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31 May-6 June 2013

Vol. 2 No. 41  Pages 24  ` 7

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

A LEADING PRESCHOOL & DAY CARE IN GURGAON 24X7 CCTV Surveillance

Home & Imagination Zone

Well Planned Holistic Curriculum

Soft Gymnasium

Block & Construction Zone

Tablab-based Learning

Soft Play Zone

Music, Dance & Creative Zone

Open Play Area

C Block, South City-1, Gurgaon Email: admissions@medhaam.com Telephone: +91 9899775770

What's Your The Bubble Address? Is Bursting { Shilpy Arora / FG }

write to us at letters@ fridaygurgaon.com

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he City today is in the midst of a social churn, driven by varied real estate developments and the intra-city migration of residents. MG Road was the first to see the emergence of high-end condominiums, where a large number of people from the Capital and other parts of the City settled down. Its proximity to Cyber City and the Capital made it a hot destination for many professionals. Gradually, the focus shifted towards Golf Course Road. With the help of leading real estate companies like DLF, the area around this Road is today thriving with a number of luxury condominiums. Many expats and NRIs have made it their home. Sohna Road is now emerging as a new ‘centre’. Affordable land prices and proximity to the industrial city of Manesar have attracted many to this new address. Have Gurgaonites started to establish and slot their preferred ‘centres’ in the City? Would this be direction (N,E,W,S)- wise or sectorwise or colony-wise or condo-wise – or 'around-xRoad-wise'? Rudrani Pillai is a South Indian living in the Millennium City, but calls herself a ‘true’ Gurgaonite. “Despite my parents belonging to the South and following its customs, I follow the cosmopolitan culture of Gurgaon. I have

been born and brought up here. It is my City,” says Rudrani. She lives in a condominium near MG Road. Her day starts at a gym in Grand Mall, and is followed by lunch at TGI Friday. She enjoys pancakes at Chokola, and jogs daily at the Bio-diversity Park. For her, the City is limited to an eight kilometres stretch. “We all feel so comfortable and safe in this part that we don’t need to go anywhere else - not even to Delhi,” says Rudrani’s father. Most of the people who have settled down in condominiums, and even in independent houses near MG Road, feel that it is the only place in the City worth falling in love with. A teacher at DPS Vasant Kunj, Shikha, moved from Delhi to MG Road some 15 years ago. Initially she was uncomfortable about the Gurgaon address. “Everyone in my School came either from Sunder Nagar or Defence Colony. I felt a little awkward saying that I live near the Mehrauli-Gurgaon Road,” says Shikha. However, the place quietly cast its charm on her, with its lovely green surroundings and a huge biodiversity park – but also many modern sights and sounds, and the hustle and bustle of a young, modern city. Calling the area the Connaught Place of Delhi, she says, Contd on p 9 

{ Abhishek Bhel / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon.com

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owadays, many offers from builders and brokers read: ‘Book a happy home in Gurgaon or Delhi by just paying 25 per cent of the total amount, and pay the rest on possession. There is no need to take a home loan.’ You can also now choose from a host of subvention schemes. Only a few die-hards, still living in the past, believe that they can still ask customers to invest, by promising that rates will be revised upwards when an ‘open offer’ is made for the general public. There is a strong aroma of ‘sweet deals’ on offer, as the fear of a slowdown (a crash?) in the erstwhile permanently booming real estate market in the National Capital Region in general, and Gurgaon in particular, is looming. The primary objective of these sweet deals is to quickly mop up as much capital as possible, from the investors as well as end-users, as sentiments are getting more negative by the day. Market watchers say that the off-take, in both the residential and commercial housing, in major pockets of Gurgaon,

has continued to slacken. The macro conditions have not been favourable for some time now – due to the downtrend in the IT sector, the slowdown in the Indian economy, and high interest rates. An added critical factor is: how much, and for how long, can just investors hold up the bubble? Realty in Gurgaon is unique, in that investors play a very important role in shaping the market dynamics. The on-going stagnation indicates that even investors with deep pockets are finding it difficult to believe that real estate investments today would be profitable – let alone worthwhile. Brokers across the City vouch that real estate deals, both in the primary and secondary markets, have gone down by almost 30 to 40 per cent in the last quarter. Does this suggest a major correction in prices - a bubble ready to burst? Sanjay Sharma, MD Qubrex says that despite a major slowdown in the market, prices have not come down in Gurgaon; and despite lesser transactions the sellers have not reduced prices - which indicates a dichotomy in the market. Even the new launches on Contd on p 20 


02 RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319 Postal Regn. No. GRG/35/2012-2014, VOL.–2 No.–41  31 May-6 June 2013

Editor:

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WORKSHOP  THEATRE  NIGHTLIFE  MUSIC  ART

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ndulge in a one-of-its-kind winepaired menu that features mouthwatering delicacies from across the world, paired with New Zealand wines. Contact: 4534000

Atul Sobti

Sr. Correspondents: Abhishek Behl Shilpy Arora

Food

Sr. Photographers: Prakhar Pandey Sr. Sub Editor:

Anita Bagchi

Sr. Designer:

Amit Singh

Designer:

Virender Kumar

Circulation Execs.:

Pankaj Yadav Sunil Yadav Manish Yadav

Dilli 6 - Flavours of Delhi @ The Palms – Town & Country Club, B Block, Phase I, Sushant Lok Date: Up to June 10 Time: 12 noon to 11:00 pm

Dy. Manager Accounts & Admin: Shiv Shankar Jha Asst. Manager Media Marketing: Bhagwat Kaushik Sr. Exec Media Marketing:

Vikalp Panwar

Ad Sales Exec :

Amit Agarwal

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n Exhibition featuring aesthetic innovations in metal creations for home decor. Contact: 26804344

Consulting Art Editor: Qazi M. Raghib

Food

Musical Luncheon @ Club Rhino, South Point Mall, Sector 53 Date: Up to June 10 (Monday to Saturday) Time: 12 noon to 3:30 pm

Editorial Office 213, Tower A, Spazedge, Sector 47, Sohna Road, Gurgaon 122001, Haryana Phones: +91 124 421 9092/93

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editor@fridaygurgaon.com

avour the Dilli flavour at this delectable Food Festival. Contact: 0124-4199900

letters@fridaygurgaon.com

Food

Emails:

Beat The Heat @ Cafe O’Lalit, Hilton Garden Inn, Sector 50, Baani Square Date: Up to June 30 Time: 12 noon to 11:00 pm

contributions@fridaygurgaon.com subscription@fridaygurgaon.com circulation@fridaygurgaon.com adsales@fridaygurgaon.com events@fridaygurgaon.com marketing@fridaygurgaon.com 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

Workshop

Hip Hop Dance Workshop @ Zink Fitness Studio, B-63 (Basement), Sushant Lok-I Date: June 1 Time: 11:30 am

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Dance Workshop by Sourabh Soni, who will be teaching the technicalities of the Hip Hop form. Beginners are welcome too! Call: +919899450239/+919999073727/ +919953723727


Workshop

Summer Workshop @ U – 18/16, First Floor, Town House, DLF Phase III

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.

7838003874 7827233023 9999444818

very participant—through fun games and exercises—will get acquainted with improvisation, voice training, movement and body language – while creating his/her individually-devised character. These characters will be brought to life at the end of the Workshop – during the ‘Improv Party’.

Make Your Own Movie Workshop
 Date: June 17 to 28 Age Group: 12 to 18 years Batch One: 10: 00 am to 2:00 pm Batch Two: 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm

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his Workshop aims at giving participants an understanding of the film making process – Script Writing, Direction, Production, Acting, Cinematography and Editing.
One DVD of a film to each individual will be provided after the Workshop!
Contact Pranay at +91 987192467

Exhibition

To Advertise F Please Contact

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ree Parking Entertainment presents two extremely fun, entertaining, interactive and participative Workshops for students.

The Actor’s Launchpad Workshop Date: June 3 to 14 (Weekends off) Age Group: 11 to 15 years Batch One: 10: 00 am to 2:00 pm 
 Batch Two: 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Metallic Finishes @ House of Ishatvam, MG Road Date: Upto June 9 Time: 11:00 am to 7:30 pm

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at all you want at this exclusive Buffet luncheon. Enjoy live stations of salads, pastas, a dessert bar and a lavish main course spread. Choose from a wide variety of Indian, Chinese and Thai dishes, garnered by Executive Chef Pankaj Rana. While you treat your taste buds, you can also treat your ears to some fine music playing in the background - Jim Morrison, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Garry Moore, Pink Floyd and more. Contact: 4409501

Food

New Zealand Wine Festival @ Connexions, Hotel Crowne Plaza, Sector 29 Date: June 1 to 10 Time: 10:00 am to 11:00 pm

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eat the heat with a range of innovative Ice Teas – from rose, hibiscus, jalapeno & mint, to basil, lemon, ginger & honey. Refresh yourself this summer in a different way. Contact: 0124-4420000


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31 May-6 June 2013

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WORKSHOP  THEATRE  NIGHTLIFE  MUSIC  ART

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njoy this lifestyle Exhibition with unique stalls from across the country. The Exhibition includes Bridal wear, Fashion apparels, Jewellery, Gems, Handicrafts, Home Furnishings and much more. Call: 098188 81009, 098187 83447

Photography Exhibition

Something About Hair @ Alliance Francaise, Gurgaon Centre, A-24/8, DLF Phase III Date: June 6 to 20 Time: 11:00 am to 7:00 pm

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Photography Exhibition by noted French photographer, Oriane Zerah, who has been spending her time travelling between France, India and its neighbouring countries. In this Exhibition, the photographer takes on the strength and the power of hair.

Art

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musical show created by the Haffner Brothers, which includes innovative acrobatic and aerial musical performances. This outstanding Show is the perfect amalgamation of matchless skill and grace, which comes together to form pure art. The music and dialogues are a mix of French and English, making the entertainment experience unique.

Nightlife

Livewire Friday @ Attitude Alive, C-002, Super Mart I, DLF Phase IV Date: May 31 Time: 8:30 pm

Untold Stories @ The Gallery, MG Mall, Studio No. 322, Second Floor, 13, MG Road Date: Up to June 30 Time: 11:00 am to 6: 30 pm

Sufi Saturday @ Striker Pub & Brewery, Global Foyer Mall, 23, Golf Course Road, Sector 43 Date: June 1 Time: 9:00 pm

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live performance by the Band, MAP, featuring Manta Sindhu-Vocals, Adhir Ghosh-Guitar, Saurabh Suman-Bass and Rueben NarainDrums. Enjoy the livewires performing Rock, Retro and Pop numbers.

n Art Exhibition organised by Arushi Arts, showcasing works of artist Ravi Kattakuri.

Music

Mana-A Cirque Spectacle @ Kingdom of Dreams, Sector 29 Date: Up to August 18 Time: Noon to Midnight

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vibrant Summer Theatre for young actors, by Intellitots Early Learning Centre. Kids will be introduced to the magical world of theatre – acting, singing, dancing and stage performances. On offer is a new theme every week. The Workshop will culminate in a final performance. Call:
(+91) 124 4223860, (+91) 9990800892

Workshop

Kinder Dance @ Apple Blossom Pre Nursery School, Plot No. NS - 02, Block E, Green Wood City, Sector 45 Date: Up to June 7 Time: 9:00 am to 11:00 am and 11:30 am to 1:30 pm

Nightlife

Rockstar Eve @ TCK Lounge, Radisson Blu Suites Hotel, Block B, Sushant Lok Phase 1 Date: Up to September Time: 7:30 pm to midnight

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pin under the Sufi spell as DJ Ankit belts out popular Sufi numbers. Contact: 9990383131, 4040101

Workshop

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ock the evening with the Band, Nasha, featuring Akhil-Vocals, Saurabh-Rhythm Guitar, Puneet-Lead Guitar, Jivi-Bass Guitar, Ankur-Drums and Hiten-Percussion. The Band is popular for its unique rendition of soulful Sufi music with a contemporary twist of Rock.


Nightlife

Music

A Mesmerising Evening @ Epicentre, Apparel house, sector 44 Date: June 6 Time: 7:30 pm onwards

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n evening of soulful ghazals sung by Sunil Rahi, disciple of A. Hariharan. His performance will be followed by a Tabla recital by Imran Arsh Khan, disciple of Hashmat Ali Khan.

Summer Theatre For Kids @ Intellitots Learning Centre, Site - 4101, DLF Phase IV Date: Up to June 28 Time: 9:00 am onwards

Exhibition

Age Group: 6 to 10 years Time: 9:00 am to 11:00 am

Life & Style Exhibition @ Courtyard by Marriott, Plot no - 27 B, B Block, Sushant Lok - 1, Sector 27 Date: June 1 & 2 Time: 11:00 am to 8:00 pm

Age Group: 11 to 15 years Time: 11:45 am to 1:45 pm

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Dance Workshop for kids aged 2 to 8 years. Kinder Dance, America's premier dance institute, helps children learn motor skills development with a fitness programme. The blend of dance and fitness will surely help your kids blossom! Come, explore and accelerate.


Workshop

Radio Jockey Workshop @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: June 15 to 19 Time: 10:30 am to 12 noon

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Karaoke evening every Friday, where all budding rockstars and bathroom singers can come and sing their hearts out. Kick-start the weekend by crooning your favourite numbers. Call:
(+91) 124 4719000, (+91) 9711200131

Nightlife

Rockathon @ Lemp Brewpub & Kitchen, DLF Star Mall, NH 8, Sector 30 Date: June 1 Time: 9:00 pm onwards

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unique Workshop for kids aged between 9 and 12 years. Children will be taught the process involved in hosting a radio show, building team spirit and working on techniques like voice modulation, role play & dramatization. The Workshop is conducted by Storyghar.


