God Helps Those Who Help Themselves

Their primary source of income is from agriculture.  Yet it is a difficult proposition as due to perennial shortage of water, they can grow mainly a single kharif crop like paddy or some arahar dal or ragi.  Therefore part of their livelihood is also met by wages doing daily labour.

Water, which we in the towns and cities use indiscriminately, is a major source of worry.  They are dependant on a small river nearby for their daily consumption and household needs.  Unfortunately this source dries up in summer and can be of help only for a few months in a year. Who is affected the most by this fact?  The villagers go through severe health problems which affect not only their livelihood but also the quality of their lives.  In such a scenario, the women bear the brunt of the suffering.  Fetching water becomes an important task for which they often have to get up at 4 am. After a full day’s work in the fields, they again have to trudge to the river to bring water.

In such a bleak scenario, enteredthe Harsha Trust, a not-for-profit organization that works with the tribal and the poor in remote locations of Orissa, aiming to bring in human development in challenging conditions. Professionals from Harsha Trust visited the village in October 2014 and at once identified this problem and met frequently with the community to deliberate on the possible solutions.  Now this was not the first time a meeting such as this was being held in the village.  Similar meetings had been conducted earlier by various government departments: they came, they spoke, they promised…nothing concrete happened.  The hopes of the villagers were crushed. Therefore you can well imagine the reception the Harsha Trust got!

Luckily, one of the village elders, Mr Srima Praska, showed interest and managed to persuade his fellow villagers to give them a chance. So Harsha Trust arranged for a field trip to Kumbharapada village in May 2015.  This village had installed a drinking water model with facilities for  irrigation with the help of a solar pump from a deep borewell.  Impressed by what they saw, the village Self Help Group (SHG) members held a meeting to dwell on the details and to see if this could be replicated in their own village.

After a few rounds of discussions, the community was motivated and then started the finetuning of the project.  A corpus fund of Rs 1000/- was collected from each household. This total of 29,000/- was earmarked for the work which began in June 2015.  A borewell was dug.  Just by digging 245 feet, about 2 inch of water got discharged.  Happy at this outcome, the villagers decided to construct an overhead drinking water tank in the plot of Mr Ghasiram Praska.

Another interesting feature of this bottom-up experiment was the actual construction.  Members from each household contributed by working for the construction of the overhead tank and piping layout. Thus each family contributed 15 man days and also helped in the 14 trips (tractor load) needed to get the boulders to make the overhead tank.  They developed a mechanism by which daily 10-12 people worked on a rotational basis.  In case a family could not participate in the work due to some reason, that family was required to pay for the substitute worker hired for the work.

The tank was constructed with a capacity of around 10,000 litres of water. Around 2550 feet were dug to accommodate the delivery pipes.  The entire work was completed in January 2016.  A 2-HP solar pump lifts around 70 thousand litres of water per day.  Around 12,000 litres of water are required for the household consumption.  Miraculously, what was backbreaking work for the women is now done in just one and half hours. The excess water is used by 12 households to cultivate tomatoes, chillies and sunflower in 1.5 acres of land.

Fittingly enough, to ensure the sustainability of this project so dear to them, the women have formed a committee named “Maa Phulamati Solar Jala Sechana Prakalpa”.  The main aim of this group is to take responsibility for the performance and future maintenance of the solar water supply system.

The committee is running well since 5th November 2015.  Each household deposits  Rs 30/- per month for drinking water (Re 1/- per day). To avail water for irrigation, a farmer has to contribute an amount of Rs 20 to receive a coupon that allows him to use the pumped water in the field for an hour.

We find today, a village which had health issues, a village where its women spent a large part of their day ferrying water, a village which could not live only with its income from agriculture, now reaps multiple benefits from a simple yet much-needed device as a solar pump.  Water is readily available for the women.  As the surplus water is used for irrigation, agriculture flourishes.  Some households have also started kitchen gardens with their waste water.  Villagers are making a conscious effort for cleanliness and hygiene.

A sea change has come over the village so much so that before giving their daughters  in marriage, parents are enquiring about similar facilities in the grooms’ villages.

Today’s article was written by Sabyasachi Kar and is shared from the following website:https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/god-helps-those-who-help-themselves-story-villagers-empowered-kar

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Closest Thing to a Wonder Drug? Try Exercise

I consider my refusal to go to the gym today as resistance training Unknown

After I wrote last year that diet, not exercise, was the key to weight loss, I was troubled by how some readers took this to mean that exercise therefore had no value.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Of all the things we as physicians can recommend for health, few provide as much benefit as physical activity.

