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FG Wishes Its Readers A Happy New Year 4-10 January 2013

Vol. 2 No. 20  Pages 24  ` 7

{Inside} Get Real, Say No To Plastic


here is now an official ban on use of plastic bags – though without really talking or thinking it through. That is why it hasn’t worked too well in many places. In fact it should be facilitated, and even incentivized. There are also some interesting material options coming up. ...Pg 5 & 6

Restricted Lives


he issue of construction in the Restricted Area of the Air Force Depot needs closure. A court decision is expected soon. We bring you the impact on the lives of residents in this area. ...Pg 8 & 9

Not Running Out Of Steam


ext door, in Rewari, is one of the most unique railway museums – but with a difference. 9 steam engines even today are operational, including one that was made for the visit of Edward III (in 1921). ...Pg 18 & 19

Gurgaon Speaks Up


G helped co-ordinate a citizen gathering outside Leisure Valley Park last Sunday. Three hundred plus concerned residents came and spoke up – by way of written messages, as well as on video. You can view and hear them on ...Pg 20 & 21

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RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319, Postal Regn. No. GRG/35/2012-2014


To State...What We Want

1) Security

Setting up of a Women’s Protection Force (a Citizen-Police Force). Increase in the number of policemen, and the proportion of women within the police. Continuation of extensive drunk-driving checks. Liquor vends to be reduced in number, moved well off the roads (preferably in markets only), not allowed to be glaringly lit up, and closed by 9pm. Strict monitoring of activity around the vends. All streets in the City to be well lit, with LED lighting.

2)  On The Road

Safe and sufficient local transport – Buses, Autos, Taxis ((with GPS, meters, identity checks). Road Safety Officers to be increased, to help police during rush hours. A very visible police presence on the roads, 24x7, as most crime in the City takes place on the road. CCTV surveillance of high crime areas. The first multi-level parking site should become operational on MG Road/Golf Course Road/Sector 29. The long-awaited FOBs and flyovers need to be constructed – there are people dying in accidents every month on NH8, while trying to cross the road. (Rapid Metro would of course be a DLF area boon).

3)  Civic Services

MCG must be the sole agency for the maintenance of civic services across the City – across all Sectors, including those of HUDA and private builders. The financial empowerment to the local Administration must substantially increase. It is a major cause for the delays and gaps in provision of civic infrastructure facilities and/or their maintenance. Supply of Water & Power must be vastly improved by the summer months. Regular sewage collection (with segregation of plastic bags – if still in use), and connection of all colonies with the main sewage drains. Concretising of the Badshahpur Nallah

4) Housing/Colonies

EWS Housing issues must be resolved, and apartments/ plots delivered. There are many apartments lying vacant, and/ or misused. Meanwhile slums proliferate, and Night Shelters remain empty. Unauthorized colonies need to be regularized. Basic civic facilities are being denied to lakhs of residents, for years now.

The election next year may mean that this decision gets taken by close of 2013. A pilot project for the modernization of a Village Abadi/Slum must be taken up and completed.

5)  Gurgaon II (new sectors) No partial/final Completion Certificate should be issued for a Gurgaon II (new sectors) project of a builder, if that builder has not provided the required infrastructure in their current Gurgaon I projects/colonies, as per their approved Licences. RWAs must anyway actively take on their respective private builders, if they are deficient – in facilities, maintenance or services. Further, no residents should be allowed to move in to a GII project/colony, without the water, power and sewage facility being ready and provided at site by the Administration. In fact, if current Gurgaon sectors are not getting sufficient water and power, Gurgaon II inhabitation must not start. 6) Jobs/Investments

With new jobs drying up, and BPO/IT hit by a weak global economy, the State must undertake a serious review of the status, and the requirements, of Udyog Vihar and IMT Manesar – for providing new facilities, and implementing new policies, that will promote investment and jobs. Mere seminars and announcements will not help.

7)  Green City

We need to ensure effective Rain Water Harvesting this monsoon. Most current projects are not working/ineffective. The City also needs to set up a major Solar Project site – maybe near the TERI campus. Finally, can the State Govt stop just announcing, and start delivering instead ? We are part of a State of Announcements - Pod taxis, 10 ‘Greater Gurgaon’ Hubs, tens of thousands of crores investment in Manesar, EWS Housing in lakhs, CCTV surveillance across the City, thousands more policemen, thousands of water harvesting sites, planting of a million trees, multiple multi-level parking sites, new link roads with Delhi, major revamp of Udyog Vihars, installation of LED streetlights across the City, Bus Stand and Railway Station upgrades/renovations, dozens of FOBs and flyovers….). The plan seems to be to talk of big projects, talk up certain areas – like the constant talking up of land rates – and then just move to the next announcement. It seems the future needs to be painted permanently bright all over the Millennium City. However, there are already some reality checks - commercial real estate is dimming. Henceforth, every announcement must have a timeline, and a specified scope. u

Of Little Help

Help On The Road

{ Shilpy Arora / FG }

{ Maninder Dabas / FG }


hile the last few days have seen some announcements for women's security in Delhi, including the launch of a women's helpline (181), Gurgaon has not moved forward. The City’s women's helpline numbers—0124-2335100, and the last launched 1091—appear to be helpless, as most of the times the callers are greeted by a beep sound. A resident of DLF Phase III, Sudhashree, says, “I have been trying the number for the past one week, as a boy in the neighbourhood chases my domestic help quite often. I wanted to report it to the women's helpline. In a week’s time I made almost 10 calls. Every time I was greeted by either a beep sound or a message that ‘the subscriber is not reachable, please try again later.’ It makes you feel so helpless!” A reality check carried out by Friday Gurgaon confirmed that the distress calls are also not taken to their logical end. A call was made to 1091 by a woman who complained about eve-teasing near IFFCO Chowk. Fortunately the female representative, who received the call, patiently heard the grievance of the victim, and then took her mobile number. The victim didn’t get any call back for six hours. When she called up 1091 again she was given a number Contd on p 4 


ill the presence of Women PCRs in and around the areas that are prone to eve teasing and molestation help in curbing the incidents of crime against women? Well, at least DGP, Haryana Police, S.N Vashisht believes that such a step would help in making the public areas safe for women, and that's why he has given directions to the police in Haryana to deploy all-women PCRs in the public areas that are prone to eve teasing and other crimes against women. “Women PCRs will reach the spot even if the police receive a call from a girl or woman facing eve-teasing or harassment while travelling in a bus. Initially at least

one such PCR vehicle, headed by a woman sub-inspector, will be deployed in each district. In a few districts, like Faridabad, the police have deployed three PCR vehicles,” said DGP, Haryana Police last week in Chandigarh. This step should give women some relief and comfort. Gurgaon already has women PCRs roaming in the City for sometime now, and as per the Gurgaon Police, these women PCRs are playing a great role in making women feel comfortable and safe. “We have five women PCRs roaming in Gurgaon – two in DCP West area, another two in DCP East, and the remaining one in DCP South area. I believe these PCRs are quite useful in making women Contd on p 4 

4-10 January 2013

C eleb W atch




Pepper Peps The Crowd


eppers, at The Bristol Hotel, put together a fabulous New Year’s Eve party, with the performance of Manak E. Popular for his songs, ‘Hor Glassy’, ‘Jee Karda’, ‘Shera Di Kom’ and with his latest Bollywood hit ‘Paisa Paisa’, Manak E set the stage on fire to take the city by storm this New Year’s Eve. Peppers, has the largest dance floor, and is the only night club that is open 24 hours for its elite customers. The Bristol Hotel, one of the most contemporary hotels in Gurgaon, offers superlative standards of comfort and luxury, complemented with a variety of restaurants – offering delectable cuisines of the world.

AHI Kitchen Lounge Bar celebrated New Year’s Eve with plenty of music, dance, food and entertainment. The guests grooved to foot-tapping music, belted out by DJ Manish. BAHI Kitchen Lounge Bar, designed & conceptualized by GM & Chef Randhir Tiwari, played host to youngsters and older people – who were spotted having a great time. The guests partied hard, bringing in the New Year with enthusiasm.

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319 Postal Regn. No. GRG/35/2012-2014 VOL.–2 No.–20  4 - 10 January 2013


Atul Sobti

Sr. Correspondent: Abhishek Behl Shilpy Arora Correspondents:

Maninder Dabas

Sr. Photographers: Prakhar Pandey Jit Kumar

Entertainment Galore

Now get your copy of Reading & Riting is the Rithmetic - a compilation of the Editorials and cover stories of Atul Sobti. Get your hard copy at Quill and Canvas, South Point Mall, DLF Phase V, or order it online at Cover Price-Rs. 350


elebrations at 32nd Milestone included a lavish buffet, drinks, and entertainment. There were many fun games for couples and children. The Emcee kept the audience enthralled, and also distributed several prizes. The event ended with a big lucky draw.

♦ Today every 10th jawan in the army is from Haryana – CM Hooda. CM inaugurates the Rezangla War Memorial, in memory of 114 martyrs who died defending the Rezangla post during the 1962 war with China. The road from Rezangla Chowk to the Railway Station will be named as Rezangla Marg. ♦ John Hall will be named as Freedom Fighter Hall. ♦ Applications for Aadhaar Cards can be taken from the office of the District Food and Supplies Controller (DFSC), in the Mini-Secretariat. ♦ At the monthly meeting of district officers, the DC, PC Meena asks for action on the following: formation of a committee at every office, to handle complaints of sexual harassment; installation of CCTV cameras around/outside the Mini-Secretariat; checking for open boreholes and nallas; ensuring a water harvesting system at all govt. buildings and parks. DC Meena asks for a workshop to be organized unorganized sector construction employees, to inform them of the benefit of registering with the Labour Welfare Board. The DC asks for intensifying the checking of food quality. As per Dr Praveen Garg, Civil Surgeon, last month 30 samples were taken, of which 4 have failed – and legal action is being taken against the parties concerned. DC also asks for various measures to be taken to ensure that accidents in the winter fog are minimized – eg. by

THE WEEK THAT WAS ensuring lane markings, reflectors, streetlights. ♦ The Haryana DG Police SN Vashisht visits the City, to review the New Year’s Eve arrangements. ♦ DC Meena pulls up NHAI and PCEPL (concessionaire) over the tardy pace of work on the 6 laning of Gurgaon-Kotputli-jaipur Expressway. This almost Rs 2,000 crores project was to be completed by October 2011 – and is now expected to be ready by June 2013. ♦ The fine for usage of polythene/plastic bags comes into effect from January 1. ♦ 2 are killed in accidents on the rail tracks. ♦ A head constable is killed by a speeding vehicle. ♦ 3 are arrested for eve-teasing (harassing college girls). ♦ A most wanted criminal, Sumit Rana, with a Rs 1.5 lakhs reward, is arrested. ♦ An inter-state gang of bike-borne snatchers is arrested. ♦ A Class XI student is stabbed by classmates. ♦ A 2 year old is abducted – but rescued after 7 hours. ♦ A warehouse guard is shot. ♦ A woman hurt as fire breaks out in a garment factory.

♦ A manager is duped of Rs 5 lakhs, by 3 people – part of a foreign exchange scam. ♦ A senior citizen robbed of Rs 4 lakhs, after withdrawing the cash from his bank. ♦ Burglars steal leather jackets from a factory in Udyog Vihar, after tying up a guard. ♦ 2 cars are spotted with the same number plate. ♦ The Administration takes over the Karamyogi Society, after financial irregularities are discovered. ♦ A new MCG Citizen Facility Centre (CFC) is planned for ‘new’ Gurgaon. ♦ 39 colonies’ residents will now get a permanent house number. ♦ Civil Hospital will apply for NABH accreditation. ♦ Honey Singh show is cancelled on New Year’s Eve. ♦ New Year’s Eve passes off peacefully – partly due to a restrained party mood after the death of ‘Damini’. ♦ Prof Kishore Gandhi, Chairman, NCR Gurgaon People’s Action Group, calls for a Shraddhanjali Sabha for ‘Damini’, at the Main Gurudwara. ♦ Dalai Lama visits the City and inaugurates a facility in Medanta. ♦ Citizens shiver – January 2nd is the coldest day in a decade.

Sr. Sub Editors:

Anita Bagchi

Sr. Designer:

Amit Singh


Virender Kumar

Sr. Circulation Execs.: Himanshu Vats Syed Mohd Komail Circulation Execs.:

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Consulting Art Editor: Qazi M. Raghib Editorial Office 213, Tower A, Spazedge, Sector 47, Sohna Road, Gurgaon 122001, Haryana Phones: +91 124 421 9092/93 Emails: Friday Gurgaon (Weekly) edited, published and printed by Atul Sobti on behalf of Arap Media Ventures Pvt. Ltd. from 213, Tower A, Spazedge, Sector 47, Sohna Road, Gurgaon 122018, Haryana. Printed at Indian Express Ltd. Plot No. A8, Sector 7, Gautam Budh Nagar, NOIDA – 201301, Uttar Pradesh The views expressed in the opinion pieces and/or the columns are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, Friday Gurgaon or Arap Media Ventures Pvt. Ltd.


