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28 March-3 April 2014

Vol. 3 No. 32  Pages 24  ` 7

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

Citizens' Manifesto

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Time to Manifest Gurgaon

t’s time to declare our intent…of what we believe this unique City can and should offer. Gurgaon provides the perfect opportunity for showcasing the ‘new’ India, and it is a big disappointment that no young leader (including Rahul Gandhi) has been able to ‘see’ it – despite most living very close. Maybe politics makes most ‘leaders’ myopic – they seem to lose their vision (whatever) pretty early. Gurgaon has of course developed some world-class infrastructure in the Condos, Offices and Malls, but of far greater significance is the mix of our people. There is the core farm-based rural population in the villages (as also the upward mobile who have moved out to the City), the migrant labour, the property dealers and various service providers, the blue collar industrial workforce, the white collar BPO/IT manpower, the corporate/MNC executives, and the public sector, govt and (ex)defence personnel. There is youth aplenty, along with hundreds of schools; the residents have come from literally all parts of India, and the globe - there are expatriates in the thousands. We are a true global melting pot. As India urbanises, evolves and modernises, Gurgaon can provide a live benchmark for the rest of the country. Gurgaon can be chosen to ‘model’ and/or ‘lead’ India on: 1)  A modern life-style 2)  A cosmopolitan culture 3)  An industrial mega-township (around Manesar, with the upcoming KMP (Kundli- Manesar-Palwal) Expressway and the DMIC (Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor) 4)  Modern education 5)  Modern healthcare 6)  An MNC (Multi-National Corporation) Hub - beyond BPO/IT 7)  An integrated city (rural-urban, village-town) 8)  A Green City (Non-Motorised Transport, Solar, no Diesel generators, protected Aravallis, revived Water bodies). 9)  A ‘PPP’ (Public Private Partnership) Capital - along with NGOs The last three (7, 8 & 9) are areas that we are yet to work on. They carry immense potential and benefit and would be worth the challenge. For 8 & 9, Model Projects in part(s) of the City would be a worthwhile way to progress. Public Private Partnership, in this Corporate City, with the Corporate Social responsibility Bill now almost in force and with many worthy NGOs at work here, can be a game changer. Gurgaon can well be the most innovative and effective PPP implementer globally – and at least become the PPP Capital of India. Unfortunately the State and the CM have only been able to see ‘Land’ and ‘Builders’ (not even Developers) for almost a decade. Gurgaon’s electorate needs to preferably vote and choose a Party (and therefore an MP) whom they think will rule India after the elections; however, that Party should also be one that will deliver effective civic facilities and services to the aam aadmi. We need to have Gurgaon developed and monitored (for water, power, roads, wage, roads, public transport, traffic, EWS Housing) in a more planned manner – preferably through the NCR Planning Board (and not Chandigarh). Chandigarh and Panchkula are adding little value. Alternatively, we need a Gurgaon Development Authority – a nodal Agency running every service and department in the City, with the requisite authority. The GDA Head needs to have the vision, effectiveness, integrity and ‘no nonsense’ approach of a Sreedharan (of Metro fame). The Builder-Politician-Bureaucrat nexus needs to be broken. A new MP must push for the following actions: DTCP (Dept. of Town & Country Planning) should physically review all 5 year + projects that have still not been issued a Completion Certificate. The respective builders should get 6 months to complete all pending work, or be levied exemplary penalties on a one time and then monthly basis. Meanwhile all their new projects in the new sectors of Gurgaon (58 to 115) should be put on hold (or they should be blacklisted for

any further project in Haryana). No borewell should be allowed in any new construction project. Anyone flouting this rule should be treated with similar penalties as above. All land that was taken in the name of SEZs, and not ‘utilised’ for that purpose, should be returned to the respective farmers. All constructed EWS Housing should be allotted to EWS beneficiaries within 3 months; those currently staying in EWS flats/plots should be (re)verified.

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon

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espite being the financial capital of Haryana and a city that sometimes feels like a Metro, it has been the misfortune of Gurgaon that it does not fall on the political map of the State. Gurgaon is neither geographically nor numerically important for the entrenched political parties, and this is why the City has suffered in terms of civic infrastructure and services. As a result, lakhs of its residents still live a poor quality of life, despite the ‘Millennium City’ tag. The roads are in a bad shape, the sewage system is inadequate, streetlights cannot be found even in ‘posh’ colonies, water supply is scarce and power is always on load shedding mode. The buoyancy from the Real Estate and BPO/IT sectors is also missing today. The City is suffering the pangs of a slowdown. It’s time to act.

To send a message to the politicians, and make them aware of what Gurgaonites really want, and think should be done, we spoke to a crosssection of residents in ‘old’ and ‘new ‘Gurgaon. The result is a Citizens' Manifesto, which lays emphasis on building a better and more inclusive City. Some key elements are: Roads and Transport: Gurgaon has adequate roads but these are mostly in bad shape. The people also want more flyovers and underpasses, especially to connect ‘new’ and ‘old’ Gurgaon as well as the new Sectors spread all across. There is a demand for the extension of Delhi Metro to ‘old’ Gurgaon, safe and comfortable public transport, modern bus depots and bus stands, improved rickshaw service for better last mile connectivity and better feeder service to/ from the Metro stations. The residents also want better connectivity with Manesar and resolution of traffic issues Contd on p 7 


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28 March-3 April 2014

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319 Postal Regn. No. GRG/35/2012-2014, VOL.–3 No.–32  28 March-3 April 2014

Editor:

Atul Sobti

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

Prakhar Pandey

Sr. Designer:

Amit Singh

Circulation Execs.:

Sunil Yadav Manish Yadav

Sr. Exec Marketing:

Vikalp Panwar

Interviews....

For a Strong Centre

The raw deal given to Gurgaon and South Haryana forced the sitting MP Rao Inderjit Singh to rebel from the Congress, a Party that he represented for 36 years. A senior leader from South Haryana, Rao Inderjit was also cornered by Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, whose close proximity to the corridors of power in Delhi ensured that the Gurgaon MP remained on the margins of both the government and Party, in Haryana as well as the Centre.

For a Change

The Gurgaon Lok Sabha constituency (and therefore the election) is important because it tells which way the wind is blowing in South Haryana - as it covers large parts of the Yadav-dominated Ahirwal belt as well as the Muslim-dominated Mewat area. The Constituency is also being keenly watched as, over the last 5 years, Gurgaon has ‘blossomed’ even more.

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Dy. Manager A/cs & Admin:

C ontents

Shiv Shankar Jha

Special... Gurgaon's Got Talent

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:

editor@fridaygurgaon.com letters@fridaygurgaon.com contributions@fridaygurgaon.com subscription@fridaygurgaon.com adsales@fridaygurgaon.com

113 boys from Kanhai Village are Celebrities now. People click photos with them and passers-by stop to congratulate them. Life is no longer what it used to be, for this Group called Enthrall. It was the first group from Gurgaon to participate in one of the Country’s reputed talent shows, India’s Got Talent. Delivering performances that had a blend of tough acrobatics.

Despite being a hub for Manufacturing, IT and the Real Estate industry, Gurgaon lacks a world-class educational institution, particularly a University, to mentor the future of thousands of City and South Haryana youth who have to look elsewhere for higher education. To help fill this vacuum and transform the Higher Education sector in and around Gurgaon, the Hero Group has launched the BML Munjal University (BMU)

Wellness... Can the Cancer

Bon Vivant... Manipuri Bhakti

...P 12-13

...P 16

The latest World Cancer Report warns that we may be on the verge of a global tsunami. Annual new Cancer cases have already risen to 14 million in 2012 and are estimated to grow by a whopping 70% by 2025. What is worse is that the spiralling cost of treatment can not only sting the richest countries, but can virtually cripple the developing world, which accounts for 70% of all Cancer related deaths.

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

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

Social... An Education High

The Manipuri classical dance has today become synonymous with Ras-leela, a group dance with the protagonist Lord Krishna and his companion Radha, accompanied by other Gopis (damsels). It is an important tenet in Vaishnavism (worship of Vishnu and his incarnations). Manipuri Dance is basically intended to portray religion with spiritual connotations.

...P 18

G-Scape ....

...P 20

Plus Other Stories.... Civic/Social

Private Security Services....................................P 10 Social

The Dignity Project................................................P 11

IF YOU ARE NOT GETTING FG COPIES REGULARLY

Kid Corner

Activities/Events/Exhibitions/ Seminars......P 14-15 Global

SMS NR to 08447355801

...P 24

19th-Century Pneumatic Post still thrives........P22


28 March-3 April 2014

8th Women's Car Rally Date: March 29 Time: 7 am Uthaan organises a Women's Car Rally from Gurgaon to Chandigarh. Any vehicle that has 4 wheels, an engine, a steering wheel and a lady behind it can participate in the Rally! Sun & Moon Festival 2014 Date: March 29 Time: 10 am to 10 pm Venue: Zorba the Buddha, 166, MG Road Two Live Band performances. Genre: Deep House, Progressive House, Techno, Electro, Progressive, Psy Trance. Second Stage (poolside), Reggae, Hip Hop, Dubstep. Artists are Sunny Trehan Chinky Chopra Raghav Sehajpaul Agam Walia Ashvin Mani Sharma Calm Chor NDS & Blue SMASH Nasty Progressive brothers ITP PARAFORCE. Entry Free. Job Fest Date: March 31 Time: 7 pm to 11 pm Venue: Khandsa Road A Job Fest organised by www.mymagic jobs.com . It is a celebration of 7 lakhs visitors to their website.

India Internet Day 2014 Date: April 4 Time: 8.30 am Venue: Leela Kempinski India Internet Day (IID) 2014 is a gathering of global Internetgame changers. With 61 chapters across 17 countries, TiE is recognised as the global organisation fostering entrepreneurship through mentoring, networking and education. The TiE Delhi-NCR Chapter is among the largest and most vibrant across the vast TiE network and plays the role of an ecosystem builder and helps foster entrepreneurship.

Exhibition on Fuguratively Speaking Art Date: March 28 to April 6 Time: 11 am to 8 pm Venue: C 847a Sushant Lok Phase 1

C oming U p

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5 finalists for the Glenfiddich ‘Emerging Artist of the Year, 2014 Award’. The Award is given by Glenfiddich in partnership with Bestcollegeart.com, an online art gallery from India. The five shortlisted artists will present a group show ‘Five for the Future’ at Gallery Nature Morte, The Oberoi, Gurgaon on April 4, 2014. Chosen by a distinguished jury, one of them will be declared the Winner of the coveted Award. The Award has a total value of INR 10,00,000 – it includes INR 1,00,000 cash, three months residency in Scotland with a monthly stipend, materials allowance, travel and accommodation, and culminates with a solo show at Nature Morte in 2014. Over 2,500 works by 655 artists in this year’s contest were reviewed by a 10-member jury, comprising leading artists, curators and collectors. The five finalists for the “Emerging Artist of the Year”, 2014 Award are: 1. Tauseef Khan - New Delhi (in photo) 2. Sirivella Pragathikumar - Vadodra 3. Shrimanti Saha - Vadodra 4. Ravishankar - Chennai 5. Chetnaa Verma- Noida The Winner gets to represent India at the globally acclaimed programme which gives the participant a chance to collaborate with other celebrated international artists, and the opportunity to live and work at The Glenfiddich Distillery in Scotland. A unique feature of Glenfiddich’s Artists in Residence programme is the open brief that allows artists the freedom to explore and be inspired by the people, heritage and stunning surroundings of the Distillery, without any prescription on the work they create. Currently in its 13th year, AiR this year will welcome 10 artists from across the globe, the largest group ever - from India, China, Taiwan, Korea, Canada, North America, Mexico, Chile, Spain and the UK. Happy School Annual Day The Happy School is celebrating its 15th Annual Day on Monday, March 31st., from 5pm, at the Community Centre, F Bock, DLF Phase I. All are most welcome.

Art Affordable Art Fair @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: March 28 to 30 Time: 10:00 am to 8:00 pm A new Collection of affordable Art by Hunar Showcasing Art. The Exhibition includes works by Abdul Wasi Hamdard, Anisha Gupta, Aziz Ullah Tohki, Sanjay Soni, Rajesh Borse, Jyoti   Kalra, Dalip Chandolia, Rakesh Mandal, Kiran Borse, Prabhu Ram Rathod, Prashant Anasane and others. The Exhibition is curated by Nidhi Gupta.

Figurative Art is the most wonderful form of artistic accomplishment. An abstract sculpture or painting may be a thoughtprovoking yet interesting dynamism of a human body.We see these forms, clothed or nude, as representative of an Artist s imagination - a body combined inexorably with the soul .The large canvas of mankind is suddenly open before you .  Confessions Of A Humor Being Date: March 28 Time: 7.30 pm

Venue: Epicentre, Sector 44 Enjoy an evening with Nitin Gupta – a Comedian and a Chemical Engineer from IIT, Bombay. The evening will be full of laughter and loads of amusement. Nitin Gupta, popularly known as Rivaldo, has performed for various national and international shows. After finishing his engineering, he started Entertainment Engineers with a simple aim to make Stand up Comedy respectable in India. He has performed in various companies, colleges and other venues. Don't miss

Spring Carnival Gurgaon Lifestyle & Kids Exhibition Date: March 29 & 30 Time: 10 am onwards Venue: Community Centre, DLF Phase I Organised by Umang NGO. this unbridled laugh riot curated by Nitin Gupta. Success & Relaxation Workshop Date: March 27 & 28 Time: 9: 30 am to 6.30 pm Venue: Zorba The Buddha, 166, MG Road Zorba The Buddha presents a special Success & Relaxation Workshop. Conducted by Madita Dickhut, an industry pioneer for the last twenty years, the Workshop will focus on the NLP technique, that helps you reduce the levels of stress in your life - and to succeed. 

The Cover Price of Friday Gurgaon will increase from April 1, 2014, to Rs. 10 (Ten) per Issue (versus Rs 7 currently). The Annual Subscription would be Rs. 350 (Three Hundred & Fifty) for 52 Issues (versus Rs. 200 currently).


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H appenings

Hearty Healthy Living

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he 3C Company promoted another edition of Devils Circuit, this time pushing the residents of Gurgaon towards healthy living. Over 3,000 participants turned up at Sector 70 to battle the meanest and craziest obstacle-run format. This sporty extravaganza has earned the sobriquet of 'The Big Daddy of All Obstacles Runs' . The environment is testing: mud, freezing water, raging fire, ropes, dark tunnels, barbed wire, beastly tyres and concrete walls block the path of contestants and cause unexpected agony. In the course of this Run, participant have to overcome 15 obstacles spread over 5 kms of rugged terrain.

Innovation at its best

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he students were at their technical best, brimming with ideas and expectations and sharing the knowledge of their innovations. 40 Technical and 12 Non-Technical events were presented. .

Discover Your Health Quotient

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n an endeavour to highlight the importance of healthy living, SRL Diagnostics, the largest Diagnostic network in India, organised a Health Awareness and Check-up Camp at Raahgiri, to help the residents of Gurgaon de-code their Health Quotient. Free of cost medical check-ups, ranging from cholesterol and blood-sugar readings and creatinine tests to BMI and Blood Pressure assessments, are provided to visitors. Around 300 people had a check-up at the Camp. Dr. Sanjeev Vashishtha, CEO, SRL Diagnostics, said, "Early detection goes a long way in preserving our health. Complementary basic health checks reaffirm our commitment to ensuring healthier lifestyles, by creating awareness of health issues that affect people." Visitors at the SRL Camps were provided with a Health Report Card, which will track their Health Quotient, helping them monitor and keep tabs on their health. Visitors can also avail of advisory and consultation services through a designated doctor, who would guide them on an action plan based on the tests that they have had.


