Dreams have no limits and dreaming is an easy task. The hard part is working it out and making the dreams alive. All of us dream and very few are able to keep their dreams alive. Do you have a dream you've given up on or are you close to giving up your dream? Well, before making a decision to quit, take a few minutes to consider what that means.

We all have hopes and dreams. Some people dream small while some dream big. Some of us who won't allow our self to be disappointed and refuse to fail at anything. But unfortunately we also refuse to challenge our self and because of that, we'll probably never achieve something truly great. Nothing great ever came easy. We dream in vivid color and big pictures. The downside to dreaming big, though, is we face huge obstacles every day. Those obstacles threaten to knock us back, steal our momentum, and break our spirit. Sometimes we just want to throw our hands up and walk away; we want to just quit the whole thing. In that exact moment two types of people are made: those who give up, and those who keep clawing, scratching, and scraping until they achieved their dreams. 

If you want to be the individual who keeps clawing, scratching, and scraping, here are some thoughts to keep in mind along your journey. Hopefully they will provide some encouragement in those times when your dream seems out of reach.

SELF BELIEF: The only way we will ever achieve our dreams is to really, truly believe in our self. Self belief doesn't mean that we simply fool the rest of the world, projecting confidence and self-assurance in public. Self belief runs much deeper than that. It means every night when our body touches the mattress; we have a smile on our face. An inner voice should come out saying that I did everything possible to follow my dreams from the moment I woke until those last moments before sleep. Again in the morning, we must say to our self, "Today might be the day I am finally going to achieve my dream." And we must mean it. Unless we really mean it, unless we really believe that, we've already defeated ourselves, we can’t achieve. So don't allow any room for doubt as a half-effort will only get us to the halfway only.

POSITIVE ATTITUDE: The road to achieving our dreams will certainly be a thorny and rocky one. Nothing worth doing is ever simple or easy. But if we keep a positive outlook, we'll overcome hurdles and roadblocks. Never consider the roadblocks which we encounter as dream-ending catastrophes. If someone tries to knock us down or tell us that our dream is too far out of reach, smile and thank them for their thoughts. Always keep a good distance from such type of negative attitude people. Normally when people get frustrated or depressed, they get hung up on little issues which gradually develops into big time wasters. Always keep our spirits high and avoid the company of negative, defeatist personalities.

INCLUDE EVERY DAY. Get in the habit of thinking about the dreams every day. This doesn't mean day dreaming or staring into space. This simply means staying focused on the dream and moving atleast a small step towards the goal. The more comfortable we get with thinking about our goals and dreams every day, the easier it will become to fit a daily step into our schedule. 

FIX LONG TERM AND SHORT TERM GOALS. Make a list of all the important steps we need to accomplish on the way to achieving our dreams. Classify the steps into long term and short term goals. Consistently revisit that list on during the journey. Tick off the goals as you accomplish them. This is a great motivator as well. Once we see how much progress we're making, we'll begin to realize how achievable our dream really is. Everything is easier to accomplish when broken down into pieces. So chunk one big dream into ten little dreams and then we will realize that grasping the big dream is much easier as earlier pursued.

GET INSPIRED. It encourages us knowing that others have traveled a similar path and got to the end. Find inspiration in others who have achieved similar dreams before. Their success can spur us to keep focused and working. Books written by great peoples about their life experiences can reveal us about the secrets to their success. We can also apply some of their lessons to our own experiences which can be very inspirable for fulfilling our dreams. 

FOCUS ON PROGRESS: Practice makes a man perfect is all that we are hearing from decades. One thing is true with practice that it always makes progress. If we keep practicing at anything we'll get better at it. Perfection is an unrealistic standard. Don't let your progress go in vain by focusing on perfection. Each day, work towards honing a skill that will help to achieve your dreams. That may mean taking a course, joining a club, or finding a like-minded group to practice with. Those around us will help inspire the desire to practice and improve. 

SELF MOTIVATION: Self-motivation can be difficult, but it is absolutely essential if we want to keep moving towards our dreams. Nobody knows us better than our SELF. Formulate a habit of acknowledging your achievements daily. Catalogue all the achievements of the day and mentally built up the confidence that we can achieve whatever we want to achieve in our life
Take the journey in achieving the dreams as a fun part. Don't ever let anyone tell you your dreams are too big or too unrealistic. The biggest obstacle in achieving the desired dreams is the lack of comprehensive commitment. Total dedication is needed in every sphere of life. Our dreams may end up in smoke and signify nothing if not followed up with positive and consistent action which produces real results. So whenever we want to achieve something big, just pack up the bags and start the journey towards success. 




On the verge of penury, a poor man gets a new leash of life when he comes to know that he is rich by three and a half lakh rupees.

