Friday, December 20, 2013
Thursday, October 3, 2013
It is one of the cheapest freely available remedy for a lot of ailments. Someone asked if there is some pure version and the Vaidya said that it is so cheap that it would be hard to find an adulterant cheaper than Chuna! :)
He said that a pinch of Chuna taken with 4 spoons of water can help -
1. Combat acidity : When you have acidity all you need is some alkali material to soothe your digestive tract. Chuna is an excellent remedy taken in the diluted form as suggested above. It is calcium carbonate and tackles the acid giving instant relief better than the ENO and such that we fetch. Cheap home remedy.
2. Fight Dental Caries
3. Takes care of the worms
4. Deal with Calcium Deficiency - is an excellent calcium supplement unlike Sandoz it is a natural form and doesn't hurt the system. If you take higher amounts in other forms it might cause troubles associated with excess calcim - blockage of arteries that leads to heart attack <>. Chuna on the other hand is used only in the necessary quanties and excreted otherwise.
5. Reduce hair loss and improves the texture of the hair. At this point all the ladies in the audience were like - I beg your pardon, what was that, etc! :D So he goes on telling what is good for the hair and recommends khopra oil (kaccha highly). This he recommends oral consumption as well. It is an excellent remedy for Dry Cough. When applied with lesun (garlic) aids in healing pains. Garlic needs to be heated till it turns black and then use it with the oil. Mustard oil is also good for pains. There is a mention of maala good for throat - garlic kaadha.
Taking Chuna as indicated above early in the morning on an empty stomach is recommended highly.
Jaggrey mixed Chuna makes an excellent plaster that can be used to form a cast for fractures and sprains. If Chuna is applied directly to the sprain it helps heal faster.
Q. Isn't pan bad for health? All that we keep hearing about Supari?
Pan can be very good when it has Chuna, Supari and Katha without the scented ingredients. Supari (without saccrine, scent, unprocessed and sundried) is actually quite good. Katha helps fight blood diseases. In fact it is a good remedy Naksir (Nose Bleeding) - just two drops brought close to the nose (Even Hariyal Ras helps - 4 drops). A good pan consists of Chuna, Katha, Saunf, Long (Clove), Gulkand & Dried scent free supari. Next time you eat one you can ask them to make it without all the jazz!:))
Rai and Ajwain are very helpful in dealing with aches when taken with warm water. Turmeric and ajwain (or rai) when taken with Dhup ka Dhuan is very good for cold and cough. It also helps with Stomach ailments. The Dhuan can also help with non-healing wounds when exposed to the smoke.
Burnt Cowdung Toothpowder Ingredients -
Sunday, September 15, 2013
Lovely weather - I was almost tempted to stop and start clicking - anyways the barefoot shoes were a little painful today! :D All running was on forefoot today but had to walk a lot after 12th kilometer due to lot of discomfort in the left leg. Towards the end around last 3 kilometers I just got rid of the ear phones and the shoes, went to the stream dipped my legs in the cold water (what relief! :)) and ran - that was the best part of the half marathon today. The timing went for a toss but I improved on Auroville timing (3:15 mins). Need to work on that and importantly the comfort of the feet! :)) I am coming to believe that no shoes is the way to go.
Karthik (the pic above!:)) did much better barefoot - ran most of the trail on forefoot and finished in under 3 hours! :) I am thinking I will chuck shoes for running fully barefoot very soon! Already did a 5 km barefoot on tar. Might do the coming Wipro Spirit run 21K barefoot or at least in the Vivo shoes without the sleeve (the sleeve was a big mistake!!!).
Glad to see so many people turning to barefoot footwear. Saw at least 3 runners with no footwear! :D This is a heathy trend indeed. Shoe making companies will get into trouble and so will the doctors that recommend knee replacement like nobodies business (actually their business!!! :D).
