Thursday, September 27, 2007

Picking Up Trash by Hand, and Yearning for Dignity

It's good to see that the media is talking about things Indian, other than outsourcing, Bollywood and the economy!!!
Read the full NYT article at --

From the New York Times
Published: September 27, 2007
NEW DELHI — After a bad day at work, Manorama Begum can hardly keep from vomiting. After a good day, she is merely disinclined to eat for a few hours, until the stench has receded from her nostrils and her fingernails have been scrubbed clean.

A garbage collector in India’s capital, Ms. Begum is one of 300,000 little-seen workers who perform a vital role for the city: rifling through the detritus of modern life, recycling anything of worth and carefully disposing of the rest.

More than 95 percent of New Delhi has no formal system of house-to-house garbage collection, so it falls to the city’s ragpickers, one of India’s poorest and most marginalized groups, to provide this basic service. They are not paid by the state, relying instead on donations from the communities they serve and on meager profits from the sale of discarded items.

But after centuries of submissive silence, the waste collectors are beginning to demand respect.

On Oct. 2, Gandhi’s birthday, the Delhi state government will make a small but significant concession. In response to pressure from a ragpickers’ union, it will supply about 6,000 with protective gloves, boots and aprons.

Hoardes of Hindusim Images For Free...

The editors of Hinduism Today, have decided to release all of the high-resolution images from their book What Is Hinduism? that they have rights to. There are over 500 images, both art and photographs, in this library.

You may access it at --

Earthquakes Continue to Pound Indonesia

On September 12th a powerful earthquake struck off western Indonesia killing at least four people, destroying several buildings and triggering a small tsunami. Within a couple of weeks another strong earthquake rattles Indonesia. Is there any reprieve for people of this nation who are suffering one natural catastrophe after another?

Wednesday September 26, 2007 6:46 PM

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) - A powerful undersea earthquake rattled western Indonesia on Wednesday, officials said, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

The 6.4-magnitude quake was centered 80 miles southwest of Padang, a town on Sumatra island still recovering from a series of strong tremors that killed nearly two dozen people earlier this month, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

It struck nearly 21 miles beneath the ocean floor at 10:43 p.m., the USGS said.

Indonesia, the world's largest archipelago, is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the so-called Pacific ``Ring of Fire,'' an arc of volcanos and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin.

A massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami on Dec. 26, 2004, killed more than 131,000 people in Indonesia's Aceh province and left a half-million homeless.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

A Beloved Professor Delivers The Lecture of a Lifetime

If I am even 10 percent as brave and optimistic about life, as this professor I will be thankful forever!
Read the full article and see the video here--

From the Wall Street Journal --

"Randy Pausch, a Carnegie Mellon University computer-science professor, was about to give a lecture Tuesday afternoon, but before he said a word, he received a standing ovation from 400 students and colleagues.

He motioned to them to sit down. "Make me earn it," he said.

What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance? For Carnegie Mellon professor Randy Pausch, the question isn't rhetorical -- he's dying of cancer. Jeff Zaslow narrates a video on Prof. Pausch's final lecture.
They had come to see him give what was billed as his "last lecture." This is a common title for talks on college campuses today. Schools such as Stanford and the University of Alabama have mounted "Last Lecture Series," in which top professors are asked to think deeply about what matters to them and to give hypothetical final talks. For the audience, the question to be mulled is this: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance?

It can be an intriguing hour, watching healthy professors consider their demise and ruminate over subjects dear to them. At the University of Northern Iowa, instructor Penny O'Connor recently titled her lecture "Get Over Yourself." At Cornell, Ellis Hanson, who teaches a course titled "Desire," spoke about sex and technology.

At Carnegie Mellon, however, Dr. Pausch's speech was more than just an academic exercise. The 46-year-old father of three has pancreatic cancer and expects to live for just a few months. His lecture, using images on a giant screen, turned out to be a rollicking and riveting journey through the lessons of his life."

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Forbes Asian Fab 50

India is again home to more Fab 50 companies than anywhere else. Twelve Indian firms made the cut, including its Big Four information technology outsourcers.

Of the other eight that make the list, companies such as ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Bharti Airtel are growing fast by reaching out to India's rural customers, not to Western markets. Others, such as Grasim, Larsen & Toubro and Reliance, are shoring up the country's infrastructure at a furious pace.

Company Country Market Value ($bil) Sales Industry
Bharat Heavy Electricals India 20.4 3.8 Capital Goods
Bharti Airtel India 39.2 4.3 Telecommunications Services
Grasim Industries India 6.5 3.2 Construction
HDFC Bank India 9.8 2.0 Banking
Icici Bank India 22.9 9.8 Banking
Infosys Technologies India 27.4 3.2 Software & Services
Larsen & Toubro India 17.0 4.7 Capital Goods
Reliance Industries India 62.1 23.3 Oil & Gas Operations
Satyam Comp. Services India 7.9 1.5 Software & Services
Tata Consultancy Services India 27.6 4.3 Software & Services
Tata Steel India 9.5 5.8 Materials
Wipro India 17.2 3.5 Software & Services

See complete article at the URL below --