On the International Day of Youth, World Moms Network – Senior Editor, Purnima from India, met with a few young high school students. Read on to find their take on the state of affairs of the world, their life ahead in times of this pandemic, their passion, their ways of achieving their dreams and goals, and generally trying to have a positive perspective towards the world and their life.
Purnima asked 3 questions!
What is your passion? What makes you most excited about? What does your heart live for? Take some time and think about the questions mentioned below. Answer the questions to the best of your ability. This is about your beliefs, hopes, and dreams.
What is that one thing you would like to see changed in this world? (Examples: Climate Change, Education policy, Global unity, etc…)
Tell me about that one step you would like to take to achieve question #2?
Harini Ramanan says:
My passion is writing. I am excited about creating a whole new world that can fit into a reader’s head. I am passionate about global unity. I want to promote diversity among religion, race, and more.
I love data science, especially the field of artificial intelligence. I would love to implement this into business, as I’m also interested in becoming an entrepreneur. Despite the challenges that may come, I am determined and will work my way through.
One thing I would definitely like to see changed in this world is parents no longer making their children’s major decisions. Especially in India, many parents put a lot of pressure on their children to, (for example), take up a certain subject to study in the future, impeding the child from doing what he/she is really passionate about, just because the parent thinks it’s ‘not going to work out’.
I totally agree, that parents know what is right and what is wrong and that their children should respect that, however, sometimes there is no ‘right or wrong’ decision when it comes to a child’s major decisions, after all, it’s impossible to see what the future will bring. Nevertheless, I believe that it’s not up to a parent to decide where their child’s success lies, but for the child to prove that their success is where they want it to be.
What I am about to say might sound ridiculous, but just like we children go to school, I believe that parents also need some form of education to become better parents and respect their children’s opinions and passions. Parenting is already a hard task in itself, especially when the child grows up and starts to become rebellious and doesn’t want to do what the parent wants them to do. But through education, parents could, maybe, be able to understand what their child is really interested in, and rather than pulling them away from it, help them to achieve their goals.
I love art. When I come up with new ideas and implement it, I feel satisfied after looking at my output on how creative, hard-working, and concentrated I was toward my artwork. Sometimes when my artwork looks very similar to the one I had in my mind, I’m on cloud 9. I would say that my heart lives to achieve my goals, ambition, and also my cravings toward my likings like chocolates, desserts, and also ice creams.
I also want to change the healthcare policy to a better one providing adequate and necessary treatment to all who arrive at any hospital, be it rich or poor. I want to do this because not everyone in this world is getting proper medical treatment because it is expensive.
Mabel David says:
My passion is to share love by indirectly helping others in need especially. Spending time with people I love and who love me back gives me joy and peace. My heart lives for the new experiences I experience every day.
Nishit Joseph says:
I want to be a lead guitarist. I love playing and feeling guitar against my body. I am very excited about changing the string in my guitar. My heart lives to bring music to every corner of the world.
Adil Sukumar says:
Everyone should have a voice. I want to see everyone happy smiling. My heart lives for doing what I love.
Poojasri M says:
I want to see all people treated equally, no matter whether they are rich or poor, all people in the world must be treated equally.
Tania Mascarenhas says:
I want to eliminate discrimination and hate from this world. It’s very taxing to even think about this.
I’m currently working on collecting suggestions on an app called Tumblr which is a microblogging platform. Once I have collected enough ideas, I hope to start a Kindness Challenge; where each day we can represent ideas or do something as simple as baking a cake, giving a compliment or speaking to an old friend.
Vanaja Karthik says:
I would like for abusing to stop. I am going to strive for the Heartfulness movement to spread throughout the world and prioritize spirituality, love, kindness and togetherness.
These kids have started with a thought, put words into their ideas, are leading engagement in their community. They encourage action among adults, and lead transformation.
Special shoutout and gratitude to Mrs. Ushma Sriraman, who leads the Value-Based Education department of the Lalaji Memorial Omega International School, for her cooperation, coordination, and for her virtual hugs!
Purnima Ramakrishnan is an UNCA award winning journalist and the recipient of the fellowship in Journalism by International Reporting Project, John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Her International reports from Brazil are found here .
She is also the recipient of the BlogHer '13 International Activist Scholarship Award .
She is a Senior Editor at World Moms Blog who writes passionately about social and other causes in India. Her parental journey is documented both here at World Moms Blog and also at her personal Blog, The Alchemist's Blog. She can be reached through this page .
She also contributes to Huffington Post .
Purnima was once a tech-savvy gal who lived in the corporate world of sleek vehicles and their electronics. She has a Master's degree in Electronics Engineering, but after working for 6 years as a Design Engineer, she decided to quit it all to become a Stay-At-Home-Mom to be with her son!
This smart mom was born and raised in India, and she has moved to live in coastal India with her husband, who is a physician, and her son who is in primary grade school.
