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11-17 April 2014

Vol. 3 No. 34  Pages 24  ` 10

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

The New T Social Contracts

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon

he promulgation of the new Companies Act from April 1 also made India the only country that has a legislated provision for spending on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). All companies, including foreign firms, with a minimum Net Worth of Rs 500 crores, or a Turnover of Rs 1000 crores or a Net Profit of at least Rs 5 crores, will have to spend a minimum 2 per cent of their average profit of the last 3 years on CSR. It is being estimated that this move will bring 8,000 companies into the ambit of the new CSR provision, and unleash funds to the tune of Rs. 10 to 15,000 crores - to be spent for Social benefit. While this legal move by the government is being hailed by the Social and NGO sector, the private sector is still weighing the pros and cons of this new compliance. In Gurgaon, and across the country, even those companies who were already engaged in CSR activities are reassessing their way forward – and trying to evolve a proper strategy. They observe that

{ Shilpy Arora / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon


t is Friday night at Sahara Mall. Young couples throng the top floor of the Mall. As they head into the nightclubs, Rajdeep, a bouncer, checks their ID proofs and Geeta (name changed), a young waitress, greets them at the entrance. At the bar a young boy, Sumit, makes heady cocktail mixes for the guests. Rajdeep, Geeta and Sumit come from a nearby village. These youngsters have a strong urge to ‘make it big’ in the City. “We are very much a part of Gurgaon City and we also want to experience the modern culture and make good money,” says Geeta, 19, who comes from a conservative Haryanvi family. She has told her family that she works with an MNC in a night shift. She loves the nightlife of the City and wants to make a career in the hospitality industry only. Over 20 girls from her village work in pubs and outlets at the malls on MG Road. “Forget about girls, even boys are not ‘allowed’ to go to clubs. However we want to prove ourselves and for that it is important to step out of the village. We support the girls from our village who want to work in malls,” says Rajdeep, 25. The economic boom that fuelled a modern culture in conservative Gurgaon, effectively divided it into two worlds – the villages and the ‘new’ City. Although

these worlds almost co-exist, they are yet so distant. Youngsters in the villages are trying hard to bridge the gap. “Money is no more an issue for the villagers. My grandfather had sold his agricultural land some 10 years ago. He says that we don’t need to earn money now. But what concerns me is that despite having money, we are not allowed entry into the City’s ‘elite’ circles. Only office-goers who wear suits and ties are respected here. My family has enough money to buy the showroom that I work in, but it will still not make me socially acceptable in the City,” says Jaya (name changed), 20, who works as a sales executive in one of the branded outlets at MGF Metropolitan Mall. A lack of education and exposure to a cosmopolitan culture are the two big issues the villagers face. “Many clubs on Golf Course Road don’t let us enter

making CSR compulsory is a good move but it should not be micro-managed by government officials - and definitely not by politicians. A CEO of a leading company expressed apprehension that this provision could be used to arm-twist the private sector to set up projects and social work in political backyards. Social sector experts say that the private sector can at best augment the government effort, not replace it; and even more than their money, this area needs their business expertise - so that the resources could be used more efficiently, productively and in an accountable manner. Everyone sees this as an evolutionary process, which will take time to settle. Prema Sagar, CEO, Genesis BM, one of the leading PR companies in India, which has been engaged in CSR for the last several years, observes that CSR is steadily becoming the differentiator in the corporate world in India. Due to the newlyenacted legal provision, CSR has now become an agenda in Boardroom discussions. The focus had first been on regulatory compliance (labour and environmental laws); then on ‘doing well by doing good’ - aimed at reputational benefits; and more recently, on creating value by aligning sustainability with innovation. In her view, this CSR legislation will see better systems and process being introduced, which are sorely required in the Social sector. DLF, one of the largest companies based in Gurgaon, and which also owes its fortunes to the Millennium City, has set up a foundation to execute its CSR activities. PK Joseph, Program Director, DLF Foundation, welcomes the government decision to make CSR mandatory for companies. “There were a number of companies that either did not take up a Social agenda or were conducting it only half-heartedly. This move will bring Rs 18000 crores to the Social sector, and a number of NGO that were starved of funds would now Contd on p 8 

so easily because they feel that we do not ‘fit in’ with their ‘profile’,” says Geeta. She dreams of visiting Striker one day! Jaya has bigger aspirations. She is pursuing her graduation in Music through ‘Distance Learning’ and wants to try her luck in Bollywood. “Most girls in my village get married before they are 21. Contd on p 8 



11-17 April 2014

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319 Postal Regn. No. GRG/35/2012-2014, VOL.–3 No.–34  11-17 April 2014


Atul Sobti

Sr. Correspondents: Abhishek Behl Shilpy Arora Sr. Photographer:

Prakhar Pandey

Sr. Designer:

Amit Singh

Circulation Execs.:

Sunil Yadav Manish Yadav

Sr. Exec Marketing:

Vikalp Panwar


Politically aam Interns Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is becoming a cool Internship destination for young students. Last month, Pavan and Sudeep, final-year students at IIT Delhi signed up for internships with AAP. Despite politics hardly being a mainstream subject for technology students, many software engineers and IITians are opting for the Internship. "Anyone can study about technology; the challenge is to learn management skills and to deal with people. Politics teaches you all that. Moreover, Internship at AAP makes sure that we are exposed to the contemporary way of politics," feels Sudeep. For 25-yearold Rajdeep Kaur, who is pursuing a degree in Fine Arts from Ansal University, Internship at AAP has provided immense exposure.

...P 7

Dy. Manager A/cs & Admin:

Shiv Shankar Jha

Social... A Heathy Foundation

Consulting Art Editor: Qazi M. Raghib

Spiritual... Reflect, Learn & Share

Rachit (name changed), a mentally challenged child, has been living in a slum near South City II for the last three years. His parents moved from Bengal to seek employment, and better healthcare services for their child. However, they soon realised that health care here is out of their reach. “The people in the neighbourhood would get very upset with Rachit and take him to a nearby night shelter and lock him in a small room.

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

Wisdom is seeing and understanding life as a whole. The lessons we learn especially from obstacles and hardships, as we travel our life-paths, invite us to grow wiser as we mature. Experiences broaden us; difficult experiences challenge us. Many of the important things are learnt the hard way. Ultimately our wisdom becomes our most trusted ...P 17 source of guidance.

...P 10

Wellness... The Chia Charm

Bon Vivant... Over to Health Chefs

A resident of Media Centre, Arjun, 35, lost 4 kilograms in just 15 days - with simple diet meals that are supplied to his doorstep everyday. Arjun is a documentary filmmaker and he hardly gets any time to workout. “My work schedule is crazy. Sometimes I have to spend days and nights in the studio to edit films. All this has resulted in a severe weight gain.

Everybody wants to look good – and not just at a party. A greater significance is now being given to dressing at the workplace (and not just by women). The way people dress for office has seen a major transition. For women, simplicity and modesty were the earlier ‘themes’ – they preferred high collars, long tops and full-sleeved sari blouses; their hands and legs were always well covered. Today, office wear follows a different fashion ...P 18 statement.

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.

C ontents

G-Scape ....

...P 19

Plus Other Stories.... Civic / Social

Act for your Ownership Rights............................P 11 Kid Corner

To Grand Mamas & Papas................................P 13-15


Bon Vivant

Reforming Classical Dance....................................P20 Global

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Keeping track of Crazy Kids' Stuff...............P 21-23

...P 24

11-17 April 2014

Science Magic Show Date: April 12 &13 Time: 12 pm Venue: Malibu Towne Commercial Market, ns - 7 G.D. Goenka La Petite, Sector 47 A Mathemagic and Sciencemagic show in for kids from Class 1 to Class 10 - to amaze them with the magic of Science and Maths.

Baisakhi with Madan Gopal Ji Date: April 13 Time: 7: 30 pm Venue: Club Patio, Block E South City 1 Come celebrate Baisakhi @ Club Patio with Punjabi Folk & Sufi Songs by Madan Gopal Singh Ji and his 'chaar yaar'. Madan ji has composed and sung the poetry of Rumi, Shah Husain, Sultan Bahu and Bulle Shah, and has also translated contemporary poets such as Bertolt Brecht, Federico García Lorca and even John Lennon - especially his song 'Imagine'. He has travelled with the legendary Kurdo-Persian singer Shahram Nazeri to ancient Sufi towns such as Isfahan, Hamadan & Kermanshah, and has performed at the 2nd Sufi Soul World Music Festival at Lahore (in 2001). Tibetian Pulsing – Intensive Date: April 11 Time: 9 am Venue: Zorba the Buddha, Building no. 7, Tropical Drive, MG Road, Ghitorni Zorba the Buddha welcomes health enthusiasts to a six-day intensive Tibetan Pulsing workshop titled ‘Reclaiming The Essence Of Your Energy – Kundalini…’. Embark on a journey to reclaim the essence of your energy - the Kundalini - with Pulsing, Tibetian Tantric Healing. Pulsing is a healing technique that speeds up the process of accessing our inherent inner divinity. The residential Pulsing program will help participants to release issues surrounding their sexual, emotional and relational life. The Program will be guided by Sanjay, Yashu and a guest therapist from Switzerland, Barbara Bianchi (Ma Tarasha).

Balle Balle! Lo aiyee Baisakhi Date: April 16 Time:11 am Venue: Parsvnath Exotica, Sector 53, Golf Course Road It's Baisakhi! So get into the festive mood, beat the drums, dance the

bhangra and celebrate the New Year with friends. Drape your Phulkaris, dress up in your Patialas, tie your Parandis and get set to groove on the floor in your Juttis - as we give you a taste of everything Punjabi (music, performances, dancing and food) at the most rocking Baisakhi Bash in town. Get set to balle balle with us:  Dress code: Anything Punjabi - a Patiala or Parandi or Phulkari or Jutti - or best, all 4! Art Srijan Art Exhibition Date: Till April 28 Time: 10 am to 9 pm Venue: Beanstalk, Galaxy Hotel Shopping Spa, NH-8, Sector 15 Part II An Art Exhibition showcasing paintings, sculptures and photography. Artists Sonali Chakravorty and Varsha Mathur will showcase some of their excellent Art pieces. ''Rongali Bihu 2014' Date: April 13 Time: 6.30 pm  VENUE: DLF Phase 1, Community Centre 'Rongali Bihu 2014' organised by the Assam Association, Gurgaon

Stand-up Comedy Older Angrier Hairier Date: April 12 Time: 8 pm & 10.30 pm Venue: Kingdom of Dreams, Sector 29 Language: English After the success of her first one-woman Comedy show, 'Unladylike: The pitfalls of propriety', New York-based Comedienne

Cyprus to Asia for India Salsa Fiesta 2014 Date: April 11 to 13 Venue: Leela Kempinski, NH-8 Incredible line up of Artists New Venue - Leela Kempinski Hotel (5+ Star) Spectacular production of Shows each night Workshops from your favourite Instructors Parties till 5 am The much-awaited Sunday Pool Party Participants from 40+ Countries 5+ Star Food buffet Goa Beach Holiday... continuation of the Festival

Radhika Vaz is back with her sophomore effort, 'Older. Angrier. Hairier.' Having turned 40 this year, Vaz focuses her Act on the challenges of ageing in a culture that worships youth, her decision not to have children and the stress that accompanies this choice. She also talks about her constant struggle to overcome her obsession with housework. Hilarious, irreverent and always on the money, 'Older. Angrier. Hairier.' is a trip through the mind of a woman who refuses to take life too seriously... mostly because that wouldn`t be funny Workshop Love Yourself, Heal Your Life ® Weekend Date: April 12 & 13 Time: April 12: 9.30 am; April 13: 6:30 pm Venue: Zorba The Buddha, 7, Tropical Drive, MG Road A 2-Day internationally acclaimed Workshop based on the works of Louise L. Hay and her book, 'You Can Heal Your Life. A Journey of Learning, Self Discovery and Growth'. This Workshop aims to enable you to: •  Learn to love and honour yourself and others fully and deeply  •  Release negative emotions that block your joy and creativity  •  Work with the body, mind and spirit to transform your life  •  Understand and release your barriers to love, abundance, prosperity & meaningful and fulfilling relationships •  Connect deeply with your inner child •  Release anger, guilt, fear and resentment  •  Ask for forgiveness for yourself and others easily •  Realise your inner wisdom and power •  Get more of what you want from life  •  Gain new tools and ideas to assist you on your individual journey to SelfDiscovery

C oming U p


Workshop Dining Etiquette Workshop for Children Date: April 13 & 14 Time: 9 am to 3.30 pm Venue: Club Patio, South City 2 Two days comprehensive Workshop. For children between 4 to 14 yrs. Workshop will equip children to dine with confidence and ease.  Customised modules for each age group. Highly Interactive and hands-on sessions. Hindustani Classical vocal recital Date : April 23 Time : 7:30 pm Venue: Epicenter Programme: Hindustani Classical vocal recital by Radhika Surana Tabla Accompaniment : Sh.Sukanto Bajpayee Harmonium Accompaniment: Sh. Sumit Misra followed by a Kathak Recital by Dejaya  Sarkar


11-17 April 2014

H appenings

4th. edition of the Outlook  Traveller Awards  Winners across 40 categories were chosen from the world of Travel and Hospitality. Parvez Dewan, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism was the Chief Guest.

