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15-21 February 2013

Vol. 2 No. 26  Pages 24  ` 7

{Inside} A Model School

The Govt. Senior Secondary School at Sarhaul is today a great example of how a State institution can be run the right way – and perform. Catering to a student strength of 2,500 from 30 villages, the School and students have achieved commendable results, and have been well-recognized.

...Pg 6

Time For Citizen Action

It is time for a citizen-march against the ‘in-your-face’ liquor vends. They need not close shop, but they need to move back, and lower their glare. And remain vends, not open bars.

...Pg 8

The Greater Story

Greater NOIDA has stolen quite a march over Gurgaon – and even the new sectors of Gurgaon – in terms of civic planning and infrastructure (eg. underground power cabling, that Haryana has shelved even in new Gurgaon sectors, after planning for it). Could Greater NOIDA, with also a huge Knowledge Park, and great connectivity (the latest being the Taj Expressway) be the next NCR success story?

...Pg 14 & 15

A 100 years of Amrita Shergil

FG celebrates a 100 years of Amrita Shergil – the iconic Artist who initiated Indian Contemporaneity. ...Pg 18 & 19

Women’s Help Desks start at Metro stations –

Helpline No.8130990038 New Portfolios

Ashok Sangwan to take charge as the new Commissioner, MCG. He has previously been Commissioner MCY (Yamunanagar). Alok Mittal to take charge as the new Commissioner of Police (CP). He has previously been Joint CP in Gurgaon, and was last the IGP Rohtak Range. KK Sindhu, current Police Commissioner, will be the ADGP (Vigilance), based in Gurgaon. DCP Maheshwar Dayal has been given the additional responsibility of Joint CP. Bharti Arora, ex-SP, Traffic, returns as SSP, State Crime Branch. Traffic Police launch 24x7 Helpline: 9213020404; also, 0124-2217015 Commuters may contact these numbers for traffic related problems, traffic jams, accidents, and any harassment on the road.

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

Hoodaji in Wonderland This City’s masters live in a far away world of their own. The citizens are often left wondering Why? Like a Court issuing ‘taareek pe taareek’, the CM announces ‘projects pe projects’ – most of which start and sputter. Land prices in those areas of course go up systematically. The Master Plans change almost annually – with projects and land uses changing whimsically. Is there a big unseen hand at play?


t seems that now the projects may be announced at regular Golf Championships. That is the latest State fad. "CM and Chief Secretary promise to bring Golf within the reach of the common people through affordable Golf Courses, and by opening Golf Nurseries across the State." You would think that the poor and middle class people of Gurgaon and Haryana are overflowing with civic amenities. Unfortunately, they are still waiting for affordable food and housing, and provision of civic amenities – basically affordable living. Their lifestyle has actually gone down; many cannot afford to live in today’s times. So CM and Chief Secretary Sahibs - Press Conferences on Golf and ‘future is bright’ Projects are fine; but can we have one on the perennial civic issues plaguing Gurgaon – the City that provides the State more than half its revenue? And then let’s see some urgent action, please. The CM's fad, of course, is the Pod. The Haryana CM is quite taken in by the Pod Taxi concept that runs at Heathrow. Proximity to T3 has made him believe that this City will take off even better if we install Pods in our hallowed space. Pods are about 300sq.m. -sized transport boxcars that seat 4/6, are battery driven and remotecontrolled (no drivers), and run on one-way tracks.

Circa 2020, we may find... "Hello, this is Steve P Kumar – no guessing, I am an iPod fan. I am 8 years old. It’s good that all reading and writing is passé – it’s only speaking and listening now, via Podcasts on Pods. I live in Pod City, a conglomeration in an area that was once called Gurgaon. My residence is ‘in.36168741’; for those still living in the ‘old world’, it is Pod 1478, Great Pod T4. We live a beautiful self-contained life. Our feet rarely touch the ground. From our Pod residences we travel by Pod Taxis to wherever we want to go. There is an exclusive Pod World out there. Pod School S36 is a 4-pod journey away. Pod Taxi T147 is connected to our elevator, and drops us at

the School premises; the return journey is via T148. All the Pod Malls have Pod Stands – more than a few each; as do most large offices – even some govt. ones. After school I normally play Pod Games or watch Pod TV – that are hooked up to the World Wide Pod. The Pods run 24x7 – of course except when they malfunction (which is about once a week). It can get quite boring (or frightening) being stuck for hours in a pod, high over the City. Last winter I almost froze; and it was quite scary in the monsoon, with all the lightning. Our residence is one of the posher Pods. It has the largest Pod beds, and there is a 4-hourly Pod Market delivery service We also have a Private Pod, for when we want to travel exclusively. I have a few friends who stay on the ground, or in non-pod apartments. They have to do so much themselves. There is much dirt and smell all over. And so much crime. Some of the criminals tried to even hijack our Pod System; and miscreants sometimes enter our Pods without tickets, and harass the girls and ladies. The Pod Police are not so efficient; my parents say it is because they come from the same places as those that live below. The best protection is to keep changing our Pod Passwords daily, so that no one can enter our spaces. We are all like, peas in a Pod." Nice story. But CM sir - can we at least have some movement on the roads today? Can we have rate cards and stands for the autos, and stops and timings for the buses? Can we have roads that last at least 1 year – monsoon to monsoon? And power that lasts, in our non-Pod homes; our batteries seem to drain very fast otherwise. And can you please first stop us from drowning in our own sewage, after arranging to pick up our garbage? Re: the Pod, thank God there is no Pod toll proposed. Have you planned Pod toilets? And with crime happening 24x7 on the road, how do you intend to stop Pod crime? Finally, Hoodaji, Podland needs to be at least incorporated in the 2031 Master Plan. It is a different matter that it may be deleted in the 2035 Plan that will probably be issued this year. u


15-21 February 2013

Celeb Watch

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319 Postal Regn. No. GRG/35/2012-2014, VOL.–2 No.–26  15-21 February 2013


Noble Cause

Atul Sobti

Sr. Correspondents: Abhishek Behl Shilpy Arora Correspondent:

Maninder Dabas

Sr. Photographers: Prakhar Pandey Jit Kumar Sr. Sub Editor:

Anita Bagchi

Sr. Designer:

Amit Singh


Virender Kumar

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

Pankaj Yadav Sunil Yadav Manish Yadav

Accts. & Admin Mgr: Deba Datta Pati Asst. Manager Media Marketing: Bhagwat Kaushik Sr. Exec Media Marketing:

Vikalp Panwar

Ad Sales Exec :

Amit Agarwal

Consulting Art Editor: Qazi M. Raghib Editorial Office 213, Tower A, Spazedge, Sector 47, Sohna Road, Gurgaon 122001, Haryana Phones: +91 124 421 9092/93 Emails:


OHAN Foundation, an NGO, in their endeavour to create awareness about organ donation, partnered with India’s famous band, Indian Ocean, to help people connect with the cause through music. The Band played to an enthusiastic audience asking for more.

Cooking In Style


odrej Interio, India’s largest furniture brand, recently launched Designworks Inc., an exclusive Kitchen Gallery in the City (near Bristol Hotel). This is an opportunity to experience world class quality in Modular Kitchens. The Gallery, owned and run by Ramit Banta and Pratik Ranjan (architects by profession), was inaugurated by Sushil Thairiani (AVP-North, Godrej Interio). ‘’Godrej is here with its latest collection of modular kitchens, where western cooking is blended with Indian cooking conditions and styles. The work platform and placement of the units in the modular kitchen have excellent ergonomics, ‘’ said Ramit. According to Sushil, “Gurgaon is the most cosmopolitan place in and around Delhi/NCR. There is a huge young population here who are working. They would like to have something unique, modern in concept, something that is workable. We have the solution for them.” Contact: 9810831769

An Epic Performance


n hour-long theatrical production, “Revisiting the Epics” was held at Epicentre. The Play, directed by Sujata Soni Bali, was a heady concoction of love, lust, power, revenge, murder and war. Performances were staged by well-known artists – Tom Alter, Charu Sharma, Bhavini Mishra and Chander Khanna. Friday Gurgaon (Weekly) edited, published and printed by Atul Sobti on behalf of Arap Media Ventures Pvt. Ltd. from 213, Tower A, Spazedge, Sector 47, Sohna Road, Gurgaon 122018, Haryana. Printed at Indian Express Ltd. Plot No. A8, Sector 7, Gautam Budh Nagar, NOIDA – 201301, Uttar Pradesh The views expressed in the opinion pieces and/or the columns are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, Friday Gurgaon or Arap Media Ventures Pvt. Ltd.

FG Invites Citizens n Are you interested and concerned

about civic and social happenings and issues around you? n Are you motivated to do something positive for society? n Are you interested to also write, and express what you see, hear, feel? If yes, write to us at, with a brief background of yourself, with contact number(s). 2–8 March 2012

Vol. 1 No. 28  Pages 24



RNI No. HARENG/2011/393

For The Other Half


{ Abhishek Behl / FG }


It lives in two urgaon is a paradox. the Naunequal halves, whereinthe Great as tional Highway-8 acts Wall. The core Divide – like the Berlin the new subbut of the City is rotting; – with malls, gated urbs shine like stars and clubs setting colonies, golf courses never before seen a standard of life


he third in our astrology series – featuring Libra, Scorpio and Saggitarius.

...Pg 16

Tantric Art


e feature Shobha Broota, a 68year old ‘young’ and energetic artist.

...Pg 17

Master Recipe

Prakhar PaNdey



in India. forces that It is this flux of extreme balance – the is threatening to unraveland helpful for a balance that is natural and for civiliwith; great cities to evolve attain glory. sations to develop and urban core, the Gurgaon’s rotting within the City, concretised villages hinterland that and the vast rural is under once comprised Guru-gram, – under and 210 Panchayats threat of being submerged Nagar, Manesar); a Millennium of identity the new that cover 291 villages. a week with in ‘New GurgaFriday Gurgaon spent City, with its capital Meena, checkthe role of the State on’. It is here that Deputy Commissioner will is executed – ensure that the forces comes into play; to ing how the State’s that has known all the populace. of development touch in this historic area, since the Commissioner Gurgaon Deputy some form of governance of Being is the point man of Guru Dronacharya. power, P.C Meena, who in the Dis- time capital seat of the State Administration close to Delhi, the Gurgaon is much been influenced by trict, concurs that the District has also itself. The District and social developments political more than the City the viz. Gurgaon includes 3 sub-divisionsPataudi; 5 teh- taking place there. Contd on p 8  ,and (North and South) Pataudi, Farukh sils (Gurgaon, Sohna,

Please Visit Us At en Emergency Servicem Ask Your Newspaper Vendor For Friday Gurgaon. M

asterchef Top 5 Vijaylaxmi shares a Recipe exclusively for FG readers.

...Pg 18

little, for so long, with so We have done so much,do anything with nothing. to we are now qualified

Let’s Be Civil


avan Choudhary, Managing Director of Vygon, speaks on the need for residents to become responsible citizens. ...Pg 21

Regular Features Food Take

...Pg 6

Cinema Listings & Helplines ...Pg 7 The Week That Was

...Pg 7

{ Hritvick Sen / FG }

service worth its lmost every significant call-in. Whether it salt has a telephone information is food (or liquor) delivery, civic and reservations, services, bookings on cells... there is a line facilities, grievance call in. But when there which people can or a fire – there is an accident, a robbery that people dial is only one type of service Services. in a hurry. Emergency themselves count people Most haven’t had a fortunate that they for they had to ask situation in which who work in these people the for but help; is distraught people services, helping it is Police yday affair. Whether


100 – Police Emergency main Police


Control Location: The Mini-SecretarRoom (PCR) in Gurgaon’s lines chirping, phone iat. Wireless sets staff they’re set down, ringing as soon as papers – the very rushing about with air hums with activity. who is the Inspector Rishipal, the Operations, says senior in-charge of given day, we receive seriously, “On any a 3,000 calls.” In between 2,500 to from which he can closed glass cubicle he manages the day-tosurvey all activity, PCR. “We have stateday operations of the equipment, and I can of-the-art servers and has one of the safely say that Gurgaon the country.” in most advanced PCRs




Sufi Recital @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: February 21 Time: 7:30 pm


n evening of Sufi recital by Shafqat Ali Khan, accompanied by Udai Mazumdar on the Tabla.


Soul Of Japan @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: February 15 Time: 7:30 pm


n evening of Shamisen and folksongs by Baisho Matsumoto. The Shamisen is a three-stringed traditional Japanese musical instrument, that produces a clear and vibrant sound.

the worst form of inequality—sexual violence in a deliberate, multilayered and creative manner. This Hinglish play is directed by Smita Bharti. Tickets at Rs. 350, 250 & 150 available at the venue. Suitable for 15 years & above.


ad:tech @ The Leela Kempinski Hotel, Ambience Mall Date: February 20 Time: 9:00 am

Ladies Night @ Rhino, South Point Mall, 312A, 3rd Floor, DLF Golf Course Road, Sector 53 Date: February 20 Time: 9:00 pm onwards

d:tech, the world’s No.1 digital marketing event, is back with its 3rd edition.

The Event includes a respected roster of speakers, workshops and exhibition.


Jail Birds @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: February 17 Time: 7:30 pm



hard hitting, provocative and confronting story, that exposes



The Calm Within @ House of Ishatvam, 348D, MG Road, Sultanpur Date: Up to March 3 Time: 11:00 am to 7:30 pm


avatars. The Exhibition displays various manifestations of the universal benevolence Buddha represents. Contact: 8800255200, 26804344

n showcase of a a beautiful and inspiring range of Buddha’s


ive your weekend a perfect start with a perfect party night. Dance to a foot-tapping mix of club and house mixes, played by the in-house DJ.


