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Monday, April 13, 2015

Empowerment: Teachers, parents can create leaders

When does leadership begin? Is there an age for learning leadership? Is there an environment for learning? Is leadership about access to opportunities? Why do we need a leader? Should leaders be looked up as role models? And are they? How can we become leaders?
These were some of the questions raised and even mailed to us subsequently after the launch of ‘Making of Top Cop’, an illustrated story book on my formative years, by head boys, head girls and more than 1,020 students from 28 schools in New Delhi, accompanied by more than 120 teachers, parents and others.
The subject of an open house was ‘It begins with us: the role of parents and teachers in inculcating early leadership’.
After a brief presentation by Dr Amrita Bahl (editor) on early leadership learnings drawn from the book, we the organisers had planned to invite students to ask questions on early leadership, and also think through, with short responses from us - the panellists comprising tennis champion Karman Kaur, Delhi Public School (DPS) principal Dr Racha Pandit, Navjyoti Foundation director Neetu Sharma, IIT alumnus Ashok Kumar and Diamond Publications publisher Narendra Verma, besides myself.
We chose the subject based on a very successful experiment in one of our remedial education projects being run by Navjyoti Foundation.
In this, as we worked on the project, we realised that our reach was below the needs of many other thousands of children of the resettlement colony. The challenge now was how to increase our reach to bring the other deprived into our fold.
We decided we would first create leaders of those already with us and then make them reach out to others. Leadership begins with what you have… and from where you are... as we believe.
We asked hundreds of our own children to share their interests; what they liked doing and if they knew something on their own.

Promoting skills
We grouped children as per their interests, across classes. They formed themselves into faculties of IT (information technology), music, yoga, sports, crafts, drawing, drama, teaching, book-reading, story-telling, dance, singing and so on. They all chose their coordinator themselves, on six-monthly rotation, and declared themselves as departments.
Now they chose a registrar, a girl and a boy. We the teachers became mentors. We steered them to promote their respective activities. And provided need-based self-help guidance.
They came together for Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Environment Day, celebratory days, while focusing on promoting their own skills, within the group and outside.
They started to run literacy, home work and skills classes on their own initiative. Each one assumed responsibility to reach out to more and more members of their community. They planned collective activities of the weeks and ran their own events to which we got invited.

Early leadership
They intervened and stopped early marriages of their friends in the localities and brought back dropouts to school.
Some made their parents and older siblings literate. Seeing their confidence, we as their teachers organised inter-school competitions. And also got them admissions in specific vocational institutes which would hone their skills.
They returned with recognition and more confidence as also visibility and respect in the community. This increased their capacity to give and share. In a nutshell, early leadership was born and was being expressed already.
These children, born in first-generation learning, crowded schooling, but being nurtured and steered by an NGO (non-governmental organisation) with local volunteers in post-school education gave them values required in leadership. Today, each one of them is growing up to serve.
Each one feels others’ needs as their own, and that they can contribute to meet it with all they have. It’s an inclusive growth of leadership as against the exclusive development of only competing with others for oneself.
Today’s youth needs this. Rich or poor. Rural or urban. Boy or girl.
This change does not need much money. It needs passionate partnerships, willingness, and orientation among our existing corporates, schoolteachers, parents who themselves may not be literate or even poor.
Youth of the wealthy, where there is too much to take, and parents very busy in their own commitments, need to be engaged in giving and sharing, beyond social networks and engage with the community and social issues early on.
By this we shall create a new generation of young Indian leaders, skilled in the areas of their choice, but sound in character with a strong sense of ownership. They will be givers, collaborators, compassionate, inclusive and sensitive towards others, because they were so when they were small.

Budding collaborators
The interesting part is that even when they compete, they are learning to be collaborators. When they win, they learn to respect defeat. When they speed, they also learn to offer a hand to someone fallen. And when defeated, they go up and congratulate the winner.
Our Gurukul model of Navjyoti as an experiment is going through these tests. We have created a critical mass of hundreds of student leaders already. It is for anyone to see and learn.
But our concern is with millions beyond.
A country of the youth needs each child/youth to be a leader within. Skilled with a tool kit of values, and who learns to share. We cannot lose time.
But who will provide this learning and sharing environment for leadership not to be a mere position, but transformative and entrepreneurial human power, generated in India to build India? It is this concern which led us to initiate this introspective dialogue.
We believe it begins with us, the teachers and parents, harbingers of life and living. We know the way, we are showing the way, we now wait for it to become a caravan.

kiranbedi2005@yahoo.co.in

Monday, March 09, 2015

Agenda for women

Just a few days ago, we organised convocation upon the successful completion of a vocational course for women in the villages of Haryana.
It was sheer joy hearing the beneficiaries of the course recount what they had done since they had become skilled. Each was self-confident and financially almost self-reliant; and in many cases, even supporting the family financially and running the home. Many had put their children in better schools, started small businesses, saved some money, and earned a great deal of confidence.