She is a practitioner and trainer of Heartfulness Meditation.
Sandy Hook, CT, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, FL, Great Mills High School, MD school shootings should be enough to make anyone frustrated and livid about all the senseless violence, but sadly, no. Even more disheartening was the most recent shooting at a Waffle House in Tennessee in which a semi-nude gunman walked in and proceeded to use his AR-15 and killed four people and injured two others.
Shootings have become commonplace since Columbine, and Sandy Hook. The Parkland school shootings have spurred renewed conversations regarding gun laws. With so many lives lost and no clear path of how and if gun safety laws will be revised, what can we do next?
In the midst of all this chaos and unrest, is it possible to attain peace and focus on resolving the underlying issues behind all this violence?
According to Victor Kannan of Heartfulness Institute, in Atlanta, GA, meditation is not only needed but necessary during this time. Per Kannan, “meditation is a conscious effort of going inward, trying to capture the silence. Meditation can be practiced by anybody that recognizes that one is not in the flow, or zone or has feelings of separation caused by chaos. Our normal condition is that feeling of being one with one’s own self. It’s when we are separated we begin to feel the existence of stress, the existence of pain, the existence of misery”.
A woman meditating
In light of the recent #MarchForOurLives gatherings throughout the country, it was amazing to see how many men, women, young adults, and children went to raise their voices on the issue of gun laws. It is unfortunate but necessary to stand up and raise an alarm that gun safety must be addressed with the utmost urgency.
In every shooting incident, whether at a school or public venue, my first reaction has been shock, but as these incidents have become more frequent, the shock has decreased. It’s not that I’m less horrified by the violence perpetrated by these shooters, but the frequency and hardly any resolve towards it, has made me feel hopeless.
When I decided to interview Kannan, it was to see if this feeling of hopelessness could be transformed into hope by way of meditation. I’ve always steered clear of meditation for reasons that some people may relate to – no time, too tired to sit quietly, unsure that it works. But the main reason? I wasn’t sure if this could relate to how I felt towards gun violence.
Kannan points out, “If we want to feel normal, to find the unity within us, (not the separation), in that space, if we begin to create, then that creation is deliberate, goal-oriented and productive.” He believes that people who have achieved extraordinary heights of excellence have spent time on themselves, contemplating, introspecting, meditating.
In addition, he says, “Society needs to spend time on themselves in the morning: humanity needs it. We should not start a day without spending a minimum of twenty minutes on ourselves in a conscious way.”
It’s meant to look into yourself and see how you could change the world around you with the help of introspection. But is that enough?
Is there a way to feel compassion, and even love, when violence seems to be almost a daily thing that one falls victim to? How can we become less apathetic and more empathetic to what affects us all in the end?
It has to start with us who rally and march and speak against the atrocities that keep befalling us, in conjunction with taking care of ourselves first so we can be of service to others.
Meditation can be a powerful tool to ensure we are on the right path even in the midst of chaos.
We can choose to practice peace and love, for ourselves and hopefully inspire others to do the same.
What do you think of meditation impacting gun laws?
Tes Silverman was born in Manila, Philippines and has been a New Yorker for over 30 years. Moving from the Philippines to New York opened the doors to the possibility of a life of writing and travel. Before starting a family, she traveled to Iceland, Portugal, Belgium, and France, all the while writing about the people she met through her adventures. After starting a family, she became a freelance writer for publications such as Newsday’s Parents & Children and various local newspapers. Fifteen years ago, she created her blog, The Pinay Perspective. PinayPerspective.com is designed to provide women of all ages and nationalities the space to discuss the similarities and differences on how we view life and the world around us. As a result of her blog, she has written for BlogHer.com and has been invited to attend and blog about the Social Good Summit and Mom+Social Good. In addition, she is a World Voice Editor for World Moms Network and was Managing Editor for a local grass roots activism group, ATLI(Action Together Long Island). Currently residing in Virginia Beach, VA with her husband, fourteen year-old Morkie and a three year old Lab Mix, she continues to write stories of women and children who make an impact in their communities and provide them a place to vocalize their passions.
World Moms Network and the Heartfulness Institute have partnered to bring forth a series of online monthly webinar workshops for women called GLOW which stands for ‘Genuine Loving Outstanding Women’. This helps women everywhere to learn and practice Heartfulness meditation from the comfort of their homes or workplace. The aim is to help women integrate meditation into their daily lives to achieve a more peaceful and balanced life, and a better environment. Each webinar will also feature an expert speaker, chosen from women who are outstanding in their fields, and are influencers and change makers.
This webinar comes at a time, celebrating the International Day of Women, whose theme declared by the UN Foundation is #BeBoldForChange.
Each one of us – women and men joining forces can be a leader within our own spheres of influence by taking bold pragmatic action to be agents of change. Through purposeful collaboration, we can help women advance and unleash the limitless potential of heir hearts.
