‘Learning Disabilities’, A Book by Aradhana Tewari and Rajshree Tewari Now Available Online

Among the few academic books in the world penned jointly by a Mother and her Daughter

With the birth of every child, enfolds a new dream..! But ours is not a utopian world and not every dream has a smooth ride.
Some children struggle with the demands of the early school. They not only lag behind the majority of their class but also find learning much more difficult than others… Surprisingly intelligence tests often credit them with normal or even above normal intelligence.
Then where is the lacuna?

Well…. With our maiden venture, We have sincerely attempted to clear the clouding doubts regarding learning disabilities.

We hope the book strengthens the belief among all the stakeholders that children with learning disability can also dare to dream!
We also pray that this book will help some child somewhere to realize the same!!

To buy, share and review; click here

Observations from The CDC Public Health Grand Rounds ‘Climate Change and Health From Science to Practice’

16 December 2014, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Analyzed the Impacts of Climate Change on Health and published the same as a 64 page report. Since the report could be complex for some, here are some of the significant observations from the entire analysis.

1. Findings from 3rd National Climate Assessment are noted.

  • Wet Areas are predicted to get wetter and Dry Areas are predicted to get drier;
  • Significant Rise in the sea level and ocean acidity. Predictions for further rise by 2100;
  • Frequency of Hurricanes, Droughts, Floods, Heat Waves has increased;
  • A serious increase from 0.1% to 10% in extreme temperature events of earth;
  • Marked Effects of Global Warming and Heat Waves on Earth and Human Lives respectively;

2. 61% Physicians, from The National Medical Association Survey 2014, reported the patient’s health has been affected by climate change.

3. Climate Change has serious threats to mental health.

4. Risks for developing Asthma have increased.

5. Heat Waves, Wildfires, Heavy Precipitation, Flooding has significantly increased and thus has resulted in high levels of harmful fine particles in air and water.

6. Vulnerable Population has been noted.

  • Age Group: Below 5 years of age, 65 and older
  • People with Chronic Conditions, for instance – Diabetes
  • Places: River and coastal plains, Urban heat islands

7. Emerging Diseases using the ‘One Health’ Lens are noted.

  • Climate Change => Environment Change => Changes in Environment for Supporting Disease Vector/ Harmful Microorganism Growth => Disease Outbreak
  • Climate Sensitive Infectious Diseases – Zoonotic, Vector Borne, Water Borne, Food Borne and Soil Borne
  • Specific Diseases – West Nile Virus Infection, Lyme Disease, Rabies, Dengue, Malaria, Chagas Disease, E.Coli, Cholera, Leptospirosis, Vibriosis, Valley Fever, Amoebic Meningoencephalitis
  • Incidents of West Nile Virus and Lyme Disease on the rise
  • Emergence of diseases from climate change attributed to four key reasons – Land Use Change (example – urbanization), Food and Agricultural Systems (example – livestock mixing), Human Behavior (travel capabilities) and Environmental Systems (example – Natural Calamities)

8. Surveillance, Preparedness and Research can help in overcoming the predicted adversities.

To learn more about these observations, refer the link in references:

Reference: Luber G (2014) ‘Climate Change and Health From Science to Practice’ U.S. Department of Health and Human Services CDC 1-64 online at

http://www.cdc.gov/cdcgrandrounds/pdf/gr-climate-change-1216.pdf (Accessed on 24 December 2014)

Advocating ‘ HEALTHY SLEEPING’ at Educational Institutes

Click/ Copy-Paste The American Thoracic Society Link for more information on Sleep Apnea and Cardiovascular Risks : http://patients.thoracic.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/osa.pdf

Click/ Copy-Paste the link for browsing through Methodology to Research Impact of Sleep on Daily Activities of Students : https://teara90.wordpress.com/2014/12/20/how-to-test-the-impact-of-irregular-sleeping-patterns-on-daily-activities-of-college-students-a-pilot-methodology/

If Sleep Apnea is directly linked to Hypertension, can there be a correlation between obstructive sleep, hypertension and impact on daily activities.

Should educational institutes advocate awareness camps for ‘Healthy Sleeping’? Wouldn’t the camps; which provide free consultation on sleep disorders, prove as an asset for students everywhere?

To squeeze in a lighter note here, wouldn’t it be awesome to have your colleges asking you to ‘Have a Great Sleep?’ …would take off the edge from all the module tests and presentation..wouldn’t it? …..(Hinting towards a health promotion tip!!!!)

