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

Vol. 3 No. 33  Pages 24  ` 10

Not a Vote Bank

Not All For One { Shilpy Arora / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon

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ife at the Bus Stand in ‘old’ Gurgaon was just stirring. The flag of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) was waving in the cool breeze. Party Chief Mayawati was in town. Vidya (name changed), 26, who runs a tea stall across the road, was very excited. "Mayawati is one of the most outspoken and strong women politicians in the country. Her visit to Gurgaon is a symbol of the growing importance of the City and its people in national politics. This transformation is surely going to benefit women in Gurgaon," she said. She was hopeful that the situation for women would improve if a woman candidate were to represent her area. Many women now, even from the lower-middle class

and semi-literate backgrounds, seem to have an active view on politics. As women constitute more than 49 per cent of the voters in the country, they can play an important role in shaping the future of politics – and of governance. It is therefore time to separately understand women voters and the issues that are of specific importance to them. Although there may be a huge contrast in the living conditions and voting patterns of urban and rural women, women in general face some common challenges - even as voters. Most women even now are influenced by the male members in their families. Many times they are even dependent on male members for casting their vote. Vidya's mother-in-law, Rati Devi, doesn't feel that a woman can Contd on p 6 

asha PANDEY

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

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espite living within 50 kilometres of Delhi, the Muslims in Mewat which is part of the prestigious Gurgaon Parliamentary Constituency - have seen little development, as the local politicians have seen this community as a solid (maybe even predictable) vote bank only. Perhaps there has even been a conscious effort to keep this huge population illiterate and backward, as an educated and politically conscious electorate is certainly going to ask questions and demand accountability. Mewat still does not have a semblance of even a lower middle class; the majority is a rural peasantry, which has some very basic demands. Unfortunately, even

these have not been met for several decades (like in many similar parts of India today). The Mev community in Nuh, Firozepur Jhirka and Punhana, is angry with the ruling classes, and more so with the Congress - which it says has been using its votes to win elections but doing nothing for the region. Yasin Khan, a resident of Adbar Village near Nuh, while sitting at a tea stall, alleges that both governance and development are non-existent in the area; even in education, despite there being a Mewat education cadre, there are very limited teachers in the schools. His friends from the neighbouring villages say that the Congress government both at the Centre and in the State – has Contd on p 7 

asha PANDEY


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4-10 April 2014

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319 Postal Regn. No. GRG/35/2012-2014, VOL.–3 No.–33  4-10 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

Political....

Defending the status quo Congress candidate for the Gurgaon Lok Sabha seat, Rao Dharampal, is a veteran of many a political battle and is known to be a close confidante of Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda. However, despite this proximity to the most powerful man in Haryana, he could not manage a cabinet berth in the Hooda government – that remains an enigma. Perhaps it was political expediency, as the CM had to accommodate the Gurgaon MLA, Sukhbir Kataria. At 71, Rao Dharampal is at the fag end of a long career that started on a triumphant note in 1987 when, denied a Congress ticket, he fought as an Independent and won comfortably. In 1991 he joined the Congress at the invitation of former PM Rajiv Gandhi, and since then has served as a loyal soldier of the Party.

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Dy. Manager A/cs & Admin:

Shiv Shankar Jha

Social... Lighting up Lives

Consulting Art Editor: Qazi M. Raghib Editorial Office 213, Tower A, Spazedge, Sector 47,

Wellness... Spring Detox Every change of season provides the perfect cue for us to restore balance in our lives by making just the right changes to our food and exercise regimen. Spring is a good time to detox our bodies from the stress and toxins accumulated due to lesser physical activity during the long winters. In this context, a Vitamin plays a stand-out role for several critical functions, such as:

Governance in villages has primarily been left to the Panchayats, which run the system in a traditional manner. Support or guidance for improvement and change has been missing. The Rural Governance program of the Navjyoti India Foundation, an NGO founded and run by Dr. Kiran Bedi, is a welcome initiative.

Sohna Road, Gurgaon 122001, Haryana, Phones: +91 124 421 9092/93 Emails:

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Bon Vivant... Executive Makeovers

Bon Vivant... Roadside Jigs

Waiting impatiently for the traffic light to turn green, I froze at the sight of two barefooted and dry-haired urchin girls dressed in foul-smelling rags and dancing beside my car. Though untrained, scruffy and scrawny, they seemed to exude an amazing sense of confidence - as they somersaulted over one another on the uneven pot-holed tar coal surface - coupled with an excellent sense of rhythm and timing.

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.

C ontents

Everybody wants to look good – and not just at a party. A greater significance is now being given to dressing at the workplace (and not just by women). The way people dress for office has seen a major transition. For women, simplicity and modesty were the earlier ‘themes’ – they preferred high collars, long tops and full-sleeved sari blouses; their hands and legs were always well covered. Today, office wear follows a different fashion ...P 19 statement.

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G-Scape ....

Plus Other Stories.... Social

Together Forever.....................................................P 11 Kid Corner

Happy School - 15th. Annual Day..................P 12-14

IF YOU ARE NOT GETTING FG COPIES REGULARLY

Spiritual

An Atheist can be Spiritual.....................................P15 Global

SMS NR to 08447355801

...P 24

A ‘Surreal’ War...................................................P 21-23


4-10 April 2014

KoD welcomes Thalassemic Society Kingdom of Dreams facilitated an experience for the Thalassemic Society by inviting them to watch Zangoora, The Gypsy Prince and indulge in the exotic food, art and heritage offered by Culture Gully. Thalassemics India - a Non-Government Organisation, was founded in 1986 and is a voting member of Thalassemia International Federation, an international body with Headquarters in Cyprus. The Society aims to obtain ‘equal access to quality care for every Thalassemic and to spread awareness about Thalassemia across the country'.

Arty Hunar

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unar Showcasing Art –The Gallery, known for affordable Art and for promoting artists from the underprivileged section of society, held a three-day Exhibition at Epicentre. It was inaugurated by noted photographer Benoy K Behl. The Exhibition included paintings by Sanjay Soni, Abdul Wasi Hamdard, Anisha Gupta, Aziz Ullah Tohki, Rajesh Borse, Jyoti Kalra and many more.

MDU Technofest @ KIIT

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tand-out performances by students from multiple colleges and universities of Haryana.

New Menu launch

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acked with Special weekend offers, Contests, an Art Show, Tea-tasting Sessions, a Menu launch and Live Music, Goodricke Teapot, Gurgaon celebrated its First Anniversary and gave Art & Tea connoisseurs a reason to rejoice. The Country’s top Chef, Kunal Kapoor, launched the ‘New Menu’. There was a special Artshow by Sheetal Mattoo and National Award Winner, Amita Dutta.

H appenings

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4-10 April 2014

Sec 47, Sohna Road EduBooster Learning Institute is an after-school learning programme. It has started a very innovative and dynamic way of learning, by:  making Science and Mathematics learning fun, and by elping students help themselves!

The Healthy Family Camp Date: April 7 Time: 11 am Venue: Well Women Clinic, A118, Nirvana Courtyard, Sec 50

The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri Date: April 6 Time: 11.30 am Venue: Costa Coffee, Cross Point Mall, DLF Phase IV It's a Book discussion on Pulitzer Prize winner Jhumpa Lahiri's 'Lowland'. Her latest Book has India’s political and cultural scene at its core. The Lowland is where fiction meets fact.

April Running Workshop Date: April 5 Time: 7 pm Venue: Nirvana Coutyard, Nirvana Country, Sec 50 Weekends of April 5th through April 27th Saturdays and Sundays 7am to 8am Ages :8 through 14 Running technique, speed work drills and fun ! EduBooster After-School Learning: Science Magic Show Date: April 5 & 6 Time: 12 am (both days) Venue: EduBooster Learning Institute, Nursery School Site - 7, Malibu Towne,

C oming U p

I Inspire 2014 - Women Leadership Conclave Date: April 4 Time: 9 am Venue: Crowne Plaza, Sec 29 Biz Divas presents 'I Inspire 2014', a National Conference for women leaders. The Event aims to be a Confluence of ideas, a Convergence of thought and a Celebration of the spirit of diversity and entrepreneurship. Join more than 200+ participants who are coming together to learn, educate, connect and inspire. Meet women leaders as they showcase their innovative thoughts and practices and share their success stories.

ABRACADABRA Date: April 5 Time: 10 am Venue: Epicentre, Sec 44 A Multilingual Short Film Festival

Vasant Utsav by Swaranjali Date: April 7 Time: 7:30 pm Venue: Epicentre, Sec 44 A Kathak Dance Drama choreographed by Smt. Sreya Chattopadhyaya, along with her disciples; and a Ghazals recital on Hawaiian Guitar by eminent artiste Smt Sonali Nath . An Extraordinary Musical Event

On the occasion of K.L. Saigal’s 110th Birth Anniversary You are cordially invited to a musical function on Friday, 4th April, 2014 (6:30 PM) at Multi Purpose Hall, India International Centre, Maxmueller Marg, New Delhi. Author-Scholar Pran Nevile pays tribute to K.L. Saigal Immortal Singer, Poet & Composer; followed by a Concert by Dr. Radhika Chopra.

In memory of Reshma Legendary Folk Singer You are cordially invited to a musical function on Sunday, 6th April, 2014 (7:30 PM) at Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44, Gurgaon   Author-Scholar Pran Nevile speaks on Reshma, followed by a Concert by Simrat Chhabra

The Cover Price of Friday Gurgaon has increased from April 1, 2014, to Rs. 10 (Ten) per Issue (versus Rs 7 earlier). The Anual Subscription is Rs. 350 (Three Hundred & Fifty) for 52 Issues (versus Rs. 200 earlier).


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Growth hacking for Mobile - Workshop @ IID 2014 Date: April 4 Time: 2 pm to 4 pm Venue: The Leela Kempinski, NH 8, Gurgaon

With smartphone penetration sky-rocketing, the Internet's future will be shaped by products and services that are mobileoptimised, mobile-first and mobile-only.  Agenda 1. Building and optimising for the mobile web? 2. The best practices for launching and distributing apps.  3. Growth hack techniques that can get you millions of app users. 4. Product management and development techniques that work for apps. 5. Best Practices that can be used to track and measure across web and mobile. 

Delhi's

Play Taj Mahal ka Tender Date: April 8 Time: 7 pm onwards Venue: Shri Ram Centre, Mandi House, New Delhi Director: SP Singh Sengar Writer: Ajay Shukla Programme Incharge: Erum Khan Organiser: Shree Umapati Group Genre: Comedy What would have been the fate of Shahjahan's Taj Mahal had the Emperor lived in the present times? Current issues are presented in a comedy flavour,     Cast & Crew: Manish Thakur, Mangatram, Monica, Govind Vajpayee, Annu Sharma Tickets available at  BookMyShow: Rs 500, Rs.300, Rs.200, Rs.100

Culture-Scape

How? 1. Hands on 2. Delegates work on their appstores real time 3. Have their app critiqued by experts on the spot Content 1) App Store Strategy & ASO  2) PR, Reviews/Ratings & Advertising - Aloke Bajpai 3) Analytics & User Data Mining 4) Product iteration, Business Models and Innovation – Vijay Shekhar Sharma Format - Half hour for each topic - Open with a Case Study, have a Discussion - Work on a Live App (delegate volunteers)

Exhibition Images of Time Date: April 8-14 Time: 6 pm onwards Venue: AIFACS, New Delhi DThis exhibition is a group show featuring nine artists. The exhibition will be inaugrated by Prof. Raheev Lochan, Director National Gallery of Modern Art

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THE WEEK THAT WAS

 High Court issues a notice to the State over the announced Jaat quota under the Special backward Class (SBC) category.  The April 1 deadline decision of the Punjab & Haryana High Court, to ensure removal of all liquor vends from near the Highways, has been stayed by the Supreme Court - on an application by the Hayana govt.  Ex-Captain of the National Women’s Kabaddi Team, Sunil Dabas, is conferred the Padma Shri.  INLD wants Poll Surveys to be investigated, and preferably banned. They have written accordingly to the EC.  Court orders another FIR against Minister Sukhbir Kataria, in the ‘fake Voter ID’ case – ongoing since 2009.  A man gets 10 years jail for having raped an office colleague last year.  A man is booked for molesting a 56-year-old widow; a man is accused of molesting a minor; a former executive in a private sector firm accuses her exmanager of sexual harassment.  A sex racket running in a spa in Sector 31 is busted – 6 women are held; the owner of the spa is absconding; another sex racket in Sector 29 busted – 5 women, among 8 held.  A domestic worker, a minor girl, is rescued from her ‘residence’ in DLF I – she had not been paid for 3

 Contd from p 1 understand politics well enough, and so feels that it is better to follow the man in the family. "Awoman can never understand politics. My grandson tells me which symbol to vote for and I simply press the button," she said. Karuna Singh, who has been working for the Jago Re campaign, to spread awareness amongst voters to choose the right candidate, threw more light on this phenomenon. "Women going only by what their men say men say is undoubtedly a dangerous trend in a democracy. Most families have been voting for one Party traditionally, " he said. Besides, caste still plays an important role. Vidya explained, "My father has always supported the candidates from our caste. I think that you can relate to the candidate if he/she belongs to your caste and gender. Mayawati has worked a lot for our community in Uttar Pradesh. We should give her a chance here too." When asked about her views on the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Vidya said that if AAP chooses a candidate who belongs to her caste, she might hit the Broom button. Unfortunately, caste politics is so deep-rooted in the mindset of people that new entrants find it hard to break through. Daya, a volunteer at AAP, said, "While caste seems to

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   

years; a 10-month-old baby goes missing from a park in New Colony. A couple of birdwatchers is brutally assaulted in the Mangar forest area by the henchmen of a local ‘baba’. The baba and an accomplice are held. A group of men from the North East, staying in Sikanderpur, is assaulted by locals. An accomplice of gangster Ashok Rathi is arrested. A woman, under stress, lashes out and hits an intern at the Civil Hospital. Workers of Orient Craft run riot after one of their colleagues dies due to electrocution at the factory premises. 10 policemen, including an ACP, are injured when the mob turns violent; vehicles are also damaged. A running car catches fire in Sushant Lok.

