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24-30 January 2014

Vol. 3 No. 23  Pages 24  ` 7

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

Glocal Gurukuls & Gurus Global-Local

don’t even offer the IB Curriculum and yet call themselves ‘World Schools’, ‘Global Schools’ or ‘International Schools’, which misleads the parents. “Indian parents often seem confused over the selection of a school for their kids. They get attracted to these ‘International Schools’, without first understanding the concept of such a school. Some of these schools are like 'normal' schools. The difference is that they prefer 'elitist children', use fancy jargon and impressive technical lingo, while maintaining infrastructure that looks like a five-star hotel,” says the Director of a convent school. It is therefore important to understand what really makes an International School. If a school offers world-class infrastructure and hires a few foreign teachers, it doesn’t make the school ‘international’. Parents should also know about the pros and cons of international curriculums offered at 'Global Schools'. Are the programmes offered by such schools only to help the children secure admission in a foreign university, or is the school using the words ‘international’ or ‘global’ on the basis of its overall ethos and a global teaching staff An International School is broadly a school that promotes international education, in an international environment, either by adopting an internationally-recognised curriculum or by following a national curriculum different from that of the country of residence. Some of these curriculum are, the International Baccalaureate (IB) or Cambridge International Examinations. With an aim to offer internationalism, develop global citizen and foster

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oday education is not limited to attaining a degree for securing a job. Now parents want their children to have a holistic education, in order to gain the best out of the course. But they seem to be really confused, as there are a plethora of schools, following different philosophies, Boards and different methodologies – offering, in effect, different models of education. In Gurgaon, apart from the traditional schools offering CBSE and ICSE Boards, the concept of ‘International Schools’ is gaining popularity. At first look these Schools seem to be differentiating themselves by providing upmarket facilities and world-class infrastructure, so as offer the best in terms of sports, academics and extracurricular activities. However, International Schools also have to follow an IB curriculum and provide a global experience to their students – who may want to take up courses in a variety of fields such as art, architecture, robotics, medicine or even engineering (yes, at school level). 'IB students' are said to have an edge over others at the university level. Meena Lekhi who teaches Visual Arts at an International School, says, “There are over 160 Art courses to choose from at the university level. When a student takes up Visual Arts as part of the IB Curriculum at school, it prepares him/her to better face the university level education. He/she already has a headstart over the others.” However, a few educationists rightly point out that some of these Shools

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he contribution of teachers (gurus) in this City has been phenomenal. Gurgaon has been known for the legendary teacher, Guru Dronacharya, who upheld moral values and respect for cultural diversity in his teachings. It is evident from ancient Indian scriptures that Guru Dronacharya used various 'foreign' teaching methodologies, especially Confucian-influenced Martial Art techniques. At the same time, through cultural exchange, Indian scriptures were studied in Iran, Mongolia and even in far eastern countries like Japan. Now a new cultural exchange has begun, with the influx of foreign teachers in the educational institutes of the City. Today, teachers from the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Ireland, Sweden, China, and even non-English speaking countries like Russia, Ukraine and Portugal, are making it big in the City’s booming educa-


tion sector. According to Learning Links, an Education consultation firm, more than 20 to 30 per cent of the teaching staff in the leading 'international' and 'world' institutes of the City are hired from abroad. An international school in the City has provided an amazing career opportunity to 30-year-old Australian, Harry Neeson (name changed), who recently completed his doctorate from a university in Sydney. The School wanted him to join as Deputy Head of Department (English). With a teaching experience of just six months, Harry looked at this offer as a wonderful opportunity. “I was so glad that such a designation in a reputed school was offered to me. I was a bit unsure how things would be in Gurgaon. I was happy to see teachers from across the globe in the School. I think that it is easy for an English-speaking person to adjust in this City,” says Harry. Many foreign teachers feel that the educational institutes in the City are no different from those in the US and the UK. Patricia, who hails from UK, holds a Master’s Degree in Economics from

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the University of Sussex. She has been hired as the Head of Department at IILM. Interestingly, she doesn’t feel that her life has changed after moving to the City. She says, “There is hardly any difference. Everything is similar – be it the faculty, infrastructure or scope for research. The University has world-class facilities and teaching standards are on par with the West.” A young Russian, Stephan Vyacheslav, says he always wanted to visit India, despite the linguistic and cultural challenges. He filed an online job application for a Russian Instructor at the Amity University, Manesar. “I thought it would be really difficult for me to adjust to an Englishspeaking environment. However, with the help of a translator initially, and a few Hindi classes, I have been able to interact with my students. I think that Hindi is quite an interesting language,” smiles Stephan. He plans to spend at least three years in the University, as he feels it can provide a boost to his job prospects back home. Contd on p 7 


C oming U p

24-30 January 2014

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319 Postal Regn. No. GRG/35/2012-2014, VOL.–3 No.–23  24-30 January 2014


Atul Sobti

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

Prakhar Pandey

Sr. Sub Editor:

Anita Bagchi

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Amit Singh

Circulation Execs.:

Sunil Yadav Manish Yadav

Sr. Exec Marketing:

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Dy. Manager A/cs & Admin:

Nightlife Kashyyyk & Paraforce Live @ ANARCHY, Global Business Park, MG Road Date: January 24 Time: 6:00 pm Enjoy Mexican Kashyyyk's psychedelic music followed by Paraforce, a solo PsyTrance Project by Varun Anand.

Shiv Shankar Jha

Seminar Women's security, Gender equality and Emancipation @ Fortis Hospital, Sector 44 Date: January 31 Time: 2:00 pm A Seminar in partnership with Gurgaon Police, on women's security, gender equality and sexual harassment at the work place.

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

Nightlife Crazy Monday @ Lemp Brewpub & Kitchen, DLF Star Mall, NH8, Sector 30 Date: Up to January 27 (Mondays) Time: 8:00 pm onwards Enjoy the best of Bollywood and retro tunes, belted out by the in-house DJ.

Friday Gurgaon (Weekly) edited, behalf of Arap Media Ventures Pvt. Ltd. from 213, Tower A, Spazedge, Sector 47, Sohna Road, Gurgaon 122018, Haryana. Printed at Indian Express Ltd., 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.


SMS NR to 08447355801

Workshop Women's Safety @ Auditorium, Artemis Hospital, Sector 51 Date: January 29 Time: 3:30 pm A Workshop organised by Gurgaon First, in association with SafetiPin, to discuss women's safety at public and work places in the City. The Workshop will be attended by top officials of the Police, Traffic Police, Authorities, Legal community, RWAs, NGOs, Corporates, Media and the general public. There is no fee. To attend, simply send in your name, phone no. and email to


published and printed by Atul Sobti on

Plot No. A8, Sector 7, Gautam Budh Nagar,

Conference ITF Women's Conference @ Pullman Gurgaon Central Park, MG Road Date: January 26 to 28 Women transport workers from all over the world come together to share experiences, create solutions and fight back against the global crisis, at this Conference.
Participants will focus on organising women transport workers, building alliances to tackle violence against women, campaigning for quality public services and building a new generation of leaders at all levels.

Cinema The Holy Wives (Kannada/Telugu/Hindi) @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: January 27 Time: 7:30 pm onwards The Film (with English subtitles) is about the life and struggles of Mathammas in Andhra Pradesh, Devadasis in Karnataka and Bedinies in Madhya Pradesh ('Wives of God' who lived in or around the temples). The Film is directed by Ritesh Sharma.

Nightlife Ladies Night @ Tease, Vivanta by Taj, Sector 44 Date: Up to January 29 (Wednesdays) Time: 7:30 pm to midnight Here's an opportunity for the ladies to get into the party mode. Rock to music spun by DJ Rohit. You also get to enjoy 1+ 1 free, on drinks.

Nightlife Angel's Night @ Club Rhino, South Point Mall, Golf Course Road, Sector 53 Date: Up to January 29 (Wednesdays) Time: 8:00 pm onwards Get prepared to party with great foot-tapping music. What's more, there's free drinks for the ladies. Angels, it's time to don the halo and party.

Immortal Melodies of K.L Saigal @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: January 29 Time: 7:00 pm onwards An evening of immortal melodies, of K.L Sehgal's compositions. Piano Recital @ Epicentre, Apparel House, sector 44 Date: January 28 Time: 8:00 pm onwards A piano recital by young prodigy Gurbani Bhatia, who will play old and new songs – capturing fusion and Sufiana tunes. Hindustani Classical Recital @ Epicentre, Apparel House, sector 44 Date: January 30 Time: 7:30 pm onwards Enjoy a Hindustani Classical recital by renowned singer, Gauri Guha. Gauri is a disciple of Malabika Kanan and A. Kanan. Currently she is under the tutelage of Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty.

 Winter Fantasia @ Epicentre, Apparel House, sector 44 Date: February 1 Time: 7:00 pm onwards Epicentre, in collaboration with Berlitz Language Centre, Winning Edge, is hosting a musical evening that will have Contemporary, Broadway and Light Opera music by Viva Divavos, an ensemble of talented musicians. Enjoy performances by Ashwathi Parmeshwar, Situ Singh Buehler, Catherine Barbier, Jyotsna Laroiya, Toshan Nongbet, Prabhat Chandola, Avijit Chakra and Bhanu Sharma. Ticket price Rs 350.

24-30 January 2014

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Culture scape Art

Art Triveni @ The Art Place, SCO No.22, Part II, Sector 15 Date: January 25 to February 5 Time: 11:00 am to 7:00 pm A Group Exhibition of the works of three eminent artists – Prithvi Soni, Madan Lal and Harish Kumar.

Art Solo Art Show @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: January 31 to February 2 Time: 11:00 am onwards A solo Show of oils, pastels and water colours by Kiran Sandhu, where the artist captures the beauty of the lands that she has travelled to. 

Dance Om Namo Shivaya @ Epicentre, Apparel House, sector 44 Date: January 26 Time: 6:30 pm onwards Enjoy an evening of a Shiva-Shakti dance composition by Rashika Ojha Abrol, who has trained under Bharatnatyam exponent Saroja Vaidyanathan. Dance Natya Sandhya II @ Epicentre, Apparel House, sector 44 Date: January 31 Time: 7:30 pm onwards The second edition of Natya Sandhya presents a Kuchipudi recital by Daksha Ramesh, a Bharatanatyam recital by Jiniya Chakraborty and a Kathak recital by Preeti Sharma.
Daksha is a disciple of Natya Visharada Ranjani.

Ganesan Ramesh; Jiniya is a disciple of Dr. Thankamani Kutty; and Preeti Sharma is a disciple of Rajendra Kumar Gangani.

Food Syrian Christian Delights @ Amaranta, The Oberoi, Udyog Vihar, Phase V Date: Up to February 8 Time: 12:30 pm to 3:00 pm; 7:30 pm to 10:30 pm Dig into a versatile and vibrant range of coastal dishes from Kerala. A team of expert chefs present delightful delicacies all this month – the Syrian Christian Kozhi Roast, Nasrani Biryani, Meen Mettichattu with Kappa and Ellayappam.
On offer are traditional family recipes from Kannur, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Kottayam and Malappuram.

Storytellers @ Art Alive Gallery, S-221, Panchsheel Park Date: January 20 to February 20 Time: 11:00 am to 7:00 pm (Sundays closed) An Exhibition of works of three contemporary artists from the Pradhaan community, one of the largest tribes of Central India, Madhya Pradesh – Bhajju Singh Shyam, Mayank Shyam and Sukhnandi Vyam.


Gypsies In Transylvania @ Hungarian Information and Cultural Centre, 1/A, Janpath Date: Up to February 14 Time: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm An enthralling Photo Exhibition by Béla Kása. Béla has been collecting and researching folk music in Transylvania for over 20 years.


Bharatnatyam Recital @ C. D. Deshmukh Auditorium, India International Centre, Lodi Estate Date: January 28 Time: 6:30 pm onwards Talented dancer Aishwarya Nityananda performs a Bharatanatyam recital. Aishwarya has trained under Guru Radha Sridhar.


Food Tricolor Special Menu @ Zura, SCO No. 40, Sector 29 Date: January 26 Time: 12 noon onwards Celebrate Republic Day with a variety of delicious fare – tri-colour paneer tikkas, lasagnas, pastries, macaroons and much more.

Food Grills and Satay @ Zodiac, Fortune Select Excalibur, Sector 49 Date: Up to January 26 Time: 7:30 pm onwards An exotic confluence of vegetarian and nonvegetarian Satay and Grills – buffet and à la carte. Embark on a culinary journey specially prepared by Executive Chef Inder Dev, which amalgamates dishes from around the world together. 