Is health reporting sensationalized? Scientists study where overhyping starts

Next time you read a heath tip in the paper…. Explore it more before adopting it.. !!!!

Global News

PARIS – The latest health article you’re reading is warning you about the dangers of too much red meat, coffee or aspartame. How much of this warning do you take to heart?

In a new study, British researchers say that there’s exaggeration in health news, but it isn’t necessarily the fault of journalists for overhyping. Turns out, press releases put together with the help of the scientists could be the culprit.

As the ivory towers compete for funding and global attention, they’re sensationalizing to garner headlines, Cardiff University scientists explain.

“If you ask the scientists who’s to blame when things go wrong, 100 per cent of them say journalists,” Dr. Petroc Sumner told Time magazine.

“But at least 30 per cent of them admitted that their own press releases had exaggeration, even when they’d been heavily involved in writing them themselves.”

READ MORE: 6 misconceptions about nutrition and healthy eating

The…

View original post 665 more words

How to Test the Impact of Irregular Sleeping Patterns on Daily Activities of College Students? A Pilot Methodology

Researching the Impact of  Irregular Sleep

Effect of Irregular Sleeping Patterns on Daily Activities in Essex University Postgraduate Students (Aradhana Tewari, 2013)

INTRODUCTION

The study aims to explore the role of irregular sleeping schedules (IS) on daily activities (DA), using the mixed design model (Morgan’s Priority Sequence) that draws on in depth interviews based on preliminary questionnaires, with postgraduate students in Essex University, in order to identify likely facilitators of IS.

CDC has identified insufficient sleep as a public health epidemic although along with this, it has also pinpointed the lack of research done on connection between IS and its effect on DA (CDC, 2013). NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) 2007-08 was the first survey to incorporate contents to test this connection. A positive correlation was identified between IS and DA in another study conducted among university students in Taiwan (Kang et al, 2009).

IS is associated with a number of chronic diseases and conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression. ‘There is strong evidence that sufficient shortening or disturbance of the sleep process compromises mood, performance and alertness and can result in injury or death’ (Bonnet et al, 2011). Thus IS can lead from being a minor problem to a severe issue. Research has proved the existence of IS problem in university students especially between the age group of 18 to 23 years of age. IS not only lowers the ability of students to perform their daily activities and academics but it also increases the risks of ‘psychosocial stress’ (Austin et al, 2007). University of Michigan too identifies the population to be ‘one of the most sleep-deprived people’ (University of Michigan Depression Centre, 2010). The primary reasons for the same could be stress and academic pressure, accommodation and surroundings, noise, socializing, too much exposure to electronic devices, dietary intake, substance abuse etc.

This data analysis study is thus intended to identify the reasons for IS in Essex university students between the age groups of 18 to 23 years living in Avon Way accommodation and its effect on their daily activities. The non university accommodation has shared flats with 3 -5 residents in one flat. The qualitative and quantitative data analysis techniques would help us to understand if IS is a problem with the study population and if it is, to what extent is it a matter of concern.

INSTRUMENT CONTENT

In order to predict and analyze the effects of IS on DA, the study would need a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods of assessment. The need for a mixed methods study arises as some of the variables aren’t easily quantifiable. Therefore, the method is chosen in a way where one ‘method would have the strengths that are the most important to the project’s goals and the other complementary contrasting method would have its own set of strengths that can add to research’s overall ability to meet the project’s goals’ (Morgan, 1993). Hence, this study follows the Morgan’s Priority Sequence Model (PSM), and, with the help of the second cell of PSM, the study would be divided into two main methods. The principal priority method would be the qualitative ‘Interview’ whereas the complimentary method would be the quantitative ‘Questionnaire’. But the ‘qualitative and quantitative methods operate according to different timelines resulting in confused connection between them. Therefore a sequence is created between the two so that what is learned from one cell adds on to what is learnt from the other’ (Morgan, 1993). The study sequence, as per the second cell of PSM, would have the qualitative interview preceded by the quantitative questionnaire method. ‘The quantitative method would not only give a direction to researcher’s qualitative study but it would also help in choosing the focus of analysis from huge qualitative data’ (Morgan, 1993). The questionnaire thus allows dual purposive sampling, that is, it would first try to distinguish the populations with good sleeping schedules with the ones following a comparatively poorer schedule; and the difficulties they face when slept poorly. After analyzing the results of questionnaire, representatives from the two populations would be interviewed and results would be analyzed.

