The two young, sari-clad women, one in blue and one in orange, stand in the thatched-roof meeting hall, take hold of the microphone and join their voices.
"We don't need any fancy materials," they croon by heart. "What we need is just some food to live. We don't ask for a refrigerator, a TV or a car. We just need some small capital to start a business."
The audience of women in the village of Alamarai Kuppam applaud with enthusiasm. The few men, seated or hovering around the edges, are more circumspect, but they, too, nod approvingly.
Call it women's lib, post-tsunami-India style.
The outpouring of financial support that followed the 2004 tsunami has accelerated efforts to improve the lives of rural women -- an initiative that goes well beyond helping families recover from the tsunami.
Structured indoor learn-and-play venues have become increasingly popular as children lead more regimented lives. Academic expectations and after-school activities chew up free time for outdoor exploring, which was once the mainstay of childhood. Experts agree that the amount of play time available to the average child has been dramatically reduced to an hour or less each day. Factor in that many households require both parents to work and it's easy to understand why indoor play areas are gaining in popularity among young families.
Everything teaches something. Here are five ways to help your children develop an ethical-action consciousness in their everyday lives.
For the past two years I've been swimming exclusively in the dating pool of divorced dads (DDs). This makes me a Divorced-Dad Dater (DDD).
I love DDs because they will always make sure you've had enough to eat and have gone to the bathroom before long car rides. To me, DDs are more colorful than single men, with greater complexity to their lives, navigating sanity, maturity and alimony coupled with the juggling capabilities of a high-wire performer.
David Ross and Lauren Schmidt met for the first time in Los Angeles in May 2000. Or at least, the couple is pretty sure that was the first time.
The current war with Iraq marks a defining moment in the lives of American Jews and their lives in this country. For generations, Jews have lived, for the most part, on the left-wing edge of the American commonwealth.
They have been -- in Hollywood, in the political world, academia and the media -- generally hostile to the idea of the projection of American power and the idea of a new American empire.
This may soon be changing. Although initially somewhat less supportive of the Iraq invasion than other Americans, Jews are far more behind the projection of American power, arguably, than at any time since World War II. Over half of Jews strongly supported the Bush policy before the outbreak of hostility, according to the Pew Research Center; that percentage has likely increased more recently, as has occurred in the rest of the population.