Page 1

8-14 March 2013

Vol. 2 No. 29  Pages 24  ` 7

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

Raising The Bar


{ Abhishek Behl / FG }


ow much of our literature, our political life, our friendships and love affairs depend on being able to talk peacefully in a bar!, said John Wain, an English writer and poet. The bar-pub culture is now seeping into Gurgaon. This pub capital boasts 220 bars in the City s different malls, hotels and markets. Pubbing has entered the social consciousness of both the classes and the masses, who are increasingly seeing these spots as the most awesome places to hang out. However, in a City which loves to tipple, but does not still know how to hold its drink, pubs have been finding themselves in the wrong news, more often than not. In fact many pubs, particularly on MG Road, have become a magnet for trouble – which ranges from minor scuffles to serious

crimes like gang rapes and shootings, which have given quite a bad image to the City. Why have some pubs in the City acquired such a rough image; why are they failing to maintain decorum, while others in the same area, on the same roads, seem to have kept their reputation intact, and are seeing their business boom? Friday Gurgaon visited a number of 'good' pubs in different parts of the Millennium City, interacted with the pub managers, guests and workers to discuss the evolution of this important addition to the City's nightlife – which many welcome, and some abhor. “A pub, like any other institution, assumes the character of the people who manage it, as well as those who patronise it, says Mritunjay Tiwari, General Manager of the popular City pub Vapour, Contd on p 8 

Promise To Protect { Shilpy Arora/ FG }


he International Women’s Day is not just about celebration. It is also about assessing and introspecting about what position women hold in our society, and what needs to be done to ensure their safety – and their rights. Friday Gurgaon assesses the status, after a slew of initiatives have been taken by the City Police, in the aftermath of the December 16 gangrape. Till last month, Shanti (name changed), a resident of Chakkarpur village, faced regular harassment by a gang of men. Hearing lewd comments, hooting

and whistling had become a part of her daily life. One night, when this gang landed up outside her house, she decided to seek police help, and called up the Women’s Helpline. Luckily, the special Women’s PCR reached her house in just 15 minutes. The police took immediate action, and all the men were arrested. Like Shanti, many women feel that the new initiatives taken by the City police seem to be working. Jayanti, an advertisement professional who lives in Sector 55, recounts another positive experience. She, along with her two friends, had gone to a police Contd on p 6 


8-14 March 2013

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319 Postal Regn. No. GRG/35/2012-2014, VOL.–2 No.–29  8-14 March 2013


♦ Dusgruntled with the CM for ignoring the needs of South Haryana, the Gurgaon MP, Rao inderjeet Singh, floats a non-political outfit called Haryana Insaaf Manch.

Atul Sobti

Sr. Correspondents: Abhishek Behl Shilpy Arora Correspondent:

Maninder Dabas

Sr. Photographers: Prakhar Pandey Jit Kumar Sr. Sub Editor:

Anita Bagchi

Sr. Designer:

Amit Singh


Virender Kumar

Sr. Circulation Execs.: Himanshu Vats Syed Mohd Komail Circulation Execs.:

Pankaj Yadav Sunil Yadav Manish Yadav

Accts. & Admin Mgr: Deba Datta Pati Asst. Manager Media Marketing: Bhagwat Kaushik Sr. Exec Media Marketing:

Vikalp Panwar

Ad Sales Exec :

Amit Agarwal

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

n Are you interested and concerned

about civic and social happenings and issues around you? n Are you motivated to do something positive for society? n Are you interested to also write, and express what you see, hear, feel? If yes, write to us at, with a brief background of yourself, with contact number(s). 2–8 March 2012



RNI No. HARENG/2011/393

For The Other Half


It lives in two urgaon is a paradox. the Naunequal halves, whereinthe Great as tional Highway-8 acts Wall. The core Divide – like the Berlin the new subbut of the City is rotting; – with malls, gated urbs shine like stars and clubs setting colonies, golf courses never before seen a standard of life


e feature

...Pg 17

Master Recipe

in India. forces that It is this flux of extreme balance – the is threatening to unraveland helpful for a balance that is natural and for civiliwith; great cities to evolve attain glory. sations to develop and urban core, the Gurgaon’s rotting within the City, concretised villages hinterland that and the vast rural is under once comprised Guru-gram, – under and 210 Panchayats threat of being submerged Nagar, Manesar); a Millennium of identity the new that cover 291 villages. a week with in ‘New GurgaFriday Gurgaon spent City, with its capital Meena, checkthe role of the State on’. It is here that Deputy Commissioner will is executed – ensure that the forces comes into play; to ing how the State’s that has known all the populace. of development touch in this historic area, since the Commissioner Gurgaon Deputy some form of governance of Being is the point man of Guru Dronacharya. power, P.C Meena, who in the Dis- time capital seat of the State Administration close to Delhi, the Gurgaon is much been influenced by trict, concurs that the District has also itself. The District and social developments political more than the City the viz. Gurgaon includes 3 sub-divisionsPataudi; 5 teh- taking place there. Contd on p 8  ,and (North and South) Pataudi, Farukh sils (Gurgaon, Sohna,

Please Visit Us At en Emergency Servicem P Ask Your Newspaper Vendor For Friday Gurgaon. M

asterchef Top 5 Vijaylaxmi shares a Recipe exclusively for

...Pg 18

little, for so long, with so We have done so much,do anything with nothing. to we are now qualified

Let’s Be Civil

avan Choudhary, Managing Director of Vygon, speaks on the need for residents to become responsible citizens. ...Pg 21

Regular Features Food Take

...Pg 6

Cinema Listings & Helplines ...Pg 7 The Week That Was

♦ Swine Flu number is now 92. ♦ City Bus stop signage is being put at all bus stops, on poles or trees. The City Bus service is now operational on 16 routes. ♦ The Labour Dept. has interactions with local industrialists in Manesar. The Dept.’s objective is to deliver an RC within a week, a factory licence within a fortnight, and a factory building plan approval within a month. ♦ Over 400 girl students are offered jobs on the spot, at a Job Fair in the Girls’ College, Sector 14. The HUDA Flower Show is held at Leisure Valley.


Each week we will feature a question/topic to get your views/suggestions. Selected views will be published in the subsequent issue(s) of Friday Gurg. This week's Topic is:

'Do you think Gurgaonites can make a difference in changing the infrastructural condition of the City? How?' Write in to us at

Prakhar PaNdey

...Pg 16

Tantric Art

FG readers.

♦ MG Road Police Station is operational, with 23 cops – 8 women. ♦ A known gangster is among 6 arrested for gambling in a Sec 31 auto garage; a Mewati gang of vehicle thieves is busted; 2 car thieves are arrested; a hookah bar is raided. ♦ MD of JMD Group and his son are ‘kidnapped’ and then released – 2 people are arrested. A ransom of crores was allegedly paid. ♦ A businessman receives an extortion demand of Rs 10 lakhs. ♦ 2 are held for kidnapping a forex firm owner, and robbing him of $ 2000. ♦ A car is stolen at gunpoint in Sec 29; an auto driver is beaten up and robbed. ♦ A bank is defrauded of Rs 1 crore, and another of Rs 40 lakhs, on the basis of forged documents. ♦ Goods worth Rs 5 lakhs are stolen from a factory in Udyog Vihar – Sec 37. ♦ Jewellery and cash are stolen from an engineer’s house in Palam VIhar. ♦ A policeman’s motorcycle is stolen from outside the DLF V police station. ♦ Rogues swap an ATM card of a person, and withdraw Rs 45,000; a man orders an LCD TV and steals it – is caught. ♦ Drunken men beat up some youth over a cricket match,



Shobha Broota, a 68year old ‘young’ and energetic artist.

♦ A Fast-Track Court for hearing Women’s Crimes is to be set up in each District. ♦ A supervisor is held for raping a labourer; a minor is raped by 2 men near Sohna. ♦ A sex racket is busted at a guesthouse in Sector 39 – 9 are arrested. A local resident had complained to the Police Commissioner’s office. ♦ A minor girl is kidnapped. ♦ A man is held for molesting a real estate lady executive. ♦ A 2-½ year old is smothered to death. ♦ A man shoots his father dead, over differences on property. ♦ A youth is killed in Daultabad. ♦ A 30-year-old bank executive allegedly jumps from the third floor of a mall, and dies.

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }



he third in our astrology series – featuring Libra, Scorpio and Saggitarius.

♦ It is now mandatory for an industrial unit employing more than 30 women workers to have a crèche facility. This was announced by the Addl. Labour Commissioner Naresh Narwal, at a Workshop to mark the 42nd National Safety Day.

Dear Readers,

FG Invites Citizens

` Vol. 1 No. 28  Pages 24


...Pg 7

{ Hritvick Sen / FG }

service worth its lmost every significant call-in. Whether it salt has a telephone information is food (or liquor) delivery, civic and reservations, services, bookings on cells... there is a line facilities, grievance call in. But when there which people can or a fire – there is an accident, a robbery that people dial is only one type of service Services. in a hurry. Emergency themselves count people Most haven’t had a fortunate that they for they had to ask situation in which who work in these people the for but help; is distraught people services, helping it is Police yday affair. Whether


100 – Police Emergency main Police


Control Location: The Mini-SecretarRoom (PCR) in Gurgaon’s lines chirping, phone iat. Wireless sets staff they’re set down, ringing as soon as papers – the very rushing about with air hums with activity. who is the Inspector Rishipal, the Operations, says senior in-charge of given day, we receive seriously, “On any a 3,000 calls.” In between 2,500 to from which he can closed glass cubicle he manages the day-tosurvey all activity, PCR. “We have stateday operations of the equipment, and I can of-the-art servers and has one of the safely say that Gurgaon the country.” in most advanced PCRs


{Inside} The Well-Run Condos

Some Residents’ Welfare Associations have done their residents proud, by ensuring that services and maintenance are delivered with integrity and firmness; some others have taken pro-active unique steps. In this issue, FG has covered Garden Estate, Heritage City and The Palms.

...Pg 9

Beware Your Greed

There is a fraud being perpetrated every day on one of us – yes, us, not some illiterate or dumb persons. Our greed has got the better of many of us – for jobs, property and get-richquick schemes. And most of those defrauding us, mainly with false/forged documents—paper or electronic—are known to us.

...Pg 13

ITI, Like Industry, In Neglect

The Gurgaon-Manesar belt is still a formidable industrial area employing thousands of industrial workers and staff; and yet, the sole ITI (one of the oldest), that can provide a regular stream of semi-skilled manpower, has hardly been encouraged and modernized by either the industry or the govt.

...Pg 20

To report cases of Child exploitation/trafficking, call 1098 toll free


8-14 March 2013

Coming Up



elebrate the joys of being a woman, in an event filled with music, poetry and cheer. The fun-filled evening includes a musical rendition by Jyotsana Rana, a stand-up comedy act by Neeti Palta and poetry recitals. The Event will also honour women achievers. The Event is organised by Gurgaon First, a citizens’ forum striving to bring change in the City, in association with Artemis Hospital.



Spiritual Journey @ The Galaxy Hotel, Sector 15 Date: Up to March 15 Time: 11:00 am


n Exhibition of paintings by artist Harish Kumar, which features abstract forms highlighting the rich Indian culture. Kumar’s vision of colours and sharp strokes is evident in his art works, with Krishna and Buddha being the theme.

harwal, noted theatre personality, as they guide you through a four course event of readings and discussions on Sreemoyee’s debut novel. This will be followed by ‘The Audition Trap’, an Improv theatre act, written and directed by Bubbles.

Pottery & Clay Modelling @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: March 8 Time: 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm Registration Fees: Rs. 300


Saturday Night Fever @ Roxxie 15, JMD Regent Arcade Mall, Shop No. 16-18, 2nd Floor, MG Road Date: Every Saturday, up to March 30 Time: 9:00 pm


et your weekend begin with an evening of unlimited fun and dance. The disco-themed party will ensure you don’t leave the dance floor.


Theatre Classes @ DLF Phase I Time: 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm

Stand Up Comedy

‘That’s What She Said’ @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: March 10 Time: 7:30 pm Tickets: Rs.350, 250 & 150


ehroopiya Entertainers presents weekend theatre classes for theatre enthusiasts from all walks of life. The acting course will help you overcome your stage fright, as you learn to perform in front of a live audience. Contact Mrinal Dhar @ 9999079229 or Rishi Mehta @ 9810174202. You could also email your queries to or

reate your pots of joy at this Pottery and Clay Modelling Workshop.


Tabla Duet @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: March 13 Time: 7:30 pm

Women’s Day Special


cts by comediennes Neeti Palta, Vasu Primlani and Aditi Mittal, in what promises to be a riotous evening, (suitable for 16 years & above).

njoy the beats of the tabla, with a duet by Akbar Latif Khan & Babar Latif Khan, disciples of Latif Ahmed Khan.

Readings & Discussions


The Winter’s Tale @ Zorba The Buddha, The Village, MG Road Date: March 8 to 10 Time: 7:00 pm; 2 pm & 7 pm on March 10

Get Together @ Rendezvous, J-18, South City-I Date: March 11 Time: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm

oin the get together with Sreemoyee Piu Kundu, author of ‘Faraway Music’, and Bubbles Sab-

Corrigendum An event that appeared in the Celeb Watch section (page 3, Issue 28, 1-7 March, 2013) titled ‘Musical Tribute’ was incorrectly credited. The Show was presented by a group called Ritambara Sangitayan, and directed by Shri Bishnumurari Chattopadhyay. The error is regretted.

All Are Invited for A Group Exhibition On The Occasion of Women's Day Chief Guest

Shahnaz Hussain


at Epicentre Apparel House, Sector 44, Gurgaon Near Huda Metro Station by Manjusha Ganguly Qazi M Raghib Mannju Karmakar

Joie de Vivre

8th - 10th March 11am to 7pm 9818200470

n interactive talk session about relationships between women. Speakers at the Session include Poonam Arora, along with a representative from the NGO Nirantar, which works towards empowering through education – especially girls and women from marginalised communities. Contact: 9810059550, 2715000


Call - 9910518785

Aesthetics & Women

Sangini-A Platform to Think Beyond @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: March 8 Time: 6:00 pm


If you are not getting FG copies regularly

@ Artemis Hospital (Auditorium), Sector 51 Date: March 8 Time: 5:30 pm -7:30 pm (Registration begins at 5:00 pm)


ased on William Shakespeare’s story of loss and redemption— ‘The Winter’s Tale’—this Hinglish production is directed by Anirudh Nair and Neel Chaudhuri. Contact: 9910185042, 65657265

8-14 March 2013




Living Walls @ Art Alive Gallery, 120 Institutional Area Date: Up to March 31 Time: 11 am to 7 pm


Tuesday Retro Night @ Route 69, Building No.9B, DLF Cyber City, DLF Phase III Date: Up to March 26 (Only Tuesdays) Time: 9:00 pm onwards


collaborative Art Project by noted artists – Anjolie Ela Menon, Jogen Chowdhury, Krishen Khanna, Manu Parekh, Madhvi Parekh, Thota Vaikuntam, Paresh Maity, Jayasri Burman, Subba Ghosh, B.Manjunath Kamath, G.R Iranna and Jaganath Panda, to name a few. Watch the artists engage in painting the walls of the Gallery.


ake a break from the dull work routine by partying on Tuesday night. Catch up with your friends for an evening of fun, food, music and dance. Get transported to the Golden era of the 70s and 80s, as the DJ spins out popular retro numbers.

Spiritual Girl’s Night Out @ Spiritual Bar&Lounge, Hotel Double Tree by Hilton-Gurgaon Date: March 7 Time: 9:00 pm


t’s time to dance till you drop. Begin the evening swaying to the beats of a live Band, followed by electronic dance music – by Fuzzdelica Sounds.


Sufiyana Treat @ Indian Grill Room, Suncity Business Tower, Golf Course Road Date: Up to March 27 Time: 7:00 pm onwards


treat awaits all the Sufi music lovers. Get into the groove as the in-house DJ belts out popular Sufi numbers through the night.


To Advertise Please Contact


7838003874 7827233023 9999444818


urgaonites enjoyed an enthralling evening of light music and ghazals by Pitamber Pandey, a disciple of Vinod Kumar and Madhup Mudgal.

15-21 February

8-14 February 2013

22-28 February

Vol. 2 No.

24  Pages

Regn. No.