They recalled how it all started.
They shared with us how they dared to venture out of home, stealthily in most cases. They would switch off their mobile phones so that their husbands did not get to know they had come for training, as one of them narrated. She would tell her husband that the device had run out of battery and there was no way to recharge it, as the village had no electricity.
The same woman said that her husband would not allow her to even leave home, while he himself was posted outside the city, and after his death, the skill of stitching and tailoring that she had learnt now had come to her rescue. She now was the family’s lone breadwinner, sending her two children to school, and looking after her ailing mother-in-law.

Learning to step out

She now runs a small shop to sell designer garments, employs other women, and trains them free of cost. Before this convocation, the students had been asked to present whatever cultural programme they liked. They presented a small skit. They scripted it and acted it out. It showed a family where the daughter was not allowed to step out of the house but told to stick to cooking and cleaning. One day, an NGO worker visits the family and asks the girl how she spends her day.

The girl says she does nothing much. 

The social worker invites her to learn how to stitch, tailor, and design clothes. She says she cannot until her father allows her.

The social worker approaches her father, and sure enough, he declines to give her permission, saying his honour would be hurt if he allowed his daughter to step out of the house. When the social worker goes into the merits of the daughter’s being skilled and ensures her father that no way the family honour would be hurt, he relents. This was based on a true story, but not all stories end this way.
The play was written and enacted by the women of the village. It reveals what is still the general condition, with some emerging exceptions no doubt but few and far between.  It exposes the huge restrictions that girls and many women of today are living under. They are still being held back, even when an opportunity to learn is next door. Imagine how it must be when the opportunities are far.

The most harmless domestic animal


What do we do? How can India moves forward fast enough, if fathers, husbands and brothers continue to be so closed-minded, insecure, and selfish? It hurts me to see girls held back in 2015 only because of gender, place and lack of opportunities; opportunities that many of us got decades ago.
I am reminded of a story I read long ago. Titled “The Most Harmless Domestic Animal”, here’s how it goes in the words of a daughter: “When I breathed for the first time, you told my father: ‘Start saving, it’s a girl.’ At 5, you told me, learn to read and write, so that a boy will come for you. At 10, you told me: ‘Save yourself, you are a girl.’ At 15, you told me stay home, learn to cook, wash, and remain silent and obedient. At 20, you told me don’t come back to us. Years went on and I kept my promise, nobody ever had a complaint. I was the most harmless domestic animal man ever had in history.”

Collective effort required


Girls are products of home and school. Both nurture her. What if she is deprived of these, of if none lays the foundation for her growth?
We have a duty, each one of us here, to make individual and collective effort to give our new generation of girls easy, secure and assured access to opportunities for a robust India. We need to create measurable systems where the local administration with the help of people’s representatives takes on the challenge to address these social issues at every level starting from panchayat, to reach out through dialogue. Credible NGOs at the grassroots, working with women in rural areas, need to be co-opted. Only then will I say that our India is inclusive society, the India of our dreams

