Mobile Wallets Adoption in India

Introduction: As India aims to become cashless now, a mobile wallet is a way to carry our credit card or debit card information in a digital form on our mobile device. Instead of using your physical plastic card to make purchases, we can pay with your smartphone, tablet, or smartwatch. Here’s an overview of the benefits of mobile wallets and how mobile wallet services generally work.

How mobile wallets work

  • Download the mobile wallet app.
  • Add your credit card or debit card information to the mobile wallet.
  • When you check out at participating merchants, access the mobile wallet and choose your card. If you’re making an in-store purchase, just hold your mobile device at the terminal.

M-Wallets basically fall into three categories :

  1. Closed Wallets : Not widely accepted; can be used only in a few establishments and their partners. example : Ola money
  2. Open Wallets : Open wallets are the ones that allow you to buy goods and services, withdraw cash at ATMs or banks and transfer funds. They can only be by a bank, either jointly or independently. example : M-Pesa
  3. Semi-Open Wallets : Paytm is a semi-open wallet. It gives you more options than closed wallets, ability to transfer back to the bank account, spend at merchant stores but no cash withdrawal.

Where does it lie in product adoption curve?

Profiles of adopters — (early adopters, early majority and so on):

At present, mobile payments form a minuscule part of the overall digital payments industry in India. It is still in early adopters phase. There is a strong demographic dividend in India, where a large proportion of the population is very young. The young are often enthusiastic to take up new technologies and services.However, the contribution from phones and tablets is expected to increase to 30 per cent by 2020. Mobile payments in India are estimated to grow from $86 million in 2011 to $1.15 billion in 2016, with a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 68 per cent, according to estimates.The m-wallet segment includes transfer of money, services related to banking transactions, value-added services such as shopping, ticketing, recharging, and bill payments. In this segment, the highest, 38 per cent market share is captured by money transfer businesses, followed by recharge and bill payments, and utility areas by 30 per cent and 12 per cent, respectively.

  • Innovators are those M-Wallet users who can be safely assumed to be using the digital payment platform since it’s inception. They are the tech savvy younger generation and mostly fall under the 18–30 Age group.They form only 2.5% of the market but influence a larger section of buyer segment to use the product.
  • Early Adopters are highly influenced with the innovators and seek motivation to use the product. In the Indian M-Wallet scenario, most early adopters lie in the 18–35 Age group and live in metro and some tier-1 cities. They are working professionals, students, businessmen and technology friendly folks who are aware of the benefits of digitization. The early adopters generally comprise 13.5% of the total users.
  • Early Majority is a set of users who usually take some inspiration from the early adopters and are somewhat late (but still in time before the product becomes outdated) to adopt a product and consists of about 34% of the total users.
  • Late Majority is a set of users who are skeptical about the usefulness, quality, value and ROI of the product. Late majority is definitely not the place where M-Wallets exist today and they comprise 34% of the users.
  • Laggards have a habit of building a wall between them and technology. They are definitely not the user base for M-Wallets in India today and comprise 16% of the users (Fortunately).

Factors and challenges which affected rate of mobile wallet adoption:

There are various drivers that push the need and desire of mobile payments services in India, and there are several challenges which need to be addressed in order to ensure adoption of the technology in the Indian context. One of the key roles of The Mobile Payment Forum of India is to address these challenges that may inhibit the widespread use of mobile financial services.

Drivers for mobile financial services

  • High penetration of mobile subscribers.Mobile top-up services, domestic remittances and bill payments can be made very conveniently over a mobile phone.
  • Growing demand, and an existing thriving ecosystem, for mobile services like ring tone downloads, Bollywood music, update for cricket matches, etc. Thus the uptake for another service, especially financial services, should be positive.
  • A focus on providing merchants with multichannel payment services.
  • Tokenisation, biometrics — because mobile devices will be a mainstream option for person-to-person or person-to-business payments

Challenges for mobile financial services in India

  • Poor levels of literacy are a problem, and voice-based services offer a potential solution. Voice-based solutions, especially in local languages, have two major benefits: they can work on all handsets and can be used by all irrespective of one’s comfort level with technology or level of literacy.
  • The mobile financial services have to be effective in terms of usability, cost, efficiency, interoperability and security for transactions of all ticket sizes.
  • M-payments options should be available even on low end mobile handsets

Growth and product adoption comparison with other payment methods:

Over the past four years, mobile wallet transactions have jumped from Rs 10 billion of transactions in 2012–13 to more than Rs 490 billion in the year 2015–16. Taxi app Uber’s adoption of Paytm went some way in popularising mobile wallets among those who weren’t before using the services, and even pushed its competitor Ola to build a wallet of its own.

By comparison, the number of debit and credit cards transactions grew by 25%-50% in the same period. On the other hand, the value of transactions done through plastic money grew by a modest 25%.For instance, debit cards saw more than 117 crore transactions during the last financial year and credit cards added another 78 crore transactions in the same period. As compared, mobile wallets managed a healthy 60 crore transactions but that’s considering the fact that many users actually use their debit/credit cards to put funds into their digital wallets.

