain on that front! But for the developers with multiple projects, keeping cash flow & repayment of finance as well new money to complete to site works is going to be main challenge sure. Here the contractors & vendors also must accept to wait a bit for their payments as then only all will gain something.

6. Is increasing the costs of the product the only way to make up for the amounts lost during this period of time? If there are any other options to do so please let me know. 

Construction costs are going to get increase but not the sale rates & that’s the worst aspect of this disaster for real estate as well every other industry. We have to cut down on overheads as much we can & renegotiate with vendors as well contractors as they too have to face the heat!

7. Getting people back for work is going to be a big task and with this strict time frame to finish the whole work probably they are going to ask for increased wages so what do we plan on doing if that happens.

Its a two way sword as the labours as well contractors & vendors too need the work or they will starve to death, either here or way back their homes where they don’t have any jobs. This is what we need to make them explain at least we can try! 


8. Costs, salary, overheads and many more things need to be cut down on as to sustain in this market at this time; your views on this.

One should make proper assessment of all aspects of respective project & business & then act up on instead jumping on conclusions or else there will be unnecessary panic! That’s what I will be doing & you also have to follow same course. 

9. Real estate prices are estimated to go down by at least 20% if that happens what and how do you propose for the future development plans.

Real estate prices will go down is outcome of opinions of any disaster may it be epidemic or war or any financial crisis. So instead listening to such talks, we should try to judge exactly in what cost we can build & what price we can sale & what is need of the buyer & stick to that. Any person who hasn’t borrowed over the head i.e. heavily need not be afraid but stand firm & keep patience. There will be buyers for the homes, as all these people who has run away from the Pune will have to come back as they are not going to get jobs or life style they are used to have in their respective home towns is a fact. And when they come back they also will have to work at lower salaries is a fact! We need to make home buyers (well, means who doesn’t have their own home) aware about importance of owning a home as that’s best asset as well support in such times actually.

10. Lastly if there is any other thing that you think I should go through/read, please let me know. 

In these times patience is the key & a balance head as well we should think of other sources of income as just real estate won’t be an option or even having some industrial unit only. The service industry will be in good shape as people can’t live without their basic needs, so we should identify such sectors & try to look at them as parallel avenues. At the same time the home buyer will also focus on basic necessary amenities than spending luxurious specifications as hereafter for everybody every single rupee will count At least for two three years & then again things will be  back on normal as public memory is short always! But your genre must be ready for such global level social disaster as this may be first of its kind but surely won’t be last, mind it! In a way this may be a life changing episode for most of us if at all we take it as a lesson as right from attitude towards life to needs of life, many things are going to change & so has to real estate industry!

I think I have tried whatever best I can logically explain or answer your quarries, more at across; rather I will suggest you & rohan do share  this with our team on whatsap  also as they too also should know the scene ahead. I am happy you have thought a lot about work, as sure the future won’t be what we have predicted hereafter but then that’s why it’s called a future! One thing is sure for your genre must learn one lesson from this covid episode, which most of you guys have forgotten; there is only one option for the hard work & that is, more hard work! Adios with that! 

sanjay kaka
--
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/

Creating Togetherness; team Sanjeevani Way(Click link below)

https://www.flickr.com/photos/65629150@N06/albums/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

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Stay Firm Real Estate, War is On!








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“Most people are not fools, is the first thing a ruler must understand while making policies”...

Well, it’s now season 2 of lock down diaries with extension of lock down period to another 21 days by our Hon PM & I am no more envying him or his post now & I am sure many will agree with me. Rather, I have full sympathy for him as to carry a country of 130 crores across a disaster, is something more herculean task than lifting "gowardhan parbat" which Lord Krishna did to save Dwarka from floods, as per our mythology. And incidentally Dwarka too was from Gujarat State, so must be Lord Krishna. Oh, if Modi fans are happy with my analogy & Modi opponents angry, I am sorry for both as its just coincidence but that doesn’t takes away the mammothness of task of being head of country like ours & makes policies in such crisis times!