Monday, February 23, 2015

What it takes to be a leader

While preparing my presentation on leadership for Warwick University, India Forum in the UK, my views have substantially evolved over the last few weeks.
Earlier I used to bunch together ideas on leadership as one group, such as the need for self auditing, trust worthiness, and so on. But it was not the same with this preparation.
This time, soon after the Delhi election results, when I got to know that I was not elected, and was hence free to be my own master and will have time to travel, I confirmed my pending invites, beginning with a talk at Warwick on leadership, women and social work.
As I got down to think and plan, I questioned myself as to which leadership I was talking of? Is leadership of only one kind? Is it not a set of different skill sets in different set of circumstances or positions?  Dependent on the role, does it not need a specific tool kit for success?  If so, which are those qualities?
And are there any common traits across all leadership positions? If so, which are the common ones that are absolutely essential?
It is amazing how one’s mind debates with one’s self. If only one would listen. I penned down my answers and thoughts on a white sheet of paper. I did not want any technology to come in between the thoughts and my paper. I had got hold of a packet of coloured sketch pencils to express the rainbow of my inner thoughts (which became my slides for Warwick).
For the first time I divided leadership in clear segments such as academic, corporate, civil service, social work and finally political (from my new hard-earned experience). It is this last learning which has expanded my thinking on leadership.
It also made me realise how different skills sets are needed for political leadership. I identified, based on my lifelong experience and observations, the key leadership qualities needed under each leadership head/ box.
I listed them down, and realised how each position was different in priorities and how vital it was to know the differences. But I also identified two commonalities across all kinds of leadership that are essential to be a leader — endurance and communication.
Without endurance, no leadership can be achieved and sustained. Endurance is a comprehensive sustaining power. It implies physical and mental tenacity which is learnt, acquired and practiced over the years.
Hence, if women who want to make it to the top in physically demanding fields have not played competitive sports as students, it will be exceedingly hard for them put to compete at the highest stressful levels, for the demands of the position will not be a level playing field.
It requires a reservoir of physical stamina and mental strength. (This applies to both, men and women). Second quality is communication skills. If a leader cannot communicate, he cannot survive.  This means a strong voice with strong shoulders (robust health). Both these qualities of leadership are basic and essential for all forms of leadership.
But now let us look at other forms of leadership.

Academic
The main keys to stay ahead in this category are: depth of research and its communication. Without this, the educator would exhaust his ideas after a while and the students would stop following him.

Corporate
The keys are strategy and vision, without which the business or the corporation will stagnate and perhaps go into losses.
Civil service
He is one who is selected on merit and is there till he retires. The key quality of leadership expected of him is, commitment and being self-driven since he has the most secure leadership position. He stays on in service even when performance is average.

Social Work
Key quality is to have a missionary zeal based on compassion. This is one service which one volunteers to do out of sheer love.

Political
This category demands raw ambition and cultivated networks. All other skill sets follow. But no political leadership can sustain without ambition.
My aim of sharing these critical differences of youth leadership at Warwick was to help students to choose what they wanted.
And that if they make leadership switches they must do it with knowledge of the required skill sets.
And if they wish to cut across what are the essentials, they can ignore only at their own peril. Of course everything in life can be learnt. But how do you do it if you have no time, and at what cost?
At nation’s cost — when the quality of life and the time of millions is at stake? I wanted the budding leaders in Warwick youth to be conscious of these vital needs, to minimise mistakes.
But I began by saying that one is always a person first and then a leader. Ask yourself, who are you? What do you want to be? What do you think is the bigger purpose of your life? Have you thought it through?
Or will you grow up, get married, have children, earn well, grow old and die? If so, then why be at Warwick? Why not at a zoo? Because this is what all animals do. They are born, grow up, bear children, grow old and die.
India needs true leaders, who are authentic, focused, can self evaluate, remain creative, are trustworthy and more.
But other than the basics of endurance and communication, to be successful, every form of leadership demands a special skill set, while knowing yourself.

Monday, February 16, 2015

An open letter to fellow Indians.

An open letter to fellow Indians.

Indian Democracy if it truly wants many well meaning people to stake their experience for mature and good governance, needs a civil culture and law abiding environment. ( I am being mild in saying this) 
Here is my tryst with electioneering.
Hope to see it change in my life time....
-----------------------------------------------
Am relieved my parents were not alive to hear the foul words hurled at me. 

I opted for electoral politics not for position or power but for serving the city which is my home for last over 40 years.  A city which I have served  in various capacities, though thick and thin.
I saw it through various challenges, International sports events, VIP security, political upheavals, communal riots, agitations, and more...

On crime front I saw it through when Delhi was hit by terror from outside. I spent years to catch a wink with boots on and with wireless blaring to get on the street any moment. 
I did crime prevention saving women from being raped in rural areas on dark nights by erstwhile criminal tribes with literally no cops on roles..by involving village young men to patrol at night. While I was personally out 5 nights a week. 

