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26 April- 2 May 2013

Vol. 2 No. 36  Pages 24  ` 7

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

A White Paper On Gurgaon M

aster Plans for 2021, 2025 and 2031 have been announced for Gurgaon – in quick succession – but we still have no overall assessment of our current deficiencies. Clearly, the future Plans have no basis in the present. They have been seemingly made only for big real estate plays. We lament the poor administration, and the multiplicity of agencies – MCG, HUDA and the DC Office. We believe that a Gurgaon Development Authority (GDA) would be the answer to most of our prayers. In the absence of an honest assessment of what has not been done to date, and what is still not being done well, we will continue to flounder. And the culprits will merrily build new condos and colonies and sectors – and make those future residents tear their hair over the next decade.

The Town and Country Planning (T&CP) Department is at the centre of it all. It is clearly complicit. Rather than act as an effective planner, a responsible approving authority and a vigilant inspector, it has become a facilitator for deviations. The first accountability has to start here. T&CP Department must be charged with developing and issuing a White Paper on Gurgaon, within 6 months: on who has not done what (whether HUDA, MCG or private builders), as per approved plans. It should also confirm which builders should immediately hand over the maintenance of condos and colonies and sectors; and also confirm what has happened to the EDC and IDC paid by customers, for each project. All deficiencies, as per approved plans, need to be taken care of/funded by the builders, before they hand over their projects - they should be given a maximum of 6 months to comply.

This lack of accountability has to stop. The culprits need to pay.

Contd on p 16 

Careless With Children From January, a slew of laws and measures and actions have been advocated, and some implemented, for the safety and security of women. Unfortunately, none of them have seemed to deter the many sexual predators. The ‘normal’ court process in the Nirbhaya case just doesn’t help. If the most heinous, topmost of mind fast-track case in the country is now in its fifth month, and still not close to a conviction/ exemplary punishment, what deterrence would a criminal feel?  In fact the depravity seems to have increased – with the targeting of young children now. In this context, the state govt. had promised to urgently check out the status in its welfare institutions, for women and child-care, and ensure that the vulnerable were well cared for.  Since then, the govt has claimed that all their Child Care Institutions in the City have been duly inspected, as per guidelines, and found compliant. FG checks out some of them, and talks to both the care-takers and children.

{ Shilpy Arora / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon.com

S

oniya (name changed), an inmate at Sphurti Child Care Institution (CCI), wants to become a banker. She scored 100 per cent marks in Maths in her 10th CBSE Board exams. Manjula (name changed), another inmate, is a national champion in

Weight-lifting. Her dream is to make it to the Olympics one day. Manjula was brought to the centre at the age of eight, by an activist, who found her on the road at night. She had been allegedly sold by her mother to the family where she used to work as a domestic help. Soniya was a street beggar. She had been badly beaten by her elder brothers, as she normally came home without any alms. One day the police raided their slum and rescued Manjula. “When Soniya came to our centre, she had bruises all over her body. Manjula’s teeth had been broken by her brothers. Many girls have been rescued from the streets, or from their neglectful parents; and many of them are brought here by the police and social-workers, so that they get an opportunity to live a socially useful and productive life,” says a care taker at Sphurti, the Child Care Institution in Sector 17. Like Soniya and Manjula, almost all inmates at the centre have a tragic past. Most of them had been brought here in their pre-teens, a time when a child most needs intense care and love. Children are the future of our country; their development is key to the advancement of the country. However, with increasing cases of child abuse all across the country, many children are under threat. An abuse at such a tender age can have devastating and life-long effects on a child. Contd on p 8 

Capt. Incredible! The cycle of power cuts and water shortage has started…again. Will the Administration never learn? And will we never learn…to not trust them? It is time to hold them accountable. Is it time to come out on the streets? Is it time to ask for stoppage of all development in the new sectors, till the current Gurgaon residents get uninterrupted water and power – at least? In this scenario, the State Power Minister, Ajay Singh Yadav, has again boldly announced that there would be no power cuts in Haryana this summer. Ministerji, the summer is well upon us, and Gurgaon residents have already started feeling the heat of power cuts. Last year too you promised “no power cuts’ (FG issue 32, March 30-April 5, 2012 – Captain Courageous: ‘No Power Cuts This Summer’)...while the City reeled under constant 8 to 10 hours of ‘load shedding’ in the summer ! No one has so far commented on the water supply situation. MCG has yet to take over from the PHE Dept. Some things just do not change….


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26 April-2 May 2013

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319 Postal Regn. No. GRG/35/2012-2014, VOL.–2 No.–36  26 April-2 May 2013

Editor:

WORKSHOP  THEATRE  NIGHTLIFE  MUSIC  ART shopping, kiddie, food tasting, music and art. While the women shop, and the kids enjoy the rides and games, music and dance lovers can enjoy the performances by various renowned artists. Entry Free

Atul Sobti

Sr. Correspondents: Abhishek Behl Shilpy Arora Correspondent:

Maninder Dabas

Food

Sr. Photographers: Prakhar Pandey Sr. Sub Editor:

Anita Bagchi

Sr. Designer:

Amit Singh

Designer:

Virender Kumar

C oming U p Tart, Kiwi Danish Pastry, Kiwi Muffin and Kiwi Dry Cake slice.

Food

Spring Fiesta NY Style @ Fat Lulu’s, A3, Arjun Marg, DLF Shopping Centre, DLF Phase I Time: 11:00 am to 11:00 pm

W

elcome spring by celebrating at this New York style

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

Pankaj Yadav Sunil Yadav Manish Yadav

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

Workshop

Engineer It @ Nirvana Patio, South City Part 2, Nirvana Country, Sector 57 Date: April 27 Time: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm

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andsonlearnings presents an exciting Workshop for kids to learn all about engineering structures, and the science behind them. As they experiment with form, structure and materials, the children will be exposed to concepts like centre of gravity, tension, compression, span and load. They will learn the difference between arch, beam, cantilever and suspension bridges, and even make these, using common household items. The Workshop fee is Rs. 800 and is for kids between 7 and 10 years. 
For more information, you may call: 9810703890.

Workshop

Photography Workshop @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: April 28 Time:

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.

Workshop

Residential Training Workshop for School Principals and Leaders @ Best Western Sky City Hotel, 1 Old Judicial Complex, Sector – 15 Date: April 25 to 29 Time: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm

E

njoy various varieties of the King of Fruits, in delectable dishes

A

unique 5-day residential Workshop to help 'students' create a sustained learning curve, as well as provide hands-on experience to overcome their problem areas. The Workshop will be divided into 3 phases – pre-training, training and post-training. Sessions include assessment, diverse training methods, group discussions and personalised mentoring. Call: +91 265 2339468 or email to sml@edifyedvisor.com, info@edifycbsetraining.com

like Aam ki lunjee, Fajeto, Gor keri and many more. There is also an option to quench your thirst with Mango Lassi and Mango Panna. Mouth-watering desserts like Aamras and Aamrakhand will complete your authentic mango-filled meal experience. Contact: 4379001

Tech Event

Food

Barcamp Delhi 9 @ SAP Labs, Vatika Tower, Sector 54, Golf Course Road Date: April 27 Time: 9:00 am

Printed at Indian Express Ltd. Plot No. A8, Sector 7, Gautam Budh Nagar, NOIDA – 201301, Uttar Pradesh

Festival of Mangoes @ Rajdhani Restaurant, MGF Metropolitan Mall, 3rd Floor, MG Road Date: Up to May 31 Time: 11:30 am to 11:00 pm

Kiwi-licious @ New Town Cafe, Park Plaza Hotel, 2-B, B Block, Sushant Lok Phase II Date: Up to April 30 Time: Noon to Midnight

gourmet pizzeria. Dig your teeth into an array of mouth-watering offerings – both vegetarian and nonvegetarian. You can also customise your pizzas by combining tasty toppings, cheese and bases. For Reservations: (0124)4245497/98/99; 0124)4062872/8826011433(Take Away Outlet)

Food

Lemon Festival @ Chatime, MGF Metropolis Mall, Lower Ground Floor, Sector 28, MG Road Date: Up to April 30 Time: 11:00 am onwards

S

avour the exotic fruit, Kiwi, as the flavour of the month. Enjoy Kiwi-

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.

B

To Advertise Please Contact

7838003874 7827233023 9999444818 L

earn the essentials of photography by noted photographer Dheeraj Paul. For more informationCall 9910903636 or 9811044788

arcamp is an adhoc gathering where people from the tech community come together to share ideas, knowledge and experiences. There are no attendees and no speakers – only participants. So host a session, help out with planning, ask questions, and discuss your ideas with peers. For more details please visit http://barcampdelhi.org/

Wellness

Food & Wellness Festival @ Fortis Healthcare, Sector 44 Date: April 27 & 28 Time: 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm

T

his two-day Food and Wellness Festival comprises 5 zones –

based goodies like Kiwi and Lemon Fantasia Cheese cake, Kiwi Fresh Cream Cake, Layered Kiwi Mousse Cake, Kiwi Mousse Pastry, Kiwi & Blue Berry Swiss Roll, Fresh Kiwi

R

efresh yourself at this Lemon Festival. Enjoy affordable special summer Lemon Beverages – like Yoghurt Lemon Juice, Lemon QQ and Kumquat Lemon Juice and beat the heat!


C oming U p

26 April-2 May 2013

03

WORKSHOP  THEATRE  NIGHTLIFE  MUSIC  ART

N

oted Dutch DJ Jordy Dazz sets the floor on fire, with his unique fusion of rhythmic Electro and peak time House music.

Nightlife

Metal Project Live @ Attitude Alive, C002, Upper Ground Floor, Supermart I, DLF Phase IV Date: April 27 Time: 8:00 pm

Music

In Memory of Kishore Kumar @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: April 30 Time: 7:30 pm Tickets: Rs. 100

NGO’s, entrepreneurs, individuals and organizations come together to shop, eat and form new connections. Enjoy this environmental fiesta with family and friends!

R

enowned singers pay a tribute to the musical legend, Kishore Kumar. Enjoy an evening of popular oldies, and take a trip down memory lane.

Music

Kabir Ke Rang @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: May 2 Time: 7:30 pm

A Nightlife

Rockstar Eve @ TCK Lounge, Radisson Blu Suites Hotel, B-Block, 1st Floor, Sushant Lok Phase 1 Time: 7:30 pm onwards

get-together of some of Delhi’s rocking metal bands. The Event features various artistes – Raj Das, Aadhar Malhotra, Raul Belgard and Kshitish Purohit – Artillerie, Shakti Singh – 3rd Soveriegn, Abhishek and Varun Sood – Frequency, Rahul Mehelwal – 1833 AD, and many more.

Nightlife

The Jazz Lab with Drift @ Cocktails & Dreams Speakeasy, SCO No. 23, Sector 15 Part II Date: April 27 Time: 8:00 pm

M

A

musical evening by Jyotsna Rana, disciple of Madhuri Bandge. Jyotsna, stepping aside from her Ghazal and Gramophone era concerts, presents an evening of Sufi music, combined with Kabir’s poetry. The Concert includes the thoughts and poetry of the great Bulle Shah, Shah Hussain, Sultan Bahu, Baba Farid and Sant Kabir. Contact: 9810059550, 2715000

ake your Fridays interesting with this Karaoke extravaganza. All the budding rockstars and bathroom singers can come and sing their heart out!

D

ig into Swig, Debop, Contemporary, Originals and collaborative sets by the Delhi-based Bebop and Contemporary Jazz outfit, featuring Reuben Narain on Drums, Sahil Warsi on the Double Bass and Pranai Gurung on Guitar. Enjoy an eclectic mix of their music.

Nightlife

Saturday Commercial Tunes @ Lucia Lounge Bar, MGF Metropolitan Mall, DLF Phase II Date: April 27 Time: 9:00 pm

Ladies Night @ Rhino, South Point Mall, DLF Golf Course Road, Sector 53 Date: May 1 Time: 9:00 pm

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adies, it’s time to get your share of partying. Get on the dance floor and spin to DJ Mudit’s melodious music. We girls surely wanna have fun! Contact: 9560700123

Nightlife

Nightlife

Jordy Dazz Live @ Lemp Brewpub and Kitchen, DLF Star Mall, NH 8, Sector 30 Date: April 27 Time: 9:00 pm

Nightlife

W

elcome the weekend with a bang. Have fun and dance to the best of commercial tunes, played by the DJ in the house.

Rock and Retro Night @ Striker Pub & Brewery, Global Foyer Mall, Golf Course Road, Sector 43 Date: April 30 Time: 9:00 pm

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et into the mood of Rock, and be prepared to swing to classic retro numbers, with DJ Mukul. Contact: 9990383131, 4040101

Shopping

OPPORTUNITY

A

If you’re interested in a career with Friday Gurgaon as a Correspondent, send us your resume at letters@fridaygurgaon.com

Buzzouq-Green Market @ Rendezvous Lounge For Mom & Kids, Plot No. J - 18, South City 1 Date: April 27 Time: 11:00 am to 8:00 pm n exclusive Bazaar for all environment lovers. Enjoy shopping in a green market, where brands,


04

26 April-2 May 2013

THE WEEK THAT WAS ♦ CM Hooda, while inaugurating Hotel Hyatt regency, Gurgaon, says: The State Govt. is trying to solve the problem of traffic jams at the Toll Plaza(s); there are plans to extend the Delhi Metro upto Manesar; and the KMP Expressway development is being monitored by the Supreme Court. ♦ A step-father, resident of Sector 10, is arrested for raping his minor step-daughters, aged 9 and 14. ♦ A 19-year-old is held for raping his 5-year-old cousin. ♦ An infant girl’s body is found near Rajiv Chowk. ♦ A 29-year-old engineering student dies in a hospital; the relatives protest, alleging malpractice by the doctor(s) concerned. ♦ A 4-year-old son of an entrepreneur living in Sohna Road is kidnapped for ransom, after tying up the mother; the boy is rescued by the police, and the new maid and her accomplice (a driver) are caught in Palwal. ♦ A 12-year-old girl is reported missing. ♦ A father registers a kidnapping FIR for his 14-year-old child, who has been missing for a few weeks. ♦ The wife of an NRI exporter is reported missing; a message, allegedly from her, says that she has left on her own free will. ♦ The bail plea of the accused in the Sohna hit-and-run case is rejected – a retired IFS officer had been run over by the car and killed. ♦ A student, the nephew of the owner of Ambience (real estate firm), falls from a high-rise in Australia and dies. ♦ A businessmen allegedly jumps from the 11th floor of a Sector 30 high-rise, and dies. ♦ A bank employee dies of a heart attack at the MG Road Metro station.

