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24-30 April 2015

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

Vol. 4 No. 36  Pages 16  ` 10

{ Friday Gurgaon }

The Premier Bet

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon


ith the IPL season in full swing, beware if you have a friend or relative taking too much interest in cricket, asking for large sums of cash from the family, ready to take loans, and even willing to pay usurious interest - he could be bitten by the 'IPL Betting' bug. Millionaires, auto drivers and everyone in between are said to have been caught in this betting menace, which many participants say is a big trap waiting to suck you in. Once you have bitten the betting bug, there is no freedom, there is no release. It is like digging your own grave and walking into it. So dangerous are the consequences of betting that one can lose lakhs of rupees, and even fortunes, on a single cricket match. In Gurgaon, IPL Betting has found a large number of ‘patrons’. Some people who have burnt themselves in this betting say that people with large amounts of cash - traders, land owners, property dealers and even students - have been indulging in this ‘sport’. Akash (name changed), who

actively bet in the last two IPL series, says that he has lost almost one crore rupees in betting (also called ‘satta), and he says that there are many more like him. “I have lost my mind. I have to pay Rs. 3 lakhs per month as interest to those who loaned me the money for the betting. I don’t have any source of regular income. I have land, which has increased much in value, and that was why people gave me money,” he says. The IPL betting network has a formidable logistics network, and there are a large number of bookies that take the bets, accept the money and then distribute it to those who have won the bets – after taking their Shylock cuts. Another person who has lost a lot says that, like the cricket commentary that comes ‘live’ on TV, the betting network also runs a live commentary on mobile phones. This can be heard by betters on payment of a fee. The commentary covers live betting rates and the odds, which keep on changing with every ball. The time difference between the TV telecast and the live betting commentary is also sometimes used by the betting syndicate to make a ‘profit’.

{ Barnali Dutta/FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon


ody art and piercings are a popular form of self-expression in today’s world – increasingly one of individualism and ‘show’. On the road, in coffee shops and in campuses, more than a few youngsters (and some more youngat-heart) can be seen flaunting their ‘skin art’. The pierced form is permanent. Welcome to the world of Tattoos. However, before you get a puncture, do care, if not beware. The first question you should have is whether a tattoo would harm your skin…or more. The process does involve needles and ink. The tattoo itself, once ‘healed’, is not bad for your skin. The problem is when complications arise during the healing process. A tattoo is essentially a series

The ‘victims’ say that they got involved in betting primarily because it was a source of entertainment, and also to make some money in the process. “It looks easy. And while there is no one who really pushes you into it, it is almost impossible

to exit”, they say. The odds in gambling are always staked against individuals, and for every winner there are multiple losers. Deepak Kumar (name changed) says that people have not only lost their fortunes and taken huge debt, some have

Look before you Tattoo of punctures by which dye is inserted into different levels of the skin - so it is by nature an invasive process. When done correctly and in a sterile environment, there really are no complications, though there may be discomfort due to bleeding or pain. However, it's important to keep potential complications in mind. One potential risk is that of a bacterial infection at the tattoo site. Symptoms of this include redness, warmth and a pus-like drainage. You may also have a ‘reaction’ to the tattoo, in which bumps called ‘granulomas’, or excessive scarring, may appear. Some people may have a serious allergic reaction to the types of dyes used in tattoos. So it's important to leave the tattoo parlour with a list of the

even committed suicide. Akash, servicing a debt of one crore, says that the pressure of the debtors is so much that it is impossible for him to move out – whether within the village or even in the city. He adds that a number of youth from cash rich families in villages also indulge in this pastime, and it has become an addiction for many. Even corporate executives have caught the betting bug, with many putting money on their favourite team and players. Apart from the match result, Akash says that a lot money is won or lost on ‘sessions’, wherein bets are placed on how much a team will score within a few specific overs. Many of the people also bet on the total that a particular team will score. Although the ‘intelligent’ try to hedge their risks by betting on both teams, this ‘strategy’ often fails…and then, once addicted, they look for big wins. Akash says that his family members initially did not know that he had taken to betting - he told them he was engaged in business. However, the loss of one crore has rattled his family, and he is now trying to compensate the loss. However, he realises that it will be impossible unless he sells a small chunk of his land. Contd. on p 4

types of dyes used, just in case. A more serious risk is the spread of infectious disease, which can be avoided by being particular about the tattoo parlour you use. Diseases such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Tuberculosis, Tetanus or HIV can spread if a tattoo ‘artist’ uses ‘dirty’ equipment. Therefore, before you get your tattoo, make sure that the parlour uses an autoclave, or a heat sterilisation machine, on all nondisposable equipment. Needles and tubes should be removed from sterile, new packages before every tattoo job. Satty, owner of Angel Tattoo Design Studio, says, “Tattoos are in vogue and people like to ornate themselves for various reasons. The youth are quite crazy about tattoos, and sometimes they come up with creative, innovative thoughts that they want ‘applied’ on Contd. on p 4-5


24-30 April 2015

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319 Postal Regn. No. GRG/35/2014-2017 Vol. 4 No. 36   24-30 April 2015


Atul Sobti


Barnali Dutta

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 CM Khattar, while visiting Gurgaon for the ‘Special Raahgiri’ on Sunday, promises better Metro and bus connectivity to and in the City. The CM Window, where complaints can be registered by residents, will also be made more effective. CM claims that BJP now has 27 lakh members in Haryana. NGT orders a tree survey of the Mangar forest. Khaps of Delhi, Haryana and UP demand a strict foeticide law. High Court vacates its stay on the issuance of Change of Land Use (CLUs) permissions across NCR. High Court has ordered an audit of Gurgaon’s Integrated Mobility Plan, 2010, including the underconstruction 16-lane HUDA-DLF ‘internal highway’. Consequent to diesel vehicles over 15 years not being allowed to ply in NCR, the sales of diesel vehicles have fallen, as have their second hand prices. The loss of wheat crop in Haryana this year would be the worst in 30 years; Rohtak and Gurgaon districts re the worst affected. Baba Ramdev declines the offer of a Cabinet post in the Haryana govt.

 2 boys drown in the Basai Water Treatment Plant, where they had slipped past the guards and gone for a ‘bath’.  A youth from Bengal, an asthma patient, is found dead in his room in a DLF Phase II guesthouse.  A wanted gangster’s brother is held for shooting a man from whom he had tried to extort money.

 A 17-year-old girl’s father and maternal uncle are arrested for raping her; she had finally complained to the Childline helpline 1098.  A 22-year-old labourer is raped by her neighbour, a contractor.  A hotel manager accuses her 3-years-old live-in partner of rape.  3 policemen are attacked when they investigate illegal liquor business in Sector 57; one constable is seriously injured.  A man ‘stabs’ his cousin with a blade, in Sector 57.  A 27-year-old executive is molested at Rajiv Chowk.  An engineer is held hostage by 5 ‘co-passengers’ in a taxi and robbed of his money and belongings.  A Delhi resident running a fake recruitment agency for ‘multinational corporations’ in Gurgaon is nabbed.  A gang of 4 working in tandem dupes a man in a car of Rs 1.6 lakhs, by getting him out on a pretext and grabbing the cash that he had just withdrawn.  A woman is defrauded of Rs 1.5 lakhs by a fake UK resident promising to bring her a ‘foreign made’ laptop; a woman is duped of Rs 40,000 by her Facebook friend.  A person who came to make a duplicate key steals jewellery from a senior citizen’s house.  Dhirendra Brahmachari’s Ashram land near Silokhra is allegedly being encroached by land mafia.  Gurgaon Traffic Police means

business: hundreds are being fined daily for speeding, wrong parking, not wearing a helmet, not wearing a seat belt, driving on the wrong side or jumping a red light.  A brainstorming meeting is held on how to make Gurgaon a ‘smart city’; DC asks for GIS mapping of the city to start with.  An FIR is filed against Unitech after Vistas (Sector 70 project) buyers file a complaint; another FIR is filed against realtors that have encroached on a natural drain in the Gwal Pahari area.  Mock fire drills are conducted in Hamilton Court, Rajokri Air Force Station, Times Tower and Medanta Hospital.  5 of the new villages that are proposed to be brought into MCG’s jurisdiction have opposed the change, citing no confidence in the municipal body; they allege that the majority of their residents are living outside the ‘lal dora’ and so would not be ‘recognised’ by MCG.  A lady is booked for violence against stray dogs after a doctor in the colony, Wellington Estate, files a complaint.  Paras Hospital organises Basic Life Support training for auto drivers, which would be helpful in road accident emergencies.  Inspector Navin More of Haryana Police wins the national Bharat Kesri title.  Earth Day is observed on Wednesday.  Akshay Tritiya is celebrated with gold-buying fervour.

