Friday, August 18, 2017

Smart Pune Needs Smart Ganesh Festival!






“Festivals promote diversity, they bring neighbors into dialogue, they increase creativity, they offer opportunities for civic pride, and they improve our general psychological well-being. In short, they make cities better places to live”… David Binder.

Binder was a journalist for the New York Times from 1961 to 2004, reporting on a multitude of topics regarding Eastern and Western Europe, Soviet Union, the United States, Cuba, Puerto Rico. He served as a foreign correspondent in Berlin in 1961 where he reported on the building of the Berlin wall. No wonder after seeing most of Europe from a journalist’s eye, he can describe festivals so perfectly. And why I remembered his quote in none other than our Ganpati Festival; as if you ask anybody about Pune then first answer comes, the famous Ganpati Festival. During these ten days the entire city transforms in to a fairy land just the way it happens in Disney Land. Citizens forget about routine problems the city offers to them & everybody is busy in welcoming as well worshipping Lord Ganesha in his or her best possible way. And it’s not about just domestic i.e. in house celebration, what makes the Ganpati of Pune special is it becomes entire city’s celebration, getting along all the segments of the society together, making them forgot position, age, gender, caste & even religion. Well, this was what Lokmanya Tilak (Due respect even Shree Bhau Rangari also) has thought of this festival some 125 years back. Such a rich & long heritage this festival has got, sure this makes Pune’s Ganesh Festival unique in entire country!

Before having a look at today’s face of ganesgh festival, let’s have a glimpse of past. Some three decades back the festival may not be having glamour what it has today & may be the budgets were also small yet the charm was there & a flavor of family culture. The events carried during the festival were for all the segments of the society as well every age group of the family. And I am speaking about public Mandals’ mean not just restricted to some society or wada but entire locality used to gather under the banner. A  Mandal means group of people coming together socially of one suburb or locality or mohalla or Aali (Street) or Peth in Pune’s language. Each such Mandal has one common Ganpati apart from their own home & all the events right from various games’ competitions to cultural programs like debate competition or dance to arraigning music programs or movie screening were arranged keeping in mind social awareness. Sure decoration was the key factor but it wasn’t the only factor while celebrating the festival. Money used to be generated via residents as well shop keepers in the locality but not forcefully. Enjoyment was sure main thing on agenda of ganesh festival but not at the cost of other’s peace of mind. Every event is worked out keeping the budget in mind & not vice versa & most importantly the object of the festival was fun, peace & togetherness of every segment of the society. And at the end of tenth day the Wisarjan Mirawnuk (Immersion ceremony of Gnaesh Idol) was the peak of the festival. It’s this wisarjan mirawnuk which gave the real glory to Pune’s Ganesh Festival as not just from the State but visitors come to witness this procession even from other countries as nearly a million & above people come on the streets of Pune for whole night & become part of the procession, an event worth being part of!

There was one more aspect to this festivals or Mandal’s formation & that was many political careers has been started through the  Ganpati Mandal’s all across the city & this is where the scene started changing on the horizon of Ganesh Festival of Pune. Once the political figures realized this aspect of ganesh festival which assures entry in to millions of home (read vote bank) then the money started flowing in. Slowly the families & social workers from the Ganesh Mandal’s got replaced by bhai, dada & yuva nete type figures. Like the popular stand in election while issuing party ickit i.e. capacity to get elected; capacity to collect or pull in more money become the criteria for being prominent member or office bearers in the Ganpati Mandal’s organization. And with that came rat race to spend millions on the decoration & work books with glossy images of big political figures as well celebrities. No more these Manadal’s were taking families of local residents as center of the events in the festival but crowd pulling become the main object of the Manadal’s decorations as well so called cultural programs. Outcome is, no more ladies or the families can now move freely in the crowd which floods the roads to see the Ganpati Mandal’s decoration or immersion procession on the last day. As the entire focus is now on flashy lighting, walls of sound speakers & so called mandal karyakarte (volunteers) shaking their bodies in ugliest (lewd is proper term) way on the tunes of raunchy songs. The very purpose for which the Ganesh Festival has started is being defeated as it has become a tool controlled by few to show their power to the society!  I know many people won’t agree with this sharing or even may not like it but this is what I have observed in my last thirty years of stay in Pune.