Summary:

The industry of mobile wallet has too much to promise on the outside, which has caused many public companies’ valuations to be inflated. Some companies are also actively investing in mobile payment startups that could have strategic value for them. Investors are also pumping huge amounts of money into startups that aren’t even close to profitable. To any new entrant, who are thinking of venturing into this market, unless the business model is strong enough, it would be a loss in the long run, even though they will have customers, owing to such a large customer base in our country. But the question remains,

1. With so many deep pocket players in the market, how will they lure in customers?

2. And will the customers be loyal? Will they use your platform in absence of offers/discounts?

3. How long will it take for the business to become from push to pull? During that time will the business be sustainable?

To the investors, blindly pumping money into a new venture without much experience will only over crowd the already crowded market, and further decrease their chances of getting any profit, if at all possible.

Tears Are Like Rain

Tears are like Rain

You don’t want it to fall, but it keeps coming and it drives you Insane.

It pours it Pours

Leaves you feeling cold

Tears are like Rain

It’s something you can’t Tame.

The rain sometimes make you Mad

The tears are from happiness or being Sad.

Tears are like Rain

Something you don’t Plan.

When it rain sometimes it’s fun, sometimes it’s Boring

When you cry sometimes you don’t care, so you let the tears keep Flowing.

Sometimes it brings you happiness, sometimes it brings you Pain

Tears are like Rain


Simplest way to beat downtime in your life

Simplest way to beat downtime in your life:

This post is only for someone who is in a down phase of life.

Everyone in this world goes through many up and down in their life, but for some those moments becomes unbearable. They become useless for everyone, in spite of giving 100% to each attributes which plays a significant role in their daily life, it may be relationship, career etc., etc….

They feel very bad why all these happening only with them, while the rest of the world is enjoying nicely. This is because of karma, may be whether of previous life or present life. This is an entirely different topic, which I will discuss in my next post.

Below is the simplest way to beat this downtime, which I had gained in my personal experiences…

Make your diary as your best friend: From the very beginning of our life, we have learnt that we need to maintain a diary where we can mention our aim, strategies to achieve that aim, some great and worst moments of our life. This will drive us to achieve that aim and always reminds us about our success and failure, so that we will gradually move towards success learning from the failure. Many great people used to maintain this diary on the daily basis. I was a lazy person to maintain it daily and always used to think what shall I write down here on daily basis, any way life is going on smoothly(some up and downs will be always there in the life) and used to maintain only important events in my life. My aim and strategies were in my mind, so something I was missing and something I was getting. I was moving on my life with what I was getting. Though I had a big dream, but I was never able to achieve it. By going through many such kinds of incidents, suddenly I took a major decision in my life to give it a new, more beautiful shape, as a consequence of which my life became entirely miserable instead of a beautiful one. In personal front, I became a person of no use for anyone, even brought many humilities to my nears and dears. Definitely, this impacted my professional life, which became stand still and which was sky rocketing before. In this context, I struggled a lot both emotionally and physically with everyone. Instead of my best effort, I became all alone, without having any interest in living the life. Every moment became a curse for me. Sometimes, I was feeling to end my life, but why shall I have to die so soon. Anyway, I have not started living my life, so death so soon, why…? So, now the question came to me how to deal with the negative emotion that I am getting from my surroundings. Until and unless, I don’t overcome it, I won’t get courage to even get up from the bed in the morning. A new morning was bringing another dreadful day for me. I can’t justify myself even in front of my own people. I was entering inside a dead well more and more, as all the negative emotions were ruining me in deeper and deeper. Until and unless I have not shared it in front of someone, I was feeling like I was becoming more weak at each moment. Without finding anyone, I started praying in front of Goddess Durga and dont know after chanting her name for 15 mins where I shared all of my emotions in front of her, I felt very relaxed…

When I started doing that I felt, okay I have shared my emotion at least in front of someone.

Then, I thought that I need to store all these memories somewhere and a piece of paper and pen were the best way for this.

  1. Started capturing all of thoughts, whatever it may be…might be related to any relationship and my reaction towards that or related to anger towards the plumber who didn’t respond to repair my solar water system or related to my aquarium’s pet fishes… Everything I tried to come out from my outer world which is not responding me and to concentrate on my own.
  2. Then it came to my mind that this is a big opportunity for me to identify my true self and take me to that height where I had ever dreamt of.
  3. Then, I started capturing all of my emotions in a piece of paper and all the actions I used to take to respond all the negative events happening in my life.
  4. There I decided where I am doing wrong and where I am right.
  5. Planned to take my life in right path.
  6. Continuously started enjoying my life through many hobbies.
  7. Then started converting the wrongs into rights.
  8. Fighting continuously to have a peaceful life made me such a strong person that now I can take any challenge in my life and move on. The only solution I follow is that once I write down something, I need to achieve that.
  9. Now I think why didn’t have I started writing my emotion in a piece of paper years before when I had taken a wrong decision to make my life beautiful.
  10. So, making friendship with a piece of paper is the strongest power, but the first step to find out where you want to go.
  11. Now, I can’t think myself without writing for a single day and realized why great people had suggested to pen out the events of our life.
  12. Now, I want to live till 90yrs of my life, enjoying it to the full extent.

 

The only motto of this complete story is that you need someone to express yourself when there is no one with you, then paper and pen are the best, because those memories will be always with you till end of your life and encouraging you to move ahead, by getting confidence how you had beaten your past downtime on you own.

