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28 Feb-6 March 2014

Vol. 3 No. 28  Pages 24  ` 7

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

Party-time for aam workers

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon


here is a whiff of fresh air blowing in the Congress Party, particularly in the constituencies where the Party has decided to hold ‘Primaries’, to ensure that Party candidates for the ensuing Parliamentary polls are elected by the Party workers and members of affiliated organizations. The idea of Primaries was introduced by Party Vice President and General Secretary Rahul Gandhi, to ensure more transparency in the selection of Party candidates and to provide a better opportunity for new talent. While initially there was resistance to this new mode of candidate selection, Congress leaders now assert that the experiment of holding Primaries has proved to be a very democratic and participative exercise, which has enthused the Party workers and leaders alike. Prakash Joshi, AICC Secretary and All India In-charge of the Primaries, tells Friday Gurgaon that the process of holding Primaries is very fair and transparent, and ensures that every Party worker gets a chance to enlist and vote for a leader of his/her choice. “It is for the first time that people from every level of the Party – from Youth Congress, NSUI, Mahila Congress and Seva Dal members, to office beaers, (past and present) MPs, MLAs, MLCs, Panchayat members, elected members of urban local bodies and prominent individuals in a constituency - will be able to directly elect their candidate”, says Joshi. The process of holding Primaries is almost similar to an election, and it takes about seven days to complete the entire process, he says. The process of holding Primaries has also been planned in Delhi, where two Parliamentary seats, East Delhi and


New Delhi, have been chosen for this experiment. Joshi says that the process has been initiated in New Delhi, where the enlistment of voters and nominations has already started. “The nomination of candidates can be made till 4 PM on this Saturday, and then we will allow some time for canvassing”, says Joshi, under whose supervision the entire process of Primaries is being held across the country. The first person to be elected as a candidate through the Primaries is Somen Mitra from North Kolkata constituency – he was unopposed. The approval by the Party High Command should be a formality. The entire process of Prima-

ries is based on the enlistment of ‘voters’. Thereafter the nominations are taken up, and a scrutiny of the forms is conducted by polling teams. On successful clearance, the candidates are provided the election symbols and allowed to canvas among the Party workers. On the last day of canvassing, all the voters and candidates are called for a Party Convention, where the candidates are given a chance to explain their vision - after which voting takes place. Joshi says that there are two Returning Officers for each Assembly constituency and two offi-

Enthralling Talent { Shilpy Arora / FG }

write to us at


rehearsal is in progress. Lights weave over the young Dancers as they create interesting movements while performing Yogasanas. While one Dancer twirls across the floor in a Mukha Svanasana pose, his partner performs a high jump while sitting in

Padmasana – and the other Dancers pause in Virabhadrasana. There is the sound of music in the background. It feels magical to experience the ‘Enthrall Group’, a participant at the India’s Got Talent reality show. Interestingly, the Group performs by creating a fusion of Yogasanas and Acrobatics, set to music. The results are some spectacular shows. To

fellow Gurgaonites, sms ENT 56882 to help the deserving enthrall group from gurgaon win 'india's got talent' and make us all proud.

cers at the Parliamentary level. “The process of electing the candidates is very transparent and no one can interfere. This mode of choosing the candidates will also ensure that local and ‘popular’ people are given the Party mandate”, he says. The Congress Party insiders say that the Party is looking to adopt this method in the entire country, and the workers are giving a thumbs-up to this experiment. Young Congress leaders like Tasvir Solanki in Delhi also appreciate this concept, as it ensures that Party candidates are not foisted from the top. “This is a very positive move and it has already been successfully implemented in various Congress Party organizations,” he says. Joshi says that that this experiment will strengthen the internal democracy, and reduce the role of wealth and influence in the distribution of tickets. A Congress leader from Delhi says that there are many politicians who are ‘entrenched’ in particular seats, despite giving poor results, as they are able to get ‘tickets’ using their influence and wealth. “If this experiment is made foolproof and remains authentic, then it will help the Congress in the coming times”, he adds. Amit Yadav, Congress leader and President of INTUC (Youth Wing) says that this move by the Congress High Command augurs well for the Party, as it will ensure that new faces get a chance to contest the elections. “It will also ensure that people who are actively working in the Organization, and those who listen to the workers, get a better chance at the hustings”, he asserts. Sanjay Chokkhar, a Congress leader from Haryana, who is part of the Team that is overseeing the Primaries in some constituencies, says that this experiment will ensure that there is no infighting over the selection of Contd on p 11 

make it more interesting, the Group performs while suspended in midair, leaving the spectators awestruck. “From Pole Dance gigs to Fire acts and singing, India’s Got Talent has seen it all. However being able to entertain today’s audience with traditional Yoga is a real challenge. I am glad that the Enthrall Group has been able to reach a national level, despite all the odds,” says Saini, Chairman of Marumal High School. He has been supporting the Group for the past five Contd on p 7 


28 February-6 March 2014

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319 Postal Regn. No. GRG/35/2012-2014, VOL.–3 No.–28  28 Feb-6 March 2014


Atul Sobti

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

Prakhar Pandey

Sr. Sub Editor:

Anita Bagchi

Sr. Designer:

Amit Singh

Circulation Execs.:

Sunil Yadav Manish Yadav

Sr. Exec Marketing:

Vikalp Panwar


Click is Slick Madhuri Kapur, a student of IIPM, spends over Rs. 20,000 on Online Shopping every month. Her mother finds it a convenient way to order grocery regularly, while her father places orders for even expensive items like smartphones and play stations online. The Kapur family truly seems to be in love with the Cyber World. Today clothes, phones, furniture and even day-to-day items are being purchased by many Online. The benefit of not having to wait in traffic jams and long queues at malls has made people turn Online for all their shopping needs. Madhuri says "With Online Shopping, you don't have to worry about finding a ‘parking spot’ in the market.

...P 9

Dy. Manager A/cs & Admin:

Shiv Shankar Jha

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:

published and printed by Atul Sobti on behalf of Arap Media Ventures Pvt. Ltd. from 213, Tower A, Spazedge, Sector 47, Sohna Road, Gurgaon 122018, Haryana. Printed at Indian Express Ltd., Plot No. A8, Sector 7, Gautam Budh Nagar, NOIDA – 201301, Uttar Pradesh

Medical Tourism is undoubtedly the new buzzword in Gurgaon. Ranging from medical care to mediclaim processing and diagnosis, foreigners are happy to outsource everything to the reputed private hospitals in the City. There are many success stories of foreign patients coming to India for complex surgeries. However,

What do Arugula, Bok choy, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Collard greens, Horseradish, Kale, Kohlrabi, Mustard greens, Radish, Rutabaga and Turnip have in common? All these vegetables are Cruciferous vegetables – a group that packs the highest amount of nutrients - especially Vitamin A,C, Folic acid, and fibre.

Wellness (Global)... Playschool for Vets

Bon Vivant... R.I.P. Monsieur Wacziarg

The stitches go in one by one - the blue surgical thread pulling the flaps of skin together, to close the cigarette-length gash that the blade has left. Isabella Monti, 15, holds up the banana, for teacher Olive Ashworth to check her suturing skills. It has the neat zipper pattern that would do any heart surgeon proud.

Hardly has there been a visitor to the Neemrana Fort Palace, Rajasthan who has come back without an anecdote to share or a story to tell. Floored by its indigenous and heritage charm, the unpretentious hospitality and the welcoming eyes of a Frenchman, every minute spent at Neemrana is a memoir in itself.

24FG Website & Facebook Page...

...P 17

Kid Corner Check out what Gurgaon kids are up to

Global Exclusive Global news and features, from 'dpa' Archive Check out all the earlier issues, sequentially G-Scape All our Photo-features Coming Up Plan your weekend 'dos'


...P 19

Plus Other Stories....

28 February-6 March 2014


NR to 08447355801

Wellness... Wrapped in goodness

...P 18

Tap on each of these for sub-categories


Social... Medical Migration

...P 8

Friday Gurgaon (Weekly) edited,

The views expressed in the opinion pieces and/or the columns are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, Friday Gurgaon or Arap Media Ventures Pvt. Ltd.

C ontents

Video/Photo Gallery of Events covered by FG


Inspiration Can Work Miracles............................P 15 Kid Corner

Activities / Events / Exhibitions / Shows/ Seminar/ Functions............................................................P 12 - 14 Politics

...P 24

Battleground Gurgaon.....................................P 1 0- 11

28 February-6 March 2014

H appenings


A SURGE Harvest

Anarchy With Falak!


he recent musical treat organised by Anarchy for their customers was well-received. Falak (Shabir) sang his favourite numbers - like Sajna, Mera Mann and Judah – and mesmerized the audience.


URGE (Society for the Regeneration of Gurgaon) set up the 125th. Water harvesting Unit in the CIty. It was inaugurated by the Gurgaon MP, Rao Inderjit SIngh.

Community Foundation


LF Foundation was conferred the Global CSR Excellence & Leadership Award 2014 in the Community Development category.

FG in Raahgiri


riday Gurgaon was happy to gift FG T-shirts to the kids participating in a run Bhaagta Bharat.

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


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28 February-6 March 2014


 Gurgaon Parliamentary constituency has 17.8 lakhs registered voters – up from 12.3 lakhs in 2009. A whole 5 lakhs plus voters! Last time the vote % was about 62. Meos and Ahirs dominate.  Budget Session starts in the Legislative Assembly, Chandigarh, with the opposition targeting the govt on multiple fronts, including corruption and lack of civic services. Specifically, the alleged Change of Land Use (CLU) scam and the Chief Parliamentary Secretary Fauji corruption case are brought up. 25 Opposition MLAs are suspended for creating a ‘ruckus’. Sirhaul Toll Plaza is dismantled. MCD, South Delhi to continue to run 4 or 6 toll booths. Kherki Daula Toll Plaza will now collect a larger fee, to ‘make up’ for Sirhaul. HC gives HUDA 2 weeks to scrutinize all lists and report cases of fraud in the alleged 8,255 HUDA plots allotment scam. CM offers sops – reduced property tax, new jobs, new universities and centres - on election eve. ABVP protests the State’s apathy towards 19-yearold Gurgaon student Narendra Yadav, who was selected from India (among 12 countries) to climb Everest. He has not been given any of the promised benefits by the Stat.

 A man kills a sweeper after an argument, in Nathupur Village; a woman is murdered in a failed robbery bid in Sector 4; 2 people – a man and a woman – die in road accidents.  A 28-year-old man commits suicide in Feroze Gandhi Colony; a shopkeeper, resident of DLF II, hangs himself.  3 criminals get 20 years in jail for raping 2 minor girls in May last year.  Court asks the Police to shield a runaway couple.  A Delhi-based beautician alleges rape by an NRI executive at his apartment in DLF V’ 3 persons are arrested for abducting and sexually assaulting a girl in a moving car, around Sector 5; a 16-year-old girl goes missing from Sohna Village; a minor girl goes missing, her friend is booked.  An infant suffers burns due to alleged negligence at a private hospital, Columbia Asia; 3 kids get serious burn injuries when a gas cylinder explodes in their house in Dharam Colony.  2 AAP members allege they were attacked by BJP men, in Sector 9.  A woman’s mangalsutra is snatched from her by bike borne miscreants; she fights back and ‘shoots’

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at them with a revolver that they have dropped while trying to run. ‘Fortunately’, the revolver was not loaded. The Police bust a gang of 8 robbers; 3 robbers, part of an inter-State gang and wanted in many cases, are held; a gang of jewellery thieves is busted. Miscreants trying to grab a car at gunpoint are overpowered by villagers. An ex-IAS officer’s briefcase, with Rs 1.5 lakhs cash in it, is stolen at the MCG Office; a man’s wallet is snatched and Rs 16,000 robbed from him, outside a Bank; domestic help flees with jewellery worth Rs 3 lakhs. 18 students fall victim to a job fraud and lose upto Rs 25,000 each – they were ‘promised’ jobs in Metro Rail; a man is duped of Rs 40,000 in a job fraud; a job fraudster, who promised jobs in Maruti, is arrested. There is a minor fire in a jewellery showroom at Gold Souk, and a fire in the kitchen of a restaurant in MGF Megacity Mall.

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‘shops’ in Sadar Bazar area and the confiscation of goods by the MCG. MCG is dragged to the Lokayukta by a resident of Sector 22, for continued shoddy sanitation work, despite protests. Illegal ‘paid parking’ is removed from Sushant Lok I – however, residents are apprehensive that it may return LPG Distributors take back their strike call. There are 28 Distributors in the City. There is a strike by over 500 workers at Bajaj Motors. They are demanding reinstatement of 15 workers. A book fair opens in Dronacharya College in New Railway Road – open till March 6th. Discounts upto 90% are on offer! ‘Raahgiri’ area has been extended to a loop around Sector 43, including Golf Course Road and DLF Phase V. There are some protests from residents this week. 150 riders participate in the 35km 3rd. Mountain Biking Race. Nehru Stadium to be renovated soon – budget approved. Cyber City to have Pink parking for women drivers. Mahashivratri is celebrated with gusto.

