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An Evolution – Blogging to Activism

18 Jul

Blogging was fun! I started writing about the funny things which happened when I was mothering and parenting my son. I wrote about how funny (sarcastic drum roll) my husband was. I wrote how blessed I am to have a hectic lifestyle which allows me no time to crib or vent. Sometimes I wrote philosophy. At times poetry during those doleful moment.

Well, I joined World Moms Blog. And then I wrote more mom things. You can read how heart-broken I was when my son wore his glasses. I thought it was my mistake. I went on a guilt trip to many places often. I went to fun trips too. Ha!

And then one day Jennifer asked me, “Would you like to be a movie star?” I dint reply to that mail. Because it was not directed to me, surely!

Surely?

And then after a week she asked me again. She coaxed me. I said, well, I don’t know.

And then I asked myself, “Why not?”

So, I asked her the details.

And I was surprised to know it was for a social cause. I read many things about Immunisation, Vaccination, the developing nations, the developed nations, children dying in Africa every 20 seconds to a disease which can be prevented by a vaccine.

I read about organisations like GAVI, Shot@Life, The Gates Foundation and more. I read how much the UN was doing and I said, “Yes” to Jen.

So, we shot our first movie. Read about it here.

And then there was no stopping back!

I was an activist and I was hooked. One thing led to another and I participated in twitter parties, I talked about maternal and child health. I wrote about the UN’s MDGs. I interviewed pediatricians. I researched India’s situation. I came across a remote rural village, Piplantri in Western India which was a perfect example of an agent of change. I blogged about it on the Gates Foundation.

I know people who do a lot more things. I did a few things.

Evolution

Evolution

I looked at myself in the mirror. I looked at my inner self.

I asked myself for the wisdom to do what is right.

I evolved, my blog evolved. We resist change initially, but it slowly envelops it. We have to move on and do what we think we ought to do. It is our moral responsibility to our sisters and brothers of the world.

Balancing my inner self and my outer actions and defining it to be in tandem with my heart’s wisdom and integrating it all to become the complete personality happened. My blog also helped me get there.

Have you been drawn to something greater than yourself? Greater than anything else you know in this world? For me, it is my own inner happiness and contentment in doing my part in this universe.

I know how, when and where this journey began.

This journey through my inner universe has no end.

Evolution is infinity, with no end.

Come, talk to me @BlogHER13.

Come, talk to me @BlogHER 13

Come, talk to me @BlogHER 13

I would like to know your views about blogging and activism. Join me at my panel.

Politics & Activism | Presentation: Ad Hoc Advocacy vs. Non-Profit Structure / Roundtable: International Activist BlogHer Scholarship Recipients on 27th July at 3:15 PM. Listen to me speak.

I am speaking @BlogHER13

I am speaking @BlogHER13

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BlogHer – International Activist Scholarship Award 2013

16 Jul

Even in my wildest dreams I have not imagined that one day I would meet my virtual friends. On 25th July, I am going to meet the wonderful Jennifer Burden, Nicole Morgan, Nicole Melancon, Eva Walls, Lisa Webb and maybe Carrie Fochs and Jessica Angell. All these women are so close to my heart.

YaY! I am going to BlogHER 2013 in Chicago this year. And incidentally I also won the BlogHER International Activist Scholarship Award 2013, which is a great honour and pride to me.

Going to #BlogHER13

Going to #BlogHER13

Thank you so much BlogHER. Thank you for the IA and thank you for being so wonderful all the while.

I know I have taken my own sweet time to blog about this great news. But there were a few things which needed to be sorted out. And recently Jennifer messaged me saying –Purnima, you will regret not being true to yourself than giving in to other factors.

I need to be free and distance myself from negativity. Beautiful things happen in your life when you distance yourself from all the negative things. So I decided to fly free like the bird I claim to write about in my novel.

And so, here I am announcing this wonderful piece of information so late in my blog. This has been an amazing thing in my life. I am also going to the US of A for the first time. So, I am sure life has some interesting things in store for me for the next few weeks.

I am excited.

I am nervous.

I am happy.

#7 days to go until I board the flight to the US of A.

Speaking @ #BlogHER13

Speaking @ #BlogHER13

And I am speaking on a panel – Politics & Activism | Presentation: Ad Hoc Advocacy vs. Non-Profit Structure / Roundtable: International Activist BlogHer Scholarship Recipients. Check it out.

So who are all going to #BlogHER13? Drop me a note and we should catch up in Chicago!

Join World Moms Blog and MDG Momentum today – Help achieve the Millennium Development Goals

6 Apr

Momentum 1000 has kicked off on April 5th. It is in support of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals.