Glen Artist

A Grand Coup


The all-new BMW M6 Gran Coupé, the ultimate four-door high performance sports coupé, was launched in India at the new BMW Group Training Centre. Philipp von Sahr, President, BMW Group India said, “Seemingly unstoppable, compellingly sporty, a singular presence – the all-new BMW M6 Gran Coupé does not follow conventional rules; it sets new standards. It is available in a petrol variant at an All India ex-showroom price of INR 1,75,40,000.

hetnaa Verma of Noida, Uttar Pradesh was the winner of the Glenfiddich 'Emerging Artist of the Year, 2014 Award' for Glenfiddich’s Artists in Residence Programme – 2014 in Scotland. Chetnaa received an award worth of  INR 10,00,000, including 3 months' residency allowance at The Glenfiddich Distillery in Dufftown, Scotland. .

H appenings

11-17 April 2014


Xebia rings in Agile NCR 2014

G Dreaming a new Reality


ike Rana’s latest non-fiction book 'A wonderful world – dreams and reality', was released by KTS Tulsi, Rajya Sabha member. The Event was attended by about 200 people.It was a book launch combined with a Panel Discussion on: 'How I can contribute' of course, without help from the government. Jyotsna Rana, a well-known performer in the NCR, provided a musical story of 6 decades of Independence - with the help of children.

urgaon witnessed the 7th edition of the mostawaited Agile event – ‘Agile NCR 2014’ - organised by Xebia. This year it featured a three days’ extravaganza of Pre-Conference Workshops, Presentations and Panel Discussions under multiple tracks at the Vivanta by Taj. Agile NCR is the largest, most comprehensive Event serving the Agile community, and provides attendees with hands-on trainings and workshops in a variety of disciplines - to help improve their knowledge and application of Agile. These Workshops were led by experts. The attendees were able to discover tools designed to help them do their jobs better and learn about best practices to improve their adoption of Agile. AgileNCR 2014 also included the first Agile CXO’s Conclave in India - wherein Directors, CXOs & COOs from various technology companies deliberated on the need for adopting Agile in their organisations, and how as leaders they can benefit from it. Madhur Kathuria, Director of Xebia Agile Consulting and Transformation said, “By enhancing our attendees’ experience in 2014 with intensive and interactive workshops on Agile, AgileNCR 2014 has become an even more valuable resource for technology professionals. The Conference helped the attendees discover the force of Lean and Agile, which can make a significant difference to their way of working”. Anand Sahay, CEO, Xebia added, “It gives me immense pleasure to get appreciation from our attendees, who always leave satisfied with the value they get from the Conference. They learn and explore various Agile techniques, which help them adapt better to current technology challenges and facilitate the growth of their organisations.”

Goodness Goddess!


LF5 in association with Urban Suburban Productions (USP) organised a thought-provoking Act titled 'God! I’m No Goddess' at Club5. The Play was a theatrical celebration of womanhood and has been conceptualised, scripted and directed by Vanessa Ohri and Farah Singh and produced by Urban Suburban Productions.  The Play comprises 7 playlets that seek to shatter the stereotypes thrust upon women by society and celebrates, instead, the Real Woman, in all her wonderful shades.

A Naturopathy Workshop on World Health Day


rchid Petals Housing Society organised a workshop on ‘Empowering yourself to good health through the goodness of Nature’.


11-17 April 2014


 As per the GurgaonFaridabad Toll Road Pvt Ltd spokesperson: A Notice has been issued by Vivek Kalia, Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Gurgaon (South) and Assistant Returning Officer, Sohna, to BSP's Dharampal Pehlwan Rathi, for vandalism and violence at the GurgaonFaridabad Toll Plaza on March 25, 2014. BSP supporters allegedly allowed free passage to vehicles, broke two toll plaza booths and beat up the plaza controller - who sustained serious injuries. The situation was brought under control by the Police, who were called in by the toll road operator.

 2 people are killed in an accident on the e-way, when 3 trucks collide; a biker is killed in an accident on the e-way.  A 4-year-old girl from Palam Vihar is molested by a bus driver; a youth from Wazirabad Village is arrested for kidnapping a minor girl.  A man who tires to stop some men from molesting 2 girls is shot at, near the HUDA City Centre Metro station; a man from Sector 5 accuses his cousin of kidnapping his wife and son.  An elderly person is shot at by 2 bike-borne youth,  Mangalsutras of 2 women are snatched in

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Sector 5.  2 people have been arrested for the attack on North-Eastern youth.  A person is caught for forging his release papers from Bhondsi Jail.  A fire at a Manesar factory rages for almost 5 hours; it takes 100 refilling trips to douse the fire. Fire tenders needed to be called from Gurgaon, Manesar and even private companies. 6 people are hurt.  Over 100 jhuggis are damaged in a fire at Ghata Village – allegedly caused by the bursting of a cylinder.  Rs 10 lakhs is ‘withdrawn’ from a person’s account, through a forged cheque.  7 power company employees are caught for taking a bribe of Rs 6 lakhs from a factory owner; a SubInspector is arrested for taking a Rs 40,000 bribe.  A job fraud is unearthed, wherein 12 youth are found to have paid Rs 10 to 12,000 each.  A gang that has been cutting electricity wires is caught.  The workers’ strike at Napino Auto ends.  Shivanku Bhat from Dehradun wins the Mister India Worldwide title (organised in Gurgaon), from among 25 finalists.  World health Day is celebrated on April 7th.

See the Live webcast of the polls on April 10th. at 1,000 polling stations, on

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.

Q. I have a lot of blackheads on my nose. Please advise. SH

Blackheads occur on oily skin or oily areas of the skin. After washing the face in the morning, wipe the blackhead prone areas with an astringent lotion, using cotton wool. In the morning after washing the face, make a paste of baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) and water. Apply the paste on the areas with blackheads daily and wash it off after 5 minutes. Use a facial scrub three times a week on the blackhead prone areas. You can either buy a facial scrub or you can mix rice powder with rose water and use as a facial scrub. Apply on the areas with blackheads and rub gently on the skin using

Rhea Bahl

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

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C ivic

11-17 April 2014

Politically aam Interns { Shilpy Arora / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon


am Aadmi Party (AAP) is becoming a cool Internship destination for young students. Last month, Pavan and Sudeep, final-year students at IIT Delhi signed up for internships with AAP. Despite politics hardly being a mainstream subject for technology students, many software engineers and IITians are opting for the Internship. "Anyone can study about technology; the challenge is to learn management skills and to deal with people. Politics teaches you all that. Moreover, Internship at AAP makes sure that we are exposed to the contemporary way of politics," feels Sudeep. For 25-year-old Rajdeep Kaur, who is pursuing a degree in Fine Arts from Ansal University, Internship at

Shankar Khanna AAP has provided immense exposure. She has been handling the campaign related to students from the North East, for the last six months. "I am a North Indian. I have hardly interacted with any student from that area earlier. However, today I am deeply involved in the co-ordination between them and the Party. I never knew that most of them could speak Hindi so well. I joined a twomonth Internship course, but it is so interesting that I am still pursuing it. This is the best phase of my life, as I can witness a paradigm shift in Indian politics," she says. The choice of Internship, by these students, not only mirrors their curiosity and enthusiasm to explore politics, it also highlights a passion for political change in the country. Professors too are encouraging the trend. "I think that Internship at AAP is in the mutual interest of students as well as the Party. While the Party will get an honest feedback from the young students, the students

can understand the political system better through ‘on the job’ workexperience. Political Internship will help students learn to speak in a language that has a greater connect with the common man," says GM Walia, Associate Professor for Sociology, Delhi University. The idea also seems to appeal to AAP. The members of the Party feel that the involvement of youngsters in politics will streamline the political culture in the country. Besides, it will help students to know about the ground realities and assist them in future analysis and decision-making. "I never knew that Gurgaon had so many villages. During my Internship I have been exposed to various issues of the villagers. For us, water and electricity are just commodities, but for them they are a luxury," says Pavan. Students in more than 30 countries are helping to coordinate the activities of

Rashmi the Aam Aadmi Party. Vasu, based in California, supports the global mailing to the AAP supporters in the US. He also accumulates suggestions from supporters and sends them to the Party Headquarter in India. Like him, many youngsters residing in foreign countries have come together to assist in the campaign and fundraising activities of AAP. The Party offers two types of Internships, ranging from six to eight weeks. One is to involve students in research projects such as 'Pol Khol'; and the other is to involve students in its 'Marketing Research' projects - to know the public's point of view and to conduct referendums. Besides, students learn about organisational structure, campaign strategy, parliamentary affairs, and Party activities. Interestingly, 'Pol Khol' involves investigation about various issues. "We conducted our own research to expose the 2G Spectrum scam. Before the Delhi elections we investigated about the skyrocketing water and

electricity bills. Many young Volunteers and Internees had put in efforts to collect data and thus we were able to conduct a comprehensive research, which formed the basis for the Party's policies. I think that the role of young Internees, from diverse backgrounds such as Engineering, Journalism, Management, Social Work and Arts, will help in the development of the Party," says Rashmi, a volunteer at AAP who is handling Media coordination. "Good managerial skills are all about decision making. By interning in AAP, I learnt about society, consensus building, decision making and overall organisation management," says Sudeep. "Winning an election is like competing in a market place and students can apply this learning to their future role as managers in the corporate world," feels Rashmi. The Internship also has proven to be beneficial for those


who are pursuing a doctoral degree, as one can attain knowledge about carrying out research. It is not necessary that students undergoing Political Internship should have a political career in mind. They can use their experience to attain a managerial role as well. Shankar Khanna, HR Manager, at MKM Solutions says, "Political Internship can definitely add value to a candidate's CV, as he/she would already know about various leadership styles, team building activities, decision making strategy and communications



strategy." Students who are interested in Public Policy should definitely opt for Political Internship. They can gain the right experience by assisting a politician. By working with MPs and MLAs, the students will gain experience in policymaking. While Internship at AAP is undoubtedly a winwin situation for both, the students and the Party, it also reflects the increasing interest of youngsters in wanting to bring about a change in the country. It can only be good for the country’s future. u



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C S 08 The New Social Contracts 11-17 April 2014

 Contd from p 1

{ Abhishek Behl / FG } be able to work effectively”, he says. Joseph agrees that the private sector will bring in the much-needed management expertise, better efficiencies and accountability. However, currently even in the private sector the execution of CSR activities is not strictly monitored and reported, as most of the work is outsourced to NGOs. Joseph says that this law will ensure that companies deploy more internal resources for carrying out CSR programmes. DLF has hired 20 professionals from the Social sector. The Foundation plans to work closely with NGO partners, mentor them, monitor their spending and evaluate their performances. This will ensure that the impact of the programmes - on the lives of the beneficiaries and the influence on the community - can be assessed in a far better manner. This also raises a pertinent question on whether private companies should set up separate departments to execute the CSR programmes themselves or engage with NGOs to deliver Social programmes. Experts in Social enterprises that opine that there needs to be a mixed approach to effectively execute a CSR programme. Apeksha Porwal, a Social sector entrepreneur who works for Janata Meals in Gurgaon, says that corporations and likeminded NGOs should get together and use their combined skills to ensure the successful delivery of Social goals. In her opinion, the private sector has competencies like better business practices, strong execution skills and better accounting, whereas the Social sector has better linkages with local communities, they know better about issues being

faced by the poor and weaker sections…and also have some solutions. DLF's Joseph says that engaging with quality NGOs will ensure that Social activities can be taken to multiple locations in multiple States – which would be difficult for a private company to do by itself. He refers to the Skill Development Programme launched by DLF in collaboration with an NGO, which has been taken to 6 States and today comprises 30 centres that are training youth in different skills. The NGOs have helped the Foundation in identifying about 500 young children who have exceptional talent, from the weaker sections of society - from across the villages of Gurgaon. But what about other builders? There are a large number of builders in the Millennium City making big profits, but most have not been very keen in supporting the local community. Ramesh Menon, Certes Reality Ltd, a Gurgaon-based firm, agrees that the Real Estate sector has been found wanting in its support for the Social sector. “If they can even start with helping labour and their families, at their construction sites, it would be a good opening,” says Menon. Menon suggests that builders should voluntarily set up crèches and tented schools, and provide free meals to the children of their workforce. The Real Estate industry can get some muchneeded ‘respect’ by adopting the villages where it sets up projects, and support the roads, sanitation and other services that impact the lives of the local community. For Certes, CSR is a way of life, and the Company has launched the Flip4Green initiative and the Confidence Foundation. The former is aimed at saving the environment by protecting trees, while the latter engages with rural girls to improve their soft

skills. Gurgaon also has a large concentration of IT companies, which are very careful about compliance and the execution of people and community friendly policies - like CSR. Nagarro, a Gurgaon-based software company, has already factored in the changes required by the new Companies Act, says Shruti Tandon, Senior Manager, HR. “We are focusing on promoting non-motorised transport in Gurgaon in a big way, and also other Social activities. We have a calendar for this, and also clear rules and regulations that guide our Social spend,” adds Tandon. Recently Nagarro, led by Manas Fuloria, had tied up with Euphoria to create an anthem 'Walk On', sung by Palash Sen. While the move to make CSR mandatory is being welcomed by most, sceptics feel that this may become another tool in the hands of government to browbeat the industry. Darshan Singh, CEO, Pan India, which has been involved in Rain Water Harvesting in a big way in Gurgaon, says that voluntary compliance would have been a better way to push for CSR in India - where giving is a way of life for big business, and established family businesses have been doing it for ages. “There is fear in small and medium enterprises that politicians and bureaucrats could misuse this law to pressurise them. It is an excellent idea, but there is need to insulate it from the corrupt establishment - else it would end up emulating government functioning,” he warns. He also points out that the biggest spenders on charity in India have been Parsi, Bania and Marwari business houses, which have spent big money to build hospitals, schools and other facilities required by the people. All this happened vol-