So, please encourage the wonderful women in your communities, work places, families, and among your friends to tune in without fail, and be benefitted.
We have urgent work to do. Are you ready to #BeBoldForChange this IWD 2017 and beyond?
Keynote Speaker: Ms. Vani Kola
Ms. Vani Kola
Ms. Vani Kola is a Managing Director at Kalaari Capital, based in Bangalore, India. Her leadership at Kalaari centers around her commitment to the development of entrepreneurs and her conviction that Indian companies are poised to become global players. Vani brings 22 years of Silicon Valley experience as a founder of successful companies to her role as a mentor and enabler of startup companies in India. She serves on several company boards and speaks widely on entrepreneurship and leadership.
Overview & Takeaway:
Ms. Vani Kola would speak about her journey of “discovering self”. Heartfulness meditation has helped her to confront her fears. One clings to fears because one is not ready to face them. However anyone can learn to free themselves of fear and move to freedom. In this talk, Ms. Kola would explore practical ways to understand fear and its root cause. She would also offer simple ways to confront and conquer fears, thus creating a change for a bold you.
WHO SHOULD ATTEND:
All women across the globe who would love a hot cup of inspiration and who seek guidance to listen to the true calling of their heart! Please share the attached Social Media Promotional images in your circles, encouraging women to join.
Please like and share the Social Media – Facebook Page – Heartfulness for Women for periodic updates and resources for women.
If you would like to speak on the next GLOW webinar, or seek further information about the webinar series, or would like to partner with Heartfulness Institute/World Moms Network, write to GLOW@heartfulness.org
World Moms Network is an award winning website whose mission statement is "Connecting mothers; empowering women around the globe." With over 70 contributors who write from over 30 countries, the site covered the topics of motherhood, culture, human rights and social good.
Most recently, our Senior Editor in India, Purnima Ramakrishnan was awarded "Best Reporting on the UN" form the UNCA. The site has also been named a "Top Website for Women" by FORBES Woman and recommended by the NY Times Motherlode and the Times of India. Follow our hashtags: #worldmom and #worldmoms
When I began CleanBirth.org in 2012, it was very important to me that the organization succeed. I wanted so much to help other mothers give birth safely. I also craved a project of my own that was unrelated to being a mother or wife.
I can remember worrying in the first year that the Clean Birth Kits wouldn’t be well received or that my partner organization in Laos, ACD-Laos, wouldn’t do their part to ensure success.
In the first 2 years, I worked endlessly with ACD-Laos and traveled to Laos twice per year. Back at home, I went to conferences, Tweeted and posted on Facebook non-stop, and sought connections and fundraising opportunities everywhere.
There was so much of me in the organization in that early period. I needed the moms in Laos to give me a purpose, as much as they needed me.
Yet, the more I traveled to Laos, the more I understood that the only agents for real change in birth practices are local nurses. With common language and traditions, these nurses are uniquely effective at conveying knowledge about safe birth.
With the goal of empowering local nurses, my partners at ACD-Laos and I spent time in 2014 establishing mutually-agreed up Monitoring and Evaluation procedures. With these clear objectives and methods of tracking funds, the way was cleared for my partners at ACD-Laos to take ownership of day-to-day activities.
In 2016, when they began conducting training without me and then requested to expand to more clinics and a hospital, it was clear that ACD-Laos and the nurses were invested and in charge.It was also clear that my role had changed.
Just as the organization had evolved, so had I. With an international move and growing kids, I no longer needed CleanBirth.org to be my purpose.
While the need is gone, my commitment is stronger than ever. I am so proud to be part of the team we’ve created: the nurses, ACD-Laos, CleanBirth.org and our supporters. Year after year we make birth safe for an increasingly large number of women in Laos.
World Moms Network has supported CleanBirth.org since the beginning. We need your help in the next 2 weeks,as we raise our largest amount ever $20,000.
Kristyn brings her years of experience as an entrepreneur and serial volunteer to CleanBirth.org. She holds a MA, has run small businesses in Russia and the US, and has volunteered in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Uganda on projects related to women’s empowerment.
After having children, Kristyn became an advocate for mothers in the US, as a doula and Lamaze educator, and abroad, as the Founder of CleanBirth.org. She is honored to provide nurses in Laos with the supplies, funding and training they need to lower maternal and infant mortality rates in their villages.
The 2015 deadline for the eight Millennium Development goals is upon us. As of December 31st 2015 not all of the goals will have been met, but huge progress has been, and continues to be made. If anything the past 15 years showed what is truly possible with concerted effort and proper funding. The MDGs were set in the year 2000 by 189 nations, and the Millennium Goal Declaration was put in place as a step to alleviate extreme poverty around the globe. Negotiations of the Post 2015 development agenda are due to take place early this month, and will build on the progress made thus far through the 8 MDGs.
