Opinion 2014

BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY

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BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY


On Nov.3, we celebrated the UAE Flag Day. As part of the events of the flag campaign “Raise it high… Raise it proud” we were hoisting the flag in front of the mall where our office is situated. All management and staff were present representing a high multi-national blend joining together to show our solidarity to the country and its leaders’ vision.
The UAE national anthem was played at the end and we were just dispersing when I suddenly noticed our vice-president Sultan Al Hajji rushing to the middle of the pathway separating the main road from the mall.
I saw a group of school children running between the vehicles to a school bus which had stopped wrongly on the middle of the road for them to alight.
I was shocked and my reaction was also as impulsive as my vice president. I too rushed to the bus, stopped the children and went and requested the driver to move the bus to a safe place for children to get in. All these happened in a flash and we were able to control the children quickly.
We sent a request to the mall authorities and through them to the government departments to have appropriate fencing immediately so that this easy path that tempts drivers to stop midway ends.
We also came out with a plan to reroute the direction for larger groups, especially children to board the bus in safety. End of the day, it became a productive effort with excellent coordination from all concerned.
This spur of the moment action made our UAE Flag Day memorable. We felt happy that we value safety.
Safety aspects cannot be given rest. Safety is everybody’s business.
That is the culture we wish to bring on in everyone’s mind.

Ramesh Menon

To read it in original, please visit Gulf Today Online

For all my readers:

If you enjoyed reading this post and wish to subscribe to my blog, please go to the left hand side and choose the last ‘box’ which says subscribe. Also explore the many ‘previous articles’ listed month-wise on the links above on the left side of the blog. Share the posts with your friends through Facebook, Twitter or other accounts using the buttons below each post. 

You may also read similar articles at: Safety First

I would love to read your comments.

Thank you and best regards – Ramesh Menon Abu Dhabi – Clicksand Writes

Noble cause – Short Take – Gulf Today – Dt 01 November 2014

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Noble cause

Weekends are something one looks forward to. Come Sunday, and work keeps all busy. Occasional attendance to some public function may be the only diversion to this schedule. Come Thursday and things change. We look forward to meeting friends and a series of activities rejuvenate us.
One of the activities in my life is to assist a group of friends in serving the less fortunate and less educated within our society. Less fortunate is common to all. However, less educated is an interesting term I imbibed recently from an elderly person.
We were in the middle of a health awareness campaign and one among us casually checked his blood sugar level. He was well educated, a teetotaler, and had a disciplined life. However, he was found with a higher than normal blood sugar level.
That was a chance discovery, which in normal case would have gone unnoticed till it had aggravated. A casual persuasive talk by someone to have his parameters checked helped him avert a danger to his life.
This is an important lesson we learnt. This has given us more vigour to come all out and create awareness to the less educated and less fortunate about health and dangers of smoking. Added with a bit of awareness on road safety, our mission each week is full of bliss.
End of the weekend, we all say blessed when we are able to convince someone to stop smoking or drinking or even help diagnose an unknown medical condition and assist him to get appropriate treatment.
Ramesh Menon
Gulf Today – Short Take – Dt 1st November 2014
To read it in original, please visit Gulf Today online
For all my readers:

If you enjoyed reading this post and wish to subscribe to my blog, please go to the left hand side and choose the last ‘box’ which says subscribe. Also explore the many ‘previous articles’ listed month-wise on the links above on the left side of the blog. Share the posts with your friends through Facebook, Twitter or other accounts using the buttons below each post. 

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Thank you and best regards – Ramesh Menon Abu Dhabi – Clicksand Writes

De Margerie’s death a big loss – The National Dt 27 October 2014

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De Margerie’s death a big loss
I refer to the article New boss assures Total’s commitment to Abu Dhabi (October 26).
The former Total chief Christophe de Margerie was a true leader who personified human values, professionalism and charisma. He was a very special man. He was at the forefront of major events such as Adipec and Formula 1.
He was a towering personality who will live forever in our memory.
He was famous for his quick wit, pleasant demeanour and warm handshakes.
I offer my condolences to his family and colleagues. May his soul rest in peace.

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

Drive Safe – Gulf Today – Short Take Dt 25 October 2014

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Drive safe
I am always worried when I get to see people driving dangerously. It has been a routine to talk and promote about safety on the road and elsewhere. From experience, I have felt people have to be consistently reminded of safe driving habits.
A moment of lapse in attention is enough to result in a major road disaster.
This is again and again proved when I drive on the Abu Dhabi – Dubai highway.
I was driving back from Dubai a few days ago and found the car in front of me not in control and wavering from one line to another. Feeling something dangerous going to happen as I watched a few distance from behind, I flashed and honked the driver to stop.
I went to him and talked to him whether he was ok. I found him exhausted and sleepy. It took some time for me to convince him to stop for some time, take enough rest and re-start his journey.
Many times, we may not get to be in that situation. I realised that it is not enough to drive carefully. But, we also need to watch out for others’ mistakes.
Beware of others’ mistakes. True to its word, at times we are really helpless.