Haryanvi Made Easy Get a taste of the local lingo 1. I want to buy a big, new car. Main ek baddi nai gaddi lena chahun su. 2. I have just sold off my land. Main ibbe ib apni jamin bechi se. 3. I received good money for it. Manne uske badiya rapiye milge. 4. My family says I should not spend the money. Mhare ghar aale keh se ke rapiye

barbaad na karne chaiye.

5. I will drive the car in the City. Main te shahar mein gaddi chalaunga. 6. All the girls will look at me. Saari chhoriya manne dekhengi. 7. My family won't like that either. Mhare ghar aale ne wo bhi pasand

na aawe.

♦ A body of a 25-year-old man is found in a farm. ♦ There is another daring robbery by a wanted criminal, in Palam Vihar. He robs cash and jewellery worth almost Rs 5 lakhs. ♦ Notorious criminal ‘Tota’ is held. ♦ 2 people are held for selling counterfeit software, after a raid on their firm in Sector 37. ♦ A woman is among 3 held for a carjacking crime. ♦ 5 members of an inter-state gang of vehicle thieves are arrested; a gang of 6 car thieves is arrested; 7 stolen vehicles are recovered by the police. ♦ Rs 3 lakhs worth is stolen from a shop. ♦ A man poses as a bank staff and dupes another person of Rs 26,000. ♦ There is a break-in at Kanda’s farmhouse. ♦ Daler Mehndi’s 100 acres land, near Sohna, is taken back by the State. ♦ Anyone found using a plastic bag would now be fined also. ♦ Encroachments at Sadar Bazaar are being aggressively removed. ♦ Project SEARCH Environment Award is won by Chiranjiv Bharati School. ♦ HUDA de-seals 2 petrol pumps (earlier sealed over nonpayment of dues). ♦ HUDA issues notice to Delhi Metro over non-compliance of construction/building terms, for the (HUDA) City Centre Metro Station. ♦ Supreme Court turns down plea for interim relief (amenities) for residents in the ‘illegal’ IAF Depot area. ♦ Gurgaon Police has plans to offer internships at its Cyber Cell. ♦ A mock fire and emergency drill is held at Hamilton Court, the current tallest residential tower.

If Streetlights are not working, call: 1000 180 3030 (Toll Free); or 0124 2301616 (9am to 5pm)

T PIC

Now get your copy of Reading & Riting is the Rithmetic - a compilation of the Editorials and cover stories of Atul Sobti. Get your hard copy at Quill and Canvas, South Point Mall, DLF Phase V, or order it online at ebagsfull.com Cover Price-Rs. 350

WORKSHOP MUSIC NIGHTLIFE ART

EXHIBITION

DANCE

Want an Event to appear on the Coming Up page?

be the change you wish to see

OF THE WEEK

Write to us at anita.bagchi@fridaygurgaon .com

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

Are current RWAs effective in running condominiums/colonies? Please also give suggestions Write in to us at

letters@fridaygurgaon.com

IF YOU ARE NOT GETTING FG COPIES REGULARLY Call

9910518785


26 April-2 May 2013

C eleb W atch

05

Women Fly High

U

rban Suburban Productions, DLF 5 City Club's theatre company, performed the play 'Fly High Firefly' at the Club premises. The Event saw a host of talented women on stage – from young adults to senior citizens, from corporate honchos and professionals to business women, homemakers and students – celebrating womanhood with all its sparkle and fire. The Play began with an audio-visual introduction, followed by 4 distinct and unique play-lets, addressing a range of issues faced by women – cheating and bossy husbands, a housewife's unique bonding with her maid, the female obsession with fashion, and designer brands. Speaking on the occasion, Aakash Ohri, Director, Business Development, DLF said, “We intend to make the DLF 5 City Club a social, cultural and sporting hub, which will be a second home to our residents.”

MRAI Conference

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2 day Conference has been organised by the Metal Recycling Association of India, at the Leela Kempinski Hotel. Delegates from over 300 companies are attending this Conference. Naresh Jain, Managing Director, Namo Alloys Pvt. Ltd, Dhawal Shah and Sanjay Mehta were seen attending the 1st day of the Conference.

Anniversary Grill

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o celebrate its first anniversary, the Indian Grill Room hosted a party at The Terrace@IGR. The Event saw a host of Gurgaonites enjoying themselves. Humourous performances by comedians Nishant Singh, Vasu Primalani and Amit Tandon kept the guests in splits.


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C eleb W atch

26 April-2 May 2013

Aman Ki Performance

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urgaonites were in for a musical treat as noted Pakistani singer Shafqat Aman Ali― known for his popular numbers like Bin Tere, Aankhon ke Sagar, Mitwa, Tu Mile―performed live at Striker Pub & Brewery. He had the guests swaying to his songs.

Tranquil Art

T

he group Art Show, Tranquility, held in the City, was inaugurated by the Haryana Sports Minister, Sukhbir Kataria. The Show, organised by Shree Yash Art Gallery, featured various eminent artists, who captured a vast range of moods and moments in their works. The Exhibition displayed the works of Dr. Shrotiya, Dr. R.C.Bhawsar, Prithvi Soni, Nand Thakur and Harish Kumar.

Grilleria

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unjab Grill, a restaurant popular for its Indian cuisine, celebrated the launch of its outlet in Galleria, by hosting a grand party at the venue. The guests enjoyed the special menu, and a lot of City restauranteurs were also spotted having a good time.

Earth-Walk

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he National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) and Regional Council for Haryana organised an initiative, Walk-To-Work, aimed at making the City pedestrian-friendly. Over 500 senior management officials from various multi-nationals participated in this Walk, on Earth Day. The Walk was diivided into 4 routes – Gateway Tower to Cybercity, Gateway Tower to Udyog Vihar, HUDA City Centre Metro station to Unitech Cyber Park, and Moulsari Avenue Metro station to the Ambience complex. Senior officials of the Haryana government and Rapid Metro also participated in the Event.

RAAH MEDIA & EVENTS Contact

9818200470 9999625733

raahmediaevents@gmail.com


26 April-2 May 2013

C ivic/S ocial

07

City-Smart Rural Bank { Abhishek Behl/ FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon.com

D

PRAKHAR PANDEY

espite the onslaught of tech-savvy global banks and aggressive local banks, Gurgaon Gramin Bank (GGB), which was set up in 1976 to serve the people in the predominantly rural districts of South Haryana, is holding fort. Sponsored by Syndicate Bank, GGB has kept its focus on the rural customers and maintained good relations with them. GGB claims to be the  number one standalone Regional Rural Bank (RRB) in the country, in terms of total business – which stood at Rs. 7,450 crores as on March 31, 2013.  S. Indirajith, Chairman of Gurgaon Gramin Bank, says that the Bank is totally committed to serving the rural areas and populace – the priority sector. To fulfill its mandate, the Bank has set up a

network of 230 branches in Gurgaon, Mewat, Faridabad, Palwal, Rewari, Mohindergarh and Sonepat. “The major success of the Bank has been in helping inculcate banking habits in rural people, make people aware of small savings, and use credit facilities productively, so that living standards can be raised,” asserts Indirajith. Towards this end the Bank is also implementing the agenda of Financial Inclusion, which was introduced by the government in 2008. A major tool that has helped the Bank in empowering the rural masses is the Kisan Credit Card, which allows a farmer to avail a loan upto Rs. 1 lakh, without any mortgage of property. Indirajith says that only the hypothecation of the produce, and the credit worthiness of the farmer, is checked before issuing a Kisan Credit Card. “This Card has helped farmers, and overall there has been a 14 per cent rise in advances. Our goal is to cover every household,” he asserts. Alongside, to serve the fast growing industry/business sector, GGB has started a scheme to help the micro and small enterprises, providing easy loan conditions and fast disbursals. “We are not collecting any collaterals for loans upto Rs. 10 lakhs; only whatever assets are created out of the loan are required to be hypothecated to the Bank. The scheme has seen a 42 per cent rise in advances in the last one year,” says the Chairman. To further implement the agenda of financial inclusion,  Indirajith says that the Bank has opened a No Frills Account for the marginalised and excluded groups. “A door to door campaign was organised by the Bank, and more than 5 lakhs such accounts have been opened in 7 districts,” he adds. The Bank has also prepared a road map to service 234 villages under the Financial Inclusion Plan. In addition 31 Brick and Mortar branches have been set up, and 203 Business Correspondent Agents have been appointed in 203 villages, to provide financial services to people. The bank is also the first to open a Financial Literacy and Credit Counselling Centre (FLCC) at 3 block level centres. The Bank has formed 1,260 Joint Liability Groups,

586 Farmers Clubs and issued 80,375 Kisan Credit Cards. Another major exercise that has been initiated is to empower the women in rural areas, through Self Help Groups. The Chairman says that the Bank is a pioneer in this field, and till now 12,652 such groups have been set up. The Self Help Groups have helped villagers free themselves from the clutches of the village money-lenders, who charge exorbitant interest. Indirajith also admits that the changing profile of Gurgaon’s farmers has also helped the Bank, as a large number of them have turned rich because of the sale of land. “Now rich farmers are not worried about keeping large amounts with the Bank, and park their funds with us. This is also a major source of income for the Bank,” he adds. We offer the best interest rate on deposits, which stands at 9.25 per cent for Rs. 1 lakh – and even more for Senior Citizens. Likewise, the rate on loans is very competitive, and a customer can get a home loan of Rs. 20 lakhs for 10.25 per cent; and beyond that the rate is 10.50 per cent,” he says. The Bank has also As on 31st March, 2013 the Bank has posted a total Business level of Rs. 7,450 started to give gold loans to customers crores, registering a growth of 16%. The total Deposits have stood at Rs.4,845 crores, who are in immediate need of cash, a growth rate of 17 %, and total Advances stood at Rs.2,605 crores - showing a growth and are ready to pledge their gold. The of 14%. The Operating Profit of the Bank is Rs.169 crores, delivering a growth of 17.5 gold loan sector is mostly dominated %. The Bank has opened 21 new branches during the financial year; and with its total by private players, he adds. A number 231 branches, it is providing banking services to 17,98,769 customers. The Advances of branches in the urban areas have under Priority sector are 83% of total Advances outstanding. been refurbished, so that the Bank can compete well on service and facilities with its commercial counterparts – for corporate business. The Bank will soon introduce ATMs, both in urban and rural areas, as there has been a constant demand for this service – particularly in villages. Internet banking services will also be launched soon,” he says. Talking to the officials sitting in his cabin, Indirajith exhorts them  to get aggressive and push for the acquisition of new customers, who are needed for the Bank to remain profitable in the long run. Indirajith agrees that the major challenges are going to come from other banks, the lack of infrastructure in rural areas, and poor IT facilities. “Till now we have managed to overcome these obstacles, but from here on more efforts will be required,” he says. The association with Syndicate Bank, he says, has ensured that the fundamentals of the Bank are strong, and the systems have adequate checks and balances. Apart from general banking services, Gurgaon Gramin Bank, as a responsible corporate, has launched a campaign for soil and water testing in rural areas, and financed Solar Home Lighting Systems – which are among the focus areas of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.  The Bank has also helped many villages, by installing 10,395 Solar Home Lights, and 51 of its branches are working on Solar Systems. Last, but not the least, Indirajith says that employees of the Bank are kept motivated and happy, so that they do not treat banking in rural areas as a job, but as a mission – to transform the villages, where the 'real India' lives. u


08  Contd from p 1 Of the 105 CCIs in Haryana, the City has more than 20. Recently, the government has recognised/registered 16 CCIs in the City, confirming that they adhere to all the guidelines as specified by the Juvenile Justice Act of the Government of India. However, visits to these centres tell a different story. While Sphurti seems to strictly follow the guidelines, there are institutions that don’t have enough security staff for the children, the food is cooked in the children’s room, and even basic hygiene levels are not maintained.

26 April-2 May 2013

Careless With Children Officer-in-Charge of a centre. Prof. R. Mathur, The Officerin-Charge of Sphurti says that no inspection had been undertaken before this year.