  A delay is expected in the preparation of the MCG  Budget for the new year. Some things never change.  MCG Portal is on-again-off-again, leading to frustration for residents wishing to lodge complaints or 0124 4787820, 18001031700, 9717890175. know the status of complaints filed.  CM and the Chief Justice of Punjab & Haryana High Court lay the foundation for the proposed Tower of Justice. Meanwhile, the outlay for this has increased from an estimated Rs 113 crores to Rs 225 crores. The CM announces a ‘welfare fund’ for Advocates as also a ‘reserved’ chance for them to get HUDA plots! Herbal Cosmetic Queen Padma Shree Shahnaz  Sushant Lok and many other areas Husain is the CEO of the suffer a water crisis – no water for Shahnaz Husain Group – 3 days – ostensibly for repair work India’s leading company in being undertaken, without any the field of natural beauty intimation! and anti-aging treatments.  Sector 12A jhuggi dwellers get respite from the HC – will not be evicted till alternate accommodation Q. What can I do to prevent my elbows from getting dry? No is not provided. matter which cream I put, the dryness doesn't seem to go.  Marble traders attack demolition Please help. staff that has come to raze the allegedly illegal market. The hearing SH Mix curd with rice powder or ground almonds and use as a in the High Court is meanwhile scrub on the elbows three times a week. Rub gently on the postponed by over a month; skin and wash off with water. This will refine the skin and vendors protest demolition of their

Watch and listen to

'Hai Ye Gurgaon Meri Jaan' a ballad on Gurgaon, based on the legendary song... 'Ye hai Bombay Meri Jaan'. OR View it at the FG Facebook page at

NH8 Helplines

4U 4


by ShahnaZ

allow better absorption of creams and moisturisers. Apply sesame seed (til) oil daily and massage it into the skin. Immediately, after your bath, apply cream while the skin is still damp. A lemon-turmeric cream would help. 
Nidhi Agarwal

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

28 February-6 March 2014

Workshop In50hrs Delhi Date: Feb 28 Time: 5:30 pm Venue: Thoughtworks In50hrs is an ‘Idea to Prototype’ Event, where Ideas meet talent and build Prototypes. Over a weekend you learn about Prototyping, how to pitch and form teams - and build some of the interesting Ideas into functional Prototypes.

AAP Gurgaon Women Meet Date: March 2 Time: 1 pm Venue: Sec. 4-7 Chowk, Railway Road Women have always played a very important role in every movement. This Meet will give you a chance to meet all the women who are working to bring about change, and to share your thoughts and ideas - so that everyone can feel comfortable in working with AAP.

Delhi Biker’s Fest Date: March 2 Time: 6 am Meeting Point: Ambience Mall Destination Point: Damdama Lake

‘Delhi Biker’s Fest - Motorcycling At Its Best!’ is hosted by Delhi Bikers Breakfast Run (DBBR), an inter-club group of seasoned bikers who have aspired to bring about ‘unity in diversity’ among the Delhi motorcycle community since 2009. Keeping the same spirit of ‘Ride-Respect-Relax’ that DBBR stands for, they are hosting a familyfriendly, one-day Festival on 2nd March. The goal is to experience and exhibit the best of Delhi Bikers and its clubs in a non-alcoholic, highly creative atmosphere. There will be tasty food and chai stalls, biker merchandise, live bands, motivational adventure stories in the seminar section, movies, photo and art exhibits, vintage and classic bikes line-up and so much more. Self Defence Workshop for Women Date: March 6 & 7 Time: 3 pm Venue: Epicentre Open Hand Combat Gurgaon organizes a Self Defence Workshop for women.

Paani Panchaayat with Dr.Kiran Bedi Date: March 2 Time: 11 am to 1 pm Venue: Navjyoti India Foundation, Nayagaon, Gurgaon Navjyoti India Foundation cordially invites everybody for ‘Paani Panchaayat’ with Dr. Kiran Bedi on 2nd March, 11:00 am to 1:00 pm at the Project Site Office: Navjyoti India Foundation, Dhumaspur Road, Nayagaon (Bhondsi). It’s high time that we take some concrete steps to save the depleting

C oming U p


water table of Gurgaon. As per the recent surveys, there will be no water in Gurgaon by the year 2017 - which is alarming. We request you to be our partners in this endeavour

Art Exhibition Melodies of Eternal India Date: Feb 28 to March 2 Time: 12pm to 8 pm Venue: Epicentre A series of paintings devoted to his first trip to India - a Solo Exhibition by Allamurat Muhanmedow International Ishara Puppet Festival – Seven Baby Goats Date: March 1 Time: 7:30 pm Venue: Epicentre The story of Mama Goat and her kids, and the Bad Wolf.

Shivratri Celebrations by Mogly's Gurukul Date: March 1 Time: 11am to 12.30 pm Venue: Mogly’s Gurukul, 3/42, Shanti Niketan Age group: 1 to 7 years Mogly’s invites all kids to come and celebrate the festival of Shivratri with us. We will do Shivji’s ‘abhishek’ with all pure things, hear his story, make our own ‘damroos’ to dance and eat yummy fruits!


Culture scape

The 19th European Union Film Festival in India. Delhi: 28 February – 11 March. Venue: Voices of Youth 19th European Film Festival Venue - British Council 17 Kasturba Gandhi Marg New Delhi 110 001 19 award-winning films will all be screened in national languages, with subtitles in English. Entry to the Festival is free, on a first-come basis. Films: Killing Bono, Sneakers, Bright Vision, Love me or Leave Me, Hope is a strange place, Love like Poison etc.

Artworks by Puja Sethi From March 1 to 21; Timing 24x7 Beanstalk, Hotel Galaxy Shopping & Spa, NH-8, Sector-15  Puja Sethi's present area of work is realism and naturalism in Art.

'The Dark Shines' - A Solo Show of Drawings by Lakshaman Prasad Venue- Triveni Gallery,Triveni Kala Sangam,Tansen Marg, New Delhi. The Exhibition will continue till the 4th of March , 2014 Time - 11:00 am to 07:00 pm Daily


S ocial

28 February-6 March 2014

Teaching & Learning { Anita Jaswal }


eachers used to be basically told what to teach, and how to teach it. They were expected to use the same methods for all students. In today's world of education, a teacher's role has become quite multifaceted. They need to also counsel students, and help them learn how and where to use their knowledge, while integrating it with their lives – for the betterment of themselves and society. Teachers are now encouraged to ‘tune’ into each student, and try to constantly challenge and inspire him/her to learn. This is what some teachers of some premier schools had to say regarding the changing teacher-student relationship.

Deepshikha Chawla of St Angels School, Sec 45, feels, “The high level of curiosity of the students and the aspiration levels of teachers has led to a new era of ‘learning’. Gone are the days when books held all the knowledge. The search for information and the exploration of knowledge is just a click away. Classroom dictations have gvein way to discussions and dialogues. The pursuit of knowledge now leads to an expansion of the minds and to questioning, rather than a simple acceptance of the ‘facts’. ‘Why’ is the new keyword for the understanding of any concept. Classwork has been modified into an ever- learning audio visual experience; and homework requires more of reasoning than the duplication of textbooks on paper. Learning and teaching have become the means to discovery, rather than the simple transfer of ‘discovered knowledge’. Preeti Saxena of St Angels School says, “Teachers are the builders of a nation. Today the relationship between the teachers and students has changed; and the style and techniques are very different. Earlier, teachers’ words were taken as ‘the law’, but now teaching and learning is based on ‘Learning by Doing’. Today Learning has become quite easy – through activities, excursions and workshops. Technology and the and Net have made students more aware and self-reliant. They want to explore new things, always wanting to discuss and learn. This has forced teachers to be more responsible and to try and discover more innovative ways of teaching. Sushma Rajat of St Angels School says, “The growing competitiveness and the drive for success has made students very hardworking and driven, with a keen desire to bring about change. With this change in the outlook of students, a change in the methods of teaching was also called for. Today’s teaching is more dynamic, using a blend of theoretical and realworld application-based knowledge. it has become a medium to make students innovative thinkers and problem solvers - ready to think out-of-thebox to achieve their goals and ready to take on the world. Ragini Ranjana Mall of Lotus Valley International School says, “Today’s child lives in a digitalfocused world. Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) have blossomed in classrooms around the world at an exceedingly

rapid pace. Educators face growing challenges as they teach a very ‘wired’ generation of students; and technology continues to evolve at a fast pace. This generation wants to be in full control of their lives - which includes learning.The idea of chalk, blackboard and notebooks sounds preposterous to them. They baulk at rote learning and memorizing. They demand the freedom to display their creativity - however ‘wild’. They need to be constantly challenged, or they ‘zone out’. They are open to change. From politics to the environment, today’s learners are asking questions and demanding answers. Teachers are now required to have similar digital skills, and also be innovative. They need to keep pace with the enthusiasm of their stiudents, to keep them interested and focused in the classrooms. Monidipa Mukherjee of Shalom Hills International School feels, “The most successful teaching technique involves a variety of different methods, in order to accommodate each student's unique learning style. Students grasp the course material when they are focused, engaged and interested. They should discuss what they are learning and relate it to past experiences as well as apply it to their daily lives. Students should work together, collaborate their ideas and practice active learning. Teachers should bring in props and visual aids to stimulate mental activity. Asha Vashisht of St Angels School feels, “The success of the teaching-learning process depends on a healthy and positive relationship between the teachers and students. This is nurtured by open communication between the two, and by the emotional – in addition to academic – support provided by teachers. The ideal teacher-student relationship is one where both learn, and adapt to, new ideas and innovative techniques. Teachers must now rise further to the occasion. With good use of technology, we need to become more innovative, because now the students are not just the recipients of knowledge but discoverers and explorers themselves.” After teaching for several years in Gurgaon, Poonam Nagpal is now with The Saudi Embassy School, Delhi. She says, “I have noticed a seachange in the attitude of students. Schools have become more testing and results-based, and this has removed a lot of creativity and enjoyable learning from the classrooms. The students are not given enough opportunity to relate to learning or recognise its relevance. No wonder they are disengaged and sit in the class as if they don’t care. They want to send a message to the society that they are more than a ‘test score’. Many of them may have trouble in focusing, but most of them are great with technology – though of course their choices are changing as fast as the technology. Students now feel that they do not need to internalise much, since the Internet will provide the answers. They are more ‘visual’, and the teaching methods have been slow in accommodating this change. Let us also never forget that parents are still very relevant in the Learning process, and need to play an important role. u

Beech Wale (pun intended) Hanso zaroor hansao sabko Badi cheez hai hansna Par gairon pe hansne se behtar hai Pahle apne ooper hansna Umra hamaari kuch beech ki si hai Shumaar hote nahin buddhon mein Na hi naujawaanon mein Jaise ki hum ‘Beech Wale’ hain Aankh khul jaati hai subah tadke hi Bade boodhon ki tarah Aur neend aati nahin der tak Kyunki jawani abhi baaki hai… Tabhi to lagta hai ki hum Beech Wale hain Gaana gaate hain to Mukesh aur Rafi ke Lateefe achche lagte hain Kaka Haathrasi ke Filmein to yaad aati hain Madhubala ki Par TV ka remote ruk jaata hai Jab dikh jaati hai Mallika ya Rakhi Ab kya kya ginayen kitni misaalen hain Jo dikhati hain ki hum Beech Wale hain Suna tha saath ke ho kar Insaan sathiya jaate hain Yeh to achcha hai ki Gurgaon mein Apne jaise bahut se nazar aate hain Woh apne aap ko buddha samjhen ya jawan Humen to yahaan bahut se Beech Wale nazar aate hain. Ashok Lal . The Poet is a 68-year-old Beech Wala. A retired Airlines’ Engineering Executive, he is a Stage IV Cancer patient who has maintained his will power and sense of humour and hopes to zestfully enjoy his remaining years. He is an active member of the DLF Senior Citizens’ Council and a member of a poetry group called Delhi Poetree. He is also involved in Ethics, Integrity, Morality and Governance issues, with a Group called IC Centre for Governance.

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28 February-6 March 2014

C over S tory

Enthralling Talent

 Contd from p 1 years, as the members come from economically poor backgrounds. Enthrall Group has not only received accolades from all the three judges at the talent show, it has received phenomenal response online and from people across the country. What sets the Group apart is the dexterity and skill with which every team member performs complex movements. For the lead dancer and choreographer, Devendra Bharadwaj, practising Yoga is as necessary as having a meal. It is this passion that led him to train the underprivileged children of

his village. He has been training a team of 13 boys for the last four years - in Yoga and Acrobatics. “We simply use Dance expressions as an extension of Yoga. In fact it increases our possibilities for play, imagination and self-expression. The practice of Acrobatics, on the other hand, helps Dancers to have better control over their bodies. All this combined makes for an interesting performance,” says Bharadwaj. Besides ensuring physical fitness and concentration, Yogasanas help dancers to be more creative. Veerabhadrasana, for instance, creates a fish-figure,

while Udhdhithapadangushtasana is used to create the Nataraja pose. All this helps bring immense creativity and variation in a Dance performance. The members practise every day for more than 10 hours. The Group has won many national-level awards. With an aim to give something back to the society, the Group also follows the ‘Gurukul’ method, wherein members are trained to do Yagnas, animal rescues, tree plantations and other social activities for the betterment of their Village. For many of them, life has changed completely after they joined the Group. For Rahul, Yoga is a great stressbuster. “We learn ‘mudras’ and ‘pranayama’, which help in increasing concentration and in relaxing the body. Most of the children in our Group live in villages situated in Gurgaon. They live in a city where people travel in luxury cars and children go to McDonalds every day. Many times it causes a lot of anxiety and stress to our children, as their parents can’t afford all this. Practicing Yoga helps in providing them the much-needed mental stability, he says. Putting forth a success story, Bharadwaj says, “Yoga has worked as magic for many group members. One of the most active members of the group, Rohit, was not able

to concentrate in studies. He was not interested in any sports or extra-curriculum activities either. Although initially he was not keen to join Yoga classes, one of his teachers encouraged him. Today he is one of the best performers in the Group. His academic performance has also improved. It is really amazing to see him living a disciplined life.” Apart from a lack of infrastructure and no financial support, convincing the parents to send their kids for Yoga classes was a big challenge. “Most of these parents are struggling to


earn a living. Many of the children work after school. Moreover, parents don’t understand the importance of learning Yoga. So it was hard to convince parents. It is strange that in the same city, people living in posh colonies are willing to pay high fees to train their kids in Yoga, while villagers feel that it is a complete waste of time,” says Bharadwaj. It is unfortunate that young groups like Enthrall hardly get any financial support. Corporates tend to donate to big NGOs, and aid from the government seems to be out of the reach of the underprivileged. The efforts of Bharadwaj are therefore commendable, as he has been able to blend a unique combination of Yoga, Dance and Acrobatics, and take it to a National level – with a band of enthusiastic – and now privileged - children. For all the members, the exposure to ‘lights and camera’ is a new experience. For Ravinder, who performs Acrobatics extremely well, the stage of India’s Got Talent is an opportunity to prove to his villagers that Dancing is an Art. “My parents feel that only academics can lead to a successful career. I want to prove them wrong,” smilesRavinder. The members have also been looking at how things work backstage. “It is good to know about the movement of the camera. I have been looking at possibilities of using the whole stage so that it generates interesting moves and comes out well in video recording. We just need the good wishes and lots of SMS votes from my City, so that we reach the Finals,” says Bharadwaj. u