And then the nature of our celebration, look at it; when the festival started some 125 years back & later on for many years then our traffic wasn’t what it is today. The work nature of entire society has changed; people can’t take this disturbance to their movement or the ear pollution for ten days. What is the first thing which announces arrival of Ganesh Festival; earlier it was starting of pendols (mandap along the road), now its Dhol Tasha deafening sound all-around the city which starts nearly a month before the festival. Agreed its celebration but do we need such sound pollution cancer, with enough of pollution already surround year long to us! And then blocking of roads by the mandaps (pendol) for the festival & it’s not for just ten days, these structures remains there for nearly a month long disturbing the entire traffic of the city. Agreed the festival is highlight of city’s heritage but if the city is getting smart then cant we make Ganesh Festival also a bit smart, is what I will like to ask every citizen.  For e.g. do we need so many mandal’s around & if we do then is it necessary to celebrate the festival by blocking roads & ears of the citizens? 

Why can’t we come out something like we have in UP & MP State as Dashahara Maidan, where Ravan is ignited. Or in Dubai there Global Village where pavilions of all the countries are built on a huge ground displaying every countries culture & commerce. Likewise we can have a big open space outside of city by name of Ganesh Maidan, may be on all four sides of the city & let all the Mandals have here their respective Ganpati’s Mandaps. The place can be connected all round by public transport & only Ganpati’s which will be in the city are of societies or wadas causing no trouble to city civic management or residents. Here at such place we can have spaces reserved for cultural as well performing arts along with food stalls & sale of goodies. On each day prominent figures from the society can visit this Ganesh Maidan & share their views with the public from a common stage. And one single procession can be planned through the city like Carnival in Rio, Brazil on last day which everybody can attend. 

This is just one thought to make the Ganesh Festival smart & it may sound weird & sure may will think I have gone out of my mind yet considering the changed nature of the festival as well needs of the city, it’s high time we should really think out of the box to make the Ganesh Festival relive for what it has been started by our forefathers! Because if you see the controversies launched regarding the Ganesh Festival, then the people it, Lokmanya Tilak or Bhausaheb Rangari, both of them would have been ashamed of starting this event, had they been alive to witness the present face of the festival which we call Pride of Pune! There are many Ganesh Mandal's who does try to celebrate sensibly & use the festival to spread awareness about social issues but unfortunetly the percentage of such Mandals is very less is fact.

Just to sum up will share something I wrote about the kind of society we are becoming…
“Few years back it was statue of dadoji konddev, few months back it was statue of ram ganesh gadkari & now snap of lokmanya tilak; when we will understand that a person is honored or respected by his deeds as well achievements & not by his caste or religion! Very frankly not just Pune or Maharashtra but entire country is on such a shameful track of dividing people on basis of caste & religion that we don’t need China or Pakistan to defeat us as our enemies as we, ourselves are sufficient to doom us as our enemy!!” This culture & feeling of togetherness is what we need to take back home while we immerse Bappa on the last day when we say good bye to him saying “Ganpati Bappa Moraya, Pudhachya warshi lawakar ya” (come back soon next year) or else one day even he will refuse to come back to us if we remain on the track we are on as a society!

Sanjay Deshpande 

Sanjeevani Dev.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=1415&v=blgni8HSfDU

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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

RERA , GST & Connecting to Clients!










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“To be successful in real estate, you must always and consistently put your clients' best interests first. When you do, your personal needs will be realized beyond your greatest expectations”… Anthony Hitt.

CEO at Engel & Volkers North America, Anthony Hitt has served as Chief Executive Officer of Engel & Volkers North America since January of 2014. Anthony has been personally involved in Engel & Volkers’ emergence in the United States since 2010; those who doesn’t know Engel & Volkers, for them its one of the world's leading service companies in providing their clients with luxury real estates, properties, yachts and boats. The firm has around 520 residential property offices and 49 commercial offices across the globe, brokering retail, office and industrial space, investment properties, multi-purpose apartment and office blocks and property portfolios. No wonder it’s his work experience & authority which gets reflected from above words of Anthony which unfortunately his fellow collogues in similar business in our country has not yet understood! I am referring to real estate developers popularly known as builders, a term which many in the business doesn’t likes yet that’s what common man knows them by. For ages real estate is supposed to be the profession which cares a hoot about its clients, rare feet as when every other industry or profession was busy in laying red carpet for its customers, real estate never needed to take any effort on this front. Reason was simple, there was always more demand than the real estate industry can supply & then flat, plots, shops, offices were gold mines making anybody associated super rich & in our society mostly the rich don’t bother much about getting connected with masses is unfortunate fact. And when I say masses it means the common flat or say home buyers; those who doesn’t agree then go back a little in past & ask the flat buyers in 80’s & 90’s, that what was their experience while dealing with builders as well how many of them have been lucky to actually meet the builder himself? There are few builders who might not be falling in this category but in general that was the scene on connecting with customers in real estate.