 3 Block Level Officers held for making fake Voter IDs – caught in a sting operation by a TV Channel.  A sting operation at the MiniSecretariat catches an ‘official’ taking a bribe of Rs 5,000 from a Nepalese national, for issuing him an Aadhaar Card; an IAS officer is accused of taking a Rs 1 lakh bribe from a Public Health official.  A man from Sec 15 (II) loses Rs 43 lakhs in a share (stock) fraud; a man in Sector 56 is duped of Rs 1 lakh, by a person who forges his signature on a cheque.

 A 2nd year college student, son of a landlord, is booked for dealing in fake currency; he was paying his labour with these fake notes.  Officials seize many cars carrying unaccounted cash – it’s election time! 2 vehicles are caught carrying Rs 27 lakhs; another 2 are caught near Pataudi carrying Rs 68 lakhs.  A fraud operation, promising jobs at the Metro, is unearthed; a Placement firm cheats over 20 youth of Rs 2,000 each, on the promise of a job.  3 brokers steal over Rs 4 lakhs from a travel company in Wazirabad.  4 people are nabbed when they try to snatch a Just Dial taxi after calling for it.  Work on HUDA-DLF 16-lane e-way (border to Sectors 55/56) can now resume – National Green Tribunal gives approval.  MCG allows stilt floors on plots greater than 150 sq metres; and the height of those houses can therefore go up to 14.5 metres. Minimum plot size can now be 50 sq m (versus 85 sq m earlier).  Refund of toll dues has still not started, after the closure of the Kherki Daula Plaza.  Bus service to the hills resumes after a 2-year gap.  It is estimated that the City ‘saved’ 13 lakhs power units during the Earth Hour (when the lights at many establishments and residences were switched off). The normal daily consumption is 137 lakhs units.

Not All For One be a major factor in influencing voters in Gurgaon District, I think that women voters can bring about the change. It is a woman who has to manage the day-to-day operations and finances at home. She should vote for a Party that she feels is serious about bringing down food and other prices." For Muslim women the situation seems worse. Farida, 36, a resident of Islampur, has never exercised her right to vote, as she doesn't even have a Voter ID card. Very few women in her Village have one. "The men here don't allow their women to remove their veils, which makes it impossible for them to have a photo taken," she said. Asif, a Volunteer with the Jago Re campaign, has been trying to spread the awareness about women’s voting rights. "In Islam a woman can reveal her face for a legal purpose, in the presence of her husband. While married women are not permitted to look into the eyes of another man, they can surely look into the camera to get a photograph taken. Unfortunately the male-dominated society interprets religion as per their purpose, and so the women are not able to get a Voter ID card or a Driving Licence or a Passport.

More than 80 per cent of the women in this area therefore don't vote," he said. Last year Asif had convinced 30 families to allow their women to get their photographs taken (in the presence of their husbands). The civic facilities in the Village are pathetic. There is only one government school, where the girl dropout rate is 100 per cent by the 6th or 7th Standard. Most of the children go to Madarsas, where the girls and boys study in different batches. “There is a common toilet for boys and girls in the local school, and so we don't feel safe sending our daughters there. The problem is that nobody raises these issues during elections and so no change also takes place," said Nasreen (name changed) - who had her election card made during the last Assembly elections, thanks to the Jago Re campaign. Most parties have raised women’s security in urban areas as a major issue. AAP in fact has a dedicated webpage for women's safety, wherein the Party is encouraging people to sign up for its ‘women's security force’ or join their volunteer groups in colleges and societies; these will act as citizen-run forces to help victims of crime and also encourage women to report

cases of violence. "It is perhaps the first time that political parties have made women's rights the centrepiece of their political manifestos. It manifests the success of the women's safety movement, which started after the Delhi gang-rape," said Karuna. However, the irony is that even modern, financially well-off and educated women, who should certainly be able to make intelligent electoral decisions, feel that their vote will not make a difference. A 37-yearold, working as a Corporate Communication Manager at an MNC, said, "With April 10th (Election Day) being a Thursday, we have the opportunity of a long weekend (to get away). And anyway I don't think that any Party can run this country effectively." She has voted only twice so far. Even many young adults are not taking interest in politics; they also don't feel the urge to vote, because they have never had any active discussion about politics within the family or friends’ circle. Many have never seen their parents going out to cast their votes. Is it therefore any wonder that the interests of the upper-middle class are always sidelined by the politicians? Despite women represent-

ing 49 per cent of the voters, women's representation is politics is extremely poor. "You can't preach women's liberation when you don't practice it within your own Party. I think that the representation of women in a Party shows its seriousness to address women-related issues," felt Garima Thakur, a resident of Cyber Greens. Another issue is that even the women who are today in politics don't sufficiently raise their voice for women. “We need women politicians who are proudly 'feminist'. They need to strongly represent women," felt Karuna. However, women's issues should not be limited to just electoral manifestos; they need to be highlighted as issues concerning everyone. To become a true democracy, we would have to give women equal opportunities and representation at all levels. There are many who feel that women, especially mothers, are inherently better and can bring about change more effectively in our country. Women voters need to show their approval by voting accordingly – even if it is at variance with the ‘male’ choice or diktat at home. Women have been, and are, different… and special. While ‘aadmis’ should rightfully feel ‘aam’, ‘aurats’ need to now stamp their ‘khaasiyat’.u


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Not a Vote Bank

PRAKHAR PANDEY

 Contd from p 1 disappointed the Mevs, who are therefore likely to support the INLD candidate Zakir Hussain. In fact the people of the area feel indebted to the Chautalas of the INLD, who took the lead and carved out Mewat as a separate district from the existing Gurgaon and Faridabad districts. More importantly, their support for the INLD has not wavered despite the Chautalas openly supporting Narendra Modi - a political personality who seems to be anathema for Muslims across the country. The Muslims here seem pragmatic - while they are opposing the BJP candidate Rao Inderjit Singh, they will vote for Zakir Hussain of INLD. This stand is not going down well with Congress workers and activists, who are increasing telling people that a vote for Zakir would be a vote for Modi. Arshad Hussain Tain, a Congress leader from Nuh, and supporter of local MLA Aaftab Ahmed, asserts that Mevs of Mewat will accept defeat but never compromise with the opposition - particularly with a leader like Modi. He asserts that the Congress government has brought about development in the last decade and the region has got a medical and engineering college and a couple of ITI institutes and teacher training colleges. “We have a loyal support base and people know the government has delivered”, he says. However, the recent Sonia Gandhi visit did not evoke much confidence and there was a fairly ‘thin’ crowd at her rally. Locals say that had the Congress fielded a Muslim candidate, it could have been a better position to elicit the Mev votes; giving the ticket to Rao Dharampal has proved to be a dampener. Junaid, a resident of a village near Badkhali, says that people in Mewat want a change - both

at the Centre and in the State. He says that Muslims will vote in large numbers for Zakir Hussain, as they see him as a fellow Mev who would be far from accessible. The supporters of Zakir are confident that he will win the polls, due to the strong support from the Mevs, in addition to the traditional Jaat vote bank of the Chautalas. Akhtar Husaain from nearby Adbra Village says that people of Mewat owe a debt to the INLD and will vote for Zakir en bloc this time. Fateh Mohd, an exsarpanch of Rithora, asserts that 80 per cent of the votes polled in Mewat would go to Zakir, as the INLD is the only Party that will bring further development to the region - as it has done in the past. The INLD supporters allege that the backwardness of this region is due to the Congresswalas, who fight back saying

that Zakir Hussain's father and grandfather, despite being tall politicians from the region, did nothing but perpetuate dynastic rule. Mewat remains a cut-off, backward region. Successive governments have promised better connectivity through a rail network, and not delivered; even a promise for a university did not materialize; there is lack of potable water; agriculture, a mainstay, is poor because the Mewat Canal and Kotla Jheel projects failed to take off. Jaikam Khan, another supporter, says that whatever development took place in the region was under the Chautala rule, and thereafter the government has been missing from here. He says there is acute shortage of power supply and, despite the local MLA Aaftab Ahmed being the State Transport Minister, commuting is tough. The Gurgaon-Alwar-Jaipur Highway, which at one time was a State highway, has been four-laned only upto Nuh; the rest of the road upto Alwar has two lanes and movement of thousands of dumpers makes it extremely dangerous. This road also came into existence only because the NCR Board intervened and funded the construction. The reference to dumpers also raises the issue of mining, which, despite being a key source of income in this region, has been banned. Consequently, stones from Rajasthan where quarrying is allowed – are brought here and processed in crushers. Citing discrimination, locals allege that despite Mewat having 39,000 drivers with Heavy Vehicle licences, only 12 from the District were hired by the State government – again despite the State Transport Minister being from Nuh. “Our minimum share should have been 80 drivers, but it did not materialise as the Congress sees us as only as a vote bank,” asserts Fateh Mohd. He also alleges that unemployment is rampant in Mewat, and due to a lack of industry the youth are forced to migrate to other areas to earn a livelihood. Asked about the (vote) preferences of their women folk, most of the men smile and say that Meonis (women Mevs) vote for whichever Party/ candidate the men tell them. Literacy among the women of this region is very poor, and even for men the average is abysmal. When asked if Hindus of Mewat, and even outside the region, will vote for a Muslim candidate, the INLD supporters assert that religion has never been the deciding factor for people in the area. “We have voted for Rao Inderjit in the past, and even for other (nonMuslim) Congress candidates. And even if our support for

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Zakir ends up as a support for Modi we won’t mind it”, says Junaid. The INLD believes that if Muslims in Pataudi and Bawal also support Zakir, and Jaats hang in with them, this Parliamentary seat could be won by them. Another glimmer of hope that INLD supporters see is the strong effort being made by CM Hooda to somehow defeat his arch rival Rao Inderjit Sing. Rao had got around 50,000 votes from this region in the last election. Despite his switch to the BJP, his supporters in Mewat say that apart from his getting the benefit of a fairly consolidated Hindu vote this time, his personal relationships might help the BJP achieve a tally of close to a lakh votes from this area. He has good relations with some of the local leaders like Zahid Hussain, who are seeking the BJP ticket for the State polls coming up towards the close of the year. Sitting at the BJP office, Nasim Ahmed, a former AAP worker who has joined the BJP, says that gotra and caste are strong factors among the Mevs even now, and some of the castes among the Muslims - because of their close relations with Rao Inderjit might vote for him. “We are not voting for Modi; we are voting for Rao Inderjit, because he is a tall leader of the area and our local leader has ties with him”, says another Mev supporter. The Hindus of Mewat, who have almost 1.25 lakh votes out of the total 4.85 lakhs, are putting their weight behind the BJP. While in 2009 many Hindus here did not support the BJP candidate, this time many are likely to vote for the BJP - particularly due to the Modi factor. However, the Yadav vote, which accounts for