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31 May-6 June 2013

THE WEEK THAT WAS ♦ There is a protest by citizens, on Sohna Road, in Badshahpur, over the poor supply of water and power. ♦ One Stop Crisis Centre (OSCC) is set up in the Civil Hospital, to operate 24x7 for women victims. ♦ Haryana Child Care Institutions are to set up management and children committees. ♦ A special Lok Adalat for MACT cases is organized on Saturday. ♦ Om Prakash Chautala undergoes heart surgery at Medanta. ♦ Haryana notifies the Non-Biodegradable Garbage (Control) Amendment Act, 2012, that covers the process from manufacture to the disposal of non-biodegradable waste material. ♦ 25-year-old woman techie jumps to death from the 18th floor of Princeton - leaves a suicide note; the doctor examining the body raises suspicion of her having been raped. ♦ A man is held for killing his infant daughter in rage, after an altercation with his wife. ♦ A man is booked for molesting a 21 year old. ♦ 2 sisters are reported missing. ♦ Ace shooter alleges dowry harassment. ♦ A 59-year-old man is held for raping his lover, a 46-year-old maidservant, for 9 years. ♦ Ward 2 Councillor is accused of violence against a retired officer. ♦ A Sales Tax Officer is held for taking a Rs 15,000 bribe. ♦ 3 are arrested for possession of 106 kg (worth Rs 6 lakhs) of marijuana. ♦ A man is robbed of his car on the e-way. ♦ A car catches fire in Sector 14. ♦ High Court quashes the acquisition of Anjolie Ela Menon’s land – 1 ½ acres - in Ghata Village (Sector 58). ♦ DLF Phase V Independent Floors’ residents accuse neighbour Lancers International School of damage to their property. ♦ Sadar Bazaar vendors thwart an MCG demolition drive and manhandle the staff. ♦ 21 students attend the police internship program on Cyber Crime. ♦ Temperature crosses 46 degrees C. Heat wave has claimed 7 lives so far. A dust storm lashes the capital mid-week. ♦ Rent-a-cycle stands to be started outside Metro stations, and then other locations – total 30.

Haryanvi Made Easy Get a taste of the local lingo 1. This heat will kill me. Yo garmi manne maar degi. 2. I am going to escape this heat. Main is garmi tey bhaajan lag rya hun. 3. I am going to go to Mussoorie. Main Munsoorie jaan laag rya sun. 4. My uncle stays there. Mera tau reh hai udde. 5. I will come back only after the heat goes away. Garmiyan ke pichhe aayunga aaram tey. 6. My friend told me it is hot there too. Mera dhabbi nu keh tha ki udde bhi

garmi pade se.

7. Now where do I go? Ib kadde jayun?

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WORKSHOP MUSIC NIGHTLIFE ART

EXHIBITION

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C eleb W atch

31 May-6 June 2013

A Guide & Counsellor

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Sum Celebration!

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he popular restaurant Dimsum Bros. kick-started their New Menu with an Event that was well-attended. The band Maverix—Radhika and Shikhar—entertained the guests and kept the crowd on their feet with Rock n Roll. Special culinary delights were prepared by Cantonese Master Chef, Chee. Guests present included Atul and Sonu Wassan, Bipasha Sen Gupta, Jattinn Kochhar, Gunjan Kochhar, Pooja Bhimra, Neeraj Chadha, Kanchan Chadha, Ishika Taneja, Hitesh Relhal and many more.

t’s exciting to bring stories of young mothers who have a passion for life, travel, fitness and find interesting ways to make a difference. The latest in the City is Tanya Agarwal, an Admission and Guidance Counsellor for international exams and Indian competitive exams. Tanya started her career with Career Launcher as a South Mumbai Sales Head, after finishing her MBA from NMIMS, Mumbai. “I never imagined teaching would mean so much to me. Now I have been in the field of education for the last 10 years. I love providing counselling to people who aspire for reputed international exams such as GMAT and SAT. ‘Aha' moments in this profession are when students come back to me with their success stories,” she says. After her marriage, she worked in the American School of Lima, Peru, where she trained students for SAT. She then moved to Singapore, where she worked in the PR team of a Singaporean firm. This was followed by a freelancing stint with Career Launchers, where she received special training in counselling GMAT students. Back in India now, she offers counselling services in the City. “I don’t take more than three students at a time. I also need to understand the profile of the student and see how well it matches

Fine Horizons

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ational Institute of Fine Art (NIFA) presented its mid-term Exhibition titled “New Horizons’’, at Epicentre. The Art extravaganza, curated by Renu Khera, showcased the works of 27 students of NIFA – original art work in different mediums like oil on canvas, acrylic, charcoal and dry pestles.

Secret Tales

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uthor Prakash Iyer's 'The Secret of Leadership' (Penguin Books), was launched at Landmark Store, by P.M Sinha, former Chairman, PepsiCo India. In his book, Iyer uses simple yet powerful anecdotes and parables from across the world, to demonstrate what makes for effective personal and professional leadership. Iyer fans and book enthusiasts gathered at the venue for an interaction with the author.

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with the selected school. Besides, unlike big institutes, it is not a merely a money-making venture for me. It is my passion,” she says. Counsellors need to be self-motivated and positive. She says, “It is important to understand that not everybody can make it to the Ivy League schools, and hence initial rounds of setting expectations and studentschool profile matching is a must. I first sit through a couple of meetings with the students and then coach them a bit on how to get started with the initial draft.   Of course I go through the final essay. An essay is an autobiography that nobody can write better than the person himself. It also helps them during interviews,” says Tanya. She derives great satisfaction when her students make it to A+ institutes such as INSEAD, London School of Business and Economics,  Indian School of Business.   "She is a great counsellor. I am happy and honoured to be her student. She has provided to-the-point counselling and helped me in look at some very basic yet important things,” says one of her students, who made it the London School Business and Economics this year.

Tanya Agarwal can be contacted at tanya.singla@gmail.com


{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon.com

D

espite having an extremely thin green cover, which is amongst the lowest in the country, Haryana is perhaps waiting for a miracle, to meet its forest targets. Its development strategy is already threatening the environment parameters required for a good quality of living. The fast urbanizing cities in this State are losing forest cover at a rapid rate. The State could learn from neighbouring Delhi, and even the State capital, Chandigarh, both of which have managed to preserve the green cover - in urban areas as well as deemed forests. Compared to less than 5 per cent forest cover in Gurgaon District, South Delhi has 31 per cent and New Delhi almost 46 per cent green areas. Experts say that the absence of a special legislation, like the Delhi Tree Preservation Act 1994, and Chandigarh Tree Preservation Order, 1952, is the basic reason that trees have became an easy casualty here. The relentless march of urbanization, and the capitulation of the authorities to the real estate builders, has proved to be a nemesis for the forest cover of Gurgaon in particular. Critics allege that cutting trees in the name of development has become a norm in the Millennium City, and the lack of monitoring, even in ecologically sensitive areas like the Aravallis, is pushing the City to disaster. Gurgaon-based environmentalist Chetan Agarwal says that the Forest authorities in the State work on the basis of an area-specific approach, whereas the need of the hour is to have a ‘rights-based’ approach for trees. “In Gurgaon the forest areas are governed by the Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA) 1904, and generally Section 4 is applied in the urban areas. It is only in some parts of the Aravallis that the more stringent Section 5 is made applicable,” he says. However, the PLPA provisions are not adequate, and the government needs to bring in a stringent law – with a focus on trees - to stop violations. At present the forest cover in the State is just 3.64 per cent of the total area, which is far below the national average of 22 per cent. The Gurgaon Master Plan 2031 also estimates that the forest cover in the District would be less than 4 per cent, which is a recipe for disaster. The incessant mining in the Aravallis, the inclusion of certain villages within the MCG, and illegal farmhouses have already threatened the eco-system of these hills. To make up for the shortage the State Forest department had stipulated a target of 10 per cent forest cover by 2010, and 20 per cent by 2020. Since the first goal has been missed, the 20% cover is likely to be a pipe dream. Sandeep Kamboj of Hariyali, an NGO working in Gurgaon for the last several years, says,“In Delhi, permission for cutting a tree is a very elaborate exercise, and legislation has made sure that both the government officials and the public are held accountable.” At the start of this year, Kamboj had also written a letter to the Chief Minister, and other officials of the state and central governments, stating that Section 4 of PLPA 1904, which was invoked to prevent

31 May-6 June 2013

C ivic/S ocial

Red Alert For Green PRAKHAR PANDEY

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the cutting of trees in the National Capital Region, had become time-barred, and either should be re-notified or the government should come up with a law similar to the Delhi Tree Preservation Act - popularly known as the ‘Tree Order’. The Delhi Tree Preservation Act was passed in 1994 (effective from 1996), along with a government order, to give protection to the Delhi Ridge, which was under constant pressure from encroachers and land sharks. As a result of these two important decisions, the Forest department in the National Capital Territory has been able to double the forest cover - from 151 sq km in 2001 to 292.6 sq km  in 2011, as per the India State of Forest Report 2011. While none of the major cities in India has more than 15 per cent area under forests, Delhi has 20 per cent green cover - making it one of the greenest cities in the country. Kamboj says that the stringent provisions of the Delhi Tree Act, which provide for the setting up of a Tree Authority headed by a senior secretary level official, the appointment of tree officers, and strict punishments for violations, has ensured that trees are protected in the National Capital. The Delhi Tree Act only allows for the cutting of a tree where there is a fear to life, or expectation of serious harm if the tree is not chopped. Normally, a person who desires to cut a tree has to undergo an elaborate exercise to seek permission. And then, when a person is permitted to fell or dispose of a tree or trees, the law requires him to plant an adequate number of trees

as compensation. Kamboj says that an applicant has to deposit hefty fees for cutting a tree, which is returned only if the tree is transplanted successfully - otherwise this money is used for ‘compensation forestry’. In fact, anyone who cuts a tree, even in their own backyard, needs permission from the Forest department; and for every tree cut, an individual or organization has to pay the cost of planting 10 saplings. Kamboj is critical of the compensatory tree plantation activities being carried out by the Haryana Forest department as well as HUDA – the (latter) department has been given permission to cut trees for expanding the roads in various parts of the City. Compared to Gurgaon, Delhi provides for more funds and facilities for compensatory plantation, he adds. The Delhi Tree Act also empowers the Tree Officers to make an arrest without a warrant, if they suspect that an offence under the Act  has been committed. It also empowers the officials to prevent violations, and provides for a punishment of one year and/or a fine of Rs 1000. The government can also confiscate the timber, equipment and vehicles used in cases of violations. Gurgaon-based environmental activists demand that the Millennium City and the State should have a similar law, which has adequate teeth to ensure the preservation of the already scanty green cover. Chetan Agarwal says that the biggest challenge to the green areas in Gurgaon is that patches with forest and tree cover - mainly in the Aravallis - are not zoned as forest in the Master Plan.  They are also not notified as forest by the government of Haryana; rather, they are treated as land that can be developed in future, he alleges. Delhi has benefited not only from the Tree Act. The activism of the Forest department, and the strong role played by the civil society, has

Chandigarh – Plan For Green Belts In accordance with the road system of the City, V2 and V3 roads are planned for fast traffic, hence single rows of trees with light green cover are planted. The green cover along these roads is planned keeping in view the sun’s position, and ensuring favourable conditions for motorists in relation to its glare. In vertical V3 roads, where the sun’s rays in winter are disadvantageous, the plan is to plant Mango (Mangifera indica), Imli (Tamarindus indica), Mahua, Pilkhan and Kusum trees. However, along horizontal V3s, which run from South East to North West, and where not much of the sun's glare is faced, the plantations include single species avenues of Mahagony (Swietenia mahagoni) along the Udyog Path, and Arjun (Terminalia arjuna) along Dakshin Marg. The V4 roads are the neighbourhood shopping streets. Since most Shopping Centres face eastwards, trees have been provided strategically to ensure shade during the afternoon. These include Amaltas (Cassia fistula) and related species. The V5 roads circulate through the entire sectors, and keeping in view the sun’s direction, only one side of the road is usually planted. Hence evergreen trees, along with flowering trees, have been provided to break the monotony of buildings. These include Cassias, Kachnar, Neem, Silver Oak and Bahera. Since houses are located on V6 roads, tree plantation has been carried out keeping in view the sun's direction as well as the location and height of houses. An important aspect is that trees should not block the winter sun, for the residences. Kamboj believes that these learnings would be very useful for the development of Gurgaon II (new sectors), but before that the authorities need to notify the Tree Act for the City.

ensured that the green cover has not just been preserved, but increased substantially. Gurgaon meanwhile only has a Master Plan for building more apartments and malls. The air in the City is already getting polluted, and Swami Triveni, popular for planting trees across Haryana, says that the day is not far when the desert comes calling here. The need for planting more trees was never more than now; the civil society and the government should come together at least for compensatory forestation, he exhorts. For Delhi, the Union Governmentformed body, called CAMPA Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority - has played an important role in pushing for afforestation, since 2010. CAMPA is provided funds by an agency to legally acquire forest land in a state, to help increase forest cover. In 2010, Delhi generated Rs 18 crores as CAMPA Fund, and since then has been receiving funds regularly. These funds are distributed among the civic agencies, which have set up bio-diversity parks, restored wetlands and improved the woodlands in the City as well as the Ridge. Bhawani Shankar Tripathy, of Mission Gurgaon Development, says that Haryana should take a cue from Delhi, and seriously implement the environment and forest laws, which provide for a minimum 33 per cent green cover in every district of the country. He wants the Forest department to ensure that the existing trees on the road-sides, and along walkways, are not concretized – and some space is left for water to reach the roots. In addition, every tree in the District should not be seen in isolation, but treated as part of a forest, and permission from authorities should be required before taking any action, he says. Latika Thukral of Iamgurgaon, who has been closely associated with the evolution of the Bio-diversity Park on the Delhi-Gurgaon border, says that it is important for the City to plant trees that are suited to the dry and arid conditions here. She abhors the import of exotic trees and plants, which are both high waterconsuming and put stress on limited resources. A leading real estate developer highlighted this fact recently when he said that the real estate sales teams often demand exotic trees in high-end residential colonies, to impress the customers. Chetan Agarwal opines that the Administration needs to zone all the Aravalli areas around the cities as forest and water recharge zones, in which no construction of any kind will be allowed. They should restore native species in the forests, set up native plant nurseries and ask existing commercial nurseries to grow native plants. The environmentalists also want that the Gurgaon Master Plan 2031 be brought in line with the NCR Plan 2021, the Haryana Forest Policy 2006, and the National Forest Policy 1998, to ensure that the Millennium City can become a sustainable abode for the teeming new millions it is expected to house in the coming decade. u


31 May-6 June 2013

New Political Party

07

FAB HOME

TM

 Custom-made Furniture & Fine Interiors   Beds  Dining Sets  Book Shelves  Chest of Drawers  Side Boards  Sofa Sets  Crockery Units  Bar Units

{ Abhishek Bhel / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon.com

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o give a political option to the people of Haryana, a new political party was launched in Gurgaon on Wednesday (May 29). The Haryana Janhit Party (AB), launched under the leadership of Ashok Bhardwaj, promises to change the way the political system works in the State. It aims to offer an evolved manifesto, better candidates with a clean image, and an agenda to work for the weaker sections of society. Speaking at the launch, Party President Ashok Bhardwaj said that the present conditions in the State were beyond any repair, as there was massive corruption, poor development and unemployment – and the gap between the rich and poor was increasing. “The purpose of forming this party is to bring about a change in society, which will happen after power is shared by all sections of society. Our party will work towards creating an honest society, in which corrupt officials and politicians are taken to task”, he asserted.

