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13-19 February 2015

Vol. 4 No. 26  Pages 16  ` 10

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319, Postal Regn. No. GRG/35/2014-2017

How can HUDA just walk away?

{ Abhishek Behl FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon

T

he Gurgaon Manesar Master Plan 2031 expanded the footprint of the City manifold, but the infrastructure and the delivery of basic services has remained inversely proportional to the speed with which Real Estate ‘development’ has taken place in and around Gurgaon. HUDA, the State's development agency, has not been able to build and/or upgrade the basic infrastructure in sectors that it reportedly ‘developed’ more than two decades ago. A good life for its residents remains a pipe dream. The recent decision of the Haryana government to

transfer a number of HUDA sectors in ‘Old’ Gurgaon to the Municipal Corporation (MCG) is further going to complicate matters. RWA members and residents of the sectors that will be impacted are vehemently opposing the proposed transfer, and want the development agency to first deliver the missing infrastructure, and only thereafter think of transferring maintenance to MCG. In a number of sectors the basic civic and social infrastructure, such as dispensaries, playgrounds and community centres, which had been part of the sectors’ plans, has

still not been set up. Even basic amenities like roads, lanes and drains, sewage system and water supply are in poor shape in these sectors. The HUDA sectors residents are also deeply concerned about the ability of the Municipal Corporation to manage and maintain their sectors, as it is not able to manage the small colonies and 40 urban villages that are currently under its jurisdiction. JS Lamba, President, Sector 9 RWA, says that while the Master Plan has added 58 more sectors to the City on paper, the government agencies of the City have failed to deliver

in even those sectors that were ‘developed’ almost 20 years ago. Lamba says that six primary and nursery schools, which were to be part of his sector, have not been developed by HUDA. There was provision for a dispensary, clinic, fire station and library, which today are crucial needs of the residents, but these have not been developed. “When development has not been completed, how can the sector be transferred? The residents had to even fight for the completion of the storm water drainage from House no. 831 to 1253, and it was finally sanctioned last year - but work is still pending due to departmental tussles,” alleges Lamba. Contd. on p 4


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13-19 February 2015

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319 Postal Regn. No. GRG/35/2014-2017 Vol. 4 No. 26   13-19 February 2015

Editor:

THE WEEK THAT WAS

Atul Sobti

Sr. Correspondent: Abhishek Behl Correspondent:

Barnali Dutta

Sr. Photographer:

Prakhar Pandey

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Amit Singh

Marketing Executive: Kumar Thakur

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Dy. Manager A/cs & Admin: Shiv Shankar Jha Editorial Office 108, Aap Ka Bazar, Gurudwara Road, Gurgaon-122001, Haryana

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editor@fridaygurgaon.com letters@fridaygurgaon.com adsales@fridaygurgaon.com Friday Gurgaon (Weekly) edited, published and printed by Atul Sobti on behalf of Arap Media Ventures Pvt. Ltd. from 108, Aap Ka Bazar, Gurudwara Road, 
Gurgaon-122001, Haryana Printed at AGS Publication, D-67, Sector 6, 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. Friday Gurgaon Empanelled with DAVP Empanelled with DIPR, Haryana

 CM to announce new Industrial Policy in March – HSIIDC will conduct meetings with industrialists in February, across Haryana. CM states that Haryana alone cannot fulfill Delhi’s water needs. Haryana Chief Secretary unveils e-PMS, to help track all projects over Rs 50 crores in the State (similar to the Centre’s e-PMS for Rs 1,000 crores plus projects). CM asks for a Qutab-Badarpur Metro link. CM asks for State-wise information of statues installed on public roads, after the Supreme Court bans the same. High Court asks the State govt. to give its final recommendation regarding the IAF Depot issue before April 28, the date for the next hearing.

 A 5-month-old female foetus is found in the toilet of a garment export company in Udyog Vihar.  The Principal of SGT Medical College, where a (girl) student had committed suicide recently, is reportedly suspended, after students take out a protest and allege that a suicide note has been tampered; they have also asked for a CBI enquiry.  A 21-year-old who was running a hotel in Badshahpur and had been booked (along with accomplices) for an assault on policemen, commits suicide; an FIR has been lodged against 3 policemen; people from the

   

youth’s village protest and hold up traffic on Sohna Road; many are booked for this. 2 youth die in an accident near Basai, after their car hits a stationary truck; a third youth in the car survives, but is in serious condition. A youth dies after being hit while trying to stop a fight in Hayatpur Village.  A youth dies when a trolley overturns on the e-way.  A 43-year-old engineer falls from a 6th. floor apartment in Sector 56 and dies – he seems to have slipped.. A property dealer shoots at a waiter (who ducks in time) when asked to pay the bill, at a hotel in Sector 14. 14 illegal vends are raided and 13 people are arrested; the Police Chief says that the alleged ‘masterminds’ will be caught soon, including some Excise dept. employees. A company is booked for cyber fraud (business of palm oil) worth Rs 44 lakhs. A resident of JMD Gardens loses over Rs 2 lakhs in a credit card fraud. An employee of a bank is booked in a Rs 1 lakh forgery case. A person loses Rs 43,000 in an ATM fraud; in a separate incident, thieves try to break open an (inoperative) ATM on New Railway Road, but fail. Arrest warrants have been issued against ex-Minister Sukhbir

Kataria and 8 others, in the ‘bogus votes’ scam.  Students of 3 City colleges have adopted 4 colonies, for ensuring better sanitation as well as for conducting a survey on the living conditions there; MLA Umesh Aggarwal is the facilitator.  40 illegal structures are demolished in the IAF Depot restricted area on Sunday – after a bid to do so was aborted earlier in the week.  On Sunday the CGHS Centre in Sector 5 had no power for 4 hours, leading to a queue of 300 patients; the previous week, the Civil Hospital had a record 1,200 OPD patients coming in on a Wednesday.  A Govt. Rest House is planned in the Civil Lines area, at a cost of Rs 30 crores.  DLF is again in the crosshairs of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) – this time for 2 new projects (Skycourt and Regal Gardens).  Sadar Bazaar and MG Road are planned as Wi-Fi zones.  Sakshi Dhoni (wife of MS) delivers a baby girl at Fortis Hospital, Gurgaon.  Bharti Arora returns to Gurgaon as Joint Commissioner, Police.  Kulvinder Singh also returns, as DCP, West.  Gurgaon Police ensure a fast ride, under Green Corridor, for a liver being taken from Jaipur to Delhi for a transplant.

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Vol. 4

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03

13-19 February 2015

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04  Contd from p 1 The residents are shocked by this sudden move to transfer the sectors to MCG. Further, such a big move should be very meticulously planned – and should include the complete transfer of manpower, land, funds and all other resources. The RWAs of the sectors that are proposed to be transferred to MCG, are also peeved that the meeting scheduled by HUDA and MCG, to address the concerns of residents, is being repeatedly postponed. Officials of the agencies have cited busy schedules as ‘excuses’ for the postponement. JN Yadav, President of (HUDA) Sector 4 RWA, says that the Administration has failed to convince the residents about this move, as there are only promises but no concrete plans. “At present HUDA, despite being a development agency (not a maintenance agency like MCG), has some system for the resolution of problems, and finally finds a solution to some of our basic issues. But MCG, despite being set up for maintenance, has not developed any expertise on this even after 5 years,” says Yadav. The problems are the same in Sector 10, where the residents fear that basic sanitation, water and roads would become major problems, because MCG just does not have the wherewithal. Manoj Yadav, President, Sector 10 RWA, says that sewerage has been a major problem in their sector, and water supply is still inadequate. However, the worst problem being faced by Sector 10 residents is the presence of a large number of stray animals, particularly monkeys and pigs, which has made life difficult for them. Yadav says that multiple complaints to the MCG (routed through HUDA) have failed to resolve even this relatively small problem - because the monkey catcher employed by MCG has not been paid for the last four assignments! “That is MCG. Further, it does not have the money and resources to look after its own area, how can it take care of large (in area and population) HUDA sectors in addition?” asks Yadav. A dispensary and post office are still awaited in this sector, while the community centre is in a shambles. Sanjay Sharma, a resident of Sector 23, says that basic social infrastructure such as playgrounds, parks, clubs, hospitals and dispensaries should in fact be first developed in a sector before the residents are allowed to move in. He further alleges that while HUDA sectors in ‘Old’ Gurgaon at least have sector roads, and ‘legal’ water and power connections, many ‘New’ Gurgaon colony builders have managed to get