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almost 20 per cent of the total, is likely to get split. Suresh Singh, a BJP supporter in Ujhina, says that the two Hindu villages of Ujhina and Sarkhel have 8000 votes, and out of that 7000 will go to the BJP. “We may or may not support the candidate but our vote is for Modi,” he asserts. Ujhina also has support for the AAP candidate Yogendra Yadav, and there are some families who are big supporters of Kejriwal, says Manoj Kumar. Kumar also says that had Zakir not been the INLD candidate, half of the Muslim votes would have gone to Yogendra Yadav of AAP. Some Muslims admit that Kejriwal had instilled faith among them by taking on the Congress and the scourge of corruption; but a strong INLD candidate (Zakir) and Chautala's popularity in the area have led to the AAP taking a back seat. The electoral battle in the Gurgaon area has become very complicated, with caste, community and religion almost playing equally important roles - apart from issues like development, growth and jobs. This Constituency has the modern and orthodox elements in the extremes – kind of represented by the posh DLF areas on one hand and the backward villages of Mewat on the other. Despite being so close they are very distant. Muslims in Mewat want change, like other parts of the country, and would be happy if one of their own wins the Lok Sabha polls and represents their voice in the largest Panchayat of the country - as the people of this region define the Parliament.u


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Defending the status quo I assure the people that this issue can be resolved by the Congress only, because it is the only Party that has the interests of the weaker sections and the poor at heart. It was only because the CM personally took interest in this matter and asked the MCG Commissioner to personally plead the matter in the High Court, that water and power connections have now been made available to the residents here. We will also ensure that development takes place in this area and people are given basic amenities of life. I would also reiterate that development has taken place in Gurgaon but it has not been projected in the right manner. The sitting Gurgaon MP has also accused the Congress government of discriminating against South Haryana. What is your stand? Well, I want to ask him what he demanded from the Chief Minister and what was denied to him. Has he asked for a specific project? He left the Party to further his political career, and the allegations that the Congress has discriminated with Gurgaon have been raised only lately.

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon

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ongress candidate for the Gurgaon Lok Sabha seat, Rao Dharampal, is a veteran of many a political battle and is known to be a close confidante of Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda. However, despite this proximity to the most powerful man in Haryana, he could not manage a cabinet berth in the Hooda government – that remains an enigma. Perhaps it was political expediency, as the CM had to accommodate the Gurgaon MLA, Sukhbir Kataria. At 71, Rao Dharampal is at the fag end of a long career that started on a triumphant note in 1987 when, denied a Congress ticket, he fought as an Independent and won comfortably. In 1991 he joined the Congress at the invitation of former PM Rajiv Gandhi, and since then has served as a loyal soldier of the Party. This loyalty has given him the opportunity for a Lok Sabha seat, although as the second choice – as the preference of the Congress was to field Captain Ajay Yadav (a Minister in the State govt.). At a time when the stock of the Party is at an all-time low, Dharampal has willingly and positively taken up this late challenge. He has hit the campaign trail with a vengeance. Friday Gurgaon met the Badshahpur MLA during his visit to the restricted area near the IAF Ammunition Depot, and asked him about his vision for the Gurgaon parliamentary constituency. Why should people vote for you, and the Congress, in Gurgaon? Congress is the only Party that has the ability to take people together and

deliver governance in a country that is very diverse. We help provide the unity and stand for secular policies, and fight against communalism with all our might. The Congress Party has plans for both the masses and the classes, and that is the reason why every section of society identifies with us. Our governments in the past have delivered results and a large number of people have benefitted - both in the rural and urban areas. This is the reason why we are going to get votes not only in Gurgaon but also across the country. There is a strong feeling in Gurgaon that builders dominate the government, and there is strong resentment against this lobby. I don’t think builders have done so much wrong in the City. There might be some complaints against them but most have been resolved by the Administration. However, if there are any such issues they will be taken up at the right forum. The people across the Gurgaon Lok Sabha Constituency complain that the Congress has developed Rohtak more, and discriminated against Gurgaon? Well, Rohtak was not developed at the cost of Gurgaon, and in every State a Chief Minister takes care of his constituency. This has happened with Bhajan Lal, the Chautalas and Bansi Lal - and now if CM Hooda has brought development to Rohtak, what is wrong? The Metro has been brought to Gurgaon, the Rapid Metro project is our initiative, and there has been great improvement in roads and related infrastructure. Gurgaon grew so fast that it left us wondering what to do, but great strides have been made to develop the City. Mewat, which was described as backward, has seen

many big development projects during our tenure, and this will be continued. What is your stand on the unauthorised colonies and this 900 meters disputed area around the Ammunition Depot? I promise the people that this issue will be taken up as the first priority in the Lok Sabha by me. What is surprising is that the BJP candidate who left the Congress was the Minister of State for Defence and could have resolved this issue with the stroke of a pen - but he did nothing for the people of Gurgaon. Now Rao Inderjit is promising that the BJP government will resolve this issue.

Women’s safety is a major issue in Gurgaon. What are your plans to ensure that the City becomes safer? Gurgaon Police has been empowered by the Congress government and given autonomy to work in a free and fair manner. But it is a large and growing city and challenges remain; these shall be overcome in due course of time. The transport system is in a bad shape and the people in ‘old’ Gurgaon want the Metro to operate there as well. I will take up the matter at the highest level and ensure that the Metro from Dwarka comes to ‘old’ Gurgaon. u

AAP ke Mudde

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hallenging all his opponents to a debate on the vision for Gurgaon, AAP candidate and top ideologue Yogendra Yadav said that this election was historic, as it would usher in a new form of politics. On the occasion he also released the Party Manifesto, which has been specifically made for Gurgaon Lok Sabha constituency – represented by many different ‘worlds’ of Gurgaon, Rewari and Mewat. The Manifesto identifies corruption and the hold of builders, lack of infrastructure, unemployment, lack of education and poor health facilities as the top challenges that the Party would tackle. “We also want to bring in good governance,” asserted Yadav. To create employment in rural areas, the Manifesto calls for the setting up of small-scale industry; in the cities, industry would be asked to train and absorb the local youth. For Mewat, Yadav said that there was need for a big push to be given to education and health facilities, whereas Rewari needed good college facilities. He added that Gurgaon should have a University and emerge as an education hub. In urban areas, the failure of governance would be resolved by the setting up of an overarching agency - but this would be elected by people and accountable to them. “We also need to find a solution to bring water to the region, and we will try hard to get the SYL issue resolved,” he stressed. Apart from planning various civic amenities and facilities, the Manifesto talks of regulating the number of liquor shops, that too after an ‘approval’ by women. The AAP manifesto has also listed specific measures for every assembly constituency. Yadav promised that AAP and he would regularly review their performance against this Manifesto.u


P olitical

4-10 April 2014

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon

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espite the Gurgaon Lok Sabha Constituency having a large Scheduled Caste (SC) population, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) does not have a strong presence in the area. The BSP leadership in Uttar Pradesh, where the Party has a sizeable presence, is also baffled on this score. Maybe realising that even the personality of individual leaders plays an important role in Haryana politics, BSP this time has decided to field Dharampal Kota Rathi – despite his belonging to the Gujjar community. Rathi supporters calculate that 3 lakhs SC voters in the Constituency, apart from over a lakh Gujjars, make him a strong contender. Speaking to Friday Gurgaon during his campaign trail in rural Gurgaon, Rathi asserts that he has support in all the areas, including Mewat. Rathi started out as a pehlwan, then ventured into business, followed by social work and finally…politics. The BSP candidate has a clear agenda for Gurgaon. Why should the people of Gurgaon vote for BSP, and your leader Mayawati? The people of Gurgaon should vote for BSP because we are the only Party that has brought every community together. We had run a clean government in Uttar Pradesh and people were not at the mercy of criminals and anti-social elements. BSP is the only Party that can cater to the large socially and backward population in this Region. Our Party is going to play an important role after the Lok Sabha polls, and we will be in strong position to guide the development if people vote for us. What is your primary agenda for the development of Gurgaon. What are the important agendas in your Manifesto? The Gurgaon Lok Sabha area needs

Caste Differently economic, social as well as political empowerment, as the politicians from this Region have never spoken for the development and growth of the area. I live among the people, share their concerns, and through social service I have helped them in times of difficulty. The most important agendas for this Region would be: the setting up of a university and sports stadiums (both in Gurgaon and Mewat); resolution of the SYL Canal issue, so that water for agriculture is available to the parched lands in South Haryana; and, most importantly, a 33 per cent reservation for local youth in the private sector companies and industry in the Region. I would also propose that we end the ban on mining, as the entire Mewat is suffering due to a lack of industry; and the movement of dumpers from Rajasthan, carrying stones to be crushed here, defeats the very purpose of the mining ban. We also need to ensure an end to the system of contract workers in the local industry, which has vitiated the industrial environment in the GurgaonManesar belt. While we welcome the migrant workers in this area, the locals should get their due share of jobs in the industry. How are you going to fight corruption at the local and top level? Our leader Mayawati is known to be a tough administrator, and in the Lok Sabha I will raise a strong voice against the endemic corruption in Gurgaon - and across Haryana. Corruption comes from the top leadership, and unless the people decide to change the politicians, they will have to bear with corruption. It is time for the people of Gurgaon to vote for people like me, who have worked and earned the hard way and have no greed for siphoning public money or using CLUs to collect money from builders. Every rupee that is given in bribery

Demands of the NCR Chamber of Commerce and Industry

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s enunciated by H P Yadav, President, NCR Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Gurgaon. Parties must have concern for Industrial Development and address the issues related to Industries and Trades. Due to labour unrest, industries are suffering financial loss and are migrating from this area. Unemployment is therefore increasing. Specific requirements are: 1.  To enhance the transportation facilities, by : extending the Delhi Metro from Gurgaon to Manesar & Rewari, NOIDA to Greater NOIDA, Mundka (Delhi) to Bahadurgarh and towards Sonepat. There is need to deploy State Bus facilities within industrial belts. Further, a Railway service is required in Mewat (an old promise). 2.  To set up a Tax free Zone at and around Mewat. 3.  To have a focused approach for Employment Generation and Skill Training programs for the youth. 4.  To open more ESI Hospitals and Dispensaries, to provide basic facilities to the industrial workers. 5.  To provide a single window clearance system for Industries and Trade. 6.N To make necessary amendments in the Factories Act 1948 and other Labour Acts, to ensure cordial relations between Managements and the Workforce. Political Parties should clarify their stand on the above issues at the earliest.u

means that the interests of the poor and weaker sections are being shortchanged or the rightful due of one person is being diverted to someone underserving. The builders in Gurgaon, in particular, seem to have become allpowerful and drive the agenda of the Haryana government. How do you plan to check their domination? Once again, the builders have grown powerful because of the capitulation of the political class to money. The politicians speak only the language of money, and this will be addressed by ensuring that rules and regulations related to real estate and apartments are implemented in their letter and spirit. The forcible acquisition of land and the frequent changes in the Master Plans, at the behest of builders, will be investigated - and also stopped. Gurgaon has major problems related to lack of water and power, and poor roads and other infrastructure? What vision does the BSP have to resolve these issues? First of all the EDC (charges) collected from Gurgaon would be spent on the City as well as the Constituency, to boost civic infrastructure. It can’t happen that Gurgaon wallows in darkness while the power supply is 24x7 in Rohtak - which has happened during the reign of the current Chief Minister. There is a need to build more flyovers and underpasses in the City. Water Treatment Plants, and recycling of water, also need to be promoted - but ultimately it is about the Region getting its due share of various facilities. The entire South Haryana has been discriminated against by the Hooda government, as all jobs and development have benefitted only Rohtak, Sonipat and Jhajjar. In our rule, development will be more balanced across regions and jobs will go to youth on merit - not on the basis of geography. How are you going to help the large number of farmers in this Constituency? First of all there will no forcible acquisition of land in this Region, for building real estate. Land, if