C ivic/S ocial

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Real Wood... Real Value For Money Big Parking Space Available 405, Near Hanuman Temple, Ghitorni Market (Mehrauli -Gurgaon) MG Road, New Delhi, Cell: 9810911200 The newly formed Party will also work towards ending caste and gender-based discrimination in the State, and try to bring development to the rural areas. At present the political system and government is being controlled by real estate agencies and developers, but his party, said Bhardwaj, will work

towards ending this monopoly. “Our party will focus on equal development, agriculture, education, spread of medical health facilities, and work toward transforming the lives of the poor and backward sections of society”, said Bhardwaj. Another important issue on which the Haryana

Present at the occasion were former Nagaland Governor Om Prakash Sharma, patron of the Party Satparkash Sharma, National Mahila Morcha Chief Sunita Yadav, National Vice President Sukhbir Dahiya, National General Secretary Mahesh Gothwal and several others. u


08

31 May-6 June 2013

S ocial

Listen To Her Hand { Anita Jaswal } Can you hear me? Listen, not with your ears But with your eyes.  To you they speak,  My silent hands. Hear me tell my tale. My beautiful native language. Full of colour and expression!  Hear my silent hands.  We have a tale to tell,  A song to sing.  Open your eyes  and hear and see me speak!

S

ome of the best artists are people with disabilities; they use art to better communicate with the world. The results are often stunning. 19-year-old Radhika Mehra has been hearing-impaired since birth – no sound enters her silent world! She completed Class XII from The Shri Ram School, with 77 per cent marks, and is currently completing a Bachelor of Visual Communication course, at the Sushant School of Design, Gurgaon. Radhika is a self-taught artist, and her disabilities did not ever disrupt her artistic abilities. She has been able to communicate well through her provocative artwork. Her artwork can be described as haunting and

{ Vidya Raja }

O

n 22 May, 2012 the Lok Sabha passed The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (“The Act”). Until 2012, sexual offences against children and adults were not differentiated, and most of the offences fell under the ambit of the Indian Penal Code (“IPC”). The Act defines a child as any person below the age of 18. The Act provides protection for all children (below the age of 18) against sexual assault, sexual harassment and pornography. For the first time ever, offences have been clearly defined under the Act. The Act further provides for punishment depending on the severity of the offence. About four out of ten people in Inida are below the age of 18 and need these laws to protect them. In 2007, a report submitted by the Ministry of Women and Child Development made a shocking revelation. The Report stated that 53 per cent children were at some point in time or the other sexually abused. Unfortunately, very often statistics get lost

mysterious – and, most of all, fascinating. She says,” In overcoming the challenges of learning to hear and speak, I would sketch pictures to illustrate my thoughts and feelings. It soon became a passion. It was a lonely world without friends, but life has its purpose and reason, and takes us all on an unknown journey. My heartfelt gratitude to my friend, mentor and guide, Ms. Vijaya Baghai! Working closely in her studio for the past four years has certainly honed my skills. My other interests are photography and tennis. I am an avid photographer. What I cannot capture on paper, I capture on print, to etch in my memory forever!”In Tennis she was the runner-up in the Under 18 Haryana State Championship, and was also once the Gurgaon Champion. Her inspiring use of colour and her varied brushstrokes are remarkable facets of her artistry.  She excels at adding a high level of detail, and her artworks explore the complex and miraculous mysteries of the human mind and spirit. Though she was always

creative, her first public recognition came when she was 10 years old. Her drawing was chosen for the back cover of a poem book by Eklavya Education Foundation, Ahmedabad. A year later her sketch of Ganesha was chosen for a greeting card cover, by CRY. She was awarded a “Certificate of Participation” by VSA Arts in “Encounter” – a call for writing, in 2008. VSA is an affiliate of the John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. She has designed the logo for TESSA – an International Research and Development Initiative, which brings together teachers and teacher educators from across sub-Saharan Africa. She recently participated as one of the invited artists in an exhibition – Art Melange – held at the India Habitat Centre in Delhi. Her dream is to fulfill her father’s dream, and make him proud, by pursuing her higher studies in Arts at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, Rochester Institute of Technology, New York. Says her mother, Priya, “All parents  should be  proud  of their children no matter what  ... and I am

definitely one proud parent! Listen carefully, and you will hear the heart beat of the deaf. You will gain access to their world and their understanding and culture. You will feel privileged to be allowed a glimpse inside their world. Handle it gently. Allow yourself to feel what they feel, to experience what they have experienced. Allow it to impact your heart, and then to bond you with this world. If you do, you will be changed forever...” My Hands God chose that I should never talk and share a voice with you.

The Law & Beyond amidst the numbers. It hits us when we are the victims of such harassment or know personally of someone who has been through it. Ten days ago, an eight-year-old studying at one of the City’s premier schools alleged that she was abused for over two years at the hands of the 'help' at school. There was uproar on social networking sites, and groups relating to parenting were abuzz with discussions about the incident, the victim and the family. The law, unfortunately, did not figure in any of these discussions. No mention was made of the existence of the Act. In the wake of this, I spoke to Sneha Shenoy, a new parent at the premier School, and asked her what she knew of the existing legislation protecting children. “I am ignorant of the existence of the law. I would like to know about it though. If given a chance, or if I had it before me, I would take the trouble of understanding it.” When asked how knowing the law would make a difference, she said, “I would at least know

which authority to approach in such a scenario. As of now I am clueless about that.” Gowri Sinha, C.E.O. of VocaBoom (Gurgaon) and a qualified facilitator who works closely with children, when asked about what she knew of the Act, had this to say, “I am aware of the existence of the Act. It is more out of the intense emotion the subject evokes in me that I am aware of the Act. While there are discussions we have within the Institute on the subject, I am certain that when faced with an incident I will direct the victim to an organisation that is more equipped than I am in dealing with the situation.” Advocate Sunieta Ojha, who has over a decade of legal experience and is a partner at TRS Law Offices, had this to say about the efficacy of the Act: “Since, under the Act, there is a lot of responsibility on the police with respect to the protection of victims and investigation of the cases, it is important to train them properly to deal with a very progressive Act, which not only provides for penalising

the accused but also for the protection of the victims – by way of rehabilitation and compensation. There are provisions for a Juvenile Police Unit, Special Courts, and special sensitised procedures for reporting, recording of statements, evidence and trial. If all the provisions can be implemented effectively, we surely can claim to have provided a child-friendly legal system.” When asked about how many cases are reported, she said, “I would say that the reporting in child sexual case is low. This is primarily because of the dogmatic attitude of the family and society, who worry more about "what people would think/ say", and also because of the lack of protection of the identity of the victim. Although provided under various court judgements (and now by the Act itself), this protection gets violated - by the insensitive attitude of the investigating agencies, by overzealous media, and in some cases also by the neighbourhood.” Real victory will only be achieved when the

My world will be a silent one-my ears hear nothing, too. Why was it I was chosen to be so all alone? My inner voice was asking if the answer could be known. Then I looked into the mirror and saw good things looking back, I had to take the positives and put them on the right track. And I thought a lot about it, and now I want to shout, The wondrous gifts God gave me outnumber what He left out. So let me take the challenge in meeting life's demands… I have the power to change things, and it lies here in my hands! - Stevie Drown u

dissemination of information happens in an effective manner. Educational institutions have the responsibility and the reach to ensure that laws governing children are highlighted and brought to the notice of parents and teachers. Parent-teacher meetings can also be used as platforms to encourage active discussion and debate on such matters. Educational institutions must take an active interest in the formulation of such laws, and should be a part of the dialogue wherever the government calls for suggestions and recommendations from the public. It is of paramount importance that government agencies realise that simply passing legislation does not solve the problem. Engaging and educating the public, sensitizing agencies like the police in handling such cases, and ensuring that they work in close collaboration with the society, are critical for achieving the desired results. u The writer is a qualified legal professional who has practiced before the Madras and Karnataka High Courts.


31 May-6 June 2013

C over S tory

09

PRAKHAR PANDEY

What's Your Address?  Contd from p 1 “Today a lot of my friends want to buy an apartment in a condominium here. They will get a better deal near Sohna Road or the Golf Course Extension area, which are located in a corner of the City, but they will not be able to enjoy life like the residents of MG Road.” Once home to a large number of construction workers, most of whom are now settled in nearby villages, MG Road changed in character with the arrival of many people from the Capital. Today the area is popular as a shopping destination, with over 10 malls lined up in a row – on either side of the Road. The area certainly has vibrancy in spades. Giant hoardings turn the skyline into a multi-coloured banner. There is activity – shopping, eating, entertainment – 24x7 – almost.

Golf Course Road

Being in the City’s heart, and yet far from its chaos, the Golf Course Road area is becoming the preferred residential choice, especially for the expats and NRIs. The area has undoubtedly witnessed a construction boom of late, with the latest DLF Phase V properties. Raj lives in a highrise luxury apartment on the Golf Course Road. From the window of her apartment you can look at many underconstruction properties as well as vast green stretches of the Aravalli Hills. “I love this area since it is so close to the Aravalli Hills. We often visit the Hills for cycling trips and trekking. I was lucky to catch a glimpse of over a dozen peacocks last week. You feel so close to nature,” feels Raj. A resident of Icon, Ghosh, has a different perspective. “I am lucky to have experienced the charms of both ‘old’ and ‘new’ Gurgaon. I am amazed to see the rich flora and fauna of the Aravallis. But, honestly speaking, there is nothing like Delhi,” she says. She was born and brought up in a Bengali colony of Delhi. The Golf Course Road connects a

multitude of colonies. Walk down to the residential colonies of Sector 56 and 57, and you will find a bunch of old societies, with community gardens and defined boundaries. Karuna Singh, who has recently moved to Nirvana, says, “I lived in a colony at Sector 56 for about four months. The best thing was its proximity to malls and super markets - just a five-minute walk. The worst part was the disorderliness of the colony. The high-rises closer to the main road appear neat, but actually these are ‘chawl’-like buildings, where you have to struggle for parking space everyday - and for some basic facilities like water and electricity. Besides, the condominium culture has not been able to instil a community feeling among the people. Even families sharing the same floor rarely meet each other, forget coming to each other’s aid.” Like the rest of the City, the Road also spans poor pockets. The main road has high-rises, malls and multinationals. The other side, seldom frequented by the residents of posh colonies, has a community of migrants who live in small shanties. An elderly man who irons clothes in the area claims his rights as a ‘resident’ by establishing a tent-like home near the Pinnacle. His makeshift residence is lined with flowerpots. Close by, a barber has set up his hair-cutting salon beside a tree. “It seems like a little Mumbai,

where all you can see from highrises is small shanties. I have spent considerable time in Delhi – and nothing can beat Dilli ! Besides the shanties, what I don’t like about this Road is that it promotes consumerism in a big way – see the construction of malls all across, and on both sides of, the road? Why do you need four supermarkets on a single road?” questions Richard, a 34-year-old New Zealander who lives in the Pinnacle. Preparing to move out, he says, “I will sell this apartment and move somewhere closer to the mountains, to live an ecologically sustainable life. I will use the wealth I have obtained from this City for some social good, and not for the blind construction of houses and malls, as done by the real estate companies here.”

Sohna Road

Once surrounded by dense forests and small ‘kuchas’ inhabited by potters and carpenters, Sohna Road is today a hotbed of high-rises. Dr. Ajeet, who owns a villa on Sohna Road, seems very positive about its development. “I bought a piece of land here some 10 years ago. At that time, this Road was nothing. Today, many corporates are moving to Sohna Road. People are migrating from other parts of the City to Sohna Road, due to the affordable prices of land here.” Today, Sohna Road gives

a sense of a rapidly changing city. Rajeev, a local, says, “Sohna Road will fascinate anybody who wants to witness the latest urbanization of Gurgaon. If you move from Bhondsi to Badshahpur and then to Omaxe Mall, you can clearly witness the change. You move from the serene green hills of the Aravallis to the village of Badshahpur, and then onto the cosmopolitan City of Gurgaon.” There are very few places in the City that have developed so fast. “It took MG Road 10 years to ‘settle down’; Golf Course Road has taken some five years; but Sohna Road has witnessed a huge change in two to three years. I think it is most commendable,” says a 50-year-old resident of Malibu Towne. He claims to be the first settler in the Colony. On the other side, for many, the Road is in a constant state of upheaval. "Enter Sohna Road and you feel as if the area has been bombed. Huge blocks of concrete lie broken on this Road. Thick electric cables are only partially buried. A number of liquor vends, on the main road, in your face, make it highly unsafe - especially for women,” says Saanvi, a 29-year-old resident of Garden Estate. Born and brought up in that area, she doesn’t like to drive beyond MG Road. “I think it will take Sohna Road another 50 years to ‘compete’ with MG Road. The new malls, offering the latest international brands, and a few modern condominiums, does not to mean that Sohna Road has ‘arrived’, she feels. No one seems to speak of ‘our kind of people’ as a reason for liking an address - openly. The pride for MG Road seems similar to the pride of being in the CP area (Delhi) – but which slowly diminished as South and West Delhi prospered, and became independent/selfsufficient. It’s early days yet, as a City, for Gurgaon – but the ‘churn’ has begun. u


10 { Shilpy Arora / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon.com

T

he Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) was introduced in the City some 10 years ago. However, it has not been able to address the healthcare needs of the defence veterans. Lack of funds, delay in treatment at empanelled hospitals, and decades-old policies of the ECHS have been the major challenges. A retired Sergeant of the Indian Air Force, S.K Bharana, recounts a shocking incident when he had to travel for over 70 km to get the blood sample of his wife tested. He first went to a laboratory at the Army Hospital for his wife’s thyroid test. The lab staff took a sample, but told him to go to the ECHS Polyclinic, as the Army Hospital only takes care of serving personnel. He approached the ECHS facility on the ‘old’ Delhi-Gurgaon Road, where he was told by the doctors to go to an empanelled hospital in the City. However, that hospital refused to accept the sample, as it had recently been withdrawn from the empanelment. “Finally I contacted my old friend Dr. Pratap Singh, ex-Secretary, Ex-Servicemen Association. He agreed to attend to my wife at the ECHS facility. The ECHS then accepted the blood sample for testing. I have spent more money on travelling than what the blood test in a private hospital would have cost me. I travelled over 70 km to get a blood test done,” says Bharana. Moreover, he had to pay some amount at ECHS, as the facility is a contributory scheme. “We are not entitled to 100