C over S tory

13-19 February 2015

How can HUDA just walk away? Occupation Certificates for their apartment complexes despite the absence of such basic civic infrastructure and facilities. “Why should the City be allowed to expand if there is already pressure on the water, power and other basic infrastructure? The government must not repeat the mistakes in the new sectors, as it will make life miserable for all,” he adds. JN Yadav, President, Sector 4 RWA, which is one of the oldest and finest sectors as far as planning is concerned, says that residents do not have faith in MCG. “There is a lack of systems, engineering skills, manpower and resources in MCG. We want the government to first transfer and appoint adequate and relevant experience manpower, and set up parallel systems that can manage large modern areas. Already HUDA staff has refused to join MCG,” he says. Another major issue would be the transfer of funds and land – despite HUDA being very cash rich. MCG is unlikely to get any funds from HUDA or even the possession of vacant plots of land - which could be developed further to earn revenue. Sector 4 today has almost 25 parks (several of these being one acre in area), a huge community centre spread over 5 acres of land, and wide roads. Sector 15 Part II, which is home to some top officials, retired bureaucrats and even former ministers, is also resisting the transfer. Raja Ram, President of the RWA, alleges that the drainage system in the sector is nonfunctional, the rainwater has no point to exit, and the storm water from Sector 31 gets collected in this area. “We already face a lot of problems under HUDA, and don’t see that MCG would be able to resolve the problems,” he says. The residents’ demand for a religious place and a sports ground for children has been pending for years. Ashok Rana, President of Sector 23 RWA, says that their sector is one of the largest in the City, and there was a plan for three markets, one high school and a number of other facilities, to cater to the 10,000 families residing there. “Only one market has been developed, which also remains choked; there is a small community centre at the corner of a colony, which remains unused; there is no good playground, and no nursery or primary school has been set up,” alleges Rana. He adds that for the large popu-

lation of Sectors 21, 22, 23 and 23 A, there is need to set up a HUDA Club, for which land is available - but the government is not willing to take action. Rana believes that the transfer of maintenance will just mean the transfer of responsibilities, but no equivalent transfer of assets will take place. “MCG must be given the authority and accountability for the development and maintenance of

all vacant land and plots in these sectors. HUDA must leave these sectors, like they and private builders do everywhere else but they all must first deliver on their promises. The RWA members also want MCG to have a central office in ‘Old’ Gurgaon that offers ‘single window’ clearance. RWAs should also be involved in the decision making process for the setting up of infrastructure and facilities related to these sectors. Critics say that the benefit of the transfers of HUDA (and private) sectors to MCG is that the City would have a single authority to manage civic services. However, MCG first needs to be provided administrative and technical depth, and empowered. Of course some even want a Mayorled, empowered MCG. Urban governance experts add that before any transfer of sectors takes place on the instructions of someone in Chandigarh/ Panchkula, MCG should be empowered with Functions,

Funds and Functionaries as outlined in the 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment Act 1993, and as recommended by the Second Administrative Reforms Commission (also called Moily Report), so that MCG can become the ‘institution of local governance’, and not only as a (mere) maintenance agency. Further, Ward Committees should be formed so that residents can contribute to the developmental decisions. The City’s older areas - many of them HUDA sectors - too need to be reviewed for retrofitting and infrastructure improvement. It’s the classic chicken and egg story. Will HUDA do now what it should have, but hasn’t, for 20 years? Will MCG be able to do what it hasn’t done (nor been allowed to do) for 5 years? Will HUDA hand over all its assets, or try and play smart? Funnily, we are not talking some special privileges here – just the delivery of facilities and services for which money was paid decades ago. The CM or Chief Secretary needs to step in, and decide in the best interest of residents – in Gurgaon or elsewhere. The patience of Aam Aadmis is running out. u

Gurgaon in Court { Abhishek Behl FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon

T

he Punjab and Haryana High Court has asked HUDA and other civic agencies to prepare a proper blueprint for the supply of water to Sectors 68 to 80 in Gurgaon, and asked the highest officials of the State government, including the Chief Secretary, to look seriously into the matter. Hearing the petition filed by Gurgaon resident Mukesh Sharma, the Court observed that the plan submitted by HUDA authorities was inadequate and did not serve the purpose. Petitioner Mukesh Sharma told Friday Gurgaon that HUDA will have to submit a concrete plan to ensure that piped water reaches the projects that have been built in these sectors, and also ensure that ground water is not extracted for construction projects. Sharma added that the government will also have to look into ways to stop the tanker mafia, which is involved in the illegal sale of water on a large scale. FG had recently carried this as a Cover Story in its Issue 22, January 20 to 26. Another important case listed on February 10 in the Punjab and Haryana High Court pertained to the setting up of adequate electrical/power infrastructure in private colonies (developed by private builders). Commander Dharmvir Yadav, who is pursuing the case, said that there has been

little relief and respite for the residents, as the judicial process takes it own time in deciding the issues. Earlier, in a related case the High Court, on an LPA filed by fifteen residents of M2K Symphony Floors, Mayfield Gardens, had observed that the apartment owners, builders and power suppliers should resolve their differences within two weeks or else the case would be clubbed with the main case relating to power infrastructure in Mayfield Gardens. The residents in the petition had prayed for directing HVPN, DHBVN and M2K developers to supply electricity to their residential houses as they have the statutory right to be provided electricity under Section 43 of the Electricity Act 2003. The petitioners contended that they have paid every statutory fee, including EDC, and have also deposited Rs 50,000/- each as sub-station cost with the M2K developer. While under section 42 (1) of the Act, it is the duty of DHBVN, being the licensee for the distribution of electricity, to set up infrastructure and to supply power, the view of DHBVN in this case is that it is the liability of the coloniser, Sheetal International Pvt. Ltd. (the holding company of the Mayfield Project), to provide the electricity and to do all things necessary for the same, including the erection of the electric substation. Yadav contends that despite the directions of the Court, it is unlikely that this matter would be resolved mutually between the different stakeholders. The next hearing was fixed for April 7. u


C ivic/S ocial

13-19 February 2015

Aftershocks felt in Gurgaon { Barnali Dutta/FG }

For Women’s Safety prakhar PANDEY

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon

A

lthough the just concluded elections, which drew the entire nation’s attention, were for the Delhi Legislative Assembly, their direct and indirect impact was felt in Gurgaon, its satellite metropolis, better known as the Millennium City of India. Indeed, the reasons for such an extensive bearing are manifold – geo-physical, social, cultural, commercial, political, ideological and industrial, of course topped by our unusual curiosity. The Bharatiya Janata Party’s influence has been felt twice in Haryana over the past one year. On both the occasions the supporters or sympathisers of BJP in and around Gurgaon did pat their own backs. They probably thought that Delhi was in their pocket. The results have shocked many – both ways. Mrs. Krishna, President of Hamilton Court Residents Welfare Association, a current BJP-erstwhile AAP supporter, said, “Of course I am not happy with the results. Last year I had even donated to the AAP kitty as a token of my appreciation of their ideology and the AAP leader’s thoughts…but they had disappointed me. I now wish that Kejriwal fares well, although I am of the belief that the BJP would have done much better in overall governance.” The District President of BJP Gurgaon, Kulbhushan Bharadwaj, quipped in a lighter vein that AAP must run the government machinery and not ruin it. He added, “It’s too early to comment on how AAP will perform this time. More importantly, we (BJP) need to seriously work on some basic issues.” An admirer of AAP, Simlesh, who works in the Radhe Mohan girls hostel, commented that the commoners and the youth in Delhi have faith in Kejriwal’s vision, since they believe that the leaders of AAP can understand their needs. “I voted for AAP because Kejriwal is like us, he can understand

05

our problems. We have hope despite some mistakes that he might have committed in the past. After all, to err is human and every individual needs a second chance to prove his or her mettle. I am sure he will keep up his assurances to the Aam Aadmi of Delhi.” A staunch critic of Narendra Modi and the BJP was elated, and even took a dig at Modi and his much publicised PR message about his rise to the status of Prime Minister from a mere helper in a tea stall. The Rs 10 lakhs Modi suit has been used tellingly by AAP. Interestingly, most of the students of Sector 14 Government College were celebrating the victory of AAP. In Delhi, many students from JNU and IIT Delhi had shown their strong belief towards AAP. However, they all still hope that Modi and the BJP will steer the country in the right direction.u

