Page 1

19-25 July 2013

100 th issue Vol. 2 No. 48  Pages 24  ` 7

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

ASHA PANDEY

Fall-Outs of Live-Ins

{ Shilpy Arora / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon.com

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arriage has always been seen as the ultimate commitment in the Indian society. The husband and wife vow to be always together, in front of their near and dear ones. But today’s generation seems to rely more on “trying-out” relationships, wherein they live together for some time and later decide if they would like to tie the knot. ‘Live-in’ is the name of this new ‘option’; it provides an option to part ways. That is what seems to make it attractive. However, it also makes it formidable. It seems attrac-

tive because one can have a ‘good time’ for a while, and then move out at will. It seems formidable because there is bound to be some emotional involvement also, which could leave a bad taste and make the more ‘involved’ spouse feel exploited. Live-in relationships are of course still viewed as temporary flings, and labelled as immoral, by the larger society. But they seem here to stay… Today the legal system gives women equal rights in Live-in relationships. As in a marriage, ‘forced sex’ and ‘sex without consent’ in a Live-in relationship is considered a rape. Take for instance a recent case

in the Millennium City. IItian Sukhi (name changed), 29, had lived with Akshay, 30, for more than three years. They did not tie the knot, but Sukhi spent most of her time with Akshay. She did all the household chores (like a ‘normal’ wife). She washed Akshay’s clothes, mopped his house and cooked for him. One day Akshay suddenly disappeared. His mobile remained switched off and he was untraceable. Sukhi approached the police, who treated it as a rape and cheating case; cheating because they consider a Live-in relationship as a potential marriage, and rape because Sukhi alleged that Contd on p 7 

Take the Slow Lane { Abhishek Behl / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon.com

I

n the last one decade Gurgaon has been transformed from a suburb into a city. The population has grown exponentially, traffic has multiplied, and the number of corporates have grown manifold - but one thing that has refused to change is the bureaucratic system and a mindset that is painfully slow and inadequate to meet the growing challenges of a Millennium City in the making. Considering the dysfunctional way in which this City’s Municipality operates, the residents would not be shocked to know that the authorities do not record and register the thousands of cycle-rickshaws that are operating in the City. Anyone, whether he is a criminal or a migrant from another country, can buy or rent a rickshaw, and start operating as a rickshaw puller, with the authorities not even batting an eyelid. It is not as if the MCG does not have a licensing procedure for cycle rickshaws, but it went out of vogue a decade ago; and since then the system has been lying defunct with no one knowing the reason why this happened. The situation in Gurgaon is the opposite of the over- regulated scenario

PRAKHAR PANDEY

in neighbouring Delhi, where NGOs like Manushi had to approach the Supreme Court to get justice for rickshaw owners and pullers from the draconian controls imposed by MCD. Gurgaon today has almost 20,000 cycle rickshaws, which are being pulled by migrants from Bihar and UP - especially from the districts of Darbhanga, Pilibhit and Shahjahanpur. With each rickshaw at an average making 10 trips in a day, experts point out that almost 400,000 people use this mode of transport in the City, making it a crucial cog in the transport system – though it remains unacknowledged.

Time For Accountability We need a White Paper - on all the vacant land in Gurgaon today. Why is it vacant? What was the original Plan? What is the current Plan? When will it be implemented? Why was there a Change of Land Use (CLU), if any? Who will do what, and by when – for all Civic Services, Facilities and Amenities? This exercise needs to be done for all HUDA and private builder areas. Why should we continue to have sudden announcements, followed by protests, over the setting up of services and facilities across the City? It’s clearly because things

seem to change every day. A CNG Station, a Liquor Vend, a Crematorium, A Hotel, a Hospital…seem to spring up from nowhere…while Community Centres, Parks, Parking Areas and Footpaths are gobbled up. There is a limit to which private enterprise would be able to bail out the State – through ‘illegal’ ground water or water tankers, diesel gensets and sewage ‘management’. This will in fact not remain practical for long even in current Gurgaon. Unless the City managers and planners own up their mistakes, and carry out another exercise to ‘Plan’ Gurgaon, the City will not survive this century – let alone a Millennium.

Contd on p 9 

100th issue

We invite your comments and views on the newspaper. You may write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon.com See previous issues at www.fridaygurgaon.com


02 RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319 Postal Regn. No. GRG/35/2012-2014, VOL.–2 No.–48  19-25 July 2013

WORKSHOP  THEATRE  NIGHTLIFE  MUSIC  ART

Workshop

Nightlife Editor:

C oming U p

19-25 July 2013

Documentary

Atul Sobti

Sr. Correspondents: Abhishek Behl Shilpy Arora Correspondent:

Tarun Khanna

Sr. Photographer:

Prakhar Pandey

Sr. Sub Editor:

Anita Bagchi

Sr. Designer:

Amit Singh

Circulation Execs.:

Pankaj Yadav Sunil Yadav

Sons and Daughters Theatre Workshop

@ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: July 20 onwards (Saturday,Sunday) Time: 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Manish Yadav Dy. Manager Accounts & Admin: Shiv Shankar Jha

F

or all theatre lovers, here's a chance to learn the nuances of acting, from members of the Barry John Acting Studio – a wonderful opportunity to develop your passion. (For children between 13 and 17 years).

Asst. Manager Media Marketing: Bhagwat Kaushik Sr. Exec Media Marketing:

Vikalp Panwar

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

Saturday Night Bash

@ Ion Club & Lounge, JMD Regent Arcade Mall, Mehrauli Gurgaon Road Date: July 13 onwards Time: 9:00 pm onwards

Emails:

Band Night

@ PVR Blu O, Ambience Mall, 4th Floor, NH-8 Date: July 19 Time: 7:00 pm

editor@fridaygurgaon.com letters@fridaygurgaon.com contributions@fridaygurgaon.com

E

njoy a rocking night with the band Aagroh, performing live.

subscription@fridaygurgaon.com circulation@fridaygurgaon.com events@fridaygurgaon.com marketing@fridaygurgaon.com

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.

To Advertise Please Contact

7838003874 9999444818

documentary on the trafficking of children for domestic servitude. It features the traumatic journey of children who are kidnapped or lured from rural India, to work as domestic servants in urban homes. Employers often think they are helping the underprivileged by providing food and shelter; Sons and Daughters explores how this idea of charity is a lie that people tell themselves to cover up a greater truth.

Yoga

PR for Small Biz

@ Mind Cafe, DLF Phase 4 Date: July 25 Time: 10:00 am

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adsales@fridaygurgaon.com

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.

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w

J

oin in for a freaky party bash – dress up in your best to enjoy a freaky mix of Club and House mixes all night long.

@ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: July 20 Time: 7:30 pm

Hangar Party

@ DLF Star Tower, Sector 30, NH8 Date: July 24 Time: 9:00 pm

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special night for all airline employees to 'hang' out. Avail the exclusive packages on offer and 'land' in good company.

Live Bollywood Music

@ Cocoa House, G-4, Welldone Tech Park, Sector-48, Sohna Road
 Date: July 27 Time: 8:00 pm onwards

W

elcome the weekend with Bollywood music, performed live by Astitva – the Band. Groove to your favourite numbers as the Band sets the floor on fire.

Zephyr Live

@ Drift, Ground Floor, Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: July 24 Time: 8:30 pm onwards

ood PR is the result of a planned effort by the Company. This Workshop tells you how to do that. 
The Session covers aspects about PR that start-ups should consider, including some tips. The 30-minute presentation will be followed by a Q&A session.
The Chief Speaker will be Megha Sharma, Media Strategist and Sr. Advisor of Cohne & Wolfe.



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usic, dance and a fun-filled evening makes a perfect combination, with the spectacular band, Zephyr, performing live. The artists will churn out some amazing slow rock, alternative rock, country and pop music. Performers include – Sahil Nagpal on the lead vocals, Vishwam Raghunandan on the drums and percussion, Karan Bedi on the rhythm and lead guitars, Akshit Jakhmola on the rhythm and lead guitars and Shikhar Chohan on the bass guitar.

Yoga classes

@ Aastha Yoga, Plot no - 369, Sector 14 Date: Up to July 31-Sundays, Tuesdays Time: 6:15 am

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et rejuvenated with special Yoga classes conducted by Swami Anand and Dr. Sima Sharma. The sessions will be on correct sitting postures, yoga, asanas and more.

EXPO

Bollywood Dance

@ Mogly's Gurukul, Plot NO. B 9/22, DLF City Phase 1 Date: Up to August 2

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nrol your kids in this fun-filled freestyle Bollywood Dance Workshop. Watch your little ones in new avatars as their self-esteem, coordination, creativity, attentiveness, self-awareness and communication skills get enhanced. 
Age Group: 4 to 6 years

Expo

India Market Days

@ Apparel House,Sector 44 Date: July 19 Time: 11:00 am onwards

I

ndia Market Days is a successful platform for business opportunities. Organised by Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC), this Event will have buyers from various countries showcasing the value chain of their textiles, as well as the clothing industry. More than 100 traders will be displaying their collections.


C oming U p

19-25 July 2013

03

WORKSHOP  THEATRE  NIGHTLIFE  MUSIC  ART A

The World’s Longest Running & Funniest Comedy Ever Written

Art

RunFor yourWife

PRESENTATION

For

Sponsorship, Bulk / Corporate Bookings & any query:

98101 74282, 98113 09797 Email us at:

info@behroopiyaentertainers.com @ Gallerie Alternatives, DLF City, Phase I Date: Up to July 31 Time: 11:00 am to 7:00 pm

A

Group Exhibition of paintings, drawings, graphic prints and sculptures by S.H Raza, T. Vaikuntam, Jayasri Burman, Sanjay Bhattacharya, Trupti Patel, Ramananda Bandopadhyay, Rajesh Rana, Manoj Kachangal, Medha Sharma, Pintu Roy and others

Zynna Spotlight Show

@ Zynna Art Gallery, S-56/20, DLF Phase-III Date: Up to July 30 Time: 11:30 am to 6:30 pm

On Sat. 27th & Sun. 28th July 2013 (4 Shows) Art Show

@ Beanstalk, Galaxy Hotel & Spa, Sector 15, NH8 Date: Up to July 31 Time: 11:00 am to 8:00 pm

Timings: 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM & 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM Tickets: ` 1000, 700 & 500

Tickets available at the venue Or *Terms and condition apply

A

n Exhibition of group paintings by Arun Dev, Manikandan, Murali Nagapuzha, Prokash Karmakar, Prince Chand, Promod MV, Sanjay Soni and Shyamal Mukharjee.

Music

Under Licence By Samuel French Ltd. (JAGRITI)

Cinema

Theatre

u

Venue

At Apparel House, Sector 44, Gurgaon

Food

Throne of Blood (Japanese, with English subtitles)

@ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: July 23 Time: 7:30 pm

A

n Art Show exhibiting select works―sculptures, paintings and installations―of renowned artist Rajesh Ram. Rajesh's observations and responses to the life and strife of the rural-traversing-the-urban environment are powerfully subjective.

Book Online At :

Directed By: Mrinal Dhar .....................................

Group Show

A

1957 Japanese film, directed by Akira Kurosawa. The film transposes the plot of William Shakespeare's play Macbeth on feudal Japan.

Love For Mangoes

@ Cakewalk, Radisson Blu Suites Hotel, Block B, Sushant Lok Phase 1 Date: Up to July 31 Time: 11:00 am to 11:00 pm

Begum Jaan

@ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: July 21 Time: 7:00 pm

S

avour mango-based desserts as the King of Fruits gets a delicious makeover. Pamper your taste buds with an array of desserts – Mango Fruit Cheese Cake, Mango Fruit Éclair, White Chocolate Mango Dome, Mango Raspberry Roulade and more.

A

Hindi play, directed by Nadira Zaheer Babbar, about the interpersonal relationship between the extremely witty old lady Begum Jaan, her grand-daughter Zarina and Sanjay Pande, a journalist who comes into their lives. Suitable for 12 yrs and above

Social Cause Dance

Khushboo Punjab Di

@ @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: July 24 Time: 7:30 pm

T

Plant a Tree

ake in the flavour of Punjab as various eminent artists render popular Punjabi songs in this musical evening.

An Evening of Music & Dance @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: July 25 Time: 7:30 pm

A

magical evening of music and dance, performed by the students of Gurukul Music And Dance Academic Society.

Kathak Dance

@ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: July 26 Time: 7:30 pm

A

Kathak dance recital by Rajendra Gangani, a renowned Kathak dancer trained in the Jaipur Gharana, notable for his innovative style.

@ Aravali Biodiversity Park Date: July 26 Time: Morning slot: 7:00 am to 10:00 am; Evening slot: 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm

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tree-planting drive organised by I am Gurgaon, who have successfully planted over 50,000 trees in the City till now – the aim is to reach is a million.

Want an Event to appear on the Coming Up page? Write to us at anita.bagchi@fridaygurgaon.com


04

19-25 July 2013

THE WEEK THAT WAS  The wife of the Chief Judicial Magistrate of Gurgaon is found dead with 2 bullet wounds, and a gun nearby.  The Central Food Security Bill is to be implemented in Haryana in the first phase.  The State proposes a Weekly Iron & Folic Acid Supplement (WIFS) to 16 lakhs students at State-run schools, and 30,000 girls outside of schools, wef July 22nd. Of these, 1.25 lakhs students are from Gurgaon. 58% of girls and 26% of boys in the State, in the age group 10 to 19 years (Class 6 to 12), are anaemic.  The State govt moves the Delhi High Court asking for the removal of both the toll plazas on NH 8. Hearing will be on July 31st.  e Green, a green-watch software of the Forest dept. will now track the forest cover in the State.  Jats ask for OBC status in Central Govt jobs – give deadline of August 15th.  The Supreme Court upholds the High Court judgement of enhanced compensation to farmers who gave up their land at Manesar.  Haryana Roadways drivers threaten to boycott Delhi route, due to harassment; but drop the plan on being given an assurance.  The last telegram is sent….  A school bus runs over and kills an infant on the road.  A man stabs his sister in law to death.  An auto driver rapes his 50-year-old mother, and is absconding; another auto driver kidnaps and rapes a minor.  A former school teacher alleges that she was asked to leave after she complained of sexual harassment.  100 kids are hauled up for drinking, and smoking Hookah, at a ‘Sex and Smoke’ party held at the Buuzin Pub. Following this, the pub owner is held, and the Police have asked for installation of CCTVs at all pubs and bars within 15 days.  The District Court sentences the accused to a life term for abusing minors in the Drone Foundation (children home) case. The victims are awarded compensation.

Haryanvi Made Easy Get a taste of the local lingo 1. I want to leave my job. Main apni naukri chhodna chuahun su. 2. My boss doesn't treat me well. Mhaara maalik manne dhang tey baat na karta. 3. He shouted at me in front of my juniors. Mere tey neecha udda aala aage dhamka diya. 4. Why did he shout at you? Woh tere upar kyun chhowe aaya? 5. I had not completed my work. Manne apna kaam poora na kariya. 6. Then he did right. Phir usne theek kariye. 7. If you don't work, you will get shouted at. Je kaam na karega toh choowe aawega. 8. Okay, I won't leave my job brother! Theek se bhai, main apni naukri na chhodun!

