Human Trafficking – Mysterious Disappearance of Amy Lynn Bradley

March 24th, 1998.

A vacation trip on the Royal Caribbean Cruise, Rhapsody Ship of the Seas, turned into a nightmare for the parents of a 23-year-old.

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Amy Lynn Bradley | Source: amybradley.net

Amy Lynn Bradley, a vibrant woman set off with her parents and brother who decided to explore the international waters, went missing mysteriously. They were travelling to Caribbean, when they found the that she had ‘vanished’ from the Cruise.

According to her family, they had last seen her on the suite’s balcony in the wee hours of morning, March 24th. Some also suspects that she had left the room without her footwear, which meant she wasn’t planning to go anywhere far. Some sources discovered that she carried a packet of cigarettes and lighter too. An eyewitness had seen her with some band members near an elevator later.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation did a thorough study, to realize that she had no intentions of a ‘run away’ as her background of dealing with family and friends were strong. She maintained a satisfied social life.

While the case is still on, seven years after the incident Amy’s parents had sent the FBI a photograph that resembled their daughter from an adult escort website. Over the years many people have reached out claiming to have seen her. She is suspected to have smuggled off the cruise while in Curacao and sold into sexual slavery. One of the witness is an American sailor who visited a brothel in Curacao and supposedly met a girl named ‘Amy Bradley’. Sources say that she had asked for help before business.

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Amy Bradley resembled a woman from an adult escort website | Source: The Throwback News

While the stories, suspects and sightings seems to be endless, Amy Lynn Bradley’s whereabouts are still unknown, 19 years later. The family had launched an extensive investigation, but it did not show any good.

The reward for anyone who finds Amy is $2,50,000 (Quarter of A Million US Dollars). The team is on an extensive search.

 

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Source: Black & Missing Inc.

The missing cases and ‘vanishing’ of women around the globe has increased drastically over the years. According to the Black and Missing Inc. the highest number of missing cases are of Whites, 57% and the lowest number are of Indians, 1%. The highest number of cases in the United States have eventually led to conclusions that ended up in brothels and being victims of human trafficking.  

3,287 people are kidnapped, sold or smuggled into sexual slavery everyday. Which is 136 per hour. These are supposedly just the reported cases. Many among these cannot be solved understanding the reach of the largest market in the world. According to F4C Org, the profits made by global sex trade market shoots to $32 billion dollars.

Children, women and men are trafficked within their countries and international borders. On investigation office’s table lies the bundle of slavery cases that remains unsolved because of the difficulty to track down these markets across the globe.

The UN Office of Drugs and Crime states that it is the largest source of income for any organized crime and the fastest growing international crime.

Many of these people fall into the trap unknowingly, many are kidnapped and smuggled and another lot use it as the fastest way to earn money.

There have been missing stories and then there are survivor stories. The Force 4 Compassion is an organisation that helps you to survive and deal with these issues in the form of education, medical help, rescue and shelter and counselling.

Find help here :  http://www.f-4-c.org/

Talk, learn, and be alert & aware of what’s happening around you.

#BlackLivesMatter – Everything You Wanted To Know

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Source: sanctuaryucc.org

It was just another night, when he was walking to his father’s fiancee’s house after purchasing some goods at a nearby store to The Retreat at Twin Lakes in Stanford, Florida.

Trayvon Benjamin Martin, a 17 year old African-American from Miami Gardens in Florida was brutally shot dead after he was ‘suspected’ to be responsible for the end number of robbery cases in the area that year. It was Zimmerman who reported the police immediately after he spotted in the boy walking by. Even though the police had restricted Zimmerman to take any action, he followed Martin on foot and shot him fatally on his chest.

It was only later in July 2013, after the national media focused on the murder that he was charged of second degree murder and manslaughter.

The same year, an excruciating crowd showed their anger and worry through social media using the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter.  The founders, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi, expanded the campaign to a national project involving a large group of people, after the death of two African Americans in 2014.

Source: Getty Images | Black Lives Matter Co-Founders, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi

There has been a turmoil of misconceptions about the movement and some of the many include that it :

Is Anti-White people | Even though the motive behind the movement was to end the cruelty towards African Americans and people with a darker skin tone, it did not have an intention to suppress the white majority in the United States. The campaign only worked towards establishing the right for equal treatment in professional careers and personal lives. Towards, safety, education and protection of good quality of life for the blacks.