An appropriately named Women’s Safety application, ‘Be Safe Girls’, has been recently selected for the National campaign of ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’. It has been developed by the students and faculty of ITM University, Gurgaon – namely, Ms Sujata, Asst. Professor, Ms. Sakshi, a final year student, and the development team of the University. The app has a button that will appear on the mobile screens upon downloading. With the help of this Android application, girls faced with an emergency situation can just press this button, which will send a text message to their family, friends and authorities concerned. Upon activation the app would also send the precise location of the device to the people concerned. The USP of the app, as per the development team, is that it consumes less than 1 MB memory space. The app would be available to users once it is operationalised.

prakhar PANDEY

Yamaha in City Sidharth Auto, a new Dealership of Yamaha, was officially inaugurated on main Khandsa Road by Roy Kurian, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Yamaha Motor India Sales. Kurian said that the Gurgaon market was important for the Company because there were a large number of buyers who preferred powerful bikes, in which the Company has expertise. “We have also launched an ungeared scooter in the market, and it can compete with the best," he said. Kurian also said that they were keen to increase their overall share in the Gurgaon market, and that was the reason for this Dealership being opened on this side of the Highway (NH8). Rajesh Gulia, who owns the Dealership, said that they have set up worldclass infrastructure at the outlet on Khandsa Road, and they will ensure world-class service to their customers. A Service Centre adjacent to the Dealership will help keep the bikes in top shape, promised Gulia.

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prakhar PANDEY

e-Panchayats

{ Barnali Dutta/FG }

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K

erala, Andhra Pradesh, Telengana…and now it’s the turn of Haryana to introduce e-Panchayat – following the directive of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj (MoPR) to IT-enable rural India, in order to significantly strengthen local governance. The Haryana govt. had decided to adopt and implement e-governance initiatives, believing that this initiative will allow it effectively deliver govt. service at the doorsteps of its citizens. The ball was set rolling recently when the village of Babupur was chosen for the implementation of the pilot e-Panchayat project. The mood is quite upbeat there. Yogesh Yadav, the owner and Principal of B. R. Memorial

Public School, believes that the government has taken a very strategic decision in starting the e-Panchayat movement – and especially in their village. "Our village is strategically located, with a large number of real estate projects coming up around us. This e-project will provide an opportunity for the 800 strong population of our village to seek gainful employment. An IT-based information system in the village will impart greater transparency and enable better governance." The DPO, Mr. Anil, says that the e-Panchayat website would be up and running within a month. "Apart from providing them lots of information, the e-Panchayat will also conveniently allow the villagers to give vent to their grievances." T L Satyaprakash, DC, Gurgaon, welcomes the move as an opportunity for development (though he seems

Flying High { Barnali Dutta/FG } write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon

F

C ivic/S ocial

13-19 February 2015

or most Indians, Republic Day has lost much of its significance. It has become just another holiday. But trust the residents of Hamilton Court to be different. The residents of this high-rise condominium set up their own unique display this Republic Day – which may well put their feat in the Limca Book of Records. Still flush with passion for India’s Independence and its becoming a free Republic, the families of this prestigious residential complex decided to fortify the sense of patriotism in their children. 260 Indian flags were hoisted, one from each apartment balcony, to mark the country’s 65th Republic Day. As all the flags fluttered in the breeze against a clear winter sky, the residents

a little skeptical about the selection of the village). DDPO Mr Narender, pitches in. "Our village is very well connected and is therefore an ideal location for kick starting the e- Panchayat experience." He strongly believes that this initiative will help usher in all round development and also help tackle the worrisome corruption. The e-Panchayat scheme is expected to bring about a revolution in the working of gram panchayats, by helping them function like villagelevel secretariats. It is aimed at equipping rural folk with comprehensive and updated information and ensuring transparency and accountability in governance. Records of birth and death, house tax, pension schemes, SGRY development works and beneficiaries of govt. programmes will be computerised. The e-Panchayat

project would provide a range of IT related services, such as decentralised Database & Planning, PRI Budgeting & Accounting, implementation & monitoring of Central and State sector schemes, Citizen-centric services and essential GIS-based applications – as well as being an online self-learning medium for Panchayat functionaries. e-Panchayat has the potential to reposition PRIs (Panchayati Raj Institutions) as the symbols of modernity & efficiency and help induce a mass ICT (Information Communication Technology) culture. A computerised Management Information System would totally replace the manual information collection system. This would also minimise and save manpower efforts at field level. In Haryana, computers have already been provided to Zila Parishads at the district level, Panchayat Samitis at the Block level and the Engineering Wing. A Computer Cell has been established at HQ level. The Development & Panchayat Department (DPD) is in the process of introducing e-Panchayats for PRIs, which is one of the Mission Mode Projects (MMPs) under the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP). 12 common core applications, called Panchayat Enterprise Suite (PES), have been identified by MoPR, and will be developed centrally. In Haryana the Development & Panchayat Department has identified 2,294 clusters for the 6,081 gram panchayats – a cluster is a group of two or three Gram Panchayats where the infrastructure for the e-Panchayat project would be provided. HARTRON is designated as the nodal agency for the implementation of the project – which will be rolled out in phased manner. In Phase I, 1,000 Gram Panchayats would

rejoiced, and were most pleased to see the radiant and proud faces of their children. The knowledgeable among the residents also chose this hour to give the children a taste of history, including a recollection of ‘that day’. The Indian Constitution was born on 26th January, 1950, they told the children. “The Republic Day also marks the gaining of political freedom and civil liberties, as enshrined in our Constitution, for all Indians. We want our children to know that. We also want them to know that a pluralistic and secular State was created to ensure that there was equal opportunity for all,” said Dr. Krishna Bhatt. It is she, as the RWA President, who chose to approach the organisers of the Limca Book of Records. “We have sent our application to them, and requested them to recognise our unique exercise,” she said. “It is our duty to remind our children that this anniversary provides an opportunity to every citizen of India to renew his/her pledge to work for the well-being of the people of the country, and for peace and harmony in our society and the world. Our success lies not only in becoming a powerful and prosperous nation, but in

be covered. As of now, the State has adopted 5 Application Software - namely, PRIASoft, Local Government Directory (LGD), National Panchayat Portal (NPP), Plan Plus (BRGF districts) and Action Soft (BRGF districts). Under the PRIASoft application, voucher entry for 4,229 Gram Panchayats (out of total 6,081) has been started for the FY-2011-12. For the Local Government Directory, the State has completed 92% mapping of gram panchayats with the census villages. The National Panchayat Portal (NPP) has completed the domain registration of all the 21 districts. The training schedule, for 8 software applications of the Panchayat Enterprise Suite (PES) has been finalised in coordination with MoPR, and some training modules have commenced. Training on 6 software applications - namely, PRIASoft, National Panchayat Portal, Training Management, Service Plus, Plan Plus and SAMM - was completed as early as 2013; training on the remaining two software applications - namely Action Soft and NADD - has also now been completed. Further, all DDPOs have been given the green signal to finalise and complete the training schedule on PES applications through the Master Trainers (who are available in various districts). The establishment of a Project Management Unit, as envisaged by MoPR, has also been rolled out under the auspices of the State Project Management Unit (SPMU) and District Project Management Units. Out of 21 districts in the State of Haryana, District Project Managers (DPMs) in 15 districts have been deployed. The laying of the necessary infrastructure for the implementation of e-Panchayat has begun in right earnest. u

making this a humane land of opportunity for all; and of course a place where peace must prevail for all times to come,” she added. Whether it makes it to the Limca Book of Records or not, this unique enterprise of the residents has set a worthy precedent. Surely other colonies will emulate Hamilton the next time…or at the next national event. u


07

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13-19 February 2015

K id C orner

Ryan International School, Sector 40

Marching to ‘Swachh Bharat’

R

yan international School, Sector 40, organised a Peach March and a Street Play at Tulip Orange, Sector 70, Sohna Road on the theme ‘Swachh Bharat’. The School Head Ms Peeya Sharma motivated the students to practice what they preach and make valuable contributions to the society at large.

A Parliamentary Visit

T

he School Council of Ryan International School, Sector 40 visited the most prestigious office of India - The Parliament. Ryan Group of Institutions believes that ‘exposure exudes experts’. The students were thrilled to see the world’s second largest tomb structure (98 feet) at the Central Hall, where the Lok Sabha Speaker addresses both the Houses.