Ramesh Menon
To read it in original, please visit Gulf Today online
For all my readers:

If you enjoyed reading this post and wish to subscribe to my blog, please go to the left hand side and choose the last ‘box’ which says subscribe. Also explore the many ‘previous articles’ listed month-wise on the links above on the left side of the blog. Share the posts with your friends through Facebook, Twitter or other accounts using the buttons below each post. 

You may also read similar articles at: Safety First

I would love to read your comments.

Thank you and best regards – Ramesh Menon Abu Dhabi – Clicksand Writes




Key words: Road Safety, Safety First

Jaywalking on the increase

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Jaywalking on the increase 

I would like to bring readers’ attention to the fact that jaywalking has increased on the streets of Abu Dhabi – especially along Sheikh Zayed the First Street (formerly Electra Road).

I find driving in the evening quite dangerous, because people of all ages cross the road at will.

I don’t know why they do this without any consideration for their own lives, but I do know that a lack of fencing is allowing them to do it.

I believe the distance between the pedestrian crossings is too far, so people take the easy option. I also think that some people avoid using the underpass because they feel unsafe doing so.

There should be an official campaign to fine people who jaywalk, and this fine should be increased if the person is talking on a mobile phone or listening to music through earphones.

I would like to see fencing along the median strip and signage to indicate the location of the underpass.

Let’s work together to make safety a priority.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

To read this in original, please visit The National Online

For all my readers:

(If you enjoyed reading this post and wish to subscribe to my blog, please go to the left hand side and choose the last ‘box’ which says subscribe. Also explore the many ‘previous articles’ listed month-wise on the links above on the left side of the blog. Share the posts with your friends through Facebook, Twitter or other accounts using the buttons below each post. Thank you and best regards – Ramesh Menon

Time to click – Gulf Today, Short Take Dated 18 October 2014

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Time to click


Modern technology gives plenty of options for children to develop several hobbies. At times, I really wonder how children learn things on their own within no time.
The other day, I was attending a function and noticed a young girl sitting next to her mother. She was restless as the programme was meant for adults and she had tagged along her mother.
However, I knew from her actions that she was listening to the speech carefully. As it progressed, I watched her taking her mother’s Android phone. She opened in it an application to take photos. The next thing I saw was her taking a photo of the stage and the speaker. In no time, she edited the photo in different ways, added graphics and text and made a collage out of it. Sitting and watching her closely from behind, I was wonderstruck. How children expresses their mind in many different ways!
Photography is an ideal opportunity for children and adults to express their creativity. It is a way of looking things with a positive frame of mind. I also believe that photography is a way of putting your stamp on history. Every photo you click is an item added to the history of our life or even the world. We can never recreate the same again. The light, the expression and even the air pattern may change in the next second and you can never reproduce the same effect again.
In order to promote photography interest and also to create interest in the architectural history of Abu Dhabi, a photography competition is organised by the ADIPEC.
The theme “Abu Dhabi Architecture” encourages young photographers to uncover the splendor of modern Abu Dhabi as seen through their lenses by capturing rural or urban city scenes, landscapes, landmarks – both modern and classical, e.g. Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Emirates Palace, Yas Marina, Capital Gate and also view of Corniche, Yas Island.
The theme focuses on uncovering the beauty that modern Abu Dhabi has to offer – be it a secret hideaway, a colorful graffiti wall, a bustling city scene, a unique attraction or spectacular views. Children in the age group 11-18 can participate. More details can be obtained at http://clicksandwrites.blogspot.ae/search/label/Young%20ADIPEC.
The deadline to submit the photos is Oct.31, 2014.

Ramesh Menon
To read it in original, please visit Gulf Today online.

For all my readers:

(If you enjoyed reading this post and wish to subscribe to my blog, please go to the left hand side and choose the last ‘box’ which says subscribe. Also explore the many ‘previous articles’ listed month-wise on the links above on the left side of the blog. Share the posts with your friends through Facebook, Twitter or other accounts using the buttons below each post. Thank you and best regards – Ramesh Menon