The real estate was sailing comfortably with all its perks & affordability of not being in touch with clients till late 2012 at least in Pune but silently things were changing under the smooth surface of appreciation & margins in home making. There were ups & downs though & if you consider last thirty years then at least the real estate has seen five to six cycles of recession yet it has survived as every time it was correction & still the demand was more than the industry was able to supply. But in last five years things has changed a lot & due to urban policy of the State more & more land was available for real estate at the same time for generating more revenue the local bodies like PMC & PCMC started offering more FSI as well TDR for the existing buildable lands. And on other side as there was no control on land prices the land lords were sitting dead on the land holding which made the raw product i.e. land costliest factor in the real estate. Simultaneously labor costs along with material costs went up in construction; needless to say even govt also kept premiums, stamp duty, taxes graph rising eating out most of real estate’s appreciation. The outcome was the end product got so costly i.e. production cost of home making, that it went out of the pocket of common man at the same time there was more supply in market. If all this was less so the govt came up with three things in succession, Demonetization, RERA & finally GST; this was final blow to drive out customers (read investors) out of real estate & this is something real estate was not used to face ever! Now the only solace is real buyers but how to identify them & connect them if you identify the clients, as this is not something the builders were ever good at!

Before touching this aspect I will share my own recent experience on this front of clients’ connection. At VJ-SD (Vilas Javdekar & Sanjeevani Dev) we always try to reach out for our end customers by every possible mean & we believe our existing customer is our best brand ambassador. Right from conducting plantation programs at site to arrange get together at ongoing site to wish our clients on their birth days, we do keep a very regular contact with our customers. Off late our majority clients are from outside of Pune that too from Nagpur region (Vidarbha) & it’s not possible for their families to participate in our events here in Pune. So we thought why not arrange a get together in Nagpur itself for our clients in Vidarbha region so most of them can make it to meet their builder & his team (read “us”). Though there was risk involved & that is as most of these people are not living in Pune there could have been lapse from our side in communicating with them in past & the anguish might be expressed across in event spoiling the tempo but we decided to take the risk as I personally believes the tag line of Mountain Dew (a cold drink), “darr se aage jeet hai’ i.e. you need to put your fear aside if you want to win! So we went ahead & we took simplest path of invite one to one, via whats-app as well email as well post. In this era of electronic media agreed the world has come closer but yet someone needs to press "enter & send" keys to communicate & as a builder I feel it’s our duty to do it first than awaiting our client to contact us!

We kept it very clear, only existing customers & sole purpose is to meet, to share what’s happening here in Pune which is 800 km away from Nagpur & let us know what our clients what to say to us. I have prepared a presentation about Pune & growth but standing at the podium I felt it’s not necessary as if I call this as get together of my family members then do I make presentations when I meet my family? Answer is No, so instead I shared what’s happening in Pune. The main problem for people (read client & their families) who are going to migrate from cities like Nagpur to Pune is they hardly get to know firsthand information of the things happening here in Pune. As all they get is read social media forwards on whats-app or TV channels or new papers which just show one side of the coin. And on the background of RERA & GST most clients wanted to know what will be impact on their homes in making as well there were issues like villages merging in PMC & development of infrastructure etc. Do mind, most of the clients which are migrating from Vidarbha or Marathwada or District places, because of their limited budget can’t afford flat in elite areas like prabhat road not even kothrud or baner but they prefer in fringe area & especially the so called 34 villages. As most of these clients are youngsters just got a job or parents who are buying for their sons/daughters for their education! And they don’t much mind about infrastructure like roads, water as well close proximity to happening places like High Street, Baner or Koregaon Park. But when they read news like GST will make homes costly or RERA will make homes cheap or the area where their project in under construction & where they have booked their home is getting merged in PMC, they have lots of questions about all these things & they can’t come to Pune often. So I explained the difference between Pune & Nagpur & remember nobody likes to leave his home town, so I shared my sympathies with them for the need they have to leave the beautiful city like Nagpur but then their next generations career is in Pune is a fact. Pune offers jobs, education & most importantly Pune offers social secured culture, much better than Nagpur as well than any city in Northern or Central India. Just to let you explain how much important this last factor is, in my home town Khamgaon (Vidarbha) still in cinema halls ladies & gents sections are separate for sitting while you watch the movie & not just that even ticketing windows are also separate for ladies & gents! Now you can imagine how free & comfortable the youths must be feeling when they move around here on Pune roads! Though the infrastructure is a problem for Pune but then back in Nagpur also the civic problems are same. Here roads & water like things follows the real estate, unlike in western world where infrastructure comes first.