Bollywood Style Food Festival & Art Exhibition @ Mosaic, Sector 12 Date: February 17


o Bollywood with this special menu, that includes dishes like – Muhurat Se Pehle, Sholay ke Kebab, Gabbar ke Tandoor Se, Dilwale Kukkad Le Jayenge, Hum Aapke Hain Raan, Sweet Lat Lag Gayi and more. On display is Bollywood style oil-painted art, to ensure you get into the Bollywood mood.


t’s time for the ladies to let their hair down! Enjoy the evening as DJ Mudit ensures you don’t leave the dance floor, with his rhythmic beats. Contact: 9560700123


Saturday Night Swagger @ Ion Club & Lounge, JMD Regent Arcade Mall,Upper Ground Floor, MG Road Date: Up to February 23 Time: 7:00 pm


15-21 February 2013

THE WEEK THAT WAS ♦ New Police Commissioner Alok Mittal promises that: a receipt will be given to complainants at Police Stations; SMS will be sent to the complainants, once the chargesheet is filed in court; and a new Public Helpline will be started in the Commissioner’s office, for complaints and enquiries - including for FIRs - during working hours. Ensuring a friendly police force and police station, and managing traffic, are identified by him as the two key challenges. ♦ Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda says that other towns of Haryana will also be developed like Gurgaon: the Metro will soon reach Faridabad and Bahadurgarh; a Rewari-Rohtak rail line has been commissioned; Sonipat- GohanaJind rail line is under construction; and there is a plan to run an RRTS between Delhi and Panipat. He says that in per capita investment, Haryana is number one (Rs 78,500), and in per capita income (Rs 125,400) it is ahead of all other states except Goa. There are 1362 big and medium industries, and 84,443 small and micro industries in the State. Haryana is number one in wheat productivity, mustard productivity and paddy. Per capita milk availability is 708 gms, which is highest in the country. The Budget of the State was Rs. 26000 crores in 2012-13. With four new power plants in the State, the power generation capacity has gone up to over 5500 MW. For development of rural areas, a separate Haryana Rural Development Authority (HRDA) has been constituted. He announces that for the needy families, 4 lakh houses will be constructed- 2 lakhs in rural, and 2 lakhs in urban areas. The CM’s Vision for Haryana is: health for all, education for all, employment for all, and a roof over every head. ♦ The CM unveils the statue of late Rajesh Pilot near Ghata village; the road from Southern Peripheral Road to Village Kadarpur will be named after Pilot. ♦ DHBVN announces a new power price wef April 1, of Rs 6.35p per unit – an increase of Rs 0.75p. The Discom has promised increased availability of power this summer by, 2 to 3 hours per day, since the supply has been arranged. ♦ Kshama Chopra’s husband asks for reinvestigation in the 'BMW case' – alleges deliberate delay in hearing of the case and the punishment of the guilty. ♦ An RWA rescues a minor maid who was

kidnapped from Jharkhand. ♦ A man held for molesting a 5-year-old girl. ♦ A 15-year-old girl student kills self due to poor marks. ♦ A woman allegedly commits suicide – DLF II; husband is taken into custody. ♦ An engineering student kills wife and then self. ♦ An IAF officer is held for the ‘dowry death’ of his pregnant wife. ♦ An infant is found dead near Rajiv Chowk. ♦ One dies (a child) and 3 are injured in a road accident. ♦ A businessman’s body is found in Sikanderpur. ♦ A woman accuses her live-in partner of rape, for years. The partner is booked. ♦ 3 contractors beat up an MCG engineer. ♦ Drunken men clash with bouncers at Ipsa Pub in Sahara Mall. ♦ A youth opens fire over a cricket game – 2 are injured. ♦ A car falls in a trench in Sec 85 – 4 are injured. ♦ 2 hold up a car and take owner hostage. ♦ A stolen car is traced within 8 hours, with the help of GPS tracking. ♦ A conman dupes a jeweller of gold bracelets worth Rs 20 lakhs. ♦ A phone is snatched from a woman on MG Road. ♦ A retired army officer catches a thief in Palam Vihar. ♦ Maruti vendor’s staff and guards are booked for stealing 10 tonnes of the vendor company’s raw material. ♦ A man is duped of Rs 34,500 in an ATM fraud. ♦ The Swine Flu toll is now 21. ♦ Orchid Petals RWA takes over maintenance and security of society, due to poor services provided by the builder agency - which had also threatened to cut off water and power. However, a Court stays the takeover. ♦ A new City Bus route starts, from HUDA City Centre to Sohna – with a promised 10 minutes frequency. ♦ There seems to be no expectation of an early solution to the Toll Plaza mess – IDFC has still not taken charge. ♦ The High Court stays the open draw of 730 HUDA disputed plots. ♦ New Property Tax rules will now apply to vacant land plots also. ♦ The National Green Tribunal asks marble traders to vacate the Sikanderpur protected land. ♦ Surajkund Mela has a record footfall of 1.42 lakhs people on Sunday.

I) In 2012, a Special Gurgaon Infrastructure Budget was announced, for Rs. 1393 crores, for key projects, incl.: Rs. 498 crores - Rs. 260 crores - Rs. 381 crores -

for Water Supply, Water Recycling and Treatment, Sewerage, Irrigation, Landscaping. for recharging the ground water, and raising the water table. for Master Sewerage scheme and Water Distribution and Re-cycle, for new sectors (Sector 58 onwards); and strengthening of Sohna Road.

It was just a broad sweep of works. No status update was given. II) Recently, a specific budget was provided for Master Roads in the new sectors (58 to 115): Rs. 80 crores - Rs. 279 crores - Rs. 212 crores -

for about 15 km Master Road in Sectors 58 to 67 (beyond about 10km was already completed) for about 43km Master Road in Sectors 81 to 95 (beyond about 20km already completed) for Master Road in Sectors 99 to 115.

No status update has been given to date. III) Now, the latest Announcement is for some specific projects for Rs 605.5 crores. Rs 253 crores - Rs. 87.5 crores - Rs. 77.2 crores - Rs. 34.6 crores - Rs. 24.4 crores - Rs. 38.3 crores - Rs. 26.5 crores - Rs. 63.9 crores -

for Master Storm Water drainage – Sectors 81 to 98. for Kost Nallah (Drain) – make into an RCC Box Drain – Sector 58 to Sohna Road Badshahpur Nallah – make into an RCC Box Drain Subhash Chowk flyover (across Sohna Road) Strengthening M.G. Road Chandu Budhera Water Treatment Plant (3rd unit of 22MGD), and Master Water Supply Scheme for 6 Zones (III to VIII) Augmentation of Master Water Supply Scheme (Zone I) Rail Over-Bridge (near Basai-Dhankot)

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06 { Shilpy Arora / FG }


C ivic/S ocial

A Model School guidance to achieve their goals,” says Sachin’s teacher.

services, to protect women in the society,” she says. Recounting her experience, Gunjan, who accompanied Vidya for the championship, says, “I was like an ordinary teenager, who enjoyed hanging out with friends. But when I joined the sport of weightlifting, it inculcated a sense of discipline in me. I realised that, like in weight-lifting, there is no room for mistakes in life. Also I learnt about time management”. Speaking of her future plans, Gunjan says, “I feel strongly for the 'Right to Education'. That is why I want to become a teacher. I want to teach all the girls in my village. I won’t go out of this small village, located in the heart of the Millennium City.”

Artistic talent

Mukesh, 15, picked up painting by chance. He was asked by his sister to copy an image for her school project. “I found it quite interesting. So I started participating in painting competitions, and Rangoli-making competitions. Today my single-room house has a lineup of awards and trophies. Now I plan to make my career in arts, particularly in Rangoli-

School Beautification Award at the Block and District level. As Principal Usha Rani puts it, “A group of students dressed in uniforms, running around the corridors and playground, is what makes a beautiful sight in a school. However, the joy is doubled if the school is kept beautiful.” The School has made great efforts to beautify its premises. The primary section welcomes visitors with a series of paintings, based on popular tales, inspirational slogans, moral

Academic Feat

Prakash scored a distinction in all the subjects in the Higher Secondary examination. Many people may not consider it a great achievement, but the odds against which the results were achieved makes it a success story worth emulating. He was studying in another government school, when the

School also encourages children to participate in special seminars and workshops. “I never knew the connection between mathematics and philosophy. A seminar on this subject, however, helped me in using philosophy to learn the basics of mathematics,” says Sumit, a student of Class 9. Moreover, students are taken to various art and craft festivals, where they attend workshops on puppet-making, wall painting, and sketching, to name a few. Komal, a student of Class 3, says that it was fun to go to the threeday camp on Rangoli-making, and it would be great if they had such camps on a regular basis. H.S Saini, who teaches Economics at the School, says that the lack of teaching aids was earlier a major issue in the School. “How can you teach students when you don’t have basic infrastructure such as fans, desks and blackboards? I am glad that our Principal Usha Rani pointed it out as soon as she joined (in February 2012). In less than a year she has managed to overhaul the infrastructure of the School,” he says. His colleague, Praveen Kr. Yadav, also gives credit to the unique teaching methodologies adopted by the School. He says, “A lot of our students come from underprivileged backgrounds. We need to know about their

Jit kumar

otes of a patriotic song greet you as you enter the Government Senior Secondary School in Sarhaul. The crooners are members of the Sarhual School Orchestra. They dedicate at least two hours a day to music. The assembly stage is abuzz with activity too, as the students rehearse for a drama to be presented on the occasion of Basant Panchami. On the other side, a few students, dressed in Karate gi and belt, hone their martial art skills. Unlike many government schools, this School is striding ahead, not just in academics, but also in the fields of sports, music, and art. The School, with a student strength of 2,500, from 30 villages, has nurtured many bright students. Vimal Yadav – Mayor of the City, MLA Rao Dharampal, and Senior Professor at Delhi University – Dharamveer Yadav, are some of the successful students from this School. Talking about the School’s achievements, Principal Usha Rani says, “The students get the best of facilities here – stationery, dresses, a well-balanced diet, science practical labs, computer labs and sports infrastructure. For academic excellence, teach-

15-21 February 2013

ers supervise the daily schedule of students. While we have a timetable for fun and recreational activities, the teachers ensure that the students pay attention to each subject for at least 30 minutes a day.”

Sporting Success

Vidya made her School proud by bagging the First Prize at the National WeightLifting Championship. Vidya says that she was in complete control, and that performing at the national-level was not that nerve-racking. “I have been practising weight-lifting for the last one year. My focus has always been on the game, not the result. I had promised my ma’am (sports coach) that I won’t let her down. So I kept my word,” says Vidya, who attributes all her success to her School. Vidya was not always like this. She admits that in the early years of her schooling she was an introvert, and not a confident girl. “My teachers and my friends helped me gain self-confidence. Today I am quite confident about my goals and career. I have decided that I will join the civil

compulsions of life made him quit that school five years ago. He did not complete his seventh standard. He left the school to work as a child labourer at the tender age of 10. However, fate smiled on him when he got a job near the office of Maruti Udyog, and the Company put him into the nearby Government Senior Secondary School in Sarhaul. So is the case of Sachin (name changed), a student of Class 8. Sachin, who was considered to be a slow learner, lost interest in studies by the time he could complete his 5th Class. Luckily, when his parents migrated to Sarhaul from Bengal, they put him in the Government Senior Secondary School, where he began his studies from scratch. Today he is one of the top achievers of his class. “Initially he appeared to be an indisciplined child. But within a few months, with the help of some unique teaching methodologies and practical exposure, he started performing really well. I think every child possesses a talent in a particular field. There is a need to understand the children and give them the right

making,” smiles Mukesh, who has received many prizes in the field of art at the state level. Youngest of five siblings, Mukesh wants to help his mother and elder sister, by earning a living. He also needs financial help to keep his dreams alive. He regrets that after the death of his father, his sisters had to leave studies. “I too left the school at the age of eight. I am so lucky that my destiny has brought me to the Sarhaul Senior Secondary School, where I could continue my studies. As there was a gap of nearly three years, I had forgotten to recognise even alphabets and numbers. My teachers gave me special classes, which helped me a lot and I picked up fast,” he says.

Beautiful Premises

Recently, the School bagged the Chief Minister's

teachings, mathematical tables and geography lessons. The School has four green blocks, wherein a number of trees have been planted. Each tree is guarded by a student. It is not only flowering plants that adorn the School courtyard, but also vegetables. The vegetable garden in the School is maintained by the students. However, there is an expert who imparts knowledge about gardening to the children. Hygiene is also given due importance. With clean toilets and sanitation facilities, coupled with clean surroundings, the School provides a healthy environment to the children.

Making It Happen

Most of the students appreciate the practical exposure given to them in the School. Not just the practical training in science and computer labs, the

families, and the issues they face. It helps us give them the right guidance and individual attention. Our Principal has played a commendable role in guiding teachers about the different approach that needs to be adopted in the case of underprivileged students.” The School Principal thanks companies such as Maruti, Ranbaxy, and the Munjal group for providing ‘immense’ support to the School. She says, “Without the support of a few corporate houses and the Administration, it wouldn’t have been possible to carry out such a successful model. They helped us in setting up water tanks, toilets and fans in the School. Their employees visit our School and spend time with the children. It gives the children a sense of acceptance, and motivates them.”u

15-21 February 2013

C ivic/S ocial


An In-form Activist PRAKHAR PANDEY

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }


hen Aseem Takyar filed his first RTI in 2007, to know why the ESI/PF cards of his factory’s workers were not being delivered on time, he did not know that this action would change his life forever. Within a couple of days of filing the RTI, the department—which had been dilly-dallying for months—delivered the documents, and also ensured that he remained in good humour. Takyar has now filed almost 2,000 RTI applications, has asked questions from all levels of the government, taken up cudgels on behalf of Gurgaonites as well as people in other parts of the country, and has become a full-time Information Activist. His goal is to bring more transparency and accountability in the system, and he has complete faith in the power of the RTI Act. “Once I started to get more information I realised that RTI could be used to shake up the system.” His latest RTI application has forced the Haryana Police to file a Special Leave Petition (SLP) with the State High Court. Takyar had asked the Haryana Police how much money and resources were being spent on providing security, vehicles and other support staff to MLAs and MPs. “The Haryana Police denied an answer, saying that it could compromise the security of important state functionaries. However, the State Information Commissioner, and even the Court, did not agree to the contention put forth by the Police. Hopefully we will know soon what cost the people have to bear to protect their representatives,” he asserts. Last year it was an application filed by him with the Gurgaon Fire Department that led to the purchase of ladders that could reach the tops of multistoried buildings. The RTI Act has led to a free flow of information, which was earlier kept wrapped up as a secret, and did not allow healthy debate on issues that are relevant to people, Takyar asserts. He further says that democratising of information and knowledge is crucial, as it leads to balanced development, and provides equal opportunities to all. The involvement of a large number of NGOs in the development process has also ensured that RTI applications are now used on a large scale, to detect inefficiencies in the implementation of various schemes launched by the government – such as MNREGA, supply of food grains, and massive building of infrastructure across the country, he adds. In cities like Gurgaon, where the Administration has failed to keep pace with the growth, Takyar has constantly asked questions which have forced them to wake up. For instance he asked HUDA as to how many times the underground and overground tanks for water storage had been cleaned,

“It is surprising that the Prime Minister’s Office is more open and co-operative than the local HUDA or HSIIDC,” he says. and why boards were not fixed at the site to inform the schedule for cleaning. “This is public information, and HUDA has to provide it. As result of the RTI the Department was asked to fix the boards across the State. However, it is important to get such orders implemented both in letter and spirit. The ownership by government departments is important,” says Takyar. “There is no proper mechanism to check whether the directions have been complied with or not. Many time officials try to give misleading information, just to satisfy the authorities,” he says. In another instance, his RTI application forced the authorities to act when he found that two post offices in Gurgaon—one at Udyog Vihar and another in DLF Galleria—were not booking railway tickets because of non-availability of blank ticket rolls. “I was surprised by the non-functioning of the postal department for such a reason. I filed an RTI with the railways, as to why this was happening, and within a couple of days the booking counter started functioning,” informs Takyar. A couple of weeks ago, he asked the MCG to reveal how it had spent almost 75 lakh rupees on capturing stray dogs and pigs, while there was no perceptible change on the ground.“There is rampant corruption and no accountability in the system. But the RTI has given us a tool which enables us to ask prickly questions. Many times it has led to positive action,” he says. Villagers across India have managed to pin down doctors, health workers, teachers, public distribution officials and employment generation programmes, using the RTI applications effectively. “This Act has allowed people to get the requisite information, and take the concerned officials to task for non-performance,” he says. Many times the sys-

tem starts working merely with the filing of the application. However, in cases where the corruption is entrenched and political interference is high, as in the case of real estate in Gurgaon, it is difficult even for an RTI activist of his calibre to scratch beyond the surface. Takyar had tried to get information about the various ‘Change of Land Use’ orders issued by the Haryana government, that favoured some people. This information could not be obtained as there was political pressure, and all channels were tried to dissuade people who had filed such a contentious RTI. Apart from a few cases, he has been able to get information about the various issues related to governance, and public projects of the State and central government. Another positive of the RTI Act is that is has helped in increasing the participation of citizens in the poverty alleviation and socio-economic development programmes. The RTI empowers people to question the feasibility, targeting, implementation and goals of a major government project, and has led to a citizen-centric approach to development, says Takyar. It was an RTI filed by Takyar which forced the DTCP to act on EWS Housing, and the Gurgaon DC was asked by the Department to get information about the implementation of the scheme by various private builders. This led to an official acknowledgement that the EWS scheme was not working, and was being manipulated by the

To make it easier for the people across Haryana to get information from the State Information Commission, RTI applicants from this week will be able to attend the hearings from their district head quarters, through videoconferencing. Takyar says that since people from distant parts of the State had to visit Chandigarh multiple times, he had requested the State Information Commission to install a video-conferencing facility. “Since all the DC offices in Haryana already have this facility, the applicants can now go to the DC Office and attend the hearings,” he says.