RNI No. HARENG/2011/39



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No. GRG/35/2012-201



Growing Up Fast


Pages 24  `



/39319, Postal

A Model School


2 No. 27  Pages


Regn. No. GRG/35/2012

24  ` 7

7838003874 7827233023


we says, “When in daughter (her daughter) put Sidhi nal IB school, an internatioto prepare her was Most of the aim in the US. an for study there follow FG } the schools m. Moreover, US { Shilpy Arora / IB curriculugive preference to his s completing a universitie studied in fter Ankit, who have students Class 12, St Angels, nt.” of teacher an IB environme student a high. He says, Payal, to fly Bells, wants Stanford Blue today get into in up wants to take ately, y, to “Unfortun bothered ng. Universit are not Engineeri n of e students reputatio Aerospac a student of . about the or university nal, Ranveer, Internatio a college Abroad”. about Lancers e of – “Studying passionat wants to is to the tag and the perceptionShe y. He nce, in only attracted she says. Astronom independe following They are them is – not studies,” newly-opened join Harvard, of his father. is Fashion e What attractscollege life abroad who chose a choice Commerc footsteps ure first hand, of the of a student Ram College the other a glamorous in Architect open. “My options courses Kirti, on an example over Shri 7,000 children, more keep her apply for 12 gives in Australia wants to more than will also make one . But I university for the Class in the y). There are abroad does Designing ,” she says. the City, appearingpreferences, plans (Delhi Universit feel studyingsister joined a university at first in mix of and Accounts herself. Shewashing Some students my elder 250 schools is a heady the nt. “When the household chores from over ion. There to use in feels independe to do all the UK,” Board Examinat she had much detergent course in School. Her job UK, know how e during her and passion. Cambridg and rising didn’t even she learnt it all involved the ion of Connect education facilities, still prevails, machine! But to 12 student about the huge expense Rs. 50,000 go abroad a Class The Foreign craze to good higher for a 12 in Pathways seems worriedUK. “We send almost my Namrata, City, the Despite also opts of Class to the to pursue Namrata student mother, however, ies, in the Due to this her daughter month. Now, if Anjali, a go to Italy cousins living opportunit she says. also want to students. per in sending my are double,” the and join be also among students members elder daughter “I an art lover, This way I can expense will US, some of her familyate studies the the UK, the in the UK and the and Malaysia. says “I am life.” Most course in duate studies. Singapore and closer to up post-gradu my college of studying destinations – like undergra in the UK. and enjoy high cost parents took it is cheaper Contd on p 6  g different abroad, in Europe, abroad. While her has done his schooling studying considerin at Singapore because course have studied Europe, her brother siblings or cousins are sent to IB . am lookingcan join a medical in mainland students who have fact, some of them India. You foreign university . In Most of the get into a for her foreign university can easily IB school aim for a to ensure that they an international schools just parent, who chose ,a Vanshika


muchof the Private s have he benefitPublic scholar t being touted concep a A few childfrom within the rship living d Partne by the Haryan families emerge belied ted ivileged on the y. has been promo underpr , or ment industr and ...Pgs k govern healthcare in the villages had the will, Surajkund International 12 & 13 networ being They in the a large streets. to dream – of ls has Crafts Mela While hospita n, they dare engineers and in Gurgao of private ts, ...Pg 17 oomed emerge as architec World Book Fair mushr mers. it ...Pg 9 in the astrono helping l hub a medica the reality ...Pg 21 in y, countr the poorbeen ed citizens to is that We have culled have into some of the celebrates A few concern a Private Pod, some Contd the City further the travel on p 5  poignant stories have decidedto the is urgent action, its revenue? And then a exclusively. for when we of Amrita Shergil 100 years and advice and NGOs a difference s. This some pushed let’s see please. from Dr. Bhola’s want to margin around make that s Artist who initiated– the iconic Spiritual the help ious Column over the fact of villager Indian The CM's the year. Do Contempora despite most prestighave got I have a few daily lives have chosen DLF fad, of course, neity. read, ponder friends who of the ls in the City rates is the Pod. in non-pod them. They Village (near for poor a while, and act. stay on the ible for sional is rpur it ...Pg 18 & apartments. hospita ground, or respons conces big burden problem ...Pg 18 & 19 The Haryana to 19 first project. Sikande makes e a at held themselves. They the is the right been ill which I) as land CM is quite There is much have to do so much ...Pg 10 olds, and for the urban concept that Phase one has the poor their on p 6  HUDA, them to provid How taken in by in Contd much househ from acute further do we dirt and smell runs at Heathrow Women’s Help uncerta the Pod Taxi And so much crime. denying tory for tage of health rising want to divide care. HUDA and the made him all over. Desks start even more wages, of basic manda when Some of the our City? . Proximity to even hijack Neither State seem to percen believe that Poor free health this time bifurcating at a time have been criminals be in an Express to T3 has e. poor. at Metro stations a lack Women’s our Pod System; a certain free of cost. the state this City will better if we the International es This is tried Help the ‘new’ City and pressur hurry to do s sometimes Desks HUDA/the State nor reasons the – install start take Airport to the to to so – saving ise jobs, with a new and miscrean l expens of the service enter our Pods can call an Expressway HelplineDLF Road Project ready of ic ies add enterpr e in medica Pods are about Pods in our hallowed off even Golf Course”? one working on at Metro stations No.81309 ts harass the (only Rs. 500 driving time, for a fraction amenit ed as due. private ent seems integrating the a Sector Road). 90038Is a 20-minute the increas – space. 300sq.m. -sized crores - and girls and ladies.without tickets, and of Gurgaon’s you a panoram identifi Rather than City, and its too of the State) Falling cars that seat counting? 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Surajkund A Preview

Spiritual Gems

An Expresswa y To Nowher The Second

Mela –


le Fra Invisib




` 300 for


6 months




Circa 2020,

we may find...


upernatural international entertainer and mentalist, Lior Suchard, was in the City for a show, held at the Kingdom of Dreams. Lior stunned the audience with his performance, as he read their thoughts and predicted what was going on in their minds. Lior is popular worldwide for his telekinesis skills. Commenting on his trip to India, Lior said, “I believe people in India have amazing energy, and I definitely plan on coming back to do more shows here.”

@ 16


be the change you wish to see

Mind Reader






1/39319, Postal RNI No. HARENG/201

Regn. No. GRG/35/2012-2

Vol. The Govt. Senior School at Sarhaul Secondary is today a great example institution can of how a State be run the right way – and perform. Catering This City’s to a student masters live strength of { Shilpy Arora / FG } wonderin 2,500 from 30 villages, g Why? Like in a far away the a Court issuing world of their andCity – most of students have School the t happens quite lacks aachieved which start ‘taareek pe own. The community commendabl often. 13-year-old and The Master and citizens are people are, culture, e results, doesn’t get perhaps, and have Anya onbeen well-recogniz Plans change sputter. Land prices taareek’, the CM company to often left looking for Facebook.” watch the latest announces 3D animation it almost annually in those ed. 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Unfortun Groups, ng with civic people in new are even like-minded Kapur, Group in 24x7 –Aum ately, they Gurgaon Gurgaon Moms, for affordabl just sectors, ofMonica the City, except when a click after course are still waiting (which is about away.” Mall, Gurgaon. has over 2,600 planning for e they Gold Souk as compared it). Could Greater members civic amenitiesfood and housing, and to NOIDA, (or frightenin once a week). It can malfunction Why with Likewise, Delhi just 142 in Delhi Moms. Groups? provision – basically also get of lifestyle has Knowledge FacebookPark, a huge while Gurgaon Teens has 626 members, over the City. g) being stuck for hours quite boring Groups actually gone affordable living. Their and greatare comparison connectivity Teens has unique in a pod, high affordinto live members. Not down; many to latest (the over 800 Facebook quite scary Last winter I almost only in terms being Pages. 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Ho Age l Circle odaji in Wonderland Coming Of & Drea ming

The 'Real' Socia 4


Vol. 2 No. 25  Pages 19, Postal




ry 2013

1-7 Februa



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A Spectacular Evening

ilton Garden Inn Gurgaon, Baani Square, hosted a grand gala to mark its formal launch. The evening was celebrated with a scintillating performance by renowned percussionist Jonqui, a spectacular fire act by Jess and Yoko from Switzerland, and an enthralling dance and wings act by the popular Elena Nekrassova. The Event was attended by several noted personalities from the corporate world, along with officials from the Hilton Group.



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06  Contd from p 1 station to report an eve-teasing case. Every morning, on her way to the office, a young boy would follow her on his bike. She had first filed a complaint with the guard of her condominium, but that didn’t help much. She therefore decided to file an FIR. “I was so scared to visit the police station. It was the first time in my life that I had to go to a police station and report the case myself. My experience turned out to be pretty good. I was attended to by women officials. Within a couple of days they traced the boy and called me for identification. They asked me to sign a document, and sent the boy to a juvenile centre,” says Jayanti. However, there are quite a few women who still complain, and continue to feel unsafe on the roads – while using the public transport, in market places, and outside liquor shops. “For us, the only thing that has changed after the Delhi rape case is the amount of fear,” says Akshara (name changed), a housewife, who is still struggling to file a case. In January, she had visited a police station, as a boy was bothering her daughter. “I was shocked when one of the police personnel asked my daughter where all the

8-14 March 2013

C over S tory

Promise To Protect boy had touched her. They tried hard to convince us not to file an FIR. We therefore gave up,” says Akshara. Her 80-year-old mother-inlaw feels, “As teenagers, we enjoyed enormous freedom at home. But unfortunately, my daughters and granddaughters are not so lucky. They need to message us every hour. It feels that 60 years of hard-won freedom is vanishing before my eyes!” Very few women even now attempt to report sexual harassment to the police. An elderly resident of Hamilton Court, Sunil Rekhi, cites the example of the girl who was recently harassed in a bus. “I personally visited the house of the victim. Her family didn’t want to speak about the incident. It is so unfortunate that the family thinks that the girl has made some mistake. I was shocked when one of her relatives said that ‘probably she (victim) was not dressed up properly’.” Rekhi runs a school and vocational training centre for rural women in Sushant Lok 1.

A Slew of Initiatives

Despite the police having

For the Women, By the Women

As women face many security issues while travelling, Neelima and Shikha, two IT professionals working in Cyber City, have come up with a women-specific car pool service. Residents of Vasant Vihar, they used to offer lifts to a few women on their way back home. “Depending on the Metro at times is inconvenient. Taking an autorickshaw is not safe. We therefore thought of starting a car pool for women, by women. Earlier, Shikha and me used to come in the same car. But now, as we have 10 fellow passengers, we bring two cars,” says Neelima. The duo offer a carpool from the Cyber City to South Delhi. Shikha says that the aim was to facilitate a safe journey for women. “Women feel more at ease while in the presence of other women, especially while travelling,” says Shikha. It is mandatory for a woman to produce an identity proof before joining the carpool. A nominal amount of Rs. 50 is charged for a one side journey. With the success of this carpool, the duo is planning to tie-up with six female professionals who drive from Cyber City to Delhi, to encourage more women to benefit from a carpool service. A retired professor, Alka Ganguly, has started a special self-defence training for women. Running a self-defence school in Palam Vihar, Ganguly says, “People are generally apprehensive about sending their daughters to a male coach for self-defence training. So I thought of coming up with a ‘for women, by women’ concept.” Started in 2011, the School has over 70 students, and six women instructors. The school holds classes for six months in a year.

Women’s Helpline: 1091; Women’s Helpdesks at Met-

ro stations: 8130990038; REDCO Helpline (for women): 9266861111; Anti-Obscene Calls Cell: 9582226610

Commissioner Police launches Helpline connected to his office, as promised: 9999999953 (open 10am to 2pm, Monday to Saturday) – for complaints against policemen not taking action as desired. Every Police Station now has a Complaint/FIR Receipt Book, to issue a copy to whoever lodges a complaint. Traffic Police Helpline: 9213020404; 0124 2217015 Senior Citizens’ Helpline: 9416092569 (Mon to Sat 10am to 6pm); 0124 2221559 (24x7)

introduced a number of measures – such as Women’s PCRs, Women's Helpline numbers, and Women’s Helpdesks at Metro Stations – many women are not even aware of these. Multiple Help Lines: Not only is the awareness level about Women’s Helplines low among women, they also seem to be confused about the right helpline number. Recently, the senior officials of the City Police had even made their numbers public, in view of the rising concern over women’s safety. But when asked about the important numbers, most women knew only 1091. Sonia Wallia, a research scholar, who lives in one of the highend condominiums on the Golf Course Road, says, “I spend a lot of time travelling across the City. However, I have never come across any hoarding or message talking of Women’s PCRs.” Rachita, a social activist, feels that it is hard to remember multiple numbers. “Even 1091 has not fully registered in the minds of people. It is pointless to give 10 numbers of senior officials to women, and expect them to remember them all. A helpline is normally needed in an emergency – and a single number is all that should be put out. The police should manage the process thereafter internally – as to who should respond,

{ Sujata Goenka }


and what should be done. If the police want to make life better for women, they need to aggressively reach out to the public – through the Internet, hoardings, and announcements in markets,” she says. Women Help-desks at Metro stations: Akansha, who travels regularly from Delhi to the City, says that she is not aware about what assistance she could get at the Women’s Help-desks put up at the Metro stations. “The police have simply put a desk in a corner, where you find one or two women constables. There are no announcements about what services this helpdesk provides. Moreover, the personnel appointed don’t seem to know much. All they know is the number of stations in the City, and where to board which train from? When a few men boarded the women’s compartment, I immediately informed the Women’s Helpdesk about it. A woman constable first called up a few numbers, and then told me to report it to CISF!” says Pavit, a passenger. When asked about the kind of training they have undergone, a woman constable at the Help-desk says, “Apart from self-defence training, we are taught to act as both counsellor and police.” Talking about the challenges they face,

she says, “People are still not aware of the real purpose of this Help-desk. We are here to look into cases concerning the security and safety of women at Metro stations. But it seems that anything and everything related to women is reported to us. Once a young couple had an argument with a Metro staff member over the usage of camera at the station. They reported it to us, and insisted that we look into the matter. Similarly, we receive complaints about water supply in the washrooms, and the dysfunctional scanning machine at the station.” Presence on Social Media: The Facebook page of the Gurgaon Police can turn out to be a powerful tool, especially for women. It is working as a two-way channel for instant communication with the concerned officials. Through social media, both victims and the police can share information and exchange views. While the police use the Facebook page to give out frequent updates and advisories, women use it for putting details about nonfunctional street lights, numbers of cars that have tinted glasses, and details about notorious activities. Many times social activists and lawyers, who have sound knowledge of women’s rights and laws, even clear the doubts of other members. ACP Poonam Dalal says, “Exchange of information through the Internet has helped a lot. Over 300 people are registered on the page.” u



Rise and Shine

he sun shines softly, basking the City of Joy with daylight, at six-thirty in the morning. Slow-spaced Kolkata is bustling with life. Kolkata follows an early to rise and early to bed life. While Delhi/NCR is still stirring after their elite night-life, Kolkata is ready to take on the world. It is nearly impossible to get a cup of tea early morning in Delhi or its neighbourhood. In Kolkata, most dhabas do brisk business from as early as five in the morning. In Delhi/NCR, customers have to make do with biscuits or buttered bread – tea stalls do not sell samosas or fresh puri bhaji. For this you need to get to a sweets shop. I go for an early morning drive to Bara-Bazar area. As I sit parked on the road, a tram glides by. It is full. The blue-line buses are running to full capacity. Though the shops in the area have not opened for business, the tea shops on

the road are doing brisk business. Tea stalls in the City of Joy normally serve tea in the traditionally eco-friendly mud cups called sikoras – that enhance the flavour of the tea. To my amazement, a dosa-walla is ready with his hot tava at the Share Bazar corner. I sit, awaiting for my mom, who is returning from the temple. Many of her friends are with her. The plan is to go to the Share Bazar for tea. This place is favoured for its home-made buttered toast with sugar. For those who do not wish to indulge, the option is a plain buttered toast with salt and pepper. The bread is locally made – a texture no bakery in the City would be selling. Yet the rustic bread is delicious, and it takes an iron will power not to succumb to the temptation of a second piece. The previous week I had gone for chai to another place. As early as six am the shop was crowded with demands for chai and kachori. u