4-10 January 2013

Of Little Help  Contd from p 1 which connected to an NGO in Surat. “I always used to ignore eve-teasing incidents. However, after the Delhi rape case, I decided to report every single incident. But, unfortunately, I don’t think anything has changed. I called up for help, and ended up with nothing. This shows the lack of planning and infrastructure,” feels the victim. Nirmal (name changed), who lives in Sector 45, has a similar story to tell. “I received an offensive MMS on my cellphone. When I reported it to the women’s helpline, they asked me to call up the cyber crime branch. After making a call to the cyber crime branch, I was instructed to call 100. The issue is that women in distress need immediate help. How can you ask her to make a 100 calls, and still get no answers?,” asks Nirmal. When asked about how they deal with cases reported by women over helpline, a representative manning the helpline says that they hardly receive any ‘serious calls’. "These days we are flooded with calls. Most of the calls are related to cyber crime – obscene messages on social networking sites, MMS, and SMS. ‘No serious cases.’ However, we always lodge an FIR, to carry out the investigations,” says the representative. Shockingly, cases of cyber crime are not considered serious enough by the representatives of the women's cell. It is evident that even senior people in the police, who have decided to set up the helpline, do not understand the seriousness of cyber crime – it is also an 'assault'! Women in Gurgaon are also concerned about the timings of the helpline. Although the helpline numbers are supposed to work for 24 hours, the reality is different. “We face problems generally after sunset, but nobody picks up after 6 pm – just when we need them the most. It is almost useless to have

such a helpline in a city like Gurgaon, where many women are working late in the BPO sector” says Bincy, a call centre employee. Sandhya, mother of a 13-year-old daughter, adds that the helpline numbers remain busy in the afternoon too. “When I called up the last time, 1091 was constantly busy for one hour – 2 pm to 3 pm. At 3.30, a representative picked up and said, ‘Ma’am, we were off for a lunch break’. For schoolgoing girls, 2 pm to 3 pm is a crucial time, as they come back home from school. Can a girl in distress wait for representatives to come back from lunch break, and then take her calls? It is absolutely absurd!” says Sandhya. What can be done A social worker and a resident of Sector 50, Shilpa suggests that we have society-specific helpline numbers. As rightly pointed out by her, the problem with the current helpline numbers is that they seem to be just channels to connect to the police, or the cyber crime cell. However, their role should be to provide immediate help to the victim. “We cannot remain mute spectators. We also need to take the responsibility to ensure the safety of women in the City. We can have a specific number for a specific society, to address the issues at a 'local' level. It will help in the faster redressal of cases,” she says. Shobha, a resident of DLF Phase IV, seconds her views, and suggests that we ask for the assistance of a few NGOs. “I have spent five years in Mysore, where the women's helpline is managed by an NGO called Shaktidhama. They never ask women to make any further calls. Also, they immediately take down the address of the caller, so that if the phone disconnects they can send a team to the victim’s place. This gives more confidence to women. It has turned out to be a major success story there. We can easily replicate it,” believes Shobha.u

Fingering The Criminals

{ Maninder Dabas / FG }


n order to curb the rising crime upfront, the Haryana Police has started an initiative, ‘Pehchan Kaun’. The Police would take finger prints of criminals and individuals who have had any association with any sort of crime, in each district of Haryana. “Pehchan Kaun is a technical method to curb crime and criminals. By finger printing we would be able to create unique data on criminals, which would help us in nabbing them at a faster rate. As soon as we get finger prints from a crime scene, we would try to match them with the finger prints stored with us. We would not only solve the cases at a faster rate, but the criminals would also be wary of committing crime. According to this plan, one Pehchan Kaun Police Post would be established in each district of Haryana (20 Posts). In some of the districts this initiative has already been started, and in others the plans have been set in motion,” said Layak Ram Dabas, Additional Director General (ADG) of Police, State Crime Record Bureau, Madhuban, Karnal. Last month District Karnal became the first district of Haryana to implement this system as a pilot project. The local police would now be able to keep an eye on suspected persons and criminals with the help of this device. Dabas said that today, many inter-district and interstate criminals are active. There is a tendency of criminals to flee to distant areas after committing a crime. Therefore it is very difficult for the local policemen to detect and recognise such

criminals. “It is known that every person has different finger prints, and a person is uniquely identified by this technique. Haryana Police has bought 65 such devices recently, which are also known as ‘live scanners’; every device can store the finger prints of around 26,500 people. The device will fast recognise (within about five seconds) the fingerprints that are already stored in this device.” he added. Dabas had inaugurated Pehchan Kaun Police Post in Manglora, which is connected with western Uttar Pardesh border, last month. The data of chain snatchers,

Transparency Decreased

Recently, the Gurgaon Police has got its website redesigned, and in this process it has removed the mobile numbers of not only the elite brass but also of the SHOs of all Police Stations of Gurgaon District. Now only landline numbers are visible on the Website. None of the officials was willing to comment on this. purse snatchers, thieves, burglars, criminals involved in molesting women, and dacoits has already been stored in this device. The police of other districts are busy in listing the names of the people whose finger prints need to be taken. “The Police in their respective districts has been told to take the fingers prints of the notorious as well as ordinary criminals, who have had any involvement in any sort of crime in their life,” added Dabas. Despite being in one of the biggest and crime prone districts of

Haryana, the Gurgaon Police hasn’t established a Pehchan Kaun Post in the district till now. “We have set plans in motion. As of now we are working on making the list of criminals whose finger prints would be taken under this programme. Soon Gurgaon would have its Pehchan Kaun Post in one of the police stations in the city,” said Surender Pal Singh, DCP, West, who is looking after the DCP Headquarters post as well.

Pehchan Kaun PCR

Once the State police fully implement the initiative, it will start working on making this a mobile system. “As of now we are only focussing on establishing fixed posts under this programme; once we are through with this step, we would start working on making it a mobile system, by installing Pehchan Kaun machines on various PCRs, so that finger prints of criminals—and even suspects— can be taken at a faster rate. This machine can also be used for the recovery of stolen vehicles. Most of the crime today is carried out in stolen vehicles, and most of the the owners of the stolen vehicles register an FIR. Currently it is very difficult for the police to nab the criminals, because they leave the vehicles as soon as their objective is achieved. The Pehchan Kaun PCR would also store details of stolen vehicles. Within five seconds a PCR standing on the road would be able to match the numbers of moving vehicles with the data stored. I believe that modern technology should be used in curbing crime, because just an increase in the numbers of policemen won’t be that effective,” added Dabas. u

C over S tory Help On The Road  Contd from p 1


comfortable while walking in public areas like markets etc,” said Surender Pal Singh, DCP West. Friday Gurgaon decided to check these PCRs and their working. We headed towards MG Road, the Mall Mile, and main trouble spot of Gurgaon. “I believe that the presence of women police on the road gives a sense of comfort and security to the women roaming in public areas, because they can easily tell us if somebody passes any obnoxious comment or does something more. We have noticed that women feel hesitant in complaining to male policemen patrolling the areas. On each Women PCR we have one inspector rank (SI or ASI) woman, and two women constables, along with a male driver. We ourselves have seen many such cases here, where the young girls feel comfortable and secure standing nearby our car; and many times the girls have complained to us about eve teasing etc. We have taken action against the culprits.” said Poonam, a constable sitting in a Women PCR in front of Sahara Mall. Do women really feel safe in the presence of Women PCR? “Be it women policemen or men, first of all they have to be vigilant, cautious, and eager to help the lady in distress. Sitting in the car, or sipping tea in the little police hut on the side of the road, won't help. As far as the presence of women policemen in PCRs is concerned, I believe it would benefit the ladies immensely, because most of the times women don't complain of incidents like eve teasing to the male policemen patrolling in PCRs. This is indeed a welcome step,” said Anuradha Gupta, a middle aged woman at MG Road. u

Haryanvi Made Easy

Get a taste of the local lingo 1. There is no sun today.

Aaj suraj na likdya.

2. It looks like it's going to rain. Aaj to laage hai mee awega. 3. You better not wash clothes today. Aaj latte mat dhoiyo. 4. Everything is so wet and cold. Sab keeme alla aur seela hai. 5.I heard it was snowing in Shimla. Manne suni ke Simla mein

baraf padhi se.

6. How do people stay warm there? Wade log garam kyukar

rahe hain?

7. I am sure they don't get out of bed. Manne pukka byera hai wo sodh me ke na nikalta hoga

C ivic/S ocial



4-10 January 2013

Get Real: Say No To Plastic { Shilpy Arora / FG }


aptops, water bottles, credit cards, cellphones – our lives are moulded and packaged with plastic dependency. After a century of usage, it has now been realised that plastic poses many environmental and health dangers, as it draws on dwindling fossil fuels, releases harmful chemicals, litters landscapes, chokes drains, and destroys flora and fauna. Many cities, including Delhi and Chandigarh, have already imposed a ban on the ubiquitous plastic bags. That is what led the Administration in the City to ring in the new year with a ban on plastic bags.

What is the Ban all about?

According to Vijay Singh Dahiya, Municipal Commissioner of Gurgaon, more than 50 RWAs, Gurgaon Citizen Councils, and shopkeepers in malls and Sadar Bazaar have been informed about the ill-effects of plastic carry bags on the environment. In a press note released before the ban, Dahiya says, “We have spoken to the Industries’ Associations of Gurgaon, and asked them to stop the production of plastic bags. Manufacturers producing plastic bags in the City will be sent notice by the MCG.” The authorities have also worked out heavy penalties for defaulters – Rs. 25,000 to Rs 50,000 for the first offence for the manufacturing units; their license/consent of the unit

will be cancelled for any subsequent offence. For retailers, vendors and other establishments, a fine of Rs. 2,500 to Rs. 5,000 is payable for the first offence, and the trade license of the violator could be cancelled for the subsequent offence. An individual could be fined Rs. 250 to Rs. 500, if caught carrying a plastic bag.

The Loopholes

It is not clear whether the ban is limited to carry bags, or also takes into consideration plastic wraps used in the packaging of books, greeting cards, and other items. In 2010, the government imposed a fine on carrying plastic bags thinner than 40mm, and less than 12 X 18 inches size. This time, however, no such specifications

have been released by the authorities. When asked about the consumption of plastic bags in the City, an official at the MCG said that no such record is available. The authorities have left the shopkeepers and customers to look out for alternatives themselves. Perhaps this is the reason that even two days after a notification imposing a ban on bags, local shopkeepers and vendors can still be seen handing out plastic bags to customers, to carry goods home. Moreover, the ban has no provision for those who dump or burn plastic in the open areas. Plastic can be seen dumped on roads and

parks across the City. We begin our day with a plastic toothbrush, and take bread and milk out from their plastic wraps/pouches. “By the end of a day, a person uses about five plastic bags in some form or the other,” informs Anupama Tiwari, a social worker and a resident of Palam Vihar. She has been working in the area of environmental protection for the past 10 years. While she welcomes the move of the authorities to ban plastic bags in the City, she is worried that no alternatives have been provided – which can lead to even a bigger issue. Many cities have imposed a ban on plastic bags (on paper), but they are still struggling to impose it in reality. The main reason is lack of availability of alternatives to plastic bags. “The consumption of plastic bags in the City is over 20 lakhs a day, and the availability of paper and cloth bags is not even half of it,” she says. When asked about the availability of paper bags in the City, a manager at a local super market chain says “The authorities simply sent a notification saying that nobody can sell goods in plastic bags from January 1, 2013. We have not been provided with any alternatives. I approached a few NGOs, that claim to provide paper and jute bags. But they don’t have the infrastructure to provide over 5,000 bags a day. We therefore source paper bags from Delhi. It is costing us double of plastic bags. The burden is ultimately passed on to the customers.” Anupama points out that in a city like Gurgaon, imposing a ban on plastic bags is not that difficult. “There are no plastic bag manufacturing units in the City. Most shopkeepers buy polythene bags from stockists. Contd on p 6 

06 The authorities can ban the use of plastic bags by simply raiding the stockists. Had the authorities been serious about the issue, they would have done that. It seems that banning plastic bags has become a trend, and the City is blindly following it.” She puts forth an example of a ban imposed by authorities on plastic cutlery in Haryana. “The ban was imposed in 2011. However, till now plastic glasses, cups, cutlery and other items are easily found in local shops, and are widely used by roadside vendors. Also, I am sure most of the people must not even be aware about the ban!” A member of the Industries’ Associations of Gurgaon, who also runs a retail shop in Sadar Bazar, says that the ban should be followed by incentives for better alternatives. “A retailer in a mall can increase the price of their product, or ask for extra money, to provide fancy paper and cloth bags to their customers. However, we (in Sadar Bazar) will lose our customers if we ask for even a rupee extra. It will not only affect the business of the manufacturers and stockists of plastic bags, it will affect every business,” feels the member.

Better Solutions

Many environmentalists feel that the problem is the lack of effective waste management, not the usage of plastic bags. “Banning the use of plastic bags is a regressive step. It is like stopping the cultivation of bananas to prevent people from slipping on banana peels. I think much better results can be achieved by educating the common man not to litter,” says Kumaran of EarthSense, a  City-based company that provides solutions for waste management.

Dr. Rajat, who has been working in the area of waste management, says that the alternatives to plastic bags are not necessarily environmentfriendly. Explaining the process of manufacturing of plastic bags and paper bags, Dr. Rajat says, “Plastic (or polyethylene) bags begin as crude oil, natural gas, or petrochemical derivatives, that are transformed into resins. On the other side, manufacturing of paper bags needs fresh water (20 times more than what is used in making plastic bags). Most paper comes from tree pulp, so the impact of paper bag production on forests is enormous.” Breaking a popular myth, he informs, “Many people choose paper over plastic because they believe it biodegrades faster than plastic. However, there are a number of factors, such as temperature, pH, and type of bacteria, that determine how quickly a paper degrades. Ours is a tropical climate, and certain types of plastics are easily biodegradable in this climate.” Moreover, a plastic bag can be recycled infinitely – paper has a limited recyclable life span. NGOs are also working on re-usable bags made of jute and cloth. A City-based NGO, Haryali, has been distributing jute bags for free

C ivic/S ocial JIT KUMAR

 Contd from p 5

4-10 January 2013

provides corn starch bags in bulk to retailers. When asked about the response of corn starch bags in the City, Sharma, co-founder of Cosmos Ecofriends, says “We have received over a dozen inquiries, thanks to the recent ban on plastic bags. These bags are better than paper, jute, and cloth bags. We are using waste material to make these bags, so it doesn't cause any damage to forests. Also, the cost is lower than what one pays for a paper bag.”

