A minute with ClicksandWrites – Al Ain Air Championship 2015

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The Al Ain Air Championship (formerly known as Al Ain Aerobatic Show) is one of the longest running events held in the United Arab Emirates was held from 17-10 December 2015. The event is one of the world’s largest and prestigious aerobatic performance festivals, attracting a glittering array of the world’s foremost military and civilian aerobatics teams and flying champions. Held in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi’s heritage heartland, the event was designed to deliver a weekend of unforgettable family fun– in the air, on the ground and across the destination.

Al Ain’s unique cultural heritage, natural assets and many attractions make it the perfect place to host such a dynamic championship event.

The show was organised by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) and is supported by the UAE Air Force, Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) and Al Ain Municipality and partners.

A minute with ClicksandWrites is a series designed to highlight various events that I attend or location that I visit through short videos. The video also has a key safety message that is to remind each and every one that safety is a priority for all, especially road safety.

#StartEarlyDriveCarefullyReachSafely is the prime message that is the need for the hour. Beware of other drivers mistakes and drive carefully and cautiously see through to have a blessed day.

#StartEarlyDriveCarefullyReachSafely  #SafetyFirst  #PassionatePhotographers

#ClicksandWrites  #AminutewithClicksandWrites #AlAinAirChamps


Fill it, Dig it, Forget it! – Kadugodi Whitefield Road that WORKS

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In an year how many times this small stretch of road at Kadugodi Whitefiled has been filled, digged again and then left like that! Pathetic! Even the tractor guys are finding it difficult to drive. So you can imagine how difficult it is for cars and two wheelers. The way the work for pipeline is being carried out at one point here, I feel, very soon, they will find oil here! No one can drive. Not to forget the speed at which the two wheelers ride on these roads. So, imagine the plight of those elderly or children who walk through this stretch to the Volvo Bus stand or Whitefield Railway station. Authorities – please open your eyes and do a neat job, once and for all.

IMG_20150924_090649 IMG_20150924_090700 IMG_20150924_090718 IMG_20150924_090721 IMG_20150924_090746 IMG_20150924_090759 IMG_20150924_090853 IMG_20150924_090954 IMG_20150924_091007 IMG_20150924_091034 IMG_20150924_091039 IMG_20150924_093922 IMG_20150924_093932 IMG_20150924_093943

Road Safety and Self Discipline

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Road Safety and Self Discipline
Road Safety and Self Discipline

This evening, I was casually looking through the windows down to the busy street of Abu Dhabi. Down to my building was a busy junction and vehicles passed to all side without any interruption. After watching a few minutes, I noticed one thing. Each time the signal turns red, the drivers tend to maintain a safe distance from the pedestrian crossings!. I thought it was a one-off instance. My curiosity lead me to observe the flow of traffic for some more time. Each time the signal turned red, I found the vehicles maintaining a safe distance for pedestrians! Isn’t nice to see this and term it as a success of the sustained effort of Abu Dhabi Police authorities to maintain a safe road! Sincere appreciation and wish if the same attitude was maintained by all on highways too! Each day, when we read the newspaper, there are reports of accidents due to speeding. A minute of careless attitude to safety of self and others on the road resulting in dangerous situation which may be fatal or lifelong. How we can make things better was the thought that crossed my mind. More efforts required to make self discipline on the road a mandatory priority at all times. Remember, “Safety First” and think “Safety for Me, Safety for You, Safety for All” when you are driving.

Don’t delay the midday break – Letters to the editor – The National Dt 08 June 2015

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With the temperature consistently remaining high, I would suggest the midday break be implemented with immediate effect. If you visit a construction site, you will notice how exhausted the workers are. It’s also necessary to ensure they get an adequate supply of water.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

To read it in original, please visit The National online

Campaign – Clean up your medicine chest

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Keep only medicines with valid expiry period.
Recently, I was taking part in a campaign organised by Volunteers in the UAE to pack the relief goods collected for Nepal Earthquake support.
With pharmaceutical background, I took up the role to sort out the medicines received. Not much of donations had come in. Majority of the items were new, useful under the circumstances and with long expiry dates. However, what alarmed me was some people’s callous manner to empty their medicine chest for this purpose. Many items of such donation contained near expiry or expired medicines! 
It is understandable, people are busy and many are ignorant of the consequences of taking expired medicines.
This brought out a thought in my mind about the unused medicines lying in the medicine chest at my home too.  Many times medicines prescribed are not consumed in full.
Today, I found some time to clear them and this is the quantity cleared, not usable and expired.
I thought of sharing this thought with you.
Why not devote a few minutes during this weekend to clear medicine chest at your home too.

