Author - Devika Haldar

About Devika Haldar

She is a staunch feminist and loves the colour pink. Why? Because pink has got a bad rap thanks to gender association. She dreams of a world filled with gender-neutral colours. Because men in pink are hot.

Find more about me on:

Here are my most recent posts

Strengthen thyself this International Day of Yoga

yogablog

When stormed to power, PM Narendra Modi promised ‘achche din’ (good days). Who expected him to come up with a good day to celebrate the existence of Yoga – an ancient Indian science of exercise and healing? After PM Modi proposed the idea to the UN Assembly in September’ 14, June 21 was declared as the International Day of Yoga on December 11, 2014, with consent of 177 other counties. Our PM had already won over hearts, this declaration definitely got him many more.

Since it’s the first time the day is celebrated, the world is gearing up in full swing. Why do we stay behind? No, we don’t intend to organise an event and invite you for practice (we are low on budget. Sshh!), but we make an attempt to steer your attention toward India’s ancient practice of maintaining health and mind.

Buff bod, improved memory, peaceful spirit, increased energy – these are just a few of the benefits of Yoga. Let’s dig deeper to learn few crazy facts about Yoga. Let me tell you, I am pretty convinced by these facts and so would you be! It’s time I choose a healthy lifestyle – for my body as well as my sanity. After reading the list, you’re sure to give it a shot too. Learn why:

yoga-point11. Life can be measured in the number of breaths we take, not years
Yoga is a breathing exercise. The aim is to make it smooth, long and peaceful. Each breath is treated like the fine and rare treasure it is.

yoga-point22. Yoga as anti-aging agents
The sagging of the skin reflected on the mirror is exactly the version that is also happening inside, meaning to our internal organs. Inversions, especially when done well (best to learn with a teacher) with smooth and long breathing, and for a long time, help all internal organs return to their original place because they have gravity working for it.Isn’t that something?

yoga-lung3. Lungs are the most important organ
And we thought, it’s the heart. It is an important organ too but think about its workings, which is pretty much beyond our control (unless we are very advance at Yoga) but the workings of our lungs (expand capacity, slow their rhythm) is in the realm of our control through the way in which we breathe.

yoga-point44. You don’t choose Yoga, it chooses you
Yoga is a 24/7 practice. It becomes important for you to use your energy in the right space. It helps you discover the radiant person that you already are when you delete the crappy people out of your life. Mental peace is the key: Just IGNORE negative energies, don’t say much.

yoga-savasana
5. You can rest while performing Yoga
Every 30 minutes of asana (poses) practice we must allow 5 minutes of rest (savasana or corpse pose) so that the nervous system has time to come back to normal, quiet, centre, and so we are not over-excited throughout our days.

The list doesn’t end here. We have got a few more interesting facts to feel proud about belonging to the culture that has been ruling the world with the power of yoga. Here we go:

1.Yoga has been called one of the first and most successful products of globalization.

2. Hindu leader Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902) is said to have initiated Yoga’s evolution in the West. 

3.The Beatles, especially George Harrison, also helped introduce Yoga into the West.

4. A 90 year old man who has been a Yoga instructor all his life is contesting the Guiness Book of world records for the oldest man practising Yoga.

Now that you’ve got reasons to adopt a healthy lifestyle through Yoga, just go for it! Make this International Day of Yoga a success!

Crowdfunding for technological projects

technology

Human evolution and technology are the two sides of the same coin. Over a period of time we have designed our life in a convenient way with the help of technological advancements. Technology gives us a seamless lifestyle and brings innovation to life and we at Ketto, wholeheartedly like this idea and help you realize your dream technology project through Crowd funding.

A fresh piece of technology deserves to see the day light. Study shows that Crowd funding is lending complete support and instigating technological projects around the world to bring immense impact in our life. All you tech geniuses need to do is give a proper flow of your vision and the platform of Ketto will help you reach out to the well-wishers for financial help.