H appenings

28 March-3 April 2014

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Time-Out for Food

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he Evening was to honour the best around Delhi for their Food, Ambience and Drinks. The Time Out Food Awards, now in its second edition, will recognise the work of Culinary Masters of all kinds - Contemporary, Classic, Fusion, Traditional, Experimental - in two separate categories, Critics' Choice and People's Choice. "We've maintained the central credo the world over, to decide the nominees and winners in the ten Critics' Choice categories," said Jaideep Giridhar, Editor-in-Chief, Time Out India. "The Food and Drinks category is special for Time Out readers and globally we are known for our food reviews and recommendations," said Rajnish Rawat, the COO and Publisher of Time Out magazines in India.

United Ride

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nited Technologies Corporation and The Atlanta Foundation (TAF) joined hands to organise a Corporate Cycling event, the ‘United India Ride’. The Ride included cycling routes ranging from 2 km to 28 km and attracted over 1,200 participants from the corporate world. “The proceeds of this Ride, through sponsorships and ridership will go towards supporting charitable causes especially in the area of education for underprivileged children,” said Palash Roy Chowdhury, Head - CSR Council, United Technologies Corporation India Pvt Ltd and Board Member, United Way of Delhi.

Aziz Nite

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Awarded Out Of Home

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xchange4media presented the Out Of Home (OOH) Conference and Awards - the 4th Edition of the OOH Advertising Awards. Ron Graham, Chief Consultant, Media on the Go, said “Out Of Home Advertising looks at a future that offers more creative possibilities and deeper customer engagement." Advertising and on measuring OOH Advertising. Farrokh Madon, Chief Creative Officer, Young and Rubicam, Singapore, talked about how OOH Advertising can ned. 58 Awards were presented

he cool breeze in the evening, flowing through the combed leaves of the tall palms in the background, was the perfect setting for Ghazal maestro Talat Aziz. No, it was no beach resort or sea side place but the Club House at South City in our very own Gurgaon. The Club had arranged a Ghazal Nite with Talat Aziz. And what a night it was. The weather was trying to match the mood of the singer, as both complemented each other. Singing Ghazals from the oft-heard and popular to the rare, the Maestro was at his best and gave an exhilarating performance for three hours - without a break. The audience was equally appreciative and cheered often, with many requests coming from groups of all ages. The excellent arrangements by the Club, with adequate supply of drinks, food and seating space, made the evening memorable. We look forward to return of Talat Aziz again to the Millennium City (contributed by Col. Tej Dalal - retd.)


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THE WEEK THAT WAS

 Subhash Chandra is the Lok Sabha Election Observer designated for Gurgaon. Call 0124 2300080 or email at generalobserver1.2014@gmail. com for any election queries and issues.  Finally 22 candidates are in the fray for the Gurgaon Lok Sabha seat; and about 300 candidates for 10 seats across Haryana.  A new Panel has been constituted for overseeing the proposed shifting of the Ammunition Depot. The MCG Commissioner has been inducted in the 6-member Panel headed by the Additional Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development.  Minister Sukhbir Kataria and others are charged with forging documents in the ‘bogus votes’ case in a new FIR. A Police report will be furnished on April 14th.  A brave woman, Chandra Devi, who fought off cow smugglers, is felicitated by the Police Commissioner.  An 11-year-old boy is found dead in Sector 5 – he had been missing; a Class 10 student of Sector 5 kills an 11-year-old boy while playing a game - the body is found in a parking lot near Sheetla Mata Mandir; a drunken youth kills his friend in a fight; a married woman commits suicide; the bodies of a young couple are found in Civil Lines – they had consumed poison.  A peacock is found dead on the road near Bakhtawar Chowk. 3 people are booked.  2 minor girls are raped in South City I by 2 villagers from Kanhai Vilage; an MCG official is booked for alleged rape of a colleague for years; a wife accuses her husband of unnatural sex and files charges; a

man is arrested for molesting a student.  2 men are booked for throwing acid on a 12-year-old boy in Village Langra, Bilaspur; a driver is knifed by robbers trying to loot his truck at Atlas Chowk, NH8 - they flee when others respond to the driver’s cries for help; 4 priests of Sheetla Mata Mandir held for assaulting a magistrate; a property dealer is shot at outside his house.  Residents have been asked by the Poiice to deposit their licensed guns by March 28th., before the election; 2 are arrested for keeping illegal weapons.  An arrested gangster, Rathee, wanted in Sohna, escapes from the town due to the negligence of UP Police who had brought him there – he is caught the next day; an Innova car is ‘snatched’ in DLF III; a man carrying marijuana is held in Village Gadoli; 3 are arrested from Sector 62 for gambling; 5 members of a robber gang are arrested while robbing an export house in Udyog Vihar; 12 are arrested for gambling online, from Sushant Lok I - 2 people are able to flee; a Delhi woman is defrauded of Rs 2 crores by a DLF II property dealer; a person is defrauded of Rs 86 lakhs, for the booking of a Porche; 2 robbers snatch a Fortuner car from the driver of a CEO at gunpoint, near Westin Hotel; a man is robbed of Rs 36,000 near an ATM; a woman snatches another’s gold chain at Sheetla Mata Mandir – the thief is overpowered and beaten up by other women; 4 (including 2 women) are arrested for selling a plot twice – an

army person is also involved; a police officer is duped of Rs 11,000 in an ATM fraud; a pub in DLF IV is raided and the owner is booked.  AAP Chief faces protests on his visit to the City, and a few local senior members quit AAP; Mayawati addresses residents of the City; Modi is to visit Gurgaon on April 3.  Hundreds of Ardee City residents take to the streets to protest against the builder, for not providing basic facilities.  Political workers vandalise the Faridabad Road Toll Booth; no Toll will be taken from commercial vehicles reentering Gurgaon from Delhi, due to the closure of the Ambience U turn.  HUDA RWAs fight over deployment of sanitation staff, in an experiment of HUDA handing over sanitation to RWAs.  DLF I reels under power cuts, due to Rapid Metro work.  Workers strike at 3 plants of Napino Auto.  Splash, a drawing competition for children with special needs, takes place in Shri Ram School. Over a hundred children, brought in by various NGOs, participate.

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Tips

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

There will be no Raahgiri on this Sunday (March 30th) and the next (April 6th), due to the Elections on April 10th. Hopefully will restart from April 13th.

Q. Kindly advise a good way to manicure at home.

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You would need a small bowl for soaking your hands in warm water; an emery board (a wooden nail file); nail clippers; cotton wool; cotton SH buds; nail polish remover, nail polish and hand cream. First remove old nail varnish. Cut the nails with a nail clipper and shape with emery board. File the nails in one direction only and not back and forth. Put some warm water in the bowl, add a little shampoo and soak your hands in it for 5 minutes. For dry nails, add a few drops of pure almond oil. After soaking, clean nails with a soft brush and wash hands. Use cotton buds to push back cuticles and clean under nails. Apply hand cream on the nails and cuticles. Massage it into the skin. Wipe off excess cream with a moist towel. Then apply nail varnish, using smooth strokes, from the base of the nails to the tip. Three long strokes are adequate to cover each nail. First apply it in the middle of the nail and then on either side. Two coats of colour will be needed for an even finish. It’s a good idea to apply a transparent top coat, as this helps the nail polish last longer.

Aparna Kumar

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 letters@fridaygurgaon.com


C ivic/S ocial

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Citizens' Manifesto  Contd from p 1 at the major bottlenecks. The Bus service should be more regular, shared autos should be slowly removed and the fare of autos should be fixed. The Railway Station should be modernised, the Gurgaon-Jaipur Highway should be completed fast, there should be better signage on all the roads and streets and multi-level parking areas should be constructed in both ‘old’ and ‘new’ Gurgaon. Water and Power: Many residents want Rain Water Harvesting to be made mandatory. Gurgaonites want the government and builders to develop adequate power infrastructure, stop power theft and make people aware about the right usage of electricity (to reduce waste). Many builders have not installed adequate power infrastructure (sub-stations), despite getting the IDC charges from the buyers. Real Estate: Residents want the monopoly of builders to be checked through a regulatory body - DTCP and HUDA should

have a negligible role in this area. Action should be taken against wrong practices and builders should follow the rulebook for ensuring good maintenance. The control of common areas in condominiums should be with the residents, not the builders. Property dealers who are not registered should be banned. Police and Security: Gurgaon should have an empowered police, with adequate powers given to the Police Commissioner. The number of policemen in the City should be increased, particularly the women police. There is a need to see more police cars and bikes patrolling the City, to make people feel safer and more secure. The Traffic Police should have better equipment, and the Control Room should monitor the roads on a live basis – through CCTVs (like Chandigarh). Women’s Safety: This a major issue and troubles the entire City - whether in the ‘posh’ malls of the ‘new’ City or markets in the ‘old’ City. People want more

women squads and PCR vans, and immediate and strict action against those who indulge in eve teasing and harassment of women. There is also a strong demand to stop the sprouting of liquor vends and to ensure that people do not drink in the open around them. Regularisation of colonies: There are about 85 unauthorised colonies and residents want these brought under some ‘plan’. The colonies in the 900 meters area around the Ammunition Depot should be provided civic facilities. Saving the Environment: The residents want the parks in the City, particularly the Biodiversity Park, to be developed. There should be a ban on any development in the Aravallis, ground water should be used wisely, and there should be a ban on its usage in construction projects. There should be a check on the use of generators and solar power should be promoted in the City. Other Demands: Setting up of a nodal Gurgaon Develop-

ment Authority, development of a cultural centre, renovation of Sheetla Mata temple, setting up of a University and Medical college, putting up an online system for reporting grievances, checking the mushrooming pri-

vate schools and the high fees, ensuring housing for EWS, better medical facilities in the Civil Hospital, more night shelters for the poor especially during the winters, and ‘renovation’ of the Sadar Bazaar area. u

Vox Populi (from the Residents’ mouths) A Gurgaon resident who calls herself a feminist and human rights activist, and who is disgruntled with the state of the City.The City should have better lit streets, roads, nooks and crannies. Gurgaon needs to be ‘walking friendly’. There needs to be stricter enforcement of traffic rules, so that we don't drive as if the streets are privately owned. There should be better treatment Indu Gulati Crime control and traffic management. Seema Jain Krishnan Local public transport and strict regulation on the selling of liquor, tobacco and drugs. Gaurav Gupta Women’s safety, government sports complexes Kiran Chaturvedi Better sanitation and water management. Ashu Purii Talwaar Roads and lights, power, signage on dug sites, better car drivers, lots of lady police. Of course, jobs. Safety, above all. Juni Kohli Better traffic system (specially at the peak office hours), separate lane for buses, and more music, art & cultural schools (we must celebrate all our festivals and rituals vividly). Vikash Tyagi Roads, police-public relations, strong traffic rules for commercial autos, school fees to be rationalised. Manu Manu D Security and infrastructure. Archana Kapoor Nagpal Workshops and action on safety of women, handling of children, cultural events around literature.

Sonia Bajaj Promotion of health and making people aware of the importance of fitness. Ikraam Aulakh Improving the increasingly important Golf Course Extension Road. Better policing at night. Ram N Kumar Punishing people who don't follow rules or do not exhibit any civic sense. Public transport should be given an extra budget. Autos should have meters. Aarushi Verma Safety for woman and well-lit roads with clearly marked directions. Proper fares for autowallahs. Public transport is a nightmare. Davinder Sachdeva CCTV cameras on roads. Proper auto rickshaw stands - so that they don't block roads. Deeba Rajpal Safety, better roads across the City, Rapid Metro in ‘old’ Gurgaon, push for organic agriculture, better management of local produce. The idea of a ‘food truck’, to collect left over food from restaurants, to share with the underprivileged. Archana Kadel Child labour should be prohibited and actions must be taken for girls’ security. Manas Arvind Stop indiscriminate conversion of farm and forest land for construction,

and regularisation of autos and rickshawalas – with minimum wages and a better quality of work environment. The City should respect the rights of domestic workers. Big malls should not come up near residential areas. I would like to see a feature on all the candidates standing from Gurgaon and their views.

crackdown on power theft, provide guaranteed power to all, strong public grievance cell against civic bodies/ police/private body affecting life at large (example - builders encroaching the proposed parks and schools and making towers instead), cycling tracks. Better planning.

mandatory, sewage, making the City disabled-friendly, developing sports centres, we should be able travel even at 2am without fear, and empowering cleaners, sweepers, autorickshawwallahs, rickshaw-wallahs and of course the police... If they are happy they will keep us happy.

Arnie K Kohli Law and order, water supply and public transport need to be resolved.

Bhuvaneshwari Joshi Commuting to be made easy within the City.

Apurva Sharma There is a laundry list, but apart from safety I would suggest world-class infrastructure - better and beautified roads, more connecting roads and widening of roads. Water and sewage are also important issues.

Aakash Gogia Not really do I carry a pile full of complaints, but the handful of amendments would be: with the city developing and getting modernized, I want proper assignment of policemen at every sector/phase; the police patrolling really helps in keeping things under control. I would want the roads to be properly constructed - the roads in Sushant Lok, near South City- 2, and inside South City 1, really need to be targeted.

Garvita Chaturvedi Cleanliness & safety for women, waste management, remove litter from roadsides. lady Police presence in unsafe areas for women, awareness via newspapers. Anuj Gupta Infrastructure and security, roads, sewage, water and electricity, good policing.

Ashma Khanna Sachdeva Promote Ayurveda treatments and reimbursement for the same should be allowed.

Suman Dash Security for women, better roads, removal of the liquor shops from residential areas, better transportation facilities, better drainage during the rains, making Rain Water Harvesting

Ishan Grover Water supply and electricity.

Haribhushan Mishra Transport, law and order

Bhushan Arora I want proper electricity, traffic solutions,

neat & clean roads and a better drainage system. It is not a well-planned city like Chandigarh. Faraz Khan Better roads to begin with, a bettermanaged municipality, and an amphitheatre. We would want more security around the ‘thekas’. The pubs problem in Sahara Mall is an issue that the government is closing its eye on. Better public transport. We miss something like an Indian Habitat Centre. Alka Gurha Accountability and transparency from Huda and MCG. Power, water and sanitation are in a shambles. And we need to break the builder-politician nexus. Anil Kumar Kherwal I want GDA (Gurgaon Development Authority) & employment of youth in local industry. Many problems are there - such as Hero Honda flyover, sewage ,waterlogging, Metro connectivity to IMT Manesar. Ila Prakash Singh Public transport, local taxis (like Cool Cabs), and reasonable, pothole-free roads, Archana Sharma Better roads and uninterrupted power supply. Anurag Lall Electricity infrastructure, and dual charges (by the MCG and private colonisers) should end.


