5 interesting ways to get some Monday inspiration

 

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#Mondays are not often loved.

But here’s the deal, what if we could tell you that there are interesting ways to utilize your weekend to build up some excitement for the soon-to-arrive Monday?

For instance,

Keep an exciting social task for Monday

So what if it’s the start of the new week? One of the reasons you probably love your Friday nights is because you have planned to go out for a movie or a dinner! Keep an exciting task or activity planned for Monday, so that you have something that you are eagerly going to look forward to.

Go shopping!

Who said shopping should only be done on Saturdays / Sundays? How about using your weekend to actually catch up on rest and keep some of your tasks like shopping for new clothes for Monday! Get off work early, hop on to the nearest mall and get cracking! After some retail therapy, you are bound to feel so much better about Monday!

Cook something interesting

You probably love weekends more because you get more time to cook something fancy for the family. But why can’t the weekdays be just as good? Look for a new recipe and cook something out-of-the-box on Monday to add some ‘spice’ to the new week!

Wear a new top!

Now the thing is, Mondays are dreaded by majority because it signals the beginning of the new week! How about ensuring that you always have something to look forward to when the new week begins? Fall in love with the next Monday by planning to wear a brand new top, or brand new shoes to work. If you are a #workfromhome employee or taking a break from work, still try on something new to make your Monday better!

Do something you like

A lot of people are passionate about something or the other but don’t get time to fully pursue their passion. Mondays can be dreadful, but they really don’t have to be! Make a list of things you enjoy doing, like going on long drives or writing a poem or watching movies and keep some time aside every Monday to pursue one of these activities on your list. You’ll automatically enjoy your day and may even start liking Mondays!

5 reasons why every company should have a ‘work from home’ day

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#Workfromhome is fast turning into a prominent work culture for different reasons across the world. Several professionals across an array of sectors have already started showing an increased preference to #workfromhome as an option.

Some professionals in certain industries may opt to #workfromhome when they work for companies that don’t have local offices where they are currently based, others may opt to do so because they have prior family commitments that are easier to take care of if they are around the house, yet working.

Now imagine a scenario whereby most companies adopt a #workfromhome day in the week or a few in the month.

Would it make employees more motivated or productive?

This is how we think it could turn out to be quite a beneficial move.

Provides Flexibility
Choosing to #workfromhome or to work remotely while still taking care of certain pending home tasks can give employees the flexibility to take care of several things at once. Moreover there could be several times when a certain employees is feeling slightly ‘under the weather’; but that doesn’t mean they can’t work at all that particular day. Maybe a #workfromhome day could ensure they continue their work without getting a ‘sick leave’ cut.

In some circumstances, #workingfromhome while taking care of the kids can create the right ecosystem for working mothers too.

Perfect for Summer break
The children get summers off, but working parents don’t!
If companies start providing working couples with children one #workfromhome day, imagine the joy for the kids!

  • Who said it was not possible to work and play?! With technology and new age apps like Skype and WhatsApp, you can coordinate with your work team, no matter where you are.

Creates a perfect balance
Too many working couples struggle to find quality time together. Work timings in the corporate sector are always hectic. Instead of running out of energy and just coming home to eat and sleep, one #workfromhome day can also help create the perfect work-life balance, a much needed feature considering the growing rates of inter personal problems on the rise, especially in metros.

Boosts motivation
Gone are the days when just an increment could make employees happy. The younger workforce now look for various other factors when looking for jobs. Distance, growth, company history and a lot more matter besides the final pay.

So motivating this new age workforce means going the extra mile. The need of the hour is for companies to create a better infrastructure to support better lifestyles and one #workfromhome day could help them do so!

Increased productivity
Working on your office desk or at your cubicle doesn’t necessarily make one productive. The usual norm in Indian companies has always been ‘to keep an eye on employees’. But this is a thing of the past. The more you come forward to support employees in today’s time, the likelier they are going to be to put in more efforts at the workplace and this leads to increased productivity on the whole.

So what do you think about this? Would you like a couple of #workfromhome days in the month? If so, how many? Let’s start the debate.

Dear Nirbhaya, we can’t be sorry enough.

It was on a cold December morning sometime in 2012 that I read the horrifying headlines in the morning edition of the Times of India that day. A girl not much unlike me had endured one of the most brutal rape attacks, ever.(source)

 

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At the time of the incident that I speak of, I lived in Kanpur, an industrial city in one of my country’s most corrupted States, a State that also boasts of high numbers of crimes against women.