builders for their own benefit, he asserts. Takyar filed an RTI with DHBVN when he found that the rate of burning of electricity meters was as high as 20 per cent every year, and consumers had to bear the brunt. “I have asked the department why it is not stopping companies that supply poor quality meters. This loss to the public could not have been revealed without the RTI application. The government needs to look into this, and the public must put pressure to end this menace,” he asserts. Another strength of this Act is that Section 4 calls upon the central and state public authorities to suo motu provide to the public the information as prescribed therein, so that the public has to take a minimum recourse to the use of this legislation for obtaining information. Takyar says that the provision for seeking information as provided in Section 6 of the Act is very simple. A citizen has to merely make a request to the concerned Public Information Officer (PIO), specifying the information sought by him. The fee payable is reasonable, and information is to be provided free of cost to citizens living below the poverty line. An individual can file an RTI concerning central government departments even in a post office; the disinterest shown by postal authorities forced him to file an RTI, asking why some officials were not designated as PIOs. This led to a change, and now post offices have designated officials to handle complaints, he says. The RTI Act gives the citizen the right to inspect work, documents and records; take notes, extracts or certified copies of the documents or records; take certified sample of material; and obtain information in electronic form, if available. After the implementation of the Act, Takyar says that transparency has improved, as officials are now wary of issuing incriminating orders, include file notings, as these are now needed to be put in the public domain. Efforts are

also being made to implement the programmes seriously, as state functionaries know that questions can be asked about the same, he adds. When asked about the functioning of RTI Act in Haryana, he observes that there is lack of information and training about the Act in the State. Across the board, the officials are not interested in sharing information, and an RTI application revealed that only 12 training programs were conducted by HIPA last year in Gurgaon. “The officials do not know about the Act, they are not trained to handle applications, and this leads to appeals and more delays,” he complains. Lately, the Haryana State Information Commission has become more active, after Naresh Gulati took over as the State CIC. Takyar says that the holding of a Camp Office in Gurgaon has given a new lease of life to the Commission, as there are a large number of activists from Gurgaon who are using this tool to help ensure improved governance. The State must find ways to implement the Act in letter and spirit. “The private sector companies, which have a major impact on society and the economy of the country, and are working closely with the government, should also be brought under the gamut of the RTI Act. The private companies are scaling up like never before, and they need to be made accountable,” he asserts. Takyar also wants that PIOs should be made responsible for their acts, and should be penalised for withholding information. When asked about threats to, and the intimidation of, RTI activists, which has been on the rise in the past few years, he says that it is the duty of the system to protect whistleblowers and activists. “If people are revealing information that saves the tax payers’ money and reduces corruption, then they must be protected,” he asserts. His own goal is to keep on filing RTIs in the larger public interest, so that development becomes citizen-centric, and the weaker sections also get their due. u

08 { Maninder Dabas / FG }


urgaonites love to drink; and to quench their thirst, and to fatten its purse, the Administration has ensured liquor vends at every nook and corner. The boast is: ‘One can find a liquor shop within a radius of 500 metres, wherever one may be in Gurgaon City!’ Be it malls, markets, roads or even the green belts, liquor vends are all over the City; and as soon as the sun bids adieu, these so-called ‘thekkas’ light up like temples – with their worshippers drinking in the open and causing nuisance. This ‘liberty’ might be a lot of fun for a couple of hundred people, but causes a lot of problems for thousands of Gurgaonites (especially women). Police records testify that more than half the crimes are committed under the influence of alcohol. Concerned residents have now decided to launch a campaign to remove the liquor vends operating from green belts, open public spaces, and those close to schools and residential areas – terming them a potential source of public nuisance and eve-teasing; and have demanded their immediate removal. Spearheaded by Ward 30 Councillor Nisha Singh, and “iamgurgaon” co-founder Latika Thukral, the campaign has evoked a good response. “We have been petitioning the Haryana Government for the removal of liquor vends running on green belts and open public spaces, in gross violation of the law. As the government is in the process of formulating the Excise Policy for 2013-14, we have sent forms on a link seeking detailed objections of the locals to the liquor vends running in their neighbourhood. There were more than 330 responses in a matter of a few days, with the common refrain being that these vends were being run from green belts and open public spaces, were a cause of traffic snarls, and posed a security threat,” said Nisha Singh. Nisha and Latika seem to have drawn inspiration from a case filled by a petitioner in Chandigarh against the illgeal operation of liquor vends in green belts and open spaces. The Court had stated that such spaces are a part of the road, and should be used for the future expansion of the road – and hence can’t be used for any commercial purpose. “They are too many. There is a liquor vend in Gurgaon every 500700 metres, which is again a violation of the Excise law – where the minimum distance between two vends should be more than one kilometre. A vend should also be at least 100 metres away from a school, bus stand, hospital or a religious place – but in Gurgaon all the rules have been bent. More than 50 per cent of vends operate from public land, on the roadsides. All these vends should ideally be relocated to commercial areas, as is the case in Delhi,” added Singh. For long we have been campaigning, and had also

15-21 February 2013

C ivic/S ocial

Time For Citizen Action

approached the local court in this regard. The Punjab and Haryana High Court in May last gave a judgement on a Public Interest Litigation, saying that the green belts cannot be utilised for any purpose other than expansion of road, and grant of lease on such land to open liquor vends cannot be considered legal. Residents have also met the Excise Commissioner Aruna Singh in this regard. “We had met her on Tuesday, and handed over our concerns and suggestions. She has said that she will take up the matter with the higher-ups of the department, and the Excise Commissioner Haryana might visit Gurgaon soon,” informed Singh. Aruna Singh, however, told Friday Gurgaon, “As of now nothing can be done, and since this year’s contract is in its last phase, we are busy formulating the new policy for 2013-14. It will certainly take some time before the State cabinet, which decides the Excise policy, takes any decision of shifting liquor vends from green belts and other spaces,” informed the Excise Commissioner.


Instead of barging into the office of the Excise Commissioner and making a fuss, the residents decided to go there with some suggestions. “We have continuously been hearing of the huge revenue that the Government earns by auctioning liquor vend licences in Gurgaon, and how this revenue is the motivation for issuing a large number of licences. Here are some suggestions to balance the needs of the government and those of the residents of Gurgaon,” added Singh. 1.  Home delivery of Liquor – Just like the model of home delivery of food, a customer can place their order for liquor over the phone. Liquor stock can be placed in a central warehouse, and the order can be despatched to the address of the customer. Many of the traffic issues that arise from customers buying liquor from a road side vend will be taken care of.
 If much of the sales shifts to the above model, then the physical vends can be of much smaller size. 2. Liquor vends should be moved to commercial spaces

Pollution Check

like markets. This will also reduce the instances of people buying liquor and drinking on the spot, which is the biggest cause for concern. In all major cities of India, liquor vends are placed in markets.
 3.  Gurgaon has a large number of vends, and hence they should be clubbed together and should be given a place in some commercial plaza. This would not only decrease the number of vends and their functioning in public places, but would also increase the distance between two vends.

Great resentment in the masses

Due to a rapid increase in the number of eve teasing and molestation cases, along with cases of snatchings, loot and brawl at different places in Gurgaon, the masses have begun to resent these liquor vends. “There are many people who take liquor from here and drink on the sides of the roads, or at the stalls of these small hawkers. Sometimes truck drivers too park their trucks at night on the side of the road and drink here,

which results in long traffic jams. Constant sale of liquor, and a crowd of people, has made this place unbearable and impassable for women,” said Sandeep, resident of Sector 21. Rampant traffic jams and time to time brawls at the liquor vend have made the lives of the patients and the visitors very difficult. This vend should be removed from here with immediate effect,” said another resident, who lives near Columbia Asia Hospital in Palam Vihar. In Sector-57 people are worried because the vend nearby causes a great deal of problem for them, and that too regularly. “These liquor shops are within a 100 metre distance from our residential complex (BPTP). It has been observed that many people keep drinking there, which not only disturbs the peaceful ambience  of the area, but also projects a great fear of security. Many a times these people have passed lewd comments at the ladies passing by. Stern action should be taken by the Administration,” said Rahul Khosla, a resident. u

Renew SUBSCRIPTION Friday Gurgaon has completed a year. Time to Renew your Friday Gurgaon Subscription. 52 issues (1 Year), for ` 200 (Two Hundred) Only – a Saving of ` 164 on cover price.

To Renew { Maninder Dabas / FG } It has been more than a month since the ambient air quality checking equipment was installed at Vikas Sadan, but till now no report of Gurgaon pollution levels, or ambient air quality, has been published on the Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) website. Senior pollution scientist Rajesh Garhia believes that, “Since Gurgaon doesn't have polluting industries, the level of that pollution here is fairly low. The only worry is the large number of vehicles, which are increasing at a rapid pace each year. If anyone wants to know the ambient air quality of the City, he or she can come to Vikas Sadan and have a look at the screen installed at the top.” Garhia adds, “Till now we haven't got the static IP address from the head office of HSPCB in Panchkula, and that is the reason why we haven't been able to make the date public through the internet.”


Call 9910518785 SMS FGREN to 08447355801 Send an email to Pay Online at Circulated only in Gurgaon. Special offer for rest of NCR: ` 300 for 6 months (delivery through courier)

15-21 February 2013

C ivic/S ocial


Care For Critical Children { Abhishek Behl / FG }


he loss of a child shatters a family, and forces them to question God. Many are unable to recover. For Prema and Jyoti Sagar, the loss reinforced their desire to do something for the critically ill. To manage her trauma, Prema started to work with the Missionaries of Charity. In 2001 the Sagars formed the Genesis Foundation as a private Trust, to provide critical medical care for abandoned and lesser-privileged children. They have managed to help a fair number of children. Haripal was suffering from multiple deformities, and had little hope of survival, living in acute poverty. With the help of the Genesis Foundation this child was taken to the United States for treatment, and was also adopted by a caring US family. Haripal survived the ordeal, and now lives a normal life.   In the last 12 years the Genesis Foundation has helped 305 children that had critical illnesses. The Foundation has ensured that they have an opportunity to lead a normal life, and to manage themselves in future. Prema says that the Foundation provides assistance for the treatment of critical illnesses such as cancer, cardiac disorder, organ failure, thalassemia and extreme deformities. We work with several homes and institutions in many cities all over India, she adds. However, due to the nature of these illnesses, the cost of treatment is very high. To generate funds, the

Foundation has found creative ways – such as organising luncheon events and musical fundraising events, wherein top CEOs of India come to cook, top singers and bands are invited to perform; and even art shows are held, to ignite the passion of giving. Prema says that a majority of men love to cook and showcase their skills, and that is the reason for their charity event ‘CEOs Cook for their Supper’ becoming very successful. “We organise the events in such a way that people participate in them, while also supporting the children. It gives the CEOs and others the satisfaction that they are playing their part for the weaker sections of society,” she says. Another event that has been quite a success is where some top corporates share their musical talent. “CEOs Singing for their Supper, and a cause, has become such a success that now corporates from across the country want to participate in it,” she says. Apart from ensuring medical help, the

Foundation also organises events and activities for the less-privileged children. Last year, children from NGOs supported by Genesis Foundation were invited for a picnic. A total of 120 children, between the ages of 4 to 16, participated in this event. Sagar says that the objective of the Foundation is to connect the people who want to give time, resources, and knowledge to those who are in need. The Genesis Foundations’ Hope Programme identifies homes, hospitals and institutions in and around Delhi to determine and treat children who need critical care. “We need volunteers to build partnerships with hospitals and doctors worldwide, testing laboratories, pharmaceutical companies and medical suppliers,” she adds. There is also need for people who can source and connect with corporates as potential partners of the Programme. Every year the Foundation wants to increase the number of children it supports by at least 20 per cent. Asked about the support the Foundation has received from the Millennium City, Sagar says that Gurgaon has a big heart, and people support humanitarian efforts wholeheartedly. “The people of Gurgaon have a heart. They support in need. Many come forward to participate, and that contributes to building a community that cares,” she asserts. Her pursuit of providing quality healthcare to critically ill children has been supported by friends, family and a part of a close community. Now she wants to up the scale, and help save hundreds and thousands of critically ill children. u

The forthcoming fund raiser, Kasauli Rhythm and Blues Festival in March 2013, will help Genesis Foundation (GF) raise the funds needed to save the lives of ten children who are in need of surgery and treatment.

Atul, 14 years old, underwent kidney transplant in March 2011 at AIIMS. The surgery was successful, and Atul is currently now on triple drug immunosuppression treatment. He needs to take medicines life-long to avoid infections; the dosage of medicines may change from time to time. The cost is Rs.15,000 per month.

Jyoti, 3 years old, has Retinoblastoma of both eyes. She is undergoing treatment at Dr. Shroff’s Charity Eye Hospital. Jyoti has to undergo 8 cycles of Chemotherapy, followed by both eyes’ Enucelation – with implant if required. Jyoti’s father works in a factory earning Rs.3000 per month. The total cost of treatment to be undertaken is Rs.102,739.

{ Anita Jaswal }


omeone once asked me, ‘was it a right decision to quit your job and follow your passion?’ The answer was simple – ‘look into the eye of a tiger once and you will know’. I looked into a tiger’s eye a few years back, and today I am a full-time wildlife and natural history photographer,” says Anurag Sharma. He quit an illustrious banking career spanning over a decade. A wild life enthusiast and a tiger fanatic, Anurag does tiger-monitoring for Ranthambhore National Park. Over the years he has formulated a comprehensive and robust database of Ranthambhore tigers, and has used digital technology effectively for this cause. It is used to track their movement on a daily basis, and also helps in identifying individual tigers through stripe patterns – which are unique for every tiger. His blog—’Tigerwalah’— is a platform for creating awareness and raising issues that affect the survival of tigers at Ranthambhore and other wildlife parks in India.

Why ‘Tigerwalah’?

“I decided to adopt this name as I, like other wildlife enthusiasts, need to take ownership of tigers in India, to ensure that our children are also able to see this royal animal in its natural habitat—and not in captivity. It is our ‘National

The Animal’ – which today is struggling to survive in its own home land! Also, a part of my hard earned money goes towards tiger Conservation; I need to ensure that the same is used appropriately. The tiger holds fascination throughout the world, with a mysterious aura surrounding it. However, the tiger is in danger of extinction. The survival of human beings, to a large extent, is dependent on the survival of tigers in the forest. Tigers help protect Indian forests, by keeping a control on the ungulate (hoofed animal) population. Each tiger has a defined territory, which he/she defends by regular patrolling. Through our database we intend to study the movement pattern in their territories. The database records information like – family details,

Shoot siblings, changes in territory, mating records, territorial fights, sighting of cubs, unusual natural history moments. It took Anurag almost two years to compile this database, and today vital information on tigers is just a click away. Anurag now plans to add a few more Parks to his list. He has also joined hands with Nature Wanderers, a leading wildlife travel company,

which teaches wildlife photography. “Any photo hunter should know the habits of the game they are pursuing – what time of day they feed, where they do what, corridors through which they move, or paths into which they vanish. You aren’t standing on a roadside photographing semi-tame critters. You’re trying to get up close and personal with wild animals – and that requires knowledge. There are no shortcuts here. It takes a bit of time to learn about wildlife and their habits. ‘When in the wilderness, talk softly, walk slowly and learn to observe’, cautions Anurag. But what about his family? Anurag’s wife, Shephali, encouraged him to quit his job to follow his passion. Three years ago, the concept of Tigerwalah was visualised. The

aim was to provide authentic, unbiased and comprehensive information about Ranthambhore National Park. Within 24 hours the blog and Facebook page were ready, and the journey began. The response was fantastic; people liked the concept, and friends rallied around. Today Tigerwalah is a 2000+ members’ community. Here are some excerpts from his blog... 'Ranthambhore sighting update for Jan: Past month was a remarkable one, as it witnessed some natural history moments. Queen mother #Machli appeared back in lake area after a gap of 4 years, & even her daughter T19, visited the area after a long time. While T17 continues to be elusive, their sudden appearance at lakes was something to cheer about. While other tigers continue to be elusive Sultan continues to entertain people. Sariska: One family separated, one family to be united shortly. Sariska seems to have mastered the art of bringing families together and this time is no different. Two female cubs translocated to Sariska have been separated from their father T25 only to be united with their half brother. Sounds complicated??? But it’s all about family after all, isn’t it?' Though the extra-ordinary tiger dynasty continues to remain under threat,  the good news is that Ranthambhore tigers are returning. u


15-21 February 2013

K id C orner


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?