Prema Sagar, CEO Genesis BM, says that Section 135 of the Companies Act mandates normative CSR spending and mandatory reporting for companies registered in India or having their project office in India. The Section defines the CSR systems along with a suggestive list of activities that can be undertaken as part of CSR. These include Social Development issues - like health, education, environmental concerns, protection of art and culture, rural infrastructure development and contributions to the PM Relief Fund. “We expect that in the first year itself more than 8,000 companies will invest more than USD 2 billion in CSR programmes in India. This revolutionary law provides us the potential to deal with some of the most pressing social challenges that India is facing”, says Sagar. She adds that since the publication of the ‘Ruggie Report’ (2008) on human rights and corporations, companies have been waking up to human rights issues across their value chains. In a time of globalisation, transparency and increasing expectations from informed stakeholders, the risk of even indirect involvement in human rights violations is growing. Many companies are proactively adopting human rights policies and practices and looking at ways to mitigate any liabilities. Sagar says that CSR is also becoming a major tool for attracting and retaining talent. As per a recent survey, more than 60% Indian employees expected their employers to do more on the Social and Environmental front. The corporations have taken it seriously and are creating new programmes on CSR, with a clear employee engagement element. In Sagar’s opinion, corporations operating in India need to adopt a strategic approach to CSR in the light of these key trends. They need to review, realign and re-launch their CSR policy and programmes.

untarily, he asserts. His apprehension is not off the mark. The Gurgaon District Administration has already reached out to ‘hand-hold’ the private sector in the carrying out of CSR activities. The Administration says that they want to fill the gaps in the Social sector by roping in corporate houses and adopt a Public Private Community Approach (PPCA) under which the government and private sectors will join hands to make Gurgaon a better place to live in. Gurgaon DC, Shekhar Vidyarthi, who held a meeting on this a couple of months ago, said that the District Administration would help the companies in discharging their CSR obligation. According to the ‘plan’, a Society will be formed under the Chairmanship of the District Collector, and representatives of the companies would be members of that Society. The DC added that the ADC, CTM and SDMs would also be members. Various Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) would be asked to propose programmes related to Social causes. Bhawani Shankar Tripathy, who works in the Social sector with the UN, says that the Social sector stands to benefit from CSR in the private sector, provided there is appropriate engagement between social, private and government sectors. Right now there is a need for clearer guidelines on scope, participation and measurement. “Any activity that gets regulated always has a scope for interference; this could be related to the use of resources, processes followed, outputs achieved and review mechanisms,” says Tripathy. CSR should be redefined, from making corporate houses undertake social activities to them becoming 'socially responsible'. True Corporate Social Responsibility will be visible when corporate houses change those activities and processes that are socially detrimental or harmful, to activities that are socially beneficial. Apeksha Porwal suggests that though the government has made CSR mandatory, it also needs to ensure that it benefits the community in a sustainable manner. In this increasingly Social and caring world, the private sector needs to send out a strong message that it is not only about profits, and that it also cares about the society in which it functions. It should be happy to care and share – as a responsible entity.u



 Contd from p 1

{ Shilpy Arora / FG } I am lucky that I have been given an opportunity to study, though my parents will never allow me to move out of the City. They need to understand that money alone can’t bring us happiness; we should be respected, and it is possible only through a successful professional career,” she says. Rajdeep seconds her views and says, “I want to pursue an MBA from Amity so that I can work in a multinational company in Cyber City.” Although the rural youth dreams to make it big in the City, life is not easy in the villages - especially for girls. Parents protect their daughters by curtailing their movements and restricting their freedom. According to a survey, more than 300 teenaged girls left their schools last year in rural Gurgaon; allegedly because local youth were harassing some of them while they were on their way home. Rani (name changed), 15, a student of Government School, Sukhrali, says, “My mother drops me to school in the morning and my father picks me up in the afternoon. Some girls left the school as they were being teased by a few boys. I want to apply for an English Honours degree in Delhi University after completing my 12th, but I know that it is going to be tough as my family does not want me to study further.” Rani’s mother feels that the modern culture in the City is responsible for the rising sexual assault cases. “My daughter will soon turn 16. I don’t want her to stay in Gurgaon because it is not safe. Moreover, I don’t want her to wear short skirts and use a mobile phone and try to become ‘modern’. I will send her to my village in Hisar to stay with my parents. We will look for a nice person and marry her off soon,” she says. Some families still pull their girls out of school when they reach adolescence and force them to marry early. Taking girls out of school in order to protect them from sexual abuse is not new in rural Haryana. However, with the rising aspirations among rural girls, due to the increasing urbanisation around the villages, it has become a big challenge. Many of these girls are today working in various occupations around the City, without the knowledge of

11-17 April 2014

their parents; this is a volatile situation, just waiting to explode. Despite facing many challenges in their villages and social discrimination in the City, rural youth has been making conscious efforts to become an integral part of the ‘new’ Gurgaon. Ravinder, 26, who owns acres of land in his village and has three SUVs, sends his sisters to an international school. “My parents put me into the business of property as soon as I passed out of school, but I want my sisters to study and feel comfortable when they step into the City. I want to show the villagers that girls can do anything – even work in big companies (like the boys),” he says. Such new thinking is helping change the youth of rural Gurgaon, who are now aware that education is key to becoming a part of the modern culture. Those who are already studying in schools understand the difference very well. When asked about the dresses adopted by girls in ‘new’ Gurgaon, Rani says, “We have been taught that different places have

different ‘dress codes’ in India. My parents feel that wearing a skirt is wrong. But I strongly disagree. It should be a matter of personal choice.” It may be hard to believe, but most youngsters in villages don’t smoke and drink. Rajdeep claims that the brawls at the malls are generally initiated by drunken youngsters who come from the Capital. “We are always held responsible for the fights in the malls. We have well-built bodies, but that doesn’t mean that we love to indulge in fights.

In fact the only time when we find it hard to control our emotions is when people look down upon us because we can’t speak good English. While the ‘modern folk’ from ‘new’ Gurgaon don’t wish to talk to us at the gyms and clubs, we will still make sure that they feel comfortable on our land,” smiles Rajdeep. While many in ‘new’ Gurgaon are often heard saying that

C over S tory

villagers initiate the brawls, misbehave with women and take out their guns in public, not many have experienced any of this. Mishti from LSV Foundation, who has been teaching children at Wazirabad for the last six years, says, “When I moved from the US to the City, I used to maintain a distance from the villagers, as I always had a negative image in mind. Once I started interacting

Modi-BJP Rally


with them, I realised that while we may be culturally different, when we visit a village they welcome us with open hearts. We, on the other hand, have always looked down upon them. We believe that the social and cultural hotspots in this City are exclusive - only for ‘people like us’. How can we even think of blocking places in this City from the original inhabitants?” So, while the youngsters from rural Gurgaon have become more open to accepting the culture of the new Gurgaon, the ‘modern’ lot still wishes to live a cocooned life in ‘safe’ pockets. The next generation of rural Gurgaon will have doctors, lawyers and engineers too. It is time for the ‘new’ Gurgaonites to realise the potential and positivity of these youngsters living in the villages around us. There is a serious need to introspect on the value(s) of our (exclusive) education. Modernity is also about accepting and respecting other cultures. A positive urban-rural social and cultural exchange will help the City evolve a true millennium culture. u

prakhar PANDEY


11-17 April 2014

S ocial

A Heathy Foundation { Shilpy Arora / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon


achit (name changed), a mentally challenged child, has been living in a slum near South City II for the last three years. His parents moved from Bengal to seek employment, and better healthcare services for their child. However, they soon realised that health care here is out of their reach. “The people in the neighbourhood would get very upset with Rachit and take him to a nearby night shelter and lock him in a small room. We didn’t have the money to go to the better hospitals for treatment. We didn’t want to send him to an asylum - he is the only child. But last year a few volunteers from an NGO, Neev visited our slum and took Rachit to a good hospital,” says Rachit’s mother. The condition of


Rachit improved in just three months. Today he is going to a normal school and has many friends in the neighbourhood. The lack of awareness about the needs of the mentally and physically challenged children, and the lack of organised care in urban slums, is affecting the lives of many children. Despite making rapid strides in the health sector, the country is struggling to provide basic healthcare services to the needy. According to an estimate, though comprising one fourth of the country’s poor population, the urban poor have access to less than four per cent of the public primary healthcare facilities. Neev, a part of the Bharat Memorial Charitable Trust, is helping provide better healthcare facilities for the children living in the slums of Gurgaon. Founded in Panchkula in 1996, the NGO established base in the City some five years ago.

The NGO has been serving the underprivileged through scholarships, medical camps, sports events and interest free education loans; it is also supporting orphanages. It runs a school that has 100 students. About 35 students from Neev have already been mainstreamed in leading schools such as Amity International School and Delhi Public School. Interestingly, volunteers at Neev live in the slums, to better understand the issues faced by the children in the area – be it lack of healthcare facilities or the infrastructure for education. “The trustees of the NGO felt that the best way to equip the underprivileged with life skills and to empower them to face the realities of life, was to educate them. However, education is possible only when the children have are physically and mentally fit,” says Nirmala Yadav, Managing Director.

Neev has an association with the renowned Smile Foundation, it has initiated a healthcare programme – ‘Smile on Wheels’. It is a unique concept, wherein the NGO takes the primary healthcare services to the slums - with a special focus on children and women. The programme has already benefitted over 10,000 underprivileged children in the City and more than 2,31,000 people last year in the country. Besides, the NGO organises many health camps across the City. “The uniqueness of the model lies in its comprehensive approach – of health promotion, disease prevention and curative care,” informs Dr. Radhika. u

Tips for an MBA Entrance Interview

he Personal Interview (PI) is an important part of the B-School selection process. It may be the first interview for most of the candidates applying for a B-School admission. While some candidates prepare so well that they glide smoothly through, it remains most challenging. In spite of rigorous preparation, it is not really possible to predict the questions that the interviewer might ask. At times the interviewers may even pose unexpected questions that can make you feel uncomfortable. In such situations you must try to stay calm and focused while answering the questions, as they are meant to test your ability to act under stress. Candidates are not expected to come up with a correct answer for every question - but they are expected to give answers that make sense. So, try to give thoughtful answers in an honest manner. Here are some common mistakes that candidates must avoid during an interview – avoiding them will leave a good impression on the interviewer.

Reporting late for the Interview

Try to make every effort to be present well before the scheduled time. This would allow you to feel relaxed and be at ease. But, in case of an emergency, do make it a point to inform the college authorities in time. If you have informed the college with a valid reason for your delay, it would demonstrate your professionalism. On the contrary, arriving late for the interview without informing the college/interviewer would leave a negative impact.

Dressing up inappropriately

The Interview at the B-school could be the first formal interview for most of the candidates. Take good care of what you wear. Wear a business suit–­neat and nicely ironed–with polished formal shoes. Girls should avoid bright coloured business suits, heavy make-up, ‘gaudy’ jewellery and ‘bold’ perfumes. Boys should avoid wearing informal/semi-formal clothes.

Going off the track

Avoid deviating or giving irrelevant answers just for the sake of impressing showing your knowledge – to the interviewer. Further, you should not be evasive about questions on your weak areas - such as poor grades. Do not try to hide anything. Instead, try to give honest answers. This will make a positive impact on the interviewer. It is better not to give excuses for your past failures or any lack of determination and hard work to achieve goals.

Avoiding eye contact

Slum dwellers suffer from adverse health conditions due to a lack of awareness, as also the opportunity – time off means the loss of a day’s wage. The NGO has therefore tried to make healthcare services available at their door, by means of a mobile service. “We need to follow a twopronged approach. First of all we should bring quality health care services to the doorsteps of the needy; secondly, healthcare awareness and contemporary healthcare services should be promoted among the underprivileged,” feels Dr. Radhika, who has been working with the NGO for the last two years. A Mobile Medical Service is considered to be the ideal mechanism. As

A confident candidate, who has prepared well for the Interview, is expected to give answers while maintaining a good eye contact with the interviewer. This shows that the candidate is confident and cares about what the interviewer is say-

ing. Making eye contact also demonstrates that the candidate is actively engaged in the discussion.

Exaggerating and overstating

It is better not to exaggerate or lie about something just to impress the Interview panelists. They are experienced and smart. If they feel you are trying to hide certain facts, they will be annoyed, and this will hurt your chances. So, be yourself and structure your answers around authentic facts and figures.

Not talking of your achievements   

Candidates who tell their success stories will have more chances to crack the Interview as opposed to those who avoid talking about their past accomplishments. Try to talk about the circumstances and challenges that surrounded your achievements. This would demonstrate your perseverance and hard work in accomplishing your goals. For example, if a candidate has succeeded in getting good grades in the High School examination, despite participating in a District level Cricket tournament that was coinciding with the Examination, it can provide a good rationale of your ability to multi-task well.

Not maintaining decorum

It displays a lack of manners when you call the Interviewer by his or her first name - unless the Interviewer ‘allows’ you. Similarly, candidates are not expected to ask personal questions without the permission of an Interviewer, as it may suggest that the candidate is unprofessional.           Not asking questions         When it is your chance to ask some questions, do not mute your expressions. Utilise this opportunity to express your thoughts and future prospects in the B-School. Candidates who do not ask questions when they get the chance generally portray their lack of preparation and unwillingness to know more about the B-School. Try to prepare 3-4 relevant questions, at least on the B-School.