 

If someone is in this kind of emotion as of mine, then please give a try to this suggestion and check whether you are able to come out from your down time. I hope, you will definitely be. All of good wishes are with you.

 

I wrote down so many things here, which may be boring for you, but this is a result of expressing my thoughts through paper and pen(here laptop screen and keyboard).

 

Again, thank you all to have patience in going through this post.

Accident in my Life

Today, 29-Jun-2016, morning.

It was a rainy cloudy day.

The fast moving Nimbous cloud had already covered Bangalore’s sky, seemed like the full day would be raining.

Got up from the bed with a fresh mind and chill breeze actuated me to start for the office asap.

So, without talking with my lovely flower plants and cute pug puppy, I got prepared for office.

While taking my 4-wheeler key, Nizam called me informing that he is already near my apartment’s gate with my activa, which I had given him for servicing.

Got it from him and by seeing it, I felt what else can be the best mean to enjoy today’s weather to a full extent.

So, as usual, at 7:20am, I started to office with my activa.

The service road connecting from my house to main road is around 150mts long and the connection is a small circle having roads to all the 4 directions.

And there was no humps on my left side, though there was no traffic signal.

I saw one biker was coming from my left direction seeing somewhere else instead of seeing his front, I honked and tried to cross the 8 feet width road, as with me some small school going kids would also be able to cross the road.

Without any intention, I don’t know why my eyes still remained on his number plate for a moment and I was able to remember its last four digits.

But on the moment of my eye blink, I found myself falling on the road. What happened…??? 🙂

That biker had hitted me from my left side and I had fallen on the road.

Three or four persons had already gathered me and one was trying to take out the key of my activa, so that he could have lifted and place it in standing position.

I saw my jeans pant was already torn out on my knee and a small line of blood had already come out from my injured knee.

I was feeling pain even on my elbow.

I heard someone’s saying “Are Maam, gaddi jarra dhire chalaiye” and some other’s saying “Break fail ho gaya..” among the crowd.

I was feeling to cry, because whenever something happens with me like this, I always become the dearest darling of my Paa, Maa and Di.

But, now  I thought I should not disturb my Paa, as he will be getting ready to start for office, he will become tensed and cannot concentrate on his work.

So, after thanking the crowd, I got up myself and tried to start my activa.

My red cute activa had become ugly, key was little bent, red had become grey in its left side, with a new concave contour.

Anyhow, I was able to start my journey again after taking the crowd’s suggestion that I need to drive slowly…

Immediately within a minute, I became very stable emotionally and ignored everything whatever happened.

Generally, if something odd happens with me in the morning while or before coming to office, I feel the complete day won’t go right with me. It might be because of some superstitions…

But today, it was a message from my conscience that I should ignore it and instead I should enjoy today’s weather which I had planned before.

If I enjoy this moment, then definitely I can make a nice day for myself.

There are lots of things today in my plate…

I have to start launching plan for my new (definitely its ‘mine’, because I am the owner of it) product, bunch of inputs need to be provided to Pre-sales team from my end, to propose new ideas to its marketing team and towards the end of the day, I have to give a customer-demo of its previous version.

After coming back to home, I have to spend 1 hr time with orphans of Sharma Ashram in its General Body Meeting day and understand their emotions.

And at last, will enjoy hot chilli chicken and basmati fried rice, which Maa had told me to prepare for me today, while coming to office.

So, if I start thinking about this dreadful moment, I cannot do anything… and what will be result??? I will crush myself at the time of sleeping when I think what I achieved today. I have just wasted a very nicely gifted day, which I can never get again, because now God is already aware that I don’t have the potential to utilize a gift given by him.

Then next time he will give this gift to some another person and a normal day to me.

By this time, I was already near the second traffic signal before the Central Silk Board.

The signal was yellow and became red, obviously that was to be… but strange!!! What I saw..???

One biker from my side of road hitted the water tank which was crossing the signal  from right to left.

Why this biker still tried to cross the road even after red signal is on?

Immediately, a crowd gathered surrounding him… Bike had already crossed the road and was in left corner of the road near the place where traffic police used to stand.

I saw the bike and could not believe for a moment !!!

What happened…? It’s the same bike which had hitted me sometimes before.

Yes, that person was heavily injured, had lost his sense and a heavy bleeding from the back of his ear.

Traffic Police was trying to call ambulance.

Don’t know what happened to him.

He had hitted me because of his fault, not even stood there for a sec to know what happened  to me or to say sorry to me just because of humanity and now he hitted himself, again because of his fault.

I just prayed that God may help him and came out from that place after getting green traffic signal.

I arrived in office in time and completed all of my tasks and end of every task I was heavily praised by the audience, which was  possible only because of my skill sets, hard work, talent, motivation and promise to myself that I will utilize my day to the full extent whatever the God has gifted me with.

Here, I can correlate the above complete story with the journey of my life.

While walking in the road of life’s journey, many people follow many ways to reach their destinations and accidents used to happen in more or less. Definitely, I didn’t have any sense of meeting these accidents, it happened with me without giving any prior glance. And after this, my life became something opposite than the plan that I had before. That’s why I call it as accidents.

Accidents for example: demise of someone very near or break in a relationship or loss in job (this can be considered minor)

So, how to deal with these kind of accidents?