Well, once again as officially lockdown period has been extended by one cycle i.e. 21 days (it was expected at least in our Smart City Pune) & on very next day its reflections are seen on the roads! I don’t read news paper or watch news channels, have stopped doing that from 1st week of March, even don’t open images or messages related so on whatsap yet two images of newspaper snaps I opened as couldn’t guess what it is until I opened them!  The very next morning of announcement of extension of lockdown, news was thousands of people coming on streets to demand their way back to respective hometowns from "aamchi mumbai"! And the system (police) was helpless to stop this coming together on streets in lockdown times as this is not China or Russia or British Raaj to shoot people if they don’t follow laws & come together on roads for protest. And then the people have come on road to demand way back to their homes & in this country you don’t shoot even hard core criminals that easily, so shooting innocent (read as fools) poor people is out of question. But issue is somewhere the mindset of most people was like after 14th they will be able to move out & that was a mistake by both sides to allow to make them think so! At the same time most of these people were from slums & illegal settlements with no liveable conditions & life is a hell is a fact. At least by now the govt must demolish (read as start) all slums & illegal settlements & see that no new illegal constructions happens, so as no one will be needed to be un-happy while living in their own home, during next need of lockdown times, which was the main reason of unrest at present!

As usual there will be allegations & counter allegations about this protests as supreme ruling party (well again who we call ruling party is a debate as in State & Centre we have different ruling parties)  read as in Delhi says its political set up where as opposition says its anguish of common man & both are happy with their assumptions!! And then a circular on whatsap come from maai baap govt ( I wonder whether the govt's official communication platform is now whatsap as so fast every govt order or policy is available on whatsap) that No Lockdowns for projects i.e. sites i.e. construction works in Municipal limits (Pune/Mumbai etc)  can be started from 20th April! Obviously it came with a “*” i.e. Star-Mark, conditions apply, and there are many except really meaningful & practical. Main thing is, no labours can come from outside of site but just the one which are living on site can work & with proper social distancing care taken, blah blah!

Great, thank you for allowing poor builders (well that’s least I can use for builders now)  must be relieved that finally site work started & then so many needy hands will get work which can feed hungry stomachs (actually for empty mind which was main cause of worry), noble thought indeed! Keeping due respect for this noble step (as usual) there are few issues which every developer along with labours, contractors & vendors will ask & yes the flat holders as well home buyers too! Sir, how we proceed for the work from 20th April when in city like Pune there is curfew & no one can go out of home except police pass which again also is not allowed in red zone i.e. high sensitive area. That system has to be in place as well the order says no new labours are allowed from out station, well that’s fine but then what’s use as most labours are already fled or in mood of leaving cities like Pune. In this mindset how they will work in first place. As well there are other issues like material supply chain right from the one which is coming from outside of city limit & for civil work right from cement, steel, sand, khadi everything comes from out station & with boundaries of city as well districts sealed how that’s going to happen? Nothing is clear except an order (announcement) that you can start construction work at sites! And then most important aspect sir, from where the money is going to be there for the construction work? As already the banks are sending messages for their EMI’s of project finance where as with this lockdown of nearly fifty days, entire working including recovery is at standstill as work was stand still. Then we will have to deal with increased rates of labours as well transport as very les man power is willingly available to work & on top of it to sale the new flats! Oh yes & the majority of construction industry (real estate) goes on WIP i.e. work in progress accounting system in which the money put in construction is considered for charging income tax & after completion of the project the sale is booked. Weird but there are many such things about real estate so let it be, point is in such case there is burden of income tax  on my own money which I am using for construction & no sale, so again a big dent. And then there are RERA authorities & more than those ever vigilant aware flat holders to deal with!  Indeed the job of a builder(read as any business man for now) may not be as tough as our Hon PM’s but then its surely not simple as any salaried person also, this you should take in account.

Rather in these times FOR ONE YEAR NO INETEST SHOULD BE CHARGED ON ANY CONSTRUCTION RELATED FINANACE ON ANY CURRENT LOANS BY ANY BANK as that much burden the govt must take for the herculean job real estate (read as any business) has to face ahead, especially in Metros! At the same time RERA authorities also must give six months extension minimum to all the projects as the impact is bound to be there for longer time. My suggestion of waving interest on loans for a year (read as demand) may sound absurd but look at the hurdles as agreed no govt can take guaranty of the sale of the project (or any commodity) but then no govt has been needed to declare total lockdown of the country for more than two months & no country (I mean till now) has faced the threat of epidemic in such a way where the entire social life will be at threat is also a fact, we must consider while deciding finance policy for this year! At the same time reduced rates finance on priority must be made available to the developers for short term i.e. two to three years & on priority basis & all this must come as an order for by the RBI or Finance Dept to every bank (govt or private or cooperative) as if this comes in guidelines then we all know how the guidelines are treated by the banks, especially nationalized ones!