A Road to Success

A major issue faced by the authorities is the improper dumping and disposal of plastic bags. Anupama suggests that authorities build roads surfaced with plastic. Putting across an example of roads built by the Himachal government, she says, “To dispose plastic bags effectively, the Himachal government had collected 104 tons of plastic waste and used it to construct the roads.” The challenge, however, lies in the collection to various Residents’ Welfare Associations and societies in the City. “We are not promoting paper bags, because they can be used only once, and they are made at the cost of trees. Jute is a better option. These bags are made of Tafetta fabric, and one can carry up to 5kg to 6 kg of goods in them. Even washing them is easy,” says a volunteer. Priced between Rs. 25 and Rs. 30, these bags could last for about a year, depending on the usage. Dr. Rajat, however, says that many times the jute and cloth bags are layered with a thin sheet of plastic, which results in an equal damage to the environment, as caused by plastic bags. He suggests that authorities promote the use of a new type of plastic called d2w. According

to him, there is no extra cost involved in manufacturing a d2w bag, which converts into a biodegradable material. Studies have proved that d2w plastic is more environment-friendly than conventional plastic, bio-based plastic, cotton, jute, and paper bags. “Oxo-biodegradable (d2w) plastics are used not just as shopping bags, but also as food containers in UAE.” Manpreet, a resident of DLF Phase III, suggests a simpler and an innovative alternative to plastic bags. “During my stay in Belgium I learnt the art of making bags out of potato peel and cornstarch. These bags are as elastic as plastic bags. Moreover, they can hold more than 5 kg weight,” informs Manpreet. While she manufactures such bags on special requests, she gives reference of a company called Cosmos Ecofriends. Based in Udyog Vihar, the company

of polythene bags separately from various households. “It can easily be done with the support of NGOs, local bodies, and some social groups, that can spread the message of disposing the waste at the right place,” she advises. Though a ‘westernised’ concept, the innovative step can serve the urgent requirement of good roads infrastructure in the City. Amazingly, the roads made with plastic last up to three times longer, and are water-resistant.

Spreading Awareness

There is an urgent need to spread awareness about the alternatives available to plastic bags. Dr. Tripathi began using cornstarch last year. She said that she was influenced by the information her daughter brought home from school. “I think awareness should begin at school. Despite knowing the ill-effects of plastic bags, it was difficult to do away with them. However, when my daughter told me about cornstarch bags, I was amazed that such an affordable and ecofriendly option is available in my city,” says Dr. Tripathi, adding that development is not possible without the active participation of every citizen. We can also help by inculcating the habit of waste segregation at homes, schools, or workplaces. All citizens need to set the ball rolling, by playing a determined role in waste management. u

S pecial

4-10 January 2013



2012 Round-Up

he 2031 Development Plan - Gurgaon Manesar Urban Complex – was finalized. Similar plans for Pataudi/ Sohna/Farukhnagar - within Gurgaon District – were announced. Gurgaon II (new Sectors 58 to 115) was reconfigured, partly due to the disbanding of the Reliance SEZ project. Farmers violently agitated at Rewari, against forcible acquisition of their land for future govt projects. Residents began to stay in Gurgaon II, without being given official civic services (water, power, sewerage, connectivity). It is a disaster waiting to happen – apart from it being ‘illegal’. Commercial real estate occupancy and prices were weak.

Crime/Safety/Police Carjackings and snatchings and assaults on women have become a daily affair; a few car gangs were busted. Many people were caught up in frauds – relating to jobs, property, financial schemes. A New Police Commissioner took charge. A competent and successful DCP Traffic was transferred (ostensibly because she was ‘tough’ on the toll operator and the civil Administration). There was no change in the number of policemen, despite a lot of talk on substantially increasing the force. The BMW case lingered – no one has yet been found guilty…. ‘Illegal’ Bangladeshis now allegedly number in the tens of thousands. The High Security number plates drive was not successful. The Police Special Emergency Vehicle lies unused – no one also seemed to know how to operate it. A foundation was laid for a Traffic Tower, and new Police HQ. Liquor Vends continued to be in your face across the City. It has become impossible to cross the areas on foot, esp. in the evenings. With crimes on the road increasing alarmingly, this policy has to change. DLF introduced new Fire Stations in Phase V – with tenders capable of reaching 90m. DLF also introduced stateof-the-art security coverage with a CCTV network overlooking Phase V.

Civic Agencies There was no increase in the financial delegation of power to the local Administration. This is considered one of the biggest factors contributing to the pathetic state of civic infrastructure, facilities and services. Special sanctions were provided for civic infrastructure: Rs 1400 crores – for Water, Sewage for new sectors

Rs 437 crores – for Power Infrastructure We are yet to see any result; there has been no sharing of status, by the Administration. A new MCG Commissioner took charge. A new Divisional Commissioner took charge. HUDA continued to run its colonies; the transfer to MCG still waits. However, House Tax is going to the MCG ! Clearly there is more money to be made in/from the colony (land/vacant areas/common areas), than from provision of civic services. The Councillors were virtually silenced. It was not unexpected, given that MCG is hardly playing the role it was set up for (4 years ago). The collection of House Tax by the MCG became a contentious issue in the private builder areas. RWAs/residents believe that this is ‘double tax’, as they pay maintenance charges to the private builders, for similar services - and MCG has anyway not provided any service to them yet. MCG is supposedly on solid legislative and legal ground - logic and actual delivery be damned.

Basic Services Severe shortage of water and power led people to come out on the streets in the summer. Water Harvesting was the most talked of item – and the least done. Whatever little was constructed did not work, or was ineffective. Many colonies continued to be not connected to the main sewage lines. Nallahs continued to overflow every monsoon. The Badshahpur Nallah is now a cesspool. Mobile Toilets were installed on MG Road, and soon picked up and taken away. They were not practical, not maintainable. Food prices in Gurgaon, like all over India, were very high. Gurgaon now outstrips Delhi in most food rates. Gurgaon was to get a Food Testing mobile laboratory. However, we still have to be content with sending samples to Chandigarh – and waiting for months for the report; and months again for any action to be taken (which is never shared).

On The Road HUDA finally undertook repair and relaying of main roads between sectors. The new HUDA-DLF Road project – from Cyber City to Golf Course Road end was approved. The Gurgaon-Faridabad highway was opened – as a toll road. The project for relaying

and widening Sohna Road was started. Portions of the Southern (SPR) and Northern Peripheral Road (NPR) projects, critical for the future Gurgaon sectors, are still bogged down in legal cases, lodged by farmers/local residents. The Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) Expressway is also running late by years. The Toll Plaza turned out to be the most complex project of the City. However, it does not seem to agitate us as much now. Has it really got better, or do we just not care any longer? After all, even the highest Court is being stymied. FOBs and flyovers were the maximum promised facilities in 2012. Yet not one came up, or even started. Hero Chowk is now a mirage. HUDA promised and identified 30+ sites for parking, in ‘New’ Gurgaon, by early 2013. There is still no provision for a multi-level parking site. Despite plans, road or colony signage in the City remained poor - vernacular signs are even less. Many sectors continued to have areas without streetlights. The promise of LED Streetlights remained just that. City Bus service started, without signages and bus shelters; they are still not there after months. The Volvo service is successful. Autos are still running without meters. The Rapid Metro project is on schedule for an early 2013 launch. Phase II (till Sector 56 roundabout on Golf Course Road) was approved. The Railway Station and Bus Stand were not renovated/upgraded, despite a supposed plan.

Education/Health The Right To Education has not been implemented within the deadline of December 31st. It will clearly be extended. Very few schools have become complaint. Many have no plans. Sec 10 Hospital opened after years of neglect. AIIMS II OPD facility opened 17km from Gurgaon, in Badhsa (Jharsa). Medical Tourism became a roaring business. Fortis and St Stephens Hospitals opened in the City. ESIC Hospital opened in “new’ Gurgaon.

Colonies/Housing/Land Many residents of private builder colonies have taken charge of the running of their complexes/colonies, as their builders did not provide facilities as promised, nor maintained the area well

Designed to be Perfect




9818200470 (eg. Mayfield Gardens, World Spa). RWAs genuinely run by residents are now maturing. EWS Housing still remained a pipedream for the lakhs of homeless, or those living in slum conditions. Ironically, the two ‘official’ Night Shelters remained barely occupied. Almost 70 Unauthorized Colonies continued to be denied official civic services. Lakhs of residents are waiting for years to be accepted as bonafide residents. The DC recorded repeated warnings on: ‘’illegal’ construction in the 900m area off the Ammo Depot/100m area off IAF Depot; illegal’ use of ground water for construction; and ‘illegal’ running of Hookah Bars. When even the DC’ The Gurgaon Administration was appreciated for its Land Records and Property Registration systems – including Satellite Imagery.

Industry The Honda 2-wheeler factory witnessed labour trouble and violence, wherein a manager lost his life. Udyog Vihars turned even more Cyber Vihars, or Real Estate (Vacant) Vihars. Industry was unhappy and not willing to expand; new industry hardly came. IMT Manesar area will likely become just a logistics hub, at best. The Reliance SEZ proposed project was officially closed. The land, taken from farmers for an SEZ project and jobs, was put into the new Development Plan for Gurgaon – an-

gering the farmers. An Amul Diary project was proposed at Dharuhera. A foundation stone was laid for Indian Institute of Company Affairs campus, at Manesar. The Reebok case is still under investigation, with the main accused still in custody. The Citibank case has also not faced closure.

Environment A Green House was set up in the City. Biodiversity Park was taken under MCG charge, and maintained well. Gutkha/Pan Masala usage was banned. Polythene/plastic bags are banned with effect from January 1, 2013. At least half the Mobile Towers in the City were found to be unauthorized. This was apart from the hazards of location of some of the authorized ones.

And… Expats were provided easier and faster visa extension facility, by the local FRO. Multiple music concerts of international artists were held – without any major crowd problems. Yuvraj Singh came back with a bang, from cancer therapy – is a resident of DLF Phase I. After the success of Zangoora, the Kingdom of Dream unveiled a Kishore Kumar musical – Jhumroo.


4-10 January 2013

{ Abhishek Behl / FG } The issue of construction in the Restricted Area of the Air Force Ammunition Depot needs closure. A court decision is expected soon. We bring you the impact on the lives of residents in this area.


fter working for 10 years at different construction sites of Gurgaon, Vijay Kumar (name changed) decided to buy a a small piece of land, as he needed a permanent place for his family in the Millennium City. With a budget of merely 3 lakh rupees, Kumar had bought a 30 square yard plot in Sheetla Colony – which falls within the 900 metres area of the Air Force Ammunition Depot, a restricted area where construction is not allowed. He started constructing a one room set, so that his family could get a permanent roof. However, last month the District Administration, spurred by the strict stand taken by the Punjab and Haryana High Court, again pounced upon newly-built constructions in and around Sheetla Colony, and demolished many structures. This forced Kumar to put on hold the construction work, and continue to live with his family of 8 in a single room tenement. He is not alone; there are hundreds of plot buyers who have saved money for years, taken loans from their relatives, and even borrowed from loan sharks, to fulfill their dream of owning a home in Gurgaon. With housing for the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) making no headway in the Millennium City, the only option left for the poor and weaker sections of society is to either live in a slum, or opt for living in such lower cost 'disputed' areas. Many of them decide to take this risky route, and end up being caught between the devil and deep sea. Speaking to Friday Gurgaon, a family member of one of the distraught owners, whose house has been demolished and a relative picked by the police allegedly for violence, says that they have lost all they had. “Why is the government doing this to us? We have nowhere to go, and it is impossible to buy land in other parts of the City,” he says. The demolitions carried out by the authorities last month also resulted in widespread violence, in which many official vehicles were torched by a mob. Angry residents say that nine youth, some of whom were juveniles, have been arrested by the police on serious charges, in the aftermath of the violence. Darshana, a resident of the Colony, says that violence erupted because the people are very angry with the system, and don’t know what to do. “We have no water and power connections. The roads are non-existent, and sewerage system is dysfunctional. Why have the officials allowed this Colony to come

up if it was illegal? We have spent hard earned money,” she asserts, while accusing the government of treating the residents like animals. The tragedy unfolding in Sheetla Colony is severe; a majority of the population is from the weaker sections, that finds it difficult to survive if they miss a day of work. Sheetla Colony is one of the largest populated colonies in the disputed zone, and has around

40,000 residents. The majority of the people here are labourers. A large number claim to have voter I-Cards and power connections going back 20 years – and the area has also been included in the MCG Ward number 5. Dharamvir Chouhan, a social activist, says that the Court and the government should adopt a humanitarian approach. Satish Sharma, who has filed a Special Leave Petition (SLP) with the Punjab and Haryana High Court, believes that the District Administration slept while the plots were being sold and registered in the area; the Air Force authorities also looked the other way when houses were springing up in close vicinity of the Ammunition Depot; and the government did not take the matter seriously, owing to vote bank compulsions. Sharma says that through his Petition he has asked the government to pay compensation to the residents at the prevailing circle rates, and acquire the land. “He feels it is almost impossible for the government to remove 30,000 houses that have come up in the area. Interestingly, the Haryana government has supported the contention of the residents, and even offered alternative land to IAF. However, the recent stand taken by the Punjab and Haryana High Court seems to have set the alarm bells ringing. In what could be termed as a stricture against the District Administration, the Court has directed the MCG and DC office to submit a rehabilitation plan for the residents of the restricted zone, conduct a fresh survey, and demarcate the area falling within the zone. The MCG has been asked to submit the written reply on February 27. Sharma says that the government and Administration will also have to answer how they allowed HUDA to develop certain sectors falling in this restricted area – including parts of the Maruti factory. “We want the


Restricted Lives

C ivic/S ocial

MCG Commissioner Vijay Singh Dahiya, appearing in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, has said that the order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, banning all constructions in the 900-metres area around the IAF Depot, is being implemented in letter and spirit. Dahiya also submitted in the Court that to bring greater efficiency and promptness in checking further/fresh constructions in the restricted belt, it has been divided in six parts (instead of four parts earlier). The concerned Executive Engineers and their Assistant Engineers, Junior Engineers shall be held responsible for stopping all kinds of illegal activities around the restricted belt in their respective areas.