Reacting negatively

You should not make inappropriate statements in response to the opinions of other candidates, current students or even the alumni of the B-School. It would be immature and unprofessional on your part. Maintain a neutral view to the statements made by others. Remember, your first impression is going to make an everlasting impact. Try to make it a positive one. Do what it takes to prepare appropriately for the Interview, and impress the panelists. Give your answers honestly and, most importantly, be yourself. All the Best!u

11-17 April 2014

C ivic/S ocial


Act for your Ownership Rights { Abhishek Behl / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon


n order of the Gurgaon District Court has held that the registration of an Association under the Societies Act would first require the property to be brought out of the purview of the Haryana Apartment Owners Act 1983 - which provides for the overall framework for apartment complexes in the State. The Additional District Judge of Gurgaon, J B Gupta, gave this direction while hearing the petition of Silver Oaks Society versus Silver Oaks Condominium Association over the issue of registration of the Association under the Societies Act 2012. The case was filed by Silver Oaks Society to prevent the Condominium Association from getting registered under the Societies Act without taking consent and approval for the same from a General Body Meeting of the Association. Citing Section 14 of the 1983 Act, the judge mentioned in his Order that all the apartment owners may remove a property from the provisions of this Act by any instrument to that effect duly executed. Pooja Aganpal, lawyer for the Silver Oaks Society, says that the broader implication of this Order is that apartment associations need to get themselves out of the purview of the 1983 Act. However, there is no necessity to rush to get registered under the Societies Act 2012. Whenever any society prefers to opt for the Societies Act 2012, it will have to first get the approval of all its apartment owners - to get the property out of the purview of the Apartment Act 1983. Aganpal says that they had originally filed the suit with Civil Judge, Gurgaon, who dismissed it with the plea that this case came under the purview of the Registrar of Societies and Firms. “We filed an appeal with the submission that this Apartment Association was still being governed by the 1983 Act, and still had not got itself registered under the Societies Act. We are happy that our contention has been upheld,” she adds. She adds that Associations do not have to fear that they will not be able to open a bank account without a (Societies Act) registration number – given by the Registrar. Bank accounts can be opened by an RWA by giving the Wasika number of a property - which is mentioned in the Deed of Declaration. Citing an anomaly in the functioning of the Societies Act 2012, Aganpal says that the entire premise of apartment associations running their condominiums and maintaining the complexes through profit generated from common areas, has been negated by this new Act. The Societies Act is meant for registering organisations that want to work on a noprofit principle. The fundamental basis of apartment associations as defined by the Apartment Act 1983 is on the basis of revenue and profit generation and its usage for the maintenance of the complex.

Col BK Dhawan, Petitioner in the case, says that the Judge has clearly observed that until the property is removed from the purview of the Act of 1983, the same cannot be registered under some other  Act without approval of the General Body meeting or prior approval from all other members of  the Association. No decision can be taken by the respondent Association on its own. In the present case two Acts, namely Act of 1983 and Act of 2012, are involved. The Judge has further clearly  observed that from the perusal of Section 14, that for getting registered under some other provisions of law, first   the property has to be removed from the purview of the Act of 1983 - in accordance with the provision of this Section; and it also needs compliance with Section 7 of the Act of 1983. The matter now stands subjudice, and therefore no action can be taken by Silver Oak Condominium Association for switching over to the Society Act 2012 till the matters are finally resolved. An even more serious concern is that the Registrar of Societies and Firms is a quasi-judicial body that is run by government appointed bureaucrats, and once an apartment association gets itself registered with it the jurisdiction of the civil courts would be barred - under Section 89 of the Societies Act 2012. Making the import of this Section clearer, Aganpal says that if your rights are infringed under the Apartment Act 1983, the association or apartment owner can move the Court to get judicial recourse – the authenticity of allegations or a dispute can be proved through evidences. However, under the Societies Act, getting judicial recourse is a very long and time-consuming process, as appeals have to be made to the District Registrar, then to State Registrar, then to Registrar General of the State and finally to the government - which is the final authority on settling a dispute. No Court can be petitioned. All the decision-making and judicial authority is vested in the government-appointed bureaucrats and the political executive. This is also why apartment buyers have accused the state government of colluding with builders and giving them a backdoor entry to control the apartment associations – via the new Societies Act. With this new Act, the builders would be in a good position to (forever) control the common areas in the complexes - which house school buildings, clubs and shopping complexes, along with maintenance and service facilities. Amit Jain, Director General of the Federation of Apartment Owners Association (FAOA), says that a number of aspects and provisions of the Societies Act, which have been made applicable to the Association of Apartment Owners, are not only inconsistent but also in contradiction with ownership, voting and management rights of apartment

owners under the Apartment Owners Act. Advocate Aganpal says that the Societies Act provides for a ‘one flat one vote’ system, whereas the Apartment Act gives proportional voting rights - which ultimately have an impact on the ownership of common areas. The FAOA has also filed a petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, submitting that the provisions of the ‘The Haryana Registration and Regulation of Societies Act, 2012’ and the ‘The Haryana Registration and Regulation of Societies Rules, 2012’ are inconsistent with and override the provisions of the ‘The Haryana Apartment Owners Act, 1983’ and ‘The Haryana Apartment Ownerships Rules 1987’. Jain argues that there is a direct conflict between the provisions of both the Acts. As per FAOA’s submission, the Apartment Owners Act and the Rules 1987 are a complete code, which specifically set out the Law in respect of the ownership and administration of a property and every building constructed for the purpose of transfer of ownership of an individual apartment in a building constructed under a Licence issued under the Haryana Development and Regulation of Urban Area Act, 1975 and an Occupation Certificate obtained under the rules framed under the Punjab Scheduled Roads and Controlled Area Restrictions of Unregulated Development Act, 1963. Jain says that the Federation has even brought this to the notice of various authorities - like the Chief Secretary to the Government of Haryana, Sub-Registrar Gurgaon and District Registrar of Firms & Societies.

As per the Petition filed by the Federation, they have sought clarifications from the High Court on: 1) Whether the provisions of the Haryana Registration and Regulation of Societies Act, 2012 are repugnant to and in conflict with the special law in force governing apartments in Haryana (i.e., the Haryana Apartment Owners Act, 1983) 2)  Whether provisions of the Haryana Registration and Regulation of Societies Act, 2012, a General Law, can override the provisions of the Haryana Apartment Owners Act, 1983, which is the Special Law in force governing apartments in Haryana 3) Whether the entire premise and effect of the Apartment Ownership Act, an Act that is fine tuned to the peculiar needs of Group Housings, can be set aside by the bringing into force of a general Act for the registration of societies 4) Whether the Societies Act can change/modify the voting rights of the apartment owners, which have already been provided in the Apartment Owners Act, the special Act dealing with apartments and the rights of their owners 5) Whether the Registrar has the jurisdiction to directly interfere in the working of the Apartment Owners Association and to supersede the Governing Body of the Association - by appointing Administrators under Section 56 of the Societies Act. The answer/Order will have far-reaching implications for the apartment owners in Gurgaon…and the builders.u


After reading FG on paper or online, you can also comment on the various articles/stories, on FG Website or on facebook


S ocial

11-17 April 2014

Thank you Teachers

This week my Poem is also a bit thought provoking in the sense that it questions man’s forays into space, when he has not been able to even curb hunger and warfare right here on earth.

{ Anita Jaswal}

like a teacher who gives you something to take home - to think about - besides homework. A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops. 
We look back with appreciation and gratitude to the brilliant teachers who touched us – and helped make us who we are. A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination and instil a love of learning. This is what a few children had to say about their teachers.


Rigg Dev, a student of Class VI of Shalom Hills International School, feels: “We humans are good learners. Teachers are our professional gurus. Generally we judge our teachers as good or bad based on our interests in the subjects. A ‘best teacher’ is one who makes his or her subject ‘catchy’, by the way he or she teaches. My favourite teacher is Mrs. Vimla Jossi. She teaches us Science. She has a parental care and affection for all the students. We enjoy her teachings as she makes her classes more interesting by citing examples from day to today happenings. I am thankful to all the teachers.

 Auonima Dev, in Grade II in Shalom Hills International School, feels: “Teachers are our mothers in the School. They teach us how to read, write and learn. I love all my teachers, but Mrs. Shilpa is my favourite. She teaches us English. She cares about us a lot. I love you ma’am.” Vidisha Vig, a student Class XII at The Heritage School, defines a teacher beautifully: “A teacher is a person who will light your way through the darkness of your life. They are the ones who prioritise your life or career before their own life. The best example for this is the movie Freedom Writers, where the teacher sacrifices her marriage for her students. This just shows the purity of their love and affection towards us. They spend their valuable time discussing how they can teach us better, what

Kyun chaand pe jaate ho?

event or activity can make their class or lecture go from a ‘Boo’ to a ‘Oh Yeah!’ I speak this from my own very personal experience. This year when I was surrounded by clouds of failure, my Class XI teacher was there with me all the time. She was upset when she came to know that I had not done well in my exams and had to re-appear for one of them. She called me regularly to check whether I was studying and made sure I was in good spirits. This just shows how strongly teachers tend to get bonded to us. Even in the first year of our academic session, and even if we don’t stay with them after that year, they would always be there… supporting us. They become our moral and emotional support, and say: “We will work harder’’; and not, “You need to work hard.” Anshul Tyagi, in Grade VII in Lotus Valley international School, feels: “Teachers do many things for us, even if they don’t get anything out of it - but do we realise this? I came from a French School in Montreal, into Grade IV here. My English was bad - it was a mix of English, French and Punjabi. Every day my teacher would give me a small work sheet, a little bit of homework to help improve my marks. This happened for several months, and soon my grades started improving every week. By the year end I started getting an A in almost every subject. She means a lot to me. She helped me become who and what I am today. I wish we had more such teachers!” u

Kyun chaand pe jaate ho? Kyun taaron ko khojte ho? Pahle zameen ko to sanwaar lo Agar kuchh kar sakte ho Insaan ne banaye insaan se Ladne ke liye hathiyaar Yun bomb giraye, le leen jaanen Ek sang kayi hazaar Yahaan rondhte ho zindagi ko Wahaan jeevan dhoondhte ho? Kyun chaand pe jaate ho? Waise hi zameen par kya kum hain Ladne marne ke maidaan? Tum juta rahe ho antarishk mein Jangon ka samaan? Yahaan phail rahi hai bhukmari Yahaan phail raha hai aatankwaad Kya use kam kar sakte ho? Kyun chaand pe jaate ho? Chalo maan bhi lein tumhen mil jaayen Wahaan jeevan ke aasaar Hoga woh khuda ka hi banda Kya kar lo ge sweekaar? Kis dharm aur jaat ki ginti mein Use shaamil karte ho? Kyun chaand pe jaate ho? Kyun taare khojte ho? Pahle zameen ko to sambhaal lo Agar kuchh kar sakte ho. Ashok Lal

Motivation – The Growth Mantra


ith tougher projects, stringent guidelines and shorter deadlines, complexities at work are increasing by the day. Motivating employees to stay ahead and on top of their work is, therefore, more difficult now. And, to remedy the situation, there cannot be a ‘one size fits all’ stimulating programme. However, the ‘carrot’, in its modern tangible and often more intangible avatars, is still a prized motivator. Small wonder then, that while the CEOs are chasing bigger turnovers and profits, their HR managers are thinking of innovative means by which to keep the often over-stretched staff productive and ticking. Motivation is the fuel that powers performance. It also keeps employees glued to the organisation. A demotivated employee is like a termite, idly eating into the resources of the Company; in contrast, a motivated employee contributes to the growth of the Company.

mare go (or the world go round) is only figuratively true. Although wage hikes and promotions can be sure-shot ways to motivate more then a few, these are mainly ‘hygiene’ factors (in HR parlance) – meaning, that these incentives are missed when they are not there but are otherwise taken for granted. Transparent work policies, appreciation from peers, respect from seniors and the presence of senior managers acting as role models are often more important contributors to a highly motivated work force. Motivation cascades wonderfully from the top. That’s why it is important to hire competent and qualified leaders, who can motivate their subordinates on a regular, on-going basis. A charged-up environment created by senior managers can in fact be infectiously motivating for the junior members of the team.

It’s not always about money

Experts contend that employees are more excited, happy and satisfied if they can explore challenging

The popular perception that money makes the

Challenges at work

opportunities at work. It is important to engage people in exciting assignments and projects. I personally feel, and have experienced for years while in the corporate world, that an ‘early opportunities’ scheme serves precisely this aim – it spots and puts young, energetic high performers on a fast-track growth path. These ‘special’ employees will not wait (rightfully) for years for opportunities to fall into their laps.

Close to reality

Motivating is a long and continuous process. We take feedback regularly from our employees about their quality of work, the organisational culture, our HR policies and their work challenges. It is not about resolving issues but developing and managing longterm relationships. The organisation must strive to meet everybody’s aspirations. That should lead to employees wanting to stay in…with maybe just a few opting (or being opted) out. u Maj (Retd) N K Gadeock

11-17 April 2014

K id C orner


To Grand Mamas & Papas


randparents enrich our lives with their experience, wisdom and knowledge. To pay respect to them, a Grandparents’ Day was celebrated in the Junior wing of American Montessori Public School, by the students of Montessori I/II and Class II. The grandparents were given a traditional welcome - a tilak - by the children, and the Director - Principal, Ms.Anita Sharma. Saraswati Vandana was presented by the students of Class II. This was followed by a skit on ‘Unity in Diversity’, by the students of Montessori I/II, an Indian Classical dance, a foot-tapping Western dance and then another skit based on the love and affection of grandparents - by the students of Class II. The students of the evening dance classes, conducted in the School premises, performed two brilliant numbers. A small quiz was conducted for the grandparents. The Vice-Chairperson, Dr.Nidhi Trehan, shared her views and experiences.

A Trip to the Railway Museum


oundation students of Lancers International undertook a field trip to the Railway Museum. It was a great learning experience for the children.