Literary Flourish

Poem of the Weeks Monday is our first day of school , I go to class and take my pass. The next day is Tuesday , it is skating we wear our skates and skate on the floor for more.

Artistic Strokes

On Wednesday we have P.E , we go for basketball and then leaves start to fall. Today is Thursday ,we have arts and for lunch We will eat chocolate tarts. Guess what, it is Friday and I love to play today . Saturday starts the weekend and I am going to shop and spend . Woohoo, Sunday is here it is the last day of the week and the week was such a treat!

Junko Ota, Grade V, Pathways World School

Nancey Jain, Swiss Cottage School

Mira Bhutani Class IInd, Suncity World School

15-21 February 2013

Kid Corner


Principal Award for Chiranjiv


t was a joyous moment for Chiranjiv Bharati School, Palam Vihar, as it won the India International Award—under the aegis of Qualification and Assessment International (QAI), a UK based international awarding organisation, and Planet Edu—for implementing an international standard in education. The School Principal, Sangeeta Saxena, was honoured at a ceremony by Prof. Peter Jones, Director HOSPA, UK, for her outstanding contribution to education, and for pioneering the School from strength to strength. As a special recognition of her dynamic leadership, she was presented an Award and a Tablet.

Taking Sciences Galli Galli


alli Galli Sim Sim (GGSS), the Indian version of world-renowned children’s educational series Sesame Street, in association with The Restoring Force (TRF), organised a programme on Science with the children of the Mobile School, Jail Road, Badshahpur. The children participated in a hands-on, interactive session in the Mobile Science Van. A special screening of GGSS episodes on exploring science was shown, which was followed by a group discussion. The children enjoyed the recording of songs and poems for the Gurgaon Ki Awaaz Samudayik Radio Station programme.  This unique initiative of Galli Galli Sim Sim Radiophone project is reaching over 1.4 million people across India, in partnership with 10 community radio stations in Mewat, Ghaghas & Gurgaon (Haryana), and Orcha & Shivpuri (M.P).

Sporty Ryans


yan International School, Sohna Road, celebrated their Annual Sports Day in the School premises. The day also marked the celebration of Republic Day. The tricolour was hoisted by the Chief Guest, K.C Jat. Also present on the occasion were Seema Pahuja (Councillor, MCG) Manish Khatana (President, Indian Youth Congress), Kulvinder Singh (DSO) and (retired) Captain Panesar. The Programme began with a prayer, followed by a March Past by the four houses. Activities included: various races for the tiny tots – Lemon & Spoon, Banana, and Sack Race; students of Classes III, IV & V performed a colourful drill using dumbbells; the senior students competed in Relay Races, 100mts, 50mts, and hurdles. Mahatma Gandhi House won the House Trophy.

High Learning


Student Led Conference (SLC) was held at Scottish High International School, for Classes Pre-nursery to V. The SLC is a communication programme, wherein the students of the Primary Years Programme (PYP) take their parents through their journey of learning – by presenting their understanding of the knowledge gained in the course of the year. The children showcased their skills by means of Graphic organisers, Fish Bone, SWOT, CSI, Venn diagrams, connect maps etc.

Great & Grand


he students of Pathways School celebrated Grandparents Day by acknowledging that grandparents are our heritage, give us values, pass down traditions, and translate a lifetime of experience into skills of life. The kids and grandparents participated together. The students were thrilled with the presence of 6 great-grandparents, who had come to cheer their greatgrand children. The students presented a cultural show, which was followed by an interactive engagement with the grandparents.

MRIS Crusader


maad Muzaffer of Manav Rachna International School, Sector 46, made the School proud with his outstanding performance at The International Lakes and Rivers Summit 2013, National Championship held at Taj Palace, Mumbai. The Event focused on international water and leadership challenges, international water wars, international water and natural resources management, and bridging international grudges on water. Out of the 350+ participants, Emaad was one of the 48 to qualify for the Nationals, and finished as TOP 1 out of the 12 qualifiers for the International Summit.


15-21 February 2013

Believe, And You Shall See


{ Alka Gurha }


hat do we see all around? Bad is happening to good people; good is being snatched by bad people. The newspaper brings us all that is wrong with our world corruption, rape, murder, and a stagnant economy. With so much injustice around, it is tough to repose faith in faith. However, notwithstanding the skewed examples in real life, the most amazing thing is that even when faith dwindles, it springs back. Despite all the negativity, faith in compassion and humanity remains inherent. Our intrinsic nature is to believe in justice. Stories where faith prevails and justice triumphs find universal acceptance. The travails of an underdog overcoming obstacles instill a sense of optimism. They provide us strength to overcome the odds in our lives. I am sure it happens to you. There are moments when most of us grapple with our faith and convictions. It happened when a brutalised girl was unable to survive, even though a nation of one billion prayed for her. Isn’t there immense power in collective heartfelt prayers? What happened? Even though prayer is the voice of faith,

C ivic/S ocial

OF THE WEEK Dear Readers,

Each week we will feature a question/topic to get your views/suggestions. Selected views will be published in the subsequent issue(s) of Friday Gurg. not all prayers are answered. Perhaps when a prayer goes unanswered, it is the answer. I am not sure. I am seeking and searching. As a teenager, I recall studying consistently to clear the medical entrance exams. I failed. Thank heavens for that, though! Today I realise that medicine was perhaps not the profession for me. The second time my faith dwindled was when my father was battling with a dreaded disease. Fervent prayers went unanswered; my father succumbed after a brave fight. The sense of right and wrong, justice and injustice went for a toss. Perhaps faith is all about coping with the darkness, the emptiness and the pain. Surprisingly, faith returned soon. I am not sure how and why faith springs back.

Flying High He was considered eccentric But was simply matchless He was unafraid And desires he did possess In the search for higher purpose And not just ‘live to eat’ He discovered the power of flight His endeavour he had to meet   He overlooked his own flaws And refuted the illusioning laws Jonathan Livingston Seagull he was   He wished to follow his dreams And make the most of his life But they labelled him an outcast And created bitter strife   The society came in his way They concluded- ‘Deviation from Convention’

But it does. Perhaps faith is not the belief that you will get what you want; it is the ‘dharma’ that you will get what is right. Nothing can happen by chance – or can it? We are believers. We believe in the universe, in humanity and in ourselves. We eat, believing that food is essential for survival. We study, because we believe that knowledge is essential for growth. Some sort of faith and belief is essential for survival. The strange thing about faith is that it often speaks through inner voices, instincts and hunches. Unflinching faith stems from no rationale. “Some things have to be believed to be seen,” said Ralph Hodgson. Such is faith. What do you think? u

But he distanced himself from them And didn’t bother for the condemnation He overlooked his own flaws And refuted all illusioning laws Jonathan Livingston Seagull he was   He conquered the impossible He set himself free He showed and proved himself to the rest By contradicting the social decree  He flew like no other seagull ever had And the failures he did abide He soared and cherished his liberation With his gleaming wings open wide   He overlooked his own flaws And refuted all illusioning laws Jonathan Livingston Seagull he was   He was just a small bird But with hopes not very small The real Jonathan Livingston Seagull Is the one who lives within us all   Unleash this hidden seagull Learn and attain perfection Dare to fail but control fear Aspire as hopes have no restrictions   Free the mind of all ties As possibilities are endless The only persons who can curb us From fulfilling our desire is ourselves Oorvi Mehta

This week's Topic is:

This week's Topic is: 'Can Gurgaonites help in the security of women in the City? How?' Write in to us at

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Haryanvi Made Easy

Get a taste of the local lingo 1. I want to learn wrestling.

Main kushti seekhna chahun su. 2. Where is the nearest akhaara? Dhorre sik khaara kith sik se? 3. How much will they charge? Kitnek rupye le se? 4. Am I too thin to learn the sport? Main ghanayi patla sun ke isne seekhun? 5. I will have to work on my health. Manne apni deyi banani padegi. 7. I hope I don't get hurt. Bhagwan kare mujhe chhot na lagye. 8. I am scared of the big men there. Manne uth badde aadmiyan te dar lagge se. 9. I think I won't learn this sport after all. Manne lage se main yo khel na seekhu.

15-21 February 2013

C ivic/S ocial


Spirituality In Social Work { Dr. Rajesh Bhola }


alls have come to define Gurgaon. Our City boasts of huge malls and a number of them still continue to come up. The City has moved at a clip so rapid that it has long outstripped other towns in India. But amidst the growth of malls is a story related to another landmark for which Gurgaon outshines other towns of India – the nicely-laid-out and well-maintained cremation ground in the old part of the City. A group of my friends has been working silently and tirelessly for its upkeep and maintenance. It is the result of their painstaking efforts for the last many years that Gurgaon boasts of a neat and organised cremation ground; their third generation is into this job now. This group often shares with me that “this is the last place a body visits during the journey on this planet. Here people bid final adieu and lay their loved ones to rest – many old, and some young”. There is another such story. A person, in the early hours of the morning, spends one hour everyday in feeding all the stray dogs he comes across. These dogs have developed a bond with him. Hundreds of them wait everyday to get their share of bread and biscuits from this Good Samaritan. If any dog dies, he arranges for its burial at an identified place. As a small child I would treat this ‘uncle’ as a monomaniac, obsessed with his passion for canines. But as I grew up I realised that these are great stories, not trivial ones. It is not just the story of an individual. Social work develops in the blood for some. Nature provides everybody an opportunity to become a part of bigger stories, of helping other beings, but many neglect this and remain trapped in their little stories. Modern society tends to operate in ways that isolates us in our littleness. We are encouraged to become economic units, and start believing that individual indulgence is all that mat-

{ Archana Kapoor Nagpal }

ters. Therefore, despite our inborn natural nature, only a few persons learn to live for others, without considering that they are doing anything special or out of the ordinary. Social work enables us to make connections with other people, and be aware of the oneness of all creation, and the brotherhood and sisterhood of people. We are all spiritual beings; we all have a divine spark and an inner light. Cultivating our spirituality, or reaching for spiritual strength in other people, helping them in coping, is helping us and them get in touch with that inner light and sense of wholeness. This includes sitting in silence, as well as praying, talking, and doing social work in unison. Each individual should focus on becoming a redeemer of other beings, and thus a virtuous and socially responsible citizen. We need to contribute to the growth of personal, familial and social aspects of human life. It should include mass awareness and education on cultural values, through small and large scale collective projects of social transformation, with the people’s voluntary participation. They should work like the strands in a web, all woven together in a net of beauty. Hinduism talks of the interconnectedness of all, by using the image of Indra’s net. In this cosmic net, every strand is interconnected, with resplendent jewels at each connection point. Every being is a jewel in this wondrous net. Compassionate concern for all beings naturally arises from such a soulful awareness of the beautiful, sacred interconnectedness – of one’s own self and all others being inseparable. The benefit of one is the benefit of all; the harm to one is the harm to all. We are part of one another – the crime of one is the crime of all; the virtue of one is the virtue of all. All beings are brothers and sisters, and should reach out lovingly to help those in need. Individual fulfillment has the potential to make us realise our wholeness, not only as individuals, but in communion with other people and the entire cosmos. Therefore, there is growing

Let Go Of Ego

“Ego has a voracious appetite, the more you feed it, the hungrier it gets.” Nathaniel Bronner Jr. t had been two years since we had met. The last time was at the Delhi Airport, in the process of joining competitive firms. We had exchanged our personal email ids ( I realised later that my email id had a typo error). We had been in a professional relationship for six years, that had ended with a small misunderstanding. We never realised that we might not get a chance to clear it. We both had tough egos. These two years work had kept me busy. There had been instances when I had wanted to write to him for his expert advice, but my ego always stopped me. One day, while flying to Bangalore for a conference, I felt unnerved. I knew he would be there as a part of the event,


representing his firm. I thought I would ignore him and behave professionally. I entered the Conference hall. I quite expected that he would take over the participants’ attention with his confidence, and I would be sitting there, appreciating his presentation. Finally, he approached the podium. He proceeded, “I am proud to be here with

interest in transpersonal theories of social welfare, that identify the possibility that human fulfillment means developing a clear sense of self identity and integrity. For some people, transpersonal experiences are described in religious terms – such as enlightenment, cosmic-consciousness, harmony with the universe, or communion with God. All cultures have systematic ways of compassion, justice, and helping. Traditionally, these were based on spiritual ways of living. Spirituality is just the way of life; it is the way people find meaning, moral guidance, and a proper relationship between themselves – all fellow beings, and the great Mystery that infuses all. One might say that spirituality is soul-full living. Soul-full awareness and living naturally yield a sense of compassion, the underlying motive for social service. Jesus said – feed the hungry and relieve the poor. Someone asked Mother Teresa how she could tolerate working with lepers, the destitute and the dying in seemingly insufferable conditions, without complaint. She said that this was no problem as she saw Christ in each one’s eyes. Mahayana applies this ideal to all beings through the image of the Wisdom Being of Compassion, known in Chinese as Kwan Yin. Sometimes Kwan Yin is depicted as having a thousand eyes – in order to see the suffering of all beings, or a thousand hands—in order to reach out to help all beings, or eleven heads—depicting the myriad responses of compassion. Natural compassion is our human birthright. It is our natural response, our original nature, arising from our sense of fundamental connectedness and commiseration with all else. That is also the heart and soul of social work. Transpersonal awareness inspires a sense of mutual responsibility. Individual well being is then not separable from collective well being. Individual fulfillment must ultimately be linked with social justice on a global scale. u Dr. Rajesh Bhola is President of Spastic Society of Gurgaon and is working for the cause of children with autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation and multiple disabilities for more than 20 years.

my 8 years of experience. I would like to share my best practices with all of you. This is a journey I have completed with one of my best colleagues and my best friend (‘my name’), who supported me day and night through the toughest projects and killing deadlines.” For a moment I felt numb and completely lost. All I could recollect were my thoughts of him before entering the room, and his large-heartedness in acknowledging my presence. Finally, the Conference ended, and we all left for refreshments. I was struggling hard to face him. I saw him coming towards me with a gift. I mumbled, “I do not understand the reason for this gift.” He answered humbly, ‘This is a small token of friendship, to say how much I missed my friend, when I wanted her the most. A small token to say that even when you were not with me, your teachings helped me to work on difficult projects, and be where I am today.” I asked inquisitively, “But why did you not write to me, if I was so important and

Awaiting Shakti Yug The Shakti Yug has arrived On the threshold No more will the girl child Be buried alive She will be celebrated. Her Mother will look at her With Pride. A Durga will ride lions A Saraswati will teach gyan A Parvati will transcend into dhyan A Lakshmi will generate wealth & Annapurna, good health. A Shakti will be reborn Adorn fearlessness The Sat Yuga, the Golden Age Will return. The Kaal Chakra will churn Out a ‘Samaj without Dhong’ A civilization without false values This is a land of the Shiva Shakti, A Cosmic Yukti. Shobha Lidder Writer Journalist, Teacher Trainer, Social Activist, Reiki Master, Pranic Healer

If you are not getting FG copies regularly

Call - 9910518785 helpful?” He replied, “You left me with an email id that does not work – maybe you missed a letter. I had no number to call you either; but when I read your name in the list, I made all these arrangements. We never know when we may meet again in life, so this gift is for you my friend.” We departed to our respective destinations, but this time with a smile. On my way home I realised that, despite having an incorrect id, he had still tried to contact me. I had his correct contact information, but I had never written to him. I had wanted him to initiate the communication. He may have thanked me for my help, but I know I was not that great. I had reached my destination, but in guilt. It was a big learning – we should not take too long to shed our ego. We should not delay to apologise, as it loses its significance. An apology at the right time can save relationships. “I”, “me” and “self” will never let relationships thrive in one’s life. u