Education

Monu (name changed), 15, was admitted to Class 3 last year. Despite living at a CCI for more than three years, his education has been constantly neglected. “I ran away from

However, it seems more focus is laid on the marriage of girls, rather than their higher studies. “The centre is a part of the Geeta Bhavan Trust. Most of the girls get married after completing their schooling. What would they do after school? A girl’s fortune depends on the family of her in-laws. A short course in stitching or designing would hardly make any difference,”

Security

Last year, when a girl went missing from a CCI, the police asked the centre to produce her case history. Unfortunately the centre had not maintained any records. “The children who are brought by the police already have records. No record is maintained for those who are brought here by activists or parents. It is shocking, given the many incidents of missing children. The government doesn’t know what facilities these centres provide, where their money is coming from, and how they account for it,” says Daya Yadav, a child rights activist. The centres don’t even maintain a Visitors’ Book, which is mandated by the guidelines. Of the centres visited, none had this Book. Further, the centres seem to have not heard of the concept of a Children’s Committee. To ensure the safety of children in centres, the State has issued guidelines for the formation of a Children’s Committee, which is to have children from three different age-groups – 6 to 10 years, 11 to 15 years, and 16 to 18 years. Two members of the Committee are entitled to attend the meetings of the centre's Management Committee. It is hoped that these children would be able to raise their voice against any abuse. Despite the guidelines making it mandatory to have regular inspections, most of the centres allege that no one from the Administration has visited their centre for years; it was only last year that the officials came. “They are more interested in paper work, rather than the childrens’ well-being. The officials seek details on the food and clothes the children are getting, but don’t inquire about their education. While checking for any wrongdoings, officials tend to ask inappropriate and insensitive questions from the children,” says an

C over S tory

my village when I was just 9. I had attended school till Class 3 in my village itself. When the police brought me to the centre, only a few children would then to go to school. But now everybody goes. I love going to the school as it has a big playground,” smiles Monu. Many children like to stay in the school, rather than in the centre. According to them, the school has a playground, better toilets and clean water. As per the guidelines, each CCI should have a playground. But some of them are made in such congested multi-storied houses, that having a playground is not feasible. While Geeta Ashram, a CCI located in Shivpuri, claims to have a play area on the terrace, Atma Ram Bal Bhawan has no playground in its premises. “We are struggling to provide basic facilities such as education, clean water, electricity and toilets to the children. Honestly speaking, the playground is not in our priority list,” says one of the office bearers at the Atma Ram Bal Bhawan. The Centre is situated in a small building in Sector 56. The guidelines also state that CCIs have to provide vocational training to the students who don’t get admission in any college, or who couldn’t complete their schooling due to some unexpected circumstances.

believes a care taker at the centre. “Of course, there are a handful of children who show little or no inclination for studies, and are consistently poor in academics. Such children are first encouraged to study hard, but if the situation does not improve they are given vocational training. Once they are adults and equipped with a minimum education or vocational skills, they are also helped to find jobs,” says R.Mathur.

Infrastructure

A centre should have 8,495 sq. ft. area for every 50 children – where facilities such as recreation centres, counselling rooms, libraries, a sickroom and a kitchen can easily be constructed. However, most of the centres are built in congested multistoried buildings. “Forget about libraries and centres, we don’t even have space for a kitchen. As of now, we have set up the kitchen in the corner of a room,” says Shanta, who cooks food at Atma Ram Bal Bhawan. Shockingly, the gas stove and cylinder are kept near the children’s bed. Further, there was no fire extinguisher at the Centre; it is mandatory under the guidelines. “I avoid going to the toilets as much as possible, and try to

hold on till I reach my school,” says Reema (name changed), an inmate at Atma Ram Bal Bhawan, referring to her centre’s toilet. Most of the children avoid using the toilets at the centre because they “stink, the taps are broken, there are no buckets – and no water.” “How do we keep toilets clean with no sanitary workers?” asks an office bearer of the Centre. He claims that the workers demand more than Rs. 500 for cleaning, and that the school cannot spend so much just on toilets. He also holds the children equally responsible. “Most of these children come from poor families. They have never used toilets in their houses, and are still accustomed to using an open space,” he says. Despite the guidelines clearly specifying that there should be eight toilets per 50 children in a CCI, the Institution has just four. Shockingly, the toilets are common for boys and girls. On the other hand, centres like Sphurti maintain decent toilet blocks for children and the teachers – with more than 18 toilets for about 100 girls. Besides, regular health check-ups are organised at Sphurti. “As the Haryana government offers individual health cards to each inmate in a CCI, it is easier to conduct health camps regularly. You

don’t need to wait for funds,” says R. Mathur.

Learning from other Centres

Some CCIs in the City are registered under NGOs. According to Daya, these NGOs provide better facilities, and work as per the guidelines. “They maintain the correct space ratio, have proper grab bars, and separate activity areas to suit the needs of infants, toddlers and teenagers,” says Daya. She gives the example of Saksham, which strictly follows the guidelines. CCIs in the City can also learn a lot from shelter homes in the capital. Recently, Bharti Bal Vikas Kendra, a shelter home in Saket, has come up with a residential school in their centre – they filed the application in 2010 and got approval in March 2013. “Most of the children in CCIs are abandoned or neglected. It is not easy for them to adjust in formal schools. We therefore wanted to have a residential school for our children, despite the strength of children in our school being just 250,” says Tarun Chabra, Officer-in-Charge of Bharti Bal ViKas Kendra. Some centres in the capital have gone the extra mile. My Home, a small centre situated in Sector 8 Dwarka, is under contant CCTV surveillance, to ensure the safety of its children. Besides, it organises regular awareness camps, self-defence camps, and counselling sessions on child sexual abuse. u

Draft Development Plan Manesar Bawal Industrial Region (MBIR) 2039 For 32 lakhs population Phases Phase I – 2011-21 8,800 hectares (including an Industrial Township over 400 sq km) Phase II – 2021-31 15,000 hectares Phase III – 2031-39 16,432 hectares Total

40,232 hectares

Land Use Residential 11,189 hectares Commercial 1,120 Industrial 6,771 Transport & Communications 4,254 Public Utilities 441 Public & Semi-Public 892 Open Spaces & Recreation 13,005 Rivers & Water Bodies 424 Natural Zone 2,136 Total 40,232 hectares


C ivic/S ocial

26 April-2 May 2013

{ Anita Jaswal }

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rt washes away the dust of everyday life from the soul. Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves – at the same time. Every artist has a story worth telling – a story we can learn from. Anindita’s story is an adventure - a way for her to combine her love for creativity, with colours and other artsy mediums. “My works are an interpretation of a collective experience woven in and around the traditional consort of miniature paintings. Having lived and studied in Baroda, and witnessed the communal tension, I was drawn to Mughal history as an attempt towards not ghettoing art as Hindu or Muslim,” explains Anindita Bhattacharya, an upcoming artist. “I began with incorporating Mughal patterns in my works, which later got infused with the everyday and mundane; as well as images of personal and socio-political significance – ranging from immersion rods, scissors, irons, to maps, texts, phallic symbols, gynecological instruments, grenades, bombs, tanks and more. “Creating multiple layers in my paintings allows me to juxtapose various experiences from different time frames in

{ Maninder Dabas / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon.com

W

ith smaller states like Meghalaya, Manipur and Tripura in the North-East getting High Courts of their own, the question of whether a comparatively larger state, like Haryana, should have a separate High Court has once again risen. CM Bhupender Singh Hooda’s recent statements, in which he has advocated Haryana’s constitutional right to have a separate High Court, has endorsed this cause with a political will. “A separate High Court will (also) fulfill the aspirations of the people of Haryana, and strengthen the judicial system in the State,” said CM Hooda, at a recent rally. Presently Haryana shares the High Court with its cousin Punjab, in the joint capital – Chandigarh. The voices for a separate Court are getting louder. “Yes of course we should have a separate High Court, because Chandigarh is not only distant and perhaps cut off

Layered Artist a single matrix; and I often use ‘jaali’s’, or hand cut paper, to add another layer to my work. The ‘jaali’s’ were reminiscent of the ‘jharokhas’ that are customary in Mughal architecture. Keeping the historic purpose of the ‘jaali’s’ in mind, I use

them to ‘control’ the gaze of the viewer, like a game of hide and seek – where I can either hide certain images, or invite the viewer to be more intimate with the painting, and seek the images beneath the ‘jaalis’.

Her recent work, called the “Legacy of Loss”, is loosely based on her experiences, and those of her friend from Pakistan – who recently visited India. Anindita has an interesting incident to share: “The message I often receive on my phone, after I call her in Pakistan is – “you have just made a call a to a number beginning with 0092 , we advise you to exercise caution while calling unknown numbers and refrain from sharing personal details”. I use this text—both in English and Urdu—in the form of a jaali, through which you can spy the line of control. There is also a personal anecdote, on how it is easier to get trucks of onions across the border, than a friend. With a Masters Degree in Painting from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda, Anindita has a lot of exhibitions to her credit – the R.A.P.E, Art Bull and the Future of The Museum Collection III, at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi; and “Pratham” Saffron Art, in London Contemporary, and the Shahnamah Millennium Painting Exhibition at National College of Arts, Lahore. She is also the recipient of Lt Milind Madhukar Bhade and the Narendra Gajanan Bhatt Gold Medal, awarded by the Maharaja Sayajirao University Baroda.

It's High Time from most of the parts of Haryana, but the number of assigned judges for Haryana, at the Punjab and Haryana High Court are far less compared to Punjab. Presently the ratio is 60:40; whereas, in terms of litigations, Haryana has more cases in the Court. Due to the paucity of judges and other staff, justice is also delayed – and we all know that justice delayed is justice denied. And I don’t think there would be any adverse

All states have it, except Haryana

Be it Andhra Pradesh in 1963, or the three states Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, and Chattisgarh—carved out from the mammoth states of UP, Bihar and MP respectively— in 2000, they have their own High Courts. Haryana is the only state in the country, which was carved out of a bigger state, but didn’t get a separate High Court. In fact, it still shares the High Court as well as the Capital with its former self. “This is sad, because all other similar states have been given a High Court, along with other separate establishments, to help them forge their own identities. Haryana continues to live under the shadow of Punjab. Prior to Hooda, the political class in Haryana was content to not rock the boat. The fear of losing votes, by giving up one of the institutions of Haryana in Chandigarh, was one of the reasons why the political class in Haryana never broached the subject earlier. Now the government seems to have finally realised the importance of a separate High Court, and obviously the will of the masses,” said another senior advocate in Gurgaon.

09

Inside the Artist’s Mind

“I don’t set out to produce art about one subject or another. I always have a sketchbook at hand, so I am constantly drawing; sometimes the drawings are left in the sketchbook, and at other times they develop into more indepth ideas and detailed images. I have now become a sort of ‘historical artist’, or someone who creates artwork relating to social commentary – but this pattern has emerged over time. I am pleased with it. People always ask for my (artist) statement, but I’ve never liked to explain a certain piece of work. If you’ve made a picture the way you wanted it to be, hopefully it can speak for itself; and whatever it says to the viewer is the right message. There isn’t a wrong and a right message. Each person takes something different from the same picture – and I’m happy with that. I am an excitable person, who personally understands life lyrically and musically; and in whom feelings are much stronger than reason. I am so thirsty for the ‘marvellous’ that only that has power over me; anything I cannot transform into something marvellous, I let go. Reality doesn’t impress me. I believe in intoxication, in ecstasy; and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape – one way or another.” u

effect on Haryana if it has a separate High Court,” said Baljeet Rathi, a Senior Advocate at the Gurgaon Court. Many people of Haryana, especially in the South and West, are also fed up going to Chandigarh every second month, to attend a hearing. “It takes us two days to reach Chandigarh, where we have to go for a hearing. Gurgaon, though in south Haryana, is a perfect place to have a High Court, because it’s an avant garde city, and has the maximum financial importance among all the cities of Haryana,” said Dalbir Singh, a resident in the District Court Gurgaon. To restore some parity, an equal bifurcation of judges in the present Court would be welcome, but I don’t think Punjab would allow such thing to happen – because Chandigarh both ethnically and geographically coincides with Punjab,” said Dharmbir Singh, a lawyer at the Gurgaon court. Punjab CM Prakash Singh Badal has reacted strongly to Hooda’s wish

to have a separate High Court. He has stated that if Haryana wants to have a separate Court, it can have it anywhere in its own territory – Punjab won’t allow Haryana to have a separate High Court in Chandigarh. Punjab has time and again claimed its cultural and political rights to have Chandigarh as part of its State, while Haryana has always objected to that strongly. This has impacted the relations between the two states. “Even the Chandigarh Administration won’t allow such a thing to happen. To me, the best option is to bifurcate the judges and other staff equally; this would resolve many problems of the people, especially relating to the delay in justice. Distance cannot be a reason for taking such a huge decision, because setting up a separate High Court takes a lot of effort. Also, if Haryana goes ahead with a separate High Court, that action would probably impact its hold on Chandigarh as its capital,” said Sarvdaman Oberoi, a local RWA Head and legal expert. u


10

A Sinister Act

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon.com

PRAKHAR PANDEY

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s expected, the move to dilute the Haryana Apartment Owners Act, by allowing the registration of an RWA in a condominium under the newly amended Societies Act 2012, has started to create problems – which are likely to multiply if the government does not come up with clear guidelines on the issue. There are multiple stakeholders in an apartment complex; the builder—who wants to control the common areas and earn perpetual profit from maintenance; an officialdom— that thrives on corruption; and a normally builder-backed RWA. The hapless apartment buyer comes last in this list, even though he/she pays for the structure and the services. In such a scenario, if the government decides that a condominium association can have multiple RWAs, it is an invitation to disaster. Insiders says that the Haryana government’s decision to allow registrations of RWAs under the Societies Act is simply a ploy to ensure that the wrongs committed by the developerlobby are condoned, and the residents are left disunited. In the first such instance, an RWA formed by 7 people, and registered under the new Act, has challenged Bestech – that has developed Parkview Residency in Palam Vihar, Gurgaon. The new RWA was registered on March 15, and Secretary Deepak Khanna says that he has been fighting with the builder for over one and half years, on various issues related to poor maintenance. While

Khanna argues that this RWA has been registered legally, and represents the majority of the residents, there is also a group that claims differently. Khanna alleges that the Parkview Residency apartments have been maintained from day one by a developer-owned company, Parkview Facilities Management Limited. The RWA was headed by a person who was related to the builder, and despite repeated attempts he could not meet him, says Khanna. On further investigation, it was also revealed that no member of the RWA was living in the condominium, he says. Every month a corpus of Rs. 30 lakhs is collected, and spent ostensibly on maintenance – with no improvement in the living conditions, he says. “We decided to get a genuine RWA registered. After getting the certificate, we gave a letter to the builder, to hand over the maintenance to the newly formed RWA,” says Khanna. However, instead of getting a

suitable response, the existing RWA issued a notice, stating that elections to choose the new RWA association would be held on May 11. As a result, the members of the newly registered RWA invited JAFRA for resolving the matter, in a meeting that also had a representation from the builder. Khanna says that the meeting remained inconclusive, but legally their RWA was found genuine, and representative of the interests of the residents. In his opinion, only a section of people, who are in league with the developer, are opposing the handover of maintenance to their RWA. However, Khanna and the RWA consultant, Avtar Singh Mann, are not ready to have elections again. “We were elected as per law, and if anyone has any objections to our RWA, then the same should be filed with the Registrar. Till date no one has filed any objection,” they assert in unison. The primary issues in Parkview Residency are similar to those being faced by condominiums residents across