{ O. P Ratra }

H

ousehold waste or, more appropriately termed, urban waste/ Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) is generated daily; and its volume is proportional to the growth of population and urbanisation the world over.  It is continuous process of collection, transportation, segregation, treatment and disposal. Legally, the collection, treatment and disposal of MSW is the responsibility of municipalities and local authorities. The composition of MSW, as part of our daily waste stream, consists of basic biomass/biodegradables, recyclables/ combustibles and non-biodegradables besides personal hygiene products. A door-to-door collection of waste by rag pickers/waste collectors (associated with local contractors), and its segregation  at assigned centres into recyclables and bio-degradables, is a successful Private-Public Partnership (PPP) practice in certain cities/towns. For disposal of waste, landfilling has been the basic option, alongside conversion of biomass into composts. Recyclables/combustibles like plastics, paper and rags are retrieved from the garbage dumps at source, by the rag pickers/waste collectors. Waste is business, and a resource, for the informal sector. The major portion of MSW is finally dumped at landfills. However, the load and volume  of waste, on a limited availability of land, and the need for its quick treatment and disposal, keeps city administrations worried. Managing the landfills in any city is a

31 May-6 June 2013

Retired Defenceless per cent free services at ECHS. Also, sometimes, even for a simple blood test, you have to wait for months. The delay in issuing medicines is also a major issue,” says another patient. ECHS is a contributory scheme for retired army personnel. It was introduced to eliminate the load on military hospitals. As per the ECHS scheme, all ex-servicemen and their dependants are entitled to medical treatment at ECHS polyclinics and empanelled hospitals. Retired army personnel become members of ECHS by making a one-time payment during their period of service.  Under the ECHS, ex-army personnel are entitled to avail specified procedures listed in the Charter. Despite new procedures being introduced regularly in private hospitals, to improve the quality of medical care, many surgeries are still not listed in the ECHS Charter. Robotic surgery, for example, which has been introduced in all major hospitals in the country, has not been included in the listed procedures of ECHS. While talking about two patients of cancer, Dr. Pratap says, “Both the patients were referred to Medanta, an empanelled hospital. However, there was an undue delay in treatment, as the robotics methodology of treatment was not included in Medanta’s contract as an empanelled hospital. “Once a hospital has been empanelled with the ECHS, all procedures and specializations available in the hospital should automatically

be made part of the listed procedure in ECHS. But generally what happens is that ECHS members are harassed, and made to run around to get the necessary sanctions,” says a patient, who doesn’t want to be named. Similarly, injection Avastin, for eye ailment, has been introduced in the country almost a decade ago, but is not yet included in the listed ECHS procedures. Dr. Pratap suggests that the listed procedures should be updated every 6 months. “Besides, the referral to the empanelled hospital should be for consultation, investigation, treatment and follow up – and there should be no need for the patient to run around getting administrative sanctions,” says Dr. Pratap. A large number of super-specialty hospitals and other good hospitals are withdrawing themselves from the category of empanelled hospitals for the armed forces. The reason

Management Of Waste crucial task. In Delhi it is asserted, and rightly so, that it takes lot of effort to transport the 9000 tonnes of MSW/urban waste, every day. Thousands of people in the informal sector, and hundreds of machines and trucks are on the job round the clock, managing the four landfills but the challenge keeps growing. The visible, overflowing city garbage dumps/’dhalaos’ are eye (and nose) sores to the local population. Gurgaon generates well over 500 (some even peg the figure at 1,000) tonnes of urban waste daily. And with only one 600T Treatment Plant at Bandhwari (off the road to Faridabad) – that also caters to the waste of Faridabad – garbage/waste is just piling up at every level in Gurgaon. With the City Administration not having planned well for this, with

land at a premium now, and with residential areas all around, a landfill does not seem feasible within the City. Concerned residents would probably not allow it now. It is a well-known practice around the world, that to reduce the load and volume of urban waste on the landfills, the best technological option of disposal is through "incineration” - to recover the energy, both heat and electricity. But incineration of waste requires the availability of combustibles - like plastics/paper wastes and rags – in the mix, to provide better calorific value. In India such combustibles, which are also recyclables, are taken away at the source by the informal sectorthe rag pickers. Gurgaon is now looking at incineration; and in Delhi, while the erstwhile MCD had sanctioned three waste-to-energy plants, only one is operational - in Okhla. It processes close to 1,500 tonnes of waste daily. However, this Plant recently ran into trouble; certain residents-activists complained of pollution, and asked for its closure. They rushed to the Courts and the Green Tribunal, for anticipatory relief. They need to realize that the Okhla plant offers the best technological option for the disposal of waste. Many countries have Regulations, Directives, Rules and Waste Orders for the management of waste -to-energy facilities. It is asserted that these facilities emit less pollution per unit of energy input

C ivic/S ocial is the non-clearance of their bills on time. Medanta, for instance, has stopped accepting ECHS members some two years ago, as only a few lakhs have been cleared by ECHS, out of pending bills worth crores. ECHS members say that they should also be allowed to procure medicine from the local market and claim refund for the same. As of now, they have to wait for the medicines to arrive at the ECHS facility. It sometimes causes delay in the treatment. Online processing of medical bills should also be introduced at ECHS – such facilities are available in other cities of Haryana, such as Panchkula and Chandigarh. “The online system will work well in a City like Gurgaon. It will speed up the reimbursement of expenses incurred by the empanelled private hospitals,” believes an ex-serviceman (IAF).

A Ray of Hope

Recently an ECHS facility was inaugurated at Sohna Road, with an aim to provide top medical care for the veterans and dependants of the armed forces. The Polyclinic has been equipped with modern medical equipment, and designed ergonomically, to provide more effectiveness in treatment, and comfort, to the ex-servicemen fraternity. “With the inauguration of this facility, we hope to reduce the load on the ECHS facility in old Gurgaon. It will also help people to access state-ofthe-art healthcare facilities, which are not available in the old centre,” says an ex-serviceman. u than combustion plants fired with oil or coal. As a large part of the waste is CO2 neutral biomass, this waste also entails a smaller CO2 emission per unit of energy input. For instance, the energy content of say 3.3 million tonnes of waste that is incinerated is some 10 million MWh. A significant saving of CO2 emission is obtained when a waste-to-energy facility disposes of waste and produces energy within the same operation. Japan is the leader in the incineration of waste in the world. In the Tokyo Metropolitan area itself, there are 35 incineration plants; and in every other city and town in Japan there is at least one incineration plant. The Policies governing the processing of plastics’ waste have gone through major changes; in particular, the waste that is difficult to recycle has to be incinerated for energy recovery, instead of being sent to landfills. Where does India stand with respect to the management of waste through energy recovery facilities? Unfortunately, whenever the State Governments and local authorities plan waste-to-energy projects to deal with waste management issues, these are derailed by the ‘activists’ and ‘environmentalists – who rush to Courts, and now even to the Green Tribunal – often misguiding them with vague arguments. We have good scientists in the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), besides independent experts/consultants, who can appropriately deal with this issue. I wonder whose directions the Ministry of Environment and Forests, GoI and the CPCB, are waiting for? u


31 May-6 June 2013

{ Shilpy Arora / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon.com

T

he e-District Project at Rohtak is a success story of ICT(Information & Communications Technology)enabled services provided by the State government. With the implementation of the Project, the District has also recorded a significant increase in tax collection. Most of the villages in the District use e-Panchayats as a mode of communication. Driving licences, registration certificates of vehicles and even ration cards are issued through a computerized system. E-governance has brought much relief to a large section of the people, as it ensures easy and immediate availability of various facilities at both the district and village offices. It has been fairly successful in minimizing the interface of citizens with government offices. The aim is of course to achieve efficiency, transparency and accountability in governance, by providing ICT-enabled services anywhere, anytime. An e-District Project is run with the help of a comprehensive LAN network, and modern IT training labs at important offices. A district level e-Disha centre at the Mini-Secretariat is responsible for implementing the e-District project. Presently, Rohtak District has implemented in the following projects under its e-district initiative: Haryana Registration Information System (HARIS): It facilitates registration of properties and land. It helps in deedwriting, capturing and storing photos, security checks, collector rates, getting information about registration fee, and biometric and statistical reports.

C ivic/S ocial

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‘Disha’ From Rohtak Haryana Land Records Information System (HALRIS): It is a complete integrated workflow automation system of land record components. HALRIS provides a singlewindow interface for deed-writing, registration, mutation and copy of Record-of-Right (ROR). In order to bring greater transparency, HARIS has been integrated with HALRIS. On-Line Treasuries Information System (OTIS): It is an integrated workflow automation system, which facilitates automation of treasury functions like payments, receipts, pensions, bank scroll and voucher preparation. e-Panchayat: An exclusive e-Panchayat website has been launched in the villages. People can access information about the village and district. There are special forums for farmers, wherein they can discuss many farming projects. Some villages are also offering loan-related information on these websites. Value Added Tax Management, Assessment, Collection System (VATMACS): Through this system, processing of VAT return, dealers registration, fact sheet compilation, statutory forms inventory and road side checking are carried out. VATMACS is being implemented at the Deputy Excise and Taxation Commissioner’s office in the District.

The House Tax Assessment and Collection Information System (HACIS): The birth and death certificates are issued with the help of this system. It has made tax collection extremely easy. Computerized Driving Licence and Registration Certificate of vehicles are being implemented under the e-District project through the Sub-divisional Magistrate’s office. For this, special software systems, ‘Sarathi’ and ‘Vahan’, have been adopted. Complete Computerization of Haryana Roadways: The computerized system tracks the total work-flow, traffic and route management, inventory management, vehicle monitoring systems, purchase orders and service books records, with the auditing of leaves and increments. AgMarkNet: All wholesale markets for agricultural products in the District have been provided with computing and Internet facilities. The portal also publishes the prices of agriculture commodities on a daily basis. e-Health.Net: This has helped in greater availability of medicines to the patients in various health institutes, and even to rural dispensaries. Online off-campus Counselling Project: It has helped all engineering students seeking admissions to receive counselling

Inter Connectivity Framework for DleDCs, CSC, SWAN, SDC, SP, SSDG, DNMCs, NICNET, Line Department

services. Haryana is the first state to implement such a system in India. Haryana School Education Board: All major functions of the School Education Board in the District have been automated. Results, admit cards and provisional certificates are published online. Haryana Pensions Processing and Information System (HAPPIS): It helps in the timely disbursement of pension to old-age and other pensioners on a monthly basis.

Why has the Millennium City not been able to replicate the model?

Despite the City having launched the e-Disha centre in 2010 at the MiniSecretariat, it has not been able to work successfully. Most of the times the service is available for just four or five hours. There is no system to track the applications. Applicants therefore need to pay multiple visits to the Centre. A resident of Sector 7, Ashok Mittal, says, “e-Disha is an excellent initiative to check the involvement of touts in the government system, but the service is very poor. I had paid six visits to the office but couldn’t get my son’s birth certificate. Besides, there is only one e-Disha centre in the City. People living in ‘new’ Gurgaon have to travel 15-20 kilometers, which is time consuming - and there is no assurance that the work will be done.” Further, both the hardware and software used at the Centre is outdated. Many desktop systems have not been used for a long time; an officer informs that over 10 desktops at the office have been ‘dead’ for the past one year. Attempts to get them repaired have failed. At the time of launch, the authorities had promised that the e-Disha centre would help in the application for licences and the registration of motor vehicles online. Services like issuance of birth and death certificates, house tax billing and query, application and issue of caste and residence certificates were also to be provided at e-Disha centres. However, even after two years, these services seem a distant dream for the residents. The Millennium City (a DM City) needs to catch up with the CM (son) City in this area. u


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PRAKHAR PANDEY

Seminar on Women's Security { Abhishek Bhel / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon.com

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he civil society in the National Capital Region, and across the country, will have to play an active role in ensuring a safe environment for women. Unfortunately, society even now has not taken the issue of sexual harassment and crime against women seriously, on a consistent basis. However, winds of change are blowing, and with the judiciary playing a more active role, the situation is likely to improve in the near future. These were the views expressed by eminent panelists who participated in a Seminar on ‘Security of Women in the NCR’, organized by HIPA. Participating in the Panel Discussion, noted Supreme Court lawyer Pinky Anand said that the decision of the government to include stalking, acid attacks and related issues in the ambit of sexual crime happened due to activism, and will definitely deter the criminals. She however admitted that while the laws have become

stringent, it is the delivery of justice that is a cause of concern. Along with the other panelists she also recomm It is astounding and disturbing to note that only 1 per cent cases of harassment and only 9 per cent cases of rape in the country are reported. Women and families are not ready to bring these issues to the public (or even police) view, due to the social stigma and harassment attached. With a large increase in the women’s workforce in the private sector, Charu Mathur, from the Confederation of Indian Industries said that they recommend a Zero Tolerance policy against sexual harassment in the work place. “In our organization women feel safe because strict action has been taken against any offender. Indian companies will have to take the lead and ensure a safe and secure workplaces,” said Mathur. Smriti Minocha, a social activist, pointed to the many flaws in the Act on Sexual Harassment at the Workplace. “There are many shortcomings in the laws related to sexual ha-

rassment. We have a mindset problem, with people thinking that a law that can help women would be misused by them,” said Minocha, adding that the society has to change and give women their due. One good thing is that complaints under this Act can be filed only by women, and it is not gender neutral. Another positive is that only one internal complaint committee can enquire into a complaint, and no second committee can be formed. Minocha exhorted the women to file written complaints if they face any harassment at the work place, as only these are tenable in the court. When one of the participants raised the issue of how the head of her institution, against whom

Presently 71 machines are deployed at 24 Centres in the District, by the Aadhaar enrolment agencies. The agencies will increase the number to 250 within a few weeks. Till now, they claim that out of a population of 15 lakhs for Gurgaon, about 6.72 lakhs have been enrolled. As advised by Deputy Director of UIDAI, V P Tyagi: All those people who have enrolled for Aadhaar more than 20 days back can simply log on to www.uidai.gov.in and know their status; alternatively a person can also find out his/her Aadhaar card status by logging on to http://uidai.gov.in/check-your-aadhaar-status.html. In case the status of a person shows that the Aadhaar has been approved/ generated, he or she can download the e-Aadhaar from http://eaadhaar.uidai.gov.in. In case the Aadhaar status shows ‘in process’ or ‘data not found’, the person should wait; if the Aadhaar status shows that the application has been rejected, the person should re-enrol at the nearest Enrolment Centre. Also, if a person has enrolled before 1st April 2012, and the Aadhaar status shows ‘data not found’, the person can re-enrol at the nearest Enrolment Centre. The details of the Enrolment Centres can be checked at appointments.uidai.gov.in/easearch. aspx. Residents who want to make any change in their Aadhaar application can log on to the site http://uidai.gov.in/update-your-aadhaar-data.html and make online changes. Alternatively, the person can also send a request for updation or correction through post, forms for which are available, free of cost, at http://uidai.gov.in/images/application_by_post_inst_01112012.pdf .

