Page 1

18-24 January 2013

Vol. 2 No. 22  Pages 24  ` 7

{Inside} The Capital Museum

FG brings alive some of the different and less-explored museums in the Capital. From Toilets to Tribals, and Sikh history to Craftsmanship. ...Pg 8&9

Building Crèches

Mobile Crèche has laid the foundation for many an under-privileged child born of construction workers. They team up with builders to ensure a better future for these children.

...Pg 13

Gurgaon II Extension Quietly coming up is a new residential zone – in a different direction. It provides unique options, to Gurgaonites already spoilt for choice.

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

The 'Second Class' Gurgaonites The Unauthorised, Restricted, Forgotten And Ignored

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he chasm is growing – some of it historical, some by law, and some by intent (or no action). Almost a third of the residents of this City are ‘not recognised’ - they live in ‘unauthorised colonies’, ‘restricted areas’, villages and slums. They constitute the lower middle class and the under-privileged in the City. Their colonies are deprived of the most basic of civic services – of water and power connections, of sewage, of roads, of streetlights. And this has been the status for years – and even decades, in some cases. Even the better areas of the City have poor civic infrastructure, amenities and services. The ‘unauthorised’ and ‘restricted’ do not have even that. You can almost sense the frustration and the anger building up. The State conveniently invokes the court, and does nothing to find a solution – to at least make the colonies habitable. The villages and slums are just ignored. The people feel disenfranchised – despite many having a valid Voter ID card. The erstwhile villages are now semi-concrete slums – with a new periphery of abodes for the ‘migrants’. A village of 10,000 now has 50,000 struggling within. And the construction workers move from place to place, living in open spaces and being cursed by society for that. The children will fare no better. Education and healthcare for them are non-existent. EWS Housing was to be the relief for many of them; it has become a scam. It has been given to the wrong people, for commercial benefit; or is lying still vacant, waiting for a chance to be exploited. The future plans for EWS Housing would again take care of just a small proportion – if and when they come up. The weaker will remain weak. We cannot stay cocooned in gated colonies. These deprived and neglected ‘second class’ residents will one day say ‘enough is enough’. This City will see civic strife. And many will get caught in the cross hairs. The impact on security and crime will not be pretty.

...Pg 14

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{ Abhishek Behl & Maninder Dabas / FG }

W

inning cities offer a good quality of life to their citizens, and a solid proposition to attract industry and commerce. Gurgaon, despite having little semblance of planning, a poor development of urban infrastructure, shoddy transportation and lack of basic services seems to have bucked the trend. The Millennium City has witnessed unprecedented economic growth and success, like no other place in the country. However, it seems that this may soon change. The lack of foresight shown by the state government and its agencies, which have treated Gurgaon more like a piece of real estate than a living, thriving city may now throw the City out of its orbit. The danger is real and present, and one has to just scratch the surface to see that reality. In this City of around 2 million, almost a third of the population is living in areas defined as ‘unauthorised’ and ‘illegal’ – or uninhabitable. The undercurrent of discontentment can be felt across the City, from these disenfranchised areas that are in all corners. They do not have piped water connections, a

{ Shilpy Arora / FG }

the achievement, but also on how the society perceives its relevance to the values that it cherishes at a particular point of time,” believes Parul.

G

oing by the newgen definition, that a celebrity is a person who for various reasons adorns the pages (essentially Page 3) of newspapers and magazines, there are very few personalities in the City whom we can actually call celebrities.   Parul, an Image Consultant, says, “The meaning of a celebrity has changed to such an extent that it no longer refers to a person who has achieved something worthwhile. Rather it is now more about your appearance in newspapers and magazines.”  The celebrities of the past could capture the public imagination and stand the test of time – unlike today’s media-driven celebrities. The definition of celebrity has changed with the change in the values of society, and the resultant cultures. “Celebrating an achievement depends not only on the quality, significance, and permanence of

Contd on p 6 

Kaun Banega Celebrity?

Today, top celebrities are limited to the sports and entertainment industry, and news and gossip about them accelerates the TRPs and the readership of media. Entertainment is given more importance than reality. Debjani Basu, who writes for a City-based lifestyle magazine, gives reference to the book of the famous author, Neal Gabler, “How entertainment conquered reality”. The book tells the story of how our appetite for gossip, glamour and melodrama has made entertainment so important that everything, from news and politics to religion, draws its values from entertainment. “On one hand we talk about women’s empowerment, while on the Contd on p 7 


03

18-24 January 2013

Sunday Open

Happy B'day Aditya ditya Tripathi, a student of DPS Sushant Lok, celebrated his 10th birthday with a great pomp and show. A party thrown by his mother, Shilpi Tripathi, was attended by some close friends and family members. Shilpi put in a great effort to make it an unusual do. As the party-theme was “Avengers”, a special cake, moulded in the shape of Avengers, was ordered. Kids enjoyed various games and activities and a pool side bonfire admist palm trees, at Patio, Nirvana. A few months ago Shilpi discovered that Aditya has aboveaverage IQ and

needs special care. “I am glad that Aditya has an above-average IQ. He reads restlessly. At the age of 8 he started reading mythology and astronomy, which really amazed me. As he has always been involved in sports and activities, we planned his birthday party in a way that he would enjoy a lot of things in a short span of time,” says Shilpi. Talking about his future plans Aditya says, “I would like to become an astronaut and explore the universe.” Shilpi is quite positive about his career in astronomy. She says that Aditya is named after the Sun, as he was born on the auspicious day of Makar Sakranti. “I think the connection with the universe came with my birth,” smiles Aditya.

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04

18-24 January 2013

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319 Postal Regn. No. GRG/35/2012-2014 VOL.–2 No.–22  18-24 January 2013

Editor:

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

Designer:

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:

editor@fridaygurgaon.com letters@fridaygurgaon.com contributions@fridaygurgaon.com subscription@fridaygurgaon.com circulation@fridaygurgaon.com adsales@fridaygurgaon.com events@fridaygurgaon.com marketing@fridaygurgaon.com 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.

4U 4

Tips

THE WEEK THAT WAS

by ShahnaZ

♦ 16 out of an identified 52 commercial sites of HUDA, for booths, are auctioned, for over Rs 14 crores. HUDA has planned a quarterly auction of commercial sites. ♦ A person is arrested in Badshahpur for molesting an 8-yearold girl. ♦ A girl college student is molested in a Haryana Roadways bus – the family does not wish to register a complaint. ♦ A Women’s Helpdesk is proposed at all Metro stations. ♦ CCTV cameras are proposed on all City buses, and at the bus stand.

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 have got serious pimple marks on my face, and am very keen SH

♦ 2 are held for killing 2 policemen, and a pub owner earlier. ♦ 2 are held for killing a driver and looting a truck. ♦ A guard is found dead in a water tank. ♦ A businessman’s driver is killed when a revolver goes off accidentally. ♦ Robbers assault an exporter and ransack his house for 2 hours. ♦ A diary owner is shot at in Palam Vihar. ♦ A youth of 18 is set ablaze by friends, after an argument. ♦ A drunken youth assaults a mall guard, and is arrested. ♦ 5 bookies are arrested for betting. ♦ Triplets are born in an auto - 1 survives. ♦ An ex-employee of a construction firm is accused of duping the firm of Rs 65 lakhs. ♦ An Innova is forcibly taken, and driver assaulted; 3 overpower a driver and take a Xylo car – are booked. ♦ ‘Fake’ maids steal jewellery worth lakhs from Heritage City. ♦ A truck with ‘illegal’ aluminium worth lakhs is seized. ♦ Tyres are stolen at gunpoint from dumpers. ♦ A hotel owner gets a Rs 50,000 extortion call. ♦ 2 are held for defrauding customers at a bank. ♦ A woman is duped of Rs 2 lakhs in a lottery scam. ♦ A Japanese executive is robbed of his belongings – lying in his car. ♦ Shop owners in Sahara Mall want the pubs in the mall to be closed down. ♦ Self-defence classes are given to students at a college. ♦ MCG to take over responsibility of supply of water for ‘old’ Gurgaon wef April 1. ♦ MCG reclaims 3.5 acres of encroached land from a hotel owner in Sikanderpur; also reclaims another piece of land from a hotel owner in ‘old’ Gurgaon. ♦ The deadline for property tax payment has been extended to June 30th. ♦ Pink Autos, exclusively for ladies, have been reintroduced. ♦ 32 new parking sites will soon be on offer in HUDA areas. ♦ A new Bus Stand is coming up in Sector 29. ♦ A new court complex is inaugurated at Pataudi. ♦ Workers in Hero Motocorp demand higher wage increase than proposed by company.

to get rid of them. Please help me out, as I want spotless skin. Use a facial scrub once or twice a week. You can buy one, or mix rice powder with curd and use as a facial scrub. Apply on the face and rub gently on the skin with tiny circular movements, specially on the dark spots. Leave on for a few minutes and then wash off with water. Do not apply on pimples. Mix honey and lemon juice in equal quantities and apply daily on the face. Wash off after 15 minutes with plain water. Two or three times a week, mix multani mitti with rose water and lemon juice into a paste and apply on the face, avoiding the lips and area around eyes. Wash it off when it dries. We also recommend application of an anti-blemish cream called Shablem daily at night only on the dark spots by rubbing it into the skin and leaving on overnight. Apply less. You can also have Veg Peel treatments at a Shahnaz clinic.

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Ask the beauty expert questions on skin, hair and beauty. The best question (picked by Shahnaz Husain) will receive a gift hamper from the Shahnaz Husain Group. Write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon.com

Events @ Epicentre Theatre Date: Jan 19 Time: 6:00 pm Programme: Ayn Rand Night of January 16th, directed by Rohit Ohri Date: Jan 19 Time: 7:00 pm Programme: A Evening Of Stories, by Jaishree Sethi Date: Jan 20 Time: 5:00 pm & 7:30 pm Programme: The Interview, directed by Akash Khurana

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Dance Date: Jan 25 Time: 7:30 pm Programme: A performance through dance, story and music by Story-dancer Zuleikha

DANCE

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Date: Jan 24 Time:7:30 pm Programme: A musical evening celebrating Republic Day, by Lorraine Music Academy

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18-24 January 2013

O

C eleb W atch

05

Good, Healthy Option

n the occasion of Lohri, GoodMilk launched their organic brand of milk and other variants in Gurgaon. As part of the launch, GoodMilk organized a health carnival marking the launch of GoodMilk’s organic milk at Uppal South End, Malibu Towne, Parsvanath Greenville and DLF Exclusive Floors- Phase 5. GoodMilk has been launched to provide customers a healthy milk option, as the Company sources the product from farms that are managed organically. An official of the Company said that the objective of GoodMilk was to ensure that milk products reached the customers within 24 hours, as it had maximum freshness during this time. With milk and its by-products being a core part of Indian food, GoodMilk aims to give buyers in Gurgaon and the National Capital Region a choice of a top quality product that is with in the reach of the average customer. The Company said that the whole idea of

the health carnival was to have a fun-filled launch mixed with awareness. Fun sessions were organised during the Event, which had a mix of games like – Tambola-for the kids, and Wheel of Fortune, where the winners were promised complimentary milk supplies for 4, 5 or 6 days, depending on their fortune decided by the Wheel. Interactive sessions regarding diet plans and lifestyle disorders were conducted by experts, including JRD Matrix from Dubai. They spoke elaborately on the side effects of an imbalanced diet, and how to plan systematic diets, for the attendants, giving them a way to live a better life – minus the possibilities of disease which ruin our body day in and day out. The radio partner for the event was Oye 104.8 FM. The launch of GoodMilk's organic milk in Delhi-NCR was a mix of fun and education. In the coming month, more such events are being organised in Gurgaon, to give the residents a taste of GoodMilk, the Company said. u

Rabbi Warms Up Lohri

N

oted Punjabi singer Rabbi Shergill was in the City to celebrate Lohri with members of an apartment complex. Shergill belted out his popular numbers, as the residents celebrated the festival with traditional ceremonies. Both the bonfire and Shergill’s music kept the evening alive – and warm.

Celebrate Our Nation’s Republic Day With LAMP & Lorraine Music Academy

LAMP Trust & Lorraine Music Academy are organizing “A MUSICAL EVENING CELEBRATING OUR NATION’S th REPUBLIC DAY" on Thursday 24 January 2013 @ 7:30pm : Epicentre Auditorium, Apparel House, Sector 44, Gurgaon. In keeping with LAMP’s objective of nurturing talent and providing a platform for the exhibition of talent, we will have the next generation of global Indians aged 4 to 25 years – students from various schools across the National Capital Region & adults – who will perform along with professional musicians who have performed across India and the globe. The musical evening will include patriotic songs, dance, poetry, songs to entertain, instrumental music - classical instruments along with folk instruments. This will be a very unique musical experience with a blend of Classical & Folk instruments from India & the globe merging to create a medley of rich folk, tribal & world music. The evening will include performances by: • students of the top schools of Gurgaon • winners of the recently concluded Nationwide Talent Contest “LAMP-iCONGO Karmaveer Chakra for Music 2012” • “Nrityapan” - a professional dance troupe of highly talented girls from economically

backward society of Bareilly who have travelled and performed across the globe! Aubrey Aloysius, founder of LAMP Trust, says “We present this concert to the National Capital Region to inspire us all to appreciate, enjoy and learn music at a new level. We desire all our children to learn music & the arts. We bring good music and art to the community, not just for entertainment, but for true education and appreciation. Teaching children and adults how to understand & appreciate music and to play an instrument is our passion and mission. We believe that the right kind of music makes the right kind of person. . A good diet of the right kind of music gives you good mental, emotional, intellectual and spiritual health.” The evening will witness the award of the “LAMP-iCONGO Karmaveer Chakra for Patriotic Music (Jury Award) 2012” for the song “Mhaajya Maayechya Bhumi” (Hindi, Konkani, Marathi & English) to SHANTA DURGA CREATIONS, Vasco, Goa. The evening will also witness the announcement and launch of the 2013 edition of our Nation-wide Talent Contest for the coveted “LAMP – iCONGO Karmaveer Chakra For Music & Art 2013” awards. LAMP has collaborated with iCONGO for this award. LAMP endeavours to nurture the creative arts in young talent at the grass roots level across India. One of our aims is to develop in each member of our future generation a love and passion for singing / playing a musical instrument. The above initiative would aim to reach children and adults across India. This annual “LAMP – iCONGO

Karmaveer Chakra For Music & Art 2013” awards is supported by LORRAINE MUSIC ACADEMY. After a screening, evaluation and selection process set by MERCER and GRANT THORTON, the finalists / selected participants would be invited to The National Capital Region of Delhi for the annual performance and award event. There would be various categories / themes for this award which would be announced annually including: Patriotic / Nationalistic Music This would be open for performance in all National, Regional / Local languages and in English. This category would enable participation from across the nation cutting through the urban-rural, linguistic, cultural

and socio-economic divides. It is also open to the Indian Diaspora and people of Indian origin spread across the globe. The winners of the 2013 edition of LAMP’s Nation-wide Talent Contest will be awarded the “LAMP-iCONGO Karmaveer Chakra for Patriotic Music” at the annual performance and award event to be held around Republic Day of 2014. Based in Gurgaon, Lorraine Music Academy serves the community through education, workshops, recitals, concerts and public performances. The Academy strives to bring quality music to Indian audiences and interested learners so as to inspire us all to appreciate, enjoy, learn and experience music at a different level. Lorraine Fiona Aloysius, the Creative Director & Principal, who started playing the piano from the age of 8, is a Licentiate of the Trinity College of London - UK (Pianoforte) and a Masters in Banking & Finance. She has sent over 300 students for examinations of Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, U.K., Trinity College of London, U.K., Trinity Guildhall, U.K., and RockSchool, U.K. She has performed in concerts at various auditoria across the country. The above concert forms a part of the Music & Art Festival in aid of LAMP Trust - aimed at raising awareness and resources to set up the LAMP World Cultural Centre in Gurgaon, National Capital Region of Delhi, to promote the Arts - Performing Art, Visual Art, Literary Art. LAMP also endeavours to make resources available to the poor towards skill & talent development, training & basic education in the under-served communities across India.


