Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
Sri Lanka way more charitable than India

India ranks 91st among the most ‘giving’ nations; Asians become more charitable

Despite all the atrocities and human rights abuses that Sri Lanka is infamous for, it definitely beats the largest democracy by being more charitable. That is what a study by Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) says. According to its report—‘World Giving Index 2011’—India occupies the 91st position whereas her neighbour holds the 8th position on the list.

But India has improved considerably. “India has indeed experienced a marked rise up the World Giving Index rankings, from 134th to 91st place. There was 14% growth in ‘giving money’, a 9% rise in ‘helping a stranger’ and a growth of six percentage points in ‘volunteering time’,” said a press release of CAF India. Even Pakistan has shown considerable improvement in all the areas.

Out of the 153 nations studied, USA is the most charitable, followed by Ireland and Australia—which held the top position along with New Zealand last year. The World Giving Index shows that the world has become a more charitable place in the last year—with a 2% increase in the global population ‘helping a stranger’ and a 1% increase in people volunteering. However, the worldwide financial turmoil has led to 1% fewer people giving money to a charity than in 2010.

Even though it occupied the 9th position on the list, Thailand has most people giving money than the others, with 85% of the population making at least one donation per month. The UK is second, with 79%, and Ireland and the Netherlands jointly third with 75%.

Turkmenistan has the 61% of the population ‘volunteering time’. Second is Liberia, 48%, and third is Sri Lanka, 46%. The largest increase in the percentage of population ‘giving money’ has been in Asia, with an increase of 9% in South Eastern Asia and an increase of 10% in Southern Asia.

According to the study, the most commonplace giving behaviour in 2011 was ‘helping a stranger’. Almost half the global population (47%) helps a stranger in a typical month. In comparison, fewer than three out of ten people ‘give money to charity’ (29%) or ‘volunteer time’ (21%) each month. The global average of the three giving behaviours in 2011 was 32.4%, compared to 31.6% in 2010.

Among the top ten givers are New Zealand, UK, Canada, the Netherlands, Thailand and Lao People’s Democratic Republic. The least charitable nation on the list is Madagascar.

Giving money to charity is growing faster among the oldest age groups. Helping strangers, meanwhile, is becoming more common among those of middle age. 30% of women donated money, while 29% of men did the same.




6 years ago

Most of the people , when asked about Lanka , talk about LTTE and The Tamil Struggle for Independence. They would never connect Lanka with charity.

Share prices still on a minor uptrend: Friday Closing Report

Nifty still has some strength to reach 4,805 but the move will be volatile

The market pared all the gains made in the morning session and settled lower on brisk selling in blue-chip stocks by institutional investors in the second half of trade. Yesterday we had mentioned that the Nifty may see range-bound movement with an upward bias to the level of 4,805. Today the index again managed to leap ahead with a higher high and keep itself above yesterday’s low. However, the benchmark fell by 20 points on a lower volume of 52.22 crore shares on the National Stock Exchange (NSE). If the Nifty is able to make a higher low, it may reach 4,805, or else it may fall to the level of 4,670.

The market opened higher on the back of positive global cues. Wall Street closed in the green for a third straight day on Thursday after data showed weekly unemployment claims fell to their lowest in three-and-half years. The positive economic data supported gains in Asia in morning trade today. The Nifty resumed trade at 4,763, a gain of 29 points over its previous close, and the Sensex added 50 points to start the day at 15,863. Capital goods, realty, banking, metal and oil & gas stocks witnessed buying interest in early trade.

The indices hit their intraday highs within the first few minutes of the opening bell with the Nifty touching 4,763 and the Sensex scaling 15,911. However, intense volatility kept a tap on the gains with the indices trading sideways till noon.

A huge bout of institutional selling in heavyweights stocks in the post-noon session saw the market giving up all its gains and enter the negative terrain. Telecom stocks were under pressure after the department asked mobile service providers to discontinue 3G roaming arrangements.

The market continued to fluctuate in the negative territory despite the European markets trading in the green. The indices touched the day’s low in late trade with the Nifty going down to 4,693 and the Sensex falling to 15,671.

