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15-21 March 2013

Vol. 2 No. 30  Pages 24  ` 7

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

Great Expectations

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For Story see Page 22

FG first covered, comprehensively, the ‘Greater Gurgaon’ plan in Vol 1, Issue 15 (Dec 2 to 8, 2011) – as ‘Great Expectations’.

EnAct Theatre Group

Presents Weekend Theatre Classes in Gurgaon (DLF Phase - 1) for Working Professionals / Theatre Enthusiasts from all walks of life (18+). Learn to Act and Perform on stage in front of Live Audience in our Professional/Ticketed Shows. For More details, Join our Facebook Page ( EnAct Theatre Group ) or Contact Mrinal Dhar – 99990 79229, Rishi Mehta – 98101 74282 or email us @ mrinal@behroopiyaentertainers.com or

rishi@behroopiyaentertainers.com

GURGAON 1st Floor, above KFC, JMD Regent Arcade, M.G.Road (Nr. Sahara Mall), P : 91-124-4031949 NEW DELHI 56, Ring Road, Lajpat Nagar- III P: 91-11-41029500

NOIDA (factory) B-17, Sector-63 (Opp. Fortis) P : 91-120-4733400

Bring this ad & get free gift.

(T & C apply)


02

15-21 March 2013

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319 Postal Regn. No. GRG/35/2012-2014, VOL.–2 No.–30  15-21 March 2013

Editor:

WORKSHOP  THEATRE NIGHTLIFE  MUSIC  ART

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et’s Run Gurgaon brings a funfilled Trail run in the wilderness of the Aravali Hills, with off-road running in the lands of the Manger forest. This Event will entail 2 races – a 10km run, and a 21.1km run. For registrations click on http://event. ayojak.com/event/lrg-manger-trailhalf-marathon

Atul Sobti

Sr. Correspondents: Abhishek Behl Shilpy Arora Correspondent:

Maninder Dabas

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

Anita Bagchi

Sr. Designer:

Amit Singh

Designer:

Virender Kumar

Cinema

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

Art

Pankaj Yadav Sunil Yadav Manish Yadav

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

Vikalp Panwar

Ad Sales Exec :

Amit Agarwal

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

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

Pallavanjali Art for All Festival-2013 @ Pallavanjali, S- Block, Uppal’s South End, Sohna Road
 Date: March 15, 16 & 17

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residential 3-day Camp that will provide training in creative arts. Open to all above the age of 16, the Camp will be providing dormitory accommodation, and food as well.
This Festival is also open to professionals – therapists, educators, theatre persons and creative art practitioners. Unravel the mystery of Art by participating in various workshops – theatre, music, painting, crafts, dance, creative movement... Activities will conclude in a gala show/exhibition of the creative output from the Festival.
The Festival will be directed by Natalie Valentia and Chad Lewis from the USA.
Contact details: Shaloo Sharma: 9810602787; Krishna Das: 9871994667

Art

Testaments To Reflection @ Nature Morte, The Oberoi, 443, Udyog Vihar Phase V Date: Up to April 3 Time: 11:00 am to 9:00 pm

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.

using metal pillars – wherein both the geometric and the organic are welded together. In dispensing with the pedestal, he gives his figures an earthy rootedness.

FG Invites Citizens n Are you interested and concerned

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

Go Girls Go...Classic 5K Run @ Leisure Valley HUDA Grounds, Sector 29 Date: March 17 Time: 7:00 am

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Girls' exclusive 5 km Run, organised by Run With Me Foundation, under various categories – Junior Girls (Under-15), Young Girls (15 to 40years), Senior Girls (Above 40 years). Participants will be awarded a Certificate, and winners of each category will be awarded a Trophy. For registration, write to runwithmefoundation@gmail.com.

Comedy

Comedy In Diversity @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: March 17 Time: 8:30 pm

7

Art

A Solo Art Exhibition @ Art Pilgrim, A-689, Sushant Lok, Phase 1 Date: Up to April 9 Time: 11:00 am to 7:00 pm

19

RNI No. HARENG/2011/393

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

{Inside}

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

T

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

...Pg 16

Tantric Art

W

e feature

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

...Pg 17

Master Recipe

Prakhar PaNdey

G

Astrology

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

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

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

...Pg 18

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

Let’s Be Civil

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

Regular Features Food Take

...Pg 6

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

...Pg 7

{ Hritvick Sen / FG }

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

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100 – Police Emergency main Police

Line

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

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irected by Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam, this English film updates the struggle for Tibetan independence, with a focus on the March 2008 demonstration against Chinese rule – starring the Dalai Lama. The film screening will be followed by a discussion with the film makers.

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Solo Art Exhibition by K.S. Radhakrishnan, featuring metal figures. The sculptures are made

Run

LRG Half Marathon @ Manger, Gurgaon-Faridabad Road Date: March 17 Time: 6:00 am

he Exotica Condominium Owners’ Association (ECOA) is organizing a special Holi Celebration for the owners and residents of Exotica Condominium. The Programme will include a ‘Hasya Kavi Sammelan’, featuring prominent poets like Ashok Chakradhar, Surender Sharma, Ashok Swatantra, Popular Merathi, Paran Dixit, and others. Amit Bansal, Vice President, Ajay Puri, Treasurer and Yogesh Mathur, Board Member will also be present at the Event. Extended families and friends of Exotica’s members are welcome to join this Event.

Ladies Night @ Cooper’s Grill & Bar, Ground Floor, DLF Star Tower, Sector 30 Date: March 20 Time: 7:00 pm onwards

Art

Hunar Showcasing Art @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: March 16 to 17 Time: 11 am to 8 pm

H

C

omedy in Diversity (C.I.D), is a show featuring 4 stand-up comedians – Abish Mathew, Maheep Singh, Zakir Khan and Nishant Tanwar. The evening promises to be a riot, as the comedians take on the politicians who try to divide the country in the name of religion.

@ Parsavnath Exotica Lawns, Exotica Condominiums, Sector 53 Date: March 17 Time: 2:00 to 5:00 pm

Nightlife

D

For The Other Half

P3

D

t’s a call out for the ladies, to come and get spoilt on a Wednesday night. Unwind with friends as you avail many discounts on food and beverages. There’s even a cab-drop facility in case you get too tired to drive. Contact: 8750916777

elhi-based artist Tauseef Khan presents a new series of paintings that showcases history – as reflected through a glass prism. He weaves together representation and abstraction, and merges architectural landscapes with still life. Portraits of some of India’s best known monuments can be viewed through the decorative glassware.

Holi Celebrations

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I

2–8 March 2012

` Vol. 1 No. 28  Pages 24

Tibet Reels- The Sun Behind The Clouds @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: March 21 Time: 7:30 pm

Run

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 oming U p

Workshop

Theatre Classes @ DLF Phase I

EnAct Theatre Group presents weekend theatre classes for theatre enthusiasts from all walks of life. The acting course will help you overcome your stage fright, as you learn to perform in front of a live audience. Contact Mrinal Dhar @ 9999079229 or Rishi Mehta @ 9810174282. You could also email your queries to mrinal@behroopiyaentertainers.com or rishi@ behroopiyaentertainers.com

unar Showcasing Art, a leading Gallery, is holding a two day Art Exhibition. This Exhibition will showcase a collection of over a thousand artworks from different artists—known and upcoming— across India. The collection includes paintings by – Aziz Ullaha Tonki, Sanjay Soni, Dalip Chandolia, Dandgarhal, Hamdard, Amrendra Maharana, Sushant Panda, Parshant Anasane, Shishir, Jyoti Kalra, Shiffali Wadhawan, Rajesh Borse and several other artists. Curated by Nidhi Gupta, Director of Hunar Showcasing Art, this is also an opportunity for art aficionados to appreciate and buy affordable Art (most art pieces are priced around Rs. 1000).

IF YOU ARE NOT GETTING FG COPIES REGULARLY Call 9910518785


15-21 March 2013

C eleb W atch

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Another Jewel In The Crown Renowned Jewellery Designer, Monica Kapur bagged Distinguished Women Achievers Award 2013, conducted by Prachi Educational Society (PES). Held at India International Centre, the award was felicitated by the Minister of Women and Child Welfare, Prof. Kiran Walia and Dr. Rama Patnayak, Ex-Professor, Principal, University of Delhi and Honorary President, PES. "Monica has been recognised at many forums for her creative and unique designs. I think jewellery designing is a rare and interesting art so she truly deserves an award," says Dr. Rama Patnayak. Another woman awardee from the City was Anita Makkar, Principal of DAV School. PES is a registered voluntary organisation, established in 1993. It is dedicated to the cause of community development through education and awareness generation.

3G In G City

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he leading cast of the film '3G'―Neil Nitin Mukesh and Sonal Chauhan―visited the City recently, for the promotion of the film. The stars interacted with their excited fans, and even posed with them for photographs. The film hits the theatres on March 15th.

Mommies Day Out

Glaucoma Walk

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n the occasion of World Glaucoma Week, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, in association with Glaucoma Society of India, hosted the ‘Glaucoma Walk 2013’. The Walk aimed to spread awareness about Glaucoma, an eye disease causing gradual loss of sight. The 3-km walk was flagged off by HUDA Administrator, Dr. Praveen Kumar. More than 150 people of all ages participated in the Walk, that was managed by Let's Walk Gurgaon.

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ifeCell International, India's first stem cell company, organised an exclusive event on the occasion of International Women's Day – “Mommies Day Out'. The Event, for expectant mothers, was attended by around 65 expectant couples and new mothers. It included various fun activities, and many prizes were distributed to the participants.

Smart Art

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Paintings and Collage Show was held at Epicentre. While Bhopal-based artist Manjusha Ganguly displayed intricate collages, Delhi-based artist Mannju Karmakar showcased a collection of her oil paintings. The artists presented their works to Herbal cosmetic queen, Shahnaz Husain, as a memento. Artists Jivan Adalja and Shelly Jyoti, Italian sculptor Simona Bocchi, Tehsin Munawar, Dr. Syed Mubin Zehra, Syed Fahad, several other personalities were spotted at the Gallery, admiring the Art works.

The Pink Ride

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he Indian Cancer Society organised its first ever Cyclothon – 'The Pink Ride, Ride to Beat Cancer' for Cancer Awareness, at Sector 29, for children in the age group 3 to 18 years. The aim of the Event was to encourage people to be actively involved in the prevention of cancer control. The 4 km cycle ride also aimed at encouraging physical activity amongst children.


04

15-21 March 2013

♦ The Indira Priyadarshini Scheme was launched on Thursday in six districts of Gurgaon Division by Ram Niwas, Principal Secretary of Development and Panchayat Department, Haryana, at Tau Devi Lal Stadium, amidst the presence of top officials of the districts as well as hundreds of Panchayat members – including sarpanches. The Rs. 1,350 crores Scheme will formally commence from April 1, and aims to provide housing facilities to 2 lakhs families across the State. Speaking on the occasion, Ram Niwas said that houses would be provided to those families who did not have a house, or have a kuccha house. Under the scheme, a poor family or a person can apply for grant of funds to the tune of Rs 90,100 for the construction of a house, to the Gram Panchayat. No person who has availed benefits under the Indira Awas Yojana, or any other government housing welfare scheme, will be eligible under this Scheme.

for sending obscene SMSs, and for eve-teasing; a duo is held for harassing and stalking a woman. ♦ A woman alleges being raped over many years by a person who is a taxi driver today; the man is arrested. ♦ A woman alleges gang rape, and then backtracks. ♦ 3 cases of attempt to rape are filed – including 2 on minors. ♦ A mother and infant are found dead – allegedly by consuming poison over dowry issues. ♦ A young man and a minor girl, unable to get their families to accept their love, jump in front of a train and are killed. ♦ A 29-year-old woman, a mother of 3, is found hanging – foul play over dowry alleged. ♦ A guard is found hanging from a tree in DLF III. ♦ A businessman is found dead in a hotel room. ♦ A shop owner commits suicide.

THE WEEK THAT WAS

♦ 2012 – Haryana records 5.63 lakhs births and 1.60 lakhs deaths. ♦ MCG announces new rates/discounts for property tax, depending on the size of the plot – discounts range from 30%. ♦ MCG meeting confirms requirement of FOBs, Bus Queue Shelters and Public Conveniences in the City. ♦ New Building Laws in Haryana allow residential buildings to be constructed up to a height of 14.5m (versus 12m today); and commercial and industrial buildings can have stilt-parking (as well as a basement). ♦ DRM Northern Railway visits the Gurgaon Railway Station, and sees the pathetic condition of toilets and sanitation – promises action. ♦ Jamabandis (land records) of 73 villages of District Gurgaon have been completed on-line, which means that the land records have been successfully integrated with the registration system. In these village there is no pendency of mutation also, and delivery of hand-written copies of Jamabandis has been banned - now only computer-generated copies will be given to the applicants, on demand. DC Meena has asked for the expeditious integration of the Haryana Registration Information System (HARIS) with Haryana Land Records Information System (HALRIS). This will help in checking fraud in the sale of land; any registration of a sale deed of any immoveable property or piece of land will be automatically reflected in the Jamabandi. After this, incorporating the name of the buyers in the mutation register would be simplified. Patwaris who are computer savvy will be provided laptops, so that they can update the entries of land records of their patwar circle in time. District Informatics Officer of NIC, Anjali Dhingra, says that the records are being updated tehsil-wise. ♦ Haryana proposes a 15 MSME (Industrial) Cluster, with Common Facility Centres, across various cities. ♦ CAG slams the Haryana Govt (Town & Country Planning Dept.) for ad hoc, unplanned land acquisition for Gurgaon new sectors; also comments on the failure of the proposed giant Reliance SEZ, and the related transactions. ♦ Persons are now being regularly reported on, and picked up by the police,

Gurgaon is known as the millennium city of India, But those who live in Gurgaon know that the city is facing a number of problems. The moment we step out of our homes , on Gurgaon roads , we face the stark reality of an inadequate infrastructure. Broken roads with numerous potholes, unorganized traffic condition, depleting water table causing acute water shortage , missing street lights, lack of law and order, and absence of any public transport, are some of the problems that Gurgaon residents face every day . To resolve the woes of the citizens, following steps can be undertaken-: 1) Although the state officials of the Haryana government claim about the sustainable development of the millennium city, it is just not able to cope up with the rapid growth. As the city is slowly progressing from an agrarian society to an urban city, Gurgaon still lacks with basic amenities and infrastructure. Even till today, Gurgaon largely depends on its groundwater as less than one-fourth of its sewage water is treated. The superintending engineers of both the civic bodies have also been asked to fix a definite timetable for water supply within the city and also to assign this job to the water pump operators. Apart from that, officials were to install extra stand-by motors and other required machineries at each and every boosting station. Also proposed was that there should be a plan to

♦ Policemen crack down on autos – to register names, driving licences, registrations, routes and respective stands. Also, drivers to wear uniforms with their name plate fixed; and autos to display the driver’s mobile number and Women’s Helpline number. Drivers have been warned to not park on the wrong side of the road, or stop in the centre of the road – and not to overload. ♦ Fake commuters board an auto and steal it, after throwing out the owner/ driver – a few cases like this have taken place in the past week ♦ An auto driver and 2 others are held for robbing passengers in shared autos. ♦ A canter is looted on Sohna Road; a car is forcibly taken away from a person, in Palam VIhar; a man is robbed of his car and mobile, at gunpoint; 2 persons snatch the keys from a driver and flee with the car; a Swift car of a doctor is stolen. ♦ Gangs of vehicles thieves are nabbed – 9 are arrested. They were involved in almost 200 bike robberies. ♦ 5 are arrested for gambling. ♦ A petrol pump robbery bid is foiled, on the road to Sohna. ♦ A woman driver injures a sweeper in Sec 43 when she loses control. ♦ Hundreds – including senior corporate executives - are held for drinking in public, in a special police drive ♦ A fake bank officer dupes a loan seeker of Rs 5.5 lakhs. ♦ An insurance company’s employees are booked for fraud on an elderly couple, over a Rs 5 lakhs medical insurance. ♦ A transporter is duped of Rs 1 lakh in an ATM scam. ♦ A person loses Rs 25,000 in an ATM fraud. ♦ Job aspirants are duped by the use of a fake email id of a top pharma company. ♦ Orchid Petals RWA takes over the township infrastructure. ♦ High Court gives favourable orders to RWA/residents in the Ardee City case. ♦ Hundreds of people – including students – take part in multiple rallies – Cycle Rally, Rapid Walk, Glaucoma Walk - on Sunday.

install alarm systems at every boosting station and underground tanks to keep the wastage and overflowing of water under check. Diesel generator sets were to be installed at every station. The officials were to replace the old pumps with new ones at the Mundakhera pump station, as soon as possible, in order to improve the water supply. The officials were to invest in rain harvesting systems, to save water when the monsoon sets in. It is still not clear how much work has been done in this regard. As of now, it seems, there is no  serious check on water usage in the city. The widespread construction going on results in plenty of water consumption. There is no serious compliance   of rain water harvesting in the city. Use of potable water should not be allowed for construction works, or washing cars and passages at home or in public places.  Stringent measures should be taken by the local bodies/RWAs for conservation of water; audit of each public building for its water consumption, and the number of people using such  public places/offices should be undertaken. The release of water supply should be in proportion to that. Old Baolies, ponds and other water reservoirs should be cleaned, for rain water to be stored in these water bodies. Plantation around such water reservoirs can help in the growth of fauna, and increase the depleting population of small local birds – which have disappeared amidst the concrete jungle and the mushrooming of several mobile towers. 2) Some   efforts   were made for the afforestation of the Aravalis, but it should be extended to the entire city.