 An 18-y-ear-old girl is kidnapped by 2 men, in Sector 10A; a labourer is held for abducting a 14 year old girl.  An MBA student is held for molesting a Class 12 girl.  Live-in partners are held for trespass and violence, for beating up the woman’s parents.  A manager opens a false account (fake ID) and sends obscene messages to a colleague.  12 firms are fined by the Labour Dept for not adhering to norms for women’s safety.  The BMW case next hearing is on July 20th; Ruchi Bhuttan case is on July 22nd.  A furniture shop owner is held for duping the envoy of Guyana of Rs 12 lakhs plus.  4 snatchers are arrested – they have been involved in more than 50 cases.  A builder is booked for duping a Delhi woman of over Rs 6 lakhs.  Bike borne youth snatch a bag containing Rs 1 lakh from a manager.  39 Head Constables promoted to ASIs; 300 new policemen to join the City force soon; new rules are proposed for helping road accident victims – and training provided accordingly; canteen service is started for 750 families living in Police Lines.  MCG Commissioner issues show cause notice to Balaji, the main sanitation contractor, over poor service.  The Administration inspects sites for a Debris Treatment Plant.  A Dengue Ward is set up in the Civil Hospital; dengue and malaria cases rise in the City.  MCG declares the Harinagar mobile tower as illegal.  7 Zila Parishad members demand a new chairperson, to replace Kavita Yadav.  IFFCO Chowk Metro Station parking facility is increased – for 100 more cars, and 200 bikes.  City Bus provides online information on website, for 90 buses on 18 routes. 50 lowfloor buses will join the fleet soon.

T PIC OF THE WEEK

Name 3 things you like about Gurgaon.

From lush green grass walking with you to the typical Haryanvi language mesmerizes every Gurgaonite with awe. The breathtaking scene that I cannot afford to miss is when peacocks with their stunning feathers dance in the rains. Being the millennium city as well as the largest city of Haryana it is held with high regard. The best thing about the city is its name itself which is steeped to the Hindu mythology. Originally gurgaon was named Guru Gram or Guru Gaon, which means the village of the teacher. In the Sanskrit language Guru means teacher and Gram or Gaon means a village. It is the land where the Pandavas have learnt archery from Guru Dronacharya. The tint of traditionalism that gives the unique stand to the city is the Taus with their big turbans discussing the worldly issues just like the legendary people with their eyes beaming as of a king’s. Till now I have spent my five years in Gurgaon and the city has left an indelible mark on my taste buds as I consider my lunch complete only after sipping a big glass full of lassi!! Carterpuri road in Gurgaon has its roots in the 19th century history when the then US President Jimmy Carter visited the village Chauma Kharegaon. This was a Yadav dominated village and there were regular exchanges between the village and the White house till he was the President. All in all I am proud to be a Gurgaonite and and would love to share rest of my life with this fantabulous city!! Yamini Kindra


H appenings

19-25 July 2013

4U

05

Tips

Amisha Sparkles The City was in for a sparkling treat as actress Amisha Patel was spotted at the inauguration of the 100th Store of Gitanjali jewels, at Sector 29. Also present was Santosh Srivastava, MD, Gitanjali jewels. Amisha tried on a few pieces and, needless to say, was glowing!

by ShahnaZ Herbal Cosmetic Queen Padma Shree Shahnaz Husain is the CEO of the Shahnaz Husain Group – India’s leading company in the field of natural beauty and anti-aging treatments.

Fitness in a Snap

Q. 6 My 5-year old daughter develops tiny red rashes on her hand

every time the season changes. It lasts for a few days and disappears on its own. Can I prevent this, or least reduce the itchiness, using natural products?

Snap Fitness, a worldwide 24/7 Fitness Centre, launched its first Centre in the City. A huge cake was cut at the Event, which was attended by Co-founder SriLeka Reddy, the trainers, the nutritionist and the Snap Fitness team. Also present was Dr. Vikram BM, Founder & CEO, Snap Fitness India, who said, “Our success in the southern part of the country inspired us to make this swift move to north India. We plan to spread far and wide across the country and make fitness affordable and accessible to all. BE WELL is our motto.”

SH This seems to be an allergic reaction, which should be referred to a doctor

or dermatologist. You can mix one part vinegar with three parts water. Dab a little of this solution on the hands to relieve itching. You can also add one teaspoon soda bicarbonate (baking soda) in a mug of water and rinse the hands, as this is also said to relieve itching.

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

If there is an Event that you would like featured on this page mail us the details at: anita.bagchi@ fridaygurgaon.com

‘Eye Am Cured’

GURGAON’S

OWN

WEEKLY

NEWSPAPER

An Eye Camp, organised by the Y.P Mahindru
Niramaya Eye Bank, was held at a village in Rajokri, wherein 20 needy people regained their vision after undergoing cataract surgeries. The Camp drew a huge response and more than 600 people attended, to get their eyes checked. 72-year-old Manohar Lal, who was operated upon for cataract, said, “This is a noble gesture from Chairman of
Y.P. Mahindru Eye Bank, Ashok Mahindru, to sponsor the surgeries for all of us. I was facing problems for many years now, but this operation
will again help me see the world.’’



To Advertise

7838003874 | 9999444818


06 write to us at letters @fridaygurgaon.com

E

ven a year after violence broke out at the Manesar Plant of Maruti, the sacked workers are still being relentlessly pursued by the State agencies, to ensure that they back-off from protesting against the policies and practices of the Company, which have hit them hard. Since their ouster from the Plant, around 2300 sacked workers have run from pillar to post to get justice, but all their efforts have come to naught. Not even a single accused, out of the 147 workers who have been jailed in connection with the murder and violence last year on July 18, has been granted bail - while 57 workers are still absconding, with nonbailable warrants issued against them. The State government, the rest of the political class, and even the civil society appear to be a little distant when it comes to rescuing these hapless workers – the majority of whom just want that they be considered innocent till proven guilty in a court of law. In its latest fiat, the Gurgaon District Administration, citing a possibility of tension between villagers and the sacked Maruti workers on the anniversary of the incident, invoked Section 144, which prevents the congregation of more than 5 people at one place. The workers say this decision has been taken to thwart the proposed 'Manesar Chalo' protest against the policies and practices of their employer. Mahavir, a leader of Maruti Suzuki Workers Union (MSWU), which was registered with great difficulty, amid opposition from the management, alleges that the State has been incessantly trying to deny them the fundamental right to hold peaceful demonstrations, hold banners and placards, shout slogans and make speeches in a peaceful manner. In the latest instance, the Union had sought permission to peacefully demonstrate in a part of Tau Devilal Park in Manesar, and promised that the life of the common man would not be disturbed. The union leaders allege that they had even proposed to video record the entire protest demonstration, so that there would be no dispute about the facts. But the permission was denied. Rajender Pathak, the lawyer who is pleading the case of MSWU, asserts that this refusal by the Administration is the latest

Mishandling Workers in a series of decisions that have denied workers their right to democratically organize and protest. "There has almost been a reign of terror that has been perpetrated on the workers both by the Company and the government – which seem to be in collusion. On July 18th last year the Maruti management had sacked 546 regular and 1800 contract workers arbitrarily. A number of them have been implicated in the murder case and are languishing in jail, while the rest are not being allowed to protest," asserts Pathak. The refusal by State authorities to allow peaceful protests forced the sacked workers to approach the High Court, which recently issued a notice to the government asking why permission was not being granted. Referring to the policy of denial adopted by the State government, union leaders point that the government had even refused permission to the Honda workers union when it wanted to support sacked workers last year. On November 7 and 8, MSWU had applied for permission to sit in front of the Gurgaon DC Office, but was denied permission; again, on January 13 the government denied them permission to protest, while on January 24 a peaceful cycle rally was dispersed by the State authorities. On the same day a member of the provisional working committee was just

PRAKHAR PANDEY

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

C ivic/S ocial

19-25 July 2013

suddenly picked up. Pathak says that even the judicial system has been more sympathetic to the Company, rather than towards the working class. Citing the judgement, which denied bail to the accused in the death of Awanish Dev on July 18, Pathak says that the judgment clearly mentioned that giving bail to the accused would mean denting the confidence of investors from abroad, which is not in the interest of the society. The lawyer says that bail should be granted on the basis of the merits of the case, and not on extraneous reasons that have no relation to the incident. Union leader Mahavir says that they want a judicial inquiry into the violence, the reinstatement of sacked workers, bail to the accused who have been held for the last

A study conducted by the Delhi-based People’s Union for Democratic Rights says: When the workers left the room on July 18 there was no fire. Who started the fire? The room in which Awanish Dev seemed to have died of asphyxiation had a fragile door, and in all possibility could not get locked. Why was it not broken open? There were fire sensors in the factory premises, and closed circuit television cameras as well; also, the Company has its own fire service - why did none of these safety measures work? Why were the cameras turned off, when they were otherwise on all the time? Why were all these matters not investigated? The attendance record of 18 July has not been made available. This could help ascertain the presence of ‘bouncers in uniforms’. The police claim that the attendance register was destroyed in the fire. However, the police got one of the workers (who enjoyed political clout) released from custody on 25 July, by stating in court that, according to the ‘records’ he had left the unit by 6 pm on that day. If the records had indeed been destroyed, how were the police able to ‘produce’ this evidence selectively for one worker, seven days after the incident? Why are cell phone records not being investigated, which can ascertain whether the workers had asked the HR Head to intervene in the situation? What were the other security personnel, labour department and HR officials doing during this time? How could so many people not prevent the death of Awanish Dev?

one year and punishment to the guilty who were involved in the fracas. "We want tripartite talks to resolve the issue. The workers and their families have suffered a lot in the last one year. We want justice," he asserts. When asked about the opposition to the proposed ‘Manesar Chalo’ protest from the villagers in IMT Manesar, Pathak says, "People with vested interests are trying to vitiate the environment. We want to protest peacefully and highlight our plight, which the Company does not want us to do. We won’t take a confrontationist approach," asserts Mahavir. Even before the trial was over and the matter investigated properly, the police and administration had squarely put the blame on the workers, for the violence of July 18, he asserts. "We want an independent investigation. I think there were other players also involved in the incident, which has not come to light," says Jitender, who was sacked despite being out of the factory on that fateful day. He hails from Jind, and says that the Company had arbitrarily sacked workers in the aftermath of the incident, and a number of them were implicated despite not being involved in the violence. "We are facing a lot of problems, but none of us has got any help from the State government, despite being locals," he adds. Being local has in fact become a stigma for the workers, as insiders claim that out of the 546 permanent workers terminated by Maruti, 400 were locals. Pathak says that a large number of these workers hailed from Jind, Kaithal and Yamunanagar. Kaithal incidentally is the home town of Haryana Industries Minister Randip Singh Surjewala, and this city also witnessed large-scale State repression when the

sacked workers of Maruti called for a Mahapanchayat, after successfully carrying out an indefinite Dharna from March 24 to May 18. Advocate Pathak says that the State government, in order to keep Maruti in good humour, has gone totally against the interests of the workers. "We have filed a counter FIR, and hopefully it will throw fresh light on the case. Nowhere in the country have such a large number of workers been held without bail, despite them having no criminal record," he adds. The facts of the day need to be established. It needs to be known whether union members were threatened on that day, during negotiations; did union members rush into the negotiating room to protect their leaders, or were there some outsiders dressed as workers present at the scene of the crime. Was the fire an accident or deliberately started? Pathak alleges that the truth is unlikely to emerge, because of the massive public relations exercise carried out by the Company and the government. "The workers stand convicted even before the trial has concluded," he alleges. Several legal and civic activists are also coming around to the cause of the sacked Maruti workers, in their quest for justice. Referring to the incarcerated Maruti workers, Supreme Court Advocate Prashant Bhushan termed the denial of bail to 147 Maruti workers as ridiculous, as they were neither serial killers nor hardened criminals. He also promised legal support to the workers. The Maruti Suzuki Workers Union, now buoyed by the support from civil society, trade unions and student leader, says that their quest for justice will continue. "We will not rest till justice is done," the workers assert, but also promise that their struggle would remain peaceful, and within the confines of the law. MSWU says that it is acting well within its democratic and fundamental right to organise and protest. “The Administration has been taking out a misinformation campaign of a possible confrontation, with the help of a few village heads, to prevent the workers from holding any demonstration at the proposed venue. We have complete solidarity with the villagers, and have the support of over 150 panchayats. Villagers near the Plant in IMT Manesar sent us solidarity greetings and even took our posters on 16 July, when we went to IMT Manesar, the union members say. u


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The Fall-Outs of Live-Ins  Contd from p 1 Akshay had forced her many times to have sex. The messages exchanged between Sukhi and Akshay were used as evidence by the police. Akshay, who is still missing, is now facing a rape case. “If a woman comes to us with such a complaint, we have no option but to file a case of cheating under Section 420, and of rape under 376 of IPC. If the man deserts the woman in a Live-in relationship, the punishment could even be worse,” says Police Inspector Sumit Yadav. Not many know that the law doesn’t treat Livein relationships as just a “trying out” relationship. “As marriage is always in the mind of the couples, and is considered to be the ultimate goal of such relationships, deserting a partner can

lead to legal actions,” says Kalyani, a Relationship Counsellor based in Sector 55. She receives at least 10 complaints every month, of Live-in relationships going sour.

Live-in laws as firm as Marital laws

Despite many people viewing Live-in relationships as immoral, the Law provides such relationships equal status and protection as that of a marital relationship. Live-in relationships offer women protection on many counts. Apart from a rape charge for forced/without consent sex, physical assault in live-in relationships comes under the Domestic Violence Act. In fact, there have been various orders by the Supreme Court

and the High Courts across the country that have shown that the Indian Law has an extremely progressive view on Livein relationships. Advocate Nakul Sinha says, “As per the Law, formalities such as exchanging rings and wearing mangalsutras are just for the satisfaction of a particular religion or thought. Legal aspects should undoubtedly get precedence over customs, and therefore Live-ins should be considered as marriage in any court of law.” The Law doesn’t interpret Live-in relationships as short-term arrangements. Such relationships are always viewed as part of a longstanding commitment, where the man and woman share the same framework as that of marriage. In fact, provisions for separation in Live-in relationships are better than in the case of marriage. Getting

a divorce (after marriage) is not child’s play; it takes years to settle a case. However, in Liveins no divorce is required, and yet women are entitled to alimony. “I think that the trauma is much less in Live-in relationships, than in a divorce. False allegations and counter allegations sometimes make it a cruel battle of wits, where no one wins except may be the lawyers,” feels Kalyani.

The Right Step

On a recent petition to the Madras High Court, the Court has decreed that a Livein couple can’t separate or ‘marry’ someone else without mutual consent; if done, it will be considered as a second marriage and the offender can be put behind bars. Furthermore, if the woman

gets pregnant, she would be treated as the ‘wife’ by the family of the husband as well. In fact, the husband has to sign the Birth Certificate of the child as the father. Nakul opines that the courts are moving in the right direction, with such a progressive view on Live-in relationships. “An unmarried adult couple will be considered married, and can be termed husband and wife, if they have had sex. Women’s rights are also human rights and she should be entitled to the relief,” he says.