Rigoletto @ India Habitat Centre, Max Muller Marg, Lodhi Road Date: January 28 Time: 7:00 pm onwards Enjoy this Italian Opera with English subtitles. Rigoletto is based on the Victor Hugo play, 'Le Roi s'amuse', about the libertine Duke of Mantua, who is encouraged in his licentious behaviour with the wives of his courtiers by his court jester, Rigoletto.
A masterpiece by Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi, the production features great star singers – including Placido Domingo, Cornell Macneil and Ileana Cotrubas, with James Levine conducting.


Thang - Ta @ Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, C.V Mess, Janpath Date: January 24 Time: 5:00 pm onwards Catch the screening of 'Thang-Ta - Martial Art of Manipur'. Directed by Aribam Syam Sharma, the Film captures the essence and history of this Martial Art form from Manipur.


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 Gurgaon MP, Rao Inderjit Singh, says that he has decided to join the BJP; he had earlier said that he would be leaving the Congress, mainly because of the CM’s repeated neglect of South Haryana.  The CM wants both the toll plazas (Sirhaul and Kherki Daula) to be removed, and says the State would be willing to ‘pay’ for this (at least financially!). Haryana Lokayukta orders a case to be registered against the Chief Parliamentary Secretary, RK Fauji. Power gets cheaper in Haryana (the AAP effect?). However, the rain and the joining of the strike by some employees, leads to some major power-outs in the City. There is a 12-hour power cut in many areas on Friday, the coldest day this season. There is a strike by Roadways and lakhs of other State Depts. Employees including teachers. Governor Jagannath Pahadia awards 17 Haryana sportspersons with the State’s highest sports award, the Bhim Award. The Award carries a Cash prize of Rs 5 lakhs, a Shield and a Citation.

 A man is run over by a train at a level crossing near Daultabad – he was listening to music on his mobile; a youth is killed in a road accident on NH8; a person is electrocuted in Village Bajghera – the concerned power dept. employees are booked; a woman riding pillion is killed when a dumper hits a bike.  A Palam Vihar ASI (Police) is suspended and charged, for the alleged rape of a 19-year-old.  2 sisters (aged 18 and 22) are kidnapped from Patel Nagar - a local youth is suspected; a woman is missing from South City I; a woman and child

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are reported missing from Sector 5; a 16-year-old girl is missing from Badshahpur.  6 persons snatch a taxi, throw out the driver and kidnap the woman passenger - they are caught on the way to Manali; a Nigerian dupes a local woman of Rs 51,000, while posing as a prospective groom at a matrimonial website; masked men strike at a Bhondsi guesthouse, hurt residents and flee with cash and jewellery; Malibu Towne and DLF I (Block H) are struck by a spate of robberies; burglars break into a Samsung warehouse near Jamalpur and steal mobiles worth lakhs; a supervisor is robbed of his scooty, mobile and cash; a gang robs a man of his mobile and cash at IFFCO Chowk; a student’s mobile and cash are snatched, near Ardee City; a Sector 4 resident is duped of Rs 17,000 (ATM fraud); the window of a Scorpio car is broken and Rs 2 lakhs are stolen, near Badshahpur; Power Dept staff at a depot in Badshahpur is tied up at gunpoint and the equipment stored at the depot is stolen.  A labour contractor is beaten up and then kidnapped.  A fake doctor is arrested in Sector 10; a fraud clinic is busted in Basai Enclave.  A Delhi University student is held on a Cyber-fraud charge; a Police PRO is suspended for asking for money on behalf of his senior.  Encroachments on Railway Road are demolished; MCG razes illegal shops in Ghasola Village  Gurgaon contributes most to the AAP online donation drive – almost Rs 10 lakhs received from about 600 donors. AAP hopes to register 1 lakh members in Gurgaon District by Republic Day – currently there are 35,000.  The management and agitating workers reach an agreement, at Munjal Kiriu.

What is your opinion about the hospitals of Gurgaon?


This is a very difficult question to reply to - actually no one can answer this justifiably. If you are a patient it is unlikely that you will have switched hospitals so often; if you are a reporter you would not be reporting out of personal experience; if you are caring for your loved ones you will only be able to talk about the lenience of the hospital staff in allowing you to visit the patient and meet the doctors. I happen to be a 4th stage Cancer patient and have had the opportunity to visit at least three major hospitals in ‘new’ Gurgaon. Artemis Health Institute has been my main stay, where I underwent one major surgery, repeated CT scans, PET-CT scans, MRI, Radiation and various other diagnostic investigations. I find the hospital very well equipped. They have the most sophisticated radiation therapy units, and the chemotherapy wards are providing very good services and care. The billing and OPD registration is swift and hassle free. On my three hospitalizations, I found the in patient care very good. The faculty of doctors as well as residents is very caring and friendly. Emergency facilities are fast and immediate. Medanta Medicity is another hospital I had a chance to experience on many occasions. It is the hot favourite destination for the rich, insurance-covered executives and those who come on ‘medical tourism’. The presence and influence of world-renowned doctors brings in patients from far and near. While the Hospital is top of the line in this part of the world, it is found wanting in some ways. The first drawback is in the sheer handling of the number of patients that flock the hospital; it is awfully crowded and the waiting time at the OPD is high. The Doctors are somewhat reserved. It is an expensive hospital, and the handling of patients – especially cashless and insurance-covered - at the time of admission and discharge is time consuming. The paramedics and nursing staff does not appear to be a very happy lot – seems there is a fairly high attrition. Alchemist Hospital is another one experienced by me, mainly due to my doctor shifting there (from Artemis) as a visiting faculty. I have an experience of only the OPD service. The facilities are average. The equipment is not of the highest order. Fortis is another high-end hospital. They are doing a lot of good by interacting with the local residents through weekly talks between doctors and potential clients. The Nuclear Medicine, Radiology and other investigative departments that I happened to experience are top quality. The lobby and other facilities are world class. It is somewhat new in Gurgaon and will perhaps catch full steam in some time. There are many other names that are popular - Paras, Columbia Asia and Neelkanth, to name a few. The reports are generally good, but I have no personal experience. All in all, Gurgaon has gained the reputati Ashok Lal, 301-A, Hamilton Court, DLF Ph-IV, Gurgaon., Mo: +919873248847

H appenings

24-30 January 2014


'Bad Sherilyn'


herlyn Chopra is set to release her controversial single, "Bad Girl", and was spotted in the City for the promotion. Sherlyn sung a few lines from her single, which left the audience asking for more.

Dream Dance


ingdom of Dreams played host to an innovative Bollywood dance group, Foxy Steppers Josh. The Group performed a unique dance form that presented a fusion of Indian and Japanese cultures. Over 40 dance groups were a part of this initiative. Their aim is to spread cultural awareness across nations, by uploading videos of the Dances online.

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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.

A Tickling Adventure

Q. I have suddenly developed white scaly skin on my face. Help!


oadies VJ Rannvijay Singh was at Camp Tickling in Badshahpur to host the “Adventure Race & Carnival”. The Event saw several sports enthusiasts as well as the young and old trying their hand at the various Adventure Sports. On offer were Rock Climbing, Leopard Pit Traversing, Hot Air Ballooning, Quad Biking and more.


Enterprising Gurgaonites


bhinav Girdhar and Shrutika Girdhar from Bodhi Health Care, Gurgaon, were declared the Second Prize winners at the second edition of the Tata Social Enterprise Challenge, hosted by the Tata Group in partnership with the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta. The challenge aims at discovering, encouraging and mentoring the next generation of social entrepreneurs.

The white scales or flakes may be due to extreme dryness, or lack of moisture. If there is any itching or redness, it is best to consult a dermatologist. Avoid soap and use a cleansing cream or gel. Apply aloe vera gel on the dry patches daily. Apply sunscreen before going out in the sun. Use a night cream to massage the skin at night and wipe off with moist cotton wool before bedtime. Tarana Rana

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

If you have a flair for photography (you needn’t be a professional) and would like to see your clicked pictures appear in FG, send us photographs of Gurgaon (landscape or people) to

06  Contd from p 1 understanding of different cultures, the IB Programme was founded in 1968 by the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO), a non-profit educational organisation based in Geneva. International Schools ideally cater a mix of nationalities and employ staff from across the world, to provide a truly global atmosphere and experience to the students. The curriculum, the education Board and the diplomas offered at IB World Schools are different from those at the traditional CBSE and ICSE schools. International Schools typically use curricula based on the school's country of origin. Abroad, IB programmes are offered in a variety of schools, in both the private and public sectors. IB World Schools in India sometimes use the local curriculum as a base. For example, Hindi can be offered as a second language in the IB Diploma Programme. To become an IB school, a school needs to go through a rigorous process. Before it can offer any programme, the school is first asked to do self-evaluation to examine if the programme's philosophy and ethos will meet the needs of local as well as expatiate students in the region and if key administrative and teaching staff can be arranged to undertake IB-approved professional development. The school has to mention details about infrastructure, staff, and region on the website of the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO). Depending on the evaluation by IBO, the school is allowed to do trial implementation for a short period of time. This is followed by a team from IBO to evaluate the performance of school. A school can call itself ‘International’ only after meeting certain guidelines, a suggested by IBO, and after the completion of this process. The IBO makes it mandatory for international schools to provide the following educational programmes: n PYP: Primary Years Programme (Kindergarten to Class 5) n MYP: Middle Years Programme (Class 6 to 10) n DP: Diploma Programme (Class 11 to 12). PYP offers six trans-disciplinary Themes: ‘Who we are’, ‘Where we are in place and time’, ‘How we express ourselves’, ‘How the world works’, ‘How we organise ourselves’ and ‘Sharing the Planet’. The PYP curriculum is designed to incorporate local and global issues and allow students to learn about themselves and also about the world

C over S tory

24-30 January 2014

Glocal Gurukuls at large. For instance, ‘who we are’ includes an enquiry into the nature of the self, human values and human relationships, including families, friends, communities and cultures; as well as rights and responsibilities, and what it means to be human. Similarly civilisations, history and scientific discoveries are taught in ‘where we are in place and time’. Creativity and appreciation of the aesthetic is taught in ‘how we express ourselves’; a study of nature, physics and biology tells us ‘how the world works’; a study of humanmade systems such as governments, organisations and society is part of ‘how we organise ourselves’; and ‘sharing the planet’ offers an enquiry into rights and responsibilities, equal opportunities to all, and peace and conflict resolution. Each Theme is addressed each year by students aged between three to nine years. PYP students also have the opportunity to learn more than one language, from the age of seven years. MYP comprises eight Subject groups given to students on the basis of their skills, community they live in, understanding of society and understanding of the environment. Students are required to study at least two languages, so as to have a multilingual profile, as well as humanities, sciences, mathematics, arts, physical education and technology. In the final year, students undertake an independent Subject for a Project, to demonstrate the development of their skills and understanding. IB Diploma Programme (DP) offers subjects such as Studies in Language and Literature, Language acquisition, Individuals and Societies, Sciences, Mathematics and the Arts. Students can choose a language and an additional subject, depending on their area of interest. Interestingly, students can study and take examinations in English, French or Spanish.

How are Teachers trained?

Teachers for the IB Programme are expected to follow a unique curriculum and be highly trained in IB course material. First of all, the teachers

also interact with librarians and media specialists,” says Alan Brutman, who worked at GD Geonka World School for more than seven years. For Teachers, participating in online discussions organised by the IBO is the best way to keep themselves updated on current trends. IBO also provides opportunities to Teachers to become IB Examiners (to assess students’ works and examinations) and IB Workshop Leaders.

What is so special about IB?

The IB Programme more practical and applicationbased. It has a broader spectrum of subjects, which leads to the all-round development of a student. There are no prescribed textbooks – students can choose their own books. There are no examinations till the MYP i.e. Class 10. “IB examinations test our knowledge, not our memory and speed. IB has helped me understand university essay-writing patterns even before entering a college,” says Richisha Jambh, who switched to a IB School after spending five years at a CBSE School. Hemaksh Mehta, who completed his IBDP from Lancers International, and is currently studying at Oxford, smiles and says, “I had an amazing experience while I was studying IB. It was fun. But we had to pull our socks up and work very hard, to submit our work on time. It definitely prepared me for my higher studies, as it made everything else seem so much easier.” “Students who go to International Schools have a better knowledge of other regions and cultures, familiarity with international and global issues, skills in working effectively and the ability to communicate in different languages. These skills make students better prepared for university education,” says Dr. Vipul Darshan, a parent of an 18-year-old who studied at Ryan. Further, with the help of an international curriculum, International Schools can help in building good relations between countries, and help eradicate issues such as racial discrimination, gender discrimination, and linguistic and cultural barriers. Many foreign universities also offer special scholarships to IB Diploma holders. is

should have a high level of fluency and proficiency in English. Many International Schools look for native English teachers. Secondly, unlike CBSE schools, which prefer 'B.Ed teachers', International Schools prefer teachers who are certified in a specific subject area. For example, Post-Graduate in Performing Arts would be preferred over a teacher who took Performing Arts as a subject in her Bachelor's Degree and then switched to B.Ed after graduation. As there is no long-term recognised IB Teacher’s training programme in India, International Schools hire qualified IB Teachers from abroad, and also train Indian teachers internally. Shalini, from Excelsior American School, suggests, “A Teacher at an International School has to go through regular national and international training programmes and should also be keen to network. They should keep themselves abreast with the latest trends and studies in the field of education.” Many feel that to be an International School, a school should have a diverse faculty – in terms of nationality, expertise and knowledge. Librarians and Media Specialists in International Schools also play an important role. They are responsible not only to co-ordinate with Teachers, but also assist students during their research work at the MYP and DP levels. “To evaluate an International School, parents must visit its libraries and activity centres. Parents can

Are they really ‘Global’?