government to first remove constructions in HUDA sectors and in Maruti, before they go after the hapless residents of these unauthorised areas,” says Sharma. Local residents also question the contention that a mishap in the Ammunition Depot will affect only the 900 metres area. “If something happens in the Depot, there is no guarantee that the rest of Gurgaon City will not be effected. So the need of the hour is to shift this Depot to a safer place outside Gurgaon,” says Sharma. In fact, he feels that the Maruti factory, where thousands of litres of thinner and paint is stored, could prove a bigger threat to the Depot. While there are reports that the government might consider reducing the restricted zone upto 100 metres (from the current 900 metres), Gaje Singh Kablana, an INLD Councillor, says that while this is a workable solution, at least a 1,000 homes fall even in this area. “Where will these poor people go? They belong to the weakest sections of society. They have migrated from Bihar and UP, and help in running the economy of Gurgaon,” says Kablana. He has also filed two Special Leave Petitions in the Supreme Court asking that the Depot be shifted. A visit to the interiors of Sheetla Colony reveals that while the concretisation of this restricted zone is almost complete, the facilities are non-

existent. People are living in squalor, with kids playing in dirty streets along with pigs. The danger of disease spreading in this area cannot be ruled out, as human beings live, eat and play in a space that is not fit for living. Suresh, President of the Sheetla Colony Residents Welfare Association, says that the government should realise that thousands of people are living in the area now, and this happened because officials looked the other way, due to one consideration or the other. “It is they who allowed us to make houses; now why are they bent on uprooting us?,” asks Suresh. While many of the residents admit that they are probably on the wrong side of the law, they aver that with limited EWS options they have no where else to go. Rajbir Kataria, another resident, says that the first step that the government should take, to assuage the feelings of the people, is to release the nine youth arrested for violence. “Some of them are construction workers, some below 18 years of age, and others who live on rent. Why would they commit any violence?,” he asks. A group of women tell Friday Gurgaon that they want to stop living in this uncertainty, where the police, MCG and other authorities keep on harassing them. “Get our money back from those who sold us the plots, as also from the officials who took money for allowing construction and registering properties,” they assert. Local residents allege that a welloiled racket runs the entire

construction activity in the 900 metres area, where palms are greased, police is paid its due, and the building activities continue despite the Supreme Court ban on new construction. Only the poor suffer here, because they do not have the money to pay bribes. The going rate for a water bore is Rs. 30,000; and construction, if carried out by a gang of contractors, is not touched by the authorities,” claims a local resident. Insiders say that if the High Court adopts a strict stand, and decides that people will have to shift from the area, it could lead to a major problem for the government. Bhim Singh Yadav, former Sarpanch of Carterpuri Village, says that it is wrong to say that all the residents are living here illegally. “These are our ancestral lands, and we have been living here since the last 25 years. We have legal power and phone connections, and have actually seen the Ammunition Depot coming up alongside,” says Yadav. This land around the Depot is owned by the farmers of Carterpuri, Mollaheda, Gurgaon village, Sukhrali and other nearby villages, says Yadav. Ten years back there was no problem, as the farmers were able to sell their land and build houses. “Registry of land was also allowed till some time back; but all of a sudden this issue has cropped up,” he says. The catalyst seems to have been the large number of marriage gardens and banquet halls that have come up in and around the Depot. “Instead of hurting poor house owners, the government should clamp down on commercial activities,” he demands. While agreeing that the Supreme Court decision to ban new construction was reasonable, Yadav says that the government should at least provide basic needs. “Don’t build roads, but give water and power – and the MCG should improve the sanitation services,” he says. While many areas in the disputed zone do not have roads, in some of the colonies—where the affluent residents reside— the roads have been tiled by the people, after collecting money. All this is wrong in the eyes of law, but has been allowed by the officials – sometimes because they take a humanitarian view, and sometimes under some consideration, says a local resident.

Who is responsible?

4-10 January 2013

Local residents allege that there is a strong nexus of real estate dealers, politicians and government officials that is behind this scam, that threatens to unravel the lives of thousands. In fact almost 2 lakh people stay in this 'area'. Satish Sharma says that the government should first take to task the realtors and builders who sold plots here. The violation has not only been committed by private builders, but HUDA as well – which developed parts of Sector 14, 17, 18 in the restricted zone. The Maruti factory, and parts of Udyog Vihar, also come in the 'area'. Justice Ashok Bhan had directed the authorities to first take action against large units and HUDA sectors, before going after the private residents.

Dream turns sour

Despite having a No Objection Certificate, and registry of the land, Rakesh can not get a power and water connection for his home, built in Dharam Colony. He has to depend on his neighbour for the basic services, while being at the receiving end of the fiats of authorities. Having bought the plot a few years back, Rakesh says that there was no problem then in building the house; but today, when he wants to live in it, it has become impossible. “I have spent around Rs. 20 lakhs building the house, but the sudden

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }


e are like eggs at present. But we cannot go on indefinitely being just ordinary, decent eggs. We must be hatched or go bad, said CS Lewis – not knowing that one day Gurgaon based entrepreneur Vinod Kapur will face a similar dilemma. Kapur founded Keggfarms in 1967, and was the pioneer of genetic poultry breeding in India – producing poultry that suited local environmental conditions. However, in 1991, he decided to shift priority from being an ordinary decent egg, to becoming a different one. “I knew that the large poultry breeders will be able to serve the urban markets, but they could not serve the semi-rural and rural India. This was my bet,” says Kapur, whose father was a government engineer in undivided Pakistan, but migrated to Shimla after the partition. In 1993 his company managed to develop a new breed, called the Kuroilers. This breed could thrive on agricultural by-products available in rural areas, fly quickly and run away from predators, survive tough weather conditions, give great productivity in resource-poor villages by achieving good body weight in a short period, and produce more eggs compared to the industrial poultry. Kapur claims that the Kuroilers are supplied to around 1 million disadvantaged households across the country, including remote eastern states. The supply chain provides a commodity which serves

change of events has left a lot of people like me dumbfounded,” he says, while adding that the legal formalities and payment of stamp fee has gone in vain. Dharamvir Chouhan says that many residents have got

a notice of House Tax payment, from MCG authorities, who are also threatening demolition. “If the MCG can ask for House Tax, why can't it provide basic minimum services for residents?,” he asks. To help the

Time Line of the Ammunition Depot Land Dispute 1. The land for the Ammunition Depot was acquired in 1948, under the Work of Defence Act-1903, which imposes restriction on construction within a 900-metre area. 2. In 1971, Sectors 14 and 17 were developed in the restricted area. HUDA claims that these sectors were developed by the erstwhile Estate Department. 3. In 1974 Maruti was also given land to set up a factory, a part of which falls in the restricted area. 4. In 1992 development started in Rajiv Nagar, within the 900-metres zone. 5. In 1988 Sanjay Gram colony took shape in the area. A court case was also filed by a resident, in the same year, against the construction activity taking place in the restricted zone. 6. In the 1990s Ashok Vihar Phase 3, Sheetla Colony, Dharam Colony started developing. 7. In 1991, Justice Ashok Bhan gave directions that the government should first demolish the Maruti factory, and parts of HUDA sectors, before embarking upon demolition of the residential dwellings of the weaker sections of the society in the restricted zone. 8. In 2008 the RWA of Sector 17 filed a case against the violations of the Defence Act. It requested the Court to direct the government to remove illegal construction in the restricted area. 9. A Public Interest Petition was filed by Satish Sharma, a social activist of Gurgaon. Another Common Interest Petition was filed by a local politician, Gaje Singh Kablana, in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. 10. Supreme Court banned all new construction activity in the 900 metres area. It directed the government to enforce the ban strictly. 11. Punjab and Haryana High Court directed MCG to come with a rehabilitation plan, as well as carry out a fresh demarcation of the restricted zone, to find out the exact area.

A Rare Breed the poorest in a financially sustainable manner, and adds to their food basket. Having developed a better quality product, Keggfarms created a business that now delivers chicks to rural households via mother units, and they are further catered to by trained manpower, including vendors and dealers. Kapur says that the mother units raise the birds for a couple of weeks, and immunise them before delivering to villages. “All the stakeholders in the chain, including the company, get economic benefit,” he says. It took almost a decade before Kapur could develop a product that was customised to Indian rural conditions as well as to the palate. It was named Kuroiler, by combining parts of “Keggfarms,” “curry,” and “broiler.” To make the Kuroilers popular the game plan was to ensure that rural householders tried it at least once; as due to its superior qualities the rate of reorder was very high. To popularise the product the company established a network of chick vendors, mother units and dealers, who covered a large territory. The reason for our success, says Kapur, is that there were about 3 crore families in the rural areas who practice poultry for income generation, but had been left untouched. The industrial poultry does not reach them. Keggfarms, by developing a resilient chicken,

Vinod Kapur is an engineer by education. He was the Country Head of WIMCO, and set up Keggfarms in 1967. His contribution to Rural Poultry Vevelopment is widely recognised today as a major tool for income generation and poverty alleviation of deprived rural households in India. that produces more meat and eggs compared to the normal village chicks, has helped transform this industry into a remunerative practice. “To cut the chicken mortality we immunize the baby chicks before handing them over to village households. There is a huge demand for eggs and chicken in the rural areas, and we recognised this demand and harnessed it,” asserts Kapur. So successful was the Keggfarms Kuroiler experiment that Arizona State University entered into a study with the company to find out whether Kuroilers could be successfully introduced in Africa. “To our surprise the Kuroilers have been very successfully bred,

C ivic/S ocial residents who have built houses in the area, Kablana says that they are filing a special petition, requesting the Court to allow water and power connections to house owners who had already built their premises prior to the Supreme Court ban on new constructions. “We will try our best to resolve the issue amicably,” he asserts, while questioning the inaction against HUDA and Maruti. Residents meanwhile say that the more the Court tightens the screws, the higher is the amount demanded by enforcement authorities to look the other way.


ing, as neither the politicians nor the government want it to be resolved. The best option for the residents is to avoid new construction, and wait till the dust finally settles, he asserts.

Status of other Air Force stations

With the Administration now committed to stopping construction, and all illegal development in the restricted zone, politicians, local realtors and village elders have come together to demand the shifting of the Ammunition Depot. Bhim Singh Yadav, who is a Congress leader, says, “The government is trying to find a viable solution; either the restriction limit should be limited to 100 metres, or the Depot shifted, to accommodate this huge population,” he says. Sharma suggests that the government should pay market rate to the plot owners, as per the Defence rules, and help in their rehabilitation. However, an insider who has been watching this area for years, says that this issue will keep on linger-

As per the extant government law, there is a restriction of 100 metres enforced around the Arjangarh Air Force station on the Gurgaon Delhi border. This limit has been maintained as, officials say, this area is contiguous to the Aravallis. It has not seen major violations. As per the Gazette of India, 2007, the Air force stations or installations, around which restrictions are to be imposed upto 900 metres, are the Air Force Station Amla, Betul, Madhya Pradesh; Air Force Station Gurgaon, Haryana; and   Air Force Station Digaru Kamrup, West Bengal. The Tamil Nadu government had managed to get the restricted area reduced from 900 meters to 100 metres, after taking into confidence the Union government and Air Force authorities. Even within Haryana the restricted area has been reduced to 100 m, in Ambala and Faridabad Cantt. areas. The locals here wonder why this cannot be done in Gurgaon. Some even believe that there is a large enough IAF area in Faridabad, to accomodate this Depot.u

produced and sold in African countries. The chicks are hardy and colourful, and production wise excellent,” says Kapur, adding that the success of this product led the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to sponsor a major project for introducing Kuroilers across African countries. “I realised that I was an unconventional and creative person, who wanted to do things on my own – and that is the reason I started a poultry business in 1967, near Daulatabad village in Gurgaon. It was in 1971 that I purchased land on this road, which has now become National Highway 8,” says Kapur. “People will be surprised to know that the present MG Road had nothing but poultry farms, and the Old Delhi Road also had plenty of large farms. Not many have survived,” he says. Apart from developing the Kuroilers, another innovation that this Gurgaon based company developed was the introduction of branded eggs called Keggs. It was in 2002 that Kapur decided to produce an egg that was tasty, had a bright yellow yolk, and was produced almost organically – with little introduction of chemicals and antibiotics. Kapur says that Keggs are produced in small farms, and sold directly to retailers, at a price almost double of commodity eggs. “Due to the good quality, taste and freshness of Keggs, they command a premium,” asserts Kapur. Another key positive of these eggs is that they are made available to

the consumers within 3 to 4 days of production, which is almost impossible with white eggs. When asked about the support received from the State government, Kapur laughs and says that it is better to stay away from the State in India. “People will be surprised to know that despite this 35 acres farm being a centre of excellence for poultry breeding, the Haryana government had initiated a process to acquire this farm and transfer the land to Reliance SEZ. It was due to the stiff opposition by Keggfarms, and a stay from the Supreme Court, that we managed to save this farm”, he says. For him the poultry business is his passion, apart from classical music, which he patronises regularly. “I have been organizing classical music events at my home and many places in Delhi. I love music and poultry, and stay at my home in Kegg farms. The visits to the City are few and far between, but I see Gurgaon has evolved into a cosmopolitan hub,” he says. There was a time when the National Highway 8 was a small dusty road and the first tea shop on it was opened to serve the employees working at Keggfarms, recalls the entrepreneur. About the future plans, he believes that the Company needs to improve efficiencies through genetic, husbandry and logistical modifications, and the same are being pursued – so that they can leapfrog into virgin territories, both in India and abroad. u

What is the solution?

10 O

ne thing that strikes you about this house is its low-key elegance. There’s nothing strongly drawing the eye, yet something happens. That ebonised desk, that painting from Indian Antiquities Auction, or the beautiful small sculptures bought from Potter’s Bazaar — these things come to life. And then there is the amazing curio cabinet, filled with little treasures. That’s not all that will lift your spirits when you are in Dr. Suman Yadav’s home. Step out and you see a breathtaking garden. Regardless of size, style or palette of plants, every plant stands out. Where on earth does she get this taste...her impeccable sense for design? “Ever since I was a child, I’ve always been curious about the lyrical and the beautiful. I felt that an environment could transform how you live and feel. I have to put my personal touch in everything I do. I love doing curtains, walls, and furnishings – all in the same fabric. It brings me a sense of calm

Doctor In Art and joy. Sometimes I’ll throw in something to break the monotony, like the bit of green trim on the dining chairs. If she likes something, she’ll just go ahead and do it. Whether its paint, furniture, or accessories, she’s confident and decisive in her choices, and I think it shows in her home. This focus, determination and edge reflect in her professional life as well. Dr. Suman is a gynaecologist, and operates from her familyrun private clinic in Pushpanjali Hospital, on John Hall Road, Civil Lines. A multi-speciality hospital, offering a full spectrum of health services, and supported by the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment facilities, it  aims to provide world class healthcare at affordable costs. Suman’s husband, Dr. S.P Yadav is the Chief Urologist at the Hospital, and her two sons are studying medicine – to join their


{ Anita Jaswal }

C ivic/S ocial

4-10 January 2013

parents in this fulfilling and meaningful career. Is being a doctor the noblest job on earth? Yes, but that does not mean that other professions are less noble; however, when the time comes for us to cross St. Peter’s Gate, doctors will have more brownie points than anyone else! Doctors change lives dramatically, starting

with their own. With all the gruelling you go through while studying, the frustration you endure, the information you absorb – eventually, it takes incredible strength of character, high self-discipline, and focus to even make it through Medical School. Being a doctor is one of the most amazing professions – you

are in charge of preserving lives, bringing a life into this world, and diagnosing problems in the lives of many people quickly and effectively,” enthuses Dr. Suman! But what does one do, when despite playing a fair game, life deals you a hand from the bottom of the deck? “Keeping yourself grounded is an essential element in reducing stress levels, and increasing the quality of life. I don’t let a successful, difficult delivery affect me, nor do unexpected complications send me into a tailspin of self doubt. Gardening and viewing art in all forms is my therapy. There is more in your garden than plants and soil. The opportunity for renewed mental and physical health grows there, too. And art—be it music, painting, clay, dance, voice or drama—is wonderfully therapeutic for me. When you cultivate a stable and rich internal life, you can remain humble while being successful, and maintain a positive self-image when experiencing the setbacks and rejections – that are a normal part of life,” says Dr. Suman. u

Relax Under Pressure

{ Bhavana Sharma }


he art of reflexology expounds the ancient philosophy of the Chinese system of alternative healing. The therapy is completely natural, non-invasive and safe – without any side effects. Our feet and hands are very sensitive. There are a lot of pressure points at the base – the nerve endings–that connect various vital organs within our body. These points need to be massaged every now and then to stay healthy. In reflexology, focused pressure is applied on the vital points under the feet, which co-relate to various organs of the body. Under the guidance of a trained practitioner, reflexology can bring about positive changes in our emotional, physical, spiritual and mental levels.