About RERA which is talk of every person related to real estate. I explained them RERA doesn’t decide rates of real estate but it’s a tool given to the customers to secure his rights. No law can change the industry but it’s up to us how we are going to make use of the law to get that change in the industry & so is RERA. It will definitely make the real estate transparent but builders will be builders unless until you as client use the law to improve the system. I explained them that RERA will assure that only the builders, who stay committed to what they have promised, will remain in the business provided as clients you also remain aware about what has been promised to you. As earlier also there was MOFA & yet it was unable to protect the customers from the builders as no law on its own can protect anybody but we have to make use of that law in such way that no builder will dare to break the law & cheat clients! As your builder, I assured them we have not been affected in any way by the RERA & neither we are afraid of it but am happy that RERA will help the good builders to remain in business as well control the bad ones! One more thing will be monitored with RERA & that utilization of funds for the project which has been collected from the flat holders. As maximum problems in real estate has been caused due to diversion of funds collected for one project to other projects or businesses by the developer. (Pune has witnessed many such in recent past & by so called reputed builders). Also about GST as it’s too early to comment on its effect yet if we keep transparency then whatever calculations we will have to do so we will & pas on the set off to them, is what I put forward clearly. As due to GST norms flat to flat setoff will vary is what initial picture is; earlier, average customer used to pay nearly 5.5% of agreement cost in form of VAT & Service Tax , which now roughly can go to 6% is what my initial judgment is about GST impact.

Lastly most I said this is era of communication & we are open always twenty four hours for our clients not just for something related to their flat but anything they need which mainly involves their kids here in Pune. Because if we consider our clients as family then whatever their concerns are, it’s our duty to stand beside them! Needless to say the get together was a great success & what more we can want than to see happy faces of the clients!
This is what I will share with my real estate fellow friends that times are changing & we don’t need RERA or GST or Demonetization to make real estate a respectable industry. We are just like any other industry but a lot more close to hearts of our customers as every other commodity comes to him by paying for it but it’s our commodity only where he has to come back as that’s what a Home is! And the client of real estate are changing, with more options available & law on their side as well awareness level high, we need to deliver what our client expects & for that we need to be connected with the clients or else how we will know what he wants us to deliver!  Only the builders who will understand this simple logic of connecting with the clients will survive, is writing on the wall named Real Estate! Finally all I want to tell the home buyers, remember there were good builders & bad builders in real estate, there are good builders & bad builders; there always will be good builders & bad builders; RERA doesn’t makes a bad builder good or good builder bad one, but it gives you opportunity to compare what’s good & bad, choice is yours with whom you deal with!

-- 
Sanjay Deshpande 

Sanjeevani Dev.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=1415&v=blgni8HSfDU

Please do visit my blogs to know about our philosophy at Sanjeevani !
 (Click the links below)



http://jivnachadrushtikon.blogspot.in/

Social Side of Sanjeevani ! (Click link below)

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For any of your complaints about city, log in at link below

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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Curse of Plenty & Today's Generation!




“One of the greatest titles in the world is parent, and one of the biggest blessings in the world is to have parents to call mom and dad”… Jim DeMint.