28 February-6 March 2014

S ocial

Medical Migration { Shilpy Arora / FG }

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edical Tourism is undoubtedly the new buzzword in Gurgaon. Ranging from medical care to mediclaim processing and diagnosis, foreigners are happy to outsource everything to the reputed private hospitals in the City. There are many success stories of foreign patients coming to India for complex surgeries. However, not many people know that there is a downside too. Medical Tourism has brought to the fore issues like the illegal and unchecked ‘immigration’ of foreigners. A recent RTI query by Dr. Rajan Mehta revealed that more than 200 ‘illegal’ immigrants from 12 countries arrived in the City last year on medical visas. They landed at Delhi Airport, with the help of those ‘genuine’ visas, but never reached the hospitals! “The recent arrest of two Nigerians, near Kapashera, has brought this issue to light. It is not only Nigerians who have found Medical Tourism as an easy way to enter India - people from Bangladesh, Kenya and China are also coming via this route,” says a senior executive at a City-based medical industry company. A Medical category visa, an ‘M Visa’, is issued on the basis of an online application filed by the patient on the website of a hospital or a medical industry company. The patients are also asked to send their medical reports. After ‘scrutinising’ the reports, the hospital sends a clearance letter, which goes to the Indian Mission in the concerned country – and, given the confirmation by the hospital, the approval of visa is normally easy. The hospital checks the documents of the preliminary medical advice from the patient’s country of residence online, and also checks if the patient has been advised to go for specialised medical treatment. The Indian Mission can only crosscheck with the hospital about the medical condition of the patient. It is not difficult to produce fake medical reports. Putting forth an example, Dr. Mehta explains, “Last year we came across more than five such cases. A patient from Bangladesh produced ‘genuine’ documents online for his obesity condition. He wanted to get a liposuction procedure done in India. But when our representatives reached the airport to pick him up, he was not there. Till date we have no clue about this patient.” Medical Tourism visas are also issued to those seeking medical attendance at small Ayurvedic centres in the City. “Although the aim is to promote Indian alternative therapies, it gives rise to ‘illegal’ migration and sometimes to drug trafficking and prostitution,” says Dr. Nirmal Yadav, who runs the Centre for Pranic Healing near MG Road. Every year more than 50 foreign patients visit Dr. Yadav. The ‘M Visa’ also allows the family members of the patients to accompany them to India – and in some cases whole families seem to have ‘stayed back’. The initial period for a Medical visa may be upto a period of one year, and it can be extended. Foreigners coming on an ‘M visa’ need to get themselves registered within a period of 14 days from arrival, with the concerned Foreigner Regional Registration Office (FRRO). Of course, those who never reach the hospital would never register themselves at the FRROs. A senior doctor at a private hospital informs, “Such migrants either come to India for jobs or get involved in illegal activities such as drug trafficking and prostitution. It is not a minor issue. I am sure that medical

representatives and big companies in countries like Bangladesh and Nigeria are involved in it.” Such cases have obviously made the City hospitals more disciplined and forced them to adopt stricter systems and standardised processes for the checking and approval of cases involving an ‘M Visa’. Insurance companies and medical representatives also need to make sure that such practices are discouraged. Recently a circular has been issued by the Gurgaon Police, to all hospitals and Medical Tourism companies, to verify the identities of all foreign patients as also their medical documents. “I am not sure how many hospitals are going to decline requests for Medical visas, just because the patient is not able to produce his/her identity proof. Besides, identity proofs can be faked, just like medical documents! I think that it is the responsibility of the Police to keep an eye on foreigners living in hotels and guest houses in the City,” says the executive of a medical industry company. While hospitals feel that a strict visa policy may result in a reduction in Medical Tourism, foreign patients also seem worried. Wakar Ahmed Kureshi, an expat from Africa who is undergoing a treatment at Paras, says, “I have already been asked six times to show my identity documents. My wife didn’t have any ‘valid’ identity proof so she couldn’t accompany me. In 2009 when I came to India with my brother for his knee replacement surgery, the procedure was much easier.” While hospitals can’t afford to make procedures complex for foreign patients, the issue can’t be ignored by the authorities. It is therefore important to increase vigilance in the City and make sure the hotels and guesthouses follow ‘legal’ procedures while offering accommodation to foreigners. Moreover, locals can help by being vigilant and reporting any suspicious activity. We can do without imported problems...we have enough of our own.u

I Will Be A Survivor { Archana Kapoor Nagpal } I have a lump in my breast And it hurts when I touch it I experience needle-stabbing pains And diaphragmatic breathing gives no relief I lie awake at night With negative thoughts gnawing at my mind Deep inside my heart I struggle to answer my own question And the answer is deliberately vague… I still do not believe in fate. My life is changing Each hour brings a new challenge Some days are uplifting But my smile is always missing I am struggling in my battle with pain The see-saws between hope and fear I am just tired of depression… In that corner of the room I sit in my rocking chair And I think about my future. I am living one day after another I have some unfulfilled dreams in my heart Cancer does not define me But chemotherapy seems never ending It makes me feel feeble It causes severe body aches My hands shake all the time And my heart sinks into my chest I embrace the rosary in my bag As I have not lost my faith in God. Daffodils are blooming in my garden, At this time of year The countryside is so lush and green I can see a butterfly with one wing Leaning against the wall But the butterfly doesn’t give up… And this is when the feeling sinks in I am ready to fight another battle Tears rolling down my cheeks I give myself a smile. I am comfortable flaunting my bald head And I welcome a new day in life When negativity surrounds me I keep my spirits high When I am in pain I find reasons to stay happy I don’t feel beautiful anymore And people do not notice me as well But I am fighting breast cancer And I will be a survivor.

S ocial

28 February-6 March 2014

{ Shilpy Arora / FG }

write to us at


adhuri Kapur, a student of IIPM, spends over Rs. 20,000 on Online Shopping every month. Her mother finds it a convenient way to order grocery regularly, while her father places orders for even expensive items like smartphones and play stations online. The Kapur family truly seems to be in love with the Cyber World. Today clothes, phones, furniture and even day-to-day items are being purchased by many Online. The benefit of not having to wait in traffic jams and long queues at malls has made people turn Online for all their shopping needs. Madhuri says "With Online Shopping, you don't have to worry about finding a ‘parking spot’ in the market. I love the convenience of being able to shop even at midnight!" Online shopping has completely redefined the way people make their buying decisions, as products can readily and conveniently be evaluated on the basis of quality, cost and availability – including doorstep delivery and payment. For Garima Roy, a housewife based in Sector 56, Online Shopping has become an easy way to save money. "There are a lot of websites where you can evaluate products and compare prices. If I like a product and a price today, but don't have the funds to buy it, I can register, and they will intimate me if/when the same or similar discount is available on the same product. That is how I was able to get heavy discounts on even branded kitchenware." Last month Garima had bought a Philips hand-blender for just Rs. 2,000, while the market price is Rs. 4,500. She also bought cosmetics of Elle Paris at just US$40, while the market price is US$120. Online Shopping offers a promising platform for retailers too. In fact some retailers are now completely relying on e-commerce, to also save on costly commercial real estate. Besides, Online provides instantaneous global reach. Shikha Pandey, who set up an Online Jewellery business in 2010, with a Facebook page, says "My products are highly customised. You can bring the old jewellery of your mother and I will customise it into a contemporary piece, depending on your need and preference. Earlier I used to get two or three orders a week. Today I receive more than 20 orders a day from across the country. This has been possible only through e-

Click is Slick


commerce" Shikha's brand, ‘I Love Jewellery’, has become famous in just four years, thanks to the Online Shopping of her customers. Om Prakash, Managing Director, Digital Sales, Fab Furnish, feels that e-commerce has introduced more sophistication and competition, and therefore the customer is going to benefit a lot. "Everything is going Online. I am surprised to see traditional buyers and even the elderly making purchases on our Online Portal. Of course, we still encourage our buyers to visit the nearby store once, to understand the item in a better manner and get a ‘feel’ of it," he says.

Latest Trends

As some traditional customers still find it difficult to shop Online and feel the need to ‘try out’ clothes and have a feel of an item, ecommerce websites now offer Online Trials! It is called a ‘Virtual Trial Room’. The website runs a technology that allows users to virtually try out clothes, jewellery and eye wear, either through a web camera or through premodelled mannequins. Some retailers use live video and live chats to show how the customer would look in a 3D model. A photo of the buyer can also be placed on the 3D model, to check if the colour, style and pattern of a product suits him/her. Myntra recently introduced Fitiquette, a one-of-its-kind virtual fitting room. Moreover, it offers this solution as a mobile application as well, through the 'Style Studio' app. Lawania,

Head, Sales and Marketing, Myntra says, "The challenge is how to provide an experience to customers so that they can check how a dress fits and how it looks on them. After the introduction of virtual trials, we have recorded a10 per cent increase in the conversions." 'Zovi Eye', offered by another fashion retailer, Zovi, provides virtual trials along with live chat, through an interactive web camera application. Another online store, Lenscart, which sells glasses, offers a unique 3D model Online. Buyers can upload their pictures and try out any pair of spectacles or sunglasses. A virtual trial room has ensured customers an Online Shopping experience at par with ‘physical shopping’. "I was always apprehensive. I never thought clothes could be bought without a physical check and a trial. But when my son told me about virtual trial rooms, I had given it a shot. Finally it worked for me," smiles 65-year-old Harpreet Singh. But his wife still feels that Online retail stores can never replace ‘Offline Shopping’, as she wants to have a good feel of the product - which she says is not possible Online. Online shopping also offers attractive ‘returns’ policies. It is in fact considered a major marketing tool, since it is an effective way to make customers feel more ‘comfortable’ with Online Shopping. Some brands such as eLuxe and Wal-Mart offers ‘free returns’ upto a year! Retailers understand that to encourage people to shop Online, they need to remove the hurdles. "In India, many people are still not very comfortable with the idea

of Online Shopping. It is therefore important to roll out a ‘free returns’ policy, especially for Fashion websites. Our return rate is just about 20 to 25 per cent – considered ‘decent’ for Online. It is a part of our cost," feels Shikha. Retail-based Social Networks are a buzzing trend. Brands build up a social network of their own customers to create communities of likeminded people. Facebook groups can also be used for such networking. For example, a Facebook group set up exclusively for golf lovers allows big and small retailers to sell various tools, equipment and specialised magazines based on golf. "We have received a good response to specialised groups, as we can access and target specific customers. Transacting e-commerce through a social networking platform is picking up speed in a city like Gurgaon," says Om Prakash. Further, there are a number of sites such as Snapdeal, Groupon and Ebay, where buyers can get very attractive Online deals. Interestingly, a local vegetable seller has come up with an innovative idea. A City-based portal, goonions sells vegetables for one rupee per kilogram at times. Talking about his plans, the Founder of the site says, "My father has been selling vegetables and fruits in the City. We have also been providing home delivery, with the help of delivery boys. I suggested my father to introduce vegetables at a lower price Online, so that the portal becomes popular. Managing this is not very difficult, since we already have a network of delivery boys." Now the Portal is also catering to the Dwarka area and


plans to expand to the rest of Delhi and other cities soon.

The Downside

Many people feel that Online Shopping encourages a materialistic culture. According to a study, more than 60 lakhs people in North India are credit card defaulters for late payments. They mostly spend money on Online Shopping. Earlier shopping was primarily a weekly activity or outing, with the family involved. Today, with the advent of Online Shopping, it is just a click away – and has given rise to ‘shopping addiction’. Even Garima, who loves Online Shopping, admits, "I have noticed a dangerous trend on e-commerce sites. They showcase outfits of Miley Cyrus and Kareena Kapoor on sale. My daughter sometimes buys products that have no use. Last month she bought a replica of a bikini that was worn by Miley Cyrus! She is not going to wear it. It is just the acquisition of a product – that too a replica - used by a celebrity that makes her happy." Fraud and theft – especially with credit card purchases - are other disadvantages. Buyers should ensure that an Online Shopping website is secure and protected and has all the details clearly displayed on the website itself. Read the Privacy Policy to check what they will do with your personal and purchase information. Recounting an incident, Ashutosh says, "We receive a couple of complaints every month, wherein buyers claim that they have made a payment on our website, but it doesn't show up in our accounts. There are many fake websites. They generally use the same name as a reputed website – maybe play with some spelling. For example, if a genuine website is , they will register a URL - www.onlineshoping. com. The look and feel of the website would also be the same. Besides, they would offer heavy discounts on even branded products, to pull you in. People get attracted to these ‘exclusive Online deals’ and end up losing money." It is therefore important to subscribe only to trusted websites and download only secure mobile applications. There are even fake shopping mobile applications that can hack the mobile phone and track your bank details, if you have subscribed to Phone Banking. There is also a need for ecommerce sites to make easyto-read terms and conditions. Undoubtedly, Online Shopping is a unique and needed solution for today’s times. We should all be encouraged to shop Online. u


Battleground Gurgaon

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon


ith Lok Sabha elections nearing, the swords are being drawn in the run up to the polls in the prestigious Gurgaon Parliamentary elections, with BJP and AAP trading charges – and Congress yet to make up its mind. While AAP's Yogender Yadav is a ‘son of the soil’ and claims support from the disgruntled populace, Congress rebel Rao Inderjit, the incumbent, is a royal scion, who is all set to be the BJP candidate. Rao Inderjit's candidature is likely to made official in a few days, which will also end all speculation. Accusing Aam Aadmi Party of misleading the people, GL Sharma, a close confidante of Rao Inderjit, alleges that Kejriwal's party has not graduated from being protesters to a responsible political outfit. “They are trying to create a movement based on deception. Kejriwal used Anna Hazare, Swami Ramdev and many more, who were then dumped by AAP later on”, alleges Sharma. When not even a single promise has been fulfilled by AAP, how is the Party now claiming that it will change the face of politics, he queries. In his opinion, AAP is the B-team of the Congress Party, and has been set up and supported to thwart the march of Modi. “The recent distribution of tickets by AAP


