"Everyone has the right to freedom of thought and the freedom to communicate opinions and expressions in a manner that is not contrary to any tenet of Islam" - Article 27 - Constitution of the Republic of Maldives … [THE OPINIONS EXPRESSED IN THIS BLOG ARE MY OWN] … 'Kratos Demos' ...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The old man sitting on Majeedhee Magu and the unattended generation.

Last evening as I was walking down Majeedhee Magu with a group of friends, I caught my eyes on this old man sitting on the pavement near 80 no. Fihaara, as we passed by one of my friends gave him some money... the poor man gave a smile that tells a story...

This is not the first time, and probably not the last time I will be seeing this man sitting at that same spot on Majeedhee Magu, hoping for someone to lend him a coin or two for a cup of tea and maybe one or two short eats from a nearby sai-hotta.
Well I am not trying to get your sympathy to this one man on Majeedhee Magu, cause its not only him that is left out and unattended to in the Maldives. For maybe a few seconds try to step out from the bubble we live in and reflect on our situation, ask yourself; How many senior citizens are out there without a warm bed and a decent meal? How many of them even have a place to call home? Where are their families? Whats the concerned Government authorities doing about it? Who is responsible?
I strongly believe, we in the Maldives are not poor. Cannot be! But yes, our people if they are indeed poor, its sadly because of the system we live in. Its either because of careless institutions or irresponsible families. We are not poverty struck and if we really observe the condition in most of the countries around the world, we need to be grateful for our situation. If we are poor, we are poor in our understanding of the concepts of family, and the understanding of social responsibility and societal ethics.

When the government started to give 2000 Rufiya to all those above 65 years of age, it was perhaps a sign of realization of the government responsibility over its senior citizenry. But with ever emerging high inflation and fluctuating economy, is this a solution? On top of this, there are cases where money sent is not properly delivered to the person its intended to. This is sometimes due to family intervention over the money or because someone at the end of that transaction spends that 2000 Ruffiya on something else.

We are at this stage where we need to build old-age shelters and senior citizen retirement homes for the homeless and unattended. With shattered family morals, and tainted societal values, we are at this junction where everyone has a hectic lifestyle and has not much time to spare for the parents who raised them, spending all their lives and effort to make 'people' out of their children.

Modern lifestyle and way of living contradicts the conservative culture of the older generation, which makes living with grandparents, and sometimes mothers and fathers difficult to the modern Maldivian family today.

At one stage we agree that we have issues and problems concerning treatment of the older generation and when governments do not spend much on welfare of the Senior Citizenry its becomes a debate of politics, but how many of us are willing to accept and realise our role and individual responsibility in ensuring the well being and welfare of our own parents?

These are important things we need to talk about and its imperative that we find solutions to these issues. Me, I don't want to be that old man sitting on Majeedhee Magu, say in the next 40-50 years ...

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Principles and Ground Rules for Dialogue

I was going through one of those 'unsorted stuff box' I have been having for quite sometime, found this interesting book mark that explains (as it says) "Principles and Ground Rules of Dialogue". Been trying to figure out who gave this to me, not very sure, but I guess I must have picked it up from one of those workshops or training I have attended to.

Its not much, simply put and quite helpful if you really read them down. Its worth a share:

Principles and Ground Rules for Dialogue

  • The purpose of dialogue is to understand and to learn from one another; no one can "win" a dialogue.
  • All dialogue participants speak for themselves, not as a representative of others" interest. 
  • In a dialogue, everyone is treated as an equal; status and stereotypes are left at the door.
  • Be open and listen to others, especially when you disagree. Suspend judgement.
  • Identify and test assumptions - even your own. 
  • Listen carefully and respectfully to the views of other; acknowledge you have heard the other, especially when you disagree. 
  • Look for common ground.
  • Express disagreement with ideas, not the personality or motives; disagree without being disagreeable.
  • Respect all points of view. 
Cheers :) 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Save a Mother - Save a Child , Ambulance Launch -1; can it really save lives?

So last night I was fortunate to get a glimpse of 'Ambulance Launch - 1', the mobile sea ambulance which appears to have been either donated or supported by UNICEF, and seems to belong to the Ministry of health and family.

Ones eye will get caught on to a touching quote inscribed on the launch as you pass by it, says "save a mother, save a child". So true, so meaningful and in a way explains the importance of the mobile Ambulance, then again, have a look at it, ask yourself the question; can 'Ambulance Launch - 1' really save a mother? 

This picture tells a lot about how well the first response services are in the Maldives. It becomes more outrageous when you come to know where this was left at! Not far into the many islands of the Maldives, but at Vilingili (Vilimale'), which is considered administratively as part of Male' City, takes about 7 mins (max) on a ferry from the island of Male'. 

I came to understand from the locals, that it has been on that jetty for so very long and no one actually  has bothered about it. Just by looking at it, I can be sure that it is in no condition for use, at least not until thousands of dollars be spent on repair. 

Its important to reflect on some of these questions, Is it really effective for donor agencies and financial supporters to invest in the Maldives? Is this what they were hoping for? Is this what the people in Maldives expect from their government, which ever it be? Who is responsible? What are the consequences? Who is to be at lose here? How many more Ambulance Launches are out there on how many jetties in how many Islands?

Before we go about calling "Gaumah takaa, Dheenah Takaa" there are much more serious issues we need to attend to. Call for a "one nation", a more responsible one, that is corruption free and one that is more considerate towards its people.
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