Moosa, an illiterate Mazdoor, who toiled for electricity department for 15-20 years as a DRM, and finally got regularised a couple of years before his retirement was surviving hand to mouth in a small hut in Nayapuram. He had commenced construction of a small house with whatever he got as his retirement benefits. With the onset of monsoon and empty pocket, he realised that he could neither complete his shelter nor feed his family. 

A shy and introvert by nature, Moosa did not approach anybody. Most of his life, with a family of seven members, he was habituated to survive on peanuts. But this time, his concern was the half-complete house under construction and the dilapidated state of his hut.  

With no other option left, he decided to approach Humane Touch, a voluntary organisation working in his neighbourhood, which had constructed a house for a poor family last year. He sought their help in completing the construction work. They did go and see Moosa’s house. They were shocked to learn that a man who had been in service could not even complete construction of his house. They enquired about the retirement benefits. 

When Moosa informed Abdul Razak, President Humane Touch, Nayapuram and Abdul Aziz, Secretary that he had got Rs 160000/- as retirement benefits, when superannuated on 31st July 2010, both of them were surprised. All the money went into the construction work. They asked Moosa to show his service records. On verification, they found out that Moosa had been paid only leave encashment and GPF. His gratuity and commutation of pension was due, which he was unaware of. His monthly pension was yet to start.

Moosa was unable to explain. He had satisfied himself that his regular service was for a short period and was totally ignorant about the benefits he was entitled to. Aziz could not take anymore. He took the papers and approached the pay and accounts department and account section of Electricity department. 

The system got activated and in a matter of ten days, the whole issue was settled. He got his gratuity, commutation of pension and his arrears of monthly pension up to May 2011. He got a cheque of Rupees Three Lakhs Seventy Five Thousand.

It is not a sin in our system to wait eternally for the benefits to reach the susceptible and illiterate labour force, but it is a sin of great magnitude to keep someone in ignorance and darkness about the service benefits. 

Our efficiency does not lie in serving the upper crest of the society, but by taking care of those who lie in the lower level of our social strata.

If Moosa had not approached the NGO, or the NGO had not approached the department, the family, already in destitution would not have even known that a huge amount was lying somewhere due to the indifference or negligence of some officers. It is still a mystery why the poor man was kept in dark about the benefits he was entitled to. 

The intervention by Humane Touch at the right time made Moosa richer by three lakh rupees. The construction work has started again and will be complete in a couple of weeks. Moosa is a satisfied man now, who was unbelievably saved from the brink of indigence.




Today is World No Tobacco Day (also popularly known as World Tobacco Day, and Anti Tobacco Day). It is observed worldwide on 31st May every year to encourage tobacco users to abstain from consumption of all forms of tobacco. The primary objective behind observing the day was to enlighten people about the deadly components of tobacco and its repercussions, awareness to draw people’s attention about the negative effects of tobacco.
Seminars and events on World Tobacco Day are organized by health organizations and governments while emphasizing on punch lines and pictures to persuade people to quit consuming tobacco permanently. Creating and distributing brochures, posters, fliers, press releases, websites and videos are also considered an integral part of the World No Tobacco Day. 

In our Islands too, World No Tobacco Day will be celebrated in varied ways with great zeal. DHS and local NGO’s will organize camps and events on this occasion to apprise people of early death and other ill-effects of consuming tobacco.

Consumption of Tobacco in India

• There are almost 275 million tobacco users in India.
• Over one-third of adults (age 15+) use some form of tobacco, including almost half of men (48 percent) and 20 percent of women.
• Among youth (age 13-15), 4 percent smoke cigarettes and almost 12 percent use other types of tobacco products.
• Bidis, cheap hand-rolled cigarettes, are the most popular tobacco product used in India.
• Bidis comprise 48 percent of the tobacco market, chewing tobacco 38 percent and cigarettes 14 percent.
Health consequences: India 

• About 1 million Indians die from tobacco-related diseases each year in India.
• Among youth (age 13-15), 27% are exposed to secondhand smoke at home and 40% are exposed to secondhand smoke in public places.

The Global Adult Tobacco Survey found out that 35 percent of Indian adults use tobacco in some form or the other. Most unfortunately, 35 percent adult Indians use tobacco of which, 80 percent are men and 20 percent women. Of the 35 percent, 26 percent men and women use chewing tobacco and only nine percent smoke cigarettes.
The tobacco users with cancer, 80 percent was caused by chewing tobacco while only 20 percent due to cigarette use as per the survey. The Global Adult Tobacco Survey was the "biggest ever" in India conducted in 28 states and two union territories with technical cooperation from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and full funding by the Indian health ministry.
Tobacco use and smoking are very dangerous addictions which commonly cause a wide variety of diseases, cancer and death. The vast majority of tobacco users and smokers are hooked when they are children. During this time period they are easily influenced by peer pressure and advertising. Once hooked, the majority of tobacco users become hopelessly addicted. 

