In India, Helping The Lost Become Found
At one of the world's biggest religious festivals, a charity founded in 1946 brings separated people together. Their record is much better than India's at large.
Kecia Lynn has worked as a technical writer, editor, software developer, arts administrator, summer camp director, and television host. A graduate of Case Western Reserve University and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, she is currently living in Iowa City and working on her first novel.
What's the Latest Development?
Almost 275,000 people were reported lost during the massive Hindu festival of Kumbh Mela, which started on January 14. Fortunately, most of them were reunited with their loved ones thanks to charities like Bharat Seva Dal, which was founded in 1946 by Raja Ram Tiwari, now 86. His volunteers used only a slightly more sophisticated version of the makeshift megaphone he used back then, when he encountered an elderly woman who had been separated from her family. At least one other charity uses digital photos to help the lost become found, but Tiwari says his low-tech method is just fine: "We've been here for the longest time and villagers know us."
What's the Big Idea?
India's record of finding lost individuals is poor compared to Tiwari's, as the solving of higher-profile crimes, like murder and theft, often takes precedence. Although the proliferation of cell phones has reduced the number of lost relatives, the National Crime Reports Bureau says that in 2011 almost a third of the 60,000 children reported lost were never found. For his part, Tiwari, who's twice been nominated for a prestigious national service award, says that at the 65 festivals he's attended over the years, "[t]here's no such thing as lost forever. That's only in films."
These five main food groups are important for your brain's health and likely to boost the production of feel-good chemicals.
We all know eating “healthy” food is good for our physical health and can decrease our risk of developing diabetes, cancer, obesity and heart disease. What is not as well known is that eating healthy food is also good for our mental health and can decrease our risk of depression and anxiety.
Infographics show the classes and anxieties in the supposedly classless U.S. economy.
For those of us who follow politics, we’re used to commentators referring to the President’s low approval rating as a surprise given the U.S.'s “booming” economy. This seeming disconnect, however, should really prompt us to reconsider the measurements by which we assess the health of an economy. With a robust U.S. stock market and GDP and low unemployment figures, it’s easy to see why some think all is well. But looking at real U.S. wages, which have remained stagnant—and have, thus, in effect gone down given rising costs from inflation—a very different picture emerges. For the 1%, the economy is booming. For the rest of us, it’s hard to even know where we stand. A recent study by Porch (a home-improvement company) of blue-collar vs. white-collar workers shows how traditional categories are becoming less distinct—the study references "new-collar" workers, who require technical certifications but not college degrees. And a set of recent infographics from CreditLoan capturing the thoughts of America’s middle class as defined by the Pew Research Center shows how confused we are.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.