The Flip Side

While our legal system strives to make the country safer for women and thus provides her more rights, there has been a rise in complaints by women after failed Livein relationships. “Many times, rape cases are being used as a

weapon to harass and force the man to marry. In over a dozen cases in a month that come to us, the woman wants to force the man to marry her. There have been many cases where the woman has first had consensual sex with the Live-in partner, but later files a rape case against him - making a mockery of the relationship,” says Kalyani. This raises an extremely important question. Is our law being fair to the not-so-fair sex? Shouldn’t there be a deterrent to prevent such misuse of the law? Experts feel that sometimes pro-women laws don’t follow the fundamental legal premise that a person is innocent until he/ she is proven guilty. Advocate T.K Mehra recounts a recent case. “A case had come up in which a woman, for a period of

more than two years, enjoyed physical intimacy with a man. She then lodged an FIR, alleging rape only when he spurned her offer of marriage. In her complaint, she justified the delay (of filing an FIR) on the grounds that she was threatened and blackmailed by the man to keep quiet, otherwise he might have killed her. Unfortunately, even a delay in lodging an FIR in such cases can’t diminish the chances of conviction of the man.” Some legal experts also criticize the courts. “When a court passes a judgement, it sets a legal precedent for all cases of failed Live-in relationships. A court of law should clearly be different from a gram panchayat. Our country has separate marriage, divorce and alimony laws for Hindus, Muslims, Christians and Parsis, besides some special provisions for inter-religious and community marriages. A court judgment on alimony in Livein cases should therefore factor in all the religious laws and special laws. If the law permits privileges to a woman, it should be the duty of the courts to do justice without harming the dignity of the male partner,” says Advocate Mehra. He admits that some women do lodge rape complaints with the motive of exacting revenge, after a relationship fails. Courts have approved Live-in relationships to the extent that a woman can claim maintenance from her Livein partner. But to allege rape, after being in such consensual relationship, is almost an abuse of the relationship. Sushil Munjal, President of the Men’s Right association questions, “We had witnessed several cases where a woman had dumped her boyfriend and

gone to another man. Why can’t her boyfriend lodge a complaint in such a case? If dumping your partner is a crime, why the is it not a crime for a woman?” His organisation plans to file a petition in the Delhi Court saying that even if a promise of marriage is made, the law should treat it as a case of cheating or breach of trust - not rape. Bowing to the pressure from activists, and to curb rising crime against women, the government has given the green signal to a lot of pro-women laws. But everybody – of any sex, colour, religion, caste or creed – should be equal as per law. While Lawyer Vidya says that it is good to give all the rights to Live-in partners as those in a marriage, Counsellor Kalyani opines that marriage is a better solution. Marriage gives permanence to a temporary union, pushing a man and a woman to adjust and care for each other. It asks for commitment and sacrifice. This is the major reason that marriage is still relevant in our society. Besides, it gives a sense of security to the children, who should be raised by both parents and enjoy a happy family life. The culture of marriage also provides companionship to elderly couples, when their children have left them. Model Divya Rathee too feels that marriage is a better option. She says, “When passion wanes, many Live-in couples just find the easy way and leave – though seldom would both agree at the same time. However, marriage helps couples face the problems of life together - be it in the name of societal pressure or to give a better future to their children.” u


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Cover for the Poor

{ Shilpy Arora / FG }

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resident of Sukhasan Village in Bihar, Rani had never been to school till the age of 9, as it was located 10 km away from her village - across the river. However, the situation drastically improved when a 240 ft x 6 ft bamboo bridge was set up on the river by the villagers themselves. The project was implemented with the help of an NGO, Goonj. Interestingly, the NGO used just clothes as motivation, and involved the villagers to construct the river. “We neither spent nor earned any money for making the bridge. Volunteers of Goonj motivated us and gave us good clothes in return. Now my children have new clothes to wear. They have schoolbags and books too,” smiles Rani’s mother. “Over a hundred villagers donated bamboo sticks and a few days of labour. We supplied nails and wire. The whole thing cost us just Rs. 2,000. Besides connecting the villages, the bridge impacted the mind-set of the people. They realised the importance of working together, and selfreliance,” says a volunteer. The government later provided some financial help so that motorcycles could also use the bridge. Today, it is a concrete bridge. The ‘Cloth for Work’

initiative of Goonj also worked wonders in Churali Village of Orissa. Motivated by the offer of new clothes, the villagers decided to clean up the village pond, which was the only source of water in the village. “More than 500 people got together to clean the pond. They got many new clothes and school supplies in return. The best part is that till today the villagers have been actively involved in keeping the pond clean,” says a volunteer. Started in 1999, Goonj provides the underprivileged in rural areas an access to clothing, school supplies and sanitary napkins. Founder Anshu Gupta started by inviting people to contribute the under-utilised material

The Law & Beyond Divorce { Vidya Raja }

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hough barely seven months into their marriage, Akshay and Deepa were fairly certain that they were headed nowhere. They decided to end the marriage and approached a lawyer to start the process of obtaining a divorce. Both were in a hurry - Akshay had found a job overseas, while Deepa had found someone else with whom she wanted to settle down. The reason for asking for a divorce, as stated to their lawyer, was ‘irretrievable breakdown of marriage’. Divorce and separation were taboo words until recently. However, increasingly, distressed couples are approaching the courts to seek divorce and end their marriage. The introduction of this new ground/reason – ‘irretrievable breakdown of marriage’ - makes the process of approaching the courts a lot less traumatic. While the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 has been in existence for over five

from their homes, offices and schools. He gradually built a team of volunteers and trained them to make the best use of discarded pieces of cotton cloth and other ‘waste’ material. “We created a taskforce of women to help transform cloth into sanitary pads, which were to be not only safe but eco-friendly,” recounts Anshu who started his career as a freelance journalist and later left a corporate job to establish Goonj.

Why Clothes?

Anshu, as a journalist, was working on a story of a rickshaw-puller, Habib, in Delhi. Habib used to carry abandoned dead bodies in his rickshaw, and dispose them respectfully

decades, it wasn’t until March 23, 2012 that the Act was amended to include ‘irretrievable breakdown of marriage’ as one of the grounds on which a couple could seek divorce. The existing grounds include, among others: adultery, conversion to another religion, unsoundness of mind, a virulent and incurable form of leprosy, venereal disease in a communicable form, renouncement of the world and not having been heard of as being alive for a period of seven years. The provisions for seeking divorce for cruelty and desertion were introduced only in 1974. A study in contrast is New Zealand, where ‘irretrievable breakdown of marriage’ as a ground for divorce was accepted as early as 1920, making it the first country to recognise this as a valid reason for separation. One comes across many cases in which the parties have been married for a long time—sometimes as long as 18 years—but have stayed apart for almost the entire time without being officially divorced, purely because of legal disputes surrounding the grounds for separation. For such cases, the introduction of this new ground comes as a ray of hope. Anand and Rekha (names changed upon

at a funeral ground. Gupta was intrigued when he learnt that while Habib collected just four or five bodies a day in the summer, the number sometimes touched 20 a day in the winters. The reason was that many of the under-privileged were dying just due to a lack of clothing. “That is when I realised that we have totally ignored the clothing needs of the poor. Many organisations work on their need for food, education and health, but their need for clothes has never been highlighted or even ‘felt’,” feels Anshu. He also believes that clothing gives the underprivileged a sense of dignity and self-respect. Besides, it is easy for most of the people living in cities to donate clothes. It is easy to collect clothes from India’s burgeoning middle-class, which spends a lot on clothing,” says Meenakshi, Anshu’s wife.

Transforming Clothes

Most of the times villagers are reluctant to use discarded clothes, and so Goonj decided not to distribute worn clothes directly to the villagers. “For us, those who give clothes and those who receive are equal,” says Anshu. The NGO therefore involved volunteers to recycle the clothes, pack them nicely and give them to villagers in a respectful manner. The NGO also decided to not distribute any clothes free of cost. Villagers have to necessarily work on a project in their village, to earn clothes and various other items made of waste material.

request) have been married for 23 years now. Their have two children. However, they have not lived together for more than a decade and a half now. Both of them have chosen different partners and live with them. The sole reason for not applying for a divorce is to avoid the stigma, and to save themselves from numerous trips to the courts. While they remain married in the eyes of the law, for all practical purposes they have been divorced for a decade plus. Under Hindu Law, marriage is considered a sacrament, and that is why there are so many obstacles in the path of those seeking divorce. It forces the couple to delve into their married life, and think well about its positives and negatives. However, with the changing times, the policy of the law now seems to be that it is prudent to accept and grant the dissolution of a marriage that is not working, and to do so with minimum financial and emotional turmoil to the parties concerned. Whilst the addition of the new ground might come as a reprieve for many couples battling it out in family courts for divorce, Advocate Vipul Dharmani, practising in the Punjab and Haryana

Goonj makes good use of almost anything. It repairs saris and woollens, which are in the highest demand in rural India. It recycles denim into schoolbags, T-shirts into undergarments and cloth scraps into quilts. Besides, it produces affordable sanitary napkins. Today, Goonj distributes around two lakhs sanitary napkins every month among rural women. The volunteers first sterilize the cotton clothes, then cut them and stitch them to make sanitary pads, bed sheets and handkerchiefs.

How it Works

With nine collection centers across the country, the NGO provides about two million pounds of materials - including clothes, utensils, books, school bags, footwear, toys and many other items to rural areas. The NGO has partnered with more than 250 distribution agencies, which assist them in distributing material to over half a million people in 21 states in India. It is interesting to see how the Centre uses a colour-coded sorting system, which is of great help for illiterate women. Owing to its unique ‘Cloth for Work’ initiative, Goonj has truly evolved into an organisation that has brought about civic and social development in some of the underdeveloped rural pockets in the country. With this initiative the NGO has also given many of the deprived their right to a dignified life.u

Court said, “The introduction of ‘irretrievable breakdown of marriage’ reduces the scope of mediation. In my experience more than half the matters are solved during the course of mediation. Therefore the efficacy of this new ground will have to be monitored closely.” While one section of society is heralding this new ground, another section is anxiously monitoring whether the Act provides for adequate monetary safeguards for the women. The parting of spouses has to be in a dignified manner, without any exploitation by the one having the financial resources. Without a law to ensure the ‘rights’ of women in matrimonial property (not merely a provision of maintenance), this new ground for divorce may in fact result in the further exploitation of women. As a wise man once said, “In every marriage, more than a week old, there are grounds for divorce. The trick is to find, and continue to find, grounds for marriage.” u The writer is a qualified legal professional who has practiced before the Madras and Karnataka High Courts


19-25 July 2013

Experts opine that if due importance is given to this non-motorized mode of transportation, then it could help resolve the problem of ‘last mile’ connectivity, which is acute in this City dominated by cars. Amit Bhatt, an expert on Traffic Management, says that the time has come for the City managers to realize the importance of cycles and cycle rickshaws, to ensure easier movement of people. “What is surprising is that 70 per cent of the population in the City is dependent on public transport like shared autos, rickshaws and now buses, but the emphasis still remains on cars. There has to be a balanced sharing of space, and respect must be given to cycles and rickshaws on the roads,” says Bhatt. The members of the NonMotorized Transport (NMT) Group, comprising City-based activists, have also approached the government as well as policy makers for making the City safer for pedestrians, and giving dedicated road space to cyclists and rickshaws. In fact the Group recently invited Navdeep Asija of Fazilka Eco-cabs, to ask him to consider launching a pilot project in the City, as he has done successfully in Fazilka, and recently in Chandigarh. Asija told Friday Gurgaon that if the cycle rickshaw transport is combined with an innovative use of technology, then it could resolve the commuting problems of Gurgaon - particularly the movement inside large colonies, as well moving to and fro from Metro stations. “In Chandigarh we have used the power of crowd-sourcing and smart phones to connect the users and rickshaw pullers through a mobile-based interface. Almost 150 rickshaw pullers have been brought into the Eco-cab network in this way, and the Project is likely to be very successful,” says Asija. The maximum benefit of the Eco Cab project is being derived by senior citizens and ladies in the family, who need to go to markets and schools, and travel for other chores. What the Eco-Cab project has ensured is that a cycle-rickshaw is available very close to the residence of a person who needs to take a ride, says Asija. The support of the citizens and civil society is very much needed to make the Project successful. They need to click the photo of a rickshaw puller, take his name and mobile number and upload it on the Eco Cab website, and share the information and link with the people who have the Eco-cab application on their phones. The issue with an unorganised rickshaw network is that these are not accessible near residential areas, tariffs are unregulated, maintenance is poor, pullers do not maintain proper hygiene and many use intoxicants. Replicating the Chandigarh model in Gurgaon would be easy, because a large number of people in the City are connected through smartphones, and use Internet with ease. “To start, we can get in touch with a few colonies and ask them to provide some parking space for rickshaw pullers in front of their gate. The mobile numbers of the rickshaw pullers can be uploaded on a site so that people can easily call them. We also fix the fares, so there is no need for haggling,” he says. Fazilka Eco-cabs would soon be launching a project in Delhi’s Greater Kailash,

Take the Slow Lane with the Millennium City to follow. While organising the rickshaws is one end of the spectrum, a strong need is also felt for creating an enabling infrastructure such as a dedicated lane for Non-Motorized Transport, foot paths for pedestrians, and cross-sections where people on foot and cycle can easily traverse. It has to be kept in mind that only 25 per cent of Gurgaon roads have footpaths, and these too are poorly maintained, and/or encroached upon by vendors. There is no space for cycles. The casual attitude of the authorities also makes matters more difficult as a senior official revealed that the ‘Street Vendor’ policy devised by the MCG is languishing in Chandigarh –

the rickshaws. Many such short distance trips would not require the use of cars,” he asserts. He also emphasizes the role played by street vendors, operating handdriven carts, in making roads more secure and safe. The eco-friendly nature of rickshaws can be realized from the fact that one rickshaw helps save 3 litres of fuel daily. If Gurgaon has 20,000 rickshaws then it could mean a saving of 60,000 litres of petrol or diesel daily which is a significant saving, while also putting much less pressure on the environment. Asija of Eco Cab says that burning one litre of fuel requires 15.2 kg of oxygen. He also opines that non-interference by authorities like MCG could be a blessing in

as is much else. Deputy Mayor Yashpal Batra, when asked about the policy of registration and licensing of rickshaws, says in a condescending tone: “What do you want? You want that there should be a monitoring and registration process? We have taken up the matter and if you want it we will make it functional soon.” In the absence of proper government regulation, the rickshaw pullers operate in a vacuum that is ultimately dominated by cartels. Another important function is highlighted by Prabhat Agarwal of Aravalli Scholars. His contention is that rickshaws play an important role in carrying small loads, particularly in large colonies as well as in the lanes and bylanes of Sadar Bazar. “We need to encourage the rickshaw pullers, give them space and support. This will make the City less dependent on motor cars and bikes”, says Agarwal. He also says that rickshaws could easily use the internal roads in the City, to ensure easier and faster travel for people. “The DLF Phase 1 residents find it difficult to reach Sikanderpur Metro Station, and have to use their cars. An internal road can be made accessible to

disguise as municipal authorities, if they are overly active, make it quite difficult for the rickshaw pullers to operate - as has happened in Delhi. In the National Capital, around 8 lakhs rickshaw pullers, the majority of whom operate illegally, have to bribe the law enforcers and police as well, because of the archaic municipal laws that make it very difficult to own and pull a rickshaw. In fact a rickshaw is the only vehicle for which one licence is required to own it, and another is required to pull it. Legally, a rickshaw owner can’t out rent a vehicle but, ironically, across the NCR the operating model of this industry is based on renting. There are a large number of contractors in Gurgaon as well, who own a few to a few hundred rickshaws, and rent them out to seasonal migrants. While the implementation of the regulation is lax in Gurgaon and other cities in Haryana, Asija says that Chandigarh has very stringent norms. “Registration of rickshaws there is quite an exercise. One needs to get certificates from the SHO and health officials yearly,

Prakhar PANDEY

 Contd from p 1

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Integrated Gurgaon Manesar Mobility Plan: A Project that could revolutionize Non-Motorized Transport (NMT) in the Millennium City As a part of the NMT Plan under the Integrated Mobility Plan, suggestions have been made for the provision of foot paths, safe pedestrian crossing facilities (at-grade and grade-separated) and Non-Motorized Vehicles (NMV) lanes. It is proposed to build footpaths on about 500 kms of road length. The Plan also proposes an installation of 210 kms of dedicated cycle lanes on the roads of the City, as several cycle routes of upto 3 to 4 km can be made. The Plan also states that the development of this network must be integrated along with improvements in the public transport network. Pedestrians’ safe-crossing facilities include at-grade facilities like zebra crossings and pedestrian signals; and grade-separated facilities include Foot Over Bridges and subways. As the volumes of pedestrians and vehicle traffic increases, more grade-separated facilities are warranted. In order to encourage and regulate cycle rickshaws in Gurgaon, the Plan suggests that the fare of cycle rickshaws and the registration of the vehicles must be regulated on the lines of auto-rickshaws. Cycle rickshaws must be asked to use Non-Motorized Vehicle (NMV) lanes, and the rickshaws must also be provided with parking stations at bus stands, railway terminals, and near commercial areas.