06

18-24 January 2013

C over S tory

The 'Second Class' Gurgaonites  Contd from p 1

basic sewage system, and other amenities – all denied to them in the name of law, or by a couldn’t-care-less attitude. Why were these residents allowed to set up ‘illegal colonies’, years/decades ago? Who allowed registration of properties in these areas? All of them have valid Voter I Cards. These are Gurgaon residentsfamilies, with children. Do we just ignore their existence?What is the solution to the travails of the hundreds of thousands of lower middle class and underprivileged residents of these unauthorised colonies, and villages that have transformed into concrete ghettos? A related but important issue is of the ‘temporary’ slums and abodes of construction workers, where children play in mud and grime covered with the dust of poverty – which must be endured forever. When will succour come to this hapless population, and who will be the benefactor? Will the situation lead to a kind of ‘civil war’ between the haves and have-nots, as the differences between these two sections are becoming too wide and visible? While one half of Gurgaon lives in gated communities, under 24-hour surveillance, and gets continuous water and power supply, the other is denied the basic services and amenities. What is the hope for industrial workers living on the fringes of society, and surviving in the most difficult conditions in Gurgaon and Manesar? Another important issue is the future of around 2 lakhs people living in the restricted 900 metres IAF zone. The Court has adopted a strong stance. Both the state government and the Defence Ministry will have to come together and work to find a permanent solution for the residents – many of whom have been staying for decades. Friday Gurgaon brings you the pulse of the populace living in these deprived and neglected areas. These are our people. Most are not poor, but their life is. The absence of civic services and infrastructure is making life miserable – and they are spread all across the City.

The Unauthorised Colonies:

There are around 150 colonies in Gurgaon that fall in the category of ‘unauthorised areas’ that are not recognised by the MCG. With the fate of 45 colonies that were recommended for regularisation hanging in the balance, the quality of life in these areas is close to abysmal. Despite having a Voter I-card, a ration card, and a registry for the plot on which the house exists, the residents of the colonies—most of whom belong to the lower and middle class sections of society—have been deprived of basic facilities. While the

rates of the plots in these areas may be in lakhs of rupees, and MCG sends notices for House Tax, when it comes to providing drinking water, sanitation facilities, sewage and other necessities of life the municipal authorities are nowhere to be seen. Yogender Sarwan, Councillor of Ward No. 7, says that they have repeatedly demanded basic services for the unauthorised colonies – that include water, roads, streetlighs, paved streets, and similar things. “A huge section of Gurgaon’s population lives in these colonies, and thus should not be deprived of the basic facilities,” says Sarwan. His views are echoed by several residents of Palam Vihar Extension, who have been facing the brunt due to the lack of basic services. The residents of the unauthorised colonies have to depend on submersibles for water supply, pool money to set up private sewerage networks, and many times even pave their own streets. Satender Kumar, who lives in one of the unauthorised colonies close to the Railway Station, says that poor sewage and sanitation has been the bane of the area. There are also no municipal schools, hospitals and other facilities in the area. The Gurgaon MCG serves only some parts of the City, and does not have the capacity to service the entire City, he asserts. S.C Kush, Chief Town Planner of the MCG, informed Friday Gurgaon that although the MCG had recommended the case of 45 colonies for regularisation, the decision is pending due to a court order. “We have initiated this process to give them recognition, and once this happens they will also be absorbed in the development process as per the Master Plan. But right now we cannot extend the same due to legalities,” he asserts. “If the area is not encroached, and does not come under forest or defence parameters, and is inhabited more than 50 per cent, then it is recommended for regularisation.  

The Village Saga:

Mollaheda Village, right next to the famed industrial township of Udyog Vihar, has completely lost its identity. It has been surrounded by a HUDA sector from all sides, while the innards have been filled by thousands of industrial workers manning the floors at Maruti and numerous factories nearby. The villagers rue that apart from the money coming from rents, there has been no benefit to the 5000 original inhabitants of the village, which presently houses 2 lakhs people. Rahul Yadav, a social activist, who had also contested in the ward elections, says that the Village today represents an urbanised slum – with poor sanitation facilities, a nonexistent sewage system, and a population density that will shock you. Yadav complains that HSIIDC, which planned and developed Udyog Vihar, did not take into account the need for industrial housing. “There is no area in Udyog Vihar where the working classes can be accommodated, and that is the reason why thousands of people have converged into the villages of Gurgaon. They live in one room tenements, put immense pressure on basic facilities, and leave no room for the original inhabitants,” he asserts. The Village common land, which was once used for social purposes, and where sewerage and other waste materials could be diverted, has ceased to exist. Virender Kumar, another resident of the Village, says that the extent of the migrant population is such that facilities in villages across Gurgaon are always falling short. Walking through the streets of the village one can see the transformation of old havelis into multi-storied buildings, that have hundred of rooms rented out to the workers. There is a constant movement of tractor-trollies, carrying lakhs of litres of sewage collected from the septic tanks of these buildings. The Gram Sudhar Samiti of the Village, with great difficulty, was able to get the

Vijay Singh Dahiya, the new Commissioner of MCG, says, “Indeed we are on course to become the front liner in managing and running the city of Gurgaon. “Of course we as a civic agency are aware that multi-polarity in administration is there, but it’s nothing more than a lack of co-ordination between the different agencies, that can be eradicated quite easily. MCG, with the help of HUDA, is making a standing agenda that would improve the co-ordination, and help in improved working.” He adds, “MCG is working vigorously in order to improve the condition of civic amenities in the villages in and around Gurgaon. For example, recently we have passed a budget of Rs. 90 crores for the development works to be carried out in nine villages around Badshahpur, and the works that are to be carried out have been identified after going through a proper Detail Project Report (DPR) of the area. Similar DPRs are

sewerage pipes replaced after twenty years. Yadav says that it would have been better if the government had empowered the earlier system of village Panchayats – rather than bringing the villages under MCG. “The municipal system does not understand the ethos of a village. The traditions and customs are not respected, and elected members work on a political basis,” he says, further adding that the municipal bodies in Haryana have not been just empowered in the true spirit of the 74th amendment. Unlike Mollaheda, Ghata village is on the periphery of the City, and parts of the village are part of the Aravalli hills. Mahesh Dayma, Councillor of Ward No. 32, and a resident of the Village, complains, “The entire village is polluted, and has become a cesspool of sewage, as hundreds of thousands of industrial and construction workers live and eke out their living in the nearby sites.” If corrective measures are not taken soon, there is every possibility of a major problem in these areas – which could be related to health or crime. With the increase in the number of migrants there is also a kind of power struggle going on in these villages, as locals fear the turf slipping from their hold, as the outsiders push hard for creating some sort of balance in their lives.

The Migrant:

Anger is palpable among the migrant workers in Gurgaon, many of whom have come all the way from Bihar and UP to make an honest living. The high cost of rent, poor working conditions, exploitation at work and poor living facilities make a potent cocktail – that often leads to industrial unrest. Of late the improvement in the industrial climate in their home states has slowed down the migration, but still the numbers are too large for Gurgaon’s meagre infrastructure to handle. Ramji Lal came from Bihar to become an expert tailor, as he had heard a lot about the famed export houses of the Millennium

under preparations for other villages as well.” “We have started working on roads and their widening, because Gurgaon has various traffic bottlenecks which have made the life of citizens miserable on the road. We are starting our work by widening three major roads of the City – the road from Rajiv Chowk to Sadar Bazar, the Old Railway Road, and the road from MDI Chowk to IFFCO Chowk. We are also planning to make cycle tracks on either side of the road, in order to encourage the usage of non-motor commuting in the City; and we are also planning a flyoverat MDI Chowk. The construction of a storm water drainage system is another idea that we have decided to implement, because time and again it has been seen that collection of water on roads is the main reason behind the brief life of roads in Gurgaon,” added Dahiya.

City. He did find a job with an export house, but it entailed stitching a part of the garment on the line. There are hundreds like him making around Rs 7 to 8 thousand a month. “We are not treated with respect, despite working hard in the factories. In villages also we are treated as ‘second-class citizens’, and the Administration also does not give any attention to our plight,” asserts Lal. “In summers these houses turn into heaters, and in winters they are freezers. We somehow survive and stay, because we have to send money to the family back home,” says Mahinder. His view is supported by Ameena Sherwani, President of the Manesar Industries Welfare Association. “The plots meant for industrial workers have been sold to realtors, and the government agencies have made no plan for housing, even in an ‘model’ advanced township like Manesar,” asserts Sherwani. She further says that the Golf Course and the Club in Manesar, that are used by the industrialists, were meant to be a recreational ground for the workers. “The DTCP should be asked as to why maids and domestic service staff are forced to live in slums and nearby villages. Why is no EWS housing available to the support staff,” she wants to know? Other residents of Gurgaon have also started to ask tough questions of the authorities.

Slums and Construction Workers:

Apart from the glittering gated colonies, the darknessinfested unauthorised and restricted areas, Gurgaon has another form of life – which the City never accepts as its own. Gurgaon is home to hundreds of slums inhabited by the construction workers. One can’t witness an irony of fate more cruel than this – that those who construct thousands of homes every year for Gurgaonites, are the homeless (with no roof over their heads). Be it Genpact Chowk in the heart of Gurgaon’s most posh area, or Sohna Chowk, which is at a stone’s throw from the sanctum-sanctorum of the Gurgaon Administration—the Mini Secretariat—the life of a slum dweller is nothing short of a living hell. “I have been here in Gurgaon for the last two years, and we have been replaced five times. Along with my two sons and wife I work at different construction sites as a daily wage labourer. Our total earning is so low that it becomes extremely difficult to feed the family with a two-time meal. The education of our children doesn’t even come to our minds, as neither do we have the resources nor the acceptance of the society,” says Harish Kumar, who lives in the ghettos at Sohna Chowk in ‘Old’ Gurgaon. Contd to p 7 


18-24 January 2013

C over S tory

07

Kaun Banega Celebrity?  Contd from p 1

other we are fans of Kareena Kapoor’s avatar in her new song ‘main to tandoori murgi hoon yaar’. Doesn’t it convey and reemphasise the portrayal of a woman as a commodity?” says Debjani. Celebrities are copied excessively. Neetu, a teacher, tells a shocking story of a 14-year-old boy who gifted gold bracelets to three girls in her class. “He stole his mother’s gold bracelets and gifted them to his classmates, in order to impress them. When asked, he said that he read the news about a ‘celebrity’ doing the same to impress his girlfriend,” informs Neetu. Prof. Chaudhary, 63, a guest faculty at IILM, says, “Today current affairs and policies hardly reach the students' ears. They know far more about different celebrities and the aspects of their lives. They can spend hours discussing who is dating whom, and what the style of clothing among celebrities is. For them the idea of fame is the entertainment industry.” Surprisingly Prof. Chaudhary blames his own generation for giving so much importance to the Bollywood stars and sportsmen. Having witnessed the celebrity worship in Haryana in the early 1980s he says, “When the Indian cricket team won the 1983 Cricket World Cup I witnessed the worship of the idols of Kapil Dev in temples. Temples of Rajnikant and Amitabh Bachchan are also found in India. Our generation has given birth to the celebrity worship syndrome, and our children are suffering the consequences.” These days it is not that hard to become a celebrity. Some become ‘famous’ just due to their connection to famous people! “Now-a-days celebrities are created by the media. Undoubtedly the entertainment industry is the largest supplier of celebrities. But in the past the celebrities came into being mostly through

 Contd from p 6

their hard work. Today it is more about a person’s personal life, dressing style, likes and dislikes. People like Rakhi Sawant are famous for being famous,” believes a journalist, who has been covering Page 3 parties in the City for the last six years. The concept of ‘paid’ Page 3 news has made it even worse. Although the practice of offering gifts and favours to reporters has always been there, the situation is now shocking, with the publishers themselves selling space on Page 3. “Today we can see any Tom, Dick or Harry on Page 3. I was shocked when I received a mail from an editor promising the coverage of my sister’s wedding on Page 3, for just 20 grand,” says a Citybased singer. Parul feels that the concept of paid Page 3 news will not last long. “I agree that

anybody can make headlines in the news today. But media has to understand that there is no demand for such news,” says Parul. Lauding the coverage of Friday Gurgaon, Parul says, “It is perhaps the only newspaper where you will also find coverage of celebrities in the fields of arts and sciences – and even corporates.”

Instant celebrities

The reality shows on TV and social networking sites have given birth to a new concept – of “instant celebrities”. It describes someone who becomes a celebrity in a short span of time, and achieves some transient fame. Ask Nikunj Malik, who participated in a popular reality show. Born and brought up in Gurgaon, Nikunj says, “Life has surely changed after my

We need to bring real celebrities back on Page 1 (not Page 3). The nice thing about being a celebrity is that when you bore people, they think it is their fault. This is the kind of charisma a celebrity has. This is the kind of attention a celebrity is given in society. Perhaps that is why ‘Page 3’ has witnessed an increased following in the country. “Everyone fears being ‘nobody’. People will go to any extent to be recognised. Psychologically speaking, there is always a strong desire to be recognised and accepted in society. The coloured photo-spreads of celebrities and the nouveau riche at parties, sometimes doing things they shouldn’t be, generate a lot of public interest. This makes Page 3 a hot platform for celebrities, and simultaneously fulfils the readers’ need for tittletattle,” feels Debjani Basu, who writers for a city-based lifestyle magazine.

participation in Swayamvar. But when it was over I realised that fame is not permanent. You have to be on the screen and in the news continuously, to be famous.” Celebrities have been flocking to social networking sites such as Facebook, You Tube, Twitter, and MySpace to communicate directly with their fans, and also to use them as tools to arouse and keep alive public fascination. Many famous personalities have been doing so with their blogs and tweets.

A Gurgaon Celebrity

When asked about who she considers a celebrity in Gurgaon, a journalist says “Except the sister-in-law of a popular Bollywood star, and the nephew of a popular political personality, nobody seems to have acquired the status of a Celebrity in the City. Family background seems to be the focus when it comes to celebrity status in Gurgaon.”

Unfortunately entrepreneurs, real estate developers, and professionals who have made it big in the Millennium City, hardly find mention as celebrities by the media. Parul says that most of the people who have made a worthwhile contribution to the development of the City want to stay away from a celebrity stature. Anumod Sharma, of Apra Motors, feels that the word ‘celebrity’ is now used with negative connotations. He says, “Instead of being called a celebrity, I would love to be called a true citizen of

she appears every second day on Page 3,” says Parul. Prof. Chaudhary agrees, and adds that the City is not short of ‘real’ celebrities. “The media don’t seem to be interested in real heroes. You hardly read news about Navin Gulia, who despite being paralysed, provides education to over 400 street children in the City. I am sure most of us have not even heard of a Gurgaonite, Alamjit Singh Sekhon, who hoisted the Indian flag in the deserted terrains of the Arctic,” informs Prof. Chaudhary. He strongly feels

Earlier, you achieved distinction, and were celebrated on Page 1. Now, the media covers you on Page 3, and you become a celebrity. Gurgaon.” “How many of us know that the City produced the famous Urdu poet, Kedar Nath Sharma, and cartoonist Shekhar Gurera? When one talks about a local celebrity, the picture that pops up in the mind may be that of Saif Ali Khan or Kapil Dev. We never think about Kalpana Chawla or Naresh Trehan. It seems that to be a celebrity one has to be from the entertainment industry or sports; and be so dominant in the media that he/

such personalities should be featured by the media. The City, in different eras, has produced many achievers, who had a celebrity stature – starting with Guru Dronacharya! History proves that those who have made a real contribution to society have always been successful in influencing the subsequent generations. They are the true celebrities – persons of distinction, worthy of fame. u

The 'Second Class' Gurgaonites

There are hundreds of other families living in uninhabitable conditions, with the civic agencies shutting their eyes and ears on their needs and rights. Gurgaon doesn’t have any paucity of have-nots, but the plights of these construction workers is beyond any description. This City just doesn’t accept them as their own. The Administration may somehow admit ‘unauthorised colonies’ as their own, but to them these slum dwellers are non-existent. “We have nothing except this small hut, which is also at the mercy of the enforcement wings of different departments. We neither have power, water nor toilets, and our women and children are forced to answer the calls of nature

in the open, in front of the masses. How shameful it is, but we don’t have any choice. Many a times we have tried to get our life on track by sending our children to schools run by different NGOs, but whenever we start to believe that our life now might set us free from the curse of being migrants, the Administration comes with a stick in their hand and displaces us to some other corner of the City,” adds Jivan Kumar, another worker from Bihar. Education is indeed a promising tool to improve the lives of the next generation of these slum dwellers, but their vagabond life doesn’t allow them to get even this remedy. “I as well as many other NGOs have been trying to educate these kids of slum dwellers, as we think that education might

bring some change in the course of their cursed fate, but these people leave, or get displaced by the Administration from time to time, which makes all the effort and hard work done by us go in vain. The City doesn’t accept them as their own; they are called ‘outsiders’,” rues Snehlata Hooda, an old lady who teaches the kids of these construction workers.