Happy B’Day Bharat Kokila

S

arojini Naidu House of Ryan International School, Sector 40 conducted a special assembly to commemorate the Birth Anniversary of Smt. Sarojini Naidu, lovingly known as Nightingale of India. Smt. Naidu was a prolific writer and a proficient poet. Mahatma Gandhi had conferred the title of Bharat Kokila (Nightingale of India) on her, because of the melody and sweetness in her poems. The role play performed by Devna of Class IV was very heartening. School Head Ms. Peeya Sharma said that Smt. Sarojini Naidu was a distinguished poet, renowned freedom fighter and one of the great orators of her time.

Saluting the Weathermen

T

he students of Class III C, Ryan International School, Sector 40 celebrated Weatherman’s Day. The young Ryanites gave a talk show on how a Weatherman can save us from national disasters. They also talked about the role of remote sensing devices and satellites in weather forecasting.

Surf Safely

R

yan International School, Sector 40 organised a special assembly to mark Safer Internet Day, to promote safer and more responsible use of Internet and Online technology, especially among the young children. Children of Class III conducted a talk show.

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K id C orner

13-19 February 2015

09

Safety Ready

T

he students of Ryan Global School, Sector 40 gave a presentation on Safety and First Aid by preparing their own First Aid Boxes. They also performed a street play to generate awareness about road safety and security.

Reaching Out

S

tudents of Ryan Global School are taught to have empathy for the weaker sections of society through a project, 'Community Transformation'. This week the students gave a presentation to underprivileged children on Safety and First Aid. School Head Ms. Andrea Martin encouraged the students to keep up the noble work of sharing their knowledge with the underprivileged.

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warn expe ciety are rts. While the authoriti discussing es and in (curr ways to ent) tackle this civil sobusy build Gurgaon, the situation Real Estat apartmen ing more castles in the air. e industry is ts and comm up in the Thousand new Gurg ercial complexes s of tened GII aon secto are comi ng lines are by FG), while wate rs (58 to 115 – chris yet to be r, power ever, have set up. and sewa Several already ge builders, are now ‘complete giving posse howd’ their gross viola projects, ssion to and tion of the apartmen the auth t buyers, orities. They rules, with in the collu ground are still sion of wate deviously is that the r for all their extra projects. cting will now water from these And the irony be water tank sold to the haplsame illegal tube wells ess ers (as the dream)! official suppresidents throu gh ly remains It was only a pipea chance plaza that visit to through brought this illeg the Kherki Doul tankers al use and a toll by construct sale of wate ion comp r anies, to the Prakhar

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10

13-19 February 2015

C omment

AAP’s 70-Point Action Plan Based on ‘Delhi Dialogue’

A

There will be a Right to Water: piped water AAP connections will be extended to 14 lakh more households (50 lakh population) within 5 has identified years; Free Lifeline water will be provided: 3 threats: upto 20,000 litres will be provided to every Corruption, household per month through a DJB Communalism & metered connection – there will be fair Crony Delhi Janlokpal Bill will be passed; and transparent water pricing; water will Capitalism. there will be a Citizens’ Charter in all be accessed from the Munak Canal, as per govt. offices; Whistleblowers will be given HC order; water resources will be augmented; protection and awarded there will be a crackdown on water mafia, leading Swaraj Bill/Act will be passed – decisions affecting to a transparent water distribution system; Rainwater the local community will be taken by citizens and Harvesting will be promoted implemented by their Secretariat; a Citizen Local The Yamuna will be revived Atul Sobti Area Development (C-LAD) Fund will be given to 200,000 eco public toilets will be built – 150,000 in every Mohalla Sabha and RWA slums/JJ clusters and 50,000 in public spaces; 50% of Full Statehood for Delhi will be demanded total toilets will be for women; there will be better Waste Electricity bills will be halved - there will be CAG Management Audit of power discoms and customers would be 500 new govt. schools will be set up allowed to choose their discoms; Delhi’s own power There will be an increase in spending on Education station will be set up outside Delhi at a pithead (to and Healthcare: a Higher Education guarantee meet peak demand of 6,200MW) scheme will be introduced – govt. will act as guarantor Delhi will be made a Solar City – Solar will be 20% for higher education bank loans; 20 new degree of total energy by 2025 colleges will be set up on the outskirts of Delhi, in partnership with villages; existing seat capacities of Delhi govt. administered colleges will be doubled; private schools’ fees will be regulated – capitation fee Does AAP still stand for these 2014 will be abolished; there will be transparency in school Manifesto points? admissions, via a centralised online system; govt. schools (Minimum) quorum for marginalised groups in Gram Sabhas will be ramped up and quality education provided and Mohalla Sabhas); a Social Justice Ombudsman will oversee - 17,000 new teachers will be appointed. Healthcare every sabha. infrastructure will be expanded – 900 new PHCs will Gram Nyayalayas – for swift, accessible and affordable justice be set up and 30,000 more beds will be provided in hospitals (4,000 in maternity wards); quality drugs will Police accountability to local sabhas; no more police custody be provided at affordable prices (interrogation only in judicial custody); all public interaction areas in On the road - adequate street lighting will be ensured police stations will be videographed (currently 70% lights do not work); effective last mile Media Policy – appropriate public accountability and regulation, cross connectivity will be set up for the public transit system; media ownership regulation, curbing of ‘paid news’, boost to Community CCTVs will be installed in public spaces and buses Radio and private radio Speedy Justice will be ensured - through 47 Fast33% reservation for women in Parliament and State Legislatures Track Courts; trials for crimes against women will be Dalit Muslims to be provided reservation – it should be religion neutral completed in 6 months; A Women’s security force – Implement National Farmers Policy (Swaminathan Commission) - MSP Mahila Suraksha Dal, will be set up, consisting of fixed at 50% above input costs, MSP extended to 25 crops, incentives for 10,000 Home Guards, as also 5,000 bus marshals; organic produce; regulate GM crops a Suraksha/SOS button will be recommended on every Social Security for the unorganised sector (92% of workforce) – guidelines mobile phone for wages, working hours, facilities and social security benefits Delhi lawyers and judiciary will be empowered All govt. services and forms will be available on Direct transfer of ration to families, with the help of mohalla sabha; your mobile include dal and oil in PDS Governance in villages will be ensured through Gram Promote AYUSH Sabhas, which will be given Village Development Funds; Involve local community in the creation of a context-rooted Pro-farmer land reform will be introduced. curriculum and the management of schools, with accountability Delhi will be a Wi-Fi city. of schools/teachers to local sabhas; roll back FYUP (Delhi Delhi will be promoted as a trade and retail hub; University). there will be no FDI in retail; Delhi will have the AP wishes to change the rules of the game, the system of governance. People will make the decisions, to solve their own problems, and elected representatives would implement those decisions.

EDITORIAL


13-19 February 2015

lowest VAT regime in India; there will be an end to VAT raids and Inspector Raj; VAT rules will be simplified (1 page VAT form for traders) Delhi Skill Mission – 100,000 youth per year will be trained and enabled in the first 2 years, and thereafter 500,000 per year; 8 lakh jobs will be created in the next 5 years; Delhi will become a Start-Up Hub – 3 million sq. ft. of affordable business incubation space will be set up. Contractual posts will be regularised – 55,000 vacancies will be immediately filled; 4,000 doctors and 15,000 nurses and paramedics will be made permanent; there will be emphasis on social security; local Mohalla Sabhas will provide licences to street vendors and hawkers in designated spaces Pollution will be reduced – Delhi ridge will be protected A Unified Transport Authority will be established; Bus services will be expanded - 5,000 will be added in 5 years; there will be a just and fair policy for e-rickshaws; Metro Rail 2.0 will cater to rural areas, and Ring Rail will be extended; there will be a fair arrangement for auto drivers Resettlement colonies will be made freehold; unauthorised colonies will be regularised and transformed – within one year; affordable housing for all will be built – in the 200 acres available with the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board; there will be in situ development of slums – there will be no demolitions Senior Citizens will be cared for; a universal and noncontributory old age pension system will be set up Price rise will be controlled AAP will work towards AAP needs a Drug-free Delhi The Disabled would to be cautious on: be empowered How Mohalla Sabhas will – their 3% run (maybe learn from Gram reservation Sabhas) would be strictly implemented Stubbornly opposing FDI in Justice will be retail, ostensibly because of ensured for the a strong Kejriwal bias in victims of the antiSikh 1984 carnage – favour of traders an SIT will be notified Ex-Servicemen will be respected All minorities will be ensured equality and development Dignity will be accorded to safai karamcharis – existing employees will be regularised, they will be provided safety gear and medical insurance, and their families given Rs 50 lakhs if they die while on duty; the rights of all marginalised will be ensured A sports culture will be promoted – the over 3,000 govt. school playgrounds will be made available to local communities after school hours Local languages will be promoted – a second language status will be to Urdu and Punjabi Our heritage and literature will be preserved; the Delhi Public Library network will be enhancedu

