Jeevika calls us to make history.

Yes we are called to make history in our life time, in fact in the next three years. Few people in history has had such an opportunity.

Jeevika  plans to  impact directly 12 million families or households that is about 72 million people spread over  a 100,000 villages. Yes we  live in epic times. Indirectly we stand to change the behaviour of 100 million people, change the social norms of how they approach  health, gender and livelihood issues.

Jeevika Calls Us to Change a Billion Conversations

We stand to change the society in Bihar and India. In order to do this we need to change a billion conversations in the small towns and villages of Bihar, in the homes, in the clinics and hospitals, in the government offices and market places.

How do we get there? What are the questions we should be asking before we get there?

Can we, the key people involved in this mission pause and  ask ourselves the most important questions, before we take the next leap?

I am suggesting that we use the Wold Cafe process  to ask those questions to have a conversation. World Cafe heavily used by the corporate and development world across the world is yet to catch up in India.

Jeevika Calls Us to Ask the Right Questions

I have conducted a few world cafe sessions in India, some of them with children and others with development professionals.  Each one was a rewarding experience. The cover picture on my facebook page is a Water Cafe conducted in New Delhi. I know the one we do on the 14th will also be a rewarding experience.

The success of World Cafe sessions depend on the questions discussed on the Cafe tables.  What should these questions be? What do you think are the most important five or six questions we should be asking within Jeevika. Tomorrow I will be posting to you the seven step process that constitutes world cafe. If you do not want wait till tomorrow  here is a link. (you will get six more letters like this till the day of the world cafe session).

I do not want  to overload you with information, hence this daily instalment approach.

It all depends on how we formulate our questions. I will be sending you a letter  on the 9th and links on how such questions can be formulated. But till then I suggest each one of you individually formulate a question or two and post it to me.



Remember the way ‘lepers’ are mentioned in the Bible? After more than 20 centuries of human endeavor the disease and the stigma continue to mock at us.

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2016 is the International Year of Pulses.

The 68th UN General Assembly declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses (IYP) (A/RES/68/231)

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There are four bright UNICEF  stars on the Bollywood firmament. Three born in the late sixties and one mid eighties. Let us take a quick look at them.The  latter half of sixties had some magic about it.

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The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets  demonstrate the scale and ambition of this new universal Agenda. They seek to build on the Millennium Development Goals and complete what these did not achieve.

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The UN is 70 years old.

There are many views on the way the UN functions. A significant view is   that the  United Nations is both “flawed” and “indispensable.” That is the point of view of the Obama administration.
The world sees  two different  UNs. One is the global institution itself. This “UN” is composed of departments, programs and agencies that deliver many essential services like peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance. I asked the editor of Himal recently where are the Nepalese children after the earthquake? He said they are in school. But where not the schools destroyed?
He said UNICEF has taken care of those schools with temporary sheds and everything else needed for the schools to function. That is UN, the first to come in and the last to go when a disaster strikes.
Containment of Ebola, eradication of polio,  victory over small pox and the many strides in achieving some the Millennium Development Goals could not have been possible without the UN.
The other UN is composed of 193 diverse and often fractious member states. In spite of all those expensive confabulations, Syria happened. Syria still happens. Sadly the UN  is not a coming together of democracies. Despots and tyrants rule many countries. They hold UN to ransom.  Super powers, the merchants of sophisticated weapons make sure that world conflicts continue, so that these strife torn and perpetually in conflict countries will steal from their children and buy more and more arms and   ammunitions.
The most important question is:  should UN get bogged down address traditional dangers of inter-state war, or should UN spend more time on  the transnational threats–like “proliferation, terrorism, degradation and disease”–that dominate today’s global security agenda.
Transparency is a major issue.

What does UN think of Itself ?

The UN has another image of itself.  “The UN is real and critical to the day-to-day lives of so many people around the world,”  said the Organization’s top public information official recently in Washington, D.C.The United Nations connects [people] to the rest of the global community. She continued.

The UN Charter, remains alive and vibrant – and an inspiration to so many people around the world.The UN Charter, has  grown out of the cauldron of war,  Its aim was high, even if the UN at its founding in 1945 did not yet encompass all nations and all peoples. The Organization soon expanded to meet the challenge of its founders, and the clamouring of 142 more Member States to join the 51 that originally signed it.