P olitical

28 February-6 March 2014

clearly shows that ‘big’ names have been given tickets against BJP candidates, and this is part of a Congress plan to undercut the BJP - by ‘ensuring’ that anti-Congress votes are split”, asserts the veteran politician, who has fought many a poll battle for his erstwhile (Congress) Party. It was his acumen that ensured that the Congress won the MCG polls in Gurgaon, and a Mayor from Rao Inderjit’s ‘camp’ was installed. It is a different matter that the infighting within the Congress (CM versus Rao) has ensured that the MCG Mayor (and even the Councillors) has remained a defunct authority - with no support coming from the government and the bureaucracy. Accusing AAP of practising double standards, Sharma alleges that while Kejriwal accused Delhi Police of being corrupt, they have allowed entry to a former Haryana DGP and several other bureaucrats into their Party. “Does wearing the AAP cap turn a corrupt bureaucrat into an honest man?” he asks. Referring to the claims being made by Yogender Yadav, that he was the son of the soil, Sharma alleges that where were Kejriwal and his coterie when farmers and industrial workers were being given short-shrift by the Haryana government. “Why has he

he Haryana Janhit Congress (BL), which was formed by late Haryana Chief Minister Bhajan Lal's son Kuldip Bishnoi in 2007, is likely to emerge as an important player in the post election scenario in the State. With a 9.5 per cent vote share in the last Assembly polls, the Party is expecting to capitalise on peoples' anger against the Hooda government. The alliance with the BJP is also likely to benefit the Party and its young supremo, Bishnoi, who has a clean image, believes Gurgaonbased HAJKA leader Mahesh Dayma. He is also an MCG Councillor from Ward No 32. Dayma asserts that their alliance with the BJP, which is based on equal seat sharing, will withstand the choppy political waters and ensure that both the parties will form the next government in the State. HAJKA has a strong base in and around Hisar, from where he is also the MP. In fact Bishnoi's victory against Ajay Chautala of INLD and senior Congress leader Jai Prakash, also helped in establishing him as one of the top nonJat leaders in the State. This was further

woken up now from his sleep? Is it not just for the poll? Yogender Yadav, and earlier his father, has been promoting a particular thought through an NGO, which has been rejected in Rewari, and even across Haryana”, he claims. Rao Inderjit fought along with the farmers in Gurgaon, Rewari, Bawal and other parts of the State, and even spoke against his own government, for their failure to bring about equitable development and employment in South Haryana. “How can an outsider come now and claim ‘leadership’, that too with ‘glossy slogans’ - which surely will attract only certain sections of society, and will not even be heard by the rural populace”, quips Sharma. He also wants to know why, despite India being a Federal State, Kejriwal insisted on having a separate Janlokpal for Delhi, which he knew was not going to be allowed by the Central govern-

cemented by his wife's victory from Adampur Assembly constituency. Dayma asserts that HAJKA under the leadership of young Bishnoi is going to bring about equitable development across the State. “Builders rule the roost in the State, and there is nothing that the government has done to end inflation, corruption and the forcible acquisition of land from farmers”, he says. “If our alliance comes to power, the land acquired from farmers for the scrapped Reliance SEZ would be returned”, he says. This issue was raised by their top leader even when he was in the Congress, but even at that time the Party had failed to listen to the grievances of the people. Dayma says that their Party has taken out Padyatras, sat on fasts and even got beaten up by the police for opposing land acquisitions, and for siding with the farmers. He says that in Haryana there has been a visible decline in the law and order, and the crimes against women and the weaker

ment. The resignation drama in Delhi was just another ploy to capture the imagination of gullible voters and ensure that BJP's urban vote is not consolidated - which is a part of the Congress strategy, alleges Sharma. “Why has AAP forgotten the list of corrupt leaders it had earlier released? Not even a single candidate has been announced against those listed,” he says. He pointedly remarks that both Arvind Kejriwal and Yogender Yadav were part of UPA's National Advisory Committee, and have been closely working with the Congress leadership. “Why is there no referendum on the distribution of tickets, why ‘big aadmis’ are being given tickets - Kejriwal needs to explain,” he says. While Sharma discounts AAP in Haryana as a political force, he agrees that it would hit the BJP more in close contests, as the Congress is already a spent force in the State. When asked about what Rao Inderjit had done for Gurgaon in

sections are rising. “The current government has failed on all fronts, and there is disillusionment among the masses, which will ensure that people vote out the Congress from power. Our vote share in the election is going to increase greatly”, asserts Dayma. Pointing to the recent entry of Rao Inderjit Singh into the BJP, he says, “He has the stature and the followers, which will benefit the alliance”, claims Dayma. He adds that all past nonCongress governments in the State have had some sort of alliance with the BJP. “We are the only alternative for a clean and stable government, which will end corruption and nepotism in Haryana. There is also a need to ensure that the discrimination in development, which has been perpetuated by the Congress, is brought to an end”, he asserts. For Gurgaon, Dayma says that urban local bodies like MCG will be empowered and the entire City including HUDA and private areas

particular, and South Haryana in general, for which people should vote for him, Sharma dishes out a list of major works that have been carried out by their leader. “More that the work, people will vote for him because he has fought their battle with the Congress State leadership, and even the High Command. It was because Rao Inderjit Singh became a representative of the peoples' anger that Congress sidelined him”, he asserts. He says that they will act fast after coming to power. The idea of a Gurgaon Development Authority will be taken to its conclusion, the Metro Rail will also be brought to ‘old’ Gurgaon, and relief will be given to the lakhs of residents living in the disputed 900 meter area around the Ammunition Depot. The land deals and CLU scam will also be probed. Rao’s decision to join the BJP also came about after numerous Rao supporters, many of whom are ex-servicemen, exhorted him to help Narendra Modi become the Prime Minister. With Rao Inderjit now in the BJP, Sharma says that the Party has got a major fillip in South Haryana; and after the Parliamentary polls, the next goal would be to ensure that the next Chief Minister would be from South Haryana – and no prizes for guessing who that would be..u

- would be brought under the civic agency. Today even basic civic services are not available to most residents. Being a Councillor, he also understands the lack of power of the elected representatives, and says that their Party will ensure that this discrepancy also ends once they assume power. There has been little development in Gurgaon despite it producing massive revenue and paying large amounts as EDC to the State exchequer. “While flyovers are needed in Gurgaon, these are being built in Rohtak. The Waste Treatment Plant is in a shambles and the bureaucracy just does not listen”, asserts Dayma. He also promises that builders will be made accountable and action taken against those players who do not deliver what has been promised. About his own political prospects, Dayma says that he will prefer to fight the Assembly election from Sohna constituency. “I have been working both in Gurgaon and Sohna, and it will be a privilege to fight and win a seat for HAJKA”, he asserts. Dayma hopes to Contd on p 11 

28 February-6 March 2014


he large turnout in the Rohtak Rally organized by the Aam Aadmi Party in the citadel of Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, has sent alarm bells ringing in the Congress - while BJP is worried about the implications of the spread of Kejriwal’s party across Haryana. Political watchers say that more than the turnout, the AAP Rally in Rohtak carries a broader political message. With Congress fortunes on the wane due to allegations of corruption and discrimination, it is being felt that AAP will definitely hurt the BJP at the hustings. Rohtak has been the fiefdom of the Hooda family since at least a hundred years, and it was Ch Ramji Lal alongwith Matu Ram Hooda (the grandfather of the current CM),who did pioneering work among the Jat peasantry, which established the dominance of this family in the political and social discourse of the area. While Bhupinder Singh Hooda and his son Dipender Hooda, who is the MP from Rohtak, have further strengthened their hold over Rohtak and adjoining areas, it has also led to strong disaffection in people from other parts of the State particularly South Haryana and other Jat strongholds where INLD holds the key. It is being alleged that Hooda has acted more like a CM of Rohtak and a few other areas, rather than the whole of Haryana. During the Rohtak Rally it became clear that Kejriwal and his team are going all out against Hooda, and the mode of the election campaign in this State would be on the lines of Delhi - where strong allegations, protests and demonstrations were carried out by AAP against Sheila Dikshit, to cash on the popular mood. An AAP leader told Friday Gurgaon that issues in Haryana are similar to those in Delhi, with rampant corruption and nepotism ruling the roost. People from Haryana also account for the largest number of migrants to the National Capital (followed by people from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar). AAP leader Yogender Yadav has accused the Haryana CM of being steeped in corruption, and targeted both the Congress and BJP for having close relations with capitalists. Kejriwal also raised the problems being faced by farmers and ex-servicemen, who are in large numbers in the State. Political insiders believe that AAP will certainly attract certain sections of population in Haryana who are unhappy with the current party and system. AAP leader S C Talwar told Friday Gurgaon that Haryana could be a good hunting ground for AAP, as the maximum number of volunteers in the Party have come from this State. Kejriwal’s charge on the BJP, about its proposed alliance with a ‘corrupt’ INLD, has also put the Party in a quandry. The INLD could be very handy for the Jat support - the Chautalas have a strong following and a good cadre base in their strongholds. HJC (Kuldip Bishnoi) is also opposed to an alliance with the Chautalas. However, ultimately the personal preferences are likely to be overridden as the NDA negotiators are trying to create a large alliance in Haryana, to ensure the maximum Parliamen-

 Contd from p 10 win in Sohna because it is a Gujjar-dominated constituency, a community to which he belongs. However, he adds that people from all ‘biradris’ support him as he has

tary votes for Modi. Despite the Modi wave, a political analyst claims that people are still not bowled over. The Gurgaon Lok Sabha constituency, despite being close to the National Capital, and undergoing a massive urban transformation, is still likely to vote on caste, religion and local basis. There are almost 17 lakhs voters in Gurgaon, of which 4 lakhs are Mevs, 3.5 lakhs Yadavs, 1 lakh Brahmins, 1 lakh Punjabis, 85,000 Rajputs, 72,000 Banias, 70,000 Gujjars, 2.5 lakhs SC voters and around 2 lakhs OBCs. As per the past trends, almost 80 per cent Yadavs vote for a Yadav candidate, and this could lead to a split of votes if there are two or three strong Yadav candidates. The Mevs of Mewat always support a Mev candidate, and vote en bloc - but the presence of two strong Mev candidates like Mohd Iliyas, and Aaftab Ahmed (from the Congress) could also split the Muslim votes and help Rao Inderjit Singh. It is being speculated that INLD is supporting Rao’s candidature from Gurgaon, and that is the reason it might give the ticket to Iliyas. A recent survey by an independent political outfit says that the presence of Yogender Yadav could help AAP secure around 10 to 15 per cent of the votes, but it will not make a major dent in the final tally. It is also being estimated that Mewat could witness 80 per cent polling, whereas Gurgaon might see 60 to 65 per cent voting – and Rewari, Pataudi, Bawal and adjoining areas could see 70 per cent polling (based on past experience). Political analysts say that if the Mevs consolidate behind a Muslim candidate, it could lead to Hindus in the remaining constituencies getting behind a single powerful candidate - and that could be Rao Inderjit Singh. Political aspirants for Gurgaon Lok Sabha seat: Rao Inderjit Singh, BJP, is the sitting MP, and has dominated politics in South Haryana for the last three decades. He is also held in awe by the numerically dominant Ahirs in this area. Yogendra Yadav, AAP, is the flavour of the season. He is the Party ideologue and also comes from the Ahir Community. He could pose problems for Rao Inderjit. Sara Pilot might attract the Muslim and Gujjar vote, being the daughter of Farooq Abdullah and wife of Sachin Pilot. Chiranjeev Rao is the son of a powerful Rewari politician Captain Ajay Yadav. He seems to lacks the much-needed charisma. Mohd Ilyas is a social worker from Mewat, and is a popular leader. Being a Mev he will attract Muslims, but is unlikely to make an impact outside Mewat. Sudha Yadav is a former MP and BJP leader. She might get the mandate from Mahendergarh-Bhiwani. Rao Narvir Singh is an affluent politician who has spent considerable resources in the run-up to the polls and has been worst hit by Rao Inderjit’s inclusion in the BJP. He might be given either a Lok Sabha ticket or an Assembly ticket in the ensuing polls.

been working at the grassroots level. Referring to the AAP challenge, he says that it is a party that attracts the urban elite and would not be effective in a rural state like Haryana - where local issues and long-term relationship

decide the fate of politicians. He accepts that the arrival of AAP has added more masala to the electoral battle, in a State where everyone is trying to capitalise on the public anger against the Congress misrule. u