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28 March-3 April 2014

For a Strong Centre

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon

T

he raw deal given to Gurgaon and South Haryana forced the sitting MP Rao Inderjit Singh to rebel from the Congress, a Party that he represented for 36 years. A senior leader from South Haryana, Rao Inderjit was also cornered by Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, whose close proximity to the corridors of power in Delhi ensured that the Gurgaon MP remained on the margins of both the government and Party, in Haryana as well as the Centre. However, Rao Inderjit, like his father (former CM Rao Birender Singh), is not known to forget a political snub easily. Speaking to Friday Gurgaon, Rao Inderjit Singh says that he left the Congress after realising that the Party had become a private company and the Chief Minister represented only one district - Rohtak and one lobby - builders. “Gurgaon is today a civic nightmare,” he asserts. As the sitting Gurgaon MP, Rao Inderjit (the BJP candidate now) is in a strong position, thanks to his vote bank and the Modi ‘wave’. Friday Gurgaon asks him of his plans for Gurgaon and Gurgaonites. Why is your party or leader the best for the country, and Gurgaon? Narendra Modi today represents a strong leadership, which can give the

country a stable government, tackle the challenges of development like he has done in Gujarat, and thus give a strong push to economic growth - which needs stability. More than anything else India today needs jobs and an impetus to the economy, which only a leader like Modi can ensure. The success of BJP now, and later in the State polls, will ensure that development, employment, growth and the building of infrastructure would be equal across the State. Jobs should be given on merit, and not because someone hails from the home district of the Chief Minister or is related to him. For the nation as well, a strong Prime Minister will ensure faster and bolder decisionmaking, which is sorely needed. What would you do for Gurgaon as a more empowered MP? How do you plan to resolve the various problems faced by the fast-expanding City? I know there are many problems in Gurgaon, but it was the intransigence of the Congress government and its failure to look beyond certain cities, which ensured that South Haryana remained in a pathetic state. Despite contributing more than 60 per cent of the State’s revenue, what do we get in return? As an MP who has a say in the government I would propose the setting up of a Gurgaon Development Authority (GDA), which would be an overarching body empowered to take decisions locally. We will not have to look towards Chandigarh for every small thing, and even major

PRAKHAR PANDEY

issues would be resolved here. This will ensure faster decision-making, better co-ordination among the agencies and a time-bound implementation of specific infrastructure projects. How do you plan to take on the builders’ lobby in Gurgaon? The control of builders is all-pervasive in the State, with no politician or government institution daring to take any action despite alleged large scale bungling? What has happened will not continue for long. All the licences that have been issued in the past will be scrutinised, and wherever there is any violation of rules and regulations, the authorities will impose penalties - and if need be the licences of habitual offenders will be cancelled. The Real Estate Regulator will be given enough teeth to ensure that no builder is able to give possession to buyers without a Completion Certificate. The agreements between builders and buyers would be balanced and there would be no exploitation. The Regulator would also need to ensure that developers follow the rules, build the infrastructure and then leave the premises once they are finished. What are the top three agendas in your Manifesto for Gurgaon? The top three agendas would be: setting up the Gurgaon Development Authority (GDA); giving more powers to the Gurgaon Police Commissioner,

P olitical like the Delhi Model; and ensuring availability of adequate water and power for the City. Giving more power to the Police Commissioner will ensure that the City becomes safer, as decisionmaking would be quicker, the police would be less politicised and have their ears to the ground - rather than looking towards Chandigarh for leadership. It will also ensure better management and control of traffic in the City, and the introduction of more policewomen - which is required in a city like Gurgaon. For ensuring the availability of water we need to focus on natural canals, which were serving this area for centuries but have fallen victim to concretisation and urbanisation. We need to revive water bodies like Sultanpur, Damdama and Badkhal, so that the water table rises. Rain Water Harvesting in Gurgaon and the Aravallis is also the need of the hour. What do you think are the major issues and problems that need to be tackled? How do you plan to address these shortcomings? One of the top priorities would be to ensure that the Delhi Metro line through Dwarka is brought to ‘old’ Gurgaon via Palam Vihar and Atul Kataria Chowk. Another top priority is to ensure rail connectivity with Mewat, which will ensure that this area becomes more accessible and development reaches there easier. Gurgaon, and in fact the entire South Haryana, lacks an integrated transport system, which has made people dependent on autos, shared taxis and buses. I will ensure that we have a great intra-City bus service, and more stands and stops. At the Centre I will take up the issue of setting up an MRTS to connect Rewari with Delhi, and also to set up a monorail from Gurgaon to Manesar. How are you going to tackle corruption in high places, and the daily corruption that hits the common man the most? I have a clean track record, and despite 36 years in politics no one can accuse me of corruption - which has tainted the entire political spectrum. In my view there is need to strengthen the State Vigilance Organization and bring honest officers forward. We need to send a clear message that action will be taken against the corrupt. Political Parties and leaders also need to set personal examples. The land scams that have taken place in the last ten years also would be probed, and those who have benefitted by subverting the rule of law would be made accountable. Land deals, ad hoc CLU changes and employment scams will also be probed. We do not want to be vindictive, but we need to ensure that the corrupt are made to pay for their unlawful deeds. Gurgaon is both urban and rural. How do you plan to integrate the two for equal development? It is a dichotomy that Gurgaon has some of the richest urban areas as well as a hinterland that is not developed and lacks any support from the government. The original inhabitants are out of the State govt’s sight and mind. We need to take governance to the peripheries of


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28 March-3 April 2014

this Constituency, and ensure that the huge resources in terms of land and manpower are utilised effectively. I plan to give a massive push to agriculture as well as start technical colleges in rural areas - to train the youth and enable them to get jobs. There is also a need to impart soft skills training to the local workforce. While there is a shortage of trained manpower in urban areas, industry does not give jobs to the rural folk, as they are not ‘polished’. I will also try to get more industrial hubs created in backward areas of South Haryana, to ensure that there is an even spread and Gurgaon, which is a commercial hub, does not get choked by population and pollution.

What are your plans to safeguard the greenery and environment of Gurgaon City and the adjoining areas? The Haryana government’s push for construction in the Aravallis needs to be stopped, as it is a decision bad in intent and would cause unimagined disaster to the environment. These hills have saved Haryana and Delhi from desertification, and in our greed for more land we should not forget that these are the very basis of our existence. First, this decision needs scrutiny, and thereafter efforts would be made to revive old lakes, ponds and channels in the area. I will push for setting up more Seawage Treatment Plants and wastewater recycling. All these

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon

T

he Gurgaon Lok Sabha constituency (and therefore the election) is important because it tells which way the wind is blowing in South Haryana - as it covers large parts of the Yadav-dominated Ahirwal belt as well as the Muslim-dominated Mewat area. The Constituency is also being keenly watched as, over the last 5 years, Gurgaon has ‘blossomed’ even more. It today contributes to more than half of the revenue of the State and is clearly a Corporate, even Multinational (MNC), Hub. Adding to the ‘colour’, it has also become a major political battleground, with Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and his erstwhile colleague and bete noire Rao Inderjit Singh fighting for supremacy in this Region (for now, and for the State later). The battle for Gurgaon has become even more interesting with the Aam Aadmi Party deciding to field a top leader and ideologue, Yogendra Yadav - who is also a ‘son of the soil’ hailing from Rewari. With the Election date fast approaching, the political air in the Gurgaon constituency is really hotting up, with all the candidates and their Parties carrying out rallies, roadshows and meetings. To know and understand what these politicians have in mind for the people of Gurgaon, and their plans for the City, Friday Gurgaon spoke to various candidates. We present the discussion with AAP candidate Yogendra Yadav, who says that the Lok Sabha polls in Haryana are a ‘base camp’ for the Party and the ultimate aim is to climb to the top of the State polls scheduled towards the end of the year. Why is your party or leader the best for the country, and Gurgaon? Arvind today represents hope in the country; we came in at a time when the Nation had lost any hope for national regeneration amidst so much corruption and lack of accountability. AAP, led by Kejriwal, is a symbol of probity and courage in public life, which today lacks honest people and where power has become the ultimate objective. In Gurgaon, which is a hub of political corruption, AAP promises to clean the Augean stables, and I as a candidate know the various issues and problems that need immediate resolution. We do not want to have a political agenda based on any religious or caste identity, which has invariably become the tool for other parties. We will also challenge the corrupt system that has been facilitated by both BJP and Congress the across the country - and Haryana in particular. What would you do for Gurgaon as an MP? How do you plan to help resolve the various problems being faced by this ever-expanding City? Gurgaon faces multiple issues - some can be raised in Parliament whereas others are Municipal in nature. The latter would need action at the local level, which is only possible if urban governance reforms take place. I

efforts will go a long way in saving the environment. We will also work closely with the NCR Planning Board to ensure that our development is in synergy. Why should the youth and women vote for you? BJP today has the largest number of youth and women volunteers, which proves the popularity of the Party among these sections. The youth in Gurgaon want jobs, a stable government and a strong leader. For these reasons they are going to vote for us. For women, the Party will ensure that the City, the State of Haryana, and India as a whole, is a lot safer and more secure –

For a Change will push for delegation of authority and the setting up of a single integrated agency - which not only will have the powers and responsibility but will also be accountable to the people. Today we have powerful bureaucratic agencies that feel they are answerable only to the Chief Minister. Gurgaon needs to be run from the city and not from Chandigarh, and by an agency that has an overarching vision of what the City needs. How do you plan to take on the builders’ lobby in Gurgaon? The control of builders is all-pervasive in the State, with no politician or government institution daring to take any action despite alleged large scale bungling? High-level corruption with the involvement of politicians is the reason for this state of affairs in Gurgaon. This State govt is a government ‘of the builders, for the builders and by the builders’ - with no hope for the aam aadmi. The first challenge for us would be to take on the builder lobby, which appropriates land from the farmers with the help of the government and then sells it at a very high premium to the homebuyers. The buyers are also exploited, as they are not given what has been promised, infrastructure is not created, maintenance is negligible and everywhere it is the interests of builders that are uppermost. In such a scenario it will require great political will and support from the people to change the power equation, so that builders are made accountable and forced to follow the rules in letter and spirit. What are your plans to tackle corruption at the higher level as well as the daily corruption that hits the common man? We plan to have a strong Lok Pal at the State level, which will have the power to tackle corruption from the top to the bottom. The creation of this Institution is core to the AAP philosophy and we believe a strong Lok Pal will be able to check all corruption effectively. Another objective would be to set up a transparent system to award government contracts. The system of rewarding Party supporters and close friends with lucrative government contracts would be stopped, as it has become a permanent source of not only corruption but also poor quality work - as even monitoring is lax in such cases. Further, Gurgaon will witness a strict enforcement of the Haryana Apartment Owners Act, to ensure that homebuyers get what was promised in the Agreement and as per the Act. This will ensure that apartment buyers are not shortchanged by powerful builders. AAP also plans to introduce a Citizens’ Charter, which will fix a time frame for delivery of government services and help reduce any ‘discretionary’ powers. What are the top three agendas in your Manifesto for Gurgaon? Tackling corruption and ‘illegal’ land acquisition, and

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on the streets and at work. What makes you a proud Gurgaonite? The large-heartedness of the people of this Region, who have embraced change, and the people from outside who treat this City as their own, is the great virtue of Gurgaon. I am also proud of the large number of migrants who have come here and ensured that this City has become a symbol of India's successful urbanisation. I am proud of the assimilating culture of this Region, where people believe in the dictum of ‘live and let live’.

building infrastructure across the Constituency, would be our primary agendas. I believe that fair compensation for land should be ensured for the farmers, and wherever the acquired land has not been used for five years it should be returned. We have been fighting against forcible land acquisition in Haryana for long, and the time has come that the new land acquisition rules should be implemented in letter and spirit. The poor infrastructure across Gurgaon, including the City and rural areas, needs immediate attention and AAP would focus on it. In Mewat, educational infrastructure would be given a boost, roads will be built to connect important towns and water scarcity would be resolved. In Gurgaon too there is a need for massive upgradation of infrastructure - in terms of roads, power and water. How do you plan to integrate urban and rural Gurgaon? This is a major challenge for us but we will provide a vision to integrate the vast rural hinterland with urban Gurgaon. The rural areas should be seen as an opportunity as they are a source of raw material as well as labour. More importantly, AAP would focus on giving preferential treatment to locals in industry and the corporate sector - which is not happening till now. We will also try to ensure that urban Gurgaon could act as a training ground for rural youth, who can learn technical and soft skills required for getting a good job. Efforts will also be made to boost small scale manufacturing, particularly as vendors to large units. What is your vision to safeguard the environment, and for greenery, in the City? The decision of the State to push for tourism in the Aravallis is a disaster and we will oppose it tooth and nail. The ground water situation is already bad in the City and it would take no more than 10 years to make Gurgaon dry. Unless the Aravallis are saved and traditional ponds and lakes in the area revived, we could face immense problems. I will push for rain water harvesting, wise usage of water and recycling. Why should women and youth vote for you? Women, more than men, prefer clean politics and AAP stands for their empowerment. The safety of women is a major issue in Gurgaon and we would work hard to ensure that they feel safer on the streets and in offices and malls. Most importantly, it is only AAP that is taking up the issue of the rampant scaling up of liquor vends across the City, which makes the environs insecure. We will ensure that such vends are not opened in green belts, and in other areas the consent from locals will be taken. The youth should vote for us because we are a young party that understands their issues and problems, and has been powered by them. What makes you a proud Gurgaonite? I was born here and I am naturally fond of this place. But more than that, Gurgaon represents the natural microcosm that is India. It represents the diversity of India. While there are people from all parts of India, it has strong local, rural roots. It is this diversity in motion that makes me feel very proud of being a citizen of Gurgaon.u


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C ivic/S ocial

Private Security Services { Maj (Retd) N K Gadeock }

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ll civilised societies want to live in peace and harmony, shunning violence and disturbance of any kind in their surroundings. They uphold the rule of law and respect the rights of the individual to live with dignity in a just and fair environment. Free India’s journey has not been smooth, as it has faced numerous challenges of a developing third-world economy in a not too friendly neighbourhood.

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ole for Private Police

The State security apparatus - comprising the Armed Forces, Central Police Organizations (CPOs) and the State (Public) Police today lies stretched. India has one of the lowest (Civil) Police to population ratios resting at 0.95 per 1000 - compared with the global average of 3 per 1000. The impact of this on a population of 1.2 billion is staggering. These ‘gaps’ in the security environment manifest a huge role for a private police force. This Force must be capable of taking on multiple security threats and challenges. It must be wellmotivated, trained, organised and equipped to become a third line of defence for the people of India (after the Armed Forces and the CPOs). Today this Private Security Sector (PSS) comprises 7 million people and is growing at a yearly rate of over 20%. This Force is deployed in about 15,000 Security companies across the country. However, PSS, which is the second largest employer of manpower in the country (after the agriculture sector), is unfortunately an unorganised sector and is staffed by youth who are lacking in education and hailing from the weaker sections of society. The Central Government promulgated the Model Rules 2006 to standardise the functioning of PSS across the country.

The Up-Skilling Drive

Experts have estimated that India has the capacity to create a certified and skilled workforce of 500 million across all sectors by the year 2022. This would provide tremendous employment opportunities and make growth more inclusive and shared. To achieve this, institutional arrangements have been finalised and put in place under the Prime Minister’s Office. Towards this end the Planning Commission has set up the National Skills Development Corporation (NSDC). The NSDC has a mandate of up-skilling 150 million people (30% of the overall figure) by 2022. To achieve this, NSDC is in the process of setting up Skill Councils in different sectors of the economy. One of the first such Councils to be set up, through the lead taken by the Central Association of Private Security Industry (CAPSI), is the Security Knowledge and Skill Development Council (SKSDC) - for addressing various issues related to PSS.

SKSDC

SKSDC was formed in March 2011 as a not-for-profit company, with a Board of Directors comprising 25 members - representing the lead players of the Security industry, end users and other stakeholders. Kunwar Vikram Singh, Chairman CAPSI, was unanimously elected as the Chairman. SKSDC aims at transforming PSS from an unorganised industry to an organized one, by consistently and continuously developing relevant knowledge and Skills. Its objectives are, firstly, to ensure a steady and high level of Skilled manpower supply to the Security sector, by promoting the necessary Skill Development; secondly, to develop the necessary framework for upgrading the Skills to international standards; and thirdly, to undertake research to identify future requirements in training and Skill enhancement. For the success of this Programme, the key lies in planning and executing the training and certification of Master Trainers, who would form the backbone of the skilling drive. Coupled withthis would be the need to identify training providers across the country, to be accredited and developed as centres of excellence. To lend credibility to the entire process, impartial Boards would be constituted - for the conduct of examinations and certification of those trained by the shortlisted training providers. SKSDC will continue to monitor and audit the quality of Security training being provided across the country. It will also establish a nationwide database of trained manpower - level and trade wise.