The 900 M Conundrum:

The 900 metres around the IAF Ammunition Depot is perhaps the most complicated piece of real estate in Gurgaon. The problem has assumed an alarming magnitude, with the lives of over 2 lakhs people at stake. The living conditions in the area are very poor, with nonexistent roads, no water supply

facilities, power connections that are shared, and a sewage and sanitation system created by the people themselves. Despite no facilities, the population in the area is on the rise, because Gurgaon has little other space for the lower middle class that aspire to own a house. “I wanted my own house, so I bought land here and built a house. Maybe the authorities will come to demolish it, but all the people are united here, and we will fight against any move to evict us,” says Manish Kumar. These threats are not empty, as just a fortnight back massive violence broke out in Sheetla Colony when a team of enforcement officials demolished a couple of buildings. Ward Councillor Gaje Singh Kablana says that he will take this battle to the end, as the lives of hundreds

of thousands of people will be affected if they are evicted. Kablana is filing a petition with the Court, requesting the authorities to at least resume the water and power connections, that have been stopped by the Administration. “I wish there was some way the officials could be forced to live here. They will realise the difficulties within hours,” he adds. The issue of this area is presently under consideration of the Supreme Court, which has stayed any new construction in the area, while stopping further demolitions. It is clear that a lasting (but urgent) strategy needs to be conceived and adopted by all the stakeholders, to find a solution to Gurgaon’s ills. Let us resolve the issues before they get out of hand, say experts.u


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18-24 January 2013

CAPITAL MUSEUMS Jit kumar

{ Shilpy Arora / FG }

T

he Capital houses myriad museums, exhibiting the classic to modern art, and science, as well as the unique and bizarre. Friday Gurgaon takes you on a trip to some of the unique and less explored museums in the Capital.

Sulabh International Museum of Toilets

We started our journey from one of the most unusual museums in the country. Located in Mahavir Enclave, just six kilometres from the Kapashera border, the Museum is dedicated to the history of toilets, and uses of human excreta in day-to-day life. It is a rare display of the evolution of toilets, and their various designs. “We can’t ignore the subject of toilets in India, as our country accumulates 900 million litres of urine and 135 million kilogrammes of faecal matter per day, with an absolutely inadequate system of its collection and disposal. That is why people in India have a constant threat of health hazards and epidemics. Keeping this in mind, I think the subject of toilets is as important as other issues such as poverty, education, and employment. I feel that a study of the history of toilets, and modern sanitary engineering, is a critical subject, and a museum is a great way to generate public interest,” says Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak, the Founder of Sulabh Inter-

national Social Service Organisation, an NGO in the field of Sanitation. The Museum boasts of some rare collections. A map of the Indus Valley Civilisation tells that olden day Haryana gave immense importance to sanitation engineering. “Some areas in the Indus Valley Civilization reached heights of 40 feet because of the concern over sanitation and hygiene. Cities often grow upon their foundations over time, but in the Indus Valley homes were also periodically elevated, to avoid the risk of runoff from a neighbour’s sewage,” informs Mahirath, curator of the Museum. Although the Museum has a widespread display of privies, chamber pots, toilet furniture, bidets, and water closets that have been in use since 1145, the highlight is the replica of the throne of Louis the XIII. It is believed that Kings Louis XIII and Louis the XIV used to have court sessions while using the toilet. Amazingly, King Louis the XIII had a commode under his throne. “It was a bit strange that while the king preferred privacy during his meals, he chose to ease himself publicly,” laughs out one of the curators. Among other priced possessions are ancient stoneware chamber pots from Britain, painted medieval urinals, and a French commode that resembles a stack of books! Modern toilets include an electric toilet, a nuclear toilet, and a toilet that operates with a remote control. “An electric toilet uses electricity to

dispose the excreta, and for the cleaning and drying functions, while a nuclear toilet uses nuclear energy to do the same. A toilet that works with a remote control senses human presence, and automatically opens its top. Such toilets are generally used during the chilly winter nights in European countries, and the motive was also to save water,” explains Mr. Bhalla, Managing Director of Sulabh Museum of Toilets. The Museum also has a toilet called “Wellyoull”. Manufactured by a Japanese toilet company, “Wellyoull” measures the user’s urine-sugar level, by collecting a urine sample in a spoon that is held by a retractable mechanical arm. After having a look at the gallery, you can move to the openmuseum, and see the artefacts made with human excreta. Micheal, an artist who makes these artefacts, says “A couple of years ago a German artist visited this Museum. He designed 22 artefacts with human excreta, and sent them to various art galleries across the

world. You will find one in the London Art Gallery too!” He explains that human waste is collected in a closed pit so that it gets decomposed naturally. The decomposed material is then ground into a fine powder. Later, it is mixed with fevicol, to make the artefacts. Mahirath, who regularly spends eight hours taking visitors through the Museum, emphasises on the importance of sanitation in the country. He says that the aim of the Museum is not to establish it as a unique museum, but to spread awareness about the importance of sanitation and hygiene. Putting forth an example of how sanitation is given importance in many countries, he says, “Like in India we teach newly-wed girls to cook, Chinese brides are made to clean toilets with their hands. It depicts how much importance is given to hygiene in China. That is why they don’t suffer health epidemics caused by unhygienic conditions. Unfortunately, neither our people nor the government give value to proper sanitation. Through this Museum we hope to make people aware about this very important issue,” says Mahirath.

Bharatiya Adimjati Sevak Sangh

A 30-minute drive from Mahavir Enclave takes you to a tribal museum, “Bharatiya Adimjati Sevak Sangh”. Hidden on

the side of a busy road in Central Delhi, the Museum is located adjacent to the Jhandewalan Metro Station. Although you might need to brave the dirty water flowing in and around the building, the Museum, that is located on the first floor, has been decently maintained. It gives you a glimpse of an extensive collection of tribal artefacts, and small and life-size dioramas, which depict the life style and setting of the tribal people in India. Bringing together culture, lifestyle, customs and beliefs of the various tribes hailing from different states, the Museum throws light on tribal heritage and their simple-yet-interesting ways of living. Stories are told through pictures, literature and the figurines. The Collection is spread across four halls and a maze of corridors, making an attempt to bring the tribal life alive to visitors. The long corridors house artefacts, that show important life events – such as festivals, acts of animal sacrifice, marriages, and polling (during elections). Moreover, there is a collection of garments used by various tribes, showcasing unique colours, weaves, and patterns. From garments, masks, jewellery, weapons, axes, stone tools, hunting gear, jars, and bundles of medicines, to


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musical instruments like ‘Nagaras’, flutes, and dholak, the Museum gives a perfect picture of the life of tribal communities. A life-size diorama, depicting the nuances of specific tribes, is the most interesting. The expressions on each of the figures have been carved out so well that they almost look alive. Visitors are sure to admire the simplicity of tribal life. The Museum also takes you through the stories of the tribes that lived in and around Haryana, some 9,000 years ago. It showcases gigantic funeral urns of tribals, dating back to 5,000 B.C. While some are distorted, a few stand intact, with the bones found within them. What is most fascinating is miniature three-dimensional sculptures of tribal communities belonging to Madhya Pradesh. Earthenwares, reflecting the characteristic of the Iron Age, are worth a look. Within the maze of corridors and staircases is a well-maintained library. “With more than 6,000 titles, all on tribes of India, the library serves as a wonderful reference point. On week-days you will find many students studying the history of tribes here,” says a curator. A walk around the Museum also reveals some small wonders. Spread across the corridors are a few “kurinji” shrubs, that flower once every 12 years. These flowers are said to have once graced the crown of many tribals in Himachal Pradesh.

Bhai Mati Das Sati Das Museum

A Sikh museum, known as “Bhai Mati Das Sati Das Museum”, is located in the famous market of Chandni

Chowk. As the market catches one’s attention first, not many people are aware that a Museum is located at the main roundabout in the market. The Museum is conceived as part of the efforts of the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC). In the 1970s eminent artists such as Sohan Singh, Gurdit Singh, Bodhraj, and Amolak Singh were appointed to make paintings that revealed the Sikh history.    The Museum is named after Bhai Mati Das and Bhai Sati Das, who were brutally killed by the Mughals. A photograph of the brave Sikh Gurus, holding swords, hangs at the entrance of a picturesque building. “I have been visiting the Sheesh Ganj Gurudwara for the last 15 years, but I didn’t have a clue that here lies such a well-maintained and interesting museum. When today I heard of it I thought I would see a lot of weapons and swords, that Sikh gurus used during their struggle with the Mughals. However, I am amazed to see that the history is presented through murals ,” says Gursharan Singh, a resident of Faridabad. Breaking the popular belief that most museums in India lack a coherent and interesting display of artefacts, paintings at the Sikh museum are presented in an interesting manner. Housed in an enormous well-lit and clean complex, the Museum is divided into 60 alleys, and displays over 200 murals. From the story of Akbar seeking Guru Amar Das’ blessing for a son, to the legendary Sikh generals capturing Delhi’s

Red Fort in 1781, well-known historical events come alive in the Museum. The curator, Bhai Charan Singh, informs us about Sikh history. He showcases an interesting painting, wherein the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak, reads a beautiful composition on 'woman', in a gathering of men. It reflects the equal status given to men and women by the Sikh guru. While a rare painting depicts the Sikh militants holding a durbar after their victory, the most interesting is a painting that shows Sri Lankan dancers, who were sent by their king to entice Guru Nanak. Later these dancers became his followers. Murals not only reflect the sacrifice of the nine Sikh Gurus, but also showcase how Sikh women at that time participated equally in the wars. The Museum also reflects the history of Delhi. While a mural depicts the massive construction at Chandni Chowk, other paintings showcase how small pox hit Delhi, and dead bodies lay across the

City. Not just history, the Museum also showcases the contribution of the Sikh community to the world in the 21st century. A mural depicts that in 2009 a Sikh organisation made a world record by collecting 18,207 units of blood in 16 hours, during a massive blood donation camp organised on the occasion of Hola Mohalla at Anandpur, Punjab. Paintings have been added to the collection over time.

National Crafts Museum

After enjoying the serenity at the Sikh museum, we brave the crowded streets of Chandni Chowk to head to our next destination – National Crafts Museum, situated at Pragati Maidan. From modern audio-visual rooms, showcasing the history of craftsmanship in the country, to actual physical displays and regional musicians, this place promises to be different from the standard museum experience. With the collection of 20,000 items of folk and tribal arts, crafts, and textiles, the Museum was designed by a renowned architect, Charles Correa, in 1956. The Museum has several open and semi-open passages, that are covered with sloping, tiled roofs, and lined with old carved wooden ‘jharokhas’. A walk through the Village Complex, spread over an area of about

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four acres, helps in exploring village dwellings, courtyards, and shrines from various states – such as Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Orissa, and the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Courtyards having domed pigeon houses, terracotta shrines dedicated to basil plants, massive temple chariots, and walls adorned with magnificent paintings made by tribal and rural artists, make it a heaven for a photographer. Shikha, a curator, says, “Thanks to its vast collection and good management, this Museum has drawn many leading personalities. The First Lady of the US, Michelle Obama, on her visit to the Capital, insisted on Barack Obama to visit the National Crafts Museum. Michelle said that she was amazed to have a glimpse of the varied skills of Indian artisans.” There are also numerous shops that sell handicrafts within the premise. You can also find miniatures of many famous buildings of Delhi, and the Taj Mahal, and the edifices of cultural heritage from other parts of India. The Museum is not confined to just preserving historic artefacts. It has become a centre for intellectual activities. It is emerging as a premier research centre for archaeologists, historians, and academicians. Documentary film making, film festivals, art exhibitions, folk dance competitions, debates, painting competitions, community based and leadership training programmes and special educational and cultural classes for children are featured in the Museum’s busy curriculum. “We have been called an active museum. Last year, we held a unique year-long celebration of Tagore’s birth anniversary. This year we are planning to celebrate 100 years of Indian Cinema,” says Shikha. u


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18-24 January 2013

C ivic S ocial

A Policy to Close Guest Houses? { Maninder Dabas / FG }

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oday’s Gurgaon is home to millions of hopes, aspirations and dreams, especially of the young and dynamic workforce, which has played a key role in the metamorphosis of Gurgaon, from a laid-back and neglected suburb of Delhi to a giant that has made the blue-eyed boys of Indian cosmopolitanism feel dwarfed and envious. But the dreamers need a real home too. A majority of this workforce that comes from all across India, neither have the resources nor the courage to buy a house of their own here. They live in guest houses and PGs scattered all across the City.

The Policy

To regulate the functioning of guest houses, the Haryana government has just framed a policy. As per this, any guest house that is operational in an area less than 1,000 sq.yds in a residential locality would be deemed illegal; and a residential sector can only have a maximum of 5,000 sq.yds of land under guest houses. This has sent shock waves to not only those who are running these guest houses and PGs, but thousands of working professionals who seek refuge under their roofs. “Clearly, this is a huge injustice done to the people who live in these guest houses, because if this rule gets implemented almost all the guest houses and PGs in Gurgaon would become illegal. It would become a problem for people like us, who can’t afford to rent or own a flat in Gurgaon. We all know about the exorbitant rents in this City. That rent, and the high cost of living here, would leave people like me in debt,” said Anuj Kumar Singh, a software professional who lives in a PG in one of the HUDA sectors. As per an estimate, of the total 2,000 ‘official’ guest houses (5,000, according to insiders) in the City, less than 100 are constructed on 1,000 sq.yds plots. The new Policy has also put the fate of guest houses in high-rise buildings in jeopardy; it does not have a provision for apartments in high-rise structures. The Deputy Commissioner, P.C Meena, last week directed HUDA and other concerned authorities to close all ‘illegal’ guest houses and PGs that are being run in the residential sectors. Meena said that using a residential plot for commercial activities is not permitted under HUDA rules. He said that the owners of these plots were availing all civic amenities— like electricity, drinking water etc.—at subsidised rates. These commercial activities also reportedly disturb the peaceful ambience of the residential sectors. The DC asked the concerned officers to serve resumption notices to the plot owners, asking why commercial activities were taking place in their plots, that too without permission. Meena said that HUDA issues ‘non-nuisance certificates’ for taking up commercial activities in residential sectors—like for opening of offices for dealing in property, consultancy etc.— but in that case also not more than 25 per cent of the space on the ground floor can be utilised for commercial activities. A fee of Rs. 50,000 is payable to HUDA for this.

What Is The Choice?