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required, can be acquired under the new law, which will ensure a perpetual compensation to farmers. If a majority of people is not ready to give up their land, then no private player should try to force them. The misuse of Sections 4 and 6 will be stopped, and this matter would also be raised in the Lok Sabha, once I win at the polls. What is your stand on the mushrooming unauthorised colonies and the 900 meter restricted area (around the Ammunition Depot) in Gurgaon? Action should be taken against those officials and builders who have allowed the setting up of these colonies, but why should the poor and lower middle class people be made to suffer? They pay taxes, and even power and water bills. These people need houses, and since the State as well as the private real estate industry cannot meet their requirements, they have sought refuge in such colonies. Also, it is surprising that the BJP candidate, who was a Minister of State for Defence, did not resolve the Ammunition Depot issue when he could. The government must accept its policy failure on housing and ensure that people of these areas are able to live peacefully. Do you think that there is a need for a Gurgaon Development Agency (GDA) to streamline the development of the City? No doubt a Gurgaon Development Authority is needed, but the problem is, from where will it begin its work? The City has seen no development in the last 10 years of Congress rule. Just two hours of rain causes waterlogging, there is no regular public transport and the Metro is so far off from ‘old’ Gurgaon. But yes, I support the idea of a GDA, as long as it is accountable to the people. Why should youth and women support the BSP in Gurgaon? Our supreme leader is a woman and this speaks volumes about our Party. We are young Party and support the cause of the youth - including safety, security, growth and employment. I assure the people of Gurgaon that if I win I will be with them through thick and thin. u


10 Lighting up Lives { Shilpy Arora / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon

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overnance in villages has primarily been left to the Panchayats, which run the system in a traditional manner. Support or guidance for improvement and change has been missing. The Rural Governance program of the Navjyoti India Foundation, an NGO founded and run by Dr. Kiran Bedi, is a welcome initiative. It facilitates the functioning of the Panchayati Raj system and helps empower the grassroots leadership more meaningfully. For Malti, a labourer in Bhondsi, being a part of a Village Panchayat had meant sitting in weekly meetings and signing the documents as instructed by her family and other members of the Panchayat. She did not know her role and responsibilities as a 'Panch'. Her husband and brother-in-law would sit with her in Panchayat meetings and speak on her behalf. "One day I attended a workshop on Rural Governance conducted by the Navjyoti Foundation. Not only did it provide me clarity about the duties of a 'Panch', but it also helped me gain the right perspective on important issues in the Village," she says. Malti now actively participates in Panchayat meetings. She has been raising the issue of the diminishing groundwater in the Village, on behalf of women who have to regularly fetch water from another village. Interestingly, her daughter also wants to be a part of active governance in the Village. Navjyoti Foundation started its initiative on Women's Panchayats at Bhondsi, in 1996. The aim was to build responsible and accountable leadership capacities in rural areas. Members of Panchayats were guided about the Haryana Panchayati Raj Act and various government schemes, as well as on planning, empowerment, communication skills, leadership skills, gender issues, stress management, social audit and the Right to Information (RTI).   Over the years Navjyoti expanded its scope of work and today the NGO's work spans across 30 villages in Sohna Block. The NGO is now providing

4-10 April 2014

S ocial

primary and higher education, employment services, health services and family counselling to the villagers. Every month around 400 women are ‘empowered’, 100 children are educated and thus many families are being benefitted. Many volunteers, social welfare organisations and even foreign missions have come forward to assist Navjyoti Foundation in its Rural Development initiative. A delegate from the

Australian Rural Leadership Foundation (ARLF), which has been associated with Navjyoti Foundation says, "We have been conducting Rural Development initiatives with rural women, youth, community leaders and the members of Navjyoti. It has been a great learning experience for us, as we got to know about the challenges of socio-economic security in rural India. We will continue to work here on poverty eradication and gender equity programs, which would also help bridge the rural-urban gap." For Hemlata, a resident of Naya Gaon, Sohna Block, the Self-Help Group (SHG) of Navjyoti Foundation proved to be a blessing in disguise. "My husband needed to be operated but my family was in severe debt. One day I met the volunteers of the NGO. They told me about the benefits of SHGs and mentioned that such groups also help collect money from villagers for helping people in need. I was given a loan of Rs. 2,000 for my husband's eye operation. The NGO later provided me with employment. Now I am earning and repaying my loan in monthly instalments," she says. The SHGs assist women in creating their own fund so they do not have to sell their land or seek help from unscrupulous lenders

– or send their children for work, rather than attending school. The women, once employed, feel empowered. Many handicraft exhibitions have been organised in villages, to encourage women to work. "Besides the material gains, we have noticed a positive change in the attitude of the villagers towards women. The women are of course have become more confident - they travel alone, have bank accounts and manage their finances without any assistance from men. They understand the value of education. All this has also transformed the lives of the children and youth in these villages," says Sonali, a volunteer. The NGO also runs Jagrit Nari Federation, which helps rural women become entrepreneurs. Navjyoti India Foundation has been credited with opening the first Community College in Naya Gaon Village in Sohna Block. The College offers structured courses under a credit scheme, and a fee of Rs. 500 per month. Since villagers are generally reluctant to send their daughters to cities for higher studies, this initiative is of immense help to young girls. Touted as the 'B-School for the marginalised' by Dr. Kiran Bedi, the College is

spread over 3 acres and is registered with the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). "Despite several initiatives by the government, children living in villages can get only basic education. As this College offers courses in English language speaking, interview and communication skills, computers, animation, fashion designing, retail management, herbal plantation and law, it helps youngsters to pursue a career of their choice," says Sonali. The College has tied up with the British Council for the English Language training, Vedanta Foundation for Computers and Placements, and with Ozone Pharma for Herbal Plants training. Interestingly the NGO is planning to conduct a Placement Fair - and will post the names of the participants on its website - to help the village youth gain employment. The NGO provides educational assistance to the students of Classes 1 to 5 through a unique remedial education program called 'School Ke Baad School'. The objective is to prevent dropouts. Special classes are conducted after the normal school time, to not only help some of the children in academics, but to ensure their holistic development. School Ke Baad School of-

fers library, audio-visual room, computer laboratory, music classes and language class. The NGO has also tied up with private schools in the region. Delhi Public School, Maruti Kunj, for instance, has joined hands with the NGO to sensitise its students for community support in the villages of Sohna Block. The students of DPS, Maruti Kunj have been conducting rallies, street plays and personality development programmes to assist students of the Navjyoti Foundation. A few universities, such as Hartford University, have also been helping the NGO to provide clean drinking water to the community with the help of solar water pumps. Such pumps have already helped more than 100 families in Abheypur. The NGO believes that the living conditions and the opportunities in villages – where 70% of India still lives - should also become better. With its Rural Development Initiatives, Navjyoti Foundation is helping empower many families (esp. women and children). They also believe that village youth offer immense talent and untapped creativity, which needs to be effectively tapped and channelised for the betterment of the country. u


S ocial

4-10 April 2014

Together Forever { Anita Jaswal}

od created husband and wife to complement each other. For anyone who is single, the answer to the question, ‘How do people make a relationship last forever?’ is: be kind, listen, spend time together - and also apart. That’s the wisdom on making a marriage work, from those who know - from a couple who have been married for more than 50 years. Brij Raj Plaha and Ramola came to India in 1947, after the Partition. 78-year-old Brij Raj reminisces, “My parents came from what is now Punjab, Pakistan. A large part of my extended family settled in Delhi. My grandparents and numerous relatives lived in a ‘refugee colony’ there. The men and women often spoke about lost worlds and geographies. I knew even then that many people had lost everything in the Partition. Yet, for the most part, the older generation never burdened us with their pain and loss. As they passed away, so did the Urdu newspapers – which would casually lie around their households. As the voices of that generation that lived across the border–this side or that side–are slowly muted, I hope we do not forget their past. The ties should continue. For those of us who cannot easily travel across the border, let us use our imagination to make the journeys, forge ties, write and keep alive our connected histories.” Brij and Ramola married in 1961 in Delhi. An enduring tale of marital harmony, they have spent decades working companionably alongside one another without ever - publicly at least - succumbing to spousal combustion. “Each time a married couple gets through something together they grow closer and their intimacy grows. Having children, moving, buying homes, getting

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While we celebrate April 1 as All Fools’ Day, I believe that we are being fooled in many ways throughout the year.

through financial problems and the many other obstacles and stresses, teaches them ever more about each other. We enjoyed the time with our three children, and especially our time in Bhilai – where we were consistently presented with situations that challenged us, made us grow, taught us divine lessons about life and made us into more conscious beings. Today we divide our time between our children and grandchildren in Gurgaon and Mumbai. I tell Ramola, ‘Do you realise that we have watched the leaves fall together for more than fifty autumns? But as we grow older  together, as we continue to change with age, there is one thing that will never change. . . we will always be together. Meeting you was fate, becoming your friend was a choice, but falling in love with you I had no control over.’ Now I am only wishing for some peaceful years. I always say to my wife that I’d like to see my grandson earn a living and my granddaughter getting married. We want them to be happy the way we were.” Their take on their years together: “Being in a long marriage is a little bit like that nice cup of tea every morning – you might have it every day, but you still enjoy it. In the enriching of marriage, the big things are the little things. There must be constant appreciation for each other and thoughtful demonstration of gratitude. A couple must encourage and help each other grow. Marriage is a joint quest for the good, the beautiful and the divine. Love is the reason; lifelong friendship is the gift; and kindness is the cause. Happily ever after is not a fairy tale - it’s a choice,” advises Brij Raj. “My husband is one of my greatest blessings from God. His love is a gift that I get to open every day,” blushes Ramolau

All Fools’ Day Agar saal mein ek din fools, yani buddhuon, ka hai To kya baaki 364 din sayanon ke hain? Ji nahin ! Har roz buddhu bante hain hum sab Pehli April to sirf kahne ko hai Kitne hi din bimari ka bahana bana kar Office mein boss ko buddhu banate hain log Aur kitne hi din office ke kaam ki de kar dalil Biwi ko buddhu banate hain log Bachche to aksar pet ke dard ka karke bahana School se chhutti udate hi hain Maa baap bhi unke office ki party hai keh kar Raat ko picture dekhne chale jaate hain Salesman naqli maal kisi na kisi ko roz bhidhata hai Taxi driver bhi passenger ko buddhu banakar Sadkon ke chakkar lagwate hain Jidhar bhi dekho har roz har din Kisi na kisi ko, koyi na koyi buddhu banata hai Jyotishi logon ko bhavishya bata kar Paisa jeb se jhadhwate hain Doodhwala doodh mein paani milakar Malai khud kha jaata hai Neta log to paanch saal ke contract par aate hain Jinse vote li unhin ko buddhu banate hain Unke liye kya April kya November Banate hain jiska bhi aa jaye number Roz hi kisi ghotale ka din hai Pahali April tak rukna to bilkul kathin hai Phir bhi ek baat duniya mein sab maante hain First April fool banane ka din hai. Ashok Lal Email: ablsl1971@ yahoo.co.in

U 4 4

SafetiPin wins Innovative Campaign Award

Tips

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afetiPin was the recipient of the Innovative Campaign Award at the 3rd Avon Communications Awards: Speaking Out About Violence Against Women . SafetiPin was one of five organizations across the globe to receive a prestigious award this year, and was honoured for its outstanding communications campaign focusing on ending the violence against women and children. Each year, organisations across the globe are honoured for their exemplary communications campaigns that are helping to change communities, policies, institutions and behaviours. “Communication and education are critical elements to ignite bystanders into action, and without public awareness and education, they often do not intervene to help in abusive situations,” said Carol Kurzig, President, Avon Foundation for Women. “The Avon Communications Award Winners cast a spotlight on issues that affect one in three women across the globe.” SafetiPin is a mobile application that seeks to provide useful information and is a safety tool for women in Indian cities. The app can be used to conduct or view safety audits, and its website adds a level of interactivity for its users. The Innovative Campaign Award recognises innovative and original approaches to presenting messages about ending violence against women and girls through the best information technology - including mobile technology.u

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

Q. SH

My lips are very pale and lifeless. Help! You can apply pure almond oil daily on the lips at night and leave on overnight. Or apply lip balm. Use a lip pencil which is of the same shade as your lipstick and outline lips. Then fill in with colour, using a lip brush. Use a little lip gloss in the centre of the lips.

Saakshi Khanna

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


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4-10 April 2014

K id C orner

Happy School - 15th. Annual Day PRAKHAR PANDEY


K id C orner

4-10 April 2014

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Healthy Blues

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young ‘doctor’ at Blue Bells Model School gives health tips to other students at an Assembly. She highlights the importance of the adage - an apple a day keeps the doctor away!

Tres Bien!

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3 students of Gurugram Public School (GPS) participated in the International French Language Olympiad organised by Silverzone. There were a total of about 20,000 participants from 300 schools. Madiha Bakshi and Nandini Khandelwal won Gold, Tim Tim, Keerti Singh and Akshita Bhardwaj won Silver and Roshan and Nidhi J.Patel won Bronze medals. Madiha Bakshi achieved a 313th  International rank. Padma Shri R.S.Lugani, the Managing Trustee, honoured the winners and appreciated the efforts of the French Teacher, Ms Shashi Sarma.