The Theory

This ancient practice has evolved from the zone therapy of Dr. William Fitzgerald. In the year 1913 he had fpostulated that the human body can be cut in 10 longitudinal zones. By

then dividing the body into two equal halves at the midline, thus having five sections on either sides, he tried to explain the importance of each zone. Zone 1- Starts from the middle of the body, goes from the thumb to the top of the head, down via the nostrils to the end of the big toe. Zone 2- Starts from the index finger to the top of the head, down via the eyes to the end in the second toe. Zone 3- Starts from the middle finger to the top of the head via the breast, to the end in the third toe. Zone 4- Starts from the angular finger to the top of the head, down the valve on the right to the spleen on the left of the body, to the end in the fourth toe. Zone 5- Starts from the little finger to the top of the head, down via the shoulders to the end in the fifth toe.

The Process

The feet are first dipped in lukewarm water – this is the cleaning process, and it also soothes the nerves in that area. Next the feet are dried. Both

feet are then pressed alternatively, on the pressure points. Sometimes a little herbal oil is used, to ease and speed up the treatment. The treatment is not painful, as the amount of pressure applied to the points can be adjusted to the degree of sensitivity experienced by the

person. The therapy lasts for about an hour, as each of the corresponding body parts is brought to balance, and the tension is relieved throughout the body. The number of treatments required vary, depending on the condition being treated. An average of four or six treatments are usually given on a weekly or fortnightly basis. Subsequently, regular treatments on a monthly or bi-monthly basis will help to maintain good health and balance. Sometimes a person following treatments may experience certain mild healing reactions, as the body cleanses itself of toxins, and energy is re-balanced. This mild reaction after treatments is perfectly natural; it is proof that the body has responded to the treatment, and that change is taking place. It is important to drink plenty of water after a treatment, to aid this cleansing process.

Multiple Advantages

As a healing modality, the advantages of reflexology are numerous; it has the perfect cure for many physiological and psychological problems. Many known disorders, such as back problems, exhaustion, irritability, insomnia and common colds can be easily treated with this therapy. It also helps the body get rejuvenated, and improves skin texture, colour and strength. The pressure applied at the trigger points increases the metabolism, builds vitality, and releases any toxins within the body. It also regulates the blood tissues. The other health benefits include relief from knee pain, and stiffness in the joints. It also aids in improving digestion. With a couple of daily therapies the body will recover its natural harmony and equilibrium. u Tarot Reader & Author

As on January 04, 2012 All Prices in Rs/kg.

Food Take Area/ vegetables

Palam Vihar


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4-10 January 2013

Kid Corner



Fill in the grid so that every row, column and coloured box contains ALL the numbers from 1 to 6. Bonus clue: which number should go in the circle: 1 or 4?

Literary Flourish

Kids Brainticklers

Music Every beat, every tone Music is rhythm of soul Pop, Jazz and country Release all our worries

Music for celebration Music for education Music for entertainment Music for refreshment

Music gives life a motion Music controls every emotion Music calms the mind Music helps us - our way to find!

Listen to music to change your mood Listen to music to keep you cool Listen to music just to relax Listen to music to sleep.

Music is inspiration Music - full of imagination Music has feelings Music gives life a meaning

Jaskaran Sehmbey Grade VII Yamuna , Lotus Valley International School

Artistic Strokes

Subhakruthi Kasturi, Grade VIII A, Swiss Cottage School

Hemangi, Class 10th, Excelsior American School

Ujjwala Singh, Grade II Y, Pathways World School


Bon Vivant

4-10 January 2013



Being A Woman If one studies the iconography of Durga, it becomes clear that the brave, evolved female is a beautiful Goddess, while the lowly, horrific, leering male in the pageant is a Demon ---’Mahishasur’. The Devi comes down from the heavens to disembowel and exterminate this Asura -- in full public gaze -- which is the basis, and the just cause, for this celebratory Puja. Devi-Puja, however, takes place only as a 5-day symbolic ritual. Meanwhile, patriarchal society maintains its hypocritical charade, cunningly manipulated to do the maximum harm and injustice possible in society. Will we all stop accepting this unjust system in silence, please? Are we not strong enough to publicly humiliate and punish the men who tortured and killed Damini? Let all of India’s girls be educated, independent, and empowered to make their own life-choices.  An over-dramatised sentimentality has been embroidered around the social assumption of ‘women as wives and mothers’. Let men first go through what all women suffer (at every single stage), and then make such assumptions. Educated women quietly suffer absolutely terrible ‘marriages’ and utterly stressful ‘family lives’. The question is: WHY?  Mother Teresa was neither ‘married,’ nor a biological ‘mother’ --- but she was truthful,


n the Bhagvad Gita, Lord Krishna, at the time of delivering the historical ‘gyaan’ to Arjuna—being his ‘Sarathi’—vowed to take all beings with him to the other shore. What did he imply? If the other shore was not the abolition of suffering in this world, then what was it? What sort of new world was the Lord trying to create? The ‘Gita Saar’ is summed up by two key adjectives – ‘noble’ and ‘true’. An enlightened person is not someone who has no personal problems, and certainly not someone who never suffers. To stand on the other shore is not so much to go to a different world, but to see this world from a different standpoint. The Lord is not telling Arjuna that, ‘This world is terrible, let me help you escape from it’. He is saying, ‘Come and look at it this way, and you will have a quite different and much more satisfactory experience’. Arjuna saw the light and said, ‘When I am enlightened, all beings are enlightened with me’. The enlightened see the noble truth of others’ lives. Today we need such people as leaders – people who can listen deeply, and hear the cry in the common person’s heart. That cry expresses a deep and universal truth. The ‘speech’ given by Manmohan

Herbal Cosmetic Queen Padma Shree Shahnaz Husain is the CEO of the Shahnaz Husain Group – India’s leading company in the field of natural beauty and anti-aging treatments.

The violence aimed at women and innocents continues because of this conformity, and womens’ acceptance and silence – and in worse forms than before. Have we already forgotten what Nirbhaya suffered from a rabid, ugly male gang? Violence against women, rape, and pornography is the norm in the so-called ‘advanced west’ -- which the east is now rapidly emulating. Let s pray for not just Peace ~ but more importantly, for Truth and Justice ~ Nirbhaya would surely have said the following words today, boldly and clearly ~ “No~ do not silence me, brutal men! ~ Do not tell me what to do! ~ I have never been one to ‘hold my peace’;  it is far more difficult to Speak my Truth, 

Q. My hair is falling a lot all of a sudden. Should I change my



Some of the reasons for hair loss are dandruff, oily scalp, stress, thyroid imbalance, illness, nutritional deficiencies, hair damage (caused by repeated dyeing, colouring, perming, straightening), etc. So, try to identify the cause in your case. Apply herbal hair tonic on the scalp daily, using cotton wool and leave on. Apply oil once a week the night before shampoo. If you like, you can apply olive oil or pure coconut oil. Avoid head massage. If there is hair loss, the roots are already weak and massage may aggravate the problem. Diet is very important. Have a small bowl of sprouts daily and include fresh fruits, salads, leafy green vegetables, soyabean, curd, in your diet. Ask your doctor to prescribe vitamin and mineral supplements.

to Live by it, to Act upon it ~ And ~ if need be, To die for it.” Srimati Lal

Apathetic Leadership { Dr. Rajesh Bhola }

by ShahnaZ

enlightened, and great. More than one can say for housewives / ‘good mothers’ hiding behind the lies of patriarchal men and spoilt disturbed ‘sons’.

Singh, to assuage the feelings of a grievously hurt people against the gang rape of a 23 year old woman, was listless and lacked connect. He spoke words without any display of feelings. Being the father of three daughters, why did it take him so long to speak on the issue? His statement sounded ‘empty’; his daughters are hardly at risk. The speech of the PM should have been more noble and authentic, and should have sounded more heartfelt. It seemed to lack genuine empathy. The government appears to have become indifferent and unresponsive. The lack of energy in speech, and the lack of genuine interest in handling issues related to others, is now a generic problem of the political class. Today’s politicians lack the ability and desire to communicate directly with ordinary people, to strike a chord with them. Can leaders not feel the pain and torment of the ordinary citizen? Lord Krishna was not saying, ‘When I am free from suffering all beings are free from suffering.’ He was saying, ‘When I am noble and true, all beings are noble and true’. A noble person, what we expect our ideal leader to be, is one who sees the nobility of others – the courage of ordinary lives. The leadership should have publicly acknowledged the unrelenting courage displayed by the victim and her friend, and should have immediately responded

to their needs in their hour of physical and emotional trauma – as they would have done if the victim was their own daughter. We need our politicians to be enlightened in their own larger interest. Due to economic globalisation there is an on-going social transformation in India. The people are self confident, assertive, demanding and restive. They are also increasingly becoming irreverent of the political class. They expect politicians to be responsive, efficient and empathetic. The politicians need to read the writing on the wall, to mend their ways, be in step with the times, and try to raise themselves to the soaring expectations the people have from them. Unfortunately,while the Gen-Next is organised and interconnected through unprecedented and astonishingly effective means of communication, the politicians still remain inaccessible and completely disconnected with the common citizens. Instead of becoming more isolated behind the curtains of power, we need them to be more engaged with the general masses and their woes. We need politicians with deep empathy. The deeper their empathy, the more readily will come forth their positive regard, and the solutions.u Dr. Rajesh Bhola is President of Spastic Society of Gurgaon and is working for the cause of children with autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation and multiple disabilities for more than 20 years.

WINNER Mahima Yadav

Ask the beauty expert questions on skin, hair and beauty. The best question (picked by Shahnaz Husain) will receive a gift hamper from the Shahnaz Husain Group. Write to us at

A Teacher Reminisces A mother brought a tiny heart A father’s joy was he, The twain did leave their hope in life In my custody. I clasped his nervous seeking hand And led him into my room, Where other children awaited All there to grow and groom He asked me many a question His mind wished to explore, His thirst for knowledge never ceased He asked for more and more I toiled and worked untiring To make him mighty wings, Soar my infant, soar high And where I failed, may you win! One day I dreamed my sapling Had grown into a mighty tree, Its leaves were green & splendorous Its fruit in prosperity. As I walked alone & lonely, Through life’s deserted streets, Retired and bereft from life When I this tree did meet. Called out this youth in reverence Come Ma’am rest awhile, I am still yours obedient You gifted me this life! I smiled & awoke elated In my class myself did find My treasures were all around me For I invest in human minds! Shobha Lidder Writer Journalist, Teacher Trainer, Social Activist, Reiki Master, Pranic Healer

4-10 January 2013

Health & Vitality... Naturally!

Resolve Not To Be SAD

{ Jaspal Bajwa }


uring the short days of the cold winter, all forms of life adapt to the reduced daylight hours. In response to changed light and darkness conditions, our internal body-clock signals physical, mental and behavioural changes – that follow a 24-hour cycle, or the ‘circadian rhythm’(in Latin circadian means “around the day”). This is quite common amongst animals, plants and microbes. However, we have the additional impact of lifestyle choices. For example, unique to us is the postholiday season hangover. In cold countries it is estimated that approximately 25 per cent of the population suffers from a significant drop in mood and energy during the winter – often known as the “winter blues”. In fact, one in every five of these people suffer from mild to moderate depression – sometimes referred to as “Seasonal Affective Disorder”(SAD). Recent studies indicate SAD could contribute to – hypertension, obesity, excess insulin and hyperlipidemia (abnormal level of lipids/fats). Over time, the disrupted metabolism rhythms can lead to chronic disorders, cancers and reduced life expectancy. We can, however, say ‘No’ to SAD. All we need to do is to put some of our New Year resolutions to work. Any activity repeated over 21 days tends to become a new habit… an important bedrock for harnessing the immense power of our sub-conscious. The 3 most important tips to banish the winter-blues are: Daily exercise and exposure 1.  to sunlight: This is one of the most important factors to jettison physical and emotional inertia. 20-30 minutes of sunlight, at least 3-5 days a week, is ideal to build Vitamin D reserves. Eating at regular intervals 2.  (every 3-4 hours): Remember to include sufficient portions of protein (lean meat, beans, nuts, seeds) and brightly coloured foods (fruits, vegetables and dark wleafy greens). A conscious effort needs to be made to lay off foods that decrease

the production of Serotonin - a neurotransmitter in the brain, which influences mood and sleeping patterns. For example, excess sugar burns up mood-enhancing B-vitamins, and diverts the supply of chromium – a mineral that helps keep blood sugar stable, positively affecting the release of ‘feel-good’ norepinephrine and serotonin. Junk food, caffeine and alcohol need to be replaced with fibre and Omega-3 rich whole foods. Complex carbohydrates—like whole grains, brown rice, oats, garbanzo, navy and black beans, sweet potatoes, quinoa and couscous—go a long way towards boosting serotonin formation. Equally important are asparagus and avocado. Tryptophan (one of the 10 essential amino acids) is a necessary pre-requisite to serotonin production. Examples of Tryptophanrich foods are grass-fed meat, free-range poultry, turkey, wild seafood, organic eggs, milk, various cheeses, yoghurt, seeds, bananas, spirulina, potatoes and soy products. Omega-3 fatty acids also increase serotonin levels. In addition to fish, high quality eggs are an important source. Other sources are flax seeds, walnuts, soybean, winter squash, raw tofu, shrimp, crab, lobster, pecans, poppy, pumpkin and sesame seeds. Probiotics - Gut health is important to boost the immune system. Regular use of fermented foods (sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha), and grass-fed cultured dairy products (kefir and yoghurt) is ideal. 3. Selective use of Supplements to prevent SAD: n Vitamin D: If blood tests indicate a deficiency, then supplementation with 1000-3000 IU per day can be considered. n Whole, unprocessed foods like meats, legumes, whole grains and leafy green vegetables helps us get Vitamins B12, Folate, B3 and B6 – all being critical for optimising serotonin production; and, at the same time, for reducing levels of homocysteine – an amino acid that increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and depression. n Vitamin B6 influences the