 

My morning routine consisted of sipping on my usual brew of tea and devouring the morning news, only on that day; the news brought me to shame.
The horrific gangrape of that girl, tore me apart.

 

The story spoke of how the heartless attackers forced an iron rod into young Jyoti’s insides and every bit of the news piece made me hate my countrymen more and more. The constant updates later on of how strong she was but how bad she was faring in hospital made me angrier and shamed. 

 

 

Young girls and women go through a lot of tough times in their homes and outside of it too the world over, more so maybe in middle eastern countries and India, yet given the rising numbers, not everyone gets the right kind of help.

 

The general sense that women are a liability is a strong force here and the small percentage of our urban crowds that don’t adhere to this thought does not represent India’s true colours and as a 21st century woman, this deepens me sadly, everyday. 

 

We are largely failing as a country and its scary to see how far we’ve fallen. It was only very recently that rape laws were re looked at in India. Hundreds of women still face crimes related to different kinds of abuse and spend years grappling for justice in court, that’s if they ever do summon the courage to do something about it in the first place. A country that encourages its women not to speak of their troubles after-all forces them to live through conditions that aren’t worthy of humans beings.

 

I love my country and I’m happy to have been born here. But as a people, I don’t think we are doing enough. These convicts will hang, or will they? But does that mean that I can walk on the streets anytime I want, feeling safe?

 

No, not yet.

 

Because not enough is being done for crimes against women to come to a full stop.

 

We have never treated our women with respect. The general sense has always been to regard them as objects, as the ones who will run the home and take care of the kids and no matter what the Chetan Bhagat’s of the world say, the extent of the urban population that does not follow so is too little to compare with regards a population of over a billion.

 

The debate is not about modern values versus traditions. It’s about the wrong notion that was built in the minds of the people over time. A race that can’t take care of each other is bound to be doomed, don’t you think so?

 

You don’t make me feel safe.  I still have to worry about where I go and how I’ll commute back. This is not my fault, it’s yours. 

 

And India, it’s time to fix it.

 

A crime against one of us is a crime against all of us.  I stand with Nirbhaya’s spirit and I hope that we don’t allow another one of us to go through this again. Once wasn’t fair and once is more than enough.

 

Yet, the crimes continue. It did before and its happening again and again. And the blame game goes on and on as does the debate between whose to really blame.

 

But let me end by saying one last thing,

 

As a potential mother-of-the-future, I worry about the world I would have to raise a girl child in, if I had to. Isn’t that a terribly sad thing to say?
dear baby girl

 

Dear convicts,
I don’t think the death penalty will make you repent what you did. What I do hope though is that you and everyone else like you gets back ten times multiplied by a zillion the amount of torture you made her go through.

 

RIP Jyoti.
I’m sorry you had to go through what you did. 

 

I can only hope we rise together now. I’ll try to do my bit. Will you?

And Now This; Ask Arvi – A Portal That’s Set To Make Insurance Fun!

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The end of the (financial) year is coming soon, (again). And now’s the time a bunch of us are probably going to run around looking for the right kind of tax-saving investment options. At this time, insurance does turn out to be an optimal choice for most.

Now, I don’t know about you but I’ve been behind when it comes to my personal money management tasks. And since it’s the weekend, I thought about browsing through for some interesting investment options (to save tax, you see).

I’m not sure if it was fate or pure coincidence but a Facebook friend of a friend shared this interesting page and a few clicks later, I came across Askarvi.com

I’ve spent the last many hours browsing banks and financial websites for various insurance options and one thing that came to mind was that most of them had the same old mundane, boring format.

Although askarvi.com seems to be ‘coming soon’, I’m already eager to see the full-service website and read more about what makes them unique, different and the next go-to place for all things insurance.

Why?

Simply because it definitely seems like this is going to be a fun mall for everything insurance! And we do like malls, don’t we?

I’m going to try and talk to the founder(s) to find out more, in the meantime, let’s wait a little more to ask arvi!

Timesaverz To The Rescue!

 

It was a Tuesday morning and as usual, I woke up with the help of the alarm. As I got ready to take care of the usual morning tasks and chores before getting ready for work, I realised that my geyser switch had stopped working! Now how would I be able to put it on for warm water?

It’s pretty common for me to browse through my Facebook and other social media pages in the morning while getting ready to go to work. As I wondered what to do that day, I came across the Timesaverz Facebook page.