8-14 March 2013

C ivic/S ocial




E g W o m en





W kin




e nts

g P rofess

to the ceremonial platform at New Delhi station. There were a few huge colonial bungalows on either side. One side of the shop, along this road, was glassfronted. The author of the note was my cousin, the son of Mr. Kinra, Chief Engineer of Northern Railway. He had been unable to control the car as he swung onto the stately road. He couldn’t have been driving fast, and the car didn’t go beyond 20 mph anyway – yet the steering wheel refused to co-operate. The car chose the warmth of the nice shop – instead of the cold road. It was not the first time that this vintage beauty had become moody. Uncle had owned the 1940 Humber for many years. She had served him well, through his many postings across the undivided sub-continent. But the gracious lady was now tired, creaky and cranky. The daily rubbing by orderlies had maintained the outside gleam; but the insides were past their prime, and often cried for deliverance. When their pleadings fell on deaf ears,




Humber Bomber



hen the proprietor of Prominent Tailors opened his shop that cold December morning in 1965, he couldn’t believe his eyes. In the midst of a mountain of jackets, trousers and shirts was a shining black car! He rubbed his eyes—the car was still there. He quickly downed the shutter. He looked at his signboard – it was in order. So what was a car doing in his shop? He didn’t even own one. He called his neighbours and opened the shutter again. Cautiously, they entered and looked around. The entire left side was smashed; the offending vehicle had bombed in from there, crushed scores of beautiful suits—so painstakingly crafted by his tailors— and halted just short of the right wall. There was a note stuck under the windscreen wiper, apologising for the accident, and requesting “Dear Sir” to call a certain phone number. “We‘ll make good the damages,” the writer had assured. The address, “6, State Entry Road,” was also given. Prominent Tailors was located on the right, as you entered State Entry Road, the beautiful short street leading

es u ti v



Ask us How? they resorted to occasional tantrums. Once, as we approached the Shankar Road roundabout, and Uncle turned it ever so gently to the right, ‘madam’ decided to stay the course. He tried hard to turn her back to the left, but she wouldn’t oblige. So we kept going round in circles – perhaps ten times, till our prayers—and uncle’s patience—were answered. Those were the days of lean traffic, so not many people cursed us for this merry-go-round. On another occasion, the old maid decided to freeze halfway up Raisina Hill. No amount of coaxing, cajoling and swear words helped; manual cranking didn’t work. She just stood there till some policemen helped us. Poor Uncle Kinra. Resplendent in his three-piece suit, and with a fuming wife in tow, he had to trudge the rest of the way on foot to the ‘at home’ at Rashtrapati Bhavan. The audacity of the car that night … aided perhaps by the hefty bill for the repair of Prominent Tailors’ showroom was... however, the proverbial last straw. With great reluctance, Uncle agreed to retire the grand dame, in deference to the collective wishes of the family. u

c xe

J o b S e e ke

{ Krishan Kalra }




aintaining law and order might be the job of the police, but a helping hand from the citizens would certainly be appreciated. For over a year, Odette Katrak and her team have helped maintain a smooth flow of traffic near the Galleria Market. They also educate people about how their stoppage for ten-odd seconds leads to chaos and a kilometre-long traffic jam. “You get to meet different people with different views on the City and citizenship. Some are responsible and abide by the rules; and like all places, here too we have people who don't want to listen to anybody. This place was perennially jammed. I have been stuck in such jams. So I decided to initiate a drive, whereby we cleared some space on the side, and made the cars stop there, instead of on the road. The Galleria Market management, including the security guards, also made it happen – and now you can see the road is fairly free from traffic jams,” added

Katrak. The Traffic Police also helped by making this road oneway (traffic). Galleria has a huge basement, but unfortunately it remains empty because people park their cars on the road. “It's very sad that people spend thousands of rupees on shopping, but they don't want to spend just Rs. 20 on parking. Our objective is to improve the flow of traffic. Now almost 40 cars are able to pass on a green signal because there is no car on the road blocking their path. Earlier only four cars were able to pass. It's not easy, and even now we face problems. We have challaned many people here. The police has also put this board of No Parking, which helps us to make the people understand,” added the lady. “Gurgaon is a rich city and people don't have the time for 'petty concerns' such as managing traffic; and most of the people haven't accepted this City as their own, and hence they believe that they have no moral responsibility for this City. “However, once you


{ Maninder Dabas / FG }

start something with a right approach, people tend to take you seriously. Initially even some of the shopkeepers said that this initiative would meet a dead end soon. However, gradually people started to understand the benefits, and now the same shopkeepers praise our efforts. We usually have 7 to 10 volunteers per month for the drive, and I believe this number is quite sufficient,” added Katrak. Guards, who are working in close collaboration with Katrak, say, “You can yourself see that once people stop on the side of the road, where we have made a place to deboard, it keeps the rest of the road free for the nonmarket commuters, and hence traffic jams don't happen. But it's not easy, because people don't want to listen to a guard. Maybe it hurts their ego that a guard is telling them to stop and not to park their car here, and that's why many times we have quarrels with people. Fortunately, people have started understanding the value of a 'free' road. The major problem occurs when vehicles with red or blue beacons arrive, because they don't listen to us, and stop the car in the middle of the road. And when it comes to parking their car, they prefer the side of the road, despite seeing this sign of No Parking. It's tough out here, but it's good to see people moving freely without much chaos and jams,” said Dharmender, a guard. u


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08 on MG Road. “The most important thing for any place is that it should not become a moneymaking proposition alone. If one wants the pub to have a long standing reputation, then it is important that one holds on to certain values – such as customer satisfaction, safety, and the quality of the food and beverages,” says Tiwari. Vapour follows a very strict policy of profiling guests, and only those who match the 'acceptable' criteria are allowed to enter the precinct, “The entry has been restricted, to ensure that only a 'positive' and 'like- minded' crowd comes and enjoys at this place,” says Tiwari. The gate management is very strong, and employees have been trained to spot the trouble makers. However, once a person is inside he/she is given the best possible treatment, and even customised demands for liquor and food are accepted as a norm. The majority of the patrons in the evenings are from the corporate world – on their way back to Delhi and Noida, after working in Cyber City. There are also couples and families from the upper middle class neighbourhoods like DLF Phase 1 and Golf Course Road. Some come from across the City, around dinner time. With an increasing number of women coming to the bars, safety has become a major issue for the owners. Apart from profiling the guests, Tiwari says that they maintain a high 'employees-to-guest ratio', which ensures that visitors feel safe and comfortable. In case a guest has drunk too much and is not able to drive, they have a provision to call HomeSafe drivers – whereby a driver from the cab company comes and takes the patron to his home. Pubs in a mall see a more young crowd, and very busy weekends. Friday and Saturday are very busy, as corporate workers sign off for the week. The pubs also organise special DJ weekends, and parties to enthrall the party goers, to encourage them to come back. Kapil Thapa, Manager at Lemp, says that it is very important for bars and pubs to employ trained people from the food and beverages industry. “The success of a place most often depends on the quality of the staff, and the Manager,” he says. It is often the personality of the Bar Manager that gives shape to the identity of a Club – apart from the bartender, who sometimes has to play the role of an 'agony aunt' or a 'counsellor'. Amit Jakhar of Howzatt says that a number of times the patrons come and share their problems with the bartender, who often is expected to offer advice, and help the guest unwind. “It is a tough task, and many a times bartenders feel the pressure; but we have trained staff, which knows how to manage the personal alongwith the public,” says Jakhar. At Lemp, the management ensures that a healthy malefemale ratio is maintained, so

C over S tory

Raising The Bar that the women do not feel intimidated in a male-dominated crowd. “We strictly enforce the entry of couples, invite families and make them comfortable; though sometimes 'stags' from a 'good' background are also given admission,” he says. With increasing competition, each pub has finetuned its marketing strategy, as per the clientele it wants. “We have a large database of clients; we send them emails, sms messages and build a healthy rapport,” says Thapa. The prices of almost all the pubs in Gurgaon are similar. A couple can enjoy an evening for something between Rs. 1,500 and 2,000. This ensures that only discerning clients, with an eye for food and brew, come in, asserts Kapil. However, some of the clubs on MG Road prefer giving entry to anyone, even groups of young boys whose only goal is to get sozzled. A manager of one of the clubs says that they can not deny entry to patrons, as it would lead to losses. The cost of running a club, and paying the taxes, is very high. However, others says that it is only for this reason that

Indian men that women who go to a pub are not 'available',” says Rashmee Verma. There is need for implementing the laws and regulations strictly, and for more police presence, to make the City safer, she adds. Vineet Singh says that there is need for the government to impose strict rules and regulations, particularly related to the timings of clubs, if they are not able to maintain decorum. Some of the clubs even consider bouncers as the only panacea for keeping the revellers in check – though this has increasingly been proved a wrong answer. The majority of trouble makers in pubs, Tiwari says, are youth between the ages of 25 and 32, flush with funds, and who want to flex muscle. Some others opine that there are a lot of people from the adjoining cities, and even Delhi, who come here to take advantage of the lax security and rules related to drinking. In order to make money, a number of clubs also follow a strategy of allowing large groups to come and enjoy drinks – though this later ends in problems. Thapa agrees that boys

exposure to the West,” he says. Jakhar says that families love this pub as men love to watch cricket, while women enjoy the food and the music. The ratio of staff to guests is maintained at a healthy level, as Indian guests do not like to wait for food and drinks—as also the bill—he says. The increasing number of corporate employees in Gurgaon, including the expat population and those who have worked abroad, has led to the emergence of themebased bars in the City. These bars are centred around movies, music and food. Striker is a pub that has been modelled around entertainment, music and comedy. The Club follows very strict entry norms and ensures there are no gatecrashers. However, exceptions are always made for people who have 'class'. Hemant Kumar, Manager of the bar, says that the Club has evolved into a musical powerhouse, with performances from top singers and bands – such as Indian Ocean and Parikrima. Even comedians like Papa CJ and Vir Das have

the clubs have gained notoriety, as they do not keep a check on who is entering the premises. There have been cases of fiery clashes between bouncers and guests, and even between guests, in some of the clubs in Gurgaon – particularly those in Sahara Mall, claims Vinay Singh, a resident of Gurgaon. There is an undercurrent of tension between the orthodox and modern pulls in this so-called Millennium City. The feudal and repressive nature of the core society, where going out with women is considered taboo, is coming up against the growing cosmopolitanism, says Rajesh Gupta, a resident standing outside Sahara Mall. “When a crowd of young boys from the villages see girls who are smart and fashionable, and moving around with boys, they feel restless. They also want girlfriends with them, but their social mores have not evolved. A boy from a village can have a girlfriend, but for a girl to move out with him is unheard of,” he says. The availability of easy money, due to the sale of land and rental income, has also led to incidents. Mentally, many Indian men are not yet ready for the 'western' type of equality, as seen in bars and pubs in Gurgaon. In many minds even today, a woman who goes to a pub, drinks beer and smokes is considered 'loose' or 'accessible'. “It has to be drilled into the minds of

in large groups buy and drink more, but says, “There has to be a balance in which type of guests are allowed. The focus should be on building relationships, as it helps in the business, and in reducing trouble,” says Thapa. Not many will know more about all this than Amit Jakhar, who has risen from the ranks, and presently works as Manager of the Howzatt Bar. Themed around Cricket, and being one of the first bars to offer freshly brewed beer in the City, Howzatt attracts people from across Gurgaon—and even Delhi, as it located on the NH 8. “The majority of the clients coming here are educated, and from a business background. They are used to a certain culture and atmosphere. People here come to enjoy the moments, the cricket, and unwind after work. We offer excellent food and great beer, apart from comfort,” says Jakhar. Being located inside a five star helps, as the profiling of the customers takes place at the entry itself – unlike the malls where every one has easy access. “We also ensure that people with a certain 'bandwidth' come here, so that there is no problem. The reputation of a place is made by the people, and our staff is well trained to entertain the guests. A number of times parents come with their adult children, and enjoy the beer – as perceptions and social conditioning is changing, due to more

performed here. On Tuesday evening, which is a ladies night, the Club—which can hold around 150 people—was packed by 8 pm. There were a lot of foreigners too. Striker also sees prominent realtors and industrialists of Gurgaon, who normally prefer five star hotels. “We play retro, club and rock. In the evenings, when more corporates are around, the music is slow and soothing, as people want to relax. But later, as more couples and expat groups join in, the music changes to rock,” he says. On a number of days, 'live bands' play in the Club. Alex, a guest from a European country, agrees that music is what attracts him to Striker, apart from good beer and food. “The atmosphere here is truly international – lots of expats, and it does feel like good old home,” he says, while enjoying a freshly brewed glass of dark beer. Being a fresh micro-brewery, or a 'brauhas' as it is called in Germany, certainly helps, as beer is an international drink, and expats like it. Kumar says that Gurgaonites are increasingly taking to drinking beer; and women are going for more complex cocktails and tequila shots. Micro-breweries have captured almost 7.5 per cent of the beer market in Gurgaon; and the share is rising, as people prefer it over the bottled version, which has preservatives and is pasteurised.

In a majority of the bars, while people like to experiment with starters, it is ultimately Indian food which scores over the others. “We have introduced the traditional tandoori and other Indian dishes, as people love them with beer,” says Thapa of Lemp. The revenue for most of the pubs comes in the ratio of 70 to 30, for liquor and food. Paneer Tikkas, Chicken Tikkas, and veg and non-veg platters are very popular in pubs – while some visitors prefer the different salads as well. So good is the reputation of some of the pubs that they even see women coming in groups—and also alone—to enjoy a mug of beer and chicken tikkas. Vandana Sood, a guest at Striker, says that she likes the music, food and freedom that this place offers – to unwind, without having to worry about people staring at you, or making judgements and having preconceived notions. “I have been to a number of pubs abroad, and there you don’t feel you are being treated differently. In Gurgaon also the club scene is evolving, the pubs are maturing and even the clientele knows what to expect at these places,” she says. It is not that these clubs do not see people getting high, and sometimes into arguments, but better train-


 Contd from p 1

8-14 March 2013

ing, an understanding staff and educated clients ensure that things do not go out of hand. Tiwari admits that there are tough times also, but they manage to settle issues with respect and sobriety. “It helps that we know many of them,” he says. At Striker also, like the majority of the good clubs, it is ensured that the ratio of males to females remains healthy, gate management is strict, and clients are entertained only after getting a reference. A corporate I-Card is no doubt a passport to these bars, but still an eye is kept on potential trouble makers. Kumar says that Striker has a team of well trained security staff, but in the last one year they have not had a single incident requiring their intervention. When asked why some bars in the City have become notorious, he says that earning money should not be the only goal for a hotel or a bar, if it has to sustain in the long run. “A number of times we have to say no to guests, as they don’t match our 'profile' – but it has to be done politely,” aver the bar managers in unison. For them, keeping out a troublemaker is far better than managing an ugly brawl later. It is better to keep trouble at bay, rather than inviting it in, offering it a drink, and igniting passions – which often are uncontrolled, and can lead to disastrous consequences. u

8-14 March 2013

C ivic/S ocial

The Well-Run Condos

which two lakhs will be sold to the neighbourhood.


lka and Sudhir moved from a DDA colony (in Delhi) to the Heritage City, Gurgaon in 1997. Despite Heritage City being a gated colony, they faced a lot of issues – having to get up early to fill water, fighting over parking, and protesting to have garbage picked up. However, after the Heritage City RWA (HERWA) took over from the builder, things changed pretty fast. Today it is one of the best gated colonies in terms of security, roads, parking and running water. “Narayana Murthy once said, ‘If the government fails to provide, people don't wait – they make their solutions.’ I think the work done by HERWA in the condominium reflects the same. The conditions in Heritage City started changing only when HERWA took over from the builder,” says Sudhir. Like Heritage City, there are a few other condominiums in the City where RWAs have made a big difference. Recounting her experience, Phalgoni, a resident of Garden Estate, says, “Some 20 years ago, the problems of potholed roads, power cuts and lack of water seemed insurmountable. But luckily, today, change has gripped the area. Now I can proudly say that there is no better place than Garden Estate in the City. I give full credit to the Garden Estate Residential Welfare Association (GERWA).” The Estate boasts of excellent roads, power back-up, water harvesting, and a lot of greenery. Its RWA has taken keen interest in the development of parks and greenery, and in keeping the condominium clean. Besides, cultural and social events conducted by GERWA are a hit.

Discipline is Key

Every resident and owner of Garden Estate has to comply with a ‘code of conduct’ set by GERWA. Be it for pets, construction or a weekend bash, GERWA has laid down strict rules and norms for almost everything. Jolly Bhargava, the President of GERWA explains, “We have laid down some rules and regulations so that the condominium can run

Unique Initiatives

as a community. Some residents weren’t happy with the Pets’ policy. Some people, in fact, filed complaints with senior ministers, who personally called me and urged for a lenient approach towards pets and pet lovers. However, we didn’t compromise, and today they have also fallen in line.” Indu, a resident, smiles, “Don’t Indians behave differently when they go to the US or Singapore? Why can’t they follow a code of conduct here?” Unlike other condominiums, GERWA has a right to reject the acquisition of a house in the Estate, if there are ‘security’ concerns. “In the 1980s, the sale of villas or apartments at Garden Estate was done by invitation. That is how a lot of army personnel and bureaucrats made their way to the condominium. Today we can’t restrict people to sell their houses to a particular class or segment of society, but we have the liberty to reject the acquisition of a house, if we find that the owner or future resident has a criminal background, or is involved in any ‘notorious’ activities,” informs Bhargava. Secretary, GERWA says, “I think Team GERWA is led by the right leader. We are glad that he is serving his fifth term as the President of the Association. It is under his leadership that we have been able to manage good discipline in the condominium.” Garden Estate is arguably the oldest condominium in the country, and still holds the status of being one of the most comfortable places to live. It has been known to set the trend for other condominiums. An efficient Sewerage Treatment Plant is on the cards; it is expected to produce three lakh litres of treated water, of

While RWAs in many condominiums blame the authorities for not extending support to tackle the garbage menace, The Palms, in South City 1, has come up with a self-sustained Waste Management System. The Palms has put in place a compost machine; it claims to be the first condominium to do that. The initiative has not only helped in keeping the premises clean and green, but has also made it beautiful – as organic manure is used to promote horticulture in the condominium. “Garbage bins were a public nuisance. The bins would remain uncleared for weeks, and all waste would be strewn around them. So we have taken an initiative to put an end to the practice of dumping waste in the bins,” says Gaurav Agarwal, Treasurer, RWA of The Palms. The Association first spread awareness among the people about the benefits of segregating waste, as only kitchen waste can be dumped in the machine. Then, it urged residents to directly dump waste in the machine. Today the condominium produces 30 to 40 kg of organic manure a day. Nidhi, a resident of The Palms, takes pride in the fact that the RWA of her condominium has taken such a unique initiative. Nidhi also informs that their RWA is one of the few Associations in the City to have raised its voice on the EWS Housing scheme. “Our RWA has demanded that houses developed by Unitech for the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS), should be handed over to them. It is a pity that these poor people have paid instalments for their houses, but have not yet got possession. I am glad that, unlike other condominiums, where the priority is given just to the residents, we are raising our voice for the rights of our maids and security guards as well,” she says.

jit kumar

Garden Estate

The Palms

{ Shilpy Arora / FG }


Involvement of Youth

HERWA (Heritage City), is proud that many youngsters are actively involved in most of its activities. Children as young as five years of age conduct awareness campaigns in the Society. Rajesh Sood, Secretary, HERWA says “It is amazing to see that, without our assistance, these children organise awareness campaigns for women’s security, and events on Republic Day. Such events also helps their parents come together, which is our ultimate goal.” HERWA is planning to create a “Youth Wing” in the Association, wherein all the activities will be taken care of by youngsters only. “I would love to be a part of the Association and help to make Heritage City a better place to live in. I think there is a need to also connect people through social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter,” suggests Aaron, a 13-year-old resident of the Heritage City. His father, Ashish, seems to be impressed with the services. “The maintenance crew and security staff appear to be very supportive – smiling all the time, and saying good morning as you walk past,” he says. Another resident, Mintu, feels that the condominium Association merits a distinction, in terms of the maintenance of the roads. “I have been to newly-constructed premium condominiums located at Golf Course Road and Sohna Road. Despite the residents paying an exorbitant amount of money as maintenance charge, one can find pot holes on their roads, and garbage lying in a corner. Our roads, that were made some seven years ago, are still intact. It is due to the integrity and the maintenance drive of Team HERWA,” she says.

Citizen Initiatives

While many people appreciate the work done by their RWAs, there are condos where residents, without the help of any Association, have themselves made a difference. Nirvana Country, in Sector 50, is one of them. It started as a collective of residents who wished to start a bus service from HUDA City Centre Metro Station to Soh-

na Road. Soon it turned into an active residents’ 'movement'. “I think Nirvana has set a model for citizen’s initiatives. Apart from ensuring easy mobility in and around the sector, we responded to the security needs of the area too. When residents were feeling insecure, despite police presence in the area, we initiated night patrolling with the assistance of a private security agency,” says a resident activist. Within a year, the residents have organised several plantation drives, sanitation awareness programmes, medical camps and cleaning drives. “During our plantation drive, we ensured that only Indian medicinal plants are planted in the area – not trees like eucalyptus. Many people are not aware that eucalyptus sucks a lot of ground water. I am glad that, with the support of other likeminded people, we took the right decision. One day our children will thank us for this initiative,” says Shilpa, a resident activist. In another citizen initiative, a resident of Nirvana set up 50 streetlights at a stretch near his house. “Half of the street lights near our villa were dysfunctional. I filed a couple of complaints to the RWA, but it didn’t help. I therefore decided to fix some lights myself. Although a resident is not allowed to do that, I had no choice, as I can’t compromise the safety of my daughter,” says the resident activist. Some residents of Palam Vihar are working on the same lines. The Singh family, that lives in Sector 22, helps fill potholes on the road. “The service lane near our house is ‘constructed’ every two years. It always remains in bad shape, because there are no allotted parkings, and there are many unauthorised encroachments on the road. We have filed several complaints with the authorities, but nothing has been done. I therefore decided to repair the road myself. My wife and nineyear-old son also help me with this,” says Singh. Two hours of voluntary work, on a Sunday morning, with his father and mother, is a huge contribution being made by a nine-year-old member of the Singh family to the Millennium City. u


8-14 March 2013

K id C orner

K is for Karnival


n adventure fiesta for children was organised by Kunskapsskolan Gurgaon (part of a global network of schools in Sweden, US & UK)—titled ‘K-Karnival’—at Leisure Valley. The day-long Karnival was a mix of outdoor fun, entertainment and adventure for the attendees. Activities included adventure sports, pottery making, clay modelling, story-telling and puppet shows. More than 50 children from three NGOs—Eco Lib Foundation, Adaa Welfare Society and Vidya Comfort School—were also invited to participate in the Karnival.

APS Honours G’Parents


randparents Day was celebrated at the Junior wing of American Public School with great enthusiasm, by the students of Montessori I /II and Class II. The Programme began with the Chairman of the School, S.K.Trehan, lighting the lamp. Students of Class II compered the Programme, that included a dance – Ganesh Vandana, followed by a song and dance performance dedicated to grandmothers. Grandparents participated with great zeal in a Bollywood Quiz. The Programme ended with students awarding all the grandparents with a small token of their love and affection.

Ryan’s Book Day


CCA Show & Tell


CA School organised an interesting and informative Programme to exhibit the talent and imagination of the tiny tots - Show and Tell. Besides being entertaining, this Programme proved to be useful to the little ones. The participants—more than 20 students of Classes I and II—came well prepared to explain at length on the items they were carrying. These varied from books, robots and newspapers to the National Flag, wooden toys, miniature home appliances and dolls. The Principal, Nirmal Yadav, appreciated the efforts of the participants. The winners of the Show were: Khushi (IA), Meenal Jain (IA), Manan Singh (IB), Deeba Chawla (IIA) and Tripti Sharma (IIA).

yan International School, Sector 40, celebrated World Book Day with great fervour. The Class I students enacted their favourite book character; while the character of Cinderella was popular with the girls, most of the boys opted for Spiderman. A Library Quest Quiz was organised for students of Class V, wherein the teams were questioned on authors, book characters, novels and encyclopedias. School Head, Peeya Sharma motivated the participants to performance with zeal and enthusiasm.

Nanhe Kadam


ortis Foundation celebrated the Fortis Nanhi Chhaan Day, along with Nanhi Chhaan Foundation (a NGO that is committed to the causes of girl child protection, environment preservation and Inter-faith harmony). The occasion was marked by the planting of trees and the gifting of saplings to patients, neighbouring schools and several RWAs. Harpal Singh, Chairman, Nanhi Chhaan Foundation said, “It is of utmost importance for everyone to contribute to the development of society, and to bring about social change. Nanhi Chhaan Foundation will continue to encourage all sections of society to become proactive partners in this endeavour.”

8-14 March 2013

Kid Corner

11 DPA


8-14 March 2013

K id C orner


Kids Brainticklers

Fill in the grid so that every row, column and coloured box contains ALL the numbers from 1 to 6. Bonus clue: which number should go in the circle: 1 or 4?

Artistic Strokes

R. Kanishk Grade VII A, The Maurya School

Monica Malik, Grade VI A, Swiss Cottage School

Devinder Anjna, Starex International School

8-14 March 2013

C ivic/S ocial


{ Maninder Dabas / FG }

Case-2: An email received by Ajay (name changed) appeared to be genuinely from Maruti Suzuki (MSIL). It said that he had been shortlisted for the post of an engineer at the MSIL plant, offering a salary of upto Rs. 2 lakhs a month. He was told to deposit Rs.8,200 in an SBI account number, and come for the interview with the pay-in slip. The amount was said to be refundable. However, when Ajay went for the interview, he didn’t find anybody at the location. He filed a complaint with the police. The crime cell of Gurgaon Police found that it was a fake mail emanating from abroad. The SBI account number was fake too, and all his money was withdrawn by the fraudsters through ATMs. Later the criminal was traced, by tracking his mobile, and he was arrested. Case-3: A Senior Professor from a top Management Institute received an email, with a job offer from the United Nations. The Professor had earlier worked with the UN, so the email didn’t surprise him; and the documents carried the UN logo. An amount close to Rs. 2 lakhs was taken from him, for visa and other processing fees. However, due to a delay, the Professor got suspicious, and approached the Gurgaon Police. The Police discovered that the emails had been sent from Germany, and the account where he deposited the money was in China. A detailed search revealed that this was part of an organised crime committed on some very educated people, across the globe. Case-4: Four people duped candidates of lakhs of rupees, on the pretext of providing them employment with the Indian Farmers Fertilizers Cooperative Limited (IFFCO). They were arrested by the Cyber Crime cell of Gurgaon police. An FIR was lodged on October 5, when several unemployed youth revealed the fake job offer letters at the IFFCO office. We already have the infamous Citibank case (of 2010), and the Reebok fraud case (of 2012). A Gurgaonite, by definition, seems to be a person with extraordinary dreams and aspirations. Today the wants of the people have gone very high. This City is also beginning to nurture ‘white collar’ fraudsters, who believe that hard work is not the only way to become rich. Be it property related frauds, cyber frauds or job frauds, Gurgaon is seeing an increase in frauds that are related to false documents/forgeries – in paper or electronic form. Gurgaon has witnessed a 35 per cent increase in fraud cases – and these are only the cases that are being registered at various police stations. Many cases of property fraud don’t get registered, due to cash transactions, or other inadequate paperwork. “Property related frauds are the most common and frequently occurring cases in Gurgaon. We all know how tempting the real estate


Case-1: On 11 January, two cases were filed by the Gurgaon Police against Nirmal Vijay, a resident of Sushant Lok, who had duped two persons of Rs. 1 crore by selling both of them the same plot in Pioneer Park. He also cheated four more people of Rs. 3.3 crores. As per police officials, the accused seems to have used the same strategy to defraud six to eight more people. Several First Investigation Reports (FIRs) have been filed. The accused had been accompanied by Subhash Saini, the owner of Om Sai properties, and two other individuals. On the recommendations of the Economic Offences’ Wing (EOW), the Gurgaon Police has filed a number of cases against all the accused, under Sections 420, 467,468, 471 and 120b of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Beware Your Greed sector in Gurgaon is, and this greed for quick money has caused many problems. People have been robbed by their own relatives. Property dealers too have robbed many of their customers, by selling them land based on false documents. Today there are hundreds of cases registered in police files, where people have lost so much of their life’s hard-worked earnings,” said a big real estate dealer. It’s not just the uneducated people falling prey to these fraudsters; even the modern and highly educated people have become victims of forgery, committed by some very smart people. These frauds happen inside the contours of AC-clad homes and kothis; and most of the times it is a known person who defrauds the victim. “In these cases the victim plays 50 per cent of the role in robbing himself. These cases often happen because of the negligence of the people, and their greed to get things done quickly. It often blinds them from seeing the darker side of the picture. In most of the cases it has been learnt that the victims themselves let their guard down while dealing with these fraudsters. These sort of crimes can best be prevented by the people themselves. Of course the police have established some special wings within the department to deal with such type of crime, and we are committed to nab such criminals,” said Surender Pal Singh, DCP, West, Gurgaon.

Real boom in Estate forgery

With the real estate sector ‘booming’, cities like Gurgaon have become a haven for property fraudsters. In 2012, 205 cases of property fraud have been registered by the police. “Fraudsters try to forge the original documents, or impersonate the registered owner and attempt to acquire the property. Victims of these sort of cases are increasing by the day. Customers get duped by developers, by buying their properties in the ‘pre-launch’ phase. Later, they do not even get the possession of the land or residential apartment. Only after paying a good amount of money do the victims realise that they are being cheated. Developers, on the other hand, enjoy life with the money given by the customers; and since the customer himself has signed the papers and other formalities, he can’t even ask the police for help. This is almost a ‘legal loot’, where the victim can’t even register an FIR against the culprit. Another type of property fraud is done by the small scale dealers. They sell the same chunk of land to many people, by using fake documents; and later, when

the victim finds that he has been looted, it is too late,” said a dealer. Almost 38 cases were registered in the City last year, where the buyers were made to sign an agreement even before the builder had taken possession of the land for development. The buyers are attracted to high pay offs from these schemes. The victims of property fraud allege that the police refuses to even register their cases. Although the City police claim that they have taken serious action against the wrong-doers, the builders have big clout.

Cyber Frauds: the new age mechanism

The Internet has played a vital role in enabling fraud. It’s more or less ‘safe’, and the fraudster doesn’t have to go somewhere in person. “Yes, Cyber Crime is indeed a new phenomenon, and it’s done by welleducated, and even brilliant, people. It’s very tough to nab criminals in this sort of crime, because in most of the cases of such email frauds, the fraudsters usually operate from foreign countries. We have one Cyber Crime Cell which is dedicated to solve the cases of cyber forgery and other sorts of crimes done with the help of the internet,” said Rajesh Phogat, ACP, Crime, Gurgaon. People too have now become aware that most of the mails they get for lottery, or any of the offers which look tempting, are in fact hoax mails and should be avoided. “I had lost a couple of thousands a couple of years back, when I fell prey to one of the mails stating the I have won some lottery in Great Britain. I was to deposit Rs. 20,000 to get the amount that I had ‘won’. I deposited Rs. 2,000 initially, and I was about to deposit the remaining amount the next day when one of my friends made me wary of such traps. While I didn’t deposit the remaining money, I never got back my two thousand rupees. I was lucky to get away with a small amount,” said Ankit Mishra, a software professional working in one of the MNCs in Gurgaon.

Who are being robbed...and by whom?

It’s not the uneducated, unaware individuals from any hinterland who are being robbed here; it’s the well educated people, who have been living here for quite a while. In most of the cases the victims are holding executive positions in their respective fields. So why have they fallen prey to such thugs? Is it just greed? “Gurgaon is a materialistic City, and so are the people – or vice versa. And it’s the greed to get something without much effort that

prompts such things to happen. If you ask any rich guy to give one rupee to any beggar, he won’t give it; but the same individual would give lakhs of rupees to some sender of an unidentified mail promising him that he has won some lottery. The lure of easy money dulls their brains. Let me also tell you that this type of thuggery is not done by strangers. In fact, in most of the cases, job frauds are done by known people – because any individual won’t give his money easily to any stranger. Since a job is a necessity, more people are prone to fall prey to such type of crime. But normally it’s the greed and lure of quick success that is the root cause for fraud,” said Brahamdeep Sindhu, MD, SMO Mental Health and Senior Psychiatrist, General Hospital, Gurgaon. The Police too believe that people who are being robbed need to be more alert, as it’s not their cerebral incompetence that is making them the victim – but their greed to get things done via ‘short cuts’. “Cyber frauds such as thuggery by email is an exception, otherwise all other frauds are done because the victims want to get things done by any means possible. These fraudsters know that the victim has willingly taken a wrong path, and now they can rob him easily. Let’s take a job scam. If a candidate is intelligent and capable enough to hold the position, he doesn’t have any need to pay money to anybody; here the victims themselves are responsible for their loss. And the Police can do very little to prevent such cases,because they happen behind closed walls. Although we have dedicated wings for such type of crime, most of the times they are useful in curing – and not in preventing,” said another senior police officer. “People think that hard work is too tough. This feeling is applicable to both the sides – the culprits as well as the victims. The victims think that the ‘genuine’ way would be more tiring and demanding, and hence they should use a shortcut for success; and similarly these thugs also don’t want to do any hard work to earn their meals. People need to understand that there is no substitute for hard work. I have seen educated people, such as software executives and even bureaucrats, believing in silly things like babas, who they think would double their money. They learn their lesson after losing a substantial amount. These thugs are not ‘godmen’, who can change your fortunes,” added Sindhu. DCP Surender Pal Singh also believes that wayward youngsters need to understand that no matter how glossy the fraudsters’ lives might look, it ends up with them behind bars. Parents too need to keep an eye on their kids, because it has been seen that the silence on their part later ruins their child’s life,” added the DCP. u

14 { Abhishek Behl / FG }


ith wage negotiations between the workers and management of HeroMoto Corp going nowhere, and the Haryana government not ready to intervene—describing it as an internal matter of the Company—the options are increasingly getting limited for both sides. A number of national trade unions have come into the fray, supporting the demands of the workers for higher wages and facilities. Industry watchers predict a hardening of the workers’ stand. They have now proposed to call a ‘Gurgaon Bandh’, if their demands are not met soon. Earlier this week a group of Hero workers had gone on an indefinite hunger strike, but it was called off after the intervention of trade union leaders. After last year’s industrial unrest, at Maruti, which witnessed unprecedented violence, the workers agitation in HeroMoto Corp is being closely watched by industry and auto-parts suppliers. They would be directly impacted by the outcome of the wage negotiations. The discussions between the two sides began in September last, after the workers’ union gave a notice to the management in August. Nothing worthwhile has come out, despite 60 rounds of talks, says Kanwalpreet Singh, President of HeroMoto Corp Workers Union (HMCWU). “We have demanded a minimum raise of 14 to 15 thousand rupees, so that workers take home at least Rs. 40,000. The cost of living is very high in Gurgaon; there are no residential facilities provided by the Company; no transport is provided either;and health insurance is meagre,” asserts Singh. The management has offered a hike of between Rs. 7,500 to 9,000, which the Union leaders have refused – leading to a stalemate.

{ Anita Jaswal }


ife is short. If there is a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now’. This mantra comes from Jahangir Raza, all of 23 years. While growing up, Jahangir was into all kinds of sports – rugby, football, athletics... It was understood that, following a family tradition and his passion, he would join the Army. But after attending the first class of Muay Thai, he fell in love with the technique, and decided to become a Martial Artist. “I was bullied as a kid, and perhaps it appealed to my sub-conscious that I could fight and defend myself. Once I started Muay Thai and Brazlian Jiu Jitsu, I fell in love with them; the more I practiced, the more determined I was to open my own Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Centre – to empower individuals to become stronger and healthier, and feel more secure,” says Jahangir. His father Maroof Raza, a consultant cum strategic affairs expert for a television channel, and mother Anis, a consultant in education in the United Kingdom, are proud of their son and have always encouraged him. Jahangir’s Mixed Martial Arts Academy is in DLF Phase III. Interestingly named the Warrior’s Cove, Jahangir opened his dream project with his friend and training partner, in November 2012. Whether you’re looking for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) or Muay Thai Kick Boxing classes —to compete professionally, or simply learn martial arts for self defence—this is the place to come. The course includes many fun drills to develop you as an all round combat sport athlete. You will be initiated to sport specific

8-14 March 2013

Belaboured Talks

On March 3 a demonstration was held by the workers, in association with other trade unions, and a memorandum was presented to the Deputy Commissioner. Again, on March 5, leaders and workers of various trade unions met the DC, and presented a memorandum, asking the government to intervene in the matter, so that the negotiations could be concluded peacefully. Industry watchers say that trade union leaders have decided to adopt a wait and watch strategy, as they do not want to give an upper hand to the management – as happened in the case of Maruti. “We have not slowed down production, but will show the strength of the workers’ unity, and force the management to accede to our demands in the coming days,” says a union leader, on the sidelines of the March 5 meeting. The battle lines are hardening, as the workers are getting restless by the day, demanding that if Maruti and Honda can offer a wage hike to workers, then why not Hero. Bhim Rao, General Secretary of HMCWU, says that the meeting with government officials has proved futile; and though the labour department has asked them not to go on strike, there will be no options left if the management de-

cision does not come soon. “We have support from the trade unions and workers across the industrial belt,” he says. The HMCWU in Gurgaon represents the 1,100 permanent workers in the factory, and also claims to be fighting for the rights of over 3,500 contract workers, who are not affiliated with it. Meanwhile, Kuldeep Janghu, a senior trade union leader, opined that the difference between the demands of the workers and management is too wide. “The management needs to understand that the demands made by the workers have to be fulfilled in three years, during which the cost of living will rise further. The wage offers made by competitors and others companies in the region also needs to be taken into account,” he asserts. Anil Rao, of the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), says that all options of settlement are being looked into, as no one wants the work to be affected in the plants. The government and labour department are yet unwilling to intervene in the matter. Trade union watchers say that a similar stand adopted by the authorities had led to the worsening of the situation at Maruti – which ultimately led to the unfortunate death of a senior HR official of the Company. “Any rise in salary which is beyond ‘normal’, could prove to be detrimental to the entire industrial belt,” says an auto company official. Auto companies fear that if the demands of the workers are met, it could hit the manufacturing proposition of the Gurgaon-Manesar belt. The Maruti agitation has already forced many companies to set up operations in

Marshalling His Art warm-ups, and cutting edge conditioning methods – to help develop specific areas of your MMA repertoire. “Muay Thai, which originated in Thailand, is the science of 8 limbs – simply because almost all parts of the body are employed to strike someone during the fight. The fists, elbows, knees and feet are often used as the weapons. It has been around for more than 2,000 years, and is  basically regarded as the oldest variant of martial arts. Brazilian or Gracie Jiu Jitsu was developed in Brazil in the early 1920s by the Gracie family, and is the most advanced fighting and self-defence system in the world. BJJ uses techniques based on intelligence and leverage, giving a smaller and weaker person the potential to defend himself – and wait for the right opportunity to defeat his opponent with a series of submission holds – like chokes and joint locks. You don’t have to be a fighter to train like one; most of our students enjoy training just to get in good shape. We don’t make fighters, we create warriors of life – both inside and outside the gym,” says Jahangir. MMA is widely talked about as the ‘toughest sport in the world’, ‘the ultimate fighting sport’ and ‘the world’s fastest rising sport’. It is called Mixed Martial Arts, because it fuses a mixture of striking and grappling disciplines. Jahangir fervently hopes to help

propel the sport of Mixed Martial Arts into the sporting mainstream. MMA is hopefully approaching a tipping point in this country.

Why Martial Arts?

“After a certain age, you are through playing football, competitive swimming, running and cricket. Not only can you do Martial Arts for a lifetime, but you can continue to

Social other states, in order to de-risk their business; the lack of power and other infrastructure is also hurting the industry as a whole. Apart from large companies, there are hundreds of small and medium original equipment suppliers and ancillaries in this auto-belt, that form the backbone of this industry in the region. They are afraid that they will not be able to match the hike already given by large companies like Maruti, Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India (HMSI); and if Hero agrees to the demands, it would make life very difficult for them. Auto industry executives say that issues like wage disputes, aggressive trade unions and lack of government intervention led to industry exiting from Faridabad, and warn that the same could happen here. The trade union leaders in unison say that the wage hike should be linked to productivity, and timely incentives should be paid. “There is a massive difference between the salaries of management executives and the wages of workers on the shop floor. An average worker gets Rs. 30,000, compared to an executive/ manager getting in lakh – and this rift is widening. Why can’t the companies share profits more equally with the workers?” asserts Kuldeep Janghu. The tension between the industry and the workers is spreading, says Anil Yadav, General Secretary of the Carrier Workers Union. “We have come here to support the Hero workers. Even we are not getting incentives, despite negotiations going on for months,” says Yadav. With both workers and managements hardening their respective stands, industry watchers say that the government, instead of shirking its responsibility, should play a positive role in the resolution of labour disputes. A State official says that they are keeping a close watch on the entire issue, and efforts are on to get this matter resolved soon.u learn new techniques and skills lifelong, and improve as you grow older. You can teach and inspire others. You can stay strong for a lifetime. You get a full body workout every time you do a Martial Arts workout. It keeps you strong, flexible, fit and vibrant – both mentally and physically.  Above all, you stop living in fear of being beaten up by bullies, or attacked in the streets. You will have the confidence that comes from practice and preparation – to know that you can defend yourself, your family and your friends. Having the confidence to go though day to day activities with comfort and ease makes you better in every sphere of life: business, relationships or lifestyle. Jit kumar I believe that everyone has an inner strength, and an inner martial artist inside them, I have found my own. When you start tapping into that fearless part within you, in a controlled way, you might be surprised to find just how powerful you really are.”

So how does he feel about being a Martial Artist at such a young age?

“I am, and will always be, a student of the Martial Arts. I learn something new everyday. I believe my journey within Martial Arts has just begun, and the most exciting part about this journey is that it is an endless one. The Arts teach us that with the right technique implemented intelligently, anything can be overcome. Transcending this mindset to one’s everyday life is the most important challenge. u

8-14 March 2013


A Mother’s Heart


n the occasion of ‘International Women’s Day’, I salute all the maids who have taken care of our families as their own, and often showered more love than our own relatives.So here is a soul-stirring personal experience for me to tell you all through an article. There are various side effects of being a mother, and one of them is a constant nagging that the world has gone ahead of us, while we are trapped in the rut of changing diapers forever. There is always (a feeling) a helplessness, that we are missing out a piece of the outside world. So when my baby was about nine months old, I started glancing at part-time job advertisements for evening assignments, to end my day with the contentment that I was hungry for. Then came the question of leaving the baby with a loving and caring maid. I tried hard to find one but could not find any fulfilling my aspirations. Thus finally I had to pin my hopes on my domestic maid, who was looking after the other chores till then. Over time I had realized that she had tender feelings for the baby, as she often would take care of my little one when I had some urgent work. There was only one ‘problem’. She had told me that she didn’t have any child of her own; so I was apprehensive as well as doubtful of her capabilities as a child caretaker.

She had been sometimes coming to our home with a one and a half year old child, whom she called her neighbour’s son. Once I jokingly said, “he resembles you a lot and looks like your own child.” She laughed it off, and answered in the same spirit “you can consider him my own only”. Though I had my doubts, her pure love for children encouraged me to ask her if she could take care of my child for a few hours. She forced a smile and said, “I will tell you later”. I thought that she was doubtful of her own capabilities. After some days she came late, wrapping a shawl around her on a cold winter evening. I thought she had again stealthily brought me some fresh greens from the vegetable farm near her house. She had earlier brought them especially

Transient Beauty { Dr. Rajesh Bhola }


he Scriptures aptly say, “People’s beauty is like a flower in the field. It blossoms, then slowly withers and fades away.” Like a passing shadow, that soon grows weaker as we age... and then disappears. Transience is the law of nature. Beauty withers away with time so fast Soon everything so silently becomes past From glow to wrinkles, impact of time is cast All is transient in His universe so vast Finally so calmly we resign our breath at last. This joy and beauty of life,alas, must end. Keats, the noted Romantic poet, writes: “Joy whose hand is ever at his lips/ Bidding adieu” It is from this transience that melancholy, so very typical of his poems, originates: melancholy, he says, “Dwells with beauty / beauty that must die”. This earth is replete with many beautiful living beings, though woman is regarded by all the creative writers, artists, sculptors and painters as the most perfect type of beauty on earth. Nature created her form as an exquisite piece of perfection. The earth gives us no form more perfect, no contours more symmetrical, no style more chaste, no movements more graceful, and no finish more complete. This form is most perfect and symmetrical in the days of youth– but that outer beauty is short lived. Just like love that has nothing but external beauty to sustain it, soon withers away. Beyond that form of outer beauty is the beauty of the soul and character – which outlives a pretty face. That true beauty has substance, and a spirit. It is the beauty of expression. It wreathes

the countenance of every doer of good; it adorns every honest face; it shines in a virtuous life; it moulds the hands of charity; it sweetens the voice of sympathy; it sparkles on the brow of wisdom; it flashes in the eye of love; it breathes in the spirit of piety. This is the capacity of beauty that God has given to the human soul, and this is the beauty that is placed within the reach of all – so that we may all be beautiful. Though our forms may not be comely, and our features not the prettiest, our spirits may be beautiful. And this inward beauty always shines through. A beautiful heart will flash in the eye; a lovely soul will glow in the face; a sweet spirit will tune the voice, and wreathe the countenance in charm. The beauty inside has the power to melt the hardest heart. The world focuses on what people look like on the outside; God focuses on what people look like on the inside. Do you put more time and effort on being pretty on the outside, or the inside? While there

The Women In Your Life

for me as a lactating mother. I liked her concern. This time she was carrying a new ‘package; a dusky pale face peeped out of the cloth that was wrapped in her shawl. I recognized that he was the same child who was squeaking and running around like a mouse in the house the other day. “What has happened to him”?, I said startled. She told me that he was ill, and his mother had gone to the market. As there was nobody to tend to the poor child, she had carried him along to work. I fumed at the mother, and warned my maid not be so lenient with her. She smiled as usual, and went ahead with all her chores, carrying the ailing baby on her back. After a while I interrupted her and asked her to go back early that day. As she turned to leave I could not resist my inner suspicions any longer, and blurted out, “Don’t lie Durga, isn’t he your own child”? She smiled again, though this time she couldn’t hide the grief in her heart; but she was quick to regain composure, and replied, “Yes, he is my child. Maybe God has not given me my own child, so that I can be a mother to many more who need me.” I was dumbstruck. I had least expected such a wise answer from her. Finally I had got my sought-after maid in Durga – the universal mother. u Mridula S. Deol

may be nothing wrong with wanting to look pretty, we need to make sure that there is a balance. God would rather see us work on becoming drop-dead gorgeous on the inside! Many people are truly beautiful for the love and the positive difference they make in the lives of the people they meet. These inner beauties are a blessing to the people around them. Loving parents are beautiful for all the blessings and love they shower on their children. But so is a person guiding a blind man across a busy street; a young man giving up his seat for an elderly woman; an aunt bringing her niece for a medical appointment. When we see someone helping others, that person—who may 'look average’— becomes more beautiful in our eyes. God has created us humans, but delegated the task of our inner grooming to ourselves. We may have no control on how we look, or the transience of human life, but we surely can take good care of what we have inside. Let us start grooming our inner self. Let us spend time reflecting, praying and learning how to be better people. 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 20 years.