The government, just like for ‘unauthorised colonies’ people, did not think about the thousands of working professionals living in these guest houses and PGs. Where would they go? Does Gurgaon have any other another source of affordable living for this segment? “Most of the HUDA sectors don’t have plots of 1,000 sq.yds, and I don’t understand on what basis this Policy has been framed. The

government should have thought about all these people who are helping run this corporate City. I believe more than one lakh people are living in these guest houses and PGs, and such a huge white collar work force can’t be taken for granted. An affordable dwelling place is a basic necessity. As far as taking the civic benefits of water and power at a residential rate is concerned, I would like to tell you that I went to DHBVN to get an electricity connection for my new PG facility, and they provided me with the connection at residential rates. And even if they want to charge the commercial rate, they can, and there are many ways they can ensure a fair collection of commercial rates from these outfits. What’s the need to seal them and leave thousands of working professionals ‘homeless’?,” said a PG and guest house owner. Software engineers, bankers, telecom professionals, government servants – there are varied young professionals living in guest houses. Although Gurgaon has thousands of flats lying vacant and

there are people looking to rent them, the rates are very high. If the other cost of living were lower, it may have worked out for some – but the food, transport and other costs are also very high. “A one bedroom flat in a ‘new’ Gurgaon colony would cost me about Rs. 15,000 per month, and with a salary of about Rs. 30,000, how can a professional afford this? The guest houses and PGs remain the best option because they are not only affordable, but almost all them provide meals and 24x7 water and power,” said Vivek Kumar, a software professional from Himachal Pradesh, who works in a company on Sohna road. Although most of these guest houses are used by the middle-income level group, there are others, who can afford a hotel or flat, but

Private Builder Areas

As of now only HUDA seems to be taking a tough stand against the guest houses and PGs which have been deemed illegal according to this new Policy. “Well, this Policy has been framed by DTCP, and hence all the places—including HUDA sectors as well as private builder areas— come under its ambit. However, HUDA as a body cannot take action against these guest houses and PGs, and so the private builders also may not. The DC or MCG, however, have the right to take action,” said Manoj Khatri, Estate Officer-II, Gurgaon. People living in private builder areas have welcomed this Policy. “I am not sure whether this Policy would get implemented in private colonies, but residents want it to be implemented because these guest houses and PGs have become a nuisance for the residents here. There is a large cluster of them. They not only put excessive pressure on the civic infrastructure, but their presence inside the gated colonies leads to frequent trouble,” said Sudhir Kapoor, Secretary General, DLF City RWA. Guest houses/PGs running in apartments in the group housing complexes do not find mention in this Policy. “Guest

still choose to stay in guest houses. “I come to Gurgaon once in two months for three-four days for business purposes, and I can easily afford a ‘medium’ hotel for my stay, but I still choose these guest houses because they are affordable, and provide me with food that tastes ‘homemade’. Further, some of my friends and acquaintances are also staying in this guest house,” said Nirmal Verma, a young businessman from Uttrakhand. “Most of the workforce is young, and are bachelors – or don’t have their family with them. In a flat one has to cook, or arrange a cook, which means another Rs, 1,000 to 1,500. If in a PG or guest house, an individual can manage with Rs. 10,000 in a month, a separate flat would cost the person more than Rs. 20,000,” said Akash Gupta, a senior manager in a company, who lives as a PG in one of the HUDA sectors. Real estate agents agree. “I can provide you with a nice apartment wherever you want in Gurgaon. But a single room apartment in a ‘decent’ area costs around Rs. 15,000. Food and other items would cost another Rs. 7,000; whereas in a PG, your total cost would be Rs. 10,000, for boarding and lodging. So a guest house or PG is indeed a better option for those who don’t have a family with them,” said a property dealer. To complicate matters, many apartment owners also do not want to rent their property to ‘single young men’, because the owners believe they would become a source of nuisance. “Before coming to this PG I used to stay in an apartment in DLF Phase-V, with three other friends. Initially it went well, but later the neighbours started causing trouble, and we were not even allowed to play loud music. Coming in late at night was another issue. We never created any nuisance, but we were accused of creating problems for the other residents. I decided to come to a PG, and here I find no problem whatsoever,” added Vivek. So, the young men are in a fix – a single individual can’t afford an apartment on his own, and if he takes a flat on rent in collaboration with friends or other colleagues, ‘society’ doesn’t easily accept this. “I have rented my upper floor to a family. I had many offers, including offers made by groups of boys, but I didn’t want to be regularly opening the gates late at night. Apart from that boys normally consume houses functional in apartments are also illegal. The main objective behind the Policy is to curb the illegal or commercial use of subsidised services such as water, power etc., under the pretext of residential use,” informed a HUDA official.

PGs vs Guest Houses

Actually there are many more PGs than guest houses. But most of the time people don’t understand the real difference between the two, and use them interchangeably. “The basic difference is that in a guest house one has to pay charges per day and per service, while in PGs one’s lodging is very similar to having a house or flat on rent, and just food is provided extra. Most of the people prefer PGs, because they are relatively cheaper. For example, in a good guest house, a one day stay, including food and other facilities, would cost an individual around a thousand rupees; whereas in a PG one can live with all facilities for merely 7 to 8 thousand rupees per month. Hence PGs offer a comfortable lodging at an affordable rate, whereas guest houses are only good for brief stays,” said Sandeep Sehrawat, a PG and guest house owner.

alcohol, and do misbehave. We have a daughter at home. Renting to a family is a safe bet,” said Kartar Singh, a resident.

The State-view

The state government seems to have come up with this Policy to recover a better rate for civic resources that are being used for commercial activities. “This Policy may have some adverse effect on the people living in these places, but the guest house owners are misusing the subsidised resources of the State. For example, DHBVN charges around Rs. 6 per unit from a residential household, whereas if the building is used for commercial purposes the same unit would cost around Rs. 10. The guest house owners are only paying the residential rate,” said an official. However, by making most current guest houses (less than 1,000 sq.yds) illegal, the State is ignoring immediate revenue gains that can accrue by charging commercial rates from them – as well as inconveniencing the young working population. New 1,000 sq.yds facilities will clearly take time to come up, and may be even more expensive. At the ground level, till now there has been no movement. “Most probably a meeting would take place next week, in which the action plan of sealing these places would be discussed,” informed a source in HUDA. It is believed that, after the meeting next week, HUDA will issue 15 day notices to the owners of the guest houses and PGs that are deemed illegal according to this new Policy.

The Impact

There is a growing feeling among the thousands of working professionals living in these PGs/guest houses, that if sealings take place, they either would have to look for other alternatives—such as a rental flat, which is anyway beyond the reach of most—or leaving Gurgaon altogether, and finding a job elsewhere. “If sealing does happen, leaving Gurgaon would be the first option, because no matter what I am earning I can’t afford to have a flat here,” said Chandan Singh, a professional. There is also a sentiment of rage and fear in the young professionals, who have been living here for quite a while now, and have given this City a fair share of their output. “The PG I live in is about sevenyears-old. Why didn’t the government impose these regulations when these facilities were sprouting all over the City? The government knew for sure about these facilities,” said Ashish Trivedi, a scientist from Kanpur. Not only men, working women too choose PGs or guest houses as they are affordable and comfortable, “If I were to rent a flat, I would have to shell out at least Rs. 15, 000 a month. Moreover, there is the security deposit and the down payment. Not many can afford that,” said a lady who is a market researcher living in a PG in one of the HUDA sectors. “The government is coming up with all these regulations and policies, but do they have an alternative for us? Our safety is also their responsibility. And do they expect all PGs and guest houses to shift to market areas? How safe is that? None of us want to compromise on living standards. They are just making things more difficult for us,” she added. If there is an exodus of professionals, apart from the impact on jobs and companies, it would be immensely harmful for the image of this Millennium City. But since when did that really bother us... u


18-24 January 2013

Kid Corner

11

Solutions

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?

Literary Flourish

Kids Brainticklers

Someone Special There’s someone always there for you, Watching you, Looking at you, Always careful about your likes and dislikes Watching you on earthy rides. That special one comes to your life like a wave, For whom you have not paid, Who Loves you, That only a love one can de. That one with sparkling eyes, Full of bright loving shine eyes, The hands so caring, so soft and endearing. Do you know who is more precious than gold? Its your mother who is always present for you.

Astha Gupta Grade VIII Brahmaputra , Lotus Valley International School

Artistic Strokes

Jyoti Gautam, Grade VIII, Sucheta Memorial School

Alejandra, Grade II Y, Pathways International School

Mayank, Grade VI A, Swiss Cottage School


12

18-24 January 2013

Long Live The 3 Rs

{ Anita Jaswal } The 3 Rs: Where's the love for reading and writing? Remember the days when we studied the three Rs in school – Reading, (W)riting and (A)rithmetic? I have fond memories of the William and Secret Seven books of those days. But test results published today show that children are failing to master at least one of the three basic subjects. Children are born creative. But the emphasis on tests, and judging creative expression, damages that inherent creativity very early on. If you give a child the latest version of the iPhone I guarantee they will know all the 'ins and outs' of the phone before you can get a chance to read the manual.  It is the computer game mentality; if they get knocked off on the screen, they will try again. But reading and writing are sadly becoming lost arts. These are timeless pursuits that improve the mind, and don’t require any money – just a trip to the library, and a little imagination. How can we get our kids to fall in love with good, old-fashioned words?  It is a sad fact that this big Millennium City hardly has a proper library, and just a smattering of big bookshops (which are overpriced), and supermarkets for books.   Parents know that they should read to their children, sign them up at the library, and occasionally wrestle the remote control or joystick from their hands – and replace it with a book. But reading isn't the only thing that's fundamental. The other side of literacy is writing, and that's where many parents and their kids fall short. Like carpentry, writing is a craft; the more you do it, the better you get. And kids do need to get better at it. Writing effectively, after all, is a necessary skill, whether your kids need to compose an essay answer for an exam, or want to write an effective memo, or report at a future job.  It is always a pleasure reading what children write, as there is no effort to impress or gloss the text....it comes straight from the heart. I have come across a lot of children from various

K id C orner

schools who are all fond of reading, and also love to write. They take books from the library regularly, and also write poems and articles expressing their thoughts. Here are a few thoughts by children from various Schools in the City. Rhythm Gupta, of The Heritage School, feels happiness is when you get a new puppy...Happiness is being proud of who you are.” Aryan Singh of Amity International feels, “I thought my life was like a game, But each day is not the same! My dangerous level is exams. Some are fun some are sad!” Malishka Kulchandra of the Suncity School, asks: “He has a heart of gold, a deep love for his wife that most women can only dream of.  He has love for his child that is beyond imagination. Who is this man?  He is my Dad-My Inspiration!” After recovering from an illness, Arunima Jain of Bloom Public School, who loves dancing, wrote: “When I started therapy, I could not stand. My legs had become so weak. The mere thought

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of performing on stage made me strong again. After two months of treatment when I went back to the class, my teacher continued to inspire me to dance. She and my family motivated me not to stop because of anything. Today I am one of the good students in my class and want to reach the level where I can be on stage, like my teacher.” 8-year-old Sanjoni Jain of the Indus World School strongly feels, “We all should keep on working hard on our talents and keep on nurturing them, making a mark in life. So that others also get inspired from us and they improve on themselves. Vrinda Sharma of DPS, Sushant Lok, adopted a maimed baby sparrow who, despite days of caring, succumbed to his injuries. Her heartfelt feelings for the fledgling: “After some days he became ill and died. Some of us believed he went back to his mother in the sky, and today shines like a star. Pippo will always remain in our sweet memories. And all my life I will remember that we can give happiness and joy in the short time we share with others.” Shaurya Babbar of Shalom Hills is ever grateful for the life God has given him. “A life which is full of magic. A life which has my parents in it. A life which has a little naughty sister in it. I am grateful to all those people who have showered their love and blessings on

7 year old Avni Singh of Sri Ram School wants to become a singer when she grows up because, “I like singing and I want to save planet Earth by saving electricity.” Raushni Plaha of Scottish High, strongly believes that “my parents are the best friends that I can ever have. To me Family is an acronym, meaning ‘Father and Mother I Love You’!” Though it is generally felt that writing ability is an inborn talent, it is imperative to help your children enjoy reading. This is one of the most important things you can do as a parent, and it's well worth the investment of your time and energy. All children will not become Enid Blytons or Roald Dahls, but we can improve our children’s literacy skills, that include – reading, predicting, writing, speaking, and listening... Make reading a happy pastime–even for the child who struggles – with turntaking read-alouds, clever comic books, and word games like Scrabble! Reading and writing are scholastic vitamins...That aside, imagine the thrill of curling up with your kids, and adventuring together with Charlie or Harry Potter, or through the wardrobe into Narnia!u

A Day in My Life A shrill alarm bell rings out loud. My brain switches into panic mode. Darkness is all around. I jump up and head to the bathroom. Yes, that is how my day begins! Every day, the same monotonous routine takes hold. I brush my teeth vigorously, splash my eyes with a dollop of water and begin my breakfast. Breakfast is usually cornflakes and milk. After saying a hurried goodbye to my family, I rush to the gate to be picked up by my friend in his car and go to the bus stop. The daily commute is long and boring but occasionally, there are water fights and various other amusing

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me. We should be grateful to God that He has given us so much that we don’t need to beg or ask anyone for anything.”

Pratham Bhutani, Class 9th

things.
In school, I begin with an assembly in which everyone is too busy talking, to listen. I barely make it through Science and Hindi, although I come out of my slumber during Maths, English and Social Science. My school is a very colourful area, but the food they serve is not something I look forward to. After school, my friends and I pile onto the bus, and begin the lengthy journey home. 
After a quick cold shower, I eat some snacks and go down to play soccer or basketball with my friends. I don’t know why, but there is always an alien, slightly rubbery smell to the grass in the fields. These days, in the chilly air, my sweat seems to freeze on my skin, leaving cold patches on my body. Coming home at seven pm leaves me very tired. So, I rest for a few rushed minutes before I sit down to do my homework. My homework is overwhelming...there is just so much!  At eight thirty, I eat a delectable dinner prepared by my mother. Sadly, I have to go to bed by nine o clock. So, I set my alarm clock, pull up the blankets and settle in for a good night’s sleep.
 u Suryadip Bandyopadhyay, a resident of Nirvana Country Grade VI, Vasant Valley School


C ivic/S ocial

18-24 January 2013

H

aridas, 30, was born in a slum in Delhi. Like millions of slum children he was the neglected toddler of a labourer mother. Thankfully, at the age of three, he joined a mobile crèche at a construction site where his mother worked. After discovering the little joys of childhood through song, dance, and painting at the mobile crèche, Haridas was admitted to a government school. He began dividing his day between school in the morning and the mobile creche in the afternoon, doing his homework amid the security of the mobile crèche. Today he is working as a senior IT engineer with a multinational company, and drawing a salary of Rs. 35,000. “Just as an engineer is responsible for laying the foundation of a building, a care giver at a mobile crèche can lay the foundation for  many lives,” says Haridas. Like Haridas, Sharda’s life story also began in a mobile crèche, where she attained the right education and skills to be self-dependent. However, after getting married, she had to face physical violence from her husband and in-laws. Sharda says, “The mobile crèche helped me seek legal advice and file a complaint at the women’s cell. They put me through a training programme conducted by the Delhi Police. Today I feel proud that I can help women who are the victims of domestic violence.” Sharda is a part of the Delhi Police. For the last 43 years mobile crèches have been working for the welfare of the children of labourers, slum dwellers, and rag-pickers. It started with the vision of Meera Mahadevan, an associate of Mahatma Gandhi. In 1969, during a construction near Raj Ghat, she saw a few children of labourers roaming around dusty and unhygienic construction sites. She set up a tent under a tree to protect them from the scorching sun. It was the first mobile crèche. Later, she established an organisation called Mobile Crèche. Thanks to her vision, today over 7,000 children of construction workers in the City have been able to receive education and healthcare. “There are over 80 construction sites in and around Gurgaon. More than 25 per cent of the workers on these sites are women.  Over 10 lakh children are raised at the construction sites in the City. It is therefore important to have some kind of shelter and facilities for these children, who are part of the

Building Crèches

JIT KUMAR

{ Shilpy Arora / FG }

future of this country,” says Shreeja, Communications Officer, Mobile Crèche.