The advance-decline ratio on the NSE was 937:746.

Among the broader indices, the BSE Mid-cap index added 0.07% and the BSE Small-cap index jumped 1.07%.
The sectoral gainers were BSE Capital Goods (up 0.66%); BSE Auto (up 0.23%); BSE Realty (up 0.12%) and BSE FMCG (up 0.09%). The top losers were BSE Consumer Durables (down 1.15%); BSE Oil & Gas (down 1.05%); BSE Bankex (down 1.04%); BSE PSU (down 0.65%) and BSE Metal (down 0.42%).

Wipro (up 2.17%); BHEL (up 1.91%); Hindustan Unilever (up 0.83%); Tata Motors (up 0.52%) and Maruti Suzuki (up 0.38%) were the key gainers on the Sensex. The leading losers were NTPC (down 3.27%); DLF (down 2.23%); Jaiprakash Associates (down 2.01%); Tata Steel (down 1.81%) and Bajaj Auto (down 1.47%).

The top stocks on the Nifty were Siemens (up 2.35%); BHEL (up 2.15%); Grasim (up 2.04%); Wipro (up 1.92%) and Sesa Goa (up 0.97%). On the other hand, Ranbaxy (down 4%); NTPC (down 3.09%); Reliance Communications (down 2.99%); BPCL (down 2.97%) and IDFC (down 2.66%) were the major losers on the index.

The market settled lower, snapping its two-day gaining streak, on institutional selling in the second half of trade. The Nifty closed with a loss of 20 points at 4,714 and the Sensex settled 75 points down at 15,739.

The Asian pack closed higher, taking support from the positive US economic data, which eclipsed concerns about the European debt crisis. While weekly jobless claims fell to their lowest in three-and-half years last week, consumer confidence rose to a six-month high in December. Trading was low-key in Asia as the Japanese market was closed for a local holiday.

The Shanghai Composite gained 0.85%; the Hang Seng surged 1.37%; the Jakarta Composite added 0.04%; the KLSE Composite gained 0.31%; the Straits Times climbed 0.44%; the Seoul Composite advanced 1.07% and the Taiwan Weighted jumped 2.07%. The Nikkei 225 was closed for trade. At the time of writing, major European indices were trading nearly 1% higher and the US stock futures were trading in the positive.

Back home, foreign institutional investors were net sellers of stocks totalling Rs236.39 crore on Thursday. On the other hand, domestic institutional investors were net sellers of equities amounting to Rs229.74 crore.

Air-conditioning and commercial refrigeration firm Blue Star today said it is setting up a new plant in Ahmedabad at an initial investment of Rs15 crore and is likely to start production from the facility by the end of this fiscal. The plant will manufacture refrigeration products such as deep freezers, bottle coolers, milk coolers and water coolers. It will have the capacity to manufacture one lakh units annually in the initial phase. The stock closed 1.53% lower at Rs157.25 on the NSE.

Steel-maker Monnet Ispat today said it will buy back shares worth up to Rs100 crore from the open market at a price not exceeding Rs500 apiece. Monnet Ispat said its board cleared the buy-back proposal at a meeting on 22nd December. The stock gained 1.51% to close at Rs363.40 on the NSE.

Orchid Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals today said it has received an initial payment of $1.5 million from Merck as part of drug development collaboration. Under the terms of agreement, Orchid is eligible to receive payments totalling more than $100 million with the achievement of various research and development milestones involving multiple candidates. The stock rose 0.11% to close at Rs140.75 on the NSE.


A tale told by an idiot

There may be more things that are not dreamt of in our philosophy, but none as true as Satyameva Jayate, words spoken through the ages, resonating today. But until we imbibe these words, we can careen along to evermore, creating Lokpals till monuments crumble to dust, and nothing will change

Let me start by saying that no one referred to or alluded to directly or indirectly or even by oblique association in the hereinafter musing is an idiot.

We are all, to paraphrase Marcus Antonius, intelligent men.