This study would use a ‘Fixed Response Questionnaire’ which aims to collect ‘Binary Data’, that is, it would have two categories. This questionnaire would follow an ‘Observational Quantitative Design’ and help in analyzing the ‘Inferential Statistics’, or in other words, the relationship between IS and DA that goes beyond the data set. This method would in turn help in assessing the dependent and independent variables of IS which would lead to assessing the ‘Association’ between IS and DA.  The questionnaire used for this study is composed of 18 close ended questions which are aimed to be clear, short (that is no more than 25 words) and unambiguous. Care has been taken to include no leading, sorting or ordering questions. This questionnaire has been inspired from the 2006 NHANES sleeping disorders questionnaire for the target group population of more than 16 years of age (CDC, 2006). For the purposes of analysis, the questions have been divided into five sets. The first three questions help in the basic division of population on the basis of their sleeping schedules in the past two months. The next five questions try to identify the 4 Cs that is possible outcomes of IS on ‘Concentration’, ‘Conversation’, ‘Capability’ to recall and ‘Capacity’ to work or remain active. This set is followed by another four questions that try to assess the risks of having an IS such as noise, work pressure and socializing. Two questions in the questionnaire have been added to see if the IS brings along some tested biological symptoms of snoring and leg cramps while having an IS. ‘The Sleep Heart Health Study Research Group identified snoring and leg cramps during sleep as having an important public health impact’ (Gottlieb et al, 2000). The last four questions focus on risk behaviors and habits of the population that may aggravate the problems of IS. This study would focus on four risk behaviors that is consumption of excessive caffeine, alcohol, smoke and drugs. ‘Caffeine has been tested to reduce sleeping times’ by a lot resulting in IS (Brezinova, 1974). Population under study, i.e. the students may have a habit of caffeine consumption to stay awake for work or other reasons. Similarly, excessive alcohol has been proven to ‘produce sleep disturbances especially in the second half of the nocturnal sleep’ (Roehrs et al, 2001). As far as smoking is concerned, ‘the association between sleep and smoking has been studied to be most notable for young adults’ (Schoenborn et al, 2008). Lastly, although sleeping pills and drugs may to some extent help in getting sleep, if consumed as per medically assigned, however, one may easily get addicted to it leading to disruption in the overall sleep (FDA, 2007). After the successful completion of questionnaire, the results of the same would be analyzed using the ‘chi square’ on SPSS or Statistical Product and Service Solutions. The chi square would test the association between IS and DA based on a contingency table which would compare their frequencies and therefore help in assessing trends. This analysis would help in distinguishing the population under study into categories of individuals suffering from an IS from the individuals who are not experiencing an IS. Other key areas of distinction would be the possible outcomes that individuals have after IS patterns. Representatives from the categories would be chosen for an in depth interview.

The questionnaire is then followed by the priority method of ‘Interview’. This ‘qualitative method aims to present the social world and perspectives of that world’ (Krefting, 1991). This interview intends to get unstructured responses that help in analyzing the realities through the eyes of the population under study. This study therefore consists of an ‘In – Depth Interview’ which consists of five key questions with an undefined sequence. The order of the interview questions would depend on the answers of the respondents. With each response, the interviewer would be able to experience the rich, deeper data. The Interview has been aimed to be trustworthy on the basis of ‘naturalistic inquiry’ that is it has been carefully reviewed to be credible, transferable, dependable and confirmable (Lincoln, 1985). Along with these four core factors, trustworthiness has been ensured by being non judgmental, asking both sides of the issue and by not making assumptions. The entire research methodology is based on grounded theory along with the analysis. After the successful completion of the Interview, an ‘Inductive Analysis’ is done. The recorded responses on tape are transcribed using software like ATLAS.TI and put as a reading material. ‘Such software can allow basic code and retrieval of data, and more sophisticated analysis using algorithms to identify co-occurring codes in a range of logically overlapping or nesting possibilities, annotation of the text, or the creation and amalgamation of codes (Pope et al, 2000). These are then reread, constantly compared and put into analytical categories. A ‘Paper Spreadsheet’ is then prepared which gives us the association between IS and DA or is the final result copy of the study.

ETHICS

This study is dealing with the issue of IS and its effects on DA which has relatively lesser ethical concerns. Even though it has minor concerns, the ethical ground should be clear and just for the population under study. Confidentiality of the individual has been taken care of especially by the quantitative method. The individual is given a consent option for approval of an interview after the questionnaire. The individual thus has an individual choice of remaining anonymous or not. Withdrawal right from the study at any point is given to the person. He is informed of the same before the start of the two methods. Respondent has the option of not answering any question in the questionnaire or the interview. The question with a comparatively higher ethical concern could be the last question on the use of sleeping pills and drugs where the respondent is free to answer or ignore it completely. The interviewer is trained to be non judgmental about the responses. There is no provoking or bias involved in the study to get any favorable responses.