How it Works?

Spread across 50 square feet, a mobile crèche is a make-shift structure made of a brick wall and a tin roof. Children upto six years of age are left by their mothers in these crèches, from 9 am to 8 pm. The small crèche is divided into three sections – the crèche, the Balwadi, and the Non-Formal Education (NFE) area. At the crèche area the infants are provided with a cereal and milk mixture; at the Balwadi the children play, paint and participate in various activities such as story-telling, dancing, and singing – and are provided with meals six days a week, twice a day; at the NFE some older children are coached for admission to government schools. These older children can visit their siblings at the crèche area. “Mobile Crèche offers holistic day-care. It takes care of a child’s health, nutrition and hygiene at the Centre, and also provides non-formal education to older children. Besides, Mobile Crèche outreaches through group meetings with the mothers, and organises various programmes to educate the parents,” says Prema, who travels more than 40 km to teach at a mobile crèche on Sohna Road. Part of Mobile Crèche for the past 23 years, Prema takes care of the medical, entertainment, and education needs of the children, as well as their mothers.

Tie-up with builders

Under the construction laws it is the responsibility of the builder to provide space, drainage, ventilation, water, electricity and toilets for the children. “It is not easy to make people shell out money for these children. Yet companies

like Bestech, Shapoorji Pallonji (SP), Spazedge, Vatika, Unitech, Rahejas, Ansals, and Amrapali Group have rendered support to the mobile crèches in the City,” says Shreeja.

Challenges

“How many times do I have to tell you that you should breastfeed your child at least four times a day,” says a volunteer at a mobile crèche, to a young labourer, who leaves her ninemonth-old baby at the crèche. “Our major challenge is to educate the parents. Earlier, mothers never could find time to breast feed their child, as they couldn’t leave construction sites so often. We requested the contractors to give four to five breaks to a nursing mother so that she can feed her child,” says a volunteer. Prema, with her vast experience, believes that

street theatre, puppet shows, and outings go in a long way in spreading awareness among the uneducated workers. Migration is another challenge. As the labourers don’t spend more than a year at a site, it becomes a challenge for Mobile Crèche to provide the children sustained care and guidance. “Once they spend a few months at a site, we motivate women labourers and older children to become our volunteers. We call them, ‘Lokdoots’. We provide them basic guidance on health and hygiene, and stress the importance of education. We also train them to perform, using folk media. ‘Lokdoots’ spread awareness wherever they go,” says Prema. Many times ‘Lokdoots’ have organised health camps and small schools programmes on their own. A key concern is safety. “I have seen children playing near the cranes and the electrical equipment that are used to

lift construction material. I have seen children walking on rough surfaces, with bare feet. Sometimes, they meet with serious accidents. We, try to ensure that our Centre is established away from dust and noise. However, since a centre is always at a construction site, it is difficult to keep children away from pollution and an unhygienic environment. Besides, it is not easy to keep children away from their parents,” says Shreeja. It is difficult to get volunteers in the City. “It is not difficult in Delhi and Mumbai. In the 1970s, when a lot of construction was going on in Delhi near the diplomatic area, we received tremendous support from the

13

wives of ambassadors. They came forward to teach the kids art and craft, and also helped us in keeping the area neat and clean. But for the last decade most construction sites have moved to Gurgaon and Noida, where it is very difficult to spread awareness about our initiative,” feels Shreeja. Shikha, a volunteer at an MG Road mobile crèche, agrees, and suggests that corporate houses should help cater to the needs of these children. “Through Friday Gurgaon we want to make people aware about our initiative in the City. We want to initiate both fundraising and ‘Friend Raising’ in the City. Funds are the basic fuel on which our centre runs, and ‘Friends’ help us stay on track. We hope we soon get both in Gurgaon,” says Shikha. u

{ Alka Gurha }

“F

or me real happiness is when I see the marginalised children of our society happy, healthy and smiling,” says Shreeja Keyal Kanoria, who lives in Heritage City. Shreeja moved to Gurgaon 2 years ago from Kolkata, with her husband Keshav Kanoria, an educational consultant. Shreeja found her calling in the caring for young children of labourers at construction sites. Since she had always wanted to work for a social cause, Mobile Crèches provided her the desired platform. Shreeja explains, “Mobile Crèches has so far reached out to more than 7, 50,000 children, and trained 6,500 women as child care workers. We have a child protection policy, to ensure a safe and secure environment for the children we work with. We run 650 day care centres in partnership with builders like Vatika, Bestech, Unitech, Rahejas, Ansals and the Amrapali Group.” Most of us admire the tall glitzy buildings, but never care to find out what goes on in the life of construction workers – who sweat and toil to give shape to the modern structures. The Construction Industry in India employs around 30 million workers. They work in extremely hazardous conditions. Childcare and educational amenities are absent, as are maternity benefits for women. There are unequal wages between men and women. Today 25 per cent of unskilled workers are women. Conservative estimates put the number of their children at 1 crore; with 300,000 children on the sites of Delhi alone. Since Gurgaon has developers with big budget projects, and they were willing to contribute to the cost of childcare at the sites, the movement to strengthen early child care got the much needed impetus. There is a strong rationale behind the initiative to ensure a healthy and quality life for the children living at the construction sites. Says Shreeja, “The early childhood stage is the most critical period, when the foundations for health, learning capacities and social behaviours are laid. Children’s development consists of several interdependent domains, including cognitive and socioemotional needs. Ours is a proactive strategy, which aims to provide a level playing field for the disadvantaged children, that will also strengthen this human resource of the country.” Mobile Crèches uses three avenues to enrol the migrant child on construction sites - the Crèche provision under the Building and other Construction Workers Act, 1996; provisions under the Rajiv Gandhi Crèche Scheme, to cover children on sites; and by ensuring that the Anganwadis, under the ICDS, are extended to migrant children. Rini, a nine year old girl at a construction site, says, “School is fun. I miss school on Sundays, when I am made to do the household chores in my dirty, hot jhuggi.” Jharna, a mother who carries bricks, says, “My children now ask me to wash my hands before cooking, because Didi at school said so.” These are immensely satisfying stories. At a time when our generation is obsessed with ‘the good things of life’, there is great consolation in knowing that we have youngsters like Shreeja, who are ensuring a secure future for the children belonging to the underprivileged and marginalised sections of our society. u


14 { Abhishek Behl / FG }

O

nce a desolate and potholed stretch of road connecting two major towns of Haryana, the Gurgaon Faridabad Expressway now offers great connectivity – and a path to rapid progress. The area around the road is poised to become the next realty destination say industry experts, as a number of residential and commercial projects have already been launched along the road – particularly near the Millennium City. The maximum development is taking place around three Gurgaon villages – viz. Ghata, Baliyawas, and Gual Pahari. However, local residents of these villages say that this area, being an ecosensitive zone, must be developed with care, so that the fragile eco-system of the Aravallis is not affected. The first developer to spot the potential of this area was Ansals, who developed the Valley View Apartments around a bevy of farm houses that still exist today – but are under the threat of being swept away in the realty boom. The decision of the MCG to bring Ghata and Gual Pahari under its wings has also put a question mark on the future of a number of farmhouses, as ownership of many of these is allegedly contentious. Mahesh Dayma, Councillor of Ward No. 32, and a resident of Ghata, says that a large number of farm houses on both sides of the road have been carved out of the village common land, and are illegally occupied by individuals – in many cases by builders. “I have raised this issue in the MCG House meeting, and we will ensure that the village common land is not siphoned off. I also want to point out that many builders who have already set up projects in these villages have not delivered on the social responsibility, as demanded by their agreements with the government,” says Dayma. In his opinion, real estate developers should be allowed to set up projects only if they are ready to follow the rule of law, particularly in and around the Aravallis. These hills act as the green lungs of not only Gurgaon but the entire NCR, so there is need to handle development in an ecofriendly manner. Clearly, his concerns are not unfounded, as one of the residents near Ansal Valley View Apartments takes us to a massive pond of sewerage near the Colony wall, and also points out that large quantities of untreated water are released by the Colony without any proper treatment. Azad Singh Tanwar, a local property dealer, says that while the MCG has put

18-24 January 2013

R eal E state

Gurgaon II Extension

Prakhar pandey

the future of farm houses in a quandary, it does not take any action against builders who are polluting the area wantonly. “This water seeps underground and also damages the tress and plants. Why is no action being taken against the polluters?” he asks. Just next to the Ansals is Paras Trade Centre, a stateof-the-art trade tower that is likely to be completed soon. However, with no major infrastructure for sewage and sanitation in the area, it is most likely that the natural contours and gullies of the Aravallis would be used to divert the waste water. Just a few hundred metres ahead, some mega residential projects are being built by Krissh Developers, Provence Estates and Ninnaniya Builders. Realty experts say that high-end projects are coming up in the area, as the FAR allowed in this belt is 1.2 – as compared to other parts of Gurgaon where FAR is 1.75. Sanjay Sharma of Qubrex says that a couple of years back no one could envisage the kind of development taking place in these pristine hills. “I thought that not many projects would come up in the area, as it is a forest area and the government would ensure that its sanctity is preserved,” he says. Apart from larger apartments (due to a lower FAR), there will be less density as well, says Sanjay. He predicts that it might come up as another posh part of Gurgaon, where the rich and High Net-Worth Individuals (HNIs) make their homes – also owing to close proximity to Delhi (especially with the proposed new connection from Mehrauli to Faridabad Road). In addition to apartments, this area also has a number of hotels, malls, entertainment and educational zones at the periphery, particularly on the Gurgaon side. Two IT SEZs have already

been launched. One of these— built by ASF—has already been completed, along the Faridabad Road-Mehrauli Road connecting Gual Pahari-Jaunapur and Mehrauli. The other one is on the main GurgaonFaridabad Road, and is called the Metro IT SEZ. Vijay Yadav, a resident, says that this area also has great tourist potential – with Sohna Tourist Complex, Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary, Surajkund and Damdama Lakes in close vicinity. “This area could also be developed for adventure sports—like climbing, rappelling, shooting, desert biking—and resorts could also come up.” With water being a precious commodity in this entire region, the builders will have to adopt sustainable practices (as being evolved in TERI in their Retreat close by) believe experts, as this area also acts as a catchment for the Millenium City. Rakesh Ambawata, a local, says that the government will have to ensure that rampant construction does not take place. “The builders should set up sewerage treatment units, and there should be provision for adequate water. If this does not happen then the Aravallis will face certain death,” he warns, adding that consequences will be borne by the entire NCR. Just behind the TERI Retreat is a massive glass building, housing the ASF IT SEZ. Facing the Gual Pahari village, this SEZ is already showing how commercial activity in the area could convert the pristine hills into another shadow of MG Road, or the Cyber City. The area around the SEZ abounds with tea and snack shops, the villagers have concretised their abodes and are expecting tenants in the shape of the support staff that will service the SEZ, and apartments are coming up nearby. A large number of cabs are already zooming

around and moving towards the Delhi border, which connects this village to Mehrauli. The Delhi government has also announced that it will upgrade this road, so that connectivity with Gurgaon and Faridabad is improved. Anil Kumar, a resident, says that the time has come for this area to be developed, and be a part of the Millennium City. “For a long time we have felt that development has bypassed us, but now the roads to Gual Pahari are witnessing development,” he says. The villagers recall the time when it was difficult even to visit Gurgaon, as transport facilities were poor, and roads desolate and unsecure. Now every house in the village has personal transport, and people can afford to go any where they want. Moving from Gual Pahari towards the Faridabad side, one encounters a number of petrol pumps and a Solar Development Centre set up by a government of India PSU. However, after that there is little development, as one moves towards the Toll Plaza being maintained by Reliance Infra. The road definitely is better, but there is no provision of streetlights. Even as residents demand better facilities along the road, insiders point to rumours that Reliance Infra might exit the Road project, as it is finding it unviable. The issue of 4,000 trucks that carry stones to different areas of the NCR from the crusher zone, but refuse to pay toll, is a major bone of contention. They even resort to violence. Although Reliance has complained to the Haryana government, not much has happened on this front. Experts say that if Reliance exits this project it could be a big setback to the Public Private Participation (PPP) Model being promoted by the Haryana government. This is the first road that has been developed under the PPP model.

The encroachment of land in the Aravallis is another issue that could become a major problem for the government in the near future, warns Deepak Bhadana, a resident of Faridabad. Bhadana says that large parcels of land have either been grabbed, or bought illegally, by influential and powerful persons in villages such as Mangar – which is a sacred grove of the Gujjars. Bhadana, who deals in farmland, says that the Consolidation Act, which was meant to preserve the village common land and small holdiings, was used in such a manner that outsiders were given hilly land in Aravalli villages. Revenue officials allegedly partitioned the common hilly land using the Consolidation Act, and denotified it in Villages Rozka Gujjar and Kot. The former is in fact a Be-Chirag village, where no one lives, while most of the land in Village Kot (of Faridabad) was common hilly land. Bhadana says rules have been subverted to benefit a few powerful people, and it is now upon the Court to undo the wrongs. Experts meanwhile say that under the Punjab Land Preservation Act and Forest Act, the Aravallis are protected areas, where non-forest activity is not allowed. With the Mangar Development Plan 2031 up for notification, local villagers say that this would result in more encroachment by powerful elements, as prices would escalate. The politicians, bureaucrats and realtors have an eye on close to 100 villages lying in this forest belt. The need of the hour is to stop this from happening, says an environmentalist preferring anonymity. In fact, R.K Balwan, a senior forest official, had earlier told Friday Gurgaon that even the farm houses in the Aravallis were illegal, and could face possible eviction, as this entire area comes under forests. He further said that the entire water drainage system in the Aravallis had been damaged due to construction, leading to the drying up of the Surajkund and Badhkal lakes. Ahead of the crusher zone is Faridabad. Apart from a Hanuman Temple, and a major complex being built by the Indian Institute of Immunology, nothing much is on the horizon close to Faridabad. The access from the Faridabad side is constricted by a large number of dumper repairing shops on both sides of the road, and a slum. This Expressway perhaps represents the lop-sided development approach adopted by the Indian state, where people on one end of the spectrum are becoming richer while the other end waits for the trickle-down phenomenon. u


18-24 January 2013

Say No To Alcohol { Dr. Rajesh Bhola }

T

he other night when I was in Mumbai I accompanied one of my old colleagues to a fancy restaurant downtown. I opted for coffee. My friend finds pleasure in alcohol. We are all aware of the destructive effects of alcohol and other opiates. He is probably slightly more aware of its bad effects, as he is in the pharmaceuticals business. But the moment evening dawns he reaches for the bottle, and eloquently repeats the same argument – that “all the hard work every day is nothing but pain; and when the work is over, the pleasure begins. Real pleasure only seems to come our way when we spend our money on consumption. The work is just the means; it is consumption that has become the end.” He further gives an interesting argument, that ‘pleasure is ‘subjective’, that every individual finds pleasure and happiness in his own mind, in things that please him. Thus liberty is essential, so that each can pursue happiness in his/ her own way, to find his own ‘perfect high’, or ‘personal utopia’. Law, a moral code, or social institutions are no longer revered. However, liberty cannot be the utopia of one mind; rather, it refers to the collective utopia of all. A few drinks down, my friend then very candidly confessed that he was no more in control of the situation. It was difficult for him now to live without the ‘bottle’. Oblivion is an acceptable ‘solution’ for him now. His drinking behaviour was also having a slow undermining effect on his family’s well-being. Many people take to the bottle because they want to escape. Quite a large proportion of the population finds it difficult to bear even one day without alcohol. There are many instances where the male members are badly drunk everyday, while the others in the family starve. This is the most extreme form of

escapism. The attempt to ‘destroy’ suffering in this way, however, destroys us. Our Directive Principles of State Policy provide that the State should strive to take steps to enforce prohibition in the country. But this may be the only Directive Principle which most of the state governments have not implemented. The reason is that a very significant volume of state revenues is made up of state excise duty, coming mainly from the sale of liquor. Many cases of wife-beating, eve-teasing, rape, murder and road accident occur under the influence of alcohol. The social cost in terms of deterioration of public health may be much higher than the revenues earned. Let us be responsible in bringing new life into the world. Let us encourage all states in India to work on measures to reduce use of drugs and alcohol. Let the nation live simply, and perform actions that benefit individuals, families, society and the natural world. Some basic moral precepts should be applied, in the larger interest of humanity. This will give life new vigour. A state like Gujarat has survived financially despite the loss of state excise revenue on liquor. It is a matter of political and bureaucratic will. It will indeed be a great spiritual enterprise. If the effect of human presence on this planet is to be benign, there is a great need for the state governments to work for the cause of great compassion, and emancipation of the masses from the clutches of liquor and other opiates. All the energy generated by the de-addicted and detoxified nations should be turned to the work of creating a path for the good of the many, for the happiness and well-being of all beings. 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.