P olitical


Party-time for the aam worker  Contd from p 1 Party candidates, and the role of money is also reduced. Speaking to Friday Gurgaon from Indore, where he has been sent by the Party High Command to oversee the Primaries, Chokkhar says that the entire process was very competitive and three candidates had participated in the polls to get the Party mandate. “Satyanarain Patel, who got 550 votes, was finally elected after the polling. The workers canvassed for their respective leaders, and also listened to their vision during the Convention”, says Chokkhar. Party leaders say that workers are feeling empowered by this process. While the holding of Primaries is being appreciated as a novel concept across the Party ranks, there is a certain section that has been left confounded by the Party’s decision. Union Minister Beni Prasad Verma recently alleged that this experiment was nothing but an auction of seats, and it was prone to be influenced by rival candidates. There are also voices being raised over what will happen if a ‘wrong’ candidate is chosen by the Party workers, and does not fit into the ‘winnable criteria’ of the Party. Till now, winnability has been the only criterion for choosing a candidate. This untested system of Primaries, which has been borrowed from America, is giving the jitters to the ‘established’ Party leaders. Political experts also say that the holding of Primaries may not have a significant impact on the electoral prospects of a Party, as a person who is popular in the Party may not be popular among the ‘actual’ voters. Although the number of Congress voters is only a small representative of the huge Lok Sabha constituency for which the candidate is being selected, and may have little impact on the final MP election results, the Primaries seem to have caught the fancy of the Party workers. Tasvir Solanki, a budding Congress leader, says that if the cadre is energised and the candidate is selected by them, they feel more responsible for his fate in the elections. Prakash Joshi adds that there are eligibility criteria for standing as a candidate in the Primaries. A candidate can contest only if he/she is qualified to stand for the Lok Sabha as per law, has no criminal record and is either an experienced Congress Party member or a person of ‘standing’ in public service or a social cause(s). Chokkhar says that candidates have to come in person to file the nomination, and only those candidates who win 50 per cent of the votes are to be declared winners. Amit Yadav, Congress leader, says that this experiment also reinforces the message that Party workers are still the backbone, and matter greatly to the leadership. The New Delhi and East Delhi Primaries are being conducted with the help of NGOs like Foundation for Advanced Management of Elections (FAME) - which is run by former Chief Elections Commissioners. Earlier, FAME had helped the Party introduce the concept of Primaries in the internal organizational elections - in NSUI and Youth Congress. The Congress Party believes that the concept of Primaries is a good way to put the power in the hands of the aam workers. This idea of bringing about internal democracy in a Party is being keenly watched by the opposition parties, who prima facie say that this process is a facade and has been introduced to deflect the ongoing criticism against Congress rule. Former Congress veteran GL Sharma says that this idea is very late and is only symbolic. “If Congress wanted to bring about internal democracy it should have allotted tickets on the basis of Primaries in all the seats - marking out just 15 is a joke”, asserts Sharma. A BJP leader who wants to contest the ensuing Assembly polls from Gurgaon says that that he was in the fray the last time but money played an important role and the ticket was given to someone with influence and affluence. This leader adds that candidates that have strong organizational connections and have worked at the grassroots should be given the mandate. If this can start to happen in a Party like the Congress, where the High Command culture is all-pervasive, it can surely be replicated in the BJP, which supposedly has a more robust organizational set up and culture. Political analysts say that while Rahul Gandhi may not be able to achieve much in the short term through the Primaries, this could revolutionize the way Congress runs its organizations and conducts its politics - it promises to breathe new life into the (current) moribund organization. It augurs well for 2019 – or maybe earlier…and 5 years in a young nation’s life is not that long.u


28 February-6 March 2014

K id C orner

Ryan International School, Sector-40

Matrabhasha ko Pranaam


yan International School, Sector-40, celebrated ‘World Language Day’ to lay emphasis on the importance and usage of our Mother Tongue, Hindi. Class IV students paid a tribute to our ‘Matrabhasha’ and stressed that although every State has its own language, Hindi has a unique significance. The students recited beautiful poems in Hindi, capturing the glory, splendour and magnificence of the language. They recited poems like –‘Hamari Matrabhasha’ and ‘Mera Bharat Mahaan’. The students also talked of the contributions of great poets like Harivansh Rai Bachch

Fastrax Ryan


yan International School, Sector 40, organised its Annual Sports Day ‘FastraxPlay for India’. The Event was marked by a string of spectacular performances from the young Ryanites, who were brimming with enthusiasm and sportsmanship. The grand Opening Ceremony was graced by esteemed guests - Vikas Dhankar (DCP West), Dhruv Singh (Ranji Trophy player), Dr. Rao (retd. DCP), M. Karan

Singh (Athlete), Ms. Meenu Singh (President, Sec-3, 5, 6 RWA), Ms. Suveera (President, South City II RWA), Dr. Pawan Saluja (VP- Action Bridge Gap Constructions), Sunil Kaul (Sr Project Manager-The Oberoi), Pallav Kumar Phukan (AVP-

-Moser Baer Projects) and Aashish Gupta (VP - HDFC Bank). The members of the School Cabinet with the Mascot, Sprinty the Cheetah, presented the guests with badges and encouraged each guest to plant a sapling in the School, to help spread greenery. The March Past, by the students of Indira Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sarojini Naidu and Mahatma Gandhi Houses, was the star attraction. The Sports Minister, Mansi Patil, administered the solemn oath to the House

Captains and the participants. The School Head officially declared the Sports Meet open, and released balloons, symbolizing the vibrant and high hopes of the students. The Sports Torch was carried by the Sports Minister and the House Captains. The young students of Class II participated in the Dumbbell Drill, which kept the spectators spellbound as the students synchronized their body movements with the beats of the drum and the dumbbells. The Aerobics/Yoga ‘India Rocks’ show displayed the physical prowess of the Ryanites. The Athletics events included Track Events and innovative Races - like Hoopla, Balloon, Lemon and Spoon, Collecting the Cones, Threelegged, Skipping and Ball Races. The sporting Ryanites participated enthusiastically. The Prizes were given by the esteemed guests and the School Head, Ms. Peeya Sharma, to the winning Ryanites as well as to the students of

Anubhav, a School for the under-privileged. Mahatma Gandhi House bagged the Overall Championship, followed by Sarojini Naidu and Indira Gandhi Houses. The individual Champions were Harsheeta Shokeen VI A (Swimming); Uttkarsh VI A, Gaurish Baberwal V C and Shanker Seth IV (Karate); and Arshelle Raheja (Skating). The Event concluded with a Celebration Dance, ‘Jai Ho’, followed by the Vote of Thanks given by the President of the School Cabinet, Seerat Walia. The Mascot, Sprinty, was full of energy and constantly energized the Ryanites. The Event was another milestone for the School in helping develop All Rounders, and in grooming Sports Stars - thus striving to realize the dream of the great Visionary of the School, Dr. Augustine F. Pinto.

Sporting Spectrum


nder the visionary ideals of Dr. Augustine F. Pinto, the Chairman of Ryan International Group of Institutions, Ryan International School, Sohna Road held Sports Day. ‘Ryan Sports Spectrum’ based on the message of ‘Rise, Fly and Achieve’, was a remarkable platform for the sports enthusiasts of the School to showcase their potential. As per the Ryan tradition, the Programme began with Tree Plantation by the distinguished guests, followed by the Bible reading and prayer songs. The March Past, by all the four contingents, depicted great teamwork, dedication and discipline. The Chief Guest, Sandeep Gupta (ISA Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Social Justice &

Empowerment) declared the Sports Meet open. Other distinguished dignitaries present on the occasion were Vijay Kapoor (Theatre Enthusiast), Capt. S. Panesar (ex Director of Flight Safety, Indian Airlines), Sanjeev Kumar Ahuja (Asst. Editor, Hindustan Times) and Sandeep Tokas (Coach & National Swimming Champion). The Races conducted were - Going to School, Sack, 50 meters, 100 meters and 200 meters. Dumbbell Drill and Bamboo Drill left the spectators spell bound. Aerobics by the Primary students spread a musical aroma, and they swayed the spectators with their well-coordinated positions. The parents also put their feet forward by taking part in the Parents Race and won applause for

their zeal and sporting spirit. The Tug of War for the staff members displayed their physical strength and determination. The Winners were given prizes by the distinguished guests. Sarojini Naidu House won the Overall Champions Trophy. Sandeep Gupta appreciated the spirit of all the participants and motivated them to play games and sports with a real sense of discipline and dedication. He also opined that sports persons are an asset to a nation. Sanyukta Malkani of Class IX extended the Vote of Thanks to all guests and worthy parents for their enlightening presence. School Principal Dr. Mouna Gupta appreciated the efforts of the students and teachers in making the Event a grand success.

28 February-6 March 2014

Klay Nursery

Sporty Lancers



K id C orner


ancers international School put up a grand show at its Primary School Sports Day. Students participated in several activities. The Winners were: First Place - Peace House (Best Cheers), Second Place - Virtue House, Third Place - Faith House (Most Organised), Fourth Place Truth House.

he little ones of Klay Preparatory School visited a Plant Nursery in the City. The mission was to educate the students about the importance of plants in our ecosystem and to show the seeding and planting process. Children were overjoyed to see a variety of plants and colourful flowers.

Gems of Guidelines Renowned educationist and Principal of Gems Modern Academy, Punam Singhal is known to run happy schools, where human values are the core of both curricular and extracurricular activities.Mrs. Singhal helps parents with some useful Guidelines at the time of examinations, as she believes that it is the responsibility of teachers and parents to create the right conditions for the children to study in the lead up to the exams. Make realistic targets - make realistic revision targets every day instead of trying to squeeze in a lot in a single day. Eat healthy and timely – Eat small meals every 2 hours - Include boiled eggs, fresh juice, fresh cut fruits, dry fruits and soups (winter). Avoid fizzy drinks, oily snacks and ‘street’ food. Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water. Get adequate Sleep – When the body and mind is well rested, stress also automatically decreases. 7-8 hours of sleep is best. Take frequent small breaks Research has proved that studying continuously for stretched hours, without taking any breaks, lowers the retention

power and makes one more stressed. Do a 20 minute exercise – This is a fantastic stress buster. When you feel stressed, just drop your books, pull up your socks, wear your sneakers and go out for a brief jog. Play any sport or just take a short walk. You will not just feel relaxed but more energized and ready to get back to your books. Unwind – Parents normally discourage kids from watching TV or playing games on their computers/ phones, but this is a great way to unwind for a child. 30 minutes of watching your favourite TV show or playing games on the computer can really help you unwind. Devlop a Positive approach – Parents should be positive in their approach and encourage the child in whatever he/she is doing. Do not

use negative words like, ‘you will fail if you don’t study’; instead, say, ‘I am happy with the way you are studying’. Encourage your child to give his/her 100% and not worry about the result. Avoid Exam Fever – Remember, parents, it’s only an exam. You know that the real test of life is life itself. The exam is only a test of memory and understanding and not about your child’s success story. Keep the environment positive and healthy. Let the household function normally and you will see a cheerful child ready to take on all challenges. On the day of the examn Have a good breakfast – Include proteins in your diet. Eggs, Fruits and Dry fruits are a must. n Give yourself plenty of time to get there. n Take all the stationary supplies that you need for the exam, including extra pens, pencils and batteries if taking a calculator. Don’t forget to carry your bottle of water and a small healthy snack. Inside the exam hall Read the instructions carefully before starting the exam. Read through all the

questions before starting to write. Read the front and back of the exam sheet. If there is a choice, start by answering the question you know best. If you are stuck on a question, go on to the next you can always come back to it later. If you are really stuck, take an intelligent guess anyway. Never leave a question unanswered. Leave time to read through and check your answers before the exam finishes. We, at Gems Modern Academy, believe that ultimate aim of an educational institution should be to improve overall performance of children and inculcate human values among them. Not just students, Gems Modern Academy ensures that parents are rightly counselled to reduce stress in the family during examination. Good Luck! Gems Modern Academy is situated in South City II, Gurgaon. For more information, call 8376030644 Have a parenting query? Principal of Gems Modern Academy, Punam Singhal will gladly share her knowledge and help parents and children. Parents can send their queries to: or call 8376030644


K id C orner

28 February-6 March 2014

Graceful Birthday


he Ryan Global School Sector 40 celebrated the Birthday of Madam Grace Pinto with lots of cheer. The Amphitheatre was decorated beautifully with balloons, buntings and colourful cutouts of the Birthday Cake, to give a vibrant and joyous look. All the children were excited about the great Event and wanted to show their love and admiration in their own special way. The prayer and birthday songs sung by the young Ryanites created a rhythmic and joyous environment. The Montessori children came in party dresses and celebrated a Doll Party. Each child brought his/ her favourite doll and narrated a few lines about it. Madam Grace Pinto has always been a role model for every Ryanite and so each one of them prayed to the almighty to shower His abundant blessings on beloved Madam.

Adharsh Sports Meet

The Best Reporters


PS honoured the students of Classes VI, VII and VIII for writing reports on their Picnic trips. Around 40 students participated. Madiha Bakshi of Class VI won the First prize and Riya Saini of Class VII was adjudged Second. Adithya S.P. of Class VIII and Nidhi J. Patel of Class VIII won the First and Second prizes respectively in their category. Padma R.S. Lugani, the Managing Trustee and Nutan Lugani, Member - Managing Committee encouraged and rewarded the students.

Talk Different, Speak As One


ndia is a land of diversity. While Hindi is the main language of India, many different languages are spoken in the various States and Regions. To recognize the importance of all the languages, International Language Day was celebrated in Ryan Global School. The children participated with great enthusiasm and presented the States they belong to in their native languages. They spoke about the food, culture, heritage, attire and folk dances of their States. It was a fun-filled day.

Raring to Fly


tudents of Modern Montessori International (MMI) visited the Air Force Museum in Delhi. The little ones were excited to see displays of aircrafts and helicopters, along with a comprehensive display of how aircraft fuelling/ refuelling is carried out. The visit seemed to inspire some children to be aircraft pilots when they grow up!