Points to Note

proof

being put in place to create a safe environment. “We have asked the police department to register complaints on priority - within 24 hours. Eleven fast track courts have been set up in the State, and a provision for Women’s and Children’s Desks, in the police stations, has been made,” she said. The government has also introduced all women PCR vans in the major cities of Haryana, and a Women’s Helpline number (1091), which works round the clock. To check eve-teasing in government colleges, an order has also been issued that students will be allowed entry only on the basis of Identity Cards, she said. u

DLF Crestfallen

Aadhaar Card

 Aadhaar enrollment is free of cost.  You can enrol for Aadhaar anywhere in India, by producing an identity residence proof.  Any correction in data can be done within 96 hours of enrolment.

a sexual harassment complaint has been lodged, is delaying the matter, as he also happens to be incharge of the internal complaints committee, Anand replied that his action could be challenged in a court. She said that although this issue remains untested, it could be taken directly to the court. Haryana Education Minister Geeta Bhukkal said that the negative mindset against women, in society, has to be changed, to ensure that the talent of half of the population of the country is harnessed. She said that the government is committed to the safety and security of women, and systems and processes are

and

a

Toll free number for Aadhaar query is: 1800-300-194. One can also send the query to mail id: helpdesk.uidchd@gmail.com or help@uidai.gov.in Group Housing Societies are being asked to schedule an Aadhaar Card enrolment program within their complexes. As per GoI notification, e-Aadhaar is valid and treated equivalent to the Aadhaar Card.

In a setback to real estate major DLF, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday stayed the construction, sale and marketing of its newly launched premium project, DLF Crest, off the Golf Course Road. The ex-parte order was passed by the division bench of Justice SK Mittal and N K Sanghi, on a petition filed by Park Place Residents Welfare Association. The RWA had appealed to the Court that this DLF Project was being built on a piece of land that belonged to Park Place complex. Harsh Sehgal, President of the RWA, said that the Crest is being built on land that comes within the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) of Park Place, and as such construction has been stayed by the Court - except for projects that are part of the original complex. Sehgal told Friday Gurgaon that the Park Place apartment complex was marketed by DLF as a 30 acres property, but later the Company stated that the area was only 19 acres, in the Deed of Declaration. In the final Agreement the area of Park Place was further reduced to 12.87 acres. All this, he said, was done in connivance with T&CP (Town and Country Planning) officials, who allowed the builder to unilaterally change the plans and raise additional floors. This was gross violation of the FAR laws, and impinged on the rights of the original buyers. “The minimum land that should come under the Park Place condominium is 46 acres, as per the FAR developed by the builder; now even the initial promised 30 acres is being diverted to other projects. The Crest is proposed to come up on 8.822 acres, and it falls on land within the FAR of Park Place”, said Sehgal. Earlier, The Park Place RWA, along with Belaire owners, had filed a case against DLF for diverting the land, and increasing the number of apartments, with the Competition Commission of India, which imposed a landmark penalty of  Rs 630 crores on DLF. An appeal against that verdict is still under consideration at COMPAT.


31 May-6 June 2013

K id C orner

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Solutions

Kids Brainticklers

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?

Artistic Strokes

Sonal Agrawal, V, MRIS

Shweta Yadav, IX, Govt. Sr. Sec. School

Swati Arya, X, Lions Public School


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August Visitor @ Ryan

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DPS Goes ‘Defensive’

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elhi Public School, Sushant Lok, initiated a self-defence Training Programme for its teachers, and the girl students of Classes IX to XII. The Programme was conducted on Campus, under the guidance of Asif Rehman, a Black Belt awardee from the Bruce Lee School of Self Defence. Asif used an eclectic approach – a combination of open-hand combat, self-defence and street-fighting. The non-competitive tactical Programme focused on real-life situations and effective counter-attacks. Participants were taught defence tactics that could be used against all types of attacks – in the quickest and most efficient way. The training also covered situational awareness, to develop an understanding of one’s surroundings. Participants were also advised on potential threat areas in and around Gurgaon.

he Founder Chairman of Ryan Group of Institutions, Dr. Augustine F. Pinto, visited Ryan International School, Sector 40. He was extended a hearty welcome by the Guard of Honour, followed by an interaction with the various contingents of the School – including academic achievers and winners of co-curricular activities. A Special Assembly was conducted, and students of Class 3 expressed their welcome in different languages. Thought enactment on the value of obedience was presented by the students of Class 5. The students of Jawahar Lal Nehru House presented a skit with the message of water conservation. A patriotic dance was presented by the students of Class 4. Also present at the Event was Atul Dev, Conveyor INTACH –Gurgaon Chapter, who applauded the sincere efforts of the School Principal Peeya Sharma, for motivating children in the progressive conservation of their heritage and environment.

Top T.I.M.Ers

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riumphant Institute of Management Education Pvt. Ltd. (T.I.M.E.), India’s leading test-prep Institute, felicitated the students who successfully cleared CAT 2012, at an Event held at Club Patio, South City 1. The ‘Achievers’, who secured admissions to B-Schools like the IIMs, XLRI, S P Jain, FMS, IIFT and MDI attended the Event and shared their views and experiences. Tanuja Chandra, T.I.M.E.-Gurgaon, Director said, “Year after year our students have excelled in MBA entrance exams. This year, from TIME Gurgaon alone, more than 200 students had calls from the IIMs.”

Literary Flourish

Holidays Routine is boresome Change is welcome Holidays – A longing, an irresistible thirst Eagerly awaited by one and all All want to let down hair And rule life at own terms Holidays’ strategy made well in advance Swimming pool, Squash and Music Dance, Drama, Drawing and Painting Visiting Malls, Watching TV No deadlines, No restrictions No intervention of any kind Only Freedom Good morning at noon And Good night at dawn But - Parents The Spoil Sports, put wet blanket Keep hovering over children Their directions unending “Stay indoors –Heat wave is energy sapping Eat well, Drink plenty of water Replace Coca cola, Pizza and Burger with Water melons” And the punch lineHolidays are ideal time to cover up Make a study schedule, Follow it in letter and spirit “My lovely son and daughter You are our Pride, our Love” And the child is left wondering Whether holidays are really a Boon or a Bane? Savita Bawa


K id C orner

31 May-6 June 2013

G City Toppers

Chiranjiv Bharti School Palam Vihar

Manav Rachna International School, Sector 46

Ryan International School Sohna Road

Delhi Public School Sushant Lok

Clay Modeling & Pottery Workshop Create a range of Ceramic Objects like ceramic animals, fish bowls, piggy Banks & lots more.

Name of Student

Stream

Percentage

Megha Agarwal

PCM

95.6

Priya Bhardwaj

Commerce

95.4

Yamini Kindra

PCB

93.6

Akshay Khanduja

PCB

93.6

Ashish Gaurav

PCM

93.2

Akanksha Tripathi

PCM

93

Meenal Gupta

PCM

93

Yamini

PCB

92.8

Muskan Baldodia

PCM

92.6

Sneha Karmvar

Commerce

92.4

Saumyata Deswal

Commerce

92

Alpana

PCB

92

Anuja Yadav

Commerce

91.6

Vandana Godara

PCM

90.8

Himanshi Mathur

Commerce

90.8

Shrey Bhatnagar

PCM

90.6

Akshay Jaiswal

Humanities

90

Parika Kalra

Science

91.8%

Mayur Jain

Science

90.8 %

Shalini Bhardwaj

Science

90.6%

Abhay Vardan

Commerce

84.2%

Paintings

Riya Nuhani

Commerce

83.8 %

stories

Raman Yadav

Commerce

79.4 %

poems

Era Singh

Commerce

96.4%

Rakhi Arora

Science

95.8%

Akshita Arya

Science

94.6%

Nishtha Kaushik

Humanities

91.6%

Ashish Verma

Science

96.4%

Pranav Jain

Commerce

96%

Shreya Sahoo

Humanities

94.2%

From 1 June- 15 July Two Batches Available Morning 10 am- 12 am ; Evening 4 pm- 6pm Age group 7- 14 years Classes for adults also available Register at Studio-694, Sushant Lok-1, Gurgaon Divya- 9811224217 Mail us : divyyadandona@gmail.com Visit us : https://www.facebook.com/Studio694

The Holidays are here! Now is the time to discover/hone your creative skills...and Friday Gurgaon is happy to help.

For children – write a poem, an article, a fictional story or even a real life experience. See it published in Friday Gurgaon – that way your teachers will know you’ve been productive in your holidays!

For teachers/administrators/co-ordinators – here’s a chance to pen down your experiences, teachings and learnings. Send us your contributions (300-350 words). For information, Call us at 0124-4219092/93 Or email at anita.bagchi@fridaygurgaon.com

“Teeny Life Style”

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nhealthy lifestyle behaviour has been identified as a problem amongst students. Today’s students are living in the lap of luxury, gorging themselves on smoked salmon sandwiches and endless cappuccinos in upmarket coffee bars, tapping emails on their swish new laptops and chatting to friends on their iPhones. There are many factors contributing to the degeneration of health among students today. They live in a terribly polluted world. They are exposed to thousands of toxins and chemicals every day – outside, at home, in the air, and in the food that they eat and water they drink. In addition, they are eating more processed foods than ever before. Today’s generation is also the “Technology” Generation. Video games have led the majority of

Literary Flourish teens to spend countless sedentary hours in front of the television. As a result of all of this, there exists a generation that is out-of-shape, overweight and obese. Poor sleep is one of the major problems that affects the teenagers of this 21st century. By spending most of their time in front of the computer, or the TV, well into the night, and especially on the weekends and holidays, they are messing up their life - and will soon start to sleep in the mornings. Teenagers with unhealthy life styles suffer more headaches. Gone are the days when a headache was only the prerogative of the office-going. Every teenager needs a balanced diet, appropriate personal hygiene and physical activities in the fresh air - for example playing a ball game, running,

swimming, cycling or walking. Such a mode of life leads to the improvement of our mood, health and physical shape. Young people eat much too fast, eat fatty foods and imbibe too many sugary drinks. This leads to obesity. Even the girls either allow themselves to grow fat, or torture themselves with diets, which leads to various diseases like anorexia and bulimia. Young people must not give up food, especially breakfast, because it could cause fainting or other complications. They have to remember that a healthy lifestyle requires appropriate nourishment, and must also not forget the importance of personal hygiene. Priyanka Bajaj, School Psychologist, MRIS, Sector – 46, Gurgaon


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I

EDITORIAL Atul Sobti

C omment

The Ironies of India

t could not be more ironic. A ‘secular’ all forms, are cashing it all in today. Congress-led govt is delivering a Hindu rate Beware…the unemployed youth could spoil of growth, while the ‘communal’ BJP-led everyone’s party – soon. (last) govt delivered top global growth rates. Maybe there is a hope in the Congress Irony II is that a Congress-led govt that was Camp that a Sharif will help bail them out; or proud of economic reforms, and which is maybe Able Abe, the new (Japanese) friend – running the country in the most open global an enemy’s enemy. The US (Nuclear) Deal has era of the internet and the mobile, and online since bushed out. service opportunities, has not been able to (or does not want to) either carry forward any Suddenly decisions will need to fly thick further reforms, or deliver funds and services and fast…on Telengana, facilitating the DMK to targeted beneficiaries effectively (without next of kin, testing Maharashtra without leakage). On the contrary the current era has Pawar, going Left in Bengal, promulgating been marred by the blackest of shady deals a unique Bihar Bonanza, figuring out if and money. Irony III is that while the next Behnji is a softer option than Mulayam… Congress President (CP) has been and of course hoping for antidecided on (Rahul, baaba), the incumbency in MP, Chhatisgarh Nowhere in the next Congress-led coalition PM’s and Odisha, while praying for world have so name hangs fire (and may anyway the reverse in Delhi, Rajasthan, many expected need to wait till 2019). Irony IV Haryana…and hoping for the best so much of so will be when the next Congress with Manmohan III. President runs the country from The inner coterie will few – for so long the front seat – possible through - and got nothing anyway change, even in a UPA Manmohan III. Irony V will rule dispensation. Mamma mia, it will in return. when the victor of 2014 is credited be 'Baaba log' now. Young dynasts with a ‘turnaround’ in 2015, by will try and outdo each other, delivering just 5.5% growth. And the final and Rahulji (or soon, Babaji) will be born. Irony (the Sixth) is that in the rule and age of To ensure a legacy, Baba will need to marry strong Mamma Sonia, women have never felt a Bibi – and this time we should go different more vulnerable - more ‘bhay’. The Nirbhay global; we need a bride from the Americas. We’re getting more used to foreigners anyway have lost their lives. – without going global. The Congress clearly would wish to forget Most interesting would be to see just when the last 3-4 years. The most buoyant tax the Lokpal and CBI-Independence Bills are collections of the past were frittered away finally passed. The BJP could be hoist by its on largesse, as if there was a flock of golden own petard if the Bills are passed just before geese on tap. There has been poor growth, the elections, and the NDA comes to power. poor employment, poor exports (alongside Coalition politics may not be the same again. huge gold imports), back-breaking inflation Regional chieftains would be emboldened. We – run by a deficit, indebted govt. living well may have a repeat of Morarji-Charan, VPbeyond its means. Even (FDI in) Retail, Chandra, Gowda-Gujral….ad infinitum. for which the govt went out on a limb, has made no progress. The less said about SEZs The Congress surely should have (economic zones) the better – they are closing one by one. The new decadal mantra is NIMZs realized that the Left was their ‘best’ ally. Unfortunately the issue may again not be (manufacturing zones); we never do learn – with coalition partners, but between a PM or deliver. There have been leakages galore, and the advisors to a Congress President; from a crumbling infrastructure. And yet or, this time, first between CP I and CP II – the the subsidies’ juggernaut rolls on. There has mother, the son… and then the been no investment for tomorrow, for our demographic (youth) dividend – the rulers, in ghost-in-between. u


S piritual

31 May-6 June 2013

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Beware 'God Men' { Dr. Rajesh Bhola }