Witnessing The Symphony


ritish Council, India invited the 7 to12-year-olds of Chiranjiv Bharati School, Palam Vihar, to witness the most prestigious BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra at the Siri Fort Auditorium, New Delhi. This spectacular interactive Concert was introduced by Paul Rissman and had musicians from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Nicola Benedetti – Violin Soloist and James MacMillan - the Conductor of the Concert. The students were enthralled to hear Beethoven, Mozart, Stravinsky and John Williams - this was their first rendezvous with Western Classic music. They were escorted by Mrs Hanu Narang, International School Co-ordinator and Mrs. Shilpi Sharma, the Activity Co-ordinator of the Primary Wing . The children thanked the Principal, Mrs. Sangeeta Saxena, for allowing them to be a part of this mega-event, which was organised by the British Council in co-operation with ‘Seher’ – an NGO that works for the growth of upcoming artists in the areas of Visual and Performing Arts.


K id C orner

11-17 April 2014

Learn Kinaesthetics


Principal Educationist


he Principal of Chiranjiv Bharati School, Palam Vihar, Ms. Sangeeta Saxena, was awarded for her outstanding contribution in the field of Education in a glittering Ceremony held at New Delhi. She was conferred the Best Educationist Award by the International Institute Of Education and Management.The Chairman of the Organization, Shri Mahan Vir Tulli ( retired IFS officer), presented her the Award. Her astounding  achievements in the field of Education continue to inspire and motivate all Chiranjivis. 

Teaching Parenting

hat is Kinaesthetic Learning? It’s a physical style of learning, wherein you use your body, actions, movements and sense of touch in your Learning activities. Banyan Tree World School used the Kinaesthetic method to teach the Grade VI students on the topic ‘Factors and Multiples’. The teacher used the Class premises to conduct a class on physical learning. The floor tiles (100 of them), in square shapes, were used to conduct this activity. On the tiles the teacher wrote the numbers 1 to 100 and then asked students to jump on different even & odd numbers. The students soon understood the concept. After this the teacher taught the students the concept of Factors. Learning : this activity was very informative & the students performed it with a lot of energy and enthusiasm. The students learnt to think and concentrate, and also realised the benefit of working in teams.


workshop on Parenting was conducted at Ryan International School, Sohna Road, by Ms. Nidhi Agarwal, an expert. The parents were warmly welcomed by the Principal, Mouna Gupta. Ms Agarwal provided useful and valuable guidelines to [parents, for helping them to build a good rapport with this new, curious generation. The Ryan Learning System was explained to the parents with the aid of Power Point Presentation (PPT) and Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE). Parents were informed that the CCE pattern helps keep a track on the progress of a child and provides a proper channel for his/her potential.

11-years-old Delhi Boy receives multiple Art Scholarships in London


student of 5th Standard at Scottish High International School, Radhey Patel has been awarded a distinguished Art scholarship at three of the best independent schools in the United Kingdom - Merchant Taylors’ School, The John Lyon School in Harrow and Aldenham School. This recognition honours the tremendous effort, dedication and preparation that Radhey has exhibited in his Art and academic studies. Child prodigy Radhey Patel rose to fame a few years ago when, at the tender age of seven, the National Institute of Fine Arts labelled him a ‘child genius’. Critics praised the child for his ability to produce Art that looked like the work of established artists. Expressing happiness at the success of her son, his mother says: As a young child, Radhey loved to doodle, draw and paint…but his paintings were different. We realised his ability to paint extraordinary things at such an early age. The refrigerators at home served as galleries for his Artwork and the walls as his canvas. As responsible parents we are promoting his interest.“ Radhey Patel says, “There was never a moment’s doubt in my mind that this is what I want to do. Painting a very creative process – of getting to express my thoughts and imagination and making the impossible possible. The first thing that pops up

in my mind when I wake up is some new ideas for Art. I have always been driven to experiment and make unique things with my hands. Art is my language of expression. Making and seeing Art excites my brain and makes my day complete.” In one of his paintings, dedicated to the Nation’s father Mahatma Gandhi, titled ‘Transform: Making of a Mahatma’, Radhey attempts to show how Gandhi, an attorney in South Africa, transformed into a Mahatma during the fight for Independence. “The idea was to create a piece of Artwork based around the word transform - the word suggests something is changing or shifting, turning from one thing into another. I was inspired by the quote of Nelson Mandela, on Gandhiji: “You gave us Gandhi, we gave you back the Mahatma,” explains Radhey. Picasso and Van Gogh are his all time favourites, and he firmly believes in the theory of Picasso, which says: ‘every child is an artist; the problem is how (will) they remain artists once they grow up’. Further, quoting William Blake, Radhey Patel says, “Without unceasing practice nothing can be done, Practice is Art and if you leave off you are lost.” Radhey’s next challenge is to host an online exhibition of all his work in support of ‘BBC Children in Need’, thereby contributing to the well-being of other children and helping make a difference. 

Testimonials & Appreciations for Radhey’s work:

A letter from Simon Everson, Head Master, Merchant Taylors’, School, states, “We think Radhey is full of creative promise and we are delighted to offer him an Art Scholarship.” “Radhey is a gifted student, who combines serious study with a range of extra-curricular activities. He has an amazing capacity for fulfilling his responsibilities in a great variety of activities, both in and out of school. Radhey is learning to hone his talent and imagination, and to express his creativity. He shows genuine talent, and with continuous exposure has great potential for a bright future in Fine Art,” says Sudha Goyal, Head, Scottish High International School. National Institute of Fine Arts (NIFA) Director, Renu Khera says: “Radhey is painting so far in advance of his years. There are many talented artists out there, but I can’t think of any that have made such an impact at such a young age. I would happily exhibit all his works in the gallery.” NIFA is a national centre for education in Arts, fostering the excellence of emerging and established artists, and advancing Art to create a more humane world. Radhey Patel’s latest work will be displayed at the renowned Annual Art Exhibition of NIFA planned for May 2014 in New Delhi. Until then, discover his evergrowing Collection at www.radheypatel.comu

11-17 April 2014

K id C orner


Kinder Care Graduation 9th Graduation Ceremony of Kinder Care Playschool was proudly celebrated at Club Patio, Nirvana, wherein outgoing kids received their degrees wearing pretty gowns and caps. The guests, Ms.Richa Kaw, Educator and Ms.Usha Pathania, Incharge, Gurgaon Valley School, congratulated Principal Ms. Archana Tandon. The kids enthralled their parents and the guests by presenting Ganesh Vandana, a Skit - The Hungry Caterpillar, and a Dance sequence to celebrate 100 years of Indian Cinema. It was a touching moment when parents and kids shared their views and experiences.

Welcome to a new Session, the Ryan way


yan International School, Sohna Road, organised a Special Assembly in the Amphitheatre to welcome the new Session 2014-2015. After the Welcome by the Principal Dr. Mouna Gupta and the teachers, and Prayers, the Ryan News Desk updated the Assembly with the latest happenings around the globe. The teachers highlighted the vision of Chairman Dr. Augustine F. Pinto - on values, academics, communication skills, sports & leisure, leadership, finance, and art, culture & heritage. The young achiever and shining star Dushyan Taggar of IV-B was honoured for bagging the 2nd position at RTSE; Chhavi Kakkar of IV-B was honoured for securing the 1st position at the Handwriting Olympiad State Championship.  



yan International School, Sector-40, has always excelled in inculcating good moral values in the students. The children of Classes VI and VII visited the CRPF Camp to witness the Passing Put Parade of the young CRPF cadets. The young Ryanites were exposed to the values of personality development, commitment to duty and discipline.


11-17 April 2014

Retire Unhurt


Arvindji, why go down the path of the Congress & BJP? Instead of accusing them of trying to kill you (which would be the standard political response), can you not accept that perhaps a few aam aadmi are really upset that you ‘ran away' – deserted them? They believed you whole-heartedly and now feel angst and pain…and anger. Accept this and move on. There is a long journey ahead.

C omment

It’s the flavour of the season. Is it time to set a retirement age for politicians? Every other ‘occupation’ is made to retire by 65 latest. What makes politicians so special? Are they physically and mentally more alert at 65 than anyone else? Apart from empirical evidence suggesting otherwise, is there something in their occupation (or genes) that makes them age less…or slower? Yes, they are kind of slow on the uptake. Is it because of usage? Does a politician’s ‘job’ not require physical and/or mental faculties? The old should especially see the writing on the wall. If they don’t do it to themselves (i.e. fix a retiring age), then someone – their younger rivals – are now going to do it for them. And that is not a pretty sight. Ask Jaswant Singh…or even Chidambram. And surely none of the elderly is waiting for a health moment! The message should be clear to all Parties. Karunanidhi is starting to feel the heat; Jayalalitha should start preparing. Let those with sons as heirs not sit pretty. Akhilesh could break free soon. And Sonia should know that Rahul will want to take charge the moment the elections are over – whatever the result. He anyway seemed to have set his eyes more on 2019 – till the ‘We want Baba’ parade-charade started. The old owe it to their young too – in family, friends and country. A set retirement should be their contribution towards

Europe could make a very strong case for an increase in retirement ages – given a demographic ‘tax’ (of an ‘old’ population). Yet they have not. Age cannot be ignored.

In fact the crying out need is probably to have Judges of at least the High Courts and the Supreme Court be given an extension till the age of 70. The number of pending cases is huge, and more than anyone else, almost all Your Honours seem to have sharp mental faculties even at their retirement (65 today).

harnessing the ‘demographic dividend’ of our youth. That dividend will not come automatically, as just a milestone. Let Parliament fix the age of political retirement at 70 – they can still have the satisfaction of being the leaders! Let not a few (counted on one hand) exceptions try to prove any rule. Ronald Reagan is about the best global example of a 70 plus top politician (though even he began his Presidency at age 69 – and sounded quite senile by his eighth year). The ‘young at 70’ political retirees could become political advisors or Politicians on Special Duty (PSD) in their respective Parties. They can of course also be mentors – mentees willing! u

Letter To The Editor People Manifesto Following should be the election manifesto of any Party/MP as per me, a citizen of India: 1. Ensuring minimum quality infrastructure for proper living _ With in three months all sewer lines, drain water storm lines will be properly cleaned up and proper drainage system will be ensured. All pot holes of roads will be filled up with bitumen in next three months and plan of re carpeting of roads is made to be implemented in phased manner. Water supply will be for minimum for four hours a day and electrical supply cut will not be for more than two hours. Garbage will be collected properly and no filth be accumulated anywhere but be recycled. Street lighting will be repaired with in next three months. Illegal activities like guest houses and commercial activities in colonies will be completely eliminated to protect the infrastructure. Lal dora areas will be completely cleaned up by MCG's to ensure hygiene and proper infrastructure. 2. Individual District Plan for each District _ No two districts are same and thus each district must have it's own economic plan covering manufacturing, market platforms (trade or retail), agriculture, skill development, education, health, financial inclusion and banking. This plan should be made by Block level officers, District level officers and authorities and not by politicians. Politician role is to mobilise resources from government in a planned fashion and over see the correct implementation and take feedback from people. 3. Management style is important _ Once the election is

over, nobody is aware of what is happening other than what is covered in the news papers or TV channels. Thus, every district must have it's own website under the supervision of the MP who must makes it a communication channel for anybody. All Plans, actions, executions, reports, reviews should become a part of the reporting structure where MP is duly accountable. This should be followed by quarterly review where people will participate in opinion poll on performance. 4. Total Quality District _ All problems of the District will be solved in a proper model of "Problem Solving Exercise" and all improvement projects of the district will be handled through "Quality Improvement Process" as is being done in the concepts of TQM (Total Quality Management). Management consultants will be hired in specific areas as experts to solve various problems and bring continuous improvements. 5. Working towards happy and satisfied people who participate progressively in development of the district _ This is a cultural aspect and focus will be to bring harmony in people where the focus will be on mutual love, mutual respect, mutual trust and mutual understanding in between both supplier and customer in any relationship. This aspect will depend on how much we are able to take other person on the face value. This is a very important area of building proper interactive skills and behaviours in the society at large and in politicians and government machinery in particular. Ajai Kumar Agrawal

Dear Editor, Your article 'Not all for one' was a big eye opener. It is unimaginable that with so much increased awareness our rural women are still not free to cast their vote. Same can be said to some extent about another article ' Not a Vote Bank'. Both articles show how little the urban Indians know about rural India. The article, 'An Atheist can be Spiritual', was very interesting. All in all your paper gives enough food for thought… Ashok Lal As our country begins the epic chase of electing Lok Sabha members, it is the duty of every Indian citizen to not only cast his/ her vote, but to vote responsibly. The public has no right to crib later. Dedicated candidates with clean record should be elected to serve the nation and its people. Today, it has become difficult to choose the right person and party. Let wisdom prevail upon the voters. Jubel D’Cruz, Mumbai