NVEQF Project

SKSDC has also been co-opted in the National Vocational Educational Qualification Framework (NVEQF) Pilot Project, launched by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), for implementation in select schools across identified areas. The Project aims to embed the education system with both Skill Development and Vocational Education, which would enable the vertical progression of children, fulfilling their social aspirations along with enhancing their employability quotient. NVEQF is a broad framework, which has been developed to integrate general education, technical vocational education and training qualifications at various levels in the education system. The aim is to provide those who drop out from the mainstream of education - at different

levels - the wherewithal to seek employment, while retaining the option of reentering the mainstream of education at a later stage (based on a system of credits that enables vertical and horizontal pathways). India, with a workforce of 500 million, has a current level of unemployment of 46 million; it is likely to grow to about 55 million in the next 10 years. India also has one of the youngest populations in the world, with a median age of 24 years. However, each year, while over 200 million students enrol for school in Class I, only 20 million are able to finish Class XII - signifying a dropout rate of 90%! And a further 100 million children have no access to schooling. Most of the dropouts do not have the necessary education or skills to be productively employed by industry. This is the primary pool from which the PSS has been harnessing its manpower - and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. This has serious implications for the Private Security Sector, which is a manpower intensive industry. Rapid growth in GDP, leading to higher rates of industrialisation and greater urbanisation, will only increase the call on the PSS. The setting up of SKSDC, backed by CAPSI and supported by the provisions of the PSAR Act 2005, augurs well for PSS. The overall improvement in various facets of PSS, envisioned to be brought about in a systematic manner, will help in increasing the respect for this Sector. There can anyway be no compromise in this, as it would impact the security and well-being of the population at large.

PSS Status

The Private Security Sector, which just kind of grew in response to a ‘necessity’, had been growing in an unregulated manner. However, with the enactment of PSAR Act 2005, the Industry has been reined in to a very large extent with regard to its role, licensing and recruitment, and oversight by controlling authorities. The implementation of the Act has been further streamlined with the publication of the Model Rules 2006, which ensure standardisation, licensing, verification and oversight procedures across the Industry. Implementation across all regions of the country has however been slow – with the Home Department, dealing with law and order, being a State subject. The issues that adversely affect the PSS are the low pay packages drawn by Security Guards and Supervisors - who are at best placed in the semi-skilled category of labour, entitling them to just minimum wages as laid down by the State Governments. This severely impacts the quality of manpower that volunteers to

join the PSS. A majority of those who join have at best a high school education level and hail from the weaker sections of rural society. Even though adequate labour laws exist in the country, their weak implementation, often brought about by the malafide intent of concerned officials, leads to the exploitation of the rank and file. Besides this, the Security Guard performs his duties without the cover of any special legal provisions, such as are available to the Civil (Public) Police under the Code of Criminal Procedure. The only provisions that assist them in performing their duties are from those sections of the Indian Penal Code that relate to the right of self-defence and protection of property - which are available to all Indian citizens. Thus, they often operate with their hands tied behind their backs. Existing government regulations do not allow private security companies to hold licensed weapons of any caliber. The weapons with the PSS are those held by individuals - usually ex-defence/ police personnel - who have been authorised private arms licenses of the 12 bore variety. In view of this, the percentage of armed guards in the PSS is rather low. Despite these handicaps the PSS is performing yeomen service to society. The deployment of private Security Guards in most facilities has positively contributed towards crime prevention and community safety. This notwithstanding, numerous measures are required to further strengthen the PSS - which are being addressed both by CAPSI and the newly constituted SKSDC. Further, the experiences gained over the last nine years dictate the need for amending various provisions of the PSAR Act 2005, to address some of the weaknesses highlighted above. The Central Government has been asked to constitute a special ‘wage board’, to fix separate scales of salaries for the Private Security Sector, delinking it from the minimum wages currently being paid by the State Governments. This would go a long way in making the Sector more attractive as a full-time career option for the youth of the country - an aspect also being factored into the NVEQF Project. Action is also underway to evolve a system of getting Government approval for the issuance of arms licences to private security companies who fulfill the laid down criteria.

Conclusion

The Security environment in India has changed for the worse over the last decade, as we live in a disturbed - and at times hostile - neighborhood. Many of the Security challenges that we face, have their roots across our borders, over which we have limited control. This has stretched the State Security apparatus comprising the Armed Forces and CPOs - to the full. To fill the gaps in the Security, especially those that affect the common man, an increasingly significant role has been created for the Private Security Sector. We need to exploit this potential to the full – both for the employment of our youth and for the Security of all.u


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The Dignity Project { Anita Jaswal}

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teve Jobs said: You’ve got to find what you love…. the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking, and don’t settle. Archana Sharma is one such fortunate person. A seasoned IT professional, she took a break from corporate life to spend time with her son - then studying in Class XI. She has always wanted to serve society in some impactful manner. So when she decided to get back to active work life, she went on a fairly unbeaten path of serving the Senior Citizens. She has made it her mission to assist them to live an active and engaging life. If you thought that the only way of socialising for the elderly was meeting at religious gatherings or for cards, think again. A one-of-its-kind Senior Citizens’ meeting place has come up in the middle   of the City, in the form of Samvedna Senior Citizens’ Activity Centre. “It had been my long cherished dream to make this kind of a centre. The place is an ideal hangout for the elderly, especially those retired employees who lead a quiet life. The Centre is equipped with a library, computer room, mini-gym, table tennis, carom and chess boards. Besides, it has a couple of sitting areas for conducting workshops, meditation sessions and quiz programs. The aim is to provide a place where the elderly can socialise, stimulate their minds and indulge in activities they

enjoy. Our Seniors enjoy getting quizzed on various topics – like History, General Knowledge, Sports, Music and Personalities. Their competitive spirit gets revived and they become almost childlike, eager to win the contests. The workshops are aimed to create awareness, help introspect and to discuss issues concerning the elderly. Some of the workshops conducted have been on Dementia, Generation Gap and Communication in Relationships. Besides this, the Seniors are also learning how to write blogs and taking Spanish language classes at the Centre. The members are from all walks of life – ex-servicemen and their wives, retired govt. employees, educationists, businessmen and home makers. Archana feels, “Senior Citizens can be the pillars that the existing ‘major contributors’ to the economy can rely on, for expertise and guidance. The welfare of this segment of society

also directly impacts the health of any community. There should be many more places designed for these thespians. Modelled on youth clubs, the civic body should introduce lively and appealing geriatric clubs in the City.
Seniors need to stay active, physically and mentally, long after the stoppage of their daily work life. Such places can offer a place for them to pursue creative endeavours. The opportunity to engage their minds and bodies is important for the Seniors, as they have to live for years - even decades - after they have retired or watched their children leave the family home to live their own adult lives. They may yet have a full second innings to play out. Archana’s mission is to ensure the dignity, respect and compassion for our Senior Citizens – by welcoming and engaging them. The Centre wishes to complement the role of the family in the care of its older relatives. Archana enthuses, “I want to provide a relaxing yet energetic environment for the Senior Citizens, so that they spend quality time engaging in group activities that stimulate the mind and body. The elderly can enjoy fruitful lives and keep in touch with the community by taking part in diverse activities. The least I can do is assist them to age gracefully, with dignity, independence and respect. This is best achieved by offering them empathy, affection and patience.  If I can make some sunset years golden, I would feel I have achieved my goal in life.”u

Don’t count your years Ninety seems a bit long Seventy-five appears to be short This fifteen years in between Seem fulfilling somewhat You may spend them in happiness Or spoil them cursing your stars It all depends on you How you wish to win your wars Life is not a game of cricket Where making a century is the aim It’s a board of chess On which every move makes the game Here, you are the King You’ve to make your fate By countering the ‘checks’ and preventing a mate! No one will remember How many years you lived But everyone will remember In those years what you did That is why, says Lal ‘Stop counting the years of your life And follow a path of righteousness Show the people around you How to live free of strife’. Ashok Lal Email: ablsl1971@ yahoo.co.in

Coastal California {Ruchika Makhija }

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alifornia, the third largest State in the United States, boasts of a Mediterranean climate, sunny beaches and grand cities. Rather than the ‘standard city tours’, one should explore various unexploited getaways along the Pacific Coast. One such place is Point Reyes, 30 miles west of San Francisco, The seashore here is most strikingly beautiful, offering an endless variety of activities for visitors of all ages. The area’s wide-open spaces, winding roads, lush forests and scenic vistas, make for a memorable vacation. The pristine beaches of Point Reyes are some of the most spectacular on the entire Californian Coast. This ‘foggiest place’ in California also boasts a lighthouse, where visitors can go all the way up and experience the grandeur of the Pacific Ocean lashing against it. As we move further south we cross the beautiful towns of Santa Cruz and Monterey Bay, and the famous 17 Mile Drive (home of pebble beaches, wonderful cliff homes and a lone Cypress tree). Carmel is another quaint storybook town, with a wonderful beach, which can get crowded during the tourist season. Further down is a little fishing village called Morro Bay, also known for the presence of a large rock at the harbour; the rock is the remnant of a dormant volcano. Further down on Highway 101 we reach the very picturesque town of San Louis Obispo, which is also a College town with a pedestrian-friendly downtown shopping district; a creek runs through the middle of the town. One can stay at the famous Pismo Beach, the only beach in southern California on which you can drive! Here you can enjoy Hummer rides, bi-plane rides, surfing and beachcombing. A trip to the Californian Riviera, Santa Barbara, is a must. It is well-known for its Spanish architecture, palm trees and a year-round pleasant climate. The streets are named after the central characters of the famous soap ‘Santa Barbara’. California is truly an experience, a lifestyle…a state of mind.


12

PRAKHAR PANDEY

{ Shilpy Arora / FG }

was the best moment of my life,” he says. For the Group, the best benefit from India’s Got talent is the confidence that they have all gained.

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon

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13 boys from Kanhai Village are Celebrities now. People click photos with them and passers-by stop to congratulate them. Life is no longer what it used to be, for this Group called Enthrall. It was the first group from Gurgaon to participate in one of the Country’s reputed talent shows, India’s Got Talent. Delivering performances that had a blend of tough acrobatics, delicate manoeuvres and the ancient Art of Yoga, the Group left many audiences and judges spellbound. Although the Group couldn’t make it to the Final, it has been appreciated for representing Yoga as a Sport – that too on National TV. The Group, however, doesn’t treat Yoga as a mere sport. “For us Yoga is ‘sadhana’, and failure shouldn’t affect us. Although it was difficult for the children when we had to leave the Show, I told them that our goal is to keep moving forward and to spread awareness about Yoga - not just to win contests,” says Devender, Mentor and Coach of Enthrall. So also feels Rahul, 14-year-old member of the Group. He smiles and says, “We believe in ‘Samartavam Yog Uchhte’ - which means, ‘to maintain balance in life and not to get affected by failure or success’.

What next?

Some Unforgettable Moments

Each member has his/her own memory of some of the unforgettable moments of the Show. Rishabh, the youngest member and a 5th standard student of Saksham School, remembers the time when the Group received a standing ovation from the judges and actor Madhuri Dikshit. “I never dreamt of performing in front of my mother’s favourite actress. Yesterday we were at a mall when some people walked up to congratulate us. They specifically asked us about our experience with Madhuriji,” he recalls. Rishabh has been felicitated with the title of ‘Yog Samrat’ at many Yogachampionships - such as the National Yoga Championships at Palwal and Delhi. ‘Yog Samrat’ is the highest title given to a participant, for a performance that is the best among all the age groups. For Rahul the most fascinating moment was when the Group made it to Semi-finals. “Though we were not used to practising with ‘props’, we somehow made it to Semi-finals. On return, the whole Village wanted to talk to us. We started receiving calls from old school friends and teachers,” smiles Rahul. For Tushar, a student of Rao Ramsingh School, the most rewarding aspect was that his fee was waved off. He was also honoured at the School. “I have always been an average student. This is so far my biggest achievement. It was amazing to be honoured in front of whole School. They conducted a Ceremony especially for me. It

S pecial F eature

28 March-3 April 2014

Gurgaon's Got Talent

The Group has signed a contract with an Event Management company in Mumbai to put up seven Shows. “We have made many changes to the way we practice. These kids have never practised with shoes, and so it had been quite hard for them to suddenly perform on the stage with sports shoes. In fact this was one of the factors leading to their elimination. We have started practising with shoes and even props,” says Devender. While Ravinder is brushing up on his acrobatic skills, Rahul is working on Online Marketing, to help popularise the group. “We performed upto the mark. But the entertainment world doesn’t only want sport; the participants need to work on ‘expressions’, and we should also have a good marketing strategy in place. It helps in getting more votes,” says Rahul. However, the Group members are really confused on whether to choose Yoga as a profession. Rahul, who is pursuing B.Tech., says, “I would love to take up Yoga as my career, but it is very difficult to earn a living on it. I wish we could establish an academy where we could teach new talent. I don’t know how long we would be able to survive like this.” Ravinder, a student of B.Com, seconds his views and says, “Had we won, the situation would have been different. Although we received a warm welcome in our Village and our parents realised that daily Yoga practice is important, we have hardly received any financial support. We are back to the ‘Rayn Basera’ of our Village (the Group practises at the night shelter of Sector 45, without any proper infrastructure).” Many times the Group has to cancel the practice sessions, as the ‘rayn basera’ is also used for community meetings and functions. Talking about the problems they face, Devender says, “Since we don’t have any academy, we have been practising at this night shelter. The boys often come across drunken men.” However, he proudly informs that all members in the Group are teetotallers. Nobody is suffering with any health issues. The group credits Yoga for their good health. “We all have experienced a transformation. We follow a ‘Gurukul’ method for our trainings. We not only do yagnas, but also work on social activities - such as animal rescue and tree plantation for the betterment of our Village,” informs Rahul. India’s Got Talent certainly offered Enthrall a platform to showcase the ancient Art of Yoga in front of the Nation. During the last few months, life was on the fast track for these boys, but they have not got carried away. Their drive to spread awareness about Yogasanas continues. Unfortunately, they are still struggling to put some basics in place. It is now the responsibility of the authorities, and society at large, to make sure that Enthrall gets enough support to make it to the top level.u


14 A Modern Party

Little Graduates

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lass Parties help children get to know each other and become more confident. A Class Party for the children of Modern Montessori International turned out to be a great entertainment for all. Children danced to popular numbers and teachers also participated. Children expressed themselves freely.

K id C orner

28 March-3 April 2014

he Tiny Tots of Little Hands Play School put up an enthralling performance on their Graduation Day. Each child was given a chance to speak about himself/herself. The esteemed guests appreciated the efforts put in by the Tiny Tots and motivated them to work with sincerity, faith, dedication and perseverance - to fulfill their dreams. All those present appreciated the School for conducting such a wonderful and creative Event. The students were also given certificates.

Montessori Graduates

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he Graduation Ceremony of the Montessori Wing of Ryan International School, Sohna Road was held at Epicentre. This splendid Programme was based on the theme of ‘Musical Fragrance’. The Tiny Tots beautifully depicted the idea of peace,joy,harmony and unity through the dance drama - The Lion King. The talented maestros from the School exhibited their synchronized efforts through Sound of Music and Mile Sur Mera Tumhara. awarded by the Chief Guest. Darsh Kumar and Rishita Bothra were crowned as Ryan Prince and Ryan Princess resp. Principal Dr. Mouna Gupta thanked the gathering and appreciated the remarkable performance of the Tiny-Tots.