The next set of 17 sustainable development goals, which have 169 associated targets, are being referred to as the SDGs. The proposed goals are to end poverty, end hunger, achieve healthy lives for all, provide quality education, attain gender equality, empower women, and girls the world over. To ensure clean and sustainable water, sanitation, and sustainable energy for all. Goals include economic growth, resilient infrastructures, reduction of inequality between countries, to make cities safe, create resilient consumption and production cycles, urgently combat climate change, conserve our oceans, protect our ecosystems, create peaceful, inclusive and just societies, and strengthen global partnerships towards sustainable development.
The first element is dignity: an essential element for human development, encompassing the fight against poverty and inequality.
Second is people: Millions of people, especially women and children, remain excluded from full participation in society. We must finish the work of the Millennium Development Goals.
Third, prosperity: We must develop a strong, inclusive and transformative global economy.
4. OUR PLANET
Fourth, our planet: We have an urgent duty to address climate changes and protect our ecosystems, for ourselves and our children.
Fifth, justice: to build safe and peaceful societies, and strong institutions.
And finally, partnership: because this agenda will be built on a foundation of global cooperation and solidarity.
These six broad categories provide a much more digestible approach to the 17 goals that will be finalized at the General Assembly in September of 2015. As #WorldMoms it will be our children, the next generation, who will carry through many of these goals, and be the ones help to innovate, execute, and hopefully see the end goal of eradicating extreme poverty by the year 2030.
What do you think of this new proposed set of SDGs?
This is an original post written by Elizabeth Atalay for World Moms Blog. She also writes at documama.org.
Elizabeth Atalay is a Digital Media Producer, Managing Editor at World Moms Network, and a Social Media Manager. She was a 2015 United Nations Foundation Social Good Fellow, and traveled to Ethiopia as an International Reporting Project New Media Fellow to report on newborn health in 2014. On her personal blog, Documama.org, she uses digital media as a new medium for her background as a documentarian. After having worked on Feature Films and Television series for FOX, NBC, MGM, Columbia Pictures, Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox, and Castle Rock Pictures, she studied documentary filmmaking and anthropology earning a Masters degree in Media Studies from The New School in New York. Since becoming a Digital Media Producer she has worked on social media campaigns for non-profits such as Save The Children, WaterAid, ONE.org, UNICEF, United Nations Foundation, Edesia, World Pulse, American Heart Association, and The Gates Foundation. Her writing has also been featured on ONE.org, Johnson & Johnson’s BabyCenter.com, EnoughProject.org, GaviAlliance.org, and Worldmomsnetwork.com. Elizabeth has traveled to 70 countries around the world, most recently to Haiti with Artisan Business Network to visit artisans in partnership with Macy’s Heart of Haiti line, which provides sustainable income to Haitian artisans. Elizabeth lives in New England with her husband and four children.
It has been almost two weeks since I attended the AYA Summit in Washington DC at Google’s offices with ONE, and I still feel a flood of emotion each time I think about the experience. As I wrote on my blog last week, the words to explain such a powerful and inspiring event are hard to come by.
The AYA Summit focused on issues facing girls and women in the developing world, with a special emphasis on Sub-Saharan Africa. The name AYA comes from an African Adinkra Symbol, which means fern and symbolizes endurance, resourcefulness and growth.
I, along with fellow World Moms Blog contributors Jennifer Burden, Elizabeth Atalay, Nicole Morgan, Nicole Melancon, Kelly Pugliano and Cindy Levin, sat in a room of about 80 bloggers and listened to inspiring panel after inspiring panel. In addition to thought-provoking conversations about human trafficking, the importance of vaccinations, electrifying Africa, making change through economic opportunities and the dire need to end Ebola in West Africa, we witnessed incredible performances by a young poet named Marquesha Babers and actress Danai Gurira.
Tears were shed. We were all moved and left wanting to do more for women and girls around the globe.
Why invite only bloggers to such a powerful event? According to this article from WUSA9 who covered the event, the combined audiences of our blogs exceeds 45 million and 28 states. As it was noted, “that kind of reach is priceless.”
There was a general theme of storytelling throughout the event. As bloggers, we have the ability to tell the stories of girls and women around the globe that the mainstream media simply cannot duplicate. We use our experiences as women, mothers and global citizens to lend our voices to those who don’t have a microphone and help others join in the conversation. We personalize the stories, talk about our concerns, and amplify the issues that media may not even be fully aware of or willing to devote the time to cover.
As Ginny Wolfe, Senior Director, Strategic Relationships at ONE, said at the very start of the AYA Summit, “We’re not asking for your money, we’re asking for your voice.” If you are reading this post, you can lend your voice too.
Though it is still hard to put into words what the AYA Summit meant to me, I thought I would share the highlights and key takeaways through a series of tweets during the event: