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From Chaos to Compassion: The Remarkable Ukraine Rescue Efforts

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In February 2021, approximately 19,000 Indian students found themselves caught in a precarious situation as the Russian invasion of Ukraine unfolded. Many people saw and debated the evacuation operation done over the next few days based on what they on the TV. Let me share you somewhat an insider story of that operation. The Beginning The Indian medical students had traveled to Ukraine with dreams of pursuing higher education, but the sudden outbreak of war disrupted their academic journey. Despite receiving notifications from the Indian Foreign Ministry, most students chose to stay in Ukraine until the war was officially underway. The uncertainty of the conflict’s duration played a significant role in their decision. They worried about losing an entire semester’s worth of studies if they returned to India prematurely. Little did they know that the war would persist for more than two years. Ukraine shares its eastern border with Russia, making it nearly impossible for students to exit

My Soldierathon 2023 Experience: A Marathon for a Cause

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The Capriccio Gang Back: Shreyas, Sharad, Indivar, Jyoti Front: Nimesh, Samarth, Aurnab, Neha The Pre-Phase It all started when I came across following post in one of the WA group about the CME Soldierathon organized by Fitistan . Having already run Lokmat Marathon earlier this year, we were waiting for the winter to arrive to participate in the next marathon. The chance to go inside the CME campus which is usually closed for civilians inspired us to enthusiastically participate in this event. The event was aimed at raising funds and awareness for the paraplegics, who are the soldiers who have lost their limbs or mobility due to war or accidents. After doing the registrations for our Capriccio gang, on Dec 9, we visited PRC (Paraplegic Rehabilitation Center) to collect the BIB and Goodies bag.  At the venue on the D-Day #RuknaManaHai At PRC to collect BIB The Start The marathon day arrived soon. While my body and mind were not exactly in an ideal conditions, somehow things fell in lin

Can Indian IT create another Jamshedpur?

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India was a bit late to join the global Information Technology bandwagon, with only 2.5% contribution in 2001. But in a short span of time, it became an IT outsourcing hub, with the growth of homegrown IT Service industry. Strong institutional support, English proficiency, great talent pool and vast marketplace also brought prominent global IT software makers to India. 2010s saw the exponential rise of Startup industry where IT played a major role. Today, Indian IT industry contributes more than 19% to the global IT spend. While several cities and towns have emerged as IT hubs in recent years, the Indian IT is mainly limited to top 6 cities - Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Mumbai, Noida and Pune. These cities account for the majority of IT hires in last 20 years. As a result of that, these cities (and few more) have seen quite a push for infrastructure investment by IT companies in these cities. Millions spent by companies on their ultra-modern campuses. Some of these campuses are noth

Book Review - Siddhartha

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  Reference -  https://www.amazon.in/Siddhartha-Indian-Tale-Pocket-Classics/dp/9386538202/ This is a book written by the renowned German author Herman Hesse in 1922. It is a timeless classic. The spiritual journey of a young boy in search of an enlightenment is still very much relevant today. I came across this book through one of the book reading sessions at Microsoft. Book manages to make the experiences of a young boy in his adventurous and searching life very visual and lively. The boy, Siddhartha, starts his journey from his father's home and meets a range of people, traveling to different places, each experience bringing certain changes in his life. As I continued reading, the places and characters in the book became very much alive. They all leave a definite footprints in our minds.  Through the journey of this young boy, the author takes us through various aspects of our lives, from richness to poverty, from an ordinary ferryman to an exalted Buddha. In most part, the langu

Book Review - The Battle of Rezang La

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Background 1962 Sino-Indian war happened some 60 years ago. While we rightly celebrate our victories in other wars fought over the last 75 years, the loss of 1962 is not discussed. Despite the loss, the raw courage shown by the Indian armed forces in the absence of modern facilities in extreme whether conditions was bravery of the highest class. The stories related to this war has always fascinated me. I got good information about the war fought in NEFA during our visit to Tawang and Bumla last year. This book The Battle of Rezang La  provides quite a comprehensive account about the war fought in the Ladakh region, especially the Rezang La battle fought by the Charlie Company.   Preface Ram Chander and Nihal Singh were captured by the Chinese soldiers during the battle on 18 November 1962.  They managed to escape and survived the battle injuries to reach back to the Indian camp in extreme conditions. When they narrated the details of the war, their truth about the battle was not accept

Book Review - The Revolutionaries : The Other Story of How India Won Its Freedom

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There is one popular narrative about the freedom movement against the British that mainly focuses on the role of Indian National Congress and the Non-cooperation movement. A lot has been written about it. Premise This book by Sanjeev Sanyal talks about the role and impact of various revolutionaries and nationalists during the freedom movement. While some information about popular revolutionaries is already available in various books and texts, the books brings all revolutionaries activities across the united India, in the late 19th and early 20th century together. It is generally believed that these revolutionary activities were scattered. But this well researched book connects various movements, the interactions between the leaders of these movements, the tough lives of revolutionaries.  British built the dreaded Cellular Jail, far away from the main land, on the island of Andaman, for those whom they considered most dangerous.  Many of the revolutionaries were sent to this Cellular J

Arunachal Pradesh Diary : Chapter 4 - Bum La and North Tawang

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We started our Arunachal Pradesh journey from the Guwahati Airport. We explored Dirang and Bomdila in   Chapter 1 . From there, we reached Tawang in   Chapter 2 . Once in Tawang, we covered the nearby places in   Chapter 3 . Now, in the final chapter of our Arunachal journey, we'll be going north of Tawang, along the snow-capped mountains, exploring the beauty of Himalayas and ultimately reaching the China border at the Bumla pass. It is recommended to read journey so-far in earlier chapters before continuing. Travel Advisory: Tawang is at the altitude of approx. 10000 ft. The altitude will keep on increasing during the journey towards the north of Tawang. So it is advisable to get used to the altitude and climate. Y-Junction We started our journey towards the Gurudwara and Sungester lake at around 9 am from Tawang. After crossing the town, our upward journey continued in the mountains. While the distances in kms might look smaller, it takes reasonable time to cover these places as