We have to categorize the severity of the accident.

  1. Whether it has harmed me mentally?
  2. Whether it has harmed me physically?
  3. If 1 is true, then there is not any mental low phase which cannot be cured, it just depends on my moral motivation to take the life ahead and see this God gifted life in a new way. Many people used to give many kind of adverse remarks towards me, even though that was not my mistake, like without understanding who made me fall on the road, the crowd gave a remark that i was driving carelessly. And if I start thinking about it, I can never proceed ahead in my life. I should not forget that I am the only person who has the capability of making my life beautiful. If I have lost my someone near, then this is my destiny defined by God and the actual pain will be erased out after accepting this only one option left, because I cannot go against the God’s wish. In case of relationship break, yes the God didn’t have made that person for me… that’s it. Cooooool….

Instead of this, if I think, my life is totally ruined then I will be the first person to ruin my life, not God. I should take the responsibility of myself.

Here Responsibility= Response + Ability.

Means, I should have the ability to respond to an accident, instead of remorsing for it…, accepting the result that the accident gave me and continuing living life in that emotional pain.

Give up and ignore everything whatever happened in my life and see how a beautiful life is welcoming me to see it in a very bold and strong way.

If I would have thought about my road accident, then I would have spoiled my entire day.

Here, that entire day is correlated with my entire life.

I should never waste our entire life for these accidents.

Beyond that, there are many things in this life to do and my main motto should be to make our life worth full instead of a waste/junk because of these accidents.

First thing is that to take care of myself, then only I will be able to take care of my surroundings.

There are many good deeds in this world to do for others. If I start doing these, then definitely, my life period will become too short to achieve all these.

These accidents/sufferings are the result of negative karma of previous life and result of that we need to get it, then only we can be a cleansed person, clean from all the negative karma. In order to make us a clean person, God defines those kind of accidents in our life. And now this is our responsibility how to take it ahead: a life with good karma or to repeat the same mistake in this life and to get into another accident in our next birth.

Everyone in this world is having their own destination and they try to reach there within their defined time frame. So, many people try to accept some un-law full ways to reach there and after getting there, they again try to spread their horizon. In this way, we keep on accumulating positive or negative karma in our life in a cumulative manner.

if I want to accumulate only positive karma in my life (definitely, I also accumulate some negative karma in our life, without my knowledge, even after planning not to go in that way, because I am the human being and not the God, even God had done mistake his life and if i dont do any mistake, then I am not the human being, might be some different creature, that I am not aware about which creature in this world.), then I need to plan accordingly and keep on moving.

When I live my life, I can never realize that how worth full my life is…but at the last moment of my life, when I was struggling to take last breath, definitely I had recalled what deeds I had done throughout my life, many positive and many negative karma used to come in my mind and that moment I wanted to live for some more days, why..? Because I want to change my negative karma to some positive karma. This had happened with me once when I had tried and taken steps to end it up. But fortunately, I was able to survive that battle and got a new opportunity to live my life again. So, next time when this time comes naturally, I dont want to go through the same thoughts again, instead I should thank to God by telling that I have used his gift in a very nice way and leaving this mortal world happily without any regret. I dont want to become speechless in front of the God that I could not utilize his gift in a proper way.

So, why so much of repent in life, I can plan something positive and move ahead.

4. If 2 is true, Yes, many of us meet strong physical harm with these accidents. We have to accept this as destiny defined by God, the only one option left that we have is to accept it. But the God will be always with me if I have taken care of myself, have come out from those traumas and started helping other, who is in such kind of problems.

If Arunima Sinha became the first female amputee to climb Mount Everest, then why can’t I…?

Extracted from my daily diary, dated on 29-Jun-2016, Wednesday.

PARABLE OF THE PENCIL

The Pencil Maker took the pencil aside, just before putting him into the box. “There are 5 things you need to know,” he told the pencil, “Before I send you out into the world.

Always remember them and never forget, and you will become the best pencil you can be.”

One: “You will be able to do many great things, but only if you allow yourself to be held in someone’s hand.”

Two: “You will experience a painful sharpening from time to time, but you’ll need it to become a better pencil.”

Three: “You will be able to correct any mistakes you might make.”

Four: “The most important part of you will always be what’s inside.”

And

Five: “On every surface you are used on, you must leave your mark. No matter what the condition, you must continue to write.” The pencil understood and promised to remember, and went into the box with purpose in its heart.

Now replacing the place of the pencil with you.

Always remember them and never forget, and you will become the best person you can be.

One: “You will be able to do many great things, but only if you allow yourself to be held in God’s hand. And allow other human beings to access you for the many gifts you possess.”

Two: “You will experience a painful sharpening from time to time, by going through various problems in life, but you’ll need it to become a stronger person.”

Three: “You will be able to correct any mistakes you might make.”

Four: “The most important part of you will always be what’s on the inside.” And

Five: “On every surface you walk through, you must leave your mark. No matter what the situation, you must continue to do your duties.” Allow this parable on the pencil to encourage you to know that you are a special person and only you can fulfill the purpose to which you were born to accomplish.

Never allow yourself to get discouraged and think that your life is insignificant and cannot make a change.

Small Wings

‘Smruti’… when I hear this word, it comes to my mind about something which retains a sweet memory for a long duration in my heart and mind as well.