T PIC OF THE WEEK

'Do you think Gurgaonites can make a difference in changing the infrastructural condition of the City? How?' Plantation of trees like Neem Arjuna trees will not only help in soil conservation and prevent loss of moisture in the environment, but also reduce the insects and mosquitoes and provide medicinal value for practitioners of naturopathy. Gulmohar trees too add to the aesthetics and shade in the prolonged summer periods. 3) Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) should give permission to the Green Ring Project. With this, the city can be significantly lit up through solar energy. Installing solar panels across the city, especially in residential areas, police stations and other commercial complexes will help save on electricity and provide an environment friendly alternative. The aim of the Green Ring Project is to make the millennium city a solar campus, by making use of solar energy for lighting common areas in

{Inside} Don’t Miss The Bus The City Bus service is now a worthwhile transport alternative for the public – including for men in suits and ties. 16 routes have been set up, and there is regular service on 12 of them, criss-crossing the ‘old’ and the ‘new’ City.

Auto-Attacks

...Pg 5

Not the most popular persons for regular commuters in the City, the autowallas are under serious attack from a different quarter. There have been over a dozen cases of auto drivers being beaten up, robbed, and their vehicles stolen – over just the past few weeks. The brazenness of criminals in this City is ominous. ...Pg 6

Judgement on Planner & Builder

4) Construction and maintenance of roads should be undertaken on war footing. Brick soling or construction of pavements should be done simultaneously, to increase the life span of roads. Potholes should be filled up instantly, by the civil engineering department; erring engineers and  contractors, who delay projects or construct substandard roads, should be blacklisted and their licences should be cancelled. In public places terracotta tiles should be used for pavements, for absorption/retention of rain water, and to provide safer, cheaper pathways for pedestrians. The height of pavements should be as per international standards, and not so high that old people or children or disabled persons can't use them without support, or without the fear of falling down.

...Pg 7

The Force is With You The Gurgaon Police has recently seen success in checking the number of people drinking in public, in nabbing auto thieves, and in bookingpeopleforeve-teasing/obscene acts. We bring you 3 faces of the Force. ...Pg 8

A Thousand Sacrifices The HUDA-DLF Freeway project (from Shanker Chowk to Sec 56), itself a most questionable act, just does not seem to be doing anything right – from trees and hardly relocating any nearby, to causing unnecessary inconvenience to people living around, or commuting in that area. ...Pg 9

The last resort, the Courts, are now delivering judgement regularly against unscrupulous builders – and thereby serving a warning to others, as well as setting precedents. Their orders, the latest in favour of the Ardee City RWA, have come as a very welcome step, to the aggrieved

Gurgaon. This is a great way of using renewable energy. The Green Ring Project will also concentrate on retrofitting existing structures, managing waste through composting, promising energy efficient water pumping and using green technology in new constructions. Renewable energy should become a part of action plan amongst all architects and builders. Many real estate developers  have cited issues such as space constraint, high price and lack of advanced technology when it comes to installing a solar system in existing buildings. Some developers have agreed to consider including such a system in their upcoming new projects. Renewable energy is the need of the hour. Well lit public places provide safety to citizens, to women in particular, and help in prevention/ reduction of crime in the city.

and harassed Gurgaon customers and residentse.

Opening A New Chapter Stories, poems and illustrations flow from the hearts of these young authors. They have boldly tread, and are most accepted by their peers. However, they do not see writing as a career – yet.. ...Pg 18

5) Garbage collection and cleaning of roads should be done either at night or during lean hours, when people commuting for work are not obstructed, leading to traffic jams. Clean, stainless steel Dustbins should be provided, to keep public places and roads clean. CCTVs should be installed and those littering in public places/roads should be penalised heavily. Vigil for cleanliness should be the responsibility of local civic bodies and RWA's management bodies of traders in the area. 6) Construction of toilets on road side or in public places should be undertaken, on the pattern of Sulabh Shauchalay (Sulabh toilets), where the user pays 'token' money for use, and the place is maintained through the collection of such amounts. 7) Provision of Public transport – like buses, clean battery operated auto rickshaws, cycles on hire at metro stations. This can reduce pollution and traffic, and above all help citizens undertake physical activity, to win the battle against the bulge (or obesity). Gurgaon has a long way to go if it actually aims to become an international city. The glitzy malls and tall buildings alone cannot render a positive image to the city. The stark necessities—like good roads, safety of citizens, proper electricity conditions, and a good public transport system—have to be taken care of by the Gurgaon authorities.

Dr. Rama Patnayak Resident of DLF 1


C ivic/S ocial

15-21 March 2013

05

Don't Miss The Bus { Shilpy Arora / FG }

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s a bus driver, Ramesh has always seen people rushing in, jostling for space, or struggling to catch the bus, but he has never seen corporate professionals, dressed in suits, boarding the bus in a queue. “I have been driving in the City for the last 10 years. The kind of people who board buses today are entirely different. Earlier, labourers, drunken men and people from the lower-middle class used to travel in buses. Today, working professionals, school students and a large number of women are taking to buses,” he says. A passenger, Suchita Khurana, explains, “While the bus fare is just Rs. 10 for a distance of seven to eight kilometres, an auto charges more than Rs. 80. This makes the City bus a very good option. It is also a safer option than a shared auto.” Suchita is working as a Content Writer in Convergys. Like her, many working women can be seen waiting in queues for buses during the peak hours. An increase in the number of buses, and their frequency, on multiple routes, has made it one of the most convenient and affordable options for travel in the City. “My mother was very concerned. She said that it wasn't safe to travel alone in a bus. I told her that I am taking a bus to change this mentality. When I was in Mumbai, I used to travel mostly by bus. But after settling down in this City, it seems I am totally dependent on my brother and father, to even step out of home,” says Megha, a student of Alpine Convent. She is glad that now there is a bus service between the Bus Stand and Sector 56. Her 60-year-old copassenger, Maya Devi, adds, “I think after the Nirbhaya case in the Capital, the authorities have become more concerned about women's safety. For a woman, travelling in a bus with 30 other passengers is probably even safer than travelling alone in an auto. ” Maya Devi recalls how, several years ago, waiting for a bus at the Bus Stand after 6 pm was an ordeal. “Many times I had only a

street vendor for company. Their lewd comments used to make my wait more torturous. Even though the Police Lines was just down the road, we never saw any cops near the Bus Stand. However, today the situation has changed. Not only are there more buses on the roads, but they have also become cleaner, and safer for women.” She feels that it is the people who make public transport safer; so if more women take to this public transport, it will make the City Buses safer for all women. However, Jasmine, a marketing professional has a different view. “The bitter truth is that a woman is by no means safe in the City. I don’t think any bus, or even your own car, can promise safety. While driving alone, especially at night, a woman has to face several problems. About public transport, the less said the better,” feels Jasmine, a resident

of Sector 45. Recently, on a visit to her parents’ house in Dundahera, she hopped on to a City Bus for a short journey. “I realised that the interiors may have changed, but the masses commuting by the buses essentially remain the same. The stares brought back some old, unpleasant memories I had in the Capital, during my college days,” she says.

Are Buses better than Autos?

Cost has been the major factor for most of the people now switching to buses. There are no meters in autos, so they quote any rate. Many feel that with the arrival of more buses, autos will have to revise their rates. “There will be no dominance of the auto mafia in the City once buses

start running on all routes,” says a call centre employee. In autos, what is also of concern is the presence of inexperienced and under-aged auto drivers. Geeta Madhok, a resident of Nirvana, recounts an unpleasant experience. She says, “I regularly travel from Nirvana to DLF Phase II for work. Last month, while coming back from work, an auto driver jumped three red lights. When a traffic constable tried to stop him, he took a wrong lane. This can never happen in a bus. That incident made me switch; now, I travel by buses only. They also take less time, are more convenient – and of course way cheaper than autos.” Santosh Mutneja feels that the best thing about City Buses is that they have a broad space available near the driver’s seat. The space is generally used for keeping luggage. The City Buses are also less crowded, and passengers generally don’t travel on the footsteps. “Thankfully, most of the passengers comply with the rules and regulations set by the transport department – unlike in the Capital, ” says Ruchi, a Delhiite who travels regularly to the City. Raman Bhargava, a resident of Sector 55, says, “Earlier, we used to see the buses on the roads, but they would never stop, as there were no formal bus stops. And we all know that to make even 10 bus stops, it would take more than a year. I am happy that the authorities have come out with a simple solution; they have put small boards for the bus stops along the roads, which makes it extremely convenient for people, especially women, to stand nearby, and catch a bus.” While many people board buses for commuting, Sudha Gupta, a resident of Sohna Road, feels that travelling in a bus helps to connect with people, and interact with the society. “Coming from a small town, I always enjoy a bus ride over the Metro or an auto. In a bus, you travel with people from different backgrounds, which helps you to know your city better.”

New Routes, New Hopes

On an average, a new route has been added to the City Bus service every month. At present, there are about 160 buses running in the City, on over 12 regular routes – 16 have been announced. The buses transport almost one lakh passengers everyday. Recently, a bus service from HUDA City Centre Metro Station to Maruti Kunj has been launched. Sapna, a resident of Maruti Kunj, says, “We settled in Maruti Kunj in 1996, but this is the first time that the authorities have taken an

initiative to connect us to the City. It will prove to be a boon, not only for the residents of Maruti Kunj, but also for people who go to Sohna Road for work,” says Sapna. The bus service from Sikanderpur Metro Station to Sector 56 has also made it easier for the residents of DLF Phase V to reach the Metro station, and commute to the congested areas of the ‘old’ City. Besides, a new long route bus service, from Sohna to Tosham in Bhiwani, has been flagged off. “It is good that the transport department is looking at connecting the City with neighbouring cities also – such as Bhiwadi, Dharuhera, and Faridabad,” says Sujata, who works in Dharuhera. For the last six years, she has been taking multiple public transports—like cycle rickshaws, buses, and shared autos—to reach her office. Now, people are eagerly awaiting the roll out of 10 mini buses, that would connect ‘New’ Gurgaon with

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‘Old’ Gurgaon and Palam Vihar. Sukhvinder Chawla, a resident of Sushant Lok 1, who works in Udyog Vihar, says, “I spend more than 20 per cent of my salary on travel. After the launch of the mini-bus service, I will be able to save a huge amount of money.” Learning from the Capital Unlike the Capital, the City Buses are not following a few guidelines that can make the journey of women passengers even safer. In the Capital, all crew members of a bus are asked to stick their photo identify card, duly verified by the Police, in their vehicles. Moreover, GPS devices have been installed in all DTC buses in the Capital. These GPS devices are connected with the centralised control room, to ensure the safety of women. CCTVs in buses is the next step; and the Capital is also planning to launch womenonly buses. Such transport ‘reforms’ are needed for this City too. u

Haryanvi Made Easy

Get a taste of the local lingo 1. What are your plans for Holi? Kuch bandobast kar rakhya hai

ke Holi tayin?

2. I really like the festival. Manne te yo tyauhaar andi laage se. 3. Where do you get the colours from? Rang kith sik tey le ke aaya karo? 4. In our village, we use strong colours. Mhaare gaam me tey bunde rang

lagaya karen.

5. Is there an arrangement for bhang? Bhaang ka bhi jugaad hai ke keeme? 6. The last time I had bhang, I kept laughing. Pichle baar me te bhaang peegya

hastaye reh gaya.

7. I won't touch it this time. Ib ke baar haath na lagayun. 8. In my village they throw us into the gutter. Mhaare gaam me tey thhake naale

main phek diya karen.


06 Case-1: On March 8, an autorickshaw driver was robbed of his vehicle, cash and mobile phone. The robbers had hired the auto near the District Court. The driver lodged an FIR in DLF Phase-I Police Station, and the Police recovered the abandoned vehicle from a lonely area in Sector-27. The victim, Azad Singh, who hails from Rajasthan's Bharatpur district, told the Police that two young men hired his rickshaw to go to Sector-56, but as soon as he reached Sector-27 they told him to stop. They then dragged him out, and after thrashing and robbing him, fled with the vehicle. Case-2: On February 24, an auto driver was robbed of his vehicle at Leisure Valley. Sonu Chauhan, a resident of Rajasthan, was beaten by two youth, before they fled with his vehicle. The driver lodged an FIR in Sector-29 Police Station. Chauhan says that the two had hired his auto to go to Huda Gymkhana Club; but in a dark area near Leisure Valley, they stopped him, and then robbed him and his vehicle.

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eldom does a day pass when we don't hear or read that an auto driver has molested a woman, or thrashed a passenger after an argument. More often than not the spats between passengers and these auto drivers turn ugly; be it the case of plying without meters, or misbehaving with women or old passengers, the auto drivers have become quite a menace. But since Gurgaon doesn't have much to boast of in terms of public transport, the residents have to live with this menace. Now, in the past few weeks, these auto drivers have been in the news for very different reasons. This time have they got more than a taste of their own medicine? There have been more than a dozen instances recently, where an auto driver was beaten up, robbed, and even lost his vehicle. The Police claim that they have solved all the cases; and in most of the cases the vehicles have also been recovered from the robbers. “No doubt auto snatching or theft has seen an increase in the last couple of months, and we have recorded many cases of such loot. But the Police too is agile, and has solved all thirteen cases which were registered. As far as the mechanism followed by these burglars is concerned, they come in the guise of commuters, and normally hire the autos for distant places – such as Badshahpur, Basai or Bhondsi. As soon as they are out of main city limits, and find a dark and deserted place, they thrash the driver and flee with the vehicle,” said Rajesh Duggal, DCP Crime, Gurgaon. However, many instances have taken place well inside the main city – and some of them have taken place within 2 to 3 kilometres from MG Road, HUDA City Centre and Galleria Market. In fact, the two incidents mentioned above

C ivic/S ocial

Auto-Attacks

ASHA PANDEY

{ Maninder Dabas / FG }

15-21 March 2013

Although at present the autowallas might be in distress, as they are being robbed of their vehicles, it is also true that in many cases these very auto drivers have either committed crimes themselves, or have been instrumental in them. Gurgaon Police have devised a special plan to deal with this. The plan will also aid in dealing with the traffic menace from these autos. According to directives issued by the Police, all transport inspectors shall now be required to maintain updated records of auto stands, specified routes, and names and details of office bearers of the concerned union. The traffic officials of the concerned area will now be equipped with details of registration numbers, driver's names, and their contact details. The Police shall also impound those autos whose drivers do not have a proper driving licence or registration number. The auto drivers will be required to instal proper and bold number plates, and shall also put their mobile numbers at the rear of the auto. Each driver will have to wear a uniform, with a name plate affixed. The numbers of the Police Control Room and Women's Helpline will also be displayed. The Police shall be stringent in challaning those autos that create a traffic menace. “Certainly this plan would solve many problems; and even if it doesn't bring a sea change in the plying of the autos, it will at least bring in some sort of discipline. Now the drivers will have to abide by the rules, and those who don't possess proper licences or registration would not be allowed to ply. I think this step would also certainly limit the underage driving to a certain extent, because Gurgaon has several youngsters who don't possess a proper licence but still drive autos,” said Dayal, the Joint CP, who has the charge of Traffic also. have occurred within a one kilometre radius of HUDA City Centre. These incidents only prove that our security needs to be beefed up. “Yes, indeed it's a grave concern, and these sort of incidents should not have happened, but the Police is working hard to make the City a safe place for its citizens. The Police's swift action, by which all the cases have been solved, proves that we aren't sitting idle. Prevention is indeed better than cure, and we are working in that direction too,” added Duggal.

Terror among the Auto Drivers

These incidents have left the auto drivers feeling vulnerable. Many are now scared of plying in the City at night. Most of

the drivers who have been beaten and looted belong to other states; they are easier targets for these robbers. Gurgaon has around twenty five thousand autos plying in all directions in the City. Around fifteen thousand autos are green-yellow autos, and most of the drivers plying these autos are from the other states. “I am also from Rajasthan, and these incidents have scared us a lot. We stand here at HUDA City Centre daily, and make several rounds, mainly in 'new' Gurgaon. After coming across such incidents with our fellow autowallas, we are scared, and now I don't ply after 10:30 pm; and even if I do, I don't go to the outer areas – such as beyond Sector-56 in 'new' Gurgaon, and beyond Sadar Bazar in

Car-jacking has been a regular feature—there also has been truck-jacking on the highway—but now even autos are being robbed! 'old' Gurgaon. In the day time we go everywhere. Another precaution we now take is that we don't take more than one male commuter, especially at night. We hope that some of our auto friends just got unlucky, and these sort of things do not become 'normal' here. The Police too need to remain present all around the City, because they are the only people who can stop such incidents,” said Ajit Parmar, an auto driver at HUDA City Centre. Apart from the green-yellow autos, Gurgaon has a substantial number of black shared-autos. Till now no such incident of burglary has taken place with the people plying these autos. It might because there is always a 'crowd' sitting in these autos. Another reason is that they ply on a given route only. “Till now we haven't faced this problem, but you never know. One reason is that we have a specific route to ply on, and the second is that we stop our operations at night – mostly after 9 pm. But this doesn't mean that we shouldn't be worried. The people who have been robbed are also poor people, and these sort of incidents shouldn't have happened with them. Most of the people driving these green-yellow autos are from other states, and may be that's the reason they have become easy targets. We are locals, and that perhaps saves us from such untoward incidents,” said Ramesh Yadav, an auto driver from Badshahpur village, who plies his auto between Subash Chowk and HUDA City Centre.