C omment

11

Aapka Time Starts Now Congratulations Arvindbhai. You and your team have once again fired up the nation, leading to high expectations and aspirations across the country – which will hopefully soon lead to people demanding more accountability from their local governments. Now, let AAP ka work do all the talking. Going forward, it should be less about (addictive) debates and more about reports…on what you planned for the people of Delhi, and what is the progress. That should also help reduce the debate. The electorate (and their families) are now looking to you for their daily deliverance. It’s time to implement the Manifesto – the 70-Point Action Plan, in word and spirit. The people should preferably be told the AAP Plan for the first 6 months - on what you will do, how, where and by when; and who will decide, and who will do. There should then be a Monthly Report on each of the Manifesto points, and a Report by each Minister/ Dept. Let media have copies of all important letters issued (e.g. for regularisation of colonies), and the replies. Why wait to be out-RTIed? By all means be populist, but not profligate – you cannot burden future generations. It would be prudent to implement

In the almost entire focus on basic civic services, you should not forget the future. It’s wonderful to see that you envision Delhi as a Solar City - with even consumers having an option to sell to the grid. Maybe a model ‘Sunny Ward’ could be chosen for a ‘fit-out’. Do rethink your decision on ‘no FDI in Retail’ for Delhi. A modern Farm to Retail program will help remove middlemen and exploiters who are today exploiting farmers and also fuelling the food prices and inflation – a form of corruption that needs to vanish. It will also help reduce wastage. Protecting middlemen and traders, at the cost of the farmers and the public, cannot be your agenda - even if they are/were your vote bank. While helping out the unauthorised colony reisdents of today, AAP must come down hard on any further occupation or construction in any unauthorised (current or new) area in any part of Delhi. Regarding the support from the Municipal Corporations or the Centre, why bank on support for things that even the last Congress govt. did not receive for 15 years - and performed well for the most part? You cannot fight these issues on the basis that these were promises you made to Delhi voters. That is being unreal in real-politik. the promise on water after a preliminary check on Ward-wise ‘official’ status, and after assigning a Ward-wise water tanker plan. This should not take more than a month. The ‘easier’ decision should be on power, given the drop in fuel prices. The reduction should be immediate, while books and meters are checked and rates re-negotiated with the utilities. If Swaraj can help AAP make the near-defunct Public Distribution System (PDS) and Primary Healthcare System (PHS) work, it would truly be a miracle. Do also look at petrol and/or school fee subsidy vouchers for the lower middle class; fortunately it is easy to identify such beneficiaries in Delhi. Citizens’ Security Forces in each Mohalla, and a Mahila Suraksha Dal, is a practical and wonderful idea. If these Forces can deter all forms of eve-teasing, day and night, in their localities and on the roads, we will see a change in behaviour very soon. It is also heartwarming to see that Social Justice and Dignity, especially for the under-privileged in the unorganised sector –like domestic workers and safia kararcharis – is in your Manifesto. Finally, it is most heartening to see that AAP would encourage honest officers and protect whistleblowers. Rather than only concentrating on punishing the guilty, it is most important to also recognise and support the ‘good guys’. The first 6 months is also a good time to roll-out ‘models’ – like for public toilets and ‘pucca’ houses for the slum dwellers. Model sites in a few Wards could be identified and the projects planned and completed, within 6 months. These are also projects that would be best undertaken under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) model. Yes, private enterprise needs to be an integral part of the AAP strategy. Private is not a dirty word and the Profit motive is not synonymous with corruption. Private enterprise can be most productively used for social work too. Do be careful of being caught up in mob protests; they can go out of hand and end up as endless blame games. People can be flimsy – and the media most so. It would be difficult to tell when the tide has changed – even experienced sailors and politicians have failed on this score. The best answer, for the people and critics alike, is to deliver corruption-free good governance – constantly and consistently. There will be time for a national play – well within 5 years – state-wise and nationally. May the Tilak shine on Swaraj.u


12 { Dr. Rajesh Bhola }

S

ome basic qualities of character are helpful in the quest for truth. The most essential is intelligence which is our ability to judge the difference between truth and illusion. But, beyond this intelligence, we must also possess a sense of proportion – which comes from Wisdom. However, we need to be patient while searching for something that is very subtle. It can be difficult to define Wisdom, but people generally recognise it when they encounter it. It involves an integration of knowledge, experience and a deep understanding that incorporates tolerance for the uncertainties of life as well as its ups and downs. It confers a sense of proportion...of balance. Wise people generally share an optimism that life’s problems can be solved, and experience a certain amount of calm while taking difficult decisions. Intelligence may be necessary for Wisdom, but it is definitely not sufficient; an ability to see the big picture, a sense of proportion, and considerable introspection also contribute to wisdom’s development. Inner Wisdom is the ability to gather information that does not come from conscious reasoning. It can come via feelings and emotions, and sometimes flashes of understanding or spontaneous ideas. Inner Wisdom comes from your higher self; or, if you prefer a more scientific explanation, your intuition (from Inner Wisdom) is the ability to access information that you have stored outside of your conscious awareness. Your mind takes in, stores and processes far more information about the world than you are aware of. Inner Wisdom is also energetic information – there is power in your thoughts. That is how the ‘telephone phenomenon’ works – when you are thinking about somebody and, the next thing you know, they are calling you! Once you are comfortable receiving information from your inner self, you will want to become comfortable using it. If you are open to receiving it, and willing to interpret and act on this information, you can positively influence your life. Wisdom is far, far stronger than fear, but while fear gladly forces itself upon you, Wisdom knocks gently and then waits to be invited in. You cannot be a victim of wisdom; it must be chosen. So, banish your negative thoughts and learn to play with your inner self, which is much more interesting and liberated. It should become natural for you to use the power of your mind. We all have three levels of mind: the Conscious, the Subconscious and the Super-conscious. Your Super-conscious mind is connected to the ultimate source of information - all that there is to be known and imagined. That is the part of your mind that is intuitive. It is the part of you that we call your Inner Wisdom. Inner Wisdom is beyond our rational, logical and conscious mind. We are generally brought up to believe that the mind is our primary source of information with regard to the world. We learn little, if anything, of our other nature - our Inner Wisdom, which is reached through our deeper intuition, instinct, hunches and the validity of our feelings. It is our inner voice. We do connect with our Inner Wisdom in a variety of ways, though often without knowing that we do so. Someone may say something in conversation that strikes a deep chord in us or we may experience profoundness from watching a beautiful sunset or taking a Nature Walk. We can greatly increase our ability to contact our Inner Wisdom by also being aware of some of the obstacles that normally prevent us from doing so. Sit still and let your mind wander. Try and let go of any need or desire to look for any answers. You will find that while the voice of social conditioning manifests itself as a stream of thoughts in the head, Wisdom often appears as emotions or physical sensations in the body. Brain-damaged patients who lose function in parts of the brain that register emotion may still understand the logic of a problem, but can no longer reason effectively or make advantageous decisions for themselves. The emotional centres of the brain, along with the elaborate bundle of nerves in your belly, have been evolving far longer than any language.

