All entries for February 2007
February 26, 2007
Just an Immigrant
by Aruni Mukherjee
I am a migrant worker. Not illegal, but migrant enough to be vilified. So I contribute only 4p a week to Britain’s wealth – but at least I contribute something! I’m not sitting idle taking benefits like hundreds of thousands of domestic workers do. All political parties are falling over each other to restrict the numbers of people like me in the country. We steal away British jobs, they say.
My neighbor gets chased for rent by his estate agent. His neighbor gets council tax reminders. I know a few others who aren’t paying their utility bills on time. I don’t get paid more than them, but I clear all my dues on the 1st of the month. I’ve seen them break parking laws and live rent-free – I’ve stuck to every law of the land. But I am an immigrant.
My family paid more than £60,000 in the last 5 years to this country’s education system. So I send a few pounds back home (probably to buy British exports) – its still less than what I spend in the country. And what about the wealth I am generating at work for the economy? But I am an immigrant.
The Home Office doesn’t have any of my friends there. I need to be better than all European Union applicants to a job to get a work permit. And I am. Doesn’t that help the British company that hires me? You know why I got the job? Because Britain’s education system doesn’t churn out enough employable graduates. Record number of jobs are being advertised in the country, and yet they have to employ us foreigners. I guess the hours I spent studying while my classmates were busy binge drinking and ‘socialising’ are now proving to be of some worth, eh? But I am an immigrant.
So wake up Britain and listen to your Prime Minister and PM-to be. Messrs Blair and Brown have a point- get off your couch and get a degree or some training, or risk being unemployed forever. Your companies will not wait for you to be employable – they have sales targets to meet. Vilifying migrant workers will not get you anywhere. The system favors the ‘natives’ anyway. Make use of it!
But what do I know? I’m just an immigrant.
February 23, 2007
February 17, 2007
Shompole. It is quite literally paradise on earth and just looking at the photos doesn’t do it justice – you need to go there and experience the peaceful serenity and privacy this place offers. Picture a hotel room but without the 4 walls. Picture the bathroom without any walls. Picture a private pool that looks out onto the plains of the Shompole Conservancy and the volcanic hills of the Great Rift Valley. Let me give you a few minutes to savour the photos.
Shompole has won a number of awards as you can imagine but it prides itself in the eco-lodge category. Art of Ventures, the company behind the Shompole concept has as its mandate to work with rural communities to conserve their environment and try ensure that they benefit from sustainable use of natural resources.
The use of unique, innovative design and beyond-5-star service is what they hope will attract more guests to drive the initiative and kick home the message that we need to save our ecosystem. International recognition through the eco-friendly principles, innovative design and community work have already caught the eye of editors at magazines including Vogue and the French newspaper Le Figaro. Mr Gates of Microsoft Corp. and Mr Branson of Virgin have already enjoyed the pleasures of this exclusive (honeymooning) paradise.
Shompole is an ecolodge with private investment that is looking to generate profits which will be used to build more such properties. A new way of social (environmental?) entrepreneurship which I hope succeeds because quite frankly without investment in eco ventures we won’t have an eco-system.
But don’t ask me how much I paid to stay in heaven on Earth!
February 12, 2007
Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/6336137.stm