As the world is getting more tech savvy our fascination with technology seems to have no bounds, Crowd funding welcomes the right project with the right approach. While you are designing your project just keep a few things in mind:

  • Your product should be a problem solver – People will invest in a sensible product that relates directly with their life. The product should identify a problem and give solution to it. For example, Capture Camera Clip designed by Peter Dering solves the problem of your DSLR hanging from your neck and swinging away while you are stuck in some demanding situations. Peter himself had faced the situation and hence the solution.
  • Refine your idea – The idea or project must have refined and clear specifications before the campaign starts. If the prototypes are not ready, you can always use the diagrams and sketches of the project to reach out to your customer base. For example, WellBe is a sleek and light bracelet designed to support your emotional well being that converts your stress into calmness. By providing these kinds of information, diagrams and the steps as how your project operates, you actually connect with your target group.
  • Smart goal & effective pitch – Crowd funding has an initial goal and the amount which has been raised through campaigns. You need to keep the initial goal realistic. For example, smartwatch manufacturer, Pebble has raised $2.3 million on 27th March, 2015 whereas their campaign target was $500,000 making it the highest backed projects on Kickstarter. When it comes to pitch for your technology project, make an effective presentation and tell how it stands out.
  • Your project should be exciting & innovative – 2013 has technology advanced projects like Buccaneer, a cloud managed 3D printer that raised $1.4 million. It also witnessed 3Doodler, similar to 3D printer that turns your drawings 3D and raised $2.4 million. Tile is another interesting project which is designed like a small square with object tracking ability up to 150 feet away.

If you have followed the steps correctly and have stayed connected with your target group, you aren’t far from getting a serious group of admirers and potential backers. And Ketto’s concern has always been to constantly stay connected with people through various social networking modes and help you to reach the mass.
Ketto – This is where revolutions are born.

All you need to know about Ketto’s new offering ‘Experience’

blog-experience

While our country adapts to the concept of crowdfunding in full boom, Ketto makes it even cooler with the launch of a new section called ‘Experience’. As the reward-based crowdfunding platform – Ketto – blossoms on the public stage for getting a variety of causes funded, its new section aims at strengthening the funder base by offering exciting gifts in exchange of donations to the causes.

So, what exactly an ‘Experience’ is?

Basically, a campaigner’s chance to reward his/her backers with one-of-a-kind experiences, including – limited edition passes/tickets, autographed articles or copies of the creative work being produced.

Ketto’s Exclusive Experiences

Since its inception, Ketto has tried to make crowdfunding an exciting ride for its campaigners as well as backers. As much as the cause of a campaign matters, the exhilarating experience counts equally. Experience is just another way to multiply the goodness – in an action, for an action.

To give you a fairer idea, let’s have a walk back Ketto’s memory lanes:

  • The chance to promote ‘Bang Bang’ with Hritik Roshan for a day around Mumbai by donating INR 75,000 to a campaign by TIGI Foundation.
  • The chance to hang out with Aamir Khan on the sets of his last film ‘PK’ by donating INR 75,000 to an animal shelter welfare
  • The chance to work out with Imraan Khan or a spin in his Ferrari as a reward for donating INR 50,000 to TIGI Foundation

…and many others.

How can NGOs benefit from ‘Experience’?

As the revenue generated by nonprofit organsations is plugged back into projects and activities, costs offset. Marketing and selling their exclusive products as experiences could mean wider distribution of development material and diversification of revenue sources.

For the sustainable development of the society, an experience can be just another way of luring more backers to causes that need urgent attention. Celebrity gifts, mementos, gift vouchers, artwork or any other valuable product or service can be put as an experience on Ketto.

Many NGOs already produce and sell products, such as publications, publicity materials, and locally made handicrafts through traditional means of marketing and distribution. If the same NGO puts these articles/offers as experiences on our website, there are chances the NGO can reach a wider audience.

How does it work?

A backer can bag the experience by following the three steps as mentioned:

  • Type in www.ketto.org/experiences in the address bar
  • Choose your favourite experience from the list
  • Donate to the cause and bag the experience

Start exploring

To anchor this open-ended relationship between campaigners and their backers, the coherence of NGO offerings to backers can draw a greater contribution to social improvement.

Wait no more. List down the experiences now!

PS: Don’t fret if you can’t differentiate between a reward and an Experience. Team Ketto is always there to help.

Crowdfunding: An aberration in the landscape of fundraising for charitable causes?

charitablecauses-5

At a time when India is making rapid strides to the moon and having other technological advancements, a fraction of the society is still underprivileged. While many a times, we see the government support them, it’s majorly the philanthropic institutions and charities that are trying to help the cause.

Did you know, in our country, there exist approximately 32 lakh NGOs striving to make our society a better living place for the less privileged? Since most of these non-profits exist in the remote areas of our country, their effort goes in vain. So, how can we get them in picture?