S piritual

13-19 February 2015

Listen to your

Inner Wisdom

And that system, more than logic, is exquisitely attuned to helping you navigate your way through life. So if you are wondering whether a choice is wise or not, instead of searching your mind for a rational argument, try and hold each option in your attention, and then feel its effect on your body and emotions. When something is wrong for you, you will feel constriction and tightness; the wise choice leads to feelings of liberation, even exhilaration. If we push our mind thoughts away from what we should and ought to do, we will find our inner truth. Since the conscious mind tells us what we think we are, an inner voice may initially be felt or seen as something crazy. Giving up our attempts to solve problems with our conscious mind is very threatening to our ego, which wants to remain in control. However, if it feels right it will be right, even if it is not what you want to hear. Wisdom has a hard time coming through the noisy inner chatter – it’s like picking out a single, quiet voice in a crowd. Quiet your mind first by meditating. Pull your thoughts to the here and now, away from the past or the future. Meditation is the best time to openly listen to your Inner Wisdom because, as the mental chatter slows - and, with practice, stops - you can literally hear yourself think. Apart from feeling and knowing at a deeper level, you sometimes can feel a warm glow, a sense of peace or relief. The Wisdom from within is usually soft. It will suggest and advise but never demand the surrender of your free will. It will not conflict with your personal ethics and never asks you to attack or hurt others or force them to do things. It will never be offended if you ignore what it says or if you question it. This voice requires your willingness to want it. The voice from the mind or ego is usually louder and more forceful. It may be confusing or contradictory and you may even hear a number of voices competing for attention. This voice or voices may seek to flatter and to appeal to glamour, specialness and desire for personal gratification. However, when you examine it, it will feel wrong, unless you are attached to the answer - in which case you will try to convince yourself that it is right. It may be that this (outer) voice will mimic the inner voice and even make sense. You have to look at the content. It is better to ask specific questions of your Inner Wisdom, such as: “What should I do about this particular problem?” rather than wide-ranging questions such as “How can I help heal the world?” Often the ego speaks first but, if you listen closely and with patience, a quieter voice will follow. It does not matter if you interpret something wrongly. You may not have followed a hunch or an instinct to do

something many times, you may have lost some time by taking a wrong turn, but your Inner Wisdom has infinite patience and is always there for you. It will never reject you because you did not take notice the first time. All your doubts, fears and insecurities are just protective mechanisms of your ego, keeping you from releasing your soul or discovering your inner calling. Your Wisdom is sacred – Divine. It takes you exactly where you need to go and what you need to be. Once you begin the journey of turning inwards, you will realise that the Wisdom of the ages has always been within, waiting for you. Turn down the volume of the world, so that you can hear the voice of Wisdom inside of you. Learn to lead yourself from within. Trusting your Wisdom will help you respect your inner voice, let go of resistance to change, conquer fear and doubt and find the inner strength to move from procrastination, confusion and stagnation to a world of clarity, action and confidence while helping you express who you truly are. Being mentally relaxed, physically aware and emotionally open is essential to listening to your Inner Wisdom. That Inner Wisdom has a language of its own – a sensory language of feelings. 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 30 years. He can be contacted at rabhola@yahoo.com

A Guru & Mentor { Shobha Lidder } A Guru & Mentor Is a stopgap companion You turn to him in time of duress You cry, rant, fume and confess You meditate, contemplate Take a retreat in the Guru’s magnetic field You repair your wear and tear You heal Now you are ready to take Your next plunge You are rejuvenated and feel young And strong to face Further challenges Life is nothing but a string of Golden grail The eternal maze One thinking will lead to another One victory will beacon another Failures will come to make us Learn or unlearn from our mistakes But our stakes will always be Mastering success with our virtues Of peace, love, purity, truth Vanquishing the demons Called vices Each day widens our horizon Though we all get equal opportunities We are not all equal in life’s sequel Be a winner but not win someone else’s due Let someone else win too Life is beatific for me & you! Shobha Lidder Writer, Journalist, Teacher, Trainer, Social Activist, Reiki Master, Pranic Healer


W ellness

13-19 February 2015

Health & Vitality... Naturally!

Amazing Amaranth { Jaspal Bajwa }

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humble plant began attracting attention over 8,000 years ago! The ancient Aztecs believed that the consumption of its seeds imparted them energy and strength. The Greek word for it - ‘amarantos’ - suggested that it was ‘the one that does not wither’. This perhaps alluded to the colourful buds, which stayed vibrant even after they had been dried. This amazing plant has been rediscovered in recent years. The tiny grains of Amaranth, together with its leafy greens and stems, come ‘fullyloaded’ with nutritional goodies. It is now cultivated in almost all parts of the world. A magazine has called it the ‘crop of the future’ - as it is high in protein, calcium and iron and can be grown at a much lesser cost than other grains. For example, one cup of amaranth has 10 times more iron, six times higher fibre and twice as much protein as white rice. Amaranth has 30% more protein than other plant sources like wheat, rye and oats. The protein content (28.1 grams per

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cup) is not only is gluten-free, but its amino acid complement is very complete (includes Lysine), making the protein more soluble and digestible. Its high protein content, together with its rich content of essential fatty acids (such as heart healthy Oleic Acid), differentiates it from other grains. Highly packed with carbohydrates, proteins, folate, riboflavin, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Vitamin K, Amaranth helps provide a solid energy boost to the body. Its leaves and seeds have been used extensively in cooking as well as traditional medicine. Amaranth is believed to reduce internal heat and dampness and is also used to stop diarrhoea and excessive menstruation. It is considered helpful in preventing a number of chronic health conditions,

.9 lakh new patients are diagnosed with Cancer in India annually - a staggering 100 new patients every hour! 1 in every 10 Indians runs the risk of getting Cancer before the age of 75 GLOBOCAN 2012 estimates predict a substantial increase - to 19.3 million new Cancer cases per year by globally 2025. Talk to a random person in India and ask her about the precautions that she takes to save herself from the common cold or flu, and she will list out a series of measures from the washing of hands to the boosting of immunity. However, ask the same person about how she protects herself from Cancer, and you will draw a blank. Despite Cancer being among the ten leading causes of deaths in India, it is still considered by many people as a ‘remote’ disease that probably will not strike them. Even those who are aware of its implications, do little in their daily lives to minimise the risks of contracting the disease. It has become very important to educate people about how they can prevent Cancer. “Undoubtedly there is a massive void in its awareness, even among the relatively educated masses. Even today the majority of cases that come to the hospitals are already in the last stages or at crucial stages, even for those cancers that can

such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer and stroke. Amaranth is particularly beneficial for bone health. The body’s ability to absorb calcium is notoriously difficult. This is where the Amaranth ‘combo’, of calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and manganese, together with Lysine and Larginine, can be most beneficial. Lysine and Squalene also play a role in the formation of Collagen, a substance crucial for sturdy bones.

Tip of the Week

Tender Amaranth leaves and stems are best for consumption. They should always be cooked

before eating. The grain flour can be stored upto six months, when kept in a tightly sealed container in a refrigerator or freezer. Amaranth leaves are a natural astringent and can be used as a skin wash for eczema or acne, and as a mouthwash for sore throat.

Nature’s Wonder Food(s) of the Week: Amaranth or Amaranthus

There are over 60 varieties of Amaranth. Often mistaken as weeds, the leaf sizes can vary as can the colour - ranging from red to green and gold. The health benefits of Amaranth leaves may also differ among its species. TVery often this

You can Fight Cancer easily be treated if detected early. With greater awareness, people will be more serious about screening and monitoring. Lack of awareness makes life not just difficult for the patient but also for their families and the physicians treating them,” says Dr Indu Bansal, Consultant, Oncology, Paras Hospitals, Gurgaon. Cancer is a group of abnormal cells. They are often referred to as ‘mad cells’, ‘wayward cells’ or ‘crazy cells’. Cancer occurs when normal cells turn crazy, defy Nature’s ways of propagation and multiply rapidly, altering the normal functioning of the body. If this process goes unchecked, it has the capacity to migrate to any part of the body. “Cancers like Mouth Cancer and Lung Cancer should be detected early and can be prevented by lifestyle modifications; however trends are showing an exponential rise in the same. Breast Cancer and Cervical Cancer can also be detected through simple and cost effective tests like an ultrasound/mammography and a PAP Smear,” adds Dr Bansal. According to WHO, around one third of Cancer deaths occur due to five leading behavioural and dietary risks: high body mass index, low fruit and vegetable intake,

lack of physical activity, tobacco use and alcohol use. Naturally, dealing with these risk factors can radically reduce the incidence of the disease. It is also important to protect from UV radiation by always wearing sunscreen. The incidence of Cancer can further be reduced if infections like HBV and HPV associated with Liver and Cervical Cancers respectively - are controlled through vaccinations. As per WHO, the five most common sites of Cancer in men are: Lung, Prostate, Colorectum, Stomach and Liver; while in women they are: Breast, Colorectum, Lung, Cervix and Stomach. While cancers are caused by the malfunction of the genes that control cell growth (resulting in indiscriminate multiplication of the cells in the affected part of the body), the genetic abnormalities are mostly a result of mutations that occur in the genes due to a series of environmental factors. Here is what we can do to mitigate our chances of contracting Cancer: Eat healthy: People having more meat are more susceptible to Cancer (though being a vegetarian doesn’t guarantee the absence of risk). Make sure that you consume an adequate amount of fruits and vegetables.