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Kendo and Samurai: Japanese Martial Arts – Talk and Demonstration Kendo is one of the traditional Japanese martial arts and sports, where competitors, wearing protective armour, score points against each other by striking designated body targets with bamboo swords called ‘shinai’. Kendo has retained a strong sense of cultural tradition and spirituality. The event will also touch upon Japanese BUDO (Samurai) Spirits through Kendo. The event will be led by Master H. Kitamura (Chairman of Japanese Kendo club Keninkai). He holds a 5 Dan degree in Kendo (the highest is 8 Dan). He is also the Managing Director of Kyocera India and has been living in India since 2009. Date: April 25, Time:  4pm                                                                                                                                         Venue: The Japan Foundation, New Delhi No reservations or passes required for any event. entry is free. Seats will be given on first come first served basis.

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04  Contd from p 1 The presence of a large number of people who are ready to loan money at high interest rates is also giving a boost to IPL Betting. The ‘dead’ real estate market has left many holding tonnes of ‘dead’ cash. “It has become quite easy to obtain large sums of money on loan without any guarantees, and that is what prompted me to bet. However, I have lost a large amount and I will never return to IPL,” says another individual. Sanjay, a Gurgaon-based realtor, says that there are a number of people in the City who place heavy bets on IPL matches and win or lose a couple of lakhs in a day. Most seem to start with a win, but eventually end up losing large sums of money as they desperately try to recover

C overS tory

24-30 April 2015

The Premier Bet their mounting losses. People who indulge in this ‘passion’ for betting sell their shops, put their houses on mortgage and even sell family ornaments, he adds. A major issue with IPL Betting, compared to horse racing, is that the odds keep on changing (literally with every ball), and most ‘players’ soon find themselves out of their depth. The issues of match fixing and spot fixing have further complicated IPL Betting, as large syndicates are believed to have taken control behind the scenes. The international betting at the recent Cricket World Cup would have been about Rs

4,000 crores, an official of the Enforcement Directorate had reportedly said after catching some major operators (and the money being put on IPL, which is more popular with ‘satta’ players, could be even more, say sources). Bookies at the World Cup were said to be in real time contact with their counterparts in Pakistan and Dubai, and could take bets of even ten

A youth addicted to IPL Betting had made the following confession on a social website: ‘My story starts two years back when we all friends went out for a dinner party...there I saw one of my friend making bets for a cricket match…within 30 mins or so he won 15000 bucks. I got really excited by this and asked him how to make bets and all other stuffs. He gave me his bookies number…I thought it was fun and what harm it would do even if I lose few the first few matches i made small bets which i lost...then i thought its better to cover all the money at once by making a bigger bet...but i lost that too...slowly the hole started getting bigger. I always use to tell myself let me cover my all money & will surely stop this betting..but it didn't happen. I started loosing huge sums…I may be have won few times... all my savings were gone...i started borrowing money from my friends & relatives even from money lenders on huge interest rates...and i lost all the money...there came a time when there was hardly anyone left in my contact list from whom I would have not asked for money...right now i owe a lot of money to lot of family doesn't know anything about it..I just pretend that everything is alright...everyday...every moment i think how i am going to pay them back...what if my family comes to know about my debts & betting addiction...that feeling really shatters my there's not a single person in society who will lend me a penny...I face insults...humiliation every single day...even my friends keep insulting me. I just wish if god would have killed me two years back before I was going with my friends for dinner...I would have not gone through all this suffering...through this post I just want people who are addicted to gambling to know that how drastically it can change your life…and your loved ones life’.

 Contd from p 1 their bodies. Some want to impress their spouses by tattooing their (spouses) names. Most youngsters have been inspired to tattoo by their Bollywood and Hollywood favourites. So, in the last five years the tattooing industry has grown well and people have started appreciating the work. Nowadays every tattoo studio ensures the safety of its customers. The needles are disposable and we destroy these in front of customers.” Satty admits that earlier the needles would be repeatedly used by ‘sterilising’ them, and so there was a chance of infection. “We now open the kit in front of the customer. The dates are mentioned on every needle packet. Moreover, we use advanced machines for tattooing. The inks that we use are like glucose; they are not harmful to the body.” Tattoo inks are made up of organic pigments. Archana works with a permanent tattoo art studio and is very passionate about her

The problems caused by IPL Betting are not restricted to one city. A few months ago a wellknown businessman of Karnataka, who enjoyed a good reputation, committed suicide. He used to take loans ostensibly for expanding his factory and business, but had been silently placing large bets on IPL matches. He lost a heavy amount. Sources say that the industrialist had a debt of almost Rs. 5 crores, which he owed to his relatives, friends and acquaintances. Even the close-knit community that he belonged to had no whiff of his betting habit. crores on a single match. Internet technology, mobile phones, live commentary and a well-knit network based on referrals seemingly helps the betting syndicate stay ahead of the legal system. Would the rounding up of illegal operators or the legalisation of betting help matters? Would it help the addicted? The jury seems to be out on that. Others who have lost a lot of money also have similar views, and vow that they will never

Look before you Tattoo

work. “You have to be creative in this field. As of now there are no degree courses on this subject, but in future there will be some,” she says. “In India, people want to really flaunt their tattoos, and so most of them are only on the visible parts of the body (like wrists, fingers, knees, arms and the

Tattoo kit

lower back) - though a few do prefer full body tattoos. However, schoolgirls usually prefer tattoos on their backs or ankles, so that they can easily hide them during school hours. Even children are getting tattoos done for special occasions, though for them we use the air-

repeat the mistake of gambling. However, psychologists say that it is difficult to get rid of this addiction - betting is to a gambler what heroin is to a drug addict. Once a person starts to lie about his gambling and hides it from his family and friends, it is a strong indication that this habit is no longer a ‘recreation’ but an addiction. Do be alert and check if anyone you know is often thinking and talking about cricket and IPL matches and gambling. As a ‘better’, if you are gambling more and increasing the stakes (to get back your money), it is a sign of addiction. If someone is borrowing money from friends and family, or has taken loans on high interest rates, do look into this issue with seriousness. If someone has ‘suddenly’ lost a job or a friend, that too could be a sign. A couple of years ago, an owner of a shop in Palam Vihar had to sell his business to cover his losses in IPL Betting. He is said to have migrated to another State. Akash, when asked why he did not tell friends and family that he had gone ‘broke’, smiles wryly and says that peer pressure in the village and the community would never allow him to renege on the promise that he has made while borrowing the money. “I have made my mistakes and have hopefully learnt…the hard way. I want to tell people to keep a watch on their family members, and prevent them from falling into such traps,” he says. People who have burnt their fingers in IPL Betting say that gambling and gamblers needs to be tackled as a social problem, just like drinking and alcoholics, and the addicts need to be helped. It’s maybe time for GA - Gamblers Anonymous.u

brush method. With this the impressions are temporary and can easily be removed. Permanent tattoos need laser therapy” she adds. Ekta is very fond of tattoos. She has a couple of them on her body, including one with her husband’s name. She is quite ok if her children want to follow suit. Her confidence flows from the use of new technology that, according to her, reduces the risks of infection. “The machines that are used now also do not hurt that much,” she says. Ekta says that she has been sporting the tattoos for the last two years and hasn’t faced any health issues. A few girls at Sector 14 Government College are perhaps willing to try it out, but are concerned that the ‘impressions’ would stay with them for the rest of their lives. Besides, they believe that once they start fading, the tattoos are not a pretty sight. Several other youth interviewed by FG liked the idea of tattoos, describing them as fashionable and trendy. Despite all the warnings and taboos