There Goes The Sun

{ Maninder Dabas / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon.com

T

C ivic

26 April-2 May 2013

he majority of residents living in private builder colonies are at loggerheads with their respective builders over various issues. And it’s not just the big builders - such as Unitech or Ansals; even builders like Suncity are not having good terms with their residents. “Be it any builder, big or small, they are exploiting the rights of the residents. Here our builder, Suncity, is doing the same. We are paying for the maintenance of the Colony, while the staff hired from our money is being used by the builder for his personal works. Suncity got the license to build this Colony in 1998, and by 2000 it had to offer it for occupation. Another term was that the builder would continue to provide the five primary and basic services, for five years from completion date. However, the builder hasn’t taken the Completion Certificate to date

(actually none of the builders has), but has instead stopped providing some of the basic services and facilities. Even the other value added services, for which we are paying maintenance, are not satisfactory. Maintenance charges have been increased without taking our consent. We residents have filed a case at the East Delhi Consumer Court; but despite the Courts’ stay the builder has continued to send the bills with the inflated charges. On 19 November 2010, we had an

Gurgaon. Khanna says that the security set up is poor, and sewerage is another major issue, as the connectivity with the master network is still awaited. “We have been paying high power charges because the load sanctioned by DHBVN is less than what is needed for the society. The residents have to pay Rs. 18.50 for a unit of power supplied through the generator,” alleges Khanna. He also wants to stop the sale of parking areas, as it is not allowed under law. A large amount of money that was collected for repairing the façade is also lying unused, even though damages have not been repaired. At many places the plaster has started peeling, and roads have been repaired in a shabby manner. Brigadier Deepak Kapoor, Director, Facilities at Bestech, however denies the charges of poor maintenance, and says that the primary issue in Parkview Residency is not the interference by the builder, but differences among the residents. “We are ready to hand over the maintenance to any RWA that is democratically elected, and supported by the majority of the residents,” says Kapoor. He also says that the newly registered RWA, led by Khanna, has been negotiating with the builder only for the last one and a half months, whereas there had been another set of persons interacting with Bestech earlier. He reiterates that the residents will have to participate in the elections being held on May 11, to choose the new RWA. “A notice has been issued for elections by

agreement with the builder, that the residents would pay the maintenance charges at the rate of Re. 1/sq. yard, and that the maintenance charges wouldn’t be increased without the residents’

Suncity is located on Golf Course Road, one of the better areas in Gurgaon as far as infrastructure is concerned; and the inside infrastructure of the Colony - such as roads and sewage network - is not as bad as the rest of Gurgaon. “Yes, it’s slightly better in comparison to the other areas in Gurgaon, but if we see the Colony as a whole, the situation is quite grim. The main road is in a good shape because the builder has his own school here; the inside roads need serious improvement. Similarly, security is also a grave concern, and we have instances of theft and burglary. According to the contract we should have 56 guards and two gunmen to guard this Colony, which is spread across 165 acres; in reality we have only 28 guards and no gunmen”, said Poonia.

the Apartment Owners Association,” he says. Khanna counters, “Why is the builder not ready to hand over maintenance to us? We are a legal entity. We will hold elections as required, after three years,” he asserts. A few residents are getting wary. “Right now all of them— the builder, the existing RWA, the newly registered RWA— seem to be working at cross-purposes. The only goal seems to be to control a lucrative source of revenue,” they allege. Another group has met the Registrar of Societies, and complained regarding the ‘illegality’ of the newly registered RWA – and claims it does not have the backing of the majority. One of the aggrieved residents says that a group of over fifty residents had been working closely with the builder, to resolve different issues amicably, and to get the necessary infrastructure – after they got possession in April 2010. All of a sudden a group of seven residents got an RWA registered, and declared themselves as representatives of the condominium – which is wrong, he says. Even as residents at Parkview Residency fight it out among themselves over who will be the custodian of this condominium complex, insiders say that this incident is a clear indication that a particular lobby, which was increasingly becoming uncomfortable with an assertive citizenry, has achieved its goal of dividing the apartment owners. This will also lead to the weakening of the Haryana Apartment Owners Act, making it difficult to hold erring builders accountable. u

consent. However, it has been unilaterally increased twice: from Rs 1/sq. yard to Rs 1.25 on January 1 2011, and then to Rs 1.75 in October last year,” said Abhay Poonia, former President of Suncity Resident Welfare Association (SCRWA). “There is also no transparency. The builder, for the last two years, hasn’t undertaken any audit - in which two members from the RWA, and two officials from the builder’s side should sit together. The residents don’t know where their money has been spent, said Poonia. The matter has now come to a head. No matter what issues there are with residents, a builder should not stop some of the basic facilities like water and power supply; but here the builder has stopped the water supply and cut the cable connections, of those who have refused to pay the escalated price of maintenance. Poonia is one of them. “They are sending us bills that are against the Court order. Unknown persons and employees have been coming to our houses and threatening to snap services, if the inflated bills are not paid,” said A.K Sharma, another resident of the Colony.u


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26 April-2 May 2013

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26 April-2 May 2013

K id C orner

Solutions

Kids Brainticklers

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

Literary Flourish

Flash Back I am very close to my grandmother. I wanted to see the world through her eyes – her stories. One day, I asked her how she studied, what games she played, and what were the other activities she had done in her life. I was shocked to hear that the life she had led was very hard – but she was still happy. She studied on her own, without any one’s help or tuitions. For pastimes, she would skip, play hide and seek, carom,or chess – there was no TV or video games or even electric gadgets. She would attend prayer meetings. Festival celebrations, fairs and music and dance concerts were the main modes of entertainment. There was no fear of chain snatchers, eve-teasing or theft. People did not feel fear, even alone outside at night. Those sound like good times.

Artistic Strokes

Ansisa Sambi, VII, Excelsior American School

Mohak Bhasin, VII D, Chiranjiv Bharati School

Madiha Bakshi


K id C orner

26 April-2 May 2013

Ryan International School, Sohna Road

CBS

Protect the Earth

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tudents of the School took a pledge to spread the message of protecting Mother Earth on International Earth Day. Well known environmentalist, scientist and leading businessman Ashok Mahindru, Chairman, Advance Group & Mahindru Charitable Trust, graced the occasion. He interacted with the students and called upon them to take the necessary steps for protecting mother Earth. School Principal, Dr. Mouna Gupta, said, “As a small step towards ecological balance, the School has started the concept of organic farming, where students do the farming themselves and sell the vegetables to the teachers; the funds generated from this exercise will be used to help increase awareness for environmental protection.”

Palam Vihar, Gurgaon

Admissions Open...

Join the Chiranjiv Bharati Family Some of the salient features which help in the overall development of our students in Pre Primary Wing are: n  Child-friendly and child-centred education. n  Activity-oriented learning through experience, exposure and involvement. n  Innovative techniques of teaching. Touch tables and 3-D theatre n  Activity room with a reading corner and doll house for role play. n  An all weather play area to encourage activity in open spaces . n  Sandpit, splashpool, music, story time, day/ night camp, festive celebrations and never ending learning experience. Special focus n  Nutritious and healthy Mid Day meals Pre Primary Wing n  Well qualified, experienced, dedicated, talented and caring staff. n  Air conditioned class rooms. Trustee: Mrs. Archna Luthra n  Regular parent-teacher interaction. Executive President: Mrs. Goldy Malhotra n  Toddlers Den for 18 months and older children Principal: Mrs. Sangeeta Saxena

Chiranjiv Bharati School School, F-Block, Opp Columbia Asia Hospital, Palam Vihar, Gurgaon, Telephone: 0124-4075063 Email: anscbspv@airtelmail.in Web: www.chiranjivbharatipv.com

Founder’s Visit

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he Founder Chairman of Ryan Group of Institutions, Dr. Augustine F. Pinto, visited the Sohna Road branch. He was extended a hearty welcome by the Guard of Honour, followed by an interaction with the various contingents of the School – including academic achievers and winners of co-curricular activities. A Special Assembly was conducted, and the Council members felicitated Dr. Pinto with a potted plant. The students from the Senior section presented a skit, with a message to conserve water and save our future. A patriotic dance, presented by the students of the middle section, was thoroughly enjoyed by all. Principal Dr. Mouna Gupta was commended by Dr. Pinto for motivating the children on the progressive conservation of the environment.

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High time for Music! CBS Scribes

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team of student reporters of Chiranjiv Bharati School (CBS), Palam Vihar, showcased In-House events at the School. The aim was to create awareness on environment and social issues. They wrote on Earth Day, Scouts and Guides, and Heritage Day. The young reporters posted their inputs on the British Council Blog, for which they received certificates from the Council. The notable scribes were Harsh Lahiri, Anmol Narang, Abhinav Sharma, Hrithik Pandey, Drikshant, Anjali, Regina Vaz, Bhavishya Bhat and Piyush Arya.

If you have a School event that you would like to see published on this page, send in the details at anita.bagchi@fridaygurgaon.com

N

ot many know that India’s first electronic music academy is situated in a serene corner of the City. Known as ‘I Love Music’ Academy, it is founded by Nakul Vagale and Sean De Souza, under the aegis of Arjun Vagale, one of India’s celebrated DJs. The Academy is born out of a dearth of good electronic music training schools in the country. With one school in Bangalore and one in the City, ‘I Love Music’ academy works on formulating a teaching approach, where practicing musicians act as guides rather than teachers and help students along their musical paths to achieve their learning. Talking about the different courses offered at the Academy, Nakul Vagale says that DJ’ing is the most popular course among hobbyists, while those who want to build career in electronic music usually go for a one-year long programme in Audio Engineering. Electronic Music Production (EMP) caters to both Hobbyists and Music Professionals like DJ’s who now want to take their career to the next level as Dance Music Producers. “The focus is to learn step by step. Even in PRO- DJ, which is a short-term course, students begin with turntables and then CD players and finally trained in Digital DJ’ing through software and Midi,” informs Nakul. Established in 2012, the Academy has country’s leading DJs and musicians as its faculty members. Arjun Vagale and G ‘Force’ Arjun of Jalebee Cartel Fame, well-known Llewellyn Hilt aka DJ Bubu, and Puneesh Suri are some of the faculty members in the Academy. Besides, international artists and DJs are invited to conduct various workshops on electronic music.

Interestingly, most of these workshops are open to outsiders too! A student of Audio Engineering, Varun has come all the way from Jaipur to the City to take up this course. He says, “The best thing about the Academy is that the strength of students in a class is always less than six. Experienced faculty members make sure that the students are presented with 100 per cent accurate information and practical training expose students to a real world scenario. I am glad that I am at the right place!” The school boasts of the latest equipment and state-of-the-art recording booth to produce electronic music. Since classes for few courses are held over weekends, the Academy provides unlimited studio time for its students. With music appreciation and Business of Music classes, students also learn to market themselves. The City has seen some of the international DJs like Fat Boy Slim and David Guetta performing in the past year. Now ‘I Love Music’ is here to give a new definition to the EDM scene in the City! ‘I Love Music’ Academy is located in DLF Phase I. For more details, call: 9818476967 or log on to: www.ilmacademy.in 


14 write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon.com

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he slowdown in the economy has hit corporate expectations across India, making it difficult for even top B-Schools to ensure a hundred per cent placement for their students. The famed IIMs now assert that placements are not entitlements, but only an opportunity that arises as a result of knowledge creation – and is a by-product of the process. Fortunately, Management Development Institute ( MDI), Gurgaon has managed to buck the trend – and ensured a hundred per cent placement. The presence of a strong alumni network, good performances during summer internships, and a focus on creating knowledge has helped the Institute in a big way, says Director Mukul Gupta. Having been with MDI for the last 13 years, Gupta says that their focus has been to keep changing with the times, match the challenges offered by the complex business environment, and excel in whatever objectives are set. “As a School we want to design and develop new programmes, constantly upgrade curriculum, and have quality in the design and delivery of knowledge.” The market, he says, has reiterated its faith in the MDI brand, which has been assiduously built over time. “Compared to a number of national institutes, we have been more involved in research, given more incentives, and created better opportunities for teaching,” says Gupta. To ensure that the students at MDI get a global perspective, the Institute has linkages with 50 institutions across the globe. The criteria for choosing the partner institutes is also rigorous – these should also be among top 5 in their respective countries. As a result of these linkages, around 25 per cent of the students are able to go abroad and study their courses. “We have

MDI

Neighbours’ Envy Gurgaon’s Pride a large number of students from these partner institutions coming to MDI under the exchange programme, which helps in academic exchange, faculty exchange, research collaboration and development of academic material,” says Gupta. MDI has also launched the International Summer University from this year, in which students from Class B towns’ universities in India can come for short-term courses. These will be conducted by the faculty from the international institutes. When asked how MDI has managed to ensure that the curriculum remains upgraded, and in tune with the industry requirements, Gupta says that MDI trains around 3,000 top and mid-level managers every year, through the management development programmes. “We have access to the latest information, issues and problems related to industry. This helps us in honing the curriculum to their needs,” he says. A strong association with the industry is also maintained through

The placements at top business schools in the country hog media headlines every year, as corporates make astronomical offers to MBA graduates – which are unheard of in other professions. Placement Co-ordinator at MDI, Prof. Kapil Kanwal, opines that this year was even more difficult, than 2007-08, when the ‘great depression’ had engulfed the global economy. “We were lucky in the sense that a lot of MDI students got pre-placement offers, and the alumni also helped greatly in getting the students absorbed,” he says.  The next year offers more hope, says Kapil. The average salary for MDI graduates was close to Rs. 13 lakhs per annum; and to ensure that all the students were placed, the Institute invited even more companies to the campus. Compared to 125 companies last year, there were 160 companies recruiting this time, informs Kapil. It was for