To make it a smoother ride for such non-profits, crowdsourcing, one of the oldest process of soliciting contributions from a large group of people from an online community, proves to be a boon. Of all the innovative advances in the online methods of raising funds, the most remarkable has to be the upsurge of online fundraising websites including India’s largest fundraising platform – Ketto.

Check out how charities can support their mission on Ketto – quickly and efficiently!

Ketto multiplies force

Crowd funding on Ketto multiplies the effort to help the needy by gathering a large number of people from varying sectors of society. One person cannot be the change. We, as human beings, need to have complete unanimity in order to bring a revolution. The largest fundraising platform in India does exactly that!

‘Cause crowdfunding on Ketto is cool, fast and efficient

With times changing, outlooks too have undergone a paradigm shift. Processes are no different. Today, when the youth is driven by  the fast and cool lifestyle, the concept of obtaining monetary support online for a cause has hit a home run. It is one of the coolest, and not to mention, the fastest way to gather funds for a cause.

While some organizations and people prefer doing it through live crowdfunding shows, Ketto provides you an online platform to reach a larger number of masses in seconds. Undoubtedly, making it the most resourceful manner of raising funds online.

Charitable causes demand attention

Look at it this way. While crowdfunding is not a cent percent success all the time, it does accomplish a major purpose of educating the masses about the nation’s social issues.

Even if a person doesn’t donate, a little bit of chatter around the subject is most likely to result into a greater support for a cause from his/her friends, family and the extended chain.

Wait no more, start a campaign!

Charities have been constantly working day-in and day-out to solve various problems pertaining in our society. We have an endless list of concerns to look after. It’s time you take the initiative.

5 Ways To Do More Today

Satyameva Jayate and how individuals can lead India into the future just like the TV show is

Just like Satyameva Jayate uses the medium of television to shed light on social issues and lead us into the future, you can use the power of social media and start an online campaign, leading India towards a better tomorrow.

It is a matter of civic responsibility to be aware of current events, of societal issues, of the problems being faced by our community. It is important to educate ourselves of all the aspects of an issue so as to have unbiased knowledge of it. So as to be able to understand it thoroughly and in turn, be able to resolve the issue in the best possible manner.

Helping our community is necessary. Driving positive social change – in whatever way we can – is necessary. In today’s world, being proactive is necessary.

It was Gandhiji who had said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” As Indians, it is our duty to change the world for the better. To do what is within our power to do. That is why the conscientious television show Satyameva Jayate gives you the opportunity to be part of the change, to safely give to those organisations that take positive action towards societal betterment.

We are the pillars of our nation and it is through us that our country will strengthen. So far, paying it forward through Satyameva Jayate was about giving to a charitable organization featured on their website.  It was about the noble act of giving. Today, it has become more.

Today, you, as an individual, can lead India towards a better tomorrow. You have that power. All you need to do is start an online campaign for a social cause and rally supporters from your social network – your friends, relatives, neighbours, colleagues and acquaintances. Go online, start a campaign to fundraise for a cause, spread the word through social media and begin raising awareness and funds for the cause.

Satyameva Jayate uses the power of television to spread the word. You can use the power of social media.

The Concept

You can start an online campaign for a non-governmental organisation or a social cause close to your heart. You can choose a theme for your campaign, to help generate more interest for your chosen cause or NGO.

  • If your birthday or wedding is coming up, you can use that as a theme. When you reach out to your network, you can tell them you have started an online fundraiser as a birthday or wedding wish to raise funds for a good cause. Ask them to gift you for your birthday or wedding by giving to this online campaign.
  • You can use a special holiday like Diwali, Gandhi Jayanti, etc. or an awareness day like World Aids Day as a campaign theme as well.
  • If you participate in marathons, you can use that as a theme. While spreading the word about your online campaign, you can tell everyone that you’re running to raise awareness and funds for your social cause.
  • If you like being creative, you can tell your network that if they help your campaign, you will do things like dance in public and post a video of it on Youtube, or that you’ll get a tattoo or shave your head or colour your hair or grow a beard etc. This theme has the potential to not only get the funds and awareness raised, but also to spread laughter to all who get involved.
  • Another theme is to start a campaign for the cause supported by your favourite celebrity. Check what your celebrity’s favourite cause or NGO is and start campaigning online to support it as well.
The Steps

The steps are simple. All you need to do is visit www.ketto.org, click on ‘Start A Campaign’, fill up the online form by choosing the cause and NGO, type in your goal amount and personal message, upload an image and submit the form. When you receive your campaign page link in your email, start sharing it with your social network, asking them to support your campaign by giving to it and spreading the word further to their networks.