24-30 April 2015

While the debate on tattoos and their effect on health continues to draw diverse opinions, it may be worth our while to look at some of the research that is going on around the globe - trying to get answers to some fundamental questions. For example, there had been no systematic study on the safety of tattoo inks. Now research in the US is being carried out at FDA's Arkansas-based National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR), to investigate tattoo inks to find out: their chemical composition and how they break down (metabolise) in the body; the short-term and long-term safety of the pigments used in tattoo inks; and how the body responds to the interaction of light with the inks. Some tattoos fade over time or fade when they are exposed to sunlight (which is why laser light is used to remove tattoos). The researchers are trying to find out what happens to the ink or where does the pigment go. The body cells may be digesting and destroying the ink, just as they rid the body of bacteria and other foreign matter, as a defense against infection. NCTR studies show that a common pigment used in yellow tattoo inks, Pigment Yellow 74, may be being broken down by enzymes, or metabolised. Sunlight may also cause the ink to break down so that it is less visible. NCTR researchers have found that Pigment Yellow 74 decomposes in sunlight, breaking down into components that are colourless. However, the pigment components may still remain and may be potentially toxic. Skin cells containing the ink may also be killed by sunlight or laser light and the ink components may disperse throughout the body. Research has also shown that some pigments migrate from the tattoo site to the body's lymph nodes (which help filter out disease-causing organisms). Bottom line: whether the migration of tattoo ink has health consequences or not is still unknown.

in certain social circles, a majority of those with tattoos have no regrets, and many of those contemplating tattoos seem to have no qualms. Their joy clearly overshadows their worry, or the risk. And as long as the tattoo facility and tattoo artist follow all the necessary sterilisation and autoclaving sanitation procedures, the risk for infection and disease should be relatively low. However, tattoos can also be termed as permanent cosmetic procedures, and should therefore not be taken lightly. ”As with plastic surgery, the results of these procedures will become a part of you,” says Dr. Neeraj Mehta a Dermatologist at the Civil Hospital. “Even with modern tattoo removal technology, your skin will never look the same – scar tissue takes the place of the ‘removed’ ink,” he avers. Sometimes keloid formation takes place at the site, which then turns into a scar. That is why it's also important that those who wear tattoos on their bodies should properly clean and care for them while they are healing. Dr. Mehta adds that tattoos should be attempted only in a very hygienic environment. “Since our human skin is very sensitive, any chemical can harm it and lead to disease. That is also why there is a minimum three months ‘resting period’ before a tattooed person can donate blood. Therefore, before getting a tattoo, it is important that you weigh the medical as well as personal and professional implications – both positive and negative. Despite technological advances in laser surgery, it is very difficult to get rid of a tattoo completely…it will leave a trace. It will become a permanent piece of your skin. You may be left with an image (though faint) that you might not want to live with for all time. Therein may lie the greater pain.u

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06 { Sheetal Sharma}


any times one feels sad and disheartened while going through a newspaper or watching a TV news channel. Recently one read with horror the mockery being made of examinations and watched with greater horror the visuals on the same later in the day. All right-thinking people, I am sure, were shocked to see groups of shameless and remorseless people - comprising parents, relatives and ‘friends’ -putting up a vulgar display of immoral and dishonest behaviour. They were unhesitatingly handing over chits and sheets of paper containing hints, points or answers to the questions in the examination papers, to their examinee children. They were blatantly, fearlessly violating the rules of fair play, to help their irresponsible brats in passing the examination or scoring high - by hook or by crook. This must have specially hurt those parents whose children had been burning the midnight oil, persevering to ensure that they would do well in the academic race. But all such wrongdoings do not seem to matter to our ‘netas’. The Chief Minister or MLA of the concerned State will appear on all the news channels to announce, nonchalantly, ‘A probe in the matter has been ordered. Guilty will be punished’. To ‘placate’ the janta, a person or two may

S ocial

24-30 April 2015

The Malaise

even be suspended. That’s it. They feel no need to take any preventive steps, to ensure that the issue does not recur. To make matters worse, the netas even convert such issues into political one-upmanship games. The spokespersons of the ruling and opposition parties make it a point to come on all channnels and convert the ‘debate’ into a mudslinging match; they have no intention of

discussing the issue earnestly. The ruling Party spokesperson will state forcefully, ’It is nothing new. This was rampant in your regime. Why didn’t you stop it then?’ And the previous government’s spokesperson will retort even more forcefully, ’Of course it is nothing new. The same happened when your Party was in power in such and such year.’ And to prove his point he will, with great flourish, display

To Mom

Stranger Than Fiction { Shobha Lidder } Harder than rock, life mocks When a dear one departs To the other side of life All wisdom deserts, all rationality expires When a dear one suffers at the last lapse of life Struggle to save them, prayers to rescue Panic to doctors, appeal to Gods to appease Please, please, save our dear one Let 'em live please Just another short spell Some cynics, you find them among physicians & spiritualists Turn around and say, "Oh let them go, it is their ripe old age" Who is to decide what is the ripe old age to go? Some die so young, some are young however old I am confused, a bit diffused At the decisions wise men make in God's name And let nonchalance slip into the care & medication Of letting men live till God wills

some old newspaper clipping referring to some such incident. To sound more authentic he will rattle off some related statistics also. And in this din the voices of other panelists, who intended to debate the issue seriously, get stifled. The whole debate gets coloured in political hues and becomes a matter of tit for tat. The main issue gets sidetracked. The debate should perhaps have been on the core issue of how the relentless and excessive focus on ‘success in examinations’ is impacting our youth and the future of our country. There is need for some soul searching here. When some sections of society ‘manage’ to get their less worthy offsprings to score high by adopting unfair means, what message do such brats get? That fair play has no place in society, rules are not meant to be obeyed, and virtues like honesty are outdated and redundant? Can this be the ‘men-making education’ that we espouse, or should it be re-labelled as ‘mafia-making education’? It is a pity that many are working to create a ‘value void’ in our youngsters’ lives and emboldening them to take an unethical route to life. The youngsters are thus being groomed for entry into a league of greedy self-seekers who flourish by usurping what does not rightfully belong to them. They grab what they want, using all sorts of illegal means. For them, might is right. Like leaches they

are sucking the moral fibre out of the nation, making its foundation as hollow as their own inner core, which is devoid of humanity and spirituality. The worst is when this malaise enters politics - when some out of this league of people become political leaders. Such ‘netas’ acquire power to help preserve and perpetuate the rottenness in the system. These mafia groups and mafia supporting netas don’t blink or even bat an eyelid when the janta is crying its heart out over the crucifixion of those who dare to stand up against wrongdoings. We feel betrayed by this kind of political class. The ruling party came into power by promising ‘achhe din’ to the janta. Everyone’s hopes had jumped up a few notches. But now the hope seems to be crumbling. We are realising that it is not an X or Y Party that can bring ‘achhe din’. We can hope for better times only when a different breed of people - people who do not have a ‘value void’ in their lives, who have been educated in ‘menmaking’ institutions, who have burnt the midnight oil to acquire knowledge and have used fair means to pass their exams - decide to enter politics. We can trust the nation in their hands. We hope that this happens in our lifetimes and the system is cleansed of the malaise of mafia type netas. The soul of the nation is at stake; we all need to help arrest the decay….we’ve jointly got to stop the rot. u

How dare we decipher His Will! To the last minute our job is to heal Be we physicians, healers, care providers Do our best till the end Never know, we may win over death?! And when we do not win we pacify our minds With parables, "Life is as exact as the etching on a mile stone" And so farewell, to the dear one gone To the shining Heavens of a million stars My dear one will be one of the soul constellation Free of pain & suffering, some consolation Earth is not our goal or our destination Dear one, our love, our salutations! May we forgive ourselves for the errors we made Some unforgivable things we did and said But had you lived, this love-hate would have continued Earth is full of duality When I want so much to love I falter, trip and irritate in hostility The war of virtue & vices will never cease As long as I live So goodbye dear one, remember me with goodwill. Shobha Lidder Writer, Journalist, Teacher, Trainer, Social Activist, Reiki Master, Pranic Healer