This can be the name of a girl also.

An extraordinary lady, named as ‘Smruti’ became an inspiration for me.

I feel myself really fortunate to get an opportunity to have a personal time with her in her Kolkata residence, but my pen is still incompetent in articulating her emotion and feelings. The only thing what I can do is to try my best.

The story starts around 29 years back, in the year of 1987.

It was an early summer morning, time might be 6am in the clock and her car was moving towards Puri, starting from Cuttack. The car was full of joy means it was the time of celebration, why not celebration, as everything as per the expectation had been graced to her family. Bhajans of Lord Jaganatha and Maa Bata Mangala were in medium volume of the music system. Everyone, starting from Aai, Maa, Mausi, Mai and cousins were planning how to celebrate this trip and after that how they will start for the marriage of the youngest daughter Smruti, who was the topper & Gold Medalist in MSc. She was already in the cloud nine and had started seeing dreams sitting in the right corner of the car but didn’t know why she was little scared. Car was moving in the normal pace and the driver was also accompanying them in their planning. Suddenly, she saw a very bright light from a little distance ahead had fallen on her eyes, coming nearer and then suddenly became dark!!! The car had lost its control, was moving towards the left and fell down from 13 ft height. What happened? A bus coming from the front had hitted this car.

Smruti was in unconscious state of mind, but was able to see and speak. The driver ran away from the place. Maa, mausi and mai were badly damaged physically, cousins had already lost their sense.

Smruti:  I feel like everyone’s leg had tied my neck tightly.

Maa: Don’t move from your place, as it seems like your spinal chord is broken.

After that Smruti does not know what happened with her.

All the happiness turned into a very tragedy moment within a minute, from which it was very difficult to come out for Smruti, who had qualified in the Civil Services Examination in 1987 in Group A (Allied Service).

Who is there to help them from this disaster?

After laying for sometimes like this, a police van with ambulance came there to rescue them.

It was the guilty bus driver who had informed about this incident in the police station after surrendering himself.

Rescue process started and they all got admitted in the Cuttack Medical College.

Smruti was lying on the floor, fingers were totally collapsed and was breaking in the pain. She was feeling sever pain in the neck, had become numb, was feeling to fight against the pain but it seemed like the body was like completely tied up with some unseen force, from which she can never make herself free.

Not a single nurse or compounder was there to clean the blood of her relatives.

Team of doctors came, analyzed that she had to undergo surgery of her spinal chord immediately or else there is least possibility of her life.

The nurse had to cut down her clothes with scissor as the body was so hard that it was difficult to remove the clothes, the only option left was to cut down it.

Another nurse came and took the agreement signature from her father where it was mentioned that the surgery process will continue for more than 12 hrs and there is not any guaranteed success of this surgery.

Father, being a professor in the same medical institute, serving many heart patients had become completely helpless and numb for his daughter. He was seeing silently how his daughter was fighting with life miserably,but could not help himself in this situation leaving his beloved daughter in the hands of experts in the field of Neuroscience.

Mother, who was a professor in medicine department was still not able to get up from the bed to see what had happened to her daughter.

It seemed like everyone had become helpless, leaving Smruti to fight her own battle.

Sometimes, we need to fight out battle on our own to realize our true potential.

The outcome of 12 hours long surgery process was something entirely different than the actual purpose of this.

When she opened her eyes, she was made bald and saw that two heavy threads passing through 2 holes made in her head had to support 2 heavy bricks, in order to make the spinal chord aligned. How painful is this…? Now she was able to open her mouth and was able to scream but there was no one to help her out. The fingers were cramped, body was completely paralyzed from neck to feet. The body language of the doctors was depicting that they had done their duty and nothing was in their hand. Though they had treated it wrongly, but they didn’t have any regression in their face.

After struggling for three months, Smruti had to get discharged from the hospital and joined in mental rehab center in Mumbai, to come out from such trauma.

On the very first day, Smruti was lying in the bed in her room, with lots of hope about the future life, as the joining date in the training is coming nearer. Instead of physical trauma, she had the energy of 100 lions to start her professional career.

Dr Biswas entered inside the room with a smiling face.

Dr Biswas: Good Morning, Smruti. How are you feeling now?

Smruti: Great!!! how soon I will be able to walk?

Dr Biswas: Never

It a was shocking moment for Smruti.

Two drops of tears came out from her eyes without her knowlegde.

Dr Biswas suggested her to cry as much as she can, till the moment she does not accept this truth. She cried for the complete day.

Next day morning, Dr Biswas came and told Smruti to ask her questions.

She had lots of questions..

Smruti: Can I keep the hope in living the life

Dr Biswas: Yes, of course. Why not? You have the mental ability to win the biggest battle of the life.

Smruti: What can I expect from the life, in this miserable state?

Dr Biswas: No expectation from the life.

Smruti: Without any expectation, how can I live?

Dr Biswas: Don’t expect anything from the life, but try to win each minute of life. Expectation will take you to false hope, but winning each moment of life will give you enough confidence to achieve your dream.

Smruti: Why shall I live this life, in which I cannot do anything, as I have lost the basic body organ. My fiancee has left me after I became a physically disabled. There is no way left for me to see a chance of living.