At the same time it doesn’t mean the builders & vendors & contractors should sit relaxed & wait for govt’s support. High time to work on reduced profits (well, that was already there) & not to try to bleed the builders on work front, the later part is applicable to labour contractors (and clients also)! The builders must take in confidence his labours & see that first they are safe & in good mental condition & for that a dialogue with labours has to be there. Take site meetings, make small videos of your sharing for them as well for your team & your clients & let them know that you are standing firm to complete the project as then only they will support you as well you will have moral right to demand support from the govt!

Agreed these are hard times for every business or profession but then no war is won without any wound & no wound is healed without suffering pain, but it’s only after winning the war the fruits of victory can be enjoyed; just mind it “mai baap govt” & face the war together!

My appeal to my site labours on link below...

--
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/

Creating Togetherness; team Sanjeevani Way(Click link below)

https://www.flickr.com/photos/65629150@N06/albums/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

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Togetherness Redefined!








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“Some times we are so lucky that we forget to acknowledge our luck”...

Indeed as lockdown crawls towards its end date i.e. 14th April (Well it’s been extended to 30th April now already), my philosophy seems to have gone in top gear, lol! But then as Krishna  has said  to Karna in the final battle of Mahabharata, a man often gets ethical (read as philosophical) only when in the mid of battle, wheel of his chariot get stuck in ground & on that count why me, entire world (read as humans) are representing Karna in this battle, so thodi philosophy to banati hi hai!! And best part of philosophy is, it’s always there in & around you, it’s just realization of its existence makes you feel like you have invents the philosopher in you. Well, enough about philosophy & let’s focus about luck part of life.

By now many stories about how every organization, govt or private & even individuals are facing this war or battle are surfacing & indeed most are on positive note barring a few which are as usual showing bad or dark side of the human nature. But that’s fine, just the way collectively if major part of moon’s surface is bright still its good thing for a dark night if it may not be full moon! Major threat or issue is as the wheel of society is stuck & it’s about day to day battle of survival for many, yet right from big business houses like Tatas & Wipros have donated hundreds or crores of rupees. Our Bollywood & other entertainment industries heroes are also proving themselves real life heroes with huge donations for the PM Fund or CM Fund. Even the ever abused builders fraternity (well, that’s social fact) has not just donated in money manner but taking care of thousands of labour force by providing them food, shelter & essential commodities which or else would have been on streets as their entire life  is  by surviving on every day’s earning! Many individuals which are common people have contributed in every possible way to the affected or say more affected (as everyone is affected in some or other way) entities by some way. Sonu Sood, a Bollywood villain playing charecter has opened up his hotel in Mumbai as quarantine residence for the doctors & medical staff of a govt hospital, that’s superb initiative I must say. If we think & apply our mind in right way then none of us is useless actually & each of us can contribute, is a fact once again got strongly underlined in these times.

Yet, this war is not just in Metros (read as Mumbai, Pune) & big towns but has reached far deeper in the interior regions of the country. This time the enemy has infiltrated the strongest of fortress of our army & that is in the minds of masses. Indeed the fortress is not yet collapsed but the outer walls are facing constant hammering from waves of fears mainly generated by two things, one is media (social & a bit news media also) & lack of knowledge about the enemy. The steps govt has taken to prevent are lockdown or restriction of general movements & as its more than three weeks, many people in the interiors as well even in towns & cities need help in this battle from outer support. Just the way in world war smaller countries in Europe needed support from Allied Nations which were stronger in every sense. Not that these nations themselves were unhurt (barring USA) but still when you call yourself strong & great then your sacrifice also is bigger than other. Indeed no one can scale sacrifice like things as giving mere five rupees can be peanuts from a millionaire’s view but that five rupee note can be somebody’s one time lunch somewhere & when such guy gives five rupees as donation that’s indeed bigger than many others on scale of just some figure! What I meant is, in a battle if you are wounded but can  stand on your feet despite you wounds then you ought to carry your fellow friend whose leg has been smashed in battle, that much pain or efforts or hardships you have to bare along with your own pain, for not allowing your fellow soldier to fall in the hands of the enemy!