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

S piritual

28 February-6 March 2014

Inspiration Can Work Miracles { Dr. Rajesh Bhola }


here is inspiration all around us – we just need to be able to see it. There are people taking inspiring actions or doing things in an inspiring manner, every day. These people work or volunteer with a cheerful heart, are always willing to lend a hand and even stop what they are doing when someone is in need. They are always learning…teaching… creating. Many leaders, almost by definition, inspire. A manager manages the status quo and helps ensure that a team of people works toward accomplishing a goal, while a leader inspires the people to exceed their expectations and limitations - to come in each day with a zeal to ‘go further’. We are also inspired by some ‘special’ people who came into our lives, maybe even briefly, but whose impact is continually felt. They were the ones who refused to let circumstances dictate their outlook on life, and whose compassion and selflessness can be applied to our existence on a daily basis. Inspiration is not something that we get; it comes from within, from the core. When a person is inspired, every situation becomes a stimulus for joy and creativity; when a person is not inspired, even the most elevating circumstances appear dross. Inspiration is closely associated with aspiration. When we are inspired, we aspire; when we aspire we are more open to being inspired. Persons who are in the grip of some powerful inspiration often achieve ‘miracles’. It does not mean that the inspired will not meet with setbacks in their lives. It will not be plain sailing; most of the time it will be a long hard slog. They may be defeated many times, and may sometimes despair. The inspired persons are willing to make sacrifices, to relinquish all the things that ‘ordinary’ people cling to. They are liberated from ‘attachment’. Although they may thus, in a sense, ‘lose’ everything, they have ‘found’ the meaning of their life. Inspiration gives life a coherence and meaning, and frees a person to do things he/she would never contemplate in a more ‘settled’ life. Inspiration unsettles our ‘old’ life. At a spiritual level, it is about conquering ourselves. Even Nature is inspiring and beautiful, as it transforms itself through seasons. As a young executive I had

To date Florence Nightingale inspires millions of nurses and caregivers. She introduced women nurses into military hospitals, set up kitchens to provide suitable diets for the invalids and provided recreational facilities for convalescents. She was determined to achieve the best for the patients in very difficult conditions. Her work proved an inspiration to Henry Dunant, who eventually set up Red Cross societies of trained volunteers throughout the world. The Red Cross principle of neutrality, which continues to guide their work today, was closely related to Florence Nightingale’s beliefs on suffering. She said: “Suffering lifts its victim above ‘normal’ values. While suffering endures there is neither good nor bad, valuable nor invaluable, enemy nor friend. The victim has passed to a region beyond human classification or moral judgments…and his (her) suffering is a sufficient claim.” She also stressed the difficulties of working at military hospitals, saying that those who volunteered to serve in them must be “not sentimental enthusiasts but downright lovers of hard work.” a senior whom I trusted, not only because he was transparent with me but more importantly because he believed in me.  He created an environment that helped me and many others grow.  This level of trust inspired us to perform to a level that helped our senior earn the due respect and recognition for his bold decisions. Now I am trying to inspire my team to confront the many ‘unfavourable’ situations. Inspiring employees to optimally perform requires a leader who can see beyond the obvious in his people.  Inspiration comes from a constancy of behaviour in multiple situations, which makes our employees feel that they matter and that we genuinely care for them. When we act as instruments on behalf of others, we are more easily inspired than when we think only of ourselves. When we begin to recognize that our presence in this world is part of something infinitely bigger than our self, we feel a sense of obligation awakening within us - a spiritually inspired, soullevel moral imperative to evolve for the sake of the evolutionary process itself. We should re-

spond to that obligation and to that sense of cosmic responsibility, by ensuring our own higher development – thereby demonstrating that the process is profoundly positive, indeed sacred. A greater spiritual power influences and inspires us with a flow of ideas and revelations. That inspiration, from the spirit realms, comes through silent waves of thought, flowing over the soul of man. I can only imagine the potential each of us has to step fully into the role of divine conduits. The more receptive and spirituallydeveloped the nature of the person, the finer the result of the inspiring spirit. If we finely tune ourselves to the silent but powerful message that the spirit has to offer, we will become unfettered instruments for its expression, and uplift others in the process. Let us stand strong in our knowledge of what we are and where we have come from, and do big things with the inspiration we are being given from the Almighty. Let us act on our potential to receive these silent waves of inspiration, because when we do, we will flow with creative ideas and pursuits. We

too can be all that we have the potential to be. Inspiration is a form of enlightenment, but it needs expression. Otherwise, it would be like having only breathed in, and not breathed out. Those who are inspired are carried along by a rare energy, which needs to be applied for the good of the world. This is not in the sense of an ambition. It is simply that once the energy is liberated it has to be used – and used


well. Enthusiasm and inspiration are infectious. Inspired people help kindle our spirits. The world is a better place because of them…we need many more.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

Spring is Here { Shobha Lidder } I walked out one misty morn Into my garden green There smiled a dewy, yellow flower O Joy, the first of spring! Spring is here! O, welcome Spring In all your myriad hues Intoxicating, exhilarating The air is so perfumed I see the crackling smiles abound And watch the bouncing steps The fulsome laughter of the crowd Is infectious all about Warm generous Spring, you kindle life And hope in every heart The shining sun will thaw the blues So says the cuckoo’s bard The vagabonds will whistle shrill The guys will tease the girls Fun and frolic for the child And laughter for the old Hello, wispy yellow flower, I’ll match your smile with mine And remember that on Winter’s trail Is Spring…life after life. Writer Journalist, Social Activist, Teacher Trainer Reiki Master, Pranic Healer


28 February-6 March 2014



C omment

The State of affairs

he State has dropped the ill-advised idea of proposing ‘a shift of green zones’, as a ‘solution’ for opening up local green areas for ‘development’. This govt. takes the cake for ‘Innovation in making Fake Estate look Real’. Now even the NCR Planning Board has been co-opted for approving Ecotourism in the Aravallis. A toehold is all the enterprising Builder Brigade needs. Why is the NCR Planning Board in a tearing hurry to sanction Haryana’s Master Plans? Maybe because it was happy to be ignored in the first place…until the High Court told the Board its role and function. Meanwhile, the ‘Tree Mafia’ operating in the Aravallis has alleged cut 200 more trees in just the last few days. Clearly the Aravallis have no saviour. Maybe, finally, the villagers and the animals – whose land it has been and is - will combine and come to the rescue. Listen to the clarity of our Village Sarpanches. ‘It is impossible to think of a life without an interaction with these hills and forests. If we agree to the proposal (of selling our forest land) we will get Rs 600 to 700 crores, but we are more concerned about preserving Nature. The symbiotic relationship between the Aravallis and the residents of the nearby settlements is degrading at an alarming rate because of indiscriminate urbanization and industrialization.’ Jai Hind!

on a ‘visit’, had unwittingly tried to ‘drive through’ Gurgaon…and immediately asked for the repair of roads – which did take place! And which FG did report…and even carried a Back Page feature (Vol 2, No 7, October 5-11, 2012, titled - ‘One Cheer, Chief Secretary Chaudhery Sahib, Thank you for the Patch-Work).

The recent visit of the CM's wife to the City has ensured that the slip roads at the Jharsa crossing (Exit 9) are repaired – she was stuck for long in a jam there. Do come again, Ma’am. The last such auspicious occasion was in October 2012, when the then Chief Secretary,

The CM, the State and the Builder Brigade are being hoist on their own Real Estate petards – they are looking at a massive over-supply and a price crash. To add to the discomfort, the next govt., definitely not the Congress, will open up every case of this alleged ‘CLU govt.'u

The President, in his Republic Day Address, stated his preference, nay desire, for a single large Party to win the elections. It is surely the worst statement for democracy – of ‘looking down’ on a coalition format and of ‘taking sides’. The Head of State surely needs to be the protector of democracy in all forms.

The Gurgaon Police can really be proactive when and where they want to. Apart from Raahgiri, this now extends to the Toll Plazas (wonder what took them so long – maybe they were waiting, and hoping, for it/them to fold up). They now have ‘sternly’ adopted a ‘zero tolerance’ policy, at least at the Toll Plazas. At Sirhaul (now closed, thank you) they ensure that the Ambience U-turn is ‘manned’; at Kherki Daula they have decided to open the gates whenever a line up of cars exceeds ten (this is termed ‘zero tolerance’ by the Gurgaon Police). What will happen when and whenever the Police move away? Were they stopped from doing this earlier? Was it a plan that the Toll Plaza experience must be made – and kept – unbearable, so that even the Courts would soon say, ‘enough’? Meanwhile, traffic starts to pile up in the entry areas to the City. Kherki is headed for a mess…but guess that is the new Plan. The rest of NH8, beyond Kherki, is still work under progress – it is, after all, the Highway of Dreams. The Toll story for that is yet to come.

comeuppance). We may have learnt to nudge and wink this System, and live with it. The aam aadmi cannot, should not and now, will not.

Why should Kejriwal and the AAP be scrutinized more, be measured and judged by stricter yardsticks, just because they profess to be (and mainly are) cleaner and straighter? Are we to just accept the big Party boys as they The political Parties have suddenly discovered are – warts and all? Instead of supporting a new, the virtues and paramountcy of the ‘System’ – different and refreshing political Party, we relish which has not delivered to at least a half of India, opportunities to knock them and lecture them. even after 66 years. Of course ‘we’ can rant and Kejriwal and AAP have captured our angst… rave and call the System stupid, and ask for a change, whenever inconvenienced. The aam aadmi but we want it resolved our way….and without getting our feet wet! We belittle Keriwal (even as dare not, even if he and his family cannot live even half-decently. We, the (middle & upper) Class a CM) and AAP members, but grovel in front of traditional politicians (and not just CMs). Now Guys, have been shown up. We deserve what we even the big Media boys seem to want AAP to fail. have got and are getting, and will finally get (our

28 February-6 March 2014

Health & Vitality... Naturally!

Wrapped in goodness

{ Jaspal Bajwa }


hat do Arugula, Bok choy, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Collard greens, Horseradish, Kale, Kohlrabi, Mustard greens, Radish, Rutabaga and Turnip have in common? All these vegetables are Cruciferous vegetables – a group that packs the highest amount of nutrients - especially Vitamin A carotenoids, Vitamin C, Folic acid, and fibre. Yes, they are superstars in terms of nutrition power. These vegetables are also referred to by their Latin name Brassicaceae – ‘brassica’ means ‘cabbage’. As part of an optimal diet, it is recommended to include at least 2 cups of Cruciferous vegetables, at least 2-3 times in a week. Cabbage has been revered since ancient times for the immense health benefits it can bestow. The Greeks and Romans held Cabbage in high regard as a cleansing food, capable of treating a host of conditions. Cabbage is very low in calories and high in fibre and nutrients. Eating just 1 cup of Cabbage provides 4 percent of the recommended daily intake of 8 different vitamins and minerals. In addition to its superfood status, Cabbage leaf has also been used as a poultice, to heal swelling, ulcers and sprains. At the top of the list of the many benefits of Cabbage is Cancer prevention. Nearly 500 studies seem to attribute this to the high density of three different nutrients found in Cabbage – of the rich activity expressed by a combination of antioxidants, antiinflammatory agents and glucosinolates. Glucosinolates, the trump card, can be converted into isothiocyanate compounds, which are cancer preventive for a variety of cancers – including those of the breast, bladder, colon and prostate. Cabbage juice has also been considered effective for healing stomach ulcers (peptic ulcers), as also the digestive tract as a whole. Cabbage can be counted on to help lower cholesterol.

Tip of the Week

Cabbage can be stored for 1-2 weeks. Do not cut it (as the Vitamin C content of Cabbage starts to quickly degrade once you do so); just put the whole head in a plastic bag and store it in the crisper section of the fridge. While Cabbage can be had raw, steaming or lightly sautéing it is considered the better way to imbibe the nutrients. Steaming is clearly better than microwaving and helps maximize the health benefits and also activates the all-important glucosinolates. Sauerkraut, a dish made from fermented Cabbage, has a colourful legacy and is very healthy; it brings the alkaline power of Cabbage to the fore in a power-packed manner. Nature’s Wonder Food of the Week: Cabbage (Brassica oleracea or ‘bandh gobi’) Cabbage is a unique source of several types of phytonutrients, antioxidant polyphenols and the Amino acid-like substance called glutamine. In addition to very high levels of Vitamins K, C, and B6, it is also a very good source of Manganese, dietary fibre, Potassium, Vitamin B1, Folate and Copper. There are broadly three types of Cabbage – Red, Green and Savoy. Red Cabbage contains anthocyanins. These qualify not only as antioxidant nutrients, but also as anti-inflammatory agents. Savoy Cabbage in particular is an especially good source of sinigrin - one of the glucosinolates that has received special attention in Cancer prevention research. Red Cabbage tends to be more peppery and has 10 times more Vitamin A than Green Cabbage. Green Cabbage has the upper hand when it comes to Vitamin K and Folate. Vitamin K is helpful for bone density and Folate promotes red blood cell production and cardiovascular health. Not only does Cabbage have a lower calorie density (at 27 calories per 100 gms), it is easily digestible and helps in giving a feeling of fullness. These properties, and the presence of Tartronic Acid, inhibit the conversion of sugar and other carbohydrates into fat, making Cabbage a valuable component of an optimal weight-management regimen.u Registered Holistic Nutritionist (Canadian School of Natural Nutrition). For education purposes only; always consult a healthcare practitioner for medical conditions

W ellness


Joints failing Early


ur joints, which act as the connecting points between bones and make all motion possible, are priceless for our body. It feels traumatic when they start failing, leaving us with restricted movement and a curtailed life. And this problem is now even hitting the not-so-old. For example, Knee Replacement Surgery – which has come to the rescue of many of the elderly - is now becoming more common among a younger set of patients. Developmental disorders, injury caused by accidents and the condition of Osteoarthritis (with an unstable pressure on Joints) could make you one of the millions needing Joint replacement. One of the most common conditions is Arthritis, which degenerates a Joint. Total Knee Replacement is a boon for people whose knees are no longer functional; it brings back normalcy to the lives of many. Unfortunately today we see a lot more younger people requiring this treatment,” says Dr Vivek Logani, Chief of Joint Replacement Surgery, Paras Hospitals, Gurgaon and Delhi. “In younger patients, Joint Replacements are often necessitated due to an accident or injury - and sometimes due to early onset of Arthritis. We have operated patients as young as 40 years, who were suffering from Accelerated Osteoarthritis; we have conducted Total Knee Replacement in patients as young as 26 years, who had Hemophilic Arthritis; and patients of Ankylosing Spondylitis – with bony fu-

sion of knee due to the disease process - as young as 23 years of age, have also undergone Total Knee Replacement,” says the Doctor. This trend can be attributed to both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ reasons. Our increasingly sedentary lifestyles, together with very less physical activity, are leading to degradation in the joints of a number of young people. This manifests early on as a frozen shoulder or a jammed knee. Sometimes Arthritis too sets in fairly early. The good reason is that Joint Replacements have become more durable today. If a young patient knows that her replaced Joint will last between 25-30 years, she can confidently go for it - not worrying whether she is ‘too young’ for this treatment. The benefits of performing a Total Knee Replacement Surgery in younger patients are many: it reassures a good quality of life, an active lifestyle, relief from pain and restriction, and gives the patient the ability to maintain proper fitness. The patient can also thus avoid the risk of several diseases whose onset in accelerated by a lack of physical activity and excess weight - like Hypertension, Diabetes and Cardio-vascular Diseases.u

What is Accelerated Osteoarthritis? It is a condition that is seen in young patients in the fourth decade of their life itself. Obese patients, with pre-existing varus or valgus deformity of knees since childhood, are particularly prone to an accelerated wear of their Knee joints - due to the eccentric loadbearing on these Joints since childhood. A new window of hope for young Osteoarthritis patients: Unicondylar Knee Replacement means the resurfacing of just one compartment of a Knee with Implants. It is done when Osteoarthritis is limited to just one of the three compartments of the Knee. This procedure, if done at the right stage, can actually prevent the progression of Arthritis to the other compartments. With this procedure, patients can delay the need for a Total Knee Replacement by as much as two decades (or more). Newer Implants for younger Osteoarthritis patients: Oxinium is a revolution in the Knee and Hip Implants’ portfolio. Since it is an oxidised form of Zirconium, the surface properties of the Implant are those of a ceramic, while the core properties retain the strength of the metal. Such Implants have a wear rate and abradability of as little as 1/89th that of conventional cobaltchrome Implants. Though they can be used for any age group, many experts recommend Oxinium Implants particularly for ‘very young’ patients – those less than 40 years of age.