I am Brahmasi... I am Brahmasi said she And the feudal lords, The temporal gods Confined her. And redefined her As a helpless, self-less Weak entity, with no identity. A slave, a knave, To please and serve the Male, A fool she never went to school. Till some time ago She was rid & bid for A dowry: Dahej. A death of her innocent age How dare she desire Or aspire? She was meant to serve everyone Kill the maan


However, the Laws of Karma Reign supreme. What you sow you redeem. And so this ‘stree’ Raised to the ground, Has emerged a mighty tree From the land of the Sati & Savitris The land of ‘Swayamvaras’. She now looks for Her Shiva & her Ishavara – Whom she can revere & Who reveres her. Return the Golden Era. Shobha Lidder Writer journalist, Teacher Trainer, social activist, Reiki Master, Pranic Healer

{ Archana Kapoor Nagpal } She carries you in her womb, Not for a day or a week – but for all nine months, She gives you her blood and flesh, And brings you in this beautiful world. She feeds you from day one, You are now her only passion, She experiences sleepless nights, Just to give you all the comforts. She holds your little finger, Teach you to walk, She is your first listener, When you can hardly talk. From your clothes to your shoes, She lives to serve you, At times even forgets to comb her hair, Keeps your breakfast ready - even before you wake up. She fulfills your all desires, Compromising her own dreams, She finds her contentment in your smile, And forgets - she also needs to rest for a while. Her life revolves around you, She cannot think beyond you, She is your mother, The first woman in your life. As years pass by, You meet another at some point in life, You fall in love with her, You want her to be your wife. She leaves her family for you, She accepts your family for you, Forgets her identity and embraces the reality, Just for your love and pure serenity. She forgives all your false deeds, She surrenders her all needs, She weaves a blanket of compassion, All she wants is a bit of attention. When she fails to answer a query, And you forget her contribution to your life, All you remember to tell her, Is ‘You are just a housewife’. Still she carries a big smile, Next day makes your favourite apple pie, You are too busy to even glance at her, But she gives you the best gift of life. She brings your child in this world, To make you a proud father in your life, And to silently tell you, ‘I am not just a housewife’. And then your wife is your child’s mother, Now you realise her worth, You learn to respect her as a housewife, The second woman in your life! Internationally published author of ‘14 Pearls of Inspiration’ and the ‘12 Facets of a Crystal’


8-14 March 2013


2013 Made Unlucky


he UPA, and the Finance Minister in particular (despite presenting his 8th Budget), may well rue the opportunity missed in Budget 2013. Actually, it is more than that; it may well ensure that 2013-14 turns out worse than 2012-13 – something that even a pessimist would not have thought of even a little while ago.


Letter To The Editor


have been getting FG for the last two months only and I find it so informative and useful that I eagerly wait for Friday to get my copy. Really you deserve congratulations for collection and publication of such a rich material. I have some suggestions to put forth, as under, for your consideration: 1. You will agree that media plays a very significant role in developing the thoughts pattern of the society. It is seen that generally the newspapers give negative news, like robbery, accidents, rape cases, etc. on the cover page, which spreads negative thinking in the society. However, FG is maintaining not to adopt this practice. In my opinion, the newspapers should give top priority to creative/constructive news and publish the same on cover page, so as to spread positive vibrations in the society. Hope, FG continues to play an important role in making the society. 2. One more thing I would like to suggest is that good newspapers also take up some important projects for the development of the society, as TOI has been doing from time to time. I suggest that FG may take up the responsibility of encouraging and helping the NGOs in Gurgaon, by collecting and publishing full details about their activities and contact particulars; organising seminars or common meetings of NGOs and do whatever best can be done in the interest of NGOs as well as the society. This will help in eradicating the evils and in growth of good deeds in the society. In this effort, I am available to help you wherever required. Please consider and advise. 3. You may also like to give some more space to articles on ‘Body, Mind and Soul’, which is very valuable in making the society. R.K. Aggarwal Yogacharya and Social Worker

are we not chasing NRI money even more aggressively? Why do we not prefer to give golden and platinum offers to them, when we desperately need their dollars? Why continue to give sops to the Housing/Real Estate sector, when it is the one sector that is doing very well in these speculative times? What is more needed is a check on speculation, through a Regulatory Bill/Land Compensation Bill. It is also the perfect sector to milk for revenues today. Instead of introducing a 1% withholding tax where transaction value exceeds Rs 50 lakhs, the tax could have been 2% - or even more. Why was the clarion call for investment, that was the need of the hour, just wrapped around a simple 15% investment allowance/deduction for Rs 100 crores + projects? Where is the follow up to the FDI in Retail – a bold decision that could have even brought down the govt.? Why could we not give a Farm to Retail AgroIndustrial investment fillip, in the form of even bolder allowances/deductions and tax benefits to anyone involved in this entire chain - like for infrastructure. It would also bring in the much-needed forex (and FDI funds, rather than FII). It is even a perfect ‘political’ rural cum urban, Bharat cum India, program. Thankfully excise duties were not reduced, in the hope of stimulating demand and growth. It would have mainly stimulated private sector profit.

The focus has been so much on avoiding a ratings agency downgrade (or even ambitiously expecting an upgrade); and yet no tough decisions have been taken. Instead, an ad hoc clampdown on plan expenditure has been resorted to in the last few months, to rein in the Fiscal Deficit. The High Command subsidies have just not been touched (despite MNREGA being acknowledged as very leaky); instead, a new one has been added. So much for priorities of Party versus Country. The ratings agencies would encourage any action that reduces the Fiscal Deficit; however, this sleight of hand should fool no one. The UPA would hope that the ‘election’ programs can be funded by one time ‘other income’ from disinvestments; and if that fails, then again plan expenditures would be sacrificed. After all, how would it really matter, since the objective for the next year or so is to win an election – not run an economy? The FM has long forgotten his role and promise of monitoring outcomes, versus just outlays. It’s also not kosher to grandstand high percentage increases in ‘election’ Going forward, the outlays, by first choking off eagerly anticipated interest GDP Growth current year spends. It’s rate cuts will not cut much (going south) normally called ‘fudging’. ice either. They will not 2011-12 2012-13 stimulate investment and The impact will be on Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 growth. Even a 2% rate cut investment and growth – will now be just too little, 7.5% 6.5% 6% 5.3% 5.5% 5.3% 4.5% ? and on jobs. too late. We should also GDP growth has literally remember that the inflation If the BJP/NDA cannot get its act together even now, it collapsed in the last 2 years monster is far from dead. should Rest In Peace. Though MNREGA has been manna – from 7.5% in Q1 (2011-12) to for rural India, that very Bharat is still susceptible to caste, 4.5% in Q3 (2012-13), falling Where are the jobs, tribe and religious influence while voting. In contrast, urban especially for the youth, sequentially virtually every India, especially the middle and lower middle class, all quarter. Even a low base is going to come from? across the country, has been hurting economically for a now not good enough to see Agriculture is diminishing, few years now. And this Budget has really done nothing an upturn ! industry is not motivated for them. They are reeling under inflation and high costs, Meanwhile, the more enough to invest, and many made worse by regular fuel hikes now. They are clearly sinister, the Current services are impacted by upset and angry with the current set up; they are also a Account Deficit, is spinning the on-going poor global out of control. Excess conditions (and services very potent voter base. FII money, which we are not great job generators abhorred till a few years anyway). The only ago, is therefore being given a red carpet welcome; it’s consistent job/wage givers currently are the construction a different matter that some FIIs sold off immediately industry, and MNREGA – that too mainly for an after the Budget. With the India growth story expected unskilled/semi-skilled workforce. If the govt. was serious to seriously be in question by the year-end, FII flows will on a manufacturing revolution, and jobs thereof, it would anyway start drying up. Exports have not stemmed, and have, on priority, made the labour laws and factory will not stem, the rot. The oil import bill could skyrocket, acts more flexible – isn’t that a major learning from the if Iran goes out of hand. The Rupee could fall further. services sector? How long can new real estate projects Gold will still be considered a safe option. be taken up, without new demand from new jobs? How Amidst all this, food prices are not going to come much holding capacity is there with real estate majors down. Fuel prices, and freight charges, are increasing. and speculators, since end-user demand has anyway The urban middle and lower middle class will probably come down in the last few years. In fact low commercial be ready for a revolt sometime later this year. A poor demand could be setting off alarms sometime this year monsoon will just hasten it; a good monsoon will delay itself. What would happen if, along with low economic the inevitable by a few months. growth, we also saw a real estate crash? The stock market is anyway going to stagnate for quite some time - despite Even within this Budget, there could have been better a few weekly ups every now and then. balancing, and at least a big push - a big idea for investment: In summary, despite the FM’s primary belief If the super-rich were to be taxed more, as a ‘popular’ that growth is the highest goal, he has done nothing move, surely the minimum taxable value – at the other worthwhile to stimulate or excite investment. The end - could have been increased to Rs 5 lakhs. The urban economy is now moving in an L format (at the corner) low wage/salary workers and officers are crying for help, - hoping to become a U. 2013-14 growth will probably be after 3 years of the worst inflation – impacting their food, less than 5% (versus 6% plus planned). The fiscal deficit will therefore, in all likelihood, increase (rather than health, fuel and education bills. decrease as per plan), unless plan expenditure is cut even Why was there also no mention of the ‘White Paper more than this year and/or the disinvestment target is on Black Money’, especially when faced with a huge substantially over-achieved – or the FM partakes of some Fiscal Deficit? And if an amnesty scheme, with a veiled ‘fudging’. None of the choices augurs well for the new warning, could be proposed for service tax, why not for FM – or, more importantly, for the Country. UPA II has income tax? If we can pursue FIIs and promise them the moon, why ensured that 2013 will be an unlucky year. u

8-14 March 2013

Wellness 17

Health & Vitality... Naturally!

Food Combos

{ Jaspal Bajwa }


e are what we eat. However, not everything we eat is efficiently converted into ‘energy’, or longer term ‘health’. In the best case, a lot of the food we eat is wasted due to sub-optimal digestion. It gets worse, if we continue to pander to the seductive addiction of (over)eating and indulging in ‘multi-course’ meals; ageing inevitably gets accelerated, paving the way for chronic lifestyle diseases. If we were smarter, we would have the wherewithal to extract the maximum benefit from every grain we eat … importantly, with the least digestive effort. This is what the age-old wisdom of ‘More for Less’ is all about. In this context it is worth examining which foods go best with which others. Can synergies be exploited? Conversely, which pairings are a strict ‘no-no’? The term ‘Food Combining’, centres around the belief that eating inappropriate combinations of certain foods can wreak havoc on our digestion and our overall health. Foods that require different digestive environments should be eaten separately. This has stirred up a virtual hornet’s nest. The world of nutrition experts stands evenly divided between those that swear by ‘Food Combining’, and others who consider it to be a fad. The first thing to establish is that the art of 'Food Combining' dates back thousands of years. According to Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and other alternative medicine systems, the selection of food must maximise the "digestive fire", as the process of digesting each meal takes a great deal of energy. All foods are classified as ‘hot’ and ‘cool’ – in deference to the energy-fields generated and the effect on our mind and body after eating them.The litmus test is that foods that agree with us should make us ‘feel energetic and well’ (i.e. the ‘day after effect’). If we examine the cultural eating practices around the world, the healthiest communities do not eat anything at anytime they feel. They seem to respect the notion that combining the wrong foods can impair digestion, and make the body systems unbalanced. Recent Food Combining theories have added knowledge about ‘transit times’ (the amount of time a food takes to travel through the gut), and the ‘acidic’ vs. ‘alkaline’ aspect of foods. The key recommendations can be summarised as: n  Fruits are best eaten on their own – at least one hour before, and several hours after, a meal. n  Proteins and starchy carbohydrates should not be had in the same meal, as they require different enzymes. As a corollary, animal protein should ideally be had on its own, or with non-starchy vegetables – as it stays in the stomach’s acid environment for up to 3 hours. This can overly ferment starchy carbs (potatoe, yam, butternut squash, lima beans, peas, corn) or refined carbohydrates (white bread or pasta).

n  Ice cold water or beverages should be avoided during meals.

If we cut through to the heart of the matter, it is clear that meals need to be balanced according to our individual needs. ‘Chemical’ balance is important; however, even more critical is the ‘bio-chemical’ balance. Everything is a function of our lifestyle, the specific environment we live in, and our attitude towards food (and life in general). Our bodies are flexible. By design, the digestive tract varies the acidic vs. alkaline environment, in different sections of the gut. However, we must maintain a positive attitude. Our thoughts and feelings trigger all the hormonal and enzymatic reactions in the body. This in turn impacts the quality and composition of the micro-flora in our gut – our ‘inner ecosystem’ – which is the true powerhouse of our digestive capacity. When in its prime, our digestive system can handle every kind of food. However,over time–with increasing reliance on antibiotics, overly refined and processed foods, and a lifestyle of constant stress–our inner ecosystem gets damaged. This can lead to fatigue, poor health and a digestive tract that functions inefficiently. Proper Food Combining can certainly assist in our digestive tract not having to work as hard. To achieve this, each meal needs to be well-planned - not a mindless ‘feast of multiple indulgences’. Most importantly, the food we choose to eat must be in sync with our chosen lifestyle, and must respect the cardinal rule: to ‘eat 80 per cent of our stomach's capacity’.

Tip of the week

As far as possible, all refined Never follow a high-protein meal with any kind of sugary dessert. This can lead to allergic reactions, as well as the formation of toxins in the intestines – which can stress the liver and the immune system.

Nature’s Wonder Food(s) of the week: Non-starchy Vegetables

Full of vitamins, minerals, fibre and phytochemicals–and with so few calories and carbohydrate – non-starchy vegetables can be combined with all foods. Non-starchy green leafy vegetables are not only appetizing, but are especially nutritious. Examples are lettuce, spinach, kale, chard, brussels sprouts, cabbage, collard, mustard, turnip and watercress. Some other examples of non-starchy vegetables are – asparagus, amaranth, shoots, bean sprouts, beets, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chives, cucumber, eggplant, endive, escarole, garlic, mushrooms, okra, onion, peppers, radish, rhubarb and scallions.u Registered Holistic Nutritionist (Canadian School of Natural Nutrition) For education purposes only; always consult a healthcare practitioner for medical conditions

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8-14 March 2013

4U 4


Su-Hand Jok-Feet Therapy { Bhavana Sharma }


o you know that your body can cure itself – you only need to push the right buttons? Everybody should know and use an effective system of self-cure, so that in times of difficulty one is able to take care of oneself. Su Jok Therapy was discovered by a Korean scientist, Prof. Jae Woo Park. Park discovered that the whole body system could be represented by the hands and the feet. In Korean, Su means “Hand,” and Jok means “Feet”. He used this knowledge to construct this Therapy, and emphasised that the hands and the feet, that are endowed with sensitive points, co-relate to the entire body – and can be used to cure various diseases.


This modality makes use of the innumerable controlling pressure points on our hands, which are to be tapped to release the energy within. The thumb correlates with the head, the forefinger and little finger with the arms, the third and fourth fingers with the foot, and the palm corresponds to the trunk. By finding the “pressure-pain” points on the hand and foot, that correspond to the parts that pain in the body, it is possible to stimulate these points of correspondence, using a variety of techniques, to cure the pain or health problem in question. Since the hand represents the Yang energy, and the foot the Yin, using the hand and foot makes it possible to heal with Yin and Yang in harmony. We have four clinics on our bodies—2 hands and 2 feet—that can help to cure over 90 per cent of our health problems; and if we understand their topography, we can use them well. Thus this co-relative and correspondence method opens new understandings to cater and care for human health in general, as well as to prevent and cure specific diseases.


As the precise points on the hands or the feet are stimulated, the diseased energy is released; it improves blood circulation, and the effected body part is rejuvenated. The person gets immediate

relief from all symptoms of pain. The various tools used for healing through Su Jok are: small microneedles, natural seeds, grains, natural stones, artificial stimulators—such as metal and magnet stars of various shapes that have been specially designed—rubber bands for haemorrhaging, and ball bearings or Tsu balls. Moxa (heat treatment) can also be used for weakened patients, as well as light impulse devices, solar therapy, or simple plant twigs or other parts of a plant. There are also numerous combinations that can be taught to the patient, to perform as part of a home treatment programme. Why should we use this Modality n  Unlike acupressure, Su Jok can be practiced by anyone, and it takes hardly half an hour to learn n  Removes energy blockages and adjusts the energy flow of the endocrine system, bringing the body into balance and harmony. n Highly effective and preventive method of healing n  Simple and affordable n  No side effects n  Useful at both the physical and emotional level n  Relief for many ailments – chronic and acute disorders n  Truly natural system of healing n  Creates deep relaxation, and aids the body to release stress and tension n  Accelerates the body’s self-healing abilities n  Aids better sleep n  Reduces blood pressure n  Can help with acute (injuries) and chronic problems (asthma, eczema, headaches, etc.), and aid in the breaking of addictions n  Helps relieve pain. u Author, Tarot Reader

Bon Vivant 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. I am a 15 year old girl with shoulder length straight hair. Lately, I

have been experiencing hair fall in excess. Please help! SH Some of the reasons for hair loss are dandruff, oily scalp, stress, thyroid imbalance, illness, nutritional deficiencies, hair damage due to use of chemical lotions, etc. So, you can try to identify the cause in your case. Apply herbal hair tonic, like Shatone, on the scalp daily, using cotton wool and leave on. It is non-oily. Avoid massage. Part the hair in sections and apply on the scalp. Apply pure coconut oil or olive oil once a week the night before shampoo. Avoid head massage. If there is hair loss, the roots are already weak and massage may aggravate the problem. The diet is very important. Have a small bowl of sprouts daily and include fresh fruits, salads, leafy green vegetables, soyabean, curd, in your diet. You can also have scalp treatments at a skin / hair care salon.