There are just 45 International Schools in India that are recognised by the IBO. Interestingly, of these, over 10 are in Gurgaon – including Lancers International School, Amity Global School, Oaktree International School, Pathways School, Pathways World School, Ryan Global School, Scottish High, The Heritage School, The Shri Ram School and GD Goenka World School. However, there are many schools that call themselves ‘International’, based on recognition from other international boards – and sometimes purely on the basis of their philosophy and staff. We need to keep in mind that some schools, such as 'American', 'Canadian', or 'British' offer a variety of systems designed for their expatriate constituencies. They are not necessarily ‘International’ schools, as they follow systems of education from their native country or a combination of international and local curriculum. Another issue relating to Global Schools is of whether their students will be able to secure admission in an Indian university. It is generally believed that IB Programmes are meant for those who seek admission in a foreign university. It is not true anymore, though. The Association of Indian Universities (AIU) rates IB at par with Class 12 CBSE, ICSE, NIOS or State Boards. IBO has, for instance, partnered with some reputed universities in and around Gurgaon – such as Amity, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, IIT, KIIT, JNU, Kurukshetra University, Punjab University and University of Delhi. With the advent of International Schools, parents definitely have more choices. Today we live in a global world and thus we should adapt to the many ways of viewing and operating in this world. It is important that we ensure that IB education does not remain an option just for the elite, as presently pursuing the IB programme is very expensive – it can cost over Rs. 4,50,000 per year for PYP level and more than Rs. 7,00,000 for IBDP. Some schools, like the Mahatma Gandhi International School in Ahmedabad, offer IB education to more than 200 students belonging to the EWS category. The School offers an environment whereby slum children study together with expatriate children. Undoubtedly, the growth of International Schools in Gurgaon is a reflection of its new outlook towards internationalism, but it is necessary to ensure that it does not promote isolationism within the City.u

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C over S tory

Glocal Gurus  Contd from p 1 Why Foreign Teachers?

Foreign teachers play an important role in helping sharpen language skills and also giving students a global perspective. It is also felt that foreign teachers are more aware of methodologies used in International Baccalaureate (IB) curricula, helping them add better value to students. “I suggested to the School to make the Indian classroom environment more lively – by introducing a theatre-in-education programme for life-skills training as well as for imparting English lessons. It has had a dramatic effect on the classroom teaching. It has helped in replacing

mum time to their students.” The kids of foreign teachers are also exposed to a new culture in India. “My visit to India has changed the perspective of my son about the ‘Third World’. He didn’t want to leave Russia, as he used to think that India is a country of beggars and snake charmers. But today he has learnt a lot from Indian children – especially underprivileged children, who despite being deprived of basic facilities, always keep smiling. They seem to have a ‘strange contentment’. Moreover, these kids have high aspirations, and sometimes it feels magical to see them achieve their dreams. Our children have a lot to learn from India,” feels


tisements, recruitment firms or web portals, everything costs a bomb in the US and UK. A few recruiting firms charge more than 5,000 Euros to arrange Skype interviews of a couple of teachers. Moreover, foreign teachers generally prefer to relocate with their families. Many residential schools not only offer accommodation to them, but it is ensured that their children study in the same school free of cost. That is why teachers are asked to sign a minimum twoyear contract. Moreover, the salary package offered to foreign teachers is usually on par with that in the West. Sometimes the visa charges and trips to home country are also paid for. Foreign teachers are offered salaries up to Rs 3 lakh (about ernment. Punam feels that, “A foreign teacher should understand the ethos of education in India and should be able to appreciate the multi-cultural dimension of the country.” It will not only ensure that children learn from the ‘right’ teachers—those who are willing to adapt to a new environment—but will also help a foreign teacher to shape his/her career in a better manner.u

words like ‘studies’ and ‘examinations’, with ‘rehearsals’ and ‘performance’ – and has attracted the attention of the students!” says Sebastian. Punam Singhal, Principal of GEMS Modern Academy, explains, “International teachers bring global best practices to the Indian pedagogy. Foreign teachers are obviously relevant in language enhancement programs in non-native languages such as French. They also enhance cultural diversity, which enriches the learning experience for the students.” Higher education institutes feel that it is important to develop a research-based academic environment in Indian universities, and foreign professors focus more on research-based projects and practical knowledge. Further, foreign teachers spend more time preparing for classes – maybe because they have less local distractions. Alka Verma, from Pathways World School agrees and says, “Faculty from outside the country have very little daily obligations towards their families – and their main community is that School/Institute. That is why foreign teachers have been able to give maxi-

Patricia. The acceptance of foreign teachers in the international schools has helped the schools to bring highly qualified teachers into Indian classrooms. It is quite hard to find an Indian teacher for robotics. Some foreign teachers are willing to move to even some remote areas near Bhiwadi and Sohna, where new international schools are coming up. International teachers have produced some exceptional results for their schools.

The Downside

Some foreign teachers face a culture shock when they enter the Indian classroom. “It took me more than six months to understand how children study chemistry without a proper lab arrangement. Gradually I came to know that children studying in primary classes are not exposed to a lab environment, and don’t do live experiments. It was really very shocking,” says a teacher who doesn’t wish to be named. Besides, it is also a challenge for schools to hire foreign teachers. Schools participate in many international job fairs and organise interviews abroad to reach out to the different teachers across the world. Be it adver-

$5,000) a month, excluding accommodation and travel cost! “We understand that salaries and incentives for foreign teachers have to be attractive. Sometimes we offer them better salaries and designations than what they are getting in their own country,” says Alka. Some, of course, disagree Prof. Vikram Singh from Guru Dronacharya College of Engineering says, “Hiring foreign professors doesn’t always bring appropriate results. An Indian teacher can understand a local student in a better manner. I noticed in a school that some children were finding it difficult to grasp the foreign accent of their music teacher. Many times institutions also hire underqualified and less experienced foreign teachers, for their ‘tag’ value. I think that it is purely a marketing gimmick.” He also rightly points out that many Indian teachers are doing well in the US and the UK, but they are not paid the same as their local counterparts. Indian schools, on the other hand, violate the UGC guidelines, as they offer unequal remuneration to teachers working at the same level. It is unfortunate that ‘international’ and ‘world’ schools are not following guidelines specified by the gov-

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24-30 January 2014

Residents on the Edge

{ Abhishek Behl/ FG }


he hidden skeletons in the Gurgaon Real Estate story, which at one point of time promised a never-ending bull run, are tumbling out. The slowdown has put a question mark on many projects, particularly those that had little financial viability except the desire of those developers to make hay while the sun was shining on the Millennium City. As a consequence, a large number of investors who had put their life’s earnings in Real Estate projects in Gurgaon, are now finding it difficult to even get their principal back - forget making a profit. Arti Singh, a widow of an army officer, who lives in Delhi Cantt., had invested around Rs. 55 lakhs in the Spire Edge commercial complex in Sector 8 of Manesar, with the hope of getting a regular perpetual return of 12 per cent per annum. Singh’s husband had invested this money after selling their ancestral house. The company, AN Buildwell, had allegedly promised them

handsome returns during the construction phase, as also an assured lease. There seem to be about 1000 investors who have been so promised by this builder. Ghaziabad’s Shashi Singh is a schoolteacher on the verge of retirement; she had put her entire savings, as well as the proceeds from the sale of a house, as an investment in this Project. The investors accuse the builder of not communicating with them properly, and not answering their queries. They also allege that they have been forced to buy ‘virtual space’ in the Project, as they do not know which physical part is owned by them! Anuj Arora, an executive member of the Spire Edge Allottees’ Association, says that a majority of the investors in the Project are ex-servicemen and women who have invested their life’s earnings in the hope of getting good returns every month. “The builder broke his promise within one and a half years, and now he has stopped any payment on one pretext or the other,” says Arora. To protest against the Builder, the


Spire Edge Allottees’ Association carried out a protest on Tuesday outside the under-construction World Trade Commercial Centre project being developed by the same builder. A.K Tiwari, a buyer, alleged that the Builder has stopped making payments since October 2011, and forced the investors to take possession, even though the building is not ready. “We have been asked to make additional payments for the completion of the structure; this is illegal, and it is not mentioned in the original sale document,” alleges Tiwari. The Association members say that the Company officials do not bother to answer their calls, and there are frequent changes in the senior management. Anuj Arora says that buyers are now being asked to sign on blank papers, and the draft lease document, which was to be signed, is not being shown. “When we managed to get a copy from some sources, it was revealed that this Agreement was not for a perpetual period, but for a period of 27 years. This violates the original agreement”, he says. The Company also changed the project brand, from Spire Edge to World Trade Centre, without taking the investors into confidence, the buyers allege. They also say that they were duped by the Company, which claimed that the entire Project had been completed, and even rented out – a claim made through full-page advertisements. Tiwari says that the Project has not got a Com-

pletion Certificate or even permission to sell and lease the property, from HSIIDC. The buyers now want the government to intervene, and force the Company to deliver on the promised returns. Delhi-based Yashpal Arora says that he invested his entire savings from a government job in the Defence Ministry, hoping that he will be able to get a steady income. “Instead of earning money, I fear now of losing it,” he says. The irony is that while the Builder has not delivered the Project to these investors, he has already launched, and sold, a couple of new ones in Gurgaon and Noida. Mamta Tiwari, a teacher from a private school, says that she has been shocked by the behaviour of the Builder, who neither listens to them nor is ready to address their concerns. “How can someone take my entire life’s earnings and then forget to give the promised returns,” she asks? The buyers, a majority of whom are former Defence and government officials, along with women who needed income after retirement, were motivated by the presence of top retired Defence officials

C ivic/S ocial in the ranks of the Company. A large number of brokers and real estate dealers employed by the Company were also instrumental in motivating the buyers. The Association now alleges that most of those officials as well property dealers have vanished, and new people, who are not ready to listen to their woes, have come on the scene. Arora says that the investors have formed an Association to unite their efforts against this injustice by the Builder, who is also connected politically to the ruling party in Haryana. “We have issued a notice to the Builder, but there has been no result. This scam is worth crores of rupees and the government needs to take action against the Builder, for reneging on its promise. Where will people with limited means get more money as demanded by the Company,” asks Arora? The buyers also reiterate their resolve to continue the protests till the government and the Builder listen to them. “This is our hard earned money and we are not going to let someone trample on our interests and rights,” says Arti Singh, with a steely resolve in her eyes.u

Prakhar Pandey

MP decides the Future is BJP { Abhishek Behl/ FG }


iving a shot in the arm to the BJP, led by Narender Modi, Gurgaon MP Rao Inderjit Singh on Wednesday confirmed that he would be joining the BJP on February 13 - much to the delight of his supporters, who had been waiting eagerly for the Congress rebel to take the final decision. Addressing a Press Conference in Gurgaon, Rao Inderjit said that he would join the BJP with all his followers, and work towards bringing that Party to power at the Centre. The Gurgaon MP also said that the BJP and Modi were the best options for the country right now, as it was the only Party that has a national perspective, and would provide a stable government to the nation. “Leaving the Congress was a difficult decision, because I have spent 36 years in the Party; but I was forced to take this route because there is no internal democracy in the Congress. The Party in Haryana is run like a private organization”, said Inderjit Singh. He also said that the political arm of the Haryana Insaaf Manch would be merged with the BJP, and he would make all-out effort to bring the BJP to power - not only in Haryana but also across the country. Rao Inderjit also said that his current focus would be on fighting and winning the Lok Sabha elections, and the Assembly elections would be the next step. He added that the reason for his taking a long time to decide, was that various options were being considered. “We finally decided that the BJP would be the best in bringing about all-round development to Haryana and also across the country”, he said. A large number of supporters of the Haryana Insaaf Manch, and the office bearers of the Manch, were also present on the occasion. u