“Teaching has never been rewarded in this country. There have neither been incentives for the performers, nor punishment for the nonperformers. This culture has to change, if India wants to seriously become a knowledge economy,” he asserts. There needs to be a relook at teaching as a profession, and we all need to decide whether we want teachers who are knowledgable, skilled and passionate, or those who have taken up teaching as a last recourse. regular conferences, talks and guest lectures. MDI is also setting up a Finance Lab, which will simulate market-like conditions, and help the students learn the different facets of finance in a real time scenario. “We already have a Language Lab,

PRAKHAR pandey

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

S ocial

26 April-2 May 2013

where students hone their language skills and improve communication,” he says. In the face of the dwindling quality of management education across the country, and even in Gurgaon, the MDI Director feels that there is need for more regulation and monitoring of MBA institutes. “Right now the entry and exit barriers are too low, and any one can set up an MBA institute. This has led to uncontrolled expansion in the number of schools, as not much hardware is required to set up a B-school,” says Gupta. The need of the hour is to improve the functioning of such institutes, so that they can impart worthwhile skills to their students. Otherwise many will continue to languish without jobs. We at MDI have been fortunate. Most of the teachers here are passionate, and serious about research – for creating and sharing knowledge,” says Gupta. The teachers are accordingly given the freedom, flexibility and incentives. Asked about the strengths and weaknesses of Indian

the first time in a decade that summer placements were completed within a week. “The IT and auto sectors are facing multiple issues. IT is a cyclical business, and as a result companies have stopped hiring, as they have just a few projects in hand. Outsourcing has become a major issue abroad, and this also affected Indian companies badly,” says Kapil. IT and Auto have been heavy recruiters in the past. The Consulting and Finance sectors have proved to be saviours, and a large number of MDI students have been hired by Goldman Sachs, American Express, Deloitte and several others. The key values that recruiters are now looking for, from candidates, are: their value fit, their drive to meet goals, and their out-ofthe-box thinking. They must also have the strength and ability to negotiate the rough and tumble of the real world outside the simulated environment of B-schools, opines Kapil.

students, compared to their peers abroad, Gupta says that Indians have more knowledge about affairs of the world in general, and are wellinformed on various issues. “Indians are also flexible and rounded, whereas foreign students have more depth in the subjects that they specialise in. The all-round perspective of Indians is of good help in the increasingly globalised scenario,” he says. Multi-national companies have also realised this, and have started placing more Indian managers abroad. On the issue of ethics and values in business, which have nowadays assumed an even more important role, Gupta opines, “We have to reinforce our traditional value system. We tell the students that personal growth and success should not be at the cost of people around them. We emphasise that being ethical is always profitable in the long run.” MDI was the first institute in the country to start a compulsory Business Ethics course. The Institute has a very strict policy, and does not tolerate non-ethical behaviour. An Institute never grows in a vacuum; the geographical location plays a very important role in its development. In that sense MDI has been lucky that it chose to operate from Gurgaon, which has gone on to become India’s fastest growing city. Gupta says that when MDI started, the local population was merely 50,000. “We have a very strong linkage with the City. MDI has helped put Gurgaon on the national and international map as a premier location for business education,” he asserts. The Institute also has a strong connect with the local community. MDI students have helped villagers in Gurgaon, particularly from Sukhrali, to manage their ‘sudden’ wealth – which came on the sale from their land. “Our students adopted one family each in the village, and helped them in managing their finances. At our annual Diwali Mela, we invite local residents to participate. We also have collected a lot of data on the residents of Gurgaon, for various studies,” says Gupta. The MDI campus is the greenest institute in the City. When asked what is it ‘that they don’t teach at MDI?’, Gupta smiles and says that they do not teach the students religious fanaticism. “Loyalty to the nation and the family is prime – the rest should not come in the way,” he says. As a parting advice to MBA aspirants, Gupta suggests that they should look at an institute’s infrastructure, academic facilities and reputation. u


S piritual

26 April-2 May 2013

{ Dr. Rajesh Bhola }

Enable Your Minds

M

ost societies have norms on how individuals with disability are to be treated, what roles are appropriate for such individuals and what rights and responsibilities individuals with disability are entitled to (or denied). About 80 per cent of the individuals with disability live in the developing world; in India alone there are more than 60 million. It is important to understand how common people—a community—explain the occurrence of disability, and respond to people with disability. Traditionally, in India, having a disability is attributed to one having sinned, or offended the spirits. We are not alone. Almost all faiths and belief systems seem to incorporate some notion that disability is a punishment. Many religious texts have stories and parables that link moral imperfection and sin with divine retribution in the form of a disability. However, today, in western culture, the dominant way of explaining disability (is by way of ) medical terms – such as resulting from accidents, genetic disorders or viral infections. The responses to disability range from neglect to some level of tolerance. There are very few examples of communities integrating people with disability into all aspects of their lives. Many countries have developed human rights legislations, policies and programmes. Within communities, the responses to disability are dependent on a range of factors: such as the need for people with disability to earn an income, the value placed on physical or intellectual strength, the type and cause of disability, the age and gender of a person with disability, where they live, etc. As a Local Level Committee member, I was part of a team that conducted a home survey of 960 families having disabled children in Gurgaon, Rewari and Mewat Districts. It was astonishing to discover that 380 families had hidden their disabled children, due to the shame that disability is thought to bring upon the family. They were not being sent to any school; and even medical care was either not being given, or given when it was too late. We came across 18 families where persons with mental disability were locked up or chained the whole day, or for some hours. However, a sizeable number of 240 persons with disability, in the age group of 18 to 35 years, were living well with their families, and often contributed through their

{ Archana Kapoor Nagpal } I brought her into this world, But she is like a mother to me, Darkness is the only colour for me, Though I see the beautiful world Through her eyes only. Every morning she holds my hand, She walks with me in the garden, Tells me the beauty of nature, I see the magical creation of God Through her eyes only. She sits next to me, Tells me how water changes its colours, When sun’s rays fall into the pond How swiftly the fishes change their directions, There is only darkness all around, Though I can see some light of hope Through her eyes only. I can smell the roses, I can feel the intense heat of the sun,

work to their family’s income. The response of the community ranged from indifference to neglect. Some surgeries were not undertaken, resulting in permanent immobilities. Neglect also resulted in the death of some people with disability. In some instances of neglect, other social factors, such as class or gender, were also relevant. Another very common response is to treat people with disability as ‘special’. This can take different forms – from additional resources being provided, to more affection and love being given to the people with disability. However, this ‘special’ rarely means equal. In India, a common response to dealing with the education needs of children with disability continues to be to their segregation, via a special schools system. The quality of education imparted in such schools is low, and the expectations to succeed— placed on disabled students—is far below those in normal schools. As disability occurs equally across the genders, it is unfortunate that girls with disability become more vulnerable, and are likely to be more neglected – and many die. Several independent reports, on the conditions of some large shelter homes for the persons with disability, have highlighted the level of neglect – and in some circumstances sexual exploitation, and even death. There should be a special provision under Indian Law, which specifically protects people with mental disabilities, specially from the sexual offences committed by persons connected to any care-giving organisation. The Persons with Disabilities Acts across the world also need to be reframed every five years, in view of the fast-changing environment. We need to update the laws in India; the legislative framework must outlaw discrimination. The greatest achievement will be to convince people—ordinary men and women—as well as politicians from all parties, that disability is a civil rights issue, and that discrimination against the disabled must be recognised and stopped. In this everchanging environment, with cultures constantly shifting and changing, we need to also change if our beliefs and attitudes, so that persons with disability can be fully integrated and included in all aspects of life. Until such time, all members of the community, irrespective of their religious, cultural or linguistic origin, need to take personal responsibility for the way in which persons with disability are treated in India. 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.

Through Her Eyes Only

15

Stone Meditation

The Stone and I talk, when I go for a walk On a sunny spring morning; Come, says the tiny rock, listen to me And you will hear my voice so silent n still, I speak of the past, each grain in me is an atom Of energy charged; Keep me where you will Wash me, polish me, anoint me, baptize me Love me, dote on me, take me, leave me Keep me, throw me or give me away, I will always stay this way – I am Stone; Seasons, hate or fate don’t take their toll I don’t change my role, I am still, revelling in God’s Will. ‘Dear stone, give me the silence of your heart Give me the secret power of your calm Why even gods are carved in stone In stone temples make their earthly home’ Shobha Lidder, Writer journalist, Teacher Trainer, social activist, Reiki Master, Pranic Healer

I can listen to the mystical sound of chimes, But I can see none of them, She clasps her little fingers around mine And makes me see beyond the darkness, I remember to live every day Through her eyes only. I cannot see my child, But she is the apple of my eye, I live because she is in my life, I feel my existence in this world Through her eyes only. I might give up on life, But her indomitable will Helps me to survive, I fall in love with the darkness Because it brings me closer to my child, And I can see a beautiful life ahead, Through her eyes only! Internationally published author of ‘14 Pearls of Inspiration’ and the ‘12 Facets of a Crystal’ u


16

26 April-2 May 2013

C omment

A White Paper On Gurgaon  Contd from p 1

It is also time to prepare a 3 year Civic Plan for the current Separately, an Audit Team from Chandigarh should sectors of the City – including the ‘unauthorized colonies’, check why the maintenance and repair of facilities, and the EWS houses/flats, and villages/slums. MCG should be the delivery of civic services, continues to be so poor charged with this role – which means that all of Gurgaon – despite most residents paying a decent maintenance needs to first be under its control. HUDA needs to transfer charge every month. In the absence of this, many RWAs employees and all its sectors to MCG; this should have been are now taking on its builder(s), and wanting to ‘snatch’ done by now, considering MCG is almost 5 years old. the premises - after facing years of neglect. On an on-going basis, T&CP should be tasked to issue a quarterly report on each For the new sectors of Gurgaon, T&CP Dept. needs to project/sector, based on field visits and immediately (as it has not yet been done) identify/designate inspections. space, colony/sector-wise, for:

EDITORIAL Atul Sobti

Most importantly, we need to ensure that the same problems do not recur in the new sectors (58 to 115). T&CP needs to provide the detailed plan, sector wise, as to what will come up where, by when, and by whom (see box also). Who will build, and who will maintain the civic infrastructure and facilities? Unfortunately, the new sectors have already started going the same way. Infrastructure is again lagging the development of housing estates. In fact residents are moving into their houses/ flats, without their projects being given a formal water and power connection. Clearly, ‘informal connections’, despite the Court’s orders, have become the order of the day in this City.

Roads, footpaths Parking facilities – private and public transport; shelters and stands Parks, Sports stadiums, Community Centres, Cultural Centres, Markets Hospitals Schools/Colleges EWS houses Fire Stations/Police Stations Petrol Pumps/CNG stations Water boosting stations, water pipelines Power sub-stations, cabling Sewage drains and connection to the master drain; storm water drains; public toilets; rain-water harvesting sites Night shelters, Child Care Centres, Centres for the Aged and Disabled Liquor vends

We need to change course now, This will also ensure that facilities do not suddenly come up, otherwise we will continue to see ad hoc development. First, builders who have say, next to a house(s) – as is happening in current sectors. defaulted in current sectors (1 to 57) should be asked to develop, or make good, what they had promised. All their ‘excess’ earnings, from All private builders need to complete their pending common areas, or from change in plans, need to also be works, as per plans submitted, and then hand over their returned to the customers/RWAs - this should include areas/colonies to MCG. This total handover should be all commercial buildings/areas too. Until they have so completed by the end of year 1, by all concerned, so complied so, these builders should not be allowed to that the following 2 years are taken up by MCG to set proceed with further construction in their new sectors’ the overall systems and processes in motion - for the projects, This action should be welcomed by some of the regular maintenance and repair of facilities, and delivery good builders/developers, as they currently get lumped of services. with the rest. For this role of course, MCG needs great leadership. u CM asks for plantation of more trees on Earth Day. This was clearly a token comment for the Day, given the reckless and relentless cutting of trees in the City – and the on-going deforestation of the Aravallis.

A 60-year-old woman, Promila Kataria, fights off a robber who had also held her 5-year-old grand-daughter hostage. She is recognized for her bravery, and awarded a medal by the police.

FAMOUS QUOTES “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” -Winston Churchill “The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams.” - Oprah Winfrey “It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else.” - Erma Bombeck “Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.” - John Wayne “I believe that the most important single thing, beyond discipline and creativity is daring to dare.” - Maya Angelou

The Italian Job 1. The media cried about 2 Italians held captive by Maoists in Orissa. Nobody bothered about an Indian PM held captive by an Italian woman for the last 10 years. 2. When you convert 50 lakhs to 50 crores, you are called Vadra. When you convert 50 crores to 50 lakhs, you are called Mallya. The difference is in chasing the right and the wrong women! 3. India is a strange country. Some Italians just don’t want to return, and...others just refuse to leave it! 4. Now that Italy has returned the 2 Italian marines to India, we should reciprocate and return Madam and her son to their homeland – as a goodwill gesture.


W ellness

26 April-2 May 2013

4U

Tips

Health & Vitality... Naturally!

by ShahnaZ

Keeping The Balance

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.