KTM and Auroville remain close to heart. Notes to self -
1. Carry a hydration bag - holding that one paper cup was not pleasant but later I figured just rotating it in the hand kept me going actually! :)
2. Reach start point on time and not rush through the start!
3. Eat healthy night before - ate some very delicious Andhra food at RRR - looks like they use soda in the unlimited meals. Lotsa trouble during the run! :D
Look forward to clocking more miles err Smiles! :)
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Thursday, September 15, 2011
The trouble is it becomes a nice money making venture we will have more of it as it we don't have enuf of such things already - ganesha festival for example.
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
In the many years of volunteering with several NGOs we realized one thing that is most important to an NGO is their funding and effective use of the same. One children's home in particular comes to mind - Indira Gandhi International Academy - a nice write up about the place can be found here. When we visited the place long back it had several problems. The kids managed most of the things on their own. We used to get distress calls about funds every now and then. The Bright Society hardly managed the place well. If they got funding all of it was used in making food - a complete sink. Old clothes and toy collection drives helped them now and then. The problem nobody could support them for long as it is a life long process.
What could be done?
There are several ways NGOs make their own income. A lot of them are into creating craft items and make a decent amount of money through the sale. The children could be trained in some of the crafts which will be good learning and the products if made well will have a good value. A friend trained kids at an orphanage in making ganesha idols and it later was attempted to help them make money via terracota products. Focus needs to be shifted from raising funds to generating income!
One of the biggest problems in most such places is efficient use of resources. A lot of the NGOs I know don't have a dearth of space (as they might be remotely located). If it is a residential place like the IHAI children's home this place could be used to grow their own food. The kids not very bright at studies could be trained in such initiatives as terrace gardening or home garden - growing their own food - new methods like hydroponics could be tested though that is debatable. This would at least bring down part of the costs. Fuel/lighting are other ongoing expenses which where alternatives could be looked like solar power. A lot of corporates would rather fund something which will sustain than a months ration.
It was probably a tradition to donate cows in the past and something that can be looked at for a place like this. The cows takes care of the dairy product needs to some extent. Again if the kids are trained a lot of the kitchen waste generated can be fed to the cows. The part that can be fed (cooked food) can be composted to create good manure to be used for the terrace/home garden.
Cow urine can be used to make panchagavyam or sold as is for a price that is higher than that of milk. The training of kids in this area can serve as vocational training probably more useful than a lot of the conventional education which a lot of children may not have the aptitude for. If there is funding (more likely for such a cause) a biogas plant can be setup to cut the costs of fuel in the kitchen which is significant (if solar cooker is not feasible that is). If not bio digester there is alwasy the option of vermi composting which has an increasing market today or can be consumed in their own garden.
Going a step ahead we can setup a complete liquid waste management from the toilets and kitchen. This would generate income once the project is stable.
Water requirements if currently paid for can be curtailed to some extent by storing the rain water. Minimally recharging of ground water is important. The space that the NGO has could be put to very good use.
Planting trees has become a cliched initiative for most corporates. But if you club it up with planting fruit bearing trees and such for a NGO might just interest them. There is an animal shelter Krupa in Kengeri which has 300 acres of space. The funding for animal care is often limited and their expense is mostly the care takers. Most of the above methods could be put in place for the same. With tree plantation the care takers can make some income for themselves. At a place like IHAI if the kids are trained - could be supplementary stuff for them to eat or sale of the same can help raise funds. Taking care of trees is an effort that needs to be put in place of course - the advantages several as a much needed pleasant side effect -
|Approximately 300 trees can counter balance the amount of pollution 1 person produces in life time.
|→||A single tree produces approximately 260 pounds of oxygen per year. So two mature trees can supply enough oxygen annually to support a family of four.
|→||One tree removes about 1 ton of CO2 per year.
|→||One person causes about 10 tons of carbon dioxide to be emitted a year.Planting 10 trees per person will remove each person's carbon debt for the year.|
Info from - http://saytrees.org/
Making the org as self sufficient as can be with these efforts is far fetched as some of these require funding/resources but the way things are going Corporate CSRs are interested in doing something different and interesting. These are just some of the methods in creating an ecosystem. If we create one successful prototype - others can follow suit.