24-30 January 2014

{ Abhishek Behl/ FG }

write to us at


large part of our population unfortunately does not know about the Rights conferred upon them by law. And these are not just the illiterate or the uneducated, or just the rural folk. This lack of knowledge often leads to deception and exploitation, a deprivation of their Rights and benefits, much to the detriment of the society. Suruchi Atreja Singh, Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) Gurgaon-cum-Secretary, District Legal Services Authority (DLSA), says that the primary purpose of the DLSA is to make people aware about their Rights (which are conferred by law), apart from providing them with free legal advice and counsel - so that justice can be delivered effectively. To reduce the burden of the ever-increasing number of cases in the judiciary, DLSA has organized a chain of Lok Adalats in Gurgaon, which hear cases related to family issues, banks and other departments. Singh says that the Lok Adalats have been quite successful in reducing the number of cases, as they make it possible to reach settlement through mediation and conciliation. After the successful National Lok Adalat held in November, the Gurgaon Court is going to organise another such Adalat on March 29, 2014, under the aegis of the Supreme Court of India - in which cases of all kinds, which can be brought under mediation, would be heard. Pointing to the important role of DLSA in Gurgaon, Singh says that the main objective is to make people aware of their Rights, and this is done through regular camps in all parts of the District. “We have set up Legal Aid Clinics in different blocks, which help people by giving them legal advice, as also information about other government services,” she says. People who can’t hire a lawyer, those who do not have the money, those who are in jail, children, women and the weaker sections can come to the DLSA and seek help free of cost. The Authority also runs a free legal helpline (0124-2221501), available from 10am to 5pm; people can call on this number and seek advice. With a large number of prisoners and undertrials lodged in Bhondsi Jail, Singh says that she regularly visits the Jail to check the conditions of the prisoners, make them aware of their Rights as well as provide them legal help - as it is the right of every individual to get a fair trial. It has often been seen that a number of undertrials are unable to engage lawyers for defending themselves and so remain incarcerated for years. The Authority has set up a Legal Aid Clinic in the District Jail, to ensure that no one remains unrepresented at the time of his or her remand. Singh says that advocates empanelled with the Legal Aid Clinic represent the undertrials as well, to ensure that justice is delivered to them. In addition, the DLSA is also implementing the Prisoners Legal Literacy Mission (PLLM), to provide them better access to justice, and make prisoners more aware of their Rights. This is being done through legal camps in the prisons, legal literature is being distributed, and efforts are being made to ensure that the freedom and facilities

C ivic/S ocial


CJM - In Right Earnest

that the prisoners are entitled to, are given to them. Another important initiative that is being overseen by the DLSA is that of helping the victims of rape and crimes against women and children. Singh says that as per the Model Scheme for Legal Aid Prosecution Counsel, for victims of rape and other crimes against women and children, women lawyers have been ‘attached’ with every Police Station in the City, and whenever a crime against women or children occurs, they visit the Police Station and help the victims in lodging their complaint. The lawyers also help the victims during the trial stage, and in case they are from the economically weaker sections, they are offered free legal help during the court trial. “Every victim, and even those who are accused, who is unable to engage a lawyer, due to poverty or other reasons, is given legal free aid by the Authority,” she says. Dwelling on the importance of Lok Adalats and mediation, Singh says that a large number of cases can be settled through this mode, provided the parties are ready for resolving the issues amicably. “This is a low cost method, as the court fees is returned, and no appeals will be entertained once he decision has been agreed upon. This reduces the number of cases in the court as well,” says Singh. In her opinion, a normal court case leads to multiple litigations, as a ‘simple’ divorce case may lead to issues related to maintenance, settlement of property, custody of children and several related issues. For judicial officers also, a stint at the District Legal Services Authority helps them in understanding the real situation on the ground in a better way. “They visit villages and jails, and meet people from all walks of life. This helps them in getting a better perspective of the realities, and helps them hone their skills as judicial officers,” she says. During her visit to different parts of Gurgaon, in her work for spreading legal literacy, Singh says that the major issues that come up are related to the lack of civic services, sanitation and other basic amenities. “We take up these issues with the concerned authorities and try and get them resolved. A number of paralegal volunteers and advocates are involved in the process of providing legal services to the vast majority in the District,” she adds. Recently she visited the Night Shelters being

run by the MCG, and found that they lacked basic services and amenities. The CJM thereafter took up the matter with the MCG, which immediately responded by providing the required services and infrastructure. Singh says that DLSA can take up the matters related to women, children and the weaker sections of society if it finds their Rights are not being served properly. “We check with the NGOs and other authorities that are mainly working with this population, and ensure that they get the help that is their due - as has been enshrined in the Constitution,” the CJM asserts. To spread legal awareness among the weaker sections, DLSA is also implementing the Legal Literacy Mission for the empowerment of the Under-privileged (LLUP), which aims to create awareness among the neglected children (who are forced to take shelter in orphanages), women living in Nari Niketans, neglected old people, the disabled, and the mentally challenged people who are in many times in a helpless situation. Singh says that these people have a Constitutional Right to food, clothing and shelter, and a Right to equality and equal access to justice and legal aid for the enforcement of the said Rights. She says that DLSA coordinates with all the organisations running ‘homes’, with a view to ensure the fulfillment of the Constitutional Rights of the inmates. The society can only transform, says Singh, when the youth and students become more aware about their, and every citizens’, Rights and Duties. To empower the student community, the DLSA has set up Legal Literacy Clubs in different schools, which organise various competitions related to law and legal Rights.

Apart from spreading legal awareness, the DLSA in Gurgaon also takes care of the victims of accident and other cases in which people are entitled to compensation from the courts. “If any hit-andrun cases, and crimes against women are brought to us by the victims, we study their cases and recommend compensation - which is then paid by the government,” says Singh. The DLSA has also ensured that a Permanent Lok Adalat (PLA) has been set up in Gurgaon, which hears cases daily, related to various grievances of the citizens. These can pertain to government services as well as those provided by private companies. Singh says that any individual, group, company or firm can file a case related to public utility services in the Permanent Lok Adalat, as per Section 22A (b) of the Legal Services Authorities Act. “In the PLA, the aggrieved party can appear in person, and it is a low cost process. The decision is also final, and there is no appeal against it,” she says. For example, cases relating to poor medical services or negligence, in both government and private hospitals, can be filed in the Permanent Lok Adalat. It is important to note that once an application is moved before the PLA, the parties involved cannot invoke the jurisdiction of any civil court. Asked about the major challenges before the DLSA in Gurgaon, the CJM says that the spreading of awareness, and helping empower the people, particularly in rural areas, would be key, to ensure that people are served in a just and equal manner. She admits that the DLSA is a new authority and will take some time before it becomes a mature institution that can effectively and consistently serve the purpose for which it has been created. The intent is clearly visible.u

Jan Lokpal, Corruption & Projects { Vijay K. Saluja }


he last two years in India have been fairly historic and game-changing. This has been the period of intense activity by the members of the Civil Society. The authorities, for reasons best known to them, instead of giving positive and well-needed support for the right causes, transformed themselves into the ‘other party’. However, the Jan Lokpal Bill was finally passed. What is its implication? There were/are already many govt. agencies - CBI, CVC, Vigilance Departments in each govt. organization - whose main mandate was/is to inter-alia curb corruption. Besides, all the officers of the Centre, State & Local Govts. are supposed to abide by the Conduct Rules; they have to be persons of integrity and take - at all times - suitable steps to prevent corruption in their respective departments/organizations. Have all of them also been waiting for the Jan Lokpal? From where will we get a person of that stature, unwavering integrity and sterling qualities? He/she will also need to find hundreds of staff members. Where will they come from? How will they be different from the present staff of the various vigilance organizations? Corruption and unethical practices have affected many engineering and infrastructure projects. There is also delay in decision-making, improper monitoring, hardly any/minimal use of IT tools, and a lack of needed skills, motivation, commitment and passion. With a Janlokpal, there is fear that a sizable number of projects will get further delayed. It is high time we started rebuilding our society on ethical foundations. Director, Giraffe Heroes India Program; Senior Fellow, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi; ex-Chief Engineer (Civil), NDMC; ex-President, IIT Delhi Alumni Association.u


K id C orner

24-30 January 2014

Blue Bells Display


n Inter House Display Board Competition was held at Blue Bells Preparatory School. The theme was ‘Winter Festivals’. The students of Classes UKG, I and II participated with great enthusiasm and were at their creative best, displaying their crafty skills. The efforts of the students were appreciated by the Headmistress Anu Sehgal and the judges.

Work & Play Vidyarthis


he tiny pre-schoolers at Vidyanjali Pre-School had a fun day putting their little hands and minds to work. They painted, glued and created crafts indoors. They also saw a Hand Puppet Show. Outdoors, the tiny tots had a gala time on the swings and the sand-pit.

Mission Hindi Essay


amchandra Mission organised a National Hindi Essay Competition, wherein 5 entries were sent by the Hindi Department of Chiranjiv Bharti School. Animita Khare of Class 9 received the 1st prize and Yashraj Shrivastav received the 2nd prize, for their entries. Principal Sangeeta Saxena congratulated the winners.

My Winter Vacation

Karate Dos


Karate Black Belt graduation was held by Kaishogun Karate Do India (Shotokan) at Sriram Global Pre-School.

On the second of January, 2014, my family and I boarded the train for Jaisalmer. On reaching, within an hour we went for a camel cart ride to the sand dunes. The next day we went to the fossil park and picked up 3 fossils. From there we went to the Jain Temple and after that we went for boating. There I bought a pink Rajasthani bag. I had a very fun trip and I wish to visit these places again. I want my friends, and people who read this article, to go and experience the beautiful desert, and beautiful Rajasthan….. Avantika Chopra Grade 3 Pathways World School, Aravali

K id C orner

24-30 January 2014


Manav Rachna International School, Sector 46

3..2..1..Blast Off!


tudents of Grades

Digital Empowerment


s part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), the School launched its first Computer Literacy Program (CLP) for grandparents and housewives. The Programme is a two month initiative and aims to empower senior citizens and women.

I-IV participated in a Science activity; they made and launched rockets and carts powered by water and wind energy. It was an experiential way of teaching the students how things move and the importance of the right kind of fuel. The students enjoyed the Activity and were proud to see their rockets take off.

So Long, Farewell


he Management, staff and students of Grade XI bid adieu to their seniors at a farewell ceremony, ‘Sayonara’. The Event was also attended by Sunny Bansal, Executive Director, MRIS 46, Aarti Bansal and Dhriti Malhotra, Principal, MRIS 46. The ‘Ladies & Gentlemen’ of the Day took to the ramp, shared their thoughts on their journey in MRIS and also gifted the School with a camera. The ‘passing out’ students also gifted woollens to the students of Balwadi School.

Planting Information Ryan International School, Sector 40


he theme of the month at Modern Montessori International School was Plants and the students got an opportunity to learn about various plants. They were shown several types of seeds and separately labelled plants.

Ryan Salute


he School celebrated the 66th Indian Army Day with great fervour. A Special Assembly was organised, wherein Ryanites performed in Army uniform. The students displayed banners with the message, ‘Salute to our Soldiers’. A Talk Show was presented by the students, on how the brave soldiers of our country live in adverse conditions at the borders and yet keep a strict vigil.

Young Brains


he School achieved great glory at the 42nd Regional Abacus Competition – the Brain O Brain Fest. Ansh Jain of Class III was declared the Gold topper and Devank Joshi of Class III was awarded the medal for the Silver topper.

Calling all Educationists, Administrators, Co-ordinators, Teachers and Principals – here’s a chance to pen down your experiences, teachings and learnings. Send us your contributions (400-500 words)

For information, Call us at 0124-4219092/93 Or email at

12 Ryan International School, Sohna Road

24-30 January 2014

Sensitised Ryanites

K id C orner Artistic Strokes


he School held a Workshop on Gender Sensitisation. A non-profit organisation “People for Parity”―which works to curb violence against women―initiated the Workshop. The aim was to create awareness among the students about the core concepts of gender and violence. Principal, Dr. Mouna Gupta, appreciated the efforts of Aditya Gupta and his team, for holding the Workshop.

Ujjanini Dutta, Scottish High Inter. School

Winter Fun


Winter Carnival - Fun Fiesta was held at the School. It was a fun-filled day for the staff members and the students. Parents participated in several events and enjoyed the day as much. The main attractions of the Fiesta were – games stalls, mouth-watering food stalls, a Magic Show, a Puppet Show, Tambola and a pottery and handicraft corner. There was also an Art Smart Competition and Dance Masti.