James Warren DeMint is an American politician who was a United States Senator from South Carolina; he is a member of the Republican Party and a leading figure in the Tea Party movement. No wonder adhering to most US politicians he too thrives on family values & his above quote speaks about the same aspect of life which most families in the most sought after country are missing! And yes on the background of some recent incidences in our very own country rather in my own backyard made me use this quote about parents. The social media as well print media was abuzz rather with suicide of one young Manmath Mhaiskar who happened to be only son of high level govt official couple. With due respect to his parents who are my family friends, off late whatever little reputation I have got being a writer, many friends asked me to write something about this incidence. Actually the sudden ending of own life by Manmath has come as shock to many mid age parents whom I too represent. As well on the same time there was news of a young NDA cadet named Jaiswal ending his life in form of suicide & he too was from middle class family. Imagine a young NDA cadet ending his life so early, an institute which supposedly makes its students tough by mind as well by body, what could have made him so desperate to end his life! Here when I say a middle class family then what I meant is a family where culture still is alive, where good & bad definitions are simple & clear, where parents have got decent education background & a family which is doing good on financial basis too i.e. it may not be necessarily earning millions but for them day to day survival is not an issue. So what makes the youngsters, who have been brought up in such comfortable environment to take decision of killing their life so early? Being a writer makes people think about you that you can write on any subject which is not true actually. But this was such a topic which not just as writer or engineer or wild lifer or builder but very close to me as a father, courtesy my two growing sons, who are in nearly same age of Manmath! But instead of writing down my feelings, first I made a self talk video; a medium which I felt can connect with the youngsters in better way. But then the writer father also popped up & so this sharing, especially for the youngsters who still believes in reading (there are many with due respect but lesser than our younger days) as well this is for parents of the teens who are in their late forties as this suicide topic is becoming a nightmare for most of the well to do parents!

Here many will say what’s big deal in it, as every day we read such suicide news & that of youngsters too; so what made Manmath as well the NDA cadet special? Well, agreed  we do read many such news but when someone from a well settled family with parents like he has got or the Jaiswal has got then thousands like us get shaken off deep inside thinking even we can be the next such unfortunate parents! As when every possible materialistic thing was available which a teen age boy can think of &  loving parents along, then what would have went so terribly wrong that these boys decided to end their life, this question haunts me! And then on the other hand is news paper Maharashtra Times initiative where they help via society to the young kids who have passed SSC exam wit above 90% marks. And these kids are from opposite background that of the most suicide cases kids are form. Here these kids are with either of parent has been passed away or disable to earn & in extreme poor conditions, many of them are living in slums. Life has taken away everything from these kids but one thing & that is their fighting spirit. All these poor kids want to live, they want to have everything which they have been deprived off & they want to achieve something which our elite society calls success!

Now when we define success, our generation was lucky as things were very simple; all you have to choose for career was science, commerce, arts, and engineering or medical that’s it! What most of the teens wanted is a secured job, having a small four wheeler & a 2 bhk flat, is all which used to be definition of successful life. And agreed we didn’t have much of money at hand but that was good because it saved us from comparing with others as most of the kids were on same platform speaking financially. Eating out was a term unheard of & most important there was no internet or smart phones so we could spend time in reading or with friends. Even today I am personally not sure what we call social media is boon or curse for us. As on one side if it helps in keeping people connected crossing miles of distance but on other side it takes you away from the people who are just around you. Actually generation of ours has seen maximum changes of life style i.e. from antenna radio when we were kids to today’s latest I Phone 7, all gadgets we got exposed to. Speaking about family culture, we have been grown up with the term “saat chya aat gharat” i.e. we have to return inside of our house before 7pm; in short no “night life” in today’s language. And today this very same generation of ours has to spent sleepless nights waiting for our kids to return home till past midnight. As this genre don’t pick up their parents calls, don’t reply to even harmless messages of caring mom or dad who are just asking if all is well & when their son or daughter is coming back to home who is chilling out with his or her friends. And then this younger lot gets offended even by smallest of things like asking them where are you going & when you will be back? And if you ask them about studies or tell them to curtail time on internet then you had it; this is the scene in most so called successful families around. On this background I remember my childhood or even college days & right from choosing civil branch for diploma to which movie I should watch, on all fronts my father’s words were like order of Supreme Court & I am not comparing my generation with today’s as that’s something this genre doesn’t approve. The biggest difference is we believed in our parents & had respect not just fear for them. This respect has come from the trust that whatever my parents will think for me, they may not be right but they will always think of something better for me, with their limited knowledge. This is respect & trust is missing from the minds of today’s genre about their parents as these kids think they know everything. 