Be the change-maker. Be the leader. Join the revolution. Mumkin hai.

Jai Hind!

 

6 Things To Know About Alzheimer’s

Things to know about Alzheimers and its effects on the brain

If old acquaintance be forgot, maybe it’s time to look into that memory loss…!

When you realise that January is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, it makes you wonder if Robert Burns was aware of the disease. After all, the Scotsman wrote ‘Auld Lang Syne’ in the 18th century, a poem that was put to music and is still sung by millions each New Year’s Eve. For those unfamiliar with the song, the lyrics go “If old acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind, we’ll take a cup of kindness yet for auld lang syne…”

For those unfamiliar with Alzheimer’s, it is a neurological disease that affects the brain, causing brain cell death and brain shrinkage resulting in gradually debilitating memory loss. Forgetfulness, dementia, irritability, depression and confusion are just some of the symptoms of the disease. Ageing seems to be a factor (along with genetics and lifestyle) determining whether you are affected by Alzheimer’s or not. So if old acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind, one might get a check-up at the doctor’s…!

Are You A Candidate For Alzheimer’s?

Jokes apart, there are a few things to be aware of regarding the disease.

  • Firstly, no need to panic. If you can’t remember where you parked your car or kept your keys, it doesn’t automatically mean you have Alzheimer’s.
  • The disease does tens to affect those above the age of 65 – once you cross 65, your chances of getting the disease increase, doubling every five years – but does not necessarily lead to Alzheimer’s.
  • Yes, there are also those under 65 who have Alzheimer’s. Called early onset Alzheimer’s, this can occur due to genetics, i.e. if a blood relation has the disease. Keep in mind, this does not mean you will get Alzheimer’s if a relative has it.
  • Women seem to be at higher risk than men of developing Alzheimer’s. Researchers are still trying to figure out the whys, but menopause might have a part to play here, since it means a lack of the hormone oestrogen. NB: ‘Higher risk’ does not equate to ‘definitely getting it’!
  • As mentioned earlier, genetics play a role. If the disease runs in your family, the chances of you getting it do increase. But you can control your future with a healthy lifestyle. You didn’t think we’d share bad news on New Year’s Eve, did you?!
  • The silver lining is if you exercise regularly, eat healthily, maintain a balanced body weight, avoid smoking and drink moderately, you can keep Alzheimer’s at bay.

So go ahead, party the night away this New Year’s Eve with the knowledge that your health is in your control!

Happy New Year!

Want to spread awareness about this or other causes?

Start a campaign today! Kick off the New Year in a very special way!

 

The Joy in Kindness (World Kindness Day)

World Kindness Day

In celebration of World Kindness Day (observed on November 13th) , Team Ketto thought of sharing the random acts of kindness that have been initiated, received or witnessed, that made them feel all fuzzy and happy inside.

So here goes:

“I had heard of this fellow, the ‘Placard Man’; he sounded like an urban legend, actually. A guy who stands at a traffic signal all day, smiling and holding a placard that says ‘Follow your religion, love everyone’. Then I saw his story covered in the papers. This guy, for no reason expect the goodness of his heart, wants to remind people of what really matters – brotherhood, kindness, love. It was just very refreshing to know. He expects no alms and has declined profitable offers because he’s content with the little that he has. A rare quality. What is rarer is being able to look beyond our own lives to help others. His small gesture brings smiles to all who go through the junction where he stands. That’s kindness for you!”
– Varun Sheth, Co-Founder & CEO

“There’s a lady in my building who feeds the stray dogs of the locality every evening, without fail. What an incredibly nice thing to do, when expenses are just going higher, and urban life is so fast-paced. Who bothers to give a thought to a stray animal while rushing to get from one place to the next? It just feels good to know there are still kind-hearted people around who do give a thought to these things.”
– Zaheer Adenwala, Co-Founder & CTO

“I had spent a few years in Glasgow, which is miles away from India – geographically and culturally, and I was touched at the kindness of the locals there. Considering all the horrific things we hear in the news, it’s good to know there are those who don’t fall into that category.”
– Pranav, NGO Relationship Manager