Lokesh Suryavanshi, Starex Inter. School

Glimpses of Rajasthan


Shaping Patterns


he Nursery Groups at Kunskapsskolan School had their third theme presentation – on Shapes and Patterns. The children put up a circus for their parents, who also participated.

n 31st December, 2013 my parents booked train tickets and hotel rooms for the family. Our destinations were Jaisalmer and Jodhpur in Rajasthan. We were to board the train from Gurgaon at 6:00 PM on 2nd January, 2014. Earlier during the day we had packed, but we still had some last minute shopping to be done (the time was 12 PM!). Suddenly a call came from the railways (Indian Railways); my parents told me that our train time had been changed to 2:00 PM, and we had to board the train from the Old Delhi Railway Station. I was shocked! We still had to go shopping, and then go all the way to Old Delhi – we had only two hours to do all this! Luckily we reached just in time. The train journey took almost a whole day; I decided to eat nachos and other food while watching movies on my Dad’s laptop. The next day, early in the morning, I played a game of Monopoly with my parents. At about 10 PM we reached Jaisalmer, our first destination. We quickly hired a cab for our hotel. Our hotel was Fort Rajwada. It was huge and luxurious. We rested for an hour or so and then went to the sand dunes for a camel safari – till night-time. The next went to a royal haveli (kind of a palace) and a fossil park. It was a very fun and exciting day for all of us! The following day we went to Longewala, on the India-Pakistan border. We saw a Pakistani tank that had been captured by the Indian army. We also saw the replica of the India-Pakistan border pillar (the public is not allowed to go to the border, which is 20 kilometers ahead! The drive was also thrilling, because we saw army bunkers, where the soldiers shoot from; on the way we also saw the Indian Military! That day we had dinner in the city, and saw a mesmerizing cultural folk performance. On our last day in Jaisalmer we saw the Fort and also a breathtaking museum in there. The Jaisalmer Fort was a beautiful place, because people lived there and even earned a living for themselves by selling products in their shops. We lunched at a very good Italian restaurant

called ‘ Jaisal Italy’, in the Fort. We then continued our journey to Jodhpur – It took 5 hours, but the road was very fine, so it was a fun road trip. When we reached our hotel we rested there for the day. Our hotel’s name was Ranbanka Palace; it was very big and was next to a mall! We saw a puppet show before dinner, and then managed to catch the movie ‘Dhoom 3’, at the mall. The next day we went to Mehrangarh Fort, India’s second biggest fort. It had three gates and was bigger than our school - much bigger! The Fort was awesome, and it housed old costumes, guns, cannons, paintings and many such things from that era. The same day we went to a famous 3,000-year-old temple; it had a big lake. On the last day of the trip we went to Umaid Bhavan, the Royal Palace of Jodhpur. It was made out of marble and precious stones. The Museum had some of the Royal Family’s old belongings. This Palace had vintage cars, including a Rolls Royce Phantom! After the tour we went to the Jodhpur railway station. I said good-bye to Jodhpur and boarded the Train. The next day, at 6 PM, we reached Delhi, and then set off for home in Gurgaon. This desert experience is one that I will always remember………. u Samarth Chopra Grade 5 Pathways World School, Aravali

S piritual

24-30 January 2014

{ Dr. Rajesh Bhola }


Respect Your Body


ince ages, we have been constantly fed on the images of ‘perfect’ beauty and health. The art of portraiture has been the art of flattery. In the process, we have started making secret comparisons between our own physique and that of the artefacts, models, actors, actresses, athletes and statues, which are so skillfully depicted or represented in marble, films or advertising. We are constantly encouraged to lead our lives in certain ways, and to acquire certain things, which we are convinced will bring about a metamorphosis in us and will finally lead to happiness. This is clearly misleading. It is important to be comfortable with our body; feeling at peace with our body is our innate right, and duty as well. If we feel icky inside our skin, ugly underneath our clothes or frustrated with our weight, we will never be free, happy and leaping to our potential. We are brainwashed into hating our bodies, and so we disconnect ourselves from them. We live with a body, instead of in our body. We go on crazy diets or binge; we lose our identity and the connection to our true self; we feel lonely, lost and desperate; we lose all hope of ever feeling happy again. But there is hope. Simply developing awareness of our own body will enable us to dive back into a deep respect and appreciation of our natural shape; we need to start feeling comfortable with our body – the contours, the shape, the weight, the complexion and the features. We have to keep faith and confidence that freedom and peace of mind is not somewhere out there, but deep within; we will soon find ourselves happily accepting our own self more. Soon we will realise that true beauty is definitely not skin-deep. True beauty is a state of mind, not a state of our body. Our body-love starts with the acceptance of the body that we have. Our body is perfect in its imperfection. It does not need to be changed, caged, abused, tortured or shamed. Our body is whole already – just the

Take a Pledge { Shobha Lidder } Let us take a pledge To make women safe Wherever they choose to be On their own, alone At work place or at home On the road, in the street On the airports or mountain retreats In the villages, in the towns Let no one hound them, or frown At how they choose to live Let them have the freedom to go about Like the birds and the streams

way it is. One of the most effective ways to close the gap between the self and the body is to become more mindful in our daily life. Feel the sun on the face or the grass underneath the feet, massaging the feet and the whole body. Take a walk in the park and breathe in the fresh air. Feel the water on the skin while taking a shower, get a facial or a body scrub, stretch with intention until all the body tension is gone. The more we really feel our body, become present inside our own skin, the more we will return to our natural connection to ourselves. We need to treat our body as we would a friend: with deep respect, love and care. We cannot let our body be an afterthought or simply an object of deep dissatisfaction; we need to get to know it and listen to its needs. It is quite OK to want to look good; good clothes enable us to do that. Let’s go shopping and treat ourselves to something gorgeous; it does not have to be expensive, but it should make us feel spectacular. Let’s decorate ourselves and celebrate our beauty. Put away the ill-fitting or shoddy clothes – it will not only de-cluster our closet but will also de-cluster our mind. It will create space for new clothes with new colours, which will add a fresh charm to our life. When we are young kids, we are innocent. We see beauty in everything. We see kindness in every person whom we meet. In the old days, when we were growing up, we were not afraid of strangers. When someone we did not know offered us a piece of chocolate in a store, we said thank you and took it – and we quietly hid it and ate it while mom did not see! People were kind and generous. It is not until we are a certain age, around puberty, that the questions start – when we question our looks, when we see ourselves differently. It is then hard

to ‘get back’. How can we lose what we once had and how do we go from being so in love with our self, to questioning our very being – even to hating the different parts of our body? That spirited young child who was so very loving and beautiful is still there. He/she is trapped – waiting for the rest of the self to become whole again. Maybe we choose to not look in the mirror because the reflection is distorted or because the mirror makes us cry, because what stares back at us reminds us of what we have done or not done; or maybe whom we see in that mirror is someone so many years older than whom we saw last. Whatever the reason, or the time, we need to reverse the process now and start a new one – because the beauty has been there since we were born. Let us remind ourselves of what our body does for us on a daily basis, and be grateful for that. The truly spiritual go to bed thanking their legs for carrying them through the day, their brain for letting them think, their eyes for letting them see or their hands for letting them write. When we are able to do the same, the feeling of gratitude will almost overwhelm us. Every night, before going to bed, or every morning after waking up, think of five things you are grateful for and say them out loud. Even if you do not mean them at first, after a few days you will see how much more in tune you will feel with your body. Another thing to be remembered is that our body hosts the sanctum sanctorum, where the soul stays during its journey on this planet. But, unfortunately, the body is prone to injury and has an expiry date. We should realise that if any untoward thing happens to us, we do not see it as a sign of our bad luck; we should not start to feel self pity or take the incident as an indication that we are ill-fated or one of life’s victims. We should strike the right chord with our body and start respecting it.u Dr. Rajesh Bhola is President of Spastic Society of Gurgaon and is working for the cause of children with autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation and multiple disabilities for more than 25 years. He can be contacted at

Free… Let them fulfill their hearts’ desires Be it to have the freedoms So far the franchise of men only Women were not considered holy If they lived alone, on their own If men can live so, unquestioned & accepted Unthreatened, unmolested Be they bachelors, widowers or divorcees Then surely the women of today The single, widows or divorcees Can be left to live as they choose, in dignity Than be harassed by male sovereignty Let men show their maturity As fathers, brothers, spouses, sons Monks or priests, law providers, leaders Let them give space & place To women to be their own

Kyun chhorh diya? Naam japan kyun chjorh diya Tu ne naam japan kyun chhorh diya Aisa kya hai tu ne paaya Aisa kya tu ne kho diya Ki Eesh se naata torh diya. Naam japan kyun chhorh diya? Kyunki us ne hawa chalayi Saans tu lene paata hai Bhookh pyaas harne ko teri Woh kya kya cheez ugaata hai Daan daya ka lekar us se Kyun daan ka matka phorh diya Naam japan kyun chhorh diya? Sukh dukh jo bhi tu paata hai Sab us ka lekha jokha hai ‘gar tu samjhe ise karni apni Ye tere mann ka dhokha hai Vidya, gyaan sab den usi ki ‘Aham’ kyun mann se jorh liya Naam japan kyun chhorh diya? Is duniya mein aakar sabko Ik na ik din jaana hai Koi bhi kitna ooncha udh le Sabka wahin thikaana hai Nek raah dikhlaayi hai usne Tu ne kyun rasta morh liya Naam japan kyun chhorh diya? Ashok Lal 301A Hamilton Court DLF Ph IV, Gurgaon Mo: 9873248847

Without conflicts & social pressures Let the whole congregation understand Where the woman is without fear The society will prosper Where the woman will be respected Protected from hostilities That earth will be a paradise So say the wise… Let the Sitas, the Savitris, the Parvatis The Lakshmis, the Saraswatis The Adi Shaktis, the Mahakalis Arise and awake The human evolution is at stake. Writer Journalist, Social Activist, Teacher Trainer Reiki Master, Pranic Healer


W ellness

24-30 January 2014

Stimulate, with caution { Alka Gurha }


ost of us have heard about the wonder herb - Ginseng. It is currently one of the most widely bought Herbal supplements. It is said to enhance stamina and immunity. Ginseng could be any one of eleven species of slow-growing perennial plants with fleshy roots, belonging to the genus ‘Panax’ - of the family Araliaceae. The Herb consists of a forked-shaped, ginger-like root, a relatively long stalk and green oval leaves. In China, over five thousand years ago, Panax Ginseng was considered to be a symbol of divine harmony. It was mostly used for its rejuvenating powers. It is said that emperors of China's Liang Dynasty (220 to 589 AD) used Ginseng as medicine and in soaps, lotions and creams. The demand for Ginseng sparked huge international trade of the Herb. More recently, farmers in other parts of the world have begun cultivating Ginseng. After the 1970s, American Ginseng trade has also been growing steadily. Currently the state of Wisconsin produces nearly 90% of American Ginseng; the Herb is also widely grown in the province of Ontario, Canada. Both the major species, American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius, L.) and Asian Ginseng (P. ginseng), are believed to provide an energy boost, lower blood sugar and promote general well-being. However, Asian Ginseng is ‘warming’, while American Ginseng is ‘cooling”. The root of Asian Ginseng contains several actives, which are thought to be responsible for the medicinal

{ Ansgar Haase/ Toulouse, France/DPA}


1-year-old Cedric Auriol welcomes guests with a smile to his empire near Toulouse in southern France. In a nondescriptlooking hall, he and a small team of helpers are breeding crickets and meal worms. But if you're thinking that his products are meant as fishing bait or pet food, you couldn't be more wrong. Cedric Auriol raises his insects entirely for human consumption. "I am convinced that this will become part of our nutrition in the future," he says, while praising the high nutritional value and the climate-friendly production methods. A bit like nuts, a bit spicy - that's what his dried insects taste like. Besides "pure insects," he also offers sweets and biscuits made from insect ingredients. Auriol said he got the idea from the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). By coincidence, a copy of a study of the problems expected from the global population boom fell into the Frenchman's hands. One of the solutions was termed "entomophagie’ - the human consumption of insects. "Up till then I had never eaten a cricket or mealworm," he said.

effects of the Herb. According to the Chinese practitioners, Ginseng helps in lowering cholesterol, increasing stamina, reducing fatigue and preventing infections; it is also an effective anti-aging supplement, owing to its capability of increasing mental and physical capacity. It is even used to improve the health of people recovering from illness. Ginseng can help with erectile dysfunction and symptoms relating to menopause. Some believe that that it helps reduce the levels of physical and emotional stress. Ginseng comes in a range of forms - including tablets, capsules, powder, tea and cream. When choosing a Ginseng supplement, look for one that is made with high quality ingredients and that has been processed as little as possible. Ensure that the Supplement has at least five to seven percent ginsenosides. Start at the lower end of the dosage range and slowly increase your intake. Some sources suggest that prolonged use might cause side effects. It is important to note that American and Asian Ginsengs are stimulants. Anything more than 5-10 grams per day can cause nervousness or sleeplessness. Other reported side effects include high blood pressure, insomnia, restlessness, anxiety, diarrhoea, headache, nosebleed, breast pain and vaginal bleeding. Several food and drug authorities in America have not reviewed this product for safety or effectiveness. Consult your doctor for more detailed information.u

Weight Wars { Tripti Tandon } Here are some interesting facts: 1.  The metabolic rate of women  is slower than that of men. 2. A  female body is more prone to hormonal imbalances, which restricts weight loss, making the metabolism even slower. A female's body prepares itself for menstruation, pregnancy and menopause, and during all these stages hormones play a major role. A man's body doesn't of course go through any of these….that will be the day! 3.  Research has proven that  stress levels in women are  higher than those  in men. This also means that men don't care much! Women burden themselves with household problems and always carry this baggage along with them. Men are not of much help…in fact they mostly add to the stress. And we all know that stress and weight loss are not friends. 4.  Emotions - high or low - affect eating patterns, mood and behaviour.and thus weight loss. It's said that emotions run higher in wome Founder & Chief Nutritionist - ‘Tripti’s Wellness 1’ & ‘I Eat Right’. Expert in the field of Clinical Nutrition, Naturopathy, Child Obesity, Weight Loss management for Men & Women, Karmic and Self Healing.