WINNER Niyati Sriram

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

A Visual Treat For Art Connoisseurs


unar Showcasing Art, a leading Gallery, is holding a two day Art Exhibition – March 16 -17 at Epicentre, Gurgaon. The Exhibition will showcase a collection of over thousand artworks from different artists— known and upcoming—across India. Open to visitors from 11 am to 8 pm, the Exhibition will provide art aficionados a rare opportunity to appreciate and buy affordable Art (most art pieces are priced around Rs. 1000). The Exhibition will feature a mix of art practice, that draws on the free flow of ideas. On display will be different colours of the Indian society – ranging from folk dancers to landscapes, to portraits on the cultural heritage of Indian Art. The paintings—in water color, oil, pastel and acrylic—display stunning colour schemes and patterns. The artists have painted on the canvases, keeping in mind the vividness and diversity of the Indian society, and have created both illusionary and real pieces of work – with common use of visual references to the images that work enigmatically around us. The collection would include paintings by Aziz Ullaha Tonki, Sanjay Soni, Dalip Chandolia, Dandgarhal, Hamdard, Amrendra Maharana, Sushant Panda, Parshant Anasane,

affordable price.”

Shishir, Jyoti Kalra, Shiffali Wadhawan, Rajesh Borse, and several other artists. According to Nidhi Gupta, Director of Hunar Showcasing Art, “We are engaged in promoting new and upcoming artists, and fetching their work of Art at a right price. This Exhibition brings forward Art that is different, fresh, and affordable and which every viewer can relate to. It will provide a platform to upcoming artists to display their work, and provide a are opportunity for the buyer to buy classy paintings at an

About Hunar Showcasing Art

The Gallery was established in the year 2006 at Delhi, and is one of the leading traders engaged in promoting new and upcoming artists. It has a team of highly-skilled professionals which include designers, painters, packaging experts and researchers. Each professional has a profound knowledge of art and painting, and they guide the Gallery in sourcing the right painting from the right place. The Gallery also provides customised solutions to the clients’ regarding art interiors. u

8-14 March 2013

Art 19

Negotiating Sculptural Spaces

Copper Wire Man, Dhananjay


he importance of Sculptural Art in the Indian gallery-circuit is often overlooked, in an overwhelming emphasis on painterly works. India bears an extremely complex and rich sculptural tradition. Our historic temple and cave-sculptures at Konarak, Ajanta, Ellora, Elephanta and Khajurajo, as well as those of the sublime neo-Classical Gandhara and Nalanda period, rank amongst the world’s finest wonders. Equally inspiring are   the ‘social’ Terracotta Bas-relief facades found in Bengal’s maritime temples, the rivetting ancient  Dhokra Tribal bell-metal Folk-sculptures of our most primordial villages, and the vast panorama of iconic religious sculptures spanning the length and breadth of India.  Such formidable sculptural stylistics have now evolved commendably into India’s current contemporary sculptural modes. Historically speaking, sophisticated examples of Indian sculpture served to document both our religious as well as our secular history, capturing

Bronze Sculpture Gagan Vij

Indian cosmic iconography as well as portraits of everyday life, stylised erotica and fragments of a colonised past. In a current context, the deep essence of Indian urbane-ness has been dramatically portrayed by masterful sculptors from the early 20th C. onwards --- from Debiprosad and Meera Mukherji to Seema Kohli, Radhakrishnan and Srinivas Reddy. Art Pilgrim Gallery has organised an extensive sculpture-collection, which will be on display in a succession of important shows, beginning this March. The Gallery director Geeta Singh, who is particularly enamoured of Indian Contemporary Sculpture, has been collecting a fine body of works over several decades. Many larger sculptures remain in her private collection, in the expansive spaces of her farmhouse. At her Sushant Lok Gallery, the current Exhibition, Negotiating Spaces, offers a striking array of over two dozen Figurative and Abstract sculptures in varied media – including Bronze, Fibreglass, Marble, Iron weldings, Copper wire, Wood and Stone. In an accesible size-range, from 9 inches to four feet in dimension, the aim is to showcase sculptures that can be easily livedwith inside urban spaces. The gamut of India’s current sculptural talent is Tagore, Biman Das

Fibreglass, Venkat Bothsam

Fibreglass with Light, Sisir Sahana

The News, Bronze, Arun Pandit

Bronze Sadhana, Khattri

Bronze, Ankit Patel

Reading Iron Nuts, Varsha Athor Ankit Sculptures

{ Srimati Lal }

African Mask With Buddha-Bindu, Srinivas Reddy

finely-represented in this well-selected Group-collection that is on view until 9 March. This is to be followed by a major Solo Sculptural Retrospective, by the leading sculptor K.S. Radhakrishnan. To celebrate Women’s Day, I would like to begin by citing the marvellously-evolved sculptures of five gifted Indian Women-sculptors, who are well-represented in this Show: Varsha Athor, Seema Kohli, Sheela Chamaria, Suneetha K. and Dimpy Menon. Varsha has developed a quirky style of her own, that utilises welded iron nuts to create intricate figurations of a unique whimsicality. She also works in Fibreglass, Wood and Marble, in which media her forms are often of a Totemic, Minimalist nature. In the Exhibition under review, Varsha’s Reading Figure and  Woman in Repose,  both wondrously-crafted from hundreds of welded metal nuts, stand out in their contemporaneity and intriguing presence. Seema Kohli’s Bronze sculptural works, in a more Classical format, are beautifully lyrical and meditative, evoking secular goddesses surrounded by symbolic lotuses. Seema’s skill lies in traditional figuration, which she renders with intrinsic grace, and a prototypical Indian Lasya. Seema is a painter as well as a sculptor, expressing lyricism and meditative energy in both visual categories.  As a contrast, Suneetha K.’s   Modernistic Ganeshas, in Fibreglass, skilfully stretch the language of Indian religious Iconography. Sheela Chamaria’s Bronze Lovers evokes the sombre Abstract Modernism of Auguste Rodin. Sheela, who studied at Delhi’s Triveni Kala San-

Bronze sculpture, Seema Kohli

Sculptures, Dimpy Menon

Bronze Lovers, Sheela Chamariya

gam, has contributed her sculptures to the Ranbaxy Collection and Jindal Group.   A more playful sculptural idiom is seen in the Bangalore-based Dimpy Menon’s simple acrobatic figurations, which manage to achieve a remarkable poise – emanating fluid urban and folksy energies. Along similar lines are the swirling, skilfully-honed Bronze dancing figurines  of Gagan Vij, Appalaraju and Ankit Patel, exemplifying a modern mastery of Bronze.   Appalaraju’s Fibreglass evocations of Minimalist figure-clusters, set within symbolic ‘wheels’, belong to this same  genre.  Minimallyhoned to linear proportions of graphic intensity, Gagan’s ebullient clusters of energetic ‘stickfigures,’ immortalised in Mudras of eternal play, convey a more heightened poetry. Ankit’s comparatively ‘grounded’   beings, playing with bicycle-wheels and balls, convey a charming spiritedness.  Arun Pandit’s unusual standing figures, often caught in the midst of reading daily newspapers, contain the quaint metaphysics of the Indian urban secular experience. This is further explored in Venkat Bothsa’s funky, ‘happening’ and skilfully-distorted Fibreglass ‘Surrealist’ forms, that are playfully overpainted with Car-Paint and Enamels. These quirky, ‘Op’ embodiments of Time,  are among the Show’s more cutting-edge works.  Raj Kumar Panwar’s imposing black marble Heads, Atul Sinha’s primordiallysimplistic wooden figures, Pramod Mann’s Rodinesque Bronze seated figures, and Sisir Sahana’s magically-lit  Fi-

breglass Icons, all combine the secular and the iconic to striking sculptural effect. Sahana’s use of electric lights, lit within his mystical, semi-totemic Fibreglass ‘deities’,  bears beautifully-soothing cadences.  The more ‘religious’ Indian sculptural idiom continues to express itself modernistically through such sculptors as Devidass Khattri and Sukhdev Singh. Devidass presents an unusual Bronze BuddhaSadhana,  with a green patina that incorporates ancient Tantric renditions of the Buddha in Nirvana. Sukhdev’s stylised Ganesha in white stone ‘modernises’ the ancient icon with fluency.   In a similar ‘iconic’ vein, but crafted in a traditional mode, is  senior Art Professor and Artist  Biman Das’   classical Bronze  Bust of Tagore.  Among the most rivetting works are undoubtedly the edgy, radical Copper-BronzeWire and Fibreglass Heads  by Dhananjay Singh and Srinivas Reddy. These individualistic, all-seeing Profiles bear a complex mystical ‘gaze’, which stands out in the display.  Srinivas Reddy’s sublime ‘Mask Series’,   of elongated Heads in intense meditation, carved in a neo-African mode --- one of them bearing a lambent saffron ‘Bindu’ depicting the Buddha --- are strikingly evocative. Thus, this  Exhibition indicates that the Human Form remains a vital art-component that cannot be compromised with --- and that the sculptural mastery of this human form is essential to all serious creativity.   From the timeless, ancient secular figurations of Mohenjodaro and Harappa, to Gandhara Buddhas, Kumartuli Durgas and Chola Parvatis, the splendour of human figuration has transfixed art-lovers over the centuries. This same eternal wonder and awe is evoked in these compelling Contemporary Figurative sculptures.  u Artist, Writer, & Curator


8-14 March 2013

B usiness

ITI, Like Industry, In Neglect Jit kumar

{ Maninder Dabas / FG }


espite Gurgaon being a city of white collar executives and professionals, the unskilled and semiskilled workforce still does the lion’s share of the work. Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) were set up to train and supply a semi-skilled workforce. The Principal of this Institute, Ravinder Kumar, commented, “Despite having conventional machines and instruments to impart training to the students, we produce a quality workforce that the industry requires. The success ratio of our students speaks for itself. This Institute is one of the oldest–since 1959–and biggest of its kind in Haryana, and has given many bright semiskilled professionals who have made their name in their respective fields. Currently we impart training to the unskilled and unemployed youth in 22 trades. We have a total strength of around 1200 students here in this co-ed Institute; and we have another ITI for women just next to this campus. This whole campus is built on a mammoth 17.5 acres. Recently we have also started a Centre of Excellence in Auto-mobiles, in which we impart training to bright students on the functioning of diesel and petrol engines, along with other important aspects of automobile manufacturing.” Kumar has also served in the corporate world’s big firms like erstwhile Hero Honda for some time, before joining a government job. ITIs may not be known for having students with great cerebral capability, yet they possess the capability to train and convert ‘ordinary’ material into something worthwhile.

why I have joined ITI. My family is not very rich, and can’t afford my ‘normal’ education. Here, after spending two odd years, I would be able to make money for my family. Most probably I will get a job in some company; and even if I don’t get one, I can start my own work,” said Amit Kumar, a student of the Machinist Grinder trade.

‘Old’ Infrastructure

“The academic qualification prescribed varies from Class VIII pass to Class XII pass, depending upon the trade. All seats are reserved for Haryana State domicile candidates. As far as courses are concerned, all major engineering based courses are imparted to the students who have finished their matric; and non-engineering courses like stenography, computer operator etc. are given to Twelfth pass students,” added Kumar. The majority of our students come from lower middle class families. Unfortunately, the parents of most of them can’t afford to fund their children’s education in good schools, which results in the students’ poor academic record; and by the time he or she reaches Matric, the parents decide that ITI is perhaps the best option. Here at least the student can learn professional work, which would make him/her selfdependent within a couple of years. We have exceptions

too; there are some with a bright and sharp mind, and they grasp things very quickly. Some of our old students have now become owners of small firms, and many others are working in big firms like Maruti and Honda on good salaries,” informed Kumar.

The Popular Courses

“I believe all the courses are good as far as employability is concerned; but there are some which are taken up very fast – Draftsman Mechanical, Draftsman Civil, Electrician, Electronic, Mechanical, Machinist, Machinist Grinder, and Fitter,” said Satish Kumar Dahiya, a member of the faculty. Gurgaon ITI has 77 members in its faculty, along with 24 others who function as support staff.

Employment Prospects

The success of an institute depends on the employability of its students. “Of course employment is the most important aspect, and this is the main reason why students from weaker social and financial backgrounds opt for ITI. We organise two job fairs here on the campus. Companies like Ashok Leyland, Maruti, Hero, Sona Koyo, Pearl Global, JBML etc. come here to recruit students for jobs or internship. Most of our students are good, and they get a job here at the campus itself. However, since we have a large number of students, and companies that come here are limited, 100 per

ITIs in Haryana At present Haryana has a total of 131 government ITIs, offering 39,168 seats for various courses or trades. There is also a network of 94 ITIs (private), with 14,416 seats in different trades.

Despite being in the heart of an industrial city, the Gurgaon ITI is old and conventional – not only in terms of the building and other concrete infrastructure, but also in the mechanism of imparting training. “Yes, It’s worrisome, but let me tell you that these machines are necessary to teach the basics to a student. Here we want students to learn from mistakes, and learn the craft of making a tool. Once he attains mastery here on these machines, he can easily prove himself in the outer world. Most of our students won’t get jobs in big companies; they will have to work in ancillaries run by local people. In smaller companies the conventional machines are still very relevant. We give them a basic knowledge of the working of modern machines,” said Ramniwas Yadav, another senior member of the faculty.

PPP: a hope for revamp

cent placement doesn’t happen. Under the Apprenticeship Training Scheme, our students get an opportunity to work in big companies, with today’s modern machines. It provides students with good exposure. More than 50 per cent of our students get absorbed during this internship. Companies give a stipend to our students. As far as the salary for a permanent job is concerned, the average package remains between Rs 6 to 9 thousand per month. We have some exceptional students as well, who get more than Rs. 15,000,” informed Kumar. “We are here to learn the craft of making tools, and this is one of the main reasons

“Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) is perhaps a good way to revamp such institutions, which are extremely important for the supply of workforce to the industry. The State doesn’t run industries anymore. Since private industry is the customer, it is in its interest to partner with such institutions. Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) is associated with us for a long time now. The Centre of Excellence in Automobiles has been made by them on a PPP model. MSIL has deputed a dedicated team, headed by a Deputy General Manager (an engineer himself), to work on the ITI upgradation Project. The team works in close co-ordination with the ITI administration to provide a good learning environment for holistic training, and the overall development of the trainees. Apart from MSIL, other prominent industries like Sona Koyo, Pearl Global, Hero Motocorp, and JBML are contributing to ITI, and give opportunities for ITI trainees to undergo practical shop floor training. Trainees experience good practices like 5-S and team-work in operation. This motivates them to implement the same at the ITI campus. The change has started showing up all across - in the form of improved infrastructure, a motivated faculty and enthusiastic trainees,” added Kumar, while showing the training being imparted to students in the various workshops. Gurgaon, Yamunanagar and Rohtak each have one ITI, based on the PPP model.u

“Quiet Please I’m Shopping”

{ Jenny Soffel / London / FG }


aturday afternoon in London’s busy Oxford Street – can be a stressful affair. Pop music blares from every shop entrance, clothes are pulled from their hangars and tumble to the ground, small children wail, and hordes of families and teenagers shuffle through the aisles. People hereabouts are apt to push, shove and shop until they drop. They dash from one store to another, and curse under their breath as their hands get sore – from carrying plastic carrier bags loaded with items. Their feet hurt too, but they don’t seem to be able to stop. London shopping thoroughfares—teeming at weekends with thousands of tourists from home and abroad— are not for the faint-hearted. The City’s exclusive Selfridges department store is trying create a calmer panorama for shoppers. Up till the end of February, it staged a retail experiment. It set up a so-called Silence Room as part of a No Noise policy. The idea was developed together with Headspace - a

modern meditation project which includes a Smartphone app. The idea was inspired by the founder of the store, Harry Gordon Selfridge, who installed a silence room in 1909. The modern incarnation offers space for up to 50 stressed-out customers, who can take time out from bargain-hunting. A kind of receptionist welcomes customers at the door, and asks them to take off their shoes and part with other “21st century distractions” – like mobile phones and other gadgets. “This is not at all typical for London, and we could do with more of these rooms,” said one shoeless visitor. The British Mental Health Charity Mind has welcomed the new concept. “Living and working in London can be exhausting, and in our cluttered lives there is often not enough time for relaxation,” said spokeswoman Beth Murphy. “An initiative like this recognizes that people need a change of surroundings when they are suffering from the effects of stress.” The No Noise concept has

Neon Colours Are In This Season

even prompted some manufacturers to place high-priced wares in “The Quiet Shop,” albeit without the customary brand tags. Throughout the store are meditation booths, which look like oversized mushrooms. These invite people to duck away from stress for ten

Customers meditating in the cosmetics department at Selfridges.