In 2015, the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges put out a report calling exercise a “miracle cure.” This isn’t a conclusion based simply on some cohort or case-control studies. There are many, many randomized controlled trials. A huge meta-analysis examined the effect of exercise therapy on outcomes in people with chronic diseases.

Let’s start with musculoskeletal diseases. Researchers found 32 trials looking specifically at the effect of exercise on pain and function of patients with osteoarthritis of the knee alone. That’s incredibly specific, and it’s impressive that so much research has focused on one topic.

Exercise improved those outcomes. Ten more studies showed, over all, that exercise therapy increases aerobic capacity and muscle strength in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Other studies proved its benefits in other musculoskeletal conditions, like ankylosing spondylitis, and even some types of back pain.

For people (mostly middle-aged men) who had had a heart attack, exercise therapy reduced all causes of mortality by 27 percent and cardiac mortality by 31 percent. Fourteen additional controlled trials showed physiological benefits in those with heart failure. Exercise has also been shown to lower blood pressure in patients with hypertension, and improve cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

People with diabetes who exercise have lower HbA1c values, which is the marker of blood sugar control, low enough to probably reduce the risk of complications from the disease. Twenty randomized controlled trials have showed that patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease can walk farther and function better if they exercise.

Multiple studies have found that exercise improves physical function and health-related quality of life in people who have Parkinson’s disease. Six more studies showed that exercise improves muscle power and mobility-related activities in people with multiple sclerosis. It also appeared to improve those patients’ moods.

The overall results of 23 randomized controlled trials showed that exercise most likely improves the symptoms of depression. Five others appear to show that it improves symptoms in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. In trials, exercise even lessened fatigue in patients who were having therapy for cancer.

What other intervention can claim results like these?

Even studies of older, hospitalized patients show a beneficial effect from multidisciplinary interventions that include exercise. Those randomized to such interventions in the hospital were more likely to be discharged to go home, and to spend less time in the hospital over all — and at a lower cost.

Although we don’t think of it this way, you can make a pretty good argument that exercise is as good as drugs for many conditions. A 2013 meta-analysis of meta-analyses (that’s how much data we have) combined and analyzed the results from 16 reviews of randomized controlled trials of drug and exercise interventions in reducing mortality. Collectively, these included 305 trials with almost 340,000 participants.

Diuretic drugs (but not all drugs) were shown to be superior to exercise in preventing death from heart failure. But exercise was found to be equally good as drugs in preventing mortality from coronary heart disease. Exercise was better than drugs in preventing death among patients from strokes.

Many people will be surprised at how little you need to do to achieve these results. Years ago, in an effort to get in shape, I tried the P90X routine. It proved too hard for me. Later, when I tried the Insanity workout, it beat me so badly that people at work kept asking me if I was ill. Two years ago, I tried P90X3. It was a bit more manageable, but I still couldn’t keep it up.

I have not been alone in thinking that physical activity to improve health should be hard. When I hear friends talk about exercising, they discuss running marathons, participating in CrossFit classes or sacrificing themselves on the altar of SoulCycle. That misses the point, unfortunately. All of these are much more than you need to do to get the benefits I’ve described.

The recommendations for exercise are 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity physical activity for adults, or about 30 minutes each weekday.

Moderate intensity is probably much less than you think. Walking briskly, at 3 to 4 miles per hour or so, qualifies. So does bicycling slower than 10 miles an hour. Anything that gets your heart rate somewhere between 110 and 140 beats per minute is enough. Even vacuuming, mowing the lawn or walking your dog might qualify.

Today, my goals are much more modest. Trekking from my office to the clinic and back again gives me 30 minutes of exercise. Or, I walk to the supermarket from my office to grab lunch, at a mile each way. In colder weather, I spend half an hour on the elliptical machine. Doing this five days a week gets me the activity I need.

Although it feels as if there’s nothing we can do to change people’s behavior, there is evidence to the contrary. A systematic review and meta-analysis of advice and counseling by health professionals found that promotion of physical activity works.

Doctors and clinics that made efforts to promote exercise to patients needed to engage 12 adults on the subject to get one additional adult to meet recommended levels of activity one year later. That might not sound impressive, but it’s one of the better such results.

After the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges wrote its report, an editorial in the BMJ, a prominent medical journal, countered that exercise wasn’t a “miracle cure.” Instead, the authors argued it was “the best buy for public health.”