How about a Cricket?

Mealworms wriggle on the hand of French entrepreneur Cedric Auriol, 31, in Saint Orens de Gameville, France. He believes he is the first businessman in Europe to breed insects exclusively for human consumption. He founded the Micronutris company to supply the growing market.

Young crickets feed on barley, wheat flour and pieces of carrot, as they fatten up in Saint Orens de Gameville, France, to be processed into human food. The egg cartons provide them with shelter. French entrepreneur Cedric Auriol set up Micronutris, a company to market insects to gourmets.

A box of chocolates decorated with crickets and mealworms, by the French chocolatier Guy Roux, in Saint Orens de Gameville, France.

"But I was curious." Auriol quickly launched a project. He visited smallscale producers in Asia and then got started, beginning with crickets and mealworms ,because they are easy to raise. Today, around two tons of insects are now hopping, crawling and wriggling in his production hall. How

many creatures? "It's still a figure in the millions," says Auriol. "By the end of next year it should be more than a billion." The crickets grow in roomy boxes, while being able to take refuge in egg cartons piled up like tiny skyscrapers. The mealworms are found in somewhat more grim-looking black plastic boxes filled with straw, and in a room with high humidity. The insects feed on wheat flour, barley, fruit and vegetables - all from organic farming. "That makes it easier for many consumers to try one out," Auriol says. At the moment many of his customers are insect freaks or adventurous diners. There are more species among insects than in any other class of fauna and they enhance the nourishment of around 2 billion people, the FAO estimates. In major cities like Kinshasa or Bangkok, tons of insects are consumed each year. "They are nutritious, with high levels of protein, fat and mineral nutrients," FAO experts commented. Auriol estimates that the production of one kilogram of insects costs about seven times as much as growing a kilogram of meat. As a result, he charges 12.50 euros (18 dollars) for 40 dried crickets. u

W ellness

24-30 January 2014

Health & Vitality... Naturally!


Berry Cool { Jaspal Bajwa }


hat could silk and a superfood have in common? Mulberry leaves are the traditional food of the silkworm, while also being revered as one of the healthiest foods. The ancient Greeks dedicated the plant to the goddess of wisdom, Athena; in ancient Chinese Art, it often symbolizes a divine tree, which has the power to ward off evil and is associated with wealth and sensuality; in Japanese cultural traditions, the Mulberry represents nurturing and selfsacrifice; Mulberry has been revered in Ayurveda as well as in Traditional Chinese Medicine as a ‘cooling’ herb, which can remove excessive toxins from the body. Every part of the tree has its use. The powdered leaves are most commonly used for medicine. The raw or cooked fruit can be eaten. Traditional healers have used white Mulberry bark to treat wheezing, irritability and facial swelling. Mulberry leaves have been used in Ayurveda as an emollient, to soften the skin. Gargling a brew made from the leaves can help combat a sore throat. Mulberry fruit has been used as a remedy against constipation, premature aging, insomnia and tinnitus (ringing in the ear). In recent years there has been an increasing mention of White Mulberry in scientific literature, for its usefulness in combating atherosclerosis, cancer, diabetes, infection, cholesterol, high blood pressure, arthritis, constipation, dizziness, hair loss and neurodegenerative disorders like memory loss. Of particular note is the role Mulberry can play in managing Type 2 Diabetes, by preventing peak post-meal blood sugar spikes - an average reduction of 44% has been noted. Mulberry leaves contain a compound called 1-Deoxynojirimycin (DNJ), which has an intriguing ability to block the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. Not only does excess sugar get excreted, the absence of sugar also helps the body to better absorb all other nutrients in food.

Tip of the Week

Fresh Mulberries can be kept for a day or

two, if stored dry in a cool place in the fridge. It is best to avoid leaving fresh fruit at room temperature. Mulberries must be washed just before consuming. Dried White Mulberries are treasured for their unique flavour and texture, and for their antioxidant content. White Mulberry Tea is increasingly available now. Nature’s Wonder Food of the Week: White Mulberry or Morus alba L. Native to China and other parts of Eastern Asia, Mulberries travelled along the Silk Road to reach Europe, and are now grown in many countries. However, their availability as a food has to contend with the competing needs of the silk-producing industry. Delicious Mulberries are not only low in calories, sodium and saturated fats, but also are a nutritional powerhouse - offering a wide variety of special health benefits. Mulberries are a very good source of Vitamin C, K & B2 (Riboflavin), Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Potassium, as well as Dietary Fibre. Less than half a cup of dried Mulberries can give 3-4 grams of protein and 20% of the recommended daily fibre. At just 60 calories per 100 grams (of the raw fruit), Mulberry fits in very well with weight-management diets. Dried Mulberries contain less than half the amount of sugar found in raisins, and significantly less than dried figs and other dried fruits. Mulberries are brimming with powerful antioxidants, which help reduce cholesterol levels, lower the risk of cancer and heart disease and strengthen our immune system. Mulberries are rich in Resveratrol - a powerful antioxidant found in grapes and red wine – which acts as a natural antibiotic and can combat environmental stress. Mulberries can also help alleviate a lack of iron, which is one of the most common modern nutrient deficiencies, affecting red and white blood cells production, muscle performance and the immune system. Mulberries are also rich in Anthocyanins (flavonoids), which have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities.u Registered Holistic Nutritionist (Canadian School of Natural Nutrition). For education purposes only; always consult a healthcare practitioner for medical conditions


Home Cancer-Care

he struggle against cancer is the most difficult and devastating. It can be made a little less traumatic and more convenient, if treatment procedures can be brought home, says Dr Gaurav Thukral, Head Medical Services, HealthCare at Home (HCAH). Now you can undergo Chemotherapy at home, under your doctor’s supervision, says HCAH. Cancer! The word sends shivers down the spine. Any symptom like a lump or a sore, which isn’t healing, is enough to set panic in a victim and his or her kin. Being diagnosed with the deadly disease can shatter one’s life completely and leave a family devastated. The treatment is no less traumatic, with repeated visits to hospitals required for Chemotherapy sessions and the regular monitoring of the patient’s health. Treating Cancer patients doesn’t only require medical expertise but also demands an extremely sensitive approach on the part of the treatment providers. Many a time, when a devastated patient is fighting a losing battle against the disease, even a few kind words and care can make a lot of difference. HealthCare at Home (HCAH) wants to make a difference in the lives of those who are suffering, by bringing the healthcare services to their doorsteps. Life comes crashing down for those who are detected with Cancer, be it of the breast, lung, prostate or blood - like it did for Rakesh Chandran’s wife, who was diagnosed with Breast Cancer a few months ago. Rakesh, 76, is a retired bureaucrat and his only son lives in the US. The son came to India but had to return in a week, due to some urgent work assignment. Rakesh’s wife developed severe complications post the surgery, and had to be kept in the Intensive Care Unit for months. It had been exceedingly difficult for Rakesh to manage the situation all by himself. 32-year-old Chitra Shah was devastated when she came to know that her husband was suffering from lung cancer. Chitra found herself in total turmoil when she had to look after her husband all alone, and with the hospital 40km from her home. Quitting her job in order to be by her husband’s side, and simultaneously taking care of her elderly in-laws and her two-year-old baby, weighed her down. The financial crunch only put additional pressure. There is pain for both the patient and the family. While seeing their loved one struggle with the pain and trauma is unbearable for the family members, the constant need for them to provide physical and emotional support to the patient, takes a toll on their mental and physical health as well. Rakesh wishes that, for Cancer cases, there should be some way an ‘ICU’ could be set up at home, while Chitra longs for a homecare facility for Chemotherapy. If someone can additionally provide professional help for emotional healing and counseling, to help cope with the suffering, that would be ideal. Such a facility is being offered by HealthCare at Home, which promises cohesive Cancer treatment and care within the comfort of one’s home. HCAH says that: it provides all types of Chemotherapy; its nurses are adept at administering adjuvant drugs and are experts in symptomatic and pain relief management; and the nurses are made to undergo specialized training in palliative care, particularly in counselling and support to the patients. The personalized care offered through homecare addresses the unique needs of every patient, as well as cost. By keeping the relevant doctors always in the loop, HCAH ensures constant medical intervention and supervision to the patient. Additionally, services provided by HCAH also frees up doctors at the hospitals, making them available for other patients. HealthCare at Home says that: its backbone is its highly qualified and registered healthcare professionals. A lot of stress is put on the training of the nurses – including a six-week training course on joining. Post the training, a Clinical competency test is conducted, to check if the procedures are performed in accordance with the best practice guidelines. IT training is also imparted to the nurses, who are given a tablet device - so that the data captured by them could be sent to the doctors handling the respective cases in real time, after the clinical evaluation by the HCAH team. u


24-30 January 2014

C omment

It’s AAPtime Folks!


Letter To The Editor A nice local weekly but how about giving it a character, so that Gurgaonites may like to affiliate with it. A few suggestions for consideration. How about linking the ‘Raahagiri’ initiative of the Police with: a) ‘We Gurgaonites are Good Drivers’. Here pen two or three the good driving etiquette and road rules: i) No blowing of horns. ii) No blocking of passage of the oncoming traffic at traffic lights & railway crossings iii) Lane driving & how to negotiate a circle or to park a vehicle, without being a nuisance to other drivers.   b) ‘We stand in queues patiently’, at the Metro/Post Offices and Banks. c)  Guidelines for citizens to apply for l Cards/Driving Licences/ Passports/ Aadhaar cards.  Do add a few puzzles (answers only in the next edition), sudoku and cartoons to the already nice weekly. It will keep us looking forward to a Friday - for the weekly, and for the weekend. Not to forget restaurants; the write-ups should be such that one has to refer to FG before eating out. Anyway this is only a feed back from one of your readers. With Regards Satish Nair Sr Citizen

n AAP’s recent dharna, the ‘wellupset with Arvind and Team, partly Sevanti Ninan hits it on meaning’ say the cause is right, because there is an hourly AAP News but the method wrong. They still the button in her column Opera, with an anchor cast. It is time to do not realize that for AAP the action will in Mint (Jan 23rd.): ‘Why at least read the Manifesto – these guys always be at ground level – at mohallas go by the Book. You think Arvind and does this ‘anarchic’ form and on the roads (no pies in the sky AAP have gone too far this time? They of government bother for them). That is the method to their haven’t even started. The tabling of the the press more than it ‘madness’. They are method actors; they Jan Lokpal Bill and the Swaraj Bill, and are living their part(s). They do not need an attack on an ineffective judiciary does the people?’ to switch on and switch off. Others ask (when some cases come about, like why AAP Ministers are still protesting, for the police) are around the corner. and need to just govern. In 3 weeks, AAP has acted It is about the fight against a system that just has not effectively on at least 5 of its 17 Manifesto points – of delivered for the aam aadmi for decades – the ‘tantra’ has stopping VIP culture, delivering water, tackling water abandoned the ‘lok’. AAP will do whatever it takes to fix tanker mafia, reducing price of power, installing many this. Mohalla sabhas will hopefully stabilize soon, with electricity meters, setting up a Corruption Helpline effective ‘street justice’. Our activists get rights-angry and a process for nabbing culprits, stopping FDI in over a Ugandan woman who may even be a criminal, and Retail (and I know ‘we guys’ do not agree, but here who was not harmed. However, the daily rapes of local it is about delivering on a Manifesto), and surveying women are not worth a shout…mostly; they are now a and reviewing govt. schools and hospitals. No Party statistic – not Human any longer, and therefore have has delivered faster or better, or ever gone as per its no Rights. Drug mafias and sex rackets have long been Manifesto (assuming there was one in the first place!). internalized – no investigation needed. We are guilty of In fact the push for bringing the missing the woods for the trees, Delhi Police under the CM is also though we clearly feel different For 10 years the Congress could well documented in the Manifesto. (always right) about issues in our A series of crimes, where Ministers have given Statehood to Delhi, own neighbourhood – and even were on the scene and were not of the Police (whom we normally but it didn’t, and then promptly heeded (even acknowledged) led to put it in their Manifesto this time… would have pronounced guilty of the precipitate action of a dharna. abetting and milking any such they probably knew they would be operation, especially in Delhi). Hysterical anchors on TV got their losing. For years now (since 2006) We need to realize that the Police chance to talk to, educate, sermonize and harass a Chief Minister of Police Reforms, directed by the were targeted because they are India – that too of the Capital. They supposed to be the aam aadmi’s Supreme Court, have been kept believe they know better than him. pending; they have not even made (not the khaas peoples’) protectors, Of course they dare not say or do and have been anything but that. a start in the Capital. So who has anything similar with any other CM It is rightly felt that unless they been playing with the institutions? are made to feel accountable of India – though for appearances one ‘tough’ answer is ‘allowed’. With Who is not separating the Church and uncomfortable (as in being such CMs, even anchors suddenly ‘suspended’), when any exceptional and the State – the Party and the forget what to call a spade. They crime takes place in their area, PM? Who is promoting this kind are left to heckle and bully the things won’t change at ground of anarchy? An archaic Congress ‘spokespersons’. With AAP they level. And as regards inconvenience clearly stands most guilty. seem to be especially piqued at not to the aam aadmi, there will be a lot being treated deferentially, even by of disruption, if we want to see real the (barely adult) spokespersons. A change at ground level. At least this bunch of cowards , would we say? is in the name of, and leading to, something constructive – not a demand for ad hoc hikes and reservations. Let’s Folks, we believe we ain’t seen nothing yet. We still all wake up and smell the AAP coffee, folks. u don’t get it. We keep getting surprised or baffled or

Of course AAP has, and will have, bad elements or lumpens…hopefully far less than any other party, and clearly not tolerated. It’s good that they are already being compared with 50+ and 100+

Arvind, let us see more of the buzz of Mohalla Sabhas in action across the Capital. Yes, we know, they are seen as boring by the media (and so not covered)…but they could well become the next in-thing - Democracy India-style.