Language barrier is taken care of by making the questionnaire an assisted one where the researcher/assistant is present along with the sample group. However since the population is Essex postgraduate students who can read and write English, the language of the entire study has been kept the same. This also takes care of the literacy levels. Efforts are made during the study to make the respondent comfortable and a part of the entire group. This is ensured by keeping the environment private and quiet in a pre-booked classroom at the University of Essex. Refreshments are given to the participants at the end of the questionnaire as a gesture of gratitude for contributing towards the study. The individuals are given the choice of knowing the results after the completion of the study. This is done to make sure the participant is aware of how his/ her information is being treated in the entire study or for general curiosity.

PILOT TEST

A pilot test of the study is conducted on seven students with similar profile as the population under study. This is done to ‘test logistics and gather information prior to the main study in order to improve latter’s efficiency and quality along with identifying any bugs or deficiencies in the test before it’s conduction on a larger scale’ (Altman et al, 2006). The first step of the pilot test was to present the questionnaire to the participants. At the very start, participants are made aware of their ethical rights as mentioned before and are informed about the process of answering the questions. The questionnaire starts with getting the general information on age, gender, course, employment status and accommodation details. The questions in the pilot were the same but were asked in two different ways. The researcher/assistant was present at the time of pilot questionnaire to clear confusion or doubts if any. At the end of the questionnaire, there were two other questions that were added exclusively in the pilot. The first question aimed at choosing the preferred style of questioning from the two styles i.e. choosing the better question for understanding the same through the eyes of the respondent. The second question was added to receive any positive or critical comments from the participants about the questionnaire.

This was followed by a pilot interview. The interview started with a brief introduction and rapport development between the participant and interviewer with an aim to make the former comfortable. Responses are been recorded on a tape recorder. An idea about the purpose of the interview and estimated time frame of the same was given. Participant was ensured of their confidentiality and anonymity. The key questions are then asked to the participant in a very non judgmental way. Based on the responses, the questions were added or ignored to suit the participant’s experience of IS. Confusion in understanding the participant was managed by interrupting the respondent and asking for clarification. Participant was not forced to give any responses that may prove favorable for the study. The pilot interview ends with two exclusive questions on critical comments on the same. The first question would try to receive comments on the style and process of interviewing used in the pilot whereas the second question would be directed to get any comments on the environment used for the interview process. The participant is made aware of the interview completion, reaffirmed confidentiality and given a chance to ask any questions. The interview is then ended by switching off the tape recorder and by thanking the participant for his/ her contribution.

The pilot questionnaire and pilot interview has been attached in the appendix.

REFLECTIONS

This study tries to find an association between IS and DA, an issue that is at a comparative low on the severity index. However the purpose of the study has been to identify the problems of IS to be severe. The effects of IS become severe when it leads to issues such as occupational accidents. ‘Self reported disturbed sleep has been proven to be a predictor of accidental death at work’ (Akerstedt et al, 2002). More research is required in the field of irregular sleep outcomes. This study explores the area at a low level among the youth between 20 to 25 years of age. This mixed methods study based on PSM does not give true triangulation as compared to a study that is composed of a qualitative and quantitative method with equal priority. But it does achieve complementarity through a division of labor which makes the study easier to implement and practical (Morgan, 1993). Finding participants for the study may be an added task due to reasons like perception of the issue to be irrelevant or unexciting. This may further prevent participants to take time out of their busy schedules and come all the way to the university classroom from their non university accommodation. However, the participants are given an incentive or the attraction of refreshments and a time estimate of the questionnaire.