Dr Biswas: You can do anything, if you feel you can do. You have to get the potential to live for yourself and for many for whom you will be really an inspiration during that time. Dont think about what you loose, think only about what you get. You got your life back without any harm to your intelligence and loss of memory. That is your best strength. Go ahead with this strength.

It was a great inspiration for Smruti and she started accepting the destiny written by God.

She had to accept her fate.

She tried to do all her activities on her own.

As her fingers were cramped, she was not able to hold spoon on her fingers and nurse had to fed her.

She tried to eat herself by tying a spoon on her hand with a rope.

Then she threw away the rope and started taking on her own hand, even though hardly one or two grains were going inside her mouth. But that was her initial trial.

She had to complete the course spanning over for six months.

Just the day before her birthday, on 18-Sep, night Maa got a call from home which had carried a shocking news for the entire family.

Father’s two kidneys were failed and one kidney needs to be transplanted for his survival.

Family financial condition was not enough good to support both the patients, so Smruti had to leave the rehab center before completing the course.

She went back to Cuttack, father got cured.

Now the question comes, she had to request to Civil Service Admin to postpone the joining date for few months. Instead of accepting her request, the admin had sent her a rejection letter mentioning that due to physical disability, she is not suitable to take the job now.

A Civil Service job needs mental power and intelligence not the physical fitness.

If that is the case, then why so many seats are reserved for physically disabled people?

After getting rejected by Civil Service Admin, the question arises, what she has to do now?

Father suggested to start career in teaching profession, so for that she applied in Utkal University to pursue research. All the professors for whom oneday she was becoming the best student, started rejecting her application, mentioning that how can a wheelchair ridden patient pursue research. It was one professor who had really recognized her talent, accepted her to start her research under her.

After completing of Ph.D in Biology, Dr. Smruti Mohapatra started applying all the opportunities coming for lectureship posts, but everyone she was getting rejected, mentioning the same reason. Rejected for all the jobs. How sadfull is this..? Having enough intelligence and talent, a person gets rejected for the job which needs these qualities because of her physical disability.

How can a person gets encouraged to live her life in which there is no means left to fuel her to live.

All the doors were closed then.

Where to put to step to get a hope in living life.

She had lost her hope.

Smruti went to father and told him that she had lost the battle of life and wanted to commit suicide now.

Father: No, still there is one way. You can take private tuition.

Smruti: Yes. I will do.

Smruti started taking private tuition for class 5th, 6th even for 3rd.

People started seeing her in a very dinted manner, but students performed well.

What is next?

She started a study circle, then there was no limit towards her success.

Her life reminds us about the motto ‘if you have will power, then there is no force present in this world which can stop you to achieve your dream, even if you are a physically disable’

Majestically seated on her wheel chair she has climbed high mountains of challenges with great serenity. While many of us having no physical disability whatsoever have demonstrated our disinclination to take up any worthwhile challenge in life, she continues radiating the glow of a flame that symbolizes the indomitably of her mind. Born on 29/09/1963, Dr Smruti Mohapatra had a brilliant academic career. She holds a PhD degree in Developmental Biology and was the topper & Gold Medalist in MSc. She was the recipient of the Best Student Award 1978 of Utkal University and was the National Debating Champion in 1980, 1981 and 1982. As an excellent player in Basketball she was a Member in the State Basketball Team from 1978 to 1983. She was the Literary Champion in Utkal University in 1984. She qualified in the Civil Services Examination in 1987 in Group A (Allied Service). While getting ready to commence her career in public service in the Government of India, she met with a terrible car accident as a result of which she was severely injured and the lower part of her body was paralysed. Smruti, however, was bold enough to push behind the terrible trauma the road accident caused.

Since 1989 till 1996 she taught civil service aspirants in training programmes sponsored by the Government of India and Government of Orissa. Thereafter till 2007, as the Director of Orissa IAS Study Circle, a career counseling and tutorial centre for students, she successfully trained more than 300 students who now occupy various positions in government, banks, research institutes, universities and other services (Indian Civil services, Indian Forest services, Indian Economics Services, Orissa Civil Services etc.).

She is the Chief Executive of SWABHIMAN, State Disability Information and Resources Centre, Bhubaneswar since its inception in 2001.As the Chief Executive she has overall responsibility for short and long term planning and follow-up, evaluation and quality assurance of the Organisation’s ongoing activities. SWABHIMAN has an Advocacy and Legislation Cell; a Research and Documentation Unit; an Information Dissemination Centre; a Training and Capacity Building Body; a Networking and Federation Forming Node and a Publishing House.

Her experience in Disability sector for 20 years as a volunteer and as a full time Activist and her relentless efforts in the area of advocacy has resulted in (i) Appointment of Disability Commissioner, Orissa; (ii) 3% Reservation Notification By Dept. of Health in Government & Government Aided Medical & Para Medical Institutions; and (iii) 3% Reservation Notification By Dept. of Panchayati Raj in all Poverty Alleviation Schemes and Indira Awas Yojna.