Morning Glories The First batch of Blooms at their Graduation Party.

Lancers’ Creativity

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ancers International School (LIS) celebrated its Science Week. Students, parents and teachers enjoyed the creations of the hard working students. The creations ranged from interesting projects such as a little working windmill and small water recycling units to a complex plant cell presentation.

Mock Drill on the Hills

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Mock Drill was conducted by the Disaster Management Committee to spread awareness among the staff of Shalom Hills International School on how to handle the situation in case of an outbreak of fire, an earthquake or any other disaster. The staff was properly briefed about the dos and don’ts in such situations. Mr. Ashok supervised the Mock Drill and the teachers in charge of each floor took on the responsibility of evacuation and carried out the instructions diligently. The staff are now aware of the action and evacuation plan to be followed in case of any mishap and they know their designated roles and responsibilities.


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K id C orner

4-10 April 2014

Welcome, Parents

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yan International School, Sector-40 organised an Induction Programme to welcome new parents into the Ryan Family. The young students of Montessori II mesmerised the audience with their song and dance act - ‘We are Champions’. Parents were also briefed about the 12 Vision points of the School’s Chairman and Visionary, Dr. Augustine F. Pinto, which emphasise on: virtues and values, academics, sensitivity to the environment, sportsmanship, impressive communication skills, healthy habits and good living, developing an aesthetic sense for art and culture, effective human resource management and administration, finance management and business skills, a strong foundation and inculcating leadership skills. The School’s policy and expectations were also highlighted by School Head, Ms. Peeya Sharma.

An Industrial Trip

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nder the able guidance of Chairman sir Dr. A.F. Pinto, students of the Senior wing of Ryan International School, Sohna Road enjoyed an Educational Trip to a manufacturing facility at Bahadurgarh. The Commerce Students of  Class XII visited Parle Foods to understand the process of the production of various food products, as part of their Economics Project Activity.

Learning to say No

The Spell Bees

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Life Skill Workshop was conducted by the Health & Wellness Teacher, Bhupinder Kaur, for all the sections of Classes VI-X, Shalom Hills International School. The harm caused by Drug Abuse/ Substance Dependence was shared with the students. The students were made to understand that drug abuse causes irreparable damage to the physical, mental and emotional well-being of the users/abusers. The students were guided about the Behavioural Approach (Refusal Techniques) that they could apply, to say ‘No’ to drugs & to take an assertive charge of their lives. This was one of the best workshops that the students had attended; experiential Case Studies made them understand it well & they felt positive at the end. They asked many questions from Ms. Bhupinder.

he Spell Bee’s sting infected the students of Class XII of Ryan International School ,Sohna Road, as everyone had just Spellings on their mind. Yes, it was for the Spell Bee Competition. The Top 19 students competed in the School Amphitheatre. Each student was given a set of five words to spell. Tanya Mishra emerged as the Winner, Devishi Dar came Second and Swarnika Dhingra, Third.The Competition was followed by a question round for the audience. They all had fun and fondly remembered their childhoods.


S piritual

4-10 April 2014

An Atheist can be Spiritual { Dr. Rajesh Bhola }

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y parents were strong advocates of scientific thinking, and growing up I was part of science clubs and other activities, which gave me a lot of room to learn about the who, how, when, where and why - and not to take anything for granted. I was taught to think and to adopt a rational approach. I once accompanied one of my friends to a ‘god-man’. There was a huge congregation, with hundreds of devotees waiting for the god-man’s ‘darshan’. I was told that he performs a miracle - moves his hand in the air and blesses the devotees with ‘instant vibhuti’. Religions often propagate such miracles. To be honest I did not like it, because it left me feeling confused and isolated. My grandparents on both sides were atheists and hence my parents were raised with no religion - as were other members of our close family. My father told me that I could believe in anything I wanted, but that he only believed in the symphony of this universe at play - and, on top of all, in people. His only advice to us was to be good human beings, to absorb and form good values, and to work out - over time – the answers to how we wanted to lead our lives. He said that the family would always be there to love me as a person, to guide me with their experience and to give me a shoulder to lean on when I was in need. The journey of a person with a scientific temper is not easy, since being a ‘non-believer’ is so unusual in India.; so many of our traditional rituals and festivals are basically religious in theme. The rationalists or the atheists do not believe in miracles. A miracle is an event that cannot possibly be explained by any of the natural forces or natural laws. Rationalists have often found ‘miracles’ to be baseless.

As children, we are extremely susceptible and prone to learning, which means that what we learn may be hard to shake. Faith in anything should be confined to one’s private space, because all it should do is help a person to lead a good life. When it seeps into our public institutions, it many times serves to dictate and divide. From school prayers to marriage and after, religion creates a framework for how people should act – which, although wellmeaning in conception, has left so many people leading empty and unfulfilled lives. Further, any evidence of a miracle would not prove that God exists; it would simply prove that that there is a force in the universe that we currently cannot comprehend. Since there have been no documented miracles in the recent past, does anyone seriously believe that there will be a miracle in his/her lifetime? And if there are no miracles, then God cannot be ‘active’ and anyway does not appear in any visible form as evidence. God does not seem to intervene in any way on our planet. There is no evidence that God has answered any prayers. Many bad things like earthquakes, plane crashes, murders and rapes happen in the world all the time, with seemingly no regard for any religious beliefs? Has God ever done anything to stop bad from happening? Is there any evidence that God has ever used his powers; is there any expectation that he will ever use them? Also, are we not being self-centered when we ask a God to suspend the natural order just for us? One explanation generally given by theists is the attribute of God by which he fills the universe in all its parts and is present everywhere at once. Not just a part, but the whole of God

is present in every place. How do we know if God is always present if he can’t be seen or measured? And if you do not believe that God intervenes, is it logical to pray to him and worship him? We do not need to believe in any god, to be moral. Atheists may be non-believers but they are per se clearly not immoral or unethical; many also donate to charities. There is no single ideology that all atheists share, nor are there any institutionalised rituals or behaviours. Atheism in its broadest sense is an absence of belief in the existence of gods. This definition includes both those who assert that there are no gods and those who make no claim about whether gods exist or not. Narrower and more common definitions, however, often only qualify those who assert there are no gods as atheists, labelling the others as agnostics or simply non-theists. Sometimes atheism is a stage in between different religions. With or without religion, good people behave well and bad people do evil. Also, by denying belief in gods, one need not totally dissociate oneself from the culture associated with religion. Virtually every agriculturalist celebrates a winter and summer solstice holiday. Such a celebration can also be important to an atheist, for its intrinsic social values of sharing and community. In the Indian context, scientific rationalism as a belief system is gaining a toehold. Religion is indeed considered part of our identity in India, but that is changing - at least amongst the growing middle class, which is organising fast within groups online. Such ‘activists’ need to focus on more than just religion. There are many other areas in which critical thinking and scientific skepticism are needed. Indeed, there are many ‘self-identified atheists’ who gladly buy into illogical and pseudoscientific ideas. To change that, India’s new atheists are taking the battle from the classes to the masses, to help debunk the

The difference between a belief in a scientific theory as opposed to a religious dogma, is the difference between the institution of science and the institutions of various religions. Religious ‘facts’ are not subject to testing, and in most cases cannot be tested; they are supported by evidence that is open to interpretation - or no evidence at all; they are not reviewed by other religions, to try and reach a consensus. The institution of science is primarily concerned with discovering the nature of reality without making any assumptions. Scientific theories must, by definition, be testable; they must be published, for review by other scientists, with the intention of reaching a consensus. Accepted theories are supported by evidence that is not open to interpretation, or is consistently interpreted by qualified scientists. If evidence is found that contradicts a theory, the theory will be abandoned. A scientific body derives its authority from the review process, and because it has an interest in discovering the truth – which is not the case with a religious body.

claims of astrologers, tantriks and ‘god-men’. Despite long years of democracy, India remains one of the world’s most repressive societies. Political groups routinely use religion to stoke hatred and provoke deadly riots; and the Constitution and the law seem bent on intertwining — rather than separating — religion and the State. In the long term that’s what the atheists, or free thinkers, aim to change. One can choose to lead a happy life within a set of mutually agreed, and continually renegotiated, boundaries, so that the communities of which we are a part of do not collapse. And that choice can be made from a desire to live as a socially responsible person - without the guidance of any faith or religion, We can love, live a good life and deal with the various demons we encounter - without the God factor. We can do so just as a group of people, willing to support each other in our times of need. But religion has its place….and a purpose. It is

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necessary, for it purifies the general masses - which are generally ignorant and illiterate - and lifts them from gross materialism to something a little finer. We need not abandon religion in order to find the truth. In fact it acts as a purifier. The external customs of a religion were instituted to create internal mental and spiritual habits. Probably, religions are centrally concerned with the question of living meaningfully in an afflicted world; they have been ‘made’ to solve moral dilemmas, by addressing the struggles of the human heart. Religion is perhaps best intended to loosen man from his material desires and bind him with God.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

Forgive, to Redeem { Shobha Lidder } Forgive those that used you & abused you Forgive those that maligned you & denied you Forgive those that trespassed upon you Forgive those that were never beside you Forgive those that cut you to size Forgive those that gave false advice Forgive those that were never nice Forgive those that led you up the garden path Forgive those that never loved you in their hearts Forgive those that were counterfeit Forgive those that revelled in your defeat Forgive those that criticized you Forgive those that disliked you Forgive those that stole your wealth & power Forgive those that denied you your hour Forgive those that snatched your rights Forgive those that never forgave you Forgive those that took & took Never satisfied, forsook Forgive those that hurt with an art With equivocal remark Forgive those that chided you in undertone Who abandoned you or left you alone At home & they roamed Forgive in many ways, any way Forgiveness is an antidote A salve, a balm, a talisman, a charm To heal Forgive & release Your disease. Writer Journalist, Social Activist, Teacher Trainer Reiki Master, Pranic Healer


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4-10 April 2014

C omment

'The Muslim Vote Bank'

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here seems to be a run on the decades-old Congress-run Muslim Vote Bank – those Muslims are starting to cash out. They anyway have seldom been allowed to cash in. But where do they now invest, and feel secure? No other community or caste seems to be in a bigger dilemma this election season.

EDITORIAL Atul Sobti

The Congress needs to get real... fast. It seems that their introspection over the last State Assembly and Delhi losses was just a mock exercise. MNREGA by itself should have made them feel confident about deservedly asking for at least the rural votes – but they have instead preferred to shrilly tell people whom not to vote for. Or have they been the first to see the writing on the wall? This time it is Sonia who For many Muslims this election has come to has failed…both the Party and Rahul. As Party Chief, signify a ‘negative’ vote....of how to stop Modi she has not managed the ‘allies’ – and therefore the from winning. Actually, now even the Congress coalition – at all well. This has severely impacted is canvassing accordingly. Nothing could be more the Executive for years. More critically, it is the telling of this than Sonia Gandhi’s meeting with the Congress that today is unable to cobble allies, even Shahi Imam. She seems to have in the holy name of secularism. clearly not changed…or learnt. Ask Karunanidhi, Mamata, Pawar, She still believes that he can bail Nitish, Patnaik, Karat, Rao… Would Muslims voting for her Party out….that too on a Congress therefore is hardly in a NOTA be a good strategy negative note. She is stoking the position to suggest that nobody will to show their ‘common fear of how big, bad Modi will ally with Modi post the elections; protest’ over Modi as a eat up all the minorities – he’s perhaps the opposite is true today. being painted as the wolf at the candidate? door. Maybe Sonia has cried Is it time for many Muslims to wolf once too often. This naked rethink the ‘benefit’ of ranging Young India – Hindu & opportunism may have passed themselves against Modi – Muslim – has moved on far muster if it was done early in especially if they believe that better. Emotions run less on the game…now it is a desperate, BJP, and Modi, are seeming fairly hollow cry that will fool no certain to win? How would they history (and especially not one. In fact, with Modi having reconcile to his and BJP’s victory? on perceived threats) and 'consciously' decided to stay Is it time for them to ‘choose’ more on the future – on jobs away from a ‘saffron’ campaign, between their ‘known devil’ and and opportunities. it was probably the worst time the ‘discovered devil in disguise’? for the Congress to try and The message to many of the play communal politics. That Hindus is equally blunt: if you ‘policy’ is anyway paying lesser dividends by the are voting for ‘hardcore Hindu’ Modi, think again. year – and not just with the young and the women. Reality will set in fast. Modi himself has missed a There is no real block vote, no vote bank, anymore. big trick. Trying to reach out to the Muslims after a Ask Mayawati, Mulayam or Laalu… even ask the BJP win would be half as effective as reaching out cadre-based Left. Interestingly, the RSS leadership to them now. If he has not done so because he thinks and cadre seem to have sensed this fairly early. that his Hindu vote bank would be impacted, he is reading it wrong…and it is wrong to think so anyway. They would not 'agreed' to be be 'sidelined' so easily otherwise. Our Cover Stories are also confirming Bottom line...Muslims, by trying to, or being led that: the Muslim Vote Bank (in Mewat) primarily to, organise themselves en bloc to stop Modi, are not wants their right local candidate and Party (even doing themselves a favour. Many may be painting if that means Modi becoming PM tomorrow); and themselves into a corner from which they have the Joint Family Vote is coming unstuck. Given this already moved out. Let each person vote without current context, has the Imam pushed the Muslim any fear or favour. While this of course applies to community backwards? Has Sonia gone against everyone, (as stated earlier) no other community or the ‘change’ that Rahul has been sincerely trying caste seems to be in a bigger dilemma this election to bring in? Would Rahul have met the Imam? Is he season. u really in charge of this election?