Rest In Peace Suchitra Sen

Her face and manner, her expressions, could hold you in a trance… in simple terms, a Madhubala and a Nargis in one

24-30 January 2014

C omment


Onward, Rahul


ahul, this is your moment. You need to believe that you can carry out the impossible - make the Congress win again. Accept up front that you have not contributed to politics or the Party or the country as well as you would have liked…but you are ready now. It’s surprising how much you seem to prefer the AAP way – action at ground level, and the personal touch. You boldly said that the Congress had much to learn from AAP, and even pushed for supporting them. Don’t hold back now. Take the bull by the horns. Become the AAP at the Centre. Start with an invite to Arvind for a one-on-one. That by itself may be your coming of political age – the King moment of a Prince. Start with a single point agenda: how do Congress and AAP make Panchayati Raj and Swaraj integrate and work together in Delhi – in fact become the showpiece for all the other cities. Start with a few constituencies of each Party. You and the Congress can only gain from this; it’ll be hard for Arvind to refuse. Of course this would be most challenging, considering that corruption charges against the previous Congress CM and govt. are due any time - but they will come, irrespective. And they will also come for Robert Vadra – which you cannot, and should not, duck. It’s better probably to have these out in the centre as early as possible, otherwise all the other anti-corruption measures proposed by you would seem hollow – if not incredible. Let these cases take their own course. It’s time to also accept your nomination as the PM candidate. If your father, Rajiv Gandhi, could boldly take charge as PM even though he had no Party or political experience, surely you can take the ‘risk’ of being the PM-candidate after years in politics and the Party. There is one other important bridge to cross, the most difficult one – more difficult than even the political battles. It’s time to have a chat with the Congress President. The Party is over. It is time to separate the Church and the State. A non-executive (Party) President cannot any longer be allowed to play a shadow(y) Executive role. But who will bell Mama Cat, when even the media hasn’t… daren’t? However, if you are going to be PM with a ‘back seat driver’ – and probably the same as now – you may as well drop out (unless the plan is to replace Mama and put another ‘Man’ as the PM – though this PM was never his own Man). The elaborate Congress ceremony of the Changing of the Hands must happen now. The PM must run the country – and of course the Cabinet. It’s time to tell Mama - Mujhe Haath de de Thakurain. If some of the flock and family members get out of Hand, they need to be black-listed. Rahul, on economics, have the courage to scrap Central schemes, or roll them all into one – and convert to cash. Start with semi-urban areas. Get fully involved in Budget 2014. Tackle food prices, and implement food vouchers or fuel vouchers in urban areas – which can be targeted easily. Forget FDI in Retail – let Indian corporates get a Special Infrastructure and Tax status for Retail. Plan for a Metro in the top 20 cities. Interlink India, through IT and Knowledge, with Knowledge Libraries in each District (IGNOU and our Satellite program would be great enablers). Become the first member of the Nehru/Gandhi family for whom private

or profit is not a ‘bad’ word, A request – Rahul, can your spokespersons but the language of the stop repeating that you are a 125-year-old future – definitely of the youth. Lead the charge on Party? They speak to one of the youngest Public Private Partnership electorates in the world; and the long period – choose a lead corporate seems to imply more that this Party has not for each State in India; even got it right in centuries – forget decades. these Corporates should The 66-year failure (post Independence) will then choose fellow members for each District – for the soon become a 125-year old one. social causes of Education & Health. Decide on and champion one big Infrastructure area – maybe Solar Power. Integrate the best points from Mohalla Sabhas (Swaraj) and Panchayati Raj. Put out a clear message to Muslims and Hindus on religion and patriotism. Apologize to the families of the Sikhs who got killed in 1984, though no one has asked you to. More than religion, what should worry you is Stateism or Regionalism. India needs to integrate completely – economically and socially and culturally (and not just symbolically) - in ‘hosh’ as well as ‘josh’. The youth deserve it most. The North-South divide needs to vanish. In the international arena, go boldly with Japan. We do hope your ‘A Team’ has been made without looking at ‘backgrounds’; any ‘representations’ should have reservations. And you clearly do not want sycophants – Baba Log - old or new, old or young. Rahul, you can bide your time, or take up a most worthy challenge today. Congress as usual, Congress in its current avatar will lead you to your worst nightmare. Take a leaf out of your Dad’s book, don his mantle, and go fight the good fight…starting at home. Do not accept any back seat driving. There should be absolute clarity on PM and Party President roles. Mama Sonia, in the interest of your son, let go. Your husband brought a breath of fresh air, and change, without any Party or political experience. Your son can, and maybe will, if given a free hand. Onward, Rahul…u

Don’t underestimate AAP, and don’t try to close it down with subterfuge. Accept their reality. Their bigger urban acceptance will only do them further good. This time urban youth and women will tilt the balance – instead of rural India and men. Economics will rule across geography and demographics. It’s time to pitch one’s political tent in lower and middle class urban India. It’s time to provide a balm to their economic frustration and earn their trust - that we would deliver on their rights and aspirations. They are unmistakably the most vulnerable aam aadmis of today. The AAP is not your enemy…the BJP is. Do not wait for the AAP to selfdestruct; that will not happen, and gives you no credit. Either support the AAP positively and actively, or withdraw support. Don’t play games at people’s expense. What you do with AAP today in Delhi may help you to ask for a return favour tomorrow at the Centre. You were on the right track when you said your Party had much to learn from them; please do not get sidetracked within a month.


24-30 January 2014

B on V ivant

Guru-Shishya Parampara { Meenu Thakur Sankalp } Guru Brahma Guru Vishnu Guru Devo Maheshwarah Guru Saakshaat Paarabrahmah Tasmai Sri Gurave Namah (The Teacher is like the Trinity of Gods, for he himself is the absolute being… I salute Thee)


t is not without thought or reason that the ancient Hindu religious texts treat the Guru (the Teacher) with respect and reverence, and as the channel of knowledge. In the Upanishad and Vedic traditions, the relationship between God and his devotee has an inherent element of trust and surrender, which can be compared to a Teacher-Student relationship. The Mahabharata and Ramayana have also explained the nature of the Guru-Shishya Parampara (Teacher-Student tradition). Many kings who were invincible in war, have bowed their heads in reverence to Gurus. The Vedas have also spoken about the Paarabrahmavidya (knowledge transferred from the Guru, the absolute, to the Shishya or Disciple). Even in Buddhism, both in its Hinayana and Mahayana forms, Buddha is the honoured mentor. Emphasis has been placed on the value of learning though the Teacher. The Guru is not only the channel of instruction and knowledge, he is the path (itself) towards self-realization and union with the ultimate. The Guru-Shishya Parampara is the link between a Teacher and the taught. In order to deduce knowledge and put that acquired knowledge to experimentation, the guidance of the Guru is imperative. Though at times it may be prudent to question, students have generally been taught to adhere and not to question. A Guru sets goals and delineates the paths for success, and each student is taught according to his/her capability,

{ Krishan Kalra }


ver four decades ago I was working for a large Indian company that was trying to secure technical collaborations from Japan. The Chairman & senior officers would often travel to that hallowed land, and there were return delegations too, whom some of us – lesser mortals – also got to meet. One particular meeting I will never forget. There were four Japanese and about ten of us. During the initial introductions we were told that only one of the Japanese - Horimoto San - understood and spoke English. Negotiations went on almost through the day. They wouldn’t budge from the $1m quoted figure for technology

as judged by the Guru. Of course there have been cases of blatant discrimination (by teachers) – the ancient notable examples being the cases of Karna and Eklavya, who were refused education and learning because of their social status. However, in general, Gurus took upon themselves the responsibility to equip all their students with knowledge, and not to deprive any individual student. A student was required to live with the Guru in the Gurukul (resident school) and help him in his daily chores; in return, learning was imparted. At the culmination of the education, a Gurudakshina (teacher fees) was taken from the student. The Sanatana Dharma tradition, the Advaita and Dvaita forms of philosophy, the Shaivite and Vaishnavite traditions, and a multitude of religious texts have spoken of the unquestioned surrender to the Guru. The same is true in the specific field of Indian Classical Dance, where implicit surrender to one’s Guru is still prevalent. However, in modern times, the element of ‘questioning’ has made this teaching-learning a process of change. No longer are Classical Dance students willing to implicitly

surrender to their Gurus. They should be explained this tradition in its right context. Surrender does not mean capitulation or a sacrifice of self-respect; it should rather be viewed as a dancer’s total devotion to the learning that is being transmitted through the Guru, who is obviously more experienced and knowledgeable. The Gurukul system in Indian Classical Dance has resulted in an emotional and pedagogic bonding between the Gurus (or Acharyas) and the Shishyas. The student gets individual attention on his/her path of constant learning. The learning process is comprehensive and non-formative and seeks to impart, not evaluate. As the learning may take years, the student has to remain completely devoted to the Art, by practising great patience and perseverance. The other side of the divide also merits a hearing. There is bound to be closed-ended learning when the student imbibes only from one teacher, and is given precious little room to experiment. Such Gurus do not encourage students who wish to branch out or start new ventures. There is also a sense of being overdependent on the Guru, and there have been instances when Gurus

Mind Your Language transfer. In a typical Japanese fashion, they went into great detail, explaining every little aspect of the package. We were adamant at $ 500,000. There didn’t seem to be a meeting ground. We wanted the technology desperately, but we believed that we could beat them down. Finally, around 5 pm, when two of them – including Horimoto San – went to use the rest room, we quickly got into a huddle. The deal had to be closed. We took a decision that we would be willing to go up to $800,000 maximum. We also were willing to accept a lower warranty on a part of the equipment. As soon as the discussions resumed, the Japanese side made a final offer of ‘$800,000 & not a

penny less, provided you accept a lower warranty on a part of the equipment. Take it or leave it!” We were aghast. It only then dawned on us that at least one more from their party could follow English. They had come to know our limit, and had decided to come straight to the point. Another incident, of a language mix-up this time, was narrated to me by a friend. This happened when he was a student in Germany. A few Indian friends were spending an evening at a popular beer parlour – drinking, chatting, cracking ‘dirty’ jokes, laughing....... as any group of young friends would do. Suddenly they noticed a very beautiful young

have discarded and expelled pupils at will. The dancing careers of some promising Shishyas have been ruined, after years of hard work. Knowledge is also held back by some Gurus, for fear of being ‘surpassed’. Classical Dance being a competitive field, Gurus and Shishyas today often compete for the same programmes and performances, leading to bitterness and ill- feeling. Some dancers have to deal with the tag of being the students of “well-known’ Gurus, which often overshadows their individual identity. Also now prevalent is the (western) notion that all teaching is a paid profession, and so learners often question and demand their ‘money’s worth’ - and at times even ignore and insult their Gurus. These earners believe that Gurus must now have university degrees and be very good communicators. Most Gurus have preferred to remain rooted to their traditions of learning and teaching. So, is there a solution in sight, to help preserve the GuruShishya Parampara – of adapting to the modern times without compromising on cultural traditions? One answer would be to institutionalize the learning at the Gurukul system (which continues to exist despite challenges), by awarding degrees and diplomas to Gurukul students. Space also has to be created for both learners and teachers, so that they do not have to compete with each other within the same framework. Shishyas should genuinely understand and accept that the element of surrender to a Guru is an uplifting (not capitulating) emotion and process. The Gurus should care for their learners, by being nurturers and educators, rather than instructors for it is the learners who will carry forward the cultural traditions of the Gurus.u The writer is a renowned Kuchipudi Danseuse and Choreographer

girl sitting alone at the next table. The conversation immediately changed; now they began talking only about her. They discussed her vital statistics, planned how each of them would approach her and - if successful – how they would seduce her. Their imagination ran wild. Through all this, the girl – within earshot – concentrated on her beer and apparently paid no attention at all to the selfappointed Romeos. Soon, she paid her bill and got up to leave. As she passed by their table, the young lady stopped for a moment and asked, in chaste Punjabi – “te fir kedha jawan mard aj raati mennu date te lai javu ga” (so, which one of you studs is taking me out on a date tonight)!u

24-30 January 2014

R eal E state




{ Verena Wolff/Berlin / DPA }


Hotel Riml

1) The terrace, with sun loungers and restaurant tables, at Tyrol’s highest four-star hotel, the Skiund Golfresort Riml, at 2,200 metres’ altitude. Guests can ski or play golf on the mountain.