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leafy vegetable is cooked like spinach or ‘saag’. In India, it has several names - such as Cholai, Keerai, Chua, Harive, Soppu, Shravani Maath and Khada Saag. In China and South East Asia, it is often served as a stir-fry or as an ingredient in simmered dishes, gravies and dals. In Africa, the leaves are consumed with starch dishes and in the Caribbean, they are very often stewed with garlic, onions and tomatoes. Like any other grain, Amaranth seeds can be eaten as a complement to a meal or by themselves, dry-toasted on a skillet. They can be popped like corn, cooked similar to rice or pasta, or ground to flour (most often blended with other flours). Amaranth can be an exceptional thickener for sauces, soups, stews and even jellies. As a snack, it has a light, nutty or peppery-crunchy texture and flavour. As with some other greens, Amaranth contains Oxalic Acid, and therefore must be avoided by individuals suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis, Gout or kidney diseases. Cooked Amaranth shouldn’t be reheated (as the nitrates present in the leaves get converted to nitrites).u For Education purposes only; always consult a Healthcare Practitioner for medical conditions

Give up bad habits: Quitting smoking and excessive drinking can prevent Lung and Liver Cancers to a large degree. Get your body in shape: Excessive weight does not just increase the risk of Cancer, but also makes you more prone to diabetes, heart disease and arthritis of the knees. So, get yourself into the right Body Mass Index. Exercise: Lack of physical exercise is the reason for a range of lifestyle diseases, including Cancer, in both overweight as well as thin people. Vaccination & Screening: Vaccinate yourself against Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and Hepatitis B Virus (HBV). At the same time, get yourself regularly screened for Cancer, to enable timely detection and treatment. Warning signals:   Thickening or lump in breast or elsewhere   Obvious change in wart or mole   A sore that does not heal   Sudden and unexplained weight loss or fever   Change in bowel or bladder habits   Indigestion or difficulty in swallowing   Nagging cough or hoarseness of voice   Unusual bleeding or discharge   Unexplained anemia u

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14

Come Fall In Love

everyone in the universe. But then why don’t we love ourselves more? What have we done so drastically wrong that we can’t love ourselves? It seems that years of conditioning by society had led us to believe that we don’t deserve the best. We tend to run away from ourselves because we believe that we are not good enough for our self. How many of us can look at ourselves in the mirror and say, “You are a wonderful person. I love you.” If we don’t love the person in the mirror, how will we be able to love anyone else deeply or meaningfully? Loving oneself is about taking responsibility for one’s own self. You can begin by nurturing yourself on three dimensions – the Physical, Emotional and Spiritual, and developing their respective quotients (PQ, EQ and SQ).   Physical Take care of your body. Stay away from alcohol, tobacco and junk food. Pamper yourself - go for a manicure, pedicure and facial (guys included!); buy that thing (for yourself) that you have been putting off for long. n

  Emotional Stop criticising yourself. You are good as you are. But it is also OK to change. Stop frightening yourself, as nothing is as bad as it seems. Forgive people. Since human beings are social animals, EQ is a necessary component for a happy and successful life. n

To Advertise

  Spiritual Spend time with yourself. Be there for yourself. Stop rushing. Meditate daily, even if it is for 10 minutes - you can never go wrong with meditation. Many great achievers are known to set aside time for solitude and reflection. According to a recent Forbes article: Research carried out by the Carnegie Institute of Technology shows that 85 percent of your financial success is due to skills in ‘human engineering’ - your personality and ability to communicate, negotiate and lead. Only 15 percent is due to technical knowledge. Heaven (success, happiness, prosperity, abundance, good health) or Hell (scarcity, insecurity, stress) is not something that happens in the after life. You can make your living life heaven or hell by the choices you make here – on Earth. This Valentine’s Day I urge you to make the right choice. Fall in love with the most wonderful person in the world - your own self, and experience heavenly bliss. Happy Valentine’s Day!u n

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y brother-in-law, an IIT engineer and MBA from IIM, is a very learned and wise man. However, a couple of years ago when I asked him a question, “Do you love yourself ?”, he was stumped. Normally very articulate, he did not have an answer to this one. He said, “Bhaiya, this thought never occurred to me”. What he told me is, I’m sure, true of millions of others. The thought of loving ourselves is alien to most of us, even though the Bible makes mention of this: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself’. Somewhere along the way we forgot about loving ourselves… though we seem to have taken to loving our neighbours! Perhaps the reasons are not so difficult to fathom. From our childhood we see people loving someone else - mothers loving their children, fathers loving mothers, girlfriends loving boyfriends, brothers loving sisters, mothers-in law loving daughters-in-law, sons-in-law loving mothers-in-law – ok, ok let’s not push it. As Indians, we are culturally more oriented towards

helping and taking care of other people, putting their needs ahead of our own. Further, our years of ‘slavery’ to the caste system and to foreign rulers has perhaps conditioned many to ‘look up to people in authority’ and ‘look down upon themselves’. All of this has made us forget the most important person in the world to us – our self. We need to realise that the world will not exist if we do not exist. To make the best of our existence and to thrive, it is incumbent upon us to take the best care of ourselves - to love ourselves. if we don’t accept ourself, if we do not put ourself first, no one else will. And this love need not be earned and should not be conditional - on how we look, how rich/poor, or how educated we are. It should simply be an unconditional acceptance of our self by ourself. For then, wonderful things start to happen. We begin to look more beautiful. Our relationships with everyone around us improve. We start getting noticed. Opportunities come our way. We become happier. It is we who teach other people how to treat us. In no way am I suggesting that you be selfish or mean. Fortunately there is plenty goiing around for

asha

{ Ashish Kumar }

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B on V ivant

13-19 February 2015

Lies, Damned Lies and Elections { Ankur Mithal }

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he Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) accused the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) of resorting to funding through illegal means. In turn, AAP accused the BJP of irresponsible behaviour, by taking credit for things that they had nothing to do with - like the reduction in fuel prices. The BJP accused AAP of behaving irresponsibly while in government…AAP accused Congress of failing to protect the honour and dignity of women when in power…in turn Congress teased BJP of having inadequate political strength in the State, as they had to parachute a Chief Ministerial candidate from outside the Party. Both then accused AAP of diversionary tactics as they had no substance…and both accused the BJP of not getting back the black money from abroad, as per their promise during the national election. The BJP accused Kejriwal and his entire sub-caste of being anarchists…and Kejriwal retaliated that BJP was unfairly tarnishing the image of a peaceable and industrious community. BJP accused AAP of making false promises and misleading people… and AAP accused BJP of tampering with voting machines…and both accused the Congress of mismanagement of local affairs during its long reign. Both (now Congress and AAP) accused the BJP leader, also the country’s Prime Minister, of wearing expensive foreign clothes Made in UK, despite his Make in India call to the nation and the world…who accused them right back of wearing expensive foreign clothes themselves and, to add insult to injury, expensive shoes as well. Both also accused BJP of treating the Northeastern people as immigrants and, further, not being able to distinguish between Nagaland and Mizoram. BJP retaliated and accused AAP of trying to stay in the limelight through dubious means, and misleading and being negative as per its old habit. AAP accused BJP’s CM candidate of sourcing funds from abroad for her NGO, without revealing the source…BJP accused the Congress of taking the people for granted during their years in power… AAP accused BJP of portraying Mahapurush Anna Hazare as deceased…BJP accused AAP of immaturity, by politicising a routine political insult and failing to understand the metaphor…Both accused BJP of being in cahoots with industrialists, particularly the ones whose surnames end with ‘ni’…BJP accused both of being anti-development…Congress accused AAP of forming a united front with BJP, to help it wipe out its (Congress’, of course) ideology…Congress accused BJP of hiding the reasons why their CM candidate was removed as DIG of Mizoram, then Goa and then Chandigarh… BJP accused AAP of wasting public money by not joining forces with it without preconditions after the last elections, leading to re-elections within a year…Congress accused BJP of being inconsistent and issuing an advertisement that does not (also) mock AAP…BJP accused independent survey agencies of being motivated by narrow commercial interests, especially if their results predicted a loss for BJP… Whew! Politics does this to you. Enables you to overcome your self-defined limits and to reach beyond. To boldly go where you have not been before. I hope by now you are pretty clear what each Party stood for and what their strengths were (though too bad your candidate lost). We will now need something strong to replace this excitement. Meanwhile, my teenage son, who has just been through his Student Body elections at school, and simultaneously watched the daily election fever with me, seems to have an unasked question on his lips, “But why does our school tell us that we cannot malign other candidates?”u