{ Jaspal Bajwa }

S

alts are essential for our health. Our body utilises several 'macro minerals', such as, calcium, potassium and magnesium, to combine with acids and turn them into pH neutral mineral salts. Similarly, we need ‘trace minerals’–like iron, copper, zinc, iodine, fluoride and selenium–to complete the metabolic processes. Once their specific role is over, these salts safely exit the body through the kidneys – in healthy individuals. Of all the salts our body requires, there are two that take care of a very important function – the Potassium Sodium Balance. Virtually nothing can cross the cell walls without the help of Sodium and Potassium ions. In our attempt to prevent Hyper-tension - the root cause of heart disease – we think that just cutting back on common salt and other forms of Sodium should do the trick; nothing could be further from the truth. Regulating both the salts is key – the ratio between Potassium and Sodium is most critical. Our forefathers' intuitive intelligence guided them well – the ratio in which Sodium and Potassium were consumed was close to the ideal. On an average their diet yielded about 11,000 mg of potassium and well under 700 mg of sodium a day – a ratio of 16:1. However, in modern times this ratio has been dramatically reversed – we now consume much more Sodium than Potassium. Making a few changes in food choices can help shift the balance. Potassium chloride tastes a lot like sodium chloride, and is the main ingredient in ‘reduced’ or ‘no-salt’ substitutes. However, as it has a bitter aftertaste, especially when heated, it isn’t recommended for cooking. Potassium is essential for the normal growth of the body, and for the replacement of worn-out tissues. It is important for regulating heartbeat, blood pressure and ensuring optimal fluid balance in the body. High-potassium foods help maintain the proper balance (electrolytic and acid-base), and this enables our muscles and nerves to function properly. Additionally, potassium is good for mucous related issues (runny nose), teeth and hair health. In the absence of the recommended daily intake of potassium (4,700 mg for an adult), several diseases, like High Blood Pressure, Atherosclerosis (heart disease),

17

Q. How do I get rid of stretch marks on my stomach? SH

Cataract, Dehydration, Diabetes, Hepatitis, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and Osteoporosis can result. During diarrhoea, vomiting or sweating, Potassium is depleted due to excessive fluid loss.

Tip of the week

Stretch marks usually fade with time, but are never removed totally because they form due to destruction of skin elasticity. Apply olive oil daily on these areas and massage it into the skin. On the abdomen use wide circular strokes. If you are pregnant, or have recently had your delivery, consult your doctor before starting on massage. Mix gram flour (besan) with curd and a little turmeric into a paste and apply on these areas three times a week. Wash it off after half and hour

WINNER

Human taste buds are highly adaptable. We can easily reprogram them by cutting back on salt (or sugar). Interestingly, our taste buds are unable to notice a reduction in salt of about 10 per cent – and in many food-specific contexts, up to 25 per cent.

Sneha Gulati

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

Nature’s Wonder Foods of the week: Potassiumrich Natural Foods Apart from fish (e.g. halibut,tuna), most good sources of Potassium include vegetables and fruits – There’s Pollution All Around Us especially leafy green vegetables (spinach, …the odd smell, the niggling cough & cold, the breathing trouble… collards, asparagus), Biological: Airborne Bacteria, Microbes & H1N1, H5N1 Virus; orange vegetables (sweet Fungus & Mould; Pollen; Dust Mite Allergens potato, winter squash), Chemical: Diesel Fuel exhaust, fumes; Cement Dust & citrus fruits (oranges and Dioxins from burning of mixed garbage grapefruits), as well as dried beans. Protect Yourself and Your Children The best way to get more potassium, and less Pre-Filters – collect large dust particles sodium, is by eating more fresh fruits and HEPA Filters – absorb smoke, fine particles. vegetables, beans, fish, homemade foods Activated Carbon Filters – absorb harmful gases and and low-salt versions of prepared foods. malodours in the air The highest Potassium-Sodium Ratio foods are : Banana ( 422:1), cooked Install Air Purification Systems Black Beans (305:1) and Orange Brands: PlasmaCluster from Sharp, Cleansair (322:1). Interestingly, with the salted Effective against 29 types of harmful airborne substances - like bacteria, variety of nuts, the ratio tumbles – unsalted peanuts may have a ratio of viruses, allergens, mould, fungi, dust mites, and static electricity. 93:1, while salted give a 0.8:1 ratio! Verified and Certified by 18 independent renowned

Clean & Safe Air

People suffering from kidney diseases must consult their healthcare practitioners before switching to any high potassium foods. u Registered Holistic Nutritionist (Canadian School of Natural Nutrition) For education purposes only; always consult a healthcare practitioner for medical conditions

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18

26 April-2 May 2013

The Yoga Balance – Part 2 { Bhavana Sharma }

U

nderstanding the energy balance of our body is one of the main ways to maintain the health of the body and the life of the spirit. There are 7 energy centres outside the physical body, called ‘Chakras’ – each endowed with certain qualities and associations. Ancient spiritual theories tell us that, with the help of the many yoga postures, we can keep the ‘Chakra’ energy flowing and energised. In the last issue, we had covered the Root (First) Chakra and Sacral (Second) Chakra. We take up the next two Chakras in this issue.

The Navel Chakra (Third Chakra)

This is also called the Hara or Solar Plexus Chakra, and it is situated between the twelfth thoracic vertebrae and the first lumbar vertebrae. This Chakra is associated with power, will, ambition, wants and desires. Its element is Fire. With too much of ‘yin’ energy, it may result in powerlessness; and likewise, excess of ‘yang’ energy may lead to aggression and greed. The energy field of this Chakra is associated with the color Yellow.

Yoga For the Navel Chakra

The best yoga posture that helps us to heal and energise the Navel Chakra is the ‘Tadasana’ (the Mountain Pose). You can begin by standing with the bases of your big toes touching, heels slightly apart. Next, lift and spread your toes, and lay them down softly on the floor. Rock back and forth, and side to side, and very slowly reduce this swaying to a stop – with your weight balanced evenly on the feet. Lift the inner ankles, to strengthen the inner arches;

The Heart Chakra (Fourth Chakra)

This is the Central Chakra, and is situated between the fourth and fifth thoracic vertebrae. The activation of this energy heals the heart and the emotions, and stabilises the blood circulation throughout the body. This Chakra heightens our social awareness, love and openness. Too much ‘yin’ energy will lead to insensitivity, and too much yang to oversensitivity. The colour it denotes in its energy field is Green.

Yoga For the Heart Chakra

The best yoga posture that helps us to heal and energise the Heart Chakra is the ‘Gomukhasana’ (the Cow Face Pose). Sit on the floor, bend your knees and slide your left foot under the right knee, to the outside of the right hip. Then, cross your right leg over the left, stacking the right knee on top of the left, and bring the right foot to the outside of the left hip. Try to bring the heels equidistant from the hips: with the right leg on top, you’ll have to tug the right heel in closer to the left hip. Inhale, and stretch your right arm straight out to the right,

then, imagine a line of energy going all the way up along your inner thighs to your groins, and from there through the core of your torso, neck and head – and out through the crown of your head. You can then press your shoulder blades into your back, widen them across, and release them. Without pushing your lower front ribs forward, lift the top of your sternum straight towards the ceiling. Widen your collarbones and hang your arms beside the torso. You can practice this Yoga for about thirty seconds, early in the morning.

Imbalance in Navel Chakra

Blocks in the third centre can lead to low levels of energy and motivation, low self-esteem, difficulty in making decisions and a feeling powerlessness. We are unable to move forward in our lives. We may be unhappy in a current relationship or career; we may be overweight and unhealthy; we may struggle with addictions or bad habits.

parallel to the floor. Next, inhale and stretch your left arm straight forward (parallel to the floor), pointing towards the opposite wall. Turn the palm up, and with another inhalation, stretch the arm straight up toward the ceiling – and then turn the palm back. Lift actively through your left arm; then, with an exhalation, bend the elbow and reach down for the right hand. If possible, hook the right and left fingers. Stay in this pose about one minute. Release the arms, uncross the legs, and repeat with the arms and legs reversed for the same length of time. Remember that whichever leg is on top, the same-side arm is lower. You can practice this Asana any time of the day.

Imbalance in Heart Chakra

Imbalances in the energy of this Chakra would result in personality changes – such as over-possessiveness and jealousy – and heart disease, high blood pressure. Those with a deficient energy surrounding this Chakra should be open to receiving and giving love, and discover their inner-self, to help keep the balance. u Author, Tarot Reader

B on V ivant

Jumping The Queue { Krishan Kalra }

I

ndo-Soviet friendship is now more than 6 decades old. Despite all our interaction, trade and cultural exchange, there is one trait where the two countries—definitely the two capital cities—are poles apart. If Moscovites queue up even for using a public convenience, Dilliwalas get special thrills from jumping every queue. This sure is strange, considering the Soviets jokingly referred to India as their sixteenth republic! I will never forget the time my five-year old pointed out the futility of joining a queue in Delhi. We were attending one of those engagement jamborees, where a couple of hundred people are wined and dined at a five star hotel. My little fellow asked for food, and we went and joined the long queue. This was perhaps the first time he had to stand in queue for dinner; and so followed the inevitable questions—and not so convincing answers—about the need for a queue etc. Notwithstanding his repeated entreaties of “but, Papa, I am hungry”, we waited patiently. Just when we were close to our goal came a group of pompous, over-painted, bejewelled women; they nonchalantly grabbed the dinner plates and started helping themselves. This was too much for the young man, who immediately protested, “Papa, why are these aunties not standing in the queue?” When this had no effect on the gross gluttons, and my dear one saw no signs of movement on my part, he just walked up to the fattest of the group and loudly told her to go take her place at the end of the queue! What followed was a chorus of “so sweet” and “sorry darling, we didn’t realise there was a queue” – but the message had gone home. While our hero got his meal, a few formidable figures sheepishly melted into the crowd. We elders stand back and condone such shameless behaviour all the time. Food at big parties brings out the animal in most well–off Dilliwalas – and that includes many Gurgaonites; they behave as if it’s their first (or last) good meal. It’s the same thing at a supermarket, or fruit shop or the golgappawala, where an illiterate vendor has to often tell his impatient, educated customers that he can only serve them one at a time – and preferably in an orderly queue. The story is repeated at lifts, bus stops, railway stations, airline check-in counters, banks, post offices and milk depots. Almost every morning I see unruly crowds in front of the few slow-moving elevators in my office building. Strangely, the same chaps behave properly when goaded to do so by a peon! On the other hand, Moscovites patiently queue up at a coffee shop, or while taking taxicabs, buying rarely seen green vegetables, getting shoes polished, buying a cold drink or tickets for the Kremlin Museum… anything. There is never a scramble, despite chronic shortages (perhaps this was more true in the USSR era) of almost all consumables – including food. It’s indeed their national ethos. Citizens of Dilli don’t behave like barbarians just for the mundane things of life. When it comes to getting licenses and quotas, permits and export incentives, queue-jumping becomes an art, perfected by the high class liaison men – known now as lobbyists. The bigger the organisation the more senior is their man in Delhi. The malady extends to all aspects of city life. In some strange way, control of the accelerator makes maniacs out of many otherwise sane men and women. And those sporting flashier imported cars are a positive menace. ‘Lane driving is insane driving’ seems to be their motto. Our queue-breaking, lane jumping heroes crash their way through every possible crevice, making the traffic look like a river nearing its delta – fast, unrestrained, twisting, turning and full of eddies. Soviet cops can learn a lesson or two in crowd control from their Indian counterparts, and we would stand to gain more in individual control and civic discipline by visiting Moscow as tourists. But then the danger, in the age of glasnost, is that both may work the other way round! u


B on V ivant

26 April-2 May 2013

19

Make Up w/o Shake Up

B

Art Retreat { Shilpy Arora / FG }

amount,” says Kiran. The Kendra plans to organise a lot of workshops and art fairs for young artists.

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One-of-its-kind

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon.com jackfruit and a couple may not seem to have anything in common. But an Exhibition at the newly-opened Bhuvneshwari Kala Kendra (BKK) in Bhondsi draws some parallel; the sculpture of a couple represents the love in life, while a jackfruit displays the struggle of life. The Kala Kendra aspires to become an ‘Artists’ Village’, where artists from across the world can come and work together, and display their creations in exhibitions that would be conducted at the Village itself. Spread over an expanse of seven acres, with 30 accommodation facilities for artists, Bhuvneshvari Kala Kendra is the largest art gallery in the NCR. “The Kendra is all set to become a hub for art and culture,” feels Kiran Singh, President of the BKK. Her father-in-law, former Prime Minister Chandrashekhar, was very fond of Indian Art & Culture. He laid the foundation of Bhuvneshwari Kala Kendra in 1994. “He wanted to set up a centre that not only provides space to artists, but also offers the right atmosphere to nurture creativity,” says Kiran, who has renovated the centre. “Also, no matter how talented you are, you need to showcase your talent to the world. An exhibition provides a platform to the artists to display their creativity, and is a great source of encouragement for them,” feels Kiran. For the current exhibition, titled ‘Frozen Music’, she invited eight artists from across the country to work on sculptures. They stayed at the Kendra for 15 days, and came up with some amazing pieces. “Artists from various cities, such as Benaras, Bangalore, Lucknow and Mumbai came together. Despite the age and linguistic difference, and difference in our tastes, we all stayed well together. Not only did we learn different art forms from each other, we also enjoyed working amidst the serene surroundings of Aravalli hills. The Kendra offered us an unparalleled experience,” says Ashwini, an artist who has come from Bhopal.

Providing a Platform “Young artists, who want

the right atmosphere and ambience, can stay here for weeks, and work. They can choose to contribute their painting or sculpture to our facility, or have a special exhibition here,” informs Kiran. She gives an example of a 28-year-old artist who came all the way from Azamgarh, eastern Uttar Pradesh. “The district is known for all the wrong reasons. But you will be amazed by the creative work done by him, at such a young age. Unfortunately, he was getting a scholarship of just Rs. 1,000 from the government. We have decided to invite him to Bhuvneshwari Kala Kendra in September. He will make sculptures, and we will pay him a handsome

Surrounded by the Aravalli Hills, Bhuvneshwari Kala Kendra is situated in a lush green village in Bhondsi. As a visitor enters the Kendra, a sculpture of a woman greets him/her. “Respected Baba (former PM Chandrashekhar) brought this sculpture here,” says Brijesh, one of the caretakers. There is a small waterfall, created by Chandrashekhar a decade ago. The Kendra offers a unique mix of traditional and contemporary settings. It has a library, a reading room, books and stationary stores, and four fully-equipped working studios. However, old artefacts, underground secret passages, and miniature and mammoth statues are also found at various nooks and corners – helping preserve a historic feel. To the villagers, the sculptures of village folk, a serpent god, and of freedom fighters are a reminder of the time that Chandrashekhar spent here. “Baba used to love nature, and appreciate art a lot. He enjoyed the presence of animals. That is why he created beautiful artefacts showcasing horses and peacocks. His ashram, located about seven kilometres away, is another art delight,” informs a local villager. Moreover, the Kendra is surrounded by a variety of flora and fauna. “This is what makes this Kendra unique. People can not only enjoy art and culture, but they can also go for trekking, and arrange picnics in the nearby areas. Many times adventure sports are organised here,” says a caretaker. The Kendra has employed local youth as gardeners, guards and guides. “We will build the Kendra without upsetting the bio-diversity. It will be a centre for aspiring artists, where they can learn about art as well as nature. We will also develop more employment options for the villagers,” says Kiran. She believes that a USP of the Kendra is that it is located far from the hurlyburly of city life. “I have been told that there are a lot of art lovers in Gurgaon, and they travel to various places to enjoy and appreciate various art forms. We therefore expect this Kendra to be a hit in the City,” says Kiran. She informs that many artists are also planning to move to Gurgaon.