More than 5 million children living today will die prematurely because of a decision they will make as adolescents---the decision to use tobacco and smoke cigarettes. Our Islands are also not so far behind in this list. Tobacco use(pan) is very common in our Islands and children starts consuming tobacco from very tender age ignoring its ill effect. A massive awareness drive is required for sensitizing people about the ill effects associated with the consumption of tobacco products. Adolescent use of smokeless tobacco is constantly on the rise, with some users starting when they are only nine or ten years old. 
World No Tobacco day is only a day, an opportunity and no different than yesterday or tomorrow, what’s important is to take a positive decision towards quitting tobacco. This decision won’t be that difficult. Lets hope for zero tobacco users in our islands.  
Reference: www.tobaccofreecenter.org  

COMPLIED BY: BENCY JOY(PHD SCHOLAR IN PSYCHOLOGY)


World Environment Day was first celebrated on 5th June in 1972, and has since become an important vehicle through which the UN stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and encourages political attention and action. In the face of continuing deforestation (currently estimated at 5.2 million hectares worldwide per year) nothing could have been more pertinent than this year’s theme of ‘Forests: Nature at Your Service’ which underscores the intrinsic link between quality of life and the health of forests. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has named India, for the first time, as the global host of World Environment Day 2011 on June 5, for “embracing the process of a transition to a Green Economy.”
 
Environment is what we live in and breathe in. It is as much of our own creation as it is of nature. 
 
The five sacred elements which make the environment live-able are water, air, fire, earth, and our spirit or senses. Our relationship with them helps us to live in harmony with nature and in peace with ourselves. Air, which is so essential to survive, represents our mind and knowledge. Fire symbolizes energy of the sun as well as of our bodies, which should be used for healing and protection and not for destruction. Clean and pure water is sacred to life and is like our emotions which can cleanse with love or devastate with rage. Earth nourishes life and stands for our bodies and we must take care of mother earth as we take care of our bodies.
 
Our senses or spirit represent our core values of ethics and responsibility as protectors of the earth and her people. This circle of the elements of life helps us to remember to consider the whole, and not merely, a part of a problem or solution.
Alas! We seem to have lost our minds, dissipated our energies, ruined our emotions, ravaged our bodies and torn our moral fibre beyond repair. Why else (in our insatiable greed) would we turn the free bounties of nature into sale-able commodities, and ravage its treasures like marauders? 
 
Life became possible on earth because it had an atmosphere conducive to sustain living beings. But for us it became the proverbial goose which laid just one golden egg each day, enough for its owners to live comfortably. Greed overpowered common sense and we killed the goose to get all the gold at one go. This has left us gasping for fresh clean air and panting for clear drinking water, let alone other basic necessities of life. 
 
Of course, we love to talk of global warming, climate change, carbon foot prints and bio diversity, but care two hoots about protecting our forest and now, even, agricultural lands. We love to construct special economic zones over fertile land. Industry wants to prosper on empty stomachs. As for our green cover, we do not mind recklessly pulling down trees to make way for broader roads, and bigger residential/commercial establishments. How does it matter to us if our summers are becoming hotter and winters cooler? We have our cooling and heating gadgets in place and to hell with the majority of those who cannot afford them. We systematically pollute and deplete our natural water resources, and then cling proudly to our bottled mineral water. We have also created exclusive oxygen parlours where one can breathe fresh air for a price. So, as traders we are par excellence, and having corporatized the free gifts of nature, we are bleeding her to death.
 
A love for our environment cannot be created merely by introducing Environmental Education as a compulsory subject in schools. It has to become a way of life to be inculcated from infancy through the influence of family and society. Only if we could encourage our children to love and appreciate nature as much as the laptop and iPod; help them to realize the importance of trees by making them plant and nurture at least one; teach them to conserve resources by simply turning off the fan, light, tap when not in use; instill in them the dignity of labour by making them do small household chores; develop their taste buds to savour delicious but healthy food; and teach them to be sensitive by loving, sharing, and caring for others!!
 
As far as the fifth element of senses is concerned, actions and not rhetoric are needed. Only if we can change (in letter and spirit) the ‘i’ in the word happiness to ‘y’, then You will gain precedence over I, your concern will be above mine, and all will become fine with the world.
 
On this World Environment Day let us do our bit to improve the surroundings in which we are living, by being a little more loving, a shade less angry, a bit more tolerant, and a pinch less arrogant in our actions and behaviour. Coupled with this, small individual actions like tree-planting drives, community clean-ups, car-free days, outdoor nature trips, saying no to tobacco and smoking, will go a long way in making our blue planet green. (CNS)
 
Shobha Shukla - CNS
 
(The author is the Editor of Citizen News Service (CNS). She is a J2J Fellow of National Press Foundation (NPF) USA. She is also the Director of CNS Gender Initiative and CNS Diabetes Media Initiative (CNS-DMI). She has worked earlier with State Planning Institute, UP. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., website: http://www.citizen-news.org)




(CNS): As Philip Morris International (PMI) executives heralded the corporation's USD 27 billion revenues in 2010 at its annual shareholders' meeting, another not-so-welcome account of the corporation's activities was distributed to shareholders. Corporate Accountability International released a report called "Philip Morris International Exposed: Alternative Annual Report," documenting the human toll of PMI's profits and the range of tactics employed to grease the wheels for such earnings – tactics ranging from hiding behind front groups to litigation and intimidation of national governments.