S piritual

11-17 April 2014

Reflect, Learn & Share { Dr. Rajesh Bhola }


isdom is seeing and understanding life as a whole. The lessons we learn especially from obstacles and hardships, as we travel our life-paths, invite us to grow wiser as we mature. Experiences broaden us; difficult experiences challenge us. Many of the important things are learnt the hard way. Ultimately our wisdom becomes our most trusted source of guidance. And when we share our wisdom, it becomes a touchstone, providing inspiration, guidance and teachable moments for our loved ones - as they may encounter similar experiences along their life-journeys. As adults, we typically spend most of our time thinking about tasks and events, and how we will move forward in our lives. We rarely take the time to reflect upon the experiences we have encountered along the way and the wisdom we have gained from living  our lives. Life’s ups and downs, wins and losses, heartaches and celebrations provide a captivating and honest reflection of what has shaped our beliefs  and  values.  While each of our experiences is different, and no two lives are the same, we can learn a great deal about ourselves and grow into the persons we wish to become, by uncovering and sharing our nuggets of wisdom. This is why learning from our past errors is so critical to our existence. We should learn the art of turning our wounds into wisdom. A bend in the road is not the end of the road - unless we fail to

make the turn. It is the recollection of specific life experiences of courage, honesty, humility, hard work, struggle, compassion and joy that goes straight to the hearts of families and provides a lasting sense of generational connection and gratitude. At some point in our lives we feel that – ‘I wish I knew more about my parents’ life experiences - what they cared about, what struggles they overcame and why they made certain decisions. Further - what did they intend with their gifts of inheritance, what tasks remain unfulfilled, what did they want their children to accomplish, how did they wish to be remembered, and how can I learn from their passions and challenges?’ Cultivating our seeds of wisdom through openness, intellectual growth and constant life-reflection helps us live our life as we wish to be remembered. Sometimes all it takes is one heartfelt nugget of wisdom, to provide the inspiration, guidance or support to our loved ones to help them live a meaningful life. Wisdom builds on itself as our life-journeys lengthen and deepen. However, we seem to ex-

Life holds nothing new if we think there is nothing new to know; so wisdom includes knowing that we do not know. Wisdom is the reward we get for a lifetime of listening when we would have preferred to talk. Life extends teaching beyond the school. In school we are taught a lesson and then given a test; in life we are given a test that teaches us a lesson. Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him. Difficulties are divine surgeries that help make us better.  Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents that, in prosperous circumstances, would have lain dormant. We probably learn throughout our lives from our experiences, but do not become wise because wisdom perhaps begins at the end!

perience, and learn from, life in a compartmentalised manner. At work and in our professional environment, we are normally organised and disciplined, clear in thought and analytical, courteous and tolerant, and even choose our words carefully; but, we seldom choose to adopt such behaviour at home and amongst our family and friends. Life should be very similar to climbing a mountain. We remember every move that we made while climbing a mountain. This is exactly what we need to do in life if we truly want to succeed and experience happiness, peace and a sense of accomplishment. Life too is full of crevasses, steep ascents and sharp declines, sharp edges and rugged patches. Amongst these lie several hidden opportunities – of hand-holds and foot-holds. Such opportunities are plenty in life, but we have to search for them and choose the ones that will take us to our destination safely. We will have to experience each, and then let go and move on. If we hold on to our hand-holds and never let go, we will never get hold of the next one – and hence will never move ahead in our learnings. This is also common in relationships, especially when we are in love. People hold on to broken relationships unnecessarily for a long time, and thus do not move ahead in life. They spend more time hanging on, primarily from a lack of wisdom or a bad choice (as in choosing a particular handhold). They tend to over-analyse, hang in there in sorrow and wallow in self-pity. They will always have to leave one if they are to get to another. Unless we let go of the hand-hold first, we cannot hook on to the other and pull ourselves higher. We will stagnate and eventually get tired of being stuck in the same place for far too long. How we make use of handholds and how we manoeuver ourselves is what makes our life a success or failure. We should also take the proper equipment along. The ropes we use and the way we use them are akin to the few precious relationships we have in our lives. These relation-

ships are nurtured by good deeds and behaviour, like the hooks and pulleys that the ropes are passed through. The better our deeds, the stronger are the hooks and pulleys. It is these relationships that help us climb in our lives; and they are always there, beside us, when we fall. They help us and support us. These relationships are often found in close friends and some family members - and they last a lifetime. People who have passed through adversities become more generous, friendly and willing to help others. What we learn from the experience of a less than comfortable life is compassion and kindness. Let us all learn to be enlightened, rather than defeated, by the various experiences of life. Most of us painstakingly work to protect and then


appropriately pass on our finances, possessions and businesses - and yet somehow we miss the opportunity to share our lives’ reflections and wisdom. We put off getting to the heart of what really matters, until we reach the final phase of our lives - when it is often too late, due to illness or memory loss. The list of excuses is too long, but the solution is quite simple - begin today, capture a few experiences that come to mind, and share them…and then keep on reflecting, and sharing your learnings. 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 25 years. He can be contacted at rabhola@

The Residence of the Soul

{ Shobha Lidder } Your body is your best friend Will be loyal to the end Don’t disuse it or abuse it Neglect it or oppress it Listen to your body Keep it healthy, happy, sturdy It is your soul’s bodyguard Gives the invisible an ‘aakaar’ Keep it nourished & well Keep this residence of the soul Wholesome and holistic. They have a mystic bonding This body-soul If the body is not well The mind will respond The body is the instrument of the soul Both have an instrumental role In the success of this life Keep your mind & body free of stress And strife, lead a simpler life Make it your nature to be with Nature To know your true nature Be kind to your body, be good to it And achieve the infinity Listen to the inner ditty. Writer Journalist, Social Activist, Teacher Trainer, Reiki Master, Pranic Healer

18 Health & Vitality... Naturally!

The { Jaspal Bajwa }


W ellness

11-17 April 2014

hia Seeds have been receiving a lot of press. As notable celebrities and heavyweights in the field of Natural Medicine have weighed in, Chia has made headlines. Just how much of it is hype? This ancient food of the Aztecs has been a staple in Mexico and Guatemala for over 3,000

ter in about 10 minutes, to form a gel. This gelatinous coating over the Chia Seeds, together with their high soluble and insoluble fibre content, can help decrease our risk of Cardio-vascular Disease and Diabetes. They can help reduce our overall intake of food by slowing down the body’s transformation of starch into sugar, thereby also preventing blood sugar spikes; the improved bulk can also induce early satiety, prevent over-eating or food cravings and help reduce bloating. Interestingly, as an excellent example of ‘less is more’, the nutrient density of Chia Seeds can help improve metabolism and provide an energy boost - both for sustained athletic performance as well as for seniors over the age of 50 (when metabolism tends to slow down).

Chia Charm

years. The work of Coates in the early 90s brought this food back into the limelight. People seeking hard clinical evidence, however, remain sceptical, relying mainly on a 2009 review of studies that did not demonstrate hard evidence on ‘weight loss’. The importance of Chia Seeds and other ‘Functional Foods’ as effective enablers of a healthier

lifestyle is clear and growing. Chia Seeds’ wide-ranging benefits range from boosting energy, stabilising blood sugar, aiding digestion and lowering cholesterol, to perhaps somewhat exaggerated claims like promising weight loss. Some of the functional characteristics are amply clear. For example, Chia Seeds can absorb about 9 times their weight in wa-

Chia Seeds can be an exceptional addition to a healthy and balanced food plan if the right quality of seeds can be procured. It is best to avoid either the red immature Chia Seeds or black seeds that are smaller than the regular ones. Chia Seeds can be eaten whole or milled, while flax seeds have to be ground before consumption (in order to access their health benefits).

arid environments and hence is of interest in developing countries. As a potent powerhouse of nutrients, a Chia Seed is composed of protein (15–25%), polyunsaturated fats (30–33%), carbohydrates (26–41%), high dietary fibre (18–30%), ash (4-5%), minerals and vitamins. Chia Seeds are also a good source of calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, niacin, phosphorus and zinc. Chia Seeds are high on antioxidants and are a dense source of brain and hearthealthy Omega-3 fatty acids. In fact Chia Seeds are the richest plant source of Linolenic Acid, which is associated with cholesterol reduction, prevention of cardiovascular disease and management of chronic disorders - including Diabetes. When possible, it is good to complement Alpha-Linolenic Acid with other equally critical Omega 3’s (EPA and DHA), which are available mainly from oily fish. A 28 gm (ounce) serving of Chia Seeds contains 4 grams of protein and Chia is one of the few rare plants that is a complete protein source - including all of the essential amino acids. The rich content of fibre (11 grams per ounce) provides more than 40 percent of the recommended daily amount in one serving. u

Nature’s Wonder Food(s) of the Week: Chia Seeds or Salvia Hispanica Chia or Salvia is a type of flowering plant that belongs to the Mint family. It can grow in

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

Tip of the Week

Know Glaucoma - Prevent Blindness Q.  What is Glaucoma ? A.  Glaucoma, Kala Motia or Neela Motia is a condition caused by an increase in the pressure in the eyeball. Normal eyes contain a watery fluid that circulates freely inside them. They can maintain their shape and function only if the pressure inside the eyes is within the ‘normal’ limits. If, for any reason, the small tubes that allow the fluid to drain away are blocked, the pressure rises. This may damage the important parts that are responsible for the normal functioning of the eye.

stages the patient can see things normally when looking straight, but the peripheral vision is much reduced. Normally a patient can see upto 95 degrees on the outer side, 65 degrees above, 65 degrees on the inner side and 75 degrees in the lower portion. But, with Glaucoma, the limits of the field are reduced. This is the reason why the patient cannot see well in the evening and often stumbles against objects. The defects can be detected by a competent eye doctor much before they can be appreciated by the patient.

Q.  Does Glaucoma occurs only after the age of 35? A.  No, it can also occur earlier, though it is more common after the age of 35. Glaucoma can be divided into ‘congenital’ and ‘acquired’. Acquired Glaucoma may further be divided into (i) the Primary Glaucoma, in which the cause for the defective drainage is not known, and (ii) Secondary Glaucoma, in which the cause for such an obstruction is known. In infants and children the disease may appear due to Congenital (birth) defects, at the angle of the anterior chamber. Secondary glaucoma can be due to acute or chronic inflammation of the iris, accidental injury to the eye, or metabolic disturbances such as Diabetes.

Q.  What are the early symptoms of Glaucoma? A.  A dull pain around the eye, especially after being in the dark - such as after seeing a motion picture. n  Seeing coloured rings around a light, especially in the early morning or at night. n  Blurring of vision, which clears up after a while. n Headache. n  Night-blindness. The patient takes a longer time to get used to dimly lit rooms. n  Loss of side vision. n  Glasses do not seem to help. n  Frequent changes of glasses are needed for reading and near sight.
 Chronic Glaucoma advances slowly and may practically be without any symptoms. A patient may only seek medical advice only at a stage when the disease has damaged the structures irreparably. One can lose sight due to Glaucoma without knowing it.

Q.  What happens to the eye if the pressure increases? A. If the pressure in the eye is high, the eye become harder. Just as in an inflated football, the bladder can get too hard from too much pressure; this high pressure will damage the sensitive parts of the eyeball - such as the optic nerve. The optic nerve fibres get degenerated and the disc shows whiteness and deep cupping. A doctor can diagnose this by just looking into the eyes. In the early

Q. What are the differences between Glaucoma & Cataract?

A.  These two conditions are quite different and are often confused. Cataract too causes loss of vision, but it is due to clouding of the lens of the eye, which interferes with the passage of light into the eye. This confusion is mainly because both these conditions set in after the age of 35 years. Q.  Does Glaucoma worsen by ‘using’ the eyes? A.  No, if you are being looked after by a qualified eye doctor, you may use the eyes for reading, sewing, playing cards, seeing movies etc. Q.  How is Glaucoma treated? A.  If the case is being looked after by a qualified doctor, it is possible to treat the disease and prevent the blindness. It is treated by medicine if the disease is detected early. The purpose of this treatment is to decrease the formation of the water (aqueous) in the eye and make the drainage channels more efficient. If the medical treatment fails, or if the disease is more advanced, an operation can be performed to relieve the tension. The aim of the operation is to create an artificial channel for the drainage of water to compensate for the blockage of the tubes. It is desirable that the patients suffering from Glaucoma avoid too much coffee or tea. They should drink water in small quantities, otherwise the pressure inside the eye can go up. In case you have any of the above symptoms, consult your eye doctor without any delay. Dr. R.C. Gupta, Professor & Head, Department of Ophthalmology Chief - Oculoplastics & Orbit Services, GSVM Medical College, Kanpur