15-21 February 2013

Prakhar pandey

The Greater Story

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }


urgaon and Greater NOIDA live and breathe in the same Region (NCR), but their origin and subsequent development has forced the cities to assume different characters. While Gurgaon represents the might of private builders, and has real estate driven growth, Greater NOIDA is the product of a bureaucratic system that is often dysfunctional and inert in its functioning, but has managed to deliver a city with a futuristic outlook. The success of the Greater NOIDA experiment perhaps lies in the creation of an independent Authority manned by able administrators, who were given a comparatively free hand in planning and decision making by the political establishment. Gurgaon was primarily handed over to private builders – turning it into a maze of glitzy malls, shining offices, and gated residential colonies. This has unfortunately led to a failure of urban planning, and the pangs of growth and greed are now being felt across the City – that is crawling due to inadequate and poor infrastructure. Greater NOIDA stands out in stark comparison, as it has a comprehensive Master Plan for an urban conglomeration. City watchers say that when Gurgaon was witnessing a construction frenzy led by builders, Greater NOIDA was developing civic infrastructure – that includes a solid road network, drainage, sewage, water supply and underground power infrastructure. This has taken it miles ahead as far as urban facilities are concerned. Yogender Sinha, a senior official of the Greater NOIDA Authority, says that the creation of an independent authority to manage the controlled area has been a master stroke for the urban development process. “The idea was to promote a planned development, integrated with industrial development, for achieving the NCR Plan objective of dispersal of population and economic activities outside Delhi. It also aimed at low density development, coupled with regional level institutional and recreational activities

to serve the entire Region, and to create ample work opportunities,” says Sinha. The Greater NOIDA Authority acquired around 90,000 hectares of land from farmers, and developed the key infrastructure; and only after that was it given to private developers for building residential colonies. In Gurgaon, the reverse has happened, as the Department of Town and Country Planning issued licences wherever these were applied for, and the developers kept on building apartments irrespective of whether the buyers would be able to commute, live and breathe in that space. It is perhaps for this reason that increasingly the residents in Gurgaon are out on the streets fighting both the builders as well as the authorities, over poor external and internal civic infrastructure. Greater NOIDA, in comparison, is a picture of serenity. Sinha says that the road network has been planned in a way that the area does not require signals, and nowhere are the roads choked. The minimum width of the sector roads in Greater NOIDA is 12 meters – more than Gurgaon. Every plot is park facing, and sewers and water pipelines have been provided on both sides of the road, so that these are not dug up every time a house owner needs a connection. Pollution is far less as compared to other areas in the NCR, as there are more green spaces, and power supply is adequate. Greater NOIDA, which has close to 3 lakhs population – and is projected to go to 12 lakhs by 2021 – has planned green space that accounts for almost 16 per cent of the area developed by the Authority. Arvind Mohan, an official, says that the most important facet is a very strong monitoring system, which ensures that works awarded by the Authority—whether these are related to sanitation, sewage, maintaining parks or other works—are executed as per the laid-down standards. “There is a team of 20 officials who keep a check on the ongoing maintenance work,” he asserts, while pointing

out that the multiple agencies in Gurgaon are weak in this respect. His view is supported by a former Haryana bureaucrat M.K Midha, who admits that the Millennium City has to do a lot of learning and catching up. “Gurgaon today has grown so much so fast that it needs an overarching body that can co-ordinate the functioning of various agencies. Gurgaon has a far better location and proximity to Delhi, that gives it an advantage – but we will lose it in the times to come,” he warns. The monitoring process of various agencies in Gurgaon needs a lot of overhauling, he adds. Clearly, the localisation of the Authority is key to not only the resolution of Greater NOIDA’s problems, but in also looking at them holistically. It is clear that while the Greater NOIDA Authority plans for the long term, and resolves the present while sitting in the City, Gurgaon’s overdependence on Chandigarh, and the political mood of the masters, has led to lopsided planning and numerous operational problems. Nisha Singh, Ward Councillor, and an activist, recently sparred with the Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda during a conclave in Gurgaon over the lack of powers of MCG. She told the Chief Minister that MCG has not been able to perform because the files get stuck in Chandigarh, and Councillors do not have any powers to get the work done. In comparison, Sinha says that the Greater NOIDA Authority is fairly autonomous: to plan for development, carry out maintenance works, and ensure that the systems work properly. In fact, throughout Greater NOIDA it is hard to find open sewage, or garbage and trash lying in different parts of the City, or stray animals, or potholed roads like Gurgaon. While Gurgaon is facing major trouble

over the toll plaza, and it is a nightmare to reach home in the evening, the drive from many parts of Delhi to NOIDA and Greater NOIDA is far smoother. Although there are traffic bottlenecks, the decision to connect Greater NOIDA with the Metro network, at a cost of around Rs. 5,000 crores, is likely to act as a major catalyst. Compared to the major infrastructure projects that have come up, and are coming up, in Greater NOIDA and the surrounding areas, a number of projects in Gurgaon are stuck due to various issues. The Northern Peripheral Road, which promises to connect the City with Dwarka, is stuck; the work on the Southern Peripheral Road is going on a snail’s pace; and a recent RTI has revealed that the work on the prestigious KMP Expressway is almost stalled. The DMIC Corridor projects, such as the Logistics Hub at Rewari and the Convention Centre at Manesar, are also moving at a very slow pace. Midha suggests that the major infrastructure projects in and around Gurgaon will have to be accelerated to give it an edge over its neighbour in the NCR. While Gurgaon may not be great on planning, a HUDA official says that the decision to develop the new sectors has been modelled on Greater

NOIDA, and individual companies have been asked to develop the internal sectors’ infrastructure. The master network will be created by the government agencies. But here too the developers have outpaced the authorities; a large number of real estate projects have been launched and completed in Gurgaon II (new sectors), even as the provision for water, power and sanitation is yet to be created. It is here that the importance of an overarching Agency, which builds and monitors, comes to the fore. Rajesh Gautam, a resident of Greater Gurgaon, says that Greater NOIDA (GNIDA) officials ensure that the builders do not go haywire, and stick to a plan. “It is ensured that infrastructure is available before residents move in, else there will be chaos as is happening in Gurgaon,” he asserts. Sinha says that the Greater NOIDA Authority Master Plan is so comprehensive that it even includes the signage network; no one can display hoardings anywhere without approval. “Only the original allotees can display their boards,” he adds. The residents of Greater NOIDA are also happy that water supply is regular and adequate, and they need not install pumps and

Civic/Social 15

water purifiers to use it. Pawan Singh, a senior journalist, says that a proper planning of the requirements has been done, and recently three underground reservoirs were built to cater to the future demand. Although Greater NOIDA does not get 24x7 power supply, the power cables have been laid underground, and are not seen hanging – as is in the case with Gurgaon. Interestingly, the Haryana government had last year shelved the plan for underground cabling in Gurgaon II (new sectors), on cost considerations. So even Millennium II now lags behind Greater NOIDA! When asked about the decision-making process and planning in the Authority, Sinha says that the reduced bureaucracy has led to improved functioning. The decisions are taken much faster, as the CEO is the fourth level in the overall hierarchy, and is very approachable. “The daily problems are resolved at the middle level, and mostly serious and planning level issues are taken to the highest level, as there is clear delegation of powers,” says Mohan. On the issue of corruption and political interference, the officials get a little circumspect, but assert that it is much less compared to other cities and organisations. However, some problems do plague Greater NOIDA. Like Gurgaon, it is also finding it tough to assimilate the villages and the local

population, which is almost one third of the total. Villages have been concretised, and are heavily populated, as in Gurgaon – because the housing for EWS seems to have gone for a toss in Greater NOIDA as well. A large number of industry workers seem to be living in these villages. Sinha claims the villages are being helped by the Authority, for improving infrastructure, schools and health facilities. However, on the ground the change in not much visible. The recent land acquisition issue has also brought the Authority in direct conflict with the villagers, who had refused to sell their land. It was only after the NCR Planning Board approved the Master Plan that the Supreme Court allowed development of new projects. Sinha admits that land acquisition has set the Authority five years behind schedule, as a number of plans and proposals have slowed down. But he says that the area will rebound, adding that such problems exist everywhere. Further, the transport system is quite inadequate, and residents say it is very difficult to travel between NOIDA and Greater NOIDA. Pranav Gupta, a student who attends a college in the Knowledge Park, which has emerged as a major education hub, says that travelling is a major hazard. “We never get buses, and if one gets them there is constant haggling over fare.

The seats are uncomfortable, and buses are jam-packed,” he asserts. While in Gurgaon the traffic police is overwhelmed with too much traffic, the roads are emptier in Greater NOIDA. Newly developed residential sectors, educational institutions and hospitals are not adequately connected. The Knowledge Park at Greater NOIDA has almost 113 educational institutions, which run numerous colleges, providing education to almost 1 lakh students. Devender Singh, a resident, says that the Authority has done well to divide the area into industrial, commercial, and institutional quarters, while giving a good weightage to greenery and other facilities. “In comparison, Gurgaon is far behind, as it does not have a well-defined land usage,” he says. Sarika Bhatt, an urban planner, agrees to this, and complains that in Gurgaon wherever there is land, real estate developers are allowed to build on it, irrespective of its effect on the immediate neighbourbood. Right in the middle of commercial areas you will find apartments, and office cabs can be seen zipping in residential colonies, as a major software park comes up suddenly, she says. The rampant changes in the Gurgaon Master Plan, which has seen three notifications in the past couple of years, is also cited as an example as how planning should not be done. Urban experts aver that with Greater NOIDA coming up with a knowledge hub, it will put a question mark over the proposed education city being developed in Sonipat. In addition, the various proposed hubs along the KMP will also be affected, as the road itself is yet in progress. Bhatt says that Gurgaon was built first and planned later – akin to a process called retrofitting. Experts agree and say that recent projects like Rapid Metro, conversion of a sector road into a Freeway, the building of master sewerage pipe lines, upgradation of power infrastructure, and new

Jit kumar

15-21 February 2013

Greater NOIDA Land use breakup of Outline Development Plan - Year 2021, for projected urban population of 12 lakhs. The Authority envisions an integrated town planning, with care to small details and contingencies, on which basis the land usage is planned. As a model of Smart Town Planning, land has been appropriated for various activities as under: Recreational 25% Residential 25% Industrial 19% Transportation 13% Public & Semi-Public Utilities 12% Commercial 6%

Gurgaon Master Plan 2031 has: Residential 49% Industrial 14% Transport & Communication 13.5% Public & Semi-Public 6% Commercial 5% Public Utilities 2% Defence 2% Open Space 8.5%

water storage structures— all coming up after the City is bursting at its seams— are part of this retrofitting. Statistics show that while property prices in Gurgaon are still rising, new jobs are not coming. Many would be surprised to know that NOIDA has a job growth rate of almost 14 per cent. The industrial unrest in major industries in Gurgaon has also added to the problems, as some of multinationals are preferring to go to other states – and NOIDA is also an option. The onset of expensive realty, even higher rate of rentals, and high cost of living has turned Gurgaon into a very costly city. In a recent interview, Xerox MD Rajat Jain, astonished at the high cost of living here, said that this City is even more expensive than Mumbai. Jobs particularly related to BPOs are also moving out to low cost destinations, because of these reasons, said Bhupinder Singh, CEO of Serco. The departure of some companies has even helped NOIDA and Greater NOIDA, as infrastructure is a lot better there, the cost of office space still less, rentals comparatively low, while the daily needs prices are almost

at par. Gurgaon scores over Greater NOIDA in lifestyle. It has a score of malls, fine dining restaurants, pubs, clubs and golf courses that cater to a population looking for an international lifestyle. The City also has a per capita income which is almost 40 per cent more than NOIDA, and industry watchers say that it will take a lot of effort to attract the entrenched multinationals to NOIDA. Real estate veterans in Gurgaon further say that success of a city depends on three things – location, location, and location. The Millennium City is fortunately located near the international airport. It seems that while Gurgaon is happy to rest on its laurels, Greater NOIDA is planning well ahead. In terms of connectivity, the Taj Expressway, a solid rail network system (including the Metro), and the FaridabadNOIDA-Ghaziabad Expressway will open up the area very well. This is apart from the great City infrastructure. The competition is on, and it remains to be seen whether the empowered bureaucrats who plan to the T, will win the race – or will the might of the private developers prevail. u  


15-21 February 2013

Health & Vitality... Naturally!

Dis-Ease In Our Gut { Jaspal Bajwa }


n every ancient healing system, accurate diagnosis has always been considered the cornerstone. It is an art form, passed down from master to novice over years of diligent apprenticeship and experience. Today, with the availability of a plethora of mechanistic ‘tests’, we are carried away by treating ‘symptoms’ rather than looking for underlying ‘causes’. In Nature, however, the intricate web of Life is a continuous play between cause and effect. At times, one can be confused with the other. It takes a keen and observant eye to locate the ‘root-cause.’ In the ability to decode these interlocked mysteries lies true intelligence. One such example is the emerging field of the ‘Microbiome’, a new term coined to better describe the human body, which plays host to an estimated 100 trillion cells—from microorganisms of various hues—which outnumber the cells inherited from our genetic parents by 10:1. Cells we inherit from our biological parents were mapped to show up just 23000 genes, whereas microorganisms residing in our gut might have as many as 3 million. The symbiotic relationship we enjoy with these microbes is truly amazing: strengthin-diversity at its best. Understanding the microbiome is integral to unlocking the mysteries of good health. It is probably the most intimate connection we have with the external environment (through our diet). Although most of these microbes reside in the oral cavity and the GastroIntestinal (GI) tract … the impact is far-reaching as it encompasses virtually every vital organ in our body. We have always known the that bacteria in the intestine play a crucial role in digestion(to help digest complex carbohydrates). These microbes provide enzymes necessary for the uptake of nutrients, help synthesize vitamins, and boost the ability to harvest energy from food. Having the right balance between the ‘good bacteria’ and the ‘not-so-good-ones’ is critical. New


e all understand this but only give it a passing thought. Stress indeed is a great obstacle to sadhana. The mental disturbance it produces makes concentration impossible. Most of us are always under pressure to accomplish too many things in too short a time - some forced by circumstance, and some self-created. When we are hurrying, a few things will always go wrong; a few things will always be missed out. That disturbs the mind – and stress develops. Stress is very contagious, and we immediately pass it on to other members in the family. The monster starts gobbling up everybody close to us. Things are no different in the work place. There are too many tasks and too many deadlines. Some things naturally do not work out to our satisfaction. We return home with a taut mind and more stress, ready to contaminate

research has confirmed that the gut-microbial population in healthy versus diseased or malnourished humans is indeed different. More importantly, it is now understood that the kind of bacteria we have in our gut is the cause …not the effect of disease. What is exciting researchers is the growing evidence that through pro-active intervention at the microbiome level, we could perhaps find solutions to obesity as well as malnutrition. And this in turn could give us a strong handle to prevent Heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes. There is increasing evidence of the role the gut flora plays in auto-immune disorders (where the body’s immune system attacks healthy cells) –like Asthma, Eczema, Multiple Sclerosis and Type 1 Diabetes. There is some early work in the brain related areas, such as autism, as well. Clearly, some exciting discoveries are round the corner.

Tip of the week

The key to optimal health might lie in a healthier microbial population in our gut. This can be achieved through diet changes, accompanied by lifestyle changes (to reduce the negative impact of chemical pollutants). Perhaps, once again we can learn an important lesson from the Ancients. In every traditional society known for longevity there has been a pre-eminent role for fermented foods (sauerkraut, kim chi, pickles), cultured foods (yoghurt), enzyme-rich raw foods or sprouts. An important group of vegetables in this regard are the Alliums ( onion, garlic, leek), thanks to their unique combination of flavonoids and sulphurcontaining nutrients. Perhaps the day is not far when we can custom-design the right kind of diet/lifestyle interventions, which would modify the composition of the gut microflora. It is a dynamic equation …a dynamic equilibrium continually in sync with our age and activity level. This would give a new depth to the old adage - ‘we are what we eat!’