24-30 April 2015

Community Policing { Friday Gurgaon }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon


o benefit from the public-spirited nature of a large number of citizens and corporates in the Millennium City, Gurgaon Police has decided to engage with them and tap them for resources. This force multiplier is expected to help Gurgaon Police provide more efficient and effective services – in both its core and non-core areas. Taking this initiative forward, Gurgaon Police, under the leadership of Police Commissioner Navdeep Singh Virk, has launched ‘Community Policing 2.0’, wherein the overall community will be an important stakeholder. To set the ball rolling, Gurgaon Police called about 40 corporates for a meeting this Wednesday. They were asked to participate actively in police activities like the management of traffic and neighbourhood watch, and also help in creating a corpus, which would be used for improving the law and order in the City. The idea of community policing has stemmed from the realisation that Gurgaon Police, with its limited personnel, cannot effectively police this fast-expanding city of many complexities, including those related to a large number of ‘temporary migrants’. Police Commissioner Navdip Singh Virk says that the workload of the police has increased while the manpower and other resources has not, and this is now even effecting the core functioning of the department. That is why he is seeking community participation in some non-core activities, which will help the Police focus on its key role of crime prevention and investigation. Top companies of the City – from auto makers and IT companies to real estate players - have been asked to become an integral part of the community-policing project. It is likely that the police will form a society with the private players and create a corpus for building the police infrastructure, particularly related to non-core activities. The funds generated through this scheme are likely to be used to hire private guards for traffic management, impart traffic education, instal CCTV cameras, and purchase PCR vehicles as well as telecom and other equipment – to better serve the public. The

Police department is optimistic that the addition of more vehicles, better communication, better fire fighting equipment and more advanced investigative and forensic tools would lead to improved response times and better safety and security. The engagement with corporates is also likely to improve the interpersonal and communication skills of the policemen, as the Commissioner seeks to professionalise the force in Gurgaon. Corporate stakeholders will also feel that they can contribute to, and even positively influence, a more secure life for the residents in Gurgaon. The Police have already had good experience with the concept of (private) Road Safety Officers for the management of traffic and for curbing drunk driving. Many studied traffic solutions offered by them have been found to be effective. However, some residents of the City opine that the key issue is not lack of resources, but the attitude of the Police towards the general public. Mahesh, a resident, says that it is good for the City that the corporate community is being involved in this initiative, as they have the resources. In return, the Police should offer better services and safety to the people. Others say that the police should have more presence on the roads, and should work more towards prevention of crime rather than always reacting. Sonia, a resident, says that focus should be on women’s safety and there should be more women police officers patrolling the City. “The police must also curb petty crime - like snatchings, pick-pocketing and eve-teasing - which are rampant in the City,” she asserts. However, many Gurgaon residents feel that working with the Police as part of Community Policing will give local society a greater sense of security and will help tackle local crime faster and better. This should even help to deter some local troublemakers. Some people also feel that close interaction with the Police will help them get over their inherent ‘fear’ of khaki’ – a unique feature of this land of ours. Over time people would hopefully begin to have more faith in the Police. Let’s hope this gets off the ground fast….unlike many of the plans of the local Administration. Thankfully Gurgaon Police has been the good exception, in the main, till now – as reported by FG over the years.u

Gurgaon Foodie Restaurant Awards

C ivic/S ocial


Check for Haemophilia


aemophilia is a rare birth disorder of blood clotting found mostly in male children. If your child suffers easy bruises that bleed for a long time, or experiences unexplained nosebleeds, pain in the joints or passes blood in the urine or stool, chances are that he/ she might be suffering from a rare but life-long disorder called Haemophilia. Thankfully, advances in its treatment and the options for managing it having advanced significantly over the past two decades. However, the public awareness about the genetic disorder still remains low. It is important that young parents-to-be are educated about the possibility of having a Haemophilic child, and the resultant challenges. Haemophilia is an acquired-atbirth disorder, more common in children who have a family history of Haemophilia. In Haemophilia, the person has deficiency of the ‘clotting factor’, which is a protein required for normal blood clotting. As a result he/she may suffer prolonged bleeding from even a relatively small wound. Accidents and injuries can develop into life-threatening conditions. More dangerous, however, is the possibility of internal bleeding. Sometimes bleeding can occur in the joints of the knees or elbows, causing pain and discomfort and the risk of an early onset of arthritis. “Till 2-3 decades ago, the prognosis of Haemophilia patients was poor. Many died prematurely, due to internal or external bleeding, and several suffered damage to their joints, leading them to live restricted and far from normal lives. Due to lack of efficient blood screening mechanisms, there was also the risk of problems during blood transfusions. So, life expectancy was low for people with Haemophilia. However, today the treatment and management of Haemophilia is very good and it allows the affected to lead almost normal and longer lives. Early diagnosis and the timely starting of treatment, with some caution, can allow a child to have normal unhindered growth,” said Dr Satish Koul, Internal Medicine, Columbia Asia Hospital, Gurgaon. Blood coagulation mechanism transforms the blood from a liquid into a solid, and in the process prevents bleeding. The coagulation process involves several ‘clotting factors’. Clotting disorder happens when blood is deficient in a ‘clotting factor’. “Today it is possible to determine if you are a Haemophilia carrier even before pregnancy, with the help of medical genetics. And if you are a carrier, it is also possible to determine during pregnancy if the foetus is affected

by Haemophilia. However, this entails some risks for the foetus. So patients should talk to their doctors and follow their advice. If you know that your would-be child has Haemophilia, you can be better prepared on how to bring him up. Haemophilia patients can today live fairly normal and productive lives with some care, precautions and treatment mechanisms. The main treatment involved is the injecting of the deficient ‘clotting factor’ into the bloodstream. It may be needed on a regular basis, or just when the bleeding occurs,” added Dr Koul.

This is how Haemophilia is managed: Infusing ‘clotting factor’: This is done regularly in some cases and occasionally in other cases, depending on the need. This reduces the possibility of internal bleeding and damage to the joints. Medication: Oral and topical medicines are given/applied in case of an injury, to promote clotting and healing. Avoiding some medications: Some drugs – like OTC painkillers aspirin and ibuprofen - have a tendency to aggravate bleeding. If you have Haemophilia, ask your doctor to prescribe a safe pain relief drug. Exercising regularly: This helps strengthen muscles and bones, keeps the joints in good general health, and reduces risk of joint damage due to internal bleeding.   Avoiding contact sports: While running, swimming and aerobics are good exercises for people with Haemophilia, patients are advised to avoid sports that can cause injuries (like cricket, football or hockey). Even mild injuries can result in heavy bleeding. Activities like wrestling and boxing should be strictly prohibited. Keeping good dental hygiene: Even the healthiest person may not be able to escape a dental surgery at some point. People with Haemophilia need to strictly guard against dental problems, as a tooth extraction can cause a lot of bleeding. Ensuring safe practices: Follow precautions and safety measures if your child is playing outside, or learning to ride or riding a bicycle. The patient must wear a helmet, elbow and knee pads and protective shoes while playing.u



{ Barnali Dutta/FG }

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od or misfortune has made them ‘different’, and so they are differently abled. But they have every right to be a part of the ‘mainstream’. Physical handicaps or other disabilities may be deterrents to the 'normal' development of such human beings, making them ‘naturally inadequate’…but they have unnatural strengths and adequacies too. In today’s world the differently abled are not only being encouraged and assisted in overcoming their ‘inadequacies’, but are also being facilitated into ‘normal’ society. Their special skills are being appreciated. For many, their lives have been given a new meaning – something that they could earlier never even think of, let alone realise. Sunday’s ‘Special Raahgiri’ was for the differentlyabled in Gurgaon. Neha, a 21-years-old differentlyabled girl in her second year at college, was very excited to meet the Haryana Chief Minister, who had come especially for this function. She seemed so full of life. Seated on her wheel chair she said, “For me disability is just a part of life and I have accepted it with a smiling face. I love studying and want to be a teacher. My family has always supported me and I am sure that I will fulfill this this dream of mine.” Another differently-abled lady, who had lost her leg in an accident, has rediscovered herself. She today financially helps her husband by running a tailoring business. She said, ”Disability is not a disease. Yes, the pain of losing a limb will always be there, but I have learnt to accept my fate. It is the mentality that matters. I love my family and I want to do something for them.” There were many similar people at Raahgiri that day, who had been cruelly ‘struck down’, but had decided to take on their challenges positively. There were a number of deaf and dumb youth who were excellent cyclists. While they were not be able to express themselves through words, their faces told their story. Happy and cheerful, they just loved the bikes. A representative of Sai Sawam Society, which works with the deaf and dumb, said, “They are fantastic human beings and deserve better in life. We do understand the pain of their parents and guardians, but we also let them know how precious their children are.” At this Raahgiri they were all specially recognised. Besides helping build a communal awareness and sensitivity on the inclusion (and acceptance) of people with disabilities, the 'Inclusive‎ Raahgiri Day' was an effort to emphasise that they too have talent and passion, which should be embraced by all. The Day was a celebration of diversity, offering a plethora of activities like wheel chair basketball, football for the blind, wheel chair dancing, and aerobics and cultural performances by the differently-abled citizens of society. An army of toddlers, flashing beatific smiles, won everyone’s hearts. Seemingly unknown to them is their misery - they prefer to enjoy life, no matter what.  Many youngsters also acted as volunteers, offering assistance to the differently-abled. And of course there was the ‘normal’ Raahgiri fare. A battery of drummers and percussionists took to the streets, mesmerising participants and viewers with their wide repertoire. There was a great ambience of joy and happiness all around. Raahgiri also owes its success to the police officials, who keep vigil to ensure that no untoward incident takes place. Raahgiri encourages NGOs to come forward and ‘show’ their work. This time the National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation was present at the function. A government institution for the promotion of selfemployment ventures for persons with disability,