What Next

Apart from art exhibitions, the Kendra will focus on stage shows, along with special art and culture camps. “I am very keen on promoting photography. Today, most of the people have state-of-the-art cameras. Photography allows you to present every moment—sunrise or sunset— the way you want,” informs Kiran. Somewhere there is a yearning to also be a Prithvi Theatre (Mumbai), and stage plays and classical music performances. u

PRAKHAR pandey

eauty and grooming services are expenses that cannot be avoided – but are tough on the wallet. Image and grooming experts say that you must wear your appearance 24x7; you should not compromise, as your personal appearance helps make you look attractive and confident. Fortunately, there are ways to save money on beauty services, by: n  patronising Beauty School clinics n  discussing with beauticians about how to maintain a style n  taking advantage of coupons n  performing some services yourself n  buying multi-tasking products. Beauty Schools: Mentees in cosmetology, aesthetics and nail technician schools need to practice their skills on others. So these Schools typically offer beauty services to the public at a much-discounted rate. The quality of the services you receive can be uneven – though you can ask an instructor to correct any problem you face. Discussion with beauticians and experts: Always have a discussion with the salon personnel about how to maintain your hair cut, facial manicure, pedicure etc. Many moderate-to-highend salons offer free bang trims, make up touch-ups, free trials and samples, to their regular clientele. Ask your stylist about these services. Coupons and Packages: Probably the easiest way to save on beauty services is to keep an eye out for coupons, special sales and package deals at salons. Many salons offer a first-time discount to new customers, so don’t be afraid to ask for these specials when making an appointment. Some salons also offer package deals, allowing you to save money on several services. For example, a salon may offer a ‘day of beauty’, or ‘half-day of beauty’, or ‘happy hours’. ‘DIY’ Options: To really keep costs down, follow a Do It Yourself (DIY) approach. Many people are using home hair-colouring products, face bleach and scrubbing, and at-home waxing kits. It is a good idea to learn make-up, grooming and styling . You’ll save time and money in the long run if you: n  wear sunscreen every day n  wash make-up tools every few days n exfoliate your face once a week, with a gentle scrub n  get yourself a flattering style at the salon, and then work to maintain that style at home n  look for long-wearing formulas – you won’t need to touch up as often n  wear your hair between chin and shoulder length – so it’s short enough to air-dry and style quickly, but long enough to pull back if you need to. Buy multi-tasking make-up products: You do not need to give up your make-up and toiletries when tightening your budget – you just need to practise smart shopping techniques. You can buy multi-tasking products, and use them properly as mentioned on their care label. Again, use coupons, and take benefits from special sales and promotion offers; experiment with local but recommended brands. However, remember to buy products as per your skin and hair type. u Sarita Maheshwari Sharda Certified Image Consultant and founder of Image Panorama


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App Developers Hit Hurdles

{ Andrej Sokolow / Berlin / DPA }

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ore than 80 billion apps are likely to be downloaded this year. But not every app is successful, and most app developers have to work hard to stay on top of things. Indeed, the stories about 17-year-olds selling their works for fortunes are the exception, not the norm. Hoping to make a fortune with an app is like planning to become wealthy with the lottery. Still, it is a healthy market. Market research agency Gartner forecasts the number of downloaded apps to rise to 130 billion in 2014, and to more than 300 billion in 2016. Others expect the numbers to be even higher. More than 90 per cent of these downloads are for free, with any money for the developers coming from ads, or the sale of accessories. Customers have grown to expect free apps. It’s also hard to get noticed among the flood. Users of Apple iPhones and iPads have the choice of 750,000 different apps. “It’s not enough to

make a good app. You also have to be seen,” says Sebastian Blum of California start-up, Cooliris. The lucky ones have their products prominently displayed by Apple, or get written up in a well-known technology blog. “It’s a daily fight for survival,” says Blum. CoolIris, for example, is a free app that helps people view their pictures. Although it competes with dozens of other photo apps, it has enjoyed 3 million downloads. CoolIris won the deal to

be pre-installed with the Google smartphone Nexus. Nick D’Aloisio, a 17-year-old Briton who recently pocketed 30 million dollars from internet pioneer Yahoo for his intelligent news app, Summly, owes his success to a combination of luck and clever self-marketing. He was helped by a favourable write up in the tech blog TechCrunch, as well as investments

WhatsApp Founder Vows – No Ads

{ Andy Goldberg / New York / DPA }

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he independent messaging app, WhatsApp, is now bigger than Twitter, with more than 200 million users, CEO Jan Koum said at a tech conference, where he also vowed to keep advertising off the site. Koum refused to say exactly how many users the app has, but revealed that it now sees an average of 8 billion inbound, and 12 million outbound messages per day. The app, which allows users to make free phone calls, text, video and photo messages to anyone else on

the system, charges 0.99 cents per year per user. Speaking at the D: Dive into Digital Conference in New York, Koum dismissed recent speculation that the Company is entertaining buyout offers, saying that it was just getting started on its mission. “We’re looking forward to a world with billions of phones,” Koum said. “And once that happens it’s going to be extremely easy to monetize. But a lot more people need to join the Smartphone revolution, and a lot more people need to buy more goods on their phones.” Koum also vowed to keep advertising off the app. “We

from celebrities – like Hollywood actor Ashton Kutcher, and Yoko Ono, the widow of Beatle John Lennon. An app like Mailbox also shows that there is money to be made in old ideas. Mailbox is nothing more than an email app, but it stands out from the rest of the field, thanks to innovative concepts for managing news. It also benefitted from a good blog review and a live counter, that showed potential users how many others were waiting to download the programme. Cloud storage specialist Dropbox has reportedly purchased the new app in recent weeks, for a 100-million-dollar mix of cash and shares. Sometimes it takes more than one try. Finnish company Rovio suffered almost 40 flops, before it had a mega-hit with Angry Birds – a game that had 1.7 billion downloads, and continues to live on with new variations. Rovio has now moved into Angry Bird licensing – for figures, collectibles, theme parks and a cartoon series. u do have a manifesto opposing advertising,” Koum said. “We’re proud of that. Who likes advertising? We’re so bombarded with ads in our daily lives, and we felt that Smartphones aren’t the place for that. Our phones are so intimately connected to us, to our lives – putting advertising on a device like that is a bad idea. You don’t want to be interrupted by ads when you’re chatting with your loved ones,” he said. Koum said he wanted to be like a utility – such as gas and water that makes money without advertising. “We want to be one of them,” he said. “Our monetization strategy is simple. One dollar a year. If we did something besides that, it would just get in the way.” u

SnapChat – Sending 150 million Photos Daily { Andy Goldberg / New York / DPA }

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sers of the self-destroying messaging app—SnapChat— now send more than 150 million photographs per day, the site’s Founder said. The figures cited by Evan Spiegel, at the D: Dive Into Mobile Conference in New York, would make the newcomer one of the most popular photo-sharing apps on the web; Facebookowned Instagram currently boasts of 40 million photos shared per day. The Snapchat service, which only launched in September 2011, allows users to send images, text or video with a specified

time limit of up to 10 seconds for the recipient to view the message, before it’s wiped out. While the app gained a reputation for sexting, Snapchat founder Spiegel said the vast majority of messages are more innocent. “With 150 million images a day, it’s possible some of them are like that,” Spiegel said. But Spiegel noted that traffic on the site slows down after 11 pm, which is when you would expect more racy pics to be sent. “I don’t think it’s a great tool for sexting,” he added, explaining that the service allows recipients to make screenshots of whatever they receive. “It’s not a great way to send inappropriate content.” u

Facebook In The Android World

{ Andrej Sokolow / Berlin / DPA }

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acebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has said he wants to make the social network ubiquitous. The new app, Facebook Home, goes some way towards that goal, turning an Android Smartphone into an outpost for Facebook. Zuckerberg wants to change how people use their Smartphones, and Google’s open-source operating system, Android—which anyone can tweak—offers him the perfect platform. It’s the most widely used Smartphone operating system in the world, and can be easily customized. Android devices rely heavily on the products of the internet search giant – from Gmail to Google Maps. That is unless you install Facebook Home. Then you’re pushed firmly into the world of the social network. The home-screen, known as Cover Feed, the first thing the user sees on the display, is a slideshow from Facebook news. Updates from Facebook friends appear here, as well as services, such as being able to make free internet calls via Facebook Messenger. Once the Facebook app is installed, it is unlikely that the user will avail of any of the other offerings of the Android device. The app takes Facebook’s involvement in the lives of its users to a new level. Facebook Home “destroys any notion of privacy,” according to prominent technology blogger Om Malik. “If you install it, it is very likely that Facebook will be able to track your every step and every little action.” For example, the phone’s GPS sensor could mean that Facebook will always know where its users are, and access to the motion sensor could even show whether the person is moving or stationary. Facebook already knows a lot about its members, and over a billion people trust the company with their information, despite criticism from privacy advocates. Zuckerberg has made clear the new app’s ambitious goal: “At a deeper level, I think this can start to be a change in how we use computing devices.” The Company has more than just today’s Smartphone users in its sights. Currently only a third of the world’s population is online, but Zuckerberg believes that in a few years the majority of the world’s population will have a Smartphone. These are the people he seeks to conquer with his mobile Facebook vision. Facebook Home may be a masterstroke by Zuckerberg. The 28-year-old has always cultivated a hacker mentality at Facebook, and now the Company has effectively hacked into the world’s leading Smartphone operating system. Android has 70-per-cent market share. Android offers Facebook easy access to the devices of hundreds of millions of people. The HTC First Smartphone comes with Facebook Home already installed, and Facebook has also partnered with other hardware makers – including Samsung, Sony and the chip maker, Qualcomm. If eventually Cover Feed also comes with ads, then Facebook will be able to tap into advertising revenue directly from the home-screen. And Google can’t do anything about it, without breaking the fundamental promise that Android is an open system. The first public reaction from Google has been conciliatory, praising Facebook Home for exploiting the possibilities of Android as an open platform. However, on the other hand, Google recently replaced Andy Rubin, who was in charge of Android development, and in February was adamant that the platform would remain open. The new Android Chief is Sundar Pichai, who’s also responsible for Google Chrome. u

Twitter Close To TV Deal

{ Andy Goldberg / San Francisco / DPA }

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witter has long aimed to offer its users far more than 140 character tweets. It already has introduced video and photo services. Now the micro-blogging site is close to signing content deals with Viacom and NBCUniversal, that would bring content from those TV networks to the social media site, Bloomberg News reported. According to the report, Twitter would stream content from the networks to users’ Smartphones, and share the ad revenue generated. The deals could be signed as early as next month, the report

said. The move would mesh easily with Twitter’s youthful demographic, which is already keenly interested in TV content, with a third of active Twitter users commenting on TV fare, according to a Nielsen report. Twitter already has agreements in place with ESPN, Weather Channel LLC, and Turner Broadcasting System. Twitter has been making a concerted effort to expand from short messaging service to a fully fledged media platform – to increase the amount of time users spend on the site, and the amount of advertising they view. The Company, which has around 200 million users, has recently introduced a streaming music app. u


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{ Sid Astbury / Sydney / DPA }