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Source: This Renegade Love

Is Against Police Officers | The movement have been reporting against the police officers in the United States for killings of black people, mistreatment and of portraying a racial discrimination against the blacks in the criminal justice system of the United States. According the the founders, the campaign does not encourage or support any kind of killings of police officers. the motive is purely to gain a right to freedom and equal legal facilities. BLM is on a constant race to make the system believe that, criminal offences can be done by anyone and blacks are not to be suspected without any evidence just like others.

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Source: The Hill Talk 

Doesn’t have a leader | BLM is a movement that focuses of bringing up every black lives without the fear of having to face the stares and blames of any people. Without having the need to prove to every legal system that in-spite of the color of their skin, they have done no crime. Alicia Garza says, in this campaign every person it a leader. Every person is on a mission. A mission to prove that all of us are humans, regardless of your race, religion, caste, color and creed.

The Black Lives Matter campaign has also faced a lot of criticism over time.

It was supposedly called a ‘Anti-American’ movement by the former New York City Mayor, Rudy Giulliani. Rudy said that it created racial tension between the people and encouraged them to not co-operate with each other and divided their interests. “What those comments show me is that the former mayor doesn’t understand racism, the comments are not rooted in fact.” replied the co-founder of Black Lives Matter, Alicia Grazia.

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Source: The New York Times

There were also allegations that BLM showed major sexism in their moves. Professor and Civil Rights Advocate, Kimberle Crenshaw, one of the women within the BLM campaign favored the cases of black men killings over black women. The Trayvon Martin and Micheal Brown killings apparently had more protests than Kayla Moore and Rekia Boyd killings. ‘Say Her Name’ was founded in response to the same, focusing and ensuring rights for black women killings.

The foundation of such movements shows how much more are we left to progressing in life as humans. We have come to a phase in our life where there are robot cooks and flying cars yet our minds and mentally to grow is malnourished.

To everyone who faces racism, I say deep from my heart, to push your limits and polish your talents and skills. We live in a world where, from a man who fought to make his dream of Anti-Apartheid come true in 1948 to the African American who took over the presidency chair of the world’s largest economy in 2009 to 2017.

What is stopping you?

 

 

 

 

Forty Seconds – Why Suicide Is Not To Be Pitied 

It was 3 in the morning when my phone beeped, since it’s usually on silent I didn’t notice the vibration too. I woke with a sudden jerk when my phone fell off the bed with a thud. 

I’m not a night person, or someone who spends talking all night long with my friends. When it’s 12 in the midnight, I’m curling up under my blanket to doze off. So for obvious reasons, phone calls scare me at night.

It’s been four years now but that call and the words over the phone is still ringing in my ears. Loudly and Clearly.

“Racheal (name changed) hanged herself in her bedroom today, Pooja I don’t know what to do!” Her weeping and panting made her eat the words. I don’t know what I felt, my hands shivered and my voice choked. I didn’t reply and hung up. I sat on my bed still wondering what to feel. Shocked, sad, scared? Honestly I felt numb. Till today, even when I write this. 

According to American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. 8,00,000 people die each year by suicides, one person every 40 seconds. 


Every second person you meet would be under extreme parental pressure, career anxiety, relationship troubles or health issues. Make sure you pass on a kind word, a passionate hug or do a good deed. You never know, you may be saving a life. 

Call me stone hearted, but honestly I never felt pity for a suicide victim. I believe the challenge lies in facing your fears. Giving up on your life just proves you were afraid to face your difficulties, step up in life and talk to someone. You feel you overcame your troubles by giving up on your life? No my friend, you lost. You lost, miserably. 

When obstacles knock on your door, do not hide under your bed or jump out of the window, instead pull up your sleeves, walk towards it with your chin up. I am sure there will be a hand you could hold while you walk up there. In the form of a mentor, friend, parent or anyone you look up to. Help is all around. Make sure you take the effort to look for it. 

Don’t worry if you’re afraid to speak up, you are not alone. If you feel you need to help someone in trouble or want to seek help yourself :

Visit – http://wspd.org.au/

Every country around the world help many lives everyday. Visit the website according to the country you stay in. 

Saving a life is now a click away, do your bit to every person who lost hope. Start today. 

Abortion – The Combat Continues

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The war and debate is yet to end

The girls who registered themselves under different names in local hospitals in India, to make sure a life inside them is cut into pieces using surgical blades, were endless. Fake names, fake numbers, fake reasons.