Her exceptional ability for innovation has resulted in conceptualizing and conducting many innovative programes. She initiated a Project called ANJALI in the field of Education where the main objective is ‘TO RESTORE FUNFILLED CHILDHOOD AND TO CREATE BRIDGES FOR AN INCLUSIVE SOCIETY.’ Anjali emphasizes on (i) Bag less schooling in pre and primary school; (ii) Outdoor Classes; (iii) Interactive rather than black-board teaching and (iv) new mediums of learning. ANJALI aims at the holistic development of artistic skills and using this as a medium of learning in elementary schools. ANJALI has successfully taught history through theatre, local culture through dances, literature through puppetry, importance of inclusion through music and science through outdoor trips. Another thrust area is to ‘bridge gaps’- especially between the rural and urban children, disabled and the non-disabled children, poor and rich children, etc and thus creates an inclusive world. Sharing stories of challenges faced and successes achieved by special children as also other children in challenging situations helps blossom relationships where differences become pillars for inclusion.

Another worthy initiative of hers has been the creation of ORISSA STATE DISABILITY NETWORK (OSDN). OSDN is a network of organizations and individuals in Orissa which promotes local advocacy groups and builds leadership in the disability sector; facilitates local advocacy groups to join hands with district level groups to eventually form a State wide Network that will act as a pressure group to influence meaningful policies at various levels – village, block, district state and national, regarding persons with disabilities; empowers disabled people and organizations and to sensitize other concerned sectors through systematic information dissemination on disability related issues like legislations, relevant policies, research findings and current developments; closely monitors and lobbies with the governments, corporate and other allied sectors to advocate the adoption and implementation of appropriate policies/legislations and builds a common cross-disability platform for sharing of concerns by disabled people from all the corners of the state and to build a joint strategy for a cohesive disability movement in Orissa.

Yet another creation of her has been a concept “Hand-In-Hand” which is first of its kind workshop to form a network of women in eastern India. The ideology is based on an attempt to bring together the physically challenged women and the women of mainstream for a face-to-face interaction and building up a network based on trust and mutual cooperation.

SANDHAN is a Network of students for the cause of disability awareness. This is her creation too. She realised that Swabhiman cannot have the financial resources to respond to the enormous needs of all disabled people across the state. She therefore went ahead and built something equally valuable through people power by creating a YOUNG THINK TANK and a STRONG ADVOCACY GROUP in the SANDHAN. The network is expected to sensitise the young generation to overcome societal biases that have been responsible in creating division among people. It is a Group for support of Research; it is an Advocacy Body; it is a pool of Volunteers.

She had been spearheading research and surveys in many areas which include (i)An Access Audit Exercise, supported by Action Aid to assess accessibility of Orissa.(ii) A Study on Domestic Violence Against Disabled Women and Girl Child In Orissa, India. This was the first study of its kind in India. (iii)Mental Health Study 2003 that revealed a declining care and support services for the mentally challenged persons.(iv)Urban Slum Survey 2002 – Conducted by Swabhiman with a focus on children with disability who had access to education, had aids and appliances and adults who were in jobs.

She is the Editor of BLUE FILE, the first and only quarterly compilation of newspaper articles on disability in India. (English & Oriya); she also edits the GIANT LEAPS FORWARD, quarterly English Newsletter of Swabhiman

Associated in various Committees and Forums, she has been liberally contributing to the enrichment of our society. Notable associations have been as (i) Executive Committee Member in OPEPA (Orissa Primary Education Program); (ii) Member of Governing and Executive Body in Orissa Literacy Mission (iii) Executive Member in Red Cross Orissa: (iv) Member of the Ethical Review Committee (To review all research work on human beings for medical purposes); (v) Convener of Orissa State Disability Network; (vi) Chief Coordinator of ANJALI;(vii) Co-opted Member in Regional Spinal Cord Injury Centre, Cuttack (viii)Core Committee Member in Orissa Alliance on Child Rights; (ix) Executive Member in Social Equity Audit Team, India till 2007 and (x)Member of Task Force on Employment, Govt. of Orissa. She is also a Member of Orissa Zoological Society.

Her activities have been widely appreciated. Many organisations have honoured her. In National Symposium in Developmental Biology 1992, she was honoured with the National Young Scientist Award. Orissa Journalists Association recognised her as the Woman of the Year 1995; Orissa Branch of National Women’s Organisations recognised her as the Outstanding Person in 1997. She received the Red Cross Award, the Highest State Award for Disabled Achievers in 2001. CNN –IBN honoured her with Real Heroes Award in 2010.

An avid lover of Nature, she loves to travel and loves writing. Books written by her include (1) Echoes – Published by Writer’s Workshop, Kolkata. (2) Disability Etiquette – Published by Swabhiman; (3) Concession and Facilities For The Disabled ;(4) Laws For The Disabled. Besides she has more than 100 short stories, poems and articles of general interest.

With such achievements she has been a role model for thousands. Really, I salute her.

Journey of the heart

Knowing that Mrs. Sarah Maria was afflicted with a heart trouble, great care was taken to break to her as gently as possible the news of her husband’s death.

It was her sister Farah who told her, in broken sentences; veiled hints that revealed in half concealing. Her husband’s friend Ryan was there, too near her. It was he the first when the news of the loss of Malaysia Airline Flight 370 was received, with Harrish Maria’s name leading the list of “killed”. He had only taken the time to assure himself of its truth by second time confirmation and had accelerated to foresee any less careful, less tender friend in bearing the sad message.