"There may be 89 pages in PMI's annual report from which shareholders can judge this corporation's performance," said Gigi Kellett, Challenging Big Tobacco campaign director for Corporate Accountability International. "But to truly understand PMI's impact, you have to look at the enormous human costs it leaves off the ledger."

The report, published by Corporate Accountability International, exposes the externalized costs and corruption of the cigarette giant's business:

- Tobacco kills one person every six seconds – nearly 6 million people every year.

- On average, smokers lose 15 years of life and up to half of all smokers will die of tobacco-related causes.

- Tobacco use is leading to higher healthcare costs and lost productivity. Tobacco causes a USD 500 billion global economic drain that is equivalent to nearly USD 74 for each person in the world.

- For every dollar of PMI's revenue this year, health care expenses and productivity loss cost the world economy USD 7.39.

"The death toll is rising not only because PMI aggressively markets a deadly, addictive product, but also because PMI does everything in its power to obstruct tobacco control efforts," explained Bobby Ramakant, spokesperson for Asha Parivar in India and the Network for Accountability of Tobacco Transnationals (NATT). "Its calculations around employing these tactics are all about dollars and cents, but the reality is that cost of the devastating effects of tobacco cannot be measured … individuals across the globe are telling PMI: it's time to stop."

 In conjunction with the report release, advocates from around the country, along with a number of nurses with The Nightingales attended the annual shareholders' meeting to directly challenge CEO Louis Camilleri and PMI for its global abuses, and to tell PMI to "Butt Out of Public Health."

The report called attention to PMI's increasing focus on expanding its markets to developing countries where the tobacco epidemic is taking the greatest toll. Big Tobacco's death toll will rise to eight million people a year by 2030 - with 80 percent of those deaths occurring in the regions it is destructively targeting.

"Those countries, large and small, that refuse to be intimidated, are emboldening others to follow their lead," said Philip Jakpor, spokesperson for Environmental Rights Action in Nigeria and NATT. "PMI has sought to thwart progress, but civil society is standing resolute against their advances."

The global tobacco treaty, entered into force in 2005, provides a roadmap for countries to tackle the tobacco epidemic through a range of tobacco controls, from comprehensive ad bans to smoke-free places. 171 countries have ratified the treaty. Its central provision also safeguards the treaty against tobacco industry interference in public health.

But as the report finds, PMI continues to flaunt the treaty by employing a range of tactics to prevent its lifesaving measures:

- Litigation: Suing for profit, bullying governments. In 2010, PMI mounted legal assaults against countries attempting to pass or implement strong tobacco control measures. The corporation targets small countries with limited resources that may be unable to singlehandedly engage in expensive legal battles, such as Uruguay and Norway.

- Circumventing advertising bans: Selling a deadly product at any cost. PMI and its subsidiaries use marketing tactics that circumvent even the strongest advertising bans and regulations. PMI clearly aims to undermine the intent of these regulations through its the sponsorship of concerts and sporting events, which are particularly attractive to youth.

- Government partnerships: Undermining public health laws. PMI lures customs agencies and other government entities into partnerships, claiming to be part of the public health solution. In 2009, PMI signed an agreement with the Colombian authorities and gave the government USD 200 million to "address issues of mutual interest." In 2010, as part of the 20 year agreement, PMI paid the Columbian government a total of USD 10.6 million.

- Front groups: Poorly disguised efforts to protect profits and influence policy. The tobacco industry often establishes entities that are funded and directed by corporations that act in the interest of industry. In Australia, tobacco corporations are bankrolling a media campaign by the Alliance of Australian Retailers to vocally oppose the government’s move to implement plain packs and to influence public and policymaker’s opinions.

Corporate Accountability International recommends that:

- PMI stop interfering in and obstructing the enactment of countries' health policies that will save lives.

- PMI honor the legally binding WHO FCTC treaty ratified by more than 170 countries.

- PMI stop manipulative marketing targeting children and youth.

- PMI stop using litigious scare tactics to intimidate countries from passing health and marketing policies.

- Governments and civil society continue to stand up to Big Tobacco and implement and enforce provisions protecting public health from industry interference. (CNS)

Report: Philip Morris International's grabbing at straws. Source: Citizen News Service (CNS) | www.citizen-news.org