Under the Medical Termination of Pregnency Act 1971, Abortion in India is legal upto 20 weeks of pregnency, under specific conditions:

  • Women whose physical and/or mental health were endangered by the pregnancy
  • Women facing the birth of a potentially handicapped or malformed child
  • Rape
  • Pregnancies in unmarried girls under the age of eighteen with the consent of a guardian
  • Pregnancies in “lunatics” with the consent of a guardian
  • Pregnancies that are a result of failure in sterilisation

The Supreme Court recently moulded the law for a rape survivor, being 24 weeks later.

In a January 2006 CBS News poll in US, took a survey which enquired, “What is your personal feeling about abortion”, 27% said that abortion should be “permitted in all cases,” 15% that it should be “permitted, but subject to greater restrictions than it is now,” 33% said that it should be “permitted only in cases such as rape, incest or to save the woman’s life,” 17% said that it should “only be permitted to save the woman’s life,” and 5% said that it should “never” be permitted.

If you are sitting along with a large mass of people, just yell out “abortion” and notice the pin drop silence that follows. That’s how ‘scary’ the word itelf is. Forget the process.

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Image sources: The Abortion Story

One among the most countries, that legalised abortion, to not settle the debate is United States of America. Yes, the supposedly superpower of the world. Americans find it extremely difficult to accept the killing of a foetus. By 1973, 75 countries apparently liberalised abortion laws, the debate vanished over time. But America refused to settle for it.

The reasons that makes abortion controversial everyday is increasing. Lets break it down to few prominent ones.

First, religion is a striking factor that makes it difficult for women and girls to convey the decision of abortion to their families. The faces of your families with never fade from your memory after that talk. And its not just India, but every other country, say the 75 of them has the same reaction, because even today the world is highly dominated by religious beliefs.

Second, a lot of countries and the government hospitals across the world sanction abortion free of cost. The political domination in these countries find it difficult to accept this fact. A lot of money is churned out from the patients at the hospitals that may come with a headache and goes back home which three reports, of a Electrocardiogram, Angiography and a X-ray. Do I really need to say what happens if you go for an abortion?I could go on with reasons that ponder the minds of humans like, contraceptive pills, fundamentals, relative conservatism about sex, moral issues or sex education. The list is endless.

The future of Abortion is unknown. The fact that it is legalized does not make any of these countries assure that the suicide rates under family pressure or molestation may decrease.

The constitution may have liberated women, but does it include middle class women? How many below the poverty line? How many rape victims? Let’s look for answers. Deeper and Wider.

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Future of Abortion: Unknown

 

 

 

 

Dauntless Ryland, The 6 Year Old Transgender

 

 

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What do you want the world to know about you, Ryland?

“That it’s cool I have two different things. My Cochlear Implants and that I’m a Transgender.” 

This. This is all the 6 year old Ryland Whittington wanted to say.

Jeff and Hillary Whittington were lucky enough to give birth to a beautiful girl child and named her Ryland. The next few days both of them spend plentiful time creating a space for their baby that was lavish, appealing and most importantly pink! They knew she would like it the most.

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“Ryland, look here. Look what daddy got for you!” Jeff called out from behind her. She was busy trying to grab a toy from her pram. Their dog ran inside barking loudly which dropped Jeff’s phone. She still didn’t move. Hillary reached out to her and pinged her back, she turned and smiled. Oh that smile! the best smile ever.

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But this was when the Whittington’s discovered the disturbing fact that Ryland, by twelve months, was deaf. As a result of which Ryland lost speech abilities too.

By thirteen months, Ryland got an official deaf diagnosis done and consulted experts to tackle her hearing problem. Jeff and Hillary sought all medical research and got her hearing aids. Extensive training was given to her that drastically improved her speech and vocabulary. She could now listen and speak just as much as any other children. By preschool Ryland was able to communicate with everyone just as easily as others.

As soon as she had begun to speak, the Whittington’s started observing behavioral changes in Ryland. “I am a boy!” she constantly used to scream. “We kind of laughed at it for a bit and Jeff would say, Oh you are a girl dear.” explains Hillary. But slowly she started to get violent and emotional about it. “To make him dress like a girl was torturous!” says Jeff.

 

Brynley, their second daughter was born shortly after Ryland. “She is my sister and I am her brother” she grinned while both of them took a hot bath inside the tub.