Exactly here we need to understand the social structure of our society, though I am not some financial or social analyst yet in India, it’s said that here lives three India; one is in five percent which holds nearly seventy & above percent of wealth. Second is some thirty percent which are called as middle class & higher middle class, this holds some twenty five percent wealth (whatever you call it) & rest sixty five percent is third India which includes every that person whose every day depends on his or her or jointly on families daily earning. The first India has business men, politicians (off course), big farmers, industrialists, professionals & yes some bureaucrats too! Indeed business men (even big names) are worried & entertainment industry too has been hit worst, so this class also hasn’t escaped from the battle wounds.  The second India is all so called  “padhe likhe babus” means educated people who works on salary under the first five percent Indians as well small business men running a eatery joint or a small IT company or a beauty parlour lady or any entrepreneur wishing to make it big in his or her field & this class includes, mid rank govt servants also. And lastly in third India lies, small farmers, chai stall holder, auto rickshaw drivers, labours, pizza delivery boys, restaurant waiters, mall assistants, nurses at hospital, maid servants, forest guides, forest labours, hair cutting saloon workers & what not, all such who are needed to make the life of first thirty five odd percent of Indians happy & peaceful!

It’s about carrying few of second & most of third India which we need to look after & it’s this third India which is bleeding badly in the present battle & its scattered all over the spread of the country. Keeping full respect to the intentions of the Hon PM, CM & all Neta loag, whatever funds has been donated in your funds please see that every rupee gets used to the purpose for which it’s been given as even right now in city like Pune the public hospitals (govt owned) are short of basic things like masks & infection protective equipments & needed to ask private people for help. Agreed its hard time & govt can’t feed every mouth & protect every face yet the priorities needs to be decided & distribution systems must be in place by now. As if this is situation with the hospitals which are battlefields actually then what about the common soldiers like farmers, labours, forest guides & rickshawalas. We must understand that every one of this category survives only on day to day earning & they are not beggars that they can go & beg for food & money on streets, so we only have to identify them & reach out for them. And another problem is its easy for a family staying in lavish three or four bhk home & gets themselves lockdown for month or more but imagine a family of five or six people living in one room kitchen or even in a hutment (illegal off course)! It’s a torture actually to sit day & night cramped in one room with no space with a tension building in mind about earning & survival & job & daily wages & purchasing essential commodities!

This doesn’t mean it’s just the third category of India needs it even there are genuine  issues of survivals in first two categories also as just now when I was editing this sharing, news came of extension of lockdown till April end i.e. twenty more days (expected though). So even the big names in business will also feel heat of revenues drying up & just the way in the forest an elephant is indeed most powerful animal but it needs nearly 200kg (minimum) of intake everyday to remain powerful, is also a fact we can’t ignore while dealing with the situation!

I repeat, I am not painting a dark picture or frightening or glorifying the disaster but that is a fact, which we (read as our Generals in battle i.e. rulers) may be knowing it, but not acting up on fast. The news from  forests (subject close to my heart) i.e. tiger parks are disturbing, with tourism is only earning way & the summer season lost totally, the forest guides, forest labours, gypsy drivers & resort attendants etc over such places are literally clueless about their survival & no need who will take advantage of such needy souls but the poachers! Instead keeping park close strait for whole season, we can think of opening for local level tourists or reducing persons in gypsy, at least think on these lines to strike balance.  The same thing can happen in cities with criminal bosses taking advantage of so much man power available at hand & at so low rate, well this is a possibility I am logically thinking as when its issue of survival then a man can go to any extent, is a bitter fact of life! Indeed any of these facts doesn’t justify people coming on road & public places as the threat looming is equally dangerous & this is why every that soldier who is able to walk must take on some more burden & this is not for some just philanthropy but you can’t afford a captured soldier for your own sake in this war, so at least help keeping this aspect in mind! Thousands of avenues are there, open up your mind (and pockets) but do try helping at least one person who really needs it for survival in this battle, is what I will appeal to everyone!

At the same time the category three India (working class) must keep in mind that they also need to understand life is not just accepting help from some other person to survive. Each of us need to find a way to survive by keeping ourselves as well others safe, something none of us has ever any experience of! As this may be a first of its kind but surely is not a final battle of survival for mankind (read as India), rather this is trial or pilot run of our battle skills, temperament & stamina in a way. With the kind of over use of technology & nature destruction we don’t know what will hit us next so let’s unite & work as an army not just team as there only lays hopes for good life after this war!
--
Sanjay Deshpande 
Sanjeevani Dev.

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