The assisted questionnaire used in the study has its positives but it can also have a negative of making the participant alert and conscious of his/her answers. The questions in this questionnaire delve on fixed variables and fixed responses which may be a limitation. However, this has been done to get a clear distinction between the populations under study. The possibility of events influencing IS, such as periods of vacation, examination months or personal reasons which may affect sleep but aren’t severe enough to have any long lasting consequence, aren’t dealt with in this quantitative study. However, these issues are addressed in the In – Depth interview method. Then again, the availability of the participants who give their consent for the interview is not certain. There is no control of the researcher on the participant’s availability for the same. The interview gives a chance of exploring the variables of IS on DA to a greater extent due to its unstructured nature. The interviewer, nevertheless, has to be prepared for the participant’s mood, outburst or ignorance and has to alter the style or order of the questions accordingly. It is possible for the participant to get conscious about his ideas getting recorded in a tape recorder. To prevent this, the interviewee should be made absolutely comfortable and aware of his rights before starting the interview. Analyzing qualitative data is more time consuming and tedious than analyzing quantitative data. Transcribing data from tape recorders require the use of technology. Therefore, technical knowledge is a prerequisite for qualitative analysis. This is also true for quantitative analysis where good SPSS and EXCEL skills are required to process the questionnaire data. Although, this study isn’t an expensive one to carry out but still it includes costs of technology, printing, incentives and other added labor costs.

Despite the limitations, the study tries to achieve the possible results with a structured outline and a carefully scrutinized plan. However, this study can be refined with growing research on the associations between IS on DA.

QUESTIONNAIRE PILOT SET

AGE –

GENDER –

COURSE TITLE-

CURRENTLY EMPLOYED-

NUMBER OF PEOPLE SHARING ACCOMMODATION –

Following is a small questionnaire for the study to analyze the effects of Irregular Sleep on Daily Activities. Please tick the option of Yes or No as your responses. Please raise your hand if you require any assistance for the same. The information that you give would be absolutely confidential.

  1. In the past two months, could you sleep for 7-10 hours every day on a regular basis? (STYLE 1)

OR

Did you sleep for 7-10 hours every day in the past two months? (STYLE 2)

Yes

No

  1. In the past two months, did you sleep for 14 hours or more every day on a regular basis? (STYLE 1)

OR

Did you sleep for 14 hours or more every day in the past two months? (STYLE 2)

Yes

No

  1. In the past two months, was your sleep fragmented quite often? (STYLE 1)

OR

Do you wake up in the middle of sleep, quite often? (STYLE 2)

Yes

No

  1. If you don’t get your preferred duration of sleep, do you have difficulty while concentrating say when studying? (STYLE 1)

OR

Does sleep disruption or deprivation affect your concentration? (STYLE 2)

Yes

No

  1. If you don’t get your preferred duration of sleep, do you face difficulty while dealing with paperwork, finances and money matters? (STYLE 1)

OR

Does sleep disruption or deprivation affect your ability to deal with paperwork, finances and money matters? (STYLE 2)

Yes

No

  1. If you don’t get your preferred duration of sleep, do you feel sleepy during telephone conversations? (STYLE 1)

OR

Does sleep disruption or sleep deprivation affect your ability to hold a telephone conversation? (STYLE 2)

Yes

No

  1. If you don’t get your preferred duration of sleep, do you have difficulty in recalling incidents, names, dates, theories etc? (STYLE 1)

OR

Does sleep disruption or sleep deprivation affect you ability to recall incidents, names, dates, theories etc? (STYLE 2)

Yes

No

  1. Do you often feel lazy and sleepy during day time? (STYLE 1)

OR

Are you usually sleepy and lazy in the day time? (STYLE 2)

Yes

No

  1. Even if you want to sleep, do you feel trouble in actually going to sleep, quite frequently? (STYLE 1)

OR

Do you often take much time to actually fall asleep even if you wish to sleep? (STYLE 2)

Yes

No

  1. Does work pressure or an upcoming deadline prevent you from sleeping? (STYLE 1)

OR

Do professional pressures act as a deterrent to your sleep? (STYLE 2)

Yes

No

  1. When preparing to sleep, are you easily bothered by noise? (STYLE 1)

OR

Does noise disturb you while sleeping? (STYLE 2)

Yes

No

  1. Does socializing prevent you from getting a regular sleeping schedule? (STYLE 1)

OR

Do you sleep irregularly as a result of your socializing needs? (STYLE 2)

Yes

No

  1. Do you snore?

Yes

No

  1. Do you often get leg jerks/ leg cramps while sleeping?

Yes

No

  1. Do you consume more than 4 cups of caffeine every day? (STYLE 1)

OR

Do you have a habit of excessive caffeine consumption? (STYLE 2)

Yes

No

  1. Do you consume alcohol, 30- 60 minutes before sleeping, on a regular basis? (STYLE 1)

OR

Is consumption of alcohol, before sleeping, a regular habit? (STYLE 2)

Yes

No

  1. Do you smoke on a regular basis?

Yes

No

  1. Do you consume sleeping pills or any other drug on a regular basis? (STYLE 1)

OR

Are you often dependent on sleeping pills or any other drug for falling asleep? (STYLE 2)

Yes

No

  1. The style which was more apt for the questions was

Style 1

Style 2

Depended on question (Please choose the apt styles for the questions by ticking on the style 1 or 2)

  1. Please share your comments on the questionnaire in the free space provided below
Referral Name:
Email:

Thank You for your time and contribution. It will indeed be of great help in our study. The study also involves a 30 minute interview. If you wish to participate in the interview, please provide us your email address in the space provided along with your desired reference name. This is entirely optional.