She hated her school balet classes. “He just could not accept himself in that room with other girls.” The dolls and barbies soon was thrown away from her birthday gift lists. Guns and cars were now his companion. “Such a tomboy!” Jeff exclaimed.

Hillary got comfortable of buying gender neutral clothes. She loved the toy guitar and played it the whole day. The only thing now bothered her was her hair. “He hated it!” sobs Hillary.

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“Once all you of die, I will cut my hair.” said Ryland. Jeff was shocked by how much his child, three year old then, who didn’t know anything about the world said this! The Whittingtons wanted her to happy. That’s all they could give their child at that age.

They decided to seek medical help and research on understanding what could be the best for Ryland.

Darlene Tando, a renowned Gender Therapist says “Gender is between your ears, that is in the brains. Sex is anatomy, it’s between your legs. And they are two very different things. In really simple terms, transgender is having the body of one gender and mind, brain or spirit of the opposite gender.”

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The Whittingtons did a deep research on transgender, it’s effects and changes. What they learnt from that was shocking.

Rejection of gender identification from family and friends are thirteen times more likely to attempt suicide. Lack of social acceptance has a tremendous effect of the mind of transgenders. Physical abuse, violence, discrimination and lack of freedom has killed a exhaustive number of them.

According to American Foundation For Suicide Prevention by Williams Institute, 63-78% suicides take place when at school (any level). Do you have any idea how much that is?! These children who do not know anything about transgender, legal formalities, societal acceptance kill themselves just because their parents didn’t accept how they wanted to be. No, they are not killing themselves. We are killing them. By abusing, by violence, by stereotyping.

Suicide turns out to be the only solution when they are discriminated (even of basic healthcare!), victimized, bullied, face physical and sexual abuse and even homelessness. What else could they do. They are not given a chance to live their life, so better end it.

Jeff and Hillary wanted to spread awareness along with happiness of accepting their ‘son’ Ryland today. They wanted to tell that a transgender is not about a bodily change but that of the mind which may occur at any age, it is a way of living and is no sin. Of course they found it extremely hard to accept that fact at first but it was definitely not better than seeing their child happy and alive.

“We wrote a letter to our friends and family about the change. We lost many relationships. But are close ones stuck by. Nevertheless, we love to see Ryland’s big smile everyday instead.” Jeff stated.

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Jeff and Hillary Whittington with their son Ryland and daughter Brynley

Ryland’s story was presented exclusively by CNN Digital & CNN Films. A beautiful and well shot documentary by Sarah Feeley and team for CNN. ‘Raising Ryland’ was published that captured many eyes and hearts.

 

 

Check out the full story of the brave family here http://www.raisingryland.com/

 

 

 

 

 

House of Horror – Ukraine’s Children

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Imagine – you are laying on the bed in your room, and your parents walk in “Get ready, we going for a drive!”

How we love sudden plans, right? With utter excitement, the next thing that flows out from you is “YAY! LET’S GO!”

The three-hour drive ends into entering a huge gate, which looks pretty dull and dry, the height of the gate makes it impossible for you to read the board inside. As your Dad moves past the gate, you read the dusty hoarding, in bold and block letters embedded in blackish-grey color it says “Kharsyzk’s Shelter for Children” At first you are confused, your mum is now out of the car talking to someone who looks like an in-charge of the place. Minutes later your parents wave you goodbye and kisses your forehead saying “Honey, always remember we love you, okay?”

Did you cringe? Because I did, while I wrote this.

This is the story of every 6 in 10 children of Ukraine.

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Malnourished: Three-year-old David has sores on his body after living in the shelter

Khartsyzk is an industrial city in Donetsk Oblast (province) of Ukraine. The war that broke in the year of April 2015, told a horrible story. It tore families apart, killed people with starvation and diseases, caused mental disabilities. But what followed to the children of Ukraine could not be forgotten.

Families in ‘concern’ of their children’s life took them to shelter houses and orphanages, claiming they do not have the money to feed and raise them.

‘We scream out loud to get the food for the children from wherever we can,’ says Elena Nikulenko, director of an orphanage. ‘It is sad to see that most of the children end up here even though their parents are alive. Some are in jail and some have been judged unfit parents. The worst is when a mother or father says, “I have no money to feed my child, please take care of him or her” – as published in the Daily Mail.