18 { Sid Astbury/ Sydney/ DPA }

Adolescents sew up a gash in a banana at the Future Vets Kids Camp. The fruit approximates the skin of a live animal.

Playschool for Vets Sid Astbury


he stitches go in one by one - the blue surgical thread pulling the flaps of skin together, to close the cigarettelength gash that the blade has left. Isabella Monti, 15, holds up the banana, for teacher Olive Ashworth to check her suturing skills. It has the neat zipper pattern that would do any heart surgeon proud. We are at Future Vets Kids Camp in Sydney. With two days to go, the ‘yuck factor’ has yet to force any of the group of 14to 16-year-olds from dropping out. During the Camp they have drawn red cordials from fake dogs’ legs, been in an operating theatre as real veterinary surgeons, cut out spleens and jump-started the hearts of dying dummy dogs. They have also watched a ‘horror movie’ (just before lunch): a surgeon pulling live, beetrootcoloured worms - the size of small snakes - from what is left of a very sick labrador’s bloodless kidney. Beth Leach is ok with it. “It doesn’t put me off,” the frecklefaced 14-year-old insists. “Yesterday we watched a Vet operate on a dog.” Scott Bainbridge, who has a Veterinary practice, has run this week-long summer-break course (Camp) for four years. He is happy in the knowledge that this Camp will either spur some teenagers to join the profession or convince them that their future lies elsewhere. “What I like about the Camp is that it gives kids a real taste of what the profession is all about,” he says “We don’t ‘coat’ it here. When you go to the equine facility, you see a mare being inseminated, you see a surgery and you realize it’s about blood and guts. It’s not a kind of fairy-tale lifestyle with the animals.” He does not shy away from the daily grind of a Vet. The job rarely involves the ‘documentary’ fitting of a prosthetic leg on an injured elephant or clipping the claws of a falcon. “I want the kids to realize what the profession is all about: that 25 per cent of my caseload is vomiting and diar-

W ellness

28 February-6 March 2014

A 'patient' dog lies on its back while adolescents examine its belly at the Future Vets Kids Camp in Sydney, Australia, where 14 to 16-year-olds get acquainted with the yuck factor of Veterinary science.

Olive Ashworth, a second-year Veterinary science student, who is an instructor at the Future Vets Kids Camp.

Scott Bainbridge at the Future Vets Kids Camp. He aims to give the youngsters a realistic picture of his job as a Vet.

rhoea, and only 10 per cent of it is lameness and ‘stuff’,” he adds. Ashworth, a second-year Veterinary Science student who teaches at the Camp, says that inspiring the youngsters is the main aim, but the Camp has also helped to show the kids what they are in for. “It’s best if you realize it early that you don’t want to do it,” she says. “I know people who have got a Vet Science degree, who only realised in the

third or fourth year that it was really not for them. It was not what they expected, and they’ve wasted so much of their time and hard work. So, if you can know at this early stage, it’s a headstart.” Running a Small-Animal Practice, which is the bulk of the Profession, requires much more than clinical competence and a love of animals. It is a retail business that demands customer service skills

Isabella Monti uses a needle, surgical thread and forceps to put practice stitches in a banana at the Future Vets Kids Camp. 

Adolescents learn to tie off a stitch at the Future Vets Kids Camp. The stitch must be finished so a dog cannot tug it apart with its teeth. The banana approximates animal skin.

and management attributes. The ‘clients’ do not come in on their own, and they are not the ones who pay. Brian Pickering, who runs an Internet site popular with Vets - called - reinforces the notion that the Profession is about owners, and not just pets. “A lot of Vets get into practice because they don’t like working with people,” he says. “They think

they’ll be working with animals - but the reverse is true.” Ashworth did a Marine-Biology degree before deciding that she really should follow her childhood passion and become a Vet. “I’ve had an interest in animals all through my life,” she says. “I had always kept my foot in the door, working at wildlife sanctuaries and shelters; and when I applied, that helped me and I got in.” She advises would-be Vets to get in on the ground floor, by doing what she did, and volunteering to work where there are animals. A stint at a pound or at a Vet practice would open their eyes to some hard truths about the profession. “Many don’t realise how much cruelty and death they will see,” she says. “And they don’t realise how difficult it is to deal with ‘clients’ sometimes.” Annabel Weiss, another 15-year-old on the Course, says that she had not been put off at all. “It’s really influenced me to want to become a Vet even more,” she says. “It’s really my kind of thing. When you go to school you are bored by lunchtime, but here you don’t want the lunchbreak.” Bainbridge decided to be a Vet when he was sill in his short pants. “I tell the kids I love this job because the animals can’t speak to us - so every day is a mystery,” he says. “Yes, I’ll see many of the same things over and over again, but every day I’ll also see something I haven’t seen before. When I get up in the morning, I’m dying to look at the blood results of my animals. I find it very intriguing.” u

Adolescents examine a dog at the Future Vets Kids Camp.

Isabella Monti checks a dog at the Future Vets Kids Camp.

Beth Leach (centre) at the Future Vets Kids Camp. Leach reckoned her stomach was not upset by the ghastly sights.

B on V ivant

28 February-6 March 2014

{ Meenu Thakur Sankalp } A Danseuse’s Tribute To Francis Wacziarg (1942-2014) The smallest joys offer us all the fruits of the cosmos. This awareness can open us up to the unexpected diversity that India unravels. To get ‘more’ from ‘less’ is what India can teach from its vantage point of evolution - Francis Wacziarg and Aman Nath


ardly has there been a visitor to the Neemrana Fort Palace, Rajasthan who has come back without an anecdote to share or a story to tell. Floored by its indigenous and heritage charm, the unpretentious hospitality and the welcoming eyes of a Frenchman, every minute spent at Neemrana is a memoir in itself. Though his achievements are known to many, Francis Wacziarg, the co-Founder of the Neemrana Group of Hotels and Heritage Properties has always remained unassuming and undaunted by his accomplishments. I met this extraordinary Frenchman after my second Kuchipudi recital at Neemrana on a windy winter’s night in 2013, as he appeared from among the audience. The man had a warm demeanour. He was seventy years old then and, not known to many, was fighting blood cancer. We have just lost him. He was one of the greatest present-day European-Indians,


R.I.P. Monsieur Wacziarg a creative colossus who gave his heart and soul for the conservation and promotion of Indian heritage - including our Classical Art, Music and Dance (courtesy the Neemrana Foundation). Francis Wacziarg was a conservationist, art-lover, author, philanthropist, diplomat, businessman and cofounder of the Neemrana Group of Heritage Hotels. He and his friend Aman Nath (coFounder of Neemrana) were awarded the ‘Indian Ministry of Tourism Lifetime Achievement’, for their incomparable contribution to conservation and restoration of Heritage properties. Francis had an innate sense and understanding of the true cultural traditions of a multi-faceted India. Francis, born at sea near Cuba in 1942, brought up in Morocco, educated in France, military trained in Germany, a former resident of Brazil, Switzerland and Mexico, would have found it difficult to place a definite nationality on himself - he was a true global citizen. But India, his land of calling, was home to Francis ever since his arrival in this enigmatic country in 1969. As an official at the Economic Section of the French Consul-

ate in Bombay (now Mumbai), Head of the Banque Nationale de Paris, New Delhi, Head of the FW group that sourced Indian textiles from indigenous locations to clients abroad, Founder member of INTACH (Indian

National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage) and President of the Alliance Francaise de Delhi, Francis had seen it all during his forty-five year association with India. For Francis, everyday living in India was a learning experience. He was the enduring example of a man who lived a simple yet remarkable life. When his achievements are viewed in a perspective a few years from now, not only would he be remembered for setting up the FW group in six locations in the Indian sub-continent or as the owner of the Neemrana Group of Heritage properties in more than twenty locations - dotting major heritage palaces from the pulsating North to the vibrant South - he would certainly merit a place in history as a European who taught India to conserve, preserve, innovate and educate. Neemrana Fort Palace was the fruit of Francis’ association with a friend, the genial medieval historianexplorer Aman Nath, also the author of many books on History, Art and Architecture. While researching on a book that they were authoring together (The Painted Frescoes of Shekhawati), Francis and Aman stumbled upon a dilapidated heritage palace fort at Neemrana, a hundred-odd kilometers from Delhi. They

acquired the Fort not as a business venture but with a view to restructure and restore. They redesigned the Fort in colonial style with the help of local artisans and materials, thereby keeping Neemrana’s architectural traditions intact. The Neemrana Foundation has restored colonial European properties in Danish, Portuguese, Dutch, British and French EastIndia Company style in multiple locations. The Neemrana project conceptualized by Francis and Aman opened in 1991. Francis is also credited with having brought Opera to India, with the immense contribution of his daughter Priya (an accomplished Opera singer herself). The Neemrana Music Foundation produced Operas based on Indian themes and stories, and often ran to packed houses. Also remarkable was the knowledge that Francis displayed when speaking about Classical Music and Dance while honouring the performers; he would often surprise the audience with anecdotes that could educate a connoisseur. Such a person is rare indeed. Au Revoir, Francis.u The writer is a renowned Kuchipudi Danseuse and Choreographer

Some Things Never Change { Krishan Kalra }


ur flight from Singapore had just landed at Delhi. Carrying a heavy handbag, I couldn’t quite sprint to Immigration – to be ahead, in the serpentine queues. So I had mostly older people & women on high heels for company. “Never mind” I said to myself , “one has to wait for the bags anyway”. Suddenly I realised that everyone was looking at me. Was anything wrong? Had I not zipped up? Was something sticking out of the bag? Several thoughts crossed my mind, till it dawned that all those eyes were on the person behind me. I turned around and saw this apparition, of a beautiful, tall, fashionably-cut hair, figure of a supermodel, dressed in European designerware and high heels. She was probably an actress or a rich socialite. She smiled & I sheepishly turned back, realising that I had been ogling her. Immigration over, we all moved to the baggage carousel. Most had collected their luggage. The elegant lady was still behind me. Suddenly she spoke – in very colloquial Punjabi – “Bauji, eh rehri kithon millegi, te mera baksa kaun lauga?” She was pointing to my trolley & wanted to know where she could find

one; she also wanted to know who would fetch her suitcase. Somehow I could not reconcile the voice and the language of this woman with her appearance. She presumably had travelled before and surely she was not mistaking me for a village elder. However, I answered her queries and left it at that. My mind went back to 1962-63, when I used to work at the Esso aviation station at Palam. Our office was at the entrance to the airport. Those were the days when Indian skilled labour was migrating to the UK & Canada. Almost every evening we would find a group of these ‘rustics’ – each carrying rolledup beddings, locked canisters & a small steel trunk – getting off the city bus & walking into our office to enquire: “Bauji, Birmingham da hawai jahaaz kithoon millega (Sirji, where can we find the aeroplane for Birmingham)?” These simple folk didn’t want to take any ‘chances,’ even though the BOAC (before it became BA) flight would not leave till the wee hours the next morning. Once guided to the terminal building, they would unroll their humble beddings, open up the canisters to eat some home-cooked food, & settle down for the night. Very different from my elegant friend on the Singapore flight… & yet very similar. Maybe some things never do change.u

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28 February-6 March 2014

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28 February-6 March 2014


t is, to say the least, an unusual scene: five musicians, with their instruments - guitar, flute, recorder, trumpet and clarinet - are standing in a circle in a corral in the town of Martfeld in north-western Germany. Riding Instructor Dagmar Fuchs leads her Arabian Mare Jemala towards the trumpet player, a girl named Kim – who is listening to the rhythm of the horse’s hooves and playing a musical note at the same pace. When Jemala suddenly changes speed, Kim must react accordingly. It’s not all that simple, the young musician quickly realizes. Jemala then trots over toward Stephanie, who with her clarinet must now match the tempo of the horse’s hooves. The horse is the Conductor of the music. Gwendolyn Schubert, a classical flute player and music teacher, uses horses to help improve the feeling for rhythm of her amateur music pupils. “Many musicians have problems with sticking to the beat when playing in an orchestra,” notes Schubert. “Their pace often fluctuates.” Practicing with a metronome that keeps the beat is often frustrating, because the instrument is too mechanical and inflexible. Music is, after all, ‘alive’. And always keeping an eye on the Conductor during rehearsals is also not easy.

 It was when the 39-year-old Schubert, from the town of Stuhr, near Bremen, bought a horse two-and-a-half years ago, that it occurred to her how wellsuited the pacing of a horse is to the making of music. Horses can be adept at varying their steps to different speeds and

Musical Mares


Ingo Wagner

{ Janet Binder/ Martfeld, Germany/ DPA }

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transitions. “Paying attention to a horse helps to train you to listen,” says Schubert, who herself is a member of an orchestra. “This, in turn, helps in making music together as a group.” Thus was born her unconventional idea of merging her two passions music and horses. Stephanie, 25,

Left to Right: Stephanie Schmidt on clarinet, teacher and flautist Gwendolyn Schubert, Kristin Mielke on recorder, Kim Dinter on trumpet, rider Dagamar Fuchs and Udo Schneider on guitar. The horse, Jemala, ridden by Dagmar Fuchs, is teaching them regular rhythm on a country lane near Martfeld, Germany. a player in an amateur orchestra and now taking part in her first Chamber-Music Workshop, says, “The horse provides a new opening into the otherwise very theoretical rehearsal activity.” Playing in the out-of-doors opens up her senses. “During a Gwendolyn Schubert, the teacher, plays her flute in a field in Germany.