Black and White in Non-Rainbow Land

{ Oorvi Mehta }

“Instead of the cross, the Albatross About my neck was hung”   is voyage ended, but the guilt remained. The doom of his ship was his onus; he was glued to contrition till his last breath. More than the albatross, his remorse served as the corpus delicti. The ancient mariner didn’t need to be punished, for his conscience drove him to pay the price of his deeds for eternity. Regrettably, today, we can easily trick our own conscience (if extant, of course), and dodge penance, doing away with morals.   Scruples fail to arise, self-castigation is alien and one’s regret for one’s actions cannot suffice as punishment. Such a world needs rules and regulations, consequences and sentences. In a world of wicked senses, the law is meant to be our guardian angel in disguise, its sole duty being to shield us from the arrows of crime. The Delhi gang rape case has stirred minds across Mother India, from all strata of society. It has reassured the faith in the future generation. The youth have turned the Jantar Mantar into a protest land, where protestors demand justice. The law, being the objective beast that it is, is blinded by what’s on paper, and sometimes compelled to go against the very ethics of the so-

H

ciety it is built to protect. While the Juvenile (Justice) Act is criticised, and recommendations are being made to consider the ‘criminal bent of mind’ and ‘intention to offence’, rather than just prescribing a minimum age, we fail to recognize that the very essence of law requires it to be objective in nature. The moment it is modified to deal on a case to case basis, the weight of the law is lost. It’s a sticky situation we land in, when the black and white law cannot help us in this not so rainbow world. No questions were raised when the Juvenile (Justice Act) was declared in 2000; it was only a few weeks ago that the controversies erupted volcanically. During encounters with the ‘evil’ side of law, such as this, amending the Act or revisiting the legislation will be like axing our own feet – for every law seems perfect till implemented, or till a unique case comes up. We need to strike a balance.  If the law is going to play dumb, we need the lawyers to play smart.  If law looks at only black and white, we need the lawyers to make the greys look so. Had we lived in a humble rainbow world, as created by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, where morality governed society, crime and punishment would be obsolete. But in today’s world, while—just like our government—the law may be awful, it is still the best alternative. u

Man & Hero is One When you prowl stealthily Through slushy forests The monsoon pours And the mist overhangs, blinding. When you can hear your breath Heaving forcefully, muffled To the silence of your task When the goulashes crush The thickets beneath your feet, Gurgling as they tread. When companions absolve, In the focusing of the mind To the given task. When senses move, Responding to some compulsions Beyond control. When you can watch yourself, Move into the dramatic arena of life And be the actor/audience . When you have told yourself ‘What farce’, but continue Giving way to forces Beyond your comprehension. Then valour and poetry Blend together, And man & hero Become one! Shobha Lidder Writer Journalist, Teacher Trainer, Social Activist, Reiki Master, Pranic Healer

Spiritual 15 Let Me Be Born Please mother, let me be born, I might shine bright like a diamond in your crown. I want to see the world, I can anticipate, it must be a beautiful place, I can feel within you - as I also participate. Please mother, let me be born, I might shine bright like a diamond in your crown, I want to see the birds, I want to sail a boat. I want to smell the flowers, I want to see a cluster of stars. Please mother, let me be born, I might shine bright like a diamond in your crown, I want to fly a kite, I want to see the rainbow high in the sky, I want to hold your hand, And walk along the beach side. Please mother, let me be born, I might shine bright like a diamond in your crown, I want to play with you, I want to stay with you, I want to hug you, I just want to be with you. Please mother, let me be born, I might shine bright like a diamond in your crown, I want to get drenched in the rain, I want to fall in love - again and again, I want to be a mother, of a wonderful daughter. Please mother let me be born, I might shine bright like a diamond in your crown, I will not leave you, when you need me most, I will not betray you, when you get old. Please mother, let me be born, I might shine bright like a diamond in your crown, Why do you want to kill me? I am your daughter. Your mother did not kill you, She brought you into the world. Please mother, let me be born, I might shine bright like a diamond in your crown, Give me a chance, let me be born, Just once, let me be born. Please mother let me be born, I might shine bright like a diamond in your crown Archana Kapoor Nagpal Internationally published author of ‘14 Pearls of Inspiration’ and the ‘12 Facets of a Crystal’

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16

Bon Vivant

18-24 January 2013

There is a light in this world, a healing spirit more powerful than any darkness we may encounter. We sometimes lose sight of this force when there is suffering, too much pain. Then suddenly, the spirit will emerge through the lives of ordinary people who hear a call and answer in extraordinary ways.” –Mother Teresa

{ Bhavana Sharma }

K

aruna Reiki, a holistic approach to healing, was discovered by William Lee Rand, an American Reiki Master, who lived in Hawaii before transferring to Michigan. As a young eighteen year old student of Metaphysics, he took keen interest in the study of rebirth and hypnosis even before he was initiated to the Usui Reiki School of training. In the year 1989 he graduated as a successful Reiki master. During his ardent practice of the holistic methods

Reiki Of Compassion administering this treatment with the hands, or sending healing from a distance. Karuna Reiki can be done on yourself as well as on all living things. Distant healing and mental healing is accomplished by drawing specific symbols.

of Reiki, he discovered a new concept, and gave it the name of Karuna Reiki – meaning Reiki of Compassion. Rand emphasised that this modality of healing was actually a progression of the traditional Usui form of Reiki. However, today it has gained popularity as a modern addition to the ancient art of Reiki healings.

Significance in Modern Life

  Karuna Reiki is a particular frequency of energy that heals at all levels – namely, the physical, mental, emotional and the spiritual. The other advantages of this healing modality are, that it: n  Detoxifies the body n  Reduces the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatment n  Increases energy and stamina n  Improves circulation n  Balances the chakras and energy throughout the body n

Karuna Reiki as a Discipline

Karuna Reiki helps you feel the energy flowing throughout the energy centres in the body. As the modality has stronger vibrations, and new powerful symbols to facilitate better healing power, it has gained popularity amongst the Reiki healers and practitioners throughout the world. A combination of the two–Usui and Karuna Reiki–

can be used for more effective healing results. Besides using the regular Reiki techniques, Karuna Reiki also uses toning and chanting to channelise energy from within – to heal, improve, and develop yourself as well as those around you. Energy is channelled through the hands of the person, called a “practitioner”,

  Relaxes the mind and body, and relieves stress n  Relieves heartache and other emotional upsets n  Relieves physical pain, muscle spasms, cramps and headaches n  Aids restful sleep n  Aids digestion n  Speeds up absorption of medication (so less drugs are needed) n  Heals at all levels--physical, emotional, mental and spiritual n  Brings all these same benefits to any life form n  Greatly heightens psychic intuition or gut level feelings n  Strengthens one’s spiritual growth and feeling of connection to one’s Higher Power n  Can be used to send healing from a distance n  Can be used to send healing energy to one’s past, present or future situations.u n

Tarot Reader & Author

Powerful Symbols of Karuna Reiki Harth is the main symbol in Karuna Reiki. It represents never-ending compassion, truth, love, beauty, balance, and harmony. It is used to heal physical problems pertaining to the heart chakra. Gnosa pertains to the spiritual and mystical knowledge obtained from the Gods. This symbol is used to release a person’s higher self, and can also be used for better communication.  It raises cosmic consciousness, and helps to connect with the source of universal love. Zonar is the symbol for eternity or infinity. It is used to clear debris at the subconscious levels, and aid past life regression. It can help release karmic patterns to enable a fulfilling life. Halu is the symbol of truth, love and beauty. It is used to dispel darkness and negativity from a person’s auric field. It can restore balance, and help one to meet the challenges of daily life.

{ Krishan Kalra }

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ast week I eavesdropped on a hilarious conversation between two couples – one of them walking a dog – in our neighbourhood park in DLF Phase II. Being a regular walker, morning and evening, I am on ‘hullo’ terms with most people in the park. Add to that my silver hair and I get a license to take liberties – like eavesdropping! This nice couple–in their mid fifties– whom I know well, were taking a leisurely stroll around the park, when suddenly the dog – with the other younger couple, walking faster – brushed past the older gentleman and startled him (or perhaps scared him, as I was to learn later). All five of themstopped abruptly, and this is how the not-so-pleasant exchange took place: Older Man (OM), “Young man, are you aware that doggies are not allowed in the park? You must’ve seen the notice board outside. How can you be so irresponsible

Dumois is the symbol of fire and heat. It can heal the root chakra and enable the person to open up to joy and happiness. It has the ability to cure the body of most diseases.

Rama is dedicated to Lord Rama, and is a symbol of joy and happiness. The energies of this symbol can be used for chakra cleaning and balancing. Kriya is used to balance the energy within the body, raise cosmic awareness, and help in the process of thought, power and action. Shanty denotes peace, and can be used for past life healing purposes, and to heal pain and psychic disturbances at the ethereal levels.

Om is the universal symbol of a sound, and it denotes togetherness and oneness. It can heal problems at the crown chakra levels. This symbol can also help in closing and opening the chakras – to promote balance. Raku is an attunement (initiation by a Reiki master through a simple process) symbol, that helps remove negative patterns and thinking for those initiated into Reiki. It further facilitates awareness of the self, and promotes intellectual creativity.

Iava is a symbol that balances all the elements of the human body that may not be be in sync. It helps further in grounding your desires and emotions, and helps with the natural flow of energy. Usui is the symbol of light, and is used to achieve the highest stage of healing, and to cleanse the body and spirit.

Tibetan Fire Serpent is a symbol used during attunement, for awakening the chakras. It represents the sleeping serpent of the Kundalini.

Love My Dog in a public place?” Younger Man (YM), “Sir, our dog is a golden retriever, a known docile breed; we have had him for 9 years, and never ever has he bitten any one.” OM, “Don’t jump the gun. Biting can wait till he is safely locked up. I am presently talking about Rules, which all of us must follow; clearly you are a defaulter who should be thrown out – along with the doggie – and handed over to the police. Besides, you may be aware – hopefully – that your doggie is not vicious, but how are you going to advertise that fact – if at all it is a fact? And how are we then going to stop other people from bringing in their doggies here?”

YM, “What is this doggie business you keep repeating? He is our beloved child, and I wish you refer to him with some respect. We have lived in New York, and there pet dogs are allowed in Central Park, which is far better than this little green patch.” OM, “Now, don’t you start running down our beautiful park – which has won many prizes. And if you have indeed lived in New York – which I doubt seriously – you would also be aware that you are supposed to carry a bag for the doggie poop, and clean the mess wherever the infernal animal decides to let go. I don’t see a bag with you.” YM, “Sir, you are exceeding all limits

of decency by abusing a member of our family. I have seen worse things happening in this park; people drinking, couples smooching, kids playing cricket and cycling on grass…………and you are objecting to our lovely pet walking here. How heartless. I am sorry to say but you have probably never loved any one – my apologies to your lady wife. Do try to love a dog, Sir, you will be surprised at how they respond – better than humans. OM, “Now you are being rude and obnoxious. We hate doggies and, in many cases, their owners too. And what have you done to stop those “worse activities“ here, or are you hoping that your doggie will scare them away? We have had enough of your doggie loving sermon, You don’t even have the courtesy to apologise for scaring me mortally. I could’ve tripped and fallen. Good evening and enjoy your walk with the doggie. We will walk outside on the road, and I hope my friend here (pointing to me) would be careful – unless he also leaves with us.u


W ellness 17

18-24 January 2013

{ Jaspal Bajwa }

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s winter takes hold, the frigid temperatures threaten to chill us to the bone. The bleak landscape, often accompanied by cutting winds and darkened skies, can take a heavy toll. It is at these times that one appreciates the meaning of ‘coming home to the inviting smells of freshly cooked or baked foods’. The tempting fragrance of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and clove, that waft from many a kitchen as holiday-season desserts get prepared, evoke sweet memories for many. Depending on local customs, different ‘warming foods’ play an important role to help shore up our sagging spirits and energy in winter. Whether it is steaming cups of soup, flavourful hot curries, sweet bowls of hot porridge, or freshly baked rolls, the effect is the same – a deep sense of being satisfied and reinvigorated. Amongst all the warming foods—whether sweet or otherwise—there is one group which stands out. It is the magic conjured by the aroma of spices. Just like we can turn up the heat on our thermostats during winter, we can also warm up our insides with flavourful spices. Not only do ginger, cloves and turmeric complement very well with winter’s root vegetables, dark, leafy greens and hearty whole grains - the best part is that there is a ‘double-bonus’. Most spices contain loads of phyto-nutrients, which are good for health and might even have cancer-fighting properties.

Health & Vitality... Naturally!

Spice Up The Winter

Ancient cultures have used spices as foods as well as remedies, and now gradually, scientific studies are confirming these benefits. Some of the most noteworthy winter spices are: Ginger: Is versatile and loaded with antioxidants. It is beneficial for stomach aches, motion sickness, muscle pains, and arthritis. Cumin: Is a good source of iron, and helps with gut, liver, and kidney

functions. Cardamom: Cleanses the kidney and bladder, stimulates the digestive juices, and may improve lung function. Nutmeg: Has anti-bacterial properties, and can be used to relax muscles and relieve a variety of digestive problems. Cinnamon: Has a pungent aroma that is unmistakable, and evokes memories of hot cinnamon rolls from the oven. Cloves: Have the highest antioxidant rating (as per the Oxygen Radical Absorbency Capacity Report (ORAC)), among all the 425 herbs and spices studied. In addition to the above, there are certain spice mixtures which make universal favourites for wintercooking. An example is ‘garam masala’ (hot mix of spices), which is a versatile and highly aromatic blend of coriander, cloves, cinnamon, cumin, nutmeg, and pepper, used in Indian cuisine. Or ‘Curry Powder’, which is another mix, composed of turmeric, along with mustard, chilli, cayenne, and black pepper.

Tip of the week

A hot winter favourite in the Indian sub-continent is ‘masala chai’ (spice tea). It is a creamy drink that offers the

DS Group organizes Mobile Clinics in Gurgaon

cost. Critical cases are however referred to the nearby hospitals.

Modus Operandi

The first step is to identify an appropriate location to organize the mobile clinic. The team then coordinates with

DS Mobile Clinic camp at Plot-GP-18, Sec- 18

rich liquor of black tea, blended with milk and warming spices. A combination of five basic spices make up the traditional masala chai: cardamom, ginger, clove, black pepper and cinnamon. A few options that can be tossed in are anise, fennel, nutmeg, tulsi (holy basil) or bay leaves. Fresh ginger, if added, can add depth in terms of flavour, as well as nutritional benefits. Using freshly ground spices helps release more depth and aroma to the masala chai.