Conducted traffic managment for Asian Games with hundreds of students doing traffic duties, when my senior wanted to send me to Japan on a course, just to edge me out. Traffic was revenue for some...
Another time when a district was ridden with bootlegging I managed to dry them out and rehabilitate them to honourable living...or rag picking children sent to schools, now become community colleges and many of the same children become teachers...

Or opened drug abuse treatment centres from police stations never heard of...
All this became a life long mission and will remain..

I did it all not for any glory,  I did it because the service and situations demanded it...
I stepped into electoral politics because I wanted to give my city all I still had, when i was given the feeling that I could be of value. I wanted to see it get a stable government in alignment with Government of India to get all that Delhi needed. 

I also wanted to not die one day with a guilt that I was commenting only and never daring to pass the ultimate test of electoral politics. 
I have failed the test. And take full responsibility for my decision. 
But inside me has not failed. Because given the time I gave to myself I gave it all the energy and experience I had. Obviously it was not enough. 
In such trying situations one does not meet the challenge alone. There are several factors which play a vital role. And each one did.  I wish to add nothing more. History will keep analysing till cows come home. And as I read them, each one of them makes sense. And worth being reflected upon. 
The wise will read each one, and take due notice...

On the election trail I wish to say, we need to rework the way we campaign. Whole City or State comes to a grinding halt. Should it? 
Roads are in disarray, and work just stops. Everything is too loud,  uncouth at times, insulting to thin skinned, false, insinuating, biased, revengeful,  corrupt, wasteful, highly disruptive of common man's needs,  breaking all laws, and sending all wrong messages. It's not a level playing field for the levelheaded serving people. It's a field for might and muscle in all respects. 
We need to address these. Hope to see it in my life time.
People need services to be delivered. They want integrity, trustworthiness, and professional commitment. But they also want an implementable vision and plans.  But they also want freebies...more you give, more you get.  
They do not get it still, that there are no free lunches in life. If  you rob Peter to pay Paul, it won't be long before all get robbed. 
Also all campaigning must be become lawful, transparent, facts and evidence based, civil, organised, more technology driven, reasonable, unbiased, neutral through different mediums, etc.  
Space could be allocated through neutral empires appointed by the Election Commission as per laid down rules based debates and also grass root work done, and let candidates be chosen on the basis of performance or implementable ideas. Which means widespread use of Television reaching out to the last mile...
Public 'appeals' through use of congregations must be not be allowed and considered a violation of laws. Hence must be banned.

Its time every public servant becomes a stake holder in governing this country. Needs of people have far outstripped what the country can provide for,  be it water, power, roads, public transport, schools, teachers, doctors, jobs, skills, and even girls. Forget about security for women...Only God knows how long women will continue to suffer...

In the end I wish to thank all those who reposed their trust in me. And to say I am sorry I could not measure upto theirs. 

And also all who called me with foulest possible names. 
I am relieved my parents were not alive to see this...

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Relieved that my parents not alive to hear the foul words...

I opted for electoral politics not for position or power, but for serving the city which is home to me for the last over 40 years. A city which I have served in various capacities, through thick and thin.
 
I saw it through various challenges -- international sports events, VIP security, political upheavals, communal riots, agitations, and more.
 
On crime front, I saw it through when Delhi was hit by terror from outside. I spent years to catch a wink with boots on and with wireless blaring to get on the street any moment.
 
I did crime prevention, saving women from being raped in rural areas on dark nights by erstwhile criminal tribes with literally no cops on roles by involving village young men to patrol at night, while I was personally out five nights a week.
 
I conducted traffic management for Asian Games with hundreds of students doing traffic duties when my senior wanted to send me to Japan on a course, just to edge me out. Traffic was huge revenue for some.
 
Another time when a district assignment was ridden with bootlegging, I managed to dry it out and rehabilitate illicit liquor sellers to honourable living. I sent rag picking children to schools, which are now community colleges and many of the same children working as teachers. I even opened drug abuse treatment centres from police stations which were never heard of.
 
All this became a lifelong mission and will remain so.
 
I did it all not for any glory; I did it because the service and situations demanded it.
 
Wanted to give Delhi all I still had
 
I stepped into electoral politics because I wanted to give my city all I still had, when I was given the feeling that I could be of value. I wanted to see it get a stable government in alignment with the Government of India to get all that Delhi needed.
 