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which is a frustrating exercise for a poor man,” he says. In his opinion, the government needs to promote this mode of transport, which can provide an immediate vocation to thousands of poor people. “It is the strong demand for cycle rickshaw services in Indian cities that has kept them alive; the authorities have done little to support this industry,” rues Asija. Even the law ensures that rickshaw owners who come from the weakest sections of society are made to suffer, as rules allow the confiscation of a rickshaw, and even its destruction under certain conditions. While recently the Supreme Court has come to the rescue of rickshaw pullers, the law is seldom implemented on Indian road, particularly if it favours the poor and the meek. The need of the hour, say experts, is for planners to design the road infrastructure and network keeping Non-Motorized Transport in mind. “The way we plan the cities we marginalize the pedestrians, cyclists and rickshaws on the road,” says Latika Thukral of IamGurgaon. The need to sensitize the decision makers in the MCG, HUDA and State Administration is also being strongly felt. Sanjay Kaushik of Uthan, an NGO that launched a successful pilot project of Solar Rickshaws, says that if this transport mode is organized properly by a professional organization, in collaboration with the government, then it could be a game changer for public transport. “There is need for proper monitoring and regulation, to ensure that rickshaws remain safe for women, children and the elderly. This is not happening right now as any person, even a rogue, can enter this trade”, asserts Kaushik. During his pilot project, Uthaan had tied up with RWAs, fixed the fares and monitored the service well which made it successful. While civic activists bat for cycle rickshaws, the traffic police officials in the ‘old’ City opine that the slow movement of rickshaws as well as their proliferation causes a lot of jams on the City roads. ASI Om Prakash, while asking a rickshaw puller to move away from the congested chowk, says that there is need to put a check on the increasing numbers of these vehicles. “They move very slowly, do not have lights, and take a turn from anywhere, creating a traffic nightmare. Many times they move in the opposite direction of the traffic, which leads to accidents”, claims the police official. The lack of proper identification of rickshaw pullers is also an issue that needs to be taken into cognizance by the authorities. Gurgaon based activist Sarika Bhatt, however, says that in her opinion the traffic intersections in the City, the road network and everything related to it, has not been designed with a proper perspective. She has high hopes on the Gurgaon Manesar Integrated Mobility Plan, which proposes to upgrade the transport infrastructure of the City in a major way. But sceptics argue that the majority of the plans, including the Gurgaon Master Urban Development Plan, have remained on paper to this day – and so it is unlikely that this document will see the light of day. Amit Bhatt of Embarq also says that the Integrated Mobility Plan, particularly in context of Non-Motorized Transport, has a lot of positives - but the need is to get it implemented in letter and spirit. u


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{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

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large number of kids belonging to the families of the migrant labour population of the City – including drivers and maids - is not able to access the education system because of a lack of resources as well as the bureaucratic hurdles at the State education facilities. With most private schools also not embracing this responsibility, though mandated by the RTE Act, it is the schools that are being run by the voluntary sector, such as Shiksha Bharti in Palam Vihar, which have come to the rescue of these children. The School is jointly promoted by the Eco Development Foundation and Aniket Ashray Society, with support from the State and Central government. K.C Johari, a former civil servant, who runs this School, says that the lack of education facilities for the poor is an enormous problem that the State and civil society will have to tackle by collaborating with each other. “There are thousands of kids in Gurgaon who can’t afford to go to regular schools. Despite the Right to Education making school education mandatory, it is quite difficult to achieve that goal as resources are limited,” says Johari. However, despite constraints, there are 130 students currently getting education at Shiksha Bharti - from Nursery to Class Fifth. These students are given free admission, schools books, dress and even a mid-day meal - which is served under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan of the Government of India. The School was started in 2010, with 20 students. The number surged after the labour population living in the areas close by realised that a good quality of ed-

ucation was being delivered, says Johari. There are 7 volunteer teachers in the School, who are paid an honorarium. While the requests for admissions are increasing, the School administration has had to put on hold the entry of new students because of space constraint. There are only 4 rooms in the School, which are filled to the brim, and Class Five has to sit on the staircase of the building. “We do not have space, but the students do not mind some inconvenience; they have a great yearning to learn,” says Pratibha Sharma, a volunteer teacher. The School wants to add 4 more rooms, but despite approaching the District Administration several times the plans have not been approved. The School had to suffer doubly because of bureaucratic ineptitude, as it had to return a donation that was made by External Affairs Wives Welfare Association, after the District Administration refused to let them construct the rooms with these funds! “We were promised that rooms would be built by the government, but if this does not happen soon we will pitch a tent to accommodate more children”, says Johari. He is however thankful to the erstwhile Deputy Commissioner P.C Meena, for bringing the School under the Mid-day Meal scheme, which used to cost them almost Rs. 1500 per day. “We now get good quality food under this scheme, delivered by ISKCON,” he says. The teachers at the School say that the children from weaker sections, if given a proper chance and care, can do well in life. Pratibha Sharma cites the instance of several children who were unable to read and write a year back, but once guided properly are now able to do so. “Their health, hygiene, cleanliness and social behaviour improves considerably

PRAKHAR PANDEY

Bharti Shiksha sanctioned by the Union Labour Ministry under a Central Government scheme, to be paid as honorarium to school teachers and workers, has not been released. “We need funds to buy desks for the children, and new rooms are needed. But all this is stuck because nothing happens in Chandigarh, and the local Administration has no inclination to try and accommodate the needs of such schools,” he says. To ensure that children can study in a secure and safe environment, Shiksha Bharti ensures that the girl children are brought to, and taken from, school by family members only. A visitor’s register is also maintained, to keep tabs. The management also keeps a proper record of students, including their photographs and addresses.  Kawal Arora, a voluntary teacher at the School, says that apart from regular studies the kids also participate in co-curricular activities and play games together. This has improved their communication skills and helped them become a part of a team. The need of the hour, Johari says, is to build more institutions like Shiksha Bharti on a Public-Private Partnership model, so that more kids from weaker sections are able to learn, and do better in life. This is a difficult but doable task, provided we are committed, he asserts. u

Waste Not

Talk To The Kids { Sujata Goenka }

{ Prabha Prabhakar Bhardwaj }

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he news that a hundred children were found drinking in a bar in Gurgaon was profoundly shocking. The City is already famous for brawls in the pubs and violence against women in the vicinity of drinking holes. A bar is not a secluded location. It is set up at the centre of activity. It is amazing how a hundred ‘underage’ children not only entered the bar, but were also enjoying Hookah. Hookah has been banned by the Administration. How was it possible for the staff of the pub to breach the law with such ease? I feel that not only the management but also all the staff present were guilty of breaking the law. The incident illustrated the boldness with which the pub operated. If such violations are not taken seriously then more similar, or worse, crimes will follow. The parents are equally responsible. They would have paid on behalf of their children, probably in advance. This easy attitude of the parents will only lead to their children getting ‘bolder’. Parents should not feel guilty about punishing their child. A small punishment today might just stop a more severe punishment at a later date. It is fashionable today to flaunt your ‘modernity’ - which in India translates into being able to drive and drink and…under-age.u

once they have spent a year at the School,” she says. Her only concern is that these children need more support and help from their families and society; but realising that they live a migratory life, and lack resources, the teachers also reconcile to this basic reality. To ensure that these kids get admission in other ‘standard’ schools, Shiksha Bharti willingly provides transfer certificates. “This ensures easy movement across schools, and even government schools accept them without any problem,” he adds. Despite the constraints, a large number of parents want their children to continue studying in this School. Rekha, who works as a construction worker and has arrived from her Madhya Pradesh village three days ago, with three kids in tow, wants to educate them here. “The schools in our village are not good, and if the children go with me on site they will just waste their time. I want them to learn and improve their position in life,” she says. Many more parents have the same aspiration, as they also want their children to have a better future. While the voluntary teachers and the civil society in Gurgaon have helped the School by giving help in the form of furniture, reading material, food and other donations, the government has not been able to execute and implement its welfare schemes in letter and spirit. An amount of Rs 46 lakhs, which was

houghts and actions are inter-connected although these function at two different levels. Thoughts are best defined as a mental or armchair activity, whereas actions involve the whole body. In our thoughts only a wish to eat in order to live exists, and thus there is no impact on resources. At action level, the focus is on eating food, a resource. Has anyone given a thought to the quantum of food that is wasted over a day? Let us begin with families. It is observed that ‘extra’ food is served to the children, to motivate them to eat 'something'. Invariably the food is hardly eaten and the left-overs go into the garbage. Fussy eaters are thus responsible for this wastage. Even most grownups tend to waste food – may not be at home but on social occasions, like buffets, marriages and Bhandaras (held at religious places). The tendency is to load one’s plate with a large quantity of food, as it may not be possible to get a second helping due to long queues; or they do not know what dish will be suitable to their taste buds so why not try everything out. A small portion of almost every dish is piled on to a soon overflowing plate. There is another category of 'smart' people, who

do not mind the long wait in the queues; they change several plates, to taste different cuisines – and eat what they like, and waste the rest. In Bhandaras, people sit down to eat and are served. The servers in their zeal to serve as many people as possible, ignore the needs of eaters, serve large portions to each person and quickly move forward. In this system also a large amount of food is left in the plates, that are made of non-biodegradable materials, raising another serious issue. And this is not just a Gurgaon or India issue. According to a study carried out by the Waste and Resources Action Programme, United Kingdom, “Households throw away about a third of the food they buy. About half of the 6.7 million tonnes of food thrown in the bin each year is edible. Food accounts for 19% of domestic waste. Cooked waste is more likely to be thrown away than raw ingredients.” This study reinforces the well-established fact that an alarming one-third of all food produced in the world ends up in the waste dumps every year. In India, despite a very large population just surviving below the poverty line, we also face an issue of over-consumption, mainly due to the growing prosperity of the middle class. Think, Eat and Save should be every one’s goal. u


C ivic/S ocial

19-25 July 2013

Free Time For Sports Prakhar PANDEY

{ Tarun Kahanna / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon.com

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midst our huge skyscrapers lie a few sports stadiums, which have not succeeded much in catching the fancy of the sports enthusiasts living in ‘new’ Gurgaon. You can play various sports without paying any fee, and yet these arenas are not visited by many. Nehru Stadium, near the Court, and Tau Devi Lal Stadium in Sector 38, Sohna Road, provide well-equipped facilities for various sports. “Most of the people are unaware about the facilities. They carry a pre-conceived notion that these stadiums, being of a national level, may be ‘exclusive’, and charge high fees. Due to this they either opt for the expensive clubs in their ‘townships’, or play in the parks and streets, which are not meant for sports. Unfortunately, therefore, these huge facilities, constructed at high cost, remain underutilised. We also provide sports equipment free of cost, depending on the stock we have,” said a Nehru Stadium staff member. These stadiums cater to several sports – like Hockey, Gymnastics, Lawn Tennis, Volley Ball, Handball, Corp Ball, Basket Ball, Football, Cricket, Athletics, Wrestling, Badminton and many others. “All the pitches, courts and other sports areas have been designed as per national level standards. Many national

Comparison of Gurgaon Stadiums with Delhi Stadiums

Delhi Gurgaon

Stadium

Yamuna Sports Complex/ Chilla Sports Complex/ Dhyanchand Stadium

Nehru Stadium/ Tau Devi Lal Stadium

Sports Fees Athletics Cricket Basketball Football Skating

Rs. 950 - Rs. 1400 Rs. 1,100/Rs. 800/Rs. 550 Rs. 700/Rs. 500/Rs. 400 Rs. 800/Rs. 800 Rs. 500

Free/Free Free/Free Free/Free Free/Free Free/Free

These are the non-membership fees. Training Fee is separate. teams also come here for practice. We have a hostel facility for the sportsmen/women. Moreover, the coaching is also free. We do not have a coach for Lawn Tennis at the moment,” said Kulwinder Singh, Public Information Officer. A person willing to play any sport in these stadiums just needs to get his/ her name registered with the coach of that sport. Thereon, the person can start training or can play the sport. In Delhi and

{ Anita Jaswal }

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ll children most eagerly await their holidays. There is then no time table to follow; they can sleep or do anything they want – whether shopping, or watching TV with no curfew time! But there is some change in the air. A growing number of children and teenagers in the City now wish to spend their summer vacation doing something for society, by joining hands with nonprofit organisations. Tushar Kaistha is a Grade 9 student of G.D.Goenka World School. He excels in academics and was the Middle School Head Boy. He is a voracious reader and enjoys playing the guitar. This summer he thought of doing something different. He volunteered a few hours of his time, every week, to teach. “It was a truly wonderful feeling, of being able to share your knowledge with others less fortunate. My experience at Bagiya was

Noida the fee at the stadiums for many of these sports ranges from Rs 500 to Rs 1000. “I’ve seen these stadiums from outside but have never visited them, to confirm the procedure and fee for playing a sport. I and my fellow mates in this township have believed that the stadiums are reserved for state teams, as there is also a facility of a hostel inside the stadiums’ complex. We also thought that only national, state

or district level sports events are organised here. We play by installing nets or poles in the parks or lanes, or have to pay subscription to the clubs. We had once approached the Kamla Nehru Park authorities for swimming, but as there was a fee we thought that all the government stadiums would be charging fees for different sports,” said Srinath Vasan, a resident of Maple Heights. The free of cost sports facility is not only for children or youngsters, but senior citizens and women of any age can also avail this facility. “We had given advertisements about the facilities in various media in the past, but the response was not that great. The stadiums are located in or near ‘old’ Gurgaon, and this may be the reason that people staying in condominiums and other sectors of ‘new’ Gurgaon are not much aware of, or inclined to use, these facilities,” added Kulwinder Singh. The Department is also planning to renovate some of

Social Vacation refreshing. At first I simply thought that “teaching is teaching, it doesn’t matter whot I teach them.” But after 2-3 days I understood that the kids were intelligent, very fast at picking up the subject matter, and most of all willing to study. I felt as though it is these children who should be going to a mainstream school, rather than us! We have everything but take it all for granted, whereas they have next to nothing and yet make the most of it. I will never forget my experience at Bagiya and would love to continue my association with the School. Thank you God. Thank you for giving me the privilege and the blessing of being able to teach those children,” says Tushar passionately. Nine-year-old Varun Nagpal, a Sector 56 resident, is another youngster who spent his holidays differently. Drawing inspiration from a charity fair conducted at his previous school in Mumbai, Varun, along with his friends Jai Shriram and Siddharth Dave, decided to adopt

a similar plan. Varun and his friends put up food and game stalls in their building, bought toys from the profits and donated them to Toybank, an NGO that distributes toys to the under-privileged children. “I had been donating my toys to Toybank, and so we thought that we could earn some money and donate more toys,” says Varun. Didn’t they feel that they could have kept the money and bought toys for themselves? ”No, those kids have nothing to play with and we want to give them the same toys that we have. We should thank God for this amazing life we have, and all the blessings that He has already given us,” says Varun. Lots of children volunteer with the Animal Lovers Club. The Club undertakes anti-rabies and anti-ticks awareness drives; members also feed