A nice yellow banner spoke of getting a discount on professional sofa cleaning services (at I think a rate of Rs. 200/- or something)…but what caught my eye was that the service provider seemed to be a one-stop shop for all home care needs. It said: repairs, handyman, carpentry, home cleaning and an array of other services too.

I quickly clicked on the link and was taken to the main website. The simple and easy-to-use site for a first time user like me was such a timesaver indeed. All I had to do when booking a service for the first time was to choose my city, choose the service category, time, etc and voila – all done!

The sofa cleaning ad kept playing at the back of my head but what I needed most was an electrician to fix the switch. I quickly booked an electrician and chose the 2-4 time slot (because it would be easier to come home for lunch and supervise things…)

Temptation got the better of me and I quickly logged back in to also order a sofa cleaning service for the same time!

The rest was so professionally handled, it literally made by day. I left for work and a few moments later I got a call from the service rep. They confirmed the 2 kinds of services I had booked and assured me that the agents would be in by 2 pm.

As promised, the agents kept their word. A little after 2 the doorbell rang…

There were 2 agents who came with special cleaning equipment (vacuum cleaner and relevant cleaning solution) for the sofa cleaning job. Another electrician was also with them to get the switch repaired.

Vacuum cleaner

While the 2 sofa cleaning agents quickly made the necessary arrangements and started dry-cleaning the sofa, the electrician swiftly went about examining the switch. He explained the reason why the switch had stopped working, what long-term solution can be found.

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On the one hand, while the sofa clearing was being done, the electrician went downstairs, got the spare parts required for the switch and got it repaired within the next half an hour.

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What impressed me was the level of professionalism and the array of services offered. Timesaverz doesn’t only offer sofa cleaning – they go deeper and categorize it into shampooing or shampooing and sanitisation. The difference in the two would include time taken for cleaning, products and methods used, etc. Sanitisation is a more thorough form of cleaning. Normal shampooing gets rid of surface dirt and dust / stains.

Some tips when booking a service for the first time:

Explore the range of services and see what suits you best (between sofa shampooing and sanitization, I needed just a simple shampooing service to get rid of stains).

Even when it comes to Home Cleaning, understand what you need and pick a service that falls within your budget range

What is most useful is that Timesaverz offers a wide price range for different services: If you have money to spare – book a thorough deep cleaning and if it already the end of the month and you are broke – a simple cleaning should do!

Keep an eye out on offers – Timesaverz has special discounts and offers across service categories, daily.

Useful to know:

After trying these services out, I decided to download the Timesaverz app. It is so convenient to hire a plumber or even carpenter with the app. You just have to click!

Hiring their service made my day!

Anastassiya Savchenko, founder of Jaipur Women Blog speaks to SHEROES today

Anastassiya Savchenko

When was the last time you heard of a Russian national starting a blog for Jaipur women? Anastassiya Savchenko did just that when she started the well-known Jaipur Women Blog, which is today considered to be one the more popular blog networks that discusses and showcases success stories of women in areas such as social issues, relationships, business, career and much more.

She tells us why (and more importantly how) she identified this niche need that led to this mighty platform. Let us read on.

Tell us a little about yourself 

From the moment I could make sense out of things in life, I have believed that the best way to bring change in society is through creativity. I view advertisement as a medium to shape values and build society. It goes beyond selling a certain product. Therefore, I started my career in the creative field as a copywriter for ‘O&M Central Asia’, in Almaty, Kazakhstan. But, fate had different plans for me. Chance made me bump into my husband there, and I subsequently moved to Jaipur, India after getting married. Initially, living in India proved to be terribly out of my comfort zone, but I was determined to build a life here. My husband, a doctor, has always provided me with his unconditional support, and together we have faced innumerable financial and social constraints. But, it was worth it.

How did the idea of Jaipur Women Blog come about?

When my life in Jaipur started, I would watch the women of Jaipur intently. The women had a narrow circle, with no boosters. A desire for change, and a struggle to find self-identity was brewing underneath those colourful bandhej sarees. But, there was hardly any awareness about what was going on next door! Hence, I made it my mission to construct a platform, which shall help uplift the middle class women of Jaipur. This is how “Jaipur Women Blog” came into being.

All I needed was a little support from the women as well. In my dictionary, “empowerment” is not about earning big bucks, but about self-fulfillment and happiness. If a woman is happy, she is empowered.

In the future, what are your long term plans for the blog?