So hark, you keepers of public sensitivity, let not loose the dogs of war.
(As a child I was bitten by an Alsatian, and I can assure you I do not wish to relive that experience)

So here we all are, citizens of the republic, gathered to witness the coming of the Lokpal bill. We await this with some impatience now, if the reports are to be believed. And we want this to be enacted into constitutional law with pressing haste, for we all are quite weary, not of the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, for we are a forbearing people, of equanimous and karmic disposition, but we are so tired of corruption, of the venal parasites who worse than vampiric bats suck the life force itself out of the body politic. We want to eradicate this with the same sense of purpose and determination that we used for smallpox and now for polio.

But do we?

The people who will not just pass the enacted laws need also to implement them. And they in all likely probability, though sounds of high dudgeon will be heard at such allusion to their probity and honour, are at the root of the rot.
It will behoove them not to pass such a law which may just come back to be their nemesis.

Or will it?

Even if the laws themselves held the “public servant” to account, who will take up arms against them?

The very system of jurisprudence in this country allows for presumed innocent even if proved guilty. And if you are of the political nobility, the chances of punishment befitting what should be a crime equivalent to treason itself are about as good as a snowflake in Rajasthan in mid-summer.

But we hope that as it was with the discovery of vaccines for many illnesses, in time, even if it takes years, we will be inoculated.

So when I read this piece below which I have reproduced verbatim from Plato’s republic, I was struck by the poignancy of the absurdity of our beliefs. We hope to engineer change by modifying the content of what we do. Change always happens only when the very context alters, a systemic revolution, a paradigm shift, to use the much abused term.
Read the wisdom:

That any kind of mixture that does not in some way or other possess measure of the nature of proportion will necessarily corrupt its ingredients and most of all itself. For there would be no blending in such a case at all but really an unconnected medley, the ruin of whatever happens to be contained in it.

PROTARCHUS: Very true.

SOCRATES: But now we notice that the force of the good has taken up refuge in an alliance with the nature of the beautiful. For measure and proportion manifest themselves in all areas of beauty and virtue.

PROTARCUS: Undeniably.

SOCRATES: But we said that truth is also inclined along with them in our mixture?


SOCRATES: Well, then, if we cannot capture the good in one form, we will have to take hold of it in a conjunction of three: beauty, proportion and truth. Let us affirm that these should by right be treated as a unity and be held responsible for what is in the mixture, for goodness is what makes the mixture good in itself.

(Phlb. 64d-65a)
In the Laws, Plato applies this principle to electing a government in the ideal state: "Conducted in this way, the election will strike a mean between monarchy and democracy”

So here we are almost three millennia later, looking at what should be the context of government. Which is supposed to be about the substance of and the practice of, as Socrates says, Good and Goodness. Good for all, Goodness in all.
How will a bill create this, how will we ensure this?
We do not think about this.

And here is the ultimate irony:
In the seal of the country, the Mission Statement as it were of the Republic Of India, there are these words.
Satyameva Jayate.

 Truth Alone Triumphs.

There may be more things that are not dreamt of in our philosophy, but none as true as these words, words spoken through the ages, resonating today.

But until we imbibe these words, we can careen along to evermore, creating Lokpals till monuments crumble to dust, and nothing will change.

Until then, all of this will just be a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury signifying nothing.

(V Shantakumar is the former chairman & CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi in India and now the managing partner of Doing Think)




6 years ago

I am in total agreement that the Lokpal bill is going to be a whitewash but will hardly result in any convictions. The only way to eradicate corruption is to march not to parliament or fast unto death but to march around a corrupt person and gherao them till they are suffocated with the will of the people. Our voices need to get to the corrupt in a way they can understand. Challenge their near and dear and keep asking them what they believe in. Leave no space for the corrupt in our society. Boycott them and give them no ear. Shame them by their own deeds. It is rightly said that when the gods wish to destroy they first make the opponent angry. Let us use this principle and success will not be far away.