Today, the UN’s work adheres to its three broad pillars: peace & security, human rights, and development – three fields that overlap and intersect, on real-life issues ranging from climate change to gender violence.

Transparency is important. UNICEF  and UNDP have agreed to post their audits on the web. When will they do it? When will the rest of the UN do it?

Crucial 12 Months

The next 12 months,  will be crucial for the Organization and the international community, because of the important decisions to be taken in terms of sustainable development, the fight against climate change and humanitarian crises ravaging several regions the globe.

By the time you read this  the UN summit to adopt the UN post-2015 development agenda,  would have happened in  New York this September. Then there will be the the Conference of Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), known informally as COP 21, in Paris in December . The first World Humanitarian Summit  will be held in May 2016.

Is the world is looking to the UN – and counting on the UN – to make a difference?

2030 Agenda

Eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development.

Ultimately, a successful 2015 will be the legacy of the UN’s 70th anniversary.   Let us roll up our sleeves and get ready for the next 70 years!

Between now and 2030, the UN’s task is clearly defined

  1. to end poverty and hunger everywhere;
  2. to combat inequalities within and among countries;
  3. to build peaceful, just and inclusive societies;
  4. to protect human rights and
  5. promote gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls; and
  6. to ensure the lasting protection of the planet and its natural resources.

This is a  great collective journey with a supremely ambitious and transformational vision.  No one should be be left behind.

The Litany of Challenges

There are  immense challenges to sustainable development. Here is the litany of those challenges,

  • Billions of our citizens continue to live in poverty and are denied a life of dignity.
  • There are rising inequalities within and among countries.
  • There are enormous disparities of opportunity, wealth and power.
  • Gender inequality remains a key challenge.
  • Unemployment, particularly youth unemployment, is a major concern.
  • Global health threats, more frequent and intense natural disasters, spiralling conflict, violent extremism, terrorism and related humanitarian crises and forced displacement of people threaten to reverse much of the development progress made in recent decades.
  • Natural resource depletion and adverse impacts of environmental degradation, including desertification, drought, land degradation, freshwater scarcity and loss of biodiversity, add to and exacerbate the list of challenges which humanity faces.
  • Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time and its adverse impacts undermine the ability of all countries to achieve sustainable development.
  • Increases in global temperature, sea level rise, ocean acidification and other climate change impacts are seriously affecting coastal areas and low-lying coastal countries, including many least developed countries and small island developing States.
  • The survival of many societies, and of the biological support systems of the planet, is at risk.


Children  in cities and towns are excluded from vital services. Urbanization leaves hundreds of millions of children deprived of opportunities, facilities, freedom and dignity.

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Augustine Veliath Proposes the Consortium and Communities Approach to Life Long Education (C-CASE )

Life long education? We have run out of excuses. Nation wide and world wide life long education is now possible.We have the reach, the technology, the know how, the arguments, the consensus and the conviction.

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Augustine Veliath Outlines Seven Steps to Make India a Healthy Nation of Healthy States.

Every Indian has the right to the highest attainable standard of health. The country  already has  the medical knowledge and technology to save millions of lives, what we lack is a sense of emergency, a sense of compassion and fairness to our teeming millions who are marginalized and excluded and  an effective system to deliver care.Empowering health professionals to do their best, wherever they work within the system, is the best way to realize a sustainable health system that delivers quality health care .

Here are seven steps to make India a healthy nation of healthy states.

It is not difficult to see India as  a  united nation, with many of its states having more population than many  of the large  member countries of United Nations.Health besides is a state subject. So here is what the states and the Centre do to make  health for all a reality for all states and districts in India.

Here is the simple formula for realizing global health by 2030:
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Sharmila Tagore in Conversation with Augustine Veliath on VAW (Violence Against Women).

The very beautiful and talented Sharmila Tagore recently addressed leaders of local governments, on the occasion of the Panchayati Raj Foundation Day. She chose to speak about violence against women (VAW).

On the sides of the event, I had a chance to interview her. She firmly believes that when it comes to violence against women the local self governments can bell the cat. She says the Prime Minister of the Chief Ministers cannot do much but the panchayats can.

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