W ellness

4-10 April 2014

Health & Vitality... Naturally!

{ Jaspal Bajwa }

E

very change of season provides the perfect cue for us to restore balance in our lives by making just the right changes to our food and exercise regimen. Spring is a good time to detox our bodies from the stress and toxins accumulated due to lesser physical activity during the long winters. In this context, a Vitamin plays a stand-out role for several critical functions, such as: n Maintaining water and hormonal balance in the body (especially PMS, for women). The Vitamin assists in maintaining the sodium and potassium balance in the body. It is a natural diuretic and helps overweight people, who tend to retain excessive fluids n  Producing new cells, especially red blood cells and healthy skin - the absence of which could lead to eczema , dermatitis, acne, irritability, weakness and overall fatigue n  Helping regulate hypertension, improving cardiovascular and kidney health, as also toning up the immune system n Helping prevent depression, anxiety, convulsions or seizures, by strengthening the nerves and improving brain health. This is Vitamin B6 (a part of B Complex) - also called various names starting with ‘Pyr’ (e.g. Pyridoxine). As it is involved in over 100 chemical and enzymatic reactions in our body, its deficiency can have a far-reaching impact on our vitality and health. For example, Vitamin B6 influences the production of several important neurotransmitters – e.g. Serotonin (which enhances emotional well-being and reduces anxiety), GABA (helps in staying calm), Encepha-

Spring Detox

lin/Neuropeptides (help in psychological pain relief), Dopamine (involved in pleasure, rewards and feeling good towards others) and Norepinephrine (which is involved with arousal, energy and drive). In addition to protein metabolism, Vitamin B6 also plays a critical role in our body’s ability to process carbs (sugar and starch), as it is instrumental in the breakdown of the glycogen stored in our muscle cells and, to a lesser extent, in our liver. Further, if we unwittingly permit a sustained Vitamin B6 deficiency, we can be vulnerable to chronic inflammation, leading to life-crippling health problems like Type 2 Diabetes, Cardiovascular dis-

{ Alka Gurha }

A

ccording to a latest study, eating of fruits and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of diseases like heart disease and cancer. Scientists analysed data of 65,000 random adults and concluded that a high intake of fruit and vegetable has beneficial effects on overall health and longevity. We know that raw fruits and vegetables contain high nutrient levels and are low in calories. But what are the advantages of a diet that includes raw food and excludes cooked food? And what is the best way to take fruit and vegetables – raw or cooked? The truth is that eating an exclusively raw food diet can have disadvantages. Raw vegetables are very low in calories and we will absorb about fifty to sixty calories a pound, from raw vegetables. Our caloric needs cannot be met on a raw food diet, unless we consume large amounts of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. This may be an inadequate diet for most people - resulting in frequent infections, weak bones, hair loss and poor muscle build up. It is true that cooking at high temperatures results in the formation of toxic compounds; heating garlic has been shown to reduce its anti-cancer properties. Moreover, many water-soluble vitamins and enzymes can be lost by over cooking the food. But cooking is essential, as it helps us digest food without

ease, and Obesity.

Tip of the Week

Although present in a large number of foods, Vitamin B6 is lost very easily during food processing or cooking. In addition, habits like smoking and our reliance on a large number of prescription medications, can contribute to a Vitamin B6 deficiency. Because foods high in B6 are typically not eaten raw, and processing takes away some benefit, a good solution is to consume foods high in B6 in abundance. Special care needs to be taken during pregnancy - to avoid the tendency towards B6 deficiency.

Raw vs Cooked spending huge amounts of energy in doing so. Even though cooking destroys some vitamins and minerals, it softens such food - such as cellulose fibre and raw meat - that our teeth and digestive systems aren't equipped to handle. The steaming of vegetables and the making of vegetable soups helps break down the cellulose and alters the plants’ cell structures, so that fewer enzymes are needed to digest them. Sometimes

17

Nature’s Wonder Food(s) of the Week : Vitamin B6 rich Foods A wide variety of both plant and animal foods get included in the B6 rich category. These include leafy and root vegetables, fruits, organ meats(liver), fish (especially wild salmon, tuna, trout ), egg yolk and fowl. Amongst plant sources, the top-of-the-chart position is occupied by the following: Vegetables - bell peppers, summer and winter squash, turnip greens, shiitake mushrooms, spinach, broccoli, sweet potato, garlic, eggplant, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, asparagus, mustard greens, kale, collard greens, Brussels sprouts, chard, beans (especially green beans, soya beans, lentils, lima beans, navy beans, garbanzos and pinto beans), tomatoes, dandelion greens, spring radish, watercress, leeks, gourds and jalapenos Fruits - bananas, lychees, grapes, figs, avocadoes and raw sugar cane Whole grains & cereals - brown rice, whole wheat flour, wheat germ and oatmeal Nuts and seeds - sunflower seeds and walnuts. When we choose whole, unprocessed foods like meats, legumes, whole grains and leafy green vegetables, we are assured of not just getting Vitamin B6, but also Vitamins B12, Folate and B3. All of these are critical for Serotonin production, while simultaneously helping reduce our homocysteine levels (which can increase inflammation, with the consequent risk of cardiovascular disease and depression).u Registered Holistic Nutritionist (Canadian School of Natural Nutrition). For education purposes only; always consult a healthcare practitioner for medical conditions

boiling and steaming even helps preserve antioxidants, particularly carotenoids, in vegetables like Zucchini and Broccoli. Above all, most essential nutrients in vegetables can be easily absorbed after being cooked in a soup. Such moisture-based cooking also prevents food from browning and forming toxic compounds. Conversely, some of the most common heatcreated toxins are formed as a result of dry cooking. However, in some cases, cooking is advisable - like for Lycopene rich tomatoes. Several studies have linked a high intake of Lycopene with a lower risk of cancer and heart attacks. Lycopene is a red pigment found predominantly in tomatoes and other coloured fruits such as watermelon, red bell pepper and papaya. Cooking of tomatoes helps in greater Lycopene absorption, thereby making the fruit healthier for the heart and boosting its cancer-fighting ability. In some cases, while Vitamin C is lost under high heat cooking, it substantially raises the levels of beneficial compounds called phytochemicals. Eating of raw food is necessary for good health and is an important feature of a healthy diet – but raw fruits and vegetables cannot be our sole diet. It also does not mean that eating a raw diet is the healthiest. Some produce is most nutritious when uncooked, while others need heat to bring out the best in them. The bottom line is that we must eat lots of nuts, vegetables and fruits. u


18 { Meenu Thakur Sankalp } All the world's a stage And all the men and women merely players They have their exits and their entrances And one man in his time plays many parts… William Shakespeare – ‘As You Like It’

B on V ivant

4-10 April 2014

Roadside Jigs

W

aiting impatiently for the traffic light to turn green, I froze at the sight of two barefooted and dry-haired urchin girls dressed in foulsmelling rags and dancing beside my car. Though untrained, scruffy and scrawny, they seemed to exude an amazing sense of confidence - as they somersaulted over one another on the uneven pot-holed tar coal surface - coupled with an excellent sense of rhythm and timing. The two-minute spectacle culminated as one of them cupped her hands in expectation, tapping on the window pane of the car. As I smilingly slid a currency note into her gratefullyclasped hands, the other girl repeated the drill on other waiting vehicles - with some degree of luck. As the light turned green, I glanced through the rearview mirror. The girls ran gleefully to the road divider. The hour-long drive back home from my dance studio was punctuated by protracted thought aggravated by the unexpected encounter with the two roadside ‘jiggers’. I asked myself if Roadside Dancing was different from dancing on stage or on an ‘appropriate’ platform. Like many other Classical danseuses, I did feel some disdain for people

breaking into a jig on the roads, without any ‘valid’ reason or purpose. I also silently cussed the unruly ‘gentry’ dancing to ear-shattering decibels at discotheques, parties and marriages. But if I were to be true to my inner-self, I did enjoy the dance of those urchins. In fact I had to admit that even their truncated steps were unbelievably acrobatic - something that I could or would have never attempted. Another instance came to my mind. It was during the December marriage season, on a day when over ten thousand marriages were solemnised in my city. It seemed to me that the whole world was driving to one of them, cramming and choking the roads, along with numerous ‘Baraat’ gatherings out in the middle. Here, middleaged ‘aunties’ were breaking into impromptu jigs to badly composed tunes of local bands, and jostling for space with vehicles. ‘Inconvenient and improper’ I had then declared, as I sat sweating in an 8’ x 5’ cubicle on wheels - while the

{ Krishan Kalra }

I

n an earlier job I used to often travel to Washington DC. My Company did a lot of work with the World Bank and I found it very convenient – and enjoyable – to stay with my friends, the Chandras, in the nearby Virginia suburb of Fairfax. Subhash Chandra worked with the World Bank and so we could commute together every morning. Even though he was in a car pool and I could have easily joined him in there, he would insist that we travel together in his car. This way we could chat through the drive and also be free to do some ‘bar hopping’ on the journey home. There was a ‘bus lane’ between Fairfax and Washington DC, which operated in the direction of DC during the mornings and towards Virginia in the evenings. This rapid transit route, which helped save almost half an hour each way, could be used only by buses or cars with minimum

‘aunties’ were having the time of their lives. My mind also veered to the Dussehra and Ganesh Chaturthi festivals, when huge processions pass through narrow streets, leaving no space for vehicles, which pile up in kilometres-long traffic jams. ‘Volunteers’ dance in devotional trances, which would put religious bards to shame. Such ‘in your face’ public display of devotion unnerves me. In fact just a few days earlier I had driven past a crowded road, honking loudly within an ‘election crowd’. I was entwined in a serpentine queue of vehicles adjacent to a ‘pandal’ (makeshift tent), where a politician was to address an audience as a part of his Parliamentary election campaign. As the ‘leader’

arrived, I saw a group of boys bouncing up and down with a ‘dhol’ (drum) in hand. Thankfully I meandered my way out within a few minutes, leaving the happy dancers behind. But my ultimate brush with Roadside Dancing was undoubtedly in a town in Tamil Nadu, where a group of young men were dancing happily and animatedly with a ‘Damaram’ (drum) in a procession where a dead body - seated on a chair decorated with flowers - was being taken out in a procession before burial. I learnt that in parts of Tamil Nadu it was customary to dance in front of a dead body. As my car meandered through the traffic, I pondered the significance of my encounters with Roadside Dancing; I tried to ‘logically explain’ each incident to myself, to understand the psyche of the Roadside Dancers. The middle-aged ‘aunties’ would have never danced at their own weddings, so they were entitled to their share of fun dancing

