Book Review: Progressive Utilization Theory: Prout – An Economic Solution to Poverty in The Third World

PROUT is characterized as a model of social development… which advocates a ‘small is beautiful’ approach to society.

I saw this book about PROUT when I was in a remote town called Hetauda, Nepal. I was living with kids in a children’s home that is also in the same location of their school. Living together means sleeping and eating with these cuties. They meditate in their own way, I pray the rosary.  We watch films, learn e-tutorials, and play together in my laptop or with the computer tablet. So I will really need to go to the salon when I get home because I might share their lice too!

I observed the Children’s Home is almost self sustainable.. The kids from abled families in town enroll in this school, and thus in turn provide funds for the Children’s home. Besides the cost of living is priceless, for $10 dollars a day, I am able to contribute feeding 7 kids including me and the kitchen helper already… and the good news is, I am not even required to donate money! So I can save funds to travel further.. but I’m not that thick face ya know ;D

Although the head of the school and children’s home says funds are still not enough, and that is the reason why they have donors coming from Italy. I do hope they and all other small communities all over the world, can be fully self sustainable in the future.. I would imagine people from economically rich background visit here not to donate money but to learn their way of sustainable living instead..

But of course there goes a crack in my head again ;D


ananda marga school in hetauda, nepal


The school and children’s home needs vast improvement though, specially in the way children are being raised.. I encourage volunteers to visit that place in Hetauda too. If you are interested to volunteer, let me know so I can introduce you to them. I’m doing this to monitor if this article is effective.

So I was immersed in an environment where PROUT is being implemented. Here are excerpts of the book that you might find interesting:

“In America, many had called me Dr Doom. In India, people called me Dr Hope. But I am still the same old Ravi Batra. I used to pray to my Father to make me “nothing”. That is what I now am at heart – nothing – but my Father is everything.”

“Humanity is said to have made tremendous progress today because life seems so much more comfortable these days than it was a few centuries ago. All this to Sarkar, is not progress. To be sure, it has resulted in a great change in the mode of living, but he denies this to be progress because most scientific discoveries have created problems which were non existent before.”

“Faster travel today has increased the risk of accident, industrialization has resulted in environmental pollution and cancer and other diseases unheard of in the past; modern medicine quickly cures the malady but generates side effects requiring further treatment.”

“Even in the intellectual sphere, there is much available to keep the mind occupied, but people today suffer from emotional problems and neuroses that did not afflict them before.”

“Indeed, Sarkar goes as far as saying that progress in the intellectual and physical sense is impossible unless there occurs a spiritual advance, at the same time.”

PROUT model is similar to the Economy of Communion from the Focolare Movement, an international organization that promotes unity and universal brotherhood. Ideas like this are worth spreading.. who knows it can be the key to Pandora’s box leading to the creation of Heaven here on Earth.

So no need to wait to Die so you can go to Heaven ya? We can already have it here on Earth.

Related Links:

About the Author: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ravi_Batra
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressive_Utilization_Theory

Book Review: Karma Cola by Gita Mehta

This book is kinda cynical… which makes it a bit interesting. It can be a product of the author’s mind, but it seems as if she’s recounting real facts.

During my travels around Nepal or India, I encounter hippie and barefoot travelers whose traveling to these areas in search of spiritual or any kind of freedom.. or are they just being victims of gullibility and will do anything for a crack or a weed?

These kinds of people are very interesting to observe.. Not that I’m interested in their way of living.. I’m a budget traveler so a sort of a hippie but I’m still taking care of my hygiene when I travel.. and I comb and shampoo my hair.. I’m not saying that they are bad guys, I made casual chitchat with them and they are okay to talk to, so I’m not stereotyping everyone here.. I’m just curious.

And I do wonder why they chose that kind of life as compare to the norm. Here are excerpts of the book talking about most of these people, and more:

***

“In recognition of the difficulties of remaining intact in Asia, most embassies have, over the last three or four years, acquired doctors or psychiatrists or often both, whose only function is to deal with the casualties of the great pilgrimage. For a month, I tried to meet an embassy doctor, but each rendezvous was canceled as the doctor was urgently required to accompany another casualty back to the mother country. In four weeks the doctor had flown between Europe and India a dozen times. He had been attached to the Delhi embassy for barely a month, but in that short time his feelings for those he accompanied, diseased, suffering from malnutrition, or trapped in inarticulate nightmare, had gone from sympathy to contempt to fear.”

“They are scum. What is the point of taking them back where they can infect other people with their lies and their dirty habits? I sometimes wonder why we dont let them die here in India where it doesn’t matter.”