3) Guests enjoy the view of the Matterhorn from the terrace at the Kulmhotel Gornergrat in Switzerland’s Zermatt mountains. The Hotel, dating from 1907, is sited at 3,100 metres’ altitude.

Matterhorn Group

Gian Giovanoli / Engadin St. Moritz Mountains AG

5 5) The Berghotel Muottas Muragl, in Switzerland’s Engadin region, prides itself on its economic use of energy. It is sited at 2,456 metres’ altitude.

7) The Wedelhuette, in Austria’s Hochzillertal region, is a five-star hotel. Among the amenities: its own wine-cellar. Altitude: 2,350 metres.

Archiv Wedelhuette

t’s a very elevating feeling to wake up in the morning and gaze out of the window as the sun rises over Switzerland’s Matterhorn mountain, the one with the striking pyramidal shape. There is, however, a downside: the sleep during your first night at a highaltitude hotel is often fitful rather than refreshing. Many guests are lucky to grab any shut-eye at all. Although the Kulmhotel Gornergrat is a great place to stay, with comfortable beds and a unique view, the air up here at 3,100 metres above sea level is thin. Coping with the rarefied air is a strain for guests. “You just never know how it will affect people,” said Director Thomas Marbach. Tourists who have booked more than one night have more time in which to acclimatize. “As time passes, the body does adapt to the altitude,” said Marbach. In any event, potentially unpleasant sideeffects, such as shortness of breath, headaches and insomnia do not seem to deter people from staying at this lofty modern retreat. “Guests just accept that side of things, since this is a really special place,” said the Hotel Director. The magnificent tableau compensates for any indispositions. “There are 46 four-thousander peaks in Switzerland,” said Marbach. “And you can see 29 of them from the Hotel.” Holidaymakers would be hard put to find a more impressive panorama anywhere else in the world. Heightening the attraction is a profound tranquility, which seems to descend on the place, built in 1907. Being perched at the top of Europe does pose a few problems though, especially when the wind blows so hard that the funicular rack railway stops ferrying the guests to their destination. The Berghotel Grawand in Schnalstal, a side valley of the Vinschgau in South Tyrol, Italy, also receives a regular buffeting. The holiday residence is sited even higher, at 3,212 metres, and can be reached by cable-car only. Oetzi, the amazingly well-preserved mummified man thought to be more than 5,000 years old, was found in the nearby Schnalstal glacier. The outlook from here is equally breathtaking. The horizon is dominated by a host of impressive threethousanders, along with the Piz Bernina. At 4,049 metres, it is the highest mountain in the Eastern Alps.

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24-30 January 2014

Berghotel Faulhorn



6 Gian Giovanoli / Engadin St. Moritz Mountains AG

4) The Alpengasthof Tibet on the Stilfser Joch, a mountain in Italy, is sited at an altitude of 2,800 metres. Its round shape imitates Tibetan high-altitude huts.

Alpenngasthof Tibet

2) The Berghotel Grawand, the highest hotel in the European Alps, perches on a ridge above the Schnalstal in Italy, at 3,212 metres’ altitude. A cableway is the only way up for guests.

Berghotel Grawand

on Thin Air


6) Two grazing bobby calves on the Faulhorn, a Swiss mountain. The Hotel Faulhorn (background) is only accessible to guests by foot, and closes in the wintertime.

8) The terrace of the Diavolezza, a Hotel high in the snow in the Swiss canton of Grisons. It claims the Alps’ highest jacuzzi. Altitude: 3,000 metres.


On clear days, visitors can even catch a glimpse of far-off Lake Garda. Apart from a few alpine lodges and remote log cabins for upland hikers, these two hotels—one in Switzerland and the other in Italy—are the highest alpine places in which to spend the night. There are a few other high-elevation hotels in these parts, but they cannot match the first two for dizziness of location. Two that are recommended are the Berghaus Maennlichen in the Bernese Oberland (2,345 metres) and the Berghotel Faulhorn (2,684 metres), both in Switzerland. Located in the Swiss canton of Grisons is the Diavolezza, a hotel at 3,000 metres, surrounded by the mighty peaks of the Bernina group. The hostelry makes much play of a jacuzzi for high-altitude frolicking. A more exhilarating way to pass the hours is by skiing down to the valley, guided solely by experienced staff from the Hotel, and the silvery light of a full moon. Moonbeams illuminate the snow so well that skiers of all levels will have no trouble finding their way. Another top address in Switzerland is the Berghotel Muottas Muragl, a low-energy edifice at 2,456 metres. Italy also boasts the Alpengasthof Tibet. Its round shape imitates Tibetan high-altitude huts. Located on the Stilfser Joch, a mountain in South Tyrol, it is 2,800 metres above sea level. Austria’s hotels are low by comparison. The Adler Lounge at around 2,500 metres’, is a smart, lifestyle hostelry, which has brought modern architecture to the crags around Kals near the Grossglockner mountain. The panorama hereabouts takes in 60 of the surrounding three-thousanders, and guests must share the pristine pistes with fellow lodgers only. Perched at 2,350 metres in the Hochzillertal is the Wedelhuette, a residence for vacationers who like to be pampered. The five-star hotel is not only the loftiest Tyrolean hostelry, but offers an enormous selection of fine wines. On an equal standing in altitude terms is the Berghotel Rudolfshuette, in Austria’s Salzburg region. From this vantage point the views extend to the peaks in the High Tauern National Park, around the main chain of the Central Eastern Alps. There are a number of glaciers to be admired. The area is popular with hikers, and riders of robust, fullsuspension mountain bikes. Skiers will find 23 snowy trails to be explored. u


24-30 January 2014

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Endangered Animals in shrinking Bornean Wilderness { John Grafilo/ Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia/ DPA }

in 1979, much of the same area was covered with forest. Payne, a British national, hick grey clouds envelop said that the destruction of the plane as the pilot’s the North Borneo forests voice breaks through started way back in the 1880s, on the speaker, announcing when the British colonizers the imminent landing of the started felling trees for timber. passenger aircraft at Tawau “Malaysia as a young nation town in eastern Malaysia. had to rely on its natural After a few minutes of descent, resources for development,” the clouds clear, revealing he said. “Unfortunately we lost the state of Sabah’s lush much of the forests and the green mountains, valleys and animals and plants living in it.” plains thick with vegetation. Among the most endangered There are also milky brown animals living in the Sabah rivers that snake and cut forests is the smallest kind of through the verdant scenery. rhino that has ever existed. As the plane continues its Payne said he had estimated descent, another flaw in the about 15 Bornean rhinoceros panorama is revealed: the were roaming the Sabah forests thick green vegetation is not “But it could be less,” he said, adding that for the a forest, but acres past two years, and acres of palm oil despite intensive trees. The oil is Sabah’s tracking, his team main agricultural had found signs of crop, growing on an only two of these estimated 1.43 million mammals in the hectares of land (or 20 forests. Malaysia has per cent of the State’s three specimens in total land area). captivity. One is at an For nearly seven advanced age in a zoo in hours, sitting in Sabah’s capital of Kota a passenger van A proboscis Kinabalu; a mating travelling from monkey sits at pair is at a sanctuary Tawau to the town of the edge of the Ranau, all one can mangrove forests managed and operated by Payne’s group in the see is plantation after in Labuk Bay in hope of breeding the plantation of palm-oil Sandakan town animals in captivity trees, punctuated by in the eastern – but the female has patches of what appear state of Sabah. borne no young. to be remnants of a The species with the bulbous nose, Another group of primary forest. On some parts of the which can only be animals in trouble, as found in Borneo the Bornean forests 440-kilometre ride, island, is one of dwindle, is the rare the putrid smell of the the endangered pygmy elephants chemical fertilizers primates’ species that are only found in and herbicides used living in the Borneo. In November in the plantations fast-shrinking penetrates inside the mangrove forests. 2013, the Sabah State government set up a air-conditioned minisanctuary for these bus. Conservationsts say the pachyderms, in badly degraded massive conversion of low-lying forests along the Kinabatangan land into palm-oil plantations, as river – which is an important well as unabated logging in the part of the habitat of these mountains, where land is also elephants. Earlier this year, being turned over to agriculture, 19 pygmy elephants were found dead in the same area, may lead to the extinction of some of Borneo’s animals and apparently as a result of poisoning. plants. The World Wildlife Fund The Bornean wilderness is considered one of the oldest says that the Orang-utan, tropical forests in the world. Asia’s only great ape, and Data from the State’s forestry found only on the islands department shows Sabah’s of Borneo and Sumatra, is forest cover at about 3.59 also becoming a vulnerable million hectares. But only species, due to a loss of its 910,914 hectares of that is habitat. The global conservation considered virgin forest. A total of 2.68 million hectares has group said that the population been classified as commercial of the so-called “man of the forest, meaning it has been forests” in Sabah, dropped to an estimated 11,000 in 2004 – allocated for logging. John Payne, an expert from 20,000 in the mid 1980s. on the Bornean rhinoceros “This decline in their numbers in the last twenty years was and Executive Director of conservation group Borneo caused by planned conversion Rhino Alliance, notes that of forests to plantations in the when he first arrived in Tawau eastern lowlands,” WWF said in

John Grafilo


The lush green mountains above Kundansang town in the State of Sabah, eastern Malaysia are slowly being stripped of their centuries’-old tropical forests. The trees are giving way to agricultural and residential developments.

An Orang-utan carrying bananas, which it took from a feeding station in the Sepilok Orang-utan Sanctuary in Sandakan town. An Orang-utan climbs a tree in the Orangutan station in Sandakan, in the jungle of Borneo near Lahad Datu, Malaysia.

a report. Siew Te Wong, Chief Executive Officer of the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Center, said the cuddly bears are another species considered threatened, as the Bornean forests shrink. “The sun bear is a forestdependent species,” he said. “The amount of forest available reflects the amount of habitat they have, and over the last 50 years, if you look at the whole forested area across South-East Asia, it is declining. So when the forest is gone, the bear will be as well.” Siew said there’s no data on the current population of sun bears in Sabah, but said their numbers are much lower than the orang-utans. He expressed confidence in the efforts by the Sabah State government to conserve the remaining forest, and rehabilitate degraded ones. “The forest destruction has been controlled here in Sabah,”

A Borneo rhinoceros in a cage at the Tabin Sanctuary.

he said. “Sabah is the last stronghold, compared to the other places in Borneo and South-East Asia.” Sabah Forestry Director Sam Mannan said the government is determined to increase the proportion of forest cover to the total land area. He said that since the start of the year, his office has stopped issuing shortterm logging licences, in a bid

John Payne, Executive Director of the conservation group Borneo Rhino Alliance, inspecting the 2-hectare enclosure where two captive Bornean rhinoceros can safely frolic within the Tabin Rhino Sanctuary.

A female Bornean rhinoceros, one of only three in Malaysian captivity, enjoying her mud pool inside a 2-hectare enclosure at the Tabin Rhino Sanctuary on the outskirts of Lahad Datu town in the eastern Malaysian state of Sabah. John Payne’s group hopes to breed the animals in captivity, but has had no success yet.

to reduce the pace of timber harvesting from the natural forests. “Our long-term plan is to create 2 million hectares of protected areas, or 30 per cent of Sabah’s landmass,” he said. u


24-30 January 2014

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Friday gurgaon 24-30 Jan 2014 the change you want to see

Friday gurgaon 24-30 Jan 2014 the change you want to see