Though a ceasefire was negotiated in February, the fear and tensions still remain very high in Ukraine, not knowing what they wake up to tomorrow.

Nurse Ludmila Chekh described the terror: “You know how scary it is when a four-year-old-child looks at you with a serious look and asks if we are going to be bombed? Of course, we say no but we don’t know either. We still hear fighting from here every night. We still have the basement ready for staying in with the children if anything goes wrong. If the war stops now these kids still have the chance of a happy childhood – not shivering every time it thunders because they think it is more shelling.”

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Hungry: The children’s centers receive no support from the central government with little access to funding

In Petrovsk, a suburb of Donetsk, ceasefires are often violated and the bomb shelter is now a home to sixteen families, among which five of them are under three years of age.  As told in Catholic Online, On June 3rd, a missile landed close to the shelter. The kids know all the weapons by the sound of the explosion. They tell them, ‘It’s a Grad (rocket launcher)’ or ‘It’s a howitzer.’ They can tell the distance. The four-year-old says, ‘It’s still far away’ and keeps on playing.

The children often ask about their family, they wait for them at the rusty and broken doors of the orphanage, they look outside the gates with a hope. The hope for the war to end, the noises to end. Not because they fear them, but hoping that their parents would come back to take them home.

Albina, a four-year-old who sleeps in a corner with another girl in the orphanage of Kharsyzk, ‘This is my corner and this is my pillow,’ she says, describing her little world.

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Smiling: Despite her world is falling apart

Albina’s mother left her here because she could not afford to feed her and she has visited her only once. Albina keeps saying that this not true – her mama – loves her and that she has been here many times to visit.  ‘I have a brother and a sister and they are older than me,’ she says. ‘They live at home with my mama.’

And then, with hope rising in her voice: ‘My mama will come very soon and take me away from here.’

Maybe. Certainty is a commodity in short supply in the orphanage, just like beds and food and parental love.

The orphanage at Kharsizk relies on the paramilitaries for food and medicine. The Donetsk republic and the neighboring Luhansk People’s Republic, of Vladimir Putin’s Russian Federation, cut off from the rest of Ukraine and are unable to care for their people. The sinking ship makes it difficult for the orphanages to fund themselves with basic necessities.

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Tired and Terrified: Bomb shelters are where men, women, elderly and toddlers cramp together in the dirty surroundings

United Nations member states signed a list of 17 locations to produce a “radically better planet” by 2030, according to Daily Mail. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are meant to fight disease, child mortality rates, gender inequality, environmental degradation, climate change and ethnic conflicts.

UNICEF has been working as hard as it can to help Ukraine’s children. UNICEF Ukraine representative Giovanna Barberis said, “The most vulnerable children in eastern Ukraine, including orphans, displaced children and children with disabilities, have been the hardest hit. Thousands of conflict-affected children in eastern Ukraine do not have access to education, health, protection and family care. The UN Sustainable Development Goals will include robust targets to end violence against children and provide quality education and healthcare. Every child deserves an equal chance in life.”

The problem of orphans in the Ukraine is nothing new. Some 95,000 of the country’s eight million children have been cast adrift through the death of parents, alcoholism and drug use. Some homes have been implicated in sexual abuse and trafficking but those problems have now been magnified by a war that has split families and disrupted services.

The United Nations promises to come up with effective plans, but will have to work hard. Countries like Ukraine and other conflict zones are very sensitive and require severe detailed execution plans.

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Comfortable and Happy: Angelina’s only family is the lion she cannot live without

‘My mummy died,’ explains Angelina, clutching her one certain friend, a soft toy.

‘This is my friend and it’s a lion,’ she says. ‘I don’t have brothers and sisters but I’ve got a lion.’

Visit: UNICEF’s Ukraine Appeal to do your bit.

11 Years Later, They Called Me Back..

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18th November 2016, the day I sat up on my bed and thanked the immense amount of support I had received from the people who have always cared for me. I realized how grateful I was for having the basic necessity that was considered as a luxurious non affordable lifestyle in many parts of the world. I was given the right to primary education.

I had a very long and overwhelming day which I eagerly was looking forward to. 11 years later they called me back, this time with a motive. A powerful motive. The school from where I had attained my primary education celebrated 25 years of fine grooming for children.