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the pitches and courts that have got slightly damaged due to the rains. The Haryana government has also announced a plan to fill 500 plus vacancies/ jobs for coaches in different sports. These vacancies for Junior Coaches include: 50 for Athletics, 20 for Badminton, 35 for Basket Ball, 20 for Boxing, 6 for Cricket, 12 for Cycling, 7 for Fencing, 20 for Foot-Ball, 12 for Gymnastics, 30 for Hand-Ball, 30 for Hockey, 15 for Judo, 1 for Kayaking and Canoeing, 45 for Kho-Kho Kabaddi, 20 for Net Ball, 1 for Rowing, 5 for Shooting, 28 for Swimming, 5 for Table Tennis, 7 for Taekwondo, 10 for Tennis, 30 for Volley-Ball, 5 for Weight Lifting, 95 for Wrestling and 2 for Wushu. The eligibility criteria for these vacancies is that the applicant should be a graduate or equivalent from a recognized university, and have a Diploma in Coaching from the National Institute of Sports in the relevant game; or a Diploma from the National Institute of Sports and a Certificate of Participation in Asian Games, Commonwealth Games, Asian Championships (Senior), Olympic Games or World Championships (Senior) in the relevant game. Besides this, knowledge of Hindi/ Sanskrit up to Matric standard or higher education is needed. The age criterion is 17-40 years. The other details are available on the Haryana Staff Selection Committee’s website www.hssc.gov. in. The closing date for the submission of application is August 8, 2013. u

and take care of the strays. “I love animals and I thought this was the best way to put my vacation to good use,” says Vivan Grover, a regular with the Club. “ Vo l u n t e e r s come from all walks of life. They are willing to give their time and skills to help uplift the underprivileged children. The commitment and passion that these volunteers bring on board, especially the young teenagers, is amazing and heartening,” says Chitra Guha, who runs an NGO, HUM, which aims to impart formal and non-formal education to the children in jhuggis. Doing your bit for others less fortunate can be truly fulfilling. Holidays mean Fun and Happiness, so why not share this with some folks who need it more than we do? Many underprivileged kids don’t have a family and aren’t fortunate to get presents like we do. Never underestimate the difference that YOU can make in the lives of others. So step forward, reach out and help.u


12 write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon.com

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month-old Uttarakhand natural disaster has once again reminded mankind of the blunders it has been committed against nature. However, the worry is when we do not learn from our mistakes. Would you believe it, there is yet no stringent law for the protection of trees in the State of Haryana? Unlike Delhi, which has its own Tree Protection Act 1994, imposing a fine of Rs 28,000 on any person cutting a tree, as well as imprisonment clauses, in Haryana there’s just a fine of Rs 500 - with no provision for imprisonment. “It is such a nonsensical thing that on the one hand we organise campaigns and undertake projects for the greening of the State, while on the other hand there is no protection provided for the existing greenery. We have been writing to the State authorities, Ministers of Parliament and the Green Tribunal, to make a law that can protect the trees in Haryana, but no step has been taken in this regard till date. I’m personally visiting the authorities to explain the entire scenario of tree protection in Haryana, and will keep doing it till it actually works out,” said Vivek Kamboj, Founder of Haryali NGO.

Selling Green Cheap For the protection of greenery there is The Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA), 1900. This legislation was enacted to save the soil from erosion. “If a tree is cut in the restricted forest area, we have full liberty under the Indian Forest Act 1927 to impose heavy penalty, along with imprisonment. However, if a tree is cut in a ‘general’ land, only a penalty of Rs. 500 is leviable. Earlier, the amount of fine in Delhi was also Rs. 1000, but after considering the sensitivity, the fine has been raised to Rs. 28,000; the accused is also asked to plant 5-10 saplings and to maintain the same. There is a regular check on this,” said an official from the District Forest Department. The PLPA (Act) is also not applicable everywhere. Since the Act deals with the conservation of soil and water, in many agriculture fields and other areas where there is no risk of soil erosion or floods, this Act is not applicable. This gives freedom to many farmers to remove the trees standing in their agriculture fields. For a developer, if he has to cut five trees, he has to just pay Rs. 2500 for this. There has

PRAKHAR PANDEY

{ Tarun Khanna / FG }

been no check on tree-felling in Gurgaon over decades now. “How can one keep a check if someone is cutting a tree in his personal property or neighbourhood. There has to be information passed on from the people witnessing such acts. Every other day we see huge portions of tree branches being cut and left in parks or in the back lanes. One cannot expect the Forest Department to visit

every area and check all the trees. Moreover, few persons would want to disturb his/her relations with the neighbours, by reporting a case,” said R.K Rastogi, a resident of DLF Phase-II. A Forest Dept. official says, “We scold the violators and tell them that they would be sent to jail if they dared to cut any trees in future. Such warnings from the government department

District Grievances Committee Meeting { Tarun Khanna / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon.com

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C ivic/S ocial

19-25 July 2013

ike every month, the Conference Hall at the Mini-Secretariat was full – for the monthly meeting of the District Grievances Committee (on July 12). The Meeting was presided over by Chief Parliamentary Secretary (CPS), Kumari Sharda Rathore. The majority of the 10 complaints that were put up were redressed on the spot. Other Administration officials present in the meeting were the Deputy Commissioner P.C Meena, HUDA Administrator Praveen Kumar, DCP Surinder Singh and City Magistrate Anu. One of the prominent points discussed in the Meeting was the issue of illegal mobile towers. A woman resident of Harinagar, while presenting her matter before the Committee, alleged that towers are being installed illegally and their radiations are adversely affecting the health of her family. The Joint Commissioner of MCG, Veena Hooda, after declaring the towers illegal, said MCG is taking action against such violators. She also revealed that the request made by Reliance Infratel Ltd for the installation of a tower has been rejected by the MCG. In the matter of ‘The Peach Jasmine Co-operative Group Housing Society

The peace of the meeting was disturbed when a brawl broke out between the HUDA Administrator Praveen Kumar and some members of the Committee, on the issue of land acquisition. Some members accused the Administrator of being soft on developers, which provoked him to lose his temper, and a quarrel started. It was after the intervention of the other dignitaries that the situation was brought under control. Kumari Sharda Rathore asked the relevant members to apologise to the HUDA Administrator for their bad code of conduct, and also warned them that their membership could be cancelled if they repeated such behaviour. Limited, Sector 31 Gurgaon’, the CPS ordered the HUDA authorities to issue Occupation Certificate for the flats in the Society under the guidance of the Grievances Committee, after completing the construction of kitchen, toilets etc. The Enquiry Officer was SDM Gurgaon North who, in his report, said that the number of registered members was increased from 26 to 30 by a proper resolution of the Society. During inspection it was found that the building plan of the Society was not approved, and the construction was not appropriate. On the issue of razing of some houses in Village Wazirabad, on HUDA land, the Enquiry Officer, District Revenue Officer Tarshem Sharma, said that

after getting the measurement done, it has been found that HUDA had got the encroachment cleared from Khasra number 863, which was acquired by it and the compensation had also been paid. So the contention of the complainants, that their houses were demolished illegally, was wrong. Sharma said that the land belonging to the complainants was Khasra number 862, which was under possession of private persons – and for the evacuation of which they should go to a civil court. The contention of the complainants was that their houses, in which they have lived for the last 16-17 years and had electricity and water connections, were illegally demolished by HUDA. u

are often taken seriously by the violators. We are glad that a little bit of scolding from our end is now creating some fear among the people”. There have also been instances when the violators have been taken to court, but were let go after they paid the nominal fine of Rs. 500. “Unless every tree, whether it is grown on forest land or anywhere inside the colony, is given full protection by some law, trees will be sacrificed for concrete jungles. Some developers, after cutting the trees and paying this small fine, often plant a few saplings in different areas. However, the tree that took several years to grow, cannot be substituted by mere saplings – which are further not taken care of properly,” said Brijesh Kumar, an environmentalist. The Forest Department along with Haryali NGO have transplanted many trees that were coming in the way of development projects. These trees were cared for properly, and are now flourishing in the areas where they were transplanted. Deputy Conservator, Forests, Ranjita, said, “Talks are going on at a higher level to bring in more stringent laws in Haryana for the safety of trees. Proposals have also been made to amend the current laws in this respect.” u

Gender Sensitisation

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n the present times of turmoil and chaos it has become imperative for parents and teachers to sensitise their wards suitably. Today's disturbing situation is partly the outcome of the influence of Western civilisation. The challenge before us has to be met furiously, by communicating a strong message to boys to learn self-control and patience, and to respect girls and women. Our history is full of women who were brave and sacrificing. A mindset of destruction can only be met with a change in our thoughts and habits. Crimes of vulgarity, child abuse and cruelty to teens need to be urgently and seriously tackled. Pubs and liquor vends have added fuel to the fire. Liquor vends that have opened close to residential colonies should be shifted to the outskirts. A joint campaign for this purpose should be held by all social and religious bodies. Media should play a constructive role. Schools and colleges should have mandatory classes to impart self-defence training to girls. We should initiate our minds into meditation and dhyan, to set up positive vibrations for the peaceful co-existence of all living beings.u R.S Jain, Social Activist


19-25 July 2013

K id C orner

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Kids Brainticklers

Artistic Strokes

Solutions

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?

Shivani Ahuja, Class 6 The Shri Ram School, Aravali smartnessonaplatter.blogspot.in

Ajay, Government School, Fazilpur


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K id C orner

19-25 July 2013

Shalom Excellence

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halom Hills International School received the coveted award for the Best Progressive School in Delhi/ NCR. The School Principal, along with the Shalom team, received the award from Sharad Yadav, Lok Sabha MP and President of JD (U), and Swami Sarvanand Saraswati, Founder/ President, International Bhajan Sukhsewa Mission, at a glittering award function. The Education Excellence Awards aim to recognise and felicitate Achievers, Innovators and Suppliers, who have contributed significantly towards excellence in the education sector. Shalom Hills International School impressed the distinguished panel of judges with its outstanding innovative practices that are being followed in the School.

Blue Bells’ Language

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state-of-the-art Language Lab was inaugurated at Blue Bells School by Mahesh Chandra, Chairman, Blue Bells Group of Schools. Anshukha Aneja, IT Co-ordinator, Blue Bells Group of Schools was also present at the occasion. The students presented a Skit on the importance of English in our lives. This was followed by a Power Point Presentation on the use of a Language Lab. Principal V. Suprabha thanked the management for the support rendered for this initiative.

Patient Good Shepherds

Literary Flourish

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“MY OLD BOOK” i love your soft touch! i adore the feeling of belongingness, i love that moment when i boycott the outer world and only u and i left with the unfathomable feeling of togetherness, your each and every word describes my hidden emotions u give me strength to reveal the mystery of shallow peace in deep soberness your mystified vintage fragrance blow by mind Hence my love for my “OLD BOOK” shalt never die

he little ones at Good Shepherd Preparatory School participated in a Yoga session. Besides meditation, the Session included Hari prat, Kushal yoga and many fun-filled activities. It was delightful to see the little ones practicing yoga with sincerity and patience.

Chaynika Vats

Ryan International School, Sohna Road

The Ryan Council

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n Investiture Ceremony was held at the School premises. The Chief Guests for the Event were I.N Mishra (Deputy Commandant) and Naveen Panwar (Asst. Commandant). The President, Prime Minister and Cabinet members of the Student Council were greeted with a thundering applause as they marched up to the stage. Rukma Singh was sworn in as President, Amam Gupta as Vice President and Pravisha Mittal and 5 others, were sworn in as Ministers.

Commerce Toppers

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2 senior students from the Commerce section bagged the top positions in the Commerce Talent Search Examination, at the National Level. Isha Khurana, Samarth Kalia and Jasdeep Singh Ahuja secured first, second and third positions respectively, with an ‘O’ Grade. Shweta Yadav, Shivangi Maheshwari and Vanshika Goel attained the top three positions respectively, by getting an ‘A’ Grade. The toppers were felicitated in the School Assembly by the Principal, Dr. Mouna Gupta, who congratulated them and motivated them to work hard consistently.


19-25 July 2013

K id C orner

15

Alpine Splash

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tudents of Alpine Convent were treated to a Summer Splash, to beat the heat. The children spent a good part of the day in the School swimming pool, and had a blast splashing and playing in the water. Snacks were distributed after the swim.

Skating-up MRIS Tech Anubhav

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nubhav Wadhwa, of Grade 8 at Pathways World School, Aravali, is also the Founder & CEO of TechAPTO. He was invited to make a presentation to GSF Accelerator (a funding and mentoring platform for Indian startups), and share his vision, business plan, industry landscape and competition. Anubhav founded TechAPTO, a confluence of young and dynamic technology geeks and experienced domain experts, who offer the best solutions to Industry. The Company partners with clients across industries, to solve complex business challenges by reforming their technology landscape. TechAPTO has made it to the top 40 start-ups across India. The GSF Team appreciated Anubhav’s prowess and clarity of thought, and endorsed the niche in which TechAPTO aims to operate.

Wizards Of Ryan

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yan International School, Sec-40, felicitated its Maths Wizards for their talent at the 6th International Mathematics Olympiad. School Head Peeya Sharma awarded medals/certificates and DVDs to Anvay Vats, winner at 14th position; Pranay Prashan, who won the 25th position; and Saakar Gangrade, who won the 18th Position – all at the State Level.

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anav Rachna International School (MRIS), Sector 51, inaugurated the 3rd ‘Inter Manav Rachna Championship’ at the School premises. The aim of this month-long Skating Championship is to enable the students to showcase their skating skills and imbibe values like integrity, sportsmanship and harmony. This Event will take place at all Manav Rachna Schools in Delhi/ NCR. The Championship was inaugurated by Sarkar Talwar, Director of Sports, Manav Rachna International University. Rajesh Kalra (Chairman, MRIS-51), Gaurav Rai (Executive Director) and Seema Malhotra (Vice Principal) were also present at the inauguration. Seema Malhotra said, “It is a matter of great pride that our School is hosting such a sporting extravaganza for the third time. The students are very enthusiastic about the Event, and a lot of preparation has gone into it.”

Entertaining Young Petals

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hildren of Petals World Preparatory School were in for a magical treat. Magician Chandraprakash came to entertain them and left them awed with his magic. The Magic Show was followed by a Puppet Show that the kids thoroughly enjoyed. The teachers also presented a Bunny Show, especially devised for the kids. The kids had a wonderful day, with plenty of entertainment.

Karate Grades

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Karate coloured-belt grading and kickboxingbelt grading was organised by Kaishogun Karate Do, at DLF Phase IV. The importance of Kumite and Kata’s (a part of the syllabus) was checked by Chief Examiner and Instructor, Sensei Sumit Virman, during the grading. Dhananjay, Siddharth, Kirti Sood and Nathan Parmaik participated in the grading.