Nature’s Wonder Food of the week: Cinnamon or Cinnamomum verum

Cinnamon is one of the oldest spices known to man, and is a perfect spice for the winter months. The bark of the tree is used. The two varieties of cinnamon—Chinese and Srilanka (Ceylon)—have similar flavour; the latter is slightly sweeter and more refined. Cinnamon was once so highly-prized that wars were fought over it, it was used as currency, and was believed to have aphrodisiacal powers. Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties. In traditional medicine, cinnamon has been used for indigestion, gas and bloating, stomach upset and diarrhoea. More recently, medical studies are coming up with some intriguing results. It is widely accepted that cinnamon is a powerful antioxidant (second only to cloves). When compared to five other antioxidant spices (anise, ginger, licorice, nutmeg and vanilla), and chemical food preservatives (like BHA and BHT), cinnamon scores the highest. u Registered Holistic Nutritionist (Canadian School of Natural Nutrition) For education purposes only; always consult a healthcare practitioner for medical conditions

the headman and leading members of the community to ensure safe and approachable location for the clinic. Before organizing the mobile clinic, the team disseminates information about the mobile clinic to the community. The announcement contains the location for the clinic, timings and available services. The following day, a certified doctor examines the patients and provides them with necessary counselling. The team distributes basic medicines to the patients, as prescribed by the doctor. After the mobile clinic, the project team coordinates with the headman of the community to organize follow up camps. Every month, 30 mobile clinics are organized by two teams to examine and treat more than 3500 patients in Delhi NCR. Since the launch of the program in April this year in Delhi NCR, 23991 patients have been examined and provided with free medication in 230 camps conducted so far. u

I

n India, about 75% of health infrastructure, medical man power and other health resources are concentrated in the urban areas. Yet, there are pockets in these urban areas which are deprived of the basic health and medical facilities. To address this concern, DS Group decided to start DS Mobile Clinics in the Delhi NCR region. The objective of the program is to provide quality health services to the urban slums. DS Mobile Clinics offer free consultancy in the slums, where people are ignorant about the basic hygiene and disease prevention. The initiative in Delhi NCR is being executed in association with PHD Rural Development Foundation, the CSR arm of PHD Chamber of Commerce and

Designed to be Perfect Industry. A total of 120 identified slums will be covered in this phase. A well equipped medical van, with a qualified doctor and trained medical staff provide basic services like consultation, medicine and referral, all free of

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18

18-24 January 2013

Comment

Re-excite The Economy

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EDITORIAL Atul Sobti

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

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t is really very heartening to see that ‘Friday Gurgaon’ has come up as a very good weekly covering Gurgaon area. I have already taken its subscription, read it regularly and find its contents very useful and interesting. R.K. Aggarwal Sector-15/I

FAMOUS QUOTES You cannot raise a man up by calling him down. William J. H. Boetcker Life takes on meaning when you become motivated, set goals and charge after them in an unstoppable manner. Les Brown There is only one way... to get anybody to do anything. And that is by making the other person want to do it. Dale Carnegie Make sure you visualize what you really want, not what someone else wants for you. Jerry Gillies

e should be priming ourselves for the next out the maximum surprises – in people, companies economic, development wave – with a and models. It will start as state-wise ventures, and combination of IT, Financial Services and Agro slowly consolidate. Laws have to be urgently changed, & Food Processing. The IT Sector has now matured, and and CMs co-opted, to promote inter-State movements. can form a formidable base/support, as well as a great FDI in Retail is just the tip of the iceberg, a cog in value-add, for the other two. Finance is a subject we have the wheel, and will not help much if a complete Agro most in our genes – from the traditional businessmen & Food Processing strategy - a ‘Farm to Bazaar’ food to the young executives. We love finance. We can run chain - is not devised and implemented pan-India. Most rings around it. But we haven’t tapped this expertise integral is logistics – the transportation, warehousing outside of our own use. We haven’t marketed this as (including cold storage) and distribution systems. a Consultancy – not even seized it as an outsourcing/ With agro and food processed products we would be at offshoring opportunity. Finance, that is, not Accounts. the higher end of that value chain – unlike currently, Our biggest supply bottlenecks are agro and food where we are mainly operating at a basic BPO level in based. Our maximum people resource is in agriculture the ITES sector. We also have the volume and scale. – across the length and breadth of the country. If we can There are premier agriculture research, and food, harness this, we will not only get economic returns, but institutes in the govt and public sector, with which JVs better-balanced growth, and lower inflation. The rush to can be forged, or large PPP projects undertaken. cities will also reduce. Traditional industry - both public We have a hundred times more farmers and lower and private - has not been middle class – the benefiable to do much, for deciaries - than traders (the If, for any reason, foreigners do not step in, the cades now. Not even for the supposed ‘losers’). The mother of SEZs and NIMZs needs to be rolled out. It domestic market, forget expotential benefit to crores should be the number one Infrastructure Project, with ports. SEZs have flattered of farmers, and to end cona 10-year vision – with funding and returns approto deceive, as will probably sumers, is so high, that priate. It should be a play by the big guys of Indian the proposed NIMZs. The middlemen/traders can industry (the govt. clearly has no plan or stomach for Agro & Food Processing inbe persuaded/motivated. this). The players should be allotted Circles, just like dustry, a mix of agriculture They can be made part of for Telecom. This private Project involves build-up of and industry, could provide a unique Indian solution massive infrastructure for special cold chain logisthe optimum answer – and just like the Land Acquisitics – to manufacture, process, pick-up, transport, also be a solid export/extion Bill is now looking at warehouse and distribute. Of course the private enchange earner. unique ways to compenterprise should be met with public infrastructure - of sate farmers, after listenroads and highways, power, connectivity, security. Mumbai still offers the ing to them – willingly, or best headquarters base for under threat. the Financial Services (FS) cum IT play. An independent Bottom line, the farmers and the landless need FS & IT City (like a Singapore within Mumbai), around to be part of the story – of earnings, of jobs, and of the new international airport (Navi Mumbai), would be opportunities. There is great employment potential. the ideal base – to offer FS Consultancy, IT Consultancy The industrialists in Agro & Food Processing must go and Off-shore Financial Services. Surely Mumbai can to the hinterlands, where industry in general has not challenge a Shanghai in Services. We have the ‘technical, gone till today. They have to resist the temptation to be specialized’ manpower for this, and more importantly penny-wise pound-foolish. Trying to focus on getting the skills and aptitude – both at the professional and land at ‘cheap’ rates, when the land cost is not a very entrepreneurial levels. material part of the overall project cost, would be Only top professionals, with impeccable integrity, foolish – financially and politically. They should help should run these ventures. It is all about trust and farmers get more from their land, and offer a stable credibility. We have some gems in our Financial demand for their produce; make the villages, and rural Services and IT organizations – both people and India, prosper. India, in return, will get ‘value-added companies. Deepak Parekh and Azim Premji are the more’ from the same produce – at home and abroad. ideal co-Chairmen for this venture. It is time we stopped tinkering (with Zones, and The combination/merger of a top IT company, a isolated policy announcements), accepted some harsh top Financial Services organization and a top CA firm realities (corruption, poor export performance) and would be awesome, for offering special Global Financial acted on opportunities holistically – playing to our Consultancy - not generic management consultancy - competence. Otherwise, the demographic dividend will to private and public organizations, and govts. These just be that – an annual decreasing dividend, from a functions/services also have a significant complemen- country that has stopped growing. There would be no tarity and synergies, at both the front office (services avenue to invest and re-invest that dividend in. and solutions to customer needs) and back office. Let us dedicate 2013 to Farm and Finance. Let us We need to kick start the economy in a new exciting begin the journey with the farmers and the financial direction. Let a 1,000 cold storage chains bloom across consultants – the green collars with the white collars, India, along with a 100 Agro & Food Processing the rural with the urban (it’s good for politics too, and industries. Let us open up the country. This is our best may be just in time for UPA). answer for ‘industrialization’. Corporate India can set Agriculture has been ignored for long - the second this up, with foreign technology – or with FDI up to coming would be a miracle. Let us usher in the second 49%. There are no sops required – the govt. should just Green Revolution, alongside a Services II blockbuster. provide the basic infrastructure (power, roads, water, Let Budget 2013 help set these in motion. connectivity). Farmers should initially be guaranteed minimum support prices. This has huge potential, even ps - A bonus could be the opening up of a national for export. There is clear benefit for all in the chain. It is and global trade in India’s local handicrafts (available an area we are competent in, and will do well. across every state), which could turn out to be a worthwhile business in the hands of organized This Agro & Food Processing venture will bring national players. u


18-24 January 2013

A rt 19

Volcanic Visions

{ Srimati Lal }

T

he intensely- revealing early works of promising younger artists most often get lost in the Art-world's mad rush for fame, visibility and image-building. At the Retrospectives of some of the world's great painters and visionaries I am usually struck by their introspective, intricately cross-hatched, and intense preliminary sketches and experimental artworks. The early, half-finished and tentative visual expressions invoke the brilliance and intensity of their unfolding genius. In this context, Volcanic Effects --- a current Exhibition of young artists at the Galaxy Hotel, in collaboration with Gurgaon's 'Gallery Splash', deserves a viewing. Revealing the first oeuvres of a selection of promising Indian artists in their 20s and 30s, this Show presents a body of unconventional, often disturbing, fledgling artworks that convey considerable potential. These expressions cannot be easily pigeon-holed into the clichetic mannerisms of more 'famous' and 'popular' art-stylistics. While examining such 'initial' artworks can be a difficult process, their value lies in the uninhibited truths that they bravely express. And inward Truth, most often, is not a pretty picture --- as the darkness, isolation, angst and turmoil of these artworks reveal. This Collection features the art of eight young men—Ranak Mann, JayoJoyattam Dutta Roy, Single Man

The 24-year old Kiran Jacob's depictions of mechanical forms in dark monochromes bear commendable draughtsmanship. With a latent Surrealistic perspective, he sketches the skeletons of crumpled motorbikes taken-over by vultures, and haunting Titanic-like ships adrift on stormy seas. While he must learn to overcome his tendency towards illustrativeness, his penchant for drawing and detail can stand him in good stead. The young Keralite artists Sabin and Sumesh, both born in 1984, evidence similar linear and neo-Surrealist skills, with a serious attention to detail and a fine use of colour. Coming to Ranak Mann, the youngest artist in this Exhibition --- this talented 20-year old, who lives in Gurgaon's Oakwood Estate, has battled with a severe hearing impediment ever since his youngest years. He is now studying Art at the University of Southampton in Winchester, UK, and has dreams of creating his own design-line relating to Fine Art. The aim of Art is always to transform and 're-invent' oneself -- thereby inspiring others. The development of a compassionate, sensitive and humanistic viewpoint is imperative to the pursuit of Fine Art. In the case of artists with bodily impairments, one tends to find a heightened visual intensity, a deeper introspection, and a capacity to delve into unknown spaces and mysterious psychological territories. Such

Kiran, Vulture Feast

Ranak Mann

paints a tranquil sun-soaked mountain landscape called 'The Golden Path'. Blessed with a sense of humour, the lanky young Ranak grins --- "To be honest, sometimes I am happy that I do not need to hear the loud traffic! My problem has also helped me grow; made me learn more about my own will power. My disability has helped me to become sensitive to other people's problems. I like to challenge myself as well as society. I've tried to put divine symbols into my paintings, as well as portray the delicacy of  trees – that are strong yet graceful during a

storm or a rough patch." Ranak explains his artistic inspiration further, "My biggest inspiration has been the world that surrounds us; after all, the inner impression is the outer expression.   I've always communicated my feelings and thoughts through visuals, which can be a strong medium. I love the fusion of colours, blending into something that you've personally created. Nobody can take that creativity away from you --- that sense of security gives you a powerful feeling. I try to make my passion work in the important areas of my life. My hopes and aspirations are ambitious. I would like to get valuable workexperience in the fields of publication and design internationally, and I plan on establishing a lifestyle brand which deals in interiors and fashion – with a heavy influence of Art."  Such positivism and determination from a young special artist should inspire all those who fear to express their true selves in an increasingly aggressive and competitive world.u Artist, Writer, & Curator

“Off the Shelf” ……………… in your home Happy Happy New Year

ttam Dutta Roy, Kiran Jacob, Jayanto Roy, Sabin M., Sumesh V., Arun Dev and Padmakar Santape—from various parts of India—Assam, Kerala, Nagpur, Bengal, Delhi and Hyderabad— striving to create their own aesthetic language. Most of these artists were born in the 1980s. The youngest, a Gurgaonite, Ranak Mann, born in 1992, merits the description of being the 'special artist' amidst this group. What is positive about this Show is its careful selection of   Figurative and   Representational   artworks, where  linear draughtsmanship, and attention to textural detail,  are given importance. The works of Jayottam, born in 1980 in Assam, and of Kiran, born in 1988 in Kerala, bear a maturity of expression and technique. Jayottam has held solo shows at Triveni Kala Sangam and Sridharani Galleries. In his introspective paintings one observes a sense of deep stillness and alienation: documenting the solitary human soul, trapped alone in an urban concrete cage, as it were. A sense of geometrical perspective and minimalism lends a zen-like depth to his canvasses. The paintings of Arun Dev, born in 1981 in Kerala, denote a similar affinity to geometry, metaphysics, mystery and silence. Jayanto Roy, who has shown at Nature Morte and BosePacia New York, makes contemporary collage-like combinations with symbolic art-historical motifs – such as digitised classical portrayals of Christ interspersed with simple graphic elements.

difficult and rocky terrain is evidently the subject-matter of young Ranak's Gothic and dark psychological visualisations. This is Ranak's first exhibition in India; he has previously done dramatic linear illustrations for a successful London theatre production, 'The Monk'. I asked this young Gurgaon painter how he accepted and managed his difficult situation in his formative years --- how he evolved the determination to emerge as an artist. With compelling candour, Ranak elaborated   --   "I was diagnosed with a major hearing problem at the age of  5, and I started wearing hearing aids when I was 7 years old. It can be a very challenging situation. There have been moments when I honestly hated my hearing impairment, and the looks of 'sympathy' that I received. Ranak blossomed into a star student at Dehradun's Indian Public School. He quietly pursued his artistic dreams alongside, creating a fine and diverse body of initial artworks. In a brooding, melancholic tenor that utilises many artistic media—from detailed pencil and ink drawings to large oils on canvas— Ranak portrays haunted hills, semihumans, searching souls, apparitions, whirling dervishes, mesmeric dark gypsies, dreamers and strange dancers pirouetting precariously on life's tightrope. The inner torment of a sensitive soul comes across in his intense palette of nightmarish distortions --but then the sun rises again, and apparitions are all dispelled, when he

While some of us may feel sad that the season of festivities has come to an end but luckily in our country (& luckily for us ), this is just a beginning of a new festive season – so get ready as here comes Lohri, Republic Day, Valentine’s Day, Eid, Holi, Good Friday, just to name a few ……… Don’t know about you folks but we at “off the shelf” spent the first week of 2013 doing what we love doing the most – shopping shopping & then some more …… Firstly picked up some really amazing oil paintings from some of our neighbouring (friendly) countries, along with little other really beautiful home décor stuff …. But best of all - picked up few really amazing floor / table top lamps. Trust me one look and you shall definitely want to take them home …. At least that’s what I did  Anyway, like they say, let the pictures do the talking… and really do hope, next time when you are in and around Sohna Road, please do drop in for a look. Take care, Rahul P.S- Do look up offtheshelf india on facebook, to have a glimpse of the entire range.

At - Ninex City Mart, 1st foor, Sohna road, (next to Fortune hotel) Phone-9910005046


20 Filaments Of Fragility

18-24 January 2013

Best Of Art – 2012 A Diamond In The Rough

Art in Public Spaces

Surreal Figuration

Emerging, Yet Not Modern

Cosmopolitan Art~Currents Art Festival

The Art Form Of Jewellery Mod Mind Maps ‘Elephant in the Dark’

Gurgaon Graphically-Gazed

Tantric Art~Darshan

Pop Art Factory Pvt. Ltd.