I would be lying if I didn’t say many of my strengths in me today was the result of the immense efforts of the faculty that worked at Kindergarten Starters (KGS). I have always believed that primary education plays a magnificent role in your upbringing and personality. Let me put across my example,I still remember when I was standing behind the humongous stage ready to give my first speech, I had to step up when the lights turned green, that was the instructions given to me.

My palms were sweaty and the mike kept slipping off my hands, I could hear the crowd like I used to see on television award shows. It was my first elocution competition. I had to speak for 12 mins. The 12 mins felt like 12 days, never ending with non stop sweating, panting and fumbling. Do you really expect a 11 year old to speak on a stage for the first time with 200 unknown faces staring at her? No, never. She just wants to run home and cuddle in her mom’s arms.

What made me stand there? The teachers that went an extra mile when they saw the potential in me. They gathered the faculty before the D-Day and made me stand on that stage and let me speak. Till date I have hosted and anchored for more than 20 events and got a chance to be featured on various broadcasting platforms. Every time I step onto the stage or in front of the camera today, I think of the 11 year old. It only makes me speak with greater confidence. I’m not a genius, I don’t have extra powers, what I had was the right people to groom me.I strongly believe my primary education formed the foundation of my character.

During the past 55 years, the GEMS community, which includes the students of KGS (250,000), parents, teachers and staff (20,000), raised over 40 million US Dollars for charities around the world. I am proud not only to say that I was an ex-student who is proudly working towards my goals but also to realize I got an opportunity to help them send so many children to go to school and establish themselves. KGS always have been laying foundation for children since 1990 to grow, explore and become global learners. All the money raised at the carnival that day was sent to Dubai Cares. Dubai Cares, is a global humanitarian organization that works immensely towards sending children to school to acquire their primary education and also conducts comprehensive education programs in 45 countries across the globe.

I was sitting on that very stage, after years, thinking of which made me proud that so many children might have faced their fears, just like me but at the same time it kills me from inside when I realize that even though there are many organizations like Dubai Cares, giving their 200% in bringing a change, yet 124 million children and young adolescents don’t go to school, 250 million cannot read and write!

These numbers here, may not seem big on your mobile and laptop screens, but these are numbers to fear of. Put together they are more than the population of the United States. Imagine a country full of people who are living with only one motive – to die. No jobs, no education, no government, no goals.

Primary Education is the key to investing in human capital and building a society that can overcome many challenges and struggles. I do not expect you to be motivated and to spend thousands on charitable organizations, trusts and events. Instead I would be glad if you took time to visit these children and teach them a poem or tell them the story of powerful leader who conquered the world with his honesty and not violence, like I did. That’s what those children need, your time, not your money or old clothes.

Let all of them conquer the world. Everything beneath the sun is under our control. Believe me.

The best thing you could gift a child is knowledge. Share it with them, even if it is limited. At KGS, I brought a smile on the 8 year old Shawn’s face. Now it’s your turn.

The Laughter Epidemic That Was Not Funny

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I am still not able to believe what I am about to write.

The story of normal day in the life of the Tanzanian people. Or rather, they thought it would be just another normal day, when a strange epidemic spread widely and suddenly, from inside the walls of a classroom to bringing down a nation.

On January 30, 1962 in Tanganyika (now Tanzania), near the border of Uganda, when the professor had just completed a lesson and was about to move on to the next one, was when she heard a girl from the third bench laughing. At first, the professor was mad at her and knew it was to distract her class. But when she observed, she realized that no other students or her friends were playing around or having a conversation. The class also looked at her with astonishment. The girl’s face showed no happiness even though she was laughing, but an expression of helplessness.

Began with three girls in a classroom, the anxiety induced laughter that started slowly saw a chain effect on the population, that lasted up to 16 days or several months. The crying and howling of the people from the village at night had caused a horror among the communities in Tanzania. Schools were shut down on March 18, 1962 when the mass illness started to spread like wildfire. The epidemic spread to Nshamba, a village that was home to several of the girls. In April and May, 217 people had laughing attacks in the village, mostly school children and young adults. The Kashasha School was reopened on May 21, only to be closed again at the end of June. In June, the laughing epidemic spread to Ramashenye girls’ middle school, near Bukoba, affecting 48 girls.

The noise of these laughter were not joyful, it signaled extreme cases of distress, anger and sadness. Thousands of people got affected in a matter of no time. Surprisingly, these had symptoms. That’s right, symptoms!  Physical and mental pain, fainting, flatulence, respiratory problems, rashes, attacks of crying, and random screaming, accompanied by restlessness—aimless running and occasional violence—but there was no evidence of organic causes.