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19-25 July 2013

C omment

The Selling Of Gurgaon II G EDITORIAL Atul Sobti

urgaon II (Sectors 58 to 115) is up for sale – a project at a time. Unfortunately, it still seems to be a play of high staying-power investors almost all the way, as genuine buyers are in a slowdown. Wonder who will finally inhabit these blessed sectors – considering that we are just more than half-full in current residential Gurgaon (I). And less than half-full on commercial estate; and even lesser in Udyog (Industry) Vihars. Ostensibly more than 20 lakhs people are to come into Gurgaon over the next decade – meaning a doubling of the City’s population ! Meanwhile, we continue building the pies in the sky. Do invest carefully – if you must. Obtaining an appreciation on property, or finding rental customers, is going to be very challenging. In fact the downside risk seems higher. After all, the Sensex went to half, and has still not recovered to pre-‘global slowdown’ days; yes, Realty seems dependent on a different reality – funded by cash staying power. But for how long? Even China is down.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR It is nice to read about legal aid clinic in DLF. It is a very nice write-up Rama Patnaik This is in reference to your article published on 12th july 2013 titled as “Du, or don’t You”. You have  emphasised on the article that delhi university is considered to be among the best colleges offering undergraduate courses and many of the students from gurgaon are all the way travelling to north campus. But its sad on your part that you have not realized that how the students must be travelling that far.....   I myself have taken admission into hindu college but at the same time there is not even ametro feeder  bus from palam vihar which could take me directly to metro station, i had to change two buses just to catch metro. Being the millenium city its one of the weakest cities in acoordance to the commuting issues.   I just don’t knoe what the authorities are dong and why don’t they pay attention to the grief of students. I hope that you will publish my article and awake the authorities regarding this issue. Yamini Kindra  

Let us also not forget that other Capital suburbs/ cities, upto Chandigarh, have also begun to offer modern residential and commercial options. It may take just a few announcements for a change in sentiment – of IT/BPO companies looking to expand elsewhere (the weak rupee is saving us currently on this); of the commercial estate market becoming a glut – with little extra demand; of industry realizing that it is not really welcome here, or even in Manesar; of migration from Delhi stopping, as Greater NOIDA and Sonepat/Rohtak offer better options of infrastructure and education/jobs to the East and North Delhiites. Logistics and Hubs may well become the saviour, but more for Greater Gurgaon (the suburbs of this suburb)

than the City. The Administration will learn too late of the foolishness of its surmise that manufacturing industry can be taken for granted, and ignored - hoping that services can match up. There is no contest – in terms of impact on investments, tax income and mass job creation. Meanwhile the Delhi Master Plan is ready for a politically-timed roll-out. The Capital is going vertical, and unauthorized colonies are being given recognition. Delhi has a very extensive Metro network, and a more reliable bus and auto service. The Capital will surely retain more people, if not now pull people from the suburbs within. Builders, in their hundreds, are lining up to flog their projects in Gurgaon II. They have ‘pre-sold’ a little, and will try and convince you that rates have increased 3 times in the last 2 years – a lot of it ‘manipulated’ with investors. Most of these builders have little or no experience as developers. Some have already been caught selling ‘short’ and false. The asking rates for apartments in Gurgaon II are threatening to ‘move’ to Rs. 10,000 per square foot; this needs serious questioning. The most ‘happening’ area in the whole City, over the next 5 years, would probably be Golf Course Road, and Rs 15,000 is tops there – with a rare exception or two. In fact Rs 12,000 is also possible – today is clearly a buyer’s market. Some properties of Gurgaon II will also not come to fruition even in 5 years. By then the City could well be a civic mess. Once again a new Gurgaon is asking residents to move in, without the Administration providing adequate water supply (not even a connection to some) or power or a sewage line. The inner roads and streetlights and other ‘paraphernalia’ are not yet even on paper. u

Gurgaon II

Is this the Grand Plan?

The 2031 Plan envisages a Gurgaon four times the size of today, with over 70 new Sectors (10 added recently) – plus the expansion of Manesar. The new Sectors are being developed by a hundred plus builders/developers (as against a handful of developers for Sectors 1 to 57).

The State Govt. will announce a ‘Master Plan’, then revise it repeatedly till no one knows what has changed; ensure relevant builders buy land cheap in the ‘right’ areas well before the announcement, and then approve the builders’ licences asap; builders will immediately announce pre-launches with known investors, collect advances and IDC charges, artificially increase prices after a time to show other investors that good returns can be made; then keep changing building plans, delay possession, delay taking Completion Certificates, take maintenance charges but provide no infrastructure – and finally walk away. It seems to be all about virtual buying and selling – not real realty. Reality emerges much later.

Do be careful while investing In Gurgaon II. We seem primed to repeat Gurgaon I failures. The Town & Country Planning (TCP) Dept. has been in a hurry to grant licences. When even prominent developers have ‘exploited’ apartment owners for years now, perhaps it would be foolhardy to expect a hundred new builders, which have descended to develop Gurgaon II, to be more sensitive and honest. No City has yet been developed; we have just built a lot of structures.


W ellness

19-25 July 2013

Say Cheese!

Health & Vitality... Naturally!

Oral Health { Jaspal Bajwa }

O

ral health is one of the earliest lessons we are taught … and yet is one of the least followed. More often than not, losing teeth prematurely or having gum disease is taken very lightly. We lurch from one quick fix to the next a series of fillings progressively lead to the more expensive rootcanal surgeries or implants. It is not just a question of losing an attractive smile (and in many cases self-esteem). What most of us do not realize is that oral health has now been linked to systemic diseases like diabetes, some cancers, osteoporosis and cardiovascular diseases. Very conveniently we tend to ignore the direct relationship between healthy eating and dental and mouth health issues. The well-being of oral tissues is entirely dependent on the quantity and quality of saliva, and the sugars-induced bacteria, which cause tooth decay (cavities and dental caries) and gum disease. Bacteria constantly coat the teeth with plaque. This accelerates the break-down of sugars and starches in foods that produce acids, which in turn wear away the tooth enamel. Plaque also hardens into tartar, and this can lead to gum inflammation or gingivitis. More teeth are lost to gum disease than to tooth decay. Gum disease is likely to strike anyone who neglects oral hygiene or eats a poor diet. At high risk are those who suffer from alcoholism, malnutrition, AIDS/HIV infection, or those who are being treated with steroid drugs or certain chemotherapies. Similarly, people who suffer from a dry mouth syndrome are not able to take advantage of the repair process from good saliva. Saliva provides lubrication, washes away sugars, and has antibacterial and buffering components to fight against acid attack. Regular brushing and flossing does help to prevent puffy, sore and inflamed gums … but how many of us are able to keep up the regimen of brushing after every meal? A critical variable in all this is the acidity levels in the mouth. Acids can come from

our insides, or from food … either way the acids can eat into the enamel and give rise to bacteria in the presence of sugars. If, however, we can take care to always maintain a pH level of above 5.5 (i.e. mildly acidic to alkaline conditions), we can very definitely lower the chances of developing cavities. A healthful diet (with natural or added fluoride) can protect our

from vinegar, some herbal teas, dry wines, pickles, citrus fruits, berries and fruit juice. Drinking water throughout the day helps to clear away food debris. Saliva levels should be kept in ‘high-flow’; for people suffering from dry-mouth syndrome, chewing antibacterial sugar-free gum, and fluoride mouthwashes, can be of immense help. When possible, opt for nutritious snacks that are better for good oral health - especially Good examples of OralHealth inducing foods are:
 colourful, juicy fresh fruits and crisp, crunchy vegetables. Nuts & Seeds: Walnuts When snacking on crackers, (all nuts in general), Sesame and cookies or chips, it's better to Pumpkin seeds
 eat them in combination with Fruits: Blueberries, Pineapple, other foods (such as cheese), Strawberry, Oranges, Lemon
 rather than alone … as this Vegetables: Beans, Broccoli, (eating alone) inhibits the Basil, Wasabi, Shiitake Mushroom, production of bacteria in the Tomatoes, Spinach (all greens in mouth. general), Pumpkin
 Dairy & Fish: Cheese, Salmon, Turkey, Yoghurt
 Others: Sea salt, Stevia, Tea (green or black), Ginger, Oats, Xylitol

17

{ Alka Gurha }

W

e all love cheese, don’t we? Cheese is a great source of protein and calcium. Cheese is classified according to the texture, method of making, length of ageing, fat content, country or region of origin. The method most commonly and traditionally used is based on moisture content, which is further narrowed down by fat content and curing or ripening methods. Fresh cheese, without additional preservatives, can spoil in a matter of days. Processed cheese, which is available in the markets, is made from traditional cheese (mostly cheddar), with emulsifying and other salts - often with the addition of milk - and preservatives. It is sold in various varieties in a packaged form, pre-sliced or unsliced.

Cheddar Cheese

Cheddar Cheese is said to have its origins in a village called Cheddar in England. English Cheddar is made in blocks from pasteurized cow's milk. The best English Cheddar is matured for a minimum of nine months. It is a good source of protein and calcium. Pure cheddar cheese is relatively hard, pale yellow and sharp-tasting. Cheddars vary in flavor, depending on the length of aging and their origin. As Cheddar slowly ages it loses moisture and its texture becomes drier and more crumbly. Choosing fat-free cheddar cheese is a great way to take advantage of its nutritional benefits.

Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese, or paneer, is a good source of protein and can be part of a healthy diet, with the fat-free or reduced-fat varieties. Full-fat cottage cheese contains extra calories and saturated fat, which can increase cholesterol levels and contribute to weight gain if eaten in excess.

Mozzarella Cheese

teeth from decay and keep the gums healthy. A well-balanced diet provides the minerals, vitamins and other nutrients essential for healthy teeth and gums. Oral Health inducing Natural Foods come in a wide and colourful range - from beans to nuts and yoghurts. The nutrients in foods that are deep blue, purple, red, green or orange can protect against heart disease and cancer. In this respect, the most important are Calcium and Vitamin D which helps absorb the calcium. Vitamin D is obtained from fluid milk, fatty fish such as salmon and moderate exposure to the sun. Also important are Phosphorus (from meat, fish and eggs), Magnesium (from whole grains, spinach and bananas), Vitamin A and Betacarotene.

Tip of the Week

Avoid sweet drinks, soft drinks (both carbonated and still) and snacks. Especially at bedtime, it is best to stay away

Nature’s Wonder Food of the week – Various Cheeses (other than Cream Cheese) Several studies have confirmed that eating aged cheeses at the end of a meal can help rapidly increase the pH levels in the mouth, which in turn helps prevent cavities. Consuming cheese, following a sugary snack, virtually abolishes the usual fall in pH (high acidity) that is associated with sugar consumption. This may be induced by the increased saliva production - the alkaline nature of saliva buffers the acids formed in plaque. Additionally, certain components (like casein and whey protein) found in cheese may adhere to tooth enamel and help further protect teeth from acids. The high calcium and phosphorus content also helps in the cariespreventing benefit of cheese. 
u Registered Holistic Nutritionist (Canadian School of Natural Nutrition) For education purposes only; always consult a healthcare practitioner for medical conditions

Mozzarella cheese is fresh, soft and stringy. Fresh mozzarella is generally white, but may vary seasonally to slightly yellow, depending on the animal's diet. It is made from the milk of Italian Buffalo. The process of making Mozzarella is called pasta filata, which means the curds are heated in water or whey until they form strings and become elastic in texture. The curds are stretched, kneaded until smooth and then formed into round balls to make fresh Mozzarella Cheese. Due to its high moisture content, Mozzarella is traditionally served the day after it is made. However the low moisture varieties can be refrigerated for a few months.

Parmesan Cheese

Parmesan Cheese is a popular hard granular cheese used in salads and pasta dishes. Parmesan Cheese is made from the raw milk of cows that are fed an all-natural diet of grasses and hay, from an approved region of production. Parmesan Cheese is a part of the Italian national cuisine and is usually grated, to mix with an assortment of pastas. The original Parmesan is one of the most expensive varieties of cheese in the world. The biggest producers of such cheese are Argentina and the United States.

Blue Cheese

Blue Cheese is created by inoculating a cheese with micro-organisms. This is done while the cheese is still in the form of loosely pressed curds, and is further enhanced by piercing a ripening block of cheese with skewers, in an atmosphere full of mold. The mold grows within the cheese as it ages. These cheeses have distinct blue veins, which gives them their name and distinct flavour. Basically cheese is high in saturated fat and calories, which can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and Type 2 Diabetes. Since most cheeses are also high in sodium, people with hypertension should eat only reasonable amounts and opt for low-sodium brands. Some people suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) are sensitive to dairy products and experience discomfort after eating cheese. If cheese is a ‘trigger food’ for your migraines or IBS, you should steer clear of Blue Cheese. u


18 { Aditi Bhola }

I

t's oft said that a picture is worth a thousand words. What happens when a picture meets a text, a dialogue or some comment supporting it? A picture of a boy, confused and bewildered, may make a person wonder. But what if it is aided by a bubble saying, “Where is my Lata, my sister? I left her here 5 minutes ago.” This supporting dialogue gives a story, a meaning and electrifies the picture – the same that happens in comics that have hundreds of pictures in them. Graphic Novels are a ‘grownup’ version of what we used to read as children (and many of us still do) – comics! A development observed in the late half of the 20th century, a Graphic Novel offers a visual treat to the reader. A new way of storytelling, it’s seen as a new channel to capture the human repertoire of experiences and emotions. Graphic Novels have of late become the hottest segment in the libraries. Scott McCloud, in Understanding Comics: the Invisible Art, defines comics as “juxtaposed pictorial and other images in deliberate sequence, intended to convey information and/or to produce an aesthetic response in the viewer”; and the Oxford English Dictionary defines a Graphic Novel as a ‘full-length novel published in a comic strip format.’ The presence of art does not impact the literary flavour that Graphic Novels present. They offer characters, plots, symbolism, and lingual and thematic seriousness and beauty. Once a ‘fodder for children’, Graphic Novels have now captured a great all-round readership. It needs to be pointed out that Graphic Novels are just a new format, a new form and not a new genre. The unity of words and pictures is the blood and oxygen of this form of literature. A reader would miss the essence if she chooses to either read just the text or analyse just the panels. For a complete ‘experience’ she will have to assimilate this synergy. The roots of what is now called Graphic Novels lie in their 19th century predecessor, a Japanese form called Manga. In terms of literary merit and shelf life, a Manga was no better than a newspaper or a magazine. In fact, Comics/ Graphic Novels are simply picture format frames carrying a story. In that context, we can consider cave paintings and engravings to be the harbingers of such a concept of storytelling. The 1940s are considered the gilded era of comics, which emerged out of clubbing to-

19-25 July 2013

B on V ivant

A Novel So Graphic gether serial comic strips. These books were targeted towards young readers, focusing on teentastes like super-heroes and demigods, and comics like the famous Archie series dealt with adolescent subjects. Then came the age of conception of the ‘Graphic Novels’, fissioning with the parents beginning to doubt the thematic ‘morality’ of comics like Seduction of the Innocent (1954) by Frederic Wertham – with homosexuality and destructive criminal undertones. Around the same time there were also comics on serious issues like revolutions, and politico-national movements, serving thoughtful themes on a platter,

avenging the ‘lost’ interest and regaining the fervour and verve of their ardent readers. Will Eisner intended to pocket a wider and more mature readership when he published his lengthy comic book, The Contract with God. His coining of the term ‘Graphic Novel’ was based on the seriousness that these comics-lookingnovels exhibit. Critics and literati have had unceasing debates/discussions over its genuineness and credibility. Gene Yang refers to it as merely a “thick comic book”; some say it’s a “more refined, big sibling”, while some declared it to be a deliberate hype, nothing else! There was more to come. Art Spiegelman took this thentoddler-form of writing to yet another pedestal when he launched his magnum opus Maus, that took the readership to a new level. This work