American Public School

American-English Tales!

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n English Story-telling Competition was held for the students of Class II of American Public School. The children captivated the audience with stories from the Mahabharat, Jataka tales and other sources. Colourful props enhanced the stories.

Why this Aggression? { Alkha Gurha }

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Cashing In

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o provide a practical experience on the concept of money, the students of Classes I and II were taken to Spencers departmental store. The students brought various items like chips and chocolates worth Rs.30/- and they also performed the billing themselves at the Point Of Sale( POS), to get a hands-on experience. The students thoroughly enjoyed this novel experience.

id you see the recent video capturing some Class Six students of an upscale school abusing and heckling a fellow student within their school’s premises? There had been an earlier more serious incident, wherein two school kids had been shot by their classmates. The Bullies seem to believe that acting as group reduces the chances of a retaliation. The unfortunate reality is that children continue to be bullied and harassed at schools; Such incidents of aggression among children also portend graver trends. Are we raising a generation of Bullies? Is aggression the new mantra for success – even for kids? We need to be especially worried, since our country is today one of the biologically youngest in the world. While schools need to introspect and accept responsibility, they are not solely to blame; and no school teaches a child to heckle his peers. The schools also cannot discipline the children on their own. The parents, and the competitively social environment at large – exaggerated by the media – have contributed significantly towards the aggression, rage and intolerance among the children. Last week a friend lamented that her son always gets bashed up. “Don’t come crying to me,” she told him. “Give it back. Hit back so hard that the others will think twice before taking any panga with you.” Let’s face it. In this competitive environment the parents are teaching their children to be aggressive – maybe as a preventive. The jury is out on whether bullying is a result of psychological complexities or hierarchical norms, or a mix of both. Most Bullies probably see their parents hurl the choicest abuses during neighborhood brawls over parking or road rage incidents. Kids who are exposed to hostile interactions in the family often learn

to treat others the same way. In some cases bullying is part of an ongoing pattern of defiant behaviour. These kids need counseling, to learn to manage their anger and frustration. This new generation is also ‘exposed’ very early. A ten-year-old gets to see movies and play online games. Such exposure is not always harmless, with many adolescents getting sucked into porn and violence at a tender age. Some extremely violent games (Hitman, Dead Space, Shadows of the Damned) take gamers through a scary and violent battle in an alien-infested world. Some bloody games are filled with sex jokes and intense profanity. In one such game, players assume the identity of demon hunters, fighting with demons while watching their girlfriends die tortured deaths. Today, anyone with a Twitter account (often anonymous) can abuse, harass and make or break reputations. The coolest shows on television, targeting young adults, teach them to be aggressive and to do anything (abuse, cheat, backstab) to survive and win. Winning matters; how you win, doesn’t. These are the new heroes of this generation: a popular rapper who sings aggressive, misogynistic lyrics; a television reality show host who hurls abuses; a movie star who is charged with assault. Children today believe that if you are rich and powerful, you can operate above the law. To get there you need to be aggressive. When their role model adults can get away with murder (literally), why should the young Bullies fear anyone? Unfortunately, people exhibiting aggressive behaviour also often receive high evaluations from their bosses; workplace Bullies are ‘smart’ enough to charm their superiors. We can’t wish away incidents of bullying or brush them under a carpet. At stake is not just the emotional well-being of the present generation but also the quality of future generations. The answers perhaps lie in introspection, counselling sessions and responsible parenting.


K id C orner

28 March-3 April 2014 RYAN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, SECTOR 40

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Green Vision

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yan International School celebrated World Forestry Day to spread the message of ‘saving the environment for future generations’. The Ryanties were informed that World Forestry Day originated at the 23rd General Assembly of the European Confederation of Agriculture in 1971, and is celebrated around the world to remind communities of the importance of forests and the various benefits we gain from them. A thrilling poem, ‘Trees - Our Life’, engrossed the students. Chairman Dr. A.F Pinto has a vision for the protection of the Environment. School Head Ms. Peeya Sharma always emphasises the need for environment protection.

A Tikkling Experience

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yan International School had organised a trekking excursion camp at Tikkling, for the young and enthusiastic Ryanites to be educated on the effective implementation of basic life skills. The students got an opportunity to explore and perform various adventure activities like Burma Bridge, Laser Beam, Comando Carol, Commando Net, Zorking, Sports Climbing, Tent Pitching, Camp Games, Zip Line, Leopard Pit, Gorilla Cave, Potters Wheel, Tractor Ride, Camel Cart Ride and Tyre Mess under the guidance of experts. The students learnt the different ways of rock climbing. They also earnt rappelling. The Camp was a part of one of the vision points - Sports, Leisure and Recreation’ - of our Chairman Dr. Augustine F. Pinto, who believes that young minds need to be refreshed to stay fit and healthy. School Head Ms. Peeya Sharma believes in grooming the Gen X into becoming independent, confident and sensitive beings.

Montessori Graduates

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yan International School held its Montessori Graduation Ceremony ‘Musical Fragrance’ at Epicentre. The students gave a rhythmic and captivating performance ‘Rhythmic Steps of Happiness’, ‘Whirl and Waltz’ and ‘Swaying Champions’. The Rock Band presented by the tiny tots of Montessori III was the pick of the Show. Awards were given to the achievers in various categories of academics, oratory skills, art and writing. The Event also witnessed the crowning of Rishit Bharadwaj and Bhavya Kaushik as Ryan Princes and Manasvi Kulshrestha and Saanvi Jain as Princesses for the Academic session 2013-14. They were crowned for being the most outstanding students in every sphere.

MRIS 46

Rangotsav

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ursery KG kids are playing with colours - colouring and decorating their pots using their imagination. That’s ‘Rangotsotsavav’ at Banyan Tree World School.

Celebrating Learning

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RIS 46 held its 2nd Panorama. The Event showcased students learning throughout the year in the form of an exhibition cum cultural performance. The unique in-house planetarium impressed all. The Food Court run by little chefs left everyone wanting more. The first ever junior orchestra was inspirational. Products made by students were put up on sale and sold like hot cakes.

The Rooh of Lotus

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otus Valley International School celebrated its first Annual Day ‘Rooh’ - celebrating the Spirit of India with great enthusiasm, fervour and zeal. The Event highlighted the rich cultural, ethnic and traditional diversity of India. Students across Grades One to Nine performed and displayed a resplendent pageant of music and dance.

Animal Farm

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oddlers of MRIS-46 went to Kegg’s Farm for their edutrip. They had a chance to see, hold and touch little chicks, apart from seeing other farm animals like ducks, geese, goats, sheep, dogs, birds and cows.


16

28 March-3 April 2014

An Education High

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

students will be required to work at least one semester in a real-time industrial and corporate environment, to learn the skills and knowledge that espite being a hub for Manufacturing, IT are required to build a long term career. BMU is an attempt to bring about an innovative and the Real Estate industry, Gurgaon lacks a world-class educational institu- transformation in Higher Education in the countion, particularly a University, to mentor the try and to plug the gaps that prevail in the current future of thousands of City and South Hary- education system. “We plan to nurture technically ana youth who have to look elsewhere for sound, multi-skilled and ethical leaders that our higher education. To help fill this vacuum country needs,” says Munjal. He states that while and transform the Higher Education sector India has the world’s second highest number of in and around Gurgaon, the Hero Group has students enrolled in Higher Education, none of the launched the BML Munjal University (BMU), Indian Universities figures in the top 200 universiestablished under the Haryana State Private ties of the world. Worse, most graduates are not Universities Act 2006. Akshay Munjal, Execu- found to be employable by industry. BMU hopes to tive Director of BMU, tells Friday Gurgaon rectify this situation. Students would be ready for that the objective of setting up this Institu- a career, a business and even for pursuing a causetion is to introduce an alternative teaching- related vocation. An important focus of the Unilearning model - which is flexible and allows versity would be to impart ‘Hands-on Learning’ or students to learn varied subjects at their own ‘Learning by Doing’, because it not only unleashes pace. “Unlike the traditional model, our goal the right potential, but also helps a student learn is to ensure that graduating students have and retain the lesson long after the learning sesemployable skills and are ready for the job sion is over. Munjal says that ‘Learning by Doing’ can challenge even bright market. This is also why PRAKHAR PANDEY students to achieve more we have put strong emand help struggling learnphasis on linkage with ers find new, interesting industry,” says Munjal. ways to master complex The syllabus and courses concepts. It can also spark are very contemporary the love of learning in stuand have been designed dents. Since the essential by Imperial College, Longoal of a BMU Education don, which has been inwill be to graduate stustrumental in setting up dents with applicationsome of the top colleges oriented, employable in India - like IIT, Delhi. skills, Hands-on LearnMunjal says, “Since our ing will be a vital adjunct inception the founders have of its teaching-learning been very concerned about ecosystem. giving back to society and The University is comthey feel that education is Some of the other educational ing up in a 50-acres camthe best way to empower institutions established by the pus in Village Sidhrawathe youth”, he says. This Munjal family include BCM School, li, off NH8, 40 kilometres University is a tribute to from Gurgaon, and therethe Founder of this Group, Raman Munjal Vidya Mandir, BML fore should be easily acwhose hard work and perMunjal Vidya Mandir, Dayanand cessible by the students. severance has ensured that Medical College & Hospital and A 5-lakhs square feet structhe Group has risen from a BCM College of Education. ture, housing world-class cycle repairing shop in 1947 training workshops, is beto become the largest maning developed. Munjal says ufacturer of motorcycles in the world. The entire funding for is coming from that this University will become a hub of Higher the Munjal family - no contribution has been tak- Education in the next decade – with also Liberal en from any Hero Group company. To begin with, Arts, Design and Communication courses on offer. BMU will have three schools – School of En- Deserving students from the weaker sections of gineering & Technology, School of Commerce society will be supported by the Munjal family. “A and School of Management. The University student who achieves more that 90 per cent marks will offer the following undergraduate and will be given not only free education but also a stipostgraduate degree programmes: B. Tech pend, apart from free boarding and lodging. Stu(360 seats), B. Com. - Honours (60 seats), BBA dents who get over 80 per cent marks will also be (60 seats) and MBA (60 seats). The defining fea- given support under a merit-cum-means scholartures of BMU’s academic system would be semes- ship”, says the Executive Director. The Fees has ter-based learning, credit units, letter grades, con- also been kept at moderate levels, and an Entinuous internal evaluation, GPA, 75% attendance gineering student will have to pay an average and ‘flexibility’. Flexibility aims to provide smart of Rs 2 lakhs a year. The reason for setting up a choices to students so that they can enhance their University around Gurgaon, Munjal says, is that employability quotient, learn at their own pace, the Hero Group has a very old and successful rebroaden their learning horizons in two related or lationship with the City. Of course the emergence unrelated fields and specialise in a specific disci- of Gurgaon as a major auto and corporate hub has pline. Munjal adds that BMU has a strong alliance also influenced the decision, as it will be easier to with Imperial College London, which will ensure ensure the employability of the students. The supthat the syllabus remains contemporary and of in- port given by the government of Haryana, which ternational standard. A number of students every has supported private initiative in education, is year will be given admission to the London Col- also appreciated by Munjal. He concludes that lege. The entry into BMU courses will be mainly though the scrutiny while setting up such an based on exams conducted by government insti- institution is intense, it is worthwhile, as only tutions and on the performance in Board Exams. people with good intentions should come into However, for the MBA students there may be a this crucial sector – which will directly immore stringent assessment. In every course the pact the future of India’s youth. u write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon

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C ivic/S ocial

Meter Down

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ahesh Dayma, MCG Councillor, has written a letter to the Secretary, Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission & Managing Director DHBVNL, expressing serious observations on the proposed (wef April 2014) DHBVNL ‘Single Meter System’. DHBVN proposes to instal a new single meter within each society that has more than 20 flats. He observes: (a) In case of any discrepancy between the reading on the Single Meter and the total of the readings in all independent flat meters, how does the Govt /DHBVN expect the residents to resolve the issue?
(b) Excess reading or misreading of meters is quite a perennial problem. The office bearers of various Societies cannot handle this additional task of meter readings, compilation of collective bills and resolution of disputes; neither would they have the time nor the legal authority/backing to resolve the financial discrepancies. (c) Further, at the Society level it would not be possible to know how much load is being drawn by an individual flat owner. Only DHBVNL has the (technical) ability and authority to levy additional charges/penalties if anybody over-draws power beyond the authorised limit of each flat/ respective meter. (d) The reasons/rationale of a shortage of staff or of cutting down expense, for the implementation of this new method, is very vague and does hold any ground. (e) The one big gainer would be the (new) Meter Company. Are there vested interests here? He signs off by saying that this is an ill-conceived, anti-public policy. DHBVN has not been able to improve the power situation on Gurgaon for years now, despite many promises. There are regular power cuts even in winters - summers are a nightmare. Of course the privileged (and that probably includes DHBVN and the State govt officials) don’t ‘feel’ much due to 100% back-ups. The aam aadmi is so harassed that he/she has to come out on the streets – for water and power problems. Unfortunately the poor power situation also hampers water supply (whatever inadequate amount there is). DHBVN has been trying to minimize ‘losses’ – both operational and financial. This Single Meter Policy seems to be their convenient answer to ‘resolving’ their internal problems. Let them try such single or bulk schemes with industrial and commercial establishments (and their favourite builders for the under-construction projects). For the public at large, for an essential public service like power, they need to provide service at the doorstep. u

CIRC celebrates its Raising Day

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he Center for International Relations and Community WellBeing (CIRC) celebrated its Eighth Raising Day by organising a string of events. Nukad Nataks were held in the rural areas of the town and at Raahgiri, to increase awareness on gender equality. This was followed by a members’ Golf Tournament at the CRPF Golf Course, Kadarpur. A large number of members joined in a bohemian atmosphere at the beautifully nurtured and maintained greens of the Course. The Tournament brought out the spirit of adventure and friendship between the members. The main event was an interaction with the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka. There was a very frank and honest interaction between the High Commissioner and the audience, which consisted of veterans from the Indian Foreign/Administrative and Defence   Services, academicians, corporate managers and journalists. CIRC is an intellectual group that has been formed by retired/serving   Government servants and executives from the corporate world, with the aim to give back to the Society - in whatever way each can. It also helps in generating awareness on important social issues and has held Medical Camps in the slums/rural areas of the City. Round Table Discussions on wide-ranging topics, talks by eminent personalities and the taking up of civic and social problems with the authorities, have been the ‘routine’ activities of the Center. Dr Karan Singh, Lt Gen SK Sinha (Retd), Nirupama Rao, Shiv Shankar Menon and Ranjan Mathai have addressed the Forum in the last few years. CIRC, under the able guidance of its President Ambassador, MM Mehrotra, is actively pursuing the establishment of a much-needed  Cultural Centre in the Millennium City - based on the lines of the India Habitat Centre in New Delhi. Col Tej Dalal (Retd)


