Friday, December 12, 2008

Some self defense tips

The HR at our firm organised a session on self defense tactics the other day. Here are some highlights from the session:

1. If you are ever caught in a terror attack in the open (like it happened in delhi), try and get down into a gutter (though you may smell horrible after that, atleast you will be alive!)

2. If you are caught in the midst of gunfire, get down on all fours; then try and find a pillar behind which you could hide.

3. In a hostage situation, never ever engage in conversation with the hostage takers.

4. In a situation like the one at Taj, try and get as close to windows leading out of the building as possible; it becomes easier for search and rescue teams. To be on the safer side, crouch below the windows.

5. As soon as you perceive a threat in the form of a terror attack, put your cellphone in vibration mode; message someone you know of your location.

And the biggest thing in all such situations -- DO NOT PANIC!!!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The e-mail campaign.

I've sent e-mails to the Ministry for Information and Broadcasting, DoorDarshan, and to someone at the ETV network; in all cases, I've requested them to broadcast short messages on how to protect oneself and one's community from terror attacks and on general safety and preventive measures.

I haven't heard back from any of the parties...let's see what happens. Shall keep everyone posted on that front.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Very useful links, have a dekko!

Atlast i've found what I was looking for; some comprehensive information about how to protect one's community, and it comes direct from the horse's mouth so to say. Check out these links, they should be useful for all Bangaloreans:

And this one, courtesy AP police, has links to websites of police departments across the country:

Do take time to go through the relevant links and please spread the message. Remember, it is the (computer) literate like us that can spread awareness among the ones that cannot browse these websites.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Knee jerk reactions galore...

My cousin pointed out something very weird about the security scene in Bangalore these days. She told me that post 26/11, security has been tightened at the major hotels in Bangalore; alas, that is not the case at other places (certainly not at Manyata tech park). On the first morning after the attack, they increased security checks rampantly (only at the building lobbies--read my first post for the gory details); however, since last monday history has chosen to repeat itself.

These are typical knee jerk reactions to keep the general public at bay! (much like giving a crying child a candy to keep him quiet). What can we do to show our "leaders" and the concerned authorities that we are aware of the sham?

Ideas anyone?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Important info

In case you come across any suspicious activity, any suspicious movement or have any information to tell to the Anti-Terror Squad (ATS), please take a note of the new ALL INDIA TOLL-FREE Terror Help-line "1090". Your city's Police or Anti-Terror squad will take action as quickly as possible. Remember that this single number 1090 is valid all over India This is a toll free number and can be dialed from mobile phones also. Moreover, the identity of the caller will be kept a secret. Let us make each and every citizen of India aware about this facility. Please forward this information to as many people as possible, and tell everyone.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The need of the hour

Alright folks, here goes...
I think that the need of the hour is to extend all support to the people who are in trouble because of this barbaric bloodshed.
It is also to increase awareness among everyone (ourselves included) of how best to be prepared, and how to do our bit to prevent this attack on our freedom to live. For e.g. how many of us know of the emergency numbers in India? What is the response time for these services? I am sure a lot of people don't know...we need to see how we can improve awareness. we have these general awareness messages on family planning, AIDS, the likes, displayed in most public places (including at the back of trucks!). why can't we push for general words of caution to be displayed in public places? or, we could see if there is a possibility of having an informative article in newspaper dailys.

I am going to touch base with someone i know, who could help with info on what could be termed suspicious, how to report such suspicious activity/objects, and how best to address similar issues pertaining to human safety. if i get some information from him, shall share it here, and then we need to come up with a plan to share it among maximum people across our land.

let's get moving folks...
(the action plan on security at our places of work, public places, cinemas, malls...that needs to happen too!)

Where the mind is without fear

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

Rabindranath Tagore

note: One of my all time favourite poems...I always remember it in such trying times...and despite being written soo many years earlier...each and every word echoes our sentiments!

Anger and Sorrow

I believe most of us Indians are swinging between these two extremes of emotion today....anger, for being let down in our own country by our own country men whom we know as our "leaders" and sorrow for the loss of lives of soo many innocent people at Mumbai in the last few days.
As an adult when you try to find out the rationale behind all thats happening right now...we all find ourselves at a loss...being an emerging power seems irrelevant when we cant feel safe in our own country. I have moving in and out of moments of complete hopelessness and then again determined "we can do it" spirit . The question that we need to ask is how can we do it...we are a country of 1.3 billion people...can a handful of people make a difference? Atleast its a start...which needs to be encouraged and and its momentum needs to be maintained...we need to start asking ourselves to everybody this the quality of life that we all deserve as Indians especially when the country boasts of a growing economy?
We need to start a campaign...regarding crisis management...personal safety , we as ordinary citizens make a difference? We need to build a culture of safety and might not be very easy to begin with....but if we never might get worse for the future generations. I believe educated working professionals are not exactly our hurdles...we need to send out the messages to the ordinary man....because these are the people who are targetted by our wicked politicians as they are the most vulnerable. They are brainwashed into believing anything and everything...and mostly these are the people most affected. We need a common dialogue for the whole country... irrespective of our or poor...we need to demand for a meaningful solution ...and if we arent given one...we need to snatch it.

I may sound my mind is completely exhausted...despite the fact that I am located in UK...but the last few days has almost changed my entire perspective of life. I use to boast of our country amongst my british colleagues...and all of this sounds so silly right now..when in our moments of people die...heartless politicians couldnt unite...and instead started a blame game. I even had a desperate gut feeling...probably the opposition planned this entire thing orelse helped the terrorist groups so that they could blame the govt in never know...general elections are to be held next year...and politicians can go to any extent in the race to power!! sincere apologies for not being objective enough ....which is essential right now...its just that its very painful to see your country burning and not having any control over kind of wrecks doesnt feel like the 21st century at feels worse ...probably worser than worse.

We need to rise ....and we need to fight back...not just against terror...but the politics of terror!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

To start with...

After I sent out that e-mail yesterday, I got to hear a variety of comments, some enthusiastic, some cynical.

Why I feel that we could make a difference:

1. We all have the right to live peacefully in our homeland, and it is our duty to make sure we do our bit to make it a peaceful place.
2. I have seen numerous instances of security breaches in public places, and I feel that if we start by trying to fix those, we would have made a stride in the right direction.

How I feel we could go about this:

1. We could talk to the security personnel in our own campuses (I work at a tech park here in Bangalore, and the security is very "average"); let's try to find out what are the obstacles in their line of work, and if it is because of the non-cooperation of individuals like us, let us try to increase awareness among the people.
2. To increase awareness, we could try the media (like Diptarko suggested); I was thinking in terms of those evening dailys like "Bangalore Bias" to start off with. If anyone has any contacts in any of these places, let's try that possibility.
3. When we travel by trains, we hear general announcements that caution passengers about unattended luggage, fellow pasengers etc. Does anyone think it is feasible to include something like that in our malls/other public places? The charm of this system is, we who are so used to rote learning, would get this drilled into our sub conscious minds (maybe that would make a difference!)

The key thing now, is to find out how to kick start the whole thing...any pointers would be highly appreciated.