The idea of introducing quietness into the hectic shopping experience comes from the founder of the store Harry Gordon Selfridge, who installed a silence room in 1909.

minutes. “I think it is part of today’s Zeitgeist,” said Selfridges spokeswoman Anette Cremin. “People want to be taken into account too, they are simply being overstimulated these days.” The team from Headspace seeks to incorporate meditation into the everyday lives of modern

citizens. “Around 20 years ago, people started thinking about how we can keep the body fit - thanks to diet research. People are now beginning to understand that you have to take care of your mental health too,” said Richard Pierson, a Co-founder of Headspace. His colleague, former monk Andy Puddicombe, has come up with an app which enables people to mediate while they are on the move. “The great thing about meditation is that you learn to take breaks. Not only when you are out shopping, but in your relationship, at work and at home,” said Pierson, who began meditating four years ago. Recent figures from the British

Best Job in the World Campaign

{ Maria Fiedler / Berlin / FG }

{ Sid Astbury / Sydney / FG }



f you don’t like to be stared at, don’t bother to wear up-tothe-minute accessories this season. This spring and summer’s accessories promise to be real eye-catchers - at least for women. If you are on the lookout for a new necklace, bracelet or bag during your shopping tour in Europe, you will need to muster a little courage, as you can expect them to be very colourful. But be careful how much colour you wear. “You should restrict yourself to just one extravagant item, otherwise you’re going to look over the top,” says Personal Shopper Sonja Grau. The loud colours of the extras contrast with the soft, pastel colours of this season’s clothing.  Shopping advisor Simone Piskol recommends purchasing a striking necklace, that lies quite tight on your throat. Sonja Grau agrees. Along with a handbag, jewellery will be the most important accessory this summer. “The trend this season is for small but stunning necklaces,” she says. Gold, silver and other metals are in trend along with the brightly coloured necklaces. An alternative is to choose a long necklace. “It should be wound around the neck several times,” says Grau. Stylist Maria Hans says you can also wear the necklace long, with a big pendant. In fashion at the moment are animal figures. Germany’s Bijou Brigitte has brought out a collection of owls, elephants, starfish and sea horses. Hans says bangles and bracelets are also going to be very brightly coloured. One trend will be to wear several different coloured bangles at the same time. Personal shopper Grau has spotted leather bangles with large rhinestones as a trend. Colours are also dominating the new bag collections this season. Belmondo has a handbag in neon turquoise and H&M has a compact bag in neon pink, that Barbie would be proud of. Tamaris has its Anita handbag – that comes in light brown with orange, pink, blue, yellow and green elements. Handbags have a distinctly angular appearance this year. “What’s very noticeable are the clear lines. Handbags this season are not soft but stiff, with sharp corners,” says Fashion Consultant Martin Wuttke. Manufacturers have put a lot of small format bags on the market in A5 paper size. Wuttke says these bags typically have small straps, which means you carry them in the hand but not over the shoulder. Men can look forward to small seaman’s bags, over-the-shoulder bags and rectangular weekend bags in the shops. Wuttke says one trend will be a new interpretation of the classic leather shoulder bag. “This is also something for women, but they should choose a bright coloured bag.” Bags for men, on the other hand, should be in more restrained colours like brown, black and perhaps light blue. Another accessory to watch out for is the belt. “They are going to have bigger, thicker buckles,” says Grau. Grau recommends choosing a belt in a stronger colour than your outfit. Women in particular will be need an extra splash of colour, since their garments this summer will be in more reserved colours than last year. u

G lobal 21

No Noise, Selfridges

8-14 March 2013

ore than 30,000 youngsters from around the world have already entered the latest ‘Best Job in the World’ contest, by uploading 30-second video job applications, Tourism Australia said. Six winners will get a six-month fee of 100,000 Australian dollars to have fun, while promoting the nation’s top holiday spots. The Competition, open to people aged 18-33, is a re-run of the hugely successful 2009 competition, that saw British backpacker Ben Southall living the good life on a paradise island. Southall was “caretaker” of a Great Barrier Reef island, although his tasks did not extend much beyond fishing leaves out of the pool, and blogging about his leisure time. The six winners are likely to come from Britain, Ireland, the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea or Japan, which are partners in a workingholiday visa scheme, that allows backpackers to stay in participating countries for up to two years. “We’ve taken one of the most successful tourism campaigns in recent times—Best Job in the World—and made it bigger and better by coming up with a competition that represents the very best of our country,” Tourism Australia Chief Andrew McEvoy said. u

government show that stagnating high street sales are largely due to people buying things online – in the comfort of their homes. Over Christmas, 2012 internet traders accounted for nearly 11 per cent of overall sales. “The fact that the big names in retail are being left behind is because of the internet. Onlineshopping cuts out the stress you experience in shops,” believes Richard Pierson, who bought all his presents online last December for the first time. “I think the large stores have got to offer a particular kind of experience in order to keep pace with this. Selfridges has understood this.” u

Fashion Trend 2013

{ Frankfurt / FG }


he mini skirt combined with a long blazer is a look that is set to make an impact on the world’s streets this year. Stylist Andreas Rose advises choosing a skirt that is not too short. Rose says it should be at least the width of a hand lower than the blazer’s bottom edge. Otherwise a woman may end up looking cheap, and not chic. A long blazer always risks making legs look shorter, and “the upper body awfully long”. So Rose advises on wearing heels to stretch the legs optically. Another good combination with the mini is a hot-climate pullover, knitted with big stitches. It provides a slightly see-through look. u

Apple’s iWatch Could Debut This Year { Andy Goldberg / San Francisco / FG }


he hype is already starting to build for the rumoured Apple iWatch, with Bloomberg News reporting that the yet unseen device could debut before the end of the year. The iPhone and iPad maker desperately needs a major new hit, to reassure investors that the Company still has the ability to create new device categories – that will replicate its massive successes in Smartphones and Tablet computers. “This can be a 6-billiondollar opportunity for Apple, with plenty of

opportunity for upside, if they create something totally new like they did with the iPod - something consumers didn’t even know they needed,” said Citigroup analyst Oliver Chen, who studies luxury goods retailers. The report said that Apple has a team of 100 designers and engineers working on the device. Features under consideration include – letting users make calls, seeing the identity of incoming callers and checking map coordinates. It would house a pedometer for counting steps, and sensors for monitoring health-related data – such as heart rate, according to people familiar with the plans.

As usual, Apple has not officially released any details about the device. Based on patent applications, analysts expect the device to feature a flexible screen that wraps around the wrist like a bracelet. The report coincides with another report on the tech site, The Verge, which quoted sources familiar with the prototype as saying that Apple was still struggling with battery issues in the device. The report said that Apple’s current test models get no more than about two days of use before a recharge is necessary, while the company hopes the iWatch will offer four to five days of use between charges. u


G lobal

8-14 March 2013

Trekking Through The Canadian Rockies { Joerg Michel / Banff, Canada / DPA}


lison Brewster loves winter. When icy winds sweep through the valleys of the Rocky Mountains, and powder snow piles up metres-deep, she straps on snow shoes—clumsylooking contraptions that the first fur-traders adopted—to explore the wilderness. “Snow shoes are a part of our winter culture, just like ice hockey,” she says. Brewster knows what she’s talking about. She belongs to a genuine Canadian pioneering family. Her ancestors founded the first travel company in the Rocky Mountains, at the end of the 19th century. As guides in the wilderness, they opened up the majestic mountains of the Banff National Park to visitors. Five generations later, Brewster is continuing the family tradition. In the

{ Basel, Switzerland / DPA }


anagers in Swiss boardrooms—from Novartis to UBS—are bracing for a referendum on whether to give shareholders more power to curb executive compensations. Voters are to decide whether bankers and business leaders are entitled to generous golden handshakes and bonus packages. If the proposal goes through, the State would also take steps to curb the pay excesses – and could even send greedy managers to prison.     Seldom has a cause in the small Alpine country been so rigorously pursued, as the so-called “Rip-Off Initiative,” – which was started by Thomas Minder, an independent Parliamentarian and cosmetics entrepreneur. He launched his campaign five years ago, amid public indignation about huge payments to bankers – whom many regarded as the chief villains behind the global financial crisis. Pollsters said last week that 64 per cent of the voters support Minder’s plan. The initiative got a boost in mid-February, when it became public that the outgoing Chairman of Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis would receive 72 million Swiss francs (77 million dollars) over six years, as compensation for not working for the competition. Even though Chairman Daniel Vasella soon waived the money, under intense public pressure, there was an enormous public outcry. “This does enormous damage to social cohesion in our country,”  Social Democratic Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga said, in an interview with the tabloid Blick. Minder wants sharehold-

backwoods of Banff, she runs a remote mountain inn. The ensemble of log-cabin buildings is a hidden oasis in the middle of the wilderness. No road leads to it – no cable car, no snowmobile or helicopter. The only way to reach it is by a 15-kilometre-long winter trail, an ideal trek for snowshoe hikers. The adventure starts at a parking lot – along the TransCanada Highway. It’s 8 degrees below zero, but it feels twice as cold. One’s hands and feet are stiff with cold. Then, with loping steps the trek begins, by entering the forest. The trail leads past a frozen stream, and is always slightly uphill. The snow crunches beneath the snow shoes, and myriads of tiny fine snowflakes are sent swirling with each movement. Each single step is strenuous. Soon, the hands and feet are warm again.

Modern showshoes

Switzerland’s Rip-off Initiative ers, and not company board members, to have the last word on management renumeration. His plan would force large companies to hold annual votes to elect supervisory board members. Bigger shareholders— such as pension funds—would be obliged to take part, so that the result could not be influenced by behind-the-scenes agreements or abstentions. Certain bonuses for top managers would be outlawed - an example was the “welcome money” of 4 million francs paid to former German Federal Bank Chief Axel Weber, when he joined Switzerland’s UBS as Board Chairman. The campaigners say they want to see non-compliance subject to “prison sentences of up to three years, and fines of up to six times a convicted person’s yearly renumeration.”   If voters accept the plan, it will mark a sea-change in Switzerland’s reputation for financial liberalism, which is one reason why the country hosts several global industry leaders – such as food maker Nestle, cement producer Holcim and watch group Swatch. The country would also find itself with the strictest regulations for listed companies in the world.       Swiss companies claim that the new rules would hamper global companies based in Switzerland, and would hurt the competitiveness of Swiss companies. Critics have portrayed the measures as potential job-killers. They also point out that annual board elections could inadvertently

open the door to hedge-funds and other “corporate raiders” – who may try to wrest control of Swiss enterprises. Swiss companies have been funding a counter-campaign to the tune of 8 million francs, compared to 400,000 francs spent by Minder’s group.

Jörg Michel

The Skoki Lodge, Canada’s oldest mountain ski lodge.

The natives of North America invented snowshoes. The shoes of the Cree Indians were up to two metres long, with a wooden ring with a thick netting of leather and sinew. Today’s snowshoes are usually made of aluminium and synthetic materials. “Even a beginner can explore the wilderness in a relaxed and safe manner,” Brewster says. After about four hours, a snow-covered wooden lodge appears in a forest clearing. Smoke is rising from the chimney, and light is shining from the windows. Inside, the air smells of cookies, and there’s a freshlybrewed pot of tea on the wooden table. A fire is burning in the oven. The walls are made of thick logs. Visitors in colourful ski attire are lounging around on the thick sofas. This building

Walking on snowshoes throws up a cloud of Canadian Rockies powder snow.

is the heart of Brewsters Lodge. Such lodges are a winter sports experience, as if from another era. No cellphone connections, no television, no telephones. The same isolation applies at the “Skoki Lodge,” the oldest ski lodge in all of Canada, where British heir to the throne—William—and the future queen Kate once spent a night. The trail leading to it is 12 kilometres long, starting out from the skiing slopes of the winter sports resort of Lake Louise. Leo Mitzel has been running Skoki Lodge for ten years now. The untouched white crystals are glittering in the morn-

ing sun. Only a mountain lion on its nighttime prowl has left a few tracks. The trek back to Lake Louise takes three hours. Poles stuck into the snow mark the trail. Not far away, a white mountain goat is digging with its hooves, foraging for roots beneath the snow cover. The trail rises up to as high as 2,500 metres, and crosses two mountain passes, before leading past an old shed of the Canadian railway company. Then the first ski lifts appear, followed by a huge parking lot and a ski slope, with loud music blaring from speakers. Modern-day civilization is back with a vengeance. u

Left-leaning parties and trade unions are far from unanimous in their support for the reform initiative. The trade union federation Travail.Suisse, has called for a rejection of Minder’s proposal. Whatever the outcome of the referendum, changes will come, although they will be less drastic than envisaged by the “Rip-Off Initiative.” The government has lined

up a counter-proposal backed by Swiss employers, which will automatically come into effect if voters reject Minder’s initiative. This measure is aimed at taming the fat-cat managers, but relies more on voluntary action. All large, listed companies would be forced to hold votes on manager pay, but the result would not be binding. u

3,300-year-old Pyramid Found At Luxor { Helen Maguire / Brussels / DPA}


mud-brick pyramid, built around 3,300 years ago, has been unearthed in the Egyptian city of Luxor by a team of Belgian scientists, universities in Brussels and Liege announced. The pyramid is thought to belong to a Vizier (or senior advisor) called Khay, who worked in the reign of Pharaoh Ramses II, during around 1279-1213 BC, judging by the stamp impressions found on the brick. The Vizier, who was the highest official under the Pharaoh, would have supervised the workers in charge of building the royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings, and the Valley of the Queens. The Pyramid, situated on the Luxor West Bank—the site of the ancient city of Thebe —originally stood about 15 metres high, and its side measured 12 metres. “Located high on the hill, overlooking the memorial temple of Ramses II, the Pyramid must have been an impressive landmark of the Theban landscape,” the universities wrote. The mud-brick had been covered in whitish plaster, and capped by a small topstone—or pyramidion— decorated with an image of the tomb’s owner adoring the sun-god Ra-Horakhty. Khay’s tomb is immediately below the Pyramid, but remains to be excavated, as a modern village house has been built on top, the universities said. The Vizier’s Pyramid was built in the courtyard of an earlier tomb, which the Belgian team had discovered in 2009. During the excavation of that tomb, the researchers also found fragments of wall paintings dating back to around 1479-27 BC. u

UN: End Violence Against Women { JT Nguyen / New York / FG }


United Nations Commission on women presented a road map on concretely ending violence against women and girls. Launching a two-week meeting of 41 countries, at UN headquarters in New York, participants in the Commission on the Status of Women ranged from – Australia, Austria, France and Germany to South Korea, Nigeria, Sweden and the United States. The UN began the annual review of the Convention on the Status of Women, with calls for governments to tighten measures protecting human rights of women and girls, including rights to sexual and reproductive health. Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director of the agency, UN Women, noted that the goal of ending violence against women and girls is not part of the UN agenda fighting poverty, HIV/AIDS and underdevelopment. “We need a stand-alone goal on gender equality with gender mainstreamed across all other goals,” said Bachelet, the former Chilean President. u

8-14 March 2013

G-scape 23


jit kumar

8-14 March 2013

W omen's D ay ASHA PANDEY


Womankind Gaining Momentum

Frdiay Gurgaon 8-14 March, 2013  

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