Nature’s Wonder Food of the week: Leeks or Allium porrum

Native to Central Asia, Leeks are now

Stay Fit, Not Just Thin T

his new year, turn over a new leaf. In fact, several leaves— raw and cooked— and make a resolution to fill your plate with a lot of greens and coloured veggies, says nutritionist Madhu Tangri. Providing dietary consultancy for the last three years, she suggests that we should not make promises we can’t keep. “Instead, adopt the right approach to make relevant changes in your lifestyle to achieve your weight-loss goals. Also, have a nutritious diet to managing stress, and maintain the right mind-body balance,” she says. Madhu, who advocates staying fit—not just thin—says, “People think fitness is a humongous effort – it is not. Making a few small changes in our diet and lifestyle will lead to a big change. Never forget that our bodies need all the nutrients – be it vitamins, proteins, minerals, and even carbohydrates and fats. Depriving the body of any of these will create major physiological imbalances. On the other side, stuffing ourselves with any kind of food can also lead to problems. The secret lies in eating right, not eating less.” Usually, she starts with a health history consultation, to determine what the client wants to achieve. It gives her an idea of any pre-existing medical conditions, such as high BP, excess weight, high cholesterol, etc. Then she designs programmes to suit her client’s needs. Her patient list ranges from a nine-year-old child, to a 50-yearold corporate honcho. “I lost 16 kg in just 11 months, without any heavy physical exercise. Madhu suggested some simple changes in my diet and lifestyle, which helped transformed my life,” smiles Neena, one of Madhu’s patients. Not just weight loss, there are many thalassemic and anaemic patients who have benefitted from Madhu’s dietary consultancy. “My haemoglobin level went up to 10 from 8, in just 6 months, using absolutely natural ways,” says 30-year-old Rashmi. She agrees that changing one’s lifestyle can be stressful, so the key to long-term success is to embrace changes slowly. Trained in principles of nutrition, health, lifestyle management and behavioural psychology, Madhu specialises in weight loss, stress management and nutritional makeover. She also undertakes corporate and group workshops on health-related topics, such as the right diet for children, and stress management. u Madhu works under her banner, Foods For Life. She can be reached at 9871040810, or ."

grown in warm temperate to tropical climates around the world. Leeks were considered sacred plants in Egypt, where swearing by the Leek was the same as swearing by the Gods. Less pungent than onions, leeks have a delicate flavour that lends well to light dishes. Leeks can help the liver eliminate toxins, and the sulphur compounds in them may protect against heart disease. Regular consumption of Allium vegetables is associated with a reduced risk of prostate and colon cancer. Leeks contain an impressive amount of polyphenols, including the flavonoid kaempferol. One cup (89 gm) offers up an excellent source of immune-supportive Vitamin A (29.6% of Daily Value), and anti-inflammatory Vitamin K (a

Life Is Not About... others. This leads to a twenty-fourseven stressful life. In such a situation it is a tall task to ask someone to sit down for a peaceful contemplation on the higher aspects of our life, and the life after. At the root of all these is our time management, and the capability for objective management. Time and objective management is a judicious selection of  the tasks that ought to be performed and objectives that should be pursued, within the available time. Let me give you a case in point. In yogic practice ‘night’ and ‘day’ have their specific job allotments. Unfortunately, in our present way of life, we cannot help it when many of our day-time activities spill over into the night. Fighting against time is a daily occurrence, and the seed of stress


is planted from the beginning of the day. A busy executive was given the simple advice of going to bed by 9 pm for a few days, on an experimental basis. This conditioned him to wake up about 4:30 in the morning. He found time to complete his morning chores at a leisurely pace, did his yogic exercises, and had time for meditation in peace - which is the most potent known antidote against stress. By the time he left for work he was a picture of relaxation – happy and in a good mood. In the work place he worked out a schedule and refused to get stretched beyond what he thought he could handle. In his relaxed state of mind he committed fewer mistakes. In a few days he was a changed man. Time and objectives management is the way for a yogi. We all shy away from it without giving it a try, fearing that we will miss something in life.

whopping 52.2% of the Daily Value). Leeks are also a very good source of bone-building manganese, as well as heart-healthy Vitamin C, Folate and Vitamin B6. Leeks are also a good source of digestion-supporting dietary fibre; bonehealthy magnesium, calcium, and copper; enzyme-generating molybdenum; and heart-healthy potassium. Like their allium cousins, onions and garlic, it is best to let leeks sit for at least 5 minutes after cutting and before cooking, to enhance their health-promoting qualities. u Registered Holistic Nutritionist (Canadian School of Natural Nutrition) For education purposes only; always consult a healthcare practitioner for medical conditions

But the truth is that we soon find out that whatever we missed hardly mattered to the real purpose of a successful living. Everyone in life is destined to be successful – only the area of success is not the same for everyone. We first need to understand the sublime purpose of our existence, and then live life for its purpose; let not our span of life be frittered away. Hectic pace is a purposeless exercise, is a killer. Life is not about ticking off a series of tasks. It is a divine gift for a much higher purpose. If we do not respect life and neglect its purpose, nature invariably cuts short our life. Who is the ultimate loser? Slow down and enjoy life. Do not be afraid to reschedule your life. You can relax as you live, or be forced to try and relax on a hospital bed. The choice is yours. u  Sri Bimal Mohanty

15-21 February 2013

B on V ivant 17

4U 4


by ShahnaZ 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.

Shiatsu – Japanese Physiotherapy { Bhavana Sharma }

A Shiastu Foot Massage

The Shiatsu Foot Massage is an excellent modality for relieving blockages from the chakras and nadis – and its benefits are numerous. It repairs tissues and blood vessels, balancing the fluids within the body. It not only aids in checking certain diseases, but also in curing them at the root level. The Japanese believe in the healing benefits of an oil massage, for energising the aura and removing pain. Massaging the feet is a fun and easy way to experiment with the use of aromatics, because feet are one of the best diffusers of oil – spreading the healing properties through the entire body. This foot massage mellows out any kind of pain, enhancing the body’s power to cure itself at all levels.


hiatsu therapy is an ancient system of holistic treatment, with its roots in Oriental traditional medicine. It is sometimes described as Japanese Physiotherapy. The modality is almost similar to the acupuncture treatment, as in the tapping of meridians and pressure points – but without the usage of needles. It has gained popularity as one of the safest and best methods to heal several physical and mental diseases. It has also become a respected alternative therapy in the western countries, and is offered in many hospitals as a complementary therapy for the treatment and prevention of many common ailments.


This Therapy has been used for ages to heal and bring about an overall balance. It checks the flow of energy (or Ki) that circulates through our bodies – in specific energy channels or meridians. According to the traditional Oriental school of medicine, it is believed that we all are connected to the universal life force called life energy. This is what has created our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual selves. And this is what the Chinese call ‘Gi ‘or ‘ Chi’ – and what the Japanese term as ‘Ki’. The philosophy is that one can improve the body energy levels through proper holistic treatments.


The principle of the Shiatsu technique is of applying pressure on the acupuncture points

{ Krishan Kalra }


here were four of us in that handsome double-storey house in Alipore. Ideally located, well maintained and adequately provided for, it was the ultimate luxury. We were four bright (ahem!) young executives, working for a big foreign bank, each one fond of the good life; we were a happy lot. The chummery even had a resident cook-cum-bearer. The guy cooked exceedingly well, and did all the shopping. We took turns clearing his weekly bills. Trained by British employers, he knew all the graces. We didn’t doubt his integrity; any way, who cared if he was charging us for his paanbidi. Besides, the old man took care of every thing – laundry,

Multiple Advantages of the Shiatsu Therapy   Immunity boost, pain relief and feeling of euphoria n  Deep muscle and tissue relaxation n  Stress reduction n  Release of toxins from the body n  Prevention of diseases n  Increase in flexibility n  Improvement in blood circulation n  Reduction of blood pressure n  Reduction of mental anxieties n  Balance of Chi within the body n  Calming nervousness n  Better mental and spiritual awareness n  Alignment of the chakras and balance of the yin and yang, energies.u Author, Tarot Reader n

throughout the body, and simultaneously massaging with the finger tips. It involves pressing, hooking, sweeping, shaking, rotating, grasping, vibrating, patting, lifting, pinching, rolling and brushing. Through the different energy centres or meridians in the body, the Chi is balanced and circulated properly. Removal of blocks hastens healing and helps in attaining balance. Enhancement of circulation brings about a feeling of relaxation. The other variation is called ‘Barefoot Shiatsu’, where an expert walks carefully on a person’s back, to enhance relief.

Q. I have a strange problem with my hair, which I am at a loss to

understand and also unable to find a solution to. There are times when my hair tends to become oily within one day of shampooing. At other times, it becomes totally dry - and, in fact, so dry that it gives a very rough and dull appearance. I was advised to change my shampoo, so I moved from Ayur to Pantene. However, the problem continues. Could you please advise me what to do and how to deal with this ‘combinationkind-of’ hair.

SH The pores of your scalp may be clogged. This hampers the proper

distribution of oil along the hair, leading to oily or dry hair. Once a week, heat olive oil and apply on the scalp and hair at night. Leave on overnight. Next morning, apply the juice of a lemon on the scalp and wash the hair after 15 minutes. Wash your hair with a mild herbal shampoo two or three times a week, using less shampoo and rinsing very well with water. Half an hour before shampoo, apply two tablespoons vinegar on the scalp, massaging it lightly into the scalp. Weekly henna treatments will help. Add 4 teaspoons each of lemon juice and coffee, 2 raw eggs and enough yogurt to the henna powder, mixing it into a thick paste. When the hair is dry, apply very little hair serum and leave on. Include fresh fruits, raw salads, sprouts and yogurt in your daily diet. Drink plenty of water.

WINNER Mala Kaul

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To Each His Own shoes, all odd chores. Our booze bottles were kept in the dining room side-board. No one thought of locking up. We had started with a drink on special occasions; but soon a ‘chotta’ before dinner became the order of the day. Bottles were purchased by turn. It happened with a particularly good scotch bottle. We noticed the level depleting rather fast. May be we were watching too closely, may be it was our banker mentality working overtime, but there was a distinct feeling that some one was giving us company – taking a nip on the sly. We

started level-marking the bottle; the pilferage continued. He wasn’t even smart, otherwise he could’ve added water. We were baffled. Doubting the cook was unthinkable, but who else would have the opportunity except the person who was around all the

time? The level in our precious bottle was now dangerously low. That evening, when we started dinner, there were only a few pegs left. We decided to teach the rogue a lesson. He wasn’t going to get away with this robbery. He couldn’t make a fool of four savvy bankers. The swine was going to pay for his sins. The bottle was quietly taken to the loo; one of the guys peed in it, and the loss of our ‘chottas’ was made up. The bottle was duly replaced in the side board. Next evening it was the same story. The plunderer had struck again, and drunk a ‘patiala’.

This one was obviously beyond redemption. He didn’t even know the difference between scotch and Morarji’s potion. It had to be the cook. We decided not to wait any longer. We were going to take the bull by the horns. After dinner we would jointly summon him and pose the question. Dinner over, the old man was called, and the damning evidence placed before him. “Who’s the thief in this house?” I thundered. “Who’s been drinking our good whisky?” The man was unruffled, his response was cool. “Saheb, I don’t touch the stuff, I am a teetotaler; but I know it makes the food tastier. So I just add two spoons to the main dish every day”. That night we all threw up – turn by turn. u


15-21 February 2013

A Hundred Years Of Amrita Shergil { Srimati  Lal }


his season marks a major milestone on the Fine Art calendar --- the 100th birth anniversary of India's inimitably-flamboyant visionary painter, Amrita Shergil, a legendary art-icon and pioneer of modern art, unique in her genius and her ancestry.     This eminent artist,  born to a Punjabi Sikh aristocrat father Umrao Singh Shergil and a Hungarian mother Marie Antoinette, is sometimes referred to as 'India's Frida Kahlo' – the radical  Mexican Feminist painter who also happened to be a contemporary of Shergil.  Amrita's artistic contribution, however,  is far more pathbreaking – miraculously bringing-together an amalgamation of extremely diverse artistic strands. As a stylistic phenomenon neverbefore seen in the history of world Art, Amrita Shergil's brief and fiery decade-long painterly  oeuvre is truly remarkable. In India, Amrita's aesthetic legacy stands at par with that of the Masters of the Bengal Renaissance, and India's subsequent founders of urban Modernism. Amrita Shergil also happens to be the most expensive woman painter of India --a credit rightfully based on her formidable painterly and figurative skills, that she honed to evolved heights with great dedication --- evidencing her genuine commitment to the fundamental core of true Art.   Shergil's father was a Sanskrit scholar, a stylish portrait-photographer and aesthete, while her mother was an accomplished pianist. She was also the niece of the Hungarian Indologist Ervin Baktay,  who  guided her pivotally in the 1920s. Significantly, Baktay instructed her to use servants as models, rather than the aristocracy that she came from ---- in the worthy artistic traditions of  Caravaggio, Michaelango, and Da Vinci. The memories of these working-class  models would eventually lead to Amrita Shergil's  return to India, where she portrayed the poor and rural inhabitants with heightened Amrita Shergil as a child with her sister Indira, 1920s

beauty and poignancy. the brilliance of her original To celebrate the 100th contribution to international birth anniversary of this Art more clear – "It always surgreat Indian painter, three prises me to hear that those events have been organised who can recognise the good in in Delhi.   The first was the Western Art are unable to do formal release, on Jan. 31, so as regards Eastern Art.  To of a special Shergil Portfolio me, it seems incredible.   But at the National Gallery Of perhaps this is due to my double Modern Art,   by Dr. Karan atavism.....”    This Atavism that Singh – in the presence of Amrita speaks of is her intense Ms. Katalin Bogyay, connection to both her Indian President of UNESCO's roots as well as her Hungarian General Conference.  traditions. In painting terms, the This Portfolio-release has former helped Shergil brilliantbeen followed by a month- ly craft an individualistic new long Shergil Exhibition at artistic language, that initiated the Hungarian Information Indian Contemporaneity.  and Cultural Centre,   from In order to understand Sher1 Feb-1 March,   titled 'The gil's  evolution, some details Magyar Connection'. Curated of   the painter's dramatic jourby documentary film-maker ney are necessary.  At sixteen, Navina Sundaram, a niece of in 1929, Shergil sailed to Euthe artist, this show includes rope with her mother, to train watercolours and drawings as a painter in Paris –  first done by Amrita in Hunga- at the Grande Chaumiere  un- Amrita Shergil mirrored in a black sari, 1920s ry, the country of her birth, along with rare der Pierre Vaillant, and later at archival material such the École des Beaux-Arts (1930– as her handwritten let34). She drew special inspiraters and photographs tion from European painters taken by her.   To mark such as Cézanne and Paul her Centenary, the ExhiGauguin, while also coming unbition highlights one side der the influence of her teacher of Amrita’s ancestry—the Lucien Simon, and the company Magyar connection—the of artist-friends like the Rusautobiographical, cultursian  Boris Tazlitsky.  Her early al, historical and social paintings display a significant Hungarian context that influence of   European  modes formed and influenced her of painting as practiced in the personality and work. As Bohemian circles of Paris in the a third   parallel show, 1930s. In 1932, Shergil paintthe Kiran Nadar Mued her first important work, seum  in Saket has been Young Girls,  which led to exhibiting works by her election as an Associate Amrita, along with sem- Amrita Shergil with her sister Indira, 1931 of the Grand Salon in Paris inars and discourses re- - a rare photograph taken by their father in 1933 – making Amrita Amrita Shergil - Self Portrait lating to women-artists the youngest-ever  and the of India, from January 31st only Asian to have received Amrita Shergil in her studio in Simla, 1937 – until November 2013. this recognition. Her techniA quote from the artist makes cal painterly expertise was unquestionable, as was the brilliance of her palette. At twenty, Amrita was already at a social pinnacle; she was young, beautiful, brilliant, and feted by the West's most elite Art-Salons – all this in the very heart of Paris.  Fortunately for Art-history, Amrita did not continue to revel in the status-quo – for then came the pivotal turningpoint, the difficult decision that was to change everything.  In 1934, while in Europe, Amrita wrote that she "began Amrita & her father Umrao Singh Shergil, 1920s to be haunted by an intense longing for India – feeling, in some strange way, that there lay my destiny as a painter". The Artist returned to India the same year. Thus  began her unique quest, at the age of 21, of a rediscovery of the traditions of Indian Art --- a pioneering search that was to continue until her untimely death—aged 28—in Lahore.   Amrita initially stayed at the writer Malcolm Muggeridge's family home at Simla's Summer Hill for a while, before leaving for further travels in India – at the behest of the noted art critic Karl Khandalavala, who