Internet Romance Scam Victims

be so easily fleeced by love rats. He testifies to the professionalism within what is a truly global industry. It is not a happy coincidence that your internet date likes what you like; they have studied your profile and Julia Robson Robyn Fitzpatrick they know exactly what you like, what buttons to press. of scams.” She said those who “Scammers take months to continue to send money, after build what seems like the rosuspecting they are victims, mance of a lifetime, and may are akin to gambling addicts. even pretend to book flights “Although there’s a small pos- to visit you - but never actualsibility they may hit the jackpot ly come,” Harrod said. “They’ll if the scammer turns out to be go to great lengths to gain their genuine, they continue to hand victim’s trust ... even sending over money with the knowl- gifts.” It was that way with Lorenzo. edge deep down that they will likely never see a return of their “Every month he said he was gomoney,” Robson said. “Like ing to come here, but there was any addiction, this typically always an excuse,” Fitzpatrick is undertaken in secret, and ultimately isolates them from their loved ones.” Duncan Harrod, who leads the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s task- { Stephan Scheuer / Beijing / DPA } force on internet scams, also pleads with victims to follow nly the light from the Fitzpatrick’s lead and break monitors bathes the faces their silence, so others will not in the Beijing internet café. The only sound is the humming of the computers, until one man bangs his hand Sydney (dpa) - Jette Jacobs was 67 when she flew to South Africa, on the desk and lights up a to meet and marry a 28-year-old Nigerian, “Jesse Orowo Omokoh,” cigarette in frustration. The she met on an internet dating site in 2009. Her cash, credit cards, noisemaker just lost a characlaptop computer and jewellery were missing when her body was ter to an online game. His andiscovered in a Johannesburg hotel room in February. tics draw almost no attention. It was her second visit to South Africa to see the new love of her Most of his neighbours just life. In 2010, supposed visa problems got in the way of a face-tokeep staring at their screens. face meeting. Jacobs had sent around 200,000 Australian dollars to “After 24 hours, at the latOmokoh, had sold her house and said goodbye to her family in Perth. est, we throw people out,” “We tried to talk her out of it but no one could convince her it says Ding Dan, wasn’t real, and that there was nothing there for her,” her son told the the café’s owner. West Australian newspaper. “But she kept believing there was, and She’s run the unfortunately we weren’t strong enough to stop her going.” café for 20 years. An irony was that Operation Sunbird—run jointly by the police and “Men, especially, the State’s department of commerce—had sent Jacobs a letter warning don’t want to go. her that computer software that tracks cash sent from Australia to They just hang out Africa had identified her as being at risk of falling victim to a romance the whole time, scam. It arrived after she had got on the plane to Johannesburg. “This and forget their is a tragedy where someone who’s simply looking for love has lost families at home,” says Ding. their life,” Operation Sunbird’s Gary Newcombe said in a statement. She says her female clients don’t stay as long – just using the computers for chat sessions. The draw of computer games has long troubled Chinese audepending upon what kind thorities. According to national of computer is being used. statistics, the country has 560 users should be sure to set their In one documented case, Mac million internet users. Of browsers such that cookies are users at one travel website those, 60 per cent play online deleted at least every time the were offered hotel rooms at regularly. An hour online in a browser is shut down.  People higher rates than those offered Beijing internet café costs less worried about such pressure to Windows users. Some than 50 euro cents. The average should check online social unscrupulous retailers also salary in Beijing is about 600 eunetworks, forums or blogs to make use of the fact that some ros a month. learn about the tricks — customers don’t pay enough The trend prompts repeated dubbed dark patterns—and attention, or are unwilling to media reports about the spread how to avoid them. Knowledge make a decision. of internet addiction; most Some merchants is the best tool, say experts, recently the case of a young since the practices aren’t have been found to put man who reportedly spent six unrequested items in strictly illegal. years in an internet café. “His Other tricks common shopping baskets, in the case is especially serious, but the to dark patterns include: hope that they won’t be behaviour is typical of addicts,” posting of falsified ratings; removed before checkout. says Psychology Professor Ding hiding options for useful, but Others make up information Jianlue, of Jilin University. availability or costly, services; or offering about Many young people who stocks, to different prices for different warehouse can’t find jobs end up gocustomers – for instance, pressure customers. u ing online. The problem has victims’ support group. Some among the 120 members are still sending money to the sweet-typing charmers, who promised undying love and a fresh, new life. Fitzpatrick put her old life back together again and regained her self-respect, with help from Melbourne Private Detective Julia Robson, a former policewoman who provides online dating background checks, and specializes in hunting out romance scams. “I’m quite happy to stand up now and say, ‘I’ve been a foolish woman. I let my heart rule my head.’ I’d stand up in front of anyone and say that,” Fitzpatrick said. She was able to restore some faith in herself when told that she was more survivor than victim, and that so many others had similarly woeful tales to tell - if they had the courage to do so. “Romance scams don’t discriminate,” Robson said. “I’ve seen educated, very successful individuals fall victim. If you’re communicating with individuals online, you’re susceptible to these types

Sneaky Online Sales Tricks { Berlin / DPA }

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ome online merchants try to manipulate purchasing decisions in an effort to boost profits, using sales and reservation data to create the illusion of shortages; or time pressure to buy products, according to German computer magazine iX. Operators also employ cookies that drive up prices of an object, if a potential customer looks at the same item multiple times, reported the magazine. The practice is known as ‘cookie pricing’. To avoid that pressure,

Sid Astbury

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he laptop Robyn Fitzpatrick was given for Christmas took away her life’s savings. “I thought I’d check internet dating. Everybody kept talking about it,” the Adelaide woman said. “One person’s photo came up. I basically lost everything.” Most Australians cheated out of money in internet-dating scams keep quiet for fear of being laughed at. Not Fitzpatrick, a fiesty 57-year-old retired office worker, who thought she had found her soul-mate in “Lorenzo,” an Italian-American who had just landed a job in South Africa, but was soon in desperate need of ready cash. Over two years, she parted with 60,000 Australian dollars. “Losing the respect of my sons was the thing that broke my heart the most,” she said. “But all of it’s been my own choice. It’s been no one else’s fault but my own. I freely admit that without any hesitation.” Australia is losing over 6 million Australian dollars a month to the scammers – mostly based in Nigeria and Ghana. Romance and dating fraud is 90 per cent of that, with women twice as likely to fall victim as men; and those over 45 the easiest prey. The lovelorn, who are no longer young, make good dupes, because they often have stores of wealth, and are newcomers to the dangers in cyberspace. “The sad reality is that there are a lot of people out there who are extremely lonely,” Queensland Police Fraud Squad Chief Detective, Superintendent Brian Hay said. “Even when they know it’s a scam, they go on interacting and engaging with someone who pretends to provide them comfort and support them.” Hay leads a Brisbane-based

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said. There were phone calls, but she could never entice him to use the video hook-up on a service like Skype, that would have blown his cover by revealing the photographs that he sent were bogus. Robson helped Fitzpatrick admit to the frailties that exposed her to fraud. “Sharing your story helps prevent other individuals from falling victim; who’s to say that your friend or family member wouldn’t be next?” she said. Fitzpatrick, armed with new skills to ward off predators, is back on the internet dating scene. “I’m just more cautious,” she said. “If I’m meant to be on my own for the rest of my life, so be it. But, you know, who knows who’s out there? You just have to be wary, that’s all.” u

Trapped Online

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prompted harsh treatment by the military in the past, when it set up a series of boot camps in 2008 to break people of their addiction. There was criticism for its harsh methods – notably an electroshock programme. Analysts note that such treatment does lead to some shortterm success, but that, long term, most addicts returned to the screen. Now, 15 ministries have banded together to come up with a new treatment plan – which should provide a definition of internet addiction by the end of the year, and rules for dealing with the addiction within three years. Creating a definition would be a big step internationally, as it’s a question that has occupied experts for years. Many argue about whether internet addiction is even possible and, if so, at which stage it truly exists. Pi Yijun, a Political Science and Law Professor at Beijing University for Political Science, says internet addiction is a particular problem in China, where long school hours lead to excess stress. “Society gives people no time and room to work off stress. That’s why the young people disappear into internet cafés.” He says new policies won’t solve the problem. What’s needed is societal change. “You can forbid the internet, but young people will still find a way online,” he says, noting that this generation grew up with the computer. The only way to remove the attraction, Pi says, would be if peer pressure started to make it unfashionable to spend a whole day in front of the computer. u


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Fear And Composure: Shanghai { Andreas Landwehr/ Shanghai / DPA }

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oultry has vanished from menus in the wake of the bird flu. There are neither chickens nor ducks to be bought in the meat and vegetable market on Guangyuan Street in Shanghai. “Of course, no one wants to buy any more chicken due to the bird flu,” says one vender, who has closed down his shop. “Everybody is afraid.” Has he lost a lot of sales? he’s asked. “What can I do? Although, after a while, things will start picking up again,” he predicts. The greater Shanghai region, with 23 million people, is at the centre of the bird flu breakout in China. Since late March, the till-then scarcely known H7N9 virus was discovered first in Shanghai, and then in the neighbouring provinces of Zhejiang, Anhui and Jiangsu. The first cases have now been reported in Beijing this past week. Fears of an epidemic are strong. And all the uncertainties are happening just as automobile industry representatives from around the world are arriving for the Auto Shanghai 2013 Fair, which opens Saturday for a 10-day run. Several hundred thousand visitors are expected. Every sniffle raises suspicions. But in the eye of the bird flu storm, Shanghai residents are remaining surprisingly calm. Life is proceeding at its normal pace. Hardly anyone in the overpacked subway trains is seen wearing a face mask, even though these are commonly worn in China as protection against flu infections. “It’s only a couple dozen cases,” a car garage mechanic, says about the bird flu. “Considering there are more than 20 million people in Shanghai, that’s nothing.”

He’s not afraid, he insists, adding: “As long as it isn’t transmitted from person to person, it’s not so bad.” Asked if he himself eats chicken, he responds, “no, absolutely not. ... watch out, don’t eat any poultry. You never know. Once you’re infected, it’s too late.” Such reactions are typical of the contradictory mixture of composure and fear that visitors to Shanghai are now encountering. Many a Chinese tourist is now wondering whether to visit Shanghai. There are no travel warnings, but newspapers are reporting that tours of the Yangtse River are now not particularly much in demand. And the first cancellations have come in, travel bureaus are reporting. Fueling the uncertainties are reports that 40 per cent of bird flu patients have not even been in contact with any poultry. One boy also had the virus without showing any symptoms. And especially striking is the high mortality rate, with almost one-fourth of those registered as infected having died. World Health Organization (WHO) experts, together with Chinese scientists, on Friday wanted to start examining the virus and its paths of transmission. As long as the mysterious virus keeps spreading, very little chicken will likely be served up in Shanghai. But those who search long enough will eventually find chicken meat for sale in the Guangyuan Street market. “I have some wings here, if you absolutely want them,” a woman at one stall says, and takes a filled plastic tray from the freezer. The chicken wings are lined up in a spicy red marinade. “Do you want them?” she asks, laughing the hearty laugh of a market woman who is not one to be easily scared. “Some people are afraid, but not us.” u

Doing the Cu Chi { Bernd Kubisch / Ho-Chi-Minh-City / DPA }

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he tourists peer behind bushes, push branches aside, and carefully inspect the grass. Now where is that opening? Visitors in the group ,from China, South Korea, Japan, Canada and Germany, are no wiser than the US soldiers who came here 40 or more years ago. The narrow entrances to the huge underground labyrinth are cunningly concealed. A young soldier clothed in a khaki suit brushes aside some leaves and undergrowth, before lifting a trap door. He darts into the hole, and for an instant only his head is visible, before he closes the camouflaged cover behind him and vanishes from sight. The location is Cu Chi, 65 kilometres north of the former Saigon, which was long ago officially renamed Ho-Chi-MinhCity. It was here that US forces and their allies from South Vietnam struggled to eject their enemy, the Vietcong, from their network of excavations - a cleverly-designed retreat that they used as a base from which to launch deadly guerrilla attacks. A latter-day visit to Cu Chi offers cheap thrills mixed with excitement, nostalgia and a lesson in history. Visitors from pacifist societies may find the displays tasteless - shooting galleries using contemporary weapons, and smiling visitors having their pictures taken in front of tanks – while brandishing grenades and machine-guns. Naturally, there is a showing of a Communist propaganda film, eulogizing the heroic patriots of the region. Cu Chi is a must-see, especially since the six-

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hour bus excursion from Ho-Chi-MinhCity, complete with guide and entrance fee, costs less than 20 dollars. “My father helped extend the tunnels in the 1990s,” recalls Ngo Quang Minh. The 68-year-old has been working as a tour guide in Cu Chi for many years. He symbolizes the country’s rapid economic ascendancy. He used to work in a rice paddy for around a dollar a day. Today travel guides like Ngo Quang Minh can earn between 10 and 20 dollars a day in tips alone. When he shows the tourists camouflaged booby traps of a type that maimed many a victim in the war, he is clearly not comfortable. Like nearly every Vietnamese, he lost relatives in the war. Only the lean and petite visitors from abroad have a chance of wriggling past the trapdoor. The huge complex — which extends down three storeys in some cases—was built for smallboned Vietnamese, and not chunky US soldiers, or a sedentary tourist with a beer gut. Despite that, some sections of the 200-kilometre tunnel system have been widened, so that the tourists can squeeze through. Elite US soldiers did make inroads into the tunnels, and even managed to hold some sections of them – but faced with the huge network, their methods against the wily Vietcong proved largely ineffective. The spartan kitchens now serve food for guests, albeit on the surface. Between the bamboo, and under palm trees, are booths selling postcards and imitation daggers – alongside glasses of herbs, red Vietcong flags and T-shirts with tunnel motifs.u

Planets Almost Like Home { Anne Walters / Washington / DPA }

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here may be no place like home, but a NASA survey has found three planets that may come close. The Kepler planet-hunting satellite has pinpointed three so-called “super-Earth” sized planets orbiting their stars at a distance, that could support water – and therefore, life. Two of the planets seem ideal for life, and could even contain water, or be completely covered in oceans, a separate study published in the journal, Science, said. The planets—known as Kepler-62e, 62f and 69c—are part of systems orbiting two different stars – one with five planets and the other two.    Kepler-62f is the planet closest in size to Earth, only 40 per cent larger than our planet, and could be rocky, NASA said. Its companion planet 62e is 60 per cent larger than Earth. They orbit a star that is cooler and smaller than the sun.       The third planet, 69c, orbits another star and is 70 per cent larger than the Earth; and orbits a star similar to the Sun. The Kepler space telescope, launched in 2009, is fine tuned – enough to detect Earth-sized planets orbiting distant stars. The 590-million-dollar telescope programme is scanning a large swath of the Milky Way galaxy, which contains about 4.5 million stars. The most advanced cameras ever used in space are focussing on 100,000 to 150,000 stars, deemed most likely to have orbiting planets. Data from the cameras are used to find planets by looking for distortions in the light emitted, as an orbiting planet crosses in front of the star. u

Russian rocket blasts snails, geckos to space

{ Nikolaus von Twickel / Moscow / DPA }   

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ussia sent a collection of mice, snails and geckos to space last Friday, in an attempt to boost the country’s dwindling position in global scientific research.The dozens of animals, including 45 mice, 20 snails and 15 geckos, were in a satellite that blasted off on a Russian rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The Bion-M1 satellite, the successor of a Soviet-era spacecraft series, will remain in space for one month, and will help scientists understand how organisms fare during extraterrestrial travel, said Valery Abrashkin, who oversees the mission from a laboratory in the Volga city of Samara. The research should be useful for the planned first human mission to Mars, which is currently being prepared in Moscow. u


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Friday Gurgaon April 26-May 2, 2013  

Friday Gurgaon April 26-May 2, 2013

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