W ellness 15

production of tryptophan in the body. Vitamin B6 rich foods are – chicken, oatmeal, wheat germ, brown rice, gourds, spinach, peppers, jalapenos, bananas, cabbage, cauliflower, garlic, celery, asparagus, mushrooms, broccoli, kale, sunflower seeds, and brussel sprouts. n  Selenium: This helps prevent depression, and is vital for good mental health. Most nuts contain selenium. n  Herbs have been used by herbalists to alleviate symptoms of depression. Some examples are sage, peppermint, ashwagandha, dandelion, echinacea, licorice, rose, tea, St.John’s wort (hypericum), angelica, rooibos, rosemary, thyme, yerba mate, hyssop and lemon balm. n  Spices like turmeric, basil, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and ginger have been found to be of immense help too. Tip of the week Cocoa is also very good for increasing serotonin levels. However, it is important to stay away from eating too much. Dark chocolate ( 70% or higher cocoa content) is the best. In addition to being a good source of anti-oxidants and polyphenols, moderate consumption also tends to improve insulin sensitivity.

contains high sources of Vitamin B12 or cobalamin. Eating cold water fish is an easy way to stock up on high-quality Omega 3 fats; fatty fish like salmon, anchovy and mackerel are an excellent source of these. However, even within a single variety of fish, levels can vary (widely based on what the fish ate). When possible it would be best to opt for wild, sustainable seafood (like salmon and sardines). The two active ingredients of Omega-3 fatty acids are – Eicosa Pentaenoic Acid (EPA) and Docosa Hexaenoic Acid (DHA). Both are very important for normal functioning of human cells, and for improving cardiac health (by reducing triglyceride levels). As a critical component of the fluid portions of nerves, DHA helps with brain health. However, it is EPA (which is present in every cell of our body) that helps with depression. Studies indicate regular consumption of EPA-rich foods reduces inflammation. For people suffering from SAD, some practitioners recommend the 5:1 ratio between EPA and DHA, as compared to the more normal 2:1 ratio. As the quality of supplements can vary, it is important to locate one which certifies ‘pharmaceutical grade’ or 100% “Wild” Alaskan/Nordic salmon as the source. u

Nature’s Wonder Food of the week: Fatty Fish, as ‘brain food’ or ‘mood food’ In addition to Vitamin D, fish

Registered Holistic Nutritionist (Canadian School of Natural Nutrition) For education purposes only; always consult a healthcare practitioner for medical conditions

Aryan Health { Abhishek Behl / FG }


roviding secondary health care facilities to local villagers and residents of Gurgaon for more than 25 years, Dr. P.R Aryan, Managing Director of Aryan Hospital—situated on the Old Railway Road in the heart of the City—says that quality, dedication and personalised patient care are his cherished values. His father was a doctor too. Aryan says that the goal of his Hospital is to provide health facilities at very reasonable rates, so that every one is able to afford quality health care. “We have served Old Gurgaon as well as villages in this District for a pretty long time. This has also helped us to forge a permanent bond with the locals, who now prefer us as compared to some bigger names,” he says. In view of the changing needs of the population, and the advances in medical science, the Hospital has been regularly expanding and adding facilities for the benefit of the patients. “Except heart surgeries, all secondary health services are available at Aryan Hospital. We are also empanelled with leading companies in Gurgaon, and provide their employees with health care facilities,” says Aryan. People in the City have great faith in the Hospital, as they know that personal attention and the right medical advice will be given to them, he says. The Hospital is taken care of by family members of Dr. Aryan, as six of them are doctors, and handle different departments. Apart from the family, experts from outside also come regularly to attend to the patients. The Hospital has a state-of-the-art

laboratory, an ICU and dialysis units that ensure that the best services are made available to patients. His son, Vikram Aryan, informs that owing to the rush of patients they have expanded the operations of the hospital, and increased the number of beds to 108. There are private rooms as well for the well-off patients. When asked about the current health scenario in Gurgaon, the elder Aryan says that primarily lifestyle diseases are common, as the majority of the population is hypertensive. “There is need to reduce stress, apart from remaining free from diseases,” he asserts. Aryan Hospital, he says, is trying to provide quality health care to all sections of society, including the weaker sections. “We try to avoid commercialisation, and want that people from across the City should come and take benefit of our high quality health care services,” he asserts. When asked why doctors rely excessively on diagnostic tests to detect a disease, Dr. Aryan smiles and says that every one now prefers to avoid legal complications. “This increases the cost of health care. The personal bonding is also lost, but there is so much commercialisation that no one can escape it. The earlier doctor patient relationship is dying,” he accepts. As far as government is concerned, Dr. Aryan minces no words in saying that the authorities have done nothing to support the private health care industry in Gurgaon, except waving the red flag using the PNDT Act. The government must support the industry, as it is augmenting the health care facilities in the District, and helping the people in distress. u


4-10 January 2013

Magnificent Masterweave~Art { Srimati Lal }


n a new year marked by mourning, due to disastrously violent events against women and children that eerily echoed the Mayan Calendar’s ‘End of Days’, we are now in desperate need of inspiration and positivism. One way of renewing our values is by celebrating and supporting the inspiring positive energies of our country’s most ancient arts and crafts traditions. India is home to some of the world’s most evolved, artistic and beautiful textile-skills, offering a remarkable range of designs and textures that expresses the nation’s vivid cultures. The current ‘Masterweavers Exposition’ at Dilli Haat brought alive this beauty and inspiration to stunning effect, cheering up the crowds of visitors. A majority of the weavers presented their finest creations here, as National Gold Medallists in their specific weaving traditions. These respected Mastercraftsmen have consistently been producing gems of weaving workmanship, which are rightful prides of India’s culture of artistry. Most of

these wondrous weaving gharanas are several centuries old, bearing the complex aesthetic nuances of our civilisation. The intricate ranges of weaving and embroidery on display literally dazzled one’s eyes with their aesthetic power. Every region of India possesses a unique and original Sari-design --from the most simple and elegant Khadiweaves of our tribal regions and remote villages (that were made into urban style-statements by Indira Gandhi), to the most flamboyant courtly brocades of Varanasi (that were exported to the palaces of European royalty during the 16th-C. Renaissance). Hand-weaving is a laborious, timeconsuming art. Weaving a single sari may take from seven days to a year to complete, depending upon the details of its design, fabric and colour schemes. Elaborate Temple silks and Varanasi saris, artistic treasures worthy of museum and gallery display, can take years for a masterweaver to complete. India’s embroideries and blockprinting skills are equally awesome. The intense, detailed Kantha stitches  of Bengal, the intricate mirror-worked textiles of Kutch and Rajasthan, and

the gorgeous crewel floral embroideries of Kashmir are lauded internationally as marvels of handicraft. All these treasures were laid out at Dilli Haat in an impressive array of artistic textile designs, painstakingly created by the humblest of Indian artisans. I would like to highlight some leading masterworks of textile art at the Masterweavers  exposition. Assam Silks, also known as Muga, bear a rare delicacy and finesse. Woven from the larvae of silkworms (endemic to Assam) that feed on ‘som’ and mulberry leaves, this silk is specially known for its glossy texture and strength. Most often this silk outlives its owner, and is passed down generations. Interestingly, the Muga yarn has a low porosity, hence cannot be bleached or dyed. This silk thereby retains its

A rt

4-10 January 2013

17 Jit Kumar

original golden hue, and can be handwashed without any fear of fading. The other form of Assamese ‘Eri’ silk is also known as ‘non-violent silk’, as only adult open-ended cocoons of the silkworms are used. Many varieties of such lovely Assam silks were on display --- including some rare-coloured Eri  silks in regal tones of Jaam-purple, red, black and gold. A vast variety of other Indian silks were on offer – from flamboyant Bengali Santiniketani Batiks and Kantha-stitched saris, to urban Delhi boutique-prints and rarefied Tussars.  Bihar contains a unique range of exceptionally subtle silk saris from Bhagalpur, that denote an elegant style with monochromatic dyes on Tussar silk. Minimalist in colourtone and pattern, marked by simple graphic striped edges on single colour-fields, these silks embody a heightened elegance. By contrast, the Tussar silk prints of Bengal are inimitably detailed, poetic and lyrical, with flowing Alpana and  Tantric  motifs and paisleys on spiritual tones like saffron, leaf-green and lotus-pink. Among India’s most evolved and sophisticated silkweaves are the inimitable  Ikats, Bomkais, Cuttackis and Sambalpuri Saris of Orissa. These historic saris hail from the 12thC. period of Konarak’s Ganga Dynasty. Worn by classical Odissi dancers, their exquisitely bold jewel-colours contain a palette that is intrinsic to Orissa --golden-yellow, parrot-green, sindoorred, Krishna-Neelambari, bright saffron, and pearl-white. The National Awardwinner Gold Medallist weaver from Bargarh village in Orissa showcased an amazing range of classic Sambalpuris – in blazing yellow, pink, turquoise and golden silks.  The Sambalpuri weave is famed for its

incorporation of symbolic Orissan motifs, such as the auspicious Sankha (Conchshell), Chakra (Chariot-Wheel), Phula (Flower), Surya (Sun-God), MatsyaAvatar (Fish), and  Swarga-Dwara (Gates of Heaven). The high point of these saris is their complex tie-dyed weave art, known as Bandhkala ---  a masterful rural process protected by the Indian Government’s ‘Geographical Indications’. Among other exceptional Masterweavers’ works on display were exquisite Benarasi Brocades, created  by the renowned National Awardee Salim Ahmad of Varanasi. Culling some of this art-form’s most ancient designs, Salim’s one-of-a-kind pieces were in this coveted

The absence of South Indian weavers at this National Masterweavers Exposition was noted. Tamil Temple Saris, Kalakshetras, Andhra Kalamkaris, Pochampallis, and other southern textile marvels must be included in any national collection. The absence of Gujarati and Rajasthani Bandhej and Leheriya saris was surprising, considering their proximity to the Capital. Maharashtrian silk weaves were not represented either. There also should have been a well-selected range of Bengal’s intrinsic Dhakai, Tangail and Dhonekhali -weave saris, which bear a rich history and design legacy, that had been patronised and encouraged by such aesthetes as Tagore and Satyajit Ray.

genre’s most spectacular colour-ranges – such as Rani-pink, Jamun-purple, Feroza-blue, with elaborate  Navratan multicoloured detailing on the borders and pallus. Sought after for their very fine gold and silver Zari kaarigari handwoven upon the finest silk, Benarasi saris are historically considered among the finest silks in the world. In 2009, the Benarasi weavers associations of U.P. secured Geographical Indication Rights from the Indian Government, to protect and preserve their authentic and laborious hand-weaving processes on genuine silk, that were fast being threatened by quicker machine-loom saris on inferior yarn. Kashmiri   embroidered garments on

silk and wool also took pride of place at the Exposition, with their breathtaking flamboyance and cheerful colour palette. Also known as Kashida, this delightfully ornamental couture-form is as exceptionally beautiful as Kashmir itself. A European textile-historian has described its stylistics thus --- “Kashida embroideries of India have attained the ultimate limits of fantasy and incredulity, in magnificent patterns and colourschemes, in an inspired mood aligned to the spirit of Nature.”  Among the  more affordable textiles available were Delhi’s machineembroidered dress-lengths, and stylish

cutwork embossed silk scarves from Bihar – in a myriad colours to brighten one’s mood. Samples of inspired Indian textileart are readily available at the Haat, at reasonable rates. It is a small price to pay for Museum-worthy couture --- even more so if their creator is a Mastercraftsman of National Award-winning stature. From scarves to blouses and shawls to saris, Dilli Haat is meant to provide vast and varied choices for those who wish to dress artistically, and thus support India’s amazing textile talent. u Artist, Writer, & Curator


4-10 January 2013

Prakhar Pandey

Not Running Out Of Steam { Maninder Dabas / FG } 'I sell here, Sir, what all the world desires to havePower' (Matthew Boulton said these words about the improved steam engine invented by James Watt, and brought into production at Boulton's manufacturing site)


f the wheel was the greatest invention of primitive man, it was the steam engine that changed the course of modern human civilisation. And the countries that managed to combine these two all time great inventions ruled the world for centuries. Steam engines may have now been discontinued from most of the railway networks in the world, but humanity should not forget the contribution of this once mighty machine. The British introduced railways in India. The steam engine has served the Indian Railways from 1853. In the late 1970s the diesel engine replaced most of the steam engines. Some steam engines still exist, preserved by the Indian Railways as the souvenirs of its glorious past. Rewari Steam Loco Shed is one such treasured place in the world. At the Rewari Steam Loco Shed, nine steam engines have not only been preserved, but have also been maintained in working condition. They once served the masses of India. This shed is like a museum for these steam engines, and we work day and night to ensure that they don't stop working,” said Ganpat, the Loco foreman, who has been serving the Railways for the last thirty-five years. Northern Railway, with the help of groups like Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), is trying to increase awareness among the masses for such a unique artefact from the past – and one of the great inventions of all time. “This Loco Shed is one the oldest in the country. Unfortunately, this well maintained Museum is hardly visited by 'tourists' – or even locals. In fact most people don't know about its existence; and that's why, through media and other sources of mass communication, we are trying to make this place better known,” said Sudhir Bhargava, INTACH's Rewari Conveyor.