The blog’s long term plans broadly include expansion. We already have a readership of 100,000 readers, but there is still a long way to go. We wish to conduct more massive campaigns, with more women. There will be many more personal campaigns, which have the power to influence human beings at an individual level. More rubrics inside JWB along with more workshops will help us impact the society better.

Do you run any other ventures? Can you tell us a little about them if yes?

Yes, we run “Nutcrackers Creative Agency”, along with JWB. It is a 360 degree creative advertising agency, which specializes in 360 branding and communication. The main focus of the agency is ‘Guerilla marketing’ and ‘Interactive marketing’, which is somewhat new for Rajasthan.

What are the top 3 things that fascinate you most about Jaipur / other places in India?

Jaipur is a fascinating city in itself, and the following three things have managed to change my internal perceptions:

(a) The fact that the people of Jaipur are so accepting and broad-minded has been heart-warming. Their free-spirited attitude helped me adjust to my new life here.

(b) Jaipur is a land un-touched. There is a lot of scope for business and commercial ventures. One just needs to find his/her passion and work towards it.

(c) Jaipur women have a multitude of hidden talent, which fascinated me to my absolute core. They are just waiting to be discovered and shine bright.

Any thoughts you would like to leave our readers with?

Follow the love. Love is empowerment.


This article was originally published here

My Father Illustrations by Debasmita Dasgupta

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The image above is one of Debasmita’s illustrations

Debasmita Dasgupta, an artist from India currently based in Singapore is the Founder of “My Father illustrations”, an endeavour that promotes girl-child rights by engaging fathers and daughters through artistic exchanges. She illustrates true stories of fathers who fearlessly fight for the rights of their daughters. She has shared over 150 stories from 37 countries.

She talks about her journey with SHEROES today,

***

I am from a middle class family in south Calcutta, being the only child, I had a very close bond with my parents, especially my father who always inspired me to swim against the current. My father is a theatre actor & director. Sometimes I used to accompany him to his rehearsals and got completely bowled over seeing him bring together actors, orchestrate them to create art with a strong social message. That somehow became the foundation of my artistic existence and inspired me to find my purpose as an artist. Thus began an urge do something meaningful with my education, my art, my resources and surroundings.

It was on a Sunday afternoon when the idea of “My Father illustrations”, came to me after I heard a TED talk by Shabana Basij from Afghanistan. It was a moving experience. I felt something had permanently changed inside me. Over the next few days, I watched that talk over and over. Her honesty, her simplicity and power of narration moved me.

Shabana grew up in Afghanistan during the Taliban regime. Despite all odds, her father never lost the courage to fight for her education. He used to say, “People can take away everything from you except your knowledge”. Shabana’s story gave me a strong impulse to do something but I didn’t know ‘what’ and ‘how’. That’s when my red sketchbook and pencil caught my eye. Before I’d even realized it, I had taken my first step. I illustrated Shabana’s story and posted it on Facebook. It was an impulsive reaction. I found Shabana’s contact and shared the illustration with her. Shabana was so touched that she forwarded it to her students, and then I started getting emails from a lot of other Afghan men! The emails were a note of thanks as they felt someone was trying to showcase Afghan men in a positive light.

I realized that if there are so many positive father–daughter stories in Afghanistan, just imagine the positive stories across the world! My journey had started. I started looking for moving father-daughter stories from across the globe. Some I found, some found me. With every discovery, my desire to create art for people kept growing.

Started in 2013, ‘My Father illustrations’ is all about sharing the positive father–daughter stories with the rest of the world. Through this project, I want to encourage fathers to fight for the rights of their daughters. Every story is special and needs to be told. I look for ordinary people with stories to tell because celebrity stories are still available for people to find, but these ordinary stories are mostly “unheard”. Till date I have shared over 150 stories from 37 countries through “My Father illustrations” Facebook page.

In many countries, girls are vulnerable due to lack of education, economic disempowerment and gender bias. Issues such as female foeticide, child marriage, verbal or physical abuse and sexual exploitation are common. The challenges however, are not limited to marginalized communities. The ever-shrinking number of women in corporate boardrooms and nation’s top governing positions is an indication of how little we have progressed when affording basic rights to our young girls. That is where the root of the evil lies.

 

Click here for the complete story.

Make your commute to work “effective”!

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Peak hour traffic is something no working professional looks forward to. On an average, the working professional of today spends at least two hours a day commuting to work and back. If they say that sleeping for 8 hours a day boosts health and then you take away your travel time from those 24, that’s 10 hours of your day, gone!