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his article is about the occult practices and rituals used by some pseudo religions, sects and 'god men' in India, who are victimizing; and fleecing the innocent and the vulnerable. Of course, living in this world, imperfect as we are, many of us do worry. At some time or the other all of us experience perplexing situations. We do not always have the answers to the problems that inevitably arise. Other family members, friends, acquaintances and colleagues may give us advice that brings no clarity or peace. In such vulnerable moments we succumb to such pressures - of visiting some pseudo religious sects or 'god men', for relief. However, in such weaker moments, to seek the 'power and experiences' of occult realms is often to invite harm, and be led into darkness and destruction – just as one may take a mind-altering drug thinking it will do no harm. Unfortunately, both can prove to be addictive - and even lethal. I feel great pain when I see even very highlyeducated and well-placed people, during the course of their struggle to find meaning and happiness in their lives, going to these 'god men' and ruining their lives. I am writing also on the basis of some startling revelations made by some of the 'god men' and their followers. Subscribing to a faith system based on irrational and unscientific rituals and occultism are pseudo religions that thrive on the belief of the reversal of the role of man and God. The occultists say that man makes his own way in this world and the world beyond without the help of God. Occultism and the pseudo-spiritual paths tempt those who are emotionally vulnerable, and also those who choose to remain proud, and insist on pursuing any pleasure, power or immoral activity. They offer man a seemingly easy path to a "shopping-cart" type of arid spirituality without God - a glimpse into the fascinating "mysteries of life" that the ordinary innocent masses supposedly cannot understand. Recognizing ourselves to be as tiny in this universe as a drop of water in an endless ocean, we can rightly and humbly claim that we owe our being to the life given to us by our God - the source of all life. But if we claim to be the entirety of all that God is, or to know the entirety of God, He might laugh at our absurd arrogance - just as the ocean might ‘laugh’ at any drops that claim to be the ocean in its entirety. Every village and town in India has some ‘god men’, who enjoy a high status, and who offer a panacea to the innocent masses for all their suffering. All these ‘god men’ have a similar modus operandi. Let us take a look at what the cults are doing, and how they are doing it. They are attempting to create a conditioned personality in each of their members. The followers are conditioned to such a maverick level that they willingly start accepting to be a part of bizarre practices – like swallowing of ‘rakh’ or ‘bhasm’, dancing madly while their shaking heads, as if they have discovered some ‘God’. This conditioned personality is necessary for the survival of the cult, because any deviation from the imposed norms will cause an erosion of the cult’s authority, and finally the disintegration of the whole organization. The egos of those in charge cannot accept the loss of worshipers, as well as the resultant loss of cash flow. All cults practice some sort of mind-controlling techniques. Some have compared this to brainwashing - but brainwashing is based on physical coercion. The cults require voluntary participation. By manipulating words, playing on the ignorance and innocence of people, and the people’s natural desire to belong, cults make it seem that what

an individual did was his or her personal choice. It is a cleverly designed trap. Once, such a ‘god man’ from Rohtak, after knowing that I avidly read and write on issues of secular spiritualism, confided in me, while sharing the dais, before addressing a gathering of his followers, that “all such people who are sitting in this gathering do not probably know that I am a normal human being like any of them, and in the same way undergo great hardships in my personal life. I have a meagre pension, a divorced daughter sitting at home, a son who had been caught by the police for stealing, another son who is a drug addict and unemployed, and neighbours with whom I have a very acrimonious relationship. I feel a great sense of insecurity due to all these circumstances. But these people treat me as a ‘god man’ and foolishly feel that I can cause miracles”. I know some of his followers, who have now become mentally morbid, and are under medical care and rehabilitation. These god men follow a false path, and attract people who are seeking easy answers to life's questions - answers that do not challenge them to change how they act or how they are. They lead men astray. They look for the respect and reverence that rightly belongs to God alone. Subtle coercive forces are also at work here - forces based on conformity and fear. There is, at some point, a moment of conversion – an intensely emotional experience engineered through the adept exploitation of information and emotions. When this occurs, the new member is surrounded by everyone, and is overwhelmed by their love for him or her. This is then

His Unconditional Love She got into her wedding gown, She wore beautiful flowers in her hair, She carried magical secrets in her eyes, Together they walked down the aisle, She received a warm welcome, As they entered a new life, She was now someone’s wife. She left behind all the wonderful memories, There were no more fears, no more worries, Her new home was lit with candles, And her room was decorated with white orchids, She held his hand and gazed at the full moon, She felt his true love for her She felt like a queen. Her life took a drastic change, When she found herself sitting in a wheelchair, Her hope turned into despair, It was then that she realised, Her friends had left her all alone, But he still held her hand, He was the only one. His love has not changed for her – all these years, Time might have stopped for him, But his love for her keeps them moving, She holds his hand and gazes at the full moon, She looks in his eyes, She can see his hidden tears, She understands that he unconditionally loves her.

contrasted to what it is like being outside of the group. The 'god men' call for the individual to surrender, to turn off the reactive mind, or merely let things float. All of these are nothing more than covert hypnotic suggestions. This produces a manipulated emotional rapture, which is a numbed, mindless high, usually interpreted as the accomplishment of a peak spiritual goal. That is why you see cult members walk around with vacuous, expressionless smiles on their faces. This is where the cult experience departs from a respected, valid religious or spiritual experience. u (To be continued) 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.

Be One With Yourself Only you can choose to get hurt Or ignite your emotion with someone else’s fire Or false desires! Be a sportsman of a team No job titles, high honors, big awards or rewards No rank & rich positions, no elitist sophistications No minks & furs nor limousine cars Big country homes with butlers & bars No trying to be your best friend Constantly be in a state of offend or defend Will not reach you to Heaven Remember you are 11 You have been assigned a role Be it a soccer coach or guard a goal Be you a parent or a child Be a soccer hero for a while, smile Don’t long or waste time yearning Burning, to be our mate Be yourself! For you & only you Can be your best that is the test Win or fail is due because of you Focus on what you can, to Jericho what you can’t I can’t change others, be it foe or brother But I can change my views, my attitude I must never be rude To another’s diversity, but use it for my prosperity Success is a sportsman’s art If every individual plays his part With pride & integrity Success is so easy, if you are not selfish or greedy As a team everyone can win, as One… Shobha Lidder Writer Journalist, Social Activist, Teacher Trainer Reiki Master, Pranic Healer u


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31 May-6 June 2013

Health & Vitality... Naturally!

An Astringent Taste { Jaspal Bajwa }

recommended in cases of diarrhoea. The cooling and drying action of astringents calms the inflammation on the skin, and the gastrointestinal tract. Emotionally, astringents help cool off and collect scattered thoughts.

M

ost of us would have the childhood memory of a cooling sensation every time the doctor dabbed some alcohol on the skin to clean a wound, or prepared for a vaccination jab. That was perhaps our first exposure to ‘astringency’. In pharmacology, any substance that causes contraction (of tissue), or arrests discharges, is considered to be astringent. Calamine or Zinc Oxide is used to relieve itching in various forms of dermatitis. Skin preparations such as shaving creams, anti-haemorrhoid creams and prickly heat talcum powders rely on astringents. Witch hazel is a common household astringent, used to reduce swelling; it is also identified in homeopathic treatment as Hamemalis. The same cooling and contracting action is in evidence when it comes to foods. According to Ayurveda, there are six tastes – sweet, bitter, salty, sour, pungent and astringent. Of these the least familiar is the sixth – Astringent taste. It results from the

Tip of the week

Various examples of astringent foods are: Legumes

Beans, peas & lentils ...especially ‘sprouts’

Fruits

Pomegranate, persimmon, grapes, pears, apples, tart cranberries

Vegetables

Lettuce, zucchini, asparagus, celery, cucumber & most raw vegetables

Grains

Rye, quinoa, buckwheat

Spices

Turmeric, marjorum

Beverages

Green tea, red wine

Ayurvedic Herbs Triphala, Amalaki, Haritaki, Arjuna and Manjistha

{ Alka Gurha }

S

esame (Sesamum indicum) is an annual herb of the Pedaliaceae family, which grows extensively in Asia particularly in Burma, China and India. One of the first oil seeds known to humankind, sesame seeds are used for culinary purposes as well as in traditional medicines, because of their nutritive, preventive and curative properties. The history of sesame as medicine goes back to ancient Egyptian times, when it was listed as a favoured medicine.  Sesame oil contains phyto-nutrients such as omega-6 fatty acids, vitamins and dietary fibre, with potent anticancer as well as health-promoting properties. Sesame is an extremely good source of copper, manganese, magnesium, tryptophan and calcium, and a good source of phosphorus, Vitamin B1, selenium, iron and zinc. Our body requires all these substances in varied amounts. The tiny, crunchy sesame seeds are a nutritional wonder.

combination of Air and Earth, and is dry, cooling and heavy by nature. It creates a puckering sensation in the mouth (such as by eating cranberries or red wine), or a dry, chalky feeling (such as by eating many beans). Foods like broccoli or cauliflower have a mildly astringent taste. A second definition of Astringency includes mineral-rich foods, as the presence of potassium and magnesium salts tends to create a rough mouth feel. As per Ayurvedic health wisdom, whenever an imbalance (‘vikriti’) creeps into our body, diet can be very effective in restoring the balance of the 3 doshas – ‘Pitta’, ‘Kapha’ and ‘Vata’. An intelligent response to the hot, warm weather of summer is to adjust our diet in favour of foods that pacify Pitta – i.e. bitter and astringent foods. In addition to its cooling effect, the astringent taste also dries up any secretions and absorbs mucus (‘Kapha’). This is one reason why pomegranate or cranberry juice is

Open Sesame

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

and other respiratory disorders, by preventing airway spasms.

Storage

You can choose from whole, husked or air-dried sesame seeds. They may be black, brown, yellow or white coloured seeds, packed in air-sealed packs as well as in bulk bins. The husked seeds appear white. Sesame contains more of unsaturated fats, hence should be stored in airtight containers to avoid it turning rancid. At home, the sesame seeds should be stored in a cool dark place.

Heart Health  

Sesame oil has been shown to lower blood pressure in hypertensive adults. Sesame seeds are loaded with magnesium, which is said to lower blood pressure. Sesame seed oil can boost heart health by preventing atherosclerotic lesions. An antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound known as sesamol is thought to be one reason for the beneficial effects. The seeds are especially rich in a mono-unsaturated fatty acid, oleic acid, which comprises up to 50% fatty acids. Oleic acid helps to lower LDL or “bad cholesterol”, and increases HDL or “good cholesterol” in the blood. Research suggests that the Mediterranean diet, which is rich in mono-unsaturated fats, helps prevent coronary artery disease and stroke.

When we consume astringent foods, the tissues of our body contract, or shrink, and increase the water absorption by the body. The more water there is, the more energy is required to increase the temperature. As a result, consuming astringent foods helps our body’s internal temperature stay cooler, for longer. Preferred tastes for the long harsh summers are sweet, bitter and astringent. Pungent, sour and salty tastes are best avoided. Nature’s Wonder Food(s) of the week: Astringent Foods across the food spectrum Several foods fall within the astringent category. In addition to the astringency, these foods also bring other important benefits. Fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables are best, because of their very high level of polyphenols and antioxidants. Beans and legumes provide a good source of vegetable protein, complex carbohydrates and fibre. Green tea is also astringent, and has been found to be a good source of natural, cancer-preventing chemicals. u

Culinary Uses Bone Health

Sesame seeds are a great source of calcium – a mineral that is essential for bone health. One serving of sesame seeds provides approximately 35% of the daily requirement of calcium.

Respiratory Health

Due to the presence of magnesium, sesame seeds are able to prevent asthma

Sesame seeds have a delicate nutty flavour. Their flavour indeed becomes more pronounced once they are gently roasted over a low flame for just a few minutes. Sesame seeds can be ground with olive or any other vegetable oil, to make a semi-solid, flavourful paste—tahini—which is then added to different cuisines. Tahini is one of the main ingredients in the famous Middle-Eastern dip, hummus. Some ‘sensitive’ individuals can have Sesame Seed allergy. u


B on V ivant

31 May-6 June 2013

Hoop Your Way To Fitness { Bhuvana Shridhar }

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oday there are a plethora of exercise techniques to help keep you in shape, and also gyms in the neighbourhood to help stretch your muscles. But with the fast paced lifestyles, many do not find that extra time to take care of their bodies. The Hula Hoop is a simple circle band made of rubber or wood, and is a terrific alternative. It is

light-weight and convenient to carry and use. An added bonus is that it will never dent the floor, or hurt your body or your foot, even if you drop it by mistake.

Hula Hoops

At first sight it might seem

like a child’s toy, but don’t underestimate its potential to help in weight-loss and musclegain. Hula Hoop performances can be easily done at home. It can never get boring, and it is a lot of fun to exercise this way.

Working on your Waist

You can stand with your right leg slightly raised, and place the hoop against your back, on your waist. Begin by giving a push, and it will start to rotate around your waist. Next, as the hoop circles many times around your waist, you can start to shift your

weight back and forth. This will keep the hoop in motion, as you continue with the exercise. If the hoop falls to the ground, you needn’t be disappointed; just try again. This exercise can be easily done for about twenty minutes daily.

T

he other day we were dining at our friend Balwant’s house. Roma and Nari, a couple we have known for some time, were also there. They are a nice couple, friendly sort, and good to talk to. Nari used to work for a multinational and is a consultant now. I remembered Roma mentioning sometime ago about their house being built at Gurgaon. Among other things, the petite lady was looking forward to more accessible tower bolts on the doors and windows, so she wouldn’t need to again carry her little stool around. “You see, I’m a little short,” she had confessed sportingly. We enquired about the new house and Roma told us how they had got a great architect though lousy contractors, how many imported fittings Nari had brought, the beautiful terrace garden…. when suddenly she changed track. “Oh, thank you so much for the lovely gift. Sorry we are yet to have a house-warming party. We love the cute little antique lamp you have sent…” My wife looked askance, and I just kept

quiet. We had never sent them any gift – it was obviously a mistake. Someone else’s card must have come unstuck, but we couldn’t figure out how ours got in there. The mystery was solved by Balwant’s wife Nirmal. She confessed sending them the lamp that we had given her the previous year. Our card was still in the box. Exchange of gifts has become so inane and mechanized that there’s hardly any joy left. It’s more an exercise in remembering—or recording— who has given you what, and when. Come Diwali, and the old registers are opened. Quidpro-quo is important. The value of your gifts shouldn’t be lower than what you received the previous year. Since 'they' had sent it first earlier, you must do the honours this time. If their driver had brought it, you mustn’t go yourself…endless calculations are necessary, including the care that you don’t send somebody else’s card while recycling your gifts; and most important, no one should get their own gift back! We’ve had the pleasure of receiving a gift—after three years—that we had given to a friend on his wedding.