According to the Momentum 1000 website, “On that day, a community of individuals, organizations, and institutions will come together to celebrate successes to date, reinvigorate discussion on the MDGs themselves, and begin to advance a post-2015 development framework that builds on #MDGmomentum. Join the community and be a part of the 1,000-minute worldwide rally on April 5th!”

The MDG goals are below.

millenium_development_goals

millenium_development_goals

MDG1: Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger

MDG2: Achieve Universal Primary Education

MDG3: Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women

MDG4: Reduce Child Mortality

MDG5: Improve Maternal Health

MDG6: Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Other Diseases

MDG7: Ensure Environmental Sustainability

MDG8: Global Partnership for Development

Today at 9 30 AM IST, there is a twitter chat on #MDG 4 which is child health. I plan to join this party, because it resonates with me so much. Why? Because I am a mother. I love my son. I know all mothers out there love their children so much and no mother ever should outlive their children.

In Aug 2010, my son had fever. We took him to the pediatrician, gave some paracetamol and allowed him to rest. The fever reduced. It again came back. We again gave some paracetamol. It kept fluctuating. It never became a very high fever. It was more a nuisance than life threatening. We did tests for Malaria and Typhoid. They came back negative. We did not test for Dengue. And guess what, he had contacted dengue and we did not know it yet.

Dengue could be life threatening if left untreated for a long time. It IS quite serious. One of my blogger acquaintances here in India lost her daughter to Dengue.

God was kind to me. I have a physician husband. One of my cousins is also a pediatrician. I live in a fairly developing nation, India. I have access to child care. I have knowledge at my finger tips at the click of a mouse and keystroke.

There are so many moms out there who love their children as much as I do, who want the best for their children as much as I do, who are not supposed to outlive their children, who should have access to child care and well, who should see their children grow up and be great men and women of this world. And they should all have rightly access to care to enable good health and long life for their children too.

And so, these Millennium goals resonate so much with me. No mother’s child should fall sick to life threatening, vaccine preventable diseases.

Mothers and citizens of the world, please unite in achieving this MDG 1 through 8. It makes this world a much better place.

MDG WMB Twitter Parties! -1

MDG WMB Twitter Parties! -1

As part of World Moms Blog, I request you to join today’s twitter party! And help achieve the 1000 minutes of virtual conversation.

Sweet Potato Recipes from India as part of World Moms Blog and ONE Moms

19 Feb

World Moms Blog is proudly working with ONE Moms as a community partner. As a Senior Editor at World Moms Blog, I would like to share a few Indian recipes made from sweet potato for this initiative.

ONE is a grassroots advocacy and campaigning organization that fights extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa.

Backed by over 3 million ONE members, ONE achieves change through advocacy.

To read more about ONE, click here.

Malnutrition claims the lives of well over three million children a year.

Sweet potatoes have the power to provide much-needed nutrients like vitamins C, A and B6 to undernourished children, helping to avert stunting and ensuring proper growth. On top of that, sweet potatoes are relatively cheap to produce and easy to grow in uncertain conditions, perfect for regions prone to drought and famine.

Sweet Potato

Sweet Potato

Check out some sweet recipes from India. India is famous for its desi curries, spicy side dishes and mouth-melting sweet pies. I have collated three of my favourite dishes here. I have taken help from Awesome Cuisine in preparing this. Yes, that is one awesome recipe site.

Sweet Potato Halwa (Sweet dish)

Ingredients:

Sweet Potato – 1 cup
Sugar – 4 to 5 tsp
Milk – 1 cup
Elaichi – 1 tsp
Cashew nuts – as required
Raisins – to garnish
Almonds – to garnish
Ghee – 4 tsp
Saffron Strands – 1 tsp, dissolved in 1/4 cup milk
Water – 1/2 cup

Method:

  • Pressure the sweet potatoes for 3 to 4 whistles.
  • Remove the skin, mash well and keep aside.
  • In a pan add a little ghee.
  • Add the mashed sweet potato and milk.
  • Mix well.
  • Add 4 tsp of sugar and mix again.
  • Add 1/2 cup of water and elaichi powder. Let it simmer.
  • Once it has thickened add the saffron strands with the milk and mix.
  • Garnish with cashew nuts, raisins and almonds.
  • Serve.