INTERVIEW PILOT SET

The participant is seated comfortably and given tea/ coffee. Tape Recorder is switched on. Rapport is created by asking him/ her questions for instance if the participant had any difficulty in coming for the interview, if the current period had some kind of pressure, if the weather was okay for the participant to travel etc.

General idea of the interview and the time scale of the same are given to the participant. Participant is assured of the confidentiality and withdrawal rights. Following are the key questions for the interview.

  1. Can you tell me about your general sleeping schedule?
  2. According to you, which has been the most definitive cause for your irregular sleep?
  3. What problems do you face when you sleep irregularly for longer periods?
  4. How do you think the problem of irregular sleep can be solved in your case?
  5. Do you think changing your own habits would bring about a change in your sleeping schedules?
  6. Do you think the style of interview was appropriate?
  7. Do you think the environment was suited for the interview?

The participant is assured of the confidentiality and given some positive feedback. He/ She is made aware of rights to know the analysis of the recorded data. Tape recorder is switched off and the participant is thanked for his/ her contribution.

With the help of such a pilot study format, accurate results could be produced.

Revisiting The GBD Study 2013: Premature Mortality due to Non Communicable Diseases on the Rise

Lopez et al. BMC Medicine 2014 12:200
Lopez et al. BMC Medicine 2014 12:200

How Children in Gaza Visualize Their Future : Pictures from UNICEF

6-year old Yosef Al Yazir, seated on the arm of a chair in the living room of his home in Gaza City’s Ramal neighbourhood, holds a drawing showing his view of Gaza in the future. He remembers the last war, but states that this one is much worse: “There are a lot of children killed,” he said. (Image credits: Aya © UNICEF/NYHQ2014-1443/d’Aki)
14-year old Kasem Alqerem, his shadow reflected on a wall behind him, holds his drawing showing his view of Gaza in the future at the school shelter in Gaza City. (Image credits: Doaa © UNICEF/NYHQ2014-1444/d’Akii)
9-year old Doaa, seated on a chair in a classroom in the school shelter in Gaza City, holds her drawing showing her view of Gaza in the future. The drawing shows a bright, smiling sun in a blue sky; butterflies, birds and trees; and figures standing outside a house. (Image credits: Kasem © UNICEF/NYHQ2014-1442/d’Aki)
10-year old Shahed Dhabba, her right eye bandaged, holds a drawing in the school shelter in Gaza City. The drawing, which was supposed to show her view of Gaza in the future, also includes what she witnessed when her family fled their home in Gaza’s Shishya neighbourhood. (Image credits: Shahed © UNICEF/NYHQ2014-1441/d’Aki)
11-year old Aya Abu Asi, standing by a blackboard in the school shelter in Gaza City, holds her drawing showing her view of Gaza in the future. Aya’s home was destroyed during heavy bombardment in Gaza’s Shishya neighbourhood. The worst thing about war, Aya says, is “the people who got killed in the street.” (Yosef © UNICEF/NYHQ2014-1440/d’Aki)

Pains to see that none of the kids in the pictures are smiling… !!

Another Hole in the Pot – Sonagachi, India (Born Into Brothels 2004)

This credible piece created by Zana Briski and Ross Kauffman is an eye opener and could serve as the same for many like me. Sonagachi, one of the largest red light areas of the world has been constantly dumped under the carpet along with the problems of its women and children. It can be noted though that education is made available along with other facilities for sustaining life. But the problem lies in the fact that all of these facilities have not been ensured or are not advocated as mandatory for all the citizens in the area. Additionally, with the painful bureaucracy run in order to avail these facilities, the worth of the so called ‘social action’ remains questionable.

This documentary was shot in 2004 but can we believe that the situation has completely taken a turn for the better. It may have improved a notch or gone a step back. Who is checking? Who is evaluating? Who is helping?

Is Dharavi Being Forgotten in ‘The Clean India Initiative’? (Documentary: Kevin Mcleod)