S piritual

28 March-3 April 2014

{ Dr. Rajesh Bhola }

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e all have seen a magic show at some time in our lives and breathlessly watched the magicians perform tricks. At heart we know that what we are seeing is only an illusion but, under the spell of magic, we perceive it as real. From the spiritual viewpoint, life itself is an illusion. Our scriptures make it clear that our world is a trap and illusion is the trapping mechanism. All the ‘visions’ that we see in our lifetime are like a big dream. In this context the term vision denotes not only visual perceptions, but also appearances perceived through all our senses - including sounds, smells, tastes and tactile sensations. The perceived reality is considered literally unreal, in that objects that make up perceived reality are known as objects within one’s mind; and that, as we conceive them, there is no pre-determined object or assembly of objects in isolation from our experience, which may be considered the true object. Our self, and the objects in the world, is also an illusion. This world, which seems so solid, substantial and real …is only a dream. Our past, though full of action and emotion, is just a memory now – and memory is but a simple thought, an idea in our mind. The present, and even the future, will become the past also. What is left is only a series of thoughts that come and go. If we see the world as illusion at its surface, we can discover the depths of the cosmic reality wherever we look. We can find the whole in each part, the eternal in a moment, the infinite in a point, the entire universe in every object. All that we see is sacred and divine, a display of vibrations, in which creatures and objects arise like patterns in a kaleidoscope - only to dissolve back again into the light. We are the light behind the appearances, which is also the light through which we see. Colours emerge and submerge and the process goes on. The light alone remains and in it nothing is ever lost. Nature’s example of an illusion is a rainbow. It looks beautiful in the distance, but when you go closer it disappears. It is only an optical illusion. There are many rainbows in our lives. Some are illusions based on how we look at the world, but others are indications of yet greater realities that we cannot see. We are all able to see and feel varying images and sensations depending on our sensory organs and inner properties. Of course our sensations are subjective and exist only with regard to our feelings. The closer our properties are to the properties of the truth, the closer the image of ‘my world’ comes to the actual reality, and the less distorted it is by our egoistic attributes. Since the property of truth is altruism, when we attain that quality and bond with the truth, we learn to feel reality as it is. Of course, all our sensations are personal and might change over time. The great illusion is created by Him, and is the basis of conflict between good and evil. When we sever our connections with Him, the source of our life, ills take root. Having been disconnected with the source of our very  existence, we become egocentric and assume too much of ourselves and  discount others; man thus deluded leads a discontented life. Those who absorb their mind in the pursuit of material objects,  involve themselves in strife, become greedy, arrogant, guilt stricken, shameless, reckless and restless; they ultimately destroy themselves. Beguiled by ignorance, they rob others and run amuck in all directions, to gather the poison of illusion. Man’s selfishness and his uncontrolled cravings for possession of material things involve him in a web of illusion, which is hard to overcome. We live in this world enveloped by illusion, in a state of ignorance about ourselves. We fail to discriminate between truth and falsehood, become confused, engaging ourselves in egoistic struggles that make us lose our connection with our own divinity. If someone comes and tells us that we are divine souls, we do not believe it, not realising that we could not have been here without there being some underlying purpose. We all want to believe that we are not mere mortals and that there is something about us that extends beyond what we know and what we can feel

The Great Illusion

and touch. But our rational minds would not be satisfied with mere assurances of religious scriptures or the teachings of self-realised masters. We need proof, which will not come unless we stand on the edge and take a deep plunge - with a desire to know about our current state of existence, how much alienated we are from our true nature and how deeply entangled we have become with the objects of our desires. In the process we are weaving a web of deception around ourselves, which is keeping us conveniently concealed from the truth of who we are or what we should have been. It is a state in which each individual soul considers itself to be separate and distinct from the rest of creation. It is curiosity, temptation and desire that brings us here in the first place and puts us in contact with the objects of our world. Out of desire comes attachment and out of attachment a man becomes deluded. Human beings who depend upon the senses cannot go beyond the visible and perceptible world. This results in ignorance and the loss of wisdom to know the reality from unreality, to discern truth from untruth, good from bad, divine from demonic and right action from wrong action. The person under the influence of illusion is always attached to the world outside him. Memories pursue him, time haunts him and thoughts possess him. By becoming attached to the world, conditioned by memory and accumulated knowledge, he develops envy and selfishness and also many such negative qualities – such as pride, fear, greed, anger, malice, caprice, cruelty, callousness, lust and intense desire for success and personal advancement. Life becomes a battlefield in which he alone has to win. There is no place for failure and weakness. Attracted to pleasures, averse to pain, fearful of loss and hopeful of gain, unable to go beyond the lures and temptations of the world, though aware that all is in vain at the end, he plods on, striving and struggling, almost believing that death would never touch him. The man of delusion cannot see the One hidden in all this. He sees only the diversity and the multiplicity of the life and the world around him. Unable to trust others and the world he lives in, as if the world is an enemy determined to subdue him and destroy him, he suffers from intense anxiety about himself and his future. Because of this sense of duality he loses his unified vision and sees the world in terms of pairs, divisions, groups, categories, numbers and opposites in short, in terms of relative and subjective reality. The ego is responsible for the sense of ownership, identification of the individual with his body and mind and failure to know his true nature. It makes the individual souls think and act selfishly and egoistically as if they are different from the others and engages them in acts of selfpreservation, characterised by competition and conflict rather than co-operation and friendship. Thus the ego ultimately lands all the beings into suffering, delusion and bondage to the earthly life. Under the influence of illusion, human beings succumb to the desire of enjoying the fruits of their actions. Once we taste them, we enter into a make-believe world and stop thinking about going back. We become involved with the process of becoming and being, imprisoned in our own thoughts and bodies, undergoing births and deaths, binding ourselves to the consequences of our own actions and delaying our own

17

liberation. It is difficult to understand how we can deliver ourselves from this delusion of mind and thereby from our bondage to the cycle of births and deaths - and the pairs of opposites, such as pain and pleasure or happiness and sorrow. Due to their unfulfilled desires, the beings return again and again to the mortal world. Depending upon their previous actions, they take birth in different wombs, circumstances and families and suffer from the consequences of their previous actions. This process goes on repeatedly till they realise their folly and engage in right actions with the right attitude and lay the foundation for a progression towards their freedom, self-realisation and self-emancipation. We all suffer from the grand illusion that we are capable of knowing the facts of our existence with the help of our minds and senses, whereas the truth is that we cannot discern reality with our limited consciousness. This is the limitation of human existence and human intelligence, brought about by the divine play of illusion. We look but we do not actually see. We live, but we are not sure whether it is the right way of living. We know something, but are not sure whether it is the truth; we are not sure whether we are awake or asleep when we are conscious. We are not even sure of why we are here…for what end. However, there is one final reality…of death. Everything dies…and thus it has been from time immemorial. All our progress, our vanities, our wealth and our knowledge have that one end — the certainty of death. And yet we wish to defy it and want to cling on to our life. We do not want to – or cannot - give it up. And this is the ultimate illusion!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 rabhola@yahoo.com

Spiritual Grammar { Shobha Lidder } There is always something more to be done A little more to earn, learn That more may never be enough Life is always in a huff puff Racing about, multitasking Juggling between jobs, duties And responsibilities Yet peace & happiness Will always be A little farther One more job to be done One more task to complete And I will feel relieved and achieved Contentment will always be waiting Around the corner We must understand the grammar Of the ‘doing’ verb & the ‘being’ verb Life is all about doing or being Either you are doing things to be happy Or you are just being happy Must you always depend on action & achievement To feel contentment Learn to be happy And you won’t know where stress went I am that I am Tatha astu Writer Journalist, Social Activist, Teacher Trainer Reiki Master, Pranic Healer


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28 March-3 April 2014

Health & Vitality... Naturally!

{ Jaspal Bajwa }

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he latest World Cancer Report warns that we may be on the verge of a global tsunami. Annual new Cancer cases have already risen to 14 million in 2012 and are estimated to grow by a whopping 70% by 2025. What is worse is that the spiralling cost of treatment can not only sting the richest countries, but can virtually cripple the developing world, which accounts for 70% of all Cancer related deaths. The Report, however, has also shown a glimmer of hope, by reiterating that 50% of Cancers are preventable. Smoking, infections, obesity, alcohol, air pollution and radiation are the major sources of ‘preventable’ Cancer. Improved education and legislative changes can help alter lifestyle choices and reduce the potential exposure to environmental pollutants laced with carcinogens. Mindless adoption of some unhealthy ‘western’ lifestyles, such as smoking and physical inactivity and consumption of calorie-dense foods that are often overprocessed or over-cooked, has resulted in the developing countries already surpassing the West in terms of lung and colon Cancers. Cancers related to infections ( i.e. cancers of the cervix, liver and stomach) were already high in developing countries. Lifestyle choice is indeed the most potent decision that can help manage this impending disaster. An estimated 30% of all Cancers can be curbed by reducing the incidences of heavy smoking and drinking. Another 30% of all Cancers can prevented through a change in diet habits together with increased physical activity. The first task is to get a handle on the rapid increase in obesity. Being overweight is linked with an increased risk of Cancers of the breast (among women after menopause), colon, endometrium, oesophagus and kidney. A high-fat diet (where over 30% of calories consumed come from fats) is linked with an increased risk of Cancer. This is specially so for saturated or trans fats as well as over-cooked, high temperature cooking methods. High sugar intake also promotes obesity and elevates insulin levels. Avoiding excessive weight gain is important not only to help reduce the risk of Cancer but

C

Can the Cancer

also to prevent several chronic diseases. Eating large amounts of processed meat, as also frying, broiling, or grilling meats at very high temperatures, forms chemicals (carcinogens) that may increase the Cancer risk. Damage to the genes that control cell growth can either be inherited or acquired by lifestyle choices. Certain types of gene mutations increase the risk of Cancer. A large number of studies have confirmed the benefits of physical activity, weight control and diet in either preventing or delaying the development of Cancer even in people with a high genetic propensity. Robust nutrients in the diet can protect the DNA from being damaged. A great deal of research is presently under way to fully understand the interaction

ardiologists are increasingly turning towards the trans-radial approach, which entails reaching the heart through the radial artery in the wrist. This method is relatively safer and more cost effective than the traditional method of approaching the heart through the femoral artery in the groin, says India’s leading Cardiologist Dr. Tapan Ghose, Director & HOD Interventional Cardiology at Paras Hospitals, Gurgaon. When Dutch Cardiologist Dr. Ferdinand Kiemeneij first conducted a minimally invasive heart intervention through the wrist in 1992, it was believed that the approach would be needed only in some patients - on whom the traditional groin approach was not feasible. The procedure was initially thought to be useful for patients with weaker lower limbs. However, over the past few years this method is increasingly finding favour with Cardiologists, for being safer and more convenient. Minimally invasive techniques, as these are called, also reduce the recovery time and the risk of something going wrong. Wrist Angioplasty is among the latest improvements in the field - Angioplasty is a minimally

between diet and genetic factors, as well as environmental factors - for example, the chronic stress response faced by almost all migrant populations, which has a significant impact on the incidence of Cancer.

Tip of the Week

Engaging in moderate to vigorous levels of physical activity can significantly lower the risk of developing Colon and Breast Cancer. In addition, physical activity prevents against heart disease and diabetes. The positive effects are multiplied when synergised with a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and other plant-based foods. There does not seem to be sufficient evidence that Nutritional Supple-

Wrist Angioplasty invasive technique that is used to diagnose and unclog blocked or narrowed arteries. Catheters or stents are inserted through arteries into the body, to open up the obstructed artery and resume the blood flow. Dr. Tapan Ghose, Director & HOD Interventional Cardiology at Paras Hospitals, Gurgaon, advocates this approach, and says, “Wrist Angioplasty definitely saves more lives as it reduces the chances of complications in patients, reduces bleeding and lessens the recovery time. For patients it is much more comfortable. Many doctors are today realizing this.” Dr. Ghose is among the pioneers of this trans-radial approach in India. Recently, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Washington Medical Center and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine conducted a cost-benefit analysis, and concluded that the trans-radial artery approach resulted in less vascular complications and

W ellness ments can yield the same benefits; in fact some high-dose supplements may actually increase the risk of Cancer. Nature’s Wonder Food(s) of the Week: Cancer-preventing Natural Foods Natural plant based foods that are high in antioxidants, phytochemicals, Vitamins A, C, D, E and Folate, and consumption of certain minerals like Selenium help mitigate the risks of Cancer. A rich and varied fare of natural fruits, vegetables and cereal grains can inhibit inflammation, power up antioxidants, enhance nutrient absorption and prevent carcinogens from forming. They are particularly effective in reducing the incidence of Cancers of the oral cavity, larynx, oesophagus, stomach, colon, lung, prostate and rectum. Five or more servings of an assortment of colourful vegetables and fruits each day are recommended. Cruciferous vegetables, rich in isothiocyanates, are invariably the best - these include Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, bok choy and kale. The sulphur containing indoles can activate agents that destroy Cancer-causing chemicals. Leafy Greens, like spinach and Romaine Lettuce, are excellent, thanks to the high content of fibre, Folate and a wide range of Cancer-fighting carotenoids in them. Dark coloured veggies, such as beets and red cabbage, are robust options. Other good choices are legumes, beans, peas and lentils, which are rich in saponins and protease inhibitors; as also lignin-rich flaxseed and whole grain products. Recently the health benefits of the allium compounds contained in garlic and the onion family have been receiving a lot of attention. Similar interest has also been evoked by turmeric, pomegranate, sea vegetables, aloe vera, medicinal mushrooms, algae, hemp, green teas, red wines, grapes and high Vitamin C foods like oranges, grapefruits and peppers. The ellagic acid and anthocyanoside content of Berries (especially Blueberries) can chip in for the cause; as can Vitamin D, which is being closely studied for its role in mitigating certain types of Cancer. u Registered Holistic Nutritionist (Canadian School of Natural Nutrition). For education purposes only; always consult a healthcare practitioner for medical conditions

significant cost-savings (as against the femoral artery catheter access). In acute heart attacks, Wrist Angioplasty saves more lives as compared to the groin route. While doctors in the US, Canada, EU and even Japan have taken to wrist Angioplasty, it is still not very common in India – it is done in about 30% of the cases. “There are lesser number of Interventional Cardiologists trained in the trans-radial approach. The majority of the training institutes do not have a structured training programme for this approach of Angioplasty,” points out Dr. Tapan Ghose. Cardiologists have traditionally preferred the femoral approach because the artery in the groin is a larger blood vessel (as compared to the artery in the wrist). This makes it easier to insert catheters. “This was true till some years ago but, with smaller and more flexible catheters being developed now, this difficulty has been resolved. That makes it equally easy to insert catheters through the wrist,” says Dr Ghose. “We have certainly come a long way from the days of Open Heart Surgery,” says Dr. Ghose. u


28 March-3 April 2014

By Col Tej S Dalal (Retd.)

PART 3 Concluding

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t was my long and cherished dream to build a house as per my own design, specifications, layout and furnishing. We moved into our Home before Diwali 2012. I decided to share my experience with friends who may find it useful.