Who are these Burglars?

The Police has nabbed many

of these burglars in the last few days. They say these people are locals of nearby villages, or from Mewat and Nuh. “Most of the people we have nabbed till now are from nearby villages, and colonies like Rajender Park. Loot is an easy way for them to get money. The Police also believes that people from nearby districts, who don't have much employment in their villages, come here in gangs and commit such crimes. We have arrested many people who belong to Mewat and Sohna in particular,” added Duggal. “We cannot just blame locals for everything – car snatching, chain snatching and now these sort of auto robberies. Anybody who doesn't want to earn money through hard work can commit a crime. I believe that crime and its instinct can overpower anybody. It could be some local boy who doesn't have money, or some rich youngster who doesn't

have enough money to meet his requirements,” said Maheshwar Dayal, Joint Commissioner of Police, Gurgaon.

Voice of the Commuters

The residents face these autowallas and their rude behaviour everyday. In most of the cases the commuters have to compromise. “Yes, I know that these auto drivers are very rigid, and they don't reply properly when you discuss with them about the fare or anything else; and many a times we engage in unnecessary spats. But robbing their vehicle and thrashing them is unacceptable. These people too are working for their families. And if I am not wrong, most of these auto drivers only ply the autos – they belong to someone else. When such incidents happen with them, the owner not only throws them out of work, but also forces them to pay for the loss. The Police should be more responsible in making this City safe for everybody; and since these autos are an extremely important part of Gurgaon's functioning, they should be monitored and safeguarded properly. It doesn't require anything extra from the police – just an effective and constant vigil,” said Aakriti Ahuja, a software executive, working in Cyber Park in Sector-39. Others also believe that, no matter how rude and ill-tempered these auto drivers might be, they should also be protected by the Police. “Autowallas are also an integral part of our society, and since Gurgaon doesn't have much to show in terms of public transport, these autos become extremely important. I know they don't behave properly, especially with women, and I have come across many instances where they pass obscene comments on female commuters. But the reality is that we need them in order to keep our lives operational, because we all don't have cars,” said Sunita Singh, a middle aged lady at Galleria Market. u


C ivic/S ocial

15-21 March 2013

07

Court As Activist B

uilders in Gurgaon, along with their alleged ‘chief patron’, the Department of Town and Country Planning (DTCP), are increasingly facing the heat from the courts – that have rightfully stood by the aggrieved buyers. Whether it is the timely and proper handing over of apartments, or the lack of requisite infrastructure, the developers as well as the government authorities have increasingly come under fire for failing to deliver what was initially promised. In the latest such case, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has asked the Department of Town and Country Planning to register criminal cases against builders who have violated building plans and zoning plans, and offered possession or sold plots to people without obtaining an Occupation Certificate. Hearing the petition of the Ardee City Residents and Flat Buyers’ Association, the Court also asked what the Town and Country Planning department was doing, when the violations were taking place in the Colony – which has around 2,200 houses. With the Court ordering relief to the petitioner RWA, the DTCP is now trying to play an active mode in resolving the issue. A meeting was held on Tuesday (March 12), in which the representatives of the RWA met the Senior Town Planner (STP), and discussed the future course of action. While the RWA informed that they have told their residents about the Court decision and pasted the court orders in prominent places, they demanded that the builders should also issue the necessary newspaper advertisements, as required by the Court Order. STP Gurgaon, on his part, has issued a letter to the concerned builders, requiring them to take appropriate action, so that the issues are resolved to the satisfaction of all the stake holders. As per the DTCP policy, in a house in which the structural violations are less than 10 per cent, an owner or builder can get these compounded, after paying a penalty, and thus obtain the Occupation Certificate. However, the Court Order states that in those houses where the violations are more than 10 per cent, the builder will have to pay the penalty, and get the violation rectified. The Court has also said that violations have to be compounded and rectified within six months of the order. T.N Kaul, President of the Ardee City RWA, says that they were forced to approach the High Court, after the DTCP issued a notice in May, 2010 against the residents, asking them to get Occupation Certificates

within a month – or else action would be initiated against them. The Department had also threatened to cut off the power, water and sewerage connection of the Colony. Kaul says that since it is the duty of the builder to get an Occupation Certificate, the RWA decided to approach the Court and get justice, as the builders were not interested in getting the matter resolved – despite being approached several times. Mincing no words, Kaul says that certain builders and the government authorities are ‘hand in glove’, and this is the reason that no action is taken against them, even if they violate rules and regulations. After the DTCP refused their contention, and rejected their applications on account of structural violations, the RWA moved the Court, and submitted that the houses were constructed by the builders, in violation of the building plans sold to them.

10 per cent; and in the third case, the violations were committed by the buyers themselves, and were more than 10 per cent. The Survey also revealed that, out of 372 plots, only 204 could be given Occupation Certificates, as their violations could be compounded. For the rest of the 168 plots there was a need for rectification, to ensure that these came under the prescribed limit. The STP has also called for an expert report, on how the violations that are beyond 10 per cent could be brought under the limit, using structural engineering techniques. A report submitted by Kuldeep Kumar Kulshreshta, a Delhi based structural engineer has told the department, on preliminary observation, that some of the violations could be rectified by using appropriate interventions and retrofitting. Even as the violations are rectified, Kaul says that the

“We told the Court that the violations were committed by the builders, and these should be rectified by them, so that genuine buyers do not suffer,” he says. After hearing all the sides the Court ordered the DTCP to conduct a survey, and find out a viable solution, so that the violations could be compounded and regularised, and action taken against the builders – who had gone beyond the limit approved. The Court has made it clear that the Department should file criminal cases and black list the builders who have committed such violations. Interestingly, the fifteen companies that are mentioned in the Court order have different names, but share two addresses – one of which is in Hauz Khas, and another in Battery Lane, Civil Lines, Delhi. It seems that it is only one or two builders that are operating in the area, under different nomenclatures. After the High Court order, the Senior Town Planner carried out a survey, to find out the nature and extent of violations, and whether these could be compounded under the present policy. Kaul says that the Survey revealed ‘three kinds of apartments’: one, where violations were less than 10 per cent; the second where the violations were committed by the builders, and were beyond

builder will have to get the violations compounded and regularised, by paying the appropriate fees to the DTCP. “This Court Order is a great relief to the buyers, as they would have otherwise had to bear huge fees,” he says. This Order will ensure that builders remain wary of violating any building and zoning plans – something which has been the norm till now, he says. The Court has also said that the building plans could be revised in certain cases, by paying the penalty, so that houses need not be demolished. However, in case of gross violations by the builders, the DTCP could

PRAKHAR PANDEY

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

black list the builders as well as file criminal cases, the Court decision said. The builders have been directed to move an application within one month, as per the rules, for obtaining Occupation Certificates. The Court has also directed the STP to consider these applications with a positive state of mind, so that thousands of residents do not unnecessarily suffer. The builders can apply for the Certificates, irrespective of whether their earlier applications were pending or rejected, the Order said. The compounding charges for cases up to 10 per cent violation in a house will be calculated as per the DTCP slab; and for violations beyond the prescribed limit, a penalty has to be paid by the builder. In the latter case, the builder also has to make structural changes; and if these are not possible, a further penalty has to be paid. Meanwhile, the residents of Ardee City, while welcoming the Court Order, also express apprehensions, as a number of them have bought houses that had violations. Some of them have even made changes themselves. Rajesh Kumar, a resident, says that if the ground floor of a house is to be demolished or retrofitted, it is likely that the entire building will be compromised. However, despite this being a possibility, many residents say that, taking into account the ‘spirit’ of the Court Order, it is unlikely to

So Who Is Weak?

{ Sujata Goenka }

I

would rather we celebrate Women’s Day when there is no need to celebrate the day. The male-dominated society, by being charitable and organising a few events, does little to remove the pathetic attitude and bias towards women. The roles of women and men have changed significantly in the last century. Women have made large strides. Yes, they

are weaker in brute strength – but many men are weak too. It just depends on the personality. The female species prefers to preserve, rather than kill. It also depends on the circumstances, and the exposure that the women receive. The only clear difference is that women are the child bearers. They need to give time to the offspring. Men have yet not taken up the space for child rearing. Thankfully women can multi-task better.

happen. The STP has been asked to avoid demolitions. Kaul also says that this issue needs to be resolved in an amicable manner, so that the innocent do not suffer; but those who are habitual offenders should be punished – making an oblique reference to the builders. The RWA, he says, has also been fighting a constant battle with the builders over poor maintenance, lack of infrastructure, and the control of common areas – which,as per Haryana laws, are to be managed by the residents. Kaul says that a case was filed four years ago in a Delhi Consumer Court, over maintenance issues, but the matter remains stuck. “We have asked the builders to show the accounts, but they have refused,” alleges Kaul. Gurgaon-based real estate activists say that this Order will have a great impact on a number of colonies in the City, where structural violations have been made by the builders. In a number of such areas, the owners are not able to get the Occupation Certificates, because of the violations which they have not committed. The situation could change now. With authorities in Gurgaon not showing any inclination to resolve the problems being regularly faced by buyers, and regulators turning a blind eye, perhaps another writ petition will have to be filed, for the Administration to be compelled to act – as has happened in this case. u

In India, we have many challenges. For example, as soon as a man becomes a widower, the family starts hunting for a wife; the family feels that the children need a mother. But, a widow‘s remarriage is not ‘sanctioned’. Apparently the children do not need a father as much. It is therefore an accepted norm that women can remain widows for life – but a man must remarry soon. Who, then, is the weaker sex? It is time we stopped calling women weak. u


C ivic/S ocial 08 The Force Is With You 15-21 March 2013

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he last one month has seen a significant reshuffle in the top echelons of the Gurgaon Police establishment. Apart from the arrival of the new Police Commissioner, there is also a new Joint Commissioner of Police (JCP), Maheshwar Dayal – the erstwhile DCP Crime and Traffic. Dayal is not new to the City; many know of him. Dayal had been working on crime for quite a while, and it seems he is already missing his adventures there. “Of course different challenges and responsibilities are there in a JCP's role, and I believe that life will still not be easy. I will certainly miss a direct role in the curbing of crime,” said Dayal. “As a Joint Commissioner, my first priority would be to contain the increase in the usage of arms. Haryana has a fascination for arms, and here people love to have a weapon – irrespective of the need or usage. I will try to ensure that only those who deserve to have arms get a licence; all others who believe in 'showing off' will have to find something else to feed their egos. Another challenge is to contain the supply of illegal weapons. Gurgaon, which has more than half a million people as a floating population—who come and go daily—has virtually become a mecca of illegal weaponry. We will crack down on the people who are spreading this menace. Containment, and preferably the removal of this menace would be high on my priority. I am sure crime too

A sense of humour is Dayal's forte, and he is also one of those officers who calls a spade a spade. would see a serious decline,” added Dayal. Criminals of all types need to beware of Dayal. Apart from his role as JCP, Dayal still holds some important portfolios. The Traffic Departments' reins are still in his hands; and he believes that in the last year, the situation of traffic has improved significantly. “Now almost all traffic lights are working, and one can find traffic constables managing the traffic in the various traffic bottleneck areas around the City. I will continue to focus on the improvement in traffic,

{ Shilpy Arora / FG }

A

CP and Nodal Officer for Crimes against Women, Poonam Dalal, shares her views and plans on women's safety. “For the past four years I have been working with the police department. I really like my job, because you can not only spread awareness among people about their rights, but also help them get justice. Moreover, it is not a 'monotonous' 9 to 5 job. Although sometimes you do miss family life, the feeling that you are serving people, and helping them feel safe, gives a lot of satisfaction. FG: What recent steps have been taken for women's safety by the City Police? Do you feel the implementation has been effective? We have set up the Women’s Helpline, 1091, in the City. To spread awareness about the number, we have displayed it on all our PCR vans. The facility functions round-the-clock, and the number can be dialled from all telecom networks and landline numbers, without prefixing any area STD code. Moreover, five separate Women PCRs have also been introduced. There are also plans to recruit more women in the department. FG: Why has the police department given out so many numbers – eg. of senior officials also? How many numbers do you expect any woman/resident to remember?

because this is one area where every citizen of Gurgaon faces a problem. I will try my level best to make their lives easier. Although Gurgaon has a huge number of vehicles with a limited number of roads, which makes our job difficult, we need to find unique solutions to traffic problems – and I am sure we will continue to find them,” added Dayal. Gurgaon Traffic Police issues lakhs of challans each year, but the payment seems to be slow. Busy Gurgaonites just do not have the time. So, an effective system of e-challaning is being looked at. “Yes, of course, echallaning would certainly ease the burden, both on the Police as well as the citizens, and we are looking forward to have such a system. Plans for initiation of e-challaning have already been set in motion,” said Dayal. The Third Eye Project was started a couple of years ago, wherein smart phones were given to traffic constables to click pictures of the traffic offenders; and by using those images, the Police have challaned many of them. The Project was stopped for unknown reasons; but now Maheshwar Dayal is quite keen to resume it. “We will re-start the Project, as It is extremely useful in nabbing the traffic rule violators.” u PRAKHAR PANDEY

{ Maninder Dabas / FG }

We have given out the numbers of senior officials to the public, so that they can call us if they are facing any issues in any of our concerned departments. We basically want people to call 1091. See, if I am in a meeting, I may not pick up calls – though I always give a call back. If somebody wants help immediately, it is advisable to call 1091. FG: What kind of calls do you receive on your direct number? I receive 10-15 calls a day. Most of them are related to domestic violence. I have also received calls from parents whose daughters are in distress. They feel good when they talk to a senior official directly, and we try to resolve the issue urgently. I think I am now accepted as a bridge between the victims and the local police. FG: What are your biggest challenges? The biggest challenge is to spread awareness about the initiatives that have been taken by the City Police. That is why I have been personally visiting corporates, colleges, schools and other institutions, to talk directly to the women there. I have noticed that they are not clear on (or sometimes even aware of ) Helpline numbers, Women PCRs, and the way the police functions. During these interactions, I encourage them to clarify all doubts, and become more aware about their rights. Due to this initiative, I feel that now the confidence among the women is rising. We would really appreciate if the media assists us in doing the same. u

{ Maninder Dabas / FG }

T

he police is conventionally a male-dominated profession, and even the most radical of minds have accepted that it takes much more than guts and dedication for a woman to make her mark in this field. And in a fairly patriarchal state like Haryana, it's even more difficult for a woman police officer. Bharti Arora, a 1988 Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, has made her mark. She is known well in this Millennium City. Till almost a year ago, as DCP Traffic, she initiated many avant-garde solutions to resolve the traffic woes of the City. After a brief transfer to Rewari, she has come back as a Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), State Crime Branch, Gurgaon. Her field of work and modus operandi are different now; she has been given a responsibility which conventionally is believed to be for men only. She does not buy this notion. “I don't think it's difficult to do this job; and frankly speaking, I haven't given it a thought that it would be difficult in comparison to my last job as DCP Traffic. I take things on merit. The Department I have been given deals specifically with cases of crime that couldn't be solved by the mainstream police; this itself speaks of the responsibility I have been bestowed with,” she said. “I don't believe in analysing the difficulty quotient in any job. Traffic was a different job, and it had its share of challenges, as there was a lot of public dealing; this job is very different. Here we work to solve complicated cases of murder, robbery, property frauds and thuggery. We are focussed on resolving the stuck and frozen cases. It's more like a state-run CBI,” added Arora. The State Crime Branch is a state level department, and it deals with crime happening all over the state. “Gurgaon, along with Faridabad and Rohtak, has a high crime rate, and the prosperity and floating population may be good reasons for this. Gurgaon has money all around, and this attracts many criminals – both locals as well as the outsiders. “However, Gurgaon is a different city altogether, and it would be an injustice to compare the rest of Haryana with Gurgaon. It's a cosmopolitan city, and no other city is Haryana is bigger and brighter than Gurgaon – and all we all know how the big cosmopolitan cities are more prone or vulnerable to crime. It's more difficult to nab criminals here, in comparison with any 'ordinary' city, or any other rural area in Haryana,” she said. “I have served in Ambala, Panchkula, Rewari and of course Gurgaon; I find people of Gurgaon are more vocal and vibrant, and to them the police is not a force that cannot be questioned. People are aware of their rights, and this is extremely helpful for the police in the long run – because an aware and vigilant citizenry is always a bonus for those who maintain law and order,” said Arora. At a personal level, Bharti Arora seems to have become habitual to a dual responsibility, as she speaks of her 'out of uniform life' candidly. “The office and the household are two great responsibilities, and I can't shun either of them. It's very difficult to maintain a balance, but with time I have learnt. Frequent transfers not only disturb this balance, but the personal life also gets affected. I have two children, and each time I get transferred, it means a change of school, along with other aspects of life. So life is difficult, but we need to find a way out – and fortunately I have,” signed off Bharti Arora. u

Director General of Police in City The Haryana Director General of Police S.N Vashisht inaugurated the newly constructed Police Officers Apartments in A Block of Sushant Lok. He said that these 14 flats will be for Gurgaon ACPs - there are 17 posts of ACPs here. Even officers of CID and Crime can be allotted accommodation in these flats. The Managing Director of Police Housing Corporation B.S Sindhu said that each floor has two flats, with a covered area of 2000 sq. feet. Each flat has cost Rs 26 lakhs. DG Vashisht said that Haryana police has a sanctioned strength of 56000 posts, of which only 3000 were deployed on VVIP security duty. About 4000 recruits were being trained at various places in the State, and recruitment of 11000 more Constables will be conducted shortly. On women’s security, he said that a proposal for opening four new women police stations in Haryana was under consideration. In Gurgaon, which is a sensitive district, five women PCRs have already been deployed. The security at Metro trains has also been enhanced. He said that Haryana Police is committed to arresting the accused in women related cases within 24 hours of a complaint being made.