According to humor researchers following the incident, it was found that such a physiological behavior happens on a weekly basis in many parts of the world, especially among populations that experience high levels of chronic stress. An example of a similar incident is an instance of unexplained nausea and dizziness among students at a school in Lancashire, England in the past November. There is also abundant evidence of such events in places of instability like Kosovo, Afghanistan, and South Africa.

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In an article by Tao Tao Holmes, Christian Hempelmann of Texas A&M University, who has done research on the incident, describes the laughter epidemic as a case of mass psychogenic illness, The stress factors here among the schoolgirls may have included the unfamiliar expectations imposed in the British-run schools and the uncertainties created by Tanganyika’s independence, achieved barely a month before the incident. “Psychogenic illness has all kinds of so-called nerve symptoms”, he explains, “and laughter is just one of them.”

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Though the Tanganyika case is closed, similar cases of mass psychogenic illness occur among groups of people unable to extract themselves from a stressful situation.

 

 

 

 

Its Not Tough. Its Very Tough.

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In the journey of life, every experience is said to be lesson. A valuable lesson. You might have read a lot of articles on how your life may change distinctively after completing the comforting phase called Student Life, especially after graduation as that is a time when you see a 360 degree turn life takes personally and professionally.

Not many have reached this phase though. Some are still making the best of memories as a student. Some are struggling however to get over the student life soon. And some has reached the phase of competition, challenges, and immense hard work.

What I have mentioned here may not be very thrilling and happy to read content. This is what I have learned after I broke out of the zone that was constrained to my comforts and luxuries, and I am still learning. The key elements. Important factors in my life.

The Power of Accepting Change

They say we must keep adjusting to the changes in our life as change is the only thing that is constant. But how many of us have been told how to accept that change? Life after being a student for 15 years at least, is not easy. You may have to move out for greater good of yourself. You may have to fund yourself. You may have to be friends with someone you hate for work. You may have to learn a new skill. Things you never did back then, is now standing in front ready to be faced by you. Accepting that change is essential. Give yourself time, like I did, understand that only you can make the change the best one.

The Magical Portion called Emotion

Humans were god gifted by an immense super power, they are the only ones on the earth that can control emotions. Wow. I was always amused by that fact. Friends, family, relatives, teachers, colleagues are not the ones that maybe in every chapter of our story. You are the one who writes it, but do not forget they are busy writing their stories too.  We have to grow out and realize this phase is the most challenging and not everyone who was once there would be here to see it, be with it and necessarily understand the importance of it.

Killing the Time Schedule

The routine you were following for years is suddenly dead. The next few mornings are the strangest. Waking up to no scheduled day. Looking forward to a bunch of exciting student activities and fun is dead. It had to be killed. Some day. I eventually realize there are a set of different events that now will become my routine.

Understanding the phrase – Health is Wealth

I learned to love my body, which is a crucial element in your life too. There are people, I know many of them personally, who judge you not on looks but your body. Fat, skinny, short, lean, dark, light, flat, huge and many more. To all of them, my friend, I will pray who never go through the feelings they do. You just won’t be able to handle it. It definitely affects you mentally. It had, for me at least. But the process of responding is not shouting or weeping day long. It is working. Working hard. Work on not only your body but also your health, the best way to respond is show them.

Being Responsible – No longer an option

There was a point in my life where lethargy was my best friend. When you turn the page of the book called life, you realize as the chapters complete, there is a new person being born. A much responsible one, than the previous chapter. It does not happen with efforts, it happens with the flow, effortlessly.

Failures knocked on my door, more than opportunities

I feared quite often, but that fear did me good. It woke me up in the middle of nights, it didn’t let me sleep, and it was a nightmare. The only reason that helps me hustle, beyond my capacities, overcoming my weaknesses, understanding my strengths. I started to believe that indeed the only thing that is stopping you is you yourself. The only way out to reach that red flag on top of the mountain was to climb. Cry, fall, hurt yourself, but climb much harder.

I am still a person who have so much to face in life, still learning new things everyday, but these have become the changes I started observing in me and realized that I was growing much positive day by day.

I am not here to inspire, I have not reached that point.

I genuinely wish everyone luck, success, health and wealth.