Making it Green: Some of the measures you must incorporate in your building, to make it environmental friendly, are discussed below: Harvesting is (a)  Water mandatory in Haryana, in larger size plots. In addition, you may also like to go in for Grey-water Harvesting (for bath water treatment), but at a smaller scale. It is very difficult to find experts for this. (b) Solar Gysers are again mandatory in 500 square yards and above plots, in Haryana. Unfortunately, most suppliers are conducting this business for just taking care of the mandatory clause and not to provide effective service. You need a certification for this, to get your (House) Completion Certificate. The back up service or advice is lacking in most cases. (c)  The Solar Geyser supplier does not deal with Solar lights - perhaps because it is not mandatory. When you go for Solar lighting, they ask you how many buildings/blocks you have; and if the answer is only a house, most of them do not want to deal with you. There is no agency that can help you or direct you to a genuine supplier. ( d )   Wat e r- s o f t e n i n g equipment may be installed in case the supply of water is hard. Put this just before your

Carousel in Kitchen corner saves space

B on V ivant

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Brick by Brick : Land to Home Overhead Tank. It requires a change of the charcoal every 5 to 6 months. A Pressure Pump, where required, is put at the outlet of the Tank. It gets activated every time the pressure in the pipeline goes down, and this happens when you open any of the taps/water outlets. Think seriously on whether you really want this Pump. Atrium: An open space in the house was always been a part of the Indian household. By having an Atrium, you don’t lose expensive space but gain by having bright light inside the house at all times - which bring in more positive energy and saves on your electricity bill. Grills and Railings: Grills on your boundary walls should be such that they restrict entry from the outside. An angular outside slope is advisable to a straight grill. Use of Concertina Coils (round wire mesh) is becoming very common, but it is seldom employed correctly. Placing it on a Y-shaped angle, above straight barbed wires, is common, but with this anybody can enter the premises by cutting one wire from underneath the coils. The Army uses the Concertina Coils to broaden the base or width. So use it on the side of the wall, or set up a barbed wire fence, so that no one can jump across it. Railings can be of concrete, with Mild Steel strips on top (as a cheaper option) or of Stainless Steel (SS) with Glass (which is expensive). Be careful about the quality of the SS; it comes in different varieties and you can have it tested for its purity. The height of the railing should be at least a meter, for safety reasons. The gap between the horizontal strands should not be more than 6 to 8 inches, so that a small child cannot pass through it. Partition walls inside the house make it look smaller and restrict light, and air circulation. Use of glass, where possible, without compromising on your privacy,

Atrium, for light

Use of matching marble for corner top can be exhilarating. This can be safely used for the Study, Kitchen, Atrium and lounge walls. The resultant effect is the ‘feel’ of large space, and of course better visual contact. Interiors: Good interiors do not necessarily mean more expense. First make a list of what you already have and where you believe you can fit those items aesthetically. Old sofas and furniture items can be refurbished and polished. Remember, the quality of wood used in your old furniture may be far better than what you see in the market today. Most modern furniture items use good polish or veneer to hide the poor quality of wood. Your bedside tables can be made to look broader by putting a glass or stone top of a bigger size. The Dining Table can be made to look modern with a thick glass top. A nice marble top on your sideboard can enhance its looks. An old lampshade can be given a new look by replacing its cloth. Existing curtains can be turned into blinds. False Ceiling: It is very much fashionable to have a false ceiling with concealed lighting and it looks good too. However, if you don’t have a very high ceiling, then a false ceiling will make it look even lower, and can interfere with your other fitments – like wall lights or fans (low fans can be dangerous). The overall size of the room also gets affected. Paint & Polish: Leave your final coat of paint for the last, once all the other workers have left, leaving behind their prints on all your walls! After the plastering, the walls are made smooth with a coat of putty and all unevenness is removed - before the final paint is applied. Any POP work has to be completed before the base paint is put. Remember, POP has

Use of leftover Granite as side-table tops a tendency to absorb moisture and will come off or fall off when moist. So, avoid it in toilets and such areas. Security Systems: A lot of home security gadgets are in the market these days. The Videophone system helps in access control. It has a call bell, camera and video display screen, in sizes ranging from 3 inches to 7 inches. You can have the Bell at your entrance or at the outside gate, or at both places. When visitors ring the Bell, you can see them and speak to them. In case you have incorporated an electronic lock to your gate or front door, it can be opened – remotely - through a switch

Use of matching marble for corner top

provided on to the Video panel. The entire system, for a floor, costs at least Rs 15000. A CCTV comes in a set, comprising the camera, wires, display screen (or your computer screen), a DVR for recording and the control panel. While buying the system, first decide the camera range you require, whether you want a daylight camera or a day & night one, any requirement of recording, and where you want to place the control panel and the display screen. A dedicated 24 hours power back up may also be required. The entire System can cost at least Rs 25000 (excluding the DVR). A lot of cheap Cameras and accessories from China are available in the market. Choose a Vendor who will stand guarantee and provide good back up service . Finally, before you move into your house or flat, check all electric plugs and switches, water faucets and WCs; let the water run for some time, and check for any leakages/ blockages. Dust can create problems with your Kitchen sliding racks and drawers, so have them cleaned before you start using them. Now that you have a Home, sit back, relax and enjoy!u

Computer VDU as CCTV monitor


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28 March-3 April 2014

Manipuri Bhakti

{ Meenu Thakur Sankalp }

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he Manipuri classical dance has today become synonymous with Rasleela, a group dance with the protagonist Lord Krishna and his companion Radha, accompanied by other Gopis (damsels). It is an important tenet in Vaishnavism (worship of Vishnu and his incarnations). Manipuri Dance is basically intended to portray religion with spiritual connotations. It is also designed as a means of worship and is part of the socio-ethnic and cultural fabric of Manipur. Manipuri involves skillful and graceful techniques, and Bhakti Rasa (emotions of devotion) is depicted subtly. The Tandava (male dance) and the Lasya (female dance) are performed as dance dramas. The dancers do not wear any anklets as they do not strike the ground aggressively, but place the back of the feet on the ground in tenderlyorchestrated rhythm. Historically, Manipuri Dance received an impetus through cultureloving Kings who actively introduced innovations in the style and tenor of the dance form. Raja Bhagyachandra wrote ‘Govindasangeet Leela Visala’ and also designed the traditional Manipuri Dance costume, ‘Kamil’. Bengali poetic tradition was also added and Vaishnavite Padavalis (string of verses on Lord Vishnu), based on Bengali poetry, were artistically amalgamated into Manipuri. They were composed as a repertoire by the Bengali poets of presentday Bangladesh; Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the Bengali saint of

the sixteenth century, played a major role in introducing Vaishnavite themes in Manipuri Dance. The style of Vaishnavite singing, as an accompaniment to the Manipuri Dance, is based on poet Jayadeva’s Geeta Gov-

North East India is a melting pot of races, religions, culture and tradition. Popularly referred to as the seven sister-States (including Sikkim), indigenous traditions here have remained cocooned within society, despite the onslaught of modernity and ‘mainland’ penetration into this rugged territory. Geographically isolated, surrounded by deep valleys and lofty peaks, bound by Nagaland, Mizoram, Assam and the Republic of Myanmar (Burma), Manipur is inhabited by people of various ethnicities with a multiplicity in origin and religion - speaking twenty-nine dialects. In 1872, Colonel E.H. Dalton, the British Commissioner of Chhota Nagpur (under whose administrative jurisdiction Manipur and the other North-Eastern states were included) studied the ethnic origin of Manipuri people and brought to light the Aryan influence on them. The original inhabitants of Manipur were of Indo-Mongloid origin, presumably from Chinese Tibet. They were called the Meiteis. Some believe that they migrated to Manipur from Vidisha (in present-day Madhya Pradesh). The later Vedic-descent migrants, the Bishnupriya Manipuris (originally hailing from Dwarka and Hastinapura), settled down and amalgamated their cultural traditions with the Manipur locals. Manipur too has preserved its cultural traditions, especially the Classical Dance form, Manipuri.

{ Krishan Kalra }

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inda and the full-throated rendition is known as the ‘Nat’. Also noteworthy is the use of lyrical poetry based on compositions by Jayadeva and Govindadas. The nineteenth-century rule of Raja Chandrakirti is consid-

here is this old story about the American who married an older widow, whose young daughter also came to stay with them. Sometime later the guy’s old father fell in love with the daughter and married her. Both marriages soon produced a son each, leaving the poor chap totally perplexed about the relationship between the two kids – let’s call them John and Henry. Our man is still trying to figure out whether John is Henry’s nephew (being the son’s son vis-à-vis the father’s son) or his uncle (being the mother’s son vis-à-vis the daughter’s). Our friend doesn’t know if he has become his own step-brother’s grandfather! Something similar is playing out in our house. And before your imagination runs wild, it’s only due to how our two maids address the family members – and each other. Rakhi – a young Bengali girl from

ered the Golden age of Manipuri Dance. During the twentieth century, Rabindranath Tagore provided yeomen service to Manipuri by introducing his poetry in Manipuri lyrics and also by educating Bengali intelligentsia on the Manipuri Dance. As the Manipuri Dance is a symbol of devotion, Srinagara Bhakti (romantic devotion) is the hallmark of Manipuri expressions. The performance themes in Manipuri Dance are based on the Puranas - notably the Bhagavata Purana and the Leela Purana. Female performers display gentleness, feminine grace and delicate movements, complemented through style and speed by facial expressions and body movements - while their male counterparts display power, aggression and energy. Abhinaya (expressions) form the core of Manipuri dance rendition. They are unexaggerated and Rasas (emotional nuances) are portrayed delicately. The tala (beat) is also highly evolved; Ras-leela themes have sixty-four beats. Ras-leelas, or dances depicting Lord Krishna’s association with female companions, are performed by males and females in groups, with specific patterns and parengs (pure dance movements). The costume worn by women includes a stiff embroidered skirt shaped in the form of a cylindrical fabric, a velvet blouse and a white veil; the men wear a yellow dhoti, an open jacket and a crown of peacock

Complex Relationships Kolkata – has been working with us for about an year. She addresses my wife as Didi and my wife’s parents as Mummy and Daddy (exactly as Didi does). Simple, no complications here. Leela – an older Bengali woman from Darjeeling – was employed recently, primarily to take care of my old mother-in-law. Since she was brought in by another young girl Srijana, who works with our son’s family, she promptly started calling my in-laws by the same titles as Srijana does - Nani and Nana (as per what the children call them). Didi remains Didi and yours truly has the universal calling card of ‘Saheb ji”. So far so good. Now, Rakhi addresses her fellow maid Leela as Aunty. Quite natural, considering that there is an age gap of almost thirty years between the two. To keep matters simple we also often call Leela as Aunty in jest, and she doesn’t mind. Now, and this is where it gets

B on V ivant features. The jewellery worn by the female dancers is unique and indigenous - aptly portraying the flavour of the region. The main musical accompaniments to Manipuri Dance are the Pena (stringed instrument), Flute and the Pung (percussion instrument). The dance style of Manipuri also involves ‘Nritth’ (rhythmic abstract movement) and ‘Natya’ (dramatic dance element). The oldest form of Manipuri classical dance is the Lai Haraoba (enjoyment of the Gods); the later additions are the Samkirtana (based on Bengal Kirtana tradition) and the Rasleela, which have supplemented traditional nuances with innovative choreography. Lai Haraoba portrays love stories of Shiva and Parvati. Maibis (female priests) perform Lai Haraoba rituals in a yearly festival. Also very popular within the Samkirtana (male dance) tradition, is the Pung Cholam (male dance with a percussion instrument) and the Kartal Cholam (male cymbal dance). Male performers jump and somersault acrobatically while playing the ‘Pung’ or the cymbal, or while clapping their hands aggressively. Songs called Ishae are rendered alongwith musical accompaniments in Pung Cholam. Though Christianity has spread over large parts of Manipur, the dance drama tradition of Manipur based on Vaishnavite themes continues to be embraced by the Manipuri people - with active encouragement from eminent Manipuri Dance Gurus and the patronage of cultural organisations. A sizable number of danseuses from ‘mainland’ India have shown active interest in carrying on the legacy of the Manipuri Dance to other parts of India and abroad.u The writer is a renowned Kuchipudi Danseuse and Choreographer

weird, Rakhi’s Mummy – Saddy are her Aunty’s Nani – Nana. Go figure if this is more complicated than the poor American’s problem! I have been trying for 6 months, without any success. Reminds me of a bujharat (tricky question) my grandmother used to ask us: Mavaan dhiyaan julian pani, laggen dirani te jethani Kont unhande sagge bhai, laggen sohra te jawai The Mother and Daughter who went to fetch water are sisters in law – junior & senior; their husbands are real brothers, and also father in law & son in law We spent days trying to solve the confusing contradictions, till she told us. As is common in some communities, a younger brother had married the elder brother’s daughter. So the younger one became his elder brother’s son-in-law. And their wives, though almost Mother (Aunt) and Daughter (Niece) also acquired a new relationship of being sisters-in-law.u


G lobal

28 March-3 April 2014

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World’s largest James Bond Car Collection up for Sale

{ Hamburg/ DPA }

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property tycoon has put the world’s largest collection of James Bond cars up for sale. USbased Michael Dezer is asking a cool 36 million dollars for the fleet of 60 original vehicles used in James Bond films. There is something for everyone - ranging from Odd Job’s Rolls Royce in Goldfinger; a

Lotus Esprit S1 with roof-mounted skis, from the Spy who Loved Me; and a Tuk Tuk auto rickshaw used in Octopussy. A Russian T55 Tank, which crashed through a wall in Goldeneye, is also included. A possible snag for prospective buyers is that the owner prefers to sell the James Bond vehicles as a ‘job lot’. “They must stay together,” said Barbara Donovan of Mayfair Cars in London. She and her husband, Stuart,

World’s first Digital Rear-View Mirror { Geneva/ DPA }

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apanese maker Nissan has revealed a new Digital LCD Rear-View Mirror, which is said to eliminate blind spots. The Smart Mirror being shown at the 2014 Geneva Car Show uses a camera mounted above the rear window. At the flick of a switch the driver can jump back and forth between the camera feed and what would normally be seen through a traditional reflective glass mirror. Nissan says that using the Digital option, the driver’s rearward view is unhindered, eliminating blind spots - namely areas that cannot be seen or are masked by the car’s structure. Visibility is often restricted by modern designs, which feature high rear-deck lids and large rear pillars. Rear vision in SUVs is also usually poorer than in saloon cars. The Digital Mirror can also compensate for dirty rear windows, the glare of direct sunlight and the headlamps of cars following, said Nissan. The innovation means that

designers can now make rear windows smaller, giving them a freer hand in penning aerodynamic shapes, said Andy Palmer, Chief Planning Officer and Executive Vice President. The Smart Mirror is to debut in a racing car competing in this year’s Le Mans 24-hour race and will find its way into a tuned Nissan-Nismo model - initially in Japan only. u

Apps, not Horsepower { Heiko Lossie and Max-Morten Borgmann/ Frankfurt/ DPA }

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ne upon a time everything in the car sector was straightforward. Products in the showroom were defined by design, size, comfort level, safety, price…and naturally Horsepower. Brand-new models emerged roughly once every six years and manufacturers’ alliances were regarded as a sensation. Young people dreamed of owning a car as a symbol of affluence and status. However…”These days customer wishes have changed dramatically,” said car expert Stefan Bratzel. The tyre and component giant, Continental, provides a good illustration of this sea change. The Company announced in January that it is developing ultra-detailed maps that could be used by autonomous cars driven on autopilot. “The digitalisation of our entire lives continues apace. It is changing both mobility and industrial production. It demands of us more openness when it comes to completely new solutions,”

said Continental boss Elmar Degenhart. Elsewhere too things are moving and shaking. Search engine giant Google recently snapped up the navigation app Waze, which allows users to inform each other about road traffic conditions. Google has been experimenting with driverless cars. “The business model of the carmakers has undergone a drastic change,” said Bratzel. Vehicle technology fields are morphing into virtual arenas. Continental is working with network systems suppliers Cisco and IBM – operating in sectors that used to have very little in common. Degenhart believes that the Internet is not only coming to cars but that the car will become part of the Internet. Bratzel sees things the same way: “All this reflects the way that customers are increasingly moving in another world.” The car is turning into a rolling app platform. “You could say that a transfer is gathering pace from the hardware (namely the vehicle itself ) to the software and service side of things,”

are Dezer’s British representatives. Most of the Bond vehicles came from a museum in the town of Keswick in Britain’s picturesque Lake District. When the owner closed down the attraction, Dezer bought the lot and had them shipped to his museum in Miami, Florida. Here they joined other automotive screen idols such as the original VW Beetle from the Herbie movies. Over the years, Dezer has collected a total of 1,800 vehicles.u