We are trying some experiments at Krupa Animal Shelter & Sri Ramana Maharishi Academy for the Blind (SRMAB). Both the places have some cows. The expenes of LPG cyclinders at SRMAB is around 36K per month. This can be reduced significantly with a biogas plant setup for the 18 odd cows they have. Currently all the gobar is just lying there losing the methane to the atmosphere!
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Spoilt for choice, are we?
The Bangalore Bikers Calendar is always bustling with activity. Just this weekend we had a Bangalore Bikers Championship race on Rajankunte road with a good turn out where other cities struggle to get bikers come out on a Sunday morning. Another group that organizes cycling tours, Cycling and More, is just back from their ride Green Aisle 2. They organized a second one due to the many registrations and now they need to organize a third which will be in July. Yet another such group, Tandem Trails, has opened their registrations for The Great Malnad Challenge - 800+ kms. Last but not the least, 4th Edition of the most coveted cycling event, Tour oF Nilgiris (TfN), has been announced and is already overbooked. The tour will take 100 bikers across 1000 kms of very beautiful and challenging terrain in the hills of the South. Hardly a weekend goes by when you don't have bikers blazing trails.
Things have changed drastically from what it used to be a few years back. One had to probably wait 2-3 months before (s)he got a bike of choice. Today one can go into any of the dozen stores and in all possibility find a good bike with the right size. There are several players in the market and the prizes of high end bikes have come down significantly. Mr. Rakesh Shah, owner of RR International Bikes, told that the sales of Roadstar which was one of the highest selling bike in the 90s has gone down significantly in the last few years but since the advent of high end bikes the business has been flourishing. A lot of people who can commute to work are now considering using these cool bikes to go to work. We have conducted over 50 workshops in various corporates, colleges and apartments to encourage biking to work and otherwise. The traffic and pollution are more a threat for people on motor bikes comes as a surprise to many. The various tours have helped mitigate the myths surrounding biking as well. The many renting options help also since people can now try bikes before the make hefty investments.
Biking is also becoming a serious sport with the many Bicycling Championships and the Bangalore Brevets. There are several racing teams competing in these events and with the Brevets many riders are testing their grit and determination to the fullest. I remember a post, when I was new to group, discouraging newbies to try very long distances without training and now some 120 odd riders go to Nandi as if it were a picnic on a month end long ride. Stats from the brevets - a distance of 200 kms was covered by 100+ riders under 15 hours, around 40+ people did 300 kms in under 20 hours, 30+ did 400 kms and 20+ riders did a 600 km ride in under 40 hours. If your jaws haven't dropped yet there is soon going to be a 1000 km brevet. Even as I write this, a serious rider, Samim Rizvi is cycling 3000 miles (4800 kms) across America in The Race Across America(RAAM) in about a week - Hey Raam! It won't be a surprise if we had a Race Across India very soon.
I have been cycling for as long as I can remember. Started with a BSA champ in 2nd grade and dreamed of buying cool bikes and cycling everywhere when I grew up. Now I am living that dream. I worked with RideACycle Foundation(RACF) on a 3 month sabbatical and that's where I got into evangelizing biking. Been part of most of the workshops conducted to encourage biking and love the growing numbers of the bums on the saddles - we plan to work in a more organized way to increase the same with the Wheels of Change program. Always loved this quote -
"Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race." - H. G. Wells
These numbers give a high but nothing beats the kick you get when you beat your own limits. My favorite ride was from Manali to Leh last year covering 420 kilometers - we had a blast. A more rigorous test was the Tour oF Nilgiris (TfN) with 800+ kms covered in 7 days. Hoping to do the MTB Himachal this year.