I also wanted to not die one day with a guilt that I was commenting only and never daring to pass the ultimate test of electoral politics.
 
I have failed the test and I take full responsibility for my decision.
 
But inside me has not failed. Because given the time I gave to myself, I gave it all the energy and experience I had. Obviously it was not enough.
 
In such trying situations one does not meet the challenge alone. There are several factors which play a vital role. And each one did. I wish to add nothing more. History will keep analysing till cows come home. And as I read them, each one of them makes sense and worth being reflected upon.
 
The wise will read each one, and take due notice.
 
Need to rework the way we campaign
 
On the election trail, I wish to say we need to rework the way we campaign. Whole city or state comes to a grinding halt. Should it?
 
Roads are in disarray and work just stops. Everything is too loud, uncouth at times, insulting to thin skinned, false, insinuating, biased, revengeful, corrupt, wasteful, highly disruptive of common man's needs, breaking all laws, and sending all wrong messages. It's not a level-playing field for the level-headed serving people. It's a field for might and muscle in all respects. We need to address these and I hope to see it in my life time.
 
People need services to be delivered. They want integrity, trustworthiness, and professional commitment. They want an implementable vision and plans. But they also want freebies -- more you give; more the demand and in return more the gains.
 
Many do not get it still, that there are no free lunches in life. If you rob Peter to pay Paul, it won't be long before all get robbed.
 
Also all campaigning must become lawful, transparent, facts and evidence based, civil, organised, more technology driven, reasonable, unbiased, neutral through different mediums, etc.
 
Let candidates be chosen on basis of performance or implementable ideas
 
Space for public speaking or visual presentation could be allocated through neutral empires appointed by the Election Commission as per laid down rules based debates and also grass root work done, and let candidates be chosen on the basis of performance or implementable ideas -- which means widespread use of Television reaching out to the last mile.
 
Public ‘appeals’ through use of congregations must be not be allowed and considered a violation of laws. Hence, it must be banned.
 
It’s time every public servant becomes a stake holder in governing this country. Needs of people have far outstripped what the country can provide for, be it water, power, roads, public transport, schools, teachers, doctors, jobs, skills, and even girls. Forget about security for women, only God knows how long women will continue to suffer.
 
In the end, I wish to thank all those who reposed their trust in me. And to say I am sorry, I could not measure upto their expectations.
 
And also, all who called me with foulest possible names. I am relieved my parents were not alive to see this.

Monday, January 05, 2015

Friendly registration of crime

I just read in the papers about the press conference organised by Delhi Police wherein the police commissioner informed the media how police cases under friendly registration had doubled in 2014. The graph showed a jump in crime registration figures from 54,287 in 2012 to 73,902 in 2013 to 1.47 lakh in 2014. In a way, more than 100% increase in registration of crime.

Remember, how in the Delhi rape case of December 2012, the complaint was being shuttled from one police station to another, late in the evening, claiming jurisdiction issues. Had the police station in south Delhi responded to the complaint by the informant at that time, the gruesome crime of rape that happened subsequently could have been averted.

The exposure of these fault lines led to a national outcry. And wholesale instructions were given for zero tolerance for such callous responses. This meant willing registration of crimes of all kinds, and certainly of complaints by women. Campaigns by the media and all others, whoever could, exhorted women to report if they wanted criminals to be punished.
But this social need led to opening up of the hitherto indifferent police station to registration. Remember, changes in law also happened through the Justice Verma Committee where non-registration of crimes became a cognizable offence. Now, any duty officer reluctant to register crime ran the risk of getting caught and departmentally dealt with.
Earlier, it was almost the opposite. I recall the days when a particular police officer dared make the registration of cases free, and the crime figure soared. He was hauled up and considered foolish or inept as he did not know how to manage crime.
Earlier days were all about management of crime. When registration of robberies or heinous crimes was recorded, many of us were made to feel as if we had committed the crime. We went sleepless, both to prevent in real terms, or hide it to the maximum extent, or work it out even by falsely implicating innocents, to show it was worked out.