In the Bus Lane four passengers. So, when we wanted to use this time-saving route, we had to find two additional passengers to ride with us. This would become a problem if none of Subhash’s friends were headed the same way at the same time. People were known to have used dummies to get round the rule, but some had been caught by alert cops and made to pay heavy penalties. We didn’t want to risk that. There had to be another way out. We would go via several bus stops and ask – literally beg – strangers waiting there if they would (kindly) agree to ride with us. This was easier said than done. Guys – and even women – at the bus stops knew we needed them. The bus fare to DC was only one dollar and those buses are probably more comfortable than cars. Therefore, our would-be free riders would either look the other way when we – there were many others like us – approached them,

at someone else’s, I justified. Though I believed in quiet prayer, the devout motley ‘volunteers’ perhaps felt a connect with God through Trance Dancing, I justified once again. The electioneering sycophants may have loved their leader or might have been paid to love him, so they did have a reason to dance on the roads, I presumed. And the acceptance of death as a process and not as an end, was the plausible reason for ‘Death Dancing”, I vehemently remarked to myself. Through each experience, I had realised that self-expression often overrides logic, place and purpose - and that passion often drowns wisdom. I also contemplated that Street Dancing unified caste, sex, religion and even economic status, and that there was some inherent connectivity between a rich ‘aunty’, a begging urchin, a delirious supporter of a politician, a young deathdancer and a devout religious volunteer. I accepted I had been judgmental…vanity be damned. My drive through bumper-to-bumper traffic did not seem long anymore for I had reached my home, having learnt a big lesson of life. I was reminded of what my Guru had once told me, quoting Wayne Dyer: ‘When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor; it's to enjoy each step along the way’. The urchins’ two-minute Roadside Jig was the best two-minute ‘nonfloor’ performance that I have ever witnessed.u The writer is a renowned Kuchipudi Danseuse and Choreographer

or just hid their faces behind the newspapers. The scene was a similar one every day. Subhash would wind down the glass on my side, bend over and ask, “Excuse me, would you like a ride to Foggy Bottom?” The man or woman would look at us disinterestedly and either not reply or utter an indifferent, “May be, but you will have to drop me at American Express (or some other destination).” This could mean an extra traffic light and several additional minutes… but we had little choice. Cursing under his breath but maintaining a big smile on his face, my generous host would say, “Of course we’ll do that, please hop in.” A similar drill would take place at another stop – remember, we needed two VIP riders and normally there was only one available at the any halt. If we got the numbers and accomplished our mission, we would ride our victorious chariot – almost like Arjuna in the Mahabharata – on the Great American Bus Lane.u


B on V ivant

4-10 April 2014

19 PRAKHAR PANDEY

{ Shilpy Arora / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon

E

verybody wants to look good – and not just at a party. A greater significance is now being given to dressing at the workplace (and not just by women). The way people dress for office has seen a major transition. For women, simplicity and modesty were the earlier ‘themes’ – they preferred high collars, long tops and full-sleeved sari blouses; their hands and legs were always well covered. Today, office wear follows a different fashion statement. However, comfort is still the most important consideration that is influencing the trends at the workplace. 30-year-old Siddharth, Wealth Manager at Axis Bank says, "Formal wear certainly commands a lot of respect. I mostly wear a white shirtand black trousers, as my work demands it. Being a banker for the last 10 years I feel that clients - be they corporate or individuals - take you ‘seriously’ only when you are dressed ‘professionally’. People are uncomfortable with those who are ‘casual’. Misguided wardrobe choices could be distracting.” An HR professional at Aricent, Sukhna Makhija, 40, who is extremely style conscious and always wears business attire, says, "I interact with a lot of people on a daily basis and it makes perfect sense for me to dress up elegantly. Moreover, wearing the right brand is important. I do most of my shopping from Armani, Gucci, Versace and Aldo. I always make sure that my footwear and accessories match my attire." For Ashita Modi, 20, a

Executive Makeovers young professional working at Bloomberg Institution, it is more about dressing in a stylish, subtle and comfortable manner. "The first impression is the last impression. It pays to be well-dressed all the time, as ‘competition’ is increasing at the workplace by the day. Being from the corporate world, I can vouch for the significance attached to formal wear." Ashita also gives importance to ‘coordination’: the right belts, ties, shoes and socks with her formal dresses. For her, a right pair of heels reflects well if a person has good dress sense.

Office-perfect Look Many companies are working with Image Consultants to set guidelines for their employees – on clothing, make-up, hairstyles and the overall look that they should carry at the work

place. A City-based Image Consultant, Bhumika Mitra, who has been providing consultancy to many MNCs for the ‘right’ Corporate Dressing, says, "You don't need to give too much emphasis to brands. You should rather opt for something that suits your style and gives you the right fit. I think that Indians need to learn a lot from the West. Look at the way the Italians dress for work - it looks effortless, yet is elegant and neat." She suggests that men need to dress ‘neat’, as unlike women they can't carry big accessories to ‘cover up‘, say, a non-creased shirt. Another point that men should keep in mind is to always have the sleeves of their shirts tucked, while in the office. Besides clothes, footwear is extremely important. It is appropriate to wear closed footwear, which completely covers your toes. Obviously, women have more options - even when it comes to ‘official’ wear. Bhumika feels that while skirts, business suits and dresses are acceptable, the length of the dress should be odest. "Even in the West, wearing any ‘revealing’ outfit in an office setting is a strict nono," she says. She adds that the way the workforce of a company is dressed represents its culture and ideology. For instance, the Taj Group of Hotels wants to give a message to its guests that the company is Indian. That is why the women employees, especially at the front desk area, wear saris. Other companies, who claim that they are (or wish to be) ‘global’, want to have a blend

of Indian and Western dress culture. A universally accepted business attire is therefore preferred. "It is important to make people, especially your coworkers, take you seriously. It is good that companies here also want to project their employees as global workers - with no fixed nationality. The conventional shirt and trouser, or a skirt and top, ‘shows’ you are at par with your co-workers overseas," feels Ashita. Despite the focus of global/ international companies on formal wear, some believe that comfort must play the major role in deciding on a wardrobe. It is believed that the 'shirt and trouser' dress code is a legacy of the colonial era, and we should get more ‘practical’ now; there should be emphasis on a combination of chic style and comfort. Gagan Sachdeva,

48, Vice President, MKM Solutions, says, "Things have changed over the years. Till a few years ago, attending a corporate meeting in a halfsleeved shirt was considered inappropriate. But now it has become a common sight, as they are very comfortable in a hot and humid place like Gurgaon. I prefer wearing ‘half sleeves’ as they are not only easy on the body but are also ‘different’." MKM Solutions is even encouraging its employees to wear a more ‘vibrant’ look; they want their people to feel ‘good’ at the workplace. And surely Individuality should be a major part of a ‘perfect office wear’. Bhumika agrees, "We need to get out of the ‘colonial’ way of dressing. It is time to say goodbye to black pants and white shirts. Men should wear grey pants with red and blue checked ties! Women should give more emphasis to accessories. A double strand of pearls can be worn even with formal wear, to break the ‘monotony’. They can wear their favourite kneelength dress to work, by pairing it with a chic white or black jacket, to ‘tone it down’ - without compromising on the style. A white leather belt is perfect to give an ‘ideal corporate look’. You need to be at least a little experimental, maybe depending on the need and occasion." Of course this ‘unofficial dress code’ has not yet been welcomed by some. For them, business attire may ‘seem’ to be stuffy or old-fashioned, but this look is ‘necessary’. They believe that a ‘professional’ wear at the workplace makes the best impression. Professionals however believe that the ‘fine line’ that divided formal wear from semi-formal and casual wear is fast disappearing.u


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4-10 April 2014

R eal E state


G lobal

4-10 April 2014

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Buying Emotion: why Women love Shoes { Antonia Lange/Berlin/ DPA }

A round-up of Shoe Owners

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ome women just can’t get enough shoes…and high-heeled shoes play a special role for shoe-aholics, explains German psychologist Michael Thiel. He notes that shoes are even more a collectible than handbags.

{ Berlin/ DPA }

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dpa: According to a survey, women have on average twice as many pairs of shoes at home than most men. Why are some women obsessed with shoes? Thiel: For women, buying a pair of shoes is like buying a world of feelings and dreams. When a woman wants to change herself, the quickest way to do this is with a pair of shoes. It’s the fastest way to express emotion, to feel feminine and sexier. Next in line is a new hairstyle, followed by clothing accessories. dpa: On an average a woman owns 17 pairs of shoes, while a man has about 8. Does that mean men are emotionally cold? Thiel: Of course men have feelings too, but they express them differently – like, through DIY or exercising. dpa: A woman might have lots of shoes but they often end up unworn and stored in a cupboard. Why is that? Thiel: It’s not about wearing the shoes, it’s about being able to wear them (whenever) and the feeling of owning them. Women tend to collect small islands of emotions. dpa: So, why do shoes play this role? What can a pair of shoes do that a handbag or jewellery cannot? Thiel: It’s about the bodily feeling. A woman is mobile in a pair of shoes. Her appearance and carriage can change depending on what shoes she’s wearing…a handbag can’t do that. dpa: Why are high heels so fascinating? Thiel: High heels make legs look longer and long legs are an erotic signal. If you wear high heels you are going to get looks. Although wearing high heels can be a torture, for women feeling sexy is more important than that pain. dpa: How can a woman get over a shoe-collection habit? Thiel: If your collection of shoes is hurting your bank account, then it’s time to stop. You have to look at things realistically. It often helps to try on old shoes again and rediscover how nice they are. u

igh heels, ballerinas or worn out sneakers - there are many different types of shoes. However, there are even more ‘variations’ among shoe-lovers. Nevertheless, most of them can fall into a few basic types: The Pragmatist: “It may surprise you, but there are some women who are barely interested in shoes,” says psychologist Michael Thiel. You will find only the bare necessities in their homes: two pairs of casual shoes, a pair of exercise shoes and maybe a pair of pumps for special occasions. They rarely own more than five pairs. Always Ready For Anything: This shoe collector has more than she needs. But behind her need to possess shoes is the wish to be prepared. “That’s not yet a shoe-mania,” says Thiel. “She just happens to have a pair of shoes - from Wellington boots to flip-flops – ready for every occasion. The Collector: “This woman has very impractical - but very beautiful - shoes,” says the Psychologist. For this fetishist, shoes are as much about cherishing as about wearing them. “She is proud of what she has collected - as if they are jewels. This is a very complicated type of woman. If you were to go to the seaside with her, she would carry at least five pairs of shoes - but no Wellington boots though.” u

Toothbrushes go Interactive { Berlin/ DPA }

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ust about every kind of gadget imaginable has been going digital, but Oral-B has still managed to surprise us with a first: an interactive toothbrush. Billed as an intelligent hygiene tool, the dental-care Company believes it will be part of the interactive bathroom of the future. “It provides the highest degree

Suspended Coffee { Stuttgart/ DPA }

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long with Cappuccino, Latte and Americano, we now have yet another style of coffee to memorise: Suspended Coffee (SC). However, this is not a taste, but a funding scheme. If you buy one SC coffee, you pay for two - with the cost of the second cup going to charity. The idea is proving popular in Germany, where there are 65 cafes with a Suspended Coffee option on their menu. “Coffee is about quality of life,” says Rolf Irtenkauf from Kaffeehaus, a cafe in the town of Schwaebisch Gmuend. A notice in the Cafe tells customers how much money has been donated that day. There is no shortage of patrons willing to order a Suspended Coffee. “The problem is finding people who need the charity,” says Irtenkauf. u

Power-stretch Denim shows off contours perfectly { Frankfurt/ DPA }

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lim-fit jeans continue to be popular with both male and female shoppers in Europe, according to Germany’s fashion trade journal, Textilwirtschaft, which says sales of skinny jeans have been buoyant for months. The women’s version of skinny jeans is very tight on the leg - so much so that some brands are given an extra designation of “power stretch,” because their denim can expand slightly more than normal while legs are being inserted and is more comfortable to wear.u

of user interaction to track your oral care habits, to help improve your oral health,” says Wayne Randall of Procter and Gamble, owner of the Oral-B brand. The Toothbrush supports the Bluetooth 4.0 standard and can transmit data to a smartphone app - such as details about a person’s cleaning rituals and the amount of time spent cleaning. Sensors can also detect if the tooth-brusher is applying too much or

too little pressure. Using this data, the Toothbrush can then provide cleaning tips and optimise cleaning for an individual user. The data can also be printed out as a diagram, which can then be shared with one’s dentist. Oral-B plans to start selling the Toothbrush in Germany in the spring and worldwide in June. The Toothbrush app should be available for iPhones in May and for Android phones in June.. u

Obama's Secret Service Detail in trouble again { Washington/ DPA }

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hree members of US President Barack Obama's Secret Service Detail, travelling with him on his recent overseas trip, have been suspended from duty and sent home for bad behaviour. One of the Secret Service Agents became so drunk that he was found passed out on a hotel floor by the hotel staff, the Washington Post reported. The incident occurred just before Obama's arrival in Europe. Hotel employees notified the US Embassy in the Netherlands, which then notified the Secret Service and its Director, Julia Pierson. The incident allegedly occurred in a resort hotel outside The Hague. A Secret Service spokesman confirmed that three agents had been

sent home for disciplinary reasons, the Post reported. The three agents were part of the ‘Counter Assault Team’. In the event the President or his motorcade comes under fire, this Team is supposed to engage the attackers while others secure the President. According to a former member of the Team, they are the ‘last line of defence’ for the President. They are known not only for their robust physical condition, but also for being good shots. They are often on duty for 12 hours at a time. The incident follows a Secret Service scandal in April 2012, when six agents were forced to step down after they were found to have spent a night getting drunk and cavorting with prostitutes - on the sidelines of a Summit in Cartagena, Colombia. u


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Mix-and-Match in the Kitchen

Portable Technology conquering the everyday Laurence Thio

Michael Bagley sells Bruffins - a combination of Brioches and Muffins - at the Smorgasburg Deli's stall in the market hall in Brooklyn, New York City. Hybrid Snacks are the rage right now. 