B on V ivant

11-17 April 2014

Over to Health Chefs

{ Shilpy Arora / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon


resident of Media Centre, Arjun, 35, lost 4 kilograms in just 15 days - with simple diet meals that are supplied to his doorstep everyday. Arjun is a documentary filmmaker and he hardly gets any time to workout. “My work schedule is crazy. Sometimes I have to spend days and nights in the studio to edit films. All this has resulted in a severe weight gain. Last month, when I weighed102 kg, I realised that I needed to make changes in my diet and lose weight. I decided to go for TLC Diet Meals for 15 days. Amazingly, I lost 4 kg in 15 days and 9 kg in the whole month,” he says. Similarly, Chhavi Bhargava, MD India and Sri Lanka, TNS India, also prefers healthy food every time she throws a party at home. “Even if you are not suffering from any disease, you would like to have healthy and low-calories. Such food is also more hygienic… and yes, tasty too,” she says. Chhavi orders her food from Health Chef Bharti Sanghi, who offers authentic traditional recipes, using low fat, to cater to health-conscious people. Each day’s meal is different. What makes the food healthy is a high fibre and high protein content. As most vegetarians eat less protein and more fat, they feel fatigued easily. Health Chefs address this problem by offering a more filling meal - with a balance of carbs, proteins, minerals and dietary fibre. The Meal is designed such that, while people can easily go back to work after eating, they do not feel a need to binge between meals. People can also choose from a wide variety of cuisines - ranging from Indian, Continental and Asian. Further, ordering is convenient. One can order Online and the food is delivered at office or home. Tarani’s Low Calorie Kitchen, for instance, provides calorie-controlled and portion-controlled food deliveries across the country. “There are many working couples in the City who would be thrilled if healthy food can be delivered at their doorsteps. It is good to see that people appreciate what we are doing, as this is the need of the hour,” says Tarani Kapur, Owner, TLC Kitchen. “I realised how difficult it must be for people to themselves cook special meals - be it for weight

loss or for a diabetic; and how difficult it must be for people coming back from work and then cooking. Besides, there is now an acute shortage of chefs and maids who have the right knowledge about nutritious food,” she says. Many teenagers and kids are also following the Diet plan. “My four-year-old daughter enjoys Diet Food, as it is really very tasty. Besides, the presentation of the food makes it attractive for kids,” says Arjun. 16-year-old Tanisha, who suffers from Type 2 Diabetes and high Cholesterol, relishes the delicacies offered by TLC Kitchen. She is a non-vegetarian and loves their Chicken Biryani and Prawn Curry. TLC’s Healthy Heart Meal, which is available in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian versions, has helped in lowering her high sugar level. “This food it is cooked in a clean and hygienic manner,” informs Tanisha’s mother. TLC offers four basic Meal Plans. Although the menu already offers a highly customised and caloriecontrolled diet, each meal can

be customised according to the taste and preference of the consumer. There is also a dietician on call, to help those who need specific advice on Health Food. The Nutritionists and Health Chefs at the Kitchen continuously make changes and upgrade the Menu, so that people don’t get bored with the dishes. Due care is taken in case a person is allergic to certain food items. For Bharti Sanghi the biggest challenge was to cook low-calorie and sugar-free delicacies for her mother-in-law, who was suffering from Diabetes. She soon started taking orders for healthy meals and sweets. Encouraged by the response, Bharti founded her brand, Life, in 2006. Chhavi, who has been ordering food from Life for more than four years, says, “I am fond of authentic traditional ‘mithais’, but in a city like Gurgaon it is quite difficult to get items that have authentic taste. Of course you are also worried about calorie consumption. Bharti offers a wide variety of sugar-free and low-calorie barfis, laddus, jalebis and samosas.” She is also popular for her unique creations - such as White & Tiranga Dhoklas, Phogle ka Raita and Gvar Pattha (which is a curry dish made with aloe vera). Offering innovation and a wide variety, some new-age Health Chefs have ensured that health food can be for everyone. “It is difficult to explain to a kid why junk food should be avoided. In fact, if you are too restrictive, it can cause obsessive cravings. A good alternative is to offer (healthy) food items that taste the same, but have a higher nutritious value,” feels Bharti.u

{ Alka Gurha }


at Chocolate and lose weight. Too good to be true? Well, researchers in a latest Study claim to have identified a specific ingredient present in Dark Chocolate that may be responsible for weight loss and provide antidiabetic benefits. It is already fairly accepted that Cocoa the main ingredient in Dark Chocolate - has the potential to boost heart health, lower blood sugar and decrease food cravings. Cocoa beans are the dried and fermented seeds of Theobroma Cacao, a small evergreen tree. The seeds are processed into Cocoa solids and Cocoa butter. The colour of Cocoa depends on its pH value. Cocoa powder that is slightly acidic is light brown in colour, while alkaline Cocoa powder takes a dark brown coloration; more alkalised Cocoa can even appear black. Raw Cocoa bean is nutritionally the richest fraction of a Cocoa plant. Apart from caffeine, it contains several phyto-chemicals - including calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, manganese, sulphur, zinc, copper and phosphorus. Other


abolic effects of stress and curbs the craving for sweet, salty and fatty foods alike. Dark Chocolate also contains healthy fats, which slow the absorption of sugar into the blood stream, and thus help prevent a sudden insulin spike. Substituting Dark Chocolate for some of the sugary foods may help reduce our insulin resistance.

However, all of the above works only if you follow certain rules:

Eat Dark Chocolate that is made up of at least 70 percent Cocoa, with minimum added sugar. The darker the Chocolate, the better. White and Milk Chocolate have a lot of added sugar and milk solids. Each helping should be no bigger than the end of your thumb; eat more than that and you overload on sugar and fat. A nibble of Dark Chocolate once in a while can slow down your digestion, so that you feel full longer and eat less at the next meal. It is important to note that the number of calories and fat grams per serving of Dark

Sin or Super Food? major constituents are B Vitamins and Tryptophan - an essential amino acid and a precursor to the making of Serotonin - a neurotransmitter that improves mood and sleep. Cocoa is regarded as a natural food with a high anti-oxidant value. In fact, Cocoa contains more anti-oxidants than green tea or red wine. But it is the Flavonol content of Cocoa that is responsible for most of its health benefits. Flavanoids are known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Flavonoid anti-oxidants present in Cocoa offer significant benefits for our cardiovascular system. As a result, Cocoa is said to help improve the lipid profile, blood pressure and insulin resistance in some cases. Some studies have found that the eating of Chocolate 20 minutes before, and five minutes after, lunch and dinner can reduce our appetite by up to 50 percent. Swiss scientists say that Dark Chocolate reduces the met-

Chocolate is much higher than that of fruit juices; Dark Chocolate is therefore to be enjoyed in moderation. Make sure you eat the Chocolate 20 minutes before, or five minutes after, lunch and dinner. Finally, savour the Chocolate, do not chew it - which is not easy, considering that Dark Chocolate can leave a bitter taste in the mouth. It is also important to note that the Cocoa powders, Cocoa beverages and Dark Chocolate used in the Study contained natural or non-alkalised Cocoa. The process of alkalisation not only mellows the flavour of Cocoa, but it also destroys some beneficial compounds. Spoils the fun doesn’t it? Well, who said life was fair?u


11-17 April 2014

B on V ivant

Reforming Classical Dance - Rukmini Devi Arundale { Meenu Thakur Sankalp }


ocio-cultural reforms in India have challenged, in principle and practice, some age-old prejudices that had flourished unfettered in the garb of tradition. Reformers have performed the arduous task of inculcating momentous changes through free thought, expression, belief, speech and worship. By the turn of the twentieth century, India had embraced a neo-cultural renaissance that Europe had experienced a few centuries earlier. While Dance in India has its unique technique, narrative, presentation and divinity, it can be especially enhanced by a woman’s beauty, love and dignity. A rare fusion of a femme par excellence, an extraordinary Danseuse and a reformist therein, standing strikingly tall in the dancing pantheon, is Rukmini Devi Arundale, the doyen of Bharathanatyam and the founder of the Kalakshetra School, Chennai - an Academy of cultural excellence that is striving to preserve Indian culture. Bharathanatyam is one of the foremost Classical Dances of India. Believed to have originated in Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu, the origin of Bharathanatyam also traces itself to a Dance form called ‘Sadir’. It was initially referred to as Dasinatyam (Dance performed by ‘dasis’ or servants), as it was performed by Devadasis - who were girls ‘dedicated’ to God and thereafter lived their lives in temples. Later, due to the lack of patronage to Dance from the weakened kingdoms, there was widespread exploitation of the Devadasis, and often they were forced to resort to prostitution to sustain their families. However, since the twentieth century, Bharathanatyam has occupied a pivotal place in our Dance culture, mainly due to the efforts of a special few. The legendary Balasaraswati, born in a traditional Dance performing family, worked extensively to help restore the dignity of the Devadasis; E. Krishna Iyer is credited for modifying the ‘Sadir’; and Rukmini Devi Arundale provided the watershed in the Dance form’s evolution through the next hundred years. Rukmini Devi was born in 1904 to an educated theosophist, who was influenced by Annie Besant’s monotheistic ideas and the unity of religious thought, in a traditional Brahmin family in Madura (Madurai) in erstwhile Madras Presidency. This was a time when it was unfathomable for women born in ‘respectable’ families to even contemplate Dancing. However, due

{ Krishan Kalra }


y first introduction to a motorised vehicle was in the shape of a sleek Jawa 250cc motorcycle, which my brother, an army officer, had purchased from the Polish Embassy in the 1950s. With a single kick the machine would come to life. It had power, elegance and could overtake anything else on the road those days. My brother taught me to ride it and I got to do so quite often. My real face-to-face with a four-wheeler happened in 1962, while working with Esso. The Aviation Station at Palam had all kinds of vehicles - from the small jeep pick-up and the one-tonne Chevrolet servicer units to 10-tonnes Dodge fuel tankers and the 16-tonnes International pumper units. These huge articulated, four-axle, 12-wheel vehicles carried 16 tonnes of fuel and had

to her theosophical upbringing, Rukmini was introduced to the reformist ideas of Besant and a British theosophist, George Arundale, whom she married at the age of sixteen - amidst jeers from the traditional Brahmin community of Madras (Chennai). As she extensively travelled with George, a chance meeting aboard a ship with the famous Russian ballerina, Anna Pavalova, transformed Rukmini. She learnt ballet from one of Pavalova’s students and also then decided that it was time to revive the Indian Arts. As she commenced with the resurrection of Bharathanatyam, which was then performed only in temples, she knew it was imperative to tackle the Devadasi issue. She approached a talented Nattuvanar (Choreographer-teacher), Meenakshi Sundaram Pillai, a Pandanallur exponent (a traditional Dance technique emphasising the concepts of ‘aduvu’ and ‘abhinaya’) and also Mylapore Gowri Amma and E.

Driving Test their own pumping and metering equipment. They could be driven to a remote parked aircraft for refueling, without any help from a ground power unit or an underground tank-pumping installation. These enormous machines were the pride of the station and only the experienced crewmen were allowed to drive them. As new management trainees, the closest we got to them was to sit on the extra seat in their cabin. On a particularly heavy day – three simultaneous refuellings – my senior colleague and friend Chandru decided to drive one of the pumpers to the Aeroflot plane. He asked me to climb into the cab from the other side. On the way he suddenly felt cramps in his right leg and asked me to switch positions. Now, I had driven quite a few vehicles, but never anything like these gargantuan machines. I was sweating…

Krishna Iyer, to understand the subtle intricacies of the Dance form. Within three years Rukmini created a new style, which is today known as the Kalakshetra style. Rukmini also discovered that Bharathanatyam’s erotic element, or ‘Sringara’, needed to be transformed with Bhakti (devotion); she replaced the erotic chest and hip movements of the Dance, with more ‘appropriate’ ones. Rukmini encouraged the use of instruments like the violin and commissioned the designing of Dance jewellery inspired by temple sculptures. The Kalakshetra School was founded in 1936 with the active encouragement from her husband, George. The Institution’s name was suggested by a scholar, Subramania Shastri. Choreographing many Dance dramas from the Ramayana and other epics, notably the ‘Gita Govindam’ and the ‘Sita Swayamwaram’, Rukmini performed at the Theosophical Society, challenging the prejudiced, pessimistic and dismissive society of pre-independent India. Struck by Rukmini Devi’s talent and innovation, there was a gradual acceptance of her viewpoint. Within a span of a few years the results of the reform were visible; many young girls from traditional Brahmin families were initiated into Dance - widening its scope and enhancing its respectability. Rukmini Devi’s work was rewarded and recognised the world over. She was the recipient of the Padma Bhushan, the Sangeet Natak Academi Award, and an Honorary doctorate from the Wayne State University, USA; she was also a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha. It is also believed that the Prime Minister of India, Morarji Desai, offered to forward her nomination for the post of the President of India - which she presumably declined politely. Even as she grew older, Rukmini Devi continued to nurture Kalakshetra. Bharathanatyam dancers flocked to her to gain knowledge, and her intense eye for detail left her admirers astounded. Her true calling was the revival of Bharathanatyam and the inclusion of purpose and penance into the Dance form. She breathed her last in 1986, aged 82 - ending an era of a unique contribution to Indian Classical Dance. Her charismatic personality still towers over an entire century of Classical Dance performers of other Dance forms as well. Kalakshetra has been declared an Institution of National importance and many leading performers of Bharathanatyam are today carrying forward Rukmini Devi’s ideals, teachings and innovative choreography. u The Writer is a renowned Kuchipudi Danseuse and Choreographer

on a December morning. But I climbed into the driver’s seat and started the vehicle. As I released the clutch, it moved forward like a tiger. To get to the apron there were two routes – a longer wide road and a shorter one through a narrow street - with hangars on each side. As I began to turn the power steering towards the wider road, Chandru shouted that we had no time and I must take the alley. As I straightened the long vehicle and entered the lane, the buildings on both sides appeared barely inches away. Mustering all my courage and invoking all the Gods, sweating profusely, sitting on the edge of the huge bucket seat with both hands firmly on the big wheel….I crossed that short lane and reached the apron. Once out, I got a thump on the back. “Congratulations, you’ve passed the ultimate driving test,” said a beaming Chandru, who had put his own job at stake just to make me overcome the fear of the mighty pumpers.u

11-17 April 2014

{ Christopher Pramstaller/ Berlin/ DPA }


ouch-screens in cars are ousting the traditional arrays of dials, knobs and switches - and bringing in hazards, warn experts. The plus is a wealth of digital information; but drivers who have been used to instinctively finding their cockpit controls more by feel are noticing the loss. The recent inking of a major deal between computer giant Apple and several carmakers, on multimedia applications, is a sure sign that cockpits will keep getting more sophisticated - and become more like phones. Right now carmakers are desperate to woo back the vanishing younger buyers. In Germany and some other western countries, the average age of new car buyers has risen worryingly to over 50 years of age. Appealing to the youth calls for a rethink. For a long time makers were content to keep adding analogue buttons and rocker switches. As a result, many a central cockpit console resembled the flight deck of a light plane. These con-

Where did Dashboard knobs go? trols are now being replaced by touch-screens, which allow users to summon up functions by navigating through a menu. The new approach opens up new options for designers and manufacturers. But it could herald danger. Drivers more familiar with tactile sensations may be distracted by the visual displays. The screens provide none of what experts call ‘haptic feedback’: the tactile sensation from touching a control and the vibration felt as it moves. The word comes from the Greek word hapto, meaning ‘I touch’. Mobile phones already offer some limited haptic feedback, for example, through the vibration alarm. “Apple’s Carplay and other multimedia systems are symptomatic of the trend towards networking, and user acceptance levels are high,” said Christian Hatzfeld, who conducts research into haptics at the Technical University in Darmstadt. “The question is whether touch-screens are actually a good thing safetywise. Tests show that drivers using controls with haptic feed-

back make fewer mistakes. Such controls are more intuitive and quicker to use.” If touch-screens are to take over, they must be able to channel a mass of information to the driver in an understandable manner. The driver must be able to make adjustments – quick enough - without being distracted from driving. Problems could arise if a smooth screen surface gives no tactile response when a new route is entered or a telephone number is dialled. The manufacturers take a different view. “We are convinced that touchpads enable a rapid and hazard-free use of controls,” said Daimler media spokesman Steffen Schierholz. Daimler’s system can be operated by a round dial in the centre console. The Company is also making increasing use of voice control. “This represents a considerable increase in comfort,” said the spokesman. Schierholz defended touch-pad control too, stressing that the controls involved a range of human senses. “This system’s level of error tolerance is very high,” he said.

