Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Elderly and Bangalore

I see a pathetic sight in Bangalore...a struggling elderly population with very little or minimal support systems and if one were to drive through the city at any point of the day or night you see at least one elderly person in doldrums silently asking for help but none sensitive to the situation.

This happens in the bus stands and railway stations and at pedestrian crossings. Are we an ill-educated city not sensitive to yearnings around.

It is high time that a general awareness is created in the populace and also governmental mechanisms respond to such situations in a be-fitting manner. Let me suggest at least 06 mechanisms that could be put in place to make the city a more age friendly place;

1. The police force of all kinds must during their duty at various points enlighten themselves to be proactive when they see elderly people in the city and respond to any imminent need.

2. The general public must be aware of being empathetic if not concerned and do within their ambit some support that an elderly entity might need when they are spotted in the public.

3.The BMTC buses where ever feasible could pick up an elderly person from any point of the road and not necessarily from bus stops. The staff must be ingrained of this necessity and the same carried out. A case study could be a mid-afternoon and an elderly person stranded mid way between bus stops and a relatively empty bus passing that way fails to do what it should..pick up the person from the spot.

4. Auto rickshaw drivers could do their bit by providing fee lifts where ever possible.

5. Conduct a survey to find out the reasons why the elderly have to move out of their habitats into a risky environment and create a hot line so that their needs could be met up-front and they need not move into town.

6. Whenever you see an elderly person in the bus do everything possible to share the seat with him or her whatever the situation may be.

Let us not be a heartless city in these modern times of economic chaos and growth so much so that we don't care for the demands of frailties around and let this city be a model for such initiatives for all cities across the globe.


Sunday, February 5, 2012


The description of Bangalore is incomplete , if one does not talk or write about the IISc also called the TATA Institute. Wrapped some where in this edifice is the essentials of his city , its heritage.its global nature, its aura; its class;its munificence; its professional and technological temper and above every thing else its wherewithal to act as a guiding force and principle for other cities in the world and the country . This institute acts as a pedestal from which one can see what the past of this city was like and what the psyche of its many participants comprised and what was their vision for the foundation and growth of not just Bangalore alone but also humanity as a whole .

The IISc has its roots in the cumulative action from three sources......The king of Mysore Krishna Rajendra Wodeyar...The British intelligentsia....J N Tata the founder of TATA sons. Iam yet to understand fully what acted as the driving force in the setting up of such an institute and it appears to me it is the largely scientific dynamism of these times and many Indian nationals taking not just to scientific pursuits but also making it as a way of life. What makes the IISc unique....firstly it is the older of the institutions in the country..secondly it was designated for purely scientific purposes...and thirdly more than anything else was the only institute in the country where stalwarts of the early 1900's in science from around the world converged and submerged in scientific thought and counted it as one befitting to be so.

What I like about IISc is its partly Victorian aura seen in bits and pieces as one travels through the institute intermingled with modern day buildings and the general temper of a scientific institution intact. IISc puts the city of Bangalore at par with the more evolved cities of the world almost instantly and creates a deep rooted common heritage that these cities have and had in common. IISc has been some kind of a knowledge center and is constantly talking and deliberating in an open environment various facets of science both emerging and stagnant an activity that would engender and create more knowledge minded people for the future and I hold this institute to be a single entity that has shaped intelligent people from various domains.

What is my association with the IISc...more informal than formal. There was a time in my life when I used to visit this institute with fair regularity and check upon the lists displayed if there is any lecture in the offing irrespective of departments and have attended many of these sessions thereby enriching myself on several fronts. I used to meet some of the academia of the institute whom I used to know ..Mr. Lawrence Jenkins , Mr. Narahari of the school of Automation and Gopi Garge at times.

IISc must be facing the challenges of modern times; its foundations being largely envisaged as a scientific institution focusing on basic sciences in the 1920's into the industrial era which demanded engineering professionals to a present day era governed by business and its demands...subjects that were studied in isolation in the past, today seem to be integrating and grouping in various forms on the platform of business in a globalized back-drop. Multi-disciplinary integration would be a key challenge for such institutes in the future that would concern basic human problems of locomotion; communication and livelihood on a large scale.

How to reach IISc...If you are at the Bangalore airport take a Taxi or a Volvo bus that would take you to the Sadashivanagar police station and the institute is walkable distance from this point. People in this part of the world know IISc more as the "TaTa Institute" and use this nomenclature if need be and both mean the same. The institute must be some 20kms from the airport. Note that Mekhri Circle is also a land mark fairly close to the institute.

If you are at the Bangalore Bus terminal from platform 20 there is a bus 276 which comes to the institute and must be a half an hour drive.