If that’s the best “counterpoint,” then physical activity seems like a no-brainer.

Today’s article was written by Aaron E. Carroll and is shared from the following website: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/21/upshot/why-you-should-exercise-no-not-to-lose-weight.html

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The One Principle that Surrounds Everything…Stewardship

I I Research concept with businessman in boat in the middle of the sea and lightly cloudy skies.

I love today’s quote. Life is such a gift! Our ability to be stewards of our lives is such a blessing! God is the giver of all that is good! May we receive all that is good and wisely manage the stewardship that is ours!

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How to Build Your Personal Mission Statement and Transform Your Life

A personal mission statement becomes the DNA for every decision we make Stephen CoveyHow to Build Your Personal Mission Statement and Transform Your Life

In order to know where you’re going, it helps to know where you’ve been. All right, I promise, only one cliché for this piece. Keep me honest and bear with me! I start with this to say that in order to best position yourself for a life of happiness, it is extremely helpful to have a philosophy around what you hope to be, and what you intend to accomplish.

Some people call this a personal creed or mission statement. This is written documentation that establishes three things:

1) Your Purpose
2) Your Direction
3) The substance of things that matter to you

Your purpose — or your raison d’être — is the reason why you’re doing what you’re doing with your life. As I wrote about previously, I encourage you to look at this from a blank slate in order to get to the brass-tacks truth of what you really want your mission to be in life. This should be organic and developed only by you — free and unfettered from any influences or emotions of the moment.

Your direction is your plan — and the actions that you must take in order to fulfill the requirements of your plan. Too often, many people doubt themselves because they don’t think they’re ready to begin moving in the direction of what they want to accomplish. They think it’s not their time, they’re lacking in a particular area or they’re too young — they’re hindered by limiting beliefs which beget doubt and fear.

Oftentimes, it simply makes sense to begin even with very tiny steps toward completing tasks and goals that match up with your purpose. This is where writing out your goals and putting them into a plan comes in. This is your direction — the compass that will guide you when life gets in the way, you’re too busy, too tired or hungry. Planning is essential.

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” — Maya Angelou

The substance of things that matter to you are part and parcel of your purpose, and should be incorporated, as much as possible, into what you do each day. These are the core values, ideals, principles, people and also the things that bring enthusiasm and passion to your life. Beliefs or activities that get you exciting and mean something to you.

In other words — as Bono once sang, “all that you can’t leave behind.”

The Power of Planning

Successful businesses, schools, hospitals, sports teams and individuals begin by stating their goals and addressing how they intend to achieve them. These collective individuals understand the importance of accountability, and the power behind committing to a specific philosophy. They understand their purpose, what dedicating time and effort to a cause means and what taking ownership over something is all about.

Equally as important as writing a mission statement, is to define — for yourself — what your definition of success is. Never let anyone else define success for you. You should always take the time to do this for yourself. In a competitive landscape, it’s easy to be concerned with how others are doing. To stress and worry about such things is natural. It’s human.

When you have a mission statement, you’ll realize the power behind deciding for yourself how successful you can and will be. Your mission statement and definition of success serve as the foundation for all future attempts at becoming who you hope to be. Several years ago, I wrote mine. Here it is:

To live each moment to the fullest by having a positive attitude, a smile and a genuine enjoyment for life, while giving everything I have to love the people and environment around me and make it a better place.

You’ll notice that this is indeed a philosophy, a high-level view of how I’d like to conduct myself in this world, and a few of the actions I’d like to take. This is not a series of marching orders or specific goals intended for a short duration. Your philosophy is strategic, while short-term goal setting is tactical.

Setting goals helps you focus on specific things you aim to accomplish and how you plan to accomplish them. The mission statement is crucial for establishing the things that matter to you. This leads to the development of your own personal values and principles.

“Outstanding people have one thing in common: An absolute sense of mission.” — Zig Ziglar

There have likely been millions of thought impulses that have flashed through your mind during the course of your life. Even for those of you in your teen years. These thought impulses are acted upon, left in the recesses of your subconscious mind or ignored. Your thoughts lead to your life’s experiences and those experiences are often shared in the company of others.

All of these things have an enormous impact on how you make decisions. Your decisions will impact your course in life and whether you will find yourself happy, ambivalent or disappointed.

When I think back to putting together my philosophy, I reminisce about past relationships, experiences, thought impulses and emotions. I think of the times when I’ve been happiest, times I’ve been down, moments of peace and distress, and the times I’ve found my greatest inspiration. My inspiration is derived from my core philosophy.

