Do we need to change the way we think about Charities?

Very interesting point of view. I’ve heard of this type of talk before, and I’ll be honest, it sort of makes me queasy.

Do I really want a charity to operate more like a for-profit corporation? I see how some non-profits like United Way and Habitat for Humanity operate, and wonder how much of that is based on real giving, and how much is corporate bureaucracy and greed, with a hint of feel good factor?

Perhaps he has a point?

 

Left Wanting… for Leadership!

If you have been paying attention to the current events in Trinidad and Tobago recently, you would know that many controversies surrounding the current administration. From Reshmi Ramnarine and to the Section 34 fiasco, with many incidents in-between, this administration looks no different, even worse, than the last one.

The current brouhaha has to do with the highway to Point Fortin. There’s a group who call themselves the Highway Re-Route movement who is protesting a particular section of that highway. More particularly, is the link between Debe and Mon Desir. The group claims that this link will disrupt many communities as well as cause irreparable environmental harm. The group has called for a cessation of that link construction, and an independent review of that highway link including a cost-benefit analysis, a hydrology analysis and an social impact analysis. I also doubt that it includes a proper environmental impact assessment.

The government has not been very forthcoming with that information, and as such the protesters have held their resistance, culminating with their leader, Dr. Kublalsingh, going on a hunger strike. At the time of writing, it is now day 13 of the hunger strike.

His actions have been slammed by many, some going as far as wishing that he dies, so that the highway can continue. No matter how much I may disagree with someone’s views, I have never wished that they died because of it. To me this is a really sad, sad reflection on our society. But the saddest part has been the response of the top members of the government.

Here we have people, who we assumed to be the greatest examples of leadership in our country, instead of addressing issues and encouraging debate and discussions about the facts, they choose to personally attack and vilify Dr. Kublalsingh. They have debased themselves to spreading rumors and lies and trying to sully the character of the goodly doctor. And even worse is to hear the mindless people repeat exactly what they have been told.

I will admit that I have not bought into Dr. Kublalsingh’s cause, nor do I know if he has ulterior motives and what they may be, but I admire his strength and determination to fight for it. He has maintained, for the most part, his composure (except when he cursed the Minister of Health). But have yet to hear him personally attack, vilify, spread rumors and lies, or try to sully any of the characters of the people in government.

It is unfortunate that the people we expect the most from that we get the least. We do need leaders like Dr. Kublalsingh, and it is a pity that there’s none of his ilk in the Government. It is hard to not feel disenfranchised.

My Second

On October 14th, 2009, my second child – Vinaya Priya Ganpat, another girl – was born… 12 weeks early. One of the most terrifying moments in my life (and my wife’s)! Thankfully, she came out of it okay, and after spending 5 weeks in the Neonatal ICU, she came home. She’s good now, and I only now consider that she’s been born (her original due date was January 2nd, 2010).

Here are some pictures from soon after she was born, to where she is eleven weeks after.


One week after birth


Eleven weeks after birth

Everyone says that she’s a fighter. One thing for sure is that she’s very strong, especially her lungs… she has a incredibly loud cry!

In Loving Memory of Pa

Pinjare Ke Panchhi Re, Tera Dadr Na Jaane Koe (2)

Kaha Na Sake Tu, Apani Kahani
Teri Bhi Panchhee, Kya Zindagaani Re
Vidhi Ne Teri Katha Likhi Aansu Mein Kalam Duboe
Tera Dard …

Chupake Chupake, Rone Vaale
Rakhana Chhupaake, Dil Ke Chhale Re
Ye Patthar Ka Desh Hain Pagale, Yahaan Koi Na Tera Hoy
Tera Dard …

*********************

The bird in the cage, no one knows your pain
You can not say, your story
Yours also, oh bird, what kind of life you lead
The Lord wrote your story by dipping the pen in tears
No one knows your pain

Silently silently, the crying one
Keep hidden, the lie of the heart
This country is of stone, oh crazy one, there is no one of yours
No one knows your pain

Pinjre Ke Panchhi Re – Naag Mani(1957)
Singer – Kavi Pradeep
 

My grandfather used to sing this song all the time. Well he used to sing a lot of songs, but this is one that I mostly remember. Sadly, he passed away shortly after the 80th birthday. He said that he wouldn’t live to see 81, but almost every year for the past 20 or so years he would always think it would be the last. I just so happens he was right this time.

Although Pa used to drive people crazy with his antics, I will surely miss him. Hope he’s somewhere where everyone appreciates his singing.

Munmun Parsan
Sunrise: 26th August 1929
Sunset: 10th September 2009

Happy Independence Day!

Well actually, yesterday was our Independence Day anniversary, 31st August. After 47 years of independence we have a lot to be thankful for, but a lot more to yearn. There lacks a general sense of patriotism within the country.

Now Trinidad and Tobago did not win our independence, rather it was given to us freely, without a fight; so I believe that this is a big part of the lack of patriotism among the people. Without patriotism there is no sense of country or ownership – we do not see this as our country, just a place that we live in.

We have so much crime, corruption and selfishness all around us. Within the government party politics trumps the benefit and the good of the people. URP, CEPEP and a variety of government run institutions all keep thousands of people in a dependence and entitlement mentality. Can we really and truly call ourselves independent?

We deserve better! Time to free our minds and become truly independent!