In-car Parcel Delivery

Tesla to build Batteries

{ Barcelona/ DPA }

{ Los Angeles/ DPA }

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olvo has unveiled a system that would allow the postman to pop a parcel into the boot of an addressee’s car when the person is not at home. The idea was on display at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, following field trials conducted by Volvo with the aid of 100 volunteers. A digital key opens up the car once, so that the postman can drop the package - before the boot closes. Car owners must authorise the delivery, after being notified by smartphone that an item they have ordered online is on its way. The parcel service uses Volvo’s On-Call app technology, which already permits owners to activate air-conditioning via smartphone - remotely warming or cooling down the car interior as required.

said the expert. For the past 100 years carmakers have had little experience in such matters, and now the innovation is coming thick and fast. A manager from DaimlerBenz recently came up with the trendy expression ‘Mercedes Me’. A whole new world is poised to find its way into cars. Owners already expect built-in gadgets such as the ability of the hands-free car kit to automatically consult the phone book. Cars are ideally supposed to know where to go for the cheapest fuel and to to warn drivers of traffic snarl-ups ahead. When a service is due, the car should warn its owner and even make an appointment at the dealer – provided it knows the owner’s schedule. Of course, today many a young driver is switching to car sharing. A number of experts believe that ‘driverless car motorways’ are only a decade away. “We are also convinced that road traffic accidents will be something that will be talked about in museums,” said Degenhart. The tenor is the same

esla Motors Inc announced plans to build a Lithium Ion Battery factory, in an effort to bring down the cost of their electric cars. The large-scale plant, called Gigafactory, will employ about 6,500 workers and will cost 4 to 5 billion dollars to build. By 2020, Tesla hopes to produce more Lithium Ion Batteries annually than were produced worldwide in 2013, while reducing their costs ‘faster than previously thought possible’, according to their statement. The Company said it delivered more than 22,500 Model S vehicles in 2013 and is planning to deliver 500,000 in 2020. Tesla has not yet named its partners; it has reportedly held meetings with Japanese electronics producer Panasonic, and Apple.

all over. Volkswagen Chief Martin Winterkorn recently remarked: “Over the next few years our sector faces one of the biggest upheavals since the invention of the motor car!” People’s expectations of what constitutes mobility are changing fundamentally…and the same goes for what people expect from a car. “Customers are even beginning to question traditional model cycles,” he added. Degenhart does not believe that the constructional basis of the car is about to undergo a transformation or that models will be refreshed every three years. At the same time the life cycle of a Digital Kit is continuously becoming shorter. Constant updating will probably be the motto of the future - and it will keep the motor trade alive. Expert Bratzel believes that, at the very least, the relationship between manufacturers and suppliers will change. “I believe that what we are currently seeing is the balance of power moving towards the suppliers.” u


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28 March-3 April 2014

19th-Century Pneumatic Post still thrives

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n an age of instantaneous electronic communications, it seems antediluvian to send documents through air-pressurized pipes.
But amazingly, Pneumatictube Mail Systems, which were invented in 1853 in London, are still being built today - albeit on a reduced scale.
Users pop a document or medical sample into a cylindrical, plastic capsule, insert it into a tube…and it whizzes away.
Pneumatictube Systems once laced through miles of networks in the world’s great cities - London, Paris, Berlin, New York and many more - carrying communications between people. Today these Systems are usually confined to a building or a campus. They are quick and effective, despite looking and sounding a bit clunky. Leipzig University Medical Hospital in Germany this year upgraded to a higher-capacity system.
At the Gynaecology department, a clear plastic capsule lands with a thud in a box behind the reception desk. A nurse takes it out and unscrews the blackand-red cap in order to get to the medical documents inside. Almost every department of the Leipzig Medical Clinic is connected to the Pneumatic Post, making 21 kilometres of Tube altogether. Many other corporate sites around Germany, including Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Office building, use them. This is one form of communication, especially within a building, that the US National Security Agency (NSA) can’t bug! Christian Pohlenz, the

Jan Woitas / dpa-Zentralbild

{ Birgit Zimmermann/ Leipzig, Germany/ DPA }

Mouse-over Test helps uncover Scam mails { Berlin/ DPA }

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Christian Pohlenz, the engineer in charge at a network hub of Leipzig University’s Medical Clinic Pneumatic Post System. Capsules containing mail are pushed through the clear blue Pipes by air pressure. engineer in charge of maintaining the Leipzig System, says that each day about 3,300 capsules whiz through the Tubes. “Everything that is part of the everyday life of a clinic and can fit inside a capsule will get despatched through these,” Pohlenz says. “It includes every kind of sample - blood, stool, skin - as well as medications and documents.” Though the capsules have been traditionally propelled by a combination of high and low air pressures, today’s networks are more advanced. Traffic is addressed digitally and the pressure is controlled by computers. The capsules travel at six metres per second - that’s 21.6 kilometres per hour.
Sounds kind of slow, but back in 1853, when a man named J. Latimer Clark set up a 200-metre-long Pneumatic Tube to connect the London Stock Exchange with the Electric Telegraph Company, it was amazing.
 The System quickly proved its advantages over the human messengercarriers scurrying through the

{ Berlin/ DPA }

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oogle processes 100 billion Search requests a month, or about 3.3 billion per day. It’s become such a dominant force in Web Search that its name has become a verb: people don’t ‘look up something online’, they ‘google it’. But there are other commercial alternatives out there even beyond Yahoo and Microsoft’s Bing. Many of them are small and put a premium on anonymity and data security. Duckduckgo: This Search engine, which sets itself apart with a duck logo, has been around since 2008. It claims that it does not store data such as a user’s IP address. Nor does it send information about a web search on to

A nurse uses digital controls to address a Capsule before it whizzes through Leipzig University’s Medical Clinic Pneumatic Post System. The System, installed this year, processes 360 capsules per hour – double the earlier 2006 capacity. It transports documents and medical samples.

streets. The triumphal march of the Pneumatic Tube System proceeded to Berlin (1865) and Paris (1866) and many other major cities. In many cases this System became an integral part of the Postal Service. In Paris the Pneumatic Post System was still in use up to the early 1980s. At the Museum for Communication in Berlin, Veit Didczuneit says that despite being more expensive - a letter on the public Pneumatic Post network cost 30 German pennies, as against 5 pennies by normal mail - the Berlin Pneumatic Post was very popular in the late 19th The decline of the Century.
 Pneumatic Post Systems set in after World War II. Didczuneit says, “The increasing use of telephones, in the 1950s and 1960s, led to a rapid drop in Pneumatic Post despatches.” In West Berlin the System was shut down in 1971, while East Berlin’s system lasted five more years. Curiously, Hamburg’s System came to a dramatic close in 1962 - not due to the advance of other technologies, but because the System was

all but destroyed by a massive flood that year. But while innercity Pneumatic Post eased out, the idea continues to thrive for internal mailings inside organisations. Pohlenz proudly notes that his System has a 99per cent punctuality rate (unlike a human delivery system, a capsule speeding through a Pneumatic Tube does not take a cigarette break). About a dozen companies in Germany offer to build modern Pneumatic Post Systems. Today’s Pipes are plastic, not metal. The one in Leipzig cost 1.8 million euros (24.7 million dollars). Annual operating costs are between 40,000 and 50,000 euros. This is much more economical than employing humans to carry samples, blood supplies and documents back and forth through the large clinic grounds. Pohlenz says that email can transport documents, but not samples, and he sees no alternative to the Pneumatic Post. “At least not until somebody invents Tele-transporting - like in Star Trek,” he concludes.u

Life without other websites - for instance when a user clicks on a link related to a search. After revelations about US Online snooping by fugitive whistle-blower Edward Snowden, DuckDuckGo saw a dramatic increase in user numbers - with the number of search requests surging by a factor of two and a half. In February it saw an average daily rate of 4.5 million Search requests. DuckDuckGo bases its search results on data from competitors, like Yahoo, and results from its own web crawler. Ixquick: It also touts that it does not store its users’ IP addresses, does not

send personal data on to third parties and does not leave cookies behind in browsers. Based in the Netherlands, Ixquick pulls together its results by searching multiple search engines simultaneously. Since 2009 it has operated Startpage, which works by making anonymous requests on Google. Startpage processes about 5.2 million requests per day and has also seen an increase in user requests since the Snowden revelations. Qwant: This France-based engine went online in 2013 and drew about 600 million requests that year. Its focus is on

f you receive an email that seems dodgy, an easy trick for testing its trustworthiness is to run the screen cursor over any embedded links, according to a German computer magazine. Doing so will usually pull up a tiny box, showing the true address of the website being linked to. If it’s the official website of a bank or other business, it’s probably safe. If not, it could very well be a phishing attack, in which a scam artist is trying to trick you into giving away your password and other key data. Users need to remember to only run the mouse over the link until the information box shows up. Do not click on it yet; and look closely. Clever criminals might use a website that looks almost right - only differing from the official web address because they’re using a different country code, for example. Checking the link is key, as con artists have started using increasingly more professional looking mails. Gone are the days when such attacks could often be noticed because of their clunky-looking graphics or obvious spelling errors, reports German magazine c’t Wissen. Also be wary of emails. It’s easy to spoof a sender’s name. However, users can check the header – which requires different methods depending upon which programme you’re using – to see information about from whom the email has been received. If a known email address comes up, it’s usually safe. If these tests don’t put your mind at ease, it’s best to call your bank or other institution directly to get confirmation. But make sure you pull up the phone number from the official website, and not from the questionable email.u

privacy and security, but also providing users with an unfiltered view of the world. Services like Google, it argues, shape their results based on users’ locations and past requests. Qwant says that it has no such filters. For all requests it pulls up information from all over the world based on relevance, and not on the users’ profile. It says that it installs a cookie on a browser during a Search, but does not store information for the long term. People who visit its Website also get to view a cross-section of trending information pulled from services like Twitter and Wikipedia, as well as from news’ websites. Other entrants could still show up. European authorities have tried to create their own counterweight to Google for years…but without much success. u


{ Siddhartha Kumar/ Morigaon, Assam/ DPA }

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n the pre-dawn darkness under a stormy sky, a team of doctors and paramedics quietly gather on a riverbank in Assam, to leave by boat for a day’s work tending to poor villagers.
After the day’s agenda is planned over tea in Morigaon, the boat crew rev up the motor and the craft begins its journey on the Brahmaputra.
Bisecting the north-eastern Indian state of Assam on its course from Tibet to Bangladesh, the Brahmaputra is among Asia’s biggest rivers and prone to floods. An estimated 3 million people live on more than 2,500 river islands called ‘chars’ or ‘soporis’. These

islands are Assam’s most backward regions – having no electricity, roads, toilets or health infrastructure. The Boat Clinic aims to meet the most pressing needs. Pioneered by the Centre for North-East Studies and Policy Research (C-NES), an aid group, it has so far treated over a million people - above all women and children. Following a drizzle, the sun has come out and the villagers, at work in their fields, wave at the Team, asking them to make a stop. But the nurses shout back, reminding them of the date of their own upcoming monthly An hour later health camp.
 the Boat docks at Panchuchar Island. Children run to the banks of the river to greet the Team. Medical supplies and equipment are unloaded and the crew walks about 2 kilometres to reach a school in the middle of a banana plantation - the venue for today’s Camp. Announcements are made over the loudspeakers of a local mosque and soon women in bright saris, with bawling infants clutched to their bosoms, line up for registration. Each team holds about 15 Camps every month, with a focus on maternal and child health, immunisation,

Siddhartha Kumar

28 March-3 April 2014

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23

Hope for India’s islands of misery

Women and children queue up towards the Boat-Clinic vessel on the shore of Panchuchar Island in Morigaon District, Assam. District Programme Officer Shyamajit Pashi (yellow shirt) stands on the Boat gunwale.

Women and children cluster near the Boat-Clinic vessel.

Nurses (right) taking the blood pressure of a woman patient (in salmon-coloured sari, left) as waiting women look on during the Boat-Clinic Camp. pregnancy and general health check-ups. They also raise awareness about family planning and campaign against early marriage. Assam has the highest maternal mortality rate in India - 309 per 100,000 births. The Boat Lab conducts pregnancy, blood sugar and HIV tests.
Families on the islands, many of which are Muslim-dominated, are usually large, and infant and maternal mortality and malnutrition

are major concerns. Repeated childbirths have made 28-yearold Taslima Khatun, a mother of four, anaemic and weak.
“People were hesitant about the clinics at first. They thought it was a temporary programme. Moreover, ours is a conservative society that frowns upon checkups by male doctors,” she said. “But the elders realised that the Team are undertaking hardships just for our welfare. Now

everyone attends the Camp”.
A farmer’s wife, Farida Begum, who gained 10 kilograms and boosted her haemoglobin levels after treatment, credits the Clinic for her recovery. “I had a miscarriage and felt vulnerable, since there was no medical help at hand,” Farida says. “Till four years ago we never saw a doctor, but now we have an entire hospital at our villager, doorstep!”
Another Abdul Khaliq, agrees, saying that taking the elderly and pregnant women to hospitals on the ‘mainland’ is expensive. The trip costs about 1,000 rupees (16 dollars) - a lot of money for island people.
Doctors examine patients and write prescriptions, as dishevelled, half-naked children gambol around. The immunisation programme is a success, with villagers shedding their misconceptions about it, a doctor, Noor Yeasin, says. “People here are mostly illiterate, so we have to fight against superstitions, convince them against visiting witch-doctors and remove wrong notions and beliefs – like, the taking of iron tablets will make their babies big and cause complications during With delivery,” Yeasin adds.
 floods sweeping away several of the islands every monsoon, doctors also provide counselling on depression and alcoholism to the displaced.
By late afternoon the Team has wound up its work and has reached the bank, but then decides to set up an impromptu Camp to attend to some villagers who couldn’t make it to the school. By the end of the work-day, as many as 550 villagers have received care.
 The Project began in the Dibrugarh District in 2005, with three staff operating a Boat Clinic. It has now spread to 13 districts, with 250 personnel manning 15 Boat Clinics. They are

popularly known as ‘ships of hope’. Each team comprises a District Programme Officer, two doctors, nurses, midwives, pharmacists, lab technicians and community workers.
C-NES founder Sanjoy Hazarika came up with the idea of Boat Clinics after he heard about a woman in labour dying on an island for want of medical attention.
 “Assam also has the worst maternal mortality figures, so I thought why not provide such a service to vulnerable communities who face social and geographical exclusion?” he says.

 The Aid Group partnered with India’s National Rural Health Mission and the Assam government. C-NES Chief Executive Dipankar Das says that the Clinics are challenging to operate: staff have to travel in unsteady boats even during the monsoon, when river currents are strong (they wear life-jackets for safety); in summer they trek long distances in the blazing sun, lugging supplies; some teams also undertake longer five-day tours to remote areas. ”Being part of such a mission requires a sense of adventure and commitment. It is exhausting. But when we see more healthy mothers and children, there is a deep sense of satisfaction,” says Morigaon Programme Officer Shyamajit Pashi.

 The Clinics have been well-appreciated. India’s Federal Government has shown interest in launching similar services in other States. India’s first full-fledged Hospital Ship, complete with an Operating Theatre and Labour Room, is being constructed and will ply the River in the coming months, Hazarika says. It will operate in regions that lack hospitals and function as a Mother Ship - to which Boat Clinics will be able to refer cases.
u


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28 March-3 April 2014

Rallying in Gurgaon

G -Scape PRAKHAR PANDEY

Friday gurgaon 28 march 3 april, 2014  

..be the change you want to see

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