This is why I say, today’s young genre is cursed with plenty & this plenty comes on all fronts; right from choice of career to having pairs of shoes these kids has access to all the luxuries of life, which actually is outcome of their parents’ hard work. To start with they have career opportunities right from catering to tourism to photography & the list is endless.  Medical & engineering still has got its luster but at the same time options like finance or marketing management are picking up. Though not related to our topic yet pure sciences are not on agenda of most youngsters is sad thing for not just science but entire nation. Then most of the well to do families can afford to send their kids to countries like UK or USA for higher studies so that’s one more popular avenue open. When I look at all the options life is offering to this young genre, then I don’t understand whether to consider them lucky or unlucky, as with all such avenues anybody will get confused & do mind a confused mind is most easy target for insecurity which leads to depression. And that’s exact reason why this genre gets succumbed to games like Blue Whale which is much in talks right now, in this game the player is asked to perform few tasks at each level & final task is ending own life! Weird it may seem but a confused mind is easy prey for such games as recently there have been incidences of teens attempting suicides because of such online games.

The problem with parents of my generation is often when a youngster ends his or her life then all blame goes to parents only,  as if they only have pushed the kid to such tragic end, is what entire media & even close ones also start preaching them. The grief of losing loved child on one side & on other side guilt of not being able to prevent such tragic end & on top of it you only get tagged as guilty for your child’s suicide, just imagine to stand such pressure or pain is the proper word. It’s often said by all the psychologists or so called philosophical guru’s on media that have a dialogue with your child, don’t burden him or her with the pressure of expectations to such level that he or she will end up his life. But tell me which parent will like to see his child ending his or her life for so called success, I am sure none. It’s not just parents but entire system which we call society is responsible to push any kid to suicide is what I feel. As look around & what you see, everybody is  busy in comparison of their life with others on every front, may it be job or pair of shoes or bike or home or cell phone, most of us keeps doing things just to outnumber others. That’s what this generation has been grown up seeing around & this rat race is not just restricted to their parents but at school, in friend’s homes, everywhere it’s there & no wonder these kids also become part of this comparison race even without knowing it. And then with the curse of plenty along they are not used to being deprived for having something neither they are mentally tough to accept a defeat or rejection. Here is where importance of hobbies like playing any sport along with reading like things comes in picture. As when you play any sport it’s not just if you come first in any competition is what makes you master of that game but if you learn to accept a loss in any game with smile & at the same time if some win is not going in your head then I will say you have mastered the game. As it’s not just playing some sport but understanding spirit of the sport is what makes you a better person! And it’s this spirit of the sport which helps you being stable or balanced in your life out of the sports arena. So as a parent do understand these small things as just your dialogue isn’t going to make your child understand what you feel form him but it’s the activities & entire surrounding he is bought up is going to make him understand importance of living. Our mind carries both types of emotions negative & positive & I am sure each of us even my genre  too have our share of negative thoughts & some time or other many of us has gone through the situation that all is lost & lets end this life. But then real fun is to rise from this situation & hit away the negativity of our own mind. And to make the young genre understand this fact is responsibility of every one of us who considers himself or herself as grown up & not of just some parents who has teen age kids.

Agreed sharing comes in many forms along with sports for e.g. as a father write your kid on every possible occasion as well take him out for a general drive. Not necessary each time when you have time at hand you should take him to some mall & buy him goodies as remember however rich you may be but you can’t ever buy values of life to your kid. They has to be cultivated in him by your acts as well let him learn to acquire those values just like you  can push him in water but he only has to swim if he wants to be afloat in water. At the same time the youngsters also should understand this fact that today whatever their parents are it’s not just by some good luck but they have fought hard to reach here & success is creating your own achievements, however small it may be but do it by yourself & see how beautiful life is. All I will share with the younger lot (my sons included) that life is responsibility too & a precious gift & you are lucky to have it via your parents. Remember when you decide to end your life over smallest of the things like breakup with girlfriend or fear of failure then you are leaving three dead bodies behind, one is your own & two are your parents. Long back when I was kid there was dialogue in the most famous movie of Bollywood "Sholay", when A K Hangal has to carry body of his son Sachin & he says, “janate ho duniyaka subse bada bozz kya hai? Budhe baap ke khande pe jawan beteki arthy” means biggest burden for any old father is to carry dead body of his young son on his shoulder! Guys some day you are supposed to pass on legacy your parents have gifted to you to next genre & some day you also will be father or mother to some fine young boy or girl but for that you need to live first.