Art 19

15-21 February 2013

encouraged her to pursue her passion. Amrita was deeply impressed and inspired by India's Mughal  and Pahari Schools of Miniature painting, as well as the cave frescopaintings of Ajanta and Khajuraho. Many more wonders of Indian Art now awaited Amrita's gaze, as she made her Indian pilgrimages for Art-Darshan. In 1937 Amrita toured South India, which further inspired her immensely – with its vivid palette and dramatic spectrum of Art, and its people. Amrita produced her famous South Indian Trilogy  of paintings —Brahmacharis,  The Bride's Toilet,   and Tamil Villagers —revealing a mastery of linear figuration and a  brilliant sense of colour, with  an equally involved empathy for her subjects. These eloquent, dark, poetic figures are often painted in their poverty and despair, but always expressing an unfailing beauty and grace.  The evolution and transformation of Amrita's work was now complete. In its fullness, she had found her 'artistic mission'  --- which was to change the direction of 20th-c. Indian Art.  According to Amrita, her life's mission was to express the life of Indian people through her canvas.    Politically, socially, culturally and

art-language. These included her very strong references to another radical-exile European painter—the French aristocrat Paul Gauguin—who left Paris to live in the remote islands of Tahiti, and painted dark-skinned native women who were a world apart from western aristocracy and its rarefied urban Salons. Shergil stretched the visual idiom further, to incorporate, in her own complex Modernist language,   the deep, ancient fresco-textures of Ajanta and Ellora, as well as the contrasting jeweltoned, intricate figurations of Indian Miniature painting. She omitted no visual influences from India's vast artistic heritage, including folk and tribal palettes and forms. To manifest the best of European Modernism along with the most ancient strands of the Indian artistic heritage is no easy achievement.  Amrita Shergil was the first and only woman artist who accomplished this --- with the utmost mastery. As an ironic contrast to Shergil's pinnacles of intellectual achievement is the inherent tragedy of the brilliant artist's brief life. A true visionary, Shergil singlemindedly devoted all her life's

Two Elephants, 1940 Brahmacharis


Young Girls, 1932

Bride's Toilet, 1937

visually, this was a radical and bold new painterly vision, dramatically distinct from the European-elite phase of the artist's inter-war years, where her work had initially showed an engagement with Hungarian Art – especially the Nagybanya School of painting.  In her flowering as a Modernist Indian painter, Shergil now  evolved her own distinct and powerful style – a style which, according to her, was "fundamentally Indian  in subject, spirit and technical expression". Her Art was now also subtly influenced by the paintings of the two great Tagores --- Rabindranath and Abanindranath –  who pioneered the Bengal School of painting. Her brooding sepia-toned palette and poetic portraits of women evoked the mood of Rabindranath, while her use of chiaroscuro and bright colours reflected the neo-Expressionistic influence of Abanindranath.   From my art-critical standpoint, I have always been astounded by the sheer pantheon of aesthetic influences that Shergil managed to blend so seamlessly into an entirely new 20th-century

Indian family Three Girls, 1935

energies to the evolution of her artistic vision, rejecting the conventional expectations of feminine domesticity, marriage and the conformism of family structures. Not surprisingly, such brilliant individualism, intensity and beauty generated deep envy from her peers – including the men she befriended.   In most of her photographic portraits, Shergil's emotional loneliness is reflected in her brooding, direct and melancholic gaze. Expectedly, Amrita never found a suitable match – a soulmate who would understand and support her genius, her profound intellect and artistry. However, in 1938, at the age of 25, in a state of vulnerability and with a need for 'protection',  Amrita married her cousin Victor Egan, a doctor, against her parents' wishes.  In 1941, just days before the opening of her first major solo show in Lahore, Shergil suddenly became seriously ill and slipped into a coma. She died around midnight  on 6 December 1941, aged 28. The real reason for her death has never been ascertained, but her mother accused her doctor-husband Victor of having murdered her. It is of further interest that the very day after Shergil's sudden death, England declared war on Hungary, and her husband was sent to jail as an 'enemy national'.  Thus ended the meteoric and flamboyant life-trajectory of one of the world's most charismatic, fascinating artists – a true Indian visionary, a woman ahead

of her times. She produced, in a brief span of a single decade of inspired creativity, a formidable body of beautiful, profound and original artworks, that clearly surpassed the works of her seniors. It is fortunate indeed for Indian history that Amrita Shergil was a determined woman, who demonstrated all the intense cerebral strength, commitment and energy that was required to evolve India's contemporary identity and artistic destiny. Shergil's Art transcends all categories and labels; she is larger than 'Feminism', 'Realism', 'Classicism' or any other such genres.  In Amrita Shergil's centenary year—2013— it is imperative that we laud this extraordinary woman-genius; that the art-world re-examines, celebrates and praises Shergil's unusual courage, and the awesome bounty of her Art – with immense admiration and gratitude.u Artist, Writer, & Curator Corrigendum

A photograph that appeared in the article ‘Gargantuan Gallery Gala, in Issue 25 (Feb 8-14) Page 12, was incorrectly captioned as ‘Sadmani Art Foundation Bangladesh’. The image was of ‘Galerie Daniel Besseiche’, Paris. The error is regretted.

20 { Maninder Dabas / FG }


"In SPAT we mainly conduct 7 tests, which include: a vertical jump, to test flexibility and the strength of the thighs; a 30 metre squat-run to test the agility; a ball throw to test the arm strength; a long jump; a standing broad jump; and an 800 metre run – in a given period of time."

S ports

Sports & The State icons because there is a huge middle class – which neither has great government jobs, nor big land holdings. There is no dearth of potential talent,” said Sushil Kumar, London Olympics Silver Medallist.

implementation of the Right To Education (RTE), Haryana has also introduced the Right To Play (RTP) where each child will have the right to play his or her desired game at school, and the school would be obligated to provide the facilities and the training for the concerned game. The vision for RTP is to ensure that, by 2020, every citizen in the State—regardless of age, gender, caste, religion, physical ability and socio-economic status—has an opportunity to play Sports. “I believe RTP would be of great help, because once it’s implemented, it would get interlinked with SPAT, followed by nurturing in different nurseries and later the big stadiums. And as far as studies is concerned, only a healthy child can study well; and it has been proven that a good physical condition adds to cerebral excellence.

SPAT- a good first step

SPAT finds talent at the grass-root level, and nurtures it at various nurseries (of different sporting disciplines). “SPAT is being conducted in 3 stages, and under it almost 5,000 players   would be given scholarships. Players falling in the age group of 8 to 14 years, and 15 to 19 years would be given Rs. 1,500 and Rs. 2,000 per month respectively as scholarship. The first stage comprises the competitions held at the government, semi-government and private schools. The second stage competitions would be organised at the block level, and the third stage competitions would be held at the district level. Successful players from the third stage would be awarded with scholarships, and an admission in the nursery of the particular discipline. Selected players get scholarship for the upkeep of their diet and other necessities at home. For Gurgaon district, the first stage  was organised in all schools in Haryana from December 20, 2012 to January 5, 2013; the second was organised from 28 January to 6th February at all four blocks of the district; and the third and the last phase would be organised on 15 February at district headquarters in Gurgaon,” added Kulwinder Singh. Haryana is the highest cash prize-paying state in the country, and till now more than 50 crores rupees— plus other benefits such as free travel and government jobs—have been given to the players who have performed well at various nation and international levels. “Indeed sports has changed the lives of many like me in the last few years; and I believe this is the main reason why now more young and talented players are coming up. Now sports has become a success mantra for the youth of the State. We all know that the youth in Haryana doesn’t study much, and hence most of them don’t get jobs at higher levels. But now sports has come up as an option by which they can attain higher posts, and the State government has rewarded successful and talented players with good posts in the police, excise, transport or other government departments,” said Akhil Kumar, the quarter finalist at the Beijing Olympics, who is serving Haryana Police as a DSP.   The Centre too has started a sports scheme, the National Physical Fitness


in a medal and get a job’ is the slogan that greets you at the entrance of Nehru Stadium in Gurgaon. Haryana has always been a state that loves sports, but in the last few years—or post-Beijing Olympics to be precise—the love and attraction for different sports has seen an unprecedented rise. The lion’s share of credit goes to the State government, for its policies of improving the sports infrastructure and facilities in the State, as well as promoting sports. 171 Rajiv Gandhi Sports Complexes at village, block and district level are already functioning. CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda has already declared the cash prize for the winners in the next Olympics, Asian Games, World Summits – and even the National Games. “Earlier sports was more a pastime, but now people have started taking it as a career path. Even with a little bit of success at the national level, an individual can hope for a good government job – which is a big deal in Haryana. The results were visible in the Commonwealth Games, where 34 out of 54 of our athletes won medals. The State government has awarded all the individuals who ever had any connection with Haryana – like Sushil Kumar, Krishna Punia and Saina Nehwal. In the London Olympics 4 out of 6 India medals were won by Haryanvis,” said Kulwinder Singh, the District Sports Officer, Gurgaon. Now almost all stadiums and small sporting fields in the State are buzzing with wannabe sports icons. But success is not that easy to attain, as it takes constant hard work and sacrifices, from a tender age. Keeping this in mind, the State government has come up with the Sports and Physical Aptitude Test (SPAT). SPAT not only brings out the best possible talent to be nurtured in the State – felicitated nurseries, but also ensures that they get proper financial help so that their parents can take care of them at home. “Haryana is an agricultural state, and the people here are habitual to physical labour and hard work, from childhood. Initiatives like giving government jobs to the players who win at the national and international levels have certainly inspired the youth a great deal to take up sports as a career path. And despite having the largest number of rural millionaires in the country, Haryana will keep throwing up potential sports

15-21 February 2013

Haryana’s Forte

“For the last one decade or so Haryana has been the national champion in wrestling and boxing. Although Manipur tops the tally of total medals at the National Games, in wrestling, boxing and other power games, Haryana is far better than any other state. Our top 5 games, where we excel/can excel are: Hockey, Wrestling, Boxing, Judo and Gymnastics,” said O.P Singh, former Director, Sports, Haryana.

Programme (NPFP), on the pattern of the SPAT programme of Haryana. Under NPFP, the sports persons who have represented the country at the Olympics, Commonwealth Games or Asian Games would be appointed as coaches, with posts of Group B officers. Initially 200 such coaches would be appointed by the Sports Authority of India (SAI). Haryana has already provided government jobs to 424 players.

Where does Gurgaon stand?

Gurgaon, though part of Haryana, is today quite distinct from the rest of the State. “True, Gurgaon has ‘gone out’ of Haryana – Gurgaon City in particular. Many only play for fun, and that too in costly academies and golf clubs. As far as the district's performance is concerned, I am quite relieved to say that we are still considered to be the best district – and almost all our teams in various disciplines, finish first or second in the State tournaments. Hockey, Volleyball and Gymnastics are our best bets. In Boxing, though we don’t have any coach in the Gurgaon stadium, a few

Sports & Women

private academies have again given us some advantage,” added Singh. Raj Kumar Sangwan, an Arjun Awardee boxer, who runs an academy here, believes that Gurgaon has great potential, and the local kids are doing extremely well at the national level. “I have so many budding boxers from Gurgaon, and some of them are doing far better than even boxers who are taking training in Bhiwani,” said Sangwan. “We are building Rajiv Gandhi Sports Complexes in all the 4 blocks of Gurgaon district – in fact in the 3 blocks of Gurgaon, Farukhnagar and Pataudi the work on the stadia is near completion. In Gurgaon block’s Daultabad village, where the stadium has been built, we have already started a centre for two games – cricket and boxing.

Right to Play

When the whole country is talking about the proper

Today 20 lakhs children are associated with SPAT, and nearly 5600 children have been selected, and are being provided monthly scholarships and training, across 139 sports nurseries, 16 sports academies and 72 sports wings. The sports policy of the State focuses on creating the infrastructure, hunting for talent and securing the future of the sports persons. Haryana today has 2 State-level stadia, 21 District-level stadia and 135 rural stadia (with 91 more under construction). Haryana has set a target of 12 medals at the next Rio Olympics in 2016.

Women in Haryana have mainly remained behind the patriarchal walls of households, and we hear about their plight every now and then. There are hundreds of sports women now practising different games in different stadia of the State. “Indeed sports helps women come out and prove their worth in the male-dominated society, and I don’t see any reason why a woman sports person can’t achieve name and fame like her male counterparts. Krishna Poonia, Saina Nehwal and Geeta Phoughat are just a handful who have made their name in their respective field of sports,” added Singh. “No doubt it’s tough, but girls have done it before and I don’t find any reason why girls can’t do it now. Today the society is much more advanced and modern, and this modernity has allowed girls to express their rights and desires. For example Geeta Phoghat, the wrestler, comes from a very ordinary background, but still managed to pull herself out of the household. Other players like wrestler Geetika Jakhar, and many other hockey players, are from Haryana, and they too have made their mark. And, the State government’s initiatives like the Panchayat Yuva Krida Aur Khel Abhiyan (PYKKA) and SPAT are certainly very helpful in bringing women out,” said Roshni Devi, the Hockey Coach at Nehru Stadium. Pooja Thakran, a young and promising hockey player from Jharsa, says, “I have been playing here for the last 6-7 years, and till now I have never been pressured by my parents to get married. I am completely focused on my game, and it’s my ability to play good hockey that has saved me from a restricted life. Sports certainly provides a woman with liberty, which is indeed a tough thing for a woman to ask for in Haryana,” said Thakran. u

G lobal 21

15-21 February 2013

{ Bill Smith / Beijing / DPA }


hen Xi Jinping takes over as China’s President next month, he will inherit an economy with still-rapid but slowing growth, in addition to a host of problems – from rampant corruption and falling exports, to maritime friction and an increasingly belligerent nuclear neighbour. According to Chinese astrology, Xi is likely to face a tough start to his expected 10-year term at the helm of the world’s most populous nation, as he attempts to maintain economic growth, preserve Communist Party rule, and fend off calls for democratic reform. The Year of the Snake is often known as a “little dragon” year, because it follows the more auspicious dragon year. The snake is the sixth of the 12 Chinese animal zodiac signs. The animals are each associated with one of the five elements—metal, fire, wood, earth and water—and are linked each year to the ancient binary opposition of yin and yang, and to one of the five elements in rotation. Each combination recurs every 60 years. The snake’s fixed element is fire, and 2013 is a water year, the 30th year of its 60-year cycle – a potentially volatile combination. The year’s astrological colour is an unlucky black. In the last water-snake year, 1953, Joseph Stalin died, the Korean War ended, Queen Elizabeth II ascended to the British throne; and the United States and the Soviet Union were

The Year Of The Snake engaged in a nuclear arms race. “It will not be surprising if in 2013 the hot international issue will still be the development of nuclear weapons in Iran as well as North Korea,” said Hong Kong-based Astrologer and Feng Shui master, Raymond Lo. Other snake years saw Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbour in 1941; and, in the last “little dragon” year before 2013, the terrorist attacks on New York’s World Trade Centre on September 11, 2001. In the 1989 snake year, the Soviet Union was in a crisis, and China’s leaders were split over how to respond to prodemocracy protests centred on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, with hardliners eventually sending troops to disperse protesters with live fire. Superstition holds that a live snake sneaking into a Chinese home brings wealth to the family. Snakes remain popular ingredients of restaurant dishes

and alcoholic tonics, particularly as a supposed boost for the male libido. Zhang Liang, an expert on reptiles, told State media that he and other Conservationists in the southern province of Guangdong planned to showcase the merits of snakes and promote their protection this year. China banned the eating of wild snakes in 2000, but they were still threatened by habitat loss, illegal hunting and “random attacks by snake-phobic villagers,” the official Xinhua news agency quoted Zhang as saying. “But overall, the situation is improving,” Zhang said. “Now more young people see snakes as pets, rather than as a dish.” When China’s 1.3 billion people welcome the Lunar New Year and the start of a “golden week” Spring Festival holiday with a frenzy of fireworks, most will be aware that snakes are also associated with evil spirits, and seen as portents of disaster in Chinese mythology. The Chinese word for snake carries such negativity that during the last two Spring Festival galas on staterun China Central Television, in 1989 and

New ‘Collaborative Economy’ Own Less, Feel Freer Angelika Warmuth

The owners of the clothes rental shop “Kleiderei”, Pola Fendel (left) and Thekla Wilkening (right) in the Hamburg, Germany store.