Maybe using that commute time to your advantage is the need of the hour. You’ll realize that you have a little bit of that much needed (extra) spare time that you can devote to yourself if you do.

Catch news / other reading on-the-go

Get your reading done while on the go. If you have a chauffeur to drive you to work, it is that much easier to read while commuting. If you travel by public transport, sink into a corner seat to get some reading done! For those who drive themselves, catch the current news through the radio while en route.

Make your calls

Did you miss calling your mother in law back the other day? Use your commute time smartly to catch up on pending personal and business calls. While on your way to work, you pretty much have nothing else to do besides wait to get to work. Use that time to your advantage.

Your to-do list

Why wait till you settle down at your work station before making the day’s plan? Make your to-do list while on the go. Once you have your to-do list ready before you walk into work, you can just start from the first task, thereby saving a lot of time!

Draft mails / make points

Are there some important mails you still have to attend to? Create drafts in your mind or in your notebook while on your way to or back from work. Half the job is done when you know the points that need to be sent!

Make your payments

Utility payments and other bills can be settled while on the go very conveniently these days. Download apps like Paytm and sync all your mobile / dth / electricity payments via it. You don’t even need to physically go anywhere to make a payment anymore.

Your shopping list

Since you’re the one who is most probably in charge of household groceries, you can use this time to make your shopping list. If there is a grocery store on the way, stop to buy your utilities on the way back from work if you aren’t the kind to order them online or call for it.

This article was originally published here.

She Sees Stars Through Those Eyes…

Everybody has a story to tell. But sometimes, maybe someone has to do the story telling for them. This girl, a young 21 year old, walked into the NGO I work at and inspired me with her severe strength and ability to endure. But you know what got me thinking? It’s the way she never thought of herself as someone extra special, or strong. She considered herself to be just like you and me.

Too often in life we mark barriers and create our own obstacles, or rather, we let the world do that for us. But then again, there are always those few who can fight to make what matters most to them a reality. And this is what should be the true spirit of inspiration at the end of the day.

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Mahenoor Ali, a young, talented, intelligent young woman is unlike any other student her age. You can see the difference in her as soon as you meet her. She has an aura of confidence and determination about her. These qualities are a must but not as easily found after all. The ease with which she walks, talks and uses her phone and computer to get work done, inspires me to no end and that’s primarily because she is visually impaired by birth, with just partial vision capabilities as of today.  She is currently pursuing her Bachelor in Science Degree (Honors) specializing in Mathematics.

Here is her story:

What inspires you to study and take your academic dreams further?

Well, Mathematics as a subject inspires me. The other subjects that inspire me are Physics and Chemistry, I believe they both provide the answers to so many things around us. And besides this, I want to be a professional mathematician or a researcher, or perhaps work in the capacity of an Assistant Professor at a prestigious university. It all depends on where life takes me.

I hope to go to a university like MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) to pursue by education later on.

What do your general hobbies include?

I don’t have many hobbies besides reading and studying. I like my subjects and keep reading up on various authors and topics to improve myself. My eagerness to be a professional Mathematician engulfs me so much that I want to settle down at a place where the core topic is developing most -any good establishment like the IIT’s or prestigious academic Centers abroad.

Who do you look up to most in life?

I look up to my father. He has always taught me to focus on being number one. Nothing can limit you and this is what I believe only because of him. You set your own goals and similarly you set your own limits, without realizing it.

This article was originally published on www.lifebeyondnumbers.com

Read the complete story, here

Odd one out

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Somehow, we got to the point where pollution levels have reached such a high that the Delhi government had to fix days for odd and even numbered license plates.What does that mean?

Well, the proposed rule specifies that w.e.f 1st January 2016, on odd dates, license plates ending with an odd number can ply the roads (from 8 am to 8 pm) and on even dates, license plates ending with an even number can ply the roads. This rule is presently on a trial basis, for the next few days, in Delhi.

The government has taken sufficient measures to try and provide citizens with adequate support by trying to increase the number of private buses on the roads during this period. If this trial period proves positive, chances are this might turn permanent.

A corporate lawyer from Mumbai feels that the rule is definitely a boon considering all the given factors however, if the state government can’t provide the additional (and required) infrastructure in terms of good public transport while incorporating policies such as this, then the rule is as good as bad governance.

If this is implemented in cities across the country though, what will happen? Will families now strive to have cars that sport one odd and one even number license plate?

Read the full article here.