“I am often amazed at the daily kindnesses of my husband. Considering how cranky I can get at times, it’s a wonder he still wants to go out of his way to be kind to me! A man who voluntarily helps out in the kitchen is a big deal, so I appreciate his kindness there. There are times he’s ‘banished’ me from the kitchen so I can rest a while, which is a thoughtful gesture.  And there have been times that we have been in the heat of an argument and yet he has been kind through it. It’s so easy to be carelessly nasty and mean. For someone to rein that almost-primal instinct in and show kindness even through anger…. To me, that’s true kindness coming straight from the heart.”
 – Suchita Parikh-Mundul, Writer

“Our office boy is one of the kindest people I have come across. On one occasion when I left late from work, he went well out of his way and walked me to the station. I thought that was such a kind gesture! He could have been sullen and made a few cheap comments about having to stay at office later than usual. But no, instead, he was cheery and chivalrous. That’s goodness for you!”
– Eshita Munshi, Graphic Designer

“A friend of mine’s daughter had a health issue and needed to be hospitalized. The doctors needed to do several tests on her to figure out what the problem was and then treat and cure her. She had to be admitted for a minimum of 45 days. My friend didn’t have the money to pay for all this, so I thought I would help. I went around telling people about the situation and asking them to contribute to help my friend’s child. And the wonderful thing was that people genuinely helped. I managed to raise Rs. 23,000 towards the treatment costs. That is goodness in action!”
– Santoshkumar Pande, Sr. UI Developer

“A homeless person approached me once, asking for money. He told me about how he wanted to go back to his village to meet his ailing mother. I didn’t take his story seriously. How many times have people tried to give us sob stories to elicit money from us? But then he started to cry, and I began to doubt my disbelief. To this day, I don’t know if he was being truthful or just trying to feed a drug or alcohol addiction. But that day, I gave him the benefit of doubt and some money as a random act of kindness and I felt good about it.”
– Kuril Kanishthkumar, Sr. PHP Developer

“Two little street children came up to me once and asked me to buy them balloons. The balloon vendor was their father, but he needed to sell the balloons to make some money for his family, for his kids. It was so sad that their father had to sell balloons to other kids but couldn’t afford to give a couple to his own. That day, I bought them balloons and made them smile. For that moment, I gave them happiness and that makes me happy.”
– Shrusti Mavani, Jr. Content Writer

“I believe in kindness as a way of life. It’s the way you approach people – with kindness rather than judgement – that counts. I try to be kind through the day. It’s easy to get caught up in the rush of everyday life. It’s easy to be short with someone because you’re under pressure or because you’re having a bad day. Kindness makes life sweeter.”
– Ruchi Vaidya, NGO Sales

Kindness certainly does make life sweeter. It’s also good for your health and doesn’t cost you anything. Can you think of a random act of kindness you’ve experienced or initiated? Share it with us in the comments below!

Can’t think of any? Why not start a campaign for a cause and initiate your own random act of kindness for the day?!

 

Happy Talk (LGBT rights)

LGBT Rights

The term ‘gay’ used to be interchangeable with the word ‘happy’ at one point. Today, the word is more commonly used to mean ‘homosexual’. Although the English language has evolved to allow for this transference of meaning, society’s acceptance of homosexuality is still at a disjoint.

It’s not like homosexuality did not exist a hundred years ago. It’s not a brand new concept.  Even ancient Greek mythology features transgendered gods. But sexuality is a contentious topic today. Surprisingly and sadly, in this age of technocentric living, there is still ignorance of the nature of homosexuality.

It is sad to know that there are still large factions of society that believe homosexuality is unnatural and wrong, that it is a disease that can and should be ‘cured’. It is heartening to know that there are activists out there who are raising awareness about what homosexuality actually means.

Be it Indian society or our western counterparts, the climb towards universal acceptance is steep. It is good to know that we have people like Aamir Khan raising awareness of the issue and educating Indians on what homosexuality is, debunking ridiculous myths like homosexuality is contagious, is sinful, and is something that can be cured with yoga.

Over this long weekend, take some time out and watch the episode of Satyameva Jayate that deals with raising awareness about LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) rights and living.

Be a social activist too! Start a campaign for a cause today!

Click here and get going!