The Rewari Steam Loco Shed was started in the year 1893, and was under the jurisdiction of the Bombay Baroda and Central India Railways (BB & CIR). Rewari soon became one of the biggest junctions of the meter gauge route. In fact the first train on meter gauge in India ran between Delhi and Rewari in

4-10 January 2013

B on V ivant 19 and the rest five have been manufactured in India.” explained Ganpat.

A day at the Museum

If one wishes to visit this Steam Loco Museum, the rail route is perhaps the best mode of transportation. This museum is located at just a stone's throw from the Rewari Junction. Visitors from Delhi or Gurgaon can also take the road, as NH-8 provides a smooth drive of 2 odd hours. The loco foreman informed us about the working of steam engines, and how difficult it is to maintain such old engines. We then headed towards a dark room, where a documentary about this loco shed was shown. The thirty five minute documentary provided a holistic idea about this place, as also some experiences that should not be missed. In the main office some antiques of Indian Railways have been preserved. There was a wooden telephone of the British era (still functional), a wall clock made in London, a gramophone, and some old antique furniture. “Oh I love this place. Look at the ambience of this room; it seems time has stood still. This place is so well-maintained also; I think people should know about it,” said Madhu Verma, a Gurgaon resident, while observing the antique artefacts. This Museum also has two passenger (railway) cars – one of which is relatively new, with fully furnished interiors. It is a replica of the car used by the Indian Railways for the Delhi to Sariska (Alwar) route. The other passenger car is the one constructed specially for Edward-III, who visited 1873. This Shed was the largest metre gauge loco shed in India, with close to 500 maintenance staff working here at its peak. The Shed was closed down in the year 1993. In 1994, The Royal Orient Express was started, and was hauled by two steam locomotives on the stretch between Delhi Cantt and Rewari. With this service the Loco Shed again rose to prominence. The real big moment came in 2002, when the then Railway Minister, Nitish Kumar, declared this place as a heritage shed and museum for steam locos. Rewari locos have been a part of several Bollywood period films, like Guru, Gandhi-My Father, Rang De Basanti, Gadar. The Shed has been given a new lease of life, with large scale renovation and restoration work carried out in 2010. A new cafeteria, a small library and a museum have been added. However, the spirit of the place is intact, with the same shed building—dating back to 1893—and the majestic black beauties back in action. “Look at this old shed; despite being renovated with modern iron bars, it is still the same – a monument from the British era. Apart from this shed, these nine black beauties standing here speak volumes of the dedication and contribution of Indian Railways in the service of the country,” added Ganpat.

The Engines

Angadh (1928-30), Virat (1945-46, 1947 and 1949), Akbar (1946-67), Azad (1946-67), Sher-E-Punjab (1955 and 1966-68), Rewari King (1952-72, 1949), Sahib (1949-72), Sultan (1949-72) and Sindh (194972) are the nine steam engines that have been kept by the Northern Railway in this Museum. “All these engines are in working condition, and we have kept a dedicated staff to maintain them. It takes more than 6 to 7 hours to get one engine ready to move. Just to make a slight movement, to appease the visitors, we have to put at least 2,500 litres water in the engine, and a lot of coal – to make the boiler function. We keep them in working condition because the Railways doesn't want to let these engines die. We would like people from across the country to come and see these marvels from the past. Of course people from across the globe do come here to have to look, since no other place has nine working steam engines under a single shed. Four of these engines were manufactured in the West,

India in 1921. “This is one of our prized possessions, because it is an old-style car made entirely of wood. Apart from some interior modifications, the car is more or less the original,” explained Ganpat. There is also a small area where the railways has kept some old tools, crockery (late nineteenth century) and many other artefacts and photographs – that speak volumes of Indian Railways, and its incredible odyssey from an elite mode of transport to a modern yet common mode. “We want school kids and other groups to come here; we are fortunate to be the only place in world where they can see so many steam engines working,” urged Ganpat. Indian Railways still operates a steam engine ride for passengers from Delhi Cantt to Sariska, Alwar. This two-day trip gives an individual a unique experience of wildlife, while sitting in a train driven by a vintage steam engine. “Indian Railways charges Rs. 11,000 per individual for this two-day trip: it includes the return journey, stay in a hotel, and four meals daily. One can go to the IRTC website to book a ticket, or can do it directly from our office at Chanakyapuri, New Delhi,” said Raj Kumar, another senior railway official. It was time to catch the train back to Gurgaon. The Rewari-Meerut local took a leisurely two hours to cover the distance of 50 odd kilometres. u


4-10 January 2013

Prakhar Pandey

Girls/women should be taught to fight and professional training should be introduced at school level itself. Nilotpala Dutta

work towards it to achieve what we have gathered for. I am available with my time for whatever needs to be done. Mohan Narayanaswamy

Mere vichar se sabhi bhartiyon ke liye sochne ka din hai ki hamen milkar aise apradhiyon se kaise nipatna hai. Kyunki hum sabke ghar mein ma behan hain. Main dukhi man se aaj keh raha hun ki mujhe aisa Bharat nahin chahiye. Mayaram (Mewat)

Aise adhanya apradh ki sazaa maut ki sazaa se kam nahin honi chahiye. Yeh sazaa na hi keval apraadhi ko sazaa dega balki poore samaaj ke liye ek seekh hogi jisse koi bhi aisi harkat karne ki jurrrat bhi na kar sake. Arvind

Mahilayon ki suraksha ka behatar intazaam hona chahiye. Ravinder, Patna

The torture you have gone through, no daughters of India should go through the same. We hope your demise will not go waste and awake the consciousness of all Indians and people will learn to be humane irrespective of any gender. Anita C

It is shocking news for everybody. We want some great action form the govt. of India. Stupid statements won’t be accepted now. I demand the govt. solve all pending rape cases in a fixed time frame. I have decided not to celebrate New Year. Sandeep Puri R.I.P brave heart! Your life and sacrifice will not be wasted. The act committed is heinous and it is time the government wakes up and takes some concrete action. Soumya Gulati I salute you Braveheart! Your sacrifice will not go waste. You have sown the seed of courage among millions of Indian girls & youths. Rest in Peace... Ajoy Tiwari Govt, has so far dealt with symptoms as and when they appear. It suffers from the very disease itself. It shall never ever learn while coming to terms with a yet newer situation, forgetting Ruchika, Nithari, and rapes galore. Dr. S.C Talwar Poorna desh ko ladki ki maut ka bahut dukh hai. Main samvedna vyakt karta hun. Aur param pitah parmatma se prarthana karta hun. Is desh ki beti ko apne charanon mein sthan do. Parivaar ko sahan karne ki shakti do. Aur aise darindon ko sarkar sakht se sakht saza de. Aage aisa phir na ho. Hum sab ko milkar aisi burayi ka mukabla karna chahiye. J.N. Mangla We need to not give up! Because thats what the Government is waiting for! The 6 demons who savaged Nirbhaya need public execution and so do all the accused in rape cases. Mass public executions for all till date. Vanita Dhanoa Dutta I am here not to sympathise with Nirbhaya. She needed none. She fought and resisted the best she could. I want the govt. to get shaken out of slumber and eschew apathy and provide honest governance. V.K Singh My view is that each one of us has to change our own selves before blaming others. While government does have responsibility but who will change the mindset of the men and the status of women in society except ourselves. Hope we use this movement to self reflect and change. Rama Chawla We are here to mark our protest against the inhuman act carried out by six barbaric men on an unsuspecting innocent woman. Nirbhaya is one of the many 100s of women who get raped, assaulted everyday. Please bring corporal punishment which will deter every man before he touches a woman. R.I.P Nirbhaya. We hope you would be the last of this kind of torturous assault on a woman’s mind, soul, body! Mrs. & Mr. Rizvi I feel ashamed to be part of a society where people can stoop to this level of

Gurgaon Speaks Up - Rest In Peace ‘Damini’ inhuman acts as rape and murder of this brutal kind. Cmdr Pradeep Khanna (Retd.) The Braveheart is in a safe place. It is upon us to ensure that there is real progress to make women safer, year on year. As Mother Teresea said, ‘Every drop makes the ocean’ – so let’s do our bit. Prema Sagar God bless your soul. Unless electoral reforms are done, nothing, I repeat, nothing will happen. Col. R.C Chadha This situation is not acceptable. Makes the women of the country feel disgusted & unsafe. I am a teenage youth of this country & because of the recent turn of events I’m scared to leave my house alone. Its time such b***ds are punished severely! It’s HIGH TIME the government takes strict action. Kashneet Kaur The cause has to gather momentum, the nation has to give a befitting reply to the cheap vote bank politics. It is a responsibility that we should not restrict ourselves to our drawing rooms. We must come out and participate in all the elections. The literate persons must come out to participate in the democratic process. Dr. R.N. Wahi What do I say about this brave girl and this most shameful incident? Immaculate mid-term and long-term changes have to be made. As a lawyer, I particularly feel saddened and angry at the completely inept law enforcement and judicial processes which have failed to deliver consistently. Free the police from political interference; enhance the judiciary in numbers and quality; get more cops on the road-COP stands for ‘Corporal On Patrol’. Where are they? Parliament needs to change the law and procedure forthwith. Certainty of punishment is more important than severity. Let us go ahead as a nation with this agenda. Let the spirit of this girl live forever. Let us not forget her. Jyoti Sagar We stand here not only for the present incident of the crime committed against the girl but also for all other crimes/incidents like the murder of Toll Gate boy, NHAI Engineer, recent BMW hit-and-run case and so on, where we as citizens and our government failed to take action. Ananya and Sudip Nag Desh ro raha hai, paap ka ghada bhar gaya. Jaagrukh aap se naari safal ho jaayegi. Sarkar ko badalna hoga. Naya Bharat banega. Anth hoga khushhaal. Dr. L. Sharma Extremely sad. Completely uncalled for.

Please Wake Up & bring the culprits to the death row. No easy death. Please torture them before they die. Bhavna Bhalla We will not let your death go in vain. You have shown and opened the path for all the girls in our country. Salute you!!! Ruchika Nirbhaya- You were the spark that lit a blaze. A blaze that will become an inferno that will douse the prejudices and injustices that have ruled our country. You did not die in vain. You have inspired many. May you rest in peace assured that we will continue the war you started. Gautam Gulati, World Spa I find it absolutely shameful that 50% of our country’s population is not safe. It is about time that we all hold hands and come out in public and stand up for the right reasons. The country can change only if we all take responsibility of making our world a better place to live. Let’s stop blaming the government and drive CHANGE. Uttara Pattanaik It’s truly bad what has happened. Everybody knows that. Even our so-called Chief Minister & the govt. of India which is supposed to protect the interests of the citizens, protect the citizens from such types of nightmares. Now, what is it that stops them from giving punishment to the accused? I think that they are just waiting for some VIP’s daughter to get raped! Ishan Hamare desh ke liye woh samay hai ki humein apna balidaan de kar hi naya kanooon banana hoga. Deepak It’s a shame for our country which always talks about values and culture. Boycott Republic Day Parade this year as Govt. doesn’t want mass gathering. Anurag I take the responsibility to protect women. We all should join hands and make our world a better place to live. Aditya, UK This is not acceptable.

Amit Jain

The gatherings in the wake of this brutal action are the awakening of the people of this country. Our suppressed emotions on all the issues of this country are coming out. We should keep the fire burning and work towards the betterment of the society & the country. We belong to a great culture & should remember that and bring about the change. Else we are in for a big civil disobedience movement in the country. This problem needs to be addressed on several fronts. So lets take up 10 points and

Janta apne naitik dayitvon ke prati poori tarah se kartavyanishhth rahe. Shaasan aur prashaasan apraadhiyon ke prati poori tarah se sakth ho jaayen toh nishchith taur par desh ke andar apradihin ki vyavastha ho. Nischith taur par bilkul ho jaayegi. Apraadhiyon ke andar shaasan aur prashaasan ka khauff hona zaroori hai. Dilip Kumar Sharma We all have to make a difference as citizens of the nation and get out of our comfort zones to be all together. It’s high time we raised our voices and started respecting women. Let’s all get together and be one. Sapna & Ashwani Anand Let’s stand together in this hour and remember this braveheart. One cannot say enough about this horrendous and violent crime. It is not only about rape but also about the extreme brutality of the incident. What must have sparked off so much of violence in a person so young? Shobha Chadda Braveheart girl, you will be alive in our lives always. Your sacrifice will not be forgotten. Rest in Peace. Kushal Yeh kaayarta ki hadh hai. Isliye inko sare aam phaansi di jaaye. Aur desh ke kanoon ki paalna sakhti se ki jaaye. Aur fast track court banayi jaaye. Aur inka jaldi niptaara kiya jaaye. Anil A memorial to the Braveheart should be made just like Rajghat or Shaktisthal and a fastrack court and rape crisis centre should be made at her memorial so that the police and judiciary remember this horrible rape every time they bring a case to this court. Amina Sherwani Words cannot express the anger and fear that lives in the minds and hearts of women in India. Who is responsible? The parents who prefer boys and are proud of their sons’ indiscipline?The police who cannot control crime and probably support by being corrupt? The politicians who in their selfish pursuit of power prefer to keep people illiterate and ignorant? Preety Kumar The whole nation of 1,25 billion people has been shamed. The govt. Oo the day should call Parliament session and make effective laws so that such things are never repeated. Let us all synergise this energy and get something effective. May the Braveheart soul rest in peace & in our heart. Manmohan May her soul rest in peace. May sexual harassment or any rape issue be a highlight all over India. Let us be bold

S pecial

4-10 January 2013

enough to gather this same way as we gather today to raise our voice for the safety of women. As for punishment, the guilty should be hanged till death. Paban Upadhyaya We won’t say that the girl has died. We will put it as ‘The girl has moved to a place where rapes don’t take place’. Peace! Nandini Anand We, the educated middle class, need to awaken from our comfort-induced slumber if we are to prevent such a ghastly incident from recurring. Whether or not we succeed in changing the quality of our elected representatives, we must at least make the bureaucracy accountable. It requires effort & perseverance which we are not prepared to do. Let’s do it. Let’s step out at least once a week, spend at least an hour a week, in civic initiatives that seek to make the administration (civic, police, judiciary) accountable. Priya V.K Singh I pledge not to let your death go unanswered. RIP Shalini Venugopal Hope to see a new/fresh ray of light with this movement. May her soul rest in peace. Aameen Asif Siddiqui What a country have we made- and you are the symbol for all that is wrong in us. For India and we as people­we all have a role, a role where we did not raise our voices. In every single instance where a wrong was perpetrated. Here is hoping that this is the start of change. Ajay