15-21 March 2013

C ivic/S ocial

09

A Thousand Sacrifices PRAKHAR PANDEY

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

servator of Forests, Gurgaon Pankaj Goel, told Friday Gurgaon that any project that involves diversion of the forest land needs clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forests, based in Chandigarh. Since the DLF-HUDA Road also falls in the notified area, a proposal was sent through the Gurgaon office to Chandigarh, and the Project has got due approval. HUDA is the agency that is implementing the Project, and they have assured us that compensatory plantation is being done satisfactorily, asserts Goel, adding that the department keeps a close watch on the projects sanctioned by it. Not surprisingly, they are mum on any discrepancy they may have found. DLF says that they are not involved in the construction work, but the Company is ensuring that the new road will have adequate green cover, in addition to the compensatory planting being done by HUDA. Prashant Dhar, a DLF official, says that the Road will have green cover at the medians, and adequate trees will be planted on the sides, to make up for the losses. “We will plant more trees to ensure that the loss by cutting the existing trees is made up,” he says. He also cites the successful transplantation drive carried out by the Company in its golf course, and reiterates that the same will happen here. IL&FS, which is executing the Project, has remained non-committal on the issue, and an official said that they

could not comment on the present status, as the entire exercise is being carried out by HUDA. The HUDA officials confidently assert that a large scale exercise has been carried out by the Agency, to meet the requirements of compensatory plantation, as also to make the City more green. While Horticulture Chief V.K Nirala says that all efforts are being made to meet the targets, Secretary to the Administrator, Sarvesh Kumar Joon claims that 2 lakh saplings have been planted by the Agency during the last one year. When asked about the areas where trees were planted to compensate for the chopped 809 trees, Joon very generally informs that various parks in the City, green belts and central verges were planted with different species, to make the City more green. He says that specific areas have not been marked out for compensating the loss of these trees. So what is the Forest Department monitoring? Latika Thukral suggests that government agencies and even corporates could come forward and get trees of a particular species planted in the Bio-diversity Park, as there was space available there. “We basically need to ask: who is cutting the trees, where they are taking these trees, and who is accountable for it?” she says. Kamboj of Hariyali says there are too many stakeholders in the process, trying to avoid responsibility. However, it is important that plantation is done close to the area from where the trees have been chopped, else it would not be of much benefit. Citing the case of a major builder who had bought land in Gurgaon and uprooted trees, Kamboj says that the builder proposed that trees would be planted as compensation in a plot of land that was bought in District Mahendergarh! All this is just a ruse for the builders to get the projects approved – while trees regularly get chopped, and new saplings wither away, he alleges. And Gurgaon sinks further into an environmental crisis – water, power, sewage, environment... the list is endless... u

tions where work has commenced, area was to commence was just a few days why is the pace so slow? Ironically, for before the road was summarily cordoned a project named Expressway – along with off one fine day in December. That first a Rapid Metro linkage – nothing seems to day, when traffic diversions were put into be moving at a rapid pace. At some sec- place, the Project organisers appeared tions of the road that are supposed to be not even to have informed the traffic po‘work in progress’, there is neither any lice– for constables on the road were clueless when asked for directions, by many work nor progress. A related question – why could the who were diverted in a diametrically opservice lane not be made operational posite direction to where they wished to first, before the main road was hand- go. Even worse, no advance intimation of the diversions was pubed over for road-digging? lished in any newspaper. Reports indicate that HUDA CITIZEN This chaos was easily was to first work on the serpreventable, with just vice lane and clear the green better planning. belt, before handing the main In the context of reroad over for excavation. That ducing inconvenience would have been the logical way to go about it. Why then is the proj- to commuters, why does some essential ect proceeding—at a snail’s pace—in this work not get scheduled on a Sunday, or late at night when the traffic load is low, haphazard fashion? The relevant question to be asked rather than during normal hours or is – if there was going to be no work heavy traffic time? There is also the matter of the happening on the main road, what was the purpose of preventing the green cover. Why did the authorities public from travelling on a stretch agree to the felling of hundreds of trees, till it was absolutely necessary? And which could have easily been transplantagain, why is this question not being ed – at least the smaller among them? asked by those in charge of the project, For those who have seen the main Golf who should rightfully be monitoring the Course Road over the last few years, the growing green cover and bursts of flowprogress – or in this case the lack of it? ering trees were impressive. From time to While planning various stages of this Project, why has the convenience time, be it laburnums or frangipani trees, of commuters not been considered as the blooms were something to be proud a key factor? The first time the Gurgaon of. So it was heart-rending to see the large residents got a whiff that any work in the green cover vanish virtually overnight.

They were chopped and removed literally within a couple of hours – cleared without a trace. The entire green cover has vanished. That has been the only rapid part so far in this entire Project! It is unfathomable why the trees could not be transplanted. Even if the government did not want the bother, it could have made the offer to RWAs and to the public or to parks, to adopt the trees. A suitable modality could have been worked out. While the authorities were quoted as saying that all trees would be transplanted, the truth is otherwise. Stumps of the chopped trees tell a different tale, and photographic evidence proves that the trees were cut, not transplanted. It was sad that even the flowering laburnums, which would have been a blaze of colour in a couple of weeks, were needlessly chopped in October itself – when no work whatsoever had started on the stretch in question. With summer approaching, it would have helped if the trees had remained till the time when they really needed to go – and not as the first action point. The scary thought is that things are bound to get a lot worse. Maybe it is not too late. We need to relook the way things are moving. Let us hope that the authorities now factor in ways to reduce avoidable inconvenience. (The writer is a Soft-skills trainer and Social-change activist)

T

he issue of compensatory plantation of 809 trees, that were allowed to be chopped by the State Forest Department on the 16-lane Freeway project, from National Highway 8 to Sector 55-56, seems to have drowned in the cacophony of broad promises made by the major stakeholders involved in the project – including government agencies. The Freeway is being developed jointly by HUDA and DLF, and the Project has been contracted to infrastructure major ILF&S, which is also executing the Rapid Metro Project for the real estate major in Gurgaon. Insiders say that none of the private companies wanted to get involved in the tricky issues related to environment – such as transplanting trees, forest permissions, and compensatory plantation for chopping such a huge number of trees. It was left to HUDA, a government agency to resolve this problem. HUDA sought and got the permission to cut 809 trees, that included 17 Neem, Keekar and Sheesham trees, from the State Forest Department, as this road falls in a notified area. The Forest Department, at that time, had imposed a condition that for every chopped tree HUDA would have to plant 10 trees as compensation. Gurgaon-based green activists allege that this has not been done. Vivek Kamboj of Hariyali, a green NGO, alleges that the claims made by officials regarding the compensatory plantation of 8090 trees is a mere eyewash, as there is no forest watchdog in the City to monitor the Project. “While giving permission to cut the trees, the Forest officials had promised that the enforcement will be monitored stringently, but nothing of that sort has happened,” he says. The season for planting the trees has gone, and if HUDA or the private companies have done compensatory plantation in another district of Haryana, then this will not provide any benefit to the City. Kam-

{ Odette Katrak }

T

he Gurgaon (16 lane) Expressway has raised many questions (and eyebrows) – starting with the need for such an expressway cutting through the heart of ‘new’ Gurgaon. Given the phenomenal expense involved, the benefits of the same are being questioned by many sections, who believe that this corpus could have been better utilized to provide other urgent improvements to Gurgaon – instead of meddling with a perfectly good road. The jury is already out on this. Considering the unrest this Project has created right from the start, among affected residents and commuters, it is disappointing to see that certain basic actions expected by those in charge of the Project continue to fall short. We are all aware that development does come at a cost – not just a monetary cost, but a cost by way of inconvenience and hardship in the interim months or years before completion. But when commuters are expected to put up with needless hardship, that is easily preventable and caused simply by a lack of foresight and planning—or even just a lack of basic consideration—it is not acceptable. I believe that this definitely gives us, the commuters, the right to ask a few simple questions. Why is it that work seems to be happening in very few segments along the stretch? And in those sec-

boj plans to file an RTI to know the status of the plantations, and to then verify the claims of the Department. There is anyway a petition in court, rightfully challenging the very need for constituting this Freeway. Troy Ansley, a US based environment engineer, who had worked with HUDA on some environment projects last year, had said that most of the green belts and parks in Gurgaon had been planted without any planning. No thought was given to the natural eco-system, which has led to a high mortality rate of the saplings, he alleged. The City-based green activists also support this contention, and say that allowing the chopping of grown trees, with a promise to plant new saplings, was a recipe for disaster. Latika Thukral of IamGurgaon opines that DLF has proposed to add green cover in the new road plan. “DLF has transplanted some trees from the area; it is an expensive proposition. Only some particular species outlive this painful process,” she says. In her opinion, while roads and buildings are needed in the City, what is as important is an honest effort to ensure that the loss in the green cover is compensated locally by the stakeholders – and in this case specifically HUDA. For a Rs. 600 crores plus project, surely the transplantation cost is minuscule. The government agencies, meanwhile, are categorical that all promises related to afforestation are being fulfilled. Con-

SPEAK


10 D

espite having lived in one of the most upscale residential colonies in Gurgaon for some years, the Wadhwani family was not feeling very comfortable. The reason was the failure of the builder to properly maintain and secure the World Spa Complex, where apartments had been sold with the promise of an international lifestyle. Thankfully, in the last one year, after the World Spa RWA staged a coup and took over the maintenance and security, the Wadhwani have realised the promised dream to some extent. It is not that a miracle has happened at World Spa, but a change of guard has ensured that the stakeholders have themselves become accountable and responsible. Apart from having a better maintained Complex, they now feel more safe and secure, as adequate measures have been put in place by the Agency hired by the RWA. The Agency plays a very active role in managing the entire facility. Since security is quite upper-most in the minds of most residents, FG delved into the details—at World Spa, and at Gurgaon One—where the builders had handed over the condominium to the RWA, as per rules. At World Spa, the security set up has been primed after analysing and auditing the operational requirements related to men and materials. There has been an increase in the number of guards, the entry and exit of visitors is strictly monitored and logged, vendors are selected only after proper scrutiny by the RWA, and even temporary workers have been issued I-Cards. It has changed the overall context of living in World Spa. Vineet Kapur, a senior resident, says that security was a major concern under the developer, but now the situation has improved considerably. The Security team and the RWA collaborate well. Estate Officer of the Complex, Commander B.K Yadav (naval back ground), says that a team of 77 security men has been deployed, to constantly keep a watch on what goes on inside and outside the residential Complex. The security guards have been hired from a reputed security agency, which has trained them adequately for the job. When asked how the security system of the Complex was planned, Yadav says that a survey was carried out and an audit conducted, to know the external and internal threats. “We have 11 towers. We decided that each one will have two guards on day and night shifts, to monitor the entry into the apartments. The main entry and exit have also been provided with adequate men and supervisors,” he says. Outside the Complex, the RWA has set up a boom barrier, which controls the entry of vehicles. Yadav says that rules are strictly enforced for the movement of commercial

C ivic S ocial

Secure RWAs PRAKHAR PANDEY

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

15-21 March 2013

vehicles, vendors and visitors. If a friend of a World Spa resident comes to visit, he/ she is allowed to enter only after a telephone call to the host, for verification. “We don’t allow people to enter if the apartment owner has not invited a person, or has refused entry,” asserts Yadav; adding that a number of times property dealers try to sneak in, but are stopped by alert security. For domestic help, and those coming daily from outside, like drivers, maids and cooks, the Estate Office has a policy of issuing photo identity cards. Even people coming to work on a temporary basis are issued passes, as the security team does not want any unauthorised visitor in the Complex. A log of all people entering and exiting is maintained. Apart from this, the RWA has also organised four camps, to ensure that all workers in the Complex are verified by the police. “We maintain a database of people who are regularly working in the condominium. All the residents have also been asked to strictly follow the norms, as this is a very important requirement,” says Yadav. To cover the entire Complex, a number of guards have also been deployed in the basement and the two clubs; and at night the vacant areas are patrolled by 12 security men, to ensure that no miscreant is able to infiltrate the Complex. The main gates of the Complex are well guarded, and even lady guards have been employed to ensure that the security set up is 'comprehensive'. “We also issue jackets to the maintenance workers, in different colours, to ensure that identification is easy. On Sundays and holidays no construction work is allowed, as the residents want silence and peace,” informs Yadav. In addition, no work is carried out between 2 to 3.30 pm, to provide a silent period for an afternoon 'siesta'. The RWA, which is run by a Board of Managers, has played quite an important role in the transformation of World Spa, from a mismanaged Complex to a secure and comfortable zone. “I must say that the RWA is very proactive and supportive, and this is the reason we have been able to deliver the goods,” says

Yadav. Gautam Gulati, Vice President of the Association, says that the builder was concerned more about delivering the structure, whereas the residents wanted to build a community – and their efforts are centred around that. “Good quality of life is possible only when we are better maintained and secure,” he asserts. Despite the presence of rich and powerful residents, the rules and regulations related to security and maintenance are seldom broken here. Yadav says that there are instances when people want to 'take it

with each other. Despite taking so many measures, and putting in place good systems, Yadav says that ensuring security is an ongoing challenge, and requires the support of residents, RWA members – and in many cases the builders, who control the premises. The Joint Commissioner of Police, Maheshwar Dayal, when asked about how the police was teaming up with RWAs to augment security, says that they are working as partners, and try to fill in the gaps wherever required. He says that issues exist in those RWAs where there are inherent conflicts related to licencing and building permissions. “The rest of the RWAs are managing security in a good manner,” he asserts. The Wadhwanis, meanwhile, enjoy a party in the lawns of the Complex, to mark the first anniversary of the takeover of the condominium by the RWA. They say that the grass is greener, the swimming pool cleaner, and life merrier than it was before – and hope things will further improve under their own dispensation. It is a good lesson for both the developers, and the residents in other troubled RWAs.

easy', and ask the security team to be flexible – but this is never allowed to happen. Recalling an instance, he says that a truck carrying household items of a senior official was denied entry after 7 pm, which generated a lot of heat. Ultimately the matter was sorted out, and the rules prevailed. He believes that a large number of security issues can be resolved if people follow the rules in letter and spirit. The selection of vendors is also done after checking their background and reputation. “We give entry only after a proper appraisal. This is very important, as dealing with reliable people can ensure that residents and facilities remain secure,” says Yadav. Technology is another tool that is coming in handy for the security managers. Surveillance cameras have been installed at the entry, lift lobbies and clubs, to keep an eye on intruders and unwanted elements, and to monitor public areas. Wireless systems and telephones have been made available to guards, to interact

Gurgaon One: While World Spa has seen a positive turnaround after the residents' 'coup', Gurgaon One, in Sector 22 – close to the Maruti factory, is another elite Complex that is managed by the RWA. The developer, Alpa G Corp, prefers to follow the rulebook, Prodipta Sen, Marketing Director of the company had said in an earlier interview to Friday Gurgaon. There are 8 towers in the Complex, and these are guarded by a team of 36 men – including supervisors. To ensure effective security, all residents have been issued identity cards, including domestic help, drivers, maids – and even casual labour. Mr. Rekhi, Estate Officer, says that all residents' vehicles have been issued stickers, for access to the compound. In addition, the basement car parks are controlled by access. Vehicles of visitors are allowed to park outside, in a secure area. Like World Spa, visitors are given entry only after a call to the respective apartment confirms that

someone is expected. To double check, a security man at the gate of each tower once again calls the apartment, and asks for permission, says Rekhi. “All these measures have been put in place because important and high profile people live in the Complex, and expect the best services,” he says. Every worker entering Gurgaon One is given an identity card, and whoever breaks the rule, or does not carry his/her ID, is not allowed entry. Citing an instance, Rekhi says that the driver of an apartment owner altered the date on his cards; and after the security caught him, he was shown the door. “The owner, who is an expatriate, appreciated our strict implementation of rules, and the stand taken by us,” says Rekhi. He adds that sometimes Indians do not follow the rules, as these are considered flexible. However, being a former defence official, he ensures that no one toys with discipline. Gurgaon One has also installed cameras at multiple sites, to ensure that the entire campus is monitored effectively. “We are now trying to install cameras at the swimming pool, play ground and basement. In addition, the periphery around the Complex will be monitored,” says Rekhi. The major threats to a Complex include infiltration, mischief and pilferage, he says. His concern is that sometimes casual workers may slip away with the passes, and these could be misused. He believes the residents must report if workers go absent, and do not return the passes. In addition, regular verification of domestic workers should be a top priority for the residents too – as it is with the RWA. To ensure that entry and exit of vehicles is secure, the RWA has also built—with the permission of the authorities—two speed breakers in front of the main gate, that sees a lot of traffic. To deal with an emergency, the Complex has installed a siren, has a first aid system, and some of the officials and residents have also been trained to give medical help. Rekhi believes that the support of the RWA and residents has been crucial in maintaining a secure Complex. Security experts suggest that the residents in general should avoid giving away their home location, address and personal details on social networking sites, as these can be misused by an intruder – or even a person known to them. Credit card and bank details should be disposed safely, as there have been instances where some domestic help have misused these in connivance with others. Home security systems, alarms and safer locks can also be of great help in case of an attack, they suggest. Given a large floating population, substantial migrant labour, a huge disparity among the rich and poor, and a not very strong policing infrastructure, it is preferable that RWAs and individual residents embrace these practices – for a safe and happy life. u


15-21 March 2013

Kid Corner

11

Solutions

Kids Brainticklers

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

Artistic Strokes

Ria Shroff Grade VII, MRIS

Tanya Yadav, Grade VII, Sucheta Memorial School

Ankita Sheoran, Grade X C, KVAFS School


12

15-21 March 2013

K id C orner

Indutsav

T

Ryanites StreetMall Play

he Indus World School (IWS) celebrated its 3rd Annual Day, titled ‘Indutsav’, at Epicentre. The highlight of the Event was a presentation: HOG, the History Of Gurgaon – that was scripted, directed and produced by the students. This entertaining and informative Presentation traced the journey of Gurgaon City – from the pre-historic time to the medieval age and then to the Cyber City of today. On display was a rare photoexhibition of the students of IWS, taken by renowned photographer Sreenivasan. The students also felicitated their parents in a touching show – Matra Devo Bhava – Pitro Devo Bhava. The Event was attended by parents, grandparents, School Chairman Satya Narayanan and the staff of IWS.

APS Fancy Dress

T

he students of the Montessori Wing of Ryan International School, Sohna Road presented a street play, spreading the message of ‘Save the Environment’, at Celebration Mall. Their wonderful performance mesmerised the mall visitors. The tiny tots also shouted slogans to create awareness on ways to save the environment. The Principal, Dr. Mouna Gupta, congratulated all the students for their effort.

Millennium Spring Carnival

T

he Millennium School welcomed the change of season by organising a Spring Carnival. The Carnival had various competitions for the children. Also on offer were a host of fun activities – like paint ball, shooting, zorbing, giant wheel and merry go round rides, magic show, puppet show and nail and tattoo art. The children, parents and the teachers enjoyed the Carnival immensely. Vineeta Mittal, Principal, said, “It’s heart-warming to see the families bonding over various fun activities. We think there could have been no better way to welcome spring.”

C

hildren of Montessori IV of the American Public School participated in a Fancy Dress activity. The children came dressed as various characters – princesses, kings, police officers – and some even as fruits. The popular characters were cartoon figures like Doraemon, Chhota Bheem, Superman and Ninja Hattori. The children also spoke a few lines about the character they were dressed as.

Special Chief Guests

O

n the occasion of its 10th anniversary, popular ice cream brand Creambell organised a special event, wherein children of the NGO Jan Maadhyam (that works with disadvantaged and special children) attended as Chief Guests. The ‘Chief Guests’ had a wonderful time, as they cut the Anniversary cake, and later sampled the various ice cream flavours.


15-21 March 2013

K id C orner

ADMISSION NOTICE American Public School Features:

Tae-kwon-do.  Merit and need based scholarships  Application forms available from 8:00 pm - 3:00 pm, Monday - Saturday and on our website  Limited seats - Apply now

 Low Teacher-student ratio  Child-centred learning and nurturing environment  Well-equipped Computer, Maths, Physics, Chemistry & Biology Labs  Educational and fun-filled trips and excursions  Air-conditioned classrooms in Montessori Wing  Nature Park and Swimming Pool  Co-curricular activities - vocal & instrumental music, Chess, Indian & Western dance, arts & crafts, physical fitness through Yoga, Skating, Basket Ball, Tennis, TT, Swimming and

For more information:

Call: Mrs. Mousumi; 0124-2353131/3232, 2352580, 4018944 or Website: www.americanpublicschool.com

A Step Ahead Features:

 Located in a quiet and serene corner of Madhya Marg, DLF Phase II  One of the oldest pre-schools in the City, with 10 years of experience  Delivers a high quality early-child educational programme in a warm, secure and a friendly environment, supported by qualified teachers, who care.  Spacious, well-lit airconditioned classrooms, well-stocked reading room, splash pool, Sandpit, and well-designed child-friendly playground  Regular workshops of dance, music, art & craft and playwork

 Follows Montessori programme to allow children to learn through active discovery

Director:

Mrs. Dolly Kochar

For more information:

Call: 9811013176 or Write to: astepahead.playschool@gmail.com

Spiritual 22-28 February 2013

Vol. 2 No. 27  Pages 24  ` 7

Question of the week is:

Global

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

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO CLEAN DIAMOND JEWELLERY AT HOME? SMS your Answer (along with your name and email Id) to 9810959200 or visit Aum Monica Kapur, Second Floor, Gold Souk Mall, Gurgaon.

Coming Of Age 18 & Dreaming

{ Shilpy Arora / FG }

A

fter completing his Class 12, Ankit, a student of St Angels, wants to fly high. He wants to get into Stanford University, to take up Aerospace Engineering. Ranveer, a student of Lancers International, is passionate about Astronomy. He wants to join Harvard, following in the footsteps of his father. Kirti, on the other hand, wants to keep her options open. “My first choice is Fashion Designing. But I will also apply for courses in Architecture and Accounts,” she says. There are more than 7,000 children, from over 250 schools in the City, appearing for the Class 12 Board Examination. There is a heady mix of preferences, plans and passion.

The Foreign Connection

P3

{Inside}

Despite good higher education facilities, and rising job opportunities, in the City, the craze to go abroad still prevails among the students. Anjali, a student of Class 12 in Pathways, says “I am an art lover, and want to go to Italy to pursue my undergraduate studies. This way I can also join my cousins living in Europe, and enjoy my college life.” Most of her family members have studied abroad. While her parents took up post-graduate studies in mainland Europe, her brother has done his schooling in the UK. Most of the students who have siblings or cousins studying abroad, aim for a foreign university. In fact, some of them are sent to IB schools just to ensure that they can easily get into a foreign university. Vanshika, a parent, who chose an international IB school for her

Bon vivant

...Pg 8

Caged Freedom

Looking for liberation for decades, girls and women in this Millennium City are now facing confinement, as they are daily targeted by goons and lumpen elements on the roads and in public transport. Family routines and lifestyles are being impacted. This needs to be stopped aggressively.

...Pg 9

Life Near The Metro

Swanky concourses just 2 years ago, the Metro stations today are engulfed by cesspools and crime dens.

...Pg 24

{ Maninder Dabas / FG }

N

ot so long ago, Vivek (name changed) was sixteen, and used to ride an Atlas bicycle. When he was turning eighteen, he asked his father for a Bajaj Chetak – but instead was admonished. ‘Legally you may soon be permitted, but you are not yet ready to handle a motor vehicle,’ said his father. For the next three years of college, the same bicycle served his purpose. The Bajaj Chetak doesn’t exist today, and nor do those kind of fathers. Today, many sixteen year old boys drive bikes and cars on Gurgaon’s roads. They don’t think twice about not having a driving licence. At markets, malls, theatres, or even at schools, one can find hundreds of under-age kids driving cars and bikes – and tearing down at lightning speeds, even on broken roads. Why do the children, as well as their parents, believe that doing this is fine – or right? Is there no morality, no rationality, no fear? Are they not aware that under-age driving is a crime, and that their sons/daughters could even kill someone – or be killed?

ASHA PANDEY

Last year more than 14,000 challans were issued for underage driving. “Machines have been attracting humans for centuries, and the attraction for these kids is not at all abnormal. In older times our parents would keep us away from the motor vehicles till the time we obtained our licence, and even after. But now these kids are exposed to vehicles, and speed, at an early age. The real change has taken place at the level of parenting, and the change in the social and economic status; and that’s why the

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daughter says, “When we put Sidhi (her daughter) in an international IB school, the aim was to prepare her for study in the US. Most of the schools there follow an IB curriculum. Moreover, US universities give preference to students who have studied in an IB environment.” Payal, a teacher in Blue Bells, says, “Unfortunately, today students are not bothered about the reputation of a college or university. They are only attracted to the tag – “Studying Abroad”. What attracts them is independence, and the perception of a glamorous college life abroad – not studies,” she says. She gives an example of a student who chose a newly-opened university in Australia over Shri Ram College of Commerce (Delhi University). Some students feel studying abroad does make one more independent. “When my elder sister joined a university in the UK, she had to do all the household chores herself. She at first didn’t even know how much detergent to use in the washing machine! But she learnt it all during her course in the UK,” feels Namrata, a Class 12 student of the Cambridge School. Her mother, however, seems worried about the huge expense involved in sending her daughter to the UK. “We send almost Rs. 50,000 to the elder daughter per month. Now, if Namrata also opts for a course in the UK, the expense will be double,” she says. Due to this high cost of studying in the UK and the US, some students are also considering different destinations – like Singapore and Malaysia. “I am looking at Singapore because it is cheaper and closer to Contd on p 6  India. You can join a medical course

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ASHA PANDEY

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Modern Montessori International “Free the child’s potential, and you will transform him into the world.” As rightly said by the founder of the Montessori Method of Education, Dr. Maria Montessori, children’s early education should allow them to progress at their own pace. Moreover, it should focus on stimulating their learning and development, not just imparting knowledge. Modern Montessori International (MMI) follows in the same philosophy. The preschool is a global educational organisation, specialising in the Montessori Method of early childhood education for children aged between 18 months and 5 years. Interestingly, MMI conducts a special Teacher Training Programme for Diploma in Montessori Method of Education. The programme helps educators to know that each child is unique and hence they encourage and allow every child to develop at his/her own pace, with lots of love and dedication. This highly acclaimed diploma programme is awarded by Modern Montessori International, London. At MMI, a child progresses at his/her own pace. Lessons are given on individual basis or in small groups. This enables the teacher to discover more about child and his/her inner development. The Montessori environment is designed to meet a child’s needs for self- construction. The environment is responsive to the continually changing needs of a growing child. Expression is encouraged through various platforms such as art, craft, and drama, to name a few. The preschool also believes in providing an overall learning environment, which helps the child to develop physically, cognitively, and more importantly, socially and emotionally. A Home Away from Home, MMI is a place where children can have fun and make learning a joyful and exciting experience of their life. u Contact: Sourabh Sinha, Ph.: 9810304246

Kinder Care

Civic/ social

Wellness

13

Pioneered in 1987, by Ms. Gayatri Nangia, Director and now running successfully at South City II, Gurgaon under the guidance of Ms. Archana Tandon, Kinder Care is one of the oldest preparatory schools. The strong philosophy and value systems that Kinder Care follows and instills in the minds and hearts of children have kept us in good stead. Our motto of “Hold the World with Care & Kindness” is indication of our aim and ideas. Each child is a special child, born with unique qualities and each child is God’s gift to the parents and society. Kinder Care offers an environment where the doors of the mind are allowed to be open to explore and grow naturally under the tender caring guidance of the school, therefore providing the best formative years to the child that any parent would aspire for. Kinder Care’s creatively designed curriculum is built around six skills of development that foster a complete growth of a pre-scholar namely cognitive, motor, language, physical, social, and emotional skills. Through these skills, we achieve the target of creating curious learners rather than creating robots who execute rote memory of course content. The pre-school organises events with full participation. Special assemblies are conducted whereby children immediately present concepts imbibed through various rhymes, stories, dances, and drama on stage. All festivals pertaining to different religions are celebrated to help inculcate our culture, ethos, and values. Yoga, aerobics, and sports are part of the curriculum for the mental and physical development. Exposure to outdoor environment through trips to parks and nature walks is essential for the overall growth of a child and to make learning interesting and meaningful. u Contact: Mrs. Archana Ph.: 9810928253


14 A

Job Fair held at Government College, Sector 14, offered a walk-in placement opportunity for many students, hailing from different institutions and cities. Over 2,000 students thronged the College, and jostled with each other, at different stalls put up by various companies. Companies like Lentix, ILFS, Reliance Life Insurance, Serco, SF Cloud Techno Pvt. Ltd., Tata Consultancy Services, Tech Mahindra, Techlive, VivahzoneE-commerce, V-Konnet, MNC Bank, Navjyoti Global Solutions, Sakata Inx (India) Ltd., Sarva, Aegis, Agrasar, Apex Services, Atotech India Ltd., Club Mahindra, Decumans, FCS Limited, Genpact, HDFC Life, IBM, IGT, Infinity E-Services, Innovative Solution, Insta 24X7.com, and Interglobe Tech Aviation participated in the Fair. Some local business groups had also come, looking for fresh talent. “We first scrutinise the ap-

plications based on the educational qualifications and skills of the applicants. They then appear for interviews of different companies, as per the vacancies and requirements. On an average, one out of five students is offered a position on the spot,” said a representative at the reception. While some companies did offer jobs at the Fair itself, many marked the candidates for future rounds of selection, that will be held at the companies’ offices. Shiksha, 22, who had come from Jhajjar, has been attending many job fairs and off-campus placements. Little did she know that this one will prove to be a boon. After disappointment at six job fairs, where she didn’t get any positive response, she succeeded here. “With so many in the race, sometimes it is hard to differentiate yourself after so many rounds of interviews and group discussions. That is why I have been taking extra coaching in C++, to supplement my qualification. Thankfully, here, despite a good turnout, many students, including me, have been able to ‘crack’ the interviews,” said Shiksha. Sumant, a B.Com student from Dronacharya College, who was attending a job fair for the first time, received an offer letter from a bank. “I am feeling so lucky. I think more students should attend such job fairs, as they provide an excellent opportunity to attend multiple interviews at the same venue,”

Civic/Social

A Youthful Job Fair

have become a top priority for companies these days. Jit kumar

{ Shilpy Arora / FG }

15-21 March 2013

Companies Students

30 2,000

Disappoints a Few

The students of Humanities, particularly Political Science and History, were disappointed to know that there were no vacancies for them. Post graduate students of English Literature also felt disappointed. A Political Science student, Sudha, said, “Most of the recruiters are looking for particular sets of skills to fill the specific job openings. They offer job opportunities in the field of business, marketing, accounting, commerce and finance only.” These students hope the Job Fair is more comprehensive the next time.

he said. Preeti, an engineering pass-out from Chandigarh, seconded his views and said, “There is nothing better than having so many companies under one roof. You can easily choose from among them; and even with so many students, you feel confident while facing interviews.” Although the Fair was dominated by fresh graduates, some candidates who were looking for an advancement in their career also attended. Deepti, who wanted to quit her present job, that involves night shifts, said, “I am working with a call centre that works on a shift basis. I am hoping to get a job that would not only offer normal work timings, but also pay me well.” The Principal, Dr. Ashok Diwakar, felt that such job fairs would not only provide jobs to students, but also encourage teachers to tailor the existing courses to meet the demands of the job market. “Teachers will be able to take into consideration the factors that help students get a job. Colleges have to transform their teaching methodologies and courses, keeping in mind the trends in the job market; colleges should no longer remain just factories for producing graduates,” he said.

Focus on Women

With a focus on employing more women, a few companies also offered a work-from-

home option. “Today, companies recognise the importance of women in the workplace. They believe that women can offer a fresh perspective, and manage the workplace better than men. We are therefore focusing actively on employing the fairer sex,” said Rishabh Vohra, a representative at Techno. An HR executive at Tech Mahindra felt, “A woman not only looks at self-satisfaction, she spends most of her earnings on her family and the community. So her need to manage home and career should be acknowledged by companies.” Women constitute half of the human race, but currently there are just 20-25 per cent of them working in the Indian corporate workplace. That is why gender diversity programmes

Opportunities for the Differently-Abled

“I shall overcome, someday,” sang a differently-abled girl, Bhavna, as she received an offer letter for her new job. The song describes her spirit to conquer the world. She had come all the way from Hisar. Like Bhavna, there were many who, despite being differentlyabled, came to compete with the ‘normal’ candidates. Abbudin, who has been working as a data analyst for the last five years in a small organisation, said that he had been rejected many times, for not possessing the ‘right’ qualification for a corporate job. He, however, had a firm belief that his skills would be recognised. Thankfully, his confidence and self-belief saw him through, and he was offered a job: he has been offered a position as a voice executive at an MNC. Polio-affected Ramesh, a science graduate from Farukkhnagar, came to know about the Fair from a local newspaper. “I want to carry out research in Physics, and I am quite hopeful that I will get through the interviews,” he said. Organisations that participated at the Fair seemed equally enthusiastic. “Differentlyabled people don’t need sympathy. They deserve better job opportunities and recognition in their careers,” said a teacher. Some companies, in fact, were keen to hire the differently-abled, as they believed that they are the most stable employees. “People with disabilities have proved to be more stable, efficient and trustworthy,” said Bharadwaj, a representative at Apex Services. The willingness of companies to hire the differently-abled represents a welcome change. u

My Role In Life I live by others Can’t go no further Let me seek myself Not live life in a mess. I quest for jubilance of my soul In life, what is my role? Mighty unfold. Let me behold inner light Know delight I have not smiled for many years Lived with fears Of temporal love That will soon die So will I. Let my heart alight anew My live renew. In inner beauty, inner grace Inner tranquil state. Shobha Lidder Writer journalist, Teacher Trainer, social activist, Reiki Master, Pranic Healer


15-21 March 2013

Bon Vivant

Happy-At-Home Moms { Anita Jaswal }

Y

ou’ve got a new baby, and a loan to pay – so should you go back to work, or stay at home to raise the baby? There isn’t a mom who hasn’t looked at someone else’s work life choices, and then questioned her own decisions. But in a change of trend, more women are considering the stay-at-home option. A stay-at-home mom works many jobs. She doesn’t receive a pay check for the 24 hours a day, 7 days a week that she’s on duty. She doesn’t get a pay raise, sick leaves or 401K plans. A report from Salary.com, USA, says that a stay-at-home mom puts in 94.7 hours in a typical workweek, and would earn $117,856 a year for all the jobs she performs, if she were paid! If a stay-at-home mom was ever handed a pink slip, dad would have to hire a nanny, a driver, a cook, a janitor, a psychologist, a laundrymachine operator – and a myriad of other professionals for the odd jobs moms do on a daily basis. Smitha Negi married Rutinder Singh  in the year 2008.She was then working with a well known BPO, training employees on behaviour and soft skills. Come 2009, the stork came

Aekta with Anika and Aryaman

{ Dr. Rajesh Bhola }

L

ast month I met Rekha. Her whole life she has worked very hard to make both ends meet, and spent a significant part of the money earned by her on educating her single child. She has also been supporting her husband, who has all through been an addict. He never worked. Her son completed his engineering and joined a company in Gurgaon. Financially she is now slightly comfortable. After a long period of darkness she expected some light now. She had been searching for a suitable match for her son. But destiny had something different in store for him. One unfortunate evening, while returning home, he met with a serious accident at IFFCO Chowk. He was rushed to a nearby hospital – he had already bled profusely. The doctors tried their best but soon declared that he was no more. Some say there is nothing as painful as losing a child. While describing her experience, she wept

calling and they were blessed with adorable Nayanika. Post a year’s break, Smitha took up a job  with a Telecom major, following her passion for training, and is now a Freelance Training Consultant. This gives her more time and flexibility. “Before having my daughter, I wondered what in the world stay-at-home moms

world is bright and cheery again!” Aekta Dhingra has been married to Ankur for 12 years. Ankur is VP, Operations, at American Express, and they live in Wellington Estate. She was always very clear about being a stay-at-home mom. “When you become a stay-at-home mom, you do  sign up for: cleaning up after your children, cooking, playing referee to your two kids, doing the laundry, becoming a chauffeur, being sleep deprived, enduring moments of craziness, taking care of the household shopping and budget and playing doctor, teacher, psychologist, and the overall CEO of the home. But you are your own boss, get loads of free time to pursue hobbies and dreams if your kids are in school, get to know what’s happening in

Smitha with Nayanika

do all day. I mean, could it really be that hard? Just feed the baby and then chill out all day. Why did people call it the hardest job in the world? Since having my daughter, I’ve started singing a different tune. Even to this day, three years later, she still craves my attention more than anything else, and it’s hard to get anything else done – including housework, and work I need to do from home. I finally gave in to those melting, endearing baby eyes, which meant much more than anya pay packet! I would never want to trade my job for anything in the world, though there are times that I get the stay-at-home mom blues – which I don’t think are uncommon. There are times when I have felt more of a dark cloud hanging over me, than sunshine and rainbows. But then the thought that my baby needs me is enough to drive away any maudlin feeling, and the inconsolably. Three months have passed since that tragic day. The grief is still very fresh in her heart. She still longs for the return of her son. She expresses that “there is deep feeling of sadness and loss, and a yearning to see him. Sometimes there is anxiety, a sense of despair – and loneliness. I dearly want to see him again, but I cannot – not in this life time.” Death is one of the most fundamental and painful aspects of life. Our souls and consciousness may persist or be reborn, depending on what you believe – though sometimes even that is not enough to soothe a broken heart. We are bound, in the course of our lives, to experience the loss of loved ones; and, in turn, be mourned by those who will survive us. Loss is an affliction that cannot be undone. The finality of death brings to those left behind a tremendous amount of emotional pain. The grief can be very physical. When our world is turned upside down, the adjustment we have to make

Ritu with Avni

your kids’ lives on a daily basis, and help build strong, responsible, independent children. It’s totally worth signing on the dotted line, if you ask me,” says Aekta firmly. Ritu Singh has been an advertising professional for over 18 years. She has taken a sabbatical to be with her eight year old daughter, and to

Tripti with Tanisha and Sharanya

travel without job constraints. “Though I did wonder initially whether I would like to be a stayat-home mom, I quite enjoy it. I now work at my own pace, and spend additional time with my daughter. Among other things, I get to participate in her passion for art-and-crafts, as well as in her cooking experiments. But while I am bonding with her, I am also correcting her more than ever. It may not be long before she turns around and begs, ‘Mamma, please go back to office!’”   Tripti: Finder of lost homework, packer of school lunches, chaperone of class field trips, designer of school projects and doctor of scraped knees... all while balancing the phone on her ear and answering the incessant doorbell. “That is how you can define me,” sighs Tripti. Tripti Singh, married to Sameer, is an independent and self-sufficient mother of two. “My husband is in the Merchant Navy, which is why half the time I manage my home single-handedly. I am usually confused when people ask me if I am a working woman, because honestly, I am working just as hard as anyone else. The only difference is that while others are working towards furthering their career, I am working towards shaping my children’s future. The only

Losing Dear Ones is a great challenge to our spirit. Grief is a period when we swing from one extremity of mood to another, in the wake of a serious disruption in our lives. But we should not let this response play havoc with our lives. The noble person has the capacity to live in equanimity, in a world that is intrinsically both wonderful and terrible. The grief will not always feel as terrible as it does in this present moment. Being associated with care for the disabled, I have come across scores of them who started life ‘normally’, but, either due to some serious accident, cancer or paralysis, lost their body part/parts. Amputees take years to adjust to the loss of a limb(s). At times they isolate themselves – withdraw from people. We try to teach them to: “use your experiences to build new memories, and start new traditions to

reach your goals. Sure, you will have to make adjustments for your disability along the road to success – but it is still your path. You are the same human being. You are much more than just your physical experience.” Trusts in memory of an individual who has died ‘unnaturally’ often go to an organisation doing work and research on the disease that resulted in the person’s death. Many of the volunteers at care centres have lost someone close – prematurely; these survivors want to “give back”, to make it easier for someone else. Often they become volunteers in the very facility where the person died; they maintain the close relationship with the staff, and feel they are helping in a place where they understand the need. Altruism often develops as a response to grief. Losing someone

15

time I get to take it easy is when my kids are asleep. That is the only ‘me’ time I get. I sometimes tease my husband and tell him that I am the man of the house. I’m sure if I had to undergo an appraisal, true corporate style, I’d be a highly ranked employee, and they’d probably put me on a retention bonus.” If you’re one of the 5 million stay-at-home moms, you know the drill: feed, burp, diaper change, story time, play time, nap time – repeat. Sure, you have plenty to do to keep yourself busy, but the monotony of caring for a child can be kind of boring. And talking to an infant or a toddler all day isn’t exactly intellectually stimulating – like a business meeting or a night out with friends. And most of the times you feel like you’re barely holding it all together. Your house cleaning can’t keep up with your kids’ mess-making. Your family doesn’t get just how worn out you are by the end of the day. You come to the end of your patience. You lose your temper. Then you feel worse. But remember: there are no perfect kids and no perfect mothers. No matter what you read in blogs, see in magazines and books, home is where a child learns who she/he is. Each of us is created uniquely by God, and has unique gifts, talents and temperaments. Home is the place those are discovered and celebrated. And who can best nurture these values? Of course, a mom! Just follow the mantra: You are God’s gift to your family, to your children...things could not be better! Rose Kennedy said, “I looked on child rearing not only as a work of love and duty but as a profession that demanded the best that I could bring to it”. Sometimes, okay, most of the times, I forget about myself. When was the last time I brushed my teeth? Did I brush my hair today? Oh, yeah, I polished my toenails three weeks ago. u dear can lead to feelings of “I want to do something to honour his/her memory.” Having a disability can make you feel that “I want to make sure no other person has to go through the illness I did.” A fitting memorial is a unique way of responding to grief. Maj. H.P.S. Ahluwalia, Chairman, Indian Spinal Injuries Centre (ISIC), Vasant Kunj, New Delhi set up ISIC after he injured his spine in the IndoPak War of 1965. He rightly says, “Sometimes it takes a terrible tragedy to help us discover the true strength of our spirit...and the true purpose of our lives.” The happiness in this world is very fragile. It can be swept away or broken by events that are beyond our control. A person who is of strong spirit goes through his/her pain and emerges more mature and compassionate. u Dr. Rajesh Bhola is President of Spastic Society of Gurgaon and is working for the cause of children with autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation and multiple disabilities for more than 20 years.


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15-21 March 2013

Comment

For Corporate cum Country

F

EDITORIAL Atul Sobti

Letter To The Editor

W

e heartily appreciate your hard work for designing/ featuring useful informations/articles in Friday Gurgaon. This newspaper is the most useful to all. Thanks for prompt delivery of newspaper. Keep up the good work. Bhavisha Prafullkumar

As a worthy benchmark, let us see what Japan did, and what it offers: deliberate decisionmaking, attention to detail, process orientation, discipline, teamwork, quality, punctuality; top electronic products; the Japanese language; a bowing custom – for welcome and farewell; unique food & drink – sushi & sake; a ‘no tips’, but exchange of gifts, culture; a special sport – sumo This is what we do today – mostly – when we go wrestling; geishas, green tea… abroad, or run operations there. All this, delivered while happily wearing The Head of the Entity and/or Head of Finance western business suits – black. And taking up is Indian. baseball as a new We prefer to eat only national sport. Country Known in corporates cum countries for Indian food. US Marketing, Finance, Entertainment We talk in our local Our strengths and Japan R&D, Manufacturing, Reliability language, even amongst uniqueness, and Germany Manufacturing, Materials, Engineering foreigners; we are competence - in the UK HR, Finance also loud. corporate cum country Canada Social Security We are quite informal world - should similarly France Style in dealings and be leveraged. Italy Sales discussions. On a global basis, We can be quite Indian executives are Russia Durability biased, and not well-known for hard China Manufacturing Scale, Exports politically correct – on work, intelligence, India Services, English Language speakers, women, race and colour. confidence and Accounts We are not ‘jugaad’. We are truly very hygienic. acknowledged in the We have no real differentiation today. accounts and finance world. We should aim to There is no defining Indian Multi-National achieve world-class status and scale in this soon. Corporation (MNC) structure or culture. Strategically, as corporate cum country, we should be promoting our ‘soft’ side – versus a ‘hard’ China (reminiscent of the USA-USSR real/ What would/should an Indian Multi-National image war). We have some real ammunition Corporation (MNC) look like? here: Bollywood; Hinglish (our unique mixedWe would probably be happy to copy the West language); classical music, singing and dance…. - in language, dress and custom; be a US/UK look- We should also create some India specials: a new alike (the B team). dress (maybe short kurtas for men and women, It is a good bet that China would not do (is not over pants or jeans); or a unique Namaste doing) likewise. greeting - we already have the garland/tilak And therein may lie the answer to out futures – tradition. How about a global ‘chaat’; a triple-daal good or bad. course; a big, fat Indian Wedding tamasha? We should develop a Kabaddi stadium; and integrate What should be our USP? cricket with baseball – now that would be a What Indian values should an Indian MNC home run ! have, and what Indian experience can it promote? Of course, along with economic might, we Would Indian MNCs be really professional? Will need to make ourselves ’buland’ militarily also. we be transparent? Will we truly decentralize? America may be Software and Hollywood – but it Will we let go of the finance function? sure plays hard-ball when it wants ! u

FAMOUS QUOTES

or India to become a world economic power we will have to go out. We will have to not only export, but also have operations abroad – especially in the developed world. China has got its products and operations and people into almost every country. Chinatowns of course proliferate across the globe – the latest in Africa.

Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo.” -H. G. Wells

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Political correctness is tyranny with manners.” Charlton Heston

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Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” Albert Einstein I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.”

-Galileo Galilei

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Each problem that I solved became a rule which served afterwards to solve other problems.” Rene Descartes

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Problems worthy of attack prove their worth by fighting back.” Paul Erdos

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The only difference between me and a madman is that I’m not mad.” Salvador Dali

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The power of accurate observation is frequently called cynicism by those who don’t have it.” George Bernard Shaw

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Talent does what it can; genius does what it must.” Edward George Bulwer-Lytton


Wellness 17

15-21 March 2013

4U

Tips

Health & Vitality... Naturally!

{ Jaspal Bajwa }

The Royal Nut

T

he ‘Mediterranean Diet’ is widely known for promoting a long and healthy life. More specifically, it is reported to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. There are many components to this magical mix of foods and beverages – some more popular than others (for example, resveratrol in red wine!). Less known is the fact that the people of the Mediterranean region have also been consuming nuts in moderate quantities since ancient times. And this factor appears to have played an important role in maintaining heart health. Packed as it is with healthy fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals, there is one particular nut that stands out – the Walnut, or the ‘Nut for the Royals’. It has played a prominent role in cultures all along the famous Silk Route – extending from western China to Europe. Throughout its history, the walnut tree has been highly revered. In ancient Persia, only royalty was privy to the pleasure of savouring this potent nut. Its uses include food, medicine, shelter, dye and lamp oil. Some of the oldest archeological sites where walnuts have been unearthed, are in Switzerland and in the Shanidar caves in northern Iraq. In America, archeological sites near the Great Lakes suggest the First Nations people already knew of the black walnut, as early as 2000 BC. Recent studies give us new reason to believe in walnuts.

{ Bhavana Sharma }

F

acial Reflexology is a powerful therapy, which is appropriate for all age groups, and can be practiced easily. This healing modality was invented by Lone Sorensen Lopez, a Professor of Reflexology. It is very different from the traditional hand and foot therapy. By using this technique, you can reduce the pressures and stress that exist throughout the body.

How it works

During the therapy, certain neuro-vascular points, reflex zones and neurological points are gently stimulated, using the finger tips. This sends impulses, through the Central Nervous System and the

When scientists from the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania (USA), studied the antioxidant content of nine different types of nuts (walnuts, almonds, peanuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, macadamias and pecans), they came to the conclusion that walnuts rank above any

over any favourite salad, vegetable dish, fruit or dessert. Purchasing unshelled whole walnuts is always preferable, as approximately 90 per cent of the phenols and flavonoids are found in the skin. When stored in a cool, dry dark place, these will stay fresh for up to six months. Shelled walnuts should always be stored in an airtight container and placed in the refrigerator (upto 6 m)or freezer (upto a year).

Nature’s Wonder Food of the week: Walnuts or Akhrot or Juglans Regia

other. As heat from roasting nuts generally reduces the quality of the antioxidants, walnuts have a built-in advantage, as these are usually eaten in their natural state. Many people think that nuts are fattening. Quite to the contrary, eating nuts does not appear to cause weight gain, and might even reduce over-eating by making people feel full. In addition, researchers have pointed out that nuts contain healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, rather than artery-clogging saturated fat.

Tip of the week

Walnuts are a delicious way to add extra nutrition, flavour and crunch to any meal. Very convenient to use, walnuts can just be chopped and sprinkled

Juglans comes from the Latin words jovis and glans, which means nut of Jove. Regia means regal or kingly. Rich in cholesterol-lowering plant serums and Omega 3 fats, walnuts have similar benefits to fatty fish for improving heart health. Studies have shown that just a handful of walnuts five times a week can help lower cardiovascular disease by 15 to 50 per cent – by improving blood vessel elasticity, and reducing plaque accumulation. There are many reasons why walnuts are considered the healthiest of all nuts:  The levels of antiinflammatory Omega-3 essential fatty acids, in the form of Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA), are significantly higher as compared to other nuts. In addition, walnuts have several phytonutrients – including tannins, phenolic acids, quinones and flavonoids.  Walnuts are reported to contain twice as many antioxidants as any other

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 do not like to use soap on my face as it makes my skin dry. Is

there a good home remedy that I can use as a substitute to soap? SH For normal to dry skin, take half a cup of cold milk and add five drops of any vegetable oil, like olive, sesame seed or sunflower oils. Put this in a bottle and shake well. Cleanse the skin with it, using cotton wool. The left-over mixture can be kept in the fridge.

WINNER Ankita Kapoor

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

commonly eaten nut. The unusually high level of Vitamin E is available in the form of gamma-tocopherol, which provides significant protection from heart problems.  The antioxidant properties and the anti-inflammatory properties of walnuts help lower risk of both chronic inflammation and oxidative stress – the two most important underlying causes for triggering cancer. Prostate cancer and breast cancer are the beststudied types of cancer with respect to walnut consumption.  Walnuts in the evenings can help in getting a good night’s sleep. Melatonin, a hormone produced by the pineal gland, is involved in inducing and regulating sleep, and is also a powerful antioxidant. It is present in walnuts in a bioavailable form. In addition, the

Facial Reflexology meridians, to the body and the major organs. The stimulation of pressure points on the face can actually stimulate and trigger the release of endorphins—the pleasure hormones—and serotonin, a chemical that accelerates a calm mind, and brings down anxiety levels. A session with a professional expert would last for thirty minutes.

Facial Reflexology is used for the treatment of : All kinds of allergies Recurring joint pain Skin problems Simple headaches and migraines Hormonal imbalances

Lack of sleep Muscular aches and strains Respiratory problems Rehabilitation, after illness and accidents Anxiety and stress Emotional issues Mental health issues

Digestive problems Slow learners, or children with dyslexia

Simple Facial Exercise

 Open your lips as wide as they can go. Feel your cheeks, chin and lips stretch to their

combination of Omega 3 fats, folic acid and zinc can increase the levels of Serotonin - a powerful mood booster.  Rich in protein and fibre, walnuts also contain a full complement of B vitamins, folic acid and minerals – especially manganese and copper. Vitamin B6 is in a very bio-available form. Other minerals include calcium, chromium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, vanadium and zinc.  Of course, at 163 calories for every 0.25 cup (or 25 gm) walnuts are a high-calorie food, and this can be factored in when planning the caloric load of any diet. u Registered Holistic Nutritionist (Canadian School of Natural Nutrition) For education purposes only; always consult a healthcare practitioner for medical conditions

limit. Hold and release, and then repeat. This facial exercise relaxes the muscles of your face, increases circulation and relieves tension.  Take a sharp deep breath and exhale forcefully, opening your mouth wide, and stick your tongue out as far as it will go. Open your eyes wide and look up. It relieves tension in the face and throat, improves circulation and stimulates the eyes.  You can also gently pinch your cheeks. This will improve blood circulation, and relax the facial muscles. Energy is the source of all life, and its flow is the key to radiant health. As a process, Facial Reflexology balances the body, and stimulates it to heal itself.  u Author, Tarot Reader


18

Bon Vivant

15-21 March 2013

Opening A New Chapter { Shilpy Arora/FG }

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child’s imagination is an ocean of creativity. It transcends time and space. This has been showcased well by a new breed of writers, who, in their childhood and teenage, have strived to pen something out of the ordinary. Be it fiction, mystery or poetry, they have left little in genres unexplored. Friday Gurgaon talks to a few of these young authors, and finds out what inspired them to write at such a tender age. “Do whatever you want, but do it well,” says 12-yearold Anupama Chaturvedi, while talking about the inspiration behind her debut novel, “Lola Gets Friendly”. “These words have been stuck in my head by my parents. They always encourage me to do whatever I want; they just want me to do it well. I know that the expectations have gone up after the release of this book, but I am sure I will not disappoint my parents, teachers, friends and readers.” Anupama, a student of Pathways World School, Aravalis, was 10 when the plot for a story took shape in her mind. She shared it with one of her teachers, who encouraged her, and advised her parents to have the book published. “She has been writing since the age of three. We have always given her the freedom to do whatever she wants. That is what has helped her to pen this story. We came to know about the book only when the unedited copy was ready,” says Anupama’s mother. Another young author, Ishita Srivastava, from Delhi Public School, Sector 45, likes to write poignant poetry. Her book, “My World, My Dreams” is a compilation of poems written by her about friendships, dedication, and about changing relationships. Interestingly, this 17-year-old has also penned the dilemma

of stray animals. “When Ishita was six or seven years old, I took her to watch a monkey show in our area. While all the children were laughing and clapping, she was not enjoying it at all. She said that the monkey was not feeling good, as a rope had been tied around his neck. This incident touched her so much that she left the site immediately, and wrote a poem on it. That is how she draws inspiration for her poems,” says Ishita’s father. Pancham Yadav, from Pathways World School, Aravalis, drew inspiration for his book, “The School Ghost”, from mystery novels. “I am a fan of mystery novels. I penned down this story for one of my school projects. My

The young writers didn’t expect that writing a book would be difficult, and finding a publisher more so. Pancham recounts, “I first wrote the book like a school assignment. It became a very long story; I had to cut it down, as most people like a crisp and short story. It took me quite a long time to refine the copy, before it went to print. I think editing was the most challenging task.” But, that did not impact Ishita. “My book is a compilation of poems. Nobody edited my poems – neither in terms of language, nor brevity. So editing was not an issue at all,” she says. Finding a publisher was also not easy. “Very few publishers are interested in publishing books written by kids. They think that such books have limited readership. They have to understand that books by young authors are not merely published to motivate them – they can also bring business,” says a teacher. She puts forth an example of Michelle Izmaylov, a teenage writer in the US. His book, "Dream Saver", was listed as the top fantasy fiction best-seller. “Our Indian students are way ahead when it comes to writing. All they need is encouragement from teachers and parents, and support from the publishing industry,” she believes.

Anupama

teacher was so impressed by my writings that she called my mother and suggested that I get them published,” he says. His book tells a tale of three school children who investigate a robbery at their school, that leads to the closure of the school. Interestingly, Pancham has designed the illustrations in the book as well. He is also the creator of a comic character, 'Phoenix Man', and has developed comic strips around this personality.

{ Krishan Kalra }

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Daunting Task

n a flight from Bombay, a friend of mine happened to get a seat next to the late Maharani Gayatri Devi of Jaipur. He started chatting with the gracious lady, and admired the huge solitaire ring she was wearing. Her Royal Highness confided that the diamond on her finger was only a copy made by Tiffanys – the famous New York jewellers; and the real one was in a safe deposit vault somewhere. Considering the general law and order situation, even royalty couldn’t then afford to move around with such expensive baubles. Besides, she said, “the insurance cost would be prohibitive, and, in any case, “who can make out the difference?” This old incident reminds me of a recent personal experience. My wife and I were attending a dinner hosted by a leading industrialist. It was one of those social 'dos', where people turn up more for the sake of being “seen” – otherwise word could go round that so and so was no more on the big man’s list. These are also occasions for the wives to flaunt their finest sarees, shawls and jewellery. My wife too had worn, much against my suggestion of a heavy gold collar, a lovely little pendant with three beautifully cut and artistically set green stones – to match the colour

While many young authors face challenges while approaching publishers, Anupama, whose book was published in Hong Kong, proudly says that after she sent a few pages of her book to the publishers, they gave their consent immediately. “I am glad that my book is being published by an international publisher; I feel over the moon, as I am now called an author,” she smiles. The fascination of being authors, and expressing their views to the world, is what has motivated these children to have their works published. Pancham says, “It feels awesome to see your name on a published book. For me, writing is a way of expressing myself. My drawings and illustrations supplement my writing, and hopefully make it even more interesting.” Ishita, who likes to study psychology, wanted to convey a message in each of her poems. She says, “I love studying people’s minds. I want to convey human emotions in a simple and concise manner, which can easily be done through poems.” She takes pride in the fact that she wrote about the ways to regain faith in goodness, despite all the odds in one's life. Writing a book may seem easy, but it was extremely difficult for these young authors to build a plot, and then pen their thoughts in an interesting manner.

Just a Hobby

An illustration by Pancham

For most of them, it is just that their hobby has turned into a passion. They don’t see writing as a promising career. “I will continue to write, though I may pursue a career in psychology,” says Ishita. Pancham also feels the same.

The Rare Emeralds of her Kanjeevaram saree. While the host was circulating and trying to meet every guest, his wife was ensconced on a sofa, with a couple of her favoured ones in attendance. Everyone was supposed to go and greet her. As we were doing the honours, she, known to be a connoisseur of jewellery, pointed to the pendant and asked my wife from where had she bought it – and for how much? My wife looked askance at me; I winked at her and politely told the hostess that this was a family heirloom, given to her by my grandmother. For good measure, my wife also added that perhaps it originally belonged to some great great grandmother, who was distantly related to a royal family of an obscure state in Punjab. The lady asked my wife to remove the pendant; she then felt the stones lovingly, saw them critically against the light, and proclaimed that these were very expensive, rare gems and must be worth a fortune now. She summoned another “Sethani’, who was arguably the best expert in their group on such matters. This one took out her gold-framed reading glasses from her designer handbag, polished them carefully with a dainty

Ishita

As he has received accolades for his illustrations, he wants to build his career in Design Technology – not in writing. “I want to write throughout my life – but I don’t want to make it my profession. I would rather go for something visually creative. Writing this book has helped me choose my career path,” he says.

They have Fans too

“Reading this book is like reading one's own life”, says a teacher of DPS, while remarking on Ishita’s book. After reading “Lola Gets Friendly”, Saloni, a Class V student, says, "The school in this book is just like my school, and the friends are like my friends. While reading it, I feel that I am reading my personal diary." The students easily relate to the characters in the books written by these young authors. The problems faced by the characters in these books are like the problems faced by any school student; and the students have even found solutions to their problems in these books. The students also find simple stories more interesting... than reading on the philosophies of life. u

handkerchief, and sat down to examine the treasure. She looked at the piece even more carefully and lovingly, compared the stones with some of her own rocks, saw them against a brighter light, and concurred with her friend that indeed the emeralds were flawless, and of very good quality. She even added something about the exquisite cut, and told my wife to be careful about such valuable jewellery. All through this excited exchange, my wife and I had stood there controlling our laughter with great difficulty. I was wondering how gullible people could be in appraising stones; and worse, how blatantly we could both lie! Now I couldn’t resist any longer and burst out laughing; my dear wife also joined in. The hostess was not amused. She wanted to know the reason for our outburst. When I told her that the pendant under scrutiny was a recent acquisition, from the MP Emporium, for a princely sum of Rs.5000, she wouldn’t believe me. She was incredulous, and kept insisting that I must be joking. Finally, my wife offered to sell the ‘rare old piece’ to her for ‘just Rs.100,000.’ Only then did she accept sheepishly that perhaps the light was not enough, and she wasn’t wearing her glasses. The expert Sethani had of course quietly slipped away to appraise someone else’s jewels. u


Art 19

15-21 March 2013

{ Srimati Lal }

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o mark Women’s Day on Gurgaon’s gallery-circuit, two women-artists recently displayed their art in the Millennium City for the very first time. Manjusha Ganguly, senior artist and art-teacher from Bhopal and Mannju Karmakar, who trained at Delhi’s Triveni Kala Sangam presented their artworks at the Epicentre. The Exhibition, titled Aesthetics and Women,  revealed the innate aesthetic sensibility latent in women. Manjusha Ganguly’s smallformat, carefully-selected and inventive display of 12 Minia-

Small Is Artful ture Paper-Collages, from her Silky Mountains series, stood out, with their delicate subtlety and intricacy --- revealing a poetic and discreet artistic temperament. Achieving this ‘transcendence of the obvious’ did not happen overnight: Manjusha has worked laboriously on this specific collage-idiom for 35 years, beginning her unique paper-collages in 1978 – when, by her own admission, she “felt a need NOT to paint typically in oils on canvas with paint.” In these tangential, poetic miniature-landscapes, Manjusha has achieved commendable cohesion of the Abstract  and the Representational,  in a quiet manner that is intrinsically her own. Using hand-torn shards of printed magazine-paper, as well as shreds of transparent tracing-paper, for layering, she evokes the silence and mysticism of misty mountainscapes and amorphous gardens to subMannju Karmakar Paintings

lime Zen-like effect – drawing the viewer deep into her minuscule 5” x 5” compositions. A very large and conventional landscape-painting may often appear rather too ‘obvious’; while such smaller-format, unconventional and more personal depictions of Prakriti absorb the eye and the mind completely, due to their poetic, contemplative cadences. Manjusha’s wistful collages have suitably-evocative titles, such as Mirage,  Piscean Games,   Krishna in Love, and  Pocahontas.   Her Sunset  is a fine example of Minimalist Representation, utilising only grey and white tones, with the subtlest hint of   powdery red pigment – denoting Surya’s magic light shimmering across mountain-ranges. This Artist is seriously committed to her aesthetics, having done her Ph.D on the Abstractionist S. H. Raza, as well as serving as Head of the Department of Art in Bhopal’s Art College. I have noticed that the persona and behaviour of a creative being is always just as revealing as their art. Manjusha’s gentle, courteous and intelligent manner coincides precisely with the grace of her artworks. Mannju Karmakar’s smallerformat miniature canvas-paintings too convey the poetic temperament of the Pantheist-artist – one who steers clear of visual ‘obviousness’. It is her smaller

Manjusha Ganguly Collages

works that convey greater ebullience and sensitivity. In her miniature-Modernist painterly renditions, largely of flowers and a few mysterious faces, painted on tiny 6” canvasses in a vibrant palette of purples and reds, a certain mysterious whimsicality shines through. While some of her Flowers were reminiscent of the lyrical Bengal School tradition, her Abstracts bore a Fauvist-Expressionist sense of freedom. Again, here lies proof that it is not large formats, nor obvious ‘figuration’ nor bombast, that defines Art, but actually their opposites: meditativeness, grace, dignity, concentration, subtlety and intensity. From my art-critical standpoint, I was particularly heartened to see two gifted women-artists confidently displaying fine  Miniature-format paintings – rather than mas-

sive canvasses that have now become urban-gallery cliches. Both Manjusha and Mannju have created small, beautiful artworks that are within the Eastern tradition, where the integrity of miniature-formats have been mastered by Indian and Oriental artists over many centuries of intricate, spiritual artistic discipline.  u Artist, Writer, & Curator

Ladies Faraway

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Inspiring Women

'Ladies Only' book reading session was held at Rendezvous. Sreemoyee Piu Kundu, author of Faraway Music, read out passages from her debut novel, and kept the audience hooked. This was followed by 'The Audition Trap', an Improv Theatre performance, written and directed by noted theatre personality, Bubbles Sabharwal, and captivatingly performed by her team.

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n the occasion of International Women's Day, 14 City women were facilitated and honoured at an Event, 'Joie de Vivre', organised by Gurgaon First and Artemis Hospital. The Achievers―who have made a positive difference to the City by their talent and contribution, to help improve the quality of life―were from diverse fields, such as social service, music, sports education, public service and the corporate sector. It was an evening of music, poetry and fun. The Chief Guest of

the evening was noted classical singer, Padamshree Shanti Hiranand. Some of the awardees were – Shanti Hiranand, Bharti Arora (SSP-State Crime), Nisha Singh (Councillor), Kamal Capoor (Founding Principal, Happy

School), Harita Gupta (General Secretary, Lok Kalyan Samiti), Latika Thukral and Swanzal Kapoor (Founding members, I am Gurgaon) and Dr. Leena Srivastava (Executive Director, TERI).

Women Flying High

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ly High Firefly!, an audio visual tribute to womanhood, was presented at Epicentre, on the occasion of International Women's Day. Conceptualized, scripted and directed by Vanessa Ohri and Farah Singh, the Show had 21 talented women on stage―from young adults to senior citizens, corporate honchos and professionals to business women, homemakers to students―celebrating womanhood with all its sparkle and fire. The production consisted of 5 different play-lets, designed to speak to the heart of every modern woman, and every 'right-thinking' male.


20

Lighting Up The World

{ Doreen Fiedler / Mumbai / DPA}

Christian Charisius/dpa

picture alliance / Arco Images GmbH

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Many Indian slums, like this one in the east of New Delhi, are hooked up to the power grid, but prices are prohibitive and the power cuts out regularly.

the cleanest possible water, and then mixed with some chlorine to remove contaminants. Then a hole is sawed in the roof, and the bottle is inserted and sealed in place. The clear water refracts sunlight throughout the room like a lightbulb, providing light – albeit only when the sun is shining above. The bottle will then provide light for five years - and much more brightly than a

{ Doreen Fiedler / Mumbai, India / DPA }

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nside a dark hut in one of Asia’s largest slums, Barburo Ladsahib is shouting – so that his pupils can hear his voice above the din of Bollywood music blaring from two ancient speakers. “Shut the scissors, open the scissors, 4, 3, 2, 1,” he calls out, while demonstrating the right dance steps to the rhythm. The children are hopping and twirling like their teacher. He may be half-bald and sporting a moustache, but his hips are swaying like those of famous movie actresses. And it is precisely this that the kids here want to be: famous. India’s Bollywood film industry is located just a few kilometres away – but the chic suburb there, and this slum of Dharavi, are worlds apart. For 30 years now, Ladsahib has been teaching youngsters from the slums, and has helped them gain minor roles in films and TV series. He says that so far 144 of his pupils have landed roles. Jay Holmukhe is still waiting for his big film role. The 15-year-old proudly recounts how he played a beggar in the Oscar-winning film “Slumdog Millionaire” – which was shot in Dharavi. The shy youngster comes each week to the hut, in front of which a sign says – “5 Stars Acting, Dancing, Fighting.” He hopes that one day a Director will come by and discover him. Ladsahib

glass window or hole in the roof could do. That’s no small feat in the slums where the houses are pushed together so tightly that barely any sunbeams make it through. The biggest problem was convincing people to try it, says Shah. “At the beginning they all said ‘No, we don’t want that.’” But opinions changed once some non-governmental organizations intervened, and

schooling and money management. A team from Switzerland was recently in Mumbai, to show the students how to get sponsors and to help with technical details. “We’ve flown to Colombia and Spain, and have The bottle can had requests from Egypt, Paris, Argentina and Chile,” says the provide light business management student. for five years “The idea has been catching on - and more brightly than a for about a year, and is starting glass window to spread.” or a hole in the A lot of that is due to Illac roof could do. Diaz. The Filipino studied at the Massachusetts Institute of got the first 12 households to try Technology in Boston, where he it out. They even got one put in met Moser. Since then, he has for a prayer room in a church in used his MyShelter Foundation Bandra West. “The neighbours to light up tens of thousands of all saw the bottle and thought huts around Manila. His group it was good. Now they want has also instructed some budone as soon as possible,” says ding entrepreneurs, who live in Solanki. “With the demand the slums, to install bottles for a growing, we’re organizing small sum. workshops, where people can “Everyone thinks that big learn how it works, and then do ideas have to come from big it themselves,” says Shah. people,” said Diaz at a TEDx Rene Eber, President of the event in Rio in October. But Switzerland-based Liter of he said the idea is what is Light, says the project is pick- key. He stressed that one doesn’t ing up new supporters all the have to be a specialist to get light time. “But it’s not a big organi- out of a bottle – which would zation with a global strategy,” normally be seen as trash. As he said. “Instead, it’s a move- a bonus, it helps cut down on ment with a lot of small, in- the generation of environmendependent organizations.” tally unfriendly carbon dioxide. He says each group contributes “This is green technology what it can. The offices in Swit- that belongs to the people. zerland do a lot of press work, Anyone can own it.” u

Kids Set Sights On Bollywood

jokes, “Actually he comes by to look at the girls.” The 50-year-old in the red pants jumps back, and things get going again. With grand gestures he tries to animate the pupils. “You are under arrest,” he yells and pulls out an imaginary weapon. About 25 children are sitting in front of him on a concrete floor pocked with holes – and follow his instructions. Like their teacher, they’ll theatrically put on an expression of horror. In the next class, he teaches boxing – in the way of action heroes. A punch, a pivot, then a kick with the foot. The pupils laugh, and then start up a small fight amongst themselves. Ladsahib suddenly gets serious. “Please don’t laugh,” he orders them. “Watch me. Learn to do it right. When you take 1,000 rupees (18.50 dollars) home, you’ll make your parents happy.” His training costs 600 rupees a month, but Ladsahib says he will also teach talented pupils for free. Ladsahib himself came to films from a career in painting, and of producing advertising signs. “On one film set, they wanted pictures to be painted on 12 shops. I did it, and so became a part of the industry,” he says. This led to him getting a number of minor film parts. He noticed that filmmakers often were searching for actors to play gangsters, hospital patients, drunks and poverty-stricken children, but could not find the right talent in the acting schools in the middle-class areas. “So I asked myself - why not do it myself ?” It made him one of countless talent scouts and self-taught acting coaches. Their clientele are the Mumbai kids, pursuing a dream of one day making it into the glittering world Barburo Ladsahib (left) teaches dance to a of movies. group of slum children, who are hopeful of Bollywood is a huge machine that becoming stars in the Bollywood film industry. each year churns out 900 films, for

Doreen Fiedler

here’s no window in the tiny washroom Purshottam Devji Solanki shares with the other 11 members of his family. But, thanks to a water-filled plastic bottle poking through the roof, there’s enough light inside to find one’s soap and toothbrush, and wash the dishes. Indeed, the bottle does such a good job of catching the sunlight, that the room feels like it is lit up by a 55-watt lightbulb.”Until now, we used a lamp. Now we don’t need one any more,” says Solanki. The lack of a lamp wasn’t due to a lack of power. His home, in the Chinchpokli slum, is hooked up to the power grid. But the prices were prohibitive. Plus, the power cuts out regularly. And then came a group of students from the Indian Institute of Technology, with the project ‘A Liter of Light’. They stumbled upon the idea online, discovering a concept created 10 years ago by Brazilian Alfredo Moser, that has since lit up 200,000 households. “We all thought that we have to try it in India immediately,” said Vatsal Shah, a Materials’ scientist. It’s a simple concept, says the 22-year-old. A plastic bottle is filled to the brim with

G lobal

15-21 March 2013

Barburo Ladsahib (right) teaches facial expressions to a group of slum children, who are hopeful of becoming stars in the Bollywood film industry.

which 3 billion tickets are sold. The stars of the silver screen mostly are working in several film-shoots simultaneously, and additionally are always seen in television commercials. They enjoy virtual god-like status in India. In the never-ending hope of helping his charges achieve their goal, Ladsahib uses the 30 square metres of a small room over his apartment as a studio, in order to produce job application photos. Beyond this—or so the signs posted along the walls say—here they can learn “how you present a scarf”, “how to pose with a biscuit”, or how you portray “a hair lotion model.” He also teaches other specialties of Indian films – such as sword-fighting, knife attacks, and speaking one’s lines while being beaten up. And suddenly, somebody does actually turn up at the studio. It’s an Assistant Casting Director for a small independent film, taking a look around. Excited, the boys and girls start showing off the many different facial expressions they have mastered. But Chaitra Yadavar (the casting director) tries to dampen their hopes. The film has only a small budget, she cautions – and then reveals the real reason why she has come to Dharavi: “We need 20 to 25 kids who look like slum children.” u

120 million Take Holy Dip { Siddhartha Kumar / New Delhi / FG }

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record-breaking 120 million pilgrims took a ritual dip, at the confluence of holy rivers in northern India, during the Kumbh Mela festival, the largest gathering of people on earth, that ended Sunday. Hindu devotees, ashsmeared ascetics and gurus bathed during the 55-day Festival, at the point where the waters from the Ganges, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati join – near the outskirts of Allahabad (city). Hindus believe that the ritual of the Kumbh Mela pilgrimage— the full version of which comes once every 12 years—cleanses the soul of sins, and clears the path to heaven. “Nearly 120 million have participated in the Festival this time, which is unprecedented. The figures beat the attendance of 86 million at the last Kumbh in 2001,” Festival spokesman Ashok Sharma said. Most pilgrims came from Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, where Allahabad is located. “Some 30 million people participated on February 10, the most important of the six main bathing days,” he said. The figure was determined by analyzing train and bus ticket sales, movements across barricades, and random sampling of people present within a onemetre spot. The Festival, which presents a massive logistical challenge for India, was marred by a stampede at the City’s train station, that killed 36 pilgrims last month. u


G lobal 21

15-21 March 2013

A Colourful Barbie Show

Frisco’s Bay Lights Sculpture

{ Andreas Straeter / Bergkamen, Germany / DPA}

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{ Andy Goldberg / San Francisco / FG }

S Caroline Seidel

here are many people out there who consider Barbie the personification of the dream American woman. But Barbie is anything but a stereotype. She’s single, has a career, a house, a car and even her own airline. Sometimes she looks Asian, sometimes African. Barbie, in her hundreds of roles and faces, is the star attraction at the “Modewelten der Barbie-Puppe. Zwischen Alltag und Glamour” (“Fashion worlds of Barbie dolls: Between everyday life and glamour”) Exhibition on display in the Bergkamen Muncipal Museum in Germany.Whether she’s dressed in a pilot’s uniform, a grandiose fairytale gown, a swimsuit or a motorcycle jacket, Barbie’s fashion world is just about as colourful as life itself. When Barbie first hit toy stores in the United States in 1959, she was wearing a simple black and white striped strapless swimsuit. Her hair was pulled back in a girlie ponytail, with bangs up front. “Barbie back then was a doll for adults,” said Exhibition curator Bettina Dorfmann. The 51-year-old Duesseldorf native is in the Guinness Book of World Records for her Barbie collection – which includes 15,000 Barbie dolls, in all forms and colours. She has dark-skinned Barbies as well as Asian-looking dolls, and thousands of other variations. Seven hundred of Dorfmann’s Barbies are on display in the Show, including a few Ken dolls as well. The Barbie fashion displayed in the Exhibition mirrors developments in pop culture and socio-politics. Whereas she initially seemed shy, Barbie later became more confident, riding trends in society. And she is just the opposite of a dumb blonde.

Barbie and Ken against a background of cardboard cutouts, showing actors from the US television series, Star Trek.

A Barbie doll at Bergkamen Municipal Museum, dressed to look like Tippi Hedren, who starred in the movie ‘The Birds’. 


Barbie is ambitious and makes sure her needs are met. “Barbie is an emancipated woman and thoroughly modern,” said Museum Head Barbara Strobel. Dorfmann said the Barbie manufacturers in California always made sure that Barbie looked good, and kept up with the times. In the 1980s, Barbie was wearing shoulder pads, and in the 1990s she exposed her belly button. What about a piercing? “No, not Barbie,” said Dorfmann. But there was an “Earring Magic” Barbie in pink leather. In 1992, Barbie even ran for US President, with a presidential candidate doll. “There’s hardly a career

that Barbie hasn’t had,” said Dorfmann. Barbie’s been an archaeologist, a dinosaur researcher, an Olympian and an astronaut. “The only thing she’s never been is a pastor,” said the curator. Barbie’s measurements have also changed. Of course, Barbie still has a figure that makes it nearly impossible to walk upright without assistance - a fact that has even been scientifically researched. Her breasts though are currently smaller than they were in the 1990s, and her hips are wider. “Fashion nowadays is once again more hip accentuating,” said Dorfmann. Of course there are exotic and designer pieces on display in Bergkamen. “Madame du Barbie” has the royal pomp of a rococo dress. And designer Bob Mackie has dressed up the plastic doll as a huge butterfly for a collection piece. The Hollywood and rock star section of the Exhibition has Barbie dressed up as Cher, Shakira and a Disney princess. Her boyfriend Ken is dolled up as Michael Jackson, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and James Bond. In a nut-shell, Barbie is culture and society dressed up in one little big doll. u

an Francisco is famous the world over for the elegant silhouette of its Golden Gate Bridge. Now the City’s other bridge is getting its moment in the spotlight, with an art installation – known as the Bay Lights sculpture. Officials turned on a massive array of more than 25,000 computer-controlled LED lights on the Bay Bridge—in what is billed as the largest light sculpture in the world— stretching almost 3 kilometres from San Francisco to Treasure Island, and reaching a height of 150 metres. The lights are attached to the wires linking the roadway to the bridges’ massive suspension cable. Spaced around 30 centimetres apart, the lights are

Aussie Top Wine Gets A Perfect Score { Sydney / FG }

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pen a bottle of Penfolds’ Grange, swirl Australia’s top red in your glass, and see if you can detect the “aromas of mulberries, layers of baking spices, cloves and cinnamon – with nuances of minced meat, anise and potpourri, and whiffs of dried mint and chocolate.” Connoisseur Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Editor of US magazine Wine Advocate, says those smells are all there in the latest vintage – if you have the nose for them. Should you fail to spot those purely notional ingredients, know that you have sampled the first Grange, in almost four decades, to be awarded top marks by Wine Advocate. The magazine gave the

Home Furnishing Goes Eccentric

{ Dubai / FG }

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Another attractive aspect to this style is that it includes elements from the past. Eccentric Domain is a collection of old elements that have their roots in the 19th century. The style has an historic aspect, but with a touch of irony. The more technology we have in our lives, the greater the trend towards the emotional. Playfully designed furniture in the Baroque style is one answer to this need. Trend Consultant Annetta Palmisano says ostentatious decoration has become acceptable. It needs to be exceptional. u

2008 Grange, to be released May 2, a perfect score of 100. “This is clearly a wonderfully opulent and a magic vintage for this label,” Perrotti-Brown said, recommending that the vintage be cellared for at least five years before being opened. Penfolds makes around 8,000 12-bottle cases of Grange a year. It started becoming a collectors’ item 30 years ago, and prices have soared since then. The recommended retail price for a bottle is 685 Australian dollars (705 US dollars), but demand from China and other newly emerging markets—like Russia and the Middle East—means the world’s most loved red wine commands a hefty premium. u

World’s Tallest Hotel In Dubai

{ Simone Andrea Mayer / Frankfurt / FG } t looks like black, blue and plum colours will be a frequent sight in home furnishings in Europe this year. The rather heavy colour scheme is broken only by slightly brighter furniture in brown. This Eccentric Domain style, as it’s called, is essentially about glamour. Trend consultants have discovered that consumers are ready to be more adventurous in their tastes. Eccentrics will be able to express themselves, according to the consultants. These “modern performers” can confidently aim to set their living space in the right scene. One example of the Eccentric Domain style: a black sofa standing in a darkly furnished room – with tables that are dark brown, and decoration in the form of Baroque-style gold elements. Additional colouration comes from orange flowers, and a reading lamp with a pink base. A touch of humour to lighten the mood is supplied by two black ape figures on a shelf. Eccentricity is sometimes associated with luxury and a dandyish nature. It’s found very often in Russia and Asia. It’s usually linked with high values in the minds of people there. Thanks to globalisation, gold and Baroque elements are becoming more common elsewhere.

turned on and off by a computer algorithm, to create a massive light grid stretching over the San Francisco Bay, with a moving visage of shimmering patterns and abstract images that never repeats itself, according to artist Leo Villareal. “My inspiration comes from the motion around the bridge, the kinetic activity of boats, water, clouds and traffic,” said Villareal, 46. “The piece becomes a mirror of its surroundings.” The 8 million dollar installation is meant to run every night for two years, before being taken down. Its hours of operation are from dusk to 2 am. City officials predict that some 50 million people will see the new attraction. Large crowds braved a rainy night, to witness the opening of the City’s latest tourist draw. It is an impressive sight. u

he JW Marriott Marquis Dubai has been officially crowned the tallest hotel in the world by the Guinness Book of Records, following its opening in the United Arab Emirates. With a height of 355 metres, the 72-storey hotel is just 26 metres shorter than the Empire State building in New York. Dubai’s 333 m Rose Tower, home of the Hotel Rose Rayhaan by Rotana, previously held the honour of being the world’s tallest hotel. The JW Marriott Marquis Dubai consists of twin towers with 1,608 rooms; although the second tower is not scheduled to open until 2015. The building is located near the Burj Khalifa, which, at a height of 828 m, is the world’s tallest building. Marriott International’s new hotel is specifically designed as a location for congresses and meetings, and is the chain’s first luxury hotel in the JW Marriott brand to be opened outside North America. u


22

15-21 March 2013

C over S tory

Great Expectations Delhi - Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) will connect Jawaharlal Nehru Port near Mumbai, with Delhi, covering a length of around 1500 kilometres. DMIC spans the states of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra. The vision is to create a globally competitive environment and state-of-theart infrastructure, to activate regional commerce and enhance foreign investments. The Government of India is also establishing a Dedicated Freight Corridor, between Delhi and Mumbai - with terminals at Dadri (NCR) and Jawaharlal Nehru Port (near Mumbai). A band of 150 to 200 kilometers around both the sides of the Freight Corridor is being developed as the DMIC. Nodes or Cities have been identified within the Corridor as investment regions, with a minimum area of 200 square kilometers; and industrial areas with a minimum area of 100 square kilometers. These areas or regions would include self-sustained industrial townships, with world-class infrastructure served by multi-modal connectivity - for freight movement/ logistic hubs, domestic and international air connectivity, reliable power, quality social infrastructure and a globally competitive environment.

MRTS MBIR The Goal : Double the employment potential in 7 years, Triple industrial output in 9 years Quadruple exports in 8 to 9 years. Haryana The Influence Area of DMIC in Haryana is 29,362 square kilometres, covering about 66 percent of the area of the State - across 14 districts. 4 Investment Nodes/Cities Manesar-Bawal Investment Region : Phase-IA Kundli-Sonepat Investment Region : Phase-II A Faridabad-Palwal Investment Area : Phase-I B Rewari-Hisar Investment Area : Phase-II B The value of output in the DMIC sub-region of Haryana is estimated to grow by 15 times, over the 30 years period (2010-2040). Haryana State Industrial & Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (HSIIDC) is the nodal agency for the project in Haryana.

DMIC

Manesar-Bawal Investment Region (MBIR) 3 Early Bird Projects : Exhibition-cum-Convention Centre (ECC) at Manesar Integrated Multi-Modal Logistics Hub (IMLH) at Rewari Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS), connecting Gurgaon-Manesar-Bawal. 2 Priority Projects : Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) Expressway & Global Economic Corridor Cargo Airport, in NCR.

DFC

5 Key Projects : Fresh Water Storage & Transmission Integrated Passenger Hub at Pachgaon Chowk Education cum Health Hub Affordable Low Cost Housing Eco-City Project in IMT Manesar. M/s Jurong Consultants (Singapore), KPMG, DTZ and ESRI have been appointed as consultants by DMIC Development Corporation (DMICDC), for preparing the concept Master Plan for the Manesar-Bawal Investment Region (MBIR), and undertaking feasibility studies for the Early Bird Projects


15-21 March 2013

G-scape 23

jit kumar

Maha Shivratri


Friday Gurgaon 15-21 March, 2013  

Friday Gurgaon 15-21 March, 2013

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