Prakash Bhate

6 years ago

A fitting response to the present MPs will be if only 10-20% are re-elected. There is no point wringing our hands and saying that is not possible. The least we can do is try. Get registered and when the time comes, get out of the living room and vote. Convince at least one more person in your neighbourhood to do the same.


nagesh kini

In Reply to Prakash Bhate 6 years ago

The extremely low voter turnout - only 42% in Mumbai - is the bane of our democracy. Even out of this quite a few at the end of the day can be bogus too.
If any of the present lot of MPs choose to recontest the reply should be vote "None of the above" and campaign for amending the Representation of Peoples Act to include the Rights to Reject and Recall.


6 years ago



6 years ago

The way Lalu was given a chance to lead the house, it all looked orchestrated.The sense of the house resolution in August appeared to be contrived to cheat the civil society leaders.What was conceded , was more than offset by emasculating the Lokpal , by keeping the CBI ,under the thumb of the Govt.


nagesh kini

In Reply to Samar 6 years ago

Team Lalu backed by the desk thumping Congressis is doing in side the House what Team Anna is doing in public ,all sound and fury, theatrics. Nothing positive whatsoever! Nothing to choose between the two set of clowns in a Circus called India!


6 years ago

What I am unable to understand that if Anna is not considered to be a true rep of the civil society, let him be and do things within his own democratic rights. Why is the Govt so worried about his actions ?
They should do what they need to do as their duty to bring a strong lokpal bill.
As for RTI, are there any statistics that show the prosecution and conviction of corrupt and errant officers based on information acquired under RTI Act ?

S Suchindranath Aiyer

6 years ago

The Prathamo Upanishad given by Prajapathi to the Saptha Rishis on the purpose of "Manushya": To create a paradise on Earth on the three pillars of truth (Sathya) , virtue (Shiva) and beauty (Sundara) and within the ambit of the divine law (dharma) of dana (charity), daya (mercy) and damyatha (moderation). Every step Manushya (the immortal spirit) takes towards this brings untold joy. Every step away brings untold misery. This is the very double helix of Aryan Brahmanism: Dharma and Karma.


6 years ago

The national Emblem carries the words "Sathyameva Jayathe".. Where do the words "sathyam Shivam Sundram" appear? May be author would like to correct it. It does not take any value away from the article.

Nagesh Kini FCA

6 years ago

Well said, Mr. Shantakumar.
What is going in the name of Lok Pal to some to Joke Pal to others is nothing but an absolute fraud played by both sides. A case of tale told by not one, two or three, but numerous idiots on the people of India who are now fed up with the empty rhetoric, all sound and fury. The logjam is a sheer waste of precious resources.

We got a well drafted Right to Information Act not drafted by Team Anna or a bevy of neta-babus after seven years of fine tuning.

Now we have a rushed through the parliament, Lok Pal Bill with every one agreeing to disagree with the others and some clauses like inclusion of NGOs just to spite Team Anna,. the flip flop of including the PM and later dropping and now at the last minute again including him, the Quota not demanded by any one, incl. the Committee but thrown in by the government as a red herring . They are all playing to the gallery making no valid sense.
It is best to put the Bill it up to sustained public debate de novo by consensus and then to a reconstituted Parliamentary Standing Committee where the public from across the country are invited to express their views and suggestions - in the present Committee 2 never attended even a single meeting, 17 gave notes of dissent and a minority of 11 submits a Report that in the first place is not at all representative of the people.
The MPs thumping and shouting, disrupting the proceedings can not debate a well drafted Bill.
Having waited for 42 long years a few months to get a finely tuned Bill is worth the while. Not one rushed through just to satisfy certain egos or to remove the gun pointed to the head on a basis of I'm always right and you are not. Not that the Supreme MPs above board.
We first need amendments to the Representation of Peoples Act to usher in the Rights to Reject and Recall and bolster the Prevention of Corruption Act by giving it more teeth so also to all the Constitutional authorities like the CAG, CVC, CIC and Regulators like the SEBI, RBI, IRDA, TRAI with sweeping powers to jail the guilty.The Lok Pal can wait.

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