S pecial F eature

24-30 April 2015

Different, but Able

The ‘poster man’ of the differentlyabled of our times is perhaps Steven Hawking, the UK-born physicist and cosmologist, who contracted a rare irreversible debilitating disease at the age of 21. He was affected by Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), a form of motor neuron disease, wherein the nerves that control muscle movement just shut down. Patients of ALS generally do not live long. However, Hawking has not only lived, but also managed to determinedly follow his dreams. He lives on artificial systems, which drive his anatomy as well as his speech. He literally functions through a computer. What a positive attitude!

the Corporation also provides financial assistance to a wide range of income generation schemes that are tailor-made for differently-abled persons. There were other NGOs like Dr. Reddy’s Foundation, where the differently-abled are trained to be professionals, and the organisation also helps them to find jobs and other livelihoods. While the sun blazed from the heavens, artists scorched the stage with their stupendous performances. A huge source of joy were the performances of the differently-abled - be it playing games or cycling or simply exhibiting their prowess in physical exercises. “The willingness of societies across the world to respect the special talent and dreams of the differently-abled has given a whole new dimension to their lives. This Special Raahgiri has provided them a unique platform to showcase their talents,” said Mukesh Jain, Joint Secretary, Government of India. He added, ”It is not only about their acceptance in (our) society, but also about them building confidence within themselves. They are just like us and their dreams too should be respected.” A major attraction at the Sunday event was a fantastic display of skills by basketball players on wheelchairs. The Chief Minister of Haryana, who witnessed this unique event, said that he was touched by their sincerity and passion. They performed most ably. The CM said, “They are an integral part of our society and should be rightfully treated as equals. They are much more courageous than us, as they have to counter the pain of ‘inadequacy’ every day…and yet they seem to live life to its fullest. We should continue to encourage them to enhance their talents and fulfill their dreams.” He however admitted that Gurgaon (and of course India itself) lacked much of the civic and social infrastructure that could help the differently-abled live more convenient and wholesome lives. He rued the fact that there were no cycle tracks created for the physically impaired. He also pointed out that Gurgaon roads needed to be maintained better and the transport system better organised to serve the people of the City. He spoke of developing a Non-Motorised Transport (NMT) system, which would also be environmentally friendly. The Chief Minister was critical of those who still felt that persons with disabilities and special needs should be kept ‘excluded’ from society. Enrique Penalosa, the former Mayor of Bogota, Colombia and a special Raahgiri guest, while listing the most important amenities that help improve the quality of life in a city, said that the prime focus should be on developing parks, cycle tracks, pavements and facilities for the elderly, differentlyabled and the poor. A new campaign was also kicked off at the venue, to sensitise residents of Gurgaon on the need to give right of way to ambulances. According to the Road Safety Officers (RSOs) who started this campaign, they wanted to encourage every citizen to take a pledge that they would help clear the way for ambulances so that lives could be saved. The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has also initiated a mass awareness programme on disability, which was kicked off at the Special Raahgiri. The agenda of the Programme encompasses the following, which would now be communicated all across the country: n  Disability is only a difference - like gender or race. n  Being disabled is neither good nor bad - it's just part of who you are. n  The problems occur when disabled persons try to ‘function’ in an ‘inaccessible’ society. n  What is needed is a change in society – physically (like making things accessible for everyone) and mentally n  Change can start through anyone - a person with a disability, an advocate or anyone who wants to see an inclusive ‘all-abled’ society.u


24-30 April 2015


{ Friday Gurgaon }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon


he setting up of a unified civic authority – the Gurgaon Development Authority (GDA) – for the City, which was promised by BJP leaders in the run-up to the polls, is unlikely to materialise soon. The Chief Minister, Manohar Lal Khattar, seems not very enthused about GDA, and showed this during his recent visit to the City. In reply to a question from Friday Gurgaon, he said that if it (GDA) is required in public interest, then the government could pursue it. This is in contrast to the stand taken by Gurgaon MP Rao Inderjit Singh, who has again demanded (after the CM’s statement) that a decision on GDA should be taken on priority. The Gurgaon MP asserted that a single agency could best help resolve Gurgaon’s multiple civic and development problems, and the BJP had also promised that the role of multiple agencies in the city would be reduced. The setting up of GDA would also help to decentralise decision making, as currently almost everything requires Chandigarh’s approval. Rao Inderjit Singh added that he would meet with senior Central leaders in the government on this. Sources in the government said that it is unlikely that even this Haryana government would set up an agency like GDA, because it could lose control on the largest revenue earning district of the State. The government would also lose its direct influence on the real estate cash cow. People of Gurgaon and South Haryana are already feeling disillusioned with the performance of the BJP government, as they had hoped that development would be fast-tracked in the new set-up. This has not happened, and the spirit of the people has been dampened. The people in Gurgaon, particularly those awaiting action against errant and arrogant builders, are also surprised that there has been no change in the

Awaiting ‘Gurgaon Window’

attitude of the local administration. The residents of the 900 meters disputed area around the IAF Depot had been promised that the resolution of their case would be taken up on priority, but all they are getting now is the same ‘sub judice’ answer. Meanwhile, basic amenities like water and power continue to be denied to them. The government has also got itself caught up in the Mangar forest and Aravalli hills ‘development’ issue. The CM tried to justify his government’s stand while addressing the press conference on Sunday, but many things were left unanswered. On the positive side, the Haryana CM assured the people that those who have made complaints to the CM Window will be given an opportunity of a personal hearing if they feel that their case has not been understood or resolved properly. The CM added that some changes are also being made to the software. He reiterated that the government wants to make the CM Window so effective that a majority of the problems of the common masses would be redressed through this window. Khattar also promised better Metro and bus connectivity to and in the City. Locals say that it is high time Gurgaon, being the cash cow of Haryana, starts to get preferential, if not ‘favourable’, treatment. Sanjiv Kumar, a resident, said that a single window civic agency and better transport facilities are needed at the earliest as people face several problems daily. Pawan, who has been struggling to get a plot of land regularised by HUDA, said that files still don’t move, despite the promise by the BJP govt. of strong governance and an end to corruption. There needs to be strong action taken against delays, but nothing happens, he alleged. Civil society activists in Gurgaon averred that the much promised action against errant builders is still not taking place in a systemic manner. The ‘actions’ that have been taken are only ‘conveniently’ addressing a few symptoms.u

K id C orner

24-30 April 2015


Ryan International School, Sohna road

Save our Planet


Searching for Words

aunching the Earth Week celebrations, students of Ryan International School, Sohna Road conducted an Inter House Street Play competition on the topic ‘Save Earth’. Sarojini Naidu house won the First position. The students also made a ‘human chain’ at Sector-56, HUDA Market. The Montessori Earth Messengers and Earth Angles helped spread awareness among the local people on the need to save our planet, and what each of us can do for that. Earth Warriors from senior sections  presented a Nukkad Natak, encouraging the students to be earth envoys, to help safeguard the environment.


o help develop an aptitude and inclination towards Science, a Word Search Competition was held at Ryan International School, Sohna Road, for Classes I to VIII. Six IntraClass Winners from each class participated in the Inter-Class Word Search Competition.