God bless us all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Synonym of Bravery – Anne Frank

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If you will ever go to the internet and search who Anne Frank was, you could probably find articles and features that say she was the youngest writer or diarist. You would find her end number of quotes and write ups she has written.

But no story will describe what a fifteen year old went through for becoming a cursed Jew by birth. What made her the brave of the bravest in an age where she had to do her school homework but instead was hiding from Holocaust in an annex of rooms above her father’s office for two years in Amsterdam.

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The Holocaust, for those who do not know, was a Greek word that was a genocide in which Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany had killed above six million Jews. Yes, six million! The victims included 1.5 million children. It was the deadliest genocide in the history where Jews were systematically murdered.

Annelies Marie Frank, remains as one of the most discussed Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Her father gifted her a book, which was an autograph book, on her thirteenth birthday on 12 June. She used the red and white checkered cloth bound book to pen down the moments of her life.

Her diary was published in 1947 which turned out to be a powerful insight into the Holocaust. It has been translated into 67 languages with over 30 million copies sold. Anne Frank’s story is especially meaningful to young people today. For many she is their first, if not their only exposure to the history of the Holocaust.

Anne-Frank_Diary_HD_768x432-16x9                                         The original dairy in Dutch which was later translated

What was her diary about?

Born a German, she lost her citizenship in 1941. And remained stateless.

On Germany:

“Fine specimens of humanity, those Germans, and to think I’m actually one of them! No, that’s not true, Hitler took away our nationality long ago. And besides, there are no greater enemies on earth than the Germans and Jews.”

– October 9, 1942

 Describing her Misery:

“I’ve reached the point where I hardly care whether I live or die. The world will keep on turning without me, and I can’t do anything to change events anyway. I’ll just let matters take their course and concentrate on studying and hope that everything will be all right in the end.”

– February 3, 1944

 Always for faith and humanity:

“It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.
It’s utterly impossible for me to build my life on a foundation of chaos, suffering and death. I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness, I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too, I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better, that this cruelty too shall end, that peace and tranquility will return once more”

– July 15, 1944

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She aspired to become a Journalist:

“I finally realized that I must do my schoolwork to keep from being ignorant, to get on in life, to become a journalist, because that’s what I want! I know I can write, but it remains to be seen whether I really have talent.”

“I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to all people, even those I’ve never met. I want to go on living even after my death! And that’s why I’m so grateful to God for having given me this gift, which I can use to develop myself and to express all that’s inside me!”

“When I write I can shake off all my cares. My sorrow disappears, my spirits are revived! But, and that’s a big question, will I ever be able to write something great, will I ever become a journalist or a writer?”

 

She kept writing regularly until her last entry of 1 August 1944.

 

The Franks were deported to Auschwitz Concentration Camp, the worst death chambers in the history by Nazi Germany. Jews were not only killed in the gas chambers but also died of starvation, forced labor, infectious diseases, individual executions, and medical experiments.

Anne Frank reportedly died of the Typhus disease that spread through the camp in 1945 killing seventeen thousand prisoners. Her sisters were buried in a mass grave at an unknown place after the camp was burnt to stop the spread of disease.

According to many vague sources, Anne Frank walked into the camp with utter braveness and her face showed no fear but only courage at such a young age.

Today, 69 years after her diary got published there are many institutes and associations that honor the thinking and bravery of this fifteen year old.

Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect USA is a not-for-profit organization. In 1959, Otto Frank, Anne’s father, founded the organization as the Anne Frank Foundation, the American partner of the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam.

anne frank website main                                                              Anne Frank Center, USA

To help “build a world based on equal rights and mutual respect.” Otto’s dream was Anne’s dream, and continues to be the dream the organization strives to achieve.

Spirit of Anne Frank Awards, are conducted to honor the deserving who prove the world with their deeds.

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum holds a special position for Anne Frank’s short lived incredible life.

These are to name a few.

Many may have already known about this brave girl and her journey, but I thought it was necessary for me to spread a word about the battle once someone faced, somewhere in this world in worst conditions before the time we lived this luxurious lifestyle.

I believe creating an impact is essential. Living a life through the struggles is essential.

If a girl could spread the message through simple words, not because of extensive education or an intellectual family background but because she was going through a phase no human would ever want to, then you could definitely feel blessed for this life and thank yourself.

Inspiration does not come from older people, but from mature humans. Age no bar.