She did not hear the story as many women have heard the same, with a paralyzed inability to accept its significance. She wept at once, with sudden, wild abandonment, in her sister’s arms. When the storm of grief had spent itself she went away to her room alone. She would have no one follow her.

There stood facing the open window, a comfortable roomy armchair. Into this she sank, pressed down by a physical exhaustion that haunted her body and seemed to reach into her soul.

She could see in the open sky from her balcony the tops of trees those were all excited with the new spring life. The delicious breath of rain was in the air. In the street below a peddler was crying his wares. The notes of a distant song which someone was singing reached her faintly and countless sparrows were twittering in the eaves.

There were patches of blue sky showing here and there through the clouds that had met and piled one above the other in the west facing her window.

She sat with her head thrown back upon the cushion of the chair, quite motionless, except when a sniffle came up into her throat and shook her, as a child who has cried itself to sleep continues to sniffle in its dreams.

She was young, with a fair, calm face, whose lines modified suppression and even a certain strength. But now there was a dull stare in her eyes, whose gaze was fixed away off from one of those patches of blue sky. It was not a glance of reflection, but rather indicated a suspension of intelligent thought.

There was something coming to her and she was waiting for it, fearfully. What was it? She did not know; it was too elusive to name. But she felt it, creeping out of the sky, reaching toward her through the sounds, the scents, the color that filled the air.

Now her firm rose and fell excitedly. She was beginning to recognize this thing that was approaching to possess her, and she was striving to beat it back with her will–as powerless as her two white slender hands would have been. When she abandoned herself a little whispered word escaped her slightly parted lips. She said it over and over under the breath: “free, free, free!” The vacant stare and the look of terror that had followed it went from her eyes. They stayed keen and bright. Her pulses beat fast, and the coursing blood warmed and relaxed every inch of her body.

She did not stop to ask if it were or were not a monstrous joy that held her. A clear and exalted perception enabled her to dismiss the suggestion as trivial. She knew that she would weep again when she saw the kind, tender hands folded in death; the face that had never looked save with love upon her, fixed and gray and dead. But she saw beyond that bitter moment a long procession of years to come that would belong to her absolutely. And she opened and spread her arms out to them in welcome.

There would be no one to live for during those coming years; she would live for herself. There would be no powerful will bending hers in that blind persistence with which men and women believe they have a right to impose a private will upon a fellow-creature. A kind intention or a cruel intention made the act seem no less a crime as she looked upon it in that brief moment of illumination.

And yet she had loved him–sometimes. Often she had not. What did it matter! What could love, the unsolved mystery, count for in the face of this possession of self-assertion which she suddenly recognized as the strongest impulse of her being!

“Free! Body and soul free!” she kept whispering.

Farah was kneeling before the closed door with her lips to the keyhole, imploring for admission. “Sarah, open the door! I beg; open the door–you will make yourself ill. What are you doing, Sarah? For heaven’s sake open the door.”

“Go away. I am not making myself ill.” No; she was drinking in a very elixir of life through that open window.

Her fancy was running riot along those days ahead of her. Spring days, and summer days, and all sorts of days that would be her own. She breathed a quick prayer that life might be long. It was only yesterday she had thought with a shudder that life might be long.

She arose at length and opened the door. There was a feverish triumph in her eyes, and she carried herself unwittingly like a goddess of Victory. She clasped her sister’s waist, and together they descended the stairs. Richards stood waiting for them at the bottom.

Someone was opening the front door with a latchkey. It was Harrish Maria who entered, a little travel-stained. He had been far from the scene of the accident, and did not even know there had been one. He stood amazed at Sarah’s piercing cry; at Ryan’s quick motion to screen him to the view of his wife.

When the doctors came they said she had died of heart disease–of the joy that kills.

Watching Silence…

Watching Silence- an attempt to look inwards,

induces heavenly bliss- while alive as rewards!

Pierce through one’s own self deep to begin with,

reflect incessant chatter of mind- ‘Oh’ it writhes!

We can shut our eyes ‘n’ ears to the world around,

what about mind and its clutter that surround?

At comfort, we do roams around the world,

bringing nostalgic memories of it, into our folds!

Moments ‘n’ Events unravel on its pace,

The ‘I’ shaking claims and credits- a mindless race!

‘What is in it for me?’ motive behind all action,

altruistic intent battered a miniscule fraction!

Pause a while and watch thoughts pass by,

giving room for goodness to surge from the sly!

Just frivolous and trivial are all the material gains,

leaving you restless and writhing in deep pain!

In that calm and tranquil, as we begin watching,

resisting all attempts of mind to start snatching!

As we mellow down from within our count,

it is fathomless surreal tranquility we mount!

In that stillness and calm, as we exist along,

exploring our deep inside with swan-song!

It is when we turn a mute witness to that silence,

we find abiding joy and bliss- an eternal presence!!!

A Moment to Cherish

A Moment to Cherish

A Moment to Cherish

It came without any connection.

It bore some fruit, a celebration?

A pleasant moment

came – and it went.

It left without connection.

No expressed affection.

What does it mean?

This empty scene.

A Moment to Cherish

Left me hollow.

Difficult to swallow.

This hurt heart

became the start

of  questions – why

a tear filled eye?

Why feeling choke

in my constricted throat?

Is it repulsion?

Is it unworthiness?