I am sure, you will save some space, avoid children/elders taking medicines already expired.
Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi
Saturday, 23 May 2015

TheNational@7: Citizen journalists answer the call

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TheNational@7: Citizen journalists answer the call

The sight of two window washers working untethered on a narrow 13th-floor ledge of an Abu Dhabi high-rise was shocking.
They were equipped with the proper safety gear but had detached themselves from their safety ropes, leaving them at risk of falling to their deaths on the bustling street below.
The startled witness to this casual disregard of safety was Ramesh Menon, a technical officer at an oil firm who recorded it with his camera then alerted both the building management and also The National.
The effect was swift and emphatic: the window washers’ employer had its contract with Abu Dhabi Mall cancelled with immediate effect.
But because it was also featured in The National, publicity about the incident sparked a debate among those living here about the sometimes lax culture of safety in the UAE, including an editorial calling for zero tolerance towards those who take safety shortcuts as well as a flurry of letters to the editor on the subject.
What it also demonstrated in a wider sense is the way in which The National is an active part of our community. The newspaper does not just inform and entertain those living in the UAE – that flow of information goes both ways.
In Mr Menon and countless other ordinary people going about their lives, the newspapers’ eyes and ears in the community extend far beyond those of our reporters.
This is what the American playwright Arthur Miller was getting at more than half a century ago when he defined a good newspaper as “a nation talking to itself”.
Anyone who wants to know the hot topics of UAE society need only see how our readers express themselves, either through letters or on The National’s social media feeds on Facebook and Twitter.
Rising rents and the general cost of living, the plight of children caught in conflict zones, driver behaviour on the country’s roads, animal cruelty, the property market’s fluctuations, whether mothers should be compelled to breastfeed new babies, gratitude for the UAE’s accommodation of followers of other faiths, the process of Emiratisation and concern with the welfare of those on the bottom rungs of the economic ladder are all topics on which The National’s readers voice strong views.
We have learnt to listen and take heed when an issue ignites our readers, shaping our response with the input of the community.
In the best cases, this dialogue can both highlight a problem and lead to its solution. In the window washers’ case, it meant there did not need to be a tragedy – for the negligent window washer or any innocent pedestrian walking below – before action was taken.
The same dynamic applied when another reader’s tip alerted us to theplight of two puppies – one with a paw deliberately hacked off and the other with damage to its foot pads – that were abandoned in the desert outside Dubai and left to die.
Our readers were shocked by this wanton act of cruelty, but it ended happily for Stumpy and Bernard, as the two puppies were named by their rescuers. Readers donated more than Dh7,000 – enough to pay for their medical treatment – and this included Dh3,000 from an American reader who saw the story on The National’s website.
The best news came from a couple who read The National. Hank Harrington, a helicopter pilot with Dubai Royal Air Wing, and his wife, Lynn,adopted the puppies, who will have a large garden to play in when the couple relocate to Britain in six months.
These are but a couple of examples of the wave of instances of what has been dubbed “citizen journalism”.
This mirrors the changes that have taken place since The National’s first edition was published seven years ago. It seems like ancient history now, but social media networks, microblogging sites and smartphones were all in their infancy on April 17, 2008.
Facebook had only 80 million members then, compared to 1.4 billion now; Twitter members were collectively sending an average of just about 1 million tweets per day, a fraction of the 50 million now; and the iPhone had been launched in the United States less than a year earlier. Today the UAE has the highest per capita use of smartphones in the world.
These forces combined to enable those living here to interact with The National in a way unimaginable to previous generations of journalists. Now, when there is a multicar pile-up on a foggy road or a major fire in the UAE, we receive images from readers in minutes. Comments on The National’s website come from every corner of the world.
This is as it should be, when a newspaper is having a dialogue with the community it was established to serve.


My thank you note:
It was surprising to see a special mention about me in the 7th Anniversary edition of The National! Safety First. Let the mantra within us be “Safety for Me, Safety for You and Safety for ALL”.
Thank you The National team. 

Safety rules are being breached

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Safety rules are being breached

I have seen workers in harnesses installing billboards or putting stickers on high-rises. But when I looked closely, I noticed that most of them did not have adequate safety gear. This has happened on more than two occasions.
Once, I was frightened for a group of men who were working on a seven-storey building without any protective gear whatsoever. I am sure that these are not stray cases. People will continue to flout the safety rules if such lapses are not reported.
At the same time, strict enforcement of rules is necessary.
It’s mostly smaller companies that ignore the rules as they engage contract or part-time workers. 
They need to be monitored all the time.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi
To read it in original, please visit The National online.

Wolrd Water Day 2015

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World Water Day 2015 – 22nd March 2015
This is one of the winning entries of Malayala Manorama Jeevajalam Photography Competition 2009 – a photo taken by me at Athirappally Waterfalls, Chalakudy Kerala.

To know more about WORLD WATER DAY, please visit 
http://www.unwater.org/worldwaterday — atAthirappilly WATER FALLS.

Bus stops should be inspected – Letters to the editor – The National Dt 26 February 2015

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Bus stops should be inspected

Bus stops should be inspected Thank you for highlighting the need to keep our city’s bus stops clean (Clean cities not cleaned enough, February 24).
That’s not the only problem. There are some covered bus stops where doors are damaged. They should be inspected regularly.
Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

The National 26 February 2015

Death puts focus on road safety

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Death puts focus on road safety

The death of Lucy Monro once again highlights the fact that road safety should be our utmost priority (Tributes pour in for British cyclist killed on UAE tour, February 16).

Not long ago, cyclist Roy Nasr died in a similar accident. All this points to the need for an increased road-safety awareness. Drivers need to be particularly cautious when there are cyclists on the road.

Those riding cycles should make sure they put on their protective gear before hitting the road.

Recently I saw a cycling enthusiast riding without a helmet and reflective jacket. Let’s try to avoid making such mistakes.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi
To read it in original, visit The National online