Gallery-Café Chapters

Benedictions

A Windy  Art-Walk!

Art As Inspiration

Kolkata’s Picasso On View: Jhupu Adhikari

Art Brut: Urban Observations Between Faith And Fear

A Gurgaon Art-Genre Extending Art’s Spaces An International Art~Bonanza

Stalwarts of Indian modernism


Special 21

18-24 January 2013

Eternal Art-Treasures

Troubling Tracts

Right Up His Street

Art In Gurgaon: An Overview

Virtual Visions

Incandescent Indian Icons

Doppelganger Digital

Mother Earth as Art

Tactile Treescapes

Vibrant Visions

Shakti Stylistics

Visual Introspections

Pottery Paradise

Art’s Fine Ideals

Lost In Concrete Wastelands

Tribal Tableaux

United COLOURS Of Art

Sci-Fi, Surreal, Spiritual ...

An Operatic   Art~Oeuvre Monsoon Maestros Art Mela

Seasons Abloom


22 { Doreen Fiedler / New Delhi / DPA } t first glance it looks like any other cycle rickshaw in India; but with the pull of a lever, Amod Kumar releases the back rest and places it on the saddle, to convert the three-wheeled vehicle into a two-metre-long bed to sleep in. “It is really stable,” Kumar says proudly, as he clambers on to the bed and turns on the solar-powered fan and reading light, before hanging up the mosquito net. The cycle rickshaw was developed at St. Stephens College, to provide shelter for the homeless rickshaw pullers of the city. At the moment the rickshaw is only a prototype, but it is hoped that soon there will be hundreds of such vehicles on the streets of New Delhi, offering a place to sleep for the city’s homeless. “Around 30 per cent of the city’s homeless are rickshaw drivers,” estimates Kumar, who works for Mother NGO, an agency appointed by the government of Delhi to help the homeless, with help from the community health department of St. Stephens Hospital. India may be an emerging economic superpower, but it is still impossible to imagine Delhi functioning without pedal-powered rickshaws. The drivers

{ Lea Sibbel / Berlin / DPA }

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n autobiography does not always have to be the story of unbridled success or spectacular failure. Often it is the simple recounting of a person’s everyday life – that releases emotional feelings and makes such a medium so special. “Anecdotes are the most beautiful,” says Christof Hilthof, a Media Lecturer from the southern German city of Baden-Baden. He records stories from his own life, and compiles them into a library of very personal audio autobiographies. “Telling stories requires getting to know yourself bet-

Home On The Road earn a few dollars a day – ferrying schoolchildren through Delhi’s narrow streets, and transporting tourists past market stands, cows and carriers. They can also be seen carrying out breakneck manoeuvres, as they drive business people along four-lane carriageways full of cars, buses and motorbikes. However, most do not own their own rickshaw. “The business is run by illegal contractors, who own anything from 100 to 5,000 rickshaws. These are then rented on a 12-hour shift basis to the drivers,” explains Kumar. Even those drivers lucky enough to possess their own vehicle do not have an easy life. “Many are afraid to leave their rickshaw unattended at night. This often results in them sleeping on the rickshaw, in impossible and unhealthy positions.” Kumar and rickshaw designer Ankur Rawal also involved the students from St. Stephens College in the development of the vehicle. Some asked rickshaw drivers about their preferences and usage, while others helped in the vehicle’s assembly. As well as having a convertible bed,

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ondon’s Tube, loved and loathed by its millions of users every day, marked the 150th anniversary of its inauguration as the world’s first urban underground transport system last week. It was business as usual on the network’s 11 lines, which are currently undergoing a massive rejuvenation programme – totalling 16 billion pounds (25 billion dollars). London Mayor Boris Johnson, who uses a bicycle to get to work, described the pioneering system as “arguably the best, most iconic, underground transport system in the world.” “The arrival of the Tube was truly revolutionary, and is still admired around the world,” said Johnson, of the system on which around 4 million journeys are made every day. Since the first Victorian steam train travelled the short stretch between Paddington Station and Farringdon, on

Amod Kumar, Director of the Mother NGO, a Delhi welfare agency, sits on the prototype of a rickshaw, which can also serve as a bed for its driver.

the rickshaw also has a shelf for essential belongings, a bottle holder, a mobile phone charging port, and front and rear lights. “It has to be more comfortable than the average rickshaw—for driver and passenger alike—if it is to be a success,” says Rawal. As a result, the rickshaw is kitted out with a footboard for easier access, seat

Working On Your Autobiography ter,” says Sabine Sautter, who is also working on an autobiography. “When I tell a story, I often understand something much more later on, because I judge it differently today.” This re-evaluation and reformulation of memories is an important element of writing your autobiography, agrees a Professor of Social Gerontology, Cornelia Kricheldorff. Businesswoman Brigitte Becker from Cologne engaged the services of a professional when working on her audio autobiography. “I learned an aw-

150 Years Of The Underground { Anna Tomforde / London / DPA }   

Doreen Fiedler

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the Metropolitan Line on January 10, 1863, the network has expanded to cover 402 kilometres of track – the second-longest network after Shanghai. Even though the Times newspaper at the time condemned the notion of subterranean travel as an “insult to common sense,” the network was soon embraced by Londoners, leading to new lines being added. During World War II, the Underground tunnels were used as air raid shelters by millions of Londoners. The government held emergency meetings in stations, and precious art works were hidden in the Tube tunnels. In the decades that followed, the Tube was struck by two disasters. Thirty-one people died when a wooden escalator caught fire at King’s Cross Station in 1987. 52 people died and more than 700 were injured in a multiple terrorist suicide attack on the network—as well as a London bus—on July 7, 2005. u

ful lot about myself,” she says, echoing the views of Sautter and Kricheldorff. Becker gave the completed audio autobiography to her daughter, as a 30th birthday present. “I explained things that a 30-yearold woman ought to be told, from her birth until she met her husband.” Becker decided against writing down her memories. “Writing is too neutral for me. My emotions come across much better when I tell a story.” She also wanted her daughter to retain the memory of her voice, and engaged the assistance of radio journalist Maicke Mackerodt to help record her story. “The voice

suspension and a radio. “There is a 30-volt solar panel on the roof, that needs three hours of sunshine – to fully recharge the battery,” explains Rawal. The battery is capable of running the ventilator fan and lighting for up to five hours – while there is also a lockable box under the seat to store valuables. Mother NGO is working together with micro-loan company Shikhar to fund the project. The convertible cycle rickshaw costs around 16,000 rupees (290 dollars), almost double the price of a conventional one. Shikhar opens a bank account for the drivers, something that would normally not be possible for them to do. “They can then deposit money each day in person, or by using their mobile phone, says Satya Chakrapani, Shikhar’s Managing Director and CEO. Drivers are expected to lodge around 50 rupees a day from their earnings, which is about what they would have to pay if renting a rickshaw. Kumar reveals that the students of St. Stephens College have compiled a long list of rickshaw drivers interested in the project, and now hopes that the city authorities will act swiftly to issue licences for the rickshaws. “This is not about comfort,” he explains. “It’s about a dignified existence.” u

is the mirror to the soul,” believes Mackerodt, pointing out that intonation, laughter and movement all get lost in written text. A lot of memories, that would otherwise have remained hidden, come to the surface when listening and asking questions during the autobiographical work, says Sautter. “Everyone has standard stories they tell about themselves,” she explains. That is, of course, until somebody asks questions about them. Rehearing the stories at a later date also has potential to keep a memory alive, and even activate deeper ones, says Kricheldorff. Mackerodt believes that a bond, which would not occur during conversation, is created when children hear an autobiography. “My daughter was deeply moved,” reveals Becker. The process can also help build bonds with children when they help with the recording, instead of paying for professional help.”The technology is not a big

problem anymore,” says Hilthof. There are also books available now with instructions about how to compile an autobiography. There is another reason for the involvement of relatives in such a project – namely that many pensioners want to bequeath something to their family, and allow them to share in their experiences. “It is very informative for the grandchildren,” says Social Worker Walter Wittkaemper, who encourages his relatives to record their memories. “My grandmother’s history affects me too, and my identity gains greater depth as a consequence,” he says. Kricheldorff believes that there is a strong need in today’s world for people to be able to explain things through autobiographical methods – be it through writing or with the help of an audio book. “People are yearning to come to terms with their own life story,” she says. “Telling ‘normal’ stories is no longer such a strong part of daily life.”u


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{ Andy Goldberg / Las Vegas / DPA }

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adget junkies the world over are descending on the gambling Mecca of Las Vegas, where the annual Consumer Electronics Show is putting some weird and wonderful devices under the spotlight. The HAPIfork is an electronic eating utensil, shaped like a traditional fork, that features an accelerometer and other electronics in its handle. The point of the French-made device is to warn you when you are

Weird & Wonderful Gadgets called Puzzlebox. The device, called The Orbit, works in conjunction with a brainwave reading headset, made by a company called NeuroSky. 3-D televisions were the rage of the two past CES

which quadruples the normal pixel standard of screens from 1080p to 4320p. One company that still believes that three dimensions are better than two is HiSense – which debuted a see-through 3-D television, that allows you to place any object behind the display, and it will show a 3D image in the foreground. Experts say the curious TV set from the Chinese electronics giant may not find a place in many homes, but will be attractive as a digital showcase and to advertisers. More interesting for home-

shows. But customers remain unconvinced, and the leading TV manufacturers are now plugging something called Ultra High Definition (or 4K), eating too fast – with a vibration and a blinking light. The utensil is expected to sell for around 100 dollars, when it goes on sale in April or May.

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ntel has unveiled its vision of the future, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. It is betting its chips that touch controls will dominate the coming generations of computers. The tech pioneer still dominates the market for PC chips, but is having to rethink its business as the rise of tablet computers and smartphones have seriously eroded PC sales. Intel is hoping that a slew of new initiatives can help it retain its pre-eminent position atop the tech world. One of the cornerstones of the strategy is a new family of Intel Core chips, designed

Intel Bets On Touch specifically to run Ultrabooks – light, low cost laptops, that are widely expected to become the best-selling category in the PC sector. But these Ultrabooks are not just slimmed down turbo-charged laptops; they are hybrid devices that aim to offer users the best of all categories – without making any sacrifices. In a presentation, Kirk Skaugern, the General Manager of the PC client group, said that by year’s end these powerful and versatile computers would be available for under 600 dollars. Intel’s strategy appears to focus on blurring the lines between traditional laptops and tablets, taking a cue from the

Audi Tests ‘Autonomous’ Car { Andy Goldberg / Las Vegas / DPA }

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ook out Google. That car in the mirror of your selfdriving vehicle is an Audi on auto-pilot. The German auto company has become the first car maker to be granted a license to test autonomous vehicles in Nevada, following a trail pioneered by Google and its self-driving Toyota Prius vehicles last year. Audi’s self-driving cars come complete with a selfparking system, that can allow the cars to seek out an open spot in a parking garage, and squeeze themselves in. The vehicles can also park themselves on city streets. The company prefers to call its technology “piloted driving”, rather than “autonomous driving”, because it believes that just

panorama effect, and equalize viewing from all angles. A company called Ecovacs Robotics also has something that would be handy in home use. Gadget happy home-makers and gardeners have already splashed out millions of dollars

use is a concept from Microsoft called Illumiroom, which uses the company’s Kinect camera to scope out a room, and a separate projector to project images and videos onto the walls – filling the entire room (rather than just a screen), to create a far more immersive environment.

Perhaps more useful than a nagging fork is the mindcontrolled helicopter, launched by a company

{ Andy Goldberg / Las Vegas / DPA }

Samsung also has a new television idea – an Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) set – that features a slightly concave screen, said to offer a

as with an airplane, the ultimate responsibility for the car rests with its driver. You may have to wait a little while to experience this pleasure – but not too long. “Piloted driving in this decade is technically feasible,” Audi Develop-

ment Chief Wolfgang Durheimer said at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. He expected the first such vehicles to enter the mainstream market by the end of the decade. u

Microsoft Surface tablet and its accompanying keyboard – to build elegant designs that combine the best of both designs. Skaugern said that the new chips boast the best-ever battery improvement of any chip that Intel has introduced – operating on just 7 watts of power, and allowing users to operate their computers on a full day of battery power. The company’s reference design—a prototype meant to be a model for Intel’s hardware partners— sports a 13-hour battery life, and a screen that detaches from the keyboard to function as a fullfeatured Windows 8 tablet. Users will tap in to more

US Hottest

Another great labour saver comes from a company called Tobii. Its device, called the Rex, may portend the demise of touch-based interfaces – such as those on current smartphones and Windows 8 computers. Instead, the Rex tracks your eye movements

to navigate the screens. But don’t get rid of your fingers yet. They will still be useful for holding your HAPIfork; and anyway, the Rex won’t hit the stores till the end of the year! u ways than ever to connect with these devices. Touch, keyboard and mouse interfaces will still be available. But Intel is also working on eye-tracking, voice recognition and sensitive motion tracking, to allow unprecedented flexibility in controlling the computers. Another bonus for users suffering from information overload: advanced biometric systems that will replace passwords to secure computers. Intel says that by year’s end its systems will use facial recognition, and your computer’s webcam, to replace passwords. According to Intel, the system plots up to seven unique points on your face, and analyzes muscle movements, to prevent someone

from using a photo or video of you to unlock your machine. For an added layer of protection, this facial recognition can also be combined with the unique sound of your voice. Such innovations are essential to the future of the tech industry, noted Ben Bajarin, a highly regarded tech analyst. “Like the tablet, the hybrid and convertible designs represent a fresh take on personal computing,” he blogged on Time.com. “Tablets, hybrids and convertibles are already exciting the market, because they bring new ways to compute to the tablet. Whether that is consumer, share, work, play, learn, etc, this new hardware gives us a new and better way to do these things.” u

Original Batmobile Up For Sale

{ Korbinian Eisenberger / Washington / DPA }

{ Scottsdale, Arizona / DPA }

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he contiguous 48 US states recorded the hottest year since scientists began collecting temperatures in 1895, according to a government report. In its annual report, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said the annual average temperature in 2012 was 12.94 degrees Celsius. That figure compared to the average temperature of 11.11 degrees Celsius observed in the previous 117 years. It was also more than half a degree hotter than the 12.38 degrees Celsius recorded in the previous record warm year of 1998. Jake Crouch, a NOAA scientists, told reporters he found the speed of rise “surprising.” “The temperatures are increasing, and will keep increasing over the next years,” he said. u

on robotic vacuum cleaners and lawn mowers, but Ecovacs has taken things to a different level. Its Winbot device uses mini suction cups to cling to windows, and zig zag across large and small panes to clean them in a three stage process.

ne of Hollywood’s best-known cars—the futuristic Batmobile—from the 1960s television series, starring detectives Batman and Robin, goes on sale this month, in the United States. The streamlined black roadster with fluorescent pinstripes was based on a 1955 Lincoln Futura design study, and built at the Ghia works in Turin, Italy. Car customizer George Barris bought the vehicle from the Ford Motor Company for the token price of one dollar, and rebuilt it in just over two weeks, in 1966. The Batmobile featured twin bulletproof Plexiglass bubble windshields, and huge chrome exhaust pipes – poking out of the rear section. A spokesman for the Scottsdale-based auction house BarrettJackson, in Arizona State, said it was hard to put a price on the car – which goes up for sale together with other classic cars. The company sold a replica of the Batmobile in 2009 for 165,000 dollars. u


24

18-24 January 2013

G -scape

Master Plan for the Aravallis? Skinning of animals, for hides and meat, out in the open, in forest land (just a few kms from DLF Phase I)

Friday Gurgaon Jan 18-24, 2013  

Friday Gurgaon Jan 18-24, 2013

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