{ Lea Sibbel / Hamburg, Germany / DPA }


hekla Wilkening and Pola Fendel have always browsed each other’s wardrobes, satisfying their desire for new things without having to spend a lot of money. Last fall the two university students, who live in Hamburg, put their “shareware” concept on the market, by opening a shop called the Kleiderei (a German nonce word that translates as “Clothery”). It is a place where women and girls can borrow garments for a fee – not expensive evening gowns as in customary clothing-for-hire shops, but everyday attire. The budding German entrepreneurs summed up their first two months in business: “They’re increasing” customers as well as the number of garments for hire. The Kleiderei is part of a general trend towards swapping – known in academic circles as the “collaborative economy.” “More goods are being exchanged and used collectively,” noted Ludger Heidbrink, who has been focusing on

the phenomenon as head of the Department of Practical Philosophy at the University of Kiel. “The collaborative economy is an enhanced form of co-operation.” In this kind of economy, having access to an item is more important than owning it. Sophie Utikal, a 25-yearold Munich resident, is also following the trend. Together with a girlfriend, she started the online platform ‘kleiderkreisel. de’ (roughly “clothing roundabout”), where members can swap or sell clothes. “Why should you have something new produced when there’s somebody else who already owns it?” she asked. The oft-invoked concept of environmental sustainability plays a major role in the “collaborative consumption wave,” as Sophie calls it. Wilkening and Fendel are riding the wave. “We want to offer a solution to overconsumption,” Fendel said. While the Kleiderei’s customers are open to the idea of borrowing things, not everyone is. “Some people need the security of ownership,”

Wilkening said, adding that for them owning something is more important than using it. Utikal’s project combines an old and new business model: all of the clothing at is secondhand, but it changes hands permanently. According to Heidbrink, the trend towards swapping clothes is indicative of the search for identity in modern society. “People have become strongly accustomed to experimental lifestyles,” he said. “Today they no longer have a stable, fixed identity, but a hybrid one that can change.” Clothing is a vehicle for this, Heidbrink said. Clothing for hire lets people try on different identities, as it were. For Fendel, too, it is about trying out various styles. The Kleiderei’s customers are more daring “because they’re not buying (the garment),” she remarked. “It’s a social matter, too,” Heidbrink noted. He said that people involved in the Kleiderei, or other hire-and-swap platforms, are members of what he calls the ‘borrowers club’. “They’re taking part in an avant-garde way of using goods, which is hip at the moment,” he said. Wilkening and Fendel are already planning to open a second Kleiderei, this one in Berlin. For the past year, Utikal has been able to devote herself full-time to, and make a living off it. “I think it’ll increase,” said Heidbrink, referring to the culture of borrowing. He pointed out that it provided a kind of psychological relief, in line with the slogan, “Simplify your life.” “The less you own, the freer you feel,” he said. u

2001, the hosts reportedly avoided using it. Many people refer to a “little dragon”, year to skirt around the s-word. Yet, rather than the reported disloyalty and deception of “snakes” in the West, people born in a Chinese snake year are said to be mysterious, intelligent and attractive. Famous snakes include former Chinese Communist Party leader Mao Zedong, born in 1893 as well as singer Bob Dylan, punk designer Vivienne Westwood, artist Pablo Picasso, botanist Charles Darwin, writer Edgar Allen Poe, former US President Abraham Lincoln. Hollywood celebrities Sarah Jessica Parker, Daniel Radcliffe, Kim Basinger and Demi Moore were also snake-year babies. Lo and other astrologers say the opposition of water and fire mean natural disasters and global economic instability are more likely this year. For those born in the last water-snake year 60 years ago, 2013 is seen as a dangerous year for work and health. Many Chinese seeking to reduce their chances of calamity in their animal birth year wear something red—often a necklace, anklet, bracelet, belt or underwear—for the entire year. Perhaps the world will see Xi Jinping, who was born in June 1953, sporting a red tie more often than usual. u

Quarantined Birthday Cakes { Sid Astbury / Sydney / DPA }


ustralian doctors said that the State had gone too far in banning the tradition of blowing out candles on a birthday cake. New rules for child care centres advise that children each get a cupcake with a candle, but that the actual birthday cake be quarantined, to “prevent the spread of germs when the child blows out the candles.” The Australian Medical Association said the new Na-

tional Health and Medical Research Council guidelines went against its advice – that exposure to environmental antigens helped build children’s immune systems. u

Hot cities raise temperatures of land far away { Berlin / DPA }


nergy consumption in big cities, whether to move vehicles or to heat buildings, alters winter temperatures in remote areas, new findings in climate science show. It alters the character of the jet stream and other major atmospheric systems, significantly warming some distant areas and cooling others, according to the US research. “The burning of fossil fuel not only emits greenhouse gases, but also directly affects temperatures, because of heat that escapes

Explosive Spider Hunt { Sid Astbury / Sydney / DPA }


mergency crews, that responded to an explosion that blew out the windows of a Sydney house, said an arachnophobic homeowner was to blame. Police said the 66-year-old

from sources like buildings and cars,” says Scientist Aixue Hu, of the US National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), a co-author. “Although much of this waste heat is concentrated in large cities, it can change atmospheric patterns—in a way that raises or lowers temperatures—across considerable distances.” It causes winter warming across large areas of northern North America and northern Asia. Temperatures in some remote areas increase by as much as 1 degree Celsius. Other areas are cooled by as much as 1 degree, mainly in the autumn. u woman sprayed insecticide under her washing machine, to kill a spider she had chased there. Fire inspectors suspected a spark from the appliance’s electric motor ignited the spray, and blew up the washing machine and her kitchen windows. “There was no sign of the spider,” a police statement said. u

22 { Stefan Weissenborn / Berlin / DPA }


ndustry has been eyeing hydrogen for decades as a source of automotive energy, because the gas produces no fossil-fuel-type emissions when it is burned in fuel cells. Water vapour issuing from the exhaust pipe is the sole sign of activity inside the cells – as they quietly convert chemical energy into electricity. That power then drives electric motors, often mounted on the wheel hub at the ends of the axles, to provide motion. Hydrogen propulsion has the edge over the all-electric solutions currently being tried out, and in the end may outlive them all. The technology has so far found its way into some expensive buses and forklift trucks, but no hydrogen-powered car has gone on sale – despite the collective efforts of Honda, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Opel. They have been tinkering with the technology for years, and numerous testbed vehicles have proved their merit. Now carmakers are jostling for position, forging alliances and re-aligning their strategy. Daimler plans to work with Ford and Nissan, to produce a commerciallyviable fuel cell engine for road-vehicle use. Series production is slated for 2017. BMW and Toyota also recently an-

15-21 February 2013

Hydrogen Cars On Their Way nounced a tie-up, with 2020 as the estimated market entry date. Toyota has been limbering up for some time to present the world’s first production car driven by hydrogen. The debut has been pencilled in for 2015. Toyota sees the hydrogen fuel cell car as a bold new way forward, beyond petrol-electric hybrids such as the company’s Prius – or all-electric cars driven solely by batteries. The first 10,000 Toyota fuel-cells cars will be based on the FCR-V concept, which broke cover at the 2012 Geneva car show. The car is likely to cost some 100,000 euros, and most technical details are still under wraps. Hydrogen is generally stored in tanks as a liquid, cooled to minus 273 degrees celsius, or else as a highly compressed gas. “Deep-freezing the hydrogen uses up too much energy,” said a Toyota Spokesman, Dirk Breuer. To top that, the tank is empty after a few days because the liquid becomes gaseous, and leaks out through safety valves in the system. “Using a pressure of 700 bar, the lifetime of the fuel is comparable with that of conventional fuels, and none of the hydrogen escapes,” said Breuer. Such operating advantages are well-

iTunes Downloads Reach 25 Billion



International Tourists Exceed 1 Billion

{ Madrid / DPA }


he international tourist industry continues to boom, despite the ongoing global economic crisis, with the number of people travelling abroad on vacation exceeding the 1-billion mark for the first time last year. In a sign of increasing globalization, a record 1.035 billion people left their own countries, to enjoy holidays in a foreign clime, a 4-per-cent increase on the 2011 figure, according to provisional statistics released by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). Europe accounted for over half that figure with 535 million visitors, a 3.3-per-cent jump on 2011. “The sector has proved its ability at adapting to changing market conditions,” said UNWTO General Secretary, Taleb Rifai, in Madrid. “Tourism is one of the pillars of the economy. Governments across the globe should promote it accordingly as an engine for growth.” Tourism is responsible for one in 12 jobs worldwide, according to the UNWTO, which estimates tourism numbers will again increase this year between 3 and 4 per cent. Southeast Asia and North Africa were the best performing regions last year, with a growth rate of 8.7 per cent, followed by Central and Eastern Europe with 8.0 per cent. Visitor numbers to the Middle East dropped by 4.9 per cent, because of the ongoing instability in Egypt – making it the only region in the globe where there were fewer foreign tourists. u

music player, and the digital media service, now averages more than 15,000 downloads every minute, said Apple Executive Eddy Cue. The store boasts a catalogue of 26 million songs, and is available in 119 countries. u

Quest For Biological Father { Peer Koerner / Berlin / DPA }   


German Court threw out a boy’s quest to find his biological father, saying it was impossible to determine, because his mother had affairs with identical twin brothers. The court in the northern city of Celle argued that there was no known medical test to determine the paternity of the 14-year-old boy (who was not named in accordance with German privacy rules). The twins had refused to provide sperm samples, arguing that this was meaningless, because of scientific limitations to DNA testing, in determining which one had fathered the boy. This also meant local authorities have been unable to demand paternity payments from the father, to compensate for the social welfare payments they have made to the mother and child.     The Court was explaining a ruling which it originally handed down on January 30. The claimant has the right to appeal before Germany’s highest court in the city of Karlsruhe. “I regret the situation of the plaintiff,” said Celle Court spokesman, Goetz Wettich, after the case, which had dragged on for years. “The decision must surely be unsatisfactory for him.” u

the United States and Japan. In 2008 the manufacturer hailed the FCX Clarity as the world’s first fuel-cell, hydrogen-powered car. Now Nissan is planning to team up with Daimler, the Company which makes Mercedes-Benz badged cars, to make a fuel-cell driven SUV based on the Terra concept. The downside with hydrogen is that it does not occur naturally in the form needed for fuel, and producing it devours a lot of energy. “Most hydrogen is currently produced from natural gas,” said Honda in a statement. Hydrogen made this way is not as green as it might seem. Fortunately, hydrogen can also be produced from water; although, to ensure green credentials, regenerative electricity must be harnessed. Volkswagen is currently putting a fleet of Tiguans through its paces in the United States and Germany, although the hydrogen Tiguan HyMotion is unlikely to hit showrooms before 2025. That is partly because of the lack of a hydrogen refuelling infrastructure, something which will hold back the introduction of such cars in Europe. The Clean Energy Partnership (CEP)–an umbrella organization for companies from the energy, oil and car sectors–plans to boost the number of refuelling stations in Germany to 50 by 2015. u

OpenStreetMap Exceeds 1 m Users { Berlin / DPA }

{ Andy Goldberg / San Francisco / DPA } lucky German music fan has won a 10,000 euro gift card from Apple’s iTunes store – after downloading what turned out to be the 25 billionth song from the online music store, Apple said. Philip Lupke had downloaded ‘Monkey Drums’ (Goksel Vancin Remix) by Chase Buch. The service, launched 10 years ago to complement the company’s iPod

known in automotive research and development departments. Toyota has been working on related projects since 1991. In 2011 Mercedes-Benz sent its BClass-based F-Cell car on a trip around the world. The car has been produced in small numbers since 2009. The Company says its plans have now gathered such pace that 2017 is a realistic production starting date. “We’ve skipped the interim phase,” said Daimler Research Chief Thomas Weber. “We believe that 2017 is the window of opportunity that will allow us to achieve a reasonable sales volume.” Honda has already begun leasing hydrogen-power cars, albeit only in

G lobal

penStreetMap (OSM), the free, collaborative global mapping project has doubled its number of members within the last 14 months, and now exceeds 1 million registered users, according to figures released by the German software firm, Skobbler. OSM follows a model very similar to Wikipedia which, the notfor-profit group says, is of empowering communities to take ownership of their own maps. The project com-

petes against several commercial map providers – including Nokia subsidiary Navteq, TomTom’s TeleAtlas and Google. At the moment, much of the editing is too complicated for many hobby cartographers, with only around two per cent of users contributing on a monthly basis – but this is expected to change with the advent of new intuitive Apps, that allow users to edit places on the OSM maps. “The technical obstacles will then be removed,” explained Developer Marcus Thielking, from Skobbler. u

FB Users Take A Break? { Emoke Bebiak / New York / DPA }


ore than 60 per cent of Facebook users have taken at least one voluntary break from the website—for several weeks or more— citing a lack of time, boring content and too much drama, according to a new research published by the Pew Research Center. While Facebook remains the most popular social networking site, with more than two-thirds of American adult Internet users registered on it, the research shows that the number of active users fluctuates constantly. The study sample, of more than 1,000 adults living in the US, found the main reasons for users taking “Facebook vacations” included – being too busy, losing interest in the site, seeing it as a waste of time, too much drama among friends, and concerns over spending too much time on the social network. “These data show that people are trying to make new calibrations in their life, to accommodate new social tools,” said Lee Rainie, Director of the Pew Internet Project and co-author of the report. “They are adding up the pluses and minuses on a kind of networking balance sheet, and they are trying to figure out how much they get out of connectivity versus how much they

put into it.” The Research also found that 20 per cent of those Internet users who currently do not have Facebook were at one time registered, but decided to give up their accounts. Facebook users are also losing interest in the site in general. While 59 per cent of active users said the site was as important to them as it was a year ago, 28 per cent said they were now less interested. Only 12 per cent of users reported being more interested in Facebook than during the same period last year. Facebook had over 1 billion active monthly users in December 2012 worldwide, according to the Company’s website. A Facebook Spokesman rebutted the study, saying growth and engagement in the social networking site remain strong. “Facebook has grown daily active users across all regions, ending the year with more than 1 billion monthly active users, 618 million daily active users and 680 million people accessing Facebook from mobile devices,” the spokesman said. The spokesman also cited independent analyst reports that concluded Facebook is the most downloaded mobile app in the US, and that time spent on Facebook accounts for over 20 per cent of all time spent on mobile apps in the US. u

15-21 February 2013



Friday Gurgaon, February 15-21, 2013  

Gurgaon's Own weekly Newspaper

Friday Gurgaon, February 15-21, 2013  

Gurgaon's Own weekly Newspaper