Laugh the Day away Ryan International School, Sector 40 celebrated ‘Humourous Day’. Class IV A students presented a Radio Jockey show on the topic ‘Importance of Humour in our daily lives’. They informed their fellow students that Humourous Day is  a day to find humour in all situations. The Day was founded by Larry Wilde in the year 1976. The School Head Ms. Peeya Sharma explained the importance of humour and how it can help in enjoying our day to day activities.

Save Mother Earth


o pay tribute to Mother Earth for all her wonderful gifts, the students of Ryan Global School celebrated Earth Day. The corridors and classes were festooned with Earth Day craft work. The students recited heartwarming poems, presented dance performances, performed a skit depicting the importance of Nature and spread the message of saving Mother Earth for a better tomorrow. The children also undertook a cleanliness drive in the nearby areas, distributed paper bags and bookmarks related to Earth Day, asked people to reuse paper and donated plants. The Head of the School, Ms. Andrea Martin, motivated the children to be defenders of Mother Earth.

If you wish to be featured in ‘Kid Corner’ (for publishing your school’s activities and achievements), please mail us at


24-30 April 2015

C omment

Time for an Industrial Act T


his country could not be in a more unenviable position. After years of non-governance and scams, we got a PM and a govt. that literally got down to it. And the PM himself has been trying to be the perfect politico-economic global catalyst for India. And yet our ‘top class’ private industry is baulking at even the thought of fresh investment - preferring instead to live with insipid results and piles of unproductive reserves (along with piles of re-rolled-over debt). It is a different matter that the Sensex was running ahead of itself, but has thankfully been restrained. Industry during the UPA II term just wanted a return of sentiment…the rest they would take care of. Now sentiment is not enough, they want to be taken care of specially and specifically (on labour, land, tax, incentives). Has liberalisation come to only mean something that gives us immediate tangible benefit? Meanwhile, thankfully the world outside has started scenting the sentiment. Our much-vaunted private sector banks are behaving no better. The RBI Governor recently had to chide banks, saying that they are quick to hike rates when RBI does so, but have enough excuses to not reduce them when RBI does. The same has forever been true of the private sector with reference to changes in excise duties. The private believe in ‘selective amnesia’ and ‘one way – only upside’ traffic. Talk of fair weather friends. Finallly, even the PM was forced to comment: ‘The private sector of the country is still stuck with legacy issues of governance. The govt.’s job is good governance for everybody. My govt. will make policies. If you fit into it, come on board, otherwise stay where you are. My job is not to spoon-feed anyone’. This is the clearest ‘positive’ statement a PM has ever made to the private sector. It’s time for domestic industry to help kickstart this economy. Services, especially IT/ITES, are quite dependent on the global market, which is still in a slowdown. Agriculture, and therefore also rural India, has been hit by a poor rabi harvest, and a weak monsoon (likely) will only drive it further down. The writing is on the wall. You can rule out the rural consumption bonus this year – in fact you can rule rural out. And, if domestic industry continues to play ‘dead’, the festive season this year promises to be dull. Industry needs to get consumers and consumption

Maybe it is time to wield the stick on domestic industry. It’s time to take back/cancel SEZ land wherever it has not been utilised or where an export project has not started for even 5 years. moving again. There is no real dearth of household funds. It’s all there, in gold and real estate and savings. Get people to buy - offer lower prices, discounts or freebies, for a limited 3 month period. Maybe the Real Estate sector needs to move first. Let them take a worthwhile risk. Let them drop prices, between 10 to 20%, and let the State govts. reduce registration charges by at least 2% – agian for just 3 months. The Centre should increase the Rs 50 lakhs limit to Rs 5 crores, for investment in (real estate) tax-saving bonds. The extra funds thus obtained should be put into a special Infrastructure Fund. Please remember that Modi and Jaitley are anyway coming after you on black money. Wake up, dear builders and developers. What fun is it to sit on a pile of debt…waiting…and just defaulting or borrowing more to refinance old debt? Dear industrialists, if you have lost your mojo, please hand

The PM has been quite bold in stating his views. Sample this: If you do things at the end of your tenure or on the eve of elections, it is termed pro-poor; if you do it at the beginning, without waiting for the ‘right time’, it does not get noticed. Unfortunately in India labour reforms have only been viewed in the context of what industry needs. Labour reforms should be for the benefit of the labour force. We should also look to expand the job/labour market. With reference to undertaking visits to multiple countries together: I am from Ahmedabad, where we have a saying, ‘single fare, double journey’. Note: Many of the statements attributed to the PM in this Ed. were made during his recent interview with Hindustan Times.

over the reins to someone who still has it. Surely you are not waiting for foreigners to wake you up to Make in India. The reality is that Indian industry has always had ease of doing business (except a few short years)…they have always known or found the ‘easy’ – often short cut - way out. Now, with Modi and Jaitley at the gate, that way/lane is seemingly closed. Domestic industry is perhaps finding itself on a fairly level playing field with foreigners. With this transparency, and with a system that won’t be so easily ‘fixed’, they seem quite unable to cope or ‘perform’. Maybe it is not so surprising, since this has been the story with exports, where we have to compete openly with the best in the world and have failed consistently (despite even a 30% currency devaluation). Industrialists have had to find convenient various excuses for their non-performance and lack of investment. They are therefore pushing the govt. on land, labour, Net Bias, GST, and even ‘ease of doing business’…and buying time in the process (as stated earlier, Indian industry has no real need for ‘ease of doing business’; they now seem to want ‘easy business’). They are even condescendingly saying that the govt. should be given more time, and that at least the intentions are good! The delay in the passing of the land acquisition bill and the govt.’s over-enthusiasm on overmodifying it, is providing industry the best excuse. It’s time to call their bluff. The govt. is unnecessarily getting blackmailed, thinking that industry is the only golden goose that lays jobs. It’s time the govt. woke up. If it concentrates its energy as much on facilitating infrastructure, food processing and e-commerce (and the logistics for both), big investments and jobs will happen, all across the country. For manufacturing, let global companies come and wake up domestic industry to jointly Make in India. The govt. should preferably focus on a few countries for Make in India: maybe Japan, Korea and Germany (US wants too much quid pro quo and expects to get it), and target specific industries and specific States. Indian Industry, it’s time to act now, or for the foreseeable future hold your comments. Pretty soon we should be able to separate the men from the boys.u

W ellness

24-30 April 2015

Health & Vitality... Naturally!

Taming Chronic Diseases (Part 1)

When eating out, it is wise to choose baked or grilled food, instead of fried. When cooking, consider using herbs and spices, instead of salt, to add flavour. Sugar should ideally not exceed more than 10 % of the total energy intake. It is imperative to control ‘portion-size’. Using smaller plates, with high-contrast colours, and not heaping them high, can be a great habit to cultivate. Portion size must be calibrated according to age, gender and the activity level of the individual.