I really find this very shameful. Not only this case, there are numbers of cases which are never reported. They all should be given full justice. I feel political will is lacking & they are not bothered what is happening to common people. They are just concerned about the votes/money. Very shameful. Baljit Nirbhaya, The grief, the shows, the haplessness, the fury, the embarrassment, the sheer audacity of your efforts contrasting with our emotions – You are. Shall always be a leading light, a torch bearer for rest of us. Sruti U have sacrificed your life for a revolution of change in India. Thank U. May your soul rest in peace. Dr. Gandhi I pray to god for the departed soul. The deed done was very bad in terms of humanity. I cried when I heard & read about the facts. I respect u & we should be united that this should not happen again. Arvinder Pal Singh “My freedom is in the light, My freedom is in the dust of my land; in its green grasses” -Tagore From this moment on EVERYTHING MUST CHANGE. No more lies! No more Hypocrisy! No more Commodification of women! Mothers-Educate your spoilt sons – Cherish and protect your daughter! Prayers and pranams, Nirbhaya-Shakti. Srimati Lal

I just hope and sincerely pray that the soul awakening you have caused remains alive till change in the social psyche is achieved. May your soul rest in peace. Preeta Rest in Peace young lady hope the movement against crime doesn’t die & govt wakes up. We have All let you down. Rattan Keswani Fansi hi unki sahi saja hai. Chahe kuch bhi kanoon ho. Hame dharam nahi dekhna bas fansi. Aarti We pray and hope that India sees the light and looks at women with respect JM It is very shameful. We must improve our thoughts about women. Respect women. Harinder Anand As a child, I do not know too much about this. But one thing shall always be clear to me. The responsibility of the country, its people and the government, is to be accountable of what they are meant to do , and believe in total equality amongst all peers, friends and people of the country. So lastly, I say that change is what is necessary, but it is all our job, to make a new mindset and think more about our country than ourselves. We must believe in change and trust me, working together shall bring just that. Arnav Gulati This is not acceptable not tolerable. Shame to all for this act. We should answer it should not happen again. Raman Sharma & Servesh Joon

I hope these protests bring about a change. Chemical castration is the only way to go. Time for a mid-term election. Total dictatorship for the next few years. Ruchi Sawhney

RIP Damini. We really need a strict action regarding this accident. Please send those b****ds to Saudi Arabia or else make such policy in India. Siddharth God give courage to all. It is sad that a tragedy has awakened the conscience of the nation. High time it did. There is a future, everyone needs to pledge solidarity to keep this issue alive. The guilty must be made into models to be deterrents to the like-minded criminals. They must be tortured to death as they did to Nirbhaya. Amen Prabha Prabhakar Bhardwaj

It is a shame. Shall India continue to live in shame? M.C. Gupta “No More Please” Have stricter laws with visible actions. I as a man, as a father, as a son, as a husband am ashamed of our kind for doing something inhuman. This movement is for life & not just this time. Pawas Anand

You lite up the fire in people’s dead soul. We will make sure it continues burning and results in the change that you and all of us need. SK An agitated and shocked me asks for awakening of other consciences, wish peace for the departed soul and “law of castration” in place at the earliest. Atul Sood

Time has come for our political class to think very seriously to take action in changing or making new laws for protection of woman and also of the people. The mind set must change, otherwise the people will make sure that this is done peacefully and with exemplary unity. God bless ‘HER’ soul. A.N Mehta

Crime against women should be stopped. Respect women and serve for humanity RIP Damini – God save the soul. Preetam R

We must fix the root cause. Time for action now. Samarjit

Yeh ghatna sari rashtra ke liya sharamnak hai. Sarkar ko wade aur dilase dene ki bajaye ek dam determent kanoon lagu karne chahiya. Jagdish Chand bajaj

Let this be the last crime ever commited on earth on woman T N Kaul

Our tribute to the angel should be: To get united; remain united; raise our voice- to terminate this injustice being done to women. And raise the face value of our Mother India. S.K

It is a great shame. We all hang our heads in shame for the brutality caused to the innocent girl. She has awakened all of us and slept herself for ever. Wish her soul rests in peace. Cdr (Retd) Dharam Yadav

It was not the rape of just the young girl – it was the rape of the conscience of the people of India. Atul Dev

We all are equally responsible for the incidents. Abhay Jain Don’t abuse girls they too are human. Respect. Ruchia Bhasin Bhatnagar It grieves us to see the plight of our nation. All of india’s glory is over because of indians. We ourselves are going back in time & becoming animals again. These people should be so severely punished that no one ever dares to do such ever again. Jaskiran Kaur We are very grieved what happened. Girls & Women of any age are not secure. The people of such kind should be hanged in public after beating with stones. Narneet You are an inspiration to the nation! We will carry the message of justice forward Mehmood RIP to victim, our condolences will always be with you. Culprit should be penalized with brutal death. Should have to be given just justice. It may secure the girl in future. Manchal In haiwanon ko phansi say bhi badhkar saza dehni chahiya. Inke liye phansi bhi kam hai. Sareaam jo bhi saza de, Jis se aise ghinone kaam karne wale bhi sambhal jayen or jindagi mein aisi harkat na kar payen. Veena Gorai Dear Damini, I hope and pray that your sacrifice will not be in vain. A society & country that cannot protect its women has no right to call itself a society or a country Swaminathan You have gone but you have awakened the consciousness of the whole nation what many top leaders could not do during past over sixty years. You will be remembered always by every self respecting indian. Col. B K Dhawan

It’s really shame for the nation and to mankind. Culprits should be tortured in the same manner they tortured the little girl. Vidyadharan & Sunitha We pray from the inner heart, that you will always be alive in our hearts. The raists must be given a very severe punishment so that this incident is not repeated again in any part of the world.. D.S.B


I pledge to support every move to make my country & the women of my country feel free and fearless. Shweta Verma

Dear Damini your sacrifice should not go waste. We are all with you . Y S Chauhan If we want to stop this in future sufficient no. of police should be deployed on field duty. Sawtanter Kumar

We want justice. Now time for justice, We will never tolerate what happened to you. God kindly open our politician’s eyes. Prabhakr All MPs and MLAs that are alleged to be involved in some crime (any) with any pending case must be removed. It would upset the current rotten apple-cart. Yogesh Condolence to the family. India demands Death Sentence for rapists. Sanjay Banka You shall live forever.

Col S.S Oberoi

We at Roop Group condemn this act. This pace should not be stopped. Anil Jain Your sacrifice will not go waste. We shall take it forward and fight till justice is done. Anjali Srivastava Jis desh mein naari ko sarvachh sthan diya jaata hai wahan gangrape ghinona apraadh hai. Hamen samaj mein shiksha laani hai, sanskar jagane hain aur suraksha vyavastha ke baare mein sochna hai jahaan thane na bikte hon aur vardi mein neta paise na khaate hon. Rape ke shikariyon ke prati haardik shradhanjali. V.K Gaur

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G lobal

4-10 January 2013

Donkeys Help to Build Modern India T

he donkeys plod laboriously up the unfinished stairway, halting from time to time on one of the concrete steps, until Ranbir Singh urges them on with his wooden prod. The pack animals, employed on a construction side in Noida (in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh), are each carrying a load of 30 kilograms of sand. They also each bear a small part of India’s future on their backs. Concrete skeletons reach upwards alongside each other in this City, a satellite of the capital at New Delhi. The City,

set up less than 40 years ago, is home to innumerable IT firms, conference centres, and to India’s Formula One circuit. The roads remain unfinished, and the construction workers live in simple huts amid the dust, that will soon give way to skyscrapers with steel and glass facades, and luxurious shopping malls. On reaching the sixth floor Singh unloads his donkeys. He gets 150 rupees (2.75 dollars) a day, for himself and for each of his donkeys, for their daily work. The construction workers using the sand to build the next level receive 140 rupees. The donkeys start their cau-

Four of Ranbir Singh’s donkeys, laboriously plod up an unfinished stairwell to the sixth floor of a building under construction.

{ Paris / DPA }


rom Lance Armstrong losing his Tour de France titles, to CIA boss General David Petraus losing his job for cheating on his wife, 2012 was a year of fallen heroes. Europe’s royals also dominated headlines – for everything from their state of dress (or undress), to questionable safaris that led to a national address. Following are some of the year’s most sensational stories GAME OVER FOR ARMSTRONG US cyclist Lance Armstrong is stripped of his seven Tour de France titles, and banned for life, after being found guilty of the “most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen” by the US Anti-Doping Agency. The indictment, following years of allegations, ended the career of a sporting icon, worshipped in the US for bouncing back after testicular cancer. Armstrong continues to deny the allegations. PETRAEUS SPOOKED Four-star General David Petraeus, the former US commander in Afghanistan and Iraq, is forced to step down as head of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), after discovery of an extra-marital affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell. The ripples spread after it emerges that another acquaintance of Petraeus, Jill

tious descent along the open stairway. “Sometimes a donkey bumps into the one in front, and that one then falls to the bottom,” says Surajit Nath, a vet. In that event, a call goes out to the Donkey Sanctuary. The vets bring medication and bandages for the animals, whose owners are too poor to pay for the treatment. “Often they don’t give the medicine to the donkeys. But the biggest problem is that the donkeys are often overloaded, and wear the wrong harnesses,” Nath says, pointing to spots on one of the donkeys’ bodies, where

Doreen Fiedler

{ Doreen Fiedler / Noida, India / DPA }

A donkey-man loads his animals with sand, outside a building under construction in Noida, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

The donkeys that help to build the high-rise buildings (background) of Noida on the outskirts of New Delhi.

the thin straps are cutting into the animal. Then he kneels and looks into the animal’s mouth. “At most, two years old,” he says. When donkeys are put to work at such an early age, they start suffering from arthritis within two years, and are ultimately unable to walk properly. The Donkey Sanctuary tries to educate the owners on how to treat the animals properly. The organization puts the number of donkeys in the vast country at around 1.85 million – many of them currently in use transporting bricks, stones and sand, or pulling carts. Over recent decades donkey power has frequently been used – for projects

Fallen heroes and Figleafs The Top Scandals of 2012 Kelley, has exchanged questionable emails with another general, John Allen. Allen’s nomination for supreme commander of NATO is put on hold. DID AUNTIE FAIL TO PROTECT? The venerable British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)— Auntie Beeb to the British— is brought into disrepute by a child sex abuse scandal, involving deceased presenter Jimmy Savile. The BBC is accused of trying to cover up allegations that Savile abused children. Soon after, a fresh crisis erupts, when the broadcaster airs an erroneous story, wrongly linking a senior politician with paedophilia. BBC Director General George Entwistle resigns. CHINESE TRIAD Chinese Police Chief Wang Lijun’s flight, in February, to a US Consulate, sparks a chain of events that leads to the ouster of Bo Xilai, a rising, populist regional leader of the ruling Communist Party. Wang leaves the Consulate after a day, and goes on to testify against Bo’s wife, Gu Kailai, in the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood. Gu is convicted. Bo awaits trial for covering up the murder, corruption and abuse of power - charges that supporters claim were politically motivated. But rumours still swirl of even darker secrets buried in his colourful, 20-year career.

SYRIAN SHOPPING SPREE Emails leaked in March show that Syria’s first lady, Britishborn Asma al-Assad, spent thousands of dollars for designer goods, and her husband, Bashar al-Assad, spent time downloading music on his iPad – while the country descended into a civil war, claiming hundreds of lives daily. Purchases attributed to the First Lady included a new chocolate fondue set, Christian Louboutin stilettos, chandeliers, and a DVD copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II. SOUTH AFRICAN SPEAR South African artist Brett Murray divides the nation with his painting, ‘The Spear’, depicting President Jacob Zuma in a Vladimir Leninstyle pose, with his genitalia exposed. The painting, largely interpreted as a comment on the President’s polygamous lifestyle, leads to protests, that climax when two people smear the portrait with paint. The affair sparks a debate about freedom of expression. The ruling African National Congress slams a defamation case against Murray, but later drops it. ROYAL DRESSING DOWN In a case of life imitating art, Britain’s

large and small. They help in the mines, in digging tunnels and in building canals. “I have been working with a donkey since I was 12,” says Singh, who is now 58. He complains that many companies have begun to use machines to do the work, pointing to the site next door where cranes are lifting the heavy loads. “Donkeys take longer,” he acknowledges. His son no longer works at his side, opting instead to become a civil servant, but Singh aims to continue the tradition as long as he can. “These animals are part of the family. We have the donkeys to thank, for everything that we have,” he says. u

royals are caught in various states of undress – beginning with Prince Harry, snapped frolicking naked with party girls in a Las Vegas hotel room. British tabloids mostly refrain from publishing the photographs. Only The Sun breaks ranks. Weeks later, French gossip magazine ‘Closer’ outrages the Palace by publishing photographs of the Duchess of Cambridge sunbathing topless, during a private holiday with Prince William, in Provence. Several other European titles also publish the blurry paparazzi shots. The British royals weren’t the only ones facing embarrassment in 2012. Spanish King Juan Carlos broke a hip while on a no-expenses-spared safari in Botswana, the news of which irked Spaniards who are being asked to tighten their belts, amid an economy in tailspin. He ended up having to issue a public apology. VATILEAKS A former butler to Pope Benedict XVI, Paolo Gabriele, blows the whistle on scheming, and suspected corruption at the highest levels of the Catholic Church, by leaking the Pope’s confidential correspondence to the media. Gabriele was convicted by a Vatican court, and sentenced to 18 months in prison – for what came to be known as the VatiLeaks case. Questions remain over whether others —besides a computer technician convicted of abetting Gabriele—were involved. u

4-10 January 2013

BEST OF 2012

G lobal 23

Friday Gurgaon, January 4-10, 2013  

Gurgaon's Own Weekly Newspaer

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