B on V ivant

13-19 February 2015

A Katha Dance Kala

{ Meenu Thakur Sankalp }

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or any cultural tourist visiting South India for the first time, there are a few indigenous dance forms that would surely capture his/her imagination, due to their uniqueness of character, conceptualisation and execution. The elaborate and colourful costumes and extensive make-up add to their wide acceptance and popularity. Kathakali is one such dance form. It is one of the two Classical Dance forms of Kerala - the other being Mohiniyattam; Kuchipudi and Bharatanatyam are the other Classical Dance forms of South India. As you touch down in Kerala, God’s Own Country, you are sure to witness an expanse of green foliage, lines of coconut trees, ripples of rain drops on slushy grounds, men and women dressed in pristine white clothes and beautiful backwaters - which stretch through most of the State. Kerala is also a cultural oasis, and boasts of almost fifty dance forms. The origins of Kathakali can be traced to the reign of Manavedan of Calicut (17th. Century), who inspired the creation of Krishnattam; his rival, Kottarakkara Thampuran, created the Ramanattam and introduced Sanskritised verses in Malayalam. The Aattakatha (Dance Story) was a new style that evolved from these variations, and it later came to be known as Kathakali. Kathakali has been influenced by Koodiyattam and Chakiarkoothu as well. Kathakali is a dance tale, based on stories from Hindu mythology. It is a dance that is distinguished by its deft movements, highly evolved gestures, colourful and intricate skirt-like costumes and, above all, make-up that involves extensive face-painting (comparable to the performing arts in many countries of South-East Asia). The use of make-up in Kathakali is so elaborate that the face of the dancer resembles a brightly coloured mask – with appropriate facial structures being highlighted. Each colour attributes different qualities. Green symbolises virtue, piousness and nobility; Red make-up with a red beard portrays evil; Green with Red symbolises evil in a person of royal or high birth. Women characters are normally made up with yellow face paint. The Kathakali make-

Of late, Kathakali choreographers have tried to marry the mythological themes to a ‘western’ context, to attract a wider audience. Kathakali dance is true to the salient concept - the three Ns - of Classical Dance: Nritta (dance movements in rhythm), Nritya (depicting a story through facial and body movements) and Natya (the sum-total of the intricacies of Nritta and Nritya).

up is generally prepared from a mixture of rice paste and lime. Make-up in Kathakali is classified as Pachcha, Kathi, Kari, Thaadi, Minukku…each of them signifying a particular depth, colour and texture. The costumes in Kathakali are also extensive and the huge headgear – Kirita – is most impressive (Lords Rama and Krishna wear crowns adorned by peacock feathers). Abhinaya (expression) is a salient feature of Kathakali. The Dance has also borrowed pure elements from some folk forms of Kerala - like Theyyam and Padayani. During the early days, Kathakali performances - illustrating the beauty of choreography - would start at dusk and continue till the wee hours of the morning. Traditionally, 101 stories are staged

during a Kathakali performance. The most popular Kathakali stories are the Duryodhana Vadham, Karnashapatham and Keechakavadham. Often the performers depicting the evil Kamsa or Ravana are more appreciated, due to their ability to appropriately ‘exaggerate’ their emotions. The acrobatic jumps and leaps in the dance sequences are called Kalasams. In Kathakali, every part of the body, especially the facial muscles, is tweaked. The eyeballs, eyelids, eyebrows and fingers are manipulated skillfully – with each muscular movement illustrating distinguishing characteristics. A Kathakali performance begins with kelikottu (amusement), followed by todayam (devotional song), purappadu (pure dance) and tiranokku (first entry of principal characters). Another important highlight of a Kathakali performance is the lighting of a huge oil lamp, called the Kalivilakku (lamp of dance), under which the Kathakali performances are commenced. Kathakali demands extensive practice - as many as ten years are needed to master its rigorous nuances. The quick and vigorous movements, which call for excellent hand-eye co-ordination, and the supreme control of eye and facial movements, are only acquired through untiring efforts. There are 24 hand gestures used in Kathakali. Unlike other Classical Dances, in Kathakali the dancer does not need to lip-sync. As the music plays, the dancer emotes only through expressions. The musical instruments (vadhya) used in Kathakali are drums (the Chenda and Maddalam) and a percussion instrument (Ela Taalam). The lead singer is called a Ponnani, while the accompanying singer is referred to as Singidi. A gong (Chengila) and cymbals (Ilathalam) supplement the melodious voice of the Ponnani. With his beautiful, elaborate costume swinging in the air, the expressive dancer, with his face painted in fiery colours, can mesmerise you. The energy and subtleness in each of the movements is indeed matchless. Kathakali, the dance tale, is a display of mastery in motion. u The writer is a renowned Kuchipudi danseuse and choreographer

15

The Showmen { Sheetal Sharma }

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here has been a lot of hullabaloo over President Obama’s recent visit to India. The ruling Party went ga-ga over it, loudly blowing its trumpet and claiming that it had achieved victory where the UPA had fumbled and stumbled. A furious UPA made an ‘understandable’ hue and cry over this. Modiji’s ‘Mann ki Baat’ desperately replayed his signature tune, ’Barack, O Barack’. The UPA shrugged it off, labelling it as cacophony. Ms Bedi, the CM-tobe, then gave a clarion call to her voters, but soon after went on voice rest. Maybe her pitch was too high or her call was not in tune with the BJP trumpet. Only Arnab Goswami, the most knowledgeable homo-sapien, would know the real reason. What was most surprising was the stoic silence of the man who had staked his PM-ship for the nuclear deal. He continued to sit like a sphinx, with a fixed smile, even as others were revelling in what should have been his triumph. I also felt somewhat sorry for the ever raging and ranting Arvind Kejriwal, as he couldn’t indulge in his favourite political gimmickry of sitting on a dharna – though this time he had a justifiable reason for doing so. After all, his one-time team-mate, and now a fierce opponent, was adorning the first row at the Republic Day parade - while he was even denied an Invite. Maybe he knew it was only a matter of time… But, on a serious note, I felt that Obama’s visit was a real historic one, as it had something to offer to everyone. My grand-daughter, who is in Grade Three, wanted to lay her hands on the personal Chemistry formula between Modi and Obama, and wear it as a charm around her neck – so that she could be popular like Modi and a buddy to all her classmates. I, being a pragmatic person, found the idea of ‘Chai pe Charcha’ very appealing. What an economical way of expressing your bonhomie. Imagine raising a toast with a cup of tea - ‘Cheers’! I decided to immediately initiate a ‘one to one’ bonding exercise with my neighbours. In fact, the very next morning, most inspired by Modiji, I had sauntered out of my house and had luckily come across my next door neighbour standing at the gate along with his dog. The dog looked cute, wearing a red and blue striped coat with some sort of a bow around his neck. I waved at my neighbour. I think he was too preoccupied with his dog as he didn’t wave back. But I was not discouraged. I raised my voice and said, ‘Hello. How about dropping in at our place today for a cup of tea?” Before he could answer, I heard someone calling from inside his house, “Guppi, come in.” Wonderful, I thought, now I can add an extra personal touch. I repeated my invite with added warmth, “Will 11.30 be okay, Guppi?” As soon as I uttered ‘Guppi’, the dog started barking at me, while his master looked up and glared. If looks could kill, I would have died on the spot. Guppi was of course his dog’s name. I decided on ‘maun vrat’ (voice rest) for the rest of the day. By evening, however, I had regained some composure, and was relaxedly sipping a hot cup of tea. Just then my husband entered, sporting a complete makeover! Instead of his normal fauji look, he was wearing a beige coloured silk kurta and pyjama, adorned by a flaming red Modi style jacket. That’s not all. He was merrily chewing gum. Grinning from ear to ear, he showed the different jacket styles that he had purchased (for multiple occasions) from Fab India. He also placed many packets of chewing gums - of different flavours – on the table. Smiling, he said, “This is called perfect fusion: Modi brand jackets and Obama style chewing gums!” Dumbfounded, I wondered how many more across the land (and globally) had been star-struck by the Modi & Barack Show. u


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G -Scape

13-19 February 2015

Ishara Puppet Festival

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