Powerhouse Fruits and Vegetables (N = 41), by Ranking of Nutrient Density Scoresa, 2014 Item Watercress

{ Jaspal Bajwa }


y 2020, Chronic or Lifestyle diseases will account for almost three-quarters of all deaths worldwide. The earlier perception that this is merely a problem faced by affluent countries has very quickly been replaced by a grim reality: on a global basis, 60 -70 % of the burden of Chronic Diseases (or NCDs - Non Communicable Diseases) will occur in developing countries. As per WHO, the number of diabetic people in the developing world will increase by more than 2.5-fold - from 84 million in 1995 to 228 million in 2025. The rate at which obesity is increasing is alarming. In developed countries, excess weight and obesity is estimated to cause 20% of cancer mortality, one third of heart diseases and 60% of hypertensive disease. It is now becoming a serious problem throughout Asia, Latin America and parts of Africa, despite the widespread presence of undernutrition in these countries. Obesity has doubled, or even tripled, in some areas over the past decade. All this will have a devastating effect on quality of life as well as personal and public healthcare expenditures. The ‘Early Warning Indicators’ (EWIs) of ill health are all around us – for example, the burgeoning mid-sections of large numbers of the ‘well-to-do’. While idolising fit models, in our personal lifestyle choices we tend to veer towards ‘soft’ options. From a dietary perspective, we must break the spiral of an ever-increasing number of people adopting high-fat, energydense diets that have a substantial content of animal-based foods. However, this veritable tsunami is largely preventable – though there is no silver bullet, no quick fix. Without taking away the important contributions made by innovative and affordable medicines, it has to be recognised that the net impact of medication and surgical treatment at ground level has been very small. What seems to be working far better, in large measure, is community action and consumer awareness, and choice

Taking a cue from WHO Europe, we need to be alert to seven risk factors that account for 60% of the chronic disease burden. These are tobacco, alcohol, low fruit and vegetable intake, physical inactivity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, excess weight and obesity

thereof. But we are still not there. We have to strongly overcome the ill effects of rapid urbanisation; we have to get away from a sedentary lifestyle and get back to wholesome diets (like our earlier traditional, largely plant-based diets). An inspirational example comes from the Republic of Korea. The community has largely maintained its traditional high-vegetable diet, despite major social and economic change. Not surprisingly it has lower rates of chronic diseases and obesity than other industrialised countries with similar economic development.

Tip of the Week

Taking a cue from WHO Europe, we need to be alert to seven risk factors that account for 60% of the chronic disease burden. These are tobacco, alcohol, low fruit and vegetable intake, physical inactivity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, excess weight and obesity. For managing the early indicators of chronic diseases, the monitoring of BMI (Body Mass Index) is key. It is the waist-to-hip measurement, which determines how much fat surrounds vital central organs located in the waist region of the body. Certain foods (like red meat) need to be minimised and many others, which can even be described as ‘non-foods’, need to be avoided or eliminated altogether. Some examples are: highly processed meats, trans and saturated fatty acids, partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, overly refined carbs, salt and refined sugar. When shopping at the super market, be alert to the sodium content in the food.

Nutrient Density Score 100.00

Chinese cabbage




Beet green






Leaf lettuce




Romaine lettuce


Collard green


Turnip green


Mustard green








Dandelion green


Red pepper








Brussels sprout
















Iceberg lettuce






Winter squash (all varieties)






Grapefruit (pink and red)










Sweet potato


Grapefruit (white)



Nature’s Wonder Food(s) of the Week: Chronic Disease Taming Foods – Part 1

A well-balanced, varied and wholesome diet, which is alkalising, mainly plant-based and whenever possible fresh and organic, is indeed the best for overall health. When combined with a healthy activity level, this tends to cultivate the right kind of immunity-enhancing micro-flora in the gut. However, over-reliance on any single nutritional supplement or ‘superfood‘ needs to be guarded against. Using creativity to make a colourful plate of anti-oxidant rich foods, is not only satisfying for the senses but also tremendously enjoyable and vitality enhancing. In Part 1 we take up Fruits & Vegetables, which ideally should make up at least one-half of your plate. Low fruit and vegetable intake has been estimated to account for 4.4% of the burden of disease. WHO recommends 400 g/day or upward of 10 portions/day. Powerhouse Fruits & Vegetables (PFV): When exercising choice in favour of anti-oxidant and nutrient rich natural foods, we now have excellent advice from some latest research. In June 2014, a groundbreaking study – ‘Preventing Chronic Disease’ - was published in the CDC journal. Thanks to the efforts of Dr. Jennifer Di Noia and researchers of the William Paterson University (New Jersey), for the first time fruits and vegetables have been ranked by their nutritional density. As a yardstick, 17 nutrients of public health importance, chosen by Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the Institute of Medicine, were measured. These are: potassium, fibre, protein, calcium, iron, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folate, zinc and vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E and K. Nutrient-dense foods (defined as those with scores ≥10) were classified as PFV. On an average, PFV foods provide 10% or more Daily Value per 100 kcal of the 17 qualifying nutrients. In the ‘Top 10’ PFV list, Watercress interestingly was tops, with a score of 100. The next five PFVs are Chinese cabbage, chard, beet greens, spinach and chicory (see Chart alongside, and you can also click on pcd/issues/2014/13_0390.htm#table2_ down To sum up, depending on seasonal availability, choose colourful red, orange and dark-green vegetables like tomatoes, sweet potatoes and broccoli, along with the other vegetables for your meals. Innovate and use creativity to mix vegetables into your main dishes. Add fruit as part of the main or side dishes or as a delightful dessert. For a healthy and handy snack, always have the refrigerator well stocked with readycut, bite-sized fruits and vegetables like carrots, peppers or orange slices. To be continued: In the next article we will cover other foods that can help prevent chronic diseases – e.g. grains, fibre, polyunsaturated & monounsaturated fatty acids, dairy products, lean protein foods, antioxidant rich spices and healthy beverages. u For Education purposes only; always consult a Healthcare Practitioner for medical conditions


S piritual

24-30 April 2015

The Mystic Sense { Dr. Rajesh Bhola }


here is a mystical experience in feeling or experiencing God’s presence. This reality is ever-present before us, and when we are able to discern this presence we become free. We are liberated at the moment of recognition and perception - the door to life is unlocked. The voyage of discovery lies not in seeking new vistas, but in having new eyes. All the great holy persons over the ages have spoken of their profound experience on realising and feeling the presence of God. They willed others to experience this communion or unity with the sacred presence. However, people instead began to worship these holy persons. These great enlightened masters seemed to share many similar traits: unusual intelligence, charisma, the ability to perform ‘miracles’…and a strong Sixth Sense. The Sixth Sense goes well beyond our basic sensory reflexes. A person who is able to develop this sense can truly get a sense of things to come. The Sixth Sense is natural and scientific; it is not mystical and unexplainable. It is the body’s ability to pick up fine energies (wavelengths) that have not yet been detected by ‘instruments’. And because it is a bodily sense, like any muscle or brain tissue, if you use it well, it will develop quickly; and if you do not use it, it will atrophy. If you only use the five basic senses – taste, touch, smell, sound and sight - for interpreting this world, everything you can know and understand will remain ‘basic’. But with the Sixth Sense you can feel and see energy, sense thoughts and anticipate emerging situations. Developing an active Sixth (Psychic) Sense is like adding a whole new dimension to your life, much like a deaf person suddenly starting to hear. You will uncover a hidden layer of understanding to everything. This subtle sense will reveal a new and unique knowledge, which will help unfold corresponding qualities in you. With the help of our five physical senses we develop self-consciousness, which in turn gradually develops

an ego within us. Ego teaches us to discriminate, puts limits around us and develops our character traits. However, as part of human inheritance there exists in us one more (subtle) sense the intuitive and spiritual Sixth Sense. Its role is to express the impulses coming from our soul in creative and unique ways. It helps raise our level of consciousness. The activation of this spiritual sense depends on our level of ‘purification’ and on our ability to master the impulses coming from the ego. This means that we must first learn to master and transmute our animalistic instincts and stop overrationalising with our cerebral intelligence, so that this spiritual sense unfolds its attributes and qualities within us. The true sages of all epochs have in some manner based their teachings on this Sixth Sense. This Sense is based on the spirit of man, in which dwells the sublime knowledge of the creation of the universe and of its source. It also includes the knowledge and processes of the mystery of incarnation and of reintegration into the absolute uncreated light. The Sixth Sense functions properly only when the intelligence of the heart is open to its psyche and is in harmony with the two divine witnesses of soul and spirit. The intelligence of the heart is the awakened functions of the soul - the qualities that evolve gradually through intuition and reveal the soul’s divine gifts. The ‘target’ or goal of the Sixth Sense is not the rational, emotional and mental faculties of man, but rather the awakening and merging faculties of the soul and spirit within the consciousness of man.