Author, Tarot Reader

4U 4

Tips

by ShahnaZ

This workout can help you tone the excess muscles around the arms. Start by keeping the right arm on your side, and keep the hoop around it. Next, roll the hoop in a circular motion, and gently

We’ve never really figured out the details, but it must’ve been re-wrapped at least half a dozen times. When the practice of Diwali gifts started, people would prepare sweets at home. Every one had a specialty. The family would then carry a small plate, of what the lady of the house had made painstakingly, to gettogethers with friends. They ‘d all spend some time together— perhaps even share a meal—and when it was time to leave the hostess would bring a return gift. There was grace, fun and charm in the process – not a mechanized tally of 'inflow and outflow'. The plate has been replaced by jumbo boxes, liquor bottles, huge hampers and …much more. Big stores offer special gifts every year. Some take pride in advertising that their hampers start at Rs.5000 – of course there’s no upper limit. What with imported cheese, wine, caviar, suit lengths, crystal…you can pack in a hell of a lot of moolah in a small basket. But, no one has the time to go over personally. PAs and drivers do the job, and the charade of being one-up continues... u

Using the Hula Hoop can be very beneficial for your overall health. The lightness of the hoop puts little strain on your body. Calories are constantly being burned when you work out with the Hula Hoop, and it works on slimming the stomach area. n  The Hula Hoop exercise can substitute any cardiovascular exercise. n  The workout is easy on the joints, which means that it can be performed by any age group. n  The workout massages the internal organs also, such as the stomach and the intestines. n  Hula Hoop workouts strengthen your torso muscles, and improve spinal flexibility. u n

Place a mat on the floor, and lie on your back, as you start the workout. Keep the right leg vertical or angled to the floor, and place the hoop on your ankle. Next, maintain your balance as always, and start to spin the hoop in a clockwise direction. With your leg extended in the air, let the hoop spin for about 3 minutes at a time. You will soon feel and see the difference, as your leg muscles get toned up.

Working on your Arms

Gift Charade { Krishan Kalra }

Benefits

rotate your arm in small circles, to keep the hoop moving. Follow the same steps on the left arm. This can be performed for about fifteen minutes daily.

Working on your Legs

19

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. Q. Of late, my skin seems to be losing its glow. My friends say it’s SH

because of the coffee intake. Is this true? You should decrease your daily intake of coffee. Include fresh fresh fruits, raw salads, sprouts and yogurt in your diet. Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water. Add the juice of a lemon to a glass of water and have it first thing in the morning.

WINNER Priya Seth

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 letters@fridaygurgaon.com

Shahnaz Husain, walking the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival 2013, with R.K. Puri.


20

31 May-6 June 2013

C over S tory PRAKHAR PANDEY

 Contd from p 1 Dwarka Expressway are still being optimistically made at prices that exceed the ‘neighbourhood’ rates; these are not sustainable. In his opinion, the present stagnation in the market is different from the 2007 slump, in the sense that both demand and prices went down that year. For many real estate analysts, the stagnation is the signal for a major correction in Gurgaon property prices, as a number of new projects have failed to elicit the ‘normal’ hyped response. Some projects that elicited initial interest have now seen applicants stopping payment, and some even outrightly cancelling their bookings, says an insider. Vineet Singh, CEO of 99 Acres dot com, says that the law of averages is going to catch the market in Gurgaon – soon. It is not possible to sustain current prices without an equivalent demand. “The supply has increased manifold on Dwarka Expressway, but the prices have with unsold stock. Vinod Behl, an the Project will be launched at Rs. 7,500 estate broker and analyst, says that not come down, which is beyond market avid real estate watcher, says that per sq ft, and also assures a minimum a hype has been created around the wisdom. Prices cannot be sustained for developers are facing trouble because appreciation of 40 per cent in 18 months, Expressway - the prices are grossly long artificially,” asserts Singh. Adding of shortage of funds, as there is limited if a customer gives post-dated cheques inflated. “We have an oversupply in for the requisite amount. Another the entire Gurgaon, and there is likely to the problem is the failure of some access to capital. The 140,000 units of builders to deliver their projects unsold inventory in the NCR account developer is offering plots at Rs. 28,500 to be a correction, as the off-take has on time, and no project offering for 27 per centof the units under per sq yard, with an assured payback of slowed down by almost 25 per cent,” affordable prices for middle-income construction in the Region. Says 30 per cent after 18 months. Interestingly, he warns. buyers, he asserts. Vineet Gupta, CEO of Ajnara Group, the plots cannot be allotted, as licences Brokers across Gurgaon are feeling The hike in the circle rates has “The market conditions are indeed tough are yet to be obtained. Vinod Behl says, the first tremors of a slowdown, and also made investing less lucrative for and if we were selling 10 flats daily an “The subvention schemes can partly hope that the builders will take some help in boosting demand, but corrective actions with regards to investors, who have started to look at year back, we now sell seven.” they should not become a price, improve their delivery timelines other cities/towns – like Sonipat, Kundli, To ease the situation and bring subterfuge for the developers and stick to their promises.  Even in Bhiwadi and Greater Noida. These are normalcy in the property to get easy money – and then the secondary market the deals have also areas that allow the absorption markets, Om Choudhary, sit on it.” of huge unaccounted cash. The new MD Fire Capital, another reduced. On MG Road the prices of some Ramesh Menon, CEO, premium projects have seen a decrease of urbanization of the border areas of real estate developer, suggests Certes Realty, says, “One almost 3 to 5 per cent. A prime residential Delhi, particularly near Dwarka, has also an easing of the housing loan needs to earn a minimum of Rs 4 bhk apartment on this Road, which delayed the purchase decision of some of norms by commercial banks, 2 lakhs a month to buy a crore commanded a price of almost Rs 4 crores, the buyers. so that low-income groups plus house.” He also wonders is now available at Rs. 3.6 to 3.7 crores. A report by Knight Frank India, could  be empowered to buy at the business model of some In Gurgaon One, a high-end complex in on residential housing in NCR, reveals homes. However, most homes builders. He cites the example Sector 22, a number of apartments are that there is a large pile of unsold in Gurgaon start from the Sanjay Dutta of a major real estate project lying vacant. Apartments that were being inventory with the builders, which is Rs 80 lakhs mark. Dr. Kunal putting immense liquidity pressure Banerjee, Group Advisor, Shree in ‘new’ Gurgaon, where plots are being rented out at Rs. 35-36,000 last year on on them. In fact the Report warns of a Infratech, suggests that innovative sold at Rs. 1.25 lakhs per square yard, a Sohna Road are still commanding the continuing slowdown in launches and housing options, which cater to different price that he says is absurd. Making a same rent. sales in the largest property market in customers in the market, are a solution to quick back of the hand calculation on Small builders and brokers, who the country. There are more than one this impasse. In Gurgaon, he says, the FSI cost of land, sales and development costs, made a fortune buying plots and selling lakh unsold apartments in the National norms are such that builders can only and overheads, Menon says that the total builder floors after constructing Capital Region, and 24 per cent of these sell apartments that are more than 1,500 cost comes to Rs. 35, 700 per square yard. houses, are worst affected. Sharma are in Gurgaon. The launch of new sq feet, which takes the selling prices “When the cost is this low, how can a of Qubrex says that a large number residential units has also beyond Rs. 75 lakhs apiece. builder justify selling this of such investors are stuck fallen fell by 31 per cent in Vineet Singh opines that property at Rs. 1.25 lakhs per individually or collectively, the NCR, in the second half government should change the square yard? asks Menon. because their properties are The high costs and the of 2012-13, the report says. rules, so that apartments with not selling. Static rentals could property Sanjay Dutta, Executive ticket sizes as small as 650 sq ft oversupply of also be one of the reasons that - which remains unsold Director South Asia, can be sold. buyers have postponed their Cushman and Wakefield Tight liquidity has - is becoming a cause purchase decisions. says that the current market also given rise to the of concern even on the Apart from the excess conditions clearly indicate phenomenon of subvention Dwarka Expressway, which supply, unaffordable a likely slowdown in real schemes and possession- had almost acquired an El prices and delayed estate. “The market has to linked payment plans, Dorado status for property projects, another reason become reasonable, and offer Vineet Singh which are now being seen buyers across the NCR. Dr. Kunal Banerjee that is being cited for the opportunities to end users as a last gasp attempt Sanjay Sharma of Qubrex impending ‘crash’ is the and speculation needs to be controlled. by the builders to sell the unsold says that it is an irony that an area reduction in the City’s economy (due If things do not change, then the inventory and ease their cash flow. which was sold as an affordable to weakened garment industry and an bubble is likely to burst first in the The customers should remain wary hub, has rates today almost at par auto industry expanding elsewhere) – NCR,” says Dutta. He also wants more of ‘sweet deals’ and promises of great with the Golf Course Extension leading to a lesser number of jobs in the transparency in the real estate sector, returns being made by builders, even Road, a premium area. All projects on manufacturing sector, the fragility of and calls for giving industry status to if they have made substantial money this Expressway are selling premium the BPO sector, and lesser number of IT the housing sector instead of just real in Gurgaon real estate in the past, apartments, with prices exceeding Rs. companies setting base in the City. In fact 6,000 per sq ft. Menon asserts that such the high cost of living is making some of estate (which is being demanded by warn analysts. A prime example is of the developers). a major developer of Noida entering prices in this area are not worth the them think of moving out. Real estate firms, analysts say, into agreements for the pre-launch of a while for buyers. He believes that good It’s time that the Govt and the are struggling to execute projects project on the Dwarka Expressway at Rs. opportunities are likely to be offered City Administration got real, to the because of the high cost of funds, 6000 per sq ft, and accepting money for by nearby Delhi, which is opening reality of Real Estate. There is only poor liquidity and rising construction a project that still has to get clearances. up vertically also, as per the Master so much you can get out of it. What costs, apart from them being saddled The Agreement assures the investors that Plan 2021. Vikas Rikhye, a real goes up…. u

The Bubble Is Bursting


31 May-6 June 2013

G lobal

21

The Bible On Insect Farming { Bangkok / DPA }

T Networking Hues { Hamburg / DPA }

D

utch company Philips is reporting success in an ongoing project to hook up a range of replaceable light bulbs that would respond to a flood of data online. Dubbed ‘Hue’, the new light bulbs were released seven months ago. By virtue of their internet link, they can do such tricks as changing colours when specific emails arrive, or react to stock-market news. Hue could open up a lot of new markets, and become a key product for the company, says Philips. Reactions have so far exceeded expectations, Manager Filip Jan Depauw told dpa. Depauw didn’t cite numbers, but said that production was ramping up. A recently released app allows home owners to programme the intensity and colour of the lights from a smartphone that connects by wi-fi to the home network. “When the stock market is rising, the light turns green. And when an email from your mother arrives, it turns yellow,” says Depauw, citing examples of ways that internet data can be programmed to change your interior illumination. Hue lights can also be linked with a person’s calendar, changing colour to remind him/her of upcoming appointments. They could also react to goals in an ongoing football game, or to the weather report. Hue could recognize the owner’s arrival, by checking the location of a tablet or smartphone, via satellite navigation systems; and turn lights on or off automatically, based on when the person is home. Philips released the details of Hue’s software in March, along with a software development kit. Since then, 37 mobile apps have been developed, says Depauw. The system is made up of multiple LED lights. They are connected wirelessly via a device, called the ‘Bridge’, to the home’s router. A starter kit costs 200 to 300 dollars. Depauw says the Company sees great potential as homes get more networked, and LED technology advances. It also expects other manufacturers to soon develop competing systems. u

2.2m Euros Traffic-light Snatch { Heike Ahlen and Elke Silberer / Moenchengladbach, Germany/ DPA }

A

smash-and-grab attack on a Swiss jeweller’s car at a German traffic light netted a robber an attache case of jewels worth 2.2 million euros (2.8 million dollars), police said. The motorcyclist smashed the passenger window of the halted car, sprayed a form of tear gas, grabbed the case and got away. Police said that the robber seemed to have inside knowledge that the Geneva merchant was meeting customers with the jewels. Minutes later, the semi-blinded jeweller, 36, borrowed a mobile phone from a passer-by to call police. A manhunt has failed to find the perpetrator. u

Helicopter over London { London / DPA }

T

ourists can now get a bird›s eye view of London – with the help of The London Helicopter. The helicopter makes 15 rounds a day, to help the sightseers explore the British capital from the air. The London Helicopter is the first company to receive a licence to run the trips, according to London & Partners.

Tourists can decide between two routes. One tour starts downtown, and the helicopter travels along the Thames River and over the City Centre. The trip lasts about 20 minutes and costs 199 pounds (310 dollars). The cheaper tour starts in the London suburb of Redhill, and is for 30 minutes - and costs 129 pounds. A new site to enjoy on both the tours is the new glass skyscraper, The Shard. u

hailand’s pioneering advances over the past 15 years in commercial insect farming were recently made available in a new publication launched by the United Nations.”It is hoped that by making this information accessible, others will recognize the potential of edible insects, which will contribute to food security,” said Hiroyuki Konuma, regional representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).The UN agency estimates that food production will need to increase 60 per cent from current levels, to meet global food requirements by 2050, and has become a keen advocate of insect consumption.

“The world may face a food security crisis, but I think Thai people will survive, because we know how to eat insects,” said Yupa Hanboonsong, coauthor of the book Six-legged Livestock: Edible Insect Farming. It outlines Thailand’s success over the past 15 years in raising and domestically marketing three insect species - crickets, palm weevils and bamboo caterpillars. Its com-

Endangered Species

{ Radolfzell, Germany / DPA }

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n international team of scientists has, for the first time, pinpointed areas of the world where Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) mammals and amphibians are located. The alarming findings of the mapping exercise highlight the threats facing these groups. Currently only 5 per cent of the areas identified by researchers as priorities for EDGE mammals, and 15 per cent of the EDGE amphibian areas, are protected. The “EDGE of Existence” programme is the first institutional conservation initiative that prioritizes species based on their evolutionary distinctiveness. “We ask where the endangered species are, and whether we are already doing something to protect their habitat,” explained Kamran Safi, from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, one of the authors of the study published in the PLOS ONE scientific journal.  “A UN-led audit found that an incredibly large number of areas enjoy no particular protection whatsoever,” said Safi.