Related Terms 1. Panels – Each picture is presented in a frame. Frames are the sequences of events or pictures, and in literary jargon are called ‘panels’. 2. Speech Balloons – Fumetti or Speech Balloons are bubbleshaped figures that convey speech or thoughts of the character. Also referred to as thought bubbles. Graphic Novels are offered in a better quality and bound of paper, thereby enjoying a secure shelf life. ‘Graphic’ helps retain the pictorial/comical representation, while ‘Novels’ adds the seriousness and thematic appreciation. Many literates say that the aspect of ‘aesthetic stimulation’ is missing in comics.

painted the story of a holocaust survivor (Spiegelman’s father) and proved that this comic-based form can have more to it, bagging him a Pulitzer Prize in 1992. Since then there has been no looking back, and some of the classics like Moby Dick and Romeo and Juliet were rewritten in this entertaining yet aesthetically and meritoriously-charged form. Critics like Roger Sabin argue that the entire impetus behind disassociating Graphic Novels with comics was to target the adult and wider readership. Themes like holocaust, violence, sex etc. in comics were not appropriate for the young readers. Fusioning art with fiction hooks the reluctant and the voracious reader alike. Different colour schemes, variety in figures (sharp, geometrical, caricatured, soft), diverse modes of painting (sketching, water colour, shading) all lend lustre and varicoloured meaning to the text. A gloomy story comes 'alive' when clubbed with black, white and red coloured art. Geometrical figures go well with a story involving a robot and war. Softly-sketched human figures in water colours

gel well with a love story. The language that Graphic Novels offer is also more interesting, since there is scope for slang and colloquial lingo. We find more traces of slang and folk words in Graphic Novels, honing a different kind of vocabulary. Swear and taboo words can easily be hinted at, using symbols like hash, ampersand, caret, asterisk and the ‘at’ symbol – to strengthen the language. Just like a novel, its ‘perceived superior’ counterpart, Graphic Novels also render an eclectic mosaic of situations – humorous to tragic, romantic to belligerent, happy to depressed. The fact that they are rather short means that one capsule can be injected into the reader’s repertoire in one go – unlike the supposed-to-be superior traditional novels. Graphic Novels/comics offer easy narrative and an uncomplicated storytelling. The story unfolds in a linear progression. It’s tough, therefore, to depict a flash-back, soliloquy, internal monologue and stream of consciousness, due to the inherent limitations of a frame-by-frame presentation. An ideal Graphic Novel is the one that forces us to ask, ‘which is the more important – the words or the pictures?’ Visual learners feel more inclined towards reading comics/Graphic Novels than a text-based study. Visual paintings of ideas and thoughts, topped with text to clarify the meaning, enhances the reading and comprehension skills of the learners – especially the young. It’s a good way to channelise children’s energy, and create an interest for reading. Readers can always progress to Step-2, of text reading, once the basic habit of reading is developed. It’s the best way for children with special needs, where just words are not enough. Many critics raise the question of whether Graphic Novels can make an apt classroom reading, or whether they can substitute a literary text. It can safely be held that it would be wiser to use this form as a supplementary tool, widening the parameters of learning, rather than doing away with textbooks.u Writer is a Asst Prof., Dept.of English Delhi University


B on V ivant

19-25 July 2013

Swim-Care S

wimming is a wonderful blend of fun and exercise. A good swim can tone your body and also release those happy hormones, to keep you going for the day. However, swimming also has a flip side – it can be harmful to the skin and hair. Pool water and sea water contain chlorine and salt, which can make your skin and hair dry, and also leave a greenish trace. So, the next time, before you jump into the pool, take a few minutes to follow these simple tips:

Before-swimming

To prevent the greenish trace in hair due to the copper oxidation by chlorine, apply a mix of coconut oil, olive oil and almond oil. It will hydrate the hair cuticles with a protective layer of moisture, which will seal them and prevent the chlorine and boric acid from leaving their effect. Always have a shower before you enter the pool, as it instantly hydrates the hair too; this prevents them from soaking up the chemicals present in the water. If you have chlorine-sensitive skin that is prone to rashes after a swim, use a chlorine-neutralizing lotion before you take a dip in the pool. Massage your skin with a cream for dry and damaged skin. Do this also after you take a shower post the swim. Do not forget to apply waterproof sunscreen before entering the swimming pool. The product should be sweat free, oil-free and offer all-day skin care protection. There are also some sunscreens lotions that contain Vitamins A, C and E, to help moisturize your skin. Evenly apply the sunscreen lotion to all exposed part of your body, as also the tops of your ears and feet. Every half an hour take a two-minute break from swimming and apply a heavy sunblock, to protect your skin from sun damage. Carry a bottle of water and keep sipping on it. You can also drink non-alcoholic summer coolers to keep yourself cool and hydrated. Always wear a well-fitting swimming cap, googles and swimming suit. You should regularly wear swimming goggles to protect your eyes from drying; you can apply cooling eye drops later.

{ Krishan Kalra }

D

riving back every morning, after a walk in the park, I often stop to pick up 6 bananas from a roadside vendor. It is usually twenty five rupees, irrespective of the size and quality of the fruit. We keep a little money in the glove compartment, and as our vehicle gets close to the cart, my wife takes out a few tenners and the vendor quickly gives us the potassium rich plantains... and change. This morning there were no ten rupee notes. So she gave him a fifty. As we moved on I thought I had seen her collect only one note from the vendor and shove it into the glove compartment.

Junior Rockstar { Shilpy Arora / FG }

{ Sarita Maheshwari Sharda }

While Swimming

19

After Swimming

Take a shower immediately after you come out of the pool. It will help keep your skin and hair clean and chlorine-free. Always wash your hair with clarifying shampoo, to ensure that no chemical residue is left behind. Add apple cider vinegar to the last rinse of your hair. Do not forget to apply a conditioner. A hair mousse or leave-in conditioner is also a good option if you are pressed for time. Frizzy hair is a common problem among swimmers. Use styling products that are silicone-based with a volumizing shampoo. A hot oil treatment at night is also a good option for hair care for swimmers. For a bath, use a body wash with petrolatum, glycerine or a mild soap; these will help your skin moisturize and rehydrate while you're in the shower. Banana is known to be a good cleanser. Use a banana pack to reduce the dark spots around your face, neck, arms and legs. Let the pack stay till it dries up completely, and then rinse. Regularly apply cucumber juice to sunburnt skin, and leave it overnight. It helps reduce sun damage to the skin. Apply a mix of honey and yogurt, and leave it on your face for 20 minutes, to experience a cooling and exfoliating face mask. It also moisturises the skin. You may add oatmeal to this paste. Use an exfoliating face wash and bath gel. Finish your bath with a heavy duty moisturiser and body lotion or oil. Add a few capsules of Vitamins A and E to your night cream. Don’t wear tight and synthetic clothing after a swim. Scrub yourself every alternate day; mix salt and brown sugar in olive oil, and scrub vigorously. Alternatively, you can also use baking soda. u

classical music from other forms of music? Anamya: I have been Anamya Mongia, a Class learning Hindustani Classical 3 student, was the only from Pt. Geetesh Mishra for contestant from the City to the past four years. I also know appear for the top 80 in Junior semi-classical, and love singing Indian Idol 2013. She has been Bollywood songs. As far as learning music since the age classical music is concerned, it of 3, and has a great sense and follows a certain set of rules – but inclination towards music. you can improvise. FG: What inspired you to take FG: Would you like to learn any up music as your hobby? instrument? Anamya: My parents are my Anamya: I already play the inspiration, especially my father, Keyboard and Harmonium, who is a gifted singer. My mother and would love to learn more works tirelessly with me and is instruments once I very supportive of my master these two. singing. FG:Apart from FG: How did you talent shows and (your parents) discover performances, how does that you can sing well? music help a student? Anamya: My Anamya: Music parents came to know has helped me in many about my talent when ways. Learning music I began singing poems in the Indian tradition in rhythm at the age of of the Guru-Shishya 3, Then I confidently Parampara has taught sang a popular song on me to sit and practice in stage in front of a large one place for long hours. gathering. Everyone My Guruji always says appreciated me a lot. that “music stimulates Thereafter I have never both sides of the looked back. brain.” As a student FG: What did Indian it has brought a lot of Idol mean to you? self-discipline and confidence, How did it feel when you couldn’t and has enhanced my listening, appear for the Mega round? learning and memorising skills. Anamya: It was a great feeling I know more than 200 songs to be a part of a refreshing and Bhajans and can grasp musical platform at the national new songs easily. It has boosted level. Though I couldn’t make it to my academic performance too. the Mega round, but reaching the I am sure, with the blessings of final round of the top 80, amongst my parents and teachers, I would thousands, was inspiring. Shreya continue this journey of learning. Ma’am is my idol, and it was a FG: What are your future wonderful feeling performing plans? Would you like to take up in front of her. I gained a lot music as your career? of confidence and also learned Anamya: I want to be a to accept failure gracefully. ‘Rockstar’ (smiles). Music is Performing confidently in front of Vishal Sir, Shekhar Sir and Shreya my passion. My parents have always encouraged me to take Ma’am, and giving it my best was up what I like. Definitely I more satisfying than the results.                                                                      would like to continue walking FG: What all forms of music down this path. u have you learnt? How different is

The Banana Republic? Just to cross check if she’d got back twenty five, I asked. Despite her annoyance she opened the compartment... and sure enough there was only one ten rupee note. I reversed the car and told the vendor what had happened. He said sorry and handed over another fifteen. At the same time he made a light-hearted comment, “Ho jayega chaalis ka bhi shayad hamari hi life main” (It will become forty, perhaps in our own life time). I laughed it off at that time, but it did set me thinking later. I was reflecting on the price of this highly nutritious poor-

man’s fruit over the years. I remember that it sold for 6 annas a dozen (approx 20 paise for 6) in the mid - fifties. So in sixty years it’s gone up by 125 times! And I’m not even factoring in the better varieties on ‘good’ fruit shops and in super markets, where you could today easily shell out Rs. 80/90 per dozen. Now, I can’t think

of any other goods or services where the cost has gone up in that proportion. At least none of the other fruits has escalated as much; apples may be 20 times, grapes even less, oranges forty. Even in vegetables—despite all the hue and cry—perhaps none has multiplied a hundred fold. There are of course some non-food banana competitors – like motor fuel, that lifeline of the nation that moves every commodity, including foodgrains. If I remember correctly the price of this black gold has also risen— over the last sixty years—

from 12 annas (75 paise) a litre to Rs. 70, almost a 100 times! The same thing holds good for kerosene and LPG. Ironically, it does not hurt only the well off owners of motorcars, but also the poor man on the street. His potatoes and onions are transported by trucks, and every time the fuel prices rise, the poor man’s budget goes haywire. How would they ever come above the poverty line? They’ll never be able to afford and imbibe the required 2,000 calories per day if the prices keep going up in geometric progression. Is there some redemption in the fact that a domestic help received Rs. 50 in the 50s and now earns Rs. 5,000 per month? u


20 { Dr. Rajesh Bhola }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon.com

A

t times we come across people who may possess a lovely countenance but are not very affable. On the other hand, we also meet some people who are very affectionate and positive despite their not-so-appealing outer looks. Relationships stand on the pillar of positive attitude. That attitude draws in people we like. Great relationships are created and maintained with work and wisdom. As we develop our capacity for truth, humour and sharing we begin to become someone that other people gravitate to naturally. Relationships are very important for all of us. As social beings we need to interact and relate with children, neighbours, colleagues, parents, and even people that we do not really know regularly when we go to the mall, the restaurant or the bank. Those close to us often teach us the most about love, and we can benefit greatly by listening to them. Heartbreaks and disappointments are powerful teachers and force us to grow. Maturity causes us to see others and ourselves differently, and often we begin to see that something in our self needs to change if we are going to have loving, positive relationships. We must take responsibility for creating them. To do this we must know our self and work to improve our attitude. We often think that love is something that comes to us in the form of a lover, a pet, a newborn child or something else. But basically these new relationships call forth something that lives inside us and longs to be expressed. It is as important to give love, as it is to get love. Relationships get warmer and the bond grows stronger if we are playful, spontaneous, generous, thoughtful and affectionate. To communicate clearly is also key to better relationships. Good communication is anchored by good listening, which helps avoid misunderstandings. Most people get

Heal Thyself

S piritual

19-25 July 2013

Building Relationships

tremendous pleasure from speaking about themselves. If we always speak about our achievements or tribulations, people will get fed up with our egoism. If we are willing and able to listen to others, we will find it much appreciated by them. Some people are not aware of how much they dominate a conversation. If you find you are always talking about yourself, consider the advice of the Greek philosopher, Epictetus: “Nature gave us one tongue and two ears so we could hear twice as much as we speak.” A lot of problems in relationships occur because we want to maintain our personal pride. Do not insist on always having the last word. Healthy relationships are not built by winning meaningless arguments. Be willing to back down; most arguments are not of critical importance anyway. Another important virtue for sustaining relationships is forgiveness. Forgiveness is not just a cliché. Real forgiveness means that we are willing to also forget the experience. When we make mistakes, just consider how much we

would appreciate the others forgiving us, and forgetting the incident. Maintaining healthy relationships does not mean we have to spend several hours in analysing stuff. It means we take a little time to be considerate to others. Good friendships should be built on spontaneity and newness. Sharing a moment of humour can often benefit us more than several hours of discussion. Healthy relationships should be built on a degree of detachment. Being detached does not mean to not care. Often when we develop a very strong attachment we expect the person to behave in a certain way. When they do not we feel miserable and try to change them. A good friendship based on detachment means we will always offer good will, but we will not be upset if our friend(s) wish to go a different way. Relationships are the building blocks for all community-organising activities. Whether you want to organise a badminton game or help get rid of unfair housing practices in your locality, you will need lots of good relationships.

We need to work together. It is our relationships added together that are the foundation of an organised effort for change. We need people to contribute their ideas, take a stand and get the work done. It is also people who motivate us to reach our goals. It is often the health and happiness of our children, neighbours and co-workers that we hold in our minds as we push ourselves to overcome obstacles and take on overwhelming challenges. Remaining cool in disturbing circumstances is very important for supporting a healthy and long-lasting relationship. We often see married couples that generate extremes of conflict over rather trivial matters. As soon as something goes wrong, feelings escalate out of control. Often the spark is something very small, but the conflagration can be huge. Close relationships are character building precisely because they bring bliss and adversity into such close proximity. Everything comes into sharper relief. It matters all the more. We never know when relationships will come in handy. Imagine a wheel in which we are at the hub or centre, and each spoke represents a relationship with another person. It takes a lot of spokes to hold the wheel together, and the wheel is what helps move the vehicle along. There should be enough room in a group for everyone to create their own wheel of strong relationships, for which we need to devote time. It is always better to initiate relationships and nurture them well before we need them. If we wait for others to establish relationships with us first, we may spend a lot of time waiting.u Dr. Rajesh Bhola is President of Spastic Society of Gurgaon and is working for the cause of children with autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation and multiple disabilities for more than 20 years

Don’t criticise, condemn & complain, it causes lot of pain Prefer to see the better in everyone, it makes life less cumbersome Don’t downsize someone in public; do praise him in front of all Don’t hurt someone’s esteem or pride, while correcting his fault Don’t just think of good ideas, they need to be put to practice Everyone can achieve the majestic with a little fillip to his hat trick Don’t let anyone think ill, take charge of your will or someone else will Don’t talk too much or too loud, trying to be a Don Juan in a crowd When you talk you give away, listener learns the speaker’s ways Don’t be envious of those who excel, their lives were tough as hell Life doesn’t come on a silver platter; they struggled hard to get where they are Don’t be hard on yourself, each role is noble, be it housekeeper of home or a hotel Do the ordinary things in extraordinary ways, they may patent one day Don’t grumble & curse at the traffic today, just smile away Don’t gather Yes-men around you, the truth will elude you Don’t crib & complain to one another, find a solution & fix the matter Don’t fume & hate, in neutral state watch your Fate Don’t get disturbed by the external factor, turn to the internal actor Be quiet, be still, feel the quiet, feel the stillness… You are the Healing for your illness! Shobha Lidder Writer Journalist, Social Activist, Teacher, Trainer, Reiki Master, Pranic Healer

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Barbie Cruise { Chris Melzer / Fort Lauderdale, Florida / DPA }

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Even when on land, such as here in Haiti, the giant Cruise ship Allure of the Seas is never far away from its charges. Chris Melzer

Captain Johnny Faevelen, on the bridge of the Cruise ship, Allure of the Seas.