The Kingdom of God is the ultimate reality. Its splendour is always around us, and it is only our blindness that prevents us from seeing the wonder of it and living in it. The door to the Kingdom, to an interconnected relationship of the Divine with all things, lies always open, said Jesus. ‘The Kingdom is inside you’, said He. The Kingdom is here, in the present: when we wake up to the Kingdom inside us, in our innermost consciousness, we realise the potential presence of the Kingdom in all of reality. Jesus lived and perceived life in such a way that God’s Kingdom was fully present to him. Gandhi said, ‘God speaks to us every day, only we don’t know how to listen’. The Hindus greet each other by bowing with folded hands against the breastbone, saying ‘Namaste’. This mini-ceremony means: ‘I salute the Divinity within you’. The God who made the world does not live in shrines made by human hands; He exists as the breath of life of everything. God is infused into the world, incarnate in the here and now, at the heart of everything. God is the basis of reality itself, in which we live and move and have our being – through images, sounds, tastes, smells and touch, as well as ideas, thoughts, insights and memories. Often when we hear of someone experiencing or perceiving God’s presence, God’s grace, we believe that the person can ‘see’ or ‘hear’ that presence or grace. We talk of someone sensing God’s love as if it is an intuition or a mental image. But, the scriptures say, ‘realising’ God is quite unlike all these things. It is about a direct experience of the Holy, which is beyond

all sense and understanding. How one enters these very subtle levels of intuition cannot be explained or shown, since these refined senses are in themselves levels of consciousness and inner paths of knowledge and enlightenment. The only way we could describe and comprehend these subtleties would be by developing our own intuitive faculties. The job of the preacher is not to impart experiences of grace to the hearer. Every person, every thing, already has direct experience of the Holy, all the time. As Rumi wrote, “Every instant a revelation from heaven comes to our innermost souls.” We just don’t notice. So the job of a sermon or an anthem or worship is simply to help raise these experiences, which we already have, to the surface of awareness. The role of a spiritual community is not to tell people what to see, but how to see. And our own role is to nurture our Sixth Sense, a sense that allows us, as human beings, to feel God directly. In fact religion should be about developing our Sixth Sense, by calling us to develop our spiritual selves and experience the very presence of God. Spiritual experience is not about the one who sees, or about ‘seeing’; it is about ‘sensing’ something that has been there all the time. For realising this spiritual experience, it is we who need to change, not God. Some religious traditions refer to this as the development of the ‘Third Eye’ or the ‘Inner Eye’ (which lies between our eyes, on the forehead). This seems to be a metaphor for the contemplative, mystical way of ‘seeing’ and ‘experiencing’ the Sixth Sense. Developing the Sixth Sense, seeing with the Inner Eye, is a special skill, which takes immense effort – of prayer, contemplation, meditation, study and spiritual practice. u Dr. Rajesh Bhola is President of Spastic Society of Gurgaon and is working for the cause of children with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, mental retardation and multiple disabilities for more than 30 years. He can be contacted at

24-30 April 2015


B on V ivant

Balasaraswati The Queen of Abhinaya

She preached that the technical aspects of a Bharatanatyam recital - the Alarippu (invocation piece), Jatiswaram (bringing out unity of music, rhythm and movements), Sabdam (graceful movements in a story or poem), Varnam (centre piece performance with complex and difficult movements), Padam (lyrical section that speaks of love and devotion), Tillana (pure dance item with complex footwork) and Shloka (verse of prayer) - should be sequenced properly, in order to most effectively bring out the various essential elements of Bharatanatyam. She compared this to a devotee entering a beautiful (South Indian) temple. She opined that a devotee first entered the Gopuram (outer gate), then moved into the Mandapa (hall), the corridors and the inner compound, before entering the Sanctum Sanctorum, where the ‘Darsanam’ of God awaited him.

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Isai Perarignar Award, the Sangeeta Kalanidhi Award and the second highest civilian honour of India, the Padma Vibhushan. She also has the honour of being included in the compilation of ‘America’s Irreplaceable Dance Treasures’. Balasaraswati passed away in 1984, but her legacy continued through her daughter Lakshmi Knight (till she too left this world in 2001). Balasaraswati’s grandson heads the Balasaraswati Music and Dance Association in USA and India. To this day, as Bharatanatyam continues to embrace new trends and themes, the basic mood still rests with a tradition that is pure and divine; a tradition that was most dear to the heart of one of India’s greatest dancing legends. A journey that began with the acclaim, ‘Tremendous’, was aptly reflected in an editorial in The New York Times in 1977, by renowned critic Anna Kisselgoff. She referred to Balasaraswati as one of the ‘supreme performing artists in the world’. Amen.u The writer is a renowned Kuchipudi danseuse and choreographer


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Vol. 4

 Pages

tus ha

16  `10

The Lo

No. 10


with complex and difficult movements), Padam (lyrical section that speaks of love and devotion), Tillana (pure dance item with complex footwork) and Shloka (verse of prayer) - should be sequenced properly, in order to most effectively bring out the various essential elements of Bharatanatyam. She compared this to a devotee entering a beautiful (South Indian) temple. She opined that a devotee first entered the Gopuram (outer gate), then moved into the Mandapa (hall), the corridors and the inner compound, before entering the Sanctum Sanctorum, where the ‘Darsanam’ of God awaited him. Though Balasaraswati believed in unquestioned surrender to the teacher, she sought to create a space wherein students could attempt to create something new within the precincts of the laid-down traditions of dance. Popularly referred to as the ‘Queen of Abhinaya (Expression)’, Balasaraswati remained undeterred by the vile jealousy and rivalry that is often associated with the performing arts. Balasaraswati received numerous awards during her glittering career: The Sangeet Natak Academi Award, the



t was a sultry day at Kancheepuram, the temple town, near erstwhile Madras. People were flocking to a temple to witness a Bharatanatyam dance performance. Dance recitals in those days (this was 1925) were scoffed at by many. Dance was unfortunately viewed as ‘disrespectful’. However, it also had its few admirers. At the temple a petite seven-year-old haltingly walked to the stage. This girl had been born into a seventh generation family of Devadasis, the members of which were dedicated to the service of temples. The Devadasi practice in those days was an object of abuse, and these young girls, who generally became temple dancers, were exploited by rich men. The dance performance began. The legendary Nayana Pillai was among the audience. The girl danced without any anxiety, undeterred by the prying eyes of the public. At the close one word from Pillai summed up the performance – ‘Tremendous!’, she exclaimed. A Bharatanatyam dancing star was born. Balasaraswati never looked back. Years later, Dr. Narayana Menon, an eminent critic, echoed Pillai’s judgment. He wrote that no dancer had captured the public imagination as Balasaraswati did in the thirties and forties. Bharatanatyam until then had been viewed as an esoteric art practised for the pleasure of a few connoisseurs and dilettantes. Balasaraswati made the public aware of Bharatanatyam. Her name has become synonymous with Bharatanatyam. Born in 1918 to a family in which music and dance was a part of the daily routine, Balasaraswati was destined to dance. By the age of 16, when she performed in Calcutta (Kolkata), she had already become a household name. Balasaraswati was trained by Guru Kandappan Pillai, whom she revered with respect and surrender. Balasaraswati moulded herself into a multifaceted personality. Her biggest achievement was the propagation of Bharatanatyam, a performing art that had hitherto being unknown to the West. By the 1950s, backed by her solo dance performances, she was being compared to a US legend of Modern Dance, Martha Graham. Back home, Balasaraswati had started a renaissance. Bharatanatyam began to be viewed as a pristine and divine art. As Krishna had sermonised in the Bhagvad Gita, that the process was more important than the result, Balasaraswati believed that intense practice, the feel of dance and its relentless pursuit were more important that performing on stage. As a Guru and a performer, she neither allowed

materialism nor a quick-fix route to success. Her knowledge of the ‘theory’ of Bharatanatyam was perfect. She once famously remarked that the ancient texts had accorded a divine status to Bharatanatyam. By the 1960s and 1970s, a new school of thought had emerged in Bharatanatyam, which sought to ‘cleanse’ Bharatanatyam of traditional lyrics. Balasaraswati politely advised proponents of this thought to continue with the traditional lyrics, which she associated with divinity. Balasaraswati believed that Bharatanatyam sought to complete the union of the devotee with the divine. She explained that the sequence of portrayal in Bharatanatyam was of utmost importance. She preached that the technical aspects of a Bharatanatyam recital - the Alarippu (invocation piece), Jatiswaram (bringing out unity of music, rhythm and movements), Sabdam (graceful movements in a story or poem), Varnam (centre piece performance


{ Meenu Thakur Sankalp }






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