“This is a warning signal. If we want to keep these species’ communities, then at some point we are going to have to also start investigating other areas.” The map reveals that highpriority conservation areas for mammals and amphibians are different. For mammals, management efforts are best focused in Southeast Asia, Southern Africa and Madagascar. For amphibians, Central and Southern America are highlighted as priorities. The map is an addition to the “Red List” of endangered animals published by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) - it is based on more than simply animal numbers. An example of an EDGE animal is the black and white ruffed lemur in Madagascar. These primates evolved from ancestral prosimians, thought to have colonized Madagascar from mainland Africa, some 5060 million years ago. “They are a unique and very, very old species of mammal,” said Safi. “If they become extinct, we will lose a piece of evolutionary history that will never occur in this way again.” u

Volcanic Ash reaches Mexico City

{ Andrea Sosa Cabrios / Mexico City, Rome / DPA }

A

slight rain of ash from the Popocatepetl Volcano fell last Thursday in the south of Mexico City, 60 kilometres away, Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera said. “We are getting reports of a slight fall of ash in the south-eastern part of (the borough of) Milpa Alta,” Mancera wrote on Twitter. He said that no contingency plans needed to be activated because the quantity of ash was small. The 5,452-metre-high Popocatepetl has been erupting since 1994, and has intensified its activity in recent weeks. Mexico’s National Disaster Prevention Centre said Thursday that the Thursday explosion at “Don Goyo,” as the Volcano is nicknamed, generated a 2.5- kilometre-high ash column, which the wind pushed West.u

mercial production averages 7,500 tons a year. Insects have long been part of the Thai diet, but academics and FAO officials are hoping they will become a more common source of protein and nutrients elsewhere. “One great advantage of eating insects is they have a very high efficiency in converting the food they eat into the food matter that humans can consume,” said Patrick Durst, FAO Senior Forestry Officer and a co-author of the book. Insects are six times more efficient in converting food into edible body weight, than livestock such as cattle, he said. They are also environmentally friendly. “Raising insects requires a lot less land and water, and they emit less greenhouse gases,” Durst said. In both Asia and Europe, insects have increasingly been used as ingredients in processed foods, which removes the squeamish factor of eating bugs. “You don’t have to look an insect in the eye when you eat it,” Durst said. “When you eat a steak, it doesn’t look like a cow.”u

Solar-powered Plane makes History { Washington / DPA }

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he Swiss-built airplane, Solar Impulse, touched down in Dallas, Texas last Thursday, breaking the world distance record of solar aviation, its owner announced. It is the plane’s second leg on its “Across America” mission, which started from San Francisco, California on May 3. It completed the first leg when it landed in Phoenix, Arizona on May 4. The Phoenix Dallas flight, piloted by the plane’s co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Andre Borschberg, took more than 18 hours, covering a distance of 1,396.8 kilometres. The slow-speed aircraft has wings as wide as a Boeing 747, but weighs as little as a small car. It uses entirely solar energy to power its four 10-horsepower motors. Usually it only takes about 2 hours for a commercial jet to fly from Phoenix to Dallas. The plane plans to finish its two-month journey by landing at John F Kennedy International Airport in New York City in early July. The next challenge for it will be to fly around the world. u


22 { Christoph Dernbach / San Francisco / DPA }

I

t’ll be several months before the average gadget-lover will get his/her hands on Google Glass, but among software developers there’s already a gold-rush mood about the potential of the new wearable technology device made by the search giant. So far only a few hundred developers and tech experts have worn the futuristic glasses, but at this month’s Google I/O annual developers’ conference in San Francisco, everyone wearing the 1,500-dollar prototype had a permanent smile on their face. A short time wearing the glasses explains the fascination: the wearer has access to all the information available on the internet, without having to use a smartphone or computer to get it.

31 May-6 June 2013

Google Glass Triggers Gold Rush So far the glasses can be used to read and write emails, take photos, record short videos, provide navigation instructions and perform Google searches. At the conference, media companies, social networks - like Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr, and app developers like Evernote showed plans to extend the functionality of the device. For example, the users could see breaking news from the New York Times or CNN, deciding which areas they were interested in, and filtering out the ones they didn’t want. Or digital notetaker Evernote could be used to prepare a shopping list on the computer, which would then be sent to the glasses, and displayed while in the store. The displays appear

Google introduces Cash by Email

{ Andy Goldberg / San Francisco / DPA }

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G lobal

undreds of millions of Google users already send photos, documents, videos and event invitations via the Company›s Gmail service. Now the web search giant is enabling them to send cash as well. Google announced the new payment feature at its I/O conference in San Francisco this month, and said that it would work even with recipients who don›t have a Gmail account. The scheme works in conjunction with Google›s online payment service, Google Wallet, and will be free to users who link directly to their bank account. For those who wish to deduct payments from their credit card, Google will charge a 2.9-per-cent service fee. Users who wish to send money would compose an email to the recipient, then hover over the attachment paper clip symbol and click the dollar ($) sign. Then they would enter the amount of money they wished to transmit, and press Send. Though recipients don›t need a Gmail account, they do need a Google Wallet account to receive funds. Google said that the product was being introduced immediately in the United States, and that international versions would be made available later. u

amazingly sharp, much improved from the prototype shown a few years ago. Despite a low resolution (640 x 360 pixels) by today’s standards, the perceptual experience is like looking at a display with a screen diagonal of 63 centimetres from a distance of 2.5 metres. The glasses take getting used to. Whether the glasses, with their built-in battery and modem, look cumbersome, is subjective. The plastic prism, which projects the content to the user, doesn’t sit directly in front of the eyes - but rather at the eyebrow level. A nod awakes the Google Glass from sleep, and the camera is activated by clicking a button on the frame. A finger swipe on the frame is used to navigate

Nepali Climber’s Everest Record { Pratibha Tuladhar / Kathmandu / DPA }

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hurba Tashi Sherpa reached the summit of Mount Everest summit for the 21st time on Thursday, equalling the record set by Apa Sherpa. According to mountaineering officials, Phurba Tashi made two climbs this season to complete the feat. Last year Apa, who goes by his first name, said he was retiring. However, he has since been back at the base camp, continuing his campaign of clearing garbage from the Everest region. u

through the simple menu structure, while information such as weather forecasts or directions is transmitted into the user’s ears. To save power, the glasses are set to quickly go back to sleep when not being used. The nightmare vision of some privacy advocates, that the devices will be videoing their environment around the clock, is not going to come true, mainly due to the current limited battery life. In its current incarnation, Google Glass can only record a video of a few seconds’ duration. Members of the US Congress have written to Google, asking how the privacy of the people around a Glass wearer will be protected. They have also asked whether the device will have

facial recognition software. Most of the developers at the I/O conference were certain that the current technical shortcomings will soon be overcome. They expressed only moderate concern about privacy fears regarding the new device. The victims of ‘undesired’ photos or videos at the moment are most likely to be Google Glass wearers themselves, who are being photographed or filmed on the street without their permission by curious smartphone owners, it was said at the Conference. Developers in any case don’t want to get left out of the gold rush, which hasn’t broken out in California’s Silicon Valley alone. Nobody wants to miss out on the expected next big thing. u

European Champions Cup/ League Winners { Berlin / DPA }

n  1956 Real Madrid 1957 Real Madrid 1958 Real Madrid 1959 Real Madrid n  1960 Real Madrid 1961 Benfica Lisbon 1962 Benfica Lisbon 1963 AC Milan 1964 Inter Milan 1965 Inter Milan 1966 Real Madrid 1967 Glasgow Celtic 1968 Manchester United 1969AC Milan n 1970 Feyenoord Rotterdam 1971 Ajax Amsterdam 1972 Ajax Amsterdam 1973 Ajax Amsterdam 1974 Bayern Munich 1975 Bayern Munich 1976 Bayern Munich 1977 Liverpool 1978 Liverpool 1979 Nottingham Forest n  1980 Nottingham Forest 1981 Liverpool 1982 Aston Villa 1983 SV Hamburg 1984 Liverpool 1985 Juventus Turin 1986 Steaua Bucharest 1987 Porto 1988 PSV Eindhoven 1989 AC Milan n  1990 AC Milan 1991 Red Star Belgrade 1992 Barcelona 1993 Olympique Marseille 1994 AC Milan 1995 Ajax Amsterdam 1996 Juventus Turin 1997 Borussia Dortmund 1998 Real Madrid 1999 Manchester United n 2000 Real Madrid 2001 Bayern Munich 2002 Real Madrid 2003 AC Milan 2004 Porto 2005 Liverpool 2006 Barcelona 2007 AC Milan 2008 Manchester United 2009 Barcelona 2010 Inter Milan 2011 Barcelona 2012 Chelsea u

Most Successful Clubs in Champions Cup/League { Berlin / DPA }

Real Madrid 9 (1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1966, 1998, 2000, 2002) AC Milan 7 (1962, 1969, 1989, 1990, 1994, 2003, 2007) Liverpool 5 (1977, 1978, 1981, 1984, 2005) Bayern Munich 4 (1974, 1975, 1976, 2001) Ajax Amsterdam 4 (1971, 1972, 1973, 1995) Barcelona 4 (1992, 2006, 2009, 2011) Inter Milan 3 (1964, 1965, 2010) Manchester United 3 (1968, 1999, 2008) Benfica Lisbon 2 (1961, 1962) Nottingham Forest 2 (1979, 1980) Juventus Turin 2 (1985, 1996) Porto 2 (1987, 2004)


31 May-6 June 2013

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is legs are spindly, but his arms and shoulders are strong. Tameru Zegeye swayed elegantly back and forth a few times, like a dancer, then vaulted into a handstand on his high-tech crutches. “Tameru” means “miracle” in Amharic, the official language of Ethiopia. It fits the 31-year-old Ethiopian, who has turned a crippling congenital disability into an extraordinary ability to walk on his hands. His eyes sparkle with pride when he demonstrates his hard-won physical skills - for the first 16 years of his life he could only crawl on the ground. “I got from one place to another like a snake,” Zegeye recalled. Friends, acquaintances and a number of observers recently gathered in Addis Ababa Stadium to cheer him on, as he sought entry into the Guinness World Records, by covering 76 metres in a minute while doing a handstand on crutches. “Everything will be checked out in two months, I think, and then I can get the entry I long for,” Zegeye beamed. He was born disabled near Lalibela, in Ethiopia’s northern highlands, at a time of famine. The bones in his legs were deformed, and his feet faced backwards. “My mother abandoned me because she was always told I was the devil incarnate,” Zegeye said. “In Ethiopia they think that disabled people are possessed by demons. “Zegeye’s grandfather - “a rich man thanks to all of his land” - took him in, believing that disabled children were God’s children too. He was baptised “Fekadu,” or “God’s will.” His grandfather sent him to an Ethiopian Orthodox school, where he was given his current name, “Tameru.” Later, the old man gave the boy the greatest gift in his life to that point: a horse. “Although the other children made fun of me, it didn’t bother

{ Clare Byrne / Cannes, France / DPA }

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xtreme violence and explicit sex scenes have been a recurring feature in films at the Cannes Film Festival, where orgies of bloodletting and orgasms have either moved or scandalized audiences. A most violent film in the competition goes to Nicolas Winding Refn’s crime thriller – Only God Forgives - starring Ryan Gosling. Set in the Bangkok underworld, saturated in blood-red light, the film has Gosling as a drug smuggler, seeking to atone for the sins of his bloodthirsty family. He finds absolution in having his hands chopped off by a sword-swinging policeman; but will the Cannes jury be as forgiving of Refn for an earlier scene, in which the cop slowly crucifies a gangster to a chair and then gouges his eyes out? The violence saw the film booed at a press screening, even as some critics cheered its aesthetics. “Art is an act of violence,” Drive director Refn defended, while admitting his approach was “somewhat pornographic.” Other films have framed violence in the context of social conditions. Chinese director Zhang-ke Jia’s ‘A Touch of Sin’ shows people resorting to violence to re-

23

Rights His Life me as much, since I could simply ride away,” Zegeye said. “I felt as though I suddenly had four legs!” The animal was Zegeye’s best friend until his grandfather, at the urging of local villagers, gave it away. Since he got around by pulling himself forward with his hands, while dragging his lower body through the dirt, his left leg became so badly infected that doctors wanted to amputate it. “I shouted at God and asked him why he was putting

Carola Frentzen

{ Carola Frentzen / Addis Ababa / DPA }

G lobal

Tameru Zegeyes

Tameru Zegeyes achieves a 76-metre sprint in the Addis Ababa Stadium.

me through all this,” Zegeye said. But he managed to heal himself by collecting various plants, grinding them and applying the mixture to the festering sore. Zegeye finally left his grandfather, who had gone nearly blind, and was no longer able to care for his grandson. “I crawled the 65 kilometres from my village to Lalibela. It took six days,” he said. There he lived for years on the street in miserable conditions, earning a bit of money shining shoes, and walking a few metres on his hands as a tourist attraction. In the late 1990s he met someone who would change his life forever: an American surgeon visiting Lalibela to see its UNESCO World Heritage site a group of medieval, monolithic rockhewn churches. “The doctor looked at me for a long time, and then said I should go to a hospital in Addis Ababa, where he could help me,” Zegeye said. Villagers collected money and put him on the next airplane to the Ethiopian capital. His final destination: Black Lion Hospital. Fourteen years and nine operations later, Zegeye’s feet are now pointed in the right direction. He can walk short

Canned - Explicit Sex, Extreme Violence store their dignity in the face of corruption and humiliation. The film, which is based on four incidents that made headlines in China, shows the poor being pushed to the hilt - and then lashing out. Approving critics responded to the movie’s message that the growing gap between rich and poor fuels violence. They were less understanding of Mexican director Amat Escalante’s third film ‘Heli’, which was too relentlessly violent for many viewers. The film contains a lengthy torture scene, so gruesome

many had to cover their eyes. Escalante made no apologies for showing what he said was the reality in a country where rival drug mafia regularly decapitate victims. “I think that reality may be even worse,” he said. Explicit also describes the sex scenes in some of the films presented at the festival, mostly from - quelle surprise - French directors. They swing between the sublime and the ridiculous. In the sublime category is Abdellatif Kechiche›s ‘Blue is the Warmest Colour’ - the story of a French

Tameru Zegeyes, 31, demonstrates how he walks on his crutches.

distances unaided, has finished school and earned diplomas in tourism and information technology. “The moment I was able to stand upright for the first time was the best in my life so far,” he said smiling. Zegeye is happiest doing a handstand on his ultralight, carbonfibre crutches, and performing tricks for the audience at the Circus Debre Berhan. He and the rest of the troupe are about to leave on a six-month tour of Sweden. “Discrimination against disabled people in Africa must stop,” he said. “I like being different - I’m the only one able to walk upside down on crutches!” u 15-year-old girl, Adele, who finds herself in the arms of an older girl with blue hair. The film contains some very explicit sex scenes, but the entanglement of the two lovers is beautifully depicted as a natural part of the teen’s blossoming as a woman. Kechiche, whose films frequently explore youth-related issues, said he “wanted something beautiful to happen in every scene.” By contrast, Francois Ozon›s portrayal of a beautiful middleclass teen who tries to “find herself” through prostitution, in ‘Young and Beautiful’, was seen as more shallow – though it was less explicit. Ozon’s claim, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, that prostitution was “a fantasy of many women”, didn’t help. Accused of sexism, he quickly apologized. In the running for the most ridiculous role is former Manchester United star Eric Cantona’s latest incarnation. As L’Etalon (the Stud) in Yann Gongalez›s erotic comedy, ‘You and the Night’, Cantona gets down on all fours while engaged in kinky role-play. Variety magazine described the film, which screened in the Critic’s Week section of the Festival, as “alternately sensuous and silly.” u


ASHA PANDEY

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31 May-6 June 2013

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Combine 093 may 31 june 6, 2013  

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