{ Laurence Thio/ New York/DPA }

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n the outside it looks like a bagel; but inside, it’s a croissant. You guessed - it’s the ‘Cragel’, as its inventor Scot Rossillo named it. The goldenbrown pastry with the hole in the middle looks like a mistake - it is anything but. Rossillo is part of a new trend in New York’s Snacks business: Hybrid Food. You take two separate food items, cross them and see what comes of it. There’s one further important ingredient: Marketing. In his shop, The Bagel Store, in the District of Williamsburg, Rossillo hands out free samples of his creation, even though he no longer needs to. At the start of the year, first bloggers took notice of the Cragel, followed by local newspapers and then the TV stations. Now the big bakery chains want to buy his recipe.
“Hybrid Food is new and exciting. At the same time, it is rooted in tradition,” he says. “In America the bagel and the croissant are the two most popular breakfast items. With the Cragel you can have both at once. The right timing is naturally also important.”
Irma Zandl, a researcher in new trends, says the time for experimentation in Foods has arrived. “Consumers are debating their Food culture. They’re very curious and always want to be up on the very latest thing,” she says.

 Contributing to this trend are Cooking shows on television and young Cooks who, like theatre directors, try to whip up a frenzy of public interest in their restaurants and their cuisine.
The popularity of Hybrid Food owes something to the Cronut - a mixture of a croissant and a doughnut. It was the Cronut that triggered all the hype last year, when New Yorkers would wait in line for hours outside the bakery where it was made. They would even camp out on the sidewalk overnight. Because the number of Cronuts was limited then, their price on the ‘black market’ could go as high as 80 dollars - for just one. Bakeries around the world have now copied it. The top candidates for the title of Hybrid Snack of 2014 can be found

Scot Rossillo, inventor of the Cragel, holds up a tray of the snacks in his New York City shop.

in the market of the Smorgasburg delicatessen in Brooklyn - where creative cooks and gourmets get together. One of the latter is Brian, who is enthusing over a Ramen Burger, a hamburger sandwich in which the bun is made from Japanese noodles.
“Something like this is simply unique. First you bite into a crispy noodle, then come the meat and soya sauce,” he says.
Brian has come to the market with his wife in order to sample some really eccentric foods. Nearby, Michael Bagley is waiting for customers to sample what he calls his Bruffin – ‘a brioche crossed with a muffin’. Tiny flags of Italy, Spain and the United States are stuck into the Bruffins, depending on their content. The Italian Bruffin is filled with salami, parmesan cheese and pesto. Bagley has plans to open up a Bruffin Bar in New York, and hopes international success will follow. “We are simply a lot more versatile than the Cronut,” he insists. What they all have in common is that their inventors say that their success lies in their originality. But the Cooks are not just relying on creativity alone. They all market their Food on the Internet. For trend researcher Zandl, this is the main explanation for the rise of Hybrid Snacks. “Many people post photos of their meals and snacks on social networks like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter,” she notes, adding that the importance of the Social Media in the field of Gastronomy has soared. Consumers not only can try out new snacks, they can also discuss them with friends and acquaintances. In doing so they are showing that they are trend-setters, and at the same time adding to the hype surrounding certain new products. The Ramen Burger team is constantly posting pictures on Instagram and is networking with bloggers and customers on Twitter. For the Bruffin, the inventors hired a media consultant to spread the word on the Internet. And Rossillo uses Facebook to advertise his Cragel, giving customers a chance to comment about his creations online. In the basement beneath his shop he is now kneading some dough and mixing in some chocolate - planning to soon introduce a sweet Cragel.
The most important tool can be found right next to his rolling pin: a tablet computer, constantly linked to the Internet.
u

French and Italian flags on Michael Bagley's Bruffins, in New York, show shoppers what filling to expect. A Cragel on sale in Scot Ramen Burger snacks in New York City. Rossillo's New York City shop.

{ Renate Grimming/ Barcelona/DPA }

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ith Smart Watches and Fitness Armbands that can communicate with Smartphones, the recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona gave an insight into the future of Wearable Technology. The Technology market is undergoing profound change and many hardware manufacturers are suffering from the continuing slump in Personal Computer sales. The centre of a person's Digital life is now their Smartphone, not their PC - and manufacturers are catching up. Sony presented its new SmartBand, a personal digital diary that is worn as a fashion bracelet and communicates with Android Smartphones. It can control, for example, the music on your phone and alerts you to incoming calls. The Chinese manufacturer, Huawei, exhibited a Smart Bracelet, with a display that can be removed and used as a headset. Alongside the latest version of its Smart Watch, the Galaxy Gear, Smartphone market leader Samsung displayed a bracelet with a curved AMOLED display called Gear Fit: it measures the wearer's heart rate and counts the number of steps taken. AMOLED is a new screen technology. In addition, the Bracelet informs the wearer when the Smartphone receives an email or text message. These kinds of devices reach their true potential when interacting with a Smartphone. "The Smartphone has changed a lot of things, but this is only the beginning," said ST Liew, Smartphone Chief at Acer. The Company doesn't currently have any wearable technology in its portfolio but products are waiting in the wings, Liew said. "We're working on a number of Smartware projects, but we're not in a hurry." Samsung is the leader in the area. The company realizes that the Smartphone is at the centre of modern life, market researcher IHS said, and rivals will need to hurry if they want to catch up. And more surprises from the South Korean tech giant will be coming this year, Samsung's Mario Winter has promised. It's important to be the first to market with such innovations, Liew said. But the question is, the first of what? Smart Watches have attracted a lot of attention, but remain largely a niche market. The technology in a Smart Watch is of course important, but so is the design and the need to have wellcoordinated functionality, said Andre Loenne from HTC. Smart Watches are no longer an experimental field, said Samsung's Winter. In Germany alone, more than 100,000 Samsung Smart Watches had been sold till last year. The Gear 2 and Gear Fit will attract further consumer attention and prices are expected to fall as market demand grows. u


4-10 April 2014

A ‘Surreal’ War { Diana Renee/ Rio de Janeiro/DPA }

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utraged by what they see as unfair price increases linked to the upcoming 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games, Brazilians have created a humorous way to fight inflation - using the Internet and a ‘Surreal’ currency. The ‘Sur-real’ is a play on the word for the Brazilian currency, the ‘Real’ (pronounced reh-ahl). Members of the Surreal Rio movement say that prices have got out of hand in Brazil. The money bills posted on Facebook, as an ironic parallel currency, carry the image of Spanish artist Salvador Dali, an icon of the 20th-century avant-garde artistic and literary movement known as Surrealism.

One of the money bills, posted on Facebook, to be used as an ironic currency. Spanish artist Salvador Dali, an icon of the 20th century avant-garde artistic and literary movement known as Surrealism, is depicted on the 'Surreal'. The Surreal Rio page drew nearly 150,000 likes in its first two weeks and quickly inspired other movements in Brazilian cities - including Brasilia. Users in Brasilia are urged to print out ‘Surreal’ currency bills and use them to ‘pay’ - criticise

sarcastically - when they want a shop or restaurant to reconsider its overly high prices. The idea is that users post photographs of the tab or sales tickets they receive at outlets that charge too much. It is not the kind of publicity the proprietors would

A young Brazilian woman drinking coconut milk on Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro. Prices have skyrocketed as Rio prepares to welcome both the World Cup (later in 2014) and the Olympic Games (in 2016).

Extreme Weather events in 2013 point to Climate Change { Lukas Lehmann and Albert Otti/ Geneva/DPA }

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xtreme heat, floods and storms, which hit several parts of the world last year, point to the mounting effects of Global Warming, the World Meteorological Organization said in its annual Climate Report. The Organization's Secretary General, Michel Jarraud, said in Geneva that, in 2013, Climate Change effected all parts of the world. Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines was the strongest typhoon ever recorded and killed more than 6,200 people. The Typhoon demonstrated that coastal floods are becoming more severe as sea levels rise. Australia experienced its hottest year on record, and this was also clearly linked to human influences. This record ‘would have been virtually impossible without human contributions of heat-trapping gases, illustrating that some extreme events are

becoming much more likely due to climate change’, scientists at the University of Melbourne said in a Study that was part of the UN Report. The global average temperature was 14.5 degrees, making 2013 the sixth-hottest year since records were started in 1850. “There is no standstill in Global Warming,” Jarraud said. In July, 25.9 degrees temperature was recorded in Greenland - the highest-ever measured on the Island. The concentration of Greenhouse Gases in the atmosphere rose further last year, while the sea level climbed to a new record. On the other hand, snow fell in Egypt for the first in 112 years - in December. Other extreme weather included severe droughts in Angola, Botswana and Namibia as well as parts of Brazil and China. Floods affected several regions, including the India-Nepal border, North-Eastern China, and Central and Eastern Europe. u

welcome. Two establishments that received the ‘Surreal’ treatment were a bar in the tony Leblon neighbourhood of Rio de Janeiro - which charged 99 Reals (about 43 dollars) for a hamburger; and a restaurant that sold an omelette containing six shrimps, also for 99 Reals. Economist Jose Julio Sena of the Getulio Vargas Foundation said that the increase in prices can partially be explained by a low unemployment rate in Brazil - about 5.5 per cent - which pushes up workers' wages. An increase in domestic demand is also driving prices, he said. However gigantic increases need more explaining. A recent study found that ever since Rio was chosen as the Olympic host city, the rents for buildings where shops are located had increased 10 times the rate of inflation, Merchants said that high shop rents were forcing them to raise prices on their wares. Since it is highly unlikely that prices will fall again before 2016, the Surreal Rio community is standing by its boycott. ‘Don't pay!’ clamours the Web-page, which was set up by a couple of journalists, Daniela Name and Andrea Cals. The Site also offers ideas to avoid having to deal with what it has dubbed ‘Olympic Inflation.’ One of the suggestions, called ‘The Isoporzinho’ in Portuguese, rapidly became a hit with locals over the Brazilian summer. It says that before setting out for a day at the beach or an evening in a bar, young people should fill a styrofoam box with food and

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drink, so as not have to spend on expensive products while out on the town. "This is not a political act - nor is it a protest. All we want to do is to be able to go out drinking with our friends without having to sell a kidney to pay the bill," said the Movement's founder, VJ Guigga Thomaz. The Movement also asks its followers to take their own reclining chairs to the beaches, since prices for beach seats have tripled. "Let's do something to fight this unfettered Surrealism of abusive prices in Rio!" says the Website. "Everybody is sick and tired. (The price increases) have gone beyond all limits. This is wrong," said Cals. Another Getulio Vargas Foundation economist, Salomao Quadros, said that ‘Olympic Inflation’ in Rio is mostly affecting the services sector, especially in the City's more well-to-do sections. "Outside of tourist areas, consumers in Rio de Janeiro can find products that cost less," said another economist, Fabio Bentes. But the problem is precisely that; it is in tourist areas where all the visitors to Rio for the World Cup and the Olympic Games will want to be - and they will have to face the astronomic costs. Those wanting to rent a three-room apartment in the Ipanema District in June and July, during the World Cup, will have to pay 1,500 euros (2,050 dollars) per day! And a room in a three-star hotel in the same section of the City has gone up to nearly 500 dollars per night - 2.5 times the regular rate. u


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4-10 April 2014

G -Scape asha PANDEY

Shubh Nav Varsh 2071

Friday gurgaon 4 10 april, 2014  

..be the change you want to see

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