CHANGING TIMES
Today, the capital of India has changed. It’s accepting high figures of crime registration and looking at it with the right interpretation as the need for more prevention, better detection, more arrests and effective punishments.
What about other cities and states? Are they reflecting the actual crime figures? How does one know? Who assesses it? Do we have any surveys, statewide or districtwise? When universities and law schools can get involved?
If we really want to bring crime under check, we will have to truly assess the extent and patterns of crime going unreported and involve research and educational institutes in doing so. Then alone will we be able to truly assess our real shortages in policing and criminal justice systems.
How much can be financially provided for and how much of its deficit will have to come from community resources will get known. We may be able to identify many under-utilised segments, which can be co-opted and energised.

TIME TO TELL TRUTH

But it’s time to tell the truth about the real crime scene. After six decades of policing, the capital city has just begun to reveal. It’s still a beginning. A lot is still hidden in PCR calls and messages received otherwise by use of technology. Mapping them all along with actual FIR registration will give an idea of the crime scene. Maybe the home ministry could issue some guidelines on a more holistic, annual analysis, if not already done. Let us expect a more comprehensive analysis in future, but the wall of non-registration has been broken by Delhi Police.


Monday, December 15, 2014

Rape: A lot has still not changed

A lot has changed since December 16, 2012. But a lot has yet to be. Let's look at what has changed.
Women are comparatively reporting much more now. This is indicative from rise in reporting of cases of rapes or molestation or what is called "eve-teasing". Earlier, they would hesitate to report and get their statement recorded as they were not sure of the police response. Now they know police has to record their complaint and act immediately. They also know that if they do not report, the accused will go scot free. And who knows can even come back to them, but would most certainly be out of legal bounds. Therefore, if they want the culprits caught and exposed, they have to report. They are taking that risk now. The police, too, are registering more willingly now.
They are not afraid of reporting rise in figures in this crime as they know it is safer for society as well as the department. They have also been sensitised to an extent. Also this has been mandated by law; since not recording is also punishable now and certainly the police do not want to risk that. As a result, the police response to arresting the alleged perpetrators is also brisker owing to better coordination. This is evident in the recent case, where the cab driver: the offender was quickly traced and nabbed. Police, at least in metros, do not want to get negative exposure. Senior officials also step in early to take stock of all the events in such incidents. Media plays a big role by making it a 24x7 news event and creating pressure on the system. Courts are stiffer as we have tighter law in place. But... But...
A lot has not changed yet, which is causing a repeat injury to women in particular and society at large. It is all about the mindset towards women. No collective-synergised effort in the form of a social revolution is visible. This is clearly demonstrated by the crimes against women, which have now assumed epidemic proportions. Despite this, it is still not everyone's cause. There is also no appropriate coordination amongst government agencies to make public spaces safer. Whether it is public transport or public dark spots; licensing or enforcement; regulations or deployment; or use of technology, - there is still no unity of purpose, wherein we are assured that all accountable agencies will truly and sincerely work in tandem to fulfill a common objective. Mere meetings are not enough unless there is no mission statement of - "no more..." Had that been been the feeling, the message would have travelled down the line.
The judiciary needs to punish and enforce future prevention, by releasing no sex offender on bail easily (as Rampal Yadav clearly was). The judiciary should conduct day-to-day trials, (still not the case, though ) and if ever released, such accused should be under strict safety and surveillance.
The criminal tracking electronic data system pending since 2009 with government of India, has not seen closure. Hence, police verifications of tracking past criminals remains disjointed (this happened in the recent case when Delhi Police did not know the past record of Yadav in Uttar Pradesh).
Verification of past offenders is still not an essential operating procedure in all police stations across India as an essential tool of basic crime prevention. If this was a practice, such crimes would have been prevented. We have still not evolved when it comes to the mindset — how to treat women with respect. And this disrespect starts from nowhere, but our home where women are seen as dependent housekeepers (as seen in most cases). Parents and teachers have to take this up as a social revolution. Media must think twice before airing item numbers during peak viewing hours! Or why broadcast them at all? Transport administration, municipal agencies, police, courts and prisons too must take it up on a mission mode. Many of the public statements made by newsmakers should also reinforce the message - respect for women, instead of airing their own biases, prejudices and ignorance of facts.
In the midst of this atmosphere where women are not respected enough, we still have a long road to recovery. We can fast forward this journey though, only if we follow the six Ps - parents, principals, politicians, police, prosecution, prisons, and press. With leadership as hubs to effectively coordinate the efforts of all the above mentioned six Ps - individually and collectively; only then can we expect to change substantially before the next December 16.