So, dear youngsters remember your marks, your career, your success of having top position in job,  all these things are immaterial for your parents as nothing of it is that pricy which can be exchanged with your life. And if you think you are not getting enough support from your parents or teachers,  in fighting your fears then create your own support; play, read, dance, laugh, cry, run, make friends, speak out yourself, be part of nature as its best guru,  do anything but suicide is all I will say! It’s said, the young age is best time in your life but to experience it you need to grow up old & for that you have to live. And do mind growing old is the best return gift for this best time you had, which you can ever give to this society of which your parents too are part of!

-- 
Sanjay Deshpande 

Sanjeevani Dev.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=1415&v=blgni8HSfDU

Please do visit my blogs to know about our philosophy at Sanjeevani !
 (Click the links below)



http://jivnachadrushtikon.blogspot.in/

Social Side of Sanjeevani ! (Click link below)
 

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Sunday, July 23, 2017

PMC, PMRDA & 34 Villages; Reloaded!






“Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.”  Jane Jacobs.

So many times the wise lady has helped me with her fathomless treasure of quotes, especially when the subject is about the city; I am referring to Jane Jacobs, writer of ,” Life & Death of Great American Cities”. Unfortunate is most of the time my subject is related to our beloved great Pune city & which every day is inching towards the death, courtesy our Mai Baap Sarkar! Well, may be the Sarkar i.e. Govt & which comes under the names of Urban Development or PMC or our elected members, itself wants the city that way is what now I am starting to believe. Those who may not agrees with me they can check the news paper headlines about the city (I mean Pune & Pimpri Chinchwad) or why take effort to even read, just have a round of our city at any hour of the time & tell me what you saw? Roads chocked by traffic at any hour of the time & footpaths encroached leaving no space for pedestrians (if there are footpaths), don’t look at road surface condition by the way & then every corner garbage bins over flowing, people jumping signals as no one fears cops & CC TV cameras are non functional mostly, road signage covered by faces of local so called leaders banners &  if you happen to visit any public hospital of school on way then have a look you will get idea of the services the city offers to its taxpaying citizens. One more thing try using public toilets if you got nature’s call on your city ride, that’s some experience you will remember for long, I can assure! And though the city is surrounded by serene hills (in past, I meant) yet don’t look at the hills as now they are mostly covered by slums, outcome of our biodiversity park policy (will cover that later)! Yes a solace is the city has some real good parks/gardens, thanks to some good people in garden department of PMC. Well this is scene in main city, now go to fringe areas i.e. the suburbs & beyond, let me inform you if you are wondering whether you have come to some village then yes you are but now these villages are part of city! Though few of the suburbs are part of the city now for more than ten years yet they do give you a feel of village by the roads, open drainage & no basic civic facilities around. If you can, then do speak with the residents in the multi storied buildings here & they will give you more clear picture of our city, right form no water in many of the societies to no play grounds for the kids to no street lights in place on the roads, the will tell you many stories about their battle with the system named govt, to have even basic things like proper motorable road to their society. And all these residents are law abiding tax paying honest citizens, mind it!