Clean work – Gulf Today – Short Take Dt 11 October 2014

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Clean work


We did It! That was the feeling that joyously kept overflowing in our mind at around 2pm last Saturday.
While boarding on the plane to Bangalore from Abu Dhabi for Eid holidays, I had set some clear plans to act upon my arrival there.
Prior to my departure, I had messaged friends and well-wishers through email and social media about the cleaning of a highly-used pedestrian over bridge built an year ago over the Whitefield Railway crossing.
It was built after a Herculean media and public effort to highlight the difficulties and dangers of people getting killed often while crossing dangerously. Once built, the scenario changed. As any other public utility items, no one cared for it.
A handful of us, including my family and close friends, started the campaign at around 9am.
Not used to such acts, we had no idea how it would progress. However, we were prepared with brooms, garbage bags, gloves, cleaning clothes, bleaching powder, and other necessary items. We kept few brooms here and there on the stretch that anyone interested could join us.
As we progressed, Anand Sivaram, Manager of the Whitefield Railway Station and his staff joined us as also a few members of Kadugodi Police Station.
It was indeed an experience of a special kind.
We received “Thank you”, “Good Job” and also Thumbs up signs from many people who used the bridge during the time we were cleaning.
It was nice to see unknown people readily volunteering and taking the broom from our side and do cleaning work for some time. As a coin has two sides, there were those who passing negative comments too!
At the end of our effort, we landed up with 8 huge garbage bags full of leaves and other carelessly thrown away items on the sky walk. A sad thing was that that people who saw us cleaning and progressing ahead, walked further and threw paper and other waste without any civic concern.
Everyone should contribute to the welfare of the community, wherever we are.

Ramesh Menon 
To read it in original, please visit:
Gulf Today – Short Take Dt 11 October 2014


For all my readers:

(If you enjoyed reading this post and wish to subscribe to my blog, please go to the left hand side and choose the last ‘box’ which says subscribe. Also explore the many ‘previous articles’ listed month-wise on the links above on the left side of the blog. Share the posts with your friends through Facebook, Twitter or other accounts using the buttons below each post. Thank you and best regards – Ramesh Menon

Marching ahead – Gulf Today – Short Take Dt 27 September 2014

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Marching ahead
India has successfully launched an orbiter to Mars. But even during such good times, one can see grumblers raising their head. Someone opined that India should have put a national flag on the spacecraft!
These are not achievements that should be credited as individual or country-specific. These are for the welfare and progress of mankind.
There are other achievements happening too. A group of five Emirati students went on a scholarship programme organised by the French Embassy, Image Nation and Total to study film making at the prestigious La Femis Institute in Paris.
During their five-week stay, they literally learned the state-of-the-art technology and also what life is in a metropolitan European city suburb.
The funniest thing for them was the interaction one of them had with a group of local people. He was enthusiastic and made friendship with some people in his neighbourhood.  As he left them and moved to his apartment, he realised something missing. It was his mobile phone. He knew by then what happened with the new friends and their methods.
He used another phone and called on his number. Promptly, someone speaking Arabic answered. He said, “I know it is you calling for the phone. It is with me now and I took it from you.”
Our gleeful friend thanked him wholeheartedly.


To read it in original, please visit Gulf Today online

Setting an example – Gulf Today – Short Take Dt. 20 September 2014

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Setting an example


During a recent visit to Bangalore, I had the opportunity to meet the head of the department at the college where my son is studying.
I was expecting a senior man with a firm face and no smile. As the attendant took me to his office, I was pleasantly surprised. There sits in that responsible seat a man in the early forties, who greeted me with a welcome smile.
Talking to me about the student behaviour, he narrated an example. He quoted to me the sadhya, i.e. the traditional feast we have.
He said, “Education is like the rice in the sadhya served along with numerous other items like pickle and curries.”
One cannot fill his stomach by consuming the pickle or curries. He has to have rice to satisfy his hunger and be happy. Education is just like that. A student in a professional college should take it seriously and consider it the most important phase in his life till he passes out in the first attempt.
Other activities like partying etc. should be given a secondary spot in his daily life. Only then will he be able to enjoy life. Once he passes out with a good score and secures employment with a decent pay package, all the fun activities will follow suit.
If he ignored education, he will face enormous difficulties.
I was impressed by his attentiveness to minute details of each of his students, from first year to final year, in his department.
Having studied in the same college, worked outside and returning to the same college to head the Mechanical Engineering department, Prof. Ravishankarshowed a complete belongingness of the institution.
Educationists like him are an asset to the community.

Ramesh Menon
To read it in original, please visit, Short Take, Gulf Today Dt 20 September 2014

New road will ease traffic – Letters to the editor – The National 15 September 2014

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New road will ease traffic


I am sure commuters will be relieved when the road works are complete in the Al Wahda Mall area (Road works expected to ease access to Al Wahda Mall, September 14).
Apart from congestion, the bus stop dedicated to the shopping complex posed a visual obstruction for drivers exiting the mall. Another shortcoming was the lack of sunshades for bus passengers. These two issues, I hope, will be resolved.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi