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17-23 May 2013

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

Vol. 2 No. 39  Pages 24  ` 7

Diesel To Dust

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

write to us at


large number of people who shifted to Gurgaon from the national Capital in search of green, open spaces in the mid-nineties, are shocked at the rising levels of pollution, and the constant haze over the City. The ever-rising number of cars, diesel power sets and unabated construction activity in the Millennium City are producing multiple pollutants at an alarming rate. Gurgaon is unique not only as the modern Millennium City of India, but also is ar-

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guably the only one that throws up a colossal level of diesel and dust/debris in the air, on a daily basis. And there is no sign of a slow-down – in fact Gurgaon II (58 new sectors) and Greater Gurgaon are just starting… What is scary is that not much research has gone into studying the impact of the mix of these pollutants on the health of Gurgaon’s residents – from the newborn to the pregnant to the old-aged. Despite being one of the largest cities of Haryana – industrially, commercially, residentially - it was only last year that the State Pollution department set up an am-

bient air quality monitoring unit here. And even then, the District Pollution department seems to be more concerned about keeping an eye on industrial units, rather than looking into the totality of the problem caused by the combination of dust and chemicals in the air - which makes the sun many times look like a distant blob in the sky. Even in this month of May, in mid-afternoon, a haze surrounds the City like a shroud - and the problem becomes more acute in the winter. Contd on p 6 

100 On Anniversary { Maninder Dabas / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon. com


t has been an year since Haryana Roadways started the Gurgaon City Bus service. It has been partially successful. “We started with only 32 buses and 12 routes, and within an year we have increased this number to a hundred - and now nearly one lakh people daily travel in these buses. At present these buses make approximately 834 trips per day, and collectively travel around 22000 kilometres. The Department earns around five lakh rupees a day as fare. The residents of Gurgaon have responded splendidly to this service, and that’s why in the next few months we will increase the quality as well as the quantity of the buses,” said Arun Kumar, Director General, State Transport,

DG Transport thanks FG Director General, State Transport, Haryana, Arun Kumar, thanked Friday Gurgaon for its co-operation with Haryana Roadways in preparing the Route Map of the Intra-City Bus service. “I thank Friday Gurgaon for lending a supportive hand; they have done a splendid job in making this Map and printing it prominently (back page) in their edition (33 – April 5 to 11, 2013). I request other media houses as well to support the department in improving the public transport mechanism in the City,” added Kumar.

Haryana. The absence of an Intra-City Bus service had been an issue for almost a decade. “Gurgaon certainly needs more buses, as even now there are many areas in the City that have not been connected by this service. We are coming up with 150 new buses - which would include 50 low floor air-conditioned buses. Volvo buses, started by the Roadways for the people travelling between Gurgaon and the State capital, Chandigarh, would also see an increase - we are planning to add five more buses to the existing fleet of fifteen,” added Kumar.

CCTV cameras

All Gurgaon City buses will be fitted with CCTV cameras. Bus terminals across Haryana will also get electronic eyes for security. Fortunately money is not a constraint for the Roadways, and that’s why we have

planned to transform the transport infrastructure on such a large scale.”

Two new Bus terminals soon

In the next couple of years the City would have two new Bus Terminals - at Rajiv Chowk and Sector-29. “Sector-29 terminal would be an

AC terminal, catering to IntraCity Bus service, along with the Volvo Bus service to Chandigarh; Rajiv Chowk would be an ‘Ordinary’ Bus terminal, with basic facilities, and it would cater to the Inter-State and InterDistrict bus services. I believe the work will start within a timespan of three-four months,” added Kumar. u


17-23 May 2013

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319 Postal Regn. No. GRG/35/2012-2014, VOL.–2 No.–39  17-23 May 2013


WORKSHOP  THEATRE  NIGHTLIFE  MUSIC  ART completion. Categories include: 21 kms Half Marathon (for 18 yrs and above); 10 kms Challenge (12 yrs and above); 5 kms Challenge (12 yrs and above) Registration at http:// running.aspx

Contact at harshveer. or call on 8800571487

Atul Sobti

Sr. Correspondents: Abhishek Behl Shilpy Arora Correspondent:

Maninder Dabas

Sr. Photographers: Prakhar Pandey Sr. Sub Editor:

Anita Bagchi

Sr. Designer:

Amit Singh


Virender Kumar


Chess Workshop @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: May 20 to 24 Time: 11:30 am to 1:00 pm

Sr. Circulation Exec.: Syed Mohd Komail Circulation Execs.:

C oming U p

Pankaj Yadav Sunil Yadav Manish Yadav

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

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Ad Sales Exec :

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Health Awareness & Nutrition Re-education @ 172, Deerwood Chase, Nirvana Country Date: May 18 Time: 12 noon

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


Chess Workshop by K.C Joshi, for children aged 6 to 14 years. Contact: 9810059550, 2715000


The Art Of Cartooning @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: May 20 to 24 Time: 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm

Emails: Friday Gurgaon (Weekly) edited, published and printed by Atul Sobti on behalf of Arap Media Ventures Pvt. Ltd. from 213, Tower A, Spazedge, Sector 47, Sohna Road, Gurgaon 122018, Haryana. Printed at Indian Express Ltd. Plot No. A8, Sector 7, Gautam Budh Nagar, NOIDA – 201301, Uttar Pradesh The views expressed in the opinion pieces and/or the columns are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, Friday Gurgaon or Arap Media Ventures Pvt. Ltd.


Ticket To Heaven @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: May 18 Time: 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm


Quartet @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: May 21 Time: 7:30 pm


farcical comedy written and directed by Saleem Shah. The play, set in a Mumbai suburb on a stormy night, is about a chance meeting between a conman, a desperate housewife and her godfearing husband. In their quest for love, lust and faith, the three reach the gates of heaven. Suitable for 16 years and above

Workshop on Health and Nutrition Re-education, facilitated by Jaimala Singh, from the Health Awareness Centre, Mumbai. The aim of this Workshop is to demolish most myths, propaganda & misconceptions on health, nutrition and food. Discussions will be held on the primary causes for currently prevalent diseases. Also on the agenda is a discussion on
– what to eat, when to eat and how to eat.
Pre-Register with: Kavitha 9958760000/ Dia 9811558076




Bhelpoori @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: May 19 Time: 7:00 pm

To Advertise

GameOn India Trail Series @

Aravali Bio-Diversity Park, DLF Phase 3, Sector 24 Date: May 19 Time: 5:30 am


jit Narayan teaches the art of cartooning to children between the age groups 6 to 18. Contact: 9810059550, 2715000


Art Of Seeing @ Zorba The Buddha, MG Road Date: May 19 Time: 9:30 am to 5:30 pm


Please Contact

7838003874 7827233023 A 9999444818

hilarious satire on love, politics, society, relationships, Bollywood, Tellywood and more! Enacted by Saleem Shah, who plays ‘Himself’, the play takes you on a rib-tickling roller coaster ride.

Japanese movie, directed by Junichi Mimura. The story is about Kai Nagae, who hopes to become a professional violinist. He lives in Urayasu, with his parents and older sister. In the past, the family has performed classical music together; however, nowadays they care less for music and for each other. Wishing to be back together, Kai decides to form a family quartet.


n adventure trail for runners by Game On India Trial Series. Participants will be introduced to a new challenge – to run in the hot climate in some gruesome trails. 
All the participants will be given a medal, a certificate and a cotton t-shirt on


Workshop for all art enthusiasts who believe they can’t draw. Based on the Left Brain, Right Brain theory, participants will go through a series of drawing sessions. The Workshop is led by professional architects and artists.

C oming U p

17-23 May 2013




A Tribute to Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: May 24 Time: 7:30 pm

ACUPRESSURE & AYURVEDIC MASSAGE Release of Stress, Relaxations Improve Blood Circulation And Other Chronic Diseases Also Available :

Power YOGA, Pranayam


Call: 9818748648

A Exhibition


he Gurgaon Centre of The Alliance Francaise presents a Photography Exhibition, Tribal Lights by French photographer Magali Couffon De Trevros. Magali uses her camera as a creative tool, not only to document what is in front of her, but to enhance it with the help of light – and sometimes, with paint or sculptors.

njoy a Sunday family picnic, on a platter – from quick bites and fun games at the Food Store, heady cocktails and Italian Wine at Spiritual, to mouth-watering sushi, live counters and music at Asia Alive. Take your pick from Peking duck satays, kebabs, wood fired pizzas, chocolate fountain and more. There is even a separate buffet for kids, along with tattoo, balloon and caricature artists. The venue has all the ingredients to turn your lazy Sunday into a sensational one for the family. For reservations, call (124) 491 1234 / 8130 391 560



Tribal Lights @ Alliance Francaise, Building No. S - 24 / 8, DLF Phase III Date: May 16 to 23 Time: 10:00 am to 7:00 pm


New Horizons @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: May 24 to 26 Time: 11:00 am onwards

Hindustani Classical Vocal @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: May 23 Time: 7:30 pm


n Art Exhibition, featuring the works of the students of National Institute of Fine Art (NIFA). The Show is curated by Renu Khera.


Sunday Brunch Family Picnic @ DoubleTree by Hilton, Sector 56 Golf Course Rd Date: May 19 Time: 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm


Kathak Recital @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: May 17 Time: 7:30 pm


Cabarnet Live @ Attitude Alive, C002, Supermart 1, DLF Phase I Date: May 17 Time: 8:30 pm onwards



n Odissi recital by Geetanjali Acharya with disciples, paying a tribute to Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra – an Indian classical dancer, guru and proponent of Odissi dance.


Ladies Night @ Rhino, South Point Mall, 312A, 3rd Floor, DLF Golf Course Road Date: May 22 Time: 9:00 pm onwards

t’s time for all the ladies to let down their hair and party hard. DJ Mudit will spin some of the best music to ensure you don’t leave the dance floor. Contact: 9560700123


n evening of rib-tickling comedy, featuring well-known comedians. The Show is presented by Joke, Joker, Jokest.

Stand-up Comedy @ Club Patio, Block E, South City 1 Date: May 17 Time: 2:30 pm


Hindustani classical vocal recital by Dr. Nalini Mishra, disciple of Dr. Prabha Atre and Savita Devi.


special treat for the fair ones to unwind mid-week. Gather, you gal pals, and hit the dance floor. Enjoy an evening of unlimited music, dance and fun.


Mid-week Ladies Treat @ Ion Club & Lounge, JMD Regent Arcade Mall, MG Road Date: Every Wednesday, Up to May 29


n evening of fun, laughter and mad Comedy, featuring noted stand-up comedians – Abhijit Ganguly, Zakir and Nishant ‘Joke’ Singh!


Stand-up Comedy @ Abbey Road Restaurant, Building No.8, DLF Cyber City, Phase II Date: May 22 Time: 7:00 pm


tep into a world of classical Jazz and Soul music as Cabarnet performs live. The soulful vocals and instruments are sure to take you down memory lane. Featuring Ipshita-Vocals, Varun Nayyar-Guitar, Devang Baheti-Bass and Vishal Mehta-Drums. For more info & reservations :
+91 9650180404/ +91 9818097090

Expo World Children Expo 2013 @ The Island, Ambience Mall Date: May 18 & 19 Time: 10:00am to 7:00 pm



Kathak dance recital by Jaishree Acharya, disciple of Pt. Birju Maharaj. Contact: 9810059550, 2715000

n action-packed Kids’ Expo that offers a wide range of products – from shoes to apparel, stationery to games, books to toys. Grab the opportunity to meet and greet your favourite cartoon characters. Also on offer are fun Workshops and interactive sessions. Entry - Free Website:


17-23 May 2013

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 Cover Price-Rs. 350

For Subscription SMS FGYES to 8447355801



Haryanvi Made Easy Get a taste of the local lingo 1. My house has caught fire! Mhare ghar main aag laag ri se! 2. Luckily, there is no one at home. Badiya hoya ghar ne koi na se. 3. Somebody call the Fire Station. Koi aag bujan alaa ne bhi phone kar dyo. 4. They should come soon. Unne jaldi se aana chahiye. 5. What caused the fire? Yo aag kyukar laagi? 6. I was playing with a match box. Main maachis te khelan laag rya tha. 7. I didn't see where I threw it. Manne dikhye koina kith sik padhi. 8. I have learnt my lesson. Mane iss teh seekh laagi.

If Streetlights are not working, call: 1000 180 3030 (Toll Free); or 0124 2301616 (9am to 5pm)



Want an Event to appear on the Coming Up page?

be the change you wish to see


Write to us at anita.bagchi@fridaygurgaon .com

Dear Readers, Each week we will feature a question/topic to get your views/suggestions. Selected views will be published in the subsequent issue(s) of Friday Gurg. This week's Topic is:

Which is your favourite pub/nightclub in the City? Write in to us at


C eleb W atch

17-23 May 2013


Abhishek's 'iffa'vescence


ctors Abhishek Bachchan and Jacqueline Fernandes were present at an Event announcing the venue for the next International Indian Film Academy (iifa) celebrations – the Venetian Macao-Resort-Hotel, Macau. Abhishek, ‘Friend of iifa’, said, “I experienced the iifa celebrations at The Venetian Macao in 2009, and it was a spectacular 3-day celebration of Indian Cinema. We trust that iifa will plan their celebrations this year befitting the 100 years of our industry.”

Mothering Women

Hope Fest


n the occasion of Mother's Day, an event— Damini Utsav – Maa Tujhe Salaam—was organised by REDCO and Damini Helpline, along with Gurgaon Police. The aim of the Event was to create awareness about Damini’s Women Empowerment initiatives, and to help make Gurgaon a Safe City for women. A cultural programme was presented by school students, that was followed by a lyrical and thematic Fashion Show titled ‘Damini – The Strength of a Woman’, and highlighted the journey of womanhood. Present at the occasion were Dr. Parveen Kumar, Administrator HUDA, ACP Usha Kundu, Nodal Officer for Crime against Women and REDCO President, Rohit Malik.


Fashionable Sprouts


n the occasion of Mother’s Day, a fashion show was organised at a Mall, wherein kids in the age group of 3-13 walked the ramp, showcasing a new summer range by the children’s store, Sprouts. Dressed up in casuals, semiformals and ethnic wear, the confident kids were a delight to watch on the ramp as their parents cheered for them.

Promising Talent


he timeless Arabian folk tale, Ali Baba Aur Chaalis Chor, was staged at Epicentre by the children of Literacy India. More than 22 children participated, using a good mix of music, song and humour – to keep the audience enthralled till the very end. The children enacted their characters effortlessly. Filmmaker and screenwriter Rakyesh O. Mehra was seen enjoying the Show throughly, with Founder and Managing Trustee of Literacy India, Capt. Indraani Singh.

he DLF V City Club was the venue for ‘The Festival of Hope – The Pink Blue Ribbon Fest’. The crème de la crème of the City were in full attendance to support this noble cause. DLF V and Bholasons, the co-hosts of the Event, showcased fashion from select designers. The models on the ramp were  breast cancer reconstruction patients. The participating designers were – Pam Mehta, Gopa Kumar, Shalini Arora Kochhar, Sagrika Mittal Goyal, Deepa Arora, Pawan Sachdeva,  Bharat Reshma Grover, Amit Talwar Trekaaya, Smit Raj Gayanani and Ramonn Lamba. Also present at the occasion were Shalini Vig Wadhwa, Founder of 100 Degrees, singer Anamika, Bollywood actor Jackie Shroff and actress Swaroop Sampat. 

Exclusive Rendezvous


endezvous- Lounge of Moms and Kids at South City 1, celebrated Mother’s Day by hosting a two-course event with two renowned women in their respective fields of work. The 'by invitation ladies only' one of a kind event included a book reading and discussion of 'Those Pricey Thakur Girls' by the renowned author Anuja Chauhan, followed a stand-up act by the noted comedienne Vasu Primlani. Rashmi Thakur, founder of Rendezvous, said, “It is our endeavour to offer something unique and different to the discerning ladies of Gurgaon. Rendezvous Lounge is just the perfect place for hosting such events which are exclusive and a class apart.”

06  Contd from p 1 Even inside the glass plated, airconditioned buildings, the dust and smoke can be felt as soon as the airconditioning becomes a little mild, or one goes to their basements. It is sometimes difficult to breathe, as the lungs breathe in the soot generated by large diesel generators, which have become the lifeline of Gurgaon - producing twice the amount of power that is supplied by DHBVN. The large amount of dust generated by uncontrolled construction also majorly to the problem. Haze, which is caused by a mix of dust particles and chemical pollutants like NOx, SO2, CO2, CO and Benzene, is a lethal cocktail – and all these ‘ingredients’ are present in Gurgaon's air, appreciably beyond ‘permissible’ limits. In fact the data released by the Haryana Pollution Control Board should already set the alarm bells ringing, as the City air has very high levels of Particulate Matter (PM10) and Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) - two of the most harmful pollutants. The PM10 level in the month of January was 246.05 grams per cubic metre, which is far above the ‘standard’ of 100; whereas the amount of NOx was almost double the ‘standard’ 80 micrograms/cubic meter. This high level of ‘noxious’ matter in the atmosphere causes even more problems in winter, when dense smog surrounds the City as well as neighbouring Delhi - causing poor visibility and a number of healthrelated problems. The national Capital itself is under severe pressure. Anumita Roychowdhury, Centre for Science and Environment’s (CSE’s) Executive Director-Research and Head of its Air Pollution team, warned: “If no further action is taken to radically improve public transport, and encourage walking and cycling, then Delhi by 2021 will gasp for breath, pay unacceptable fuel costs and spew warming gases like never before. “ This warning does not augur well for Gurgaon also”, says Ruchita Bansal, Programme Officer at the CSE. Bansal adds that the transport sector is the primary reason for the increase in the pollution level, which is aggravated by the use of diesel generators. In her opinion, Gurgaon is moving towards a situation that was faced by pre-CNG Delhi, when pollution levels became very high, and the City started to choke. It was only after judicial intervention that the authorities took notice of the evergrowing pollution in Delhi, and directed that all public transport should adopt A strategy that is being embraced across the world for the curbing of pollution and promotion of environmental friendly practices, is ‘Avoid, Shift and Improve’. Amit Bhatt, an urban expert, says that the primary goal under this strategy is to ‘avoid’ the use of personal vehicles like cars; ‘shift’ the people towards use of public transport; and ‘improve’ vehicle technology, fuel quality and pollution standards. “Our entire focus currently is on improving the technology of vehicles, fuel and related things; we have forgotten the first two principles”, says Bhatt

17-23 May 2013

Diesel To Dust CNG as a fuel. Experts however warn that the current policies and practices in Delhi, that promote the use of cars at the cost of public transport, will ensure that the share of public transport - which was 75 per cent in 2001 - will come down to 44 per cent by 2030. The situation in Gurgaon could be even worse, as the City has a nascent bus service, and depends on shared autos for last mile connectivity. The lack of walkways along the roads, no facilities for cycling, and no plan for non-motorised transport, means that alternative modes of travel are not even on the horizon. Bhawani Shankar Tripathy, of Mission Gurgaon Development, is very critical of the shared auto service in Gurgaon, and holds it

allows cars to zip on streets and roads that just divide two neighbourhoods. Even to buy milk people have to take recourse to cars - and this is where the change needs to happen”, she says. A concept like carpooling, which could save on fuel and cut down pollution, has also failed to take root in the City. There is also unabated construction, in both ‘Old’ and ‘New’ Gurgaon, despite natural resources like water, green cover, land and air being limited, feel residents. Colonel Sarvadaman Oberoi says that the government and builders are trying to build the City on a scale that is beyond its capacity. “The uncontrolled development will lead to pressure, and cause pollution

Health Impact of Smog and Air-pollution

Across the country there has been a shocking increase in pollution related diseases. A recent WHO report puts the number of deaths at 6,20,000 every year. Dr. Brahma Charan Saini, a City resident says, “There has been an appreciable increase in the incidence of allergies and asthmatic patients in the City in the last couple of years, due to an increase in vehicles as well as increased construction,” he says. Saini himself suffered an allergy due to the high incidence of dust particles in the air, as DLF Phase 1 saw increased construction. WHO experts warn that with an increase in pollution levels, there could be more serious consequences in the offing – especially with respect to asthma and heart failures. The WHO report says that air pollution induced premature deaths in India will rise. The majority of sufferers would be the urban poor, the children, the elderly, and patients having asthmatic and cardiac conditions. Children anyway have a much higher prevalence of respiratory problems, reduced lung function, and Attention Deficit Hyper Activity Disorders which is closely connected to children exposed to vehicular pollution. The increased toxicity in the environment could also increase the incidence of cancer, warn experts. responsible for the air pollution to a large extent. “These autos use kerosene instead of diesel as a fuel, which produces deadly chemicals - but there is no authority to check this violation. In the last 15 years pollution has increased in the City to multiple levels”, he says. Nargis, a resident of Palam Vihar, says that not owning a car or motorbike in Gurgaon is like handicapping oneself, as there is no safe, comfortable, reliable and affordable mode of public transport in the City. “If I have to go to IFFCO Chowk from here, I need to change autos multiple times. It would take me an hour to travel this distance – and also pay a high cost,” she says. Moreover, with the manner in which Gurgaon has planned its roads, open spaces, streets and public facilities, it is unlikely that people will give up cars in the near future. A recent study by CSE further warns about Ozone, a new pollutant, which exceeded the standard on all days last summer, in areas like Civil Lines, RK Puram, and the Airport (which lies close to Gurgaon). Ozone is formed when nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons in the air react under high temperature. The presence of Ozone can have serious health issues, as even a short duration exposure can lead to immediate repercussions, warn experts. Sarika Bhatt of Embarq India feels the government should provide attractive facilities and options to people, to wean them away from cars. Walking and cycling are considered unsafe, and anyway there are no footpaths and tracks for these activities. “No other city in the world

Haze, which is caused by a mix of dust particles and chemical pollutants like NOx, SO2, CO2, CO and Benzene, is a lethal cocktail – and all these ‘ingredients’ are present in Gurgaon's air, appreciably beyond ‘permissible’ limits. in the air, water and soil, which will be beyond redemption”, he says. Bhawani Shankar Tripathy alleges that building guidelines prescribed by the government are violated in the City wantonly, and this leads to multiple kinds of pollution. “The increasing dust in the City is caused by construction, movement of building material, and the deforestation of the Aravallis. There is need for the government to force builders to adopt green building practices, and to develop green belts and areas around construction sites”, he says. He warns that dust clouds, which till now have been seasonal, will soon assume permanence. A senior Pollution department official admits that the level of pollutants in Gurgaon is on the rise because of vehicles, construction activities, diesel generators and the use of chemicals in the industries. The NOx levels in particular are on the rise during the nights, he says, but asserts that the Department keeps a close watch on the industry and construction sites to ensure that they don’t violate rules. Swami Triveni, who is popular across Haryana for planting thousands of Peepal, Neem and Barh

C over S tory trees, says that people in the City will have to foster a community spirit, and increase the green cover. “The pollution here is so high that I don’t stay more than a couple of days. There is a strong need to revive the Aravallis, save the green belts and plant the traditional trees that had been a part of the local eco-system”, he suggests. While construction continues unabated, the State agencies are unable to provide power to more than the six hundred commercial and residential buildings, as well as thousands of industrial units in Udyog Vihar and Manesar. A majority of these complexes and units burn diesel in large generators, to meet their energy demands. This has led to the quality of air deteriorating in the City, observes Shubhra Puri of Gurgaon First. Towthirds of the power is being supplied through diesel gensets. “Burning diesel is not only expensive but also increases pollutants in the air - while causing noise pollution as well”, alleges Puri. She wants the State government to either subsidise solar power systems, or ensure that private trading exchanges can sell power to individual industries and condominiums that have a demand of more than 1 MW - as prescribed by the Electricity Act. Experts however say that despite this availability, the residents’ associations and industry can’t buy power, because adequate infrastructure is not available. Puri is also critical of the imported architecture and design principles that are in vogue in the Millennium City. “We have imported glass and chrome buildings, which are not suited to the weather here. These are western designs, which need heavy doses of air-conditioning during both summer and winter”, she says. Such buildings, despite becoming hallmarks of ‘New’ Gurgaon, have also become a burden on the City, as they are energy guzzlers. As per conservative estimates, around 1 lakh litres of diesel is burnt in Gurgaon every day, to meet the demand for power. The generator technology in India is also still far behind the Western countries. A number of urban planners and environment experts also believe that it is time for Gurgaon to have a fresh integrated Mobility plan, as the one that was devised five years ago has not been implemented. “A single Metro line does not mean public transport. Last mile connectivity is a major problem here, as is the safety and security on roads”, Shubhra asserts. She also wants the Town and Country Planning department to ensure that more mixed land use areas are developed in the City, so that people can live close to their work places, go to shop within walking distances, and avail different services near their homes. The lack of open spaces, parks and streets in Gurgaon is an alienating phenomenon, which forces the citizens to travel long distances in their cars - leading to more pollution. “We need people to walk and cycle, and switch to public transport. Only this will help curb pollution”, asserts Sarika Bhatt. A study by the students of Ansal School of Architecture revealed that the urban villages in Gurgaon had the most friendly mixed land use in the City; Contd on p 7 

17-23 May 2013

and this has meant that they have felt very little adverse impact on their environment and natural resources. The Study also revealed that their use of vehicles was also the least, as they could shop and access services within walking distances. A strategy that is being embraced across the world for the curbing of pollution and promotion of environmental friendly practices, is ‘Avoid, Shift and Improve’. Amit Bhatt, an urban expert, says that the primary goal under this strategy is to ‘avoid’ the use of personal vehicles like cars; ‘shift’ the people towards use of public transport; and ‘improve’ vehicle technology, fuel quality and pollution standards. “Our entire focus currently is on improving the technology of vehicles, fuel and related things; we have forgotten the first two principles”, says Bhatt.

To ensure that air pollution in the City does not go out of hand, experts suggest that the government should focus on building a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system like Delhi. Sarika Bhatt says that local conditions should be kept in mind while developing such a system. There is need to involve people, and consult them before launching a project on a He warns that dust clouds, which till now have been seasonal, will soon assume permanence large scale”, she says. In an earlier interview, A.P Jain, former Planning Commissioner of MCD had also said that congestion and pollution could be reduced if urban growth took place around transit corridors. To achieve this, the 2021 Delhi Master Plan envisages concentrated real estate development around Metro Cor-

A Close Shave

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon. com


hat started at the World Spa was repeated at Unitech’s Close North on Wednesday morning, as the Association of Apartment Owners decided to take over the Complex, citing continued poor maintenance services. High drama was witnessed when hundreds of residents formed a human chain in the morning, and asked the Unitech officials to adhere to the directions given by the Senior Town Planner’s office, and hand over security to them.  The residents alleged that, in a bid to control the main gate, the builder had brought in 'bouncers', which created some tension. Standing at the gate of the complex, Rajesh Kalra, a resident of Close North, said, “The security set up is not functioning and the control room is in a complete mess. The housekeeping is poor, and despite many promises, the builder has done nothing except delay the transfer of maintenance.” Residents, including senior citizens, said that they would not now allow entry to the builder, as they have suffered a lot for the last 5 years. In the month of April the Association had also started to collect the maintenance charges, thus signalling its intention to take over. Unitech’s Close North has 16 towers, of which 10 have been issued Occupation Certificates; the remaining six are awaiting

certification. Kalra says that despite having no Occupation Certificate, the builder has given possession of apartments in these towers, and is charging maintenance fees – which is illegal. “We have been discussing this issue with the authorities, and an understanding was also reached between the builder and residents over the transfer of security, housekeeping and horticulture,” he says. In a Memorandum of Understanding, which residents allege was created by Unitech unilaterally, the company had reiterated that it would hand over maintenance of only ten towers.   The Apartment Owners' Association however said that it was just another ploy to create a wedge between the residents. “How can a single complex have two maintenance agencies, two security agencies? This will lead to disaster,” says R.S Rathee of Gurgaon Citizens Council. In his opinion the residents should come together and put pressure


ridors, with an objective of bringing people closer to work and market places. Likewise, transit-oriented development in Gurgaon could ensure that spatial expansion takes place in a compact and sustainable manner, thus reducing urban sprawl, air pollution and high infrastructure costs. To wean people away from their cars, Sarika Bhat says that we need to improve the quality of the City Bus service. She suggests better routings, bus shelters and better passenger information systems. Gurgaon residents will also want to see a secure and permanent tenure of its service, before they think of switching. Unless the government, corporates and individual stakeholders take personal responsibility for the City, the decline of Gurgaon is imminent; and then, even if the gods descend from the heavens to try and save the City, they will lose their way in the poisonous haze that would have engulfed it. u on the builder to completely handover the maintenance in all spheres. Saurabh Shuka, President of the Apartment Owners Association, said that despite an agreement between the two sides for the handover of part of the services, the builder decided to formulate a one-sided Memorandum of Understanding. It was this that forced the residents to take action, as they realised that discussions and meetings were not taking them to any conclusion. A number of senior citizens keeping a vigil at the main gate said that they had decided to buy an apartment in Close North with high hopes, as they expected world class facilities from Unitech. “All our hopes have been belied, as the standard of construction, plumbing quality and electrical fixtures was not delivered as promised,” said J.K Jain, a resident. Residents claimed that most of the apartments suffered from severe seepage problems. Water leaks and seepage is maximum in the basement and ground floor, putting a PRAKHAR PANDEY

 Contd from p 6

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question mark on the security of the structure. The swimming pool in the Complex has been lying dry since inception, the inadequate Club House has serious flaws, and the air-conditioning system in the gym is non-functional. The commercial shops inside the Complex have been sold to outsiders, which is wrong say residents, adding that surface parking has also been sold to apartment owners in contravention of the law. The Close North residents were also peeved that the builder was in no mood to return their interest bearing security, which belongs to the residents’ association, as per the Haryana Apartment Act. An amount of Rs. 12 crores is lying with the builder, which urgently needs to

be given to the RWA, for requisite investments. Yashma Goel, a resident, said that it was high time the builders realised that they should make good their promises, and also exit at an appropriate time, so that relations remain amicable. Unitech said that they had followed the guidelines of the Senior Town Planner, and as per his advice carried out meetings with the RWA, and prepared an MOU. Unitech said that the RWA should adhere to the directives issued by the STP. While the builder maintains that they wish to resolve the issues amicably, it is clear that residents in Gurgaon are now no more ready to silently suffer at the hands of developers. It is high time that the government and the real estate developers realise that times have changed, warned a resident. u

08 { Anita Jaswal }


eyond the science and statistics of childhood sickness are the remarkable stories of some young patients - whose courageous spirit inspires us every day. Arunima Jain, a survivor of an ArterioVenous Malformation (AVM) is an extraordinary 11-year-old who today sings, dances, cooks and bakes.

What is AVM?

Normally, our arteries  carry blood, containing oxygen, from the heart to the brain; and veins carry blood, with less oxygen, away from the brain and back to the heart. When an  ArterioVenous Malformation occurs, a tangle of blood vessels in the brain, or on its surface, bypasses the normal brain tissue and directly diverts blood from the arteries to the veins. It is rare for someone in their pre-teens to have an AVM - that can have devastating effects if it begins to bleed. In all probabbility the AVM had existed in Arunima’s brain for many years. She was fortunate to have received

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The Dance Of Life

superb health care from doctors at the Paras Hospital, from Neurosurgeon Dr. V.S Mehta and his team. In January 2012, the AVM in Arunima’s brain began to bleed, causing exaggerated symptoms for the first time. She says, “I woke up with my head hurting really badly. My mom gave me some Tylenol and told me to lie down. I lay down for 10 minutes, and when I woke up the room was spinning. My head was pounding - I threw up. I managed to yell for my mom. The last thing I remember was my mom running to get her slippers. She carried me to the car and took me to the nearest hospital.” An MRI revealed that Arunima was experiencing serious bleeding in the brain. The AVM, only one to two centimetres in diameter, was large enough to be life-threatening. After spending two weeks in the hospital, Arunima was able to go home. Arunima says, “Everyone was so nice there. They would say,

you’re so brave!” Arunima was advised a Gamma Knife surgery (an advanced non-invasive surgery), keeping her age in mind. The surgery took place at AIIMS. Arunima went through difficult adjustments in her dayto-day life. It was critical that no sudden movement cause the AVM to begin bleeding again. “When I was released from the hospital, they gave me infor-

Modelling Values { Savita Bawa }


uring the last Parent Teacher Meeting a parent told me that her son was always watching TV. Another parent said that his daughter was not fond of reading. Still another confided in me, and discussed at length all the changes that were coming in the thinking and personality of his child. The problems varied, but every parent looked at me expectantly, as if I, the teacher, had a magical wand to set everything right. These parents expressed their own helplessness, yet had the desire to see a positive change in their children. Back home I started thinking: do I really influence the lives of young adolescents so much? Why did the parents have such faith in me? I decided to observe my own behaviour for a period of time. I became mindful of my words and actions. I was conscious that children learn more by what they see, than what they hear. I may be able to escape the eagle eyes of my Principal... but never my of students. I feel like a magician performing live on the stage every day. I decided to make a concerted attempt to not only teach, but inculcate good values in the students, so that they grew up to become sensible and responsible citizens. I utilised Arrangement Periods, and took some time from my regular classes to inter act with students – trying to help them unfold. Narrating personal experiences and anecdotes, and then relating them to class lessons, served a very useful purpose.

Appreciation and words of encouragement became important aids. I pledged not to lose my temper, always encouraged and motivated the students, wrote positive remarks in their note books, and gave them the confidence that they were improving. I gave them the assurance that if they showed signs of improvement they would be suitably rewarded. The small steps I took were not anything unique or difficult, but I made them my habit. I set a personal example, and practiced what I wanted my students to learn. It became obvious soon that all students wanted to learn the English language well, and also groom their personalities. They understood that language would enable them to explore job opportunities, and raise their selfesteem. They did take the small steps.

mation about what I could and couldn’t do,” she says. “I wasn’t allowed to do anything that would cause my brain to be active. I couldn’t do a cartwheel, play any game, or work out. It was torture. It was horrible.” What is it like to see your child go through a life-threatening illness? Her family spent a lot of time researching the disease, investigating treatment options, and ultimately preparing for the complicated surgery. Now we live more in the moment,” says Deepali, Arunima’s mother.To those families who may face a challenge like Arunima’s, she offers these words of advice: “Stay strong and continue to believe.” The most difficult part of this journey has been the fact that her daughter did not seem, or look, sick. “What was going on inside her body was just not visible”, says Deepali. “This experience has made our family stronger, and more aware of how precious life is.”

I continued to show them the way. Children become what they live with. Their experiences at home and school give them the foundation to build their lives. Hence it is very important for the teacher to possess all those virtues that she wants her students to have. In order to teach patience, sincerity and diligence, the teacher must practice these qualities. Positive reinforcement is a miraculous tool that guarantees improvement in a student. A pat on the back, or light humour in the class, works wonders. I believe in the maxim: I can do it, I will do it. I agree that the modern scenario is not very encouraging and motivating. There is a rapid deterioration of values among the students. The ill-effects of media, wide spread negativity in the society, the influence of some 'negative' friends, and of course the fact that many students do not respect their parents and teachers, are grave issues that need to be urgently addressed. I strongly believe that if we become role models to our students, and empathise with them, we will certainly command respect. All is not yet lost. There are still a number of students who value the advice of their teachers, and look up to them for direction. As a teacher I must recognise that the immature young students are sometimes quite confused and muddle-headed. They test the teacher on her patience and knowledge. However, if the teacher remains true and firm, the students soon learn to obey. There is a need to sensitize adolescents, and develop commitment in them, so that their sometimes hateful behaviour diminishes significant-

“Dr. Mehta told us that she wouldn’t have to worry about the AVM again, although she would need check-ups and monitoring. She is our 'Miracle Child’, and we are blessed every day just to have her with us. We know for sure that Dr.Mehta was sent by God. We have come to truly appreciate life, and stop questioning why. She is such a blessing,” adds Deepali. “I've learned that you have to expect a miracle... you can't just pray for it. Every day is a new beginning, and I've learned how to look for the "good" in every new day. This chapter in our life has been an immense learning. I am thankful that Arunima could return to dancing, running, singing, baking cakes – and playing cricket with the boys!” Arunima is enjoying being with her friends again, and looking forward to joining the 7th Grade. She also had a Bharatnatyam performance organised by her dance school this month Arunima’s dream is to be a dancer some day. Her mother’s dream for her is that she simply lives a long, happy and healthy life. u

ly. The climate of a school encourages expression, enquiry and dialogue; and therefore it becomes my sacred duty to inculcate a sense of duty, tolerance and mutual respect among my students, and help them stand morally upright. C. S. Lewis said, “Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.” Children pick up values from different sources – like home, friends, school, neighbourhood, and religious places. Each source leaves its indelible impression on their vulnerable minds. Being a teacher, I can help my students choose what is right and beneficial for them. Experience has also taught me that most of the children can be easily tamed. A tall, well- built child, who appears to be very rough and tough from the outside, may actually be very insecure at heart. An aggressive young adult also appreciates the compassionate attitude of a teacher. Since we, the teachers, deal with young lives, we cannot just ignore them and let society degrade further. A school plays a pivotal role in the development of a healthy personality in a child, and the responsibility of a teacher can not be underestimated. A school remains the extended arm of the family, and a teacher the guardian. While we must not expect miracles over night, I have the indomitable conviction that if I do justice to my profession I too will reap benefits: contentment in my personal life and an opportunity to live in a better society; and where my students have grown up to become dynamic leaders, policy makers and honest human beings – commanding respect from one and all. u PGT English, Kendriya Vidyalaya, JNU

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Privileged Gurukul { Shilpy Arora / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon .com


etermination is the key to success. No matter how difficult the path seems, our determination is the source of the strength that helps us move on in life. This comes through in the story of a group of children from Badshahpur village. Rahina (name changed) was in Class Sixth when her parents asked her to drop out of the local Government School. For a year she sat at home, and learnt cooking and other household chores. But she wanted to get back to school. “In our village, co-education is frowned upon. Many girls are asked to leave their studies as soon as they attain puberty. They are told to take care of their younger siblings and manage the home,” she says. Fortunately, Rahina has now enrolled for the classes run by Apni Pathshala. She is taught by a group of young working professionals. “It feels so good to get back to studies. The volunteers of Apni Pathshala had a tough time convincing my parents to let me study further,” she smiles. Another student, Shanaz, had also left her studies, as there was no one at home to take care of her siblings. “When my mother gave birth to my seventh sibling, I was asked to leave studies and take care of him. For six months I was at home. I couldn’t play with children of my age, as I was responsible for all the household chores. I am glad that the volunteers of Apni Pathshala made my parents understand the importance of further studies.” Fatima sometimes brings her siblings to the Centre, as there is nobody at home to look after them. The NGO welcomes the younger kids; as it helps the whole family learn together. Apni Pathshala is a registered NGO that facilitates education for 5 to

17 years old children, who are living in the villages of the City. The noble initiative to teach dropouts and underprivileged started in 2009. Today, the NGO supports over 150 students, at 3 different centres – one at Badshapur and two in Fazilpur village. More than 25 of these students have done well enough to be admitted to the Delhi Public School, Sector 45, and Delhi Public School, Maruti Shiksha Kendra.

The Vision

“If education is set right, everything else will follow,” believed Late Dr. Devendra Kumar Sundd, who laid the foundation of Apni Pathshala. The NGO was initially funded by him and his friends, to support the education of economically backward children. He encouraged people to associate with the NGO – even those who were not able to offer any financial help. Today,

Our young generation most needs somebody who can listen to them, Dr. Singh.

many working professionals are working as volunteers at Apni Pathshala. They spend time at the Centres and teach the kids. Aditi Prakash, a young artist, has been donating a percentage of all her artworks to the NGO. She says, “Whenever I am sad, I go there, because I find peace. I enjoy talking to the young kids, and hearing their future plans.” Dr. Singh, President of Apni Pathshala, says, “For the underprivileged children it is not enough to just provide them education; they also need to be listened to well, and counselled,” she says. She reaches out to kids

who sometimes just need to talk. She often hosts meetings where teenagers come together and share their experiences on relationships, friendships and financial issues. “Our young generation most needs somebody who can listen to them,” says Dr. Singh. She feels that the underprivileged children need early counselling, as they are sometimes exposed to violence and crime at a relatively younger age. A volunteer, Babli, who teaches English at a Centre, says, “I do believe that these children deserve the same childhood that we have enjoyed. And when I found an NGO doing this job, I thought that I should also join”. She teaches English through stories, poems and interesting interactive games. Vikas, an IT professional, believes that along with education, character-building is also important. He spends a couple of hours every weekend at the Centre, to impart value education to children studying in the junior classes. He says, “We have to go back to the ‘Gurukul’ model of education. The pity is that even in earlier times it was only offered to the children of the rich and affluent. We should also teach integrity, family values and the importance of hard work to the underprivileged kids, as they form a large part of our young generation.

obstacles and am determined to achieve something in life,” says Mehak, a confident female student. The NGO also provides computer education for the underprivileged children and women. “We believe that computers are an integral part of today’s education, and can be an effective tool in upgrading the economic status of the underprivileged,” says Dr. Singh.

Masti ki Pathshala

The students are encouraged to participate in various creative fields - such as writing, painting, craft and singing. Various vocational training courses in the field of dairy farming, tailoring, computers and horticulture are also offered to the children as well as their mothers.

The most challenging task for the volunteers of Apni Pathshala was to make the parents understand the importance of sending their children, especially girls, to the School. “Parents are still sceptical about sending their kids. Many times they ask questions like, “why are you taking such pains and teaching our children for free?” The fact is that education is their best bet, for living a better life tomorrow,” says Dr. Singh. Another challenge was how to spread awareness about health and nutrition among the children, as well as the parents. “We organize health camps, cleanliness drives and awareness campaigns, to make the parents aware about the health of their children,” informs one of the volunteers. Ensuring an education to the younger generation is not only the responsibility of our government; this responsibility lies with all of us. The desired change in the lives of underprivileged children will come only when more privileged people, wishing to bring about change, take active part start in finding practical solutions for the underprivileged children. (Names of students have been changed on request)u

Higher Education

The NGO also helps students to get registered for the secondary courses of the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS). The complete expenses for these courses are borne by Apni Pathshala Foundation. “I never thought that I would attend college. Now I want to complete my Bachelors and get a good job. Before coming to Apni Pathshala, I had never stepped outside Fazilpur Village alone. Now I want to go to Mumbai to pursue my higher education. I have overcome many

A tractor, donated by SURGE, was handed over to the NGO, Uthaan at Sector 29. The key of the machine was handed over by Maheshwar Dayal, Joint Chief Commissioner, Gurgaon Police. Uthaan plans to utilise the tractor in the Park between Aya Nagar and Aralias.


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Student Mentors { Shilpy Arora / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon. com


orn and brought up in a small village of Mewat, Rachna (name changed) never knew the importance of washing one’s hands before having a meal. “Yes, it is written in my book – but I don’t know why it should be done,” she says. 15-year-old Rachna had never heard of sanitary pads in her village. Only once had she spoken to her mother about menstruation, as the issue remains taboo with even mothers. A small district in Haryana, parts of Mewat are situated some 10 km away from the City. The muddy roads, noisy cattle and the playful kids make the village seem like any other. But a closer look at the society reveals the ultra-conservative side of it. No girl is allowed to speak to a boy, even in their own family. They feel shy while talking about even some basic issues like toilets and menstruation. To help make a difference, two students of Shri Ram School, Moulsari Avenue, Shranya and Sarthak, have taken on a challenging job. Every week they visit schools in Mewat and spend time with the children, to teach them some basic things about health and sanitation. “A conservative mindset and age-old beliefs and superstitions, especially towards girls, were what I wanted to work on,” says Shranya. Interestingly, the 16-year-old has developed the ‘Mewat Redevelopment and Education Programme’, a school rehabilitation and community development programme for backward communities in Mewat. Recently, Shranya and Sarthak have been facilitated with the 3rd Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards. Shranya and her team started off by meeting and interacting with various students of four local schools. They discussed the problem of sanitation, and the health issues that the poor living conditions had triggered in the District. Weekly visits to these schools helped the students understand various aspects of these problems. As part of the initiative, Shranya and her friends taught the kids various subjects such as English and Science; but most importantly educated them on health and sanitation, waste management and environmental well-being. All this has been done under the guidance of the Shriram Foundation, which encourages students of the Shri Ram School to work with children living in remote areas. The Foundation

genuinely believes that such children are not different from their city counterparts, so they should get similar education and exposure.

Making a Difference

“I was so surprised when the students displayed their deep knowledge about environmental sanitation. They earmarked a corner of the classrooms to showcase the importance of menstrual hygiene. They also ensure that their classrooms and the school are kept clean,” says Usha Rani, one of the teachers at Mewat. The students are acting as change agents in the District. They bring to light any ‘wrong’ practices with regard to hygiene behaviour – such as children not cleaning the latrine after usage, in both their school as well as at home. As most of the lessons are taught with the help of interesting games and skits, the local students eagerly wait for Shranya and her team every Friday. “While girls help their parents in managing the house, the boys work with their fathers after school. They don’t have time to play, or watch TV. Therefore we decided to make their lessons at school more interesting. Now nobody is absent from school on Fridays. A teacher informed us that the schools have now been recoding full attendance on Fridays, as the children love

to spend time with us. We were so touched to know that,” says Sarthak.


Getting children to open up to them was the major challenge faced by Shranya and Sarthak. “It took us quite a long time to make the girls open up to us. They were not used to sitting with boys. They would never answer any questions. They were very disciplined and well-mannered though,” informs Shranya. However, after a couple of visits, the girls started responding, and opened up on various issues they face in their village – especially regarding water and sanitation. Sarthak feels that effective time utilisation was another challenge. “To tackle this is-

Dil Maange More

{ Sujata Goenka }


am a street food lover. I have often lamented that the builders in this new Millennium City have made sure that there is no space for street food hawkers. Fast food Indian style - is still essential to an Indian lifestyle. Burgers and pizzas are fine, but are often ‘bland’ for our fiery taste buds. Once you have tasted the street aloo tikki - especially in a place like old Delhi - you will forget a burger. I have, after a long search, discovered a place in ‘old’ Gurgaon, for satisfying my urge for chat-patta food. KDH, which sells excellent tikkis, is tucked away in a corner of the Old Railway Line Road. It is a small shop, and one can easily miss it. The tawa for the tikki is fired at 4.30 pm. There is then a sudden emergence of a crowd. A plate contains two pieces of tikki and a generous helping of chatni and chhole. The size of the tikki is large, and it is stuffed with vegetables. Yes, it is a killer on the diet plan, but is too good to turn down. If you come here after six, you will return empty handed. Even the samosas will leave you craving for more – than one. Not to worry, a plate serves two large ones - with chhole if you like. The menu card also mentioned kulfi and dahi bhalla. I tried the dahi bhallas, to check for their softness. Not bad, but the dahi did not match up to Natraj at Chandi Chowk. This place needs to be visited often. If you are planning a tea party be sure to make the effort to get the food from KDH. I can promise you that your guests will leave gratified. I will certainly plan another trip, this time with friends - to share the joy of having piping hot tikkis, with chatni and dahi to match. u

sue, we now encourage more children from our school to accompany us. Presently, over 85 Shri Ram children visit various schools in Mewat,” he says. Shranya and her team follow strict rules on their dress code. Girls wear a Salwar Suit, while boys wear simple Kurta Payjamas. “We have told all the team members to wear simple clothes, and no jewellery. It is important to make the local children feel comfortable, and give them a sense of ‘equality’,” she believes. When asked about the linguistic barrier, she informs, “Thankfully we have never faced any issue as far as language is concerned. We attended special Hindi classes, to impart lessons properly in the rural areas. However, we have realised that now even rural children easily understand simple English.”

Other Issues

Apart from education and health, a small district like Mewat needs infrastructural de-

velopment. During the rainy season, the roads turn slippery as grease. It is difficult to walk or ride a vehicle. Besides, shortage of water is another issue. “I am glad that the children in Mewat understand the importance of water conservation, because they know how water shortage affects their lives. Children living in cities can learn a lot from them. The locals conserve water via pits and wells, and also utilise it in an optimum manner,” feels Shranya. She strongly feels that ‘rain dance’ parties should be banned in the City. Sharing knowledge means sharing your wisdom with someone else. The society can prosper only if people from all walks of life are willing to share their knowledge with each other. Shranya and Sarthak firmly believe so. “Once you share, you want to share forever – and also act. It is an effective way to make a difference in both the rural and urban societies – and especially for girls,” says Shranya. u





To Advertise

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17-23 May 2013

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hat makes Gurgaon One different from other condominiums is its vast green canopy and its exclusive Club. More than 30 per cent of the area has been earmarked for roads and parks. “It was planned some six years ago. The first residents were mostly senior government officials. However, the Colony is now home to professionals like doctors, engineers and software professionals,” informs Ramesh, who settled down in the condominium in 2007. In 2010, the Condo was adjudged one of the best colonies in the City. Talking about the Award, an active RWA member says, “It is the collective effort of the residents staying here that made it possible. Some residents have constructed rainwater harvesting pits in their compounds. We don’t face water scarcity in the summer.” There are four parks in the Colony, including one for children, that has a lot of playing equipment. The Club, already offering multiple facilities, has now planned an open theatre. Access to the core areas of the City is one of the advantages en-

Premier Estate

Prakhar PANDEY

{ Shilpy Arora / FG }

joyed by the residents. Gurgaon One has proximity to various educational institutions, the highway and markets. “Gurgaon One has easy and close connectivity with Delhi, and the International airport is ‘just across’, ” adds a resident. The Condominium refreshingly provides a green cover near the industrial area of Udyog Vihar. Attracted by the ambience and greenery, scores of people from outside the Condominium come to Gurgaon One for their morning walks, and sometimes for get-togethers at the parks.

The CNG pump so close to the residential area is also a constant threat. A housewife, Shweta, says, “The Station is less than 10 metres away from our apartment. Air pollution from the pump poses a danger to my children’s health. My younger son is an Asthma patient. His doctor says that his condition will worsen if we continue to stay here for another two or three years. We are planning to move to a good condominium in ‘New’ Gurgaon.” Gurgaon One is one of the few condominiums in the City where people not only seem to appreciate the work done by the RWA, but also by the builder. “The real estate company handed over the maintenance of the building to the RWA within the stipulated time. We didn’t have to fight for it,” says Suresh, one of the residents.  Residents of Gurgaon One have also made sure that the EWS homes are properly managed, and sold to the right candidates. “When the Condominium was constructed,

The Lost Connection { Maninder Dabas/ FG }

write to us at


PG is fast becoming obsolete, with PNG (Piped Natural Gas) taking over as a premium fuel for cooking in the first tier cities of India. It has been quite a while (2008) since the City was shown the dream of being fully PNG-equipped. The State government provided the Haryana City Gas Distribution Ltd (HCGDL) an opportunity to provide PNG facility to the residents of Gurgaon. The first goal of HCGDL was to convert at least 15,000 kitchens to PNG in a year; but there are only around 4,500 families today (after 4 years) which have PNG connection in their kitchens. In the last 5 months 1,500 families have been added. “At present we

have about 6000 registrations (including the 4,500 connections). I hope that the remaining connections would be given very soon,” said a top official in HCGDL. “Areas where we have given the majority of the connections are Sectors 43, 55 and 56; and now our target sector is 54. Sector-54 has many group housing societies. We have given connection to the majority of the households in condominiums. Plotted colonies are still using LPG, as the laying of infrastructure is much costlier, and difficult to maintain. The risk of wear and tear is more. In condominiums, after laying the infrastructure till the colony gates, we get a ready-made infrastructure inside. For plotted houses, the whole lane or colony will have to take the connection,” said the official. HCGDL has one mother PNG pump in Sector-29, from where all the lines have been laid in the above mentioned sectors. u

we ensured that the EWS section was constructed properly, and applications from the ‘right’ candidates were invited. After all, the EWS homes have been made for our service staff. We have to deliver them the best to receive the best service from them,” feels another resident. The builder ensured that applications were invited from only the BPL population of the City. Gurgaon One offers unmatched sports facilities and amenities – such as a Cricket pitch, a Volleyball court, a Tennis court, a Basketball area, a Jogging track and a Kids play area. Besides, the Condo has “The Health Club”, that offers a Sauna and Steam bath, a Gymnasium, an open Swimming pool, a small splash pool for children and a Squash court. The Club also has Badminton courts.

Traffic Menace

Despite the Condominium being centrally located, residents often complain of problems while crossing the road in front, because of the traffic congestion stemming


from the rush at the CNG station next door. The traffic starts piling up early morning, blocking the service lanes as well as the roadsides, which in turn results in the choking of the entire stretch. Even the school buses, for the children of residents, stop on the other side of the road, posing a significant threat to the children as they cross the very busy ‘Old Delhi’ Road. Although the RWA has deployed additional security guards to ensure easy entry and exit to the Complex, it doesn’t seem to work well. “The issue is that people don’t listen to the security personnel. They have to understand the neither the RWA nor a civic body can perform well without their co-operation,” says one of the RWA members. Some residents feel that there is a need to erect some barricades, to ensure a proper flow of traffic, and to avoid a wrong side entry on to the road. “The civic agencies should do the needful; they can’t pass the buck on to the residents,” says Khurana, a 51-year-old resident. He also says that there is a dire need to re-construct speed breakers on the stretch – they were removed a few weeks ago. u

Maruti Suzuki Donates Ambulances To Civil Hospital


aruti Suzuki India Limited, India’s largest car manufacturer, donated four Eeco Ambulances to the Civil Hospital as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility activities. The Eeco Ambulances will be used by the State Government hospital, for the benefit of patients and the community. The vehicles were handed over by S.Y Siddiqui, Chief Operating Officer (Admin), Maruti Suzuki, to Civil Surgeon Dr. B.K Rajora, Civil Hospital. P.C Meena, Deputy Commissioner, was amongst the senior State administration officials who graced the ceremony. Speaking on the occasion, S.Y Siddiqui, said: “Maruti Suzuki pro-actively undertakes social activities for the benefit of the local community. We believe that, in partnership with the community and government agencies, we can effectively increase the reach of social activities to a much larger population. Maruti Suzuki will continue to engage with the local community and work for their benefit.” In line with the specific needs assessed through community interface, Maruti Suzuki has outlined its programme for villages surrounding its Gurgaon and Manesar plants. These programmes give specific attention to education, infrastructure improvements, health and sanitation. u


K id C orner

17-23 May 2013


Kids Brainticklers

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

Literary Flourish

My First Step Towards Literacy Drive

L Artistic Strokes

Karishma Singla, VI, MRIS

Inayat Pahuja, Pathways World School

ast week I got an opportunity to teach a few children from poor families in Himachal Pradesh. I had visited Solan during my holidays. My grandmother took me to village in a town called Jabli. I met a few Nepalese families. They were poor and worked in fields. They were not able to send their children to school. I met five girls, named Komal, Lalita, Kavita, Sita and Geeta. They had attended classes till the second standard, but after that they were forced to work in the fields. As I was there for three weeks I decided to teach them. My grandmother encouraged me to take my first step towards Literacy Drive. Every day I used to teach them for two hours. The girls were very intelligent and picked up things very fast. I taught them Maths, basic English and Hindi. They were very happy. My grandmother gifted them some books to help them practice the things I had taught them. After three weeks I returned and felt a wonderful satisfaction of having helped illiterate poor girls. That was the time when I realised the importance of teaching, and understood the meaning of the slogan that my grandmother used to tell me now and then: “Each One Teach One� MADIHA BAKSHI, VI A

K id C orner

17-23 May 2013



A Grand Competition

rganised on the occasion of the Mother’s Day, Kids Fancy Dress Competition evoked tremendous response of over 80 children all across the City. Mothers vied with each other to dress up their tiny tots as Rowdy Rathore, Gabar Singh, Ravan, Punjabi Kudi, and Fisherwoman. Judges were renowned jewellery designer, Monica Kapur, Owner of stanley Boutique, Sumit Sahni, and Owner of Mystique Art, Sumit Sharma. “It is so difficult for us to choose the winners. All children performed very well. It was good to see high level of competition among tiny tots,” says one of the judges, Jewellery Designer, Monica Kapur. Ohana, Kanika, Rudrani, and Drishti were given the title of Ms. Grand Mall and Tribhav and Adharv were given the title of Mr. Grand Mall. The competition was presented by The Grand Mall and the gifts were sponsored by Landmark.


Space, the Ryan Frontier


ver 300 students of Ryan International School, Sector 40, attended an educational Workshop on Astronomy and Space, in association with Science Popularization Association of Communications and Educators (SPACE), in the School premises. The students were taught about rocket science and the concept behind rocket trajectory, and were introduced to aerodynamics. The students received a kit, which included a Stomp rocket launcher, and a Do-ItYourself rocket with a user manual. The delighted students made their rockets, and launched them.

A Montessori Gift for Mother

Home Away From Home


tudents of Montessori I to IV, American Public School, participated in several activities to mark the occasion of Mother’s Day. Activities included making hand-printed cards, and necklaces out of pasta – for their mothers.

one are the days when pre-schools were run by untrained ladies in an unoccupied room, with a few tiny sober-coloured chairs and tables. Today, the phenomenon of pre-schooling has undergone a huge change. Now there is more space, fewer students, world-class facilities, and they offer modern teaching methodologies. Medhaam is one of the few pre-schools in the City that provides contemporary infrastructure while keeping in mind the need for personalised care and attention. World-class facilities Medhaam is the only pre-school in the City to offer Soft Gymnasium, Soft Play Zone, Creative Zone, Block and Construction Zone, Music, Dance and Story Zone, and Home and Imagination Zone. It also offers 24x7 CCTV surveillance, freshly cooked meals, safety gates, medical facilities, and e-learning facilities. Children play in open green spaces and thus communicate with nature well. The outdoor play equipment includes slides, climbers, tree house, balance beams, swings, sandpit, bike track, and water fun area that challenge as well as support children’s attempts to explore and develop their skills and an auditorium to showcase their potential and talent. Recently, Medhaam has introduced Tablab-based Learning for toddlers. Interestingly, through Tablab a child can learn in a fun way, with the help of games and other interactive digital medium. The technology truly makes a child smarter and the results can be seen within just two weeks. Best Teaching Methodologies The pre-school combines the best teaching methods from various philosophies so that kids can learn and have fun. The staff works on a philosophy 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. Lessons are given on individual basis or in small groups. This enables the teacher to discover more about child and his/her inner development. Not just teachers, but the whole staff is trained to ensure that every child receives individual care and attention. A Home Away from Home, Medhaam is a place where children can have fun and make learning a joyful and exciting experience of their life. Address: C Block, Near Rakshak Apartments, South City-1, Gurgaon,
Haryana 122 007 Phone: 9899775770/ 08826433900/0124-4379900 E mail: Website:

14 Lens Learning


17-23 May 2013

Ryan International School, Sohna Road

he media initiative of the Ryan International Group of Institutions imparts formal training to young student journalists (age group 11 to 21), for a TV News Presentation and Production Course, entitled ‘BBN’ or Beyond Breaking News. The students have to undergo training in fully equipped studios in the Mumbai and Bangalore School branches. Twenty students (Arnab Sagar, Paavan Taneja, Anubhav Swamy, Gayatri Agarwal, Sanyukta Malkani, Kritika Sharma, Keshav Raghav, Kartik Sharma, Prajjwal Kaul, Sonali Pahuja, Riya Sharma, Diksha Sagar, Akshita Joshi, Pankaj Verma, Abhimanyu Rao, Pratibha Sharma, Yukti Sharma, Radhika Singla, Angela Braru and Amit Rainiwal) of Ryan International School, Sohna Road, successfully completed their BBN course, where the students got a chance to experience the life of a journalist and what goes on behind the camera.

K id C orner

Active Ryanites


other’s Day was celebrated at the School premises. Students of Grade VI recited poems composed by them. This was followed by an IntraClass Jam Session by the students of Grade VII. An Intra-Class Turn Coat activity was organised by the students of Grade VIII. The participants were judged by the parents on the basis of the content, presentation and confidence.

Summer Camp


hiranjiv Bharati School Pre-Primary Wing is holding a Summer Camp to beat the heat. Students from Pre-Nursery to Class II have already joined the summer fun wagon. The children are spoilt for choice with numerous activities planned daily. They include games like water table, fishing game, puddle fun, frog race, walnut boats, hopper balls, water guns and balloon cricket. In paper craft, the children are trying their hand at origami and papier maché objects. Other craft activities include making colourful party hats, puppets and glow-in-thedark paintings. New experiences like making toys, piggy-in-the-bank, parrot-in-the cage and paper plate magnet fun are also on offer. Children are painting, kneading, cutting, folding and decorating different objects each day, and having fun doing so. The theatre and drama activities are helping the tiny tots to build their confidence, while enhancing their personalities.3D movies and interactive Touch Tables have added a unique and entertaining in-depth learning experience.

‘Open’ Love For Mothers


tudents of Open Sky School celebrated Mother’s Day with several activities, to express love and appreciation for their mothers. The Event began with a special skit organised by the students, which was followed by a dance performance that reflected the different facets of motherhood. Mothers also participated in various competitions – like walking the ramp, fireless cooking, flower arrangement and rangoli making. The Programme ended with a motivating speech by Asha Sharma, President, SDAV Society.

Gurugram Gets Sporty Apples of Moms’ Eyes


he tiny tots at Apple Blossom (a pre-primary School) celebrated Mother’s Day in a unique way. The children, along with their mothers, began the celebrations with an ‘abhishek’ – with their ‘thalis’. This was followed by an enactment, depicting a mother’s love. The children also prepared coconut ladoos. The Programme ended with the crowning ceremony, wherein the kids crowned their mothers with specially decorated crowns. The mothers as well as the children enjoyed the fun-filled special day.


urugram Public School (GPS) organised its annual Sports Day. Arjuna awardee and Captain Indian Olympic Hockey team 1984, Dr. Zafar Iqbal, graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. The Programme began with a traditional floral welcome and the lighting of the lamp, followed by a March Past. Managing Trustee, Padmashri Dr. R.S Lugani and Principal Nandita Dasgupta addressed the guests and children. Performances at the Event included a Swagatam dance, Waka Waka, a Haryanvi dance and an Aerobics show. Sports included Chati races, Skipping and 4x100 m Relay races.

17-23 May 2013

Aekla Cholo Re { Dr. Rajesh Bhola }

should the seeker of enlightenment do? I often tell parents of the specially challenged children that they have perhaps been given an other Earth provides us plenty. opportunity to not only help their own But this beautiful life is also children, but also many others in pain full of hardships. Life is not and misery. It is when the pain is uneasy; pain and suffering are part bearable, the turmoil most piercing, of our lives. In each of our stories, and the hardship insurmountable, there is adversity - which, at times, that enlightenment breaks through. is terrible. However, we can try It takes a long time to redeem one’s to lead a spirited life – especially soul. Each individual tries to learn from in the way we face the hardships. his or her own experiences, which come Facing hardships and adversity is by facing one’s own suffering, and learning purely an individual experience – like the profound lessons that sufferenlightenment. Aekla Cholo ing has to teach. The lessons are Re, a Bengali patriotic song Cosmic consciousness splits about letting go; not holding written by Rabindra Nath itself into individuals, like a ray on to desire, but letting it go. Tagore, exhorts the listener to of light becoming multiple when Whenever we hold a sense of lead his/her journey alone – if self, the suffering increases. need be. it passes through a prism. One When we let it go, the self vanWhen we come into this cosmic consciousness is divided ishes, and suffering dissolves world we are single. We come into multiple forms of the universe, into lightness, ease and peace. without any baggage and and each individual consciousness In our new knowledge we belongings. Gradually, we thinks of itself as an individual. then experience the most prostart weaving a cobweb of It is a simultaneous awareness of found joy. In our loneliness we attachments and intricate all the parts. This is why some find ourselves in communion relationships. Finally the time philosophers say that the world with all beings - everywhere.u comes to leave this world - and is the body of God. The cosmic yet again we are left without consciousness, which is also relationships. In the march of Dr. Rajesh Bhola is President of time, kingdoms perish, empires called the consciousness of God, Spastic Society of Gurgaon and is fall. The rich and famous, holding working for the cause of children feels the universe as its own body, high power and influence, also with autism, cerebral palsy, and the individuals as parts of become dust. For some time the mental retardation and multiple that one body. illusion and delusion of social disabilities for more than 20 years. relations makes us feel safe and secure. But the security of relationships is just a barter arrangement, created on the basis of a mutual interdependence of contemporary counterparts. Who is a friend and who a relative? Who does actually want us? Perhaps we are always alone psychologically. In the cosmic arrangement everything is interlinked, and serves a purpose. There is no such thing as a small act and a big act - even our smallest act is a whole act. Each act contributes to the bigger purpose of a whole. Though we are the masters of ourselves, yet we have to learn how to tune ourselves to the requirements of existence as a whole. We tune our personality, our existence, to the totality of existence. What we call happiness, satisfaction or joy is an adjustment of ourselves to a condition that is prevailing A masterpiece of music outside. We will not have satisfaction unless we are so


Be An Orchestra

adjusted; and only then can our family also be welladjusted. A few individuals staying together become a family; all families living together become humanity - a consciousness. This is not religion, this is not spirituality, this is not any kind of esoteric doctrine, but a scientific fact of the law of nature - that everything is cohesive and together; so that each one is everything and everything is each one. That is what is known as universal consciousness. The whole play is of consciousness; we cannot exist outside consciousness. What we are is what our mind thinks, and it is consciousness that operates the whole system. We may exist for a very short span, but our consciousness continues to exist. If each individual, a particle of this consciousness, is filled with inner peace, we will have a completely peaceful atmosphere around. Peace is an outcome of the adjustment of the individual to the inextricably connected cosmic whole. Unless we are friendly with the whole cosmos, we cannot have peace of mind. When, as an individual, our sense of self lessens, we become less selfish, and less self-centered. We begin to feel the suffering of others. Boundaries disappear, and we tend to the needs of others as if they were our own. Gradually, the delicate art of caring and loving - without possessing - surfaces, and becomes apparent. There comes a growing sense of oneness, of communion with all. What

100 instruments playing at once, No one competes No one defeats. They all play their single piece Their single instrument, At the right time On the right queue. In synergy, in tune With one another, As one big team Each enhancing the other By playing just his role Perfectly, patiently, pleasantly, Concentrating on his skill Focusing on his part, Looking only at the one hand The master’s wand.

Shobha Lidder, Writer journalist, Teacher Trainer, social activist, Reiki Master, Pranic Healer

S piritual


The View From The Inside

{ Archana Kapoor Nagpal }

I am a bird in a gilded cage, I look astonishingly at the sky, I try to understand deep within me, How does it feel to fly? The chirping of the birds flying over the lake, High in the sky, Makes me feel sad, And I almost cry. I want to open the cage, And experience ecstasy and freedom, I want to touch the seven colours of the rainbow, Or on the oldest tree in the backyard I want to make my little nest of life; Someday I want to get drenched in the rain, Someday I want to struggle To just quench my thirst in the summer sun. I want to live the cycle of life, From spring to autumn, how does it feel to fly? This is not my home, It makes me feel claustrophobic all the time, My dreams are locked in this cage, I can only notice the changing colours and lights in the sky, They always fascinate me And make me dream of flying high. I hope my misery comes to an end, And I am soon set free to fly high, More of us birds will flock together, We will migrate from one place to another, Some will die of hunger, Though living a life of freedom, I die daily, Caged in a place where I can only cry. Internationally published author of ‘14 Pearls of Inspiration’ and the ‘12 Facets of a Crystal’ u


17-23 May 2013





esterday, I learned that HUDA is constructing a flyover at Subhash Chowk on Sohna Road. The shocking thing is that the flyover seems to be constructed NOT along Gurgaon-Sohna Road but along the perpendicular road. Everybody knows that the major traffic flow passing through Subhash Chowk is along Sohna-Gurgaon Road and not the other way round; so why construct a flyover in the wrong direction. HUDA/ DTCP planners are ruining this city. I urge you to start a campaign for convincing the planners to change the alignment of the flyover. Raj Khurana

C omment

Pehle AAP

he time has come. We have cribbed for years and D) Culture, Language & Knowledge decades about the state of affairs in our country, and (along with Ideas, Media) especially in our politics. We now have an instrument E) Peace & Security to help us significantly temper a change. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) offers a clear, credible alternative. They Delhi goes to the polls in November. The Aam Aadmi have been at ground level for over a year now. They have, Party is courageously fielding candidates in all 70 and are attracting, good people, with clear and clean constituencies. Delhi is territory that should be well agendas. The point is not whether their agenda is the most understood by us urban folk; it is not a complex rural comprehensive or clever – or even perfect. It is the intent, constituency that most barely understand. The majority the motivation, which is critical. They want to ensure that of the voters, the lower middle class and the poor, the country is governed better. Let’s for once just stop have been hammered by inflation for years now. Their pointing out what they could/ food, electricity, transport, should have done (since we education and health bills FG Inputs always know better – even have skyrocketed. They live Maybe the AAP can look at the following, in case it about politics), and appreciate a poor life. There is hardly already hasn’t: what they have already done any job creation happening at least 1/3 of the candidates being women; in a fairly short time. We in Delhi – or even in Gurgaon at least 2/3 of the candidates being under 40 years; can always talk of why they now. Industry died decades a plan by each candidate of what they would do with may not succeed; it is time to ago. These frustrated, even a Rs 1 crore, Rs 10 crores and Rs 100 crores budgets, accept that they can. angry, voters are looking for for their constituency – within 6 months of being elected. change. They are all Aam Broadly, what will an AAP MLA/MP do differently? There is a shake-up Aadmis. They would be more And further down the road, AAP should definitely look needed at multiple levels – than happy to vote for one of at how to succeed beyond the ‘Hindi’ belt, and choose but nowhere more than in their own – they have tried Indians from across the country as part of their core politics and bureaucracy. The the others in turn, with no team. A big challenge will be the rural areas, and on how people at the helm of AAP real benefit. Last day sops to tackle caste and religion. understand this well. They would not sway them; they may not have the ‘relevant’ may be poor, but not illiterate On the focus areas, the following are specifically political experience, or (or even caste/religionrecommended: devious minds, but that is frenzied). a Mega Investment Plan for the Food Processing precisely the point – they We know that the industry – which has clear linkages to agriculture, seem the change that we candidates would have been logistics and retail sectors; want to see. There is no point well selected, and their championing the constituency of the urban lower in just extolling on good process transparent. That middle class - the new urban poor – across India; men and women from the makes our job of voting for brooking no compromise on swift and effective actions scriptures (or Bollywood the ‘right’ candidate much relating to women’s security; movies) – and goodness in easier. and charting a new policy, from a position of equality, general – if we continue Let the Capital set the with China (and also dealing with our South Asian to prefer to live under bad agenda for change, for once, neighbours as an equal). rulers, and allow bad to for the country. There seems to be a marked focus on bringing happen under our noses. in various Reforms, when many times it has been The leaders of AAP acknowledged that the real issue is non-effective The Aam Aadmi Party seem to be men/women of implementation of current policies/Acts. folks have walked the talk. integrity, who have gone They have entered the poll out of their way, and made sacrifices, for the public good. They don’t have to do it our arena. They have blown the bugle, sounded the conch. way only, for us to feel for them – and vote for them. They They have men and women, good and skilled, to take deserve a fair chance; we have, mainly by abstention, on the status-quoist forces. They are associated with given chances to many unworthy candidates over academics, activists, experts and concerned citizens. decades. It is time we felt responsible and accountable for Some of their key areas of focus/action are: our actions (non-actions). We should not be so steeped in A) Governance (Decentralization, Electoral Reforms, Police Reforms, inertia that we do not want to be part of the change that Judicial Reforms) India so desperately needs today. We should not be so lazy and insensitive that we have no problem with corruption B) Economy cum Ecology (Prices, Employment, or crime, as long as it does Arvind Kejriwal has struck a chord with the public. He not affect us directly. The Small-scale industry; has obviously done something right, to be taken seriously movement/party does not ask Agricultural Policy & Land by all. He has boldly gone where others have feared to for our life; all it needs is our Reforms; tread. And why must he have ready-made solutions for vote. And maybe funds, and a Land Acquisition & everything? Some will evolve. The big boys’ solutions are helping hand. A decade later Rehabilitation) still evolving. Arvind bhai, you do not just talk, you do. You our progeny should not ask C) Society & are already in the field of battle. You will not have all the us, ‘so what were you doing in Communities answers – never always get it right - and no one does. But the poll-war, daddy’? (Education, Health, clearly you are on the right path - and that is what matters. We should now either put Gender, Reservations/Caste, Lage Raho Arvind Bhai up, or shut up. u Minorities)

W ellness

17-23 May 2013



Health & Vitality... Naturally!

by ShahnaZ

Mango Cooler { Jaspal Bajwa }


n day to day life, it is fascinating to see polar opposites co-exist within the same entity. Many would argue this is what makes life so interesting … and life experience so valuable. What is appropriate in any particular situation depends so much on the context. In a similar vein, in both Ayurveda as well as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), each food is classified as ‘heating’ or ‘cooling’. Sometimes the effect generated is the complete reverse of the popular image. For example, shortly after drinking hot tea, the body heat begins to fade and the tea begins to generate cool energy internally, allowing the body to cool off. Interestingly, the energy can change, depending on the stage of ripeness or the method of cooking. The mango fruit is one such example. Although a sweet, succulent ripe mango is considered a heating food, the same fruit, when unripe and green, is considered a cooling food. Raw mango benefits range from settling gastrointestinal, blood

{ Alka Gurha }


ith the increasing health awareness, more people are appreciating the benefits of fish oil (the oil obtained from fish). The benefits of this oil stem from its high content of long chain Omega 3 fatty acids. The ingredients are converted into a group of beneficial hormones within the body. Fish that are especially rich in Omega-3 fatty acids include – mackerel, tuna, salmon, sturgeon, mullet, bluefish, sardines, herring, trout and menhaden. They provide about 1 gram of Omega-3 fatty acids per 3.5 ounces of fish. Fish oil benefit depends on how the fish is prepared. Eating broiled or baked fish appears to reduce the risk of

and liver disorders, to ameliorating heatstroke and scurvy. Raw mangoes are also an excellent source of Vitamin C, Vitamin B and pectin. The sour taste is due to the acid content (oxalic acid, citric acid, malic acid and succinic acid). Raw mango can be powdered or grated (as ‘amchur’),

They should neither be eaten alone nor in large quantities because, as per Ayurvedic guidelines, raw mangoes in excess, can aggravate the doshas (especially ‘Pitta’). A practical tip is to first pressure-cook raw mangoes, and then remove the pulp and grind it into a paste. Stored in clean containers, the pulp can be frozen and kept for months. This makes it more convenient to portion out, and use smaller quantities as appropriate.

Nature’s Wonder Food of the week: ‘Aam Panna’ or ‘Kairi Panha’ or Spicy Green Mango Sherbet

and added to cooking; or it can be made into chutneys, sauces, marinades and pickles. In Ayurveda, the qualities of green mango are classed as sour, astringent and cooling. Combined with certain spices, for example, in a chutney or as a beverage, green mangoes help in digestion and improve the flavour of food.

Tip of the week

Care should be taken when consuming raw mangoes.

In various parts of South Asia , a refreshing summer drink is made from raw mango – called ‘Panna’. Not only is it delicious, it also soothes the digestive tract, eliminates toxins from the body, and is a very good blood cleanser. This light green coloured sherbet offers a very unique combination of tastes and flavours, best described as fresh, tangy, sweet and spicy. ‘Aam Panna’ is very cooling, and prevents heat stroke and dehydration. It quenches thirst and prevents the loss of salts and iron from excessive sweating. It is a rejuvenating and refreshing 'cooler', ideal for the hot summer months. This

The Mega-3 Oil

heart disease; eating fried fish not only erases the benefits of fish oil, but also may actually increase a heart disease risk. Fish oil supplements often contain small amounts of Vitamin E, to prevent spoilage. They might also be

combined with calcium, iron, or Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C or D.

Health Benefits

Omega-3 fatty acids impact the heart and blood system. Some people use fish oil to help lower blood pressure, or triglyc-


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. Can you suggest a simple home remedy to ease off wrinkles? I SH

am 42 years old. Mix honey and lemon juice in equal quantities and add egg white. Apply daily on the face. Wash it off after 20 minutes. If the skin is normal to dry, at night after cleansing, apply pure almond oil and massage on the face with outward and slightly upward movements for 2 minutes. Wipe off with moist cotton wool.


Shivani 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 sweet and sour summer drink works as a digestive, and is hard to resist due to its unbeatable flavour and health benefits. Panna is made from raw green mangoes, which are first pressure cooked, and then a dash of rock salt and sugar is added, topped off with roasted cumin powder. In some variants fresh mint leaves are added, to boost the flavour as well as the health benefits. As it is prepared from green mangoes, it is an ex-

cellent source of Vitamins C, B1, B2 and niacin. In addition to being an antidote for heatstrokes, some natural healthcare practitioners consider it to be a tonic that increases body resistance against tuberculosis, anaemia, cholera and dysentery. u

eride levels. Ironically, taking too much fish oil can actually increase the risk of stroke. Some doctors prescribe fish oil for dry eyes, glaucoma, and Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) – a very common condition in older people, which can lead to serious sight problems. Omega-3 fatty acids are said to help reduce pain and swelling, and ease post-partum depression and mood swings associated with hormonal fluctuations. Women sometimes take fish oil capsules to prevent painful periods, breast pain and complications associated with pregnancy.

However, there could be a few side effects from taking higher doses. In some cases this leads to an unpleasant fishy reflux/burp. Fish oil supplements may not be suitable for those with seafood or fish allergies. Other potential side effects include loose stools, heartburn and nose bleeds. The Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil have a blood thinning effect; high doses could lead to increased bleeding and less effective blood clotting. It is important to note that larger species of fish are also likely to contain higher levels of mercury. Mercury is a toxic heavy metal, the ingestion of which can lead to serious health problems. If you are considering taking high doses of Omega-3 fatty acids, please consult your doctor.u

Side Effects

Fish oil is generally considered to be safe for consumption.

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

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17-23 May 2013

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B on V ivant

17-23 May 2013

Feel It In Your Bones

Sayonara Maharaja

{ Bhavana Sharma }

{ Krishan Kalra }



very few years our body gifts us with a new set of bones. But unless we take proper care of them (through exercise and/or yoga), we will have a weak and creaky support structure, which will let us down as we age. Life is not just about living, but also understanding our body to the fullest. It is very important to keep our bones always challenged, to help them grow in strength. For this purpose, let us look at some simple asanas that we can practice everyday:

Utthita Trikonasana Pose

Keep your feet about three to four feet apart. Then raise your arms parallel to the floor and reach them actively out to the sides, shoulder blades wide, and palms down. Next, turn your left foot in slightly to the right, and your right foot out to the right 90 degrees. Align the right heel with the left heel. Firm up your thighs and turn your right thigh outward, so that the centre of the right knee cap is in line with the centre of the right ankle. Exhale and extend your torso to the right, directly over the plane of the right leg, bending from the hip joint – not the waist. Anchor this movement by strengthening the left leg and pressing the outer heel firmly to the floor. Rotate the torso to the left, keeping the two sides equally long. Let the left hip come slightly forward, and lengthen the tailbone towards the back heel. Rest your right hand on your shin, ankle or the floor outside your right foot— whatever is possible—without distorting the sides of the torso. Stretch your left arm towards the ceiling, in line with the tops of your shoulders. Stay in this pose for about thirty seconds. Inhale to come up, strongly pressing the back of the heel into the floor, and reaching the top arm towards the ceiling. ‘Reverse the feet’, and repeat for the same length of time.


This Asana is useful for people suffering from back problems, as it targets the core muscles. It will also boost blood circulation to the tissues and muscles throughout the body. Acts as a therapeutic for stress, infertility, neck pain – and symptoms of menopause.

Yastikasna Pose

Lie on your back and inhale deeply, stretching your hands above your head, and stretching your toes out fully - as if someone is pulling you at both ends. Now exhale and relax, before starting the next stretch. This Asana fuels you with joy and vigour, and works as an anti-depressant too. It can be performed early in the morning. It also helps take care of weight loss and age-related bone shrinkage.

Manibandha Pose

You need to sit up straight and hold out your right hand. Slowly, clench your fist and then open it. Do this at least 4 times. Next, slowly rotate the wrist in an anticlockwise direction, 4 times; repeat the rotation in the clockwise direction. Now repeat the exercise with the left hand. The hand should be held out straight, without folding at the elbows.


This Asana helps to strengthen the entire hand, and is extremely therapeutic for problems that may arise from the overuse of hands. This practice can easily be done several times during the day. It relaxes the hand muscles. u Author, Tarot Reader


his happened in 2003, during my 7-year stint at FICCI. More for the convenient timing than any sense of patriotism, I had decided to travel by the national “Maharaja” carrier on a trip to Tokyo. The fact that some other members of our team—senior government officials—were also on that flight made the decision easier. Trouble started even before we had boarded. Between the two of us we had checked in 3 pieces of luggage, weighing a total of 67 kg - no great weight considering that we were travelling Business Class. Yet the person at the counter warned us that we would have to identify the “heavy” bags at the Customs’ check point. The Customs’ officer started interrogating us as if we were a couple of proclaimed offenders trying to escape. “What do you do? Why are you going to Tokyo? What are you carrying in the bags? Can you show samples of the stuff?” I restrained myself with great difficulty, never ever having faced such a situation earlier. Effects of the bad start continued to dog us. As I opened a magazine in the plane, and reached for the light, it wouldn’t come on; and that of my companion couldn’t be switched off ! The footrest was an apology – a small stunted sort of extension to the seat, that wouldn’t give any relief to tired feet during the long flight. The immediate task was to take care of hunger and sleep. Even though we’d taken off before nine, the drinks service started only at 10 pm, and by the time we finished dinner it was well past 11.30pm (nearly 3 am Japanese time). Everything around was disintegrating. One could see pieces of foam stuck between panels, to stop them from rattling. There were dirty fingerprints all over. The signs were all shabbily stuck with masking tape. The lower deck of the food trolley actually fell on the floor. Like everything else in the aircraft, the trolley too was well past its prime. The cabin crew vied with the cabin (pilots) on age. I was reminded of the Hindi poet, Surender Sharma, who insists on flying the national carrier because, amongst other considerations, he finds the crew “hum umr” (same age group). The coup-de-grace was yet to come. The entrance to the lavatory was from under the projection screen (yes, the Maharaja still had that one master screen only), beyond which was the cockpit. So the only way to get to the loo was to bend under the screen, bowing in true “aadaab Kaptaan Saheb” style, and then fumble with the rickety doors on either side. I was reminded of Aurangzeb; the entry to his throne was designed in the same manner – no one could enter without paying obeisance (bowing) to the Shahenshah. It was decidedly my worst Business Class travel – the misery further added by poor linen, plastic crockery and a cold breakfast. It made me feel sorry - but I knew what my next airline would not be. I wonder if things have changed since. They couldn’t have gotten worse anyway. A recently published article regarding an Air India pilot getting locked out of the cockpit mid-flight, due to a stuck door, reminded the author about his experience with our national airline.u


17-23 May 2013

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Canberra’s Monstrous Piece Of Art Singapore’s Mobile { Sid Astbury / Sydney / DPA }


hot-air balloon, commissioned to mark the centenary of Canberra, lifted off to mixed reviews. The Australian capital’s latest piece of public art has been likened to a whale with 10 breasts, or a tumour-ridden fish. The Skywhale—twice the size of a standard balloon, but capable of carrying only two passengers—was made in Britain, and cost taxpayers 170,000 Australian dollars.     One tweet lambasted it as a “pretentious folly”, while another bemoaned the oddity of sculptor Patricia Piccinini’s

creation. “My question is: what if evolution went a different way; and instead of going back into the sea, from which they came originally, they went into the air – and we evolved a nature that could fly instead of swim,” Piccinini told national

YouTube Launches Paid Channel

{ Andy Goldberg / San Francisco / DPA }


ouTube, the world’s biggest online video site, has launched a paid subscription service – a move that could mark the start of a major shake-up of web and television viewing. Until now, the Google-owned site has relied solely on advertising to generate revenues from the more than 1 billion viewers, who watch its 1 million-plus channels every month. Under the new scheme, 30 video creators will be able to charge between 99 cents and 7.99 dollars a month, with an

average monthly subscription of 2.99 dollars. Users will get a free 14-day trial period, and can pay the monthly fee via Google Wallet, the credit card-supported service that Google uses to collect its other paid content – such as Smartphone app or international calls over Google Voice. Subscribers can access the channels on their computers, Smartphones, tablets and internet-connected televisions. Over time, other YouTube content creators will be able to opt into the subscription program, the Company said. Among the launch partners are the producers of Sesame Street and the Ultimate Fighting

Siri Gets Competition { San Francisco / DPA }


iri, you are not alone. Google has introduced its Google Now service for iPhones and iPads, challenging Apple’s ‘speaking information diva’ on its home ground. Siri, which has been a central marketing tool of Apple’s mobile products, provides answers in response to users’ natural language questions. Google Now has been doing the same for some nine months on the latest mobile devices powered by Google’s Android operating system, and is now making the switch to Apple devices too. Google Now implements what the company calls predictive search, meaning that it uses all the data

that Google has accumulated about the users, to provide them with the information they need before they even know they need it. The bestused example is the service’s ability to tell you when to leave for work, knowing what it does about your schedule, traffic conditions, transport

broadcaster ABC. “I think it’s confounding for people because they don’t know what the creature is. And also, they don’t know if it’s an artwork – or even what it’s trying to do.” As mammals, whales breastfeed their young, she pointed out. Robyn Archer, Creative Director of the Centenary of Canberra events, defended the choice of something so arcane over something more easily recognizable. “Many special-shape balloons have started to replicate characters or animals, but they are mostly caricatures and in the realm of kitsch, rather than art,” she said. u Championship. But major media players like Comcast Universal, ABC and CBS were absent from the service, which could compete with conventional cable as well as web favourites such as Netflix and – where their programming is already available. There are various niche channels – such as Fix My Hog for owners of Harley Davidson motorbikes, kids channels, fitness channels and others. “This is just the beginning,” YouTube said in a blog posting. “We’ll be rolling paid channels out more broadly in the coming weeks, as a self-service feature for qualifying partners. We look forward to seeing how this great community of creators moves ahead, to reach the fan communities that made their channels a hit.” u

timetables and the weather. It presents its information on a variety of cards, which on Android can be placed on the home or lock screens; and which on Apple devices can be accessed by swiping up from the Google Search App. The service can also answer natural-language spoken questions such as, “Where can I get pizza?” by offering cards with relevant information – in this case a map and directions to nearby pizza restaurants. The inclusion of Google Now on the Google Search App for iOS, Apple’s mobile operating system, is the latest round in an increasingly bitter battle between the two tech giants. Google’s Android operating system dominates the global market for Smartphones, with a 69-per-cent market share, compared to 19-per-cent for the iPhone. u

Toilet Tracker

{ Singapore / DPA }


ingaporeans can track the state of the City-state’s public toilets in real time, as a Smartphone application can now monitor the facilities’ cleanliness. This app helps users locate a clean toilet nearby, and also takes feedback on a dirty toilet that they may have just visited, said Emerson Hee, the programme’s Executive Director. Hee’s Restroom Association of Singapore (RAS) launched the app, which will relieve hygieneconscious Singaporeans of stepping into a convenience of unknown cleanliness.

The initiative adds to sparkling reputation of a country where spitting, chewing and littering are punishable by strict fines – and where hygiene tips are posted in public spaces. The LOO (Let’s Observe Ourselves) Connect app classes the country’s 40,000 public toilets into categories – from disgusting to certified. Toilets need at least a 4-star rating to pass muster as user-friendly, Hee said. The Android-based app is a work in progress, and relies on user contributions for data. Users can post comments and photographs of toilets registered on the system, or add new locations on a special map. “As a non-profit charity advocating for clean public toilets, we are always keen to leverage on the use of new technology to promote our cause,” said RAS President Tan Puay Hoon. As part of its Happy Toilet programme, which has been running online for several years, the Association also hopes to encourage the owners of persistently offensive facilities to brush up. The app was developed by the Singapore Land Authority and Nanyang Polytechnic, and can be downloaded from the Google Play Store. u

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17-23 May 2013

{ Esteban Engel / Berlin / DPA }


glass pane set into the Bebelplatz, in the heart of Berlin, provides a view of an underground library whose shelves are empty. Israeli sculptor Micha Ullman’s 1995 memorial is an evocative symbol of the Nazi book burning that took place here in 1933. Berlin’s Opernplatz, as it then was, was not the only square where 80 years ago Nazi students burned books on May 10, scarcely three months after Adolf Hitler came to power. Similar events took place in more than 20 cities, marking the start of a witch hunt against many of Germany’s bestknown authors, who were condemned by the authorities as “un-German” – along with many foreign writers, especially Jews. This was not the first time books had been burned in anger in Germany. In 1817, German students torched the Napoleonic Code of Laws, in commemorating the final defeat of the French emperor. Jewish authors were also among those whose books were tossed into the flames at the time. “That was but a pre-

Burning of “un-German” Books By Nazis

lude; where they burn books, they will ultimately burn people also,” poet Heinrich Heine wrote three years later. The German Jewish writer’s words proved prophetic. Within a few years of the Nazi book burnings the Holocaust was underway. Well before the Nazis took power, they attacked authors such as Erich Maria Remarque, because of his anti-war novel, ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’. In 1929, in Hamburg, students publicly burned the Treaty of Versailles, signed after the end of World War I, along with the constitution of the democratic Weimar Republic. The 1933

book burning was intended to give a boost to the “Blut-undBoden” (Blood and Soil) ideology that was key to the Nazi world view. Students and academic staff were expected to show their loyalty. At the beginning of April 1933, the German Student Union, which had been co-opted by the Nazis, called for mobilization against the “corrupt Jewish spirit.” Students were urged to inspect their own shelves before moving on to public libraries, for works to be purged. The German book trade also became involved, publishing a “banned list”, that included the works of Heinrich Mann, Erich Kaestner, Arthur Schnitzler, Lion

US Homecomings After a Decade of Horror { Gretel Johnston and Christina Horsten / Washington / DPA }


hey were kidnapped, abused, confined and reportedly chained in a house in Cleveland Ohio, by a captor who, on the outside, appeared to lead a normal life. Last week, two of the three women, who vanished as long ago as 2002, returned to their family homes not far from the house of horror, amid jubilation that they were all alive. “Gina! Gina!” cried relatives and friends at the home of Gina DeJesus, 23, who arrived under police escort at the family home she had not seen in nine years. She emerged from a dark SUV, with a bright yellow hoodie pulled over her head, and was escorted into the house by her sister, who also concealed her face. Amanda Berry, 27, who took the first heroic step to summon help from a neighbour, also arrived at her sister’s home under police escort. She was shown in broadcast images entering the back door, carrying her 6-year-old daughter, born while she was held captive. Through the long period of their absence, the families never gave up hope. DeJesus’ mother, Nancy Ruiz, who steadfastly kept the news of her daughter’s disappearance


‘active and alive’, said, “I want to thank those who doubted. They’re the ones that made me stronger.” Berry’s family kept her room just as it was when she disappeared at age 16. Her mail and magazines were stacked in her room, alongside birthday and Christmas gifts that were never ‘delivered’, Berry’s aunt, Tina Miller said in media reports. Berry’s last call was to her family, from her job at a fast food restaurant, saying she had found a ride home. When the news came that she was free, the years-long rollercoaster of hope and disappointment came to an end. The nightmare was over for everyone. Unfortunately, Berry’s mother died in 2006 - of anguish, her family said. The third woman freed from the house, Michelle Knight, now 32, and kidnapped in 2002, was in hospital, according to news reports. Towards the end of the long, emotional day, police said that they had filed kidnapping and rape charges against one of three brothers arrested in the sensational abduction case. Ariel Castro, 52, who owned the home that became prison to the women, is to be formally charged. Based on information gleaned from the captives, the law enforcement officials said they would not file charges against his brothers –

Onil Castro and Pedro Castro. During their long captivity, the women only left the house twice, and never left the property at all, said Ed Tomba, Deputy Chief of Police in Cleveland. There was no evidence indicating they were ever outside in the yard in chains, naked or in any other manner, another law enforcement official at the news conference said. According to Deputy Police Chief Ed Tomba, the women’s only opportunity to escape came on that day. He said a paternity test would be carried out for Berry’s child. Chilling facts are emerging about the case, including the possibility that the suspect’s daughter knew Gina DeJesus, and even had ‘arrangements ‘with her that night; that the suspect had participated in the searches and vigils for Berry and DeJesus; and that DeJesus’ uncle Tito played in bands with him. Questions have been raised not only about whether police did all they could to find the girls, but also about why the girls never tried to escape before that day. Psychologists who have studied or worked on similar abduction cases say that one of the most wrenching emotional twists experienced by kidnap victims is the development of a “learned helplessness” – and sometimes even sympathy with their captors.u

Feuchtwanger, Kurt Tucholsky and Sigmund Freud – all of whose works were seen as “immoral and decadent.” Pressure on libraries rose in a well-orchestrated campaign, that reached a climax on May 6, 1933, when Nazi mobs ransacked bookshops, carting off thousands of items. In Berlin, an attack on the Institute run by sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld, saw thousands of books removed for destruction. The aim, across Germany, was clear. The nation was to demonstrate that it rejected the Weimar Republic, and that it had “purged itself internally and externally,” as propaganda Chief Joseph Goebbels put it. In preparation, 12 “fire speeches” were issued, to be recited when the books of particular authors were burned. “Against class struggle and materialism, for the national interest and an idealistic attitude to life” was one of them, used to consign the works of Karl Marx to the flames.

In Berlin, the students marched with burning torches from the University, to where trucks were waiting—loaded with around 25,000 books—before the procession moved to the Opernplatz. There was a party atmosphere – complete with brass band and thousands of curious onlookers. Adding to the mediaeval atmosphere were professors in full academic regalia. They were joined by members of student associations, and uniformed units of the SA, SS and Hitler Youth. As it was raining, petrol was needed to get the flames going. A year later the official banned list contained 3,000 book titles. Pacifist Erich Kaestner, best known in English for his children’s books, witnessed the Berlin burning, which included his own works. He later remarked on how odd it was, as a writer, to be banned – and to see empty shelves where his books had once stood. u

CO2 Levels Reach ‘Dangerous Territory’ { Gretel Johnston / Washington / DPA }

   S government scientists who monitor carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from Hawaii, said that the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is the highest it has been in millions of years. The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has steadily risen from 317 parts per million in 1958, when measurements began, to 400, according to the CO2 monitoring programme at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Scientists believe the last time CO2 levels were at the 400 parts per million level was 2 to 4 million years ago. Sea levels during that period were up to 131 feet higher. “We’re moving into dangerous territory,” Ralph Keeling, who runs the programme, told  CBS News. He believes efforts to curb carbon dioxide emissions have failed and some impacts of climate change are irreversible. “There are lots of threats to human beings in these changes. We don’t know exactly how big, but it’s very unlikely that we’re going to get through this without major turmoil,” he said. Most scientists believe the burning of fossil fuels is causing a rapid rise in carbon dioxide levels. This greenhouse gas traps heat, changes weather patterns and raises sea levels. u


Speed Signs Help Prevent Accidents { Berlin / DPA }


tationary road signs that warn motorists of an impending speed trap are highly effective in persuading drivers to slow down, as compared to hidden speed cameras, according to a long-term study carried out in Germany. Researchers from the Federal Highway Research Institute in Bergisch-Gladbach installed five fixed speed cameras on roads in the eastern states of Thuringia and Brandenburg. Each installation was accom-

panied by a road sign, warning motorists that the speed of passing vehicles would be measured electronically. Accidents on these stretches of highway fell by up to 52 per cent, Germany’s Autobild motoring gazette reported. The same safety boost was observed where extra signs or road markings were put in place to warn against overtaking. The five routes in Brandenburg and Saxony, used for a test by the Institute saw a drop of up to 62 per cent in road accidents, after the measures had been implemented.u

22 { Bernd Kubisch / Singapore / DPA }


he sky is clear and the view is a good one. In the distance, one can easily make out some Indonesian islands, as well as the southern tip of the mainland of Malaysia. You feel you can reach out and grab Singapore’s skyscrapers. The air-conditioned glass gondola of the Singapore Flyer has reached its highest point – 165 metres above the ground. Arif Wong is thrilled as he stands next to his son at the glass front of the gondola – pointing to the nearby hotel towers, the harbour with its luxury yachts, the Indian Ocean filled with container ships and sailing boats, the highway and the Formula One race track. One revolution of the giant wheel— its diameter is 150 metres—takes 37 minutes. For gourmet diners, this is naturally not enough time. Those who want to sit down to a dinner of champagne, sea perch and filet mignon, served by butlers, need two or three revolutions. Some companies rent an entire cabin for the equivalent of 2,500 to 5,000 US dollars, to entertain special guests. It is advisable to book tickets in advance (on the internet) for weekends: the adult price for a ride is 33.00 Singapore dollars. During the day, the price at the window can be higher; prices also are higher for night-time rides, when people want to see Singapore’s glittering skyline. There’s a hefty spike in the rates during special events, such as a Formula One race. The “Singapore Flyer” was built in 2008, by a German giant wheel specialist, Florian Bollen. Twenty eight passengers can fit inside each of

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17-23 May 2013

Gourmet Dining On A Giant Wheel

the gondolas, which weigh 16 tons each. Boarding and leaving the cabins takes place while the wheel is still in slow motion. Only twice has the giant wheel involuntarily come to a halt – once due

to a short-circuit, and another time due to a fire in the operations room. Also on site is a three-storey consumers’ palace of shops, restaurants, and a tropical rainforest with a waterfall in the atrium. Singapore has many other highlights –

Bumper Cars On The High Seas

such as the shopping strip Orchard Road, the botanical gardens, Sentosa Island, China Town, Little India, museums and temples, and a night-time safari at the Zoo. But the giant wheel makes the most headlines. u

{ Miami / DPA }


assengers on the new cruise liners from Royal Caribbean International can soon experience some all-new fun—bumper cars and a roller-skating rink—while at sea. The shipping company has presented the first details on the Quantum of the Seas, which will be christened in the fall of 2014; and the Anthem of the Seas, which will leave the docks in spring 2015. Among the new features is ripcording, in which a strong stream of air blows up through a glass column, and a passenger can lie across the stream and be held aloft by the air blast. Players have to wear a special suit that turns them into a kind of human parachute. There is also a viewing dome made of glass, in the form of a diamond, 90 metres above sea level; as well as a multi-storied all-glass room with a 270-degree panorama view. The interior adventure area, Seaplex, will provide sports and entertainment options – including a circus school, a basketball court, the dodgem cars, a roller-skating rink and a dance floor. The cabins will be on average 9 per cent larger than on the current ships. Also new on the ships, according to the shipping company, will be connected family cabins. u

17-23 May 2013

S pecial

23 Prakhar PANDEY

Mana - A Cirque Spectacle


17-23 May 2013


Diesel To Dust

Friday Gurgaon 17-23 May, 2013  

Friday Gurgaon 17-23 May, 2013

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