“A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.” — Mahatma Gandhi

My motivation comes from the “fire” inside of me, the indescribable power that fuels my dreams and inner creativity. I acknowledge this “fire” as a gift that God has given me. A beautiful, divine power that I believe all of us can tap into if we have the desire and we believe.

This power will lead us to personal freedom, greater clarity of thought, vitality and energy to bring into our everyday lives. All this requires is a willingness to believe in God and yourself, and the desire to get to the core of what fuels your inner fire. Introspection and deep, personal reflection are key to living a life of freedom.

They help us to analyze our experiences and thoughts, and determine how we can use them to our future advantage. They provide us with a greater sense of direction and purpose. Along with your mission statement, they form the backbone of your future destiny.

Today’s article was written by Christopher D. Connors and is shared from the following website: https://medium.com/personal-growth/how-to-build-your-personal-mission-statement-and-transform-your-life-5b77e59717d8

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Steps to Becoming the You You Want to Be

The best investment you can make is in yourself Warren Buffet

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” – Lao Tzu

Every day that passes by, there is someone who is living a life that does not fuel their passion or purpose. Each moment feels like they are just existing or living life by accident. This could be due to fear of change, or limiting beliefs within them that say “you’re not worthy” or “I don’t deserve to be successful”.

It could be a number of things. Believe it or not, I used to be this person. I was stuck in a 9-5 job, in a 7-year relationship that was emotionally draining, and I was 75 lbs. overweight.

Then came that ONE day that would forever change my life. I remember it as if it were yesterday. I looked at myself in the mirror and saw what I had become. I didn’t recognize myself. I immediately burst into tears. This was NOT the life I wanted to live. I had neglected the most important person in my world: ME.

It was then that I had to make an important choice. I decided to take the first step towards creating the life I would often dream about. That very next day, I promised myself that I would do just one thing that made me feel more connected to the goals I wanted to accomplish.

Not two or three. Just one. It didn’t matter how small it was. The point was it was a small step in the RIGHT direction. This has led me to the level of success that I am at today.

Here are three small steps that will help you make that same important decision and transform your life.

3 Small Steps That Could Make a Big Impact In Your Life

1. Have a heart to heart with yourself.

Take time to get away from people, places, or things, and just spend some time with yourself. In order to truly make any step towards the success you desire, you must have a great sense of self-awareness.

What is it that you want to accomplish and why? What truly makes you happy? What are you passionate about? How will accomplishing this change your life? How would it make you feel?

Be completely honest with yourself, your thoughts, and your intentions. Having these questions in front of you will keep you from going around in circles. They will give you more clarity and vision that should help you determine which small steps you need to take.

As a result, instead of being frustrated or reluctant to leave your comfort zone, you will be more confident now that you have a plan in place.

2. Do ONE thing everyday that is connected to your goals.

Always remember that you don’t have to always make massive amounts of progress at one time. The important thing is that you are continuously moving in the right direction. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day. It took consistent daily, focused action. Over time, it became one of the most celebrated cities on the planet.

We live in a world that is bombarded with messages of instant gratification. But the truth is, any level of success is the result of a daily routine of the right things done for a certain period of time. That time can vary from days, weeks, months, or even years.

However, throughout the journey, you can see that you are moving closer and closer towards your ultimate goals. Do not underestimate the power of small steps. You will find yourself accomplishing things you never thought possible (and sooner than you anticipated).

3. Do not measure your level of success by comparing yourself to others.

Success means something different for everyone. You must not become fixated on what media or entertainment portrays as successful. A fulfilling life is more than material possessions. Understand that you can only live the greatest life possible when you have defined what success is to you.

As you begin taking small steps and making progress, focus only on what your desired goals are. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted by what others are saying, doing, or what they believe success should look like. Too often, we get caught up in what society, current trends, and what the masses portray as “I’ve made it”.

This is your life. Only YOU can determine what accomplishment, achievement, and true success means to you. In fact, one of the reasons why you may be in the position you are in is because you designed your life based on the thoughts and opinions of others. This was my case years ago.

Conclusion

You deserve to be great. You have greatness within you. Sometimes, that can be clouded by limiting beliefs, adversity, or just the many circumstances in life. Think about everything that has happened in your life right up until the point you are reading this article.

Today’s article was written by Meiyoko Taylor and is shared from the following website: https://everydaypowerblog.com/2018/03/23/small-steps-right-direction/

 

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