Commands entered using alphabetic characters are repeated acoustically, which “avoids the need to maintain constant eye contact with the displays.” seems manufacturers have little choice but to instal touchscreens. “By installing touch pads in the centre console, we have considerably reduced the number of in-car switches,” said Schierholz. “At the same time, the most important functions are still available at the touch of a button.” Martin Grundwald, who conducts research into haptics at Leipzig University, takes a more critical view of the widespread deployment of touch-screens. “We’re just getting high on this technology. We’re putting the screens into cars just to show that we can do it, but without regard to what people actually want,” said the scientist. “Motorists are interested first and foremost in concentrating on the road ahead and not in multimedia entertainment,” said Grunwald. Touchscreens call for constant eye contact “and that is a big problem as

More than half million elderly wait for nursery home

Snow and Rain in ‘The World’

{ Tokyo/ DPA }

{ Frankfurt/ DPA }



ore than half a million elderly people are waiting for vacancies at nursery homes in greying Japan, the government said. About 522,000 elderly people are on the lists as of March, up 24 per cent from 421,000 in December 2009, the Health Ministry said. Two-thirds of them need nursing care such as toilet support and meal assistance. By 2050, people aged 65 and over will make up nearly 40 per cent of Japan’s population, according to a projection by the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research in Tokyo. u

unshine all year round is one of the main attractions of a holiday in Dubai, but a new winter wonderland on Dubai’s World Islands will bring snow and rain to at least one part of the

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far as road safety is concerned.” Studies show that driver concentration is best achieved through a combination of visual, tactile and audible signals, according to an international team of scientists at Pittsburgh University. Just operating the controls of a navigation system can cause a high level of distraction; incorporating more features into such devices would increase the already high level strain of modern driving, say the experts. A giant 17-inch touch-screen dominates the cockpit of the sporty S model from US carmaker Tesla. It has banished almost all the familiar physical driving controls. Some reviewers had misgivings about the titanic LCD, saying it distracted them from driving. A new generation of touch-screens promise to solve the problem of visual distraction at least. “Touch-screens with haptic feedback are in the pipeline and these will make it easier for us to find our way around,” said researcher Hatzfeld. “This would enable you to tell by touch whether you have just switched on the radio or the heater,” said Grunwald.u

Emirate. ‘The Heart of Europe’ will be made up of six islands and will feature villas, hotels and marketplaces inspired by Europe. Thanks to new technology, the Resort will also include snow and rain-soaked streets. Construction is due to be completed by 2016. u

Smart Suitcases

R&A asks members to allow women to join

{ Berlin/ DPA }

{ London/ DPA }



ticker tags on Suitcases may soon be a thing of the past. Rimowa, Airbus and T-Systems have combined to introduce a new Smart Suitcase technology by the name of Bag2go. These Suitcases, with the electronics inside, would be tracked with a smartphone app, which was demonstrated at the ITB Travel Trade Show in Berlin. The bar code that is necessary for identifying these Suitcases at airports was also shown in the app. The app allows travellers to know where their Suitcase is at all times, which could lead to a reduction in the number of lost bags. Bags containing the product could hit the market by the end of the year. The price of a Smart Suitcase would be about 20 per cent higher than a comparable ‘dumb suitcase’. u

Health trend: vegetable smoothies { Frankfurt/ DPA }


smoothy drink of spinach, apple and cucumber is the latest health trend. Following on from the fruit smoothy, vegetable smoothies are now the drink of choice for the health-conscious person. Juices that are more than 50-per-cent vegetable are seemingly perfect for anyone on the go. The doubters say that if you eat five portions of fruit or vegetables a day, you don’t need to also drink a smoothy. However, if smoothies are encouraging people to eat more healthy stuff – like vegetables – that’s the way to go. u

Great Smoky Mountains is favourite US National Park { Washington/ DPA }


he Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina and Tennessee was the most-visited US National Park in 2013, with about 9.54 million visitors, according to the US National Park Service. Second place went to the Grand Canyon with 4.6 million visitors, while Yosemite National Park was placed third. In total, more than 273.6 million people visited the 401 National Parks in the United States in 2013 – 9.1 million fewer than in 2012. National Park officials blamed a 16-day government shutdown in October for the downturn. In addition to public institutions, nearly all Parks were closed during a factional squabble in Congress over the passage of a Federal budget. u

he Royal and Ancient (R&A) Golf Club in St Andrews plans to admit women into its membership for the first time. Reports said that the Club has asked its almost 2,500 members to support this motion. The vote is planned for September. Pressure on the R&A has grown after the Augusta National Golf Club in the United States, home of the annual Masters tournament, decided two years ago to admit women. Founded in 1754, the R&A governs the sport in most countries and also used to organise the (British) Open and other championships. This is now undertaken by a new group of companies named The R&A. This move of the R&A will now add pressure on other male-only clubs in Britain, such as the 2013 Open hosts, Muirfield. u


PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency

{ Christiane Oelrich /Singapore/ DPA }


illions of people do not have access to enough potable Water, with the problem particularly acute in large urban centres like the city-state of Singapore - which also has no lakes. Singapore believes the solution lies in recycling sewage. Not surprisingly, the technology’s proponents first have to overcome major public concerns about that Water being a palatable, cost-effective alternative to measures such as desalination. A young girl wrinkles her nose in disgust before taking a sip from a colourful bottle filled with NEWater, Singapore’s brand of Recycled Water. She sighs with relief after a swallow: “It doesn’t taste of anything.” The Water company invites tests at its Visitor Centre. Singapore is running a public-awareness campaign on Water and Water-related issues - not least the long-term sustainable management of Water resources. It won the ‘Water for Life’ United Nations Water (UN-Water) Best Practices Award this year for its public communications and education efforts “Use every drop of Water more than once,” is the motto of the National Water Agency, which is a world leader in the Recycled Water technology. Situated almost on the Equator, Singapore is blessed with large amounts of rainfall, but lacks space for Water reservoirs. Therefore, the option of Water recycling is taken more seriously than elsewhere. Public acceptance of the controversial concept, however, is another matter entirely. “Rain is also

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11-17 April 2014

From Toilet to Tap The NEWater Treatment Plant, operated by PUB. nothing more than Recycled Water,” says the tour guide at the NEWater Visitor Centre helpfully. Most of the Recycled Water is not re-introduced into Singapore’s Drinking Water supplies, but is instead used by the semi-conductor industry and the air-conditioning systems installed in public buildings. A small percentage is pumped into the Drinking Water reservoirs. Bottled NEWater can only be obtained at the NEWater Visitor Centre. Singapore began working on recycling of Water in 2003 and now a third of the Waste Water produced by its 5.7 million inhabitants is treated in this way. A 48-kilometre network of tunnels has been constructed to transport the sewage from residential areas to huge treatment facilities, where 273,000 cubic metres of NEWater is produced each day. The Water is purified by passing it through microfilters and membranes. It is also irradiated with ultraviolet light.

Young visitors cross at a reservoir at the NEWater Treatment Plant operated by PUB, the public water company in Singapore. NEWwater is ‘made of’ filtered sewage. “If you imagine the Water molecules that pass through the membranes being as large as tennis balls, then an estrogen hormone would be the size of a football by comparison,” explains the guide at the NEWater Centre. “A vi-

rus would be the size of a truck and bacteria woul be as big as a house. None of these can make their way through the fine membrane.” Water is a scarce commodity across much of the globe, with 4

billion people having to survive without adequate access to clean Drinking Water. The problem has been exacerbated by the migration of populations from rural hinterlands to ever-larger metropolitan centres. A Sea-water Desalination Plant needs three times as much energy to produce a litre of Drinking Water (as the NEWater production method). This has led Orange County in California to follow Singapore’s footsteps. Australians are also being encouraged to embrace the NEWater concept, but deep public scepticism and fears of health risks have so far kept it off the political agenda. However, Dr Tim Fletcher, Director of the Institute of Sustainable Water Resources at Monash University, believes it is only a matter of time before parts of Australia begin recycling Waste Water for use in the domestic supply. “The interesting thing is that the Australian standard for Recycled Water is stricter than the Australian standard for Drinking Water supply,” Fletcher told Australia’s ABC news channel. “In other words, if we’re going to drink Recycled Water, we can be assured that the quality actually will be of equal or higher quality than what we get in our Drinking Water supply - because the law requires it to be so.” However, Professor Peter Collignon, an Infectious Diseases’ physician and microbiologist at the Australian National University, believes that the concept is “irresponsible,” due to the risk of the spread of disease. “It should be a last-resort option for many reasons, but especially because of the potential catastrophic public health implications if something in this complex and the very-high-risk process goes wrong,” he says. u

11-17 April 2014

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Keeping track of Crazy Kids’ Stuff Sid Astbury

Amateurs spar as they go for the record at the world’s biggest Boxing Fitness Class at Manly, Sydney.

{ Sid Astbury/ Sydney/ DPA } ‘


sain Bolt may be the world’s fastest runner, but almost certainly there is something we can do quicker, better and longer than he can’ - that is the homespun philosophy of Guinness World Records, a compendium of sometimes wacky achievements that has been going on for 60 years. The official judge in Australia and New Zealand is Chris Sheedy. It is his job to verify records and award certificates, which are as precious to some as Olympic medals. Australia comes third, behind the United States and Britain, in the ranking of record-setters. Want to be recognised as growing the world’s hottest chilli, or being a part of the world’s biggest boxing fitness class, or among the most people on a beach recorded wearing a bikini? Sheedy is your man. He likes witnessing something no one has done before - or no one has done so successfully. He feels privileged to see perhaps the most memorable things that some people will do in their lives. “I get to be there,” he gushes. “They invite me. It’s incredible. I’m gobsmacked. It’s fabulous.” Not always, though. Nine out of 10 claims are rejected out of hand. Half of those that Sheedy adjudicates fail. He once had to take the microphone and tell 250,000 people in Adelaide, trying for the world’s longest Mexican wave, of a break in the chain that had denied them a record. No one would speak to him. Even finding a taxi to the airport was hard. “It can go from being the world’s best job to the world’s worst job – in a matter of seconds,” he says. “That’s just a horrible feeling.” Perhaps the greatest disappointment he imparted was to 300 children in a shopping centre. “They were so excited about going for a world record; but they knew from the beginning that there weren’t enough people. I just kept looking down into their eyes. It’s as though I was sucking the life out of the place,” he says. Sydney gym

Guy Leech, organiser of the world’s biggest Boxing Fitness Class. instructor Guy Leech scored an entry in the record book in March by organising the biggest-ever Boxing Fitness Class. The record stood at 452 participants, and there were whoops of joy when Sheedy’s counter ticked passed 500. Leech, a world Ironman champion, reckons he has made a lot of people happy, promoted his business, raised money for charity and done his civic duty by encouraging clean living. “Health and fitness has been my life and the Guinness Book of Records is a great platform to push that. People just love it,” Leech says. Sheedy wonders why it is that some sporting endeavours are deemed serious and others not; why you can make a good living at darts but doing hundreds of press-ups is dismissed as just a hobby. He wishes we could retain the everything-goes attitude of children - like his 7-year-old son Sam - rather than let others, particularly those in sports marketing, dictate what is and is not a great achievement. “Someone running the 100 metres the fastest children think that’s fantastic,” he says. “But a game their mate made up in the playground, they think that’s just as good. To them, everything is fantastic.” One of his favourite marks - it has stood for over 20 years - is the 14 seconds it took two London nurses to make a bed. Then there is the speediest (42.6 seconds) placing of six eggs in eggcups, using just

Chris Sheedy, Guinness World Records representative in Australia, adjudicating at the world’s biggest Boxing Fitness Class.

the feet. And what about the dexterity and suppleness of someone who can pull on 32 pairs of underpants in one minute? “I like these records because they retain the imagination of a child,” Sheedy says, noting that adults, not children, built the world’s longest toy-train track (2.1 kilometres), and also got in the record books for fashioning a journey that took a toy train almost 3 hours to complete. Now just hang on there! Perhaps we can agree that the world’s longest radio interview being as important to ratify as the winner of the synchronized swimming at the Olympics, but where is the wonder in typing - in words - every number from one to 1 million? Sheedy lauds this achievement of Australia’s Les Stewart, a one-finger typist who set his world mark on a manual typewriter. “The one-to-1-million record was actually quite incredible,” he says. “It took him 16 years!” Sheedy, a magazine editor before he pulled on the regulation Guinness Blue Blazer, is prevented by protocol from trying a record of his own. He was 8 when he first witnessed a record attempt. It was in a Sydney shopping centre… and it was for the longest shower.



11-17 April 2014

G -Scape asha PANDEY

Friday gurgaon 11 17 april, 2014 the change you want to see

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