Now you will know why I said the city inching towards death, though still this city is attraction of millions from not only this State but from all over the country. You will wonder why, then reason is simple as still people  believes this is one of the best city for settling down & making career as this city offers jobs as has good weather & environment! And still by our super boss govt in Delhi this city is in top five cities in the country so it has been given as Second Smartest City in the entire country (now you must be wondering about the conditions of other cities in the country as if this city can be tagged as 2nd smartest in the country)! Well, reason of this sharing is just few days back I wrote about the villages around the city to be merged in PMC i.e. Pune Municipal Corporation, a civic body which is like guardian of the city. And in week’s time I am writing again like a sequel to the write up so I am calling it as PMC, PMRDA & 34 Villages; Reloaded! As finally the govt agreed to merge the villages in PMC but as usual in its weird or bizarre way; because the news says in first stage it will merge only 11 villages out of 34 marked villages. Joke is even out of these 11 villages 9 were already merged in PMC some fourteen years back, so practically only 2 villages have been decided to merge in stage one! Now don’t ask who makes such jokes in deciding policy as important as deciding life or death of a city, rather I will ask why someone makes such policy? As the question “why?” has many dimensions here & they are out of imagination for any wise man leave apart common men like you & me! Well, one main dimension (hidden) is illegal constructions & our ruler’s attitude towards this aspect of real estate. Immediately when the news of 34 villages part merging came on very next day State Govt published its agenda to regularize illegal constructions. And behold even the illegal constructions which has been made on reservations like play grounds, gardens, roads, even Metro route can be regularized, provided the reservation is shifted legally to other land! After reading all such news, I wonder if the word “legally” has any sanctity left in this State because whatever is illegal today eventually it becomes legal after some time is what we have been witnessing in real estate! As with such news & govt itself allowing building you anywhere as per your wish, then not taking remaining 23 villages makes sense as in a way our rulers have given illegal entities a green signal to go ahead & build wherever they want to build in these remaining villages. Another joke in the draft for regularizing illegal buildings is whatever development charges etc are due for such buildings will be recovered from the concerns before making these buildings legal! Well to whom we are convincing about possibility of such recoveries as the builders of such buildings are long gone & the flat holders can barely pay their home loan installments, will they be paying these building charges to PMC or PCMC?

As with this latest joke of today just getting 11 villages & remaining 23 in span of three years, question is who will be responsible for illegal constructions in these 23 villages for the next three years? This is like, I have chosen a smart, cute & healthy child which is an orphan & want to adopt it, is what I declare today. But I will adopt it by taking its full responsibility after three years & that too only if the child remains smart, cute & healthy, in those three years is the condition I will put! I wonder who will allow you to adopt child at such terms, but our Govt is Boss here so if it can make legal constructions illegal then adopting norms is very minor formality for it to mend them as per convenience of the govt! Worst part is nobody in entire system raised the question that when every concerned person has sent report in favor of merging all 34 villages & when even govt says yes for the merging then, what is the point in merging these villages, in stages. So now the PMC will have third DP i.e. development plan for 11 villages & then after 3 years we will have fourth DP for the remaining 23 villages, wow just wow!  As with the track record which we have to make DP’s & gets them in execution I am sure next thirty years we will be busy in making DP’s of PMC with this way of merging & then Mai Baap Govt is there to keep improving their definition of legal constructions! Now at least some sensible person (there are few alive around yet) in the system should guide all the concerned persons to make a full & final DP of entire PMC old limit along with these 34 villages. Let it take one or two years but whatever we will plan it will be covering aspect of entire & during this time span apply the present DC rules for extended villages as per new DP. At the same time set up separate cell in PMC to keep watch on the construction as well developments in these new villages because right now neither PMRDA nor PMC is having any set up to keep control on any illegal or even legal constructions here. And even if we demolish later on so called illegal structures then the main culprits are gone & only the residents become victim though they must book their home only in legal structure is also a fact.

The people who are residing in these villages expects nothing great but just basic infrastructure necessary for living in place & they need it fast. As each of them gives this city some service by the job or profession he or she is in & in return what this city gives them back; is the question I will ask to every person who is part of the so called govt & who is involved in the merging decision of the villages! It’s said that experience is what we learn from our past mistakes but it seems our rulers are not ready to gain any experience as we are repeating the same mistakes again & again. As out of these 11 villages 9 were already merged partially in PMC some fourteen years back & now we are merging whatever has left. By deciding to merge the remaining 23 villages in stages we are proving that what kind of fools we are. As if we can take so important decision which will hamper entire future of this city keeping in mind interests of just a bunch of people then sure we are hell bend on killing this city. Because as the Jen Jacobs has said, city’s fate is decided by the peoples who live in it & not by some PMC or PMRDA. High time for our rulers to understand this basic fact in urban planning or else by the time we complete our planning then it will be too late is all I can say!
-- 


Sanjay Deshpande 

Sanjeevani Dev.

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