Sweet potato paratha (Indian bread made with Sweet potato)

Ingredients:
Sweet Potato – 1 cup, boiled and mashed
Wheat Flour – 2 cups
Lemon Juice – 1 tblsp
Salt to taste
Oil for frying

Mince Fine:
Green Chillies – 4
Ginger – 1/2 inch piece
Coriander Leaves – little
Mint Leaves – a few

Powdered Masalas:
Coriander Cumin Powder – 2 tsp
Dried mango powder – 1 tsp
Garam Masala – 1/2 tsp

Method:

  • Mix together the flour with a pinch of salt, 2 tsp oil and make a very stiff dough, using very little water.
  • To mashed sweet potato, add green chillies, ginger, coriander leaves, mint leaves, coriander-cumin powder, dried mango powder, garam masala along with lemon juice and some salt.
  • Make a soft dough, break off small balls, keep aside.
  • Take a small portion of the dough, make it into a cup using oil for doing so.
  • Place a ball of sweet potato inside the cup, close, flatten on a floured board and roll lightly into a paratha.
  • Transfer parathas onto a tawa on medium heat, cook on both sides.
  • Apply ghee, raise the heat, and cook further till browned and crisp.
  • Serve hot with chutney.

Sweet potato curry (spicy side dish for breads and rice)

Ingredients:
250 gms Sweet Potatoes, boiled and sliced
1 medium Onion, minced
3 Green Chillies, minced
2 big Tomatoes, grated
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 Coconut, grated
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1 tblsp Coriander seeds
3 Garlic Flakes
few Curry Leaves
4 Red Chillies
handful of Coriander leaves, sliced
Salt to taste

Method:

  • Grind coconut, red chillies, garlic, cumin and coriander seeds to a fine paste.
  • Heat 2 tblsp of oil and fry the onions and green chillies till soft.
  • Add tomatoes and spices and cook till the oil comes out.
  • Once the oil comes out, add sliced sweet potatoes and ground paste.
  • Put in 2 cups of water along with the remaining ingredients.
  • Cook till the curry turns a little thick.
  • Serve hot.

That is my favourite sweet potato dish. Yes, Spicy curry to have with my leavened Indian bread.You can just boil rice and have it with this curry. That is the best!!

There are scores of Sweet Potato recipes here in this link from INDIA.

Go ONE Moms!! You are doing a great job through this advocacy. As part of World Moms Blog, I am proud share this Social Good work!

Photo Credit/Recipe Credit: Awesome Cuisine

$5 saves 2 lives in Laos. Learn how!

8 Feb

What would you do today with INR 266 (US $5)? I came up with a list of things I would do if I had US 45. Check them out.

$5 saves 2 lives 

  • I would book two tickets at INOX for the movie Vishwaroopam
  • Or I would go to Express Avenue and splurge it on a T-shirt for DDH or a kurti for me.
  • I would buy a Bey-blade (those fancy electronic tops from Cartoon Network) for DDS.
  • Heck, I would just buy this week’s grocery – plain and simple if I was not in a mood for splurging away that money.
  • Maybe I would hire a domestic help and get all the window panes and grill doors dusted and cleaned and scrubbed.
  • I would even get my unstitched dress materials stitched into chudhidhars.

I know, I know, I can get so many things done with INR 266 (US $5). But what I chose to do today is, donate to CleanBirth.org.

This week World Moms Blog and CleanBirth.org have partnered to raise 1000 birthing kits. I am in. Are you?

How much difference will $5 make in your life? And how much difference will it make in a mother’s life, in the screams of her labour pain, in the throes of sweat and panic, lying on a bed of leaves in the middle of a dense jungle, just about to give birth to her darling baby.

I gave an extra hug to my little one thinking about a mother out there giving birth under such conditions in the village of Laos. What about you?

World Moms Blog and CleanBirth partnered to donate their FB status

World Moms Blog and CleanBirth partnered to donate their FB status

You can do a lot more things too. Check out this article on World Moms Blog. You can even donate your status on FaceBook and do a lot more. (http://www.worldmomsblog.com/2013/02/05/social-good-saves-lives-laos/)

If you are interested in donating to CleanBirth.org, please do so by clicking this CleanBirth.org. You would have made a great difference to some mama and baby out there.

Love, peace, unity on New Year 2013

28 Dec

My latest article which got published on Huffington Post is about spreading Love, Peace, Unity in coming New Year 2013. The link to it is here.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/purnima-ramakrishnan/spreading-love-peace-and-unity-this-new-year_b_2361990.html

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2013 FOLKS !!!

My article @ Huffington Post!

6 Sep

My article got published on The Huffington post under Global Maternal health and Global Motherhood. Check it out here. It is called Global Motherhood: Awareness and Access to Information Can Help Prevent Disease. Go ahead, click it, read it!

Would love to know your feedback/comments/tips/suggestions either by mail or as comments there and here.

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