Gwendolyn Schubert, a teacher (foreground, left) plays her flute in time to the hooves of Jemala, a mare ridden by Dagmar Fuchs. The students (left to right) are recorder-player Kristin Mielke, Kim Dinter on trumpet, Stephanie Schmidt with a clarinet and guitarist Udo Schneider.

Kim Dinter plays her trumpet after practising rhythm with Jemala, a mare ridden by Dagmar Fuchs.

concert you should play to fill up the entire room,” Seminar leader Schubert notes. Kerstin Unseld, Head of the Institute of Music Education at the Detmold College of Music, says that while the choice of a horse as a temposetter is something completely new, she sees many advantages. With its natural feeling for movement and rhythm, the animal becomes not only a good Conductor for the students, but also a role model for a living musical pulse. “The Project illustrates the inner rapport between music and life, beat and pulse, and rhythm and pacing,” the Music Professor says. Back at the ranch, a small group has gathered closely around Jemala. Riding Instructor Fuchs leads the mare in a canter along an asphalt road, so that the clipclopping sound of the hooves can be heard better. The musicians walk alongside her, playing the melody ‘Frere Jacques’, to the speed set by Jemala’s gait. u

22 { Sid Astbury/ Sydney/ DPA }


ou would think Anthony Joyce would back a decision to kill big sharks that get too close to popular beaches on Australia’s West Coast. It is only four months since the 41-year-old Sydney surfer lost a chunk of his foot to the ocean’s top predator. But there he was, among the thousands on Manly Beach, protesting the Western Australian State government’s response to seven fatal shark attacks in three years. “The number of sharks they’re going to kill is going to make no difference,” he told fellow demonstrators. Baited hooks are being laid off Perth’s beaches and sharks over 3-metres are being shot in the head; rays, dolphins and smaller sea creatures are being let go. The Programme has the blessings of the Federal government, which has given Western Australia a temporary exemption from national environmental legislation that protects endangered big fish. Perth officials defend the initiative, saying tourists and even locals are being scared away from this Beach, which has developed a reputation as the deadliest place in the world for shark attacks. Dive-boat operators, surf schools and beachside cafes complain that business is down; pool managers say their numbers are up as families are opting to swim where there is no risk

28 February-6 March 2014

Once-bitten Twice-protest Jake Foss (left) and Alex Miller (right) demonstrate at Manly Beach, Sydney. These18-yearold surfers see in the shark-cull an erosion of freedom and an encroachment from officialdom, which they believe ought to be resisted.

Barbara Munker

{ Barbara Munker/ San Francisco/ DPA }


t’s not just peope who have to hit the treadmill to lose their excessive pounds. It’s estimated that 80 million Dogs and Cats in the US are overweight too, which has sparked a boom in Pet Fitness businesses. Nikolas

lies exhausted at the side of the small pool. The chubby six-year-old Chihuahua-Jack Russell cross has just had his first swimming lesson at the Rex Centre, a fitness studio for Dogs, south of San Francisco. His owner Karen Kelly is pleased and buys six more swimming lessons for 47.50

dollars (35 euros). “I bring my dog here for the same reason that people go swimming,” the Californian says. “It’s good for the heart and bones, for slimming and for more vitality.” On this Saturday the swimming pool is sold out. Hattie, a huge Mastiff in a mini orange life jacket, is paddling by herself in the ambient 34-degrees pool while Charles, a Spaniel-Bichon mix, is being held up by trainer Ellen Davison while he treads water. “Good boy,” his owner says encouragingly. As a reward there’s a food treat, albeit a low-calorie one. According to a 2012 Survey of Veterinarians in the United States, House Pets have increased dramatically in weight. The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention warns that 55 per cent of Dogs and Cats are now overweight or obese. “That’s our biggest problem,” says California Vet, Ilana Strubel. “Dogs are consuming too many calories and burning

off too few. That can lead to arthritis, diabetes, and joint and heart problems.” “He’s already lost 12 pounds, 10 more to go,” says Finn’s owner, Jen Gasang. Age, and the loss of a leg in an accident with a car, has led to the stocky Dog packing on the pounds. For several months now his owner has brought him to the pool once a week. “Now he can once more go up the stairs on his own,” says Gasang. While the Dog prefers to swim by the edge of the pool, his trainer pulls him into the middle. “This is also a good workout for me,” Davison laughs. There is more. In the Derty Dog Centre in Santa Rosa, California, there are treadmills and training weights that can be attached around the stomachs of Pets. It costs just under 100 dollars per month. The Dog-sitter service, Furball Fitness, in San Francisco, comes with a Bow Wow Boot Camp. Their dog walkers don’t take the canines for a leisurely stroll; they jog with them or accompany them on roller

skates for an hour of strenuous exercise. It’s a service that costs the owners 60 dollars. There are even electronic devices that can be attached to a Dog’s collar, so that the owner can monitor - via smartphone - the Pet’s daily activity levels. For the most severe cases there’s always the Doggie Fat Camp, at the Indigo Ranch in Oregon. A four-week Diet and Sports Programme there costs 800 dollars. On the Website is the picture of a three-year-old Labrador called Butter, captured in ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos. They claim that after four months of Diet Camp, Butter slimmed down from an obese 65 kilos to 38 - and can now chase tennis balls again. Fishing balls from the pool is a great passion of Bishop, a 13-years-old Black Labrador, a regular guest at the Rex Centre since 2009. However, he won’t be a candidate for the ‘Agility’ workouts in an unheated pool. “That’s for young, active dogs,” says staff member Joy GreerWalker. u

A campaigner tapes a ‘Save the Sharks’ poster to a wall, at a recent ‘pro-shark’ demonstration at Manly Beach, Sydney.

House Fit Pets

Animal trainer Ellen Davison feeds a non-fattening reward to her dog Finn in the pool at the Rex Center near San Francisco. Finn wears a mini life-jacket as a precaution.

cover of darkness, activists in inflatable boats have sped out to the fishing lines that have been set a kilometre offshore. Divers are said to have gone down the 5 metres to free sharks

and other species caught on the baited hooks. “I would join the protest boat too,” Kendrick said. 

 Perth officials said that whirling turnstiles at pools and fewer swimmers in the ocean are a tacit endorsement of their ‘hunt-to-kill’ Programme. They argue that they are, reluctantly, bowing to the will of the people.

The gathering at Manly was replicated in 10 spots around Australia. Feelings are strong and tension is high. There are fears that other State governments will bow to pressure to go after the big sharks. Those like Alex Miller and Jake Foss, 18-year-old surfers who joined the Manly Beach protest, saw in the shark cull an erosion of freedom and an encroachment from officialdom, which ought to be resisted. 
They also said they would volunteer for the dangerous work of freeing sharks from fishing lines. “Definitely. It’s scary,” Miller said, “but it would be for a good cause. It’s something we believe in. We live in the ocean. I’m in every day.” Corina Anderson and James Anderson brought their four children to join the Manly demonstration, decked out in their protest T-shirts. “We need to understand that it’s their place,” she said. “We believe that if you go in, it is at your own risk. It doesn’t worry me at all. That’s the risk you take if you go into their waters, their territory, their home.” She noted that falling coconuts are said to kill 150 people a year around the world and that only 16 are taken by sharks. “Why not wipe out all the coconut trees instead of killing all the sharks?” she retorted. u

Damon Kendrick at Sydney Olympic Park. He took part in a recent protest at Manly Beach, Sydney. Champion ocean swimmer Kendrick lost his leg to a shark, in South Africa, when he was a 14-year-old.

of attack. Paul de Gelder is a Navy diver who had his arm and leg bitten off by a bull shark in Sydney Harbour five years ago. He too condemned the cull. “The ocean is not our backyard swimming pool and we shouldn’t expect it to be one,” he said on his blog. “It’s a wondrous, beautiful, dangerous place that provides our planet with all forms of life.” And it is the same story with champion Sydney ocean swimmer Damon Kendrick, who lost his leg to a shark, in South Africa, when he was a 14-year-old. “If a car runs into you, you don’t ask for the offending car to be flattened,” he said. “It’s just as absurd to ask for sharks to be destroyed - and even more so if they’re ‘innocent’.” There are reports that, under

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Corina Anderson and James Anderson with their four children, as they take part in a ‘Save the Sharks’ demonstration at Manly Beach, Sydney.

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28 February-6 March 2014

"That’s Freedom!" Kathy Stolzenbach

{ Kathy Stolzenbach/ Washington/ DPA }


irearms are part of everyday life in the United States, and many US citizens, including little children, learn to use them at shooting ranges.
At these gun-practice sites, the bangs are uninterrupted - it is probably what war must sound like. Even at the parking lot of the Maryland Small Arms Range, you can hear the shots, despite all the sound-absorbing barriers. Inside the Range, empty cartridge cases are ejected into the air every second. One hits 7-year-old Cameron on the chest. It hurts, and the boy pulls a face, opens the zip of his camouflage jacket and rubs his hand over the place where he was hit. This Shooting Range is right outside Washington. It is a Sunday in late January, and it is bitterly cold - although the sun is shining against a blue sky. A good dozen people - between the ages of 7 and 76, most of them men - have gathered at the Range.
Shooters wear earmuffs and protective goggles that remind you of those used in Chemistry labs. However, there are no further security measures: no separate booths, no bullet-proof glass between the lanes, no safety gates. Anyone can walk in, as if it were a playground! Little Cameron goes to the shooting range with his grandfather and his greatgrandfather. “The earlier kids start to practice the better,” says Billy Schrader senior. He needs to shout to make himself heard in the racket. Cameron’s great-grandfather laughs at this reporter’s candid question: of whether the semi-automatic weapon in the boy’s hands is real.
“Of course it is real!” For Billy Schrader, 76, shooting is a passion and a principle. He wears a cap of the National Rifle Association (NRA), the powerful US FireA right for every citizen to bear arms is explicitly set out in the US Constitution. According to US Congressional statistics of November 2012, there are 310 million firearms in private hands in the United States - more than in any other country in the world. According to government figures, 32,000 US citizens are shot dead every year - not counting suicides and ‘accidental’ shootings. This means that, on an average, one person is shot dead in the United States every 20 minutes.


Donny Gonzalez, gun in hand, at the Maryland Small Arms Range near Washington DC.

Three generations: Cameron (centre) with his grandfather Billy Schrader (48, right) and great-grandfather Billy Schrader Senior (76, left) at the Range.

Rose Gonzalez, 26, holding her husband's gun, not yet loaded, at the Range. Gonzalez shoots wearing high heels.

Target pictures are available for sale at the Range. The late Osama bin Laden (right) is a popular pick, but the other ‘criminals’ are also strong sellers. 
 arms lobby group. The cap says, ‘Stand and Fight’; that means, if you are under attack, you have to shoot back. In order to shoot at the Maryland Small Arms Range, you only need to show your driver’s licence - although visitors under the age of 21 need to be accompanied by an adult. A Day Pass costs 20 dollars, and renting a weapon will set one back 7 dollars. Marksmen, standing close to each other, shoot at targets, at pictures of clowns and zombies, or at an image of the late al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. “Bin Laden is very popular as a target,” says the man at the cash register matter-of-factly.
 The Range can also be booked to celebrate birthdays, bachelor parties and other such events!
 Donny Gonzalez, a muscular 30-year-old who lives in Washington, often comes to the Range. He says he wants to be able to defend himself and his family if anyone breaks into their home, because the Police often come too late. “I

feel safer because I know how to handle my gun,” Gonzalez says.
Every night, before going to sleep, he loads his gun, a semi-automatic Glock 22, a .40 caliber pistol. “The ammo I am using can even tear through bulletproof vests,” he says. Af-

ter all, a thief could be wearing such a thing! At night the loaded gun lies by his bed, and he unloads it in the morning, although he has never used it at home so far. His wife, Rose, has come along to the Range for the third time. She holds the gun with both hands, complete with pink nail polish. The delicate 26-year-old stands on her high-heeled shoes, with her legs apart, focuses and aims at the target, pauses briefly and then pulls the trigger. The shot lets off sparks.
“Good shot, baby,” her husband cheers. After both

‘Women only’ hotel rooms { Palma de Mallorca, Spain/DPA }


ender-specific hotel accommodation, which has caused controversy elsewhere in the world, has arrived on the Spanish holiday island of Mallorca - where part of a hotel can be declared women-only on request. The Illetas Albatros, a part of the Barcelo Hotels’ chain, is offering rooms equipped with all the things it says are necessary for a perfect woman’s holiday - such as a full-length mirror, padded coat hangers, women’s magazines and aromatic candles. Yoga, Pilates and hairdressing appointments can be offered, while pyjama parties have been planned. The four rooms on the sixth floor are not permanently reserved for women, but can be allocated to women only through block booking.u

have ‘filled’ three targets with holes, using a hundred bullets, they visit the Range Shop. The cheapest rifle goes for 50 dollars and the most expensive costs more than 1,000 dollars. Gonzalez enquires about one that could be safer with a small kid at home.
News about shootings at schools and accidents involving children while at play does concern Gonzalez, but does not affect his views. “For me, the right to bear a gun for self-protection is one of the greatest things in our country. That’s Freedom,” he says.

Boardwalk along Palm Jumeirah crescent { Frankfurt/DPA }


he Dubai Tourism Ministry has announced plans for a Boardwalk along the crescent island that surrounds Palm Jumeirah. The new Walkway will stretch the entire length of the crescent, which forms an 11-kilometre breakwater for Palm Jumeirah - an artificial archipelago in the outline of a palm tree. The Walkway will be complemented by two 100-metre piers that would jut into the Gulf at both ends. Visitors will also be able to enjoy views of the sea and Dubai’s skyline from glass-walled restaurants and cafes situated along the route. u

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