Chris Melzer

ans of the all-American doll Barbie can now enjoy the holiday of their dreams – thanks to Royal Caribbean’s new “Barbie Premier Experience” Cruise, on the Company’s ‘Allure of the Seas’ vessel. The optional extra on the world’s largest cruise ship begins with a special Barbie plaque welcoming passengers aboard, while the cabins are decked out in Barbie paraphernalia – including blankets, bags, and even a Barbie pillow case. Some 6,000 passengers occupy the 2,700 cabins and 16 decks as special guests. The seven-day Caribbean Cruise departs from Florida’s Fort Lauderdale, with the Allure’s first stop in Labadee, on the north coast of Haiti. Visitors hoping for a closeup view of life in the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country are bound to be disappointed, as the stop involves a stay at a private beach resort, owned and run by Royal Caribbean. The ship also docks for a full day in Jamaica, and finally a day

at Cozumel in Mexico, before returning to Florida. Everything is organized in a sometimes excessively family-friendly manner on the Allure. For example, children under the age of three are only allowed to play in a specially designed pool, where the water is just three centimetres deep. “We look to meet the tastes of most girls, and it is important for us that they also feel comfortable on board,” says Cody Phillips, who, as the Ship’s Adventure Ocean Manager, is responsible for children’s entertainment during the Cruise. “I have the best job in the fleet, but probably also the most stressful,” he adds with a smile. When he started in his new position, Phillips found himself surrounded by fashion design kits, Barbie room decor, tutus, purple beads and pink boas. The American quickly had to learn how to keep the children entertained during the seven-day Cruise, while at the same time ensuring their parents felt comfortable that their loved ones were being well looked after. “Of course we want the children to have fun, but the parents have to enjoy themselves as well. Otherwise they won’t consider booking a Cruise

A Barbie Tea Party with pink cup cakes and all the right accessories on board the Allure of the Seas.

The cabins on the Cruise ship are decked out in Barbie paraphernalia – including blankets, bags and even a Barbie pillow case.

Royal Caribbean International

The Allure of the Seas is the world’s largest Cruise ship, and can carry around 6,000 passengers.

with us again,” he explains. “It’s a lot of fun, but there is also plenty of psychology involved.” The logic is simple: children who have had an active and challenging day sleep better at night, which in turn gives parents more freedom to enjoy themselves. Each day the children receive a Barbie Girls Onboard Planner, outlining their activities for the day

ahead. Particularly popular is the Barbie Mermaid Dance Class, which teaches the girls the latest dance moves from the hit movie, “Barbie in a Mermaid Tale 2.” “This is super, because I want to be a dancer when I grow up,” says a five-year-old. “I have to work very hard now, to become a great dancer, or maybe even a pop singer.” Children invited to the “Tiara & Teacup Party” sit

with their parents and learn proper etiquette, as they drink pink lemonade and eat pink pastries. Mothers and fathers can also be seen in the Fashion Design Workshop, helping their children apply glitter, or stencil a pattern onto a Barbie dress. Even those families who do not sign up for the Barbie Premium Experience can get involved in the fun, by enjoying the complimentary Barbie Movie Night, Barbie Story Time and other free-themed activities. The main event of the week is undoubtedly the Fashion Show, when the girls dress up in mostly pink attire and walk down the catwalk to the sound of music, before giving interviews and showing off the moves they learned during their Mermaid Dance classes. The argument that the Barbie experience promotes a narrow view of women is quickly dismissed by Matthew Sherman from Mattel, the American toy company that manufactures the fashion doll. “Barbie has already had 120 different jobs, including doctor, astronaut, pilot, Sea World trainer and even President,” he explains. “She is the perfect role model.” u


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A sign denotes the cave dwellings located on the Schaeferberg mountain in Langenstein, now a part of the Harz Mountains city of Halberstadt.

The families carved out a dwelling of some 30 square metres - a living room, a kitchen and a bedroom from the soft stone.

Hobbit Homes grim matter. “They came about from sheer desperation and an acute housing shortage,” says Schwalbe. “People told the homeless land labourers in the mid-19th century to ‘carve yourselves a home from the rocks’. And that’s just what they did.” A genuine street of cave dwellings evolved on the Schaeferberg mountain. “The conditions were the very best here,” Schwalbe notes. Historians learned that large families paid the equivalent of eight pennies for a “construction site.” Beyond that, “no rent, nothing.” “They worked as much as an entire year to carve away at the sandstone rock with their own power. So they weren’t about to pay for it on top of it all,” he says. The families carved out a dwelling of some 30 square metres—a living room, a kitchen and a bedroom— from the soft stone. An open fire provided warmth, and the cooking took place here. “There were no doors inside because the heat had to circulate,” Schwalbe points out. Holes in the walls between the rooms enable the warmth to spread throughout the dwelling. The group of visitors is now once again standing outside the cave. Some people

The caves may seem attractive to modern visitors, but they were fashioned out of sheer desperation amid an acute housing shortage.

are almost speechless at what they have seen. An elderly woman comments, “Terrific. It is spartan, but very downto-earth and cozy.” Another

The cosy cottages are often dubbed “cliff villas”, but their origins were a grim matter.

visitor adds, “It’s good that this is furnished like in the old days – with straw sacks in the sleeping alcoves, the old hearth, and the many

Credit: Bayer

he doorway is almost too small even for a short person. Behind the wooden door, your eyes at first take in only the darkness, while cool, damp air streams out to the visitors. You duck your head instinctively, and give and take warnings with the others; nobody stumbles or bumps into the next person. Inside the cave, the tallest visitors’ heads are nearly touching the ceiling. Everyone is turning in a circle, and after the initial caution, a sense of enchantment takes over. This cave is a home. Instead of wallpaper, the walls are decorated by chisel markings. Instead of floor boards, there is firm earth beneath your feet. Light is coming in through a single tiny window. Rural workers painstakingly carved this spare dwelling out of a sandstone wall, with their hands, more than 160 years ago. The cave dwellings are located on the Schaeferberg mountain in Langenstein, now a part of the Harz Mountains city of Halberstadt. They belong to the City, and each year attract some 12,000 visitors. 73-year-old Siegfried Schwalbe, Chairman of the Langenstein Cave Dwellings Association, lovingly dubs them “cliff villas”, but notes that their origins were a

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Jens Wolf

{ Sabrina Gorges/ Langenstein, Germany / DPA }

19-25 July 2013

The Bayer Airship flies past the Statue of Liberty in New York.

The Bayer Airship flies past the Statue of Liberty in New York, during a recent stop in the United States

{ Chris Melzer / New York / DPA }

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ntil the 1930s airships were a popular and luxurious way to travel between Europe and North and South America, with Germany at the forefront of the technology. However, the Hindenburg disaster of 1937—when the massive German airship caught fire while attempting to land near Lakehurst, New Jersey, killing 35 people aboard, plus one on the ground—marked the beginning of the end for airship travel. While there

is no airship operating today that can truly rival the majesty of the Hindenburg, airships have never quite disappeared. The Graf Zeppelin company is still building dirigibles, though mostly as tourist attractions. Haimo Wendelstein is currently attracting attention as he pilots an airship around the globe, stopping in half a dozen world metropoles along the way. The craft is one of the few modern airships to use hot air rather than helium, to generate lift. “An airship is really something special. It

Chris Melzer

Airship the World

Haimo Wendelstein pilots an Airship around the globe, stopping in half a dozen world metropoles along the way.

draws people from all over the world,” says Wendelstein. The pilot does not like being the centre of attention but he has no choice when hundreds of interested spectators welcome his arrival, especially in the developing world, where airships are a rarity. “The airship is such an appealing flying machine,” explains Wendelstein. “It is not aggressive like a helicopter – it hums quietly. It is majestic and slow, and basically somehow friendly.” Not surprisingly, German

utensils. It’s wonderful.” Schwalbe notes that “the last resident here died in 1916. Afterwards, and up until German reunification (in 1990), the caves served as storage space or as stalls for animals. But half the dwellings collapsed or were built over.” He points to the cave roof, which on closer examination, turns out to be a dome atop growing fine grass. “In the past, the residents kept their goats and sheep up there,” Schwalbe says. “Why? - Because the grazing animals prevented any bushes or trees taking root, and thereby preventing the sandstone from becoming porous. Otherwise the ceiling would have collapsed.” u

multinational Bayer AG, which designed the Airship’s special hull, wants to be associated with this image of tranquility, and has sent Wendelstein around the world to help mark the Company’s 150th anniversary. “We have already been to Sydney and Johannesburg, with Tokyo, Rio and other places still to come,” Wendelstein said during his recent stop in New York. “It really is amazing to look the Statue of Liberty directly in the eye, from a height of 30 metres.” The Airship’s body is three times as large as a bus, while the gondola is about the size of a small car. The Airship can carry four passengers, although the back seat travellers have two large gas bottles in front of them. “If anyone appears nervous, I let them know that they are travelling in the world’s safest aircraft,” says Wendelstein. “Nobody has ever been injured by an airship that uses hot air.” If the motor or burner break down, then the blimp simply floats slowly back to Earth. Even a large one-square-metre hole in the hull is not a safely issue, the 55-year-old pilot says. It is not surprising that the Airship causes a stir at every airport it lands. Wendelstein has priority because of the speed he travels at, and an airship really is hard to ignore. “We often get asked by control tower operators if we can do another circle of the airport so they can all take a photograph,” says Wendelstein. u


19-25 July 2013

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Siberian Mammoth Clones ? Ulf Mauder

{ Ulf Mauder / Moscow / DPA }

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he mammoths trapped in Siberia’s permafrost are a long way from the Palaeontological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow, but Senior Researcher Yevgeny Mashchenko keeps close to the Ice Age giants. “Any time an entire animal is found, it’s a big event,” said Mashchenko, surrounded by skeletons and body parts of long-extinct creatures in the Institute’s Museum. More mammoth carcasses are turning up in Yakutia, a huge, remote Russian republic roughly the size of India, six time zones east of Moscow, and famous for its bitter winter cold. Mashchenko, 51, has undertaken many search expeditions for mammoths in Yakutia, where frost reaches deep into the soil. “I’ve experienced it – the smell of rot when the earth releases parts of the animal, and oxygen decomposes the flesh,” he said. The smell attracts hungry bears and arctic foxes, who eat the carcasses, that are aged thousands of years. This, Mashchenko pointed out, is another reason that every mammoth discovery is special. “If we find flesh and leave it exposed to air, it turns brown within an hour, because the protein is denatured and the tissue decomposes rapidly.” Inhabitants of Yakutia usually find well-preserved mammoth remains during the region’s short summers – just a month and a half long. Protruding from thawing ground, they consist mostly of bones or skeleton fragments. Scientists cannot agree on why mammoths became extinct about 4,000 years ago. Mashchenko sees food shortages as a possible cause. More mammoth remains are found in Yakutia than anywhere else in the world, which has put a spotlight on North-Eastern Federal University (NEFU) in Yakutsk, Yakutia’s capital, and Professor Semyon Grigoryev. Grigoryev, who heads the University’s Mammoth Museum, recently made the most sensational discovery of his life: well-preserved remains of a female woolly mammoth, about 2.5 metres tall, estimated to have died at an age between 50 and 60 years, about 10,000 years ago. Found on Little Lyakhovsky Island, in the Laptev Sea in Russia’s Far North, the remains were removed from the tundra on May 22. Russian state-run media cheered the discovery

Russian scientist and leading mammoth expert, Yevgeny Mashchenko.

as the most significant of its kind in more than a century. “Fragments of muscle tissue that we found on the corpse have the natural red colour of fresh meat,” Grigoryev said in a television interview. More amazing, though, was that thick blood flowed out when he scraped the frozen flesh with a scalpel, despite temperatures in the area being around minus 10 degrees Celsius. “Everything must be examined very carefully,” Grigoryev remarked, adding that he wanted to determine whether mammoth blood had “cryo-protective properties”, that kept it from freezing. Because the lower part of the body was trapped in pure ice, the stomach was well preserved. Delighted researchers now hope to gain insight into the mammoths’ diet. The mammoth finds are helping scientists to piece together the animals’ genetic code. NEFU specialists, in particular, have spoken of plans to clone a mammoth. While Grigoryev conceded that previous discoveries had not brought scientists closer to bringing the species back to life, “we don’t rule out that the mammoth tissue we’ve just found will help to solve the cloning problem.” NEFU researchers are working on this with the South Korean Sooam Biotech Research Foundation. In March 2012 the partners said they aimed to inject DNA from mammoth cells into an egg taken from an elephant, its closest living relative, and insert the egg into the womb of an elephant meant to serve as a surrogate mother. “The material is of inestimable value to the joint project of our University and Sooam, to resurrect the mammoth,” Grigoryev said. “It could have disappeared had it thawed, and been eaten by wild animals.” Only the head,

upper back and lower left leg are skeletonized, he noted. Muscle tissue and blood are much more useful to scientists than dry, mummified or fossilised specimens. Grigoryev said that foreign experts would inspect the find in July. According to Albert Protopopov, a Palaeontologist at Yakutia’s Academy of Sciences, hunters as well as collectors of mammoth teeth and tusks often find the remains of prehistoric animals in the tundra, including woolly rhinoceroses. A finder’s reward is given to them. The precious ivory tusks are coveted mainly in China, and there is a long tradition of ivory carving in Siberia. For scientists, though, tissue samples are of the most interest. Most mammoth remains are first placed in cold storage at Yakutia’s Academy of Sciences. Each object is worked on for an average of about five

Russian scientist and mammoth expert, Yevgeny Mashchenko, surrounded by skeletons and body parts of long-extinct creatures in the Institute’s Museum.

years, Protopopov says. As for successfully cloning a mammoth, the majority of specialists in Moscow remain doubtful. “Definitely not in the next five to seven years, as the South Koreans intend. It’s impossible,” Mashchenko said. Scientists in the Russian capital also reacted rather calmly to the discovery in Yakutia, in 2010, of the first well-preserved mammoth brain. “All of these discussions (on cloning) are nonsense in my view - freezing and thawing kills the cells,” said Sergei Savelyev, a biologist at the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences in Moscow. He performed a CAT scan on the brain, aimed at learning its internal structure. Among other things, mam-

moth researchers want to find out how similar their subjects are to present-day Indian and African elephants. But as long as they get no living cells, they see little chance of cloning a mammoth. Mashchenko is loath to wholly exclude the possibility, though. “Science feeds on dreams. During the Renaissance, Leonardo da Vinci practically foresaw the computer. It came hundreds of years later,” he said. Modern science is advancing rapidly, and experts think that genetic engineers may be able to replicate the mammoth genome in the future. They emphasize, however, that the costs will be immense. Mashchenko hopes the sensational finds in Yakutia will spur Russian leaders to allocate more funds for mammoth research. u


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19-25 July 2013

G -scape ASHA PANDEY

FG's 100th

Friday gurgaon 19 25, 2013  

..be the change you want to see

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