****

“They believed that Jesus Christ during his absence from the Bible between the ages of twelve and thirty, was in fact traveling in India. In India, Jesus traveled with a guru who taught him about mysticism, fasting and levitation. The archaeologists argue that these 16 years of training enabled Christ to spend 40 days in the wilderness without food or drink. Also thru yoga control, Christ was able to remain in tomb for 3 days and nights after his crucifixion.

The archaeologists are convinced that Jesus levitated his way back to India, and spent the last years of his life in the Himalayas.

The archaeologists are now scanning thru the mountains around the vile of Kashmir looking for the Jewish tomb.”

***

“We discovered these places, Afghanistan, Nepal, Goa. Where we arrived everybody loved us. Now the whole damn world is on a trail we opened up, and the same people who loved us **** hate us.. there’s too many of them.. they are not in the same class as those of us who got here first.”

***

“Exploration appears to be a hazardous undertaking.. Columbus discovered America looking for India. The Beatles discovered India escaping America.”

Do you want to read the book online? Here’s my link:



karma cola

Saving Elephants, Saving Grace

Saving Elephants, Saving Grace

My first close encounter with an elephant was… in the zoo.. I grew up in South East Asia, in the Philippines in particular, but there are no wild elephants in our forest, there were wild snakes though.. although I think they are also beginning to be extinct as human population are growing and numerous houses are being built in our community..

But we’re not saving snakes here… there goes my focus flying in again.

We’re saving the Elephants.

 


elephant in Jaipur, India
geesh I look like a nerd here.

 

When i went to India last 2008 to be a volunteer to a children’s organization, one of the nicest experience I had was to ride an elephant while on vacation at Jaipur.. never did I knew riding them is supposed to be discouraged.. well its not yet too late to raise awareness about how to treat elephants right.

Then I was stationed in Chiang Mai, Thailand.. Imagine my amazement one evening along Chiang Mai streets, a small elephant was being paraded by a group of kids. i look forward to see that elephant every evening.


Elephant in Chiang Mai
I wonder why tears seems to fall on the Elephant’s eyes

Since I lived in Chiang Mai for more than a year, there was a time when we went to an elephant show.. the elephant danced, perform tricks, even painted in front of us.. the audience were happy.. but do you know how these elephants were tortured just to perform these tricks and make humans happy? Detailed story of the Elephant show here.

Elephant ride in Chiang Mai


Fast forward to my last visit in Chiang Mai just a couple of months ago. I didn’t stayed in my original apartment so not sure if the elephant was still roaming there every evening. So I wasn’t able to see live elephants, instead, I found this posh displays..


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


 

very posh indeed..

It was for another elephant organization that raises awareness of these nearly extinct animals. Guess lots of organizations and individuals are helping out to raise awareness of the proper treatment of animals.. there are still lots to do to improve the earth and many people seems to be doing their part.. guess the world is getting kinder..

And to reinforce people to do good things, a group of travel bloggers have decided to help Save the Elephant Foundation.. and there are prices to be won for those who donate!

If you head to Travel Blogging Calendar and give some donations, you’ll get the chance to win a trip to Thailand valued at $3,300! That includes a $2000 flight voucher from Flight Network and a $1,300, week long eco-friendly tour from Ian at Where Sidewalks End.

Ain’t that grand?

And because its a calendar we’re not sending you a physical calendar but we’re emailing stories available only to donors. The contributing bloggers has put together a short article about an interesting holidays that’s taking place somewhere in the world. Accompanying this entry is a gorgeous travel shot from some exotic location – Isnt it amaziIiing?

Ok, for those who cannot afford, I totally understand. You can always share this article to your friends so who knows what good vibes can ripple out there..

There you go.. I’m off preparing to go to another beautiful place not just to see things but to contibute in my own wee way on how to make the place more beautiful… that’s my way of saving grace. ^_^

 

Fruits of Thy Labour

It was November, year 2008 when I joined the vso volunteer bandwagon and went to far flung places like Calcutta.

Well it is properly called as Kolkata now because they wanted to erase the colonial name that comes with the word Calcutta. And yep, it was the place where Mother Theresa spent the rest of her days helping the destitute. And nope, I can’t be like Mother Theresa coz she’s waAaaayyy too kind…

And after 3 years, videos at Child In Need Institute, the NGO where I serverd, gained the #11 Most Viewed Non Profit in India.

Fruits of they labour is now evident… which was about SEO, uploading and online promotion.. but still.. makes my spirit up a bit. To view the youtube channel of CINI, please click on the snapshot below.

youtube - CINI