Trinidad and Tobago Flag

Trinidad and Tobago Flag

Recession on hold until after carnival

The Central Bank governor is saying that Clico is in a far bigger mess than what they thought, which has led to CL Financial sources saying that the CBTT is being harsh to them. I say that CL Financial got themselves into this mess and not the governor.

What is surprising to me is the lack of real concern by the masses of the turn of events. There was much brouhaha after the press conference announcing the buyout conditions for CL Financial by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago (GoRTT), but that has died down tremendously. I think that people only have Carnival in their heads and not taking on the goings on with CL Financial, but wait till Carnival finish and they have no money to buy everything that they are accustomed to.

My little bundle of joy…

Certain is it that there is no kind of affection so purely angelic as of a father to a daughter. In love to our wives there is desire; to our sons, ambition; but to our daughters there is something which there are no words to express.

Joseph Addison 1672 – 1719

My baby girl, Sanjana Renuka Ganpat, was born on 21st August 2008. It was a bit tough going there for a bit, but thankfully both mom and baby got through it okay.

And now the real tough part begins… bring it on!

See more pictures in the photo gallery.

In Loving Memory of Uncle Prem

“You doh know that if Robinson couldn’t close he leg, he woulda fall through he asshole!”

Uncle Preman referring to former President and Prime-Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, A.N.R. Robinson.
25th December 2007.

 

Deonarine Parsan
Sunrise: 14th March 1951
Sunset: 27th January 2008

 

One of my best uncles passed away this weekend. Deonarine “Preman” Parsan passed away on the night of Sunday 27th January. Born way back on 14th March 1951, he leaves to mourn his wife – Tara – , three children – Sunil, Sunita and Kavita – and four grand-children – Jerome, Joshua, Vinda and Atma – as well as his mother and father, brother and sisters, nephews and nieces, and numerous friends.

He was always the life of the party and you could always depend on him for a laugh with his numerous jokes and antics.

He will be sorely missed.

It is ironic that I said to myself that this year I would keep more in touch with my family and friends. It just goes to show that the time to start anything is now, because you never know, you could be here today, and gone tomorrow.


Uncle Prem and his animated antics on Christmas Day 2004.


Uncle Prem (left) and my Dad at my wedding reception on April 12th 2003.

You can find more photos in my photo gallery.

New Year, Same Shit…

The new year has come, but besides trying to remember to now write 2008 instead of 2007, nothing has changed.

The murder rate has started with a nice even figure of four for the year, so we are have started on the way of setting a new record. The assistant commissioner of police is trying to dispute the murder figure of 396 by saying the newspapers have it wrong and that if we take away the manslaughter figures you end up with 384. Phew! What a big difference that makes; that figure makes everything okay now. Oh for fuck’s sake, accept that you didn’t do your fucking job and do something about it. This trying to smooth everything to make it sound better may fool some of he people, but believe me, people are getting real fed up of the shit.

So this year what would I like to see:

  • Better police enforcement from to smallest crime up. So charge the PH drivers, the CD and DVD pirates and the litterers. Working to ensure the lawlessness stops will help.
  • A more efficient judicial system. This thing about waiting years for the trial to start have to end. By the time trial starts you can’t find the witnesses or people memories get fuzzy; heck my mind gets fuzzy after a week far worse for two or three years.
  • The enforcement of the death penalty. Contrary to what many people are saying, there can be no return of the death penalty because it never went anywhere. It is still the highest form of capital punishment and it is required by law that a person convicted of first degree murder be sentenced to death; it just has not been enforced.
  • A stronger agricultural sector. For a small country like ours, with many families starting out with farming and agriculture, should not have to paying through our nose for produce far less having to import food. Come on people, we will not be able to eat bricks and drink oil to survive.
  • Government spending our money wisely. While I will quicker see Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny playing poker at the Tooth Fairy’s house than see the government of Trinidad and Tobago manage the country’s finances effectively and efficiently, I will still wish it.
  • People having a better understanding and appreciation of the environment. Once they do, they would understand why we need to do all we can to protect it.
  • People learning to respect all life and not see other animals as “dumb”
    or “lower”. I’m pretty sure that if aliens were to come down here and
    treat us like how we treat other animals, we won’t like it.
  • People just being more courteous to each other. I think this will solve a lot of our problems.

While I don’t expect these things to happen, I can always hold on to the belief that it can. And maybe I can also convince myself and a few others than they can help cause these things to happen. Whoa, what a wonderful thing that will be.

Jury Service and Religion

Well I am on Jury Service and I will say that the experience is not as bad as I expected. First I must say that I have not been selected for the jury as yet; I was not one of the lucky ones. But the the initial part was intriguing and I am all for new experiences.

So anyway, there was one thing that came up during the selection, and that was an application for exemption from Jury Service. This particular individual’s application was that their religion does not allow for their participation as a juror. Now I have heard about this before about Jehovah’s Witnesses, but I was not sure if this particular individual was one. The argument is that they are not supposed to cast judgment, only God is to do that.

Now I question this thinking. Yes God will cast judgment and yada yada, but do we trust all judgment to him (or her). Is this really rational thinking, not that religion was rational to begin with, but really? If God is to do all judgment, then why bother with anything like policing or an entire judicial system? I mean, what is the purpose of it all if we aren’t supposed to do anything to the criminals. It would be interesting to see a world run by people with the belief system, but then there shouldn’t be crime if everyone believed the same thing, wouldn’t it?

Still, at the risk of pissing off some people, I still thing the thinking is skewed, but then they shouldn’t be judging me right?