Kenneth Frazier the CEO of Merck is the epitome of a humanitarian

Mr Kenneth Frazier-CEO Merck
Today is 19 August and it is World Humanitarian Day.
At a time when the pursuit of profit seems to override any other corporate mission, Kenya’s fragile, unstable and hard to reach North-Eastern counties is about the last place any company would consider spending any amount of resources.  
Consider this. In 2014, one of the North Eastern counties called, Mandera, had a maternal mortality ratio of 3,795 deaths per 100,000 live births, surpassing that of wartime Sierra Leone.  It is inhabited by a nomadic community, riven by internecine conflicts, pockets of extremism and cross border terrorism.  Widespread illiteracy and cultural practices like female genital mutilation and child marriage ensured women and girls would remain trapped in poverty and desperation.
Only the bravest and optimistic of humanitarian agencies maintained a presence, amid shrinking budgets for international development.
In 2014, UN agencies in Kenya, like UNFPA, UNICEF and WHO were looking…

Paradise Lost- Violence, terror and failed governance in India's Kashmir

"Image of a 'stone pelter' tied in front of a jeep as a 'human shield',will 4 ever haunt the Indian Army & the nation!" Indian Army's Lieutenent General HS Panag, PVSM, AVSM, (Retd) via twitter
The recent image of a young Kashmiri man tied to an Army jeep as a human shield was heartbreaking to see. This is not the Army I know.
I am an Indian Army veteran having served in the Special Forces. I have been in combat and have been decorated for gallantry. 
That image is contrary to what the Indian Army personifies. The Indian Army is a fine institution to which I owe my foundation to.
Countless cheer leaders and trolls have taken to twitter to insult and abuse military veterans who have objected to the way the Kashmiri man was treated. 
One of India's highly regarded retired military generals, Lt Gen HS Panag was humiliated on twitter for having responded to this human rights violation in Kashmir.
Apr 16
More abhijeet…

Reuters: The Global Epidemic of Violence Against Children

The images from the recent gas attack in Syria, where over 80 people, including babies in diapers, can be seen painfully gasping for air before dying, are heartbreaking. These are a graphic illustration of our collective failure to protect children from cruel and inhuman treatment. President Donald Trump correctly called it an “affront to humanity”. The United Nations Secretary General, Mr Antonio Guterres has described Syria as one of the worst conflicts of our time. But what happened in Syria was not a one-off. Everyday millions of children around the world are caught up in crises and disasters, many of man’s own making.

My take:

Reuters: Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights is key to achieving the SDGs

As per a study by the World Bank, had the world addressed 90 percent of global unmet need for family planning by 2015, it would have reduced annual births by almost 28 million, consequently preventing 67,000 maternal deaths, 440,000 neonatal deaths, 473,000 child deaths and 564,000 stillbirths. Global data indicates that the greatest benefits from reducing unintended pregnancies would be seen in the poorest countries, with GDP increases ranging from one to eight percent by 2035. There are few interventions that would result in such wide-ranging impacts while offering such incredible return on investment. Governments working alone, or with development partners only, cannot do everything required to raise standards of health. They need the support of civil society and private sector with its talent, drive, expertise, and resources to leapfrog their health systems. Turning to Kenya, it is important to note that the country has over recent years made important strides in improving health…

Reuters: From Barriers to Bridges: Transformation of the Ethiopia-Kenya Border Region

Consider this. The communities around the Kenya-Ethiopia border in Moyale-Borona area, have long been associated with internecine violence, extreme poverty, and environmental stress. These have led to disastrous societal consequences, including displacement, criminality and violent extremism. The 2012-2013 intercommunal clashes in Moyale town, claimed the lives of over 200 people, destroyed thousands of properties, including schools and other social amenities. The region has been viewed as largely peripheral, both economically and politically, and therefore attracted limited public and private resources. However, an innovative, comprehensive and integrated cross-border programme initiated by the Kenyan and Ethiopian governments, in partnership with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the United Nations (UN) is changing this narrative. During the recent visit to Kenya by the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, President Uhuru Kenyatta specifically mentioned, …

Huffington Post: Gender equality is the missing link for India’s progress

Consider this. Nimrata Nikki Randhawa, is the daughter of Sikh immigrants from India. Her parents, father Ajit Singh Randhawa and mother Raj Kaur Randhawa, hail from Amritsar District, Punjab, India. While Nimrata Nikki Randhawa may not ring a bell, Nikki Haley certainly will. She is married to Michael Haley a U.S. Army Officer and an Afghanistan veteran. Yes, Nikki Haley is Nimrata Nikki Randhawa who went on to become the first female Indian-American governor of South Carolina. Today, Haley is the United States’ Ambassador to the United Nations in New York, a cabinet level position and is the first Indian-American selected to join the new US administration. My take:

Inter Press Service For Societies to Thrive, We Must Ensure Gender Equality

Consider this: gender inequality is costing sub Saharan Africa US$ 95 billion annually in lost revenue. In a corporate setting, that extent of losses would call for a serious reset of the business’s operational approach.  Despite stupendous advancements in science and technology, it has taken mankind two millennia to fully realize the critical role of women in the global social and economic transformation. For any country to realize its full economic and democratic potential, the quest for women’s participation in leadership and decision making must be embraced, understood, appreciated and prioritized.